China’s law on reincarnation

6 Mar

The law which was put in place in 2007 strictly stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate, it is “an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation” (The Huffington post, 2007). But beyond the irony lies China’s true motive: to cut off the influence of the Dalai Lama. This law means that Reincarnation Applications must be filed by all Buddhist temples in China before they are allowed to recognize individuals as tulkus (reincarnated teachers).  It also means that individuals who plan to be reborn must complete an application and submit it to several government agencies for approval.

“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” (The Huffington post, 2007).

The Dalai Lama, who has lived in India since 1959 leading the Tibetan government in exile, 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” (The Huffington post, 2007).


One Response to “China’s law on reincarnation”

  1. iw4g11iw4g11 March 6, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    In light of the discrimination, oppression and suppression this seems an arbitrary law to enforce. However the Dalai lama’s influential position makes this a very politically influential move by China. Though considering the character and role of the Dalai lama it seems some what an unnecessary antagonising act. China has effectively had free reign over tibet’s resources and imposed its will upon it so this act is a very controversial one considering its minimal effects on China’s power over Tibet. What this does highlight is Chinas attitude towards its smaller less powerful neighbours and should be a stark warning to its neighbours who may at this time feel china is a strong partner. This draws comparisons with techniques that America adopted in the past with its South American neighbours. Though now the world is watching it will be an interesting aspect of Chinas expansion. Its “Aid” to Africa highlights its intentions to have political and economic influence internationally . We can only hope that the American strategy of war will not be mimicked by a country with the largest army in the world.

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