Steveyboy, please read my post carefully and don't misquote me- I never said enlightened beings can make mistakes create confusion- this would be ridiculous. I am saying the deities channeled by the oracles, though perhaps highly evolved, cannot be seen as enlightened beings and therefore their predictions are not perfect.
You should watch the video linked to above.
I did not know that Sertrap had an oracle, to be honest I was surprised to learn this.
Of course nothing here I say can to convince you, as you have faith in your teacher (which is commendable). But for me the final word lies with the opinions of teachers like HH Dalai Lama and HH Karmapa. It may be for some unseen reason helpful for members of your centre to view Sertrap in that way. But for others who may be interested in this topic I think it is worthwhile to respond to your qualm.
You may not agree but a view that the speech of oracles is enlightened speech and therefore stainless and perfect is extremely dangerous.
That is exactly the problem, when an oracle relied on starts to be seen to channel an enlightened deity. Then the speech of an oracle becomes infallible. Are you going to try to convince me that every prediction issued by the Sertrap oracle at Shartse has been perfect, because it is the speech of a Buddha. That every tulku confirmed by this oracle has been perfect?
If oracles could carry forth the doctrine by proclaiming the enlightened speech of Buddhas, why is this not mentioned in the Sutras, Tantras, Shastras or Sungbum of Je Rinpoche?
Are you telling me that if HHDL relied on an "enlightened oracle" like Sertrap the predictions would have been perfect and there would have been no problems? C'mon.
HHDL's view on this is supported by that of great masters such as the late Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche, HH Karmapa, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Rizong Rinpoche- the present Ganden Tripa, HH Sakya Trizin, HE Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa Rinpoche and many others.
If we continue along this line then Buddhism will become like the religion of the Brahma Kumaris- a religion that seeks the advice of channeled deities that become canonical teachings. A very dangerous road indeed.
What I said is completely in line with the views expressed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on a number occasions.
The fact that oracles make mistakes is the exact reason HHDL does not proclaim oracle deities as enlightened. Nechung is not seen as an enlightened being therefore absolute faith is not put in his predictions. This is reasonable and sane. The same is true of the Tenma goddess that Khandro la channels- they are regarded as highly evolved beings but not enlightened Buddhas. They are in Paldhen Lhamo's retinue but not Paldhen Lhamo herself.
The status of Sertrap as an enlightened being is questioned by the vast majority of lamas to whom I have spoken at both colleges of Sera, and at Drepung Gomang, where I have teachers.
The status of Sertrap is a source of contention in the wider Buddhist community, and not even all Shartse lamas are on the same page about it. There was a huge debate about his status on e-sangha. I am not as well versed on these matters as Malcolm, who had read many Tibetan texts about this issue and was able to post them.
These types of protector deities, called gyalpos were once universally proclaimed to be seen as mundane beings. But as their importance in the community grew they came to be seen as enlightened beings taking mundane form.
At Sera Mey there is a protector with a gyalpo like form called Thaog. He is greatly respected and there is a liturgy for him but he is not regarded as an enlightened being. The same is true of a protector with similar form at Sera Jey known as Chamseng. There are a few very strong Sera Mey loyalists who say that maybe Thaog is a mundane aspect of a Buddha or Bodhisattva- but their view is regarded as extreme by the vast majority of the monks there.
The problems that resulted from these gyalpos being elevated in status can be seen today. If Lama Tzongkhapa never mentioned relying on this class of beings as suitable objects of refuge, why should we?
Last edited by JKhedrup
on Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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.
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin