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Thread: What is "Dalai Lama"?

  1. #1 What is "Dalai Lama"? 
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    This is a survey here.

    I find I'm more and more curious about the understanding of different countries.

    The world is really small now, but still I find it seems we do not quite understand each other between different cultures. Is this true? I'm not sure. Maybe you can tell me.

    To be a beginning, I put my MOST-WONDERED question here as the title. (I'm Chinese, so... 8) )(And also if you know Panchen Erdini)

    Please tell me your knowledge on this topic as well as your motherland and your mother language.

    A pity I can't give any real award except this---THANK YOU!


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  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D. Darius's Avatar
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    Most people know a little of who the Dali Lama is. He is a Tibetan Buddhist monk that is exiled from Tibet due to Chinese occupation. It is believed that the Lama is a Bodhisattva. That is, he reincarnates for the benefit of others, sacrificing his chance of attaining Buddhahood and escaping the eternal cycle.

    Oh, and I'm American.


    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  4. #3  
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    Oh, one most important thing I forgot here. Ah, a deadline to this survey.
    I make it one week. That is from 8.29 to 9.5 .
    I will not comment my personal opinion here until 9.6 .
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  5. #4  
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    I know that he's a Buddhist leader from Tibet, now in exile, and that he's supposedly the reincarnation of the same guy who has been reincarnated over and over. That's about it.

    USA, English here...
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  6. #5  
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    What is? Or supposed to be?

    I'm Canadian and the Dalai Lama is a backhanded stick of Conservative government, to visibly (though impotently) beat China with. We make a photo-op and political point of shaking hands with the Dalai Lama, and hosting him at a mansion intended for our own Queen. This lends credibility to otherwise empty mention of "China's human rights abuses", which phrase we believe a password to the hearts of American trade negotiators. So, the Dalai Lama is a handy tool of foreign government, now employed for causes quite unrelated to his own. I imagine many states similarly invoke the irreproachable Dalai Lama for their own internal purposes, and return some kind of payment for his services.

    I blame the Beatles for promoting Dalai Lama™. Their generation laps it up, again for personal reasons. It's a feel good kinda thing.


    I understand the Dalai Lama, historically, served by appointment of China's Emperor. He's supposed to rule the vassal state of Tibet, so his dragons get only four claws on each paw. That's a rule by divine right AKA mandate of heaven, which (the people's) China no longer recognises as legitimate right to govern. Concepts of sovereignty are confused. The Chinese view, I think, has Tibet as historic part of China, which in modern age shouldn't suffer some God's decendent or king as sovereign. Therefore the sovereignty of Tibet depends on "the people" including the sovereign Chinese people. The anti-Chinese view has Tibet as formerly independent country (our maps & our records prove it), "occupied" by another state. Therefore restoration of the Dalai Lama would restore Tibet's sovereignty.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  7. #6  
    Forum Freshman Incoming Dessert's Avatar
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    I got told that he was the re-incarnation of the Buddha, although I'm not sure how many there have been now. I got kinda confused by that, because I thought the Buddha had reached enlightenment and so ended up in Nirvana instead of re-incarnating, but I don't know a whole lot on the subject.

    And England, English
    The wise man believes half of what he reads. If he knew which half to believe, he'd be a much wiser man.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Ph.D. Leszek Luchowski's Avatar
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    I see him as both a religious and national leader of a country where the two are not as separate as in most others. As such, he impersonates Tibet's aspirations to independence, or at least significant autonomy. And peaceful resistance to a brutal invasion and occupation by China.

    It should be the Tibetan's choice whether or not they want him to keep this double authority, or just leave him as the head of their Buddist religion and have a more European-style government.

    Invading a peaceful country that threatened noone (and certainly posed no threat to giant China) was one crime; deliberately resettling crowds of Chinese so as to dilute the local population and tip the ethnic balance is another. To claim they are doing it for the good of the Tibetans is a bad joke, worthy of any colonial/expansionist empire in history. Of course the real reason was/is something else, I don't know, the strategic posision of the Tibetan heights, natural resources, whatever.

