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article imageChina bans Buddhist monks in Tibet from Reincarnation

By Chris V. Thangham     Aug 14, 2007 in Politics
Dictatorship and totalitarianism at its worst, China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission. China is doing this to cut off the influence of the exiled Dalai Lama in India and his remaining followers in Tibet.
The China State Administration for Religious Affairs issued a statement stipulating the rigid procedures which one must follow to reincarnate. They gave the following reason: "an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation."
The successor of Dalai Lama is chosen by the following manner. Once the current Dalai Lama dies, his monks and devotees search for the Lama’s reincarnation in and around Tibet. Dalai Lama’s reincarnation is usually found in a small child called “yangsi”. He will be tested under a variety of conditions and make him point the various belongings of the earlier Dalai Lama. If he points them correctly, he is chosen as the successor of Dalai Lama and awarded that title. The child is then taken to Lhasa in Tibet and trained.
China instead wants to go on its own way and has instituted the above set of procedures and wants to choose its own Dalai Lama. It says anyone born outside of China will not be considered as Dalai Lama, in other words it doesn’t want to give any approval to the exiled Dalai Lama.
The current Dalai Lama is 72 years old and is living in exile in India since 1959. He is beginning to plan his successor, but said he refuses to be reborn in Tibet as long it is in China’s control. Since Tibet will be in Chinese control for a long time to come as there is no opposition, it is apparent Dalai Lama will not be reborn. But only question does he have enough control not to be reborn? Dalai Lamas have been efficient so far in reincarnating for the last 600 years, so some of his followers believe his statement that he won’t be reborn again.
After the Dalai Lama dies, the situation will become chaotic; there will be two Dalai Lamas, one near in India and the other chosen by the Chinese government. Paul Harrison, a Buddhism scholar at Stanford said:
"The Dalai Lama has been the prime symbol of unity and national identity in Tibet, and so it's quite likely the battle for his incarnation will be a lot more important than the others."
Harrison and other Buddhism scholars believe the next Dalai Lama will most likely be from the 130,000 Tibetan exiles that live in India, Europe and North America. There is a chance that the next Dalai Lama may be born in America, but it all depends on the current Dalai Lama. However any chance of non-Tibetan to become a Dalai Lama is remote.
If China goes ahead and handpicks the next Dalai Lama, which is the most likely scenario it will look absurd for sure. They already own the Tibetan land, but to extend their power and influence on the religious custom and tradition is ridiculous. Since, no governments will show any opposition, China will have its say and won’t care about others opinions.
More about China, Bans, Reincarnation