Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Chinese Communist Party new expertise: reincarnations

Padma Choling showing his knowledge about 'reincarnation'
On the sideline of the National People’s Congress in Delhi, Padma Choling, (alias Pema Thinley), Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Regional People's Congress and only ‘ethnic’ Tibetan member of the CCP’s Central Committee, created a flutter when he said:“It's not up to the Dalai Lama [to decide about his own reincarnation].”
Though Padma Choling also stated that the door for a dialogue with the 14th Dalai Lama is ‘always open’, he added: "how the dialogue would be held and what to discuss [will] totally depend on the Dalai Lama's attitude.”
The Tibetan official objected to the Dalai Lama’s announcement that ‘his traditional religious role should cease with his death’. Padma Choling affirmed that it was against “the Tibetan Buddhism tradition as the soul of a senior lama is reincarnated in the body of a child on his death. …[as] the move is expected to upset the reincarnation system that has been honored for hundreds of years in Tibet and destabilize the Buddhist region.”
The Central Committee member added that the process: “should follow strict historical conventions and required religious rituals of the Tibetan Buddhism …and be approved by the central government.”
For him, “it's not up to the Dalai Lama [to decide].”
For Beijing, it is for the all-powerful Communist Party of China to do so.
An atheist Party, which has unexpectedly become expert in ‘religious matters’, believes that the Dalai Lama’s claims to stop his lineage (more correctly the institution of the Dalai Lamas) “is blasphemy against the Tibetan Buddhism.”
It is clear that Padma Choling has no clue about ‘reincarnation affairs’; it is logical as he is only a Marxist politician (perhaps with a great knowledge in Karl Marx’ theory).
Don’t you thing that Marx must have turned in the tomb, if he heard the uttering of his Tibetan follower?
When Padma Choling speaks about ‘soul reincarnation’, isn’t it a Marxist blasphemy?
The minimum that Beijing should have done was to file their Panchen Lama to speak about ‘reincarnation’; it would have sounded more logical, even if not very plausible.
The issue of reincarnation is complicate, it has too many ‘inner’ intricacies that a Communist leader to can’t really understand; therefore Padma Choling and his colleagues should have the modesty not to argue about it.
The problem for Beijing is that Gyaltsen Norbu, their designated Panchen Lama is perhaps not ready to speak against the Dalai Lama, as he may have some clue about Buddhist philosophy.
In any case, how can the complexed issue of ‘reincarnation’ be rigidly ‘regulated’ by a political Party?
Take the case of Tsangyang Gyatso, the 6th Dalai Lama, born in India (Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh).
On June 28 1706, Lhazang Khan, a Mongol leader deposed the young Dalai Lama and enthroned another person, Ngawang Yeshe Gyatso as the ‘true’ Sixth Dalai Lama; while Tsangyang Gyatso was arrested, the usurper was installed in the Potala Palace.
Suddenly, at the behest of Lhazang Khan, Tsangyang Gyatso received an invitation to the Imperial Palace in Beijing; he was therefore taken away from Lhasa under Mongol escort, to China.
According to the official history, Tsangyang Gyatso died from fever on the way, at Kunganor on November 15, 1706.
But according his ‘Secret Biography’, he escaped the Mongols, who had planned to kill him and secretly left for Mongolia where he first became a wandering monk and then settled in Alashan, today located in Inner Mongolia.
His ‘Secret Biography’ said that Tsangyang Gyatso passed away in 1746, forty years after his official death. He built a large number of monasteries and had thousand of disciples. Only a very few knew who he really was.
A website 'Treasury of Lives’ explains:
In Alashan, one of the Sixth Dalai Lama's principal patrons was Gushri Khan’s grandson Abo who, with his wife, also became one of his most constant lay students. From this connection, he developed good relations with representatives of the Manchu Emperor, who were keen to have him occupy a position of importance within the Buddhist hierarchy. In addition to his involvement with Jakrong, he became the abbot of thirteen monasteries.
The Dalai Lama's last poem before his presumed death is known by all. It announced his return as the VIIth Dalai Lama.
Oh White Crane!
Lend me your wings
I shall not fly far
From Lithang, I shall return
Two years later a young boy Kalsang Gyaltso was born in Lithang (Eastern Tibet) who would soon be recognised as the VIIth Dalai Lama.
And the story goes on...
The Thirteenth Dalai Lama once told Sir Charles Bell, the British Political Officer in Lhasa: "He (the Sixth) did not observe even the rules of a fully ordained monk; he drank wine habitually. And he used to have his body in several place at the same time, e.g. in Lhasa, in Kongpo (a province seven day's journey east of Lhasa), and elsewhere. Even the place whence he retired to the Honourable Field (i.e. died) is uncertain; one tomb of his is in Alashan in Mongolian where there is another in Drepung monastery. One if his bodies used to appear in the crowd in the Reception Hall of the Seventh Dalai Lama. One is said to appear also at my receptions, But I am unable to say whether this is true or not".
I am recounting this story just to say that ‘reincarnation’ has many esoteric aspects that a Communist Party’s cadre can’t grasped and even less regulate (he can only understand the political aspect like Lhazang Khan).
Unfortunately, Beijing sees only the latter aspect of the issue.
Presume that one day The Communist Party would ‘discover’ its own ‘Dalai Lama’, does it mean the spirit of the Tibetan people will be tamed?
Certainly not, on the contrary!
Tibetans are no fools!
Their only alternative for Beijing is to deal with the present Dalai Lama, who is the most reasonable person that can be found and if the Party is really interested in a long-lasting solution to the Tibetan issue.
But the problem of the leaders in Beijing is that they don’t know what is good for them.

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