Hsuan Hua on Homosexuality

Re: Hsuan Hua on Homosexuality

Postby remm » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:23 am

undefineable, before you pretend to know what the Master meant, it makes good to actually be present in the audience when a question like this was addressed. Dharma Master Heng Sure has a blogspot, why don't you try giving him a PM and ask DM Sure what the Ven. Master meant in that lecture. Don't try and base the reality of things based on your interpretation of how so and so said what. You act as if I didn't inquire deeply about this issue with other monastics from our way place.
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Re: Hsuan Hua on Homosexuality

Postby undefineable » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:32 am

remm wrote:undefineable, before you pretend to know what the Master meant, it makes good to actually be present in the audience when a question like this was addressed. Dharma Master Heng Sure has a blogspot, why don't you try giving him a PM and ask DM Sure what the Ven. Master meant in that lecture. Don't try and base the reality of things based on your interpretation of how so and so said what.


That's exactly what I've been saying tonight - Reading a distant translation could hardly be further from being there as a student. I hope my contribution to this thread serves to alert others that all is not as it appears when Buddhist Masters get 'Conservative' or 'Liberal' or whatever.

remm wrote:You act as if I didn't inquire deeply about this issue with other monastics from our way place.


I did get the impression that you were a student of Hsuan Hua. Your words tonight will have reassured many beginners as to the nature of Buddhism; those who just want full-on American-style Liberalism would be better off joining a political group. :thumbsup:
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Re: Hsuan Hua on Homosexuality

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:39 am

Let's say I'm a card-carrying degenerate-age-believin Tibetan fundamentalist Kalachakra-practictioner who believes that the Buddhist king will literally defeat the barbarians in the 25th century.

Even given this I still don't get why I would necessarily believe that whether or not you realize emptiness would depend on who puts what in whom.

Degeneracy surely pertains to difficulty in becoming awakened. What does that have to do with plumbing? (I'm well aware how this is a stupid question WRT Kalachakra - it is a general not specific question).

Sorry chillenz but the question department doesn't just close because our teacher says something or other. And in fact if they tell us it should, quite frankly should they be our teacher any more?

I have never in my life heard one of my teachers say anything like: take it from me, this is downright bad, just don't ever go there, trust me.
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Re: Hsuan Hua on Homosexuality

Postby Lhug-Pa » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:57 am

remm wrote:
Will wrote:We do not need teachers with 'skillful means' as much as students & disciples who will not toss aside as 'conservative' or 'cultural trappings' or 'offensive' what their guru or lama teaches. Putting the cravings of modern society ahead of the traditional Path, will only result in zero Sages, Arhats & Bodhisattvas and oodles of Dharma lite hacks.


This is true. Nowadays people put their own cravings and own interpretation of the 'dharma' before anything else. You all pick and choose what you want to hear. When you hear something that is harsh and bitter you immediately throw it away, and you chase after the things that satisfies your own self-seeking. The Chinese saying goes, "The bitter melon is hard to swallow but good for the health."

Many of you think this the 'greater vehicle' the all encompassing vehicle that is compassionate, and inclusive--well it is. We aren't 'hinayana' in our thinking, it is just that the truth of the dharma is the way it is, what many of you are trying to do is fool yourselves into thinking a flower is a tree, but no matter how hard you try to convince yourselves--the flower stays a flower. In the degenerate age these things are much harder to accept simply because too many people are too accustomed to societies upbringings and changes. What you have to understand is that by taking short cuts and not understanding the truth of the matter will only result in little realization since you cling so much to your own egotistical cravings and refuse to change your mindset.

Whether people want to accept these teachings or not is up to them. If they find it offensive and are turned away by it, then fine--their good roots were insufficient so they cannot listen or hear the truth of the matter. You have to start examining your own ideologies if they start to contradict what eminent masters have said. If HHDL, Karmapa, Ven. Hsuan Hua, Chin Kung state that the act of homosexuality is prohibited, then you might want to reevaluate your own ideas and perceptions about this. Firstly, who are you to question what these teachers have taught, and have you even attained a single realization beyond them? If not, why do you insist that they are wrong simply because what they said goes against your own interpretation of Buddhism?

On a side note, from previous posters, it's a wise and noble act to not slander others, especially Buddhist Masters who have dedicated their lives in propagation of Buddhism. If you don't agree with a certain teaching, I heard it's a mindful act to keep quiet and carry on rather than to slander and throw insults at these Masters. You're not doing them a favor, but yourself a huge favor. Stop spitting in your own faces and save yourself from heinous negative karma. Just a thought.



