Guardians of the Teaching

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Re: Guardians of the Teaching

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:49 pm

The links which you posted in no way invalidate my point. Just because information on the protectors is available does not mean that it should be available nor does it mean that we should make it available.
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Re: Guardians of the Teaching

Postby Malcolm » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:22 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:The links which you posted in no way invalidate my point. Just because information on the protectors is available does not mean that it should be available nor does it mean that we should make it available.
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The internet routes around censorship.
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Re: Guardians of the Teaching

Postby kirtu » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:37 pm

Namdrol wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:The links which you posted in no way invalidate my point. Just because information on the protectors is available does not mean that it should be available nor does it mean that we should make it available.
:namaste:



The internet routes around censorship.


Tell that to Baidu users.

Anyway openness does not negate responsibility. I have no idea why Rigpawiki made entries of protectors although the three mentioned are enlightened protectors aren't they? Part of an argument for could be that most people will not encounter this information anyway. Nonetheless circumspection and discernment is needed.

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Re: Guardians of the Teaching

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:50 pm

Yes, we can clearly see this with child pornography and snuff films too.

My question (and answer to your statement) is: So what?

Or to be more precise: Does this somehow justify its existence out there in cyberland? Does the fact that it is present legitimate its presence?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Guardians of the Teaching

Postby Center Channel » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:59 pm

Forget about the internet.

Isn't some of this info in publicly available books?
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Re: Guardians of the Teaching

Postby Malcolm » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:07 pm

kirtu wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:The links which you posted in no way invalidate my point. Just because information on the protectors is available does not mean that it should be available nor does it mean that we should make it available.
:namaste:



The internet routes around censorship.


Tell that to Baidu users.

Anyway openness does not negate responsibility. I have no idea why Rigpawiki made entries of protectors although the three mentioned are enlightened protectors aren't they? Part of an argument for could be that most people will not encounter this information anyway. Nonetheless circumspection and discernment is needed.

Kirt



discussing the protectors and their role is not a samaya breakage. It is silly to presume so. Greg, if your Lama thinks so, that is his opinion but has no relevance to me.

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Re: Guardians of the Teaching

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:13 pm

Namdrol wrote:...Greg, if your Lama thinks so, that is his opinion but has no relevance to me.
This is fair enough and I don't expect what my lama says to be of relevance to you but it does not answer my question: Does the fact that it is present legitimate its presence? Back in the "good ol' days" protector and yidam practices were personal and secret, you don't believe that here was a valid reason for this? Does this reason no longer have a meaning in the "information age"? Or maybe it is even MORE important to keep ones personal practices personal?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Guardians of the Teaching

Postby Malcolm » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:14 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Or to be more precise: Does this somehow justify its existence out there in cyberland? Does the fact that it is present legitimate its presence?


It is simply there, it does not need justification.

You can cruise any Dzogchen Community website and find images of the protectors.

For example, the Merigar temple has all images of protectors in public view. The Merigar temples is a tourist destination.

There are many more examples.

Equating illegal pornography with images of protectors just shows how much you like to exaggerate.
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Re: Guardians of the Teaching

Postby Malcolm » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:16 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Namdrol wrote:...Greg, if your Lama thinks so, that is his opinion but has no relevance to me.
This is fair enough and I don't expect what my lama says to be of relevance to you but it does not answer my question: Does the fact that it is present legitimate its presence? Back in the "good ol' days" protector and yidam practices were personal and secret, you don't believe that here was a valid reason for this? Does this reason no longer have a meaning in the "information age"? Or maybe it is even MORE important to keep ones personal practices personal?



The "secrecy" of practices is a much vaunted and little kept thing. There are Mahakala statues in full public view all over Katmandhu and have been for centuries.
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there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: Guardians of the Teaching

Postby Dechen Norbu » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:23 pm

Perhaps some unnecessary drama in this thread, no?
I agree that some images and symbolic language may cause people to make all sorts of wild and erroneous interpretations. However, Tantric images and some practices will never become secret again. What is already publicly available will never be taken back. It's a one way route. So continously complaining about it is a bit it's like whining over spilled milk.

Luckily, most Vajrayana teachings are self secret. It doesn't matter if you see an image or read a text. Or does anyone really believes the guardians look like that instead of that images being the way they were perceived by someone with enough attainments at a particular time and location?

Sure that one needs to be careful when dealing with protectors, especially if they are mundane, but in most cases people will never deal with anything but their imagination. Achieved practitioners, that should know better, not newbies, need to be much more cautious with their practice and conduct regarding protectors. These practitioners may make some protectors angry (not the enlightened ones, obviously) and suffer consequences in consequence.

Newbies at most will become confuse with those faces, bodies, ornaments, context and so on. To them, most Vajrayana images need explanation so that they aren't misunderstood, not protector's names and images in particular. A few Tibetan teachers need to lighten up as things have changed drastically. Most practitioners know these images even before they start ngöndro. Again, this is not something that will change. The cat is out of the bag and run away never to be seen again! :lol:

There is also the funny phenomena of some people, not addressing anyone in particular, feeling the necessity to keep secrecy about some practices mainly because they like to feel special, that they do secret stuff, stuff that needs adequate preparation, empowerments and what not and they have all that. It may be a subtle feeling sometimes not even brought to their conscious mind. But that has nothing to do with preserving the teachings.

