Boy Lama not so Buddhist

July 7, 2009 at 7:22 pm | Posted in spiritual rantings | Leave a comment

Dalai LamaImage via Wikipedia


Tenzin Osel was born without causing any pain to his mother; a birth event considered significant in Buddhism. The Buddha was born in such a way and often Tibetan lamas look for people born in such a way, determining them to be tulkus, or rebirths of famous teachers and gurus from the past. Dhamma Encylopedia

This birth event also occurred with Dr. David N. Snyder (who has made no claims to being any famous guru, reborn).

Born Osel Hita Torres, “Lama Ösel” is the son of Maria Torres and Francisco Hita; and the fifth of six siblings: Yeshe, Harmonia, Lobstang, and Dolma (all older); and (younger brother) KunKyen. As a teenager Lama Ösel studied both Western and traditional Tibetan subjects at Sera Monastery in South India. However, in order to attain a western education, he studied at St. Michaels University School, a private high school in Victoria, British Columbia to complete a grade-12 education. It was reported he has taken monastic vows.

As a toddler, he was put on a throne and worshipped as by monks who treated him like a god. But the boy chosen by the Dalai Lama as a reincarnation of a spiritual leader has caused consternation – and some embarrassment – for Tibetan Buddhists by turning his back on the order that had such high hopes for him.

Instead of leading a monastic life, Osel Hita Torres now sports baggy trousers and long hair, and is more likely to quote Jimi Hendrix than Buddha.

Yesterday he bemoaned the misery of a youth deprived of television, football and girls. Movies were also forbidden – except for a sanctioned screening of The Golden Child starring Eddie Murphy, about a kidnapped child lama with magical powers. “I never felt like that boy,” he said.

He is now studying film in Madrid and has denounced the Buddhist order that elevated him to guru status. “They took me away from my family and stuck me in a medieval situation in which I suffered a great deal,” said Torres, 24, describing how he was whisked from obscurity in Granada to a monastery in southern India. “It was like living a lie,” he told the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. Despite his rebelliousness, he is still known as Lama Tenzin Osel Rinpoche and revered by the Buddhist community. A prayer for his “long life” still adorns the website of the Foundation to Preserve the Mahayana Tradition, which has 130 centres around the world. The website features a biography of the renegade guru that gushes about his peaceful, meditative countenance as a baby. In Tibetan Buddhism, a lama is one of a lineage of reincarnated spiritual leaders, the most famous of which is the Dalai Lama.

According to the foundation biography, another leader suspected Torres was the reincarnation of the recently deceased Lama Yeshe when he was only five months old. In 1986, at 14 months, his parents took him to see the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India. The toddler was chosen out of nine other candidates and eventually “enthroned”.

At six, he was allowed to socialise only with other reincarnated souls – though for a time he said he lived next to the actor Richard Gere‘s cabin.

By 18, he had never seen couples kiss. His first disco experience was a shock. “I was amazed to watch everyone dance. What were all those people doing, bouncing, stuck to one another, enclosed in a box full of smoke?” Dale Fuchs Guardian uk

It’s obvious that reincarnating into the west will be a stumbling block for the
gurus of Buddhism. Torres wants to experience all the cultural depravity that
the west has to offer. Having been Born in Spain, far from the hills of Tibet,
Torrez is leaning more toward his Spanish dna, than his Buddhist enlightenment.

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