How the 14th Dalai Lama was Chosen

Reting Lama

Reting Lama

Western Shugden Society – Reting Lama was a Tibetan Lama from Reting Monastery who was also one of the most important Lamas of Sera Jey Monastery. After the death of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama in 1933, Reting Lama became Regent of Tibet. A few years later a relative of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama, a high government minister called Langdun, told Reting Lama and other ministers that the son of his (Langdun’s) relative was the reincarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama, and gave evidence to prove this.

Reting Lama and Langdun did not have a good relationship, and Reting rejected Langdun’s claim that the son of his relative was the reincarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. However, the majority of ministers supported Langdun, and this made Reting very worried about his position, because if the son of Langdun’s relative was recognized as the reincarnation of the Thirteenth then his own power and position would quickly end.

To solve this problem and protect his position, Reting devised a plan with his close friend, Ketsang Lama, another Lama from Sera Jey Monastery. They made three decisions: (1) the reincarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama must be chosen from a faraway place such as the Amdo Kumbum region on the border of China; (2) Reting should go to the holy lake of the Deity Shridevi, pretend to see visions of the letters AH KA MA in the water there, and record this in writing. The letters AH, KA and MA would indicate that the reincarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama would appear in Amdo (AH), Kumbum (KA) and motherland of reincarnation (MA); and (3) after completion of the second preparation, Ketsang should go to Amdo Kumbum and choose a suitable boy as the Thirteenth Dalai Lama’s reincarnation. They then put this plan into operation.

When Ketsang and his two assistants arrived in Amdo Kumbum they immediately started to search for a suitable boy. One day Ketsang met an old monk of Kumbum Monastery to whom he explained that he was looking for a suitable boy to be recognized as the reincarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. He asked if the monk had any recommendation, and the old monk replied that in this region there was a family in Taktser village who had an intelligent boy that he could introduce if Ketsang was interested. The old monk was actually a relative of this family from Taktser village, and so he tried to guide Ketsang in the direction of his own family! Taktser was a Muslim village.

14th Dalai Lama (age 3)

14th Dalai Lama (age 3)

Two days later, Ketsang visited the family with the old monk, who showed Ketsang the boy: ‘This is the boy I recommended to you.’ Ketsang showed the boy many different objects that had belonged to the Thirteenth Dalai Lama, but in truth the boy showed no pleasure at seeing these things; even when Ketsang handed the boy something saying, ‘This is yours’, the boy would immediately throw it away. However, Ketsang found that the boy was very attractive, and thought that this would be good enough. With regard this examination of the boy, Ketsang lied about the results (as detailed in The Ocean of Truth Explained). A few days later Ketsang visited the family again and told the boy’s parents, ‘We are representatives of the Tibetan government and if you are happy we want to recognize your son as the reincarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama.’ The parents happily accepted.

Having made these preparatory arrangements, Reting then informed the Tibetan government ministers and publicly announced that he and Ketsang Lama had found the unmistaken reincarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. In saying this he publicly lied.

The ministers of the Tibetan government were unhappy to accept a reincarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama from a non-Buddhist religious culture. However, some monasteries supported Reting, and in particular the Abbot of Sera Jey Monastery forcibly threatened that if the ministers did not accept the reincarnation chosen by Reting then there would be civil war. Also Reting himself had great political power, so finally the ministers had to follow whatever he said, without choice.

The boy was given the name Lhamo Dhondup, and in order to receive permission for Lhamo Dhondup to be released from membership of the Muslim community, Reting asked the Tibetan government to pay 400,000 silver coins to the local Muslim leader of Taktser called Ma Pu-fang. Finally, in this way, the Muslim boy, Lhamo Dhondup, was brought to Lhasa, together with his search party, his family and a large group of Muslim merchants. Reting organized a great welcoming ceremony for the boy’s arrival in Lhasa.