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Re: Hsuan Hua on Homosexuality

Postby remm » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:02 am

I can take it - It's no worse than what any of the rest of us have experienced for some stretch of beginningless time, and can't be much worse than what I'm dealing with in this life. If the outcome of this thread tips one being over the edge from "don't trust those hateful Buddhists" (atfirst) to "carry on investigating", then it's worth it, no? In any case, I don't think anyone's gone bannably far - Slander is something you throw at a person (as in 'ad hoiminem argument'); to insult an opinion is not the same as insulting a person unless you do both at once (which isn't hard to do ). Even if Hsuan Hua is completely unenlightened (which I doubt), I've already made it clear how much I identify with the conflicts he might then have presented in his teachings, and would wish him none but the best on his path to liberation.


I'm not quite sure if you're boasting bravery or not, but someone who has faith in the triple jewel and is truly afraid of the laws of cause and effect would not simply say "I can take it".
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Re: Hsuan Hua on Homosexuality

Postby Indrajala » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:52 am

remm wrote:
Huseng wrote:This probably reflects influences from Brahmanism more than anything else.


And what? So, suddenly if there is an influence from Brahmanism this suddenly makes a teaching wrong or inadequate to the Buddhist audience?


Well it seems that Brahmins considered oral and anal sex as unhygienic, defiling and dirty, while vaginal intercourse was at least somewhat acceptable. This was the party line of the time and cannot be traced to the Buddha's lips as far as I know (Brahmanism wasn't really a big player when the Buddha was alive anyhow, that came much later).

It really reflects the standards and ideas of cleanliness at the time when the relevant Abhidharma treatises were being written. They were written in Sanskrit which means already there are Brahman influences (Sanskrit was the language of Brahmins, not the Buddha nor early Buddhist schools). It seems many of the early authors of Sanskrit Buddhist texts were Brahmin born, which makes sense because they had the best command over said language in comparison to non-Sanskrit speakers who made up the majority of Buddhists.

It is reasonable to assume they brought with them their own morals and ideas on cleanliness from their original cultural and religious background, not to mention some misogynistic views. You only see such ideas when Buddhism becomes heavily Brahmanized. We need not accept Brahmin morality in our present day.

I think the notion of purity is something that most religions have in common with, and it makes sense.


It really is quite subjective. Greek and Roman cultures had no big deal with homosexuality, let alone oral and anal sex (look at the creative vocabulary they came up with for said acts).

If you're a serious yogi you'd be best to refrain from sex altogether and cull your desire. Otherwise, being all uptight about whether or not homosexuality is a great transgression or not, while thinking vaginal sex is perfectly acceptable, is a waste of time.

A gay or lesbian couple doing their thing isn't going to land them in hell. Sex of any kind is driven by desire and hence unwholesome karma, but just because it is two men or two women does not render it inherently evil.
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Re: Hsuan Hua on Homosexuality

Postby Indrajala » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:56 am

remm wrote:On a side note, from previous posters, it's a wise and noble act to not slander others, especially Buddhist Masters who have dedicated their lives in propagation of Buddhism. If you don't agree with a certain teaching, I heard it's a mindful act to keep quiet and carry on rather than to slander and throw insults at these Masters. You're not doing them a favor, but yourself a huge favor. Stop spitting in your own faces and save yourself from heinous negative karma. Just a thought.


Disagreeing with someone or their views, or challenging them on it, no matter their rank or ordination level, does not constitute slander. Slander is bringing up someone's faults or transgressions, or lying about such things, and then proceeding to use it against the person with the intention of insulting and defacing them.

Again, to challenge an opinion or view is not slander.

You need to reconsider your views on the infallibility of elderly Buddhist monks.
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Re: Hsuan Hua on Homosexuality

Postby remm » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:21 am

oh, okay. I see--so calling the Venerable Master Hua an uneducated idiot is not slander.

It's interesting how you mention Buddhism shouldn't incorporate Brahman morality when all of Vajrayana Buddhism has been heavily influenced by Kapalika and Sakti orders within India. So, Tibetan Buddhism carries over the morality of the Kapalika and Saivite traditions, so what is your take on this?
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Re: Hsuan Hua on Homosexuality

Postby Tiger » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:27 am

remm wrote:

This is true. Nowadays people put their own cravings and own interpretation of the 'dharma' before anything else. You all pick and choose what you want to hear. When you hear something that is harsh and bitter you immediately throw it away, and you chase after the things that satisfies your own self-seeking. The Chinese saying goes, "The bitter melon is hard to swallow but good for the health."

