Buddhism is peaceful?

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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:17 am

kirtu wrote:
shaunc wrote:Just out of interest. Could someone name me a mainstream religion that has not had practitioners involved in war time atrocities. I'd be very interested in learning more about it.


That's not the issue. The issue was that high lamas were seemingly unable to keep their putative followers from committing war and murder in their name. And secondly some lamas who were supposed to know better also took part.

However, Jains have not (to my knowledge) waged war. This is not the question you framed however.

Overall a better history of Tibet and Central Asia is badly needed in part to address these questions.

Kirt


There are like 5 million Jains or something left in the world, and as far as I know, Jainism has never been a state religion on a large scale, has it? I know there were Jain rulers in some places at one time though. Sort of hard to compare a thing like that.
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:38 am

“[Anything which] is a living and not a dying body will have to be an incarnate will to power, it will strive to grow, spread, seize, become predominant - not from any morality or immorality but because it is living and because life simply is the will to power. 'Exploitation' belongs to the essence of what lives, as a basic organic function; it is a consequence of the will to power, which is after all the will to life.”

-Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, s.259
Welcome to Samsara
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:03 am

Wisdombeing,

People who say they love HH the Dalai Lama but can be so derogatory and offensive is just contradictory to Buddhism, in my limited view.


Funny, I find it is the people that say they love Buddhism and then tell lies about HH Dalai Lama and say hate filled things about him that is very contradictory to Buddhism in my view.

It's funny because people don't recognize that any visibility and acceptance that, for example, monastics like me who wear the robes get these days is in large part because of the positive things His Holiness does and the power of association with His Holiness and his actions.

Likewise, a lot of the acceptance of Buddhism in the world, its association as a rational religion that is scientific, and its reputation as a compassionate philosophy can be connected to the world travels of His Holiness over the last 20 years.

It makes me very sad to see "Buddhists" who, although they are free to disagree with His Holiness, put so much time and energy into trying to tear down his character.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
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
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:43 am

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"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: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby SunRay » Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:45 pm

waimengwan wrote:I recall the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama there was a war between the Gelugpas and another faction.


:namaste: Me too, it was one of the more pleasant migrations between my frequent visits to hell realm.. :meditate:
OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Namgyal » Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:10 pm

My Lama told me that in old Tibet the Lamas were forever poisoning each other, attacking each other with black magic, or else conducting outright warfare against each other using armed supporters (usually Mongols).
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:49 pm

We are taught to be compassionate. History is history.
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby michaelb » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:02 am

Power corrupts... Power is intoxicating and the closer one gets to it the more one will do to attain and keep it. If you want to find religious traditions that didn't engage in violence, just look for one without political power or the chance to get political power. Gelugpas have been the most powerful and politically successful sect in Tibet and therefore probably the most violent. This isn't ancient history either. Phabongkha's well documented purges against Nyingmapas in Eastern Tibet are comparatively recent and he was a major lineage holder who modified the Gelug tradition to reflect his own sectarian position. How do modern western liberal Gelugpas reconcile themselves to that?
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Namgyal » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:49 pm

michaelb wrote:Power corrupts... Power is intoxicating and the closer one gets to it the more one will do to attain and keep it. If you want to find religious traditions that didn't engage in violence, just look for one without political power or the chance to get political power. Gelugpas have been the most powerful and politically successful sect in Tibet and therefore probably the most violent. This isn't ancient history either. Phabongkha's well documented purges against Nyingmapas in Eastern Tibet are comparatively recent and he was a major lineage holder who modified the Gelug tradition to reflect his own sectarian position. How do modern western liberal Gelugpas reconcile themselves to that?

Pabongka Rinpoche was simply a religious conservative. HH Dalai Lama and the Gelugpa school subscribe to the non-sectarian Rime tradition.
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:25 pm

The Gelugs were the most recent holders of power in Tibet and with power comes corruption. But anyone familiar with Tibetan history knows the other orders had their intrigues too, so it would be a little immature to dismiss an entire tradition and corpus of teachings because of unfortunate history. There were cases of lamas taking over eachother's monasteries even before the advent of the Gelug tradition.

There were huge fueds between the two palaces of the Sakya school, recent tension between Drukpa and Karma kagyu,with HH Gyalwang drukpa writing a letter saying henceforth his school would be known simply as drukpa. In Lord of the Dance Chagdud Rinpoche talks about power struggles and terma contoversies within the Nyingma.

I would go as far as saying you cannot find a significant Tibetan lineage with a history completely free of these things.

