Saturday, August 04, 2007

state-sponsored rebirth

China continues to sink its talons into Tibetan Buddhism. Now I see that the Chinese government is telling the "living Buddhas" that any and all "reincarnation" (actually rebirth; reincarnation is Hindu) is subject to state approval, without which it is to be considered null and void.

Rumor has long had it that the current Dalai Lama might simply announce that he is the last incarnation of his lineage. I think this is a clever political move (the metaphysics don't concern me much, as I don't subscribe to the doctrine of rebirth any more than I subscribe to the idea that one's immortal soul literally goes to heaven or hell); it would break spiritual ties with the Chinese-dominated Tibetan community and allow the Buddhist presence in Dharamsala to, effectively, begin again on its own: a Tibetan tradition not at all beholden to Old Tibet. Old Tibet is, after all, dead-- murdered by China.


No comments: