Palden Lhamo

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Palden Lhamo

Postby Red Faced Buddha » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:41 am

I recently read about Palden Lhamo and I was disturbed when I read about her.How can a Buddhist venerate a "deity" who supposedly flayed her own son?I don't know if the myth is true or not,but it is still disturbing.It'd be like a fundamentalist killing her kid because she thinks he's "of the Devil."
A person once asked me why I would want to stop rebirth. "It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want to be reborn."
I replied. "Wanting to be reborn is like wanting to stay in a jail cell, when you have the chance to go free and experience the whole wide world. Does a convict, on being freed from his shabby, constricting, little cell, suddenly say "I really want to go back to jail and be put in a cell. It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want that?"
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Re: Palden Lhamo

Postby Seishin » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:07 pm

Did she do this before she turned to Buddhism?

It might also be worth noting that she is a wrathful gaurdian of Buddhism

Gassho,
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Re: Palden Lhamo

Postby futerko » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:46 pm

Her husband, the king of Lanka, was sacrificing his subjects and teaching their son to become the ultimate destroyer of Buddhism. She made the threat to try to get him to reform, but when he didn't she carried out her threat and while the king was away, killed her son, drank his blood and ate his flesh, then rode away on a horse saddled with her son's flayed skin.

She then went to hell for years, but eventually stole the sword and sack of diseases from the king of the demons and fought her way back to earth, living in a charnel ground, she renounced her own beauty, starving herself and not washing, letting her hair and nails grow long, and wallowing in her fury, she cried out, "If there is anyone out there, God or human, who can give me any reason to live, if anyone can offer me even an ounce of comfort, come now, because I am killing myself."

At this, the Budhha of compassion appeared, saying, "I have a mission for you. You have met and vanquished all the demons. You can subdue any menace with your flaming sword and sack of ills. You know every dirty trick in the book. You have no fear. You will be the shield of all who follow the path of compassion."
She replied, "You trust me to protect these children of light after all I have done?" - "Who else but you?" the Buddha replied.
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Re: Palden Lhamo

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:37 pm

Red Faced Buddha wrote:I recently read about Palden Lhamo and I was disturbed when I read about her.How can a Buddhist venerate a "deity" who supposedly flayed her own son?I don't know if the myth is true or not,but it is still disturbing.It'd be like a fundamentalist killing her kid because she thinks he's "of the Devil."
She isn't enlightened. So refuge isn't taken in her.
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: Palden Lhamo

Postby conebeckham » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:39 pm

Not true, Konchok, at least according to some lineages, where Palden Lhamo is indeed a wisdom protector.
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Re: Palden Lhamo

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:51 pm

This seems another one of those tough ones. Most of the Gelug lamas I know say that she is high-bhumi Bodhisattva, but those from Drepung (where she is the monastery protector), state she is fully enlightened :thinking:
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Re: Palden Lhamo

Postby Inge » Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:22 pm

futerko wrote:Her husband, the king of Lanka, was sacrificing his subjects and teaching their son to become the ultimate destroyer of Buddhism. She made the threat to try to get him to reform, but when he didn't she carried out her threat and while the king was away, killed her son, drank his blood and ate his flesh, then rode away on a horse saddled with her son's flayed skin.

She then went to hell for years, but eventually stole the sword and sack of diseases from the king of the demons and fought her way back to earth, living in a charnel ground, she renounced her own beauty, starving herself and not washing, letting her hair and nails grow long, and wallowing in her fury, she cried out, "If there is anyone out there, God or human, who can give me any reason to live, if anyone can offer me even an ounce of comfort, come now, because I am killing myself."

At this, the Budhha of compassion appeared, saying, "I have a mission for you. You have met and vanquished all the demons. You can subdue any menace with your flaming sword and sack of ills. You know every dirty trick in the book. You have no fear. You will be the shield of all who follow the path of compassion."
She replied, "You trust me to protect these children of light after all I have done?" - "Who else but you?" the Buddha replied.

Awesome story.
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Re: Palden Lhamo

Postby waimengwan » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:30 pm

The protector of all the 14 Dalai Lama is Palden Lhamo. Why would the Dalai Lama rely on an unenlightened protector? Wasn't it Palden Lhamo who assisted the Dalai Lama to escape to India?
Tsem Rinpoche my teacher also holds Palden Lhamo in high regard and he felt very comfortable and happy doing this practice since young.

