Government of Pre-PRC Tibet

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Re: Government of Pre-PRC Tibet

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:40 am

Greg,
My point exactly. The phrasing
Tibetan Buddhists don't produce enough merits to dodge Tibet's karmic effects.


I found completely bizarre. Of course what arises is cause and effect, but it seemed a statement of blame strangely targeting Tibetan Buddhists. Hence my response pointing to the tragedies of many other countries where Buddhism was practiced.

It seemed a jab at the practice "not producing enough merits" by a specific section of Buddhists rather than a general statement about the natural law of cause and effect.
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Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
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Re: Government of Pre-PRC Tibet

Postby Nilasarasvati » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:51 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:To me the statement:
But I am gonna stick to causes and conditions as explanation for everything that happens.
Carries no connotations of deserving/undeserving, blame/innocence, etc... It seems you are adding unnecessary layers of meaning.


You're more forgiving in your interpretation than me, Greg.

To me it sounded flippant. :jedi:
FLIPPANT! Dismissive. Yep. Yep. I agree with Jkhedrup.
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Re: Government of Pre-PRC Tibet

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:54 pm

How is it that a Buddhist believing and saying that all things arise from causes and conditions can be construed as "flippant" by another Buddhist?
"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."
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Re: Government of Pre-PRC Tibet

Postby Nilasarasvati » Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:01 pm

But I am gonna stick to causes and conditions as explanation for everything that happens.

By itself, that doesn't seem flippant.

It's because of the prior statement about the Tibetans not having the merit to "dodge" the cultural revolution...
makes the sentence above seem strange, dismissive perhaps.
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Re: Government of Pre-PRC Tibet

Postby smcj » Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:06 pm

If you believe in karma all national tragedies are karmic: Native American, Rwanda, Cambodia, Aztec, etc.
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: Government of Pre-PRC Tibet

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:12 pm

Nilasarasvati wrote:...out the Tibetans not having the merit to "dodge" the cultural revolution...
makes the sentence above seem strange, dismissive perhaps.
Isn't it demerit that gives rise to suffering?

(46) In short then, whenever unfortunate sufferings
We haven’t desired crash upon us like thunder,
This is the same as the smith who had taken
His life with a sword he had fashioned himself.
Our suffering’s the wheel of sharp weapons returning
Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done.
Hereafter let’s always have care and awareness
Never to act in nonvirtuous ways.

(47) All of the sufferings that we have endured
In the lives we have led in the three lower states,
As well as our pains of the present and future,
Are the same as the case of the forger of arrows
Who later was killed by an arrow he’d made.
Our suffering’s the wheel of sharp weapons returning
Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done.
Hereafter let’s always have care and awareness
Never to act in nonvirtuous ways.
Excerpt from The Wheel of Sharp Weapons by Dharmarakshita http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/ar ... apons.html

And let's get something straight here: karma has NOTHING to do with blame, punishment, fault, etc...
"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."
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Re: Government of Pre-PRC Tibet

Postby Nilasarasvati » Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:19 pm

yeah absolutely, all compounded phenomena are none other than cause, condition, and effect.
And I could not agree with you MORE. A huge hurdle for those of us who come from theistic backgrounds is to get over the idea of Karma as a divinely meted-out punishment or reward.

Its for that exact reason that I'm reactionary about the attitude people sometimes suggest when they say things like "oh, it's just her bad karma" as a rationalization/dissociation from the object of compassion. Because it implies that, because it's karmically caused by that being's past actions, they can be dismissed.

Or as somebody so aptly put it, victim blaming.
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Re: Government of Pre-PRC Tibet

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:46 am

I do believe that one can see that karma is essentially the cause, yet still feel compassion for those that are suffering. Not mutually exclusive at all. Actually, quite the opposite.

People, unfortunately, use all sorts of notions to justify all sorts of actions.
"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."
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Re: Government of Pre-PRC Tibet

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:05 pm

Nilasarasvati wrote:
But I am gonna stick to causes and conditions as explanation for everything that happens.

By itself, that doesn't seem flippant.

It's because of the prior statement about the Tibetans not having the merit to "dodge" the cultural revolution...
makes the sentence above seem strange, dismissive perhaps.



The funny thing is, the cultural revolution in Tibet was largely carried out by Tibetans.
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Re: Government of Pre-PRC Tibet

Postby anjali » Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:38 pm

Malcolm wrote:The funny thing is, the cultural revolution in Tibet was largely carried out by Tibetans.

Hmm. Willingly, or under duress (more like the French in Nazi occupied France during WWII)?
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Re: Government of Pre-PRC Tibet

Postby kirtu » Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:51 pm

anjali wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The funny thing is, the cultural revolution in Tibet was largely carried out by Tibetans.

Hmm. Willingly, or under duress (more like the French in Nazi occupied France during WWII)?


