The Chinese government might be powerful, but they are completely clueless in believing they can control the reincarnation of Tibet’s Dalai Lama. Zhu Weiqun, chairman of the ethnic and religious affairs committee to China’s parliament, makes absurd statements that his government is resolved to decide on the reincarnation of “living Buddhas, so as to ensure victory over the anti-separatist struggle.”
Tibetans are concerned that China will use the issue of the Dalai Lama’s succession to split Tibetan Buddhism, with one new Dalai Lama named by exiles and one by the government after his death.
Chinese officials have suggested that the current Dalai Lama has no right to abandon reincarnation. In a bizarre commentary, Zhu said the issue, “has never been purely a religious matter or to do with the Dalai Lama’s individual rights; it is first and foremost an important political matter in Tibet and an important manifestation of the Chinese central government’s sovereignty over Tibet. The central government will never give up, the right to decide the reincarnation affairs of the Dalai Lama.”
Who knew that Chinese Communism was so powerful it can now control the spiritual realms.
The current Dalai Lama has been upsetting the Chinese because, according Zhu, he suggested he may be reincarnated as an animal or “something entirely inappropriate.” And “he’s been proclaiming he’ll reincarnate as a foreigner, as a bee, as a mischievous blond girl, or even proposing a living reincarnation or an end to reincarnation.”
According to beliefs in Tibetan Buddhism, upon the death of a senior lama, his soul reincarnates in the body of a child. Such a child is named the successor to the existing lama. China claims the right to appointing the successor to the Dalai Lama.
In 1995, China put a boy in Tibet under house arrest, whom the Dalai Lama had named as the reincarnation of the previous Panchen Lama. China appointed another child in his place. Tenzin Taklha, a senior aide to the Dalai Lama, said Tibetans will never accept a successor appointed by China. “The Chinese are following an absurd agenda and we continue to reject it.”
The Dalai Lama’s formal position on the matter of his reincarnation is clear – in 2011 he issued an authoritative statement in which he said that he will make a decision on the future of the Dalai Lama lineage in around 2024 after consulting with other high lamas and the Tibetan public. Detailing how this would be carried out, he said: “Apart from the reincarnation recognized through such legitimate methods, no recognition or acceptance should be given to a candidate chosen for political ends by anyone, including those in the People’s Republic of China.”
During teachings in India in December 2015, the Dalai Lama noted that he was serious about the possibility of a female Dalai Lama as his reincarnation while reiterating that Beijing does not have any authority in choosing his successor.
“In future, if there is need for the institution of the Dalai Lama to continue, there may be a female Dalai Lama as well. I say this with good reason and no pun intended. In our ancient history, we have Samding Dorje Phagmo and other women as highest reincarnation (tulku). Even Buddha has given equal stature to both monks and nuns.”