China to regulate reincarnation

REINCARNATION RED TAPE [from yesterday’s “Telegraph”]
Totalitarian states can be cruel and comic at the same time. The latest Chinese restriction on Tibetan Buddhism would appear to come straight from the theatre of the absurd. Come September, and Tibet’s “living Buddhas” would have to queue up before religious affairs officials, application forms in hand, waiting to receive official permission to be reincarnated. The official explanation for the new restriction is that it is “an important move to institutionalize the management of reincarnation of living Buddhas”. The official version itself gives away the government’s lie. It must be a bizarre system that seeks not only to manage the religious affairs of its people but also to institutionalize them. But this is not the real import of the new regulation because China’s “management” of Tibetan Buddhism — and of all other aspects of life in Tibet — began soon after it had taken control of Lhasa in 1951. The real target of the new law is none other than the Dalai Lama. An important provision of the 14-part regulation bars any Buddhist monk living outside China from seeking reincarnation for himself or recognizing a “living Buddha”. Thus the law effectively marks the end of a tradition sustained by the Dalai Lama and the “living Buddhas”, who dominated life and culture in Tibet in his name. The Chinese had earlier tried this endgame by propping up a puppet Panchen Lama, the second most important religious leader of the Tibetans. Now they want to foist their own “living Buddhas” on the Tibetans.

But totalitarian regimes are also known to do silly things out of fear. After nearly half a century of repressive measures, China has not quite succeeded in killing the soul of Tibetan Buddhism. Despite five decades of living in exile, the Dalai Lama remains the most important influence in Tibetan life. China fears that the “living Buddhas” may do at home what the exiled leader cannot. This Chinese fear is clearly born of a failure. Despite five decades of bitter campaigns against the “feudal and splittist” Dalai Lama and the “obscurantism” of Tibetan Buddhism, China has failed to wean the Tibetans away from either their spiritual leader or from their religion. Worse, the communist state is never free from the fear of Tibetan revolts. Historically, the State and religion have an uneasy relationship.

The latest Chinese attempt may therefore be defeated by its own irony. It may help tighten the State’s control over the lamas and the monasteries, but it may further erode China’s authority over what the writer, Patrick French, called “the Tibet of the mind”. Another impact of the law may be more immediate and direct. It is likely to further cloud the talks between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama’s representatives on the issue of Tibet’s autonomy.

Laughed a tearfilled laugh at the title, but now I am just angry.
I thought the cultural revolution was over. Seems not. #-o
It seems that hope for communist china is like that arcade penny drop game.(I won’t insult you with an explanation)

Does this apply to Hindus, all Buddhists, and Jesus or is this an exclusive Dalai Lama thing. :laughing: How far will they go? #-o

BTW, I heard about that fake Panchen Lama thing, it seems they are putting pressure on the election system by subterfuge too, in one of the elections they forced one candidate into hiding. If they do succede in infiltrating the hierarchy, it will not swerve the peopls faith or thirst for autonomy, I think.

Chinas repeated attempts at sensoring religious practises and culture will only degrade their international image further, or do I overestimate our leaders on this one?


If this catches I can see them mandating a government mandate in order to get past St Peter at the pearly gates…

:laughing: Wouldn’t put it past 'em.

I would have loved to be in the room with the brainiacs that came up with this bit. Oh and understand them.

The only thing that one can do is either say WTF? or kick back and wait for the next revolution. Tibetians are not known for their passive nature, only their monks are. They are proud descendents of some tough SOBs. Push them into a corner and I think heads will be rolling one way or another. I sure wouldn’t push them. Hell, I would be running the other way, I do not want a pissed off Tibetian after me.

What the article fails to mention is that it has always been the Emperor’s prerogative to do so. The Chinese were certainly involved in regulating the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation since the Qing (1644-1911) and possibly since the office’s inception when a Mongol Warlord became the first Dalai Lama in 1391.

What is much more interesting is that the Party is now claiming Imperial prerogative.


Tomatoe tomato, yes, the perogative has always been there but, Why are they pushing it? Like I said I would have loved to be in that room. Tibet won’t go down quietly, at least I don’t think so. Ok, I hope they don’t. :laughing:

Why wouldn’t they assert it . . . from a political perspective it makes perfect sense. Tibet has pretty much always been a colony of China (and it certainly is within its sphere of influence), the Communists just invaded it and made that position official.

Why are they pushing it – pushing what? How does one push the status quo?

Do the Tibetans consider themselves Chinese? Colonies have been known to explode all over their mother empire when pushed. And religion is generally quite explosive.


They’ll come around :wink:

With Marxism, China adopted Christianity in its most pernicious and modern reincarnation.

With the invasion of Tibet, China in effect became as imperialist and colonialist as any other western nation of the century previous.

And now they have embraced capitalism, and with that the transformatin into a western nation like any other is complete. Chinese nationalism sentiment in fact is if anything more joingoistic than even British nationalism at the turn of the last century.

Colonization is making Tibet ethnically Chinese. Chinese education is eradicating any sense of Tibetan identity.

Just as barbarous as the Mongols, the fully westernized China has incorporated a western bureacratic efficiency into their methods to make them a threat to Tibetan national identiy that is far more pernicious than anything that the Monglols could have ever hoped to achieve. Even if not as efficient as the national socialism of Germany once was(and who could be as efficient as the Germans?), the Chinese regime nevertheless has achieved an international legitimacy that will ensure that its policies will not be opposed.

And ridiculous or not, extending the cultural genocide of Tibet into the next life is just another nail in the coffin of the land formerly known as Tibet.