The “Chosen Ones”?

Posted on October 2, 2012 by

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Osel Hita Torres was born to Maria Torres on February 12th, 1985, in Granada, Spain. This might seem like an unlikely place for a Lama to be found by Buddhist monk no doubt, but a reason for this was that Osel’s mother, Maria, was herself a Buddhist. She had been a close follower of the Lama Thubten Yeshe. Lama Yeshe died just months before Maria became pregnant with Osel. It is believed that Lama’s can reincarnate themselves wherever they please. After his birth, Osel’s personality reminded Buddhist monks of Yeshe and Osel appeared in another monk’s dream as a reincarnation of the Lama. The children are tested to be Lama’s by being placed in front of several objects and asked which one is theirs. When Osel picked Lama Yeshe’s old sunglasses, the monks were convinced this was indeed Lama Yeshe’s new form. From the ages of 2-18 Osel was brought up and revered by monks in an Indian temple. But as the years passed, Osel questioned his commitment to his position. By the age of 16 he desperately wanted to be rid of his obligations to the temple. He took the first chance he could and left at the age of 18.

This begs the question: Were the monks mistaken in choosing little Osel? Even two years old is a very young age for Buddhist Lamas to be “discovered”. From an objective view it is hard to put definitive evidence behind the process of choosing Lamas. The fact that Osel acted like Lama Yeshe is debatable. Yeshe was described as being loving and renown for always smiling. Personally, I find those two common traits found in infants. The process in which the child is tested with objects is suspect too. Could it have been coincidence that Osel picked up Yeshe’s sunglasses just because it was the most interesting object to a toddler? And another monk claimed to see Osel in a dream. The validity of these events and practices are very hard to prove or disprove.

What is not typically conveyed of Buddhism is that it, like other religions, is in fact political. Some monks want the power, wealth, and fame that come with finding a new lama. And according to David Van Biema this can often result in blood feuds between opposing temples that claim to have discovered a reincarnation of a Lama. This does not make Buddhism any worse than Western religions. This has been a common theme with the choosing of the Pope in Catholicism. He is chosen by divine spirit to a group of cardinals. Many have proven to be less than admirable religious leaders and succession wars have followed in their wakes.

I would have thought that the monks would have started to question their choice in Osel when he admittedly acted out and abused his power and influence he had on others. But the monks stood by their decision and fully believed in Osel. Possibly because of the implications that would have led after they admitted Osel might not have been the reincarnation of Lama Yeshe after all. This would have led to at least a portion of that temples followers if not an even vaster demographic of Buddhists to question the validity of their faith.

Since leaving India, Osel has returned home to Spain where he has taken up playing the drums. He loves all kinds of music and wishes to someday become a filmmaker. Osel does not know if he is a Buddhist anymore or not, and he questions if he is really the reincarnation of Lama Yeshe. However, Osel does say that he has seen the evidence of Yeshe in his life, but if it is not even enough to make Osel fully believe, how could others be forced to believe the same?

 Sources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19702122

http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=9,11111,0,0,1,0

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1903076,00.html

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Posted in: Buddhism