The Dalai Lama made reference to his prospects for future reincarnation last Friday. He was interviewed from his home, before he heads to celebrations ahead of his 80th birthday. He caused a bit of controversy when he stated that he might be a mischievous blonde woman in his next incarnation, or that he’ll no longer reincarnate, and be the last Dalai Lama ever. As the New York Post described, The role of the Dalai Lama is believed by followers to be filled through generations of repeated reincarnation.
Buddhists believe the role of the Dalai Lama has been filled for 600 years through reincarnation, and the aging spiritual leader’s rebirth is on followers’ minds as their leader nears his 80th birthday in July.
He’ll celebrate his 80th birthday in Australia, on July 6. As reported in the Brisbane Times, before that date he plans to meet with religious and political leaders as he tours the country. He’ll be on his 10th visit to Australia since 1982.
Some leaders in Australia refused to meet with the Dalai Lama in the past, mainly due to fear of angering relations with the communist China. China often threatens foreign leaders who meet with the Dalai Lama. China says that by talking with the Dalai Lama, these countries are providing “interference in China’s domestic affairs,” as further mentioned in the Brisbane Times.
Meeting the Dalai Lama often turns into a diplomatic minefield for Australian politicians, mindful of China’s stance on the Nobel Peace laureate, who has lived in exile since a failed uprising in Tibet in 1959.
Al Jazeera reported how China criticized Obama after he praised the Dalai Lama at a dinner earlier in the year. China usually gets bitter whenever any country agrees to meet with the Dalai Lama, since he often brings up human rights abuses facing Tibetan people under Chinese rule.
But celebrations for the spiritual leader already started two months ahead of his July 6 birthday. As reported in the Inquisitr, last month he welcomed Archbishop Desmond Tutu for an early celebration in India. The Archbishop spent a week with the Dalai Lama. Besides the birthday festivities, they also worked on the book they are co-authoring.
The Independent states that after his birthday, he’ll give a talk during the Glastonbury Music Festival in England. The Dalai Lama will appear there alongside some of the hottest performers in music, like Kanye West, Mary J Blige, and The Who. If you think that’s an odd place to give a talk, then you’ll have to tell Stephen Hawking, too. He’s also on the schedule with the Dalai Lama.
[Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images]