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Who is the Dalai Lama?

By Jane Harmon
Updated May 23, 2024
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All forms of Buddhism believe in reincarnation; everyone is bound to a cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth until they gain enlightenment and can "step off the wheel." Certain enlightened ones choose to stay on the wheel of life as an act of charity and kindness, to assist others in finding enlightenment. These "volunteer returnees" are called Bodhisattvas. In Tibet, the regional form of Buddhism has evolved a kind of inheritance, which flows not from parent to child, but from deceased to his reincarnation. Recognized reincarnates proliferate in Tibet and are called tulkus, and the most famous tulku is the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama was first recognized in the 16th century. The first person so designated, a leader of the "yellow sect" of Tibetan Buddhism named Sonan Gyats, was given the title of the Third Dalai Lama, and his two predecessors were recognized as the first and second Dalai Lamas after the fact. It was the fifth who became the state ruler as well as religious leader of Tibet. The name means "Ocean of Wisdom," and all holders of the title are assumed to be the earthly incarnation of Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva of compassion.

Tulkus are discovered in very early childhood, as soon after the death of their previous incarnation as is possible. They are found by following clues their predecessor may have left in his speaking or writings, by portents and dreams that other tulkus may have, and finally, by an examination of the child to include the tulku-candidate's being able to correctly identify common household items from his previous life mixed among a collection of similar items.

The current Dalai Lama is the 14th of his line and was born to a farming family in 1935, and given the name Lhamo Dhondrub. He was recognized at the age of two, and brought, with his family, to live in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, at the age of four, where he became His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso. (Dalai Lamas, like Popes, change names upon taking up their office.) He was reared and educated (to the equivalent of a PhD) in the monastery system.

When China annexed Tibet in 1959, he and thousands of his supporters fled into exile. He has lived in Dharamsala, India, since 1960, and heads the Tibetan government-in-exile. China does not recognize Tibet as an independent political entity. The Dalai Lama has been a powerful spokesman for Tibet, and Buddhism in general, and has written a number of books on the topic. His consistent opposition to violence was recognized in 1989 with the Nobel Peace Prize.

He has recently collaborated with MIT to study what role Buddhist meditation plays in human emotion and cognition, and has said: "If science proves facts that conflict with Buddhist understanding, Buddhism must change accordingly. We should always adopt a view that accords with the facts." He remains one of the most respected religious leaders in the world.

PublicPeople is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon275185 — On Jun 16, 2012

He takes money from the CIA.

By anon153312 — On Feb 17, 2011

A true Buddhist does not eat meat. As i learned at school, a Buddhist is taught never to kill anything, and never to eat meat. I am very surprised learning about His Holiness The Dalia Lama eating meat. Maybe he is not so holy as I was made to believe.

By anon131681 — On Dec 03, 2010

In Buddhism, you can eat meat but it's not a compassionate act. do not kill and eating meat are different. you can't order someone to kill for you but if you buy it from the supermarket because you need it for health reasons, then promise to became a Buddha to free all living beings from this mistaken appearance and overcome all negative imprints and delusions with in your own mind.

Not eating meat doesn't stop the tendencies to kill,if not killing to eat, killing for fun, pleasure or indifference.

A Great Deception as a first book can be a bit too much. I enjoyed it, but I already was involved with Buddhism but it helped gain more faith in Dorje Shugden. What I did is I looked at both sides of the story and carried on practicing the Dharma.

