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Karmapa Lama: Responsibility (Re)Incarnate

 by Bennett Gordon


Tags: spirituality, Karmapa Lama, Buddhism, Dalai Lama, China, Tibet, PBS Religion and Ethics Newsweekly,

Karmapa LamaWhen the 73-year-old Dalai Lama dies, his successor as Buddhism’s leading voice is likely to be the Karmapa Lama, a 23-year-old with a fondness for X-Men comic books. PBS Religion & Ethics Newsweekly profiled the Karmapa Lama, who holds the unique position of being “the only high lama to have been officially recognized by both the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government.” At the age of 14, he escaped from the Chinese Government, over the Himalayas, to join the Dalai Lama in India, and the two have studied and meditated together since.

In the profile, the Karmapa Lama shows an understanding of the huge responsibility being placed upon him, and an awareness of the effect that technology is having on the Buddhist faith. He said:

Because of the Internet, we live in an age in which information can travel very rapidly to different places. Before, it used to be the case that just having a karmapa alive was good enough for everyone. People didn't need a lot of information about who the karmapa was or what the karmapa was doing.

Judging by the official blog from his recent U.S. visit, this Karmapa Lama is taking every opportunity to use the new technology to make his voice heard.

Image by PrinceRoy, licensed under Creative Commons.