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In 1986, Tibetan Buddhist leader the Dalai Lama recognized Osel Hita Torres as a reincarnation of another lama – Lama Yeshe who had died two years prior. Many Buddhists worshipped the boy like a god. But now at age 24, Torres is abandoning his faith and speaking out about his unhappy childhood.

 

Background – What is a lama?

A lama is a Tibetan religious teacher (kind of like a guru). The title can mean someone has authority to teach, is spiritually admirable, or is a reincarnation of a past lama. Torres is the latter. The Dalai Lama himself is in the most famous line of reincarnated lamas. Past lamas tend to socialize together. 

 

Torres speaks out

Torres claims he was often depressed, separated from his family who have voluntarily given him a monastery as a baby. He was placed on a throne and worshipped there. Torres claims he was only allowed to socialize with other lamas and was not allowed to watch TV or experience a normal childhood. When he turned 18, the Spanish Torres began exploring the world (dancing, kissing, two things he’d never seen) and studying film. He has also rejected the Buddhist religion and spoken out against it.

 

The Buddhist Channel says Torres’ recent behavior has caused “some embarassment” for Buddhists.

 

What do you think? Do Buddhists have a right to be embarrassed? Are they just disappointed? Is Torres justified in his denouncement of Buddhism or is he just complaining?

Learn about other lamas on Religion Transcends.

 

Copyright 2009, Religion Transcends

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