Buddhism is peaceful?

Moderator: Tibetan Buddhism moderators

Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby michaelb » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:28 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
michaelb wrote:This isn't ancient history either.
How could it possibly be ancient history?

Obviously, it couldn't. I was using a figure of speech to distinguish between a distant 17th century incident (the persecution of Kagyupas at the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama) with a closer 20th century example of Phabongkha's persecution of Nyingmapas, which touches more on our lamas and their lamas.

I totally agree that all traditions have also engaged in less than positive behaviour towards other traditions but as this is the Gelug forum mentioning Gelug examples seems appropriate. I am not doing this to show the Gelug tradition in an unfavourable light, but, as the OP suggested, it does raise interesting questions for modern students with different values who may idealise their own lineages.

How do we respond? With total faith and devotion as some scriptures tell us to, which may lead to unavoidable cognitive dissonance, or in a more nuanced way, bearing the human failings of our lineage lamas in mind? And how far do we go? These are pertinent questions for all of us as no tradition is without fault. I'm just a little surprised by the response I have received by some here.
michaelb
 
Posts: 301
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:04 pm

Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:31 am

michaelb wrote:Obviously, it couldn't. I was using a figure of speech to distinguish between a distant 17th century incident (the persecution of Kagyupas at the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama) with a closer 20th century example of Phabongkha's persecution of Nyingmapas, which touches more on our lamas and their lamas.
I was just being pedantic. :tongue:
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Former staff member
 
Posts: 10209
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby michaelb » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:25 am

Sorry, I misread your pedantry as obtuseness.
I chose the example of Phabongka, but I could as easily chosen the Gelug sacking of Dorje Drak, which, through inspiring Jigme Lingpa to preserve Nyingthig lineages, arguably led to the entire Rimed movement. It's interesting that in trying to eliminate the opposition, the Gelug hegemony just made it stronger, so much so that we're all rimedpas now.
The rise of Rimed provides another less violent model for the expansion of traditions. Patronage from the rulers of Derge kept the lamas out of the power struggles and stopped things getting nasty, at least until Phabongka tried to stem its growth.
michaelb
 
Posts: 301
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:04 pm

Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:54 pm

michaelb wrote:Sorry, I misread your pedantry as obtuseness.
That could easily land you in a heap of trouble. :tongue:
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Former staff member
 
Posts: 10209
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:39 pm

Je Pabongkhapa was neither political nor a persecutor of the Nyingma tradition. He quite simply gave the best Lamrim teachings of the day and was revered by many as an emanation of Heruka.

I'm quite shocked the Gelugpas would believe this as he was a great Lama and is the Teacher, either directly or indirectly, of all Gelugpas and a Lineage Guru.
There's so much obsession with sectarianism these days, and not in a good way if it drives people to criticise their Lineage Gurus.
User avatar
Tsongkhapafan
 
Posts: 230
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:36 am

Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:51 pm

We cannot ignore history or his own writings in the name of devotion, or paint over his sectarian statements and the actions of his followers. That would just be irresponsible. And the notion that every single guru in an entire lineage has to be completely perfect for it to have blessings is ill informed. Some were perfect Buddhas, others perhapd realized, but not past the point of making mistakes. Read volume cha of Phabongkhapa's collected works. It just cannot be rationalized, even though I think many of his other teachings are fantastic. Don't take my word for it, read it yourself.

If we refuse to see what happened in history because it involves people of our own lineage we are really putting the blinders on.
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
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby conebeckham » Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:55 pm

TsongKhapa Fan, can you read Tibetan?

