'That female must be attractive, otherwise it is not much use': the Dalai Lama's controversial comments


**For many, the Dalai Lama is the embodiment of enlightened, measured thought.

So it is no surprise that the 80-year-old Buddhist spiritual leader has said that a woman would make a good successor.

“The female has biologically more potential to show affection … and compassion,” he told BBC’s Clive Myrie.

“In today’s world there is a lot of trouble - it is a troubled world. I think female should take a more important role.”


So far, so good.

Until the 14th reincarnation of the Dalai Lama added a qualification.

“If a female Dalai comes, the face should be very attractive,” he told a clearly startled Myrie.

“So you can only have a female Dalai Lama, if they are attractive,” asks Myrie, after laughing awkwardly, “is that what you’re saying?”

“That female must be attractive, otherwise it is not much use,” the Tibetan confirms.

“Really?” presses Myrie, in disbelief. “You are joking, I am assuming. Or you’re not joking?”

“It’s true,” the Dalai Lama replies.
Earlier this year, the Dalai Lama shocked the world with comments that he would like to be reincarnated as a “mischievous blonde woman” but that “her face must be very attractive” or “nobody pay much attention”.
The article continues at the link.

The Dalai Lama does have a sense of humor. I’m fairly certain this comment was in jest. And he happens to be right anyway. (Just joking!)

You know who else had a strange sense of humor: Carl Jung, of all people. Judging by his mystically profound psychological works, one wouldn’t have thought so.

Of his words, the first part is serious; the second, jest. My :twocents:

He sounds a bit senile to me.

Nobody likes an ugly llama!

LOL When I was very young I used to think people were referring to a llama when they mentioned his name.

He was joking.

I found it funny.


What is funny about saying a female is not much use without an attractive face?


Can bears run fast?

You liberals are so PC!

I think the Dalai Lama meant, in a joking way, that if his female descendant is not attractive, no one will look at her and therefore no one will pay attention to what she says.

And ‘attractive’ doesn’t necessarily mean classically pretty or beautiful. People can have attractively radiant faces when their inner being emanates goodness from within. Being a Buddhist leader, he might have meant that. Though there is nothing wrong with being attractive in the classically beautiful way either, IMO. All can be used for the greater good.

And if an eyesight impaired person listens means he is really listening.


Me a liberal? Now that’s funny! :stuck_out_tongue:

Why, is he so good-looking that people are paying attention to what he says?

Oh, please! As if we would say this about a man being radiant and emanating goodness from within.

I could see him returning as a redhead.


Actually, I’ve heard the opposite more so in my life: an attractive woman is admired for her beauty, the focus is on her beauty and not for who she is and what she says.

Much like news reporters who now wear short skirts and sleeveless tops? I’ve noticed most have had plastic surgery as well. Not like any of that is required to tell the news of the day.

It seems like such a strange double standard for a religious leader to highlight, unless of course he is kidding, or senile, or both.

“Llama face!”


Oh yeah, I know. That’s kind of the reason I thought I should post the article. It’s a subject that deserves to be joked about more often, I think. There’s such a huge difference in body consciousness and body image currently from the time when the Dalai Lama was a young man. I mean, back then men didn’t obsess over their appearance the way they’re supposed to nowadays. Like, for instance, it’s hilarious for me to try and imagine my grandpa’s peers caring whether they had a beer gut or a bald head or whatever. Those guys in the Dalai Lamas generation must just shake their heads and laugh over the obsession with six-packs and whatnot. People of that generation have always seemed to value genuine toughness and a genuine sense of humor and genuine decency far more than anything else. But I think the Dalai Lama was basically underlining the fact that it’s even worse for women - a thousand times worse. Image is all and appearance is everything and nothing is more critical than presenting oneself as window dressing. It must all seem particularly absurd to someone like the Dalai Lama.:shrug:

Yeah, actually I know exactly what you mean. See, when I was in high school I developed this total obsession with Demian, Herman Hesse’s first novel. I was completely taken with that book, and in fact that’s what really cemented my focus upon meditation as prayer. And so anyway, Demian led me to Memories, Dreams, Reflections and a couple other titles of his, which then became another obsession. You might try reading Memories and Demian back to back sometime, because those books have a tremendous amount in common with one another. For one thing, they’re both exceedingly enjoyable and un-put-down-able. There’s off-beat humor to be found in both, as well. Mainly, there’s a certain flavor of esoterism they share, and while Gnosticism is offensive to many Catholics, it never has been to me. I find it interesting, more than anything else.:shrug:

Oh, and also, I scored a first printing of The Red Book. I made a point to go to the bookstore the day it was released. I have a gift for spending inordinate sums of money on books and music.:shrug:

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