T. Chokyi wrote:Gar Drolma was very clear when they wrote back that Rinpoche indicated both live, on the net, and recorded count, I'm only clarifying what was said, not blowing a trumpet here that you have to believe it or accept or give a kazillion reasons why or why not...thats how he offered it, and from what I heard he taught it that way for those that wanted it, it was for those that have a connection with Rinpoche and at that time, I was also under the impression that the empowerments would be removed after a finite amount of time, I don't know what you consider your connection to Rinpoche....but I don't think he was referring to what other teachers do or don't do (past, present or future) he was only saying what he was doing at that time with those 13 Golden Dharmas.
Sincerely, T. Chokyi
So, T. Chokyi, setting aside my own personal viewpoint on the matter, and assuming what has been presented to us in the name of Garchen Rp. to be the case, an important question to ask Garchen Rinpoche (and/or his resident Khenpo) would then be what aspects of those particular empowerment rituals allow them to be conferred both by live webcast and especially even when the recording is viewed after? and i'm referring here to the specific contents and procedure of the actual empowerment texts that he used in comparison to other similar empowerment texts, namely things like the establishing and closing of the mandalas, the ingesting of any related substances, physically conferring the vase empowerment, and the like. And note that any answer should refer to the specific practicalities and directives of these particular empowerment texts themselves and not any others or general theoretical notions, for example "place the vase on the disciple's head".
Once those points have been satisfactorily clarified, then what did he himself do differently in this specific instance that those particular empowerments would be valid even when only a recording is viewed?
Then, if in his opinion watching a recording is indeed valid, as anyone can download the recordings and they themselves or others whom they share it with can receive the empowerments by watching a copy, which can be further copied and shared ad infinitum, by what mechanism is an empowerment validly received by watching a copy of a copy of a copy a hundred or more years from now? And by "validly" i mean that it would be accepted as a valid unbroken lineage for someone with any other necessary credentials to pass on in person to future generations.
If on the other hand, he claims that a copy of a recording is not valid, but only the original recording is, then what precisely differentiates one copy from another? For if a copy of a copy is not valid, then no one can receive an empowerment by watching a digital recording online, for the very nature of any streaming media is that a copy of the data stored on the original server is downloaded onto one's own computer in order to be able to watch it, so even upon viewing the recording they have officially provided on Youtube one is in actuality already only viewing at minimum a copy of a copy of a copy of the original recording (for the upload to Youtube is a copy unto itself, and furthermore one which they reformat for compression etc. beyond this though it is likely that they create further copies which they send to their various server centers scattered about the globe in order to provide backup and faster download times on a global scale, and note it is unlikely that the original recording was directly uploaded but a copy of it in the first place which would make it another further step removed).
Those are a few questions which arise off the top of my head that I'm sure i'm not the only one who would be interested in hearing his answers and explanations to. So it would be great if you could pass them along. I for one look forward to hearing his answers. Thanks!