2808China: Monks must get OK to be reincarnated
- Aug 18, 2007This was published in our local paper. Was thinking Klemp could very
well use this tactic in the future with his membership.
Published August 18, 2007
It turns out China is doing more than exporting poisonous toothpaste,
toys coated with lead paint and tires guaranteed to blow apart at 70
They have decreed that Buddhist monks in Tibet have to get government
permission before they can reincarnate.
I hate it when that happens. It just spoils the whole death-to-new-
life experience. Just when you're set to move on to that next step of
existence, some bureaucrat wants you to fill out a bunch of papers.
The irony, of course, is that an atheistic government now gets to
decide whether you get to reincarnate yourself. Go figure. Please.
Of course this is ridiculous. But there's something more sinister
going on. China's communist rulers aren't just trying to make a
mockery of the religion in a nation that has struggled under the heel
of Mao Zedong's thugs since 1950.
What the Central Committee in Beijing wants is to further weaken the
influence of the exiled Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, who is
no friend of the Chinese. The new order, in effect, gives China the
power to pick the next Dalai Lama, someone they plan to keep on a
very short leash - and in Tibet.
Tibetans believe in reincarnation. Buddhism teaches that the Dalai
Lama's soul is reborn continually as a new human. The current Dalai
Lama, who has been living in India since 1959, has said he refuses to
be reborn in Tibet as long as China rules. This assumes he can
control such things.
Anyhow, the succession process could end up with two Dalai Lamas -
one in Tibet picked by China and another from elsewhere picked by the
current exiled Dalai Lama.
All of this has created much stress for Tibet and its belief system
based on peace and relieving human suffering.
Still the notion of having to get an atheistic government's
permission to carry out a religious act is laughable. I can just
picture the scene in some bureaucrat's office in Beijing:
"Excuse me, I'd like permission to be reincarnated."
"Where are you from?"
"Here, fill out these forms in triplicate. Oh, and no praying while
you are in here. This is the Great Hall of Belief, which means belief
in the Communist Party. Oh, by the way, do you have anything you'd
like to export to the United States? Toys? Dog food? Pirated
electronics? Flammable children's clothing? It's big business these
days. We'll give you a 10% cut, and your product doesn't even have to
work. The Americans don't inspect what they buy from us. They're so
"No, I just want to be reincarnated."
"You aren't trying to become the next Dalai Lama, are you?"
"I really can't say."
"Well, unless you plan to come back as a butterfly or an ox, you'll
have to fill out more than those forms. We have rules, you know."
"Like the ones you used to invade Tibet?"
With friends like the Chinese, nobody needs enemies.
Especially the Tibetans.
- Next post in topic >>