China destroys the ancient Buddhist symbols of Lhasa City in

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Re: China destroys the ancient Buddhist symbols of Lhasa Cit

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:01 pm

Indrajala wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Quite the opposite -- Dharma in Tibet, while under siege, has experienced a massive intellectual resurgence, especially in Eastern Tibet, Amdo and Golok -- with thousands of books being published in Tibetan language every year on all subjects.


That rather undermines or at least takes away from the arguments of diaspora Tibetans who say Buddhism is being systematically crushed and eradicated from Tibet.


I already mentioned that Tibetans in Tibet do not necessarily like Diaspora Tibetans very much.

For example, in Tibetan communities in this country [US] they tend to stay separate, with the Diaspora Tibetans always suspecting the non-Diaspora Tibetans of being spies.

There are also regional issues.

However, Institutional Buddhism is being suppressed when it represents a political threat to the Chinese, but the Chinese seem to care very little to prevent Tibetan Buddhist literary production as long as it is strictly academic and religious. Of course the non-diaspora Tibetans have developed an entire vocabulary for voicing their complaints to one another, but Beijing seems not to care. if you ever watched modern Tibetan dance music, you will see all kind of coded references to independence, HHDL and so on.

Also when Chinese people become interested in teachers like Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, the Chinese will step in to put it down. They don't seem to care if the Tibetans practice Buddhism -- but they are not happy when the Chinese become interested in it.
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Re: China destroys the ancient Buddhist symbols of Lhasa Cit

Postby Sherlock » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:26 pm

There are many Chinese monastics at Larung and Yachen and many books and commentaries are translated into Chinese that are not available in English. The accuracy of the translations is a different matter, but the content is out there and there is a demand for it.
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Re: China destroys the ancient Buddhist symbols of Lhasa Cit

Postby anjali » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:38 am

Malcolm wrote:I already mentioned that Tibetans in Tibet do not necessarily like Diaspora Tibetans very much.

For example, in Tibetan communities in this country [US] they tend to stay separate, with the Diaspora Tibetans always suspecting the non-Diaspora Tibetans of being spies.

There are also regional issues.

However, Institutional Buddhism is being suppressed when it represents a political threat to the Chinese, but the Chinese seem to care very little to prevent Tibetan Buddhist literary production as long as it is strictly academic and religious. Of course the non-diaspora Tibetans have developed an entire vocabulary for voicing their complaints to one another, but Beijing seems not to care. if you ever watched modern Tibetan dance music, you will see all kind of coded references to independence, HHDL and so on.

Also when Chinese people become interested in teachers like Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, the Chinese will step in to put it down. They don't seem to care if the Tibetans practice Buddhism -- but they are not happy when the Chinese become interested in it.


Your comments + Sherlock's add datapoints supporting the view that Dharma in Tibet is on the upswing, at least in some respects. On the whole, is your assessment that the Tibetan people are successfully countering the siege on Dharma?

In the back of my mind I've had the notion for a while that, with both the ongoing cultural genocide (unless that is really a false claim) and massive influx of Chinese, any sustained Dharma in Tibet would be have to be via Chinese adoption in coming generations. But maybe this is a wrong assessment? Your comment about Chinese interest in KJP and Shelock's comment about the availability of Chinese translations indicate that the Chinese people seem interested in Tibetan Buddhism.

What I really don't have any insight into is how disrupted the practice lineages have become. Even if people are able to publish and read academic and religious literature, are realized masters still present in Tibet who can give authentic transmission?

Also, your comment that Tibetan Buddhism in India is dead/dying is an interesting one. Would you elaborate on that?
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Re: China destroys the ancient Buddhist symbols of Lhasa Cit

Postby Sherlock » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:01 am

Malcolm is basically right though. Institutional Buddhism in monasteries is tightly regulated and there are barracks built next to some monasteries and some are populated with fake monks. My point is mainly that Chinese people are becoming interested in TB.
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Re: China destroys the ancient Buddhist symbols of Lhasa Cit

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:45 am

Sherlock wrote:There are many Chinese monastics at Larung and Yachen and many books and commentaries are translated into Chinese that are not available in English. The accuracy of the translations is a different matter, but the content is out there and there is a demand for it.