The story of the ship captain who killed the evil merchant came to mind. he knew with certainty that if we did not stop the veil merchant the evil merchant will languish in the lower realms for a very long time. So if we know that this child, if he does destroy buddhism it will harm countless sentient beings, and this child will go down to the lower realms killing him in this life seems the lesser of two evils, I think.
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Re: Palden Lhamo

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:46 pm

This is true. Enlightened beings and bodhisattvas can see the greater good of all sentient beings in a way we ordinary ones cannot comprehend.

It is true that His Holiness the current Dalai Lama, and the Dalai Lamas in general, have a special connection with Palden Lhamo ('the Glorious Goddess'). This relationship dates back to the first Dalai Lama, Gendun Drup.

There is a also a system of Mo dice divination connected with Palden Lhamo.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
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Re: Palden Lhamo

Postby plwk » Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:56 pm

Another source on Sri Devi here & here
In the Chinese Mahayana Tradition (and also in other East Asian Mahayana Trads), she is regarded as one of the Dharma Protectors and her Dharani is recited four times in the daily Morning Liturgy: once as part of the collection of the Ten Small Mantras & thrice accompanied in the praise to another Dharma Protector, Skanda Bodhisattva. Also during the annual 9th Day of the 1st Lunar Month, in the Golden Light Dharma Repentance (An Offering to the Buddhas & Celestials). See below videos of her Dharani in Chinese & Sanskrit (fast & slow versions by Malaysian Buddhist artist, Imee Ooi)



Her Dharani may be found here (scroll down to the second last posting), images & a Japanese site
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Re: Palden Lhamo

Postby Yudron » Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:24 pm

Red Faced Buddha wrote:I recently read about Palden Lhamo and I was disturbed when I read about her.How can a Buddhist venerate a "deity" who supposedly flayed her own son?I don't know if the myth is true or not,but it is still disturbing.It'd be like a fundamentalist killing her kid because she thinks he's "of the Devil."


Milarepa is believed to have killed many humans through sorcery. Part of the reason we venerate Milarepa is that his mind changed 180 degrees after encountering the Dharma. I don't know if I personally believe that sorcery can cause the collapse of a building or not (probably), or that goddesses exist beyond collective human thought forms (I don't know), but these conversion stories are moving and inspirational. For me, the stories of King Ashoka's conversion or modern examples like criminals such as Jarvis Jay Masters are more powerful, although we don't ascribe enlightenment to them.

When we visualize ourselves as a Guru, Yidam or Dakini and do protectors practices (and on a good day I make offerings to at least 50 reformed criminals) we are reminding all our own internal converted demons to use that force and energy now to protect the Dharma and sentient beings.

:popcorn:
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Re: Palden Lhamo

Postby Red Faced Buddha » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:12 pm

waimengwan wrote:The protector of all the 14 Dalai Lama is Palden Lhamo. Why would the Dalai Lama rely on an unenlightened protector? Wasn't it Palden Lhamo who assisted the Dalai Lama to escape to India?
Tsem Rinpoche my teacher also holds Palden Lhamo in high regard and he felt very comfortable and happy doing this practice since young.

The story of the ship captain who killed the evil merchant came to mind. he knew with certainty that if we did not stop the veil merchant the evil merchant will languish in the lower realms for a very long time. So if we know that this child, if he does destroy buddhism it will harm countless sentient beings, and this child will go down to the lower realms killing him in this life seems the lesser of two evils, I think.


I thought it was somebody else who assisted him in his escape from Tibet.The guy with the third eye,He Who Cannot Be Named on this Forum.
A person once asked me why I would want to stop rebirth. "It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want to be reborn."
I replied. "Wanting to be reborn is like wanting to stay in a jail cell, when you have the chance to go free and experience the whole wide world. Does a convict, on being freed from his shabby, constricting, little cell, suddenly say "I really want to go back to jail and be put in a cell. It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want that?"
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Re: Palden Lhamo

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:45 pm

This is a myth perpetuated by two or three websites on the internet, but discredited by most Tibetans and Tibetologists. The Nechung oracle was traditionally consulted for such matters.
Please remember to steer clear of discussion on this topic, it can only lead to more conflict on the forum. Refer to the Terms of Service of the website, which indicate that by registering here we all agree not to discuss this issue.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
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Re: Palden Lhamo

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:56 pm

Red Faced Buddha wrote:
waimengwan wrote:The protector of all the 14 Dalai Lama is Palden Lhamo. Why would the Dalai Lama rely on an unenlightened protector? Wasn't it Palden Lhamo who assisted the Dalai Lama to escape to India?
Tsem Rinpoche my teacher also holds Palden Lhamo in high regard and he felt very comfortable and happy doing this practice since young.