    As for historical claims, well, the present-day northern France once belonged to the Netherlands, which at the time belonged to the Spanish crown, which at the time sat on an Austrian (Habsburg) head; Berlin was originally a Slav settlement; London was founded by the Romans (=Italians?), Madrid by the Moors, and New York by the Dutch - I can smell some trouble stewing if all these places were claimed by their "original and rightful owners".

    Sorry, Wangwy13, I have had a number of Chinese friends and found them wonderful people, but your government's policies are appalling.

    Leszek, Poland, Polish as mother tongue.

    PS: No, I don't know Panchen Erdini. I don't even know if it's a place, a person, or something else still... ?
    Leszek. Pronounced [LEH-sheck]. The wondering Slav.
    History teaches us that we don't learn from history.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Ph.D. Darius's Avatar
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    The Tibet issue comes from an incredibly disturbing result of modern countries. If you want to separate from another country, it is technically against international law. Claiming independence, annexing land that isn't "yours" (even though YOU live on it), can be universally met with force as long as the international community does not recognize you.

    The truth is, no government can dare lay claim to the land they do. The land "belongs" to the people that live on it, the people that give the government their power. Tibetans want no part of the Chinese government, and as it is their land China's claim to it is nonsensical. Not that it matters to the international community, since if any of it were to happen elsewhere like the United States...may I refer you to the Civil War everyone is so hypocritically happy with?

    This state of nonsensical ownership claims from government stem from ancient practices in monarchies, where kings "owned" all of the land. In democracies especially, local groups should have complete ownership AND say of what they do with their land/city/county. Instead we subscribe to an incredibly dated an inherently fallacious concept that a single entity owns all of the land you work for. You're only renting. For life.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  10. #9  
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    The thing is though, although I don't agree with what China are doing, declaring independence from a country could get a bit tricky. If it was possible, what's to stop everyone declaring their house as a country to avoid taz and the like. The world would go mad. Personally, I'm quite happy letting a government control the land I live on, so long as they are elected and therefore can lose their power if the people want it. It's this new fangled democracy thingy.
    The wise man believes half of what he reads. If he knew which half to believe, he'd be a much wiser man.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Incoming Dessert
    The thing is though, although I don't agree with what China are doing, declaring independence from a country could get a bit tricky. If it was possible, what's to stop everyone declaring their house as a country to avoid taz and the like. The world would go mad. Personally, I'm quite happy letting a government control the land I live on, so long as they are elected and therefore can lose their power if the people want it. It's this new fangled democracy thingy.
    This is inherently implausible. Humans form tribes due to the need for individuals to work together to sustain their existence. In such a way, modern communities could continue much as they do now, just with a far greater degree of autonomy. If everyone was "split up" in this way, everyone would be much happier because each community could have vastly different rules and guidelines, allowing for everyone to find their niche.

    I'm sure the first reaction would be to "declare my house independent", but eventually that nonsense would give way to necessity. Incidentally, democracy never allows the populace to "de-vote" an elected official. Over 70% of the country wanted Bush out of office before his term was up, and do you think they could do jack to do so? As no such laws exist, nor are made to exist (the people in power WANT to stay in power), the people are powerless. A democracy, in modern terms, is more akin to an autocracy with the illusion of choice.

    A true democracy is a direct democracy, where the people are allowed to vote on matters of their choosing, much as I heard Ancient Athens once had (though not quite in ideal form).
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  12. #11  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    In a parliamentary democracy the leader can be voted out of office. Anyway, the other problem with democracy is tyranny of the majority. Just because a group agrees upon something doesn't make their decision right. Democracies require judicial branches which are above popularism to act as a check and balance.
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  13. #12  
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    If that is required, then by definition the democracy controls too large of an area. If extreme localism was applied, to where each county was autonomous, or state (this is preferred), that would not be required. The individual should be able to move on to a different "tribe" at will. The fact you CANNOT today is a SERIOUS problem. It is, indeed, tyranny of the majority, and incredibly out of line with our former (very efficient) small-tribe system. Dunbar's number is a useful reference to how large a group can become before it starts to experience decay from "I don't know you, so I don't care".

