Dalai Lama's message misinterpretated
by Eka Yana, India, The Buddhist Channel, Dec 15, 2006
With regards to the article, "The Dalai Lama is no Pope", the letter from His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Private Office did not state that worshipping relics of the Buddha and his chief disciples amounts to breaking one's Refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.
Instead, His Holiness's consistent position is that, in-line with Lord Buddha's teachings, for Buddhists, one's only reliable source of refuge should be the Three Jewels and not any worldly spirit.
From what we know, it has never been the intention of His Holiness to project or position himself as a "Buddhist Pope", though he is often mistaken to be so, due to his popularity. However, he is repected internationally to be the leader of Tibetan Buddhism.
His advice is thus important to many. His above advice is also consistent with that of the leading Holinesses of all four living Tibetan Buddhist traditions. In fact, it is consistent in all other Buddhist traditions not to take refuge in any worldly spirit.