Author Topic: China's contradictory attitude towards the Dalai Lama  (Read 9026 times)

WisdomBeing

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China's contradictory attitude towards the Dalai Lama
« on: February 19, 2012, 02:57:02 AM »
I thought this article was interesting because despite China's official loathing of the Dalai Lama, “China’s most reviled and revered spiritual leader”, it appears that they are pragmatic where economics are concerned and was even willing to invest into the Dalai Lama's birthplace in order to develop it as a tourist attraction for the sake of income! While this is contradictory, it just goes to show that the Chinese are so attracted to wealth that the accumulation of wealth is the ultimate objective. In this sense, presenting Dorje Shugden as a wealth deity will initially attract the Chinese population to its practice and ultimately to the Dharma.

Incidentally, I did not know that this international icon of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, did not originally speak Tibetan!!  “In his 1990 autobiography, “Freedom in Exile,” the Dalai Lama said his family spoke no Tibetan, only a dialect of Mandarin.” – Perhaps the Dalai Lama is more Chinese than I thought!


An Ambivalent China Affirms the Charisma of the Dalai Lama
By ANDREW JACOBS
Published: February 18, 2012

HONG’AI, China — Despite the absence of road signs or Web sites, a dozen or so people each day manage to find their way to this sleepy hamlet that sits in the fold of a dusky mountain in northwestern Qinghai Province.

They congratulate themselves for having found the place — and for evading the police — but then come face to face with Gonpo Tashi, a squat, no-nonsense barley farmer who guards the entrance to the house where his uncle, the 14th Dalai Lama, was born 76 years ago.

If the traveler speaks Tibetan, Mr. Tashi, 65, will peer warily out into the road before swinging open the heavy wooden doors and allowing entry to the modest home where China’s most reviled and revered spiritual leader spent the first three years of his life.

If the visitor is Han Chinese, the country’s dominant ethnic group, the gatekeeper might grumble vaguely about “the rules” but then relent.

But if the supplicant bears patently Western features, Mr. Tashi can be relied upon to throw up his hands with dramatic effect and shoo the interloper back toward the vehicle that made the hourlong drive from the provincial capital. “Leave, leave now,” he will shout. “If they come, you will be in trouble.”

“They” refers to the local public security personnel who occasionally block the road to Hong’Ai or stand outside the Dalai Lama’s ancestral home, especially when there is trouble brewing somewhere on the expansive plateau where most of China’s 5.4 million ethnic Tibetans live.

That this state-financed shrine to the Dalai Lama exists at all highlights Beijing’s complex and contradictory attitude toward a man it frequently describes as a terrorist, a separatist and “a wolf in monk’s robes.” Since relations between the exiled Tibetan leader and the Chinese government took a nose dive in the mid-1990s, even possession of the Dalai Lama’s picture is considered a crime.

The government’s official line is that the Dalai Lama is agitating for an independent Tibet, even as he insists that he is seeking only meaningful autonomy. In recent months, the government has sought to blame him for the self-immolations of about two dozen Tibetans, a ghastly act of protest against Chinese rule that he has condemned.

Hong’Ai, or Taktser as it is known in Tibetan, has long been on the receiving end of that official ambivalence. In the mid-1980s, when talks were proceeding reasonably well, the government rebuilt the Dalai Lama’s birthplace, which had been destroyed during the antireligious fervor of the Cultural Revolution.

In 2010, the local Communist Party poured 2.6 million renminbi, or about $410,000, into Hong’Ai, upgrading the town’s 54 residences, including the Dalai Lama’s homestead, with the aim of turning the place into a lucrative tourist attraction. The improvements included tall, white-tile gates for every home and a colorfully painted but imposing wall in front of the Dalai Lama’s home that prevents visitors from peering inside.

In an article about the town in 2010, the official Xinhua news agency boasted that the improvements to each house had cost more than 10 times as much as the average villager’s annual income. “Everyone was enthusiastic,” a township official was quoted as saying about the renovations.

Mr. Tashi, the caretaker, made out particularly well, having received a modern toilet to replace an arrangement that involved two planks over a trench. “Maybe when I am too old to squat, the flush toilet will be useful,” Xinhua reported him as saying.

Other official news accounts were slightly disparaging, calling him a “big shot” and pointing out that his family owns a car paid for with a handsome government salary augmented by visitor donations. Two of his three children, one article said, are Communist Party members.

That same account said that Mr. Tashi had visited his uncle twice in the 1990s in India and that he yearned for his return. “I miss him very much,” he said.

According to official figures, a majority of the town’s 274 residents are Han, and even those who describe themselves as Tibetan cannot speak their ancestral tongue. In his 1990 autobiography, “Freedom in Exile,” the Dalai Lama said his family spoke no Tibetan, only a dialect of Mandarin. It was only when he and his family moved to Lhasa — after high-ranking lamas identified him as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama — that he learned the language.

In his book he described his hometown in bleak terms, recounting the crop failures and the harsh winters. His last visit was in 1955, four years before he fled to India during a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

Those who make it past Mr. Tashi’s temperamental door policy report that there are a few utilitarian rooms surrounding a courtyard, its center anchored by a pole draped in multicolored Tibetan prayer flags. Just as eye-catching is the late model Volkswagen, covered by plastic drop cloth, that sits in one corner. One room contains a bed, another a yellow throne and a Buddhist shrine.

Most of the two-story house is off limits to visitors, and the only nod to the Dalai Lama is a small painting of him on the ceiling. Photographs are forbidden.

