Sunday, June 9, 2013

China lacks 'Buddhist' credibility

Dupkang 'Rinpoche' in Kalmikya Republic (3rd from left)
5th from left is the prime minister
The Chinese Communist Party every day becomes more interested in 'spiritual' matters. 
It regularly sponsors 'Buddhist' events and lectures by 'rinpoches' to convince the Tibetan masses that Beijing genuinely respects their faith.
Unfortunately (for Beijing), the Party is also aware that the Dalai Lama has still a considerable  (and genuine) following in Tibet and abroad.
This explains Beijing's nervousness as demonstrated by the interview in a Hong Kong weekly, of Prof. Jin Wei of the Central Communist Party School; she advocated a softer line towards the Dalai Lama in order to 'convince' him that he should reincarnate in China.
The problem seems that Tibet is today very short of genuine 'rinpoches' or spiritual teachers. If the 15th Dalai Lama one day takes birth abroad, it might be difficult for the Party to play a convincing role on the Tibetan plateau.
Look at the report published in China Tibet Online about a Seminar on the Tibetan Buddhism Doctrine Elaboration held recently in Lhasa at the Tibet Buddhist Academy (it should more rightly be called the Central Communist Party Buddhist School).
The main speaker was the 16-year old 7th Reting Rinpoche who can't be taken seriously from the fact that he has been a 'political' choice (through the (in)famous Golden Urn) of his mentor, another 'rinpoche', Dupkang Tupden Kedup, the Chancellor of the Tibet Buddhist Academy and Head of the Tibet branch of the China Buddhist Association.
Incidentally, both 'rinpoches' are native of Nagchu, once the main center of power in the Tibetan Autonomous Region; this was especially true when Raidi (known as the head of the Nagchu clique) was Chairman of the Standing Committee of the People's Congress (1993-2003).
Apparently, the Tibet Tibetology Research Centre has collected for the Seminar, 73 articles on topics such as "Patriotism vs Piety", "To be Buddhist monks and nuns of the new era", "How to cherish life", etc. Rather political issues!Beijing's rinpoches (selected and groomed by the Party) lack today credibility.
Ironically, Wang Pijun, president of the China Tibet Online recently gave a speech on the occasion of the opening of an exhibition, "Beauty of Tibet" in Australia.
The Party cadre stated that Chinese masses, including Tibetans (sic) would agree to the Dalai Lama's return to China at some conditions; one of them is: "The Chinese generally hold that eminent monks are respected for their credibility. However, the 14th Dalai Lama left China in 1959 on his own decision, so his capricious nature makes people believe that he is either incredible or ill-intentioned."
Wang Pijun probably means 'non-credible' and not 'incredible'; Wang however should be advised to look at the historical records of the 'incredible' scenes in 1979/80 when the 3 first facts-finding delegations visited Tibet: the entire population in valleys, hamlets, villages and towns turned out to have the Darshan of the Dalai Lama's representatives.
Has it changed 34 years later? 

Young Rinpoche stresses environmental protection in Buddhist doctrines
June 8, 2013
China Tibet Online
Can Cai
The first Tibetan Buddhism Doctrine Elaboration Seminar was held in Lhasa from June, 6th to June, 7th at the Tibet Buddhist Academy. During the session, the 7th Reting Rinpoche, by referring to the doctrines of Tibetan Buddhism, elaborated the reasons of the frequently-occurred natural disasters, i.e. earthquake, fire, landslide that took place in the early years of the century.
His environment-themed dissertation entitled the light of Bodhi had been honored with excellence.
The 7th Reting Rinpoche pointed put that it is the human being's desire that leads to disharmony between people and people, humans and animals and mankind and nature. These, in turn, lead to occurrence of various disasters. "Benevolence is the seed of ecological harmony. On the other hand, malicious deeds of destroying ecology cause frequentation of disasters."
The 7th Reting Rinpoche, whose birth name was Sonam Puncog, was born in 1997 in a herdsman's family in Jiali County, Nagqu Prefecture of Tibet Autonomous Region. He was chosen as the reincarnated soul boy after the 6th Retting Rinpoche passed away. He was tonsured and enthroned on 16th of January and 14th of July, 2000 respectively.
Dupkang Tupden Kedup, Chancellor of the Tibet Buddhist Academy, said the seminar offers an opportunity to clarify Tibetan Buddhist doctrines, collect wisdom, accumulate experience and to make headways in the cause of Tibetan Buddhism.
Dawa Tsering,the chairman of the Buddhist Association of Lhoka Prefecture of Tibet Autonomous Region, said, "Buddhism is aimed to bring about happiness to mankind by eradicating root causes of suffering and by devoutly practicing Buddhist doctrines. Tibetan Buddhism, since introduced to Tibet, has been standing out among a world of religions with its creativity, correctness and comprehensiveness. With the development of time, Tibetan Buddhism plays a key role in the nation's development."
During the two days, learned scholars and eminent monks carried out the discussions on the topic of commandment explanation. They hold the opinion that to make Buddhism better understood by Buddhist followers, it is a must to hold fast to the essence and resist infiltrations of what is decadent and backward. It is advised to find a point where Tibetan Buddhism and the Chinese culture can perfectly blend. And it is paramount to advocate benevolence and promote the preservation and inheritance of Tibetan Buddhism.
On the afternoon of June, 7th, a number of eminent monks wearing white khadas (a piece of silk representing auspiciousness) on their necks, walked out of the auditorium and took commemorative photos in the modernly designed garden-style campus. Among them, the first batch of over 150 students will graduate in July, 2013 from the college where they have been living for three years and return to the monasteries where they come from.
Established in 2009, the Tibet Budhhist Academy is located 27 kilometers away from Lhasa and covers an area of 262.48 mus (about 15 hectares). It has three departments, namely Esoteric Buddhism, Exoteric Buddhism and Rinpoche and offers three categories of courses, including laws, public courses and Buddhism studies.

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