Sunday, February 25, 2024

Hello Dolly! Goodbye Dalai!

The Dalai Lama is the most well-known Buddhist advocate for freedom and peace. He travels the world spreading his message of peace, non-violence, and compassionate responsibility for his fellow man. He is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people and their greatest advocate for a free Tibet.

As strange as it may seem, a traditional Tibetan greeting consists of sticking out your tongue. Sticking it out is seen as a sign of respect or agreement. That said, the current Dalai Lama is not getting respect or agreement after a video was released showing him kissing a young boy on the lips and then sticking out his tongue and telling the boy to “suck my tongue.”

I’ve seen the video and if you haven’t be forewarned, it does have a sort of a stomach-churning effect. The images of an 87-year-old “Holy Man” kissing a young boy on the mouth is bad enough, but then when that lizard comes out and then you hear him tell the boy to suck his tongue, the creepiness factor goes off the charts.

The video was taken in February at the temple where the Dalai Lama lives. In it, you see a young boy asking the Dalai Lamma for a hug. The Dalai Lama points to his cheek and says, “first here,” indicating that he wants the boy to kiss his cheek. Then the Dalai Lama points to his own lips and asks for another kiss. He then tips the boys chin up and kisses him on the mouth. After a brief pause, the 87-year-old then says, “and suck my tongue,” which the boy appears to do.

After the video went public, it was met with universal outrage. On his twitter account his office posted this apology:

“His holiness wishes to apologize to the boy and his family as well as his many friends across the world, for the hurt his words may have caused. His holiness often teases people he meets in an innocent and playful way, even in public and before cameras. He regrets the incident.”

This isn’t the first time that this Dalai Lama has raised eyebrows. Fortunately, in the past it was the words coming out of his mouth that caused issues and not his tongue. Back in 2018, it was reported that during a discussion about Europe and African refugees he suggested that Europe should be for Europeans only. Then in 2019 he was criticized for saying that a female Dalai Lama should be attractive.

Neither of those previous gaffes have raised the furor that this incident has. It also raises the specter of pedophilia going unquestioned and unpunished for those with elite status.

This current Dalai Lama was enthroned when he was 4 ½ years old and renamed Tenzin Gyatso. The search for him began soon after the 13th Dalai Lama died, and it took four years to find him. Disciples closest to the Dalai Lama set to identify signs indicating the location of his rebirth.

When a Dalai Lama dies, or even before their death, a successor is found rather than chosen. Traditionally, senior Tibetan monks conduct an elaborate quest to find a child who is the Dalai Lama’s next incarnation. The search involves consulting oracles, interpreting visions, and reading spiritual signs.

It may not be a spiritual sign but having an 87-year-old priest openly telling a child to suck his tongue would be a good enough reason for me to start looking.

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