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Spanish Film Student Was a Spiritual Leader as an Infant

June 5, 2009

Recognized by the Dalai Lama as a the reincarnation of a spiritual leader when he was only 14 months old, Osel Hita Torres grew up in isolation, worshipped by monks and treated like a God. He has now left Tibetan Buddhism behind and is speaking about his experience. From the Guardian:

He is now studying film in Madrid and has denounced the Buddhist order that elevated him to guru status. “They took me away from my family and stuck me in a medieval situation in which I suffered a great deal,” said Torres, 24, describing how he was whisked from obscurity in Granada to a monastery in southern India. “It was like living a lie,” he told the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. Despite his rebelliousness, he is still known as Lama Tenzin Osel Rinpoche and revered by the Buddhist community. A prayer for his “long life” still adorns the website of the Foundation to Preserve the Mahayana Tradition, which has 130 centres around the world. The website features a biography of the renegade guru that gushes about his peaceful, meditative countenance as a baby. In Tibetan Buddhism, a lama is one of a lineage of reincarnated spiritual leaders, the most famous of which is the Dalai Lama.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 18, 2009 1:29 pm

    This Grauniad article was a distortion of an article in the Spanish catholic family newspaper El Mundo, which, in turn, was a distortion of the original interview with Osel published in the Spanish student magazine Babylon,
    See page 56 for the interview, in Spanish and English.

    Osel has written a neat little verse to sum all this up, which can be found on my study group’s blogspot (which, by the way, has a lot more info about Osel as well as from him, at

    It goes like this:

    Soy una pieza más
    En este mundo tan distinto.
    Si me dejas andar,
    Me guio por el instinto.
    Y ese, me conduce a ti.

    Translated into English:

    I’m just a piece
    Of this very [different / diverse] world.
    If you let me go [on my own],
    I’ll let instinct guide me.
    And that will lead me to you

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