By anon108728 — On Sep 04, 2010

@anon 45060: i can't believe the naive bubble that you live in. you have been taught to not focus on the faults of others. what if you teacher was evil? you cannot deny that that's a possibility.

imagine you wanted to take control over the world. you would have to do a few bad things along the way to assume your dictatorship, and what better way to keep the good souls from stopping your plan, which would obviously involve some murder along the way? how else would you keep your opponent at bay? how about telling them not to judge them, and therefore not to speak out against them.teach them to not focus on the faults of others, so they can get along with their plan of evil domination without hindrance.

you say you "have been taught.? i say "how do you know that your teacher isn't extremely clever and extremely evil?" the answer to that is you don't, so please don't say "i have been taught blah blah blah." because i can prove that all history books are lies and all history teachers are therefore by nature liars, whether consciously or subconsciously.

as far as your reference to the books "political vocabulary?" (it's called the english language) i have a question for you. If you have proof that someone is corrupt, how would you describe them involved in blank? what word would you put there?

if you had proof that someone had connections with the arms trade what would you say? "his holiness has connections with those people who sell guns and missiles and things that generally hurt people?"

I'm interested to know how you can refer to this man as his holiness. what evidence do you have that this man is holy in the least? i thought holiness and humbleness were one and if he is so holy then why does he have a huge mansion all to himself? because his holiness is so big?

please enlighten yourself to the fact that there are two sides to every story. if you want to deny one of them, the one that you don't like the sound of because it makes you feel uncomfortable, may i suggest you are in denial?

You will never be physically alone as 90 percent of this so called civilized society are, too. Because like most, you are fearful sheep. most are like hollywood movies, most believe in the hollywood dream, most live in a naive bubble.

I'm not trying to be mean but at a guess you watch tv No truly spiritual being buys into evil and the spreading of ignorance, for if you have delusions that the tv is anything more than brain washing propaganda then may i conclude with the conclusion: you are deluded.

By kindheart — On Mar 29, 2010

Re: anon73228

thank you for reminding us of these reasons for the ban.

1. i) Dorje Shugden is an emanation of the wisdom Buddha Manjushri so this point is irrelevant.

ii) The Dalai Lama regularly consults spirits through state oracles so this point is also contradictory.

2. Publicly judging, criticizing and condemning a spiritual practice that one disagrees with is again contradictory with 'inter-religious understanding and harmony'. The Dalai Lama has shown no understanding towards those who have great faith in Dorje Shugden and the previous lineage Gurus such as the great Trijang Dorjechang. The Dalai Lama's has also openly and directly caused disharmony by encouraging his followers to ostracize and punish those who have such faith.

3. Dharma practice should be free from the eight worldly concerns as taught by Buddha himself. Our motivation should be to liberate yourself and all mother living beings from the sufferings of this life and our countless future lives - unpolluted by wishing for material gain in this life.

The Wisdom Buddha arose as Dorje Shugden to protect the lineage of this precious Kadam Dharma from being destroyed by worldly or political motivation, hence the Dalai Lama's dislike of the practice as his aims appear (by giving this third reason) to be politically and worldly motivated.

May you and all living beings be happy and free.

By anon73228 — On Mar 26, 2010

Three reasons why the dalai lama discouraged or advised not to follow dorje shugden.

1. The danger of Tibetan Buddhism degenerating into a form of spirit worship.

Tibetan Buddhism originally evolved from the authentic and ancient tradition upheld at the great Indian monastic university of Nalanda, a tradition that His Holiness often describes as a complete form of Buddhism.

It embodies the original teaching of the Buddha as developed through the rich philosophical, psychological and spiritual insights of such great Buddhist masters as Nagarjuna, Asanga, Vasubandhu, Dignaga and Dharmakirti.

Since the great philosopher and logician Shantarakshita was instrumental in establishing Buddhism in Tibet in its earliest stages in the eighth century, philosophical inquiry and critical analysis have always been important hallmarks of Tibetan Buddhism.

The problem with Dolgyal practice is that it presents the spirit Dolgyal (Shugden) as a Dharma protector, and what's more, tends to promote the spirit as more important than the Buddha himself. If this trend goes unchecked, and innocent people become seduced by cult-like practices of this kind.

The danger is that the rich tradition of Tibetan Buddhism may degenerate into the mere propitiation of spirits.

