Thousands of Chinese buddhists flock to Larung Gar

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Thousands of Chinese buddhists flock to Larung Gar

Postby phantom59 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:35 pm

"I earned $25,000 a year, and I had a happy family, that's what all the world wants," recalls Ye, 40, from Guangzhou in steamy south china. Two years ago, Ye gave up everything his marketing job, apartment, car, wife and child for the monastic hardships of life at Larung Gar.

"I sometimes wonder what my daughter looks like now, but I have no regrets," says Ye, despite winter temperatures of minus 10 degrees.Han Chinese students have risen from 1,000 when she arrived seven years ago to over 2,000 today, says Yuan Yi, a shaven-headed nun from southeast Fujian province. But the senior Tibetan lama they follow, Khenpo So Dargye, refused to discuss the chinese student body he heads.Such caution reflects the academy's troubled past and ongoing vulnerability. Founded in what was an uninhabited Larung valley in 1980, the institute became so popular it attracted a large-scale government assault in 2001. Hundreds of homes were demolished and thousands of residents evicted, according to exile groups.

Han students say the institute's popularity lies in its Chinese language provision and inspirational teachers such as Khenpo So Dargye, who embraces social media. Over a half-million followers, on China's Twitter-like micro-blogging service Sina Weibo, receive his posts, usually Buddhist advice.Don't expect Han converts to soften Beijing's hardline Tibet policy, cautions Thubten Samphel, spokesman for the Tibetan government-in-exile. Their numbers are dwarfed by China's 1.3 billion population

In 1980, Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok founded Serthar Institute, known as Larung Gar
Buddhist Academy, in the Larung Valley near the town of Serthar, Karze
Prefecture, Sichuan Province. The purpose of the Institute has been to provide
an ecumenical training in Tibetan Buddhism and to meet the need for renewal of
meditation and scholarship all over Tibet in the wake of china's cultural
revolution of 1966-76 .

Despite its remote location, it grew from a handful of disciples gathering in
Khenpo's home to be one of the largest and most influential centers for the
study of Tibetan Buddhism in the world, numbering to nearly 10,000 monks, nuns,
and lay disciples by the year 2000.

Overall, the student body of Serthar Institute was made up of monks, nuns, lay
"vow-holders" of both Tibetan and Chinese origins, and tantric practitioners.
They studied under four major religious divisions in the Institute: Ngarig
Nangten Lobling, International Religious Committee, Pema Khandro Duling Nunnery,
and Lektso Charbeb Ling. Ngarig Nangten Lobling consisted of 2,500 Tibetan
monks. Lektso Charbeb Ling is the section that trained over 1,000 lay Tibetan
"vow-holders" and tantric practitioners from Serthar and other regions of Tibet.

Pema Khandro Duling Nunnery was the home for study to approximately 3,500-4,000
nuns from all regions of Tibet. More than half of those who came to Serthar were
women and the curriculum allowed nuns to achieve a coveted Khenpo degree for the
first time in Tibetan history. Entry into the relatively small number of
nunneries that exist in other areas of Tibet is limited, but Serthar was open to
virtually anyone who genuinely sought to become a student of Khenpo Jigme
Phuntsok's ecumenical vision. Khenpo's niece, Jetsunma Mumso, was recognized as
a tulku, which means, literally, "emanation body" (sprul-sku). She heads the
order of nuns. The term is descriptive of certain teachers in Tibet who are
thought to reincarnate over a number of generations.

Roughly ten percent of the nearly 10,000 students attending Serthar were ethnic
chinese. They attended separate classes taught in Mandarin while larger classes
were taught in the Tibetan language. The International Religious Committee
oversaw 1,000 disciples from regions of the people's republic of china and
students from other Asian countries.

Around 1999 the sichuan united work front pressed him on the issue of his
support for the Dalai Lama, and demanded that he reduce the number of students
at the Institute (either to 150 or to 1400, depending on reports). Jigme
Phuntsok refused. In summer of 2001 several thousand members of the people's
armed police and the public security bureau descended on the site, razing its
structures and dispersed its students. The event attracted international media
attention.Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok died of heart failure in 2004, at the age of 70
in Tibet. According to the Tibetan Youth Congress, his death, much like the one
of the 10th Panchen Lama, occurred in suspicious circumstances

http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/s ... m-china-co\
mmunist-tension/51034604/1
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Re: Thousands of Chinese buddhists flock to Larung Gar

Postby Huifeng » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:19 am

I've thought for some time that one of the best ways to help the Tibetan cause is to support Buddhism in mainland China. When more mainland Chinese feel the benefits of the Dharma, and realize that Tibet and Tibetan culture is an incredible treasury of the Dharma, then they themselves will work towards preserving Tibetan culture and Tibet itself. Everyone wins!

