Jikan wrote:OK. given what you know about the forms, controls and rules of the process, and of course on its entire social context as practiced today, what is your position on the tulku system?
I ask because this isn't some kind of abstract matter--it's an actual phenomenon that impacts actual bodies, now.
My position is that even if it is highly corrupted today for various reasons (including but not only Chinese manipulations like in case of Panchen Lama),
it still continues to be a meaningful and useful phenomenon, but its usefulness depends on the individuals, societies and cultures affected by it.
1. For Tibetans in Tibet it is a very important factor providing them with hope and strength not to let their culture die.
2. For Tibetans outside Tibet something that helps preserving their identity and culture.
3. For certain individuals both within and outside Tibetan culture who have the affinity to this phenomenon (i.e. people with good enough karma to be able to distinguish between real and fake tulkus and masters) can provide a precious
opportunity to meet authentic persons who are able to clear their doubts and confirm their own experiences.
Of course for a lot of individuals deeply influenced by other cultures (like the Western / Christian one), even if becoming Buddhists of Tibetan
traditions, it can be extremely difficult to see anything useful in it. But this does not mean that it is useless for others the same way.
So, as with all phenomena, it depends on the observer, on his/her karmic vision.
And of course, these are only some examples, there must be so many possible reasons for its usefulness / uselessness as there are observers.