2. Obstacles to the emergence of genuine non-sectarianism.

His Holiness has often stated that one of his most important commitments is the promotion of inter-religious understanding and harmony. As part of this endeavor, His Holiness is committed to encouraging non-sectarianism in all schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

In this, His Holiness is following the example set by his predecessors, especially the Fifth Dalai Lama and the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. Not only is a non-sectarian approach mutually enriching for all Tibetan Buddhist schools, but it is also the best safeguard against a rise of sectarianism that could have damaging consequences for the Tibetan tradition as a whole.

Given the acknowledged link between Dolgyal worship and sectarianism, this particular practice remains a fundamental obstacle to fostering a genuine non-sectarian spirit within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

3. Especially inappropriate in relation to the well-being of Tibetan society.

Perpetuating Dolgyal is particularly troublesome, given the Tibetan people's present difficult circumstances.

Textual and historical research demonstrates that the spirit Dolgyal arose out of hostility to the great Fifth Dalai Lama and his government.

The Fifth Dalai Lama, who assumed both the spiritual and temporal leadership of Tibet in the 17th century, personally denounced Dolgyal as a malevolent spirit that arose out of misguided intentions and is detrimental to the welfare of beings in general and the Tibetan government headed by the Dalai Lamas in particular. The Thirteenth Dalai Lama and other respected Tibetan spiritual masters have also spoken out strongly against this practice.

Therefore, in the current Tibetan context, in which unity among the Tibetan people is vitally important, engaging in this controversial and divisive perpetuating practice is inappropriate.

By kindheart — On Feb 12, 2010

Thank you, wisdombeing - it's encouraging that these Lamas feel they can now openly practice and hopefully this will give great confident to others to be able to do the same.

I have also read the book 'A Great Deception' mentioned here and I thought it was a very thought provoking read.

It's obviously not intended to be a 'Dharma book' as it's labeled as a history book on the back, so if you're looking for a book on Buddhist practice, maybe try something else first. "Transform Your Life - A Blissful Journey" by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is a great book to begin with.

A lot of the information in 'A Great Deception' is widely available on the internet from independent sources and has simply been collated in this book. The book's aims may not be immediately obvious for some people upon reading it but I think in the long term it is a very, very valuable book.

Regardless of the style of language used (and if you've ever listened to speeches on the Dorje Shugden issue by the Dalai Lama to Tibetans you'll find that this book is tame in comparison) and whatever you think about the nature of Dorje Shugden, the fact is that these things are widely known to be true.

People have complained about it being one-sided - which actually made me laugh aloud! Yes, there are always two sides to every story and this is the first book I've read that tells this side of the story - almost everything else I've ever read has been biased towards the Dalai Lamas views. For once, someone actually has the courage to say something different - to show the other side. For people to make informed decisions they need both sides of the story.

So, good on you, I say. It's about time someone told the emperor that he's wearing no clothes! It's a kindness to the emperor too :-)

May all living beings abide in equanimity, without feeling close to some out of attachment, or distant from others out of hatred.

By annielim — On Feb 05, 2010

"A Great Deception" is not a book on Buddhism. It is not a book to help solve the ban on Dorje Shugden practice, but rather it is all about hurling criticisms on HH the Dalai Lama. Hey, HH did win the Nobel Peace prize!

By anon64075 — On Feb 05, 2010

The Tibetan Buddhist community fully understands and accepts the Lama policy - how to go about searching for His reincarnation up to the stage of enthroning Him as the Dalai Lama.

HH The 14th DL has been recognized and has held the post of Dalai Lama for the past many decades. It is shocking to read that in "A Great Deception" how they have heaped so many criticisms on him, so many negative vibes, so many "wrong doings" on his part.

All the hype of banning the Dorje Shugden practice has garnered more attention to this practice than the ban. What was once recognized in the Tibetan Buddhist community as a dharma protector is now a star of his own.

Calling for a ban has only increased more interest.

By anon64021 — On Feb 04, 2010

I am writing re the book "A Great Deception."

