Their names are Venerable Utsumi and Sister Denise (who I think is the one on the right in the YouTube video below).
The Sister by definition is not a Buddhist monk. She would be the equivalent of a nun. Not sure whether the other one is a bona fide monk. He is not dressed in the dark saffron robes we normally associate with Buddhist monks.
I could be wrong but I think these two represent Nepalese, Tibetan or Bhutan Buddhism — which is not mainstream Theravada or Mahāyāna Buddhism (my background and expertise being in the former, Sri Lanka considered the spiritual home for that school). I haven’t, as yet, been able to find anything more about these two other than that they participated in Ali’s funeral! IF you can help me here I will be most grateful. [Thanks, in advance.]
Increasingly folks in the U.S. are gravitating towards and identifying with Tibetan and Nepalese Buddhism, and creating the impression that this school represents most Buddhist worldwide. Not so. I happened to look up Buddhist temples in Louisville and discovered that they are all Tibetan-centric. C’est la vie.
One thing ironic that Ali, who is said to have arranged how this service was to conducted, may have overlooked. Tibetan and Nepalese Buddhist have zero-experience dealing with Muslims! Not so if he turned to Buddhist monks from Sri Lanka. Just something to think about.
China Is Correct, Dalai Lama Is ‘Disrespecting’ Buddhism & He Only Represents 4% Buddhists Worldwide.
I addressed this Dalai Lama reincarnation issue over a year ago. Whether he is talking obliquely about him reaching NIRVANA or whether he is just playing politics (as he is WONT to do) the Dalai Lama really has no say as to whether reincarnation, per Buddhism, happens or does NOT happen. His statement about it possibly being ‘voluntary’ is sheer, utter bunkum! I have talked about reincarnation in this blog — before. It is a subject I do know quite a lot about and have devoted a lot of mental energy thinking about.
Let’s PLEASE get one thing straight about this Dalai Lama. He is NOT the Buddhist equivalent of the Pope. He is not even the equivalent of the Archbishop of Canterbury. He is, at best, equivalent to the Patriarch of Alexandria. There are about 490 Million Buddhists worldwide (and I am not one of them). The Dalai Lama ONLY represents the at most 20 Million ‘Tibetan’ Buddhists and at least 40% of these are WESTERN cafeteria Buddhist who believe Buddhism is all about meditation, yoga and avoiding beef. So, the Dalai Lama has no authority (unlike say the Pope) to talk about Buddhist dogma or doctrine. This Dalai Lama is really nothing but a Western celebrity — the Ben Carson of Buddhism.
Though not a Buddhist now, I find it wrong when the Dalai Lama tries to, using his media creds, to mess with very fundamental Buddhist precepts. To me it is like Donald trump saying that there was no Virgin Birth (and that he would know). China is right. The Dalai Lama should stop talking about reincarnation and just do what he is best at doing — making money for himself.
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