The Dalai Lama

From looking in detail at the exchange between the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Questioner, it is clear that it reveals two perspectives of the Dalai Lama’s reputation. Firstly, the traditional viewpoint of a Tibetan Buddhist Monk and on the other hand the Dalai Lama himself and his personal views on his identity. As it reads in the Assignment Booklet (Page 22) ‘Your Holiness, as the recognized reincarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama… ‘ this clearly shows the strong, traditional values and beliefs that the Tibetan people hold as he is regarded as ‘Your Holiness’ which indicates that he is well respected and worshipped upon.

He then says that he is recognized as “the reincarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama” which relates back to the history and culture of Tibet as the first Dalai Lama was born in 1351 AD as it states in the Book 1 ‘Reputations’ (Waterhouse, 2008, p. 211) so it is clear that the Dalia Lama is a major aspect of the Tibetan People and Buddhism culture. As it quotes in the Book, “For the Tibetan people, therefore, the fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, has a status and reputation which are embedded in the entire Tibetan religious and cultural worldview. ” (Waterhouse, 2008, p. 211)

The Tibetan Monk then questions the purpose of the Dalai Lama’s education as they believe that he is a reincarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama so evidently his personal attributes and knowledge would have been passed on from previous Dalai Lama’s. This suggests that he is just basing the idea that the Dalai Lama has no need to study as his knowledge and skill would have been passed down to him. The Dalai Lama is then likened to a car mechanic ‘a skilled mechanic learning basic car maintenance again! ‘ He is just basing that on the traditional belief of the Buddhist views.

But everyone has to educate themselves to learn and experience things for their own abilities. It also states in the book that the word ‘Lama’ comes from the Indian word ‘Guru’ which means teacher so this is also part of his main reputation due to the name he is given. The reputation of the Dalai Lama as a religious teacher and figure is not only known by the Buddhists but also around the world. As they regard him as a ‘living Buddha’ his teaching and practice have been absorbed by many people “Buddha statues have become home, restaurant and garden furnishing items.

” (Waterhouse, 2008, p. 204. ) This is clear that the symbol of Buddha is a recognizable one who is commonly known for his teaching and practices for therapy and relaxing of the mind. So it is understandable that the traditional role of the Dalai Lama is seen as a religious teacher. The Dalai Lama then answers him with the reason for his knowledge and understanding and that it is all down to studying. ‘I could not have acquired my present level of knowledge without engaging in serious study. ‘ (Assignment Booklet, Dalai Lama, 1995, p.22)

It is clear that he understands the traditional views and the role that he must play but it suggests that he is also still advising as he is saying that in order for someone to gain substantial knowledge and skill you must study and educate yourself. This exchange not only shows the strong traditional views of the Dalai Lama from the Tibetan people and Buddhist culture but also the more personal side of how the Dalai Lama feels about his own identity as he says ‘I am just an ordinary person like you’ (Assignment Booklet, Dalai Lama, 1995, p. 22) Word Count 600.

ASSIGNMENT 3- PART 2 READING POETRY: THE FABER BOOK OF BEASTS Read the following poems by Thom Gunn and Thomas Flatman in ‘The Faber Book of Beasts’, compare the ways in which the two poets represent cats. ‘Apartment Cats’ is a poem set out in three stanzas and captures the thoughts of the speaker as he observes the cats. It is clear that the poem merely describes the movement and the individuality of the cats and the relationship between them. On the other hand ‘An Appeal to Cats in the Business of Love’ is a very different poem, it is written in an anthropomorphic style in one block of verse.

The behaviour or attributes of prostitution are described and conveyed through cats. In the first line of ‘Apartment Cats’ it uses verbs like ‘wake’, ‘stretch’, and ‘pad’ to feel the real sense of the cats movement. ‘And they wrestle: parry, lock of paws’ ‘Blind hug of close defence’ (Assignment Booklet, Reading Poetry, p. 23. ) this imagery gives greater meaning and contributes to the feeling and mood which helps to emphasize the poet’s thoughts and ideas. The tone is playful and excitable which projects the playful nature of the cats.