Aw, damn, those oppressive bureaucrats in China are really oppressive –
now they’re six years ago they started saying monks have to get government permission before they can reincarnate! That’s just mean.
China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission. According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month and strictly stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate, is “an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation.”
It’s an interesting notion, “the procedures by which one is to reincarnate” – what would those be, do you suppose? And how do you know you’ve performed them, and how do you know you’ve performed them correctly?
By barring any Buddhist monk living outside China from seeking reincarnation, the law effectively gives Chinese authorities the power to choose the next Dalai Lama, whose soul, by tradition, is reborn as a new human to continue the work of relieving suffering.
I like that “by tradition” – that tiny, lightly disguised admission that actually it’s just a story.
At 72, the Dalai Lama, who has lived in India since 1959, is beginning to plan his succession, saying that he refuses to be reborn in Tibet so long as it’s under Chinese control. Assuming he’s able to master the feat of controlling his rebirth, as Dalai Lamas supposedly have for the last 600 years, the situation is shaping up in which there could be two Dalai Lamas: one picked by the Chinese government, the other by Buddhist monks.
Another admission! Two admissions in fact – “assuming he’s able to master the feat” and “supposedly.” But anyway, if Dalai Lamas can control their rebirths, why can’t they do it from India just as well as from Tibet? Or for that matter from Alaska or New Zealand? Or Disney World, or Malibu, or Omaha.