China Experts answer your questions. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow-up questions are illegal and invalid.
Today: a question from our compatriot Mr. Wang, who lives in Chinese Keelung (基隆). At the desk today is Hermit, the Scientific Taoist Dragonfly.
Dear Mr. Hermit,
Five Living Buddhas were certified as Living Buddhas in a festive ceremony in Chengdu on Christmas Eve. The date confused me a bit, because I thought that Western religion and Buddhism are different things. Are they related somehow? And why are Living Buddhas ciertified by Li Chongxi (李崇禧), who is himself not actually a Buddhist? Why would the CCP engage in superstitious activities?
Dear Mr. Wang,
Your confusion is indeed not small. If you lived under our correct scientific guidance and leadership, this wouldn’t happen. But thank you for asking. As long as there are questions, there is always the hope for peaceful reunification and a better mutual understanding. I hope my efforts will also help our foreign friends to understand our motherland better.
The ceremony, of course, had nothing to do with Christmas. It was only advantageous to choose that day, because of some cosmic constellations which have nothing to do with Buddhism either, but were established
by the Imperial Observatory scientifically. The constellation on the ground was advantageous, too, because all the malicious foreign press people who could have made fun of the festive event otherwise were sitting under their christmas trees and singing superstitious songs. This would be a better world without superstition, but as long as superstition continues to exist among a few Chinese people (the Chinese people includes Taiwan, Tibet, and Xinjiang), reasonable scientific patriots need to make sure that even superstitious people are at least patriotic.
Also, superstitious behavior is often used by outside forces to create a lot of trouble in our harmonious country. Did you know that there are still some problems with the reincarnation of living Buddhas?
Some reincarnated soul boys were appointed against religious ritual and historical convention, and without the government’s approval. This violated the normal order of Tibetan Buddhism and undermined the internal integrity of Tibetan Buddhism. The personages of the Tibetan Buddhist circle strongly protested against such practice and asked the government to strengthen its governance. Implementation of the rule regularized living Buddhas’ reincarnation and met the demand of the Tibetan Buddhist circles and aspiration of the followers.
You will have guessed it: the splittist so-called Dailai and other splittist forces were behind some of these illegal and invalid practices, too. Superstition always leads to confusion. But there were good patriotic personages who at least wouldn’t allow that to disturb the harmony. That’s why the CCP must take good care of religious affairs. Based on science, we made sure that the real world (that’s ours) and superstition (that’s theirs) can harmoniously coexist.
The government only administers religious affairs of State and public interest and will not interfere in the pure internal affairs of religion. The authority prescribed by the rule includes:
– Accepting, verifying and approving applications for reincarnation.
– Approving requests for exemption of such ritual as a boy candidate can only be enthroned after he draws the lot with his name on it from a golden vase.
– Approving living Buddha succession.
– Approving the candidates for master interpreter and chanter of Buddhist scripture for the living Buddha and other related issues formed throughout history.
Living Buddhas, even though they only exist in their own superstitious imagination and that of a few other superstitious Chinese citizens, can play a constructive role in the happy life of our harmonious nation. They can also travel abroad and provide foreigners with vivid examples and detailed and accurate data about the happy life in our harmonious motherland.
Some other so-called Living Buddhas, on the other hand, have shown their unworthiness. Our procedures make sure that nothing terrible ever happens again. Unfortunately, some Han compatriots are also very superstitious.
Long live our Scientific Golden Vase of National Unity!
Pope’s message highlights tensions between Beijing and the Vatican, Irish Independent, December 26, 2010
We Can Stop the Music, October 20, 2008http://www.fjnet.com/jjdt/jjdtnr/201012/t20101225_174211.htm