Re: New Chinese Law Banning Dalai Lama Reincarnation
Feb 14, 2011 01:35 PM
Speaking about Tibetans, there are some interesting developments in the
Tibetan community in India. Never underestimate the ability of those
supposedly enlightened lamas to go nuts.
Quest for crown uncovers Tibetan politicking
The tale of two Karmapas
Tibetan Buddhism the Western way
China gains from India's Tibetan bungle
<http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/MB12Df02.html> (in 3 parts)
Excerpts from the last article:
China is looking on with a certain amount of satisfaction as India
bungles the management of a key anti-China strategic asset - the Tibetan
emigre and indigenous ethnic Tibetan Buddhist communities in north India
- with a high-profile, borderline xenophobic campaign against the
Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, a young monk widely viewed as the
designated successor to the Dalai Lama as the symbol of Tibetan culture,
religion and national aspirations.
Indian newspapers have been filled with accusations of financial
misconduct, intention to evade currency and real estate laws, and, most
provocatively, the claim that the Karmapa is a Chinese mole, receiving
bricks of Chinese cash that he intended to use to establish a string of
pro-Chinese monasteries on the Indian side of the border.
The story of the Karmapa is also the story of violent, bloody and
sometimes fatal struggles within Tibetan Buddhism, within the Kagyu sect
itself, and the determination of India's security establishment to
control Tibetan Buddhist affairs in the sensitive border regions.
...the Dalai Lama's decidedly un-Buddhist brother, Gyalo Thondup - who
was the US Central Intelligence Agency liaison for the secret war
against the Chinese occupation of Tibet - spearheaded the creation of a
"united front" that would centralize the control of the fractious emigre
community and sects under the control of the government in exile in
Dharmsala. The other sects were apparently loathe to bow to Gelugpa
control and formed their own political organization, the "Fourteen
Settlements" group under the leadership of Gungthang Tsultrim.
In 1977, Gungthang was assassinated. His assassin allegedly told police
that he had been paid $35,000 to commit the crime by the
government-in-exile, and further alleged that he had been promised a
bounty of double that amount to kill the current Karmapa.
The situation was complicated by a split within the Kagyu sect itself
upon the death of the 16th Karmapa in 1981.The conflict boils down to
the rivalry between two Rinpoche in the Kagyu order, Tai Situ Rinpoche
and Shamar Rinpoche ("Rinpoche" is an honorific typically applied to
Tai Situ Rinpoche claimed to have found a secret note from the 16th
Karmapa that directed him to the boy subsequently acknowledged by the
Dalai Lama and enthroned in 1992 as Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th
Shamar Rinpoche had none of that, asserting that a dream led him to a
different Karmapa, one Trinley Thaye Dorje, whom he quietly brought to
India from the PRC and enthroned in 1994.
Adherents of Shamar Rinpoche consider Ogyen Trinley Dorje's
acknowledgement by the Dalai Lama as a piece of low, Gelugpa
skullduggery. An America student of Shamar Rinpoche, Erik Curren, wrote
a book on the Karmapa controversy titled "Buddha's Not Smiling". Talking
to Asia Times, Mr Curren characterized the elevation of Ogyen Trinley
Dorje as a virtual coup d'etat against the Kagyu sect by the Dalai Lama,
with the intention of elevating an easily-manipulated son of nomads to
the position of Karmapa.
Shamar Rinpoche's followers have also hinted that a neutral Rinpoche was
murdered during the trip to Tibet to find Ogyen Trinley Dorje so he
wouldn't complicate the selection process. They have also alleged that
the young man now in Dharmsala isn't even Ogyen Trinley Dorje at all.
A 1998 suit filed by a follower of Shamar Rinpoche further accused Tai
Situ Rinpoche-and the Dalai Lama and his brother-of scheming to seize
Rumtek, destabilize Sikkim, and hand it over to the Chinese.
Certainly, beyond pleasant Buddhist platitudes concerning universal
brotherhood, Tai Situ Rinpoche has made no secret of his efforts to
re-establish his position inside Tibet with the help of the Chinese
He has rebuilt his traditional seat, Palpung Monastery, in western
Sichuan province. His lavish website offers gorgeous views of the
monastery and states that 300 students and 50 monks reside there.
For its part, the Chinese government appears to encourage the
establishment of Tibetan organizations overseas that are affiliated with
partisans of Tai Situ Rinpoche and promote Ogyen Trinley Dorje as the
After a car belonging to an associate of the Karmapa was inspected on
January 26 (itself perhaps an indication of heightened scrutiny),
revealing a suitcase of cash, the Karmapa's residence - the Gyuto
Tantric Buddhist and University - was raided. The eager Indian press was
deluged with information concerning the suspicious mounds of cash -
allegedly worth US$1 million if the face value of supposedly counterfeit
rupees was counted - found in the residence, including the equivalent of
over one hundred thousand US dollars in yuan notes.
The anti-Karmapa wind in the Indian press continued with the Times of
India reporting that crucial medical records - that might have revealed
the Karmapa as an over-age imposter - had vanished.
India's The Telegraph provided the insinuations-or trial balloons - from
inside the Indian government concerning the Karmapa's possible arrest
and deportation as a Chinese "agent of influence."
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