Talk:State Religious Affairs Bureau Order No. 5

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Deletion Proposal[edit]

Deletion debate was under its former name. See this link.

Did You Know...[edit]

...that the Chinese government requires any living Buddha who wishes to reincarnate to submit a Reincarnation Application?

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Clerks (talkcontribs) 23:02, 13 August 2007

Neologism[edit]

The Chinese government maintains that the procedure is not a qualitative change from the (intermittent) practice of the Qing dynasty:

To treat "reincarnation application" as a technical term in the narrow sense suggested by the article is creating a neologism which is hardly supported by the two (!) media reports the article is based on, and not at all by the legal situation in China. Why was this article written without any knowledge of the decree itself? —Babelfisch 07:31, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

WP:SOFIXIT --Lucid 08:03, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
There's only one way to fix it, and I've tried that, as you may remember: [1]. —Babelfisch 08:45, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Obviously not, unless you're proposing that something that is very notable be deleted because WP:YOUDONTLIKEIT. By your own *admission above* it's a notable subject with significant media coverage. --Lucid 08:48, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
I went ahead and moved the article, for the time being, to State Religious Affairs Bureau Order No. 5, which is the title of the document in question in the English translations I've seen. This title is still problematic, since, I assume "State Religious Affairs Bureau" is a translation of 国家宗教事务局 which we call "State Administration for Religious Affairs" elsewhere. Curiously, this conflict exists even in the source translation. It would be helpful if somebody could point me to the text of the regulation in Chinese.—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 16:33, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
It appears as if this whole Neologism argument is really an effort to have this issue hidden. The new name seems rather obscure. I doubt people would search for it. Clerks. 14:31, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
My move of the article to a new title was most certainly not an effort to hide the issue, and I don't really appreciate this kind of aspersion. What title do you want us to use that people will be searching for? What makes you think people are searching for "reincarnation application"? That phrase appears to be used almost exclusively on Wikipedia -- when I search google for it, I get 126 hits, and 3 of the top 4 are Wikipedia or mirrors; the other is some obscure blog. Also, I don't understand the purpose of the sources you listed below. None of those articles use the phrase "reincarnation application".—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 03:10, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Nat Krause, my point is that if you search Google News with "Reincarnation, application" you will find several articles relating to this topic. The term "State Religious Affairs Bureau Order No. 5" will get you one on this topic [2]. This new title is fine. I agree it is more acurate. It will be fine, as long as the redirects for "Reincarnation Application" stay in place. My comment about Neologism was aimed at anyone who believes this article should be deleted or hidden. Clerks. 13:04, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Changes[edit]

I also went through and changed instances "living Buddha" in the article, outside of quotations, to tulku. And I removed the passage of the article claiming that the title "living Buddha" was first applied to Phagpa. This is probably true, but I'm not sure in what sense, and I don't fully trust a source that misspells his name (it should be ’Phags-pa or Vphags-pa or Phagpa or even Pagba or Pagpa; but the s is mandatory if you're including the v). This passage seems to be referring specifically to the title "Living Buddha", since the Karmapa was the first tulku. Since the title in this case is a translation (Phagpa was presumably not given a title in English), we can only speculate what it is being referred to—活佛 is the obvious choice, but I wouldn't put it past China Daily to be confused about something like this. Moreover, who cares what the history of the title is? Phagpa wasn't even a tulku, so far as I'm aware, so he wouldn't have fallen under the regulations discussed in this article anyway.—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 16:33, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Many of the news articles use the term "living buddha", is there no way we can keep that term within this article? The translation posted on Save Tibet.org (see below) also uses the term living buddha Clerks. 13:04, 21 August 2007 (UTC) Withdrawn Clerks. 13:10, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Reincarnation Application[edit]

As people may in fact be looking for an article titled ,Reincarnation Application, I think it is important to use the term in the lead section. This is the term used in several articles (see list below). Clerks. 14:31, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Order No. 5 in its entirety[edit]

In case anyone wants to expand the article, below is a complete translation of the entire order taken from Save Tibet.org

State Religious Affairs Bureau Order No. Five[edit]

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. Clerks. 13:04, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Sounds pretty strange for a bunch of Communists to be making this sort of law. Whatever happened to religion being the opiate of the people? 204.52.215.13 06:59, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Current links[edit]

In English

In Chinese

藏传佛教活佛转世管理办法

2007年08月02日17:58 [我来说两句] [字号:大 中 小] 来源:法制日报   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。

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Xeltifon (talkcontribs) 21:40, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Very confusing statement[edit]

The article states "Over 1,000 living Buddhas have been reincarnated through this legal channel in Tibet and other areas in China since 1991", but this law was introduced in 2007. So how can Buddhas have used this legal channel before it was introduced? Xmoogle (talk) 16:38, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Good question. ༺།།ༀ་ཨཱཿ་ཧཱུྃ།།འཚེར།།xeltifon།།སར་ཝ་མང་ག་ལམ།།༻  {say it}  {contribs} { ζ } 21:27, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
I tried to look at the Chinese version but it's still unclear. By the way, it is a government order, not a law. Although they are both controlled by the communist party, they are still different things. --Ahyangyi (talk) 14:56, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm the author of the Chinese version and I'm working on this article right now in my sandbox. I'll be searching about the issue around the web after translating some parts of the Chinese article into English. And @Ahyangyi, any suggestion is welcomed regarding this. :D--Kou Dou (talk) 17:02, 14 May 2014 (UTC)