At least in some cases willingly. See "Surviving the Dragon" by Ajira Rinpoche.

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Re: Government of Pre-PRC Tibet

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:24 pm

anjali wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The funny thing is, the cultural revolution in Tibet was largely carried out by Tibetans.

Hmm. Willingly, or under duress (more like the French in Nazi occupied France during WWII)?



Willingly. It was Tibetan cadres that carried out the most brutal actions.
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Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: Government of Pre-PRC Tibet

Postby uan » Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:47 pm

Malcolm wrote:
anjali wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The funny thing is, the cultural revolution in Tibet was largely carried out by Tibetans.

Hmm. Willingly, or under duress (more like the French in Nazi occupied France during WWII)?



Willingly. It was Tibetan cadres that carried out the most brutal actions.


It's not very surprising in many aspects. It's easy to look back on that time and have many preconceived notions of what was going on. But HHDL has spoken fondly of Mao (who was very charismatic). Communism at that time was also very compelling and full of promises, as HHDL has acknowledged about Marxist economic theory. If there was a seduction for HHDL, how much more so for tens of thousands of Tibetans at the time? From the outside, it's easy to gloss over how difficult and hard life was in Tibet AND China at that time and in the years leading up to it with life under the Qing Dynasty, then the various warlords/ROC and the Japanese occupation and war. Not to mention that despite the efforts of the 13th DL, many reforms needed to be implemented in Tibet and weren't. There was also a holy fervor that drove much of the Cultural Revolution (we're not talking about the leadership that was using it as a tool of social control), but for the people carrying out those brutal actions, they didn't see themselves as doing wrong, but doing what was necessary to save and improve the country. And for millions of others, they were just trying to survive.
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Re: Government of Pre-PRC Tibet

Postby Jikan » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:33 pm

uan wrote:
It's not very surprising in many aspects. It's easy to look back on that time and have many preconceived notions of what was going on. But HHDL has spoken fondly of Mao (who was very charismatic). Communism at that time was also very compelling and full of promises, as HHDL has acknowledged about Marxist economic theory. If there was a seduction for HHDL, how much more so for tens of thousands of Tibetans at the time? From the outside, it's easy to gloss over how difficult and hard life was in Tibet AND China at that time and in the years leading up to it with life under the Qing Dynasty, then the various warlords/ROC and the Japanese occupation and war. Not to mention that despite the efforts of the 13th DL, many reforms needed to be implemented in Tibet and weren't. There was also a holy fervor that drove much of the Cultural Revolution (we're not talking about the leadership that was using it as a tool of social control), but for the people carrying out those brutal actions, they didn't see themselves as doing wrong, but doing what was necessary to save and improve the country. And for millions of others, they were just trying to survive.


It was probably not about ideology, which they likely understood poorly if at all. It was probably about the assertion of power, which they clearly understood very well.

I doubt HHDL was "seduced" by Marxian critiques of capital. Is it completely implausible to consider a thoughtful person may have found such critiques convincing on their merits?
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Re: Government of Pre-PRC Tibet

Postby uan » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:00 pm

Jikan wrote:
uan wrote:
It's not very surprising in many aspects. It's easy to look back on that time and have many preconceived notions of what was going on. But HHDL has spoken fondly of Mao (who was very charismatic). Communism at that time was also very compelling and full of promises, as HHDL has acknowledged about Marxist economic theory. If there was a seduction for HHDL, how much more so for tens of thousands of Tibetans at the time? From the outside, it's easy to gloss over how difficult and hard life was in Tibet AND China at that time and in the years leading up to it with life under the Qing Dynasty, then the various warlords/ROC and the Japanese occupation and war. Not to mention that despite the efforts of the 13th DL, many reforms needed to be implemented in Tibet and weren't. There was also a holy fervor that drove much of the Cultural Revolution (we're not talking about the leadership that was using it as a tool of social control), but for the people carrying out those brutal actions, they didn't see themselves as doing wrong, but doing what was necessary to save and improve the country. And for millions of others, they were just trying to survive.


It was probably not about ideology, which they likely understood poorly if at all. It was probably about the assertion of power, which they clearly understood very well.

I doubt HHDL was "seduced" by Marxian critiques of capital. Is it completely implausible to consider a thoughtful person may have found such critiques convincing on their merits?


What is plausible and implausible? I don't know. I do know, from a Buddhist perspective, that we should try to move outside of our own sense of what is and not layer that onto others. We are not the 20 year old DL meeting Mao. I don't have access to the interview itself, but as reported, and from HHDL himself: http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/mao-was-like-a-father-to-me-says-the-dalai-lama/article3566341.ece.

