There has been shock among Buddhists in Syracuse to have learned that China claims a successor chosen by the Dalai Lama would be illegal. The Buddhist community in Syracuse fears that this position by China may lead to greater hardships than ever for Buddhists in China when the Dalai Lama dies. Buddhists in Syracuse are sharing feelings of helplessness in being able to help their fellow Buddhists in China deal with such oppression from China and often pray the situation improves.
The Tibet Sun has reported “Successor chosen by Dalai Lama ‘illegal’: China.” After the Dalai Lama announced that he, and not Beijing, would decide whether he should be reincarnated, China said on Monday any successor chosen by the Dalai Lama would be “illegal”. The Dalai Lama, who is 76 years old, recently said he would decide when he was about 90 years old whether he should be reincarnated.
The Dalai Lama went on to say his decision would be made in consultation with other monks, and that China should have no say in the matter. China’s foreign ministry has said that any reincarnation process would have to be conducted in accordance with the nation’s “laws and regulation”. A Chinese government spokesman, Hong Lei, has told journalists “The title of Dalai Lama is conferred by the central government and is illegal otherwise.”
The Chinese government says there is a complete set of religious rituals and historical conventions in reincarnation of the Dalai Lama and that a Dalai Lama identifying his own successor has never been the practice. The Chinese government insists that the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama should follow religious rituals and historical conventions and laws and regulations of China.
There is now therefore the possibility of seeing two Dalai Lama’s arise in the future, one who is recognised by Beijing and the other chosen by exiles or with the blessing of the current Dalai Lama. In 1995 China rejected the Dalai Lama’s choice to be the next Panchen Lama, who is the second-highest ranking Tibetan Buddhist, and chose its own reincarnation.
The Chinese-raised Panchen Lama, Gyaincain Norbu, who is now 21 years old, often praises Beijing’s rule over Tibet. Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama’s selection, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, has not been seen since 1995 after he was detained by the Chinese authorities. Nevertheless, even as China refers to the Dalai Lama as a “has-been”, the Dalai Lama remains well respected by Buddhists and others worldwide.
Mandel News Service