The Tibet Myth

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The Tibet Myth

Postby Snovid » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:39 pm

"Ritual skull cups are traditionally formed from a human skull that has been cut into shape, lined with a metal rim and ornamented.
Many skull cups are simply made out of a precious metal in the form of a cranium.
They are usually elaborately decorated with artistic designs and Buddhist symbols like lotuses and vajras.
Many are fitted with ornamented lids and have feet or a separate base in the form of human skulls.

As the libation vessel of a Vajrayana Buddhist, the skull cup can be seen as a parallel of the clay pot (kumbha in Sanskrit) of the Vedic sacrifice, the alms bowl of the Buddha, and the sacred water vase (kalasha in Sanskrit) of the bodhisattvas. In addition, as a receptacle for sacrificial offerings presented to wrathful deities, the skull cup parallels the tray of auspicious substances like jewels, flowers, or fruit presented to peaceful deities. In its most benign symbolism, as the begging bowl or food vessel of an ascetic, the skull cup serves as a constant reminder of death and impermanence.

When used for esoteric rituals, the history of the cranium's original owner has an important bearing on its ritual potency. The skull of a murder or execution victim is believed to possess the greatest tantric power; the skull of one who has died from a violent or accidental death, or from a virulent illness, possesses a medium magical power; the skull of a person who died peacefully in old age has virtually no occult power. Having great potency are the skulls of children who died during the onset of puberty or were born from the forbidden union of castes, out of wedlock, from sexual misdemeanor, or particularly from incest. The vital force or potential of the skull's previous owner is embodied within the bone as a spirit, rendering it as an effective power object for the performance of rituals.

In the ritual, lamas and other advanced practitioners drink consecrated alcoholic beverages or sometimes even blood from the skull cup, symbolizing the wrathful deity drinking the blood of his or her victim".

http://www.michaelparenti.org/Tibet.html

What You think about this???
I am from Poland I use google translator I do not know English
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Re: The Tibet Myth

Postby KonchokZoepa » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:43 pm

victim?????
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: The Tibet Myth

Postby Paul » Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:01 pm

I've drunk from a real skullcup. I must be metal as f*ck.

This guy's infamous for writing about Tibetan Buddhism in a sensationalist way that provides a distorted view of it. I am very open to genuine criticisms of Buddhism as I don't identify with it, but I can see someone with an agenda a mile off.
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Re: The Tibet Myth

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:44 pm

We cannot dismiss all criticism, but Michael Parenti has about as biased an agenda as it can get. I wouldn't go near his "research" with a ten foot pole. You should read some of his work on other topics and then you will have a clear idea of his political and cultural biases. I am not hating on him because he is a socialist, I dislike his writing because his research is tainted through the political lens through which he views the world.
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: The Tibet Myth

Postby smcj » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:44 pm

Such criticisms of pre-PRC Tibet are seen through the lens of 21st century America. If it is seen through the lens of a 12th-13th century society, which is what it was until 1950, it was pretty groovy. No technologically primitive society can stand up to modern criticisms.

That being said, what I believe is remarkable about old Tibet is that they kept the Olympic Flame of enlightenment alive as the entire world went through countless social, military, economic, and technological convulsions, almost like a time capsule with life inside it. I'm no historian, but personally I rank that accomplishment as one of the 3 most amazing feats of any society or culture in the world. The other two being the American experiment, with both its political and economic/technological aspects, and the 2,000 years of the Jewish diaspora, where they were able to keep a national identity and culture intact without a homeland.

End of rant.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: The Tibet Myth

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:06 pm

I wonder what Michael Parenti would have to say about these guys?

AGHORI.jpg
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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: The Tibet Myth

Postby kirtu » Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:32 pm

Snowid wrote:"Ritual skull cups are traditionally formed from a human skull that has been cut into shape, lined with a metal rim and ornamented. Many skull cups are simply made out of a precious metal in the form of a cranium. They are usually elaborately decorated with artistic designs and Buddhist symbols like lotuses and vajras. Many are fitted with ornamented lids and have feet or a separate base in the form of human skulls.

As the libation vessel of a Vajrayana Buddhist, the skull cup can be seen as a parallel of the clay pot (kumbha in Sanskrit) of the Vedic sacrifice, the alms bowl of the Buddha, and the sacred water vase (kalasha in Sanskrit) of the bodhisattvas. In addition, as a receptacle for sacrificial offerings presented to wrathful deities, the skull cup parallels the tray of auspicious substances like jewels, flowers, or fruit presented to peaceful deities. In its most benign symbolism, as the begging bowl or food vessel of an ascetic, the skull cup serves as a constant reminder of death and impermanence.


I can't speak about thee magical potency of skullcups made from the different enumerated sources, but he is right that skullcups were made and used. This much is certainly correct. But as other posters have noted, Parenti seems to have an axe to grind, His work has been quoted by the PRC for example (which doesn't necessarily invalidate his observations).

Parenti believes that people project Shangri-la onto Tibet and wants to disabuse people of that fantasy.

smcj wrote:That being said, what I believe is remarkable about old Tibet is that they kept the Olympic Flame of enlightenment alive as the entire world went through countless social, military, economic, and technological convulsions, almost like a time capsule with life inside it.


As Thurman has (perhaps somewhat over-)stated, Tibet kept the ideal of enlightenment alive. And some people also attained enlightenment (as they did all throughout the Buddhist world) down to the present. However Tibet was not immune to overwhelming negativities, war and murder. They also conquered the minds of people in Tibet and the Himalayan region just as they did throughout the world. The main difference is that in most of the world universal love, lovingkindness and compassion were at best ideals but were viewed as actually unrealizable. And in some of the world, values were definitely inverted, just like the cannibals on Cannibal Island are supposed to have done (the Aztecs, Nazi German & Japanese genocide for example but to a lesser extent all of Europe and the English world at minimum).

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

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Re: The Tibet Myth

Postby smcj » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:39 am

As Thurman has (perhaps somewhat over-)stated, Tibet kept the ideal of enlightenment alive. And some people also attained enlightenment (as they did all throughout the Buddhist world) down to the present.

So you don't buy the whole idea of lineage, empowerment and the like, correct?
**************************************************
BTW I had heard that the best skull cups were made from the heads of lamas, not criminals. I'm not 100% confident on that one though.

As for criticisms of pre-PRC Tibet, it is a given in Dharma that there are no utopias, whether civic or personal. Samsara does not allow for such a thing. Prior generations would look on today's world as wondrous beyond all imagination. Obviously we do not see it that way.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: The Tibet Myth

Postby ClearblueSky » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:00 am

As biased as he seems on that website, I do for sure remember reading the same thing about the source of skull cups elsewhere (though sometimes even incorrect statements can get recycled around). The only specifics I remember from a genuine practice texts was about skull damarus, and how one half is the skull of a girl, the other a skull of a boy.
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Re: The Tibet Myth

Postby Simon E. » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:22 am

I find myself more interested in whatever process it is that you are going through Snowvid.
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Re: The Tibet Myth

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:19 am

JKhedrup wrote:I am not hating on him because he is a socialist, I dislike his writing because his research is tainted through the political lens through which he views the world.


Oh, Parenti isn't a socialist. If he were he probably wouldn't be writing the way he does. He is generally despised on the left because of his totalitarian sympathies. He's repeatedly tried to explain, and find a good excuse for, the 'tactics' of his Stalinist and Maoist friends. Little wonder his take on Tibet is what it is.
. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .
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