Phabonkhapa unfortunately left a
blight of sectarianism on the Gelug lineage but this is being remedied by hhdl and many other masters. They advocate fixing things, not abandoning an incredibly rich and profound tradition. True non sectarian masters see the benefit of studies in that tradition, Thrangu Rinpoche, tutor to hh karmapa, is a geshe lharampa for crying out loud, and Taklung matrul rinpoche also completed extensive gelug studies. We are talking about long years studying in the Gelug style. Obviously they feel due to the benefits past history can be forgiven, otherwise they wouldn't be there.

It works the other way too, Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, Hh sakya trizin and HH Karmapa have all taught at sera, for example.
I have attended initiations of HHK with many Gyuto gelug monks participating.

My experience with Tibetans has shown me most are willing to put down theload of sectarianism, while the western white students seem to enjoy holding onto it. White converts like to beable to play the minority in their chosen religion. The most sectarian practitioners i have met are Westerners of the Nyingma and Gelug traditions, with about a 50/50 split. Most Tibetans I have met are eager to move on, with the exception of a few die hard fundamentalists who are increasingly seen as backward.

I findit weird Westerners not even born into this culture seem to want to hold on to past grudges from a feudal society. We need to move past this stuff if anyone in the West is to take Buddhism seriously. Otherwise we look just as clannish as the feuding sects of Christianity while we argue the sophistication of Buddhism. It is pretty sad, actually,
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
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
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby michaelb » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:31 pm

Sorry JKhedrup and Namgyal. I didn't mean to engage in puerile sectarianism and elicit such a defensive response . I just wanted to ask how modern Gelugpas deal with the rather malign shadow that, for example, Phabongkha casts. Non-sectarianism seems to be a perfect response. Are more troubling lamas still included in lineage prayers?
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Namgyal » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:43 pm

JKhedrup wrote:Phabonkhapa unfortunately left a blight of sectarianism on the Gelug lineage but this is being remedied by hhdl and many other masters. They advocate fixing things, not abandoning an incredibly rich and profound tradition. True non sectarian masters see the benefit of studies in that tradition, Thrangu Rinpoche, tutor to hh karmapa, is a geshe lharampa for crying out loud, and Taklung matrul rinpoche also completed extensive gelug studies. We are talking about long years studying in the Gelug style. Obviously they feel due to the benefits past history can be forgiven, otherwise they wouldn't be there.

Venerable Sir, You appear to be suggesting that the vast and ancient Gelugpa school requires some kind of remedy, and is in danger of abandonment, or that it somehow needs endorsement from other traditions. As I am unable to fathom these statements I would be obliged if you would write some clarification. For my part, I do not know what were the motivations of Pabongka Rinpoche, so instead I try to perceive him with pure vision.
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:45 pm

There are many lineages that don't go through Phabongkha. Others go through him but also through several other masters of the same generation/ most lamas have more than one teacher.

I am sorry if my statements are terse but when these discussions happen I often feel a sense of one upmanship from Western practitioners of the various traditions. If this was not your intention then I should apologize. I just find this attitude pervasive amongst Tibetan Buddhism in the West and feel it is a great shame.

Fortunately the Tibetan lamas and monks of the Nyingma lineage are more broadminded than some of their Western students. Namkha rinpoche invites geshe sonam to teach at his centre and did extensive fundraising at sera jey.

You could ask the same question of kamtsang kagyus who use sadhanas that go through Shamar Rinpoche, one of whom facilitated a foreign invasion of Tibet. I accept that some of these lineage masters mentioned in the sadhanas of many traditions were human and move on with my life.Some were enlightened, some not. To insist anything else would be naieve in the extreme.

Even beings with realizations can sometimes make some pretty big mistakes. I really don´t believe that every single master in a lineage has to be a fully enlightened Buddha necessarily. Pabongkhapa was a complex individual who went through various periods of openness and conservatism througout his life. But absolutely his sectarian statements must be challenged, and many in the Gelug tradition have the courage to do that these days, which I think says a lot.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
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
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:49 pm

Look at volume cha of phabonkha's collected works, or at the statements of HHDL on Phabonkha's sectarianism. My opinion is based primarily on those factors. HHDL has clearly stated that Phabonkhapa gave profound teachings but also made some serious mistakes. This opinion is rather common in modern Gelug so I am surprised you are perturbed by it.

The Gelug school of Lord Tsonkhapa requires no remedy and I never said it did, please read my statement carefully. There was, after all a Gelug school for hundreds of years before Phabongkhapa. The sectarian statements and influence of Phabonkha are what need to be challenged, even though he has written some profound teachings. This sectarianism is neither normative for Gelug followers or in the spirit of the example of Lord Tsongkhapa, who had masters from several traditions.

