This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
- Tenzin Gyatso or the 14th Dalai Lama. Dalai Lama is his title in the religious organization. His real full name is Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso which is shortened normally into Tenzin Gyatso.
My own thoughts on the quote:
Happily the leader of Tibetan Buddhist religion has renounced his true religious heritage; the merciless oppression of peasants to pay for the upkeep of a huge class of monks and immense number of monasteries. At its worst, there were over 6,000 monasteries in Tibet.
The liberal stand of Dalai Lama can be the upside of having to be in exile. One can start building a clean slate. The change of heart of Dalai Lama can also mean a lot for the future of the whole of his ancient religion. This man has much stronger position in his religious organization than even the Pope has. His enlightened views can change the whole religion for the better.
On the other hand, the current Dalai Lama has been publicly speaking of leaving his official responsibilities. It just might be that the views expressed in the quote above are just a bit too much for the rank and file of the Tibetan Buddhist organizations.
Tenzin Gyatso can now pick only the smartest things that are present in the core philosophy of Buddhism. It is, in fact, at its original form it is more of a school of philosophy quite like Epicureanism than any of the modern religions.
Unfortunately, most of all many Hindu traditions of supernatural nature have crept into Buddhism during the 2500 years of existing side by side in the same cultures. However, Buddhism is still one of the finest religions as it actually can normally co-exist peacefully with other religions.
Buddhist are normally not at all like the believing Christians, who so often live in a simplistic world with a naive certainty of having found the only 'truth'.
There are many sources in the Internet for more information on the Tibetan Religion:
Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth,
The Shadow Of The Dalai Lama, Sexuality, Magic, and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism
Not only freedom: The dark ethnic side of the Tibetan Buddhist revolt Another View On Whether Tibetan Buddhism Is Working In The West Criticisms of Buddhism
There is a cult in the west that wants to see Tibetan Buddhism as something nice and somber. This is made much easier by the fact that most people have never heard of the true history of the Tibetan Buddhism. I'm afraid that many of those who will hear of it now will simply deny it.
Many westerners have simply built quite fantastic ideas in their heads concerning the nature of Tibetan religion. Changing this ideal seems to be impossible for many people and all contrary evidence is simply discarded.
The following quote is reported as 'disputed' in Wikiquote. However, I'd like it to be by Buddha. This quote would rise him to the class of philosophers I respect the most; Epicurus and Marcus Aurelius, Bertrand Russell and Karl Popper:
"Believe nothing, O monks, merely because you have been told it … or because it is traditional, or because you yourselves have imagined it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings—that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide."
The fact that this quote exists does tell that at least some Buddhists do think as this quote suggests, and they have my true respect! This disputed Buddha-quote was reported in Life in March 7, 1955. It is, however, reported in the class of 'unverified' in “Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations” (1989).
(This piece was refurbished on 15th of December, 2012)
"The Dalai Lama is a high lama in the Gelug or "Yellow Hat" branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The name is a combination of the Mongolian word dalai meaning "Ocean" and the Tibetan word བླ་མ་ bla-ma (with a silent "b") meaning "guru, teacher". In religious terms, the Dalai Lama is believed by his devotees to be the rebirth of a long line of tulkus who are considered to be manifestations of the bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteśvara. Traditionally, the Dalai Lama is thought of as the latest reincarnation of a series of spiritual leaders who have chosen to be reborn in order to enlighten others. The line of Dalai Lamas began as lineage of spiritual teachers; the 5th Dalai Lama assumed political authority over Tibet. The 14th Dalai Lama remained the head of state for the Central Tibetan Administration ("Tibetan government in exile") until his retirement on March 14, 2011. He has indicated that the institution of the Dalai Lama may be abolished in the future."