Home World News Dalai Lama Declares He Is Physically Fit

Dalai Lama Declares He Is Physically Fit

Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama arriving at hotel in New York City on June 23, 2024. Picture credit- Sonam Zoksang

The Dalai Lama has dismissed rumours of ill health on his 89th birthday and said that he will clarify matters about his succession around his next birthday.

The exiled spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism who is visiting United States, said in a video message that he is recovering from a knee surgery and feels “physically fit.’’

“Recently I had surgery on my knee, which has given me some problem. However, I am recovering and have no problem at all now,” the Dalai Lama said in a video message from the United States, where he is recuperating.

“There may be people trying to confuse you about my health, saying that the Dalai Lama has gone to a hospital and is undergoing treatment, and so on, making my condition sound grave. You don’t need to trust such misinformation,” he said.

He added, “I am nearly 90 now but I don’t feel unhealthy, except for the slight discomfort in my legs. I would like to thank all my fellow Tibetans in and outside Tibet for your prayers on my birthday,” he said, adding that “ some issues are part of ageing.’’

The Dalai Lama arrived in New York City, on June 23. Members of the Tibetan community and well-wishers lined the streets to welcome him.

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A charismatic figure who popularised Buddhism internationally, the Dalai Lama won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for keeping alive the Tibetan cause in exile. He fled to India in 1959, nine years after China sent troops into the Himalayan region in 1950, saying it was liberating Tibetan “serfs”.

As the spiritual leader ages and battles health problems, the appointment of his successor has become a looming issue for Tibetans struggling for more autonomy in China or outright independence. Tibetan Buddhists believe that learned monastics are reincarnated after death as newborns.

The Dalai Lama has said he will clarify questions about succession – including whether and where he would be reincarnated – around his 90th birthday.

On Saturday, tens of thousands of Buddhists and well-wishers around the world are  celebrating and praying for the Dalai Lama’s long life.

After all, it is the Dalai Lama who represents the strongest hope of an eventual return to Tibet.

(With Inputs From Reuters)