Tibetan Buddhism in India

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Tibetan Buddhism in India

Postby Indrajala » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:35 am

After traveling around many temples in India over the last number of weeks, I've noticed that Tibetan Buddhism in India seems tailored for Tibetans and Westerners.

Indians don't seem to get much attention.

For example, at the Karmapa temple in Sarnath I saw a sign advertising some special program they would be running. It cost US$200 or the equivalent in rupees. US$200 is maybe around 20% give or take of the average Indian income judging from the GDP per capita. That's a lot of money in India. The average Indian simply couldn't afford it.

I also spoke to one Hindu fellow in Varanasi who said he once attended a dharma talk by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He said that he spoke in Tibetan, but translation services via radio headsets were available in English and a few other European languages, but no Hindi. This is a talk given in India in a region where most people speak Hindi, but no translation services into Hindi were provided. So, he couldn't really get as much out of the talk as he would have liked to given that English isn't his strong language.

It is unusual that despite Tibetan Buddhism being firmly rooted in India, it doesn't seem to have much to do with average Indians.
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism in India

Postby heart » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:57 am

Huseng wrote:After traveling around many temples in India over the last number of weeks, I've noticed that Tibetan Buddhism in India seems tailored for Tibetans and Westerners.

Indians don't seem to get much attention.

For example, at the Karmapa temple in Sarnath I saw a sign advertising some special program they would be running. It cost US$200 or the equivalent in rupees. US$200 is maybe around 20% give or take of the average Indian income judging from the GDP per capita. That's a lot of money in India. The average Indian simply couldn't afford it.

I also spoke to one Hindu fellow in Varanasi who said he once attended a dharma talk by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He said that he spoke in Tibetan, but translation services via radio headsets were available in English and a few other European languages, but no Hindi. This is a talk given in India in a region where most people speak Hindi, but no translation services into Hindi were provided. So, he couldn't really get as much out of the talk as he would have liked to given that English isn't his strong language.

It is unusual that despite Tibetan Buddhism being firmly rooted in India, it doesn't seem to have much to do with average Indians.


Well the Tibetans are refugees in India and since Buddhism isn't on a mission of world domination the interest and request of people is what make things like teachings and empowerment's happen.

/magnus
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism in India

Postby Tilopa » Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:23 am

Huseng wrote:After traveling around many temples in India over the last number of weeks, I've noticed that Tibetan Buddhism in India seems tailored for Tibetans and Westerners.It is unusual that despite Tibetan Buddhism being firmly rooted in India, it doesn't seem to have much to do with average Indians.

The average Indian is Hindu and almost unshakeable in the belief that Buddha was an avatar of Vishnu and so really a Hindu like them anyway. There just isn't that much interest but nevertheless often teachings by His Holiness in Dharamsala are translated into Hindi and some lamas have established centres and programs specifically for the local population. The FPMT have centres in Delhi, Bodhgaya and Bangalore, Tai Situ Rinpoche has a large following of Indian students and regularly teaches at their request in New Delhi and Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche has established the wonderful Deer Park Institute. But you're right, most students of buddhism in India are Tibetan and Western.
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