A top Tibetan official on Thursday warned the Dalai Lama not to break the conventions in reincarnation and reiterated the succession of a "Living Buddha" needs approval from the central government by tradition.
The reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, like that of any Grand Living Buddha, must follow historical conventions and required religious rituals, and, more importantly among the traditions, approval from the central government, Qiangba Puncog, chairman of Tibet's regional government, told Xinhua on the sidelines of the national legislative session in Beijing.
"If the Dalai Lama does not follow the convention for political or other purposes, I believe his reincarnation would not be acknowledged by religious people in Tibet, and the central government will never approve it," he said.
"The conventions were formed in history, and have a set of comprehensive, complicated and strict rules," he said.
The Dalai Lama has previously thrown out a series of claims, saying that he could be the last reincarnation, that his reincarnation could be a female, that he might choose his reincarnation when alive, or that his reincarnation would be found outside China.
In a latest claim, the Dalai Lama said he would no longer seek reincarnation, and whether he would reincarnate would depend on the will of the Tibetan people.
"The Dalai Lama's ever-changing stances are against the historical and religious traditions," Qiangba Puncog said.
Tibetan Buddhism holds that the soul of a Living Buddha is reborn after his death and the resulting "soul boy" can be found through the interpretation of arcane signs.
The "soul boy" must be approved by the central government through lot drawing from a gold urn since the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), unless the central government agrees to exempt the "soul boy" from the ritual, Legqog, director of the Standing Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Regional People's Congress, told Xinhua.
Such a rule was inked in the "29-Article Ordinance for the More Efficient Governing of Tibet", which was promulgated in 1793.
"Without the approval from the central government, whatever he (the Dalai Lama) says is not valid. The reincarnation is not something the Dalai Lama can decide on his own," Legqog said.
A regulation issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs in 2007 also said the so-called reincarnation without government approval are illegal and invalid.
(Xinhua News Agency March 12, 2009)