Later, when the time came for Lhamo Dhondup to receive ordination vows, he should have received them from the Regent Reting himself. However, Reting had no confidence to grant the ordination vows, because there was a serious problem with his moral discipline. It was known by many people that he had a sexual relationship with the wife of his brother, and that he engaged in many other actions that were inappropriate for a monk. Because of this he requested his own Teacher, the elderly Taktra Rinpoche, to hold the position of Regent for three years and during that time to teach the Buddhist way of life and grant ordination vows to Lhamo Dhondup. Taktra accepted this request.

Taktra Rinpoche

After Taktra became Regent he tried to care for and teach the boy, but he found that Lhamo Dhondup was very different from Tibetan boys. When Taktra taught him how to practise the Buddhist way of life the boy never accepted, and showed no interest in any spiritual practice. The boy was often angry, and shouted many times at Taktra himself. Taktra was very disappointed and one day told some of his close disciples, ‘This boy Lhamo Dhondup does not have any good imprints of the Buddhist way of life. I am worried about our country and what will happen in the future.’ Taktra appointed two other Teachers for the boy – Ling Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche.

Later, again Taktra received further information that clearly showed that Reting had a sexual relationship with a woman and was performing many other inappropriate actions, and he became even more disappointed. Generally, in the very beginning, many government ministers including Langdun had understood that Reting had lied when he claimed to have received a vision of the three letters AH, KA and MA in the holy lake of the Deity Shridevi (which would have indicated that the mother of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama’s reincarnation lived in the Kumbum area). They understood this because at the time one of Reting’s assistants had told a friend that Reting had lied, and this friend in turn had passed this information to government ministers. When Taktra’s term as Regent was almost finished, the government Kashag (or cabinet of ministers) received many reports from different people about how Reting and Ketsang had chosen a false reincarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama, and for this and other reasons the Government sent soldiers to Reting Monastery to arrest Reting and bring him back to Lhasa.

While in prison, Reting was one day brought under guard to the Kashag’s meeting room. The Chief Minister asked Reting to tell the truth about his vision of the letters AH, KA and MA in the water of the holy lake of the Deity Shridevi. Fearfully, Reting admitted that he had lied, and made a full confession. He died soon after in prison; some say that he was executed by order of the Tibetan Government.

The Government then publicly announced that any person who had received a special position from Reting, including Lhamo Dhundup, would be removed from office. However, at that time there were three things developing in Tibet: (1) great fear was developing among Tibetans on hearing that the Chinese army would soon arrive in Lhasa; (2) many people were unhappy at hearing that Lhamo Dhondup would be removed from his position; and (3) Lhamo Dhundup had apparently begun to improve his qualifications through receiving special care and teachings from Trijang Rinpoche and Ling Rinpoche. For these three reasons, through Taktra Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche and Ling Rinpoche made strong requests to the Government, asking them to delay the removal of Lhamo Dhondup from his position as Dalai Lama. Through this help from Taktra, the wishes of Trijang Rinpoche and Ling Rinpoche were fulfilled. Shortly afterwards, the elderly Lama, Taktra Rinpoche, died and the Chinese army entered Lhasa. The Tibetan Government then lost its function, and finally in 1959 Lhamo Dhondup – or Tenzin Gyatso – escaped to India.

In India this false Dalai Lama created the Tibetan exile government by himself. This exile government has hidden all the true information about Tibet, and for over forty years has spread only false information that has exaggerated the good qualities of this false Dalai Lama throughout the world. In truth, they are lying. Their policy of mixing religion with politics has caused great damage to the reputation of Buddhism in general.

We can see how all of Lhamo Dhondup’s opportunities came from the supreme kindness of his two teachers – Ling Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche – yet how did he return their kindness? In The Ocean of Truth Explained it says: ‘Later, in Dharamsala, India, Ling Rinpoche died of a heart attack because the Dalai Lama refused his request to stop giving encouragement that Gelugpas should practise the Nyingma tradition. And Trijang Rinpoche died of a heart attack because the Dalai Lama refused his request to stop banning the practice of Dorje Shugden.’

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