The FGS Buddha tooth

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Indrajala
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The FGS Buddha tooth

Postby Indrajala » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:29 pm

Elsewhere I have brought up that Foguangshan under Ven. Xingyun's leadership has claimed to have a real Buddha tooth relic from a certain Kunga Rinpoche, which was enshrined in their recently built stupa complex near Gaoxiong, Taiwan.

I personally feel this is a highly questionable claim given the findings presented in Changing Minds: Contributions to the Study of Buddhism and Tibet in Honor of Jeffrey Hopkins.

For the relevant section see Google Books from page 31 .

There are a few key points to list here.

- The Sakya lineage at the time never heard of a Kunga Rinpoche in India. This Kunga figure is in fact just a monk living in Nepal. The FGS claim he is a rinpoche was either misinformed or misleading.

- There are no historical records of this Buddha tooth in Tibet. The relevant persons in the Tibetan Buddhist community at the time were unaware of this tooth, too.

- AFIK these ten eminent rinpoches that attested to the authenticity of the tooth have not been named.

- Despite having purportedly brought a tooth over from India to Thailand for ceremonies, the Thai royal family was not invited.

- If this was a real Buddha tooth, why wouldn't it have been given to someone like HH Sakya Trizin or HH Dalai Lama? Why pass it onto a Chinese monk who is largely unknown in the Tibetan world?

So, here's my question: does anyone here really believe this is a real Buddha tooth?
Last edited by Astus on Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Call for personal debate
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LynyrdSkynyrd
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Re: The FGS Buddha tooth

Postby LynyrdSkynyrd » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:34 pm

IMHO, it truly does APPEAR to be a complete and total fake. What's the old expression? If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck.....

The burden of proof always rests on the one with something to prove, correct? And thus far, there is no proof. In fact, there is quite a bit of evidence (as posted above) that tends to make it look like a sham.

Now, if someone were to produce proof...(proof besides Hsingyun himself said it, which, if you are not a follower of Hsingyun, is not proof) that would be a different story.

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Re: The FGS Buddha tooth

Postby Indrajala » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:46 pm

Outside of the Chinese speaking world not many people seem to know about this.

In any case, with FGS trying to expand into the English speaking world and offering university programs in English, I think it best that people become aware of these outstanding issues.

Claiming to have a real relic and enshrining it in a huge stupa is no small matter.
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Re: The FGS Buddha tooth

Postby Astus » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:50 pm

Is there a single tooth relic anywhere that was confirmed by an independent team of scientists to be at least from around the time of the Buddha? Or any other Buddha relic?
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



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Re: The FGS Buddha tooth

Postby Indrajala » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:55 pm

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Astus
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Re: The FGS Buddha tooth

Postby Astus » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:08 pm

Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



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Re: The FGS Buddha tooth

Postby Adamantine » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:21 pm

I suppose the verifiability of any relic is an open question: however, usually in my experience there is some level of provenance that lends a degree of authenticity, going back through generations whom the said relic has been passed down to. For instance, HH Dudjom Rinpoche was personally given many relics by various reputable sources, and all of them have a provenance. Provenance of course is also a significant aspect of deciding on the authenticity of antiques or art, etc.

So it seems in this instance the provenance is not really being shared, and what is known is questionable. Of course, this does not prove it is not a Buddha relic, but it does create a larger justification for critical skepticism.

However, even if it was totally fabricated and a pure fake-- there are certainly worse scandals in Buddhist institutions than this. And we all know the dog's tooth story: even if it is not a valid support, a support for faith can be quite important regardless.
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Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha

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Re: The FGS Buddha tooth

Postby Indrajala » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:26 pm

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Re: The FGS Buddha tooth

Postby Indrajala » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:32 pm

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Re: The FGS Buddha tooth

Postby Astus » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:43 pm

Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



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Indrajala
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Re: The FGS Buddha tooth

Postby Indrajala » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:44 pm

Are you implying in the absence of such details the legitimacy of the relic is enhanced?
tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Astus
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Re: The FGS Buddha tooth

Postby Astus » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:45 pm

Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



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Indrajala
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Re: The FGS Buddha tooth

Postby Indrajala » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:49 pm

If there are no known historical records of the tooth and present day Tibetans of high rank in the Buddhist establishment are unaware of such a tooth relic, then clearly the legitimacy will be called into question.
tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Re: The FGS Buddha tooth

Postby Grigoris » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:54 pm

If you go to Thailand you can find all sorts of Buddha relics up for sale: bone relics, blood relics, sweat relics, alms bowl left-over rice relics... you name it. You can pick them up real cheap on an ebay auction. So what is the big deal here? Why should anybody here care?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: The FGS Buddha tooth

Postby Indrajala » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:57 pm

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Re: The FGS Buddha tooth

Postby DGA » Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:08 pm


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Grigoris
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Re: The FGS Buddha tooth

Postby Grigoris » Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:10 pm

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: The FGS Buddha tooth

Postby DGA » Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:17 pm


jmlee369
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Re: The FGS Buddha tooth

Postby jmlee369 » Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:23 pm

While Buddhism has a long history of spending vast sums of wealth on various monuments, I feel that in the modern era, especially within a movement that calls itself Humanistic Buddhism, it is necessary to reconsider the benefits of offering merit making opportunities in such a manner (the story of the poor woman's single lamp comes to mind). For one thing, if anyone involved intentionally deceived the public, that is a violation of precepts on multiple levels. Also, the sutra quotation regarding the four tooth relics (if we take it seriously) comes from one of the Mahaparinirvana Sutras in the Chinese canon, with the claim that of the four relics, one was taken by Indra, another by nagas, leaving just two for the human realm. This brings up doubts more than anything, since there are at least 4 purported tooth relics in this world, each surrounded by controversy. We have the one in Kandy that lead to bloodshed, the one in Taiwan with murky origins, the one in Singapore that has been plagued with doubts from the start, and the one in China that is said to be a non-human tooth. It's hard not to be a bit cynical, especially considering how much power and money is involved with all these relics. I can't help but imagine all the other ways in which the money could have been spent.

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Re: The FGS Buddha tooth

Postby Indrajala » Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:42 am

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |


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