Religion

Management Measures for the Reincarnation of Living Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism

Management Measures for the Reincarnation of Living Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism

Issued by: State Administration for Religious Affairs on July 18, 2007

The term Living Buddha(Tulku) emerged in the early Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) when Emperor Kublai Khan honored Pagba, head of the Sagya Sect, by granting him the title “Buddha of the Western Paradise.” Thereafter, eminent Tibetan monks who distinguished themselves in the practice of Buddhism were referred to as ”Living Buddhas.” However, the term Living Buddha was not recognized as a special title for a monk who became the successor of the deceased leader of a monastery until the eventual introduction of the Living Buddha reincarnation system [Ministry of foreign affairs People`s republic of China]

The above view may not be supported by Dalai Lama exciled in India

Order No. Five

These “Management measures for the reincarnation of living Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism” were passed at the administrative affairs conference of the State Administration of Religious Affairs on July 13, 2007, and will be implemented on September 1, 2007.

Bureau Director, Ye Xiaowen

July 18, 2007

Article 1: These measures have been formulated in accordance with the “Regulations on Religious Affairs” in order to guarantee citizens’ freedom of religious belief, to respect Tibetan Buddhism’s practice of inheriting living Buddha positions, and to regulate the management of living Buddha reincarnation affairs.

Article 2: Reincarnating living Buddhas should respect and protect the principles of the unification of the state, protecting the unity of the minorities, protecting religious concord and social harmony, and protecting the normal order of Tibetan Buddhism.

Reincarnating living Buddhas should respect the religious rituals and historically established systems of Tibetan Buddhism, but may not re-establish feudal privileges which have already been abolished.

Reincarnating living Buddhas shall not be interfered with or be under the dominion of any foreign organization or individual.

Article 3: Reincarnating living Buddhas should have the following conditions:

(1) A majority of local religious believers and the monastery management organization must request the reincarnation;
(2) The inheritance lineage should be real and have continued to the present day;
(3) The monastery applying for the living Buddha reincarnation must be the monastery at which the living Buddha monk is registered, it must be registered as a Tibetan Buddhist place of religious activity, and it must have the ability to train and raise living Buddhas.

Article 4: Applicants to be reincarnating living Buddhas who have any of the following conditions may not be reincarnated:

(1) Reincarnations which are not regulated by the religious doctrine of Tibetan Buddhism;
(2) Those in city-level people’s governments and above with delineated districts, which ordered no reincarnations to be permitted.

Article 5: Reincarnating living Buddhas should carry out application and approval procedures.

The application and approval procedure is: the management organization at the monastery applying for the living Buddha reincarnation where the monk is registered, or the local Buddhist Association, should submit applications for reincarnations to the local religious affairs departments at the level of people’s government above county-level; once the people’s government above county-level has made suggestions, the people’s government religious affairs department reports upwards, and examination and approval shall be made by the provincial or autonomous regional people’s government religious affairs department. Living Buddha reincarnations who have a relatively large impact shall be reported to the provincial or autonomous regional people’s government for approval; those with a great impact shall be reported to the State Administration for Religious Affairs for approval; those with a particularly great impact shall be reported to the State Council for approval.

Verification and authorization of the living Buddha application should solicit the opinions of the corresponding Buddhist Association.

Article 6: When there is debate over the size of a living Buddha’s impact, the China Buddhist Association shall officiate, and report to the State Administration of Religious Affairs to be put on the record.

Article 7: Once an application for a living Buddha’s reincarnation has received approval, depending on the size of the living Buddha’s impact, the corresponding Buddhist Association shall establish a reincarnation guidance team; the management organization at the monastery where the living Buddha is registered, or the corresponding Buddhist Association, shall establish a search team to look for the reincarnate soul child, and search affairs shall be carried out under the leadership of the guidance team.

The reincarnate soul child shall be recognized by the provincial or autonomous regional Buddhist Association or the China Buddhist Association in accordance with religious rituals and historically established systems.

No group or individual may without authorization carry out any activities related to searching for or recognizing reincarnating living Buddha soul children.

Article 8: Living Buddhas which have historically been recognized by drawing lots from the golden urn shall have their reincarnating soul children recognized by drawing lots from the golden urn.

Requests not to use drawing lots from the golden urn shall be reported by the provincial or autonomous regional people’s government religious affairs departments to the State Administration of Religious Affairs for approval; cases with a particularly large impact shall be reported to the State Council for approval.

Article 9: Once a reincarnating living Buddha soul child has been recognized, it shall be reported the provincial or autonomous regional people’s government religious affairs department for approval; those with a great impact shall be reported to the State Administration for Religious Affairs for approval; those with a particularly great impact shall be reported to the State Council for approval.

Reincarnating living Buddhas who have been approved by the provincial or autonomous regional people’s government religious affairs departments or by the autonomous regional people’s government shall be reported to the State Administration of Religious Affairs to be put on record.

Article 10: When the reincarnating living Buddha is installed, a representative of the approving authority shall read out the documents of approval, and the corresponding Buddhist Association shall issue a living Buddha permit.

Living Buddha permits shall uniformly be issued by the China Buddhist Association and reported to the State Administration of Religious Affairs to be put on record.

Article 11: Persons and units who are responsible for being in contravention of these measures and who without authority carry out living Buddha reincarnation affairs, shall be dealt administrative sanction by the people’s government religious affairs departments in accordance with stipulations in the “Regulations on Religious Affairs”; when a crime has been constituted, criminal responsibility shall be pursued.