The Chinese actually bulldozed major sections of Larung Gar because there were Chinese people there.
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Re: China destroys the ancient Buddhist symbols of Lhasa Cit

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:46 am

anjali wrote:are realized masters still present in Tibet who can give authentic transmission?



More than in India, actually.
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Re: China destroys the ancient Buddhist symbols of Lhasa Cit

Postby brendan » Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:56 am

Malcolm wrote:
anjali wrote:are realized masters still present in Tibet who can give authentic transmission?



More than in India, actually.[/quters

Realised Masters?

As beautiful as Tibetan Dharma is, it seems to be lacking something. For all the claims that are written Tibetan civilisation seems a little strange.

If there were and are so many realized master. were are all the medical discoveries, scientific discoveries, industries in Tibetan civilisatiion
One could maybe claim Tibetan civilisation has been kind to mother earth, but they also could of been using advancements. .
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Re: China destroys the ancient Buddhist symbols of Lhasa Cit

Postby Sherlock » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:31 pm

Because they never measured their "progress" by materialistic standards. For them, facilitating an environment where practitioners could strive towards Buddhahood was far more important.

Read this.
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Re: China destroys the ancient Buddhist symbols of Lhasa Cit

Postby anjali » Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:18 pm

Malcolm wrote:
anjali wrote:are realized masters still present in Tibet who can give authentic transmission?



More than in India, actually.


I'm willing to accept that, but it would be nice if you could provide some supporting rationale/evidence. Are you also including Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan in your assessment of India?

If it is Institutional Buddhism that is primarily under siege in Tibet, perhaps it is householder practitioners and yogis who are best suited to carrying the torch of Dharma in Tibet these days.
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Re: China destroys the ancient Buddhist symbols of Lhasa Cit

Postby brendan » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:17 pm

Sherlock wrote:Because they never measured their "progress" by materialistic standards. For them, facilitating an environment where practitioners could strive towards Buddhahood was far more important.

Read this.


Sorry about my spelling and grammar my phones keypad is playing up.

I don't think your link is written by someone who is interested in "right view".

Progress ie: good medicine, living conditions conducted with "right view" is not materialistic and seems to be facilitating an environment for Dharma to sprout. Your explanation is just making excuses.

Buddhahood...?
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Re: China destroys the ancient Buddhist symbols of Lhasa Cit

Postby Indrajala » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:30 pm

brendan wrote:Progress ie: good medicine, living conditions conducted with "right view" is not materialistic. Your explanation is just making excuses.

Buddhahood...?


Your criticism is actually valid to an extent.

Why not provide helpful infrastructure in the face of squalor? I mean, as a bodhisattva, it makes a lot of sense to relieve people of curable illnesses.

Even today Tibetan monasteries in India and Nepal are known to have problems with sanitation and hygiene (this was the case in China in earlier times as well incidentally), both of which are sometimes not seen as critical issues by the leadership. In one case it fell to a foreign lady to install sinks so the monks could wash their hands before eating:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hgyS6gjo28

I know another lady in Nepal who has complained that the little monks frequently suffer diarrhoea and simple hygiene would help immensely, but the revered abbot doesn't really care.

On one hand, investing your resources in religion is one option, but neglecting infrastructure and other projects could prove problematic. I guess the Tibetans managed and lived in harmony with their eco-system for so many centuries with a rich religious culture, but the descriptions of unwashed people and squalor on the plateau (past and present) is shocking. The Tibetans had an ancient precedent from India for washing.

