Be Done with the Reincarnation System (But not the Belief)

by Aik Theng Chong, The Buddhist Channel, March 17, 2015

Singapore -- In reference to the article ‘Dalai Lama's plan to end reincarnation blasphemous: China’; So now the word ‘blasphemous’ has start to creep into the Buddhist faith, no least from a lay person against a religious leader of the faith. One starts to wonder, how such individual as Padma Choling has become more knowledgeable and authoritative then the Dalai Lama himself on such an issue.


The Office of the Dalai Lama was start by Gedun Drub, the 1st Dalai Lama to promote the smooth transition of spiritual leaders from one generation to the next.

This is a tradition of the Gelugpa sect although the belief in reincarnation is followed in all Tibetan Buddhism. It is the prerogative of the Office of the Dalai Lama to decide whether there is a need to follow strict historical conventions and required religious rituals in such selection, and certainly not that of the Chinese government. The present Dalai Lama should know that pretty well for himself. After all, he is the one who will be deciding where he wishes to be reborn. He certainly does not need to seek the approval of the Chinese government on when to die and where/when he will be reincarnated.

Has Padma Choling and the Chinese government forgotten, that Tibetan Buddhism is now practice not just by the Tibetan people alone but by people of many races throughout the world? That the Dalai Lama is not a piece of property of the Communist China, but a religious leader to many others not connect with Tibet or Tibetans?

It would be more palatable if the Chinese government would come out in all honesty that they need the next Dalai Lama to be born in Tibet, i.e. a Chinese citizen so that they can make use of him as a mouth piece to control the Tibetan population and fulfill their agenda in Tibet in as smooth and as fast a way as possible.

The present deadlock that we see between the Dalai Lama and Chinese government is not doing the religion any good. One can see that whatever the Dalai Lama says, whether he is going to be the last Dalai Lama, or he is going to be born out of the China, the Chinese government will ultimately and eventually select their own Dalai Lama  irregardless of whether the Tibetan people accept such appointment or not. The likelihood is that, the majority would not care or respect such an appointee. A situation of this nature would erode the importance of Buddhism to the Tibetan people.

It may be best that the Dalai Lama give his now ‘famous smile’ to the Chinese government and said ‘I will reincarnate myself in Tibet’ and be done with the whole reincarnation system. After all, in the present modern context, the system does not serve any more useful purpose. If the whole issue continues to drag, the eventual ultimate loser will be Buddhism itself. It will then be a sad day indeed.