Dalai Lama names new Buddhist spiritual leader, China's reaction awaited
The Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, has named an eight-year-old United States (US)-born Mongolian boy as the 10th Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa Rinpoché—the third highest rank in Tibetan Buddhism—reports said. The ceremony was reportedly held on March 8 in Himachal Pradesh's Dharamshala, where the Buddhist leader lives in exile. The move will likely irk China owing to its longstanding animosity toward the Buddhist spiritual leader.
Why does this story matter?
- The decision comes amid speculations that the 14th Dalai Lama—Tenzin Gyatso, the highest spiritual Tibetan—will name his successor soon.
- The 87-year-old leader has been fighting for Tibet's autonomy since 1959 when China occupied it. Since the Tibetan rebellion against China, he has been living in exile.
- Notably, last year, the Dalai Lama arrived in Delhi and was greeted warmly by his devotees.
What Dala Lama said about new Rinpoché
Addressing the gathering of his followers on the occasion earlier this month, the Dalai Lama said, "We have the reincarnation of Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa Rinpoché of Mongolia with us today." "His predecessors had a close association with the Krishnacharya lineage of Chakrasamvara. One of them established a monastery in Mongolia dedicated to its practice. So, his being here today is quite auspicious," he added.
Dalai Lama's move may irk China
The appointment of the eight-year-old as the third highest Lama in Tibetan Buddhism is sure to aggravate China as the country has been unequivocal in saying that it will only accept Buddhist leaders appointed by its own government. According to reports, the proclamation event was welcomed with both joy and trepidation as China's anger with the decision looms.
A little about Mongolian boy
As per Mongolian media, the newly proclaimed Rinpoché is one of the twin brothers, named Aguidai and Achiltai Altannar, born in the US. Reports said that the boys were born to Altannar Chinchuluun, a university mathematics professor, and Monkhnasan Narmandakh, a national resources conglomerate executive. Meanwhile, the boy's grandmother, Garamjav Tseden, is a former Mongolian parliament member.