News and Views on Tibet

China claims authority over reincarnation of Dalai Lama

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His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama (Photo/Artemas Liu)

By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 6: A panel of so-called Chinese experts have claimed absolute authority over the reincarnation of the spiritual head of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, at an International Webinar on the ‘Religious Rituals and Historical Customs of the Reincarnation of Living Buddhas’ on Monday. The event that took place on the side lines of the 51st United Nations Human Rights Council was sponsored by three Chinese institutions, including the China Society for Human Rights Studies.

Panellist Fang Sanping, an associate fellow from Sichun Tibetology Institute, claimed that the “issue of the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation has never been a purely religious issue, nor the personal power of the Dalai Lamas in the past, but a major political issue involving the ownership of sovereignty.” Fang also said that the “Dalai group” has continuously tried to negate the authority of the Chinese central government to “interfere” in the future proceedings.

The messaging from the Chinese government on the international platform comes days after the cabinet of the Tibetan government-in-exile last Thursday in a statement said that the “religious activity has to be conducted as per the responsibilities that His Holiness the Dalai Lama enshrines and entrusts,” and that CTA will take full responsibility as and when the time arrives.

On October 4, a day after the event by the Chinese panel, the US Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Human Rights Uzra Zeya expressed US support for the Tibetan community’s religious freedom, especially their authority to choose their own religious leaders during an event hosted on the sidelines of the 51st session of the Human Rights Council. She tweeted, “Honored to host #HRC51 side event on DalaiLama’s succession alongside co-sponsors 🇨🇦 🇬🇧 🇱🇹 🇨🇿. We will continue to support members of the Tibetan community’s religious freedom, including the ability to choose their own religious leaders.”

The issue of reincarnation of the octogenarian Tibetan leader has been central to Chinese government rhetoric in their claim over the matter and in the larger context, Tibet as part of their territory. The CTA President Penpa Tsering in an interview to ABC News earlier said that the Dalai Lama is the sole authority when it comes to the matter of his reincarnation along with the will of the Tibetans both inside and outside Tibet.

“[Dalai Lama] is in human form, so there has to be degeneration of his body. According to the information we have received, the Chinese have already planned huge processes in place [for the reincarnation], and it is a huge cause of concern,” Sikyong Penpa Tsering said.

3 Responses

  1. It is very clear that the recarnation issue of a lama is purely a Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Present Chinese government don’t believe in any religion leave alone to believe in a religious figure to come again with his own will as incation of his previous life. This believe will burst their head. There is no room in their head for such a sacral believe. Reincarnation of a lama has nothing to do with dirty politics, and certainly not the bloodthirsty chinese communists have the right to interfere in this matter.

    So the searching for and choosing of a real incarnate lama belongs purely to the Tibetan Buddhists. Moreover a lama is born again with the intention to continiu the activities of his previous life. It has been the duty, therefore of the members of the monastery or intitute to which the previous lama belongs to search and choose the right incarnate lama. It has always been so with all the incarnate lama except 6th Dalai Lama to the present His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama. In the case of 6th to the 14th Dalai Lamas the government of Tibet played a role with the Gaden Phodrang in the search of the incarnate Dalai Lamas.

    One of my uncles was a incarnate lama of a very small monastery of a small village in Tibet. He was chosen from no other than the members of this very small monastery. So I think main responsiblity for searching and choosing of the next 15th Dalai Lama, god beware may it still be after many decades, lies in the hands of the members of Ganden Phodrang institute with wishes and prayers from all the good minded people and of course from all the Tibetans and also with the help of the present exile administration.

    Chinese must be very careful with the fragile glass of the Tibetan sensibilities. When we see nothing to loose after we have lost only our holy refuge, no body can say what happens. The loss will be very huge on both sides. Therefore they should not have a goose egg before this glass breaks. Don’t forget pride goes before a fall.

    It is only His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who keeps this glass safe from breaking off. But not all Tibetans are saintly people like His Holiness and some other holy lamas. We are very much like you with all the emotions and worldly feelings. World knows how we were before the holy Buddha Dharma tamed us.
    But I hope every thing goes well when the time comes. I wish all the best for all the living beings. Jai Buddha!

  2. Is the current Chinese thinking about cloning the current Dalai Lama like Dolly the Sheep? Just because the means to do something exists, should we not pause to think about how using such means leaves a mark on human civilization?

