Unseen Beings in Tibetan Buddhism

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Unseen Beings in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby reg » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:42 pm

kirtu wrote:As long as we have a body we will have obscurations in some form. The higher tulkus mostly have difficulties from circumstances. Mostly this means that spiritual forces are trying to keep them from accomplishing what they need to.


What does this mean? What are these "spiritual forces", and why would they want to attempt to prevent tulkus from fulfilling their aspirations?
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Re: Why do Tulku/reincarnate realized masters

Postby kirtu » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:20 pm

reg wrote:
kirtu wrote:As long as we have a body we will have obscurations in some form. The higher tulkus mostly have difficulties from circumstances. Mostly this means that spiritual forces are trying to keep them from accomplishing what they need to.


What does this mean? What are these "spiritual forces", and why would they want to attempt to prevent tulkus from fulfilling their aspirations?


There are real negative spiritual forces in the world. To summarize we usually call them demons. These are not just anthropomorphic projections.

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Re: Why do Tulku/reincarnate realized masters

Postby reg » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:49 pm

kirtu wrote:There are real negative spiritual forces in the world. To summarize we usually call them demons. These are not just anthropomorphic projections.

Kirt


Okay, but the question that response prompts in me is (and I can take this to a new thread if the moderators see fit), why are these demons or demonic forces or whatever so bent on harming or interfering with others' spiritual practice? To me that kind of idea is sort of reminiscent of a cartoon villain twisting his moustache while cackling, or the behavior of a jealous child who takes it upon himself to sabotage things. If such is the case, then why/how would a being with such confused/petty/unwholesome motivations have the power to seriously threaten someone who is presumably being protected by the blessing power of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas? Or for that matter, why does it take eons of accumulating virtue for us to achieve human rebirth, while meanwhile there are these negatively-motivated beings that are apparently secure enough in their powers and principalities or what have you, such that they can have the ability to negatively affect the practice of sincere Dharma practitioners?

i'm not denying or attempting to dispute that there are demonic complexes which can appear to negatively affect people and the environment and so forth. However the scenario of demons gearing up and working overtime as soon as they learn that a given practitioner is making progress suggests a sort of ecology that just doesn't make sense to me in the light of other teachings about karma and rebirth and so forth.
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Re: Unseen Beings in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby Caz » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:05 am

Practitoners dont have to worry about Demons and so forth we have refuge which is a protection in of itself, People may get the odd interference but these are delt with fairly simply, Some superstious people would believe there is a Devil like being at work constantly making life difficult for practitoners, However frankly put with the amount of tantric rituals and general benefits of Keeping Dharma in the mind there isnt any being that cannot be subdued and or bound to serve the Dharma for everyones benefit.
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Re: Why do Tulku/reincarnate realized masters

Postby kirtu » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:50 am

reg wrote:why are these demons or demonic forces or whatever so bent on harming or interfering with others' spiritual practice?


They are dedicated to evil and want to turn at least our world into a hell realm. I realize this sounds like an episode from Buffy, but it's basically the case. HH Penor Rinpoche mentioned this at least once with respect to demons encouraging tobacco smoking (of course Nyingma masters can be a bit over the top wrt this issue). I have also heard some other masters refer to demonic activity. Generally though TB teachers don't talk about it that much.

To me that kind of idea is sort of reminiscent of a cartoon villain twisting his moustache while cackling, or the behavior of a jealous child who takes it upon himself to sabotage things.


That is exactly the case. The beings have become insane or totally intoxicated with the negativities.

If such is the case, then why/how would a being with such confused/petty/unwholesome motivations have the power to seriously threaten someone who is presumably being protected by the blessing power of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas?


Well they don't have this power directly. However some of them have acquired power from mantra practice in previous lifetimes and have then become like rudras. So please take a look at the legend of the origin of Vajrakilaya and this is the basic story of demons acquiring power (and in this case taking over the world). There are other such legends too.

But their main power comes from promoting negativities amongst non-Dharmic people or attacking just Joe/Jane practitioner with their vulnerabilities. So something like a genocidal situation is probably a result of the minds of beings being inflamed by demons (although with humans around, who really needs demons - the answer is that humans don't have a long term goal to turn the Earth into a hell realm and some of these demonic beings do - so they are like extreme sociopaths).

