In a first, Indian Buddhist organisation passes resolution on succession of the 14th Dalai Lama
In a first, an Indian Buddhist organisation passed a resolution calling for no interference when it comes to the succession of the 14th Dalai Lama & appointment of the next (15th) Dalai Lama. The Indian Himalayan council of the Nalanda Buddhist Tradition (IHCNBT) in a resolution said," if the govt of the People's Republic of China, for political ends, chooses a candidate for the Dalai Lama, the people of the Himalayas will never accept it, never pay devotional obeisance to such a political appointee and publicly denounce such move by anyone".
The one-page resolution explained, "system of recognizing reincarnated spiritual beings is a religious practice unique to Nalanda Buddhism and the philosophy of the principle of life after death", adding, "no government or any individual has the right to interfere in this matter". Important to remember that China's communist govt could interfere in the tradition and might appoint its own Dalai Lama which makes the resolution passed on Tuesday at the 2nd governing council meeting of the organisation even more important.
IHCNBT was formed in 2018 and has the top Buddhist leadership of the Indian union territory of Ladakh and states like Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh. These states and union territories bordering China administered Tibet. The name of the organisation was given by Dalai Lama. The resolution pointed out, "the sole authority on the reincarnation of his holiness the Dalai Lama is Gaden Phodang institution. No one, including China- should interfere with such a holy and devotional process".
Tibetan Buddhism has seen the heir to India's Nalanda tradition of Buddhism. Asked about Beijing's keenness to appoint the next Dalai Lama, President of the organisation Lochen Rimpoche told WION, "don't worry about the Chinese government, His Holiness Dalai Lama is the supreme spiritual leader of all the Buddhist, not only the Himalayan region but other countries..Chinese govt try something but will not impact the institution".
Unlike China, Indian govt so far has never made a comment on the appointment of Next Dalai Lama. The Vice President of the organisation, Venerable Jangchup Choeden Rinpoche highlighted that, "China is preparing a lot of things to take over the agenda. For us, Himalayan Buddhists, His Holiness, his institution, and continuing of this institution is very important point. His Holiness is very strongly connected to Himalayan region". The General Secretary of the council, Maling Gombo, further added, "issue of reincarnation of Dalai Lama is purely a religious and cultural issue, no other authority has any role to interfere in the process".
IHCNBT was first conceived by The Tawang Foundation, a strategic Think Tank body during a National Conference held on 29th 30th June 2018 at Gurugram. The organisation works for the Preservation of Indian Himalayan Nalanda Buddhist tradition and develops Institutions of learning amongst all the traditions of Nalanda Buddhism in the Indian Himalayan region. It has been organising a number of Buddhist conclaves as well in Ladakh, Himachal, Uttarakhand, and Sikkim.