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Thousands of Chinese buddhists flock to Larung Gar

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:35 am

Longer and longer term as nations become more and more large, independent in part but only part, and various religions become identified with certain majority cultures, and the populations of each nation and place become more under stress due to various causes...I see China as buddhisms only future.
If China by majority or significant part returns to buddhism then only can I see buddhism surviving without dilution or abscription.

Consider this only in my personal context...one quite mad or insane,so considered. So feel free to disregard. :crazy:

I see a wider scope to this thing of Buddhism in China then simply Tibet.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Thousands of Chinese buddhists flock to Larung Gar

Postby pemachophel » Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:41 pm

"If China by majority or significant part returns to buddhism then only can I see buddhism surviving without dilution or abscription."

While all religions in China are experiencing growth, it's my impression that Christianity is growing the most rapidly. Nevertheless, I agree that the more Chinese Buddhists the better, both for Tibetan Buddhism and the world as a whole.
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Re: Thousands of Chinese buddhists flock to Larung Gar

Postby ronnewmexico » Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:18 pm

Could be christianity seems to go hand to glove with industrialization...they go quite well together.

But there is very many agendas attached to christianity not as many to buddhism. What we see here is media, in the west, is generally through a christian point, most all the reporters and editors, particularly the editors, are all christians.So they may be inclined to see christianity in places it is not really present.
And if china becomes the "enemy" once again....we then may have pretext to fight or have reason or rational to interfere, and interference is probably always on the horizon..Faulen Gong surpression does not actually inspire the masses to action. A surpression of christainity fabricated or not..will inspire action of the masses...So it may be necessary by certain peoples with agenda to find christianity in china.

So I say it is overblown this thing of christianity in China...from earliest times of christianity(year 200 or so I think) christianity was always present in China, though mostly it was in a form now discarded by christians. That it now reappears....to be expected it was always there just repressed or forgotton.

With globalization and stress on the global resources eventually only the large large nations will survive with individual identity.WE are just starting to see that now,it will increase and continue this trend.So individual buddhist cultures and nations will be largly devolved.
Euro nations are a example as how this may happen.EVentually from various influences our global culture will loose its variance and nuance.
So Buddhism as minority, will only survive intact if part and parcel of a large nations culture. If not it may be called buddhism but will not really be, the dominate culture so modifying it it becomes indistinguishable from dominate religions present in all places.

Long long term is this reference.

By my take all religions are reemerging in China...Buddhism I'd guess is the most predominate. I have not been to China but do take notice of China as I hold specific interest in that place.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Thousands of Chinese buddhists flock to Larung Gar

Postby deepbluehum » Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:10 pm

The difficulty will be for the average person to sort out what is genuine dharma. The communists will succeed in tremendous disinformation.
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Re: Thousands of Chinese buddhists flock to Larung Gar

Postby ronnewmexico » Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:00 pm

Communism technically controls everything. But allowance of religion in a asian context is not allowance of religion in a western context or a american context. The communism of the cultural revolution is not the totalitarianism of china today.

Differing governments and cultures have allowance or disallowance of religion based upon perhaps specific history.
I remember reading one specific origination of complaint on no freedom of religion in China, from someone in a certain european state...finding ironically that that state had just enacted laws restricting exactly that...freedom of religion.

It is not always for nefarious purpose there is restriction on religions, there may be historical cause.
The Puritans in the english colonies of america did export any peoples that were not of their faith from their areas and did execute those that contninued to stay. The english monarchy at the time did strongly condemn such actions. That one government was a monarchy and another representing local home rule did not infer in matters of religion one was better than another.

Asian governments do quite often control who may practice what religions, generally by recognition, a process. There is substantiative reason for that.
China totalitarian and controlling we should not confuse with ideological communism in which religion is the enemy.
It may be used and is.
I personally have heard media from china (all controlled outlets) favoring the historical chinese buddhism and disfavoring the other forms of buddhism..;.for purpose of nationalism. Expansion into buddhist nations such as tibet would also be favored by this view.

China is called communistic but the reality is something different. So if one applies communist ideology to the present china one is left with a mistaken apprehension and one ends up forcasting wrong things.
Communism may be used as bugaboo from those with agenda in the west as it serves purpose in the same fashion christianity found in china may serve purpose....the masses may rise against it in their opinion. Thusly various forms of intervention some strictly economic may be substantiated.
It is generally not about communism but about economic competitor.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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