For those who enjoy politics, I am sure you will enjoy reading about how they have included Dalai Lama’s supposed complicity in illegal arms trading, his dealings with the CIA, and how Dalai Lama was involved in a conspiracy to overthrow the government of Bhutan (that would have involved assassination!)

Check out all the political vocabulary: persecution, corruption, dictatorship, coup, hypocrite, communism, arms trade, Nazism…

From a religious practitioner (real Buddhism) point of view, we have been taught that we cannot and do not know the motivations of others, yet this book makes repeated claims to know the intentions and motivations of the Dalai Lama, asserting among other things that he constantly schemes to gain power because he is "self-serving" and a "troublemaker."

I've also been taught not to focus on the "faults" of others, but to look at my own delusions and explore the nature of my own mind. Yet the book's focus is on the alleged "faults" of the Dalai Lama, whom they claimed was a “god-King” whom Tibetans blindly follow.

If you are interested in Buddhism, I advise you to steer clear of this book as it is a product that will create more political pollution in Buddhism.

By kokoliam — On Feb 04, 2010

This book, "A Great Deception," is the first book that I have read with regards to Buddhism. For one who does not know much or understand what Buddhism is all about, I am rather confused after reading it.

I thought monks were all supposed to be holy and not take sides nor be judgmental over matters. All deities exist to help and protect people. Deities are enlightened being. Buddhas are enlightened beings as well. So how is it that these Buddhas or deities get themselves involved in politics? Why does an enlightened being want power so much that he would do just anything to get it? Then again, my thoughts are only based on this particular book.

However, I do not know if it is true about what it says about the Dalai Lama. But if it is, then what? I take it as a story of the "legend." It does somehow gives me a picture of a mega movie like that of Harry Potter or Merlin or Legend of the Dragon, etc.

Hence, it's shocking to see this is actually happening now in this century and the renowned 14th Dalai Lama existed! H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, a very famous and respectable man, a celebrity himself, is a man most talked about and most sought after. Many seek his advice and help.

Since the 14th Dalai Lama has all the powers and ability to even ban the practice of Dorje Shugden especially amongst the western practitioners.

In Tibet, many suffered because of this. Houses were burned down and temples closed and shrines destroyed. Those who practice Dorje Shugden were beaten and their children were banned from schools.

This I don't understand. I thought a Buddha is an enlightened being. Why does a Buddha want to create all these misery for others and stating that the reason for this ban is because it will shorten his life? How would you know that?

I would think that mistreating the Tibetan community is even worse than shortening his life. If the Dalai Lama dies, I think it's his karma and nothing else. Simple as that.

On the other hand, if he claims he’s a chenrezig,why then all this action and hunger for power? Aren’t you supposed to help others and to benefit others? What about the refuge vows you took. Don’t they mean anything? I find it very contradicting and confusing.

Why the ban, then? Why Dorje Shugden and not other deities? There are many other protectors. Why Dorje Shugden? If Dorje Shugden and Setrap are both brothers and they are one mindstream, then what is the difference? They are both Protectors! Why not ban Setrap too?

Can the Dalai Lama actually ban a religion? Can Buddhism be divided? I guess the Dalai Lama got himself into politics just because he wants power to rule his empire and he uses religion as his ultimate tool to get his way around and because he represents Buddhism.

The mixing of politics and religion is not a good combo here. H.H. actions could be considered as pure greed with a political motivation.

Nevertheless, the content in this particular book is rather biased. It tells you more about the Dalai Lama and how he plays his game. This leaves me thinking whether there is another side of Buddhism.

There was nothing mentioned about Dorje Shugden on why practitioners should not practice this Deity, nor did they say anything bad about him. So where is the peace now?

In my humble opinion, if the Dalai Lama is what they say he is,ie, H.H 14th. Dalai Lama, a chenrezig, an enlightened being then I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. He is already in charge! Besides he’s also human like everybody else. So why all that fuss?

