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Saturday, April 3, 2021

Non-believers attempt to usurp religion - China attempts to control Dalai Lama

An existential crisis may occur when a person frequently wonders whether or not life has any inherent meaning or purpose. A person may also question their own existence within a world that might seem meaningless.  This is a different kind of ‘Existential Crisis’.  In Tamil Nadu, Temple are under the crutches of Govt and are administered by non-believers who use temple funds for all political reasons.  Sad state of affairs – more so with some parties even making election manifesto that they will usurp temple lands and distribute !  - whose land, why were they given, by whom, what was the purpose and how can such things happen !! 

In the Himalayas, a young monk, about to be crowned the Rinpoche of the monastery, is kidnapped by a gang of black magicians who wish to make a human sacrifice of Rinpoche to attain invincibility. The young Rinpoche manages to escape from the clutches of the magicians and runs away to Kathmandu. At the other end of the subcontinent, in a small village in Kerala, Ashokan (Mohanlal) is an unemployed youth of no great virtues ends up guarding …..  that was ‘Yodha’ – Malayalam movie of 1992 scripted by Sasidharan Arattuvazhi and directed by Sangeeth Sivan, starring Mohanlal in the lead. 

Dalai Lamas are worshipped  by Tibetan Buddhists to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and the patron saint of Tibet. Bodhisattvas are realized beings, inspired by the wish to attain complete enlightenment, who have vowed to be reborn in the world to help all living beings.  The current head is the 14th Dalai Lama - (Tenzin Gyatso, shortened from Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso).  He was born in Taktser village, Amdo, Tibet (currently administratively in Qinghai province, Republic of China), and was selected as the tulku of the 13th  Dalai Lama in 1937 and formally recognized as the 14th  Dalai Lama at a public declaration near the town of Bumchen in 1939.

Dalai Lama, His holiness is a world leader that is committed to promoting positive values such as, forgiveness, self-discipline, tolerance, compassion and contentment. He is a spiritual leader like no other and is highlighting the importance of happiness and world peace every minute of the day.   Millions of people turn to the Dalai Lama for inspiration.  He and his people have struggled all their lives with the audacity of hopelessness. Oppression and exile are their daily bread. Yet the Dalai Lama,  remains calm in the face of cruelty.   From 1642 until 1705, and from 1750 to the 1950s, the Dalai Lamas or their regents headed the Tibetan government (or Ganden Phodrang) in Lhasa which governed all or most of the Tibetan plateau with varying degrees of autonomy under the Qing Dynasty of China, up to complete sovereignty.   Tibet's sovereignty was later rejected, however, by both the Republic of China and the current People's Republic of China.

Now there is more controversy – dismissing China’s claim of appointing the next Dalai Lama, the President of the Tibetan Government in Exile has said that its Tibetans who have "copyright" over reincarnation, and Beijing plans to have a "duplicate" copy.

Lobsang Sangay, Sikyong (President) of the Central Tibetan Administration (Tibetan Government in Exile), said, "Communist Party of China has zero credibility, as far as reincarnation is concerned. The Communist Party believes in atheism. They say religion is poison, why do they want to interfere in our internal affairs." Responding to a question from Zee News in an event, Sangay who is the political successor to Dalai Lama, explained, "for almost thousand years, we the Tibetans have selected our own reincarnate lamas, including the Dalai Lamas. So, we have the patent and copyright over reincarnation. So, we are the original and the Chinese will have a duplicate. Original original hota hai, duplicate, duplicate."

China, which is possibly keen to increase its influence on Buddhism, has said that it will appoint the next Dalai Lama, the 15th in the line of succession. The current Dalai Lama is the 14th one and had to leave Tibet in 1959 after the region was occupied by China and has been living in exile ever since, though he is Internationally reputed and reverred.

Asked if China could do a repetition of Galwan or Doklam incident, he said, "very likely, 60 years ago after they occupied Tibet, they said, once we occupy Tibet as the palm, they will come after 5 fingers right. What you saw in Doklam, is one of the 5 fingers. What you saw in Galwan is one of the 5 fingers, these kinds of incursions will continue ultimately Chinese govt policy is expansionist. These kinds of incidents will keep happening."  The 2020 Galwan incident saw the death of 20 Indian soldiers at the Line of Control in Eastern Ladakh due to aggressive Chinese actions. The 2017 Doklam incident saw China trying to occupied Bhutanese territories, which was stopped by the Indian forces.

The United States recently said that the Chinese government shouldn't interfere in the succession process of Tibet's spiritual leader Dalai Lama and as it is an "outrageous abuse of religious freedom".  Replying to a question on Joe Biden's position on the issue of Dalai Lama's reincarnation, US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said "We believe that the Chinese Government should have no role in the succession process of the Dalai Lama".

Why should Communist China (who are atheists) try and control a religion and how can they select its leader ? – the same Q is very much relevant here too.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
3rd Apr 2021. 

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