CCP’s control over Reincarnation system of Tibetan Buddhism

The reincarnation custom is a very old tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The first ever
incarnated lama in the history of Tibetan reincarnation was Karmapa Pakshi. He was
recognised as the reincarnation of Karmapa Dusum Kyenpa some eight hundred years
ago. From this, the custom of reincarnation spread like a fire among the four schools of
Tibetan Buddhism. This way of selecting Tibetan spiritual leaders made the leadership
succession smooth and by and large provided stable and, in most cases, inspired and
inspirational spiritual leadership. This tradition of reincarnation of Lama is a very
private and personal custom & practice of the Buddhist devotees and preachers. This is
a unique bond between the Lama’s and their believers ever since this tradition set off.
In Tibetan Buddhism, there are numerous lamas, tulkus, Rinpoches. And these
individuals were always a reincarnation of their previous forms. Since, His Holiness the
Dalai Lama is the holiest spiritual leader of Tibet, he used to recognise Lamas and tulkus.
Likewise, the masses with their full beliefs accept those Lamas as their legitimate
spiritual guide. Such practice used to go smoothly and created the entire system stable
until the CCP’s unreasonable involvement.
If we revisit the history of the reincarnation system of Tibetan Buddhism, many high
lamas or tulkus incarnations spread to different countries who follow Tibetan Buddhism.
The 6th Dalai Lama was born in Tawang. His Holiness the Jetsun Dampa is considered
as the third highest lama in the Tibetan Buddhist hierarchy and the spiritual leader of
the Gelug Lineage. He is the Bodg Khan of Mongolian. And the 9th Jestun Dampa was
born as Jampal Namdol Chokyi Gyaltsen near the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, Tibet. This
indicates the spiritual linkage between these two countries. As of now, the 10th Jetsun
Dampa was already recognised by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. But his identity
has been kept as secret due to CCP’s threats, interferences, and the fear of their
involvement. Some experts claim that the Jetsun Dampa becomes the next potential
person who could recognise the next Dalai Lama. Because as of now the Panchen Lama
is not there, Jetsun Dampa will be a very crucial figure in this matter. Many people who
understand the unique spiritual relation between the Mongolians and Tibetans would
consider this fact to the utmost importance. As stated above, the 10th Jetsun Dampa is
not revealed mainly due to China.
China started interfering in the Tibetan religion sphere thinking that this would
undermine their true identity. Now the major concern or the interest of China lies in His
Holiness reincarnation. Their absurd claim includes their role in recognising the next
Dalai Lama, and saying only their approval of the 15th Dalai Lama would be the
legitimate Dalai Lama. CCP gradually started initiating policies and rules concerning
the reincarnation of Lamas. In 2007, China passed a national legislation law with
regards to reincarnation. Under this new law, they are not only to
control and undermine the Tibetan religious activities but ultimately meddle in the
selection of reincarnate lamas. The law basically excludes any foreign organizations or
individuals from the reincarnation selection process, obviously in an attempt to
legitimize China’s authority and exclude the Tibetan Diaspora on this matter. Most
absurd of all, individuals are required to submit an “ application for reincarnation” to
the government approval. And this is undoubtedly aimed at His Holiness the 14th Dalai
Lama and his future reincarnations. The Chinese government’s take on His Holiness
reincarnation is that selection of the next Dalai Lama has to be based on a combination
of not just historical rules but also current Chinese Laws. China has continously stated
that any reincarnation must be determined on the basis of the late 18th Century
procedure instituted by the Manchu Qing rulers. In 2011, new ordinances were
introduced which stationed party officials at monasteries for direct
supervision. Ironically, a Communist country whose legendary leader Chairman Mao
called religion as an opium is now all of sudden interested in the religion of someone
else. The Tibetans who are spiritually connected with His Holiness from ancient times
find China’s claim baseless and unreasonable. His Holiness himself stated that apart
from considering the legitimate methods by senior Lamas and following the old
traditions of selecting Dalai Lama, no recognition and acceptance should be given to
any candidate chosen for political ends by anyone, including those in the People’s
Republic of China.
His Holiness has further given a concrete explanation on how the reincarnation is a
phenomenon which should take place either through the voluntary choice of the
concerned person or at least on the strength of his or her karma, merit and prayers.
Therefore, the person who reincarnates has sole legitimate authority over where and
how he or she takes rebirth and how that reincarnation is to be recognized. It is a reality
that no one else can force the person concerned, or manipulate him or her. Which means
the future of Dalai Lama is entirely on his own hands. He said at his time of death he
will write some will and certainly he will born again somewhere in Buddhist community
So, it is particularly inappropriate for Chinese communists
China has always interfered in the matters of Tibet and has strongly condemned them
from exercising their spiritual practices to many more. However, for the Tibetans and
the believers of Tibetan Buddhism, His Holiness is their ultimate spiritual guide, so the
Chinese government game on planning to interfere on this matter means nothing.
Supposedly, CCP end up appointing their choice of Dalai Lama as how they did in the
past, would remain unattached to Tibetans. Just like how they consider the Chinese
appointed Panchen Lama as Panchen Zuma(fake).