Please note the paragraph above is my opinion - I have not heard a teacher actually say this. As I said they don't tend to talk about negative forces that much. Most of the harm comes from fellow humans and their negativities.

Another source of this is from the Chokgyur Lingpa lineage. In "Blazing Splendor" Tulku Urgyen talks about his grandfather dealing with demons a bit. There is also the tale of an eccentric teacher of Tulku Urgyen who lives under a tree who goes out and throws a torma once a day to keep the demons from China from invading (he also says that this can't be stopped but there is great merit in throwing the torma).

So the karma involved is complex and far above my paygrade as we used to say in the military.

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Re: Unseen Beings in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby Norden » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:27 am

When we finish our prayer, we, as a Buddhist usually dedicate our prayer to all sentient beings. We can also dedicate to the people who suffer from mental or physical illness, hope it can benefit them. But what I have been asking to myself is, Mara also benefit from this dedication, but why he always obstructs practitioners to benefit him ?!
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Re: Why do Tulku/reincarnate realized masters

Postby Konchog1 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:40 am

reg wrote:
kirtu wrote:There are real negative spiritual forces in the world. To summarize we usually call them demons. These are not just anthropomorphic projections.

Kirt


Okay, but the question that response prompts in me is (and I can take this to a new thread if the moderators see fit), why are these demons or demonic forces or whatever so bent on harming or interfering with others' spiritual practice? To me that kind of idea is sort of reminiscent of a cartoon villain twisting his moustache while cackling, or the behavior of a jealous child who takes it upon himself to sabotage things. If such is the case, then why/how would a being with such confused/petty/unwholesome motivations have the power to seriously threaten someone who is presumably being protected by the blessing power of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas? Or for that matter, why does it take eons of accumulating virtue for us to achieve human rebirth, while meanwhile there are these negatively-motivated beings that are apparently secure enough in their powers and principalities or what have you, such that they can have the ability to negatively affect the practice of sincere Dharma practitioners?

i'm not denying or attempting to dispute that there are demonic complexes which can appear to negatively affect people and the environment and so forth. However the scenario of demons gearing up and working overtime as soon as they learn that a given practitioner is making progress suggests a sort of ecology that just doesn't make sense to me in the light of other teachings about karma and rebirth and so forth.
Why do people harm other people? Same reason. In case of Devas, they're jealous humans have affinity with the Dharma.
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: Why do Tulku/reincarnate realized masters

Postby Norden » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:51 am

kirtu wrote:
reg wrote:why are these demons or demonic forces or whatever so bent on harming or interfering with others' spiritual practice?


They are dedicated to evil and want to turn at least our world into a hell realm. I realize this sounds like an episode from Buffy, but it's basically the case. HH Penor Rinpoche mentioned this at least once with respect to demons encouraging tobacco smoking (of course Nyingma masters can be a bit over the top wrt this issue). I have also heard some other masters refer to demonic activity. Generally though TB teachers don't talk about it that much.


But demonic activities have been there since ancient times? Is killing people/animal also a demonic activity? Or an organization activity such as Illuminati, can you be more specific?
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Re: Why do Tulku/reincarnate realized masters

Postby kirtu » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:28 am

Norden wrote:But demonic activities have been there since ancient times? Is killing people/animal also a demonic activity? Or an organization activity such as Illuminati, can you be more specific?


I can't really be more specific because I don't know that much about it.

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Re: Why do Tulku/reincarnate realized masters

Postby maybay » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:46 am

reg wrote:However the scenario of demons gearing up and working overtime as soon as they learn that a given practitioner is making progress suggests a sort of ecology that just doesn't make sense to me in the light of other teachings about karma and rebirth and so forth.

They are reflections of your own mind. If you don't try, you are no threat to them, and they receive no energy to oppose you. If you try - you act conceitedly, telling yourself stories and insulting that you are already enlightened - then they dance along.
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Re: Unseen Beings in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby Will » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:17 am

The Shurangama Sutra has its last chapter devoted to demonic forces, here is a PDF with Master Hua's commentary:

http://www.gbm-online.com/online/dharma ... Part_8.pdf
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Re: Unseen Beings in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:42 am

reg wrote:What does this mean? What are these "spiritual forces", and why would they want to attempt to prevent tulkus from fulfilling their aspirations?