    I mean, hell, just look at half our laws. A grand majority of them are made for public sensibility rather than logic. Bans on sodomy, "civil union" instead of marriage, raising of the age of consent to 18, the list goes on to an insulting degree.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  14. #13  
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    I should be quiet now.
    But seems only few guys are willing to comment.
    Need I extend it?
    I mean it is not a serious survey, but now the condition makes it more un-serious without a longer time.
    Tell me please.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    The Tibet issue comes from an incredibly disturbing result of modern countries. If you want to separate from another country, it is technically against international law. Claiming independence, annexing land that isn't "yours" (even though YOU live on it), can be universally met with force as long as the international community does not recognize you.

    The truth is, no government can dare lay claim to the land they do. The land "belongs" to the people that live on it, the people that give the government their power. Tibetans want no part of the Chinese government, and as it is their land China's claim to it is nonsensical. Not that it matters to the international community, since if any of it were to happen elsewhere like the United States...may I refer you to the Civil War everyone is so hypocritically happy with?

    This state of nonsensical ownership claims from government stem from ancient practices in monarchies, where kings "owned" all of the land. In democracies especially, local groups should have complete ownership AND say of what they do with their land/city/county. Instead we subscribe to an incredibly dated an inherently fallacious concept that a single entity owns all of the land you work for. You're only renting. For life.
    The trouble is that, historically, most wars have been over territory. People who identify themselves as a nation usually want all of their land to be contiguous, in one connected clump, not broken into separate pieces with gaps all over the place. The ethic you're proposing here would only be practical for people living on the outer edge, and I can only imagine the pandemonium that would ensue if owning the property along a country's border allowed you to choose which country's laws applied to it. What if you lived on the southern border of Arizona, and you decided to assign your land to Mexico?
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  16. #15  
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    Okay, my turn now.
    It's not a serious survey. So I didn't wish it can give the excact truth. But it do reflect something, doesn't it?


    conclusion
    who------------------his/her mother language---his/her motherland---about Dalai
    Darius---------------English-----------------------USA------------------a Tibetan Buddhist monk,exiled from Tibet
    Scifor Refugee------English----------------------USA------------------a Buddhist leader,now in exile
    Pong-----------------English(?)-------------------Canada---------------a backhanded stick of Conservative government
    Incoming Dessert---English----------------------England--------------re-incarnation of the Buddha
    Leszek---------------Polish------------------------Poland---------------a religious and national leader
    i_feel_tiredsleepy---?------------------------------?--------------------N/A
    kojax-----------------?------------------------------?--------------------N/A


    I have mental preparation for politics discussions about Dalai, but you took full attention to that is unexpected to me.
    Pong noticed that I used the word 'what' instead of 'who'. I asked in that way because I think 'Dalai' a honorary religion position rather than a single person(the evidence below). I don't know if we can ask 'who is Lucasian Chair of Mathematics' or something similarly, can we?


    Next is something about this topic mixed up with my own opinion.

    It will be one-sided if talk about Dalai without any notice to the history of Tibetan Buddhism. Let's look briefly at that point.
    Tibetan Buddhism(or so called Lamaism) springs from Tibetan area was firstly introduced by Princess WenCheng from the Tang Dynasty and Princess Chizun from Nepal, around 850 A.D it was nearly entirely teared up by one kind of Shamanism, after that Buddhism was reintroduce to Tibet directly from India.
    So Tibetan Buddhism is one kind of mixture of Buddhism and Shamanism, philosophy of Buddhism and manner of Shamanism. It's important.

    Please wait...not finished...
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  17. #16  
    Time Lord
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    The story I've heard is that whenever a Dalia Lama dies, they wait a few years, and then have children brought to the monastery to inspect a room full of random objects, among which they include a few of the previous Dalia Lama's personal possessions. Supposedly, the next Dalia Lama is whichever child chooses the right objects to claim as their own.

    I'm not sure how accurate that is, though.
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