By gazoksas — On Feb 04, 2010

This is in relation to the person who posted urging others to read "A Great Deception":

The synopsis of the book states very clearly that it has four main aims:

1. To liberation millions of innocent practitioners of the Buddhist Deity Dorje Shugden and their families from suffering.

2. To restore peace and harmony between Shugden and non-Shugden practitioners.

3. To re-establish the common spiritual activities of Shugden and non-Shugden practitioners.

4. To free Buddhism from political pollution.

Having read and contemplated upon the book, I fail to see how the book achieves any of the four main aims in its entirety.

I find a book that's full of contradictions – it criticizes the Dalai Lama for being on the Chinese payroll or being Communist, and yet almost praises the Chinese in other instances for liberating Tibet. It's also very sneaky about how it portrays the Dalai Lama – on page 216, for example, the wording makes it sound as though th Dalai Lama himself requested the American troops.

The book also leaves out how the Karmapa endorsed by the Dalai Lama, was also endorsed by other Karma Kagyu lamas, for example Tai Situ Rinpoche.

The book makes it sound as though the Dalai Lama personally hand-picked his choice of Karmapa. (and anyway why can’t there be two Karmapas?)

Thus because of how crafty the language is, I recommend everyone read the book with a pinch of salt.

I find it a book that takes advantage of some people's poor understanding of Buddhist philosophy. For example, they label the Dalai Lama as arrogant for saying he will not bow to or take orders from Nechung. However, the Dalai Lama is commonly believed by Tibetans and some Buddhist practitioners to be an emanation of Buddha of Compassion (Chenrezig). Therefore, to protect their minds, it would not be proper for him to bow or receive instructions from a Dharma Protector.

I find it a book that imposes Western ideologies as the set standard of how to behave.

For example, the authors deemed eye-gougings as a medieval punishment. It may not be right but the authors did not mention that Tibet was still very isolated as a nation during the time all these eyewitness reports were written, and therefore the judicial processes may not have mirrored those in the rest of the world.

No doubt it is cruel, but the Tibetans lack of exposure to the rest of the world meant many of them were still stuck in their old ways.

I cannot see how a book so vitriolic will restore peace and harmony, and re-establish common spiritual activities between Shugden and non-Shugden practitioners, when it is entirely devoted to debasing the reputation of who the non-Shugden practitioners deem their inspiration.

How does such a schismatic book establish any common ground in the sectarian division between Shugden and non-Shugden practitioners?

I cannot see this book will free Buddhism from political pollution. Half the book argues that religion and politics should not mix, so why was the book written, as it only adds fuel to the fire?

How can it free Buddhism from political pollution, when its venomous nature and political agenda against the Dalai Lama mires it in politics?

Okay okay, perhaps I could be a bit more generous – one aim this book has come a little close to achieving is being an example of the mess of politics. It is the perfect example of if you want to be a Buddhist, then let go of politics because it's not a good mix.

And there is information in this book that prompts thinking. For example, the issue of combining four schools of Buddhism into one, the issue of nepotism and the issue of HH the Dalai Lama’s brother purportedly embezzling funds and engaging in arms trading.

Therefore, I'm glad there is a book out there that supports Dorje Shugden, and I do think this book is very well-researched and supported by references (well except for Chapter 2, where cross-referencing is conspicuously absent).

However, this book is so emotionally driven and intent on destroying the Dalai Lama’s reputation that it loses all credibility.

Still, I do feel it's worth a read, only if it's balanced out with other sources of information because there's a danger you may accept such an extremist view as the only view.

By anon63966 — On Feb 04, 2010

I have just read "A Great Deception," a book by Western Shugden Society. I am really shocked of the accusations it claims about the Dalai Lama.

Firstly I've learned a lot about the Dalai Lama's policy, their incarnations and how the current Dalai Lama was found, though I am still uncertain if it was true or false. It doesn't say much about the protector Dorje Shugden which I wish it did, but focuses clearly on the Dalai Lama.

