Indeed, even as he seems the paragon of saintly forgiveness, he advances a claim to ordinariness. ‘‘I am a human being like any other,’’ I heard him repeat in several public appearances over the last year. In Tibet, he told me, too many superstitious beliefs had overlaid Buddhism’s commitment to empirically investigate the workings of the mind. Tibetans believed that he ‘‘had some kind of miracle power,’’ he said. ‘‘Nonsense!’’ he thundered. ‘‘If I am a living god, then how come I can’t cure my bad knee?’’
He similarly asserted his nonsupernatural qualities at the summit meeting of Nobel Peace Prize winners in Rome this December. When the city’s former mayor asked him how he coped with jet lag, the Dalai Lama, Newsweek reported, gave a frankly nonreligious explanation. He could train his mind to sleep well, he said (he goes to bed at 7 p.m. and wakes at 3 a.m. to meditate). ‘‘Traveling the world — time difference — no problem,’’ he added, ‘‘but bowel movement does not obey my mind. But this morning, thanks to your blessings — after 7 o’clock, full evacuation. So now I am very comfortable.’’
~ Pankaj Mishra, The Last Dalai Lama?
Source: NY Times Magazine – The Last Dalai Lama?