16 June, 2021

Cherub In A Rugby Field

A 'living god' made flesh and blood—barring the obligatory bits of hagiography

Prashant Panjiar
Cherub In A Rugby Field
The 14th Dalai Lama left Tibet 45 years ago last March, for what now looks likely to be a permanent exile. He has become much more than just another former ruler driven out of power by a superior force, and is probably more influential than if he had been able to remain as ruler of his homeland. He is today one of the best known and most admired people in the world. He is a celebrity, who appears at charity rock concerts, whom film stars travel thousands of miles to meet, whose words of wisdom adorn wall-hangings and tea-mugs around the western world, and whose unquenchable smile adorns dozens of books about Tibet and about Buddhism.

So much hyperbolic baloney has been written and spoken about the Dalai Lama and so much fawning obsequiousness surrounds him that it is hard to make an honest attempt at understanding him, and making sense of the role he plays in the world. For this reason, I approached this volume of essays with deep misgivings. Those misgivings increased when I read on the book’s dust-jacket that the Dalai Lama is "universally recognised as the best hope for...

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