It is generally assumed, and I agree, that the situation is worsening due to the "divine thread" which keeps such forces in bondage becoming undone. This is mentioned in one of the Padmasambhava prophecies regarding the Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu during the age of kaliyuga.

If you look at any pre-modern culture there have always been ideas of deities or unseen beings needing to be placated, usually with rites and offerings of some kind. In Buddhist traditions around the world throughout time it has always been the case that such unseen beings were acknowledged as actually existing (preta or "hungry ghosts" are commonly mentioned along with "maras" or demons). In East Asian traditions there are daily rites carried out where offerings are made to preta. In Tibetan traditions as well before rituals are done there are rites done to keep the negative unseen forces away.

As time goes on these practices are being abandoned in much of the world. Again, every culture on the planet has or had before modernity some idea of spirits or demons that had to be subdued. The means of doing this obviously differs, but the universal common feature has been that such forces are malicious and harmful. In short, they are psychotic spirits for lack of a better word.
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Re: Unseen Beings in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby Norden » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:12 am

Will wrote:The Shurangama Sutra has its last chapter devoted to demonic forces, here is a PDF with Master Hua's commentary:

http://www.gbm-online.com/online/dharma ... Part_8.pdf


In Chapter 3, it says that people possessed by demon will consume excrement, urine, etc. In Tantric practice these practice are viewed as non dual practice. Are they contradictory?
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Re: Unseen Beings in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby Konchog1 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:32 am

Norden wrote:
Will wrote:The Shurangama Sutra has its last chapter devoted to demonic forces, here is a PDF with Master Hua's commentary:

http://www.gbm-online.com/online/dharma ... Part_8.pdf


In Chapter 3, it says that people possessed by demon will consume excrement, urine, etc. In Tantric practice these practice are viewed as non dual practice. Are they contradictory?
Depends on motivation I imagine. Coprophagia is demon caused huh? I have heard that dreaming of eating excrement is a sign of immediate death. I wonder if they're connected.
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: Unseen Beings in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby Norden » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:56 am

Depends on motivation I imagine. Coprophagia is demon caused huh? I have heard that dreaming of eating excrement is a sign of immediate death. I wonder if they're connected.


According to Shurangama Sutra, it is. Particularly if you read Chapter 3 and 4.
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Re: Unseen Beings in Tibetan Buddhism

Postby heart » Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:54 pm

Norden wrote:
Will wrote:The Shurangama Sutra has its last chapter devoted to demonic forces, here is a PDF with Master Hua's commentary:

http://www.gbm-online.com/online/dharma ... Part_8.pdf


In Chapter 3, it says that people possessed by demon will consume excrement, urine, etc. In Tantric practice these practice are viewed as non dual practice. Are they contradictory?


You don't know or you are trying to be rhetoric?

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Re: Why do Tulku/reincarnate realized masters

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:56 pm

kirtu wrote:
reg wrote:why are these demons or demonic forces or whatever so bent on harming or interfering with others' spiritual practice?


They are dedicated to evil and want to turn at least our world into a hell realm.


No, they are manifestations of karmic debts that we owe to sentient beings we have knowingly or unknowingly injured.
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Re: Why do Tulku/reincarnate realized masters

Postby Will » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:40 pm

Namdrol wrote:
kirtu wrote:
reg wrote:why are these demons or demonic forces or whatever so bent on harming or interfering with others' spiritual practice?


They are dedicated to evil and want to turn at least our world into a hell realm.


No, they are manifestations of karmic debts that we owe to sentient beings we have knowingly or unknowingly injured.


Some are as N. says, others are fond of destruction & hell-raising, so they follow their tendencies.
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Re: Why do Tulku/reincarnate realized masters

Postby maybay » Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:55 pm

Will wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
kirtu wrote:They are dedicated to evil and want to turn at least our world into a hell realm.


No, they are manifestations of karmic debts that we owe to sentient beings we have knowingly or unknowingly injured.


Some are as N. says, others are fond of destruction & hell-raising, so they follow their tendencies.


What can one really say about others?
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Re: Why do Tulku/reincarnate realized masters

Postby Will » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:46 pm

Will wrote:
Some are as N. says, others are fond of destruction & hell-raising, so they follow their tendencies.


maybay wrote:What can one really say about others?


That they are real & external to our minds, but are attracted by the bad seeds (lust, pride, anger etc) or tendencies of our thoughts. So cleaning up our thoughts is most of the battle.
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