The Dalai Lama is considering plans to retire from his role as the figurehead of the Tibetan parliament next year, but will remain the Tibetans’ spiritual leader, an aide said.
Speculation has surrounded the possible retirement of the 75-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner for years, and Tibetans fret what shape their struggle for greater autonomy will take after he dies or retires from public life.
The Dalai Lama has considered himself as “semi-retired” with the full establishment of an exiled Tibetan political leadership in 2001, an aide said Tuesday. The leader would like to withdraw from duties such as attending political functions, ceremonies and inaugurations.
For those of you who are new to Buddhism, the term “Dalai” means “Ocean” in Mongolian, and is a translation of the Tibetan name “Gyatso,” while “Lama” is the Tibetan equivalent of the Sanskrit word “guru”. Together, the terms literally translate as “Ocean Teacher,” although there are several theories regarding the meaning of the title. One idea is that the title means a teacher who is spiritually as great as the ocean. The name is also often translated as “Ocean of Wisdom.” Check out “Kundun” by Martin Scorcese and you’ll learn enough to hold your own in a conversation with a knowledgeable individual!