Those about to read the book I'll warn you now that it's not for the weak hearted and it basically reveals a lot of Tibetan dirty laundry and a very dark side and the Dalai Lama is to be blamed for everything.

Every wrong deed is caused by his government or pro DL activists. He is just being accused for everything that happens to Tibet/Buddhism/China and this is the thing that makes it so juicy but also not so credible at the same time.

At the end of the day there's two sides of the story always. Just do Dharma and not politics is what I'd say!

By wisdombeing — On Jan 27, 2010

For those who are interested in the latest fascinating events regarding the practice of Dorje Shugden:

The term of office for the current Gaden Tripa (supreme head of the Gelugpa lineage) has finished. He has successfully finished his term. He has the title now of His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. He primarily resides in France although he has a ladrang in Gaden Shartse, Nepal and Yangthing, Tibet.

Gaden Tripa-Gaden throne holder

Gaden Trisur-Gaden’s ex-throne holder Emeritus.

Gaden Trisur Rinpoche belongs to the Dokhang Khangtsen house of Gaden Shartse Monastery formerly. He studied and received his geshe degree in Gaden Shartse. Later he became Gaden Tripa.

Gaden Trisur Rinpoche has never journeyed to Gaden Shartse Monastery to swear in or take an oath that he gives up Dorje Shugden. In a stunning turnaround, he has officially left Gaden Shartse Monastery and joined Shar Gaden Monastery, similar to other elite lamas such as Trijang Rinpoche and Dromo Geshe Rinpoche recently.

Gaden Trisur’s household (ladrang) all together with HH Gaden Trisur Rinpoche have joined Shar Gaden Monastery.

It is a stunning and "shocking" move as Gaden Trisur Rinpoche is a very high ranking Lama within the Gelug Heirachy.

Gaden Trisur’s assistant was sent to speak with the current Gaden Shartse Abbot that he is leaving Shartse Monastery and joining Shar Gaden. It is exactly what happened to Trijang Rinpoche and his ladrang in Gaden.

So two big ladrangs from Shartse have left and joined Shar Gaden.

Gaden Trisur’s throne that is in Shartse will remain in Shartse just like Trijang Rinpoche’s throne although he has left Shartse Monastery completely.

HH Gaden Trisur Rinpoche was the student of the previous Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang.

This eventful move will embarrass the Tibetan government in exile and also "teach" them a lesson. That not everyone is afraid of them and there are high ranking lamas who will stand up for what they believe. With time, more and more monks will defect to Shar Gaden Monastery because they remain loyal to their lineage, lamas and practices.

In Sera, Gaden, Drepung, Tashilungpo, Gyuto and Gyurme Monasteries take a fake oath as they put it to temporarily quiet down the Tibetan government and their unjust/undemocratic persecution of Dorje Shugden devotees.

They stand up in front of the congregation(if they don't, then expulsion from the Monastery) and read the words that "swear" they abandon Dorje Shugden and will not be associated with Dorje Shugden followers in any manner. The monks say they just read the words and do not feel anything from their heart. It is pure persecution.

Many monks dare not say or speak out against the Tibetan government, but they are in that opinion. With Gaden Trisur’s recent move, it will give strength to many who are persecuted up till today.

