The Dala Lama, spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, during three days of teachings addressed to the community of Tibetans of Mongolian origin in Dharamsala, the Indian city where he lives as a refugee, recognized an eight-year-old boy as the reincarnation of the last great master Mongolian Tibetan, Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa Rinpoche. The choice was told by the Indian press which reported on a ceremony that took place in mid-February in the Gandantegchinlen Khiid monastery in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. While the one with the Dalai Lama took place on 8 March. The chosen one is one of eight-year-old twins from one of the most important political and commercial families in Mongolia. They are the sons of a professor at the Mongolian National University, Altannar Chinchuluun, and their mother Monkhnasan Narmandakh, CEO of an industrial group.
There are at least a thousand llamas
The recognition, however, does not translate into a designation for the possible succession of the Dalai Lama who, now on the threshold of 88 years, has repeatedly stated that he has not yet decided whether or not to indicate to whom to leave the spiritual guide. And if he were to do so, in the international community of Tibetan Buddhism there are at least a thousand lamas, or teachers, recognized as reincarnations of previous spiritual leaders. Recognition that takes place thanks to signals that they themselves give or through the indications of oracles or people close to them.
In 2016 the visit of the Dalai Lama to Mongolia
In Mongolia the news aroused joy but also fear for China’s reaction. In fact, Beijing claims the right to directly appoint the leaders of Tibetan Buddhism. In 1995, a 6-year-old boy was chosen as the new Panchen Lama, the second most important figure in the faith. Three days later he was taken into custody by the Chinese authorities and replaced with another candidate. In 2016, Mongolia received strong complaints from Beijing over the Dalai Lama’s visit (not coincidentally the last one) in which he heralded the new incarnation of Jetsun Dhampa.
Anti-Chinese provocation of the elderly leader
The recognition of the child also has political importance, because it aims to revitalize the presence of Tibetan Buddhism in the Asian country “squeezed” between Russia and China where, in the sixteenth century, King Altan Khan, who converted to Buddhism, conferred the title of Dalai Lama (Ocean of Wisdom) to the Gelugpa master Sonam Gyatso, the third exponent of the Mongolian lineage. Relevant Mongolian lamas had not been recognized for some time and the lineage was in danger of being interrupted: the identification of the little one represents yet another provocation in an anti-Chinese key by the elderly Tibetan spiritual leader who never stops fighting, from his exile in India, for his Country occupied since 1950 by Beijing.