A Mongolian boy with US dual-nationality has been revealed as the incarnation of the third most important spiritual leader in Tibetan Buddhism and was pictured for the first time alongside the Dalai Lama. Pictures show the US-born boy, aged around eight, in a face mask and wearing a bulky red robe at a ceremony alongside the 87-year-old Dalai Lama in Dharamshala is in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
The formal title of the child, who is said to have a twin, is the tenth Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa Rinpoché – the third most important spiritual leader in Tibetan Buddhism and the faith’s leader in Mongolia, according to The Times. Rumours about the boy’s identity have swirled around the spiritual community for years, but his existence has only now been confirmed with his public appearance in India, where the Dalai Lama lives in exile.
The unveiling could spark fury in China, which has previously said it will only recognise Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leaders their special government-approved appointees have chosen. In Mongolia, the news about the Dalai Lama and his ceremony with the young boy, resulted in intense excitement among Buddhists in the country as well as ‘contempt among secular nationalists and alarm among those who fear that it will provoke the rage of the country’s neighbour, China’, according to The Times.