A. M. STRELKOV
(St. Perterburg) Candidate of Historical Sciences
Tibet Keywords:, reborn saints, Beijing and Tibetan Buddhism
The belief in rebirth, the idea that a living being lives not one but many lives, is one of the cornerstones of Buddhist teaching.1 A unique feature of northern Buddhism, which is practiced by Tibetan, Mongolian and a number of Turkic peoples, is the institution of reborn saints. For believers, they have unquestionable authority in all matters of religion and life. Before the complete incorporation of the Tibetan territories into the administrative system of the PRC (1959), the reborn saints had great political and economic power in these territories, and a number of them were theocratic rulers.
What is the institution of reborn saints, and what is its place in the life of modern Tibet? On September 1, 2007, the document "Guidelines on the Rebirth of Living Buddhas of Tibetan Buddhism", adopted shortly before, became legally binding in the People's Republic of China.
"BODY OF THE INCARNATION"
According to this document, the search for and approval of new rebirths-tulku (Tib. "body of incarnation") - are under the jurisdiction of the government bodies of the People's Republic of China up to the State Council. Rebirths of Panchen Lamas, Dalai Lamas, and possibly a number of other top Tulkus are approved directly by the State Council of the People's Republic of China. At the same time, it is forbidden for any organizations and individuals to engage in search and approval of tulku. According to the procedure defined by the document, it is necessary to submit an "application" for approval of rebirth and a "characteristic" drawn up in a certain way.
The Institute of Reborn Saints was founded in Tibet in the 13th century. The first Tulku was Karma Bakshi (1204-1283), who was recognized as a rebirth of Karma Duisum Shenba (1110-1193), the founder of the Karma - Karjud 2 school. To date, about 5 - 6 thousand lines of rebirth have been established in T ... Read more