CHINA: Which Half of Buddha?

Doctrinally, Tibet should be ruled by two lamas: the Panchen Lama, whom esoteric Tibetans believe to be Buddha's spiritual reincarnation, and the Dalai Lama, Buddha's temporal reincarnation. Actually, the Dalai Lama and his priests have been running Tibet since 1924, when they expelled the Panchen Lama.

Last week the Panchen Lama & Co. were trying to make a comeback, with spiritual support and a little temporal help from the Chinese Communists.

To Peking came delegations from both Lama factions, seeking the Red nod. First to arrive were gum-chewing, felt-hatted retainers of the Dalai Lama, who in December had fled his capital of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!