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Posts Tagged ‘Lama Tenzin Osel Rinpoche’

The Reluctant Lama

July 26th, 2009 1 comment

We are used to tales of disaffected teenagers leaving Europe to join ashrams and communes in India.  Now precisely the reverse has occurred.

It is an extraordinary story.  The young man formerly known as Lama Tenzin Osel Rinpoche and venerated by Buddhist monks in India almost as a living god has renounced his status and told of the ‘unbearable’ conditions that he endured.  At present he lives in Madrid.

 Singled out as the reincarnation of a previous lama at just 18 months, the young Osel originally came from a Spanish family of Western Buddhists who had taken the boy to Dharamsala, where he was chosen by the Dalai Lama.  After being enthroned aged six, he then spent his youth within the walls of a monastery in Southern India.  From his previous incarnation, a guru called Yeshe who had died in 1984, he inherited the spiritual leadership not just of that monastery but of 130 other Buddhist centres worldwide.

Yet shortly before his eighteenth birthday, he cast off the saffron robes and fled to the West, where he has lived in anonymity for the last five years before deciding to speak of his ordeal:  ‘I was put in a medieval situation in which I suffered enormously.  It was like living a lie,’ he told the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. Read more…