Article 12: When the reincarnating living Buddha has been installed the management organization at the monastery where he is registered shall formulate a training plan, recommend a scripture teacher, and submit the plan to the local Buddhist Association, which shall report upward to the provincial or autonomous regional people’s government religious affairs department for approval.

Article 13: Provinces and autonomous regions which are involved in affairs of reincarnating living Buddhas may formulate and implement detailed measures in accordance these measures, and report them to the State Administration of Religious Affairs to be put on record.

Article 14: These measures shall be implemented from September 1, 2007.


藏传佛教活佛转世管理办法
《藏传佛教活佛转世管理办法》

国家宗教事务局令
第5号

《藏传佛教活佛转世管理办法》已于2007年7月13日经国家宗教事务局局务会议通过,现予公布,自2007年9月1日起施行。
局长 叶小文
二○○七年七月十八日

第一条为了保障公民宗教信仰自由,尊重藏传佛教活佛传承继位方式,规范活佛转世事务管理,根据《宗教事务条例》,制定本办法。

第二条活佛转世应当遵循维护国家统一、维护民族团结、维护宗教和睦与社会和谐、维护藏传佛教正常秩序的原则。

活佛转世尊重藏传佛教宗教仪轨和历史定制,但不得恢复已被废除的封建特权。

活佛转世不受境外任何组织、个人的干涉和支配。

第三条活佛转世应当具备下列条件:

(一)当地多数信教群众和寺庙管理组织要求转世;

(二)转世系统真实并传承至今;

(三)申请活佛转世的寺庙系拟转世活佛僧籍所在寺,并为依法登记的藏传佛教活动场所,且具备培养和供养转世活佛的能力。

第四条申请转世活佛有下列情形之一的,不得转世:

(一)藏传佛教教义规定不得转世的;

(二)设区的市级以上人民政府明令不得转世的。

第五条活佛转世应当履行申请报批手续。申请报批程序是:由拟转世活佛僧籍所在寺庙管理组织或者所在地佛教协会向所在地县级人民政府宗教事务部门提出转 世申请,由县级人民政府提出意见后,人民政府宗教事务部门逐级上报,由省、自治区人民政府宗教事务部门审批。其中,在佛教界有较大影响的,报省、自治区人 民政府批准;有重大影响的,报国家宗教事务局批准;有特别重大影响的,报国务院批准。

审核批准活佛转世申请,应当征求相应的佛教协会的意见。

第六条对活佛影响大小有争议的,由中国佛教协会认定,报国家宗教事务局备案。

第七条活佛转世申请获得批准后,根据活佛影响大小,由相应的佛教协会成立转世指导小组;由拟转世活佛僧籍所在寺庙管理组织或者相应的佛教协会组建转世灵童寻访小组,在指导小组的指导下实施寻访事宜。

转世灵童由省、自治区佛教协会或者中国佛教协会根据宗教仪轨和历史定制认定。

任何团体或者个人不得擅自开展有关活佛转世灵童的寻访及认定活动。

第八条历史上经金瓶掣签认定的活佛,其转世灵童认定实行金瓶掣签。

请求免予金瓶掣签的,由省、自治区人民政府宗教事务部门报国家宗教事务局批准,有特别重大影响的,报国务院批准。

第九条活佛转世灵童认定后,报省、自治区人民政府宗教事务部门批准。在佛教界有较大影响的,报省、自治区人民政府批准;有重大影响的,报国家宗教事务局批准;有特别重大影响的,报国务院批准。

经省、自治区人民政府宗教事务部门或者省、自治区人民政府批准的转世活佛,报国家宗教事务局备案。

第十条转世活佛继位时,由批准机关代表宣读批文,由相应的佛教协会颁发活佛证书。

活佛证书的式样由中国佛教协会统一制作,报国家宗教事务局备案。

第十一条违反本办法,擅自办理活佛转世事宜的,由人民政府宗教事务部门依照《宗教事务条例》的规定,对责任人和责任单位予以行政处罚;构成犯罪的,依法追究刑事责任。

第十二条转世活佛继位后,其僧籍所在寺庙管理组织须制定培养计划,推荐经师人选,经所在地佛教协会审核,逐级报省、自治区人民政府宗教事务部门审批。

第十三条涉及活佛转世事宜的省、自治区可以依照本办法制定实施细则,报国家宗教事务局备案。

第十四条本办法自2007年9月1日起施行。


Source: International Campaign for Tibet (ICT)

Note: The tradition of reincarnation is rooted on a Buddhist belief system wherein all sentient beings are bound through a cycle of birth and death. The cycle is broken when through rigorous training and practice one could attain enlightenment. The Sankrit term for Tulku is Nirmanakaya.It is difficult to assert and establish the origin of tulku system in Tibet. However, traditional Tibetan sources suggest that tulku system began with Karma Phakshi (1206-1283). He was the second hierarch of the Karma branch of the Kagyu School. Karma Phakshi is later recognized as the reincarnation of the Dusum Khenpa (1110-1193) and that of Avalokitesvara (Kuijp, 2013). By the lifetime of the third Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje (1284-1339) in the thirteenth century Tibet, the belief in reincarnation was well established in Tibet (Gamble, 2018). The current Karmapa is the seventeenth reincarnation of Karmapas of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.[Central Tibetan Administration Dharamshala-176215 H.P., India]

Categories: Religion, TIBET

Tagged as: , ,