China is nearing the completion of the construction of a Living Buddha database with biographies of over 1,300 Living Buddhas residing in the country, which analysts said could strike a blow to the Dalai Lama.
The online registration system contains the profiles of 1,311 individuals recognized as reincarnated Buddhas to help the public differentiate between real religious figures and fraudulent ones, the Buddhist Association of China (BAC) said Thursday. The BAC first published details on 870 Living Buddhas in January.
The organization said that there will not be major changes to the database's inquiry system in the near future, noting that their only responsibility is to update information on the reincarnation and Parinirvana of the Living Buddhas.
The online system gives detailed information on Living Buddhas, including their photos, legal names and the number of Living Buddha certificates they have received. Daily views of the system since its launch in January have reached a peak of 98,000, according to the BAC.
"The system will strike a heavy blow to the Dalai Lama, as he has been utilizing his religious status to ratify Living Buddhas at will - which is against religious tradition - in an attempt to control Tibetan monasteries and divide the country," Zhu Weiqun, chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference's Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee, previously told the Global Times.
Reincarnation of Living Buddhas is a unique inheritance system in Tibetan Buddhism that originated in the 13th century. The BAC began issuing certificates to Living Buddhas in 2010.
Some people have been found to be using the guise of Living Buddhas to swindle followers out of money.
The Living Buddhas included in the database are scattered throughout provinces and autonomous regions in China's north, northwest and southwest, with many concentrated in Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, the BAC said.