Living Buddha Shingtsa Tenzinchodrak (left) presents a Tibetan Kha Ta to US-China Partnerships Chairman Charles Foster (right) and while Foster's wife and actress Lily Chen Foster looks on. [Photo by May Zhou/China Daily]
China has created an online database of legitimate Living Buddhas to help followers of Tibetan Buddhism distinguish between the real ones and the fakes.
The database, which was announced on Monday during a ceremony at the Guangji Temple of Beijing, includes names, Dharma names, dates of birth, sects of the religion, the Living Buddhas certificate numbers and photos.
The database includes information on 870 Living Buddhas, and more will be added as the status of additional Living Buddhas is certified, Master Qingyuan, vice-president of the Buddhist Association of China, said at the ceremony.
The database was devised after an incident involving Baima Aose, whose original name was Wu Darong, in which he sought to hold a Living Buddha enthronement ceremony for Chinese actor Zhang Tielin. He later issued an apology and resigned from his posts after a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery refused to certifying Zhang as a Living Buddha.
The online database should help reduce the ability of fake Buddhas to take advantage of people and operate in society, said Jian Jianyong, deputy head of the State Administration of Religious Affairs.
The online data base is available at the websites of the Buddhist Association of China, the State Administration of Religious Affairs and news portal Tibet.cn.