The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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China revives Lharampa program in Tibet
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Sixteen Buddhas? The reference is, of course, to reincarnations of spiritual masters, who in their previous lives had attained a high level of realization, but may still have a long way to go before attaining the Buddhahood, or enlightenment.
Quoting Mr. Tubdain, head of the Ethnic Affairs Commission of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Xinhuanet said the preliminary test will be taken by "six dignitary monks with an average age of 70" from the monasteries of Sera, Drepung and Ganden.
"It is naive to think that the Party has suddenly developed a serendipitous respect for the Tibetan spiritual culture... There is no desire on the part of the authorities to revive serious studies for the Lharampa degree," one source said on conditions of anonymity.
The hidden agenda, according to this source, is to groom an army of so-called spiritual masters, whom the Party will appoint as heads of Tibetan monasteries. Their primary job in the monasteries will be to work as agents of Chinese thought police.
"In other words, they will be entrusted with the responsibility of seeing to it that the monks and nuns become "patriotic citizens" with full loyalty to the Motherland and the Communist Party," the source said. </poem>