Since being a child, I had been told by my school teachers over and over again that “Religion is the opium etherizing people’s spirit”, a piece of logion written by Karl Marx. And every time after that statement the teachers would add: “As a member of the socialistic nation, every one of us is an atheist.” Well, it sounds nice. Ironically, for so many reasons the real activity of Communist Party is quite distinct from their propaganda of atheist, especially when it comes to political movements as to Tibet. Last week, when Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader and Nobel Prize laureate, announced publicly the possibility that he might choose a successor by appointment or through an election before his death, Beijing government instantly denounced that it disobeyed the Tibetan rite. “The reincarnation of ­living Buddhas…” said the Chinese foreign ministry. “clearly violated religious rituals and historical customs.”


What? Don’t you think what you are talking about is something that is in somebody else’s courtyard? It seems that those Communists are not only good advocators of atheism, but also intending to be Tibetan monks who take the responsibility of their own religious ritual.

Sweet crap!

In actuality, Beijing government doesn’t really care about religious stuff. The reincarnation of the living Buddhas got tinted with political shade for the most part. “Beijing’s defence of reincarnation as a succession principle highlights its determination to maintain control over religious and political life in the remote and sometimes restive Himalayan region.” Financial Times commentated on November 23, 2007.

According to Tibetan ­Buddhist beliefs, the soul of senior clerics such as the Dalai Lama and the second-ranking Panchen Lama are reborn after their deaths and the resulting “soul boy” can be found through the interpretation of arcane signs. Such children are then brought up in monasteries to take the place of the deceased monk.

Wait a minute. Even the Tibetan themselves described the seeking for “soul boy” as “arcane”, how could those Communist atheist tell the Tibetan who is the right one? But, anyway they made it.

Beijing in 1995 intervened in the selection of the 11th Panchen Lama, denouncing the choice of a boy approved by the Dalai Lama and imposing its own candidate. In September, the communist state moved to widen its influence over the process of finding the transmigrated “soul boys” by regulating the succession of less venerated Tibetan clerics, issuing new rules that declare any reincarnations without government consent illegal.

I had read some news articles on BBC websites a couple of weeks ago or thereabout that when Dalai Lama recently won meetings with the leaders of the US, Germany, Austria and Australia, in spite of fierce Chinese objections. Beijing officials insist the current Dalai Lama is a “splittist” determined to divide Tibet from the Chinese “motherland”, although the Tibetan leader himself says he merely wants real autonomy for the region.

It is a pity for us to see that the political conflicts erode the tradition of religion no matter it is Chinese or Tibetan. I once read a book written by Jung Chang concerning with the Tibet and Dalai Lama in which the author described the tragedy and destruction Chinese Communist Party brought to Tibet after 1949. As far as I know, since the death of Chairman Mao our government had realized the maleficence it did to Tibetan people and its culture and made a series of policies as remediation. But the most important part of remediation is, in my perspective, the respect of Tibetan’s will–instead of the impact produced by the government–on how to choose their religious leader.

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