May 1, 2015
Dalai Lama Speaks Out In Support Of People Of Nepal

The terrible devastation of the earthquake in Nepal and its after-effects have touched people around the world and exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, is no exception.

The ravages throughout Nepal don't seem to be showing any signs of abating -- following the initial 7.8-magnitude quake came the aftershocks and bad weather that has hampered further rescue efforts and the delivery of aid and supplies. Now, due to the worsening conditions, survivors are falling ill and a cholera outbreak is feared on the horizon. Today, though, a bright spot shone through the doom and gloom as two more survivors were rescued from the debris of Kathmandu -- a 15-year-old boy and a young maid from a hostel.

In an open letter to Prime Minister of Nepal, Sushil Koirala, as quoted in India Today, the Dalai Lama expressed his compassion and sadness for the Nepalese people.

"The people of Nepal and Tibetans have been neighbours throughout history and many Tibetan refugees live in Nepal. I offer my condolences to you and to those who have lost members of their families, friends and their homes in this tragedy. As a token of solidarity with the people of Nepal, I have asked the Dalai Lama Trust to make a donation towards rescue and relief efforts."

The Prime Minister of Tibet, in exile, Lobsang Sangay also expressed his grief.
"At this dark and painful time, words fail to convey how deeply we feel for the people affected in Nepal, Tibet, and India."
The Dalai Lama has become more to the world than the "simple Buddhist monk," he describes himself as. He's a spiritual leader forced into politics due to his exile. And he's also become a kind of self-help guru people around the world look to because of his simple messages of happiness and love and his ever-present smile. He's become an important symbol, not just to the people of Tibet, but the world in general -- his comments on a tragedy of the Nepal earthquakes is on a par with any other world leader.

And that's good news for Tibetans, Buddhists, and anyone who embraces his message of compassion and acceptance. However, the 14th Dalai Lama is a 79-year-old man who isn't going to live forever, at least not in his current body. The Tibetan Buddhists believe the Dalai Lama reincarnates and they go through an elaborate process to find his reincarnation with each death. However, last month the Dalai Lama talked about not wanting to be reincarnated because he didn't think the Tibetans needed a Dalai Lama anymore. A recent article in Newsweek weighs in on the possibilities of a Chinese chosen Dalai Lama or no Dalai Lama at all.

When asked about his reincarnation, the Dalai Lama had this to say.

"If the present situation regarding Tibet remains the same, I will be born outside Tibet away from the control of the Chinese authorities. This is logical. The very purpose of a reincarnation is to continue the unfinished work of the previous incarnation."
That would mean the 15th would be the first to be born on soil other than that found in Tibet. Only time will tell what that means for Tibet, Buddhists and the world, in general.[Image courtesy]