This is what the present Dalai Lama has said — astonishing (alarming?) everybody. The beautiful part of it is not surprising. The monks who have chosen Lamas throughout the ages have always chosen beautiful babies. They’ve also made sure that the selected baby is at least the third- or fourth-born in the family. This helps to avoid any incipient genetic faults in the family line. The present Dalai Lama was the sixth child in his original family. Furthermore, the monks also enquire from all the families around about the antecedents of the family. Have there been any physical or mental handicaps in the family in last few generations? The Buddhist monks of Tibet have known a thing or two about genetics!
A woman — that is, will a baby-girl be chosen next time? Well, on reflection, why not? There’s women’s liberation in China now just as everywhere else. There’s even a woman in the present Politburo. There’ll probably be two or three in the next 5-year term. So a woman Dalai Lama would be perfectly acceptable to the Chinese government. Just so long as, unlike the present Dalai Lama, she doesn’t want to see any sort of restoration of the feudal system that existed before the ousting of the aristocratic landowners and the freeing of the peasants in 1960.