Sure but with Western tulkus we are necessarily getting away from that.
Well, perhaps, but in some cases a bank account holding many zeros makes for good old aristocracy.
Most tulkus are 2-6 when this happens. Even if one were a teenager they would still not bear this responsibility. As mature practitioners, sure. Then this gets back to what is really meant by powers on the bhumis. I'm uncertain about that.
Well, If someone said I was a tulku when I was 2-6 and people held that idea regarding myself today, now that I'm 36 I would set the record straight.
The main point of the identification should be to spur a practitioner to seriously consider how they can benefit beings and take responsibility for teaching or intensive practice in some way. Done correctly, tulku identification can be a means of sheparding a rare and precious resource.
Agree. That's the main point. The problem comes when real tulkus are left aside while the offspring of people of influence receive the sort of training they should be having. It's always great that people can benefit from good instruction in Dharma, but as you said "main point of the identification should be to spur a practitioner to [...] sheparding a rare and precious resource.
As multiple tulkus have said the birth process introduces obscuration. So tulkus on the higher bhumis can be obscured? Namdrol and others say no and say it definitively. Mayhaps be, mayhaps aint. The tulkus who said it though have often been great. Therefore I trust their statement. I have had a teacher tell me directly that until a certain point is reached in development in this body clarity and awareness can be obscured. OTOH many of the highest tulkus also manifest Dharma study and practice habits intuitively as little kids. We often see this kind of thing in our society also until we beat it out of the kids in one way or another (i.e. Western culture tends to be caustic wrt religious interest in many cases).
People find all sorts of excuses to justify politics. I don't know if I buy that.
Often in the beginning. Then hopefully they mature.
Hopefully. That's not what I see though.
The young men in Gesar's movie are also products of politics and money? Seems a stretch. But clearly the tulku system does need reform.
I don't know. Gesar is the son of a famous lama. The others I have no clue. I really don't care if he is a tulku since he is not my teacher. To me, he is just another fellow. He has more merits than me, that's for sure. He has the merits to be around great lamas with whom he can share close relationships. I have to go to great lengths simply to attend teachings (my life is basically set around that so that I can do it). But each to his own. I hope things work out for him, whatever he decides to do. Seems a nice guy.
I'm not sure the situation is as bad as you make it out as although the point with advanced practitioners being ignored is real and has to be fixed. The main problem is that practitioners are holding themselves back usually. How do we address this problem? Part of the thing is that Dharma culture is also still shallow with many Westerners. That btw is partly what several of the young tulkus in the film said. The institutionalized expectations are not necessarily relevant to the current situation. Then the tulkus should make the needed changes. Ashoka for example feels strongly that his activity in the aid agency he works for is the kind of activity he should pursue.
I think it is worse and I'm not even aware. I don't want to generalize, but it's my honest opinion that most young lamas could benefit spending more time in retreat instead of acting like globetrotter pop stars inside the Dharma community. Just my take, nothing very important.
Overall I don't disagree with you though.