Tibetan Buddhism has lengthy been led by the Dalai Lama, the 88-year-old religious chief who fled Tibet in 1959 and has been dwelling in exile in India ever since.
Beijing considers the Dalai Lama a separatist and asserts that solely the ruling Communist Celebration — an avowed atheist group — can identify his subsequent incarnation and people of different excessive lamas.
By looking for to regulate the faith’s management, China hopes it may all however erase the Dalai Lama’s affect in Tibet and any challenges to the occasion’s rule. Because the Dalai Lama has gotten older, pressure has mounted over the eventual contest between Tibetans in exile and Beijing over his legit reincarnation.
Why is Mongolia concerned?
The Dalai Lama instructions a big following in Mongolia, the place almost half the inhabitants of three.4 million identifies as Buddhist.
Tibetan Buddhism was launched to Mongolia greater than seven centuries in the past. The religion was violently suppressed for over 70 years when Mongolia got here below socialist rule in 1924, however Mongolians started re-embracing it following democratic reforms within the Nineties.
The reverence for the Dalai Lama has put the Mongolian authorities in a troublesome place as a result of it depends on China for just about all its commerce. Beijing closed border crossings between the 2 international locations, imposed tariffs and canceled bilateral talks in response to the final time the Dalai Lama visited Mongolia in 2016.
Who’s Mongolia’s religious chief?
The Bogd is the chief of Tibetan Buddhism in Mongolia. Recognized formally because the Jebtsundamba Khutughtu, the place dates again almost 400 years to descendants of the Mongol emperor Kublai Khan.
An 8-year-old boy presently represents the tenth incarnation of the Bogd (pronounced bogged). The earlier one died in 2012.
Whereas Tibetan Buddhists don’t adhere as strictly to hierarchy as different organized religions, just like the Roman Catholic Church, the Bogd is taken into account the third most vital senior place in Tibetan Buddhism after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama. The Panchen Lama was a herder’s son who was anointed by the Dalai Lama in 1995, however he was kidnapped by China and changed with a monk chosen by Beijing.
How are new lamas chosen?
The method is mysterious, at finest. Tibetan Buddhist leaders say they comply with an historical customized of parsing mystical visions and astrology to assist slender their search.
Candidates are then examined to see in the event that they present any traits that might be deemed particularly holy. Within the case of the boy chosen to be the subsequent Bogd, non secular officers mentioned he was only a toddler when he underwent a secret take a look at and efficiently recognized the earlier Bogd’s private artifacts.
Over the centuries, the method has been open to criticism that the choices have been about politics and typically corruption. Within the late 18th century, Emperor Qianlong of China tried to handle this by drawing heaps from a golden urn to pick lamas. This “golden urn” system has been resurrected by the Chinese language Communist Celebration as Beijing has pushed to regulate appointments of senior monks, although few exterior the nation take into account it legit.