If not, JKhedrup--do you know if those particular writings have been translated into English?
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2791
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby JKhedrup » Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:01 pm

Unfortunately not yet. I received my Tibetan documents from Malcolm. He probably has them on file. They are authentic, I checked Phabonkha's Collected Works in Sera. I was grateful to Malcolm for helping me access the information. I had no idea of the depth of the sectarianism before I learned to read Tibetan.
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
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby conebeckham » Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:05 pm

Are they available at TBRC, do you know?
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2791
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Namgyal » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:44 pm

Venerable Sir, I accept the facts that you have presented about the sectarian writings of Pabongka Rinpoche, but I do not agree with your interpretation of these facts. According to Lama Zopa of the FPMT, Pabongka Rinpoche"...wrote incredible teachings on sutra and tantra; on Heruka, Tara Cittamani and many other topics. All these amazing teachings were written purely from his experience. So it’s impossible that he can really be some kind of evil being..."
As you know Dharma is often written with a specific audience in mind, and there are often serious misunderstandings when people read texts that were meant only for hermits, or only for monks, etc. etc. My view is that Pabongka Rinpoche composed these sectarian tracts as 'realpolitik' ; for political propaganda with the intention of furthering his dream of unifying Tibetan Buddhism, by any means necessary. Which is to say that he did not personally believe in them. He is of course therefore guilty of being unscrupulous and political ruthless. My own experience of Tibetan politics makes this seem quite believable. Conversely, the idea of a group of Gelugpa monks including several senior Lamas, suddenly developing an irrational and murderous hatred of Guru Rinpoche and the entire Nyingma transmission does not seem plausible at all. I suspect Pabongka Rinpoche was aware of the fact that when Theravada Buddhism was forcefully unified under state control it required very serious sectarian propaganda.
:namaste:
Namgyal
 
Posts: 339
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:13 pm

Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:17 pm

I don't think you will find anybody here calling Pabognka Rinpoche "evil", they are just pointing out some facts about some of the things he wrote.
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Former staff member
 
Posts: 10209
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby purestsoul » Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:45 pm

So what if Buddhism has a history of violence? Does this mean that its teachings are not valid?

The OP and those who participated in this thread clearly lacks the fundamental understanding of the main purpose of Buddhism and all other spiritual paths for that matter.

Buddhism and other valid spiritual paths exist because the founders discovered methods of evolution.. of elevating mankind above its petty, mundane existence of eating, shagging and other activities which cloud the 5 senses..

In other words, Buddhism and other valid spiritual paths exist to free humanity from its pathetic mundane existence of material slavery.. The main objective of Buddhism is not to teach you how to live peacefully with your enemies but to free yourself from having to live in this material world of slavery in the first place!.. These are two totally different objectives..

Sure, there were quite a few black sheep among the latter generations of buddhist practitioners but what do you expect? these latter generations are not exactly the same caliber of spiritual geniuses which the founders of valid spiritual paths belong to..

Evolution and Enlightenment WILL always involve sacrifices and warfare and the complete annihilation of all your obstacles and all your enemies who stand in your way to Complete Liberation and Freedom.

If Peace means giving up my chances at Evolution, Enlightenment, Complete Liberation and Freedom, I will take War and all its Karma anytime of the day. :namaste:
purestsoul
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:44 am

Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby JKhedrup » Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:55 pm

Namgyal la,

That is why, if you noticed in my other statements, I said that there are profound teachings of Phabonkhapa and we needn't abandon studying them. I think his teachings on Chittamani Tara are terrific, as well as his piece called Heart

As I said, lamas can make mistakes and the fact that sone were human does not diminish my faith in the dharma.

A greater danger would be to ignore or try to rewrite history simply because it is inconvenient for our sectarian affiliations. In Lord of the Dance Chagdud Tulku gives an account of Phabongkhapa's students vandalizing Guru Rinpoche statues.
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
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:07 pm

The only enemies that exist are delusions. I find it sad when Buddhist traditions fight with each other, it's really pointless.

My understanding is that it is okay to disagree about spiritual matters, things only become sectarianism when one group of practitioners starts to treat another group badly because of their beliefs. It is true that at the time of the 5th Dalai Lama, due to the mixing of Dharma and politics, the Nyingmas, Kagyus and Sakyas were persecuted by the followers of the Dalai Lama, and in particular the Jonangpas because of their Shentong beliefs. This was sectarianism and should never have happened.

