back to article China slaps ban on reincarnation

China has rather brilliantly declared that, from next month, Tibetan Buddhist monks must have official permission to reincarnate, Newsweek reports. The new legislation lays down strict guidelines for making a reappearance and is, according to a statement from the State Administration for Religious Affairs, "an important move to …


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  1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Trial for new form of birth control?

    I think the analysis is wrong: they will use it as a trial for a new form of birth control. Stated simply:

    - every foetus must apply (in triplicate) for a permit to be born, and

    - appear (in person of course) before a committee to motivate his application, following which

    - a nine month consulting period is imposed before reaching a final decision

    If this is implemented with the ruthlessness only China and some other favoured trading nations of the US manage to do, it will put a stop to the population explosion instantly


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How does that work exactly?

    You can't reincarnate without a permit? Is reincarnation something you're supposed to do consciously anyway?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ignorance incarnate

    Reincarnation is not a choice, any more than dying is. It is unavoidable and absolute. They are welcome to pass a law that winter is not allowed to become spring, but they are only displaying their own foolishness.

    The choice to reincarnate is made after death in the world of pure spirit. I doubt anyone there recognizes China as an authority.

  4. Cameron Colley

    COuold be a clever move by China...

    ...use superstition to gain political foothold, might be a good plan.

    If people weren't stupid enough to believe superstition they'd be far less easy to control.

  5. Joe Cooper


    No reincarnation isn't voluntary apparently (or maybe it is?) but that's not the point.

    The point is: New Dalai Lama shows up? Throw 'em in jail for reincarnating without a license.

  6. Kane

    Do I have to be the one who says it?

    Where is the IT angle?

    Just kidding :o)

  7. Zulon


    in Second Life perhaps? Not that SL has any plans for taking on the Chinese government.....

  8. jack

    Taxing concept

    The origins of re-incarnation in Tibetan budhism lies in a regal decree that land left without an heir after the death of the legitimate owner became crown property. This meant that the monastaries, nominally owned by the senior monk in residence, would be lost to the crown on his death. naturally the position, 'he's gone but he is coming back' neatly avoids such a consequence. Thus is could be seen that re-incarnation in Tibetan Budhism is an early form of tax avoidance planning.

    Jack Adams


  9. Eugene Goodrich

    A bit harsh - where's the five-times license?

    Shouldn't they say you can only reincarnate five times under the terms of the license? Isn't that what passes for "fair use" or somesuch these days?

    Seriously, though, I'd like to see what passes for evidence in a Chinese court if they declare someone has reincarnated without permission. I assume it's going to be a lot of talk. Maybe even some of that logic I hear so much about.

  10. Andy Bright

    New Dalai Lama

    As the current one seems to have enough of a backbone to stick the philosophical middle finger up to the Chinese authorities, the hope that they will actually seek permission to reincarnate the next Dalai Lama seems a bit futile.

    Let me put it another way, who are the Buddhists more likely to accept as Dalai Lama - someone appointed by the Chinese government, or someone chosen by the existing Dalai Lama as his reincarnation?

    I don't see many Buddhists accepting that they're religious beliefs must now include paperwork in order to be valid.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Beware - Zylons will not be happy at these shenanigans!

    > Thus is could be seen that re-incarnation in Tibetan Buddhism is an early form of tax avoidance planning.

    This is quite interesting. Source? I would imagine that the idea of reincarnation comes naturally to the human intellect at some point even without the presence of tax authorities as it's only natural to assume continuity of the self-referent even after the hardware is gone.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the key word is "outside"

    the law will effectively prevent any Buddhist monk living "outside" Tibet from seeking reincarnation.

    What's next? Is China going to ban fried foods in North America? Who died and made them Budda :p

    PS: the Dali Lama is one of the few who reincarnates by choice. Most have to because of karma, but the Dali Lama is considered a Budda and is able to continue on to heaven. He chooses to come back to help and guide his people.

  13. Dale Morgan

    Are they really...

    that stupid? This has got to be a joke?

    passing laws against religous hocus pocus is a clear example of how primitive the chinese government is.

    Are they going to pass laws against dragon rearing or leprecon hunting next?

    I'm going to make myself a magic wand and magic the chinese government to never never land, its as feasable as reincarnation.

  14. Oisin McGuigan

    What about cats?

    Do they have to apply? thats a lot of paperwork for a cat!

    >>Have you chosen reincarnation? turn yourself in now!!<<

    A Man walks into police station in Manhattan and says

    ' Hello officer I have a crime to admit to. I didn't apply for reincarnation but did it anyway. I'm really sorry'

    The police officer promptly tests him for drugs and cavity searches him before admitting him.

    In China you go to Prison?

    I'd be interested in the alternatives?

    Who are they kidding?

  15. Alan Donaly

    been smoking something

    The Chinese gov is a typical example of people who have no

    clue trying to run the most complex system ever to evolve they

    are not really cognizant so anything they say is as valid as modem


  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Reminds me of the classic Monty Python "Fish Licence" sketch:

    To paraphrase:


    Hello, I would like to buy a reincarnation license, please.


    A what?


    A license for my next reincarnation.

  17. Chris Burns

    Application to reincarnate?

    ...over my dead body.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about the rest of us?

    Do we all need to get permits from the Chinese Gov incase Buddists are right. Any one of us could happen to be reborn in China, or dose it only apply to people Currently living in China. What about if they are planing reincarnation outside of China?

    Also, how dose this affect Mail readers? Is reincarnation actualy a plan to sneek more imigrants in to the UK :-)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In my next life...

    I think I will come back as a Chinese bureaucrat, or Microsoft Vista... Just as popular.

    Hey! I just found an IT Angle!

  20. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    License to . . reincarnate

    Could someone please explain to me how a strictly Communist country that recognizes no religion can possibly pass a law on religious beliefs it does not have with a straight face ?

    I understand the Dalai Lama subcontext, but do they really think this farce is going to change anything ? Given that Tibetan Monks already live oppressed and under an unfavorable regime, all the Chinese government is doing is pushing them further in clandestinity.

    Closing your eyes does not make problems go away.

  21. Daniel Fiander


    Given that in China minors under the age of fourteen are entirely exempted from criminal responsibility, how exactly will they charge the offenders?

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