Many of you think this the 'greater vehicle' the all encompassing vehicle that is compassionate, and inclusive--well it is. We aren't 'hinayana' in our thinking, it is just that the truth of the dharma is the way it is, what many of you are trying to do is fool yourselves into thinking a flower is a tree, but no matter how hard you try to convince yourselves--the flower stays a flower. In the degenerate age these things are much harder to accept simply because too many people are too accustomed to societies upbringings and changes. What you have to understand is that by taking short cuts and not understanding the truth of the matter will only result in little realization since you cling so much to your own egotistical cravings and refuse to change your mindset.

Whether people want to accept these teachings or not is up to them. If they find it offensive and are turned away by it, then fine--their good roots were insufficient so they cannot listen or hear the truth of the matter. You have to start examining your own ideologies if they start to contradict what eminent masters have said. If HHDL, Karmapa, Ven. Hsuan Hua, Chin Kung state that the act of homosexuality is prohibited, then you might want to reevaluate your own ideas and perceptions about this. Firstly, who are you to question what these teachers have taught, and have you even attained a single realization beyond them? If not, why do you insist that they are wrong simply because what they said goes against your own interpretation of Buddhism?

On a side note, from previous posters, it's a wise and noble act to not slander others, especially Buddhist Masters who have dedicated their lives in propagation of Buddhism. If you don't agree with a certain teaching, I heard it's a mindful act to keep quiet and carry on rather than to slander and throw insults at these Masters. You're not doing them a favor, but yourself a huge favor. Stop spitting in your own faces and save yourself from heinous negative karma. Just a thought.


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There was a time when homosexuals were ostracized for their homosexuality. Fighting for their rights and respect is a good thing. But it doesn't necessarily mean homosexuality should be promoted. Its like the case of either looking at a Drug addict as a criminal or a victim - of course he is a victim and there should be compassion towards him. But promoting drug consumption is a different thing altogether.

Buddhism is a flexible religion and has taken modified shape influenced by the native religions and cultures of places where ever it was popularized outside India. But the compromise was a two way process in the way that the foreign culture also adopted newer standards of morals compatible with Buddhism while abandoning the older ones in contradiction with their native ones. But in case of western Buddhism, the attitude is a bit more egoistic. It is like "take what you need throw what you don't" where western Buddhists only want to pick things which are in conformity with their current views and throw away those that are not. This is also the reason why Tibetan form of Buddhism has become more popular than the other orthodox sects in the western world. Because it affords relaxed rules and procedures. You dont have to become a celibate monk, there are fewer rules of ethical conduct, the path is a comparatively shorter one, and last but not the least its cultural richness and ritual complexity makes it look more appealing like a perfect New-Age religion.

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Re: Hsuan Hua on Homosexuality

Postby Lhug-Pa » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:34 am

Huseng wrote:Greek and Roman cultures had no big deal with homosexuality, let alone oral and anal sex (look at the creative vocabulary they came up with for said acts).


It has been said that:

"Homosexuality exists in a society to the degree that a society embodies war."


Huseng wrote:It is reasonable to assume they brought with them their own morals and ideas on cleanliness from their original cultural and religious background, not to mention some misogynistic views. You only see such ideas when Buddhism becomes heavily Brahmanized. We need not accept Brahmin morality in our present day.


The Dravidians were certainly not misogynistic, as they were Matriarchal; and I'm sure that they would have seen homosexual acts as negative. Said acts were most likely unheard of to them actually.


Huseng wrote:If you're a serious yogi you'd be best to refrain from sex altogether....

Sex of any kind is driven by desire and hence unwholesome karma.


According to H.H. the Dalai Lama, and Vajrayana in general, the Sexual act between Woman and Man is wholesome Karma(mudra):

http://sacred-sex.org/scriptures/buddhism.html

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Re: Hsuan Hua on Homosexuality

Postby Tiger » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:57 am

I would like to add that just because something is a norm doesn't mean it is right (in the sense of Buddhism, as not being unwholesome karma). For example, it is normal to drink human blood among some African tribes, but it is certainly not a wholesome karma. Similarly, it is normal to stone a woman for "adultery" in Middle-Eastern cultures, but this is also not a wholesome Karma.

Homosexuality is unwholesome.