Here's a link to a chapter in a book, The Shadows of the Dalai Lamas, that gives interesting insight into HHDL and Mao and the times before and after the CR. I don't claim it to be definitive (nor have I read the entire work, or have a sense of the agenda behind the work, if any), but like blind men feeling the elephant, it does expand the picture a bit about the time in question: http://www.trimondi.de/SDLE/Part-2-14.htm.
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Re: Government of Pre-PRC Tibet

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:03 pm

I'm glad you don't consider the work of the Trimondis to be definitive. I am surprised anyone can take what they produce seriously at all, to be honest. They clearly have an agenda to push.
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: Government of Pre-PRC Tibet

Postby anjali » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:37 pm

kirtu wrote:
anjali wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The funny thing is, the cultural revolution in Tibet was largely carried out by Tibetans.

Hmm. Willingly, or under duress (more like the French in Nazi occupied France during WWII)?


At least in some cases willingly. See "Surviving the Dragon" by Ajira Rinpoche.

Kirt


Thanks for the pointer. Surviving the Dragon looks interesting.
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Re: Government of Pre-PRC Tibet

Postby anjali » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:49 pm

Malcolm wrote:
anjali wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The funny thing is, the cultural revolution in Tibet was largely carried out by Tibetans.

Hmm. Willingly, or under duress (more like the French in Nazi occupied France during WWII)?



Willingly. It was Tibetan cadres that carried out the most brutal actions.


There is something really sad about that. As a not-very-well-informed person regarding Tibetan history, I often hear of the brutality by Chinese, but have not heard anything about Tibetan on Tibetan brutality. I suppose some Tibetans felt severely disenfranchised and/or were looking to settle old scores? I wonder how the people in those Tibetan cadres have fared since the days when they perpetrated those brutalities.
  • The object of the game is to go on playing it. --John Von Neumann
  • All activities are like the games children play. If started, they can never be finished. They are only completed once you let them be, like castles made of sand. --Khenpo Nyoshul Rinpoche
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Re: Government of Pre-PRC Tibet

Postby uan » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:50 pm

JKhedrup wrote:I'm glad you don't consider the work of the Trimondis to be definitive. I am surprised anyone can take what they produce seriously at all, to be honest. They clearly have an agenda to push.


we all have agendas to push whether we know it or not - comes from our obscurations. Also, it's not an agenda to state what the Dalai Lama's own take on Mao was at the time. None of us were in China/Tibet at that time.

To Malcolm's point, there are Tibetans who willing worked with the Chinese and thought they were making their country better for it. To say otherwise is also pushing an agenda.

And as I said, don't know anything about the Trimondi's but it doesn't discount that their interpretation of what was going on completely wrong. As I said, it's that elephant that we can't see but are trying to grasp. China, Tibet, and their relationship is much more complicated than we are discussing here. Sometimes it does help to be open to accepting interpretations completely different than what we think. It allows us to see things in a new way, which is never a bad thing. (yes, open, but also with discernment).
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Re: Government of Pre-PRC Tibet

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:31 pm

Absolutely, then people should rely on academic accounts and third party narratives. I have no problem with that, and am under no illusions that Tibetans were involved in the Cultural Revolution etc.

However, to recommend the work of the Trimondis I feel is very irresponsible because so much of their books contain not matters that are differences of opinion, but outright lies. They characterize Vajrayana as a sex cult and have a very skewed understanding about Buddhism. This is enough to indicate to me that they either don't research properly or are injecting their socialist politics and judgements into what is supposed to be a body of research.

I mean, for crying out loud, Hitler, Buddha, Krishna – An unholy alliance from the Third Reich to the present day by Victor and Victoria Trimond"" is the title of one of their "essays". They are Dalai Lama bashers of the worst kind as well as cultural elitists who see the "feudal Tibetans" as hopelessly backward and Western norms as the standard to which the world should hold itself.

These lines from an interviews posted on their website sum up their attitude:

We do not want to interfere with the Tibetans’ political concept. However, we are fundamentally opposed to an overemphasis on the nation state, as is currently once again in fashion everywhere. The Tibetans must decide honestly for themselves whether they are so oppressed by the Chinese that a detachment from China is the only way to achieve freedom. In any case people there ought to come together to emancipate themselves from the structures of political Lamaism and seek out autonomous ways in the interest of their people. Women and men from the west should assist them in this.


We criticize the Dalai Lama not because of his statements, but because of his religious system, Tantrism, and because of the rituals which he performs, especially the Kalachakra ritual.


In the West the Dalai Lama has gained his fame and charisma not least because he approached the public with a consistent peace program. Numerous people in the West, including many non-Buddhists, see in him a morally superior "apostle of peace" and see in his culture a message of peace to the whole world.

This pacifist image is, however, a deliberately staged falsification


Thanks I think I´ll pass on Mr and Mrs Trimondi´s `objective` opinions.
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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