The story of the ship captain who killed the evil merchant came to mind. he knew with certainty that if we did not stop the veil merchant the evil merchant will languish in the lower realms for a very long time. So if we know that this child, if he does destroy buddhism it will harm countless sentient beings, and this child will go down to the lower realms killing him in this life seems the lesser of two evils, I think.


I thought it was somebody else who assisted him in his escape from Tibet.The guy with the third eye,He Who Cannot Be Named on this Forum.
Dorje Drakden (Nechung) gave him the proper directions and predicted four years in advance that doom was coming.
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: Palden Lhamo

Postby Red Faced Buddha » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:52 am

JKhedrup wrote:This is a myth perpetuated by two or three websites on the internet, but discredited by most Tibetans and Tibetologists. The Nechung oracle was traditionally consulted for such matters.
Please remember to steer clear of discussion on this topic, it can only lead to more conflict on the forum. Refer to the Terms of Service of the website, which indicate that by registering here we all agree not to discuss this issue.


I know,I had simply heard the story differently and was confused about who actually helped the Dalai Lama out of Tibet.Anyway,thanks for the information about Palden Lhamo.
A person once asked me why I would want to stop rebirth. "It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want to be reborn."
I replied. "Wanting to be reborn is like wanting to stay in a jail cell, when you have the chance to go free and experience the whole wide world. Does a convict, on being freed from his shabby, constricting, little cell, suddenly say "I really want to go back to jail and be put in a cell. It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want that?"
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Re: Palden Lhamo

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:42 pm

These guys actually helped the Dalai lama escape from Tibet:
Dalai Lama.jpg
Dalai Lama.jpg (75.16 KiB) Viewed 1219 times
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Re: Palden Lhamo

Postby Red Faced Buddha » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:31 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:These guys actually helped the Dalai lama escape from Tibet:
Dalai Lama.jpg


I was almost expecting the Dalai Lama to look like an old man in this picture,LOL.Can't imagine him as a kid.
A person once asked me why I would want to stop rebirth. "It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want to be reborn."
I replied. "Wanting to be reborn is like wanting to stay in a jail cell, when you have the chance to go free and experience the whole wide world. Does a convict, on being freed from his shabby, constricting, little cell, suddenly say "I really want to go back to jail and be put in a cell. It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want that?"
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Re: Palden Lhamo

Postby chokyi lodro » Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:29 pm

I find it fascinating - but predictable, if you think about it - that the photo looks almost identical in detail to the corresponding scene in Kundun - clichéd as it may be.
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Re: Palden Lhamo

Postby Karma Dorje » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:41 am

plwk wrote:Another source on Sri Devi here & here
In the Chinese Mahayana Tradition (and also in other East Asian Mahayana Trads), she is regarded as one of the Dharma Protectors and her Dharani is recited four times in the daily Morning Liturgy: once as part of the collection of the Ten Small Mantras & thrice accompanied in the praise to another Dharma Protector, Skanda Bodhisattva. Also during the annual 9th Day of the 1st Lunar Month, in the Golden Light Dharma Repentance (An Offering to the Buddhas & Celestials). See below videos of her Dharani in Chinese & Sanskrit (fast & slow versions by Malaysian Buddhist artist, Imee Ooi)


The goddess Shri or Lakshmi is not the same as Palden Lhamo who is Mahakali. Shri/Pal is simply an honorific, in this case of Mahadevi.
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Re: Palden Lhamo

Postby Red Faced Buddha » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:04 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:
plwk wrote:Another source on Sri Devi here & here
In the Chinese Mahayana Tradition (and also in other East Asian Mahayana Trads), she is regarded as one of the Dharma Protectors and her Dharani is recited four times in the daily Morning Liturgy: once as part of the collection of the Ten Small Mantras & thrice accompanied in the praise to another Dharma Protector, Skanda Bodhisattva. Also during the annual 9th Day of the 1st Lunar Month, in the Golden Light Dharma Repentance (An Offering to the Buddhas & Celestials). See below videos of her Dharani in Chinese & Sanskrit (fast & slow versions by Malaysian Buddhist artist, Imee Ooi)


The goddess Shri or Lakshmi is not the same as Palden Lhamo who is Mahakali. Shri/Pal is simply an honorific, in this case of Mahadevi.


Isn't Lakshmi the Hindu goddess of wealth(and wife of Vishnu.)I don't see what similarities she would have with Palden Lhamo.
A person once asked me why I would want to stop rebirth. "It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want to be reborn."
I replied. "Wanting to be reborn is like wanting to stay in a jail cell, when you have the chance to go free and experience the whole wide world. Does a convict, on being freed from his shabby, constricting, little cell, suddenly say "I really want to go back to jail and be put in a cell. It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want that?"
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