By the way, even heterosexual men and women sometimes indulge in sex with the same sex as theirs. Is that wholesome or unwholesome?
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Re: Hsuan Hua on Homosexuality

Postby Fu Ri Shin » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:33 am

Huseng wrote:...

Very good comments, Huseng.
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Re: Hsuan Hua on Homosexuality

Postby Fu Ri Shin » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:48 am

Lhug-Pa wrote:It has been said that:

"Homosexuality exists in a society to the degree that a society embodies war."

Well then it must be true.

Huseng wrote:The Dravidians were certainly not misogynistic, as they were Matriarchal; and I'm sure that they would have seen homosexual acts as negative. Said acts were most likely unheard of to them actually.

Something other than an assertion by fiat would be nice, especially considering the observation of sexuality and gender fluidity in multiple independent cultures.

Lhug-Pa wrote:According to H.H. the Dalai Lama, and Vajrayana in general, the Sexual act between Woman and Man is wholesome Karma(mudra):

Oh, how deep runs heteronormativity...
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Re: Hsuan Hua on Homosexuality

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:06 am

There are many practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism who have an appreciation for East Asian, including Chinese, Mahayana. I am one of those people. As a monk i have spent significant amounts of time in the monastic communities of the Theravada, EA Mahayana and Gelugpa lineages. I also have enormous respect for Master Hsuan Hua and his sangha- I stayed in CTTB for four months, have read many of his books and bowed the 10,000 Repentance ceremony. I laud the strict monastic discipline, spirit of cultivation and scholarship of the DRBA Sangha. I think that Western Tibetan Buddhist Sangha could learn a lot from their unity and discipline.
Master Hua's traditional understanding of homosexuality is not the root of the issue in my opinion. It is the choice of very harsh words. Let me state clearly that I don't think this means the Master could not have been a realized bodhisattva. But I have to question the harshness of the words he chose.
While the Dalai Lama to a certain extent upholds some aspects of the traditional textual teachings on homosexuality, his view is far more nuanced. Certainly he does not use the strong language of Master Hua.
I also think we should clarify His Holiness the Dalai Lama's statements on the issue because his view has been misrepresented in this thread. All it would have taken was a visit to Wikipedia.

In his discussions of the traditional Buddhist view on appropriate sexual behavior, he explains the concept of "right organ in the right object at the right time," which historically has been interpreted as indicating that oral, manual and anal sex (both homosexual and heterosexual) are not appropriate in Buddhism or for Buddhists, yet he also says that in modern times all common, consensual sexual practices that do not cause harm to others are ethically acceptable and that society should not discriminate against gays and lesbians and should accept and respect them from a secular point of view.[74] In a 1994 interview with OUT Magazine, the Dalai Lama clarified his personal opinion on the matter by saying, "If someone comes to me and asks whether homosexuality is okay or not, I will ask 'What is your companion's opinion?'. If you both agree, then I think I would say, 'If two males or two females voluntarily agree to have mutual satisfaction without further implication of harming others, then it is okay.'"[75]
In his 1996 book Beyond Dogma, he described a traditional Buddhist definition of an appropriate sexual act as follows: "A sexual act is deemed proper when the couples use the organs intended for sexual intercourse and nothing else... Homosexuality, whether it is between men or between women, is not improper in itself. What is improper is the use of organs already defined as inappropriate for sexual contact."[76] He elaborated in 1997, explaining that the basis of that teaching was unknown to him and acknowledging that "some of the teachings may be specific to a particular cultural and historic context," while clarifying the historical Buddhist position (in contrast with his personal opinion) by saying, "Buddhist sexual proscriptions ban homosexual activity and heterosexual sex through orifices other than the vagina, including masturbation or other sexual activity with the hand... From a Buddhist point of view, lesbian and gay sex is generally considered sexual misconduct". Nonetheless, he reiterated, Buddhism calls for respect, compassion, and equal treatment for all, including homosexuals.[77

There is more here:http://thewickedwoman.com/2007/03/08/his-holiness-the-dalai-lama-on-homosexuality-2/

I think it is unfair to say that his words are just as harsh as those of Master Hua. This is clearly not the case, so the crux of this argument does not hold water. I don't think this is a situation of Tibetan vs. Chinese Buddhism, at least, for most of us here.
And even if that were the case, you also have to realize, it works both ways. Did you see the thread of the huge billboards in Taiwan saying that Tibetan Buddhism "wasn't Buddhism"? And that Chinese women should "stay away from Tibetan lamas".?
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Re: Hsuan Hua on Homosexuality

Postby Indrajala » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:53 am

remm wrote:oh, okay. I see--so calling the Venerable Master Hua an uneducated idiot is not slander.