  3. The highly offensive and utterly sacrilegious utterance by Chinese communist infidels is outrageous to say the least!
    The way the heathen Chinese communists totally disregard religious conventions and belief is breathtaking! The CCP cult has the imperialist holier than attitude and has the audacity to lay claim to a holy being such as the Dalai Lama. The CCP’s claim made through the party appointed “scholars” is just like the devil claiming almighty God Himself! It deserves nothing but contempt and ridicule!
    Holy Lama like HH The Dalai Lama is above all ordinary human beings! While all beings are born owing to ignorance and karma, the the Dalai Lama’s voluntarily return to samsara to liberate other suffering beings. Therefore, the Dalai Lamas have the spiritual power to choose their place of birth that is determined by how and where it would be best to fulfil their altruistic intention to help others. They will choose the most suitable genealogy, caste or status and lineage རིགས་དང་རུས་དང་ཆོ་འབྲང་
    In India during Buddha’s time, the Kshatriyas caste of the kings was the most popular even though Brahmin was the highest caste. So, the Buddha was born to a king who belonged to a Kshatriyas caste. It is not the realm of lesser human beings least of all the Chinese communist infidels. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread as the saying goes the CCP heathens should not even harbour such fantasies. The Dalai Lama institution is almost six hundred years old while the evil CCP cult is not even hundred years!
    By making such baseless and blasphemous claims, the CCP has turned all its mountain of propaganda about so called “liberation” of Tibet on its head!!! They claimed that the Dalai Lama was a “serf owner” and that they supposedly “liberated” the Tibetans from the “theocratic rule” of the Dalai Lama! Now after seven decades of relentless propaganda and virulent attacks against the person of Dalai Lama, they are scrambling to “own” the Dalai Lama for themselves! This proves beyond a shadow of doubt that every word of anti-Dalai Lama and anti-“old Tibet” propaganda by the CCP was not worth the paper they were printed on. They were garbage that only belonged to the dust bin of history. This also brings us to the bigger question of Chinese occupation of Tibet. The pretext of “liberating serfs”was used as an excuse for the invasion and occupation of Tibet but with the CCP’s enthusiasm to claim the Dalai Lama, it has inadvertently admitted that such claims did not have a shred of truth in them. The word “serf” (བྲན་གཡོག་) is a creation of the CCP to describe landless Tibetan population. In Tibetan vernacular we use ཉམས་ཐག་ and no Tibetan ever used such derogatory word as བྲན་གཡོག་ to describe the poorer section of our society. This was a CCP invention. It was purposely invented to slander the Dalai Lama and His Government of Tibet. The CCP has contradicted its own statistics about the un-landed gentry. It’s propaganda painted that 95% of the Tibetan population were so called “serfs” to justify the invasion of Tibet but another Chinese source says that 60% of all Tibetans were landowning peasants who paid taxes! In reality, most Tibetans owned land except some families who were tied to noble and monastic land who were indentured workers and treated like family members and were by no means exploited which is the connotation by using the word “serf”. Thirty percent of the population were monks and nuns. So, in actuality, only 10% of the population were landless.
    As it were, communist China’s claim that it “liberated” Tibet from slavery as justification for invasion and occupation is a colossal lie and a gross distortion of the reality. It was politically motivated and the scramble to claim Dalai Lama has put paid to the shameless lie. This also proves communist China is in ILLEGAL OCCUPATION of Tibet AGAINST INTERNATIONAL LAW!
    The Dalai Lama reincarnation institution was formalised by the second Dalai Lama Gedun Gyatso who was born in 1475. He appointed Godess Palden Lhamo to guide the search of successive Dalai Lamas including looking for visions at the Lhamoi Latso (life bearing lake). The Tibetan Government and Mimang Tsongdue (Tibetan People’s Assembly) selects a high lama to look for the visions after one whole month of remaining in retreat. This was in independent Tibet but today, Palden Lhamo is still us. So, by offering ལྷ་མོའི་རྐང་གསོ་ we will be able to find the signs that would point to the new reincarnation’s whereabouts. The Dalai Lama has made it clear the search will be conducted by HIS APPROVED AUTHORITY that is the DALAI LAMA TRUST. This will be let by the highest authority of Ganden Phodrang in conjunction with CTA designated high Lamas from the exile community. This tradition has continued ever since it was espoused by the Second Dalai Lama. All Dalai Lamas ever since have been found by the DEVINE INTERVENTION OF PALDEN LHAMO AND THE 15th DALAI LAMA WILL BE NO DIFFERENT. is not a matter for any foreign states lest of all a colonialist and exterminator of the holy Dharma, a vicious abuser of the holy person of HH The Dalai Lama. Those who are involved in the search of the Dalai Lama must be devoted followers of the Dalai Lama whose new reincarnation is sought because of their love, gratitude and above all to give them Dharma sustenance to improve the quality of their life here and here after. The Chinese communists have regarded the Dalai Lama as enemy number one and have relentlessly attacked him and scapegoated him for their failures and misrule in occupied Tibet. The anti- Dalai Lama and anti- Buddhist CCP has NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER in the affairs of the Dalai Lama and His future reincarnation. The recognition of the Dalai Lama is strictly confined to the DEVINE GUARDIAN DEITY OF TIBET (Palden Lhamo) and high Lamas of Tibet in exile. Nobody, lest of all the evil CCP has any right or say in this affair!

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