Regarding the corruption of lineages because of samaya breaches, these are caused by those with empowerments and commitments, so those who know very well these images and practices. It's them who weaken lineages, not newbies who don't know very well what they are seeing.

I think people need to lighten up a little and rely a bit on the self secret aspect of these teachings. Unless one is properly introduced and has the ability to really practice effectively (and this means signs, not wishful thinking) probably little more other than one's imagination is working. I know so many people who are doing protector practices when maybe they should be striving for stable shine in the first place.
IMO, we love to delude ourselves and think our capacity is much bigger than it really is.
In the end, go with you lama's advice. But don't expect others to do it. :smile:
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Re: Guardians of the Teaching

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:23 pm

Namdrol wrote:Equating illegal pornography with images of protectors just shows how much you like to exaggerate.
I did not equate illegal pornography with images of protectors, the point I was trying to make was that just because something is freely available does not make it's availability legitimate. I understand what you are saying, it does not mean that I agree with it, but could you please refrain from straw men and ad homs? Thank you.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Guardians of the Teaching

Postby Adamantine » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:33 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Namdrol wrote:Equating illegal pornography with images of protectors just shows how much you like to exaggerate.
I did not equate illegal pornography with images of protectors, the point I was trying to make was that just because something is freely available does not make it's availability legitimate. I understand what you are saying, it does not mean that I agree with it, but could you please refrain from straw men and ad homs? Thank you.


I think he was pointing out that when discussing the issue of "legitimacy" on the internet, ILLEGAL porn being compared to Buddhist images of whatever type is an exaggeration. Is this hard to understand? One is not legal, thus not legitimate to be shared publicly----> and one is perfectly legal. Your argument for the images/content being illegitimate is based on your personal Lama's interpretation, but is clearly not illegal, nor illegitimate according to other Lamas as Namdrol and others point out.. So there is not an official or even unofficial collective view on this, as opposed to child porn....which even outlaw hacktivist groups like Anonymous deemed so disturbing that they eliminated underground sites sharing it.
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Re: Guardians of the Teaching

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:44 pm

Again my point has been minsinterpreted, the point I was trying to make had nothing to do with the legality or not, but whether presence = legitimacy.

Look past the finger people!

As for my personal lamas view, I don't think he made it up just to get me into an argument! ;) Well, maybe he did???
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Guardians of the Teaching

Postby Blue Garuda » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:36 pm

To what extent do Lamas vary in their teachings?

I see a few scenarios, with the caveat that you should follow your Lama's guidance:

1. Whatever others do, keep your Protectors and their practices secret.

2. Express yourself freely, display images etc. but retain rupas and/or images which are totally private as a focus for your practice.

3. Display images etc. but retain rupas and/or images which are totally private as a focus for your practice, but do not express yourself freely.

4. As these images and scriptures are already public, express yourself freely and unconditionally.


I'm sure that isn't an exhaustive list of the possible variations, but to me the most important thing is not so much the image as the practice. Where a Lama instructs that a practice is secret, maybe confined to those at a particular empowerment then whatever others may deem suitable, we should keep faith with that Lama.
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Re: Guardians of the Teaching

Postby wisdom » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:37 pm

I think the important part of seeking and reading about Vajrayana if you don't have empowerment is what our intention is in doing so. If our intention is selfless, then we will read these books and hearing the words of the Venerable Masters will say to ourselves "They all say I need a lama, empowerment, and to complete preliminaries like Ngondro, therefore I need to find a lama capable of teaching me Ngondro before I worry about the higher practices of Vajrayana". One could do this as a form of Guru Yoga, since it recognizes the Truth of the words of the Guru, of the Buddha, and that they are not to be discarded to the wayside as mere opinions.

If ones motivations are selfish, its unlikely the self secret nature of Vajrayana would reveal itself. Nor would any practices be of much benefit, and would only continue to obscure ones mind and create further delusions until one was able to perceive the egocentricity of their actions, and why empowerment is important and of benefit. Empowerment, in a sense, in my opinion and perception, is an aspect of both Bodhicitta and Guru Yoga. Thats just my personal opinion, but my reasoning is in addition to what I've said about Guru Yoga above, its part of Bodhicitta because it allows a person to begin practices from a selfless base, because one is ready and the teacher gives the go ahead, not ones own ego.
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Re: Guardians of the Teaching

Postby Adamantine » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:50 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Again my point has been minsinterpreted, the point I was trying to make had nothing to do with the legality or not, but whether presence = legitimacy.



