NEW DELHI: Tenzin Gyatso, known to the world as the 14th Dalai Lama, has now put his foot into what has the makings of a major controversy. When the Dalai Lama was asked whether there can be a woman Dalai Lama ever, on a BBC interview he replied in affirmation and then leaned over to say, “but she must be… should be very beautiful. Otherwise not much use.”

On a tour of western European countries to spread the message of spirituality, the Dalai Lama in the BBC interview, was asked questions over the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe and whether Britain should accommodate more refugees than it’s pledging to. It’s at the end of the interview that the question of Lama’s would-be heir apparent came.

“I was once asked the same question by a reporter in Paris who worked for a women’s magazine. I said yes a woman can become next Dalai Lama. Women have proven to be more affectionate and compassionate than men biologically,” Dalai Lama said just before dropping the Beauty-bomb. The reported pursued him further on whether he was joking, as lama replied, “No, it’s true.”

Some of the twitter comments which followed:




The reporter then, quite disarmed with Nobel Prize winner’s chumminess, moved on to the next question, which was related to his “rock-star status”.

However, this is not the first time the spiritual mentor for many has tripped over the feminist question. In the past as well he used words to the same effect and laying down criterion of beauty for any future “tulku”, which means a spiritual leader in Tibetan. He had earlier declared that he could return to Earth as a “mischievous blonde woman.”

Earlier in the interview, Lama was asked whether use of force against the Islamic State is okay as advocated by a former archbishop. Lama said we would create more Bin Ladens by doing so. But it must be remembered that Lama had supported India’s nuclear test and had said then that it has the right to build up its arsenal for self-defense, which may sound like coming from a scholar of what some describe as arealist tradition and not from a major proponent of peace in the world.