Zhou Wei is conducting a research in Lhozhag County, Lhoka, southwest China's Tibet in October 2017.
"During the research we have visited many monasteries in Lhoka, Nagchu, Shigatse, and Chamdo. On the whole, we feel that the status of Tibetan Buddhism is at its best period in history," Zhou Wei, director of the Institute of Religion at China Tibetology Research Center, said regarding the overall impression of religious development in Tibet.
"We've established a complete management system. Under such a system, the protection of relics in monasteries and normal religious activities in Tibet are well guaranteed. In terms of training monks, the system established by High-level Tibetan Buddhism College of China is very successful. Many monks are very eager to enter the college," Zhou Wei said.
"As for the interpretation of Tibetan Buddhism doctrine,, over the past few years, in addition to study in High-level Tibetan Buddhism College of China and China Tibetology Research Center, symposiums on this are held every year, and the Tibet Autonomous Region is also engaged in work relating to this area."
"According to our survey, monks in Tibet have been very grateful towards the Party's religious policies. Monks have said that at this stage, the level of attention paid to monastery construction, the scope of monasteries, organization structures within monasteries including the social statuses of monks, and living conditions are all at the highest they have been in history. What's more, many monks believe that in the past, monasteries were cut off from the rest of society, but today, monks are a part of and have a lot of contact with society. In addition, at present there is a complete system in place to train monks. The system of Buddhist academies from the prefectural to autonomous region-level ensures a healthy developmental environment for monks, and it also guarantees the status of Tibetan Buddhist academic titles, and there is a complete set of methods for the reincarnation of Buddhist Living Buddhas as well, all of which are at their best point in history."
Zhou Wei said that according to monks, the most important part is that although the compilation and printing of the major Buddhist texts Kangyur and Tengyur in early period of Tibetan Buddhism, right now is the best time for the collecting and publication of texts from the different Tibetan Buddhist sects and Bonism .
"Monks mentioned that institutions including the China Tibetology Research Center and non-governmental institutions are both engaged in this kind of work. More importantly, monks believe that after these texts and materials have become digitized, Tibetan Buddhism will be able to develop simultaneously with society. Today, thanks to the Internet, digitization, and modern scientific and technological means, all Tibetan Buddhist texts and materials can be preserved and distributed, which could not have been done in the past."
"Another aspect is the guarantees for monks. Now in Tibet, monasteries are complete with various public services, including road construction, nursing homes, learning environments, and various kinds of healthcare," Zhou Wei said.
"Several dimensions can be used to examine the development of Tibetan Buddhism and the effectiveness of religious work in Tibet including the satisfaction of the public, satisfaction of monks in monasteries, stability in monasteries, and social satisfaction. As a whole, the development of Tibetan Buddhism has entered its best period in history," Zhou Wei said.
"Currently, the key to the harmonious development of religious work in Tibet is the guide of religious theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It will promote a more scientific management mechanism in Tibet's monasteries and make them more in line with the current times, which will raise overall religious work in Tibet to a higher level."