China Demands that the Dalai Lama Reinarnate

In what may be the most ridiculous religious argument ever, the Chinese government is demanding that the Dalai Lama reincarnate when he dies. The Dalai Lama — good golfer, the Lama, but not a good tipper — has said that he will not do so as long as China continues to occupy Tibet.

The Dalai Lama, in an interview with German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, said the tradition of the post could end with him, adding the Tibetan Buddhism was not dependent on a single person.

The Dalai Lama, 79, has stated previously that he will not be reborn in China if Tibet is not free and that no one, including China, has the right to choose his successor “for political ends”. China has previously warned the Dalai Lama he has no right to abandon the tradition of reincarnation.

China, which regards the Dalai Lama as a dangerous separatist, has ruled Tibet with an iron fist since Communist troops marched in 1950. The Dalai Lama fled into exile in India in 1959 after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing that when it came to the reincarnation of living Buddhas, including the Dalai Lama, China had a “set religious procedure and historic custom”.

“China follows a policy of freedom of religion and belief, and this naturally includes having to respect and protect the ways of passing on Tibetan Buddhism,” Hua said.

“The title of Dalai Lama is conferred by the central government, which has hundreds of years of history. The (present) 14th Dalai Lama has ulterior motives, and is seeking to distort and negate history, which is damaging to the normal order of Tibetan Buddhism.”

China says they follow a policy of freedom of religion and belief. In related news, David Barton follows a policy of strict honesty at all times. And because they support freedom of religion, they demand that the Dalai Lama reincarnate. And if he doesn’t….then what? How would anyone know? And what are you going to do, put his corpse in prison?

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • D. C. Sessions

    And if he doesn’t….then what? How would anyone know? And what are you going to do, put his corpse in prison?

    Already answered: they’ll appoint someone and declare that he is the reincarnation etc. Quite possibly a newborn child who will be raised under the protection (and guidance) of the Chinese government.

    The title of Dalai Lama is conferred by the central government, which has hundreds of years of history.

  • matty1

    @1 That’s pretty much how it’s done anyway – the only difference will be the Chinese government replacing the senior Lamas in the role of ‘finding’ the reincarnated child and controlling his upbringing.

  • fmitchell

    And what are you going to do, put his corpse in prison?

    Pope Steven VI (or VII, depending how you count) put put his predecessor’s corpse on trial, so it’s not impossible.

  • laurentweppe

    because they support freedom of religion, they demand that the Dalai Lama reincarnate. And if he doesn’t….then what? How would anyone know?

    If he doesn’t, China will storm Heavens’ Gate and drag his sorry soul back to Earth and put him in one of Mao’s descendent just to spite him.

    In other news, I for one intend to start picketing Saint Peter’s Office as soon as I am dead and demand that no right-winger be allowed to reincarnate at least until humanity figures out how to build McKendree cylinders and master safe interstellar travel

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    It’s me. I preincarnated.

  • Johnny Vector

    Maybe they can get Willow and the rest of the Scooby gang back together (now that How I Met Your Mother is finished), and pull him back to life. Might have to reincarnate on a different network, though.

  • John Pieret

    I thought you didn’t have a choice but to reincarnate until you reached nirvana. Religion is soooooo hard!

  • matty1

    If I recall the DL is technically a Bodhisattva, meaning he already reached nirvana in an earlier life but chose to reincarnate anyway to spread Buddhism to others. That may mean he has an out

  • D. C. Sessions

    I thought you didn’t have a choice but to reincarnate until you reached nirvana.

    In theory the Dalai Lama is a soul who could hop off the wheel at any point, but has chosen to endure mortality for the sake of others.

  • Michael Heath

    This reminds me of the truism that non-universalist Christians are atheists regarding all gods but one (or three given the incoherent logic of trinitarians). That these Christians would find such a debate about the Dalai’s plans for reincarnation as absurd as an atheist, yet think their beliefs deserve respect and submission to in spite of theirs being equally absurd.

  • John Pieret

    If I recall the DL is technically a Bodhisattva, meaning he already reached nirvana in an earlier life but chose to reincarnate anyway to spread Buddhism to others.

    Oh, well … it all makes sense now!

  • matty1

    I like the image of the Red Army storming the gates of heaven only to find they’ve got the wrong afterlife.

    St Peter: Reincarnation – try next door

    Shiva: No, no this is Hindu reincarnation. Hang on let me get my address book…

  • Chiroptera

    I understand how the Chinese government feels. I just hate it when my lamas don’t reincarnate!