Those villagers willing to speak to foreign visitors were proud of their connection to a man who, under different circumstances, might have been the most powerful religious figure in the land. A 46-year-old woman who gave her name as Chobai and described herself as a distant cousin said she had once traveled overland to India to visit him.

“We are all waiting for him to come back one day,” she said with a smile.

Another woman a few doors down offered a tour of her home and the shrine that includes two photographs of the Dalai Lama, a distant relative.

After a trio of Dutch tourists pounded on the front gate and refused to retreat, Mr. Tashi’s 45-year-old nephew stepped outside and watched with a mixture of curiosity and annoyance.

When the police failed to materialize, he seemed to relax as one of the tourists, Lisanne de Wit, described a recent visit to Dharamsala, India, where the Dalai Lama lives. Ms. de Wit, a 19-year-old theology student, then made one last plea for entry, describing how she had endured a weeklong bus ride from Sichuan Province to reach this corner of Qinghai.

The nephew shrugged and offered a sympathetic smile. “The order has come from above,” he said before shutting the door. “And there’s nothing you or I can do about it.”

Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

WisdomBeing

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Re: China's contradictory attitude towards the Dalai Lama
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2012, 02:58:40 AM »
Apologies - i forgot to put the source of the article above... it was from the NY Times website: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/world/asia/china-ambivalently-affirms-dalai-lamas-popularity.html?_r=1&src=tp&smid=fb-share
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

kurava

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Re: China's contradictory attitude towards the Dalai Lama
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2012, 10:17:21 AM »
As the late China Premier Teng said : It does not matter whether it's a black or white cat, as long as it catches the mice it is a good cat.

This is the general attitude of most modern day Chinese : it does not matter what is wrong or right as long as income is generated, that is the right way for them.

So, like what WB suggested, now is the time to bring DS to mainland Chinese. They crave for material wealth now and DS will bestow them wealth to bring them into dharma.

I have a friend who holds the Coffee Bean chain in a Chinese city. He's been praying to DS all these years faithfully without knowing the deity is DS. His business flourished from a few to 55 ! When he finally found out it's DS that had been helping him, he embraced Je Rinpoche's lineage instantly and has been supporting dharma centres ever since  ;D

Klein

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Re: China's contradictory attitude towards the Dalai Lama
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2012, 08:06:43 PM »
I think Kurava is right. All that the Chinese want is money. So whether or not they are contradictory is not their concern. Making a living in China is tough. There's too much competition and many people have to find their way to bigger cities or out of China just to sustain their basic livelihood.  If some of them can sell their children for money what's contradicting themselves?

Praying to DS is a great antidote for such difficulties they are going through. It would also plant seeds of Manjushri in their mind streams for future rebirths. With Dorje Shugden's swiftness in answering prayers, many of the Chinese would be better off both materialistically and spiritually.

bambi

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Re: China's contradictory attitude towards the Dalai Lama
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2012, 09:28:49 AM »
It's true you know. About the Chinese wanting wealth all the time. I heard from my friend in China that Dorje Shugden is growing among the people there. Since Dorje Shugden promises wealth and the DL against it, I am sure the Chinese will take the opportunities to promote and practice Him. Oh yes, I've also heard my friend seeing Dorje Shugden's picture in a Coffee Bean outlet.

triesa

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Re: China's contradictory attitude towards the Dalai Lama
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2012, 12:46:16 PM »
Thank you WB for sharing this article from NY times.

Indeed if I were the Chinese Governement, I would make this birthplace of the Dalai Lama a "Must-See" Destination. It would definitely attract lots of tourists there! And I am being cheeky here, I would make a Dorje Shugden Shrine there right at the center of the town for people to pay respect and receive blessings, how cool that would be!

Just like the house of the missing "Claimed CIA agent"  Jim Thompson in Bangkok, the Thai people maintains it very well, tourists can visit every single floor and every single room, the garden is also very nice as I remember. There is even a souvenir shop at the exit....money trap......selling all the Thai silk scarves, clothes, ties, shoes, evening bags, etc etc....It could be something that the Chinese Government can consider, afterall, it brings in income for the township and the governement and also can help spread Dorje Shugden lineage!  ;D

Galen

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Re: China's contradictory attitude towards the Dalai Lama
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2012, 10:19:27 AM »
This is interesting because as much as the Chinese government hates the Dalai Lama and brands him as a traitor, they still renovated his childhood home to attract tourists. We cannot deny the fact that the tourist dollars are very important and maybe that is why the government is willing to close an eye to it. It also portrays to the world that the Chinese government is not heartless.

Since the Dalai Lama left China, the chinese government has been pouring money into Lhasa to upgrade modern infrastructure, Potala Palace and monasteries and riding high on the tourist dollars. No doubt the quality of life of the Tibetans has increased. So, the Chinese are showing to the world that even though they hate the Dalai Lama, they still brings progress to the Dalai Lama's people. Money is KING in China!


yontenjamyang

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Re: China's contradictory attitude towards the Dalai Lama
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2012, 11:24:26 AM »
The theme here seems to be that the Chinese is very wealth oriented. It is certainly true because the "winds" are blowing their way right now and I think for many more years. It is certainly that way for the western hemisphere of industrialised nations, Japan and some south east asian nations like Singapore.

Since that is the case, China being richer and richer, they need Buddhism more then any other people on earth. In the rush for the "gold" the people of China is more expose to the commit negative actions. In enjoying their new found wealth, they are more likely also to commit negative actions.

Hence, if the Dorje Shugden practice is brought to them, it will be most beneficial. Calling HIM a "god" or Buddha of wealth can be a good strategy.