It’s not often the Dalai Lama is in the news for offending people, but on Wednesday he ticked off a few people for a comment that many regarded as sexist. During an interview with the BBC he said that if a female Dalai Lama were to be his successor she would have to be ‘very, very, attractive’ otherwise she would be “not much use”. The comments were regarded as offensive and it didn’t help that he laughed after he made them.
Here’s the interview and his statements can be heard around the 4min 50 mark.
The Buddhist community has since responded by saying that his comments are deeply rooted in religious teachings.
“his comments were not meant to be sexist, but rather that they should be taken in context with a wider understanding of Buddhism. Tenzin Peljor, a Buddhist monk, explained that in Mahayana Buddhism, there are seven features of human rebirth that are required in order to be effective in helping others, one of which is an attractive form. He said that attractiveness, in Buddhism, is associated with the practice of patience and that a male successor would also be required to be good looking” [IBT]