Database set up to combat fake Living Buddhas

Updated: 2015-12-08 07:15

By Cui Jia/Luo Wangshu(China Daily)

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Certifying a Living Buddha

Xu Wei

Living Buddhas, also known as Rinpoches or Tulkus, are deeply revered monks in Tibetan Buddhism, where it is believed that the soul of a senior Buddha is reincarnated in a child on his death.

There are 358 Living Buddhas in the Tibet autonomous region, according to a white paper released by the State Council in September.

The reincarnation of a Living Buddha, which dates to the 13th century, must complete these procedures:

1. After the death of a Living Buddha, a ceremony is held to honor the body and pray for rebirth.

2. A search team headed by a Living Buddha is sent first to Lhamo Latso-the Oracle Lake-in Tibet to seek prophetic visions of the reincarnation.

3. Living Buddhas are then sent in disguise to scour Tibet for special signs of a reincarnation. These include new mothers who have had unusual dreams and children who have special knowledge without being taught. Dozens of candidates are designated.

4. Final confirmation of the reincarnation is decided by the drawing of lots from a golden urn in the Jokhang Monastery in Lhasa.

5. The reincarnation process is completed after an enthronement ceremony.

In September 2007, the State Administration for Religious Affairs said all reincarnations of Living Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism must receive government approval.

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