Huffpost Religion
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Robert Weller Headshot

Under China's Supervision, Zagor Monastery Selects Its Sixth Living Buddha

Posted: Updated:

A five-year-old boy has been enthroned as the Sixth Living Buddha after selection by draw in Lhasa supervised by China.

The boy, whose secular name is Losang Doje, was picked as the reincarnation of the Fifth Living Buddha, who died in March 2000.

There was no mention of the enthronement on the Dalai Lama's Website or other Tibetan sites not controlled by the Chinese.

Living Buddhas take the name of Dezhub. The designation of a Living Buddha, who is a reincarnation of Buddhas before him, stems back to Kublai Khan in the 13th century and is the difference between Tibetan Buddhism and others.

The Chinese government approved the choice after local officials went through the traditional process. Three years ago China banned the reincarnation of living buddhas without its consent.

With the increased involvement of Beijing in Tibetan affairs, the role of the Sixth Living Buddha is not clear. He will not be among the top leaders of Buddhism, and there are other Living Buddhas in various roles throughout Tibet.

Two names were sealed in silk bags and put in a golden urn, Xinhua reported. The 11th Panchen Lama, Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu, appointed by Bejing, drew Doje's silk bag from the urn.

The public appearance of the Panchen Lama is worthy of note because he has rarely appeared in public.

Senior monks had picked the two candidates after an intense search since the death of the Fifth Living Buddha, who had supported Chinese rule of Tibet.

The Deccan Chronicle of India reported:

As monks chanted sutras to pray for peace and happiness, the crimson-robed "Living Buddha" paid his respects to statues of Lord Buddha before he was seated on the throne. The five-year-old sat straight when he was adorned with a yellow cassock and yellow hat, the symbols of the Gelugpa school, also known as the Yellow Sect, one of the four streams of Tibetan Buddhism.

"His enthronement is a glorious day for the monastery, as well as for all Buddhist monks and the faithful," said Losang Gyaltsen, a monk at the monastery said, according to the Buddhist Celebrities blog.

Losang Doje was born in Lhunze County of Shannan Prefecture. He was given the religious name of Dezhub Jamyang Sherab Palden.

He was enthroned at Zagor Monastery in Shannan Prefecture on Monday. His lot was drawn on July 4.

There was no mention of the selection on the Dalai Lama's website. It did mention that he had been sending tweets to people inside Chinese territory, answering questions sent to him by some unspecified route. His site also lists an information tweet that brings people up to date on events.