Why would Phabongkhapa's students vandalise Guru Rinpoche statues? Guru Rinpoche is a Buddha. Phabongkhapa said that Padmasambhava, Je Tsongkhapa, Atisha, and Buddha Shakyamuni were all one holy being, not four separate mental continuums so it wouldn't make any sense for them to destroy Guru Rinpoche statues. It is widely believed that these stories were made up by people who were jealous of Phabongkha's popularity and success as a Dharma Teacher.
User avatar
Tsongkhapafan
 
Posts: 230
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:36 am

Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby JKhedrup » Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:20 pm

Pabongkhapa was devoted to Padmasambhava in his early years but became sectarian as he got older. I am familar with his statement above but that is an exception. If you read volume cha of his works you might understand why some aggressive students of his would do those things, and Chagdud Tulku's account is not the only one, there are many.

The funny thing is reading his works helped me understand the complexity of Phabongkapa-very sectarian but also a great poet and interpreter of difficult concepts. Like even the greatest humans, he had qualities as well as faults.

Your refusal to aknowledge the sectarianism of PR would be just as silly as me ignoring the conflicts during the time of the 5th,which by the way you exaggerated-the conflict was not with tge Nyingmas and Sakyas, but was with Kamtsang Kagyu and Jonang. Fortunately, the present Karmapa is very close with HHDl, and HhDL is funding several Jonang monasteries, so that history can be rectified through good deeds in the present.

. BTW, PR also had the texts of Gorampa banned in the area of Lhasa because he felt the explanation of emptiness was not correct, so there was conflict with both Sakya and Nyingma.
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
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby monktastic » Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:41 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:All you can do is try to not judge a religion by the people who fail miserably to practice it.


We might ask: is the failure theirs, or the religion's? Or does the distinction even make sense? When people say that religion X isn't violent, it's just being misinterpreted by many of its followers, I see a false distinction.
This undistracted state of ordinary mind
Is the meditation.
One will understand it in due course.

--Gampopa
User avatar
monktastic
 
Posts: 275
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:48 am
Location: Seattle

Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby conebeckham » Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:41 pm

http://tbrc.org/link/?RID=O01PD4%7CO01PD4d1e2467$W3834#library_work_Object-O01PD4%257CO01PD4D1E2467$W3834

For those who wish to read it themselves.....it's a collection of writings, including personal letters....I'm puzzling through it now.
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2791
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby JKhedrup » Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:44 pm

Look for references to Dzogchen, also I believe there should be a letter to the 13th Dalai Lama but it could be in another volume of the sungbum.
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
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Caz » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:45 am

Im with Lama Zopa on this I don't believe even for a second that he would have performed such actions, As with other cases there are always the fanatical amongst Buddhists students who would harm one and other or destroy religious artefacts based on their own deluded misinterpretations of what is said.

Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche was by all accounts living Buddha Heruka who saw, Shakyamuni, Padmasambhava and Lama Je Tsongkhapa as the same mental continuum and as mentioned in Liberation in the palm of your hand...

Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

How would he go from this to what he is accused of ? I smell the Bullshit of fabrication and Jealousy as mentioned by many a lama. :popcorn:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

Liberation in the Palm of your hand~Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche.
Caz
 
Posts: 543
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:49 am

Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby conebeckham » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:47 am

It would be much better, don't you think, Caz, and Tsong Khapa Fan, if you would look at the primary texts themselves--Phabongkha's writings--and draw your conclusions. All you know, all you have been told, is that which your teacher and his disciples give you. If you can read his own words, in Tibetan, you may come away with a different opinion.

I don't want to start down this road of surmise, or of merely parrotting the words of others, and secondary sources, and "spin," any longer. It's been done to death. Instead, let's look directly at what he says, and then we can discuss what we think he means. Or you can just choose to ignore his words, or some of his words. In fact, this is what Mainstream (non-NKT) traditions largely do.....and frankly, I don't have an issue with that. Use his Lam Rim, and his expositions on other subjects, but leave the sectarian polemics alone. Or, better yet, denounce them for the "blind spot" they may be.
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2791
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

PreviousNext

Return to Gelug

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

>