Ashley Wells, Pat Macpherson, Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly
|Pedants love to preach, 14th Dalai Lama (left) and 16th Benedict Pope (WQ)|
Who is the Dalai Lama, and why has he not been replaced?
According to Mahayana Buddhist lore, the "Dalai Lama" is just an office. But it is different in that it is again and again occupied by the same person.
How is this possible? There are three possibilities and three explanations: the historical Gautama Buddha never left samsara (which he did); Maitreya Buddha is already here (which makes the big Relics Tour building project with its massive Maitreya a bit of an anachronism); the being being reborn is not a buddha but a bodhisattva or "buddha-to-be."
All three possibilities must be mentioned because many lay Buddhists have little to no idea what the distinction is.
Could a buddha grow tired of dealing with China, a naga (dragon) kingdom/empire/police state?
Would Maitreya Buddha arrive long before the historical Gautama Buddha is said to have said he would?
|Pederasty-preaching prelate (in private) proceeds to pedantic philological pursuits.|
Is the male monastic hierarchy of the Pope-King immune from the monetary and sexual scandals the papacy is infamous for? Not at all, but it certainly does not hit the press nearly as often. Nevertheless, the comparisons between Tibetan Buddhism and Roman Catholicism are striking and more than superficial:
- Clerics reside in a Tibetan "Vatican" called the Potala Palace, in the former Himalayan empire's "Rome" or capital of Lhasa. (Like Rome and Italy, Tibet and China are semi-autonomous, one increasingly so, the other less so over time; in ancient times, Lhasa held spiritual sway from Mongolia to modern Bangladesh).
- Its priests (bikshus), bishops (head lamas), cardinals/archbishops (rinpoches), and the head of Vajrayana (Tibetan form of "Universalism" or Mahayana) Buddhism are led by a Dalai Lama. (Other Tibetan schools, like other schools of Christianity, have their own head, such as the Panchen Lama and the Eastern Orthodox Pope).
- The fancy hats, shimmering robes, bells, litanies, cathedrals built to enshrine humility, a church or community that seeks to control the secular as well as the spiritual...
So why did the Buddhist "pope" step down? Ultimately the reason(s) given were not unlike Ratzinger/Benedict's -- he's doing it to help the cause, help the people... and possibly to spend more quality time with their celebrity friends, spending millions in donations while giving the appearance of being ascetic at heart?
Suspiciously, it is not the Pope alone who is stepping down at 8:00 pm local-time today. All of those principals who might also be held to stand for the corporation (Vatican, Inc. or Holy Roman Catholic Church, Int'l.) in regard to a genocide lawsuit by indigenous Canadians or drug-money-laundering Vatican (IOR) bankers are also exiting. Therefore, the official who would step in in the event the pope had been pulled by the Judeo-Christian sky-god, YHWH/Zeus/Deus, is not there to step in, nor is his successor, nor his. There is a chancellor or proxy taking over as explained by the BBC (video).