But it was his remarks about the idea of a female Dalai Lama that drew criticism online.
If anything the implication that a woman would make a great Dalai because she would be more able to show affection and compassion iis more offensive than the suggestion that the next Dalai Lama needs to have some previous modelling experience.
In May the Dalai Lama told the UK’s Sunday Times that he might come back as a “mischievous blonde woman” adding that “then her face must be very attractive” or “nobody pay much attention”.
During an earlier interview with CBS host Norah O’Donnell, he had expressed his weakness for handsome women. “Is that what you’re saying?” asked BBC reporter Clive Myrie.
Myrie retorted: “You are joking, I am assuming”. The Dalai Lama urged European nations not to reject individuals because of their Muslim faith, saying “Islam, like any other religion, it sends its message of love forgiveness”. But when Myrie asked whether the next incarnation could be a woman, His Holiness said yes, but “the face should be very attractive”.
Both men laughed at the comment, which seemed at first to come off as a clumsy joke, and Myrie gave the Dalai Lama a chance to clarify his statement.
George Osborne, seen here at the Shanghai Stock Exchange, has been touring China to boost trade relations The Buddhist leader met the Prime Minister three years ago, prompting a furious response from Beijing, which saw the Chinese foreign ministry demand that Britain apologise for hosting him.
However, Tibetans-in-exile in Dharamsala claimed the Dalai Lama meant attractiveness from within. They accused the Dalai Lama of “hypocrisy and hiding human rights abuses” against Shugden Buddhists.
“No”, the Dalai Lama said.
That article goes on to link to a blog called the Tibetan Feminist Collective, where a post asserts, “Yes, the Dalai Lama is still a feminist”.
The 80-year-old Dalai Lama made his remarks during a nine-day visit to London, where he is promoting the concepts of compassionate and considerate behaviour. The Nobel Peace Prize victor, whose real name is Tenzin Gyatso, is now 80. “His interaction with leading thinkers at Oxford and Cambridge highlights His Holiness’ ground-breaking collaboration with scientists and scholars, while his dialogues with young people will inspire a new generation and begin an important conversation about the importance of training in compassion in education”, he added.