Clarifying Gendün Chöpel

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Clarifying Gendün Chöpel

Postby Sheila » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:21 pm

For the past several years or so, I've seen, scattered around the web, posts alleging that Tibetan tantras say 12-year-olds should be fed sweets to encourage them to engage in ritual, tantric sex. When pressed, the authors of these types of posts sometimes reveal that it is not an actual tantra they are citing, but the Tibetan author Gendün Chöpel, who wrote a love manual entitled, "Tibetan Arts of Love."

The sentence "cited" generally goes something like, "In addition he recommends feeding a twelve-year-old honey and sweets before ritual sexual intercourse (Chöpel, 1992, p. 177)."

Chöpel says nothing of the sort. The above phrase is taken not from Chöpel's work, but from the book, "The Shadow of the Dalai Lama," by Victor and Victoria Trimondi (Mariana and Herbert Röttgen). The Trimondis have clearly been untruthful about Chöpel's writing; he says nothing about offering 12 year olds sweets before ritual sex, and on the contrary says very clearly 12 year olds aren't ready for sex.

Gendün Chöpel's Tibetan Arts of Love is not about ritual sex at all, in fact--it's about common sex between householders, and how they may have a more pleasurable sex life together. It's also about partners honoring each other in general, and pushes the society of his time to elevate women to equal status as men.

For a detailed discussion and analysis of this issue, including links to sources, please see: http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/15905 ... choepel/p1

If preferred, I'm happy to post relevant parts here on Dharma Wheel instead. I think it's important to set the record straight on this oft-repeated bit of Trimondillusion.
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Re: Clarifying Gendün Chöpel

Postby Andrew108 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:24 pm

Good for you. I'm glad you would want to clarify this. Hopefully the search engines will pick this up.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Clarifying Gendün Chöpel

Postby Yudron » Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:18 pm

I hope you post more often, Sheila.
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Re: Clarifying Gendün Chöpel

Postby Sheila » Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:47 am

Glad it's of use. Amazing but sad how many, many places this "quote" has been posted. Much of it looks quite purposeful--cut and paste, sometimes with a second person chiming in, "Oh-this-is-terrible-well-I-guess-I'll-avoid-Tibetan-Buddhism," or another frequent one, "Oh-this-is-terrible-I-guess-it's-not-just-the-Catholics." Very mysterious. :stirthepot:

At any rate, I find Gendün Chöpel an amazing writer.
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Re: Clarifying Gendün Chöpel

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:12 pm

Thanks for going to the trouble to research this. It is very sad how slander can become truth in the universe of the internet. No one is saying that TB is without scandals, but to deliberately print false things about the teachings with a political motive is pretty low. I wonder if the Trimondis would ever consider a retraction.
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I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
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Re: Clarifying Gendün Chöpel

Postby Sheila » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:46 pm

JKhedrup wrote:Thanks for going to the trouble to research this. It is very sad how slander can become truth in the universe of the internet. No one is saying that TB is without scandals, but to deliberately print false things about the teachings with a political motive is pretty low. I wonder if the Trimondis would ever consider a retraction.


Worth pursuing; some of those posting this false statement across the internet over the past few years have mentioned that they are personally in touch with Mariana and Herbert Röttgen, so it seems like a good idea to ask about a retraction.
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