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The Title His Holiness

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Today at the press conference of the World Peace Summit at the Ljubljana town hall, Lama Shenphen Rinpoche was repeatedly referred to as His Holiness. I thought that this title was reserved for H.H. the Dalailama. How come that Rinpoche was called by this title?


There was also some confusion regarding the organisation Rinpoche presented. It was stated that he represented an International Buddhist Union. This was said only once, but it was repeated several times that he was a representative of a Buddhist Union. Rinpoche corrected this mistake but there was still some confusion about it. Does this Buddhist Union exist? I think there is one such organisation in Slovenia, but as far as I know Rinpoche is not connected with it...


Can you please explain why these things were stated?

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Indeed, we have noticed these two points too :)


The title of His Holiness doesn't directly refer to any Buddhism terminology, and therefore can be given by who ever deem appropriate to give it to someone. In this particular situation, the title was given respectfully by Swami Maheswarananda to Lama Shenphen Rinpoche. The Swami himself is called “His Holiness” by his disciples. We found that it was very respectful from them to use such title. And it is clear that Rinpoche never presented himself under such title.

Actually, Lama Shenphen Rinpoche is most often referred as “His Eminence” in international conferences. This title is the one of Ambassadors or Bishops. And on the little paper which was in front of Rinpoche in that press conference, it was actually written “His Eminence”.


Mistake was done also on the name of our community. They mentioned “Buddhist Union”, but Rinpoche did make the correction at the questions time, and said clearly: “I do represent here the Buddhist Congregation Dharmaling, not the Buddhist Union”.

Actually, there is no Buddhist union in Slovenia. There is a community which would like to pretend they unify anything, but it seems it doesn't even unify its founder with any genuine tradition (more).


Hope it clears the potential gossips! ;)


Thank you.

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