With all due respect Greg, maybe your point was "misinterpreted" because it was misrepresented. Legitimate can be another way of saying legal. If you use something presented on the web that is illegal as your example of presence not equaling legitimacy, than your statement will thus be interpreted in that light. What is unclear here is what your intended use of the word legitimate actually was. We assume it means according to Vajrayana laws/samaya in general, but as has been pointed out with clarity, this is relative according to one's own Lama/lineage. So I still fail to see any validity to your claim that your post was misinterpreted. I hope that helps you solve the quandary about why you haven't convinced everyone with your example!
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Re: Guardians of the Teaching

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:36 am

Adamantine wrote:With all due respect Greg, maybe your point was "misinterpreted" because it was misrepresented. Legitimate can be another way of saying legal. If you use something presented on the web that is illegal as your example of presence not equaling legitimacy, than your statement will thus be interpreted in that light. What is unclear here is what your intended use of the word legitimate actually was. We assume it means according to Vajrayana laws/samaya in general, but as has been pointed out with clarity, this is relative according to one's own Lama/lineage. So I still fail to see any validity to your claim that your post was misinterpreted. I hope that helps you solve the quandary about why you haven't convinced everyone with your example!
Firstly: I'm not trying to convince anybody of anything, everybody is free to do whatever they wish, but I know a straw man when I see one. Secondly, let's not dance around words and their exact legalistic and common definitions. It is the third time I am explaining what I said. It seems that it may suit or accomodate people to pretend they do not understand (or purposefully misinterpret) my example, rather than just admit that I may have a point. Thirdly, obviously we will all go with what our lama tells us, I don't think I said anything to the contrary. But it is unlikely that I will ignore my lama and post protectors names and images all over the net just because there may already be there.

The other thing that I do not understand is why post pictures of protectors, their names, and in some cases, even their mantras on the internet? Where is the value in this?
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Guardians of the Teaching

Postby Adamantine » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:44 am

gregkavarnos wrote: Secondly, let's not dance around words and their exact legalistic and common definitions.



being precise with words: their definitions and use in context -- is our only hope for communicating and/or interpreting one another accurately on an internet forum which is merely a bunch of words thrown together.

Thirdly, obviously we will all go with what our lama tells us, I don't think I said anything to the contrary. But it is unlikely that I will ignore my lama and post protectors names and images all over the net just because there may already be there.


I didn't think anyone was trying to encourage you to do this: that right there is your straw man.



The other thing that I do not understand is why post pictures of protectors, their names, and in some cases, even their mantras on the internet? Where is the value in this?
:namaste:



i also don't see the purpose in this at all either in posting images or mantras of protectors in public websites. i wouldn't do it myself. but i thought we were talking about merely mentioning their names and discussing them on a Buddhist forum. i don't see the harm in this, but if your lama discourages you from it, don't do it. no need to convince others to heed your own samaya though: it belongs to you.

--I think when some samaya-breakers create their own websites that slander dharma and openly publish secret teachings on protectors, it is not a terrible thing for people with pure motivation to try and clarify potential misunderstandings about something so alien to our culture.. just my 2¢
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Re: Guardians of the Teaching

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:17 am

Adamantine wrote:I didn't think anyone was trying to encourage you to do this: that right there is your straw man.
Guilty as charged! :tongue:
i also don't see the purpose in this at all either in posting images or mantras of protectors in public websites. i wouldn't do it myself. but i thought we were talking about merely mentioning their names and discussing them on a Buddhist forum ... it is not a terrible thing for people with pure motivation to try and clarify potential misunderstandings about something so alien to our culture.. just my 2¢
The bit I cut out I agree with 100% Now the bit that I left. When I see a name or term posted in a discussion that I may find interesting, the first thing I do is Google. Well, from there on there is a huge amount of disinformation that I can get my hands on and... Now the motivation of those mentioning the names may be pure as the driven snow, but does that mean the topic should be discussed publically? Isn't it more a subject matter to be discussed solely with their siblings and their teachers? Is it necessary to discuss it openly on a public internet board? You may say (and correctly too) that any subject can be misinterpreted by the ignorant, but shouldn't some subjects be be kept from the eyes and ears of the ignorant due to the fact that they are more "easily" misinterpreted?

A friend of mine sent me some articles from a Greek Orthodox Christian site whose task is to protect god-fearing folks from satanistic child sacrificing satanists. You know what they used to prove that Buddhists (esp. Vajrayana) are satanists? Well... I'm sure I don't need to spell it out for you my dear Adamantine! :smile:
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Guardians of the Teaching

Postby Adamantine » Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:43 am

gregkavarnos wrote:A friend of mine sent me some articles from a Greek Orthodox Christian site whose task is to protect god-fearing folks from satanistic child sacrificing satanists. You know what they used to prove that Buddhists (esp. Vajrayana) are satanists? Well... I'm sure I don't need to spell it out for you my dear Adamantine! :smile:
:namaste:


The images of protectors being hidden from public view(even if it were possible, which it is clearly not) is not going to keep ignorant groups or people from misinterpreting and misunderstanding the Dharma, especially vajrayana.. considering that there are endless images online and in museums, postcards, etc. of wrathful yidams, yidams in yabyum, wrathful yidams in yabyum, etc. etc. You can buy endless books and find images of Yamantaka, Mahakala, Vajakilaya, Dorje Drollo, etc. so if some Christian is looking for images to convince others that Buddhists worship their idea of a demon, then they don't need to look long or hard or for images of protectors.

This is, yet another straw man!
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