Dalai Lama and Beijing at Odds Over His Reincarnation

17 October, 2011 at 15:21 | Posted in China, human rights, persecution | Leave a comment
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By Albert Ding & Gary Pansey
Epoch Times Staff

The Dalai Lama has emphatically stated that he alone and not the Chinese Communist Party CCP will determine who will be the reincarnation of the “Living Buddha” revered by Tibetans. He asserts that the CCP has no power over spiritual matters, calling such interference “outrageous and disgraceful.”

Speaking on Sept. 24 at the 11th bi-annual meeting since 1963 of Tibet’s chief monks, he also said that he will wait until he reaches 90 to decide whether or not he will reincarnate. The Dalai Lama is now 76 years old.

However, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Sept. 26 that any decision made by the Dalai Lama on his own concerning this Tibetan tradition will violate Chinese laws.

Clarifying the Chinese regime’s position, spokesperson Hong Lei said that only Beijing has the authority to bestow the title of “Dalai Lama,” or else it will be invalid under Chinese law.

The Dalai Lama and four other of Tibetan Buddhism’s spiritual leaders held a religious convention in Dharamsala, India to address the rebirth issue.

The Dalai Lama issued a statement saying: “Dalai Lamas have functioned as both the political and spiritual leaders of Tibet for 369 years since 1642. I have now voluntarily brought this to an end, proud and satisfied that we can pursue the kind of democratic system of government flourishing elsewhere in the world.

“In fact, as far back as 1969, I made clear that concerned people should decide whether the Dalai Lama’s reincarnations should continue in the future. However, in the absence of clear guidelines, should the concerned public express a strong wish for the Dalai Lamas to continue, there is an obvious risk of vested political interests misusing the reincarnation system to fulfill their own political agenda.

“Therefore, while I remain physically and mentally fit, it seems important to me that we draw up clear guidelines to recognize the next Dalai Lama, so that there is no room for doubt or deception.”

“Today, the authoritarian rulers of the People’s Republic of China, who as communists reject religion, but still involve themselves in religious affairs, have imposed a so-called re-education campaign and declared the so-called Order No. Five, concerning the control and recognition of reincarnations, which came into force on 1st September 2007. This is outrageous and disgraceful.”

Officials of the Tibetan government in exile have commented on the controversy.

A representative of the Tibetan Government in Exile, Dawa Tsering, told New Tang Dynasty TV, “The system of reincarnation exists because it’s consistent with Buddhist principles, not because it follows the wish of the ruling class.”

Special Envoy of the Tibetan Government in Exile, Kelsang Gyaltsen, believes that the methods for searching for the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama follows the doctrine and customs of Tibetan Buddhism, and already forms a complete system. He regards the CCP’s attempt to decide the next Dalai Lama is trying to turn sacred religious affairs into politics.

“First, a decision based on political power will violate the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism and traditions; second, such a decision will not be accepted by believers. This will only complicate the issue, and will not benefit anyone.”

Gyaltsen also asserted that the CCP tries to control the Dalai Lama in order to control the Temple and the region. However, he feels that the statement made by the current Dalai Lama will foil the CCP’s plans.

“During the meeting between leaders of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama said that he will leave clear directions for finding his reincarnation. The reincarnated Dalai Lama discovered in this way will be accepted by all believers of Tibetan Buddhism.”

Dawa Tsering also regards the CCP’s attempts to control the rebirth as completely political, but the issue of the Lama’s rebirth is a sacred and serious matter.

A Chinese political affairs expert, Hu Ping, believes that the rebirth is an internal issue of Tibetan Buddhism, which has nothing to do with an atheistic political party such as the CCP.

In 1995, after the death of the Panchen Lama, the CCP rejected the boy picked by the Dalai Lama and appointed another person. The young man recognized by the Dalai Lama as the 11th Panchen Lama has not been seen since 1995.

Read the original Chinese article.

via Dalai Lama and Beijing at Odds Over His Reincarnation | China News | Epoch Times

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