Listen to this article Mongolian Boy Designated as New Buddhist Spiritual Leader by Dalai Lama
Mongolian Boy Designated as Reincarnation of Buddhist Spiritual Leader by Dalai Lama
In a ceremony held in Dharamshala, India, the Dalai Lama designated an eight-year-old Mongolian boy born in the United States as the reincarnation of Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa Rinpoche of Mongolia, the third most important spiritual leader in Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lama was photographed with Aguidai Altannar, the subject of the ceremony, while attendees from the global Buddhist community were present.
Who is Aguidai Altannar ?
Aguidai Altannar is one of a pair of twin boys named Aguidai and Achiltai Altannar. They are the sons of Altannar Chinchuluun, a university mathematics professor, and Monkhnasan Narmandakh, a national resources conglomerate executive, respectively. The boys’ grandmother, Garamjav Tseden, is a former member of the Mongolian Parliament.
The Reincarnation of Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa Rinpoche
The Dalai Lama announced during the ceremony that the boy is the reincarnation of Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa Rinpoche, a spiritual leader with a close association to the Krishnacharya lineage of Chakrasamvara. This is not the first time the Dalai Lama has designated a reincarnation of a Buddhist leader.
In 1995, the Dalai Lama appointed Panchen Lama as the new second most important Buddhist leader. However, Chinese authorities arrested him shortly after and installed their own candidate to fill the position.
Controversy and Speculation
The news of Aguidai Altannar’s designation as the reincarnation of Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa Rinpoche has sparked controversy and speculation. While Buddhists in Mongolia celebrated the news, secular nationalists expressed contempt and others expressed alarm that it could anger China, which has previously arrested and replaced a candidate chosen by the Dalai Lama as a Buddhist leader.
China’s Interest in the Dalai Lama’s Reincarnation
The Chinese government has expressed interest in the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation, with officials stating that they will only recognize Buddhist leaders that the government has chosen.
The Dalai Lama stated that China places greater importance on the selection of the next Dalai Lama than on himself, and that a potential conflict could arise if both the Tibetan community and China choose different individuals to serve as Dalai Lama.
The Future of Tibetan Buddhism
The designation of Aguidai Altannar as the reincarnation of Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa Rinpoche raises questions about the future of Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 following a failed uprising against Chinese authorities and has been living in exile in India ever since. As he approaches his nineties, there is increasing concern about who will succeed him as the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. The Chinese government’s interest in the next Dalai Lama and their previous interference in the selection of Buddhist leaders has added to this concern.
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