  • raven

    And what are you going to do, put his corpse in prison?

    Pope Steven VI (or VII, depending how you count) put put his predecessor’s corpse on trial, so it’s not impossible.

    What happened to oliver cromwell’s head when he died

    www. answers. com › … › History of England › Oliver Cromwell

    Oliver Cromwell was dug up and Charles II had him hung, drawn and … he was dug up and hanged by Charles II and was stuck on a pole for 24 years and then …

    Cromwell was dug up, tried, hung and his head stuck on a spike for 24 years.

    That is sort of barbaric. These days when someone we really dislike dies, we just cheer and dance on their grave. As in, Jerry Falwell, I’m looking at your grave with longing. Dick Cheney’s grave site will be a popular one too, and not in the way he hopes.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    The Dalai Lama fled into exile in India in 1959 after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule.

    Just for the record, and because Reuters as a “good” western news corporation will never bring this up on its own: that “abortive uprising” was planned, funded, and armed by the US Central Intelligence Agency, with whom the young Dalai Lama cooperated and without whose assistance in escaping he would have deincarnated over 60 years ago.

  • JoeBuddha

    Technically, a Buddha is supposed to appear when and where he wants. Bodhisattvas, depends on your tradition. Tibetan Buddhism is a local religion / Buddhism mash-up, so I’m not sure what they teach, but a Bodhisattva in their tradition may be able to call his shots.

    (Saying this as a Buddhist who doesn’t hold to the rebirth thing)

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Oops @ # my 15: … deincarnated over 50 years ago.

  • JoeBuddha

    BTW: It’s not really “reincarnation” but “rebirth”. Since there is no soul, there’s nothing to reincarnate. 😉

  • http://Atheistoasis.wordpress jamesarrgg

    The Dalai Lama is such a nice guy. I could never be any kind of a Lama. I woulda just said Fuuhhcckk Yoouu.

  • Sastra

    “The title of Dalai Lama is conferred by the central government, which has hundreds of years of history. The (present) 14th Dalai Lama has ulterior motives, and is seeking to distort and negate history, which is damaging to the normal order of Tibetan Buddhism.”

    Ha ha this is religion, Technically-Atheist Communist Government. They get to play Calvinball! They can make it up as they go along and claim its a divine revelation and there’s not a damn thing you can do because you’re technically-atheist and so you can’t play. Welcome to no-test-in-reality reality.

    Your only legitimate move now would be to join in the game by suddenly declaring the central government a religion inspired by mystical insights and no, you all meditated prayerfully and it was then revealed that the Dalai Lama IS going to be reincarnated this present one is corrupted by the world. Game on!

  • gopiballava

    I’m pretty sure this has something to do with the disagreement about who is rightfully the Panchen Lama. The Panchen Lama has a role in choosing the next Dalai Lama.

    China has their own candidate for Panchen Lama; the 6 year old who was chosen to be the Panchen Lama is somewhere in China under the protection of the Chinese government.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panchen_Lama

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/11th_Panchen_Lama_controversy

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    In theory the Dalai Lama is a soul who could hop off the wheel at any point, but has chosen to endure mortality for the sake of others.

    Because Deepak Chopra isn’t shovelling enough platitudes, apparently.

  • eddiejones

    WHAAAAAAATTT?????

  • Trebuchet

    Almost certainly after the current DL shuffles off this mortal coil, there will be two competing DL’s, both infants or small boys, found. One in Tibet, one out.

  • grumpyoldfart

    I love listening to the wise words of our 21st century world leaders.

  • jws1

    Trebuchet @24: sounds like the beginning of a plot line for an Eddie Murphy movie sequel.

  • birgerjohansson

    Bruce Willis, not Eddie Murphy! We have the plot of “Die So Hard You Reincarnate”!

    “Chinese agents level most of LA to get hold of a sacred artefact that will control reincarnation for select Buddhist individuals. A certain NY cop accidentally ends up in the middle, and shoots/blows up even more parts of the City.”

  • Nick Gotts

    The Dalai Lama, 79, has stated previously that he will not be reborn in China if Tibet is not free

    I’m confident the Dalai Lama is correct here: he will not be reborn in China if Tibet is not free. Nor if Tibet is free. Nor will he be reborn outside China, whether Tibet is free or not.

  • Pingback: An Open Letter to the Chinese Government | Cryptic Philosopher()

  • Dark Jaguar

    Funny thing is, saying he “won’t reincarnate” is basically true, and China’s the one being ridiculous for demanding him to.