The Dalai Lama fearing that the Chinese government may try to influence the succession process is thinking about picking his own successor. The man who was as a child named Lhamo Thondup does not want the role of Dalai Lama to be ruled by the government.
Generally when a Dalai Lama dies senior Tibetan Buddhist officials guided by their dreams and signs identify a child to succeed him. The Dalai Lama though is fearful that Beijing may take over the process is trying to decide what’s best for his people, the current method or one in which he would pick out the child who would become the next in line.
“If the Tibetan people want to keep the Dalai Lama system, one of the possibilities I have been considering with my aides is to select the next Dalai Lama while I’m alive,” he told the Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun during a visit to Japan.
“If China selected my successor after my death, the people of Tibet would not support him as there would be no Tibetan heart in him,” he said.
Dalai Lama is now 72 years old and though in good health needs to be concerned of his age and the way China is now trying to control the Tibetan people.
In 1950 China invaded Tibet and claims sovereignty over the country. The Dalai Lama fled Tibet 17 March disguised as a common soldier. He was joined at the Kyichu river by his family members and the rest of his entourage. Since reaching India he has resided there
China is not pleased by his involvement in politics. When he picked a six year old boy as Panchen Lama the Chinese government intervened by detaining the child and selecting a replacement who was loyal to the Chinese rule.
Beijing has denounced the Dalai Lama’s many journeys. He has visited the United States, Germany, Canada and most recently Japan.
According the the Chinese government they believe that he should only have a religious role and not a political one.
Buddhists believe that the current Dalai Lama is the reincarnation of those before him. He was found after a search party of High Lamas located him as a child. He had been born on 6 July 1935 close to the time that the previous Dalai Lama had passed away. As a young child he was able to identify relics that had belonged to his predecessor including his prayer beads.
The Dalai Lama has said that if he were reborn it would not be in any country that is not free which sadly includes his native Tibet.