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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Dalai Lama -- the Search

February 24, 2010

An article's extract
BBC h2g2
October 14,  2001

The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of the
Tibetan people. He was also the head of the
government of Tibet, until the Chinese invasion
and occupation forced Him and some 80,000
Tibetans into exile in 1959. The present Dalai
Lama is the 14th in the lineage, all of whom are
considered to be the embodiment of Chenrezig
(Sanskrit - Avalokiteshvara), the Bodhisattva1 of Compassion.

The Dalai Lama is often referred to as a 'living
Buddha' or as Tibet's 'god-king'. His Holiness
maintains that these terms are meaningless. He is
well known for his humility, and has often said,

     I am a simple Buddhist monk...
     no more, nor less.

Dalai is a Mongol word which means 'ocean', and
Lama is the Tibetan title of a teacher,
especially a spiritual teacher. Together, the
title Dalai Lama is translated as 'Ocean of
Wisdom'. In Tibet, the Dalai Lama is known simply
as Kundun, 'The Presence', or as Yeshe Norbu,
'Wishfulfilling Gem', in appreciation of the
concept that he is the living embodiment of compassion.

The Search

The 13th Dalai Lama of Tibet died in 1933; and
the search was begun to find the boy who would be
the next incarnation of the great leader. The
State Oracles were consulted for clues which
would lead to the young Dalai Lama. The Regent,
Reting Rinpoche, went to the sacred lake, Lhamoi
Lhatso, where he had a vision of the Tibetan
letters, Ah, Ka and Ma. He also saw a monastery
with a green roof and a house with strange
turquoise roof tiles. This suggested to him that
the next Dalai Lama would be found in the eastern
province of Amdo (Ah) near Kumbum (Ka) monastery.
The Ma, it was believed, was representative of
the 'm' sound which dominates both words2. The
next clue was provided when the late Dalai Lama
himself, whose embalmed body had been seated on a
throne facing south, turned his head as if to look towards the East.

A party of monks, led by Lama Kewtsang Rinpoche
from Sera Monastery, set off towards Amdo, where
they eventually discovered a precocious two-year-old named Lhamo Dhondrub.

The family of Lhamo Dhondrub lived in a modest
house in the village of Taktser. They were
farmers who lived a comfortable, if not
prosperous, life. They were noteworthy for living
in a house with unusual tiles and for already
having produced a reincarnation of a high lama, a
Tulku. This, it was felt, made it unlikely that a
second Tulku would take rebirth in the same home.
In fact, Dekyi Tsering would give birth to no less than three Tulkus:

* the first was her eldest son, Taktser Rinpoche,
better known in the West as Thubten Jigme Norbu,
who would become a professor at Indiana University in the USA.

* The second was His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.

* The third would be her youngest child, Tendzin
Choegyal, who would be recognized as Ngari Rinpoche.

This remarkable lady would raise seven children
(five sons and two daughters), win the love and
respect of all Tibetans, and earn the title, Gyayum Chenmo, 'Great mother'.

The Lamas entered the family home disguised as
ordinary travellers. Kewtsang Rinpoche was
dressed as a servant, the better to study the
child unobserved... or so he thought. Lhamo
Dhondrub immediately gained the upper hand by
recognizing Kewtsang Rinpoche as a Lama from
Sera, and by identifying members of the party by
name and demanding to be taken to Lhasa in Lhasa
dialect, which he had not been taught. With no
need to maintain the charade, the Lamas began to
test the boy by asking him to identify objects
which had belonged to him in his previous life.
This he was able to do without hesitation; and
all were utterly convinced that they had found their leader again.

Unfortunately, the situation was complicated by
the fact that Takster lay close to the Chinese
border, in a region controlled by the Muslim
warlord, Ma Pu-fang. This has been used by
historical revisionists to justify the absorption
of Amdo by the neighbouring Chinese provinces, on
the grounds that the warlord ruled in the name of
China. This is false. In fact, Ma Pu-fang and
other warlords were answerable to no one, and
ruled with absolute authority, until they were
replaced by Mao's Communists at the conclusion of
their war with the Nationalist government. This
meant that the search team had to hide their
enthusiasm over discovering the new Dalai Lama in
Takster, and pay a ransom when this stratagem failed.

Nevertheless, Lhamo Dhondrub eventually reached
the Tibetan capital, was renamed Jetsun Jamphel
Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso, and was
enthroned as the 14th Dalai Lama on 22 February, 1940, at the age of four.

He is now known to the world as His Holiness the
14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, Tenzin Gyatso. (...)
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