By anon60228 — On Jan 12, 2010

buddhism is not a religion. the buddha was a spiritual leader. yes Dalai lama eats meat. but since buddhism isn't a religion it doesn't matter. the buddha was a man who got away from his troubles by letting go and finding inner peace

By anon51844 — On Nov 09, 2009

you can get some more interesting facts about the Dalai Lama by doing some reserch. there's also a book just been released called 'A Great Deception' which is a very interesting read. ISBN 978-0-9563918-0-3

By anon45060 — On Sep 13, 2009

If you need to eat meat, on occasion for health reasons - you can say a prayer of sincere thank you to the animal. You can recite the prayer and blow on the meat before consumption. It will purify the meat and it will bring the benefit of love to the being. One will not commit heavy negative karma of eating the meat -- rather one will bring great benefit to the being the meat belongs to. Geshe Tenzin Zopa. Om Ah Bira Khe Chara Hum (seven times)

By anon45057 — On Sep 13, 2009

His Holiness Dalai Lama quote: “Killing and eating meat are interrelated, so do we have to give up eating animal products? I myself once tried to give it up, but health problems arose and two years later my doctors advised me to again use meat in my diet. If there are people who can give up eating meat, we can only rejoice in their noble efforts. In any case, at least we should try to lessen our intake of meat and not eat it anywhere where it is in scarce supply and our consumption of it would cause added slaughter.” After His Holiness was hospitalized and in critical condition, his doctors told him he had to stop his intense traveling/teaching schedule, or eat meat on occasion. As a nutritionist, I understand this. His Holiness did eat meat on alternating months for a period of time. At many teachings, he advises, if you can, please don’t eat meat. His Holiness travels and teaches to benefit others, and would rather be criticized for eating meat than not teach. When he receives an offering for teaching, he always gives it away to charity. This may be above many people’s heads, but when someone like His Holiness eats meat, and prays for the animal’s spirit, that is a blessing for the animal’s spirit. If I were an animal, already slaughtered and ready for sale, I would rather nourish His Holiness’s health than some unaware person that would never consider saying a prayer. This may also be above people’s heads, but His Holiness is a holy being, and his presence anywhere purifies and blesses the area. As for the religious discrimination comment. Please get the facts before you decide. The DS practitioners are not allowed to attend the Dalai Lama's empowerments. They are free to attend the Dalai Lama's teachings and can do whatever they choose, except attend empowerments with His Holiness. You need to understand the energy connection that is created when someone receives a tantric empowerment from a buddhist teacher. As for the person who said His Holiness doesn't know the philosophy of buddhism - there are many free teachings of the Dalai Lama available on the net. Try listening before you decide. Om Mani Padme Hum. Peace.

By anon44710 — On Sep 10, 2009

i think the dalai lama actually doesn't know the philosophy of buddhist religion. this religion says not to kill, that human desires and wants are the source of sorrow. to have a desire for meat and to eat others for fulfilling petty wants shows his double standard.

By anon30212 — On Apr 15, 2009

Dalai Lama once stopped eating meat for three months. He felt sick and became very weak. With huge responsibilities he has, his doctor urged him to take meat. Hope this helps someone.

By anon27892 — On Mar 07, 2009

The Buddha himself ate meat, but said that it should not be killed by or specifically for himself. For instance, if someone had killed a chicken for their family meal, and offered him some he would eat it. Buddhists are forbidden to kill or cause death to other creatures....not forbidden to eat meat. You have to read the actual original sutras of the Shakyamuni himself to get the real scoop! Of course, if you buy your meat at the supermarket it has, in essence, been killed for you, so it would be forbidden to buy meat as well. I guess you could eat road kill if you wanted to!

By anon24338 — On Jan 11, 2009

i personally don't know they guy but he doesn't sound as buddhist as he makes out to be, but that's just my opinion

By anon17729 — On Sep 05, 2008

The Dalai Lama is currently persecuting some Buddhist for their religious beliefs. He has ban the worship of the Buddhist Deity Dorje Shugden. Many Shugden practitioners are now experiencing extreme religious discrimination as a result of the Dalai Lama's ban.

By vinayk25 — On May 15, 2008

As a buddhist, how come the Dalai Lama eats meat?

By anon3270 — On Aug 20, 2007

I guess many Americans have searched for something other than familiarity, but the Dalai Lama's position of wisdom amazes me. It's like talking to someone with all the answers, but realizing he is still just a man like myself. i think the Buddhist philosophy is misunderstood.

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