There is no excuse for saying Buddhist practices that have benefitted many lead to hell because they do not fit within some narrow philosophical paradigm, for example. Phabongkhapa was not right to make such a statement, and it resulted in some very real problems with a handful of his students damaging Guru Rinpoche statues. Does this mean that nothing Phabongkhapa did or wrote was special or worth studying- of course not!

It is true we cannot know anothers motivation but not to question rabidly sectarian statements is cowardly in my opinion and can lead to a destructive fundamentalism that might isolate Gelug from the broader Buddhist world and further exacerbate sectarian tensions. Fortunately due to the kindness of HHDL I feel the Gelug tradition is actually in very good shape, and that the precious philosophical traditions will continue to be transmitted for many years.

If you can read volume cha of Phabongkhapa's collected works and maintain a pure view I would be surprised.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
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
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Namgyal » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:47 pm

Venerable Sir, With hindsight, Pabongka Rinpoche did make one mistake. However, I do not think that he was personally prejudiced against the Nyingma or any other Tibetan school. My view is that he believed that the best future for Tibetan Buddhism lay in unification. To this end he was politically ruthless, and not above fabricating sectarian tracts for propaganda purposes (realpolitik).
:namaste:
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:09 pm

michaelb wrote:This isn't ancient history either.
How could it possibly be ancient history? Buddhism didn't arrive in Tibet until the 740's CE and the Gelugpas (as an organisation) only started to take form in the 1370's-1380's CE. Ancient history covers the period of WRITTEN history from the 30th Century BCE (when Cuneiform script develped) until about 1000CE (which includes the Early Middle Ages 480 CE until 1000 CE).
"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: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Tom » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:09 pm

michaelb wrote: After all, who really cares what happened back during the Great Fifth's time?


Probably Jonangpas! Who by the way, in order to find new land for monasteries ended up smashing some Bonpos. Two things:

1. Every lineage had these sectarian issues wether they held power or not. No doubt having power is a factor, look at the armies Drikung Gonpa had and used when for the short time it was in power... but didn't Gandhi say don't judge a religion by the people who practice it.

2. In saying that I think understanding these historical events can be beneficial when reading the works of the different lineages. For example, do you think when Sapan came to power his critiques of Kagyu doctrine are not motivated in part due to secular concerns?
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:29 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:All you can do is try to not judge a religion by the people who fail miserably to practice it.

^^^
Sad thread. First noble truth and all that. But the whole point of our practice is that we can't give up on wisdom and compassion. We are obliged to believe they - through us - will save the day. Second noble truth does not say - "they" cause our suffering. We all have the same disease KWIM? And fortunately, there is a third noble truth. Drive all blames into one. So cheer up everybody one day we will all be hugging and kissing and frolicking with the fluffy bunny rabbits in nirvana.
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:54 pm

JKhedrup wrote:My experience with Tibetans has shown me most are willing to put down theload of sectarianism, while the western white students seem to enjoy holding onto it. White converts like to beable to play the minority in their chosen religion. The most sectarian practitioners i have met are Westerners of the Nyingma and Gelug traditions, with about a 50/50 split. Most Tibetans I have met are eager to move on, with the exception of a few die hard fundamentalists who are increasingly seen as backward.

I findit weird Westerners not even born into this culture seem to want to hold on to past grudges from a feudal society. We need to move past this stuff if anyone in the West is to take Buddhism seriously. Otherwise we look just as clannish as the feuding sects of Christianity while we argue the sophistication of Buddhism. It is pretty sad, actually,
Converts are always the most fanatical. Partly because they want to promote and defend their new decision. And partly because without experience in the culture of the religion, they are forced to rely solely on scripture which almost always proclaims their new faith as the best.

As for the Tibetans, their new found unity is likely a result of exile. Both to better preserve their culture and due to increased interaction with other sects. If by magic, the Chinese let Tibet go tomorrow and all the Tibetans returned, the old grudges would probably come back in a few decades.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby michaelb » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:10 pm

JKhedrup wrote:I am sorry if my statements are terse but when these discussions happen I often feel a sense of one upmanship from Western practitioners of the various traditions. If this was not your intention then I should apologize.

It was not. I have a great deal of respect for all Buddhist traditions, it's just that as this is the Gelug forum (and I have Gelug teachers) I should mention a Gelug example that is close enough to home for people to actually feel uncomfortable about, rather than pick one from a very long time ago, which doesn't really make one question one's close lineage lamas

By the way, I'm not a Nyingmapa and my root lama studied at Sera Je.
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