Jamyang Norbu’s article, The Jewel in the Ballot Box: Electing a New Dalai Lama (see article), brings up many good questions on the nature and problems of a possible election of a new Dalai Lama.
I thought it would be interesting to post these questions to get some opinions from readers:
- Should the system of selecting the Dalai Lama’s incarnation change?
- Is the announcement of a possible election of the next Dalai Lama a strategic move by the Dalai Lama in order to counter the Chinese government’s announcement of its intention to control the reincarnation process of Lamas?
- If there is an election, should it be: open to all Tibetans to vote, inclusive to a college of Lama’s (like the election manner of the Catholic Pope), or by the selection of the current Dalai Lama himself?
- “Would the candidates be restricted to the Gelukpa church, or could candidates from other sects apply. In that case could a Bonpo be allowed to join the race?” (Since the Dalai Lama is the traditional head of the Gelukpa)
- How can we have an open and forthright national discussion about the candidates if they are high lamas or holy people? “If you made a critical remark about one of the candidates then you would be hurting the religious sentiments of that candidate’s disciples or followers and they would definitely respond with energy if not violence.”
- Will an election overlook many wise, reclusive and saintly kinds of lamas who would not want to involve themselves in such an election?
- Does an election of the next Dalai Lama remove the sanctity of the reincarnation?
- Would an election promote sectarian clashes or divisiveness among Tibetans?
Feel free to answer any of these raised questions with any of your views and thoughts.