I never said such things. If I disagree with him it doesn't mean I am implying he is an "uneducated idiot".

It's interesting how you mention Buddhism shouldn't incorporate Brahman morality when all of Vajrayana Buddhism has been heavily influenced by Kapalika and Sakti orders within India. So, Tibetan Buddhism carries over the morality of the Kapalika and Saivite traditions, so what is your take on this?


I said we need not accept it.

I'm not a Tibetan Buddhist. I'm a modern canuck Buddhist. So I gauge morality based on what is suitable in this present day coupled with the fundamental ideas the Buddha presented. The Buddha suggested we could adapt the rules based on the culture. This isn't 5th century India anymore. :coffee:
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Re: Hsuan Hua on Homosexuality

Postby remm » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:07 am

Huseng, my comment regards to slander was not directed at you but to another person who called Shr Fu an uneducated idiot.
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Re: Hsuan Hua on Homosexuality

Postby plwk » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:11 pm

http://cttbusa.org/vajrastrikes/masterhua_2.asp
Q : Many people are unhappy with what the Master said; but there are lots of people who are happy too.
A : The purpose of my saying things is not to make people happy or unhappy.
I just say what is true and what accords with the principles of truth. That’s what I have always known to do.

http://cttbusa.org/vajrastrikes/disciples.asp
Q : I am really upset! Somebody criticized the Master!
A : Did you thank him for me? How can we cultivate if we can’t even let go of that ego?

http://cttbusa.org/vajrastrikes/masterhua.asp
Q : Some people say that you are an old demon king. What should we do about that?
A : So I am the old demon king!
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Re: Hsuan Hua on Homosexuality

Postby undefineable » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:01 pm

remm wrote:I'm not quite sure if you're boasting bravery or not, but someone who has faith in the triple jewel and is truly afraid of the laws of cause and effect would not simply say "I can take it".


I'm not brave, just resigned, but I've never heard a teaching that encourages 'being afraid'. In any case, for those who practice vajrayana (which itself admits to being largely an optional shortcut, admittedly), the deepest of all hells ('vajra hell') is touted as a real and potentially-unavoidable risk - a risk judged to be worth taking for the sake of the swift attainment of complete enlightenment. Again, I notice that the word 'fear' and its variants don't seem to mean what they usually do when they've been translated from Chinese.

Tiger wrote:Homosexuality is unwholesome.


Apart from the slightly-higher disease risk, how is this so if we assume no sentient beings suffer as a direct result?

Tiger wrote:By the way, even heterosexual men and women sometimes indulge in sex with the same sex as theirs. Is that wholesome or unwholesome?


You tell me. For me, it would be unpleasant, never mind unwholesome, as I have no homosexual desires. For younger people, it's often part of finding out whether they're str8 or gay in the 1'st place.

Plwk, very interesting post. FYI btw, in Nietzsche's writings, the trope of 'demon' tends to be a being who causes untold suffering simply by speaking the hard truth. Not suggesting anything, just thinking :thinking: _ _

P.s. Lhug-Pa, the Dravidians didn't compile Buddhist scriptures as far as I know - that was the Aryans to the north. You might like to explain why matriarchal societies would see homosexuality as 'negative' when, in the west, women are on an equal footing and are typically entranced by the current fashion for female bisexuality, besides sometimes being labelled 'fag hags'.
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Re: Hsuan Hua on Homosexuality

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:53 pm

Mr. G wrote:
Will wrote:
Mr. G wrote:I think the traditions that maintain staunch conservative beliefs will not do as well as compared to potentially more inclusive traditions.


"Doing well" - now there is a Dharmic principle - popularity. :roll:


What it means Will, is that staunch conservative Dharma teachers lack the skillful means to deal with "issues" like homosexuality, abortion, euthanasia, etc. If they don't adapt, they will end up like every other ultra conservative religious group - they will ostracize people and end up getting ostracized. The degenerate age isn't a one way street - along with people having more afflictions, we also have less capable Dharma teachers.


And that's good posting. Nay, it's great posting. :thumbsup:
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Re: Hsuan Hua on Homosexuality

Postby Indrajala » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:14 pm

It has been requested that this whole thread be deleted, but instead I will close it for now.

I sense everyone has had their say in the matter and that further discussion will prove unfruitful.

So, let us close this here.
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