It is a bit funny to think how the Tibetans say they fully inherited the Nalanda tradition, but at Nalanda they bathed every single day as a rule (and washed after defecating) according to Yijing in the 7th century. I don't know if major Tibetan monasteries ever had regular washing schedules, but in the 20th century it seems they certainly didn't.
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Re: China destroys the ancient Buddhist symbols of Lhasa Cit

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:36 pm

With the climate in Tibet it was not necessary to wash as often to maintain hygene, and during the winter months due to cold and minimum firewood very difficult. Of course, in India there are different condtions and that should be addressed.
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Re: China destroys the ancient Buddhist symbols of Lhasa Cit

Postby brendan » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:46 pm

Washing is just one example.

What about woman and children?

What about medicine, giving practitioners safe infrastructure (sewage systems etc).

Surly this is Bodhisattva activity and is classed as Bodhichitta.

To say that it is materialistic just seems an excuse, I have heard this explanation a couple of times.
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Re: China destroys the ancient Buddhist symbols of Lhasa Cit

Postby Konchog1 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:51 pm

Indrajala wrote:Gandhi was also fortunate to have been dealing with the British who wanted to avoid violence.
This is a key point.

This was the usual reaction:
"I, the great general of the German soldiers, send this letter to the Hereros. The Hereros are German subjects no longer. They have killed, stolen, cut off the ears and other parts of the body of wounded soldiers, and now are too cowardly to want to fight any longer. I announce to the people that whoever hands me one of the chiefs shall receive 1,000 marks, and 5,000 marks for Samuel Maherero. The Herero nation must now leave the country. If it refuses, I shall compel it to do so with the 'long tube' (cannon). Any Herero found inside the German frontier, with or without a gun or cattle, will be executed. I shall spare neither women nor children. I shall give the order to drive them away and fire on them. Such are my words to the Herero people."

"The Nama who chooses not to surrender and lets himself be seen in German territory will be shot, until all are exterminated. Those who, at the start of the rebellion, committed murder against whites or have commanded that whites be murdered have, by law, forfeited their lives. As for the few not defeated, it will fare with them as it fared with the Herero, who in their blindness also believed that they could make war successfully on the powerful German Emperor and the great German people. I ask you, where are the Herero today?"

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Re: China destroys the ancient Buddhist symbols of Lhasa Cit

Postby dzogchungpa » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:59 pm

brendan wrote:If there were and are so many realized master. were are all the medical discoveries, scientific discoveries, industries in Tibetan civilisatiion

Well, have you seen a correlation between the presence of realized masters and medical discoveries etc. anywhere?
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Re: China destroys the ancient Buddhist symbols of Lhasa Cit

Postby Indrajala » Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:34 pm

JKhedrup wrote:With the climate in Tibet it was not necessary to wash as often to maintain hygene, and during the winter months due to cold and minimum firewood very difficult. Of course, in India there are different condtions and that should be addressed.


Sure, but they still insist they inherited the whole Nalanda tradition. They didn't see the bathing as worth maintaining it seems.

In any case, in Ladakh during the winter there I thought why couldn't they have at least developed a sauna culture? A communal steam bath could have been easily built with less water and fuel usage than conventional bathes.

The ancient Indians knew the value of hygiene. It seems in Vedic culture there was a kind of germ theory, which is still understood amongst Brahmins.
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Re: China destroys the ancient Buddhist symbols of Lhasa Cit

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:50 pm

Do you people have any clue how racist you sound right now?

Have you examined the hygienic habits of 19th century Canadians and Americans in comparison to the hygienic habits of 19th century Tibetans?

Do you seriously think we were actually cleaner than Tibetans prior to the time when most Europeans and Americans had no running water in their homes?
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Re: China destroys the ancient Buddhist symbols of Lhasa Cit

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:52 pm

Indrajala wrote:They didn't see the bathing as worth maintaining it seems.
.



Buddhist monks, according to Mula Sarvastivada Vinaya, were only permitted to bath twice a month.

Also the Tibetans understood quite well the germ theory of disease.

Honestly, I never expected to see such racial prejudice on this forum.
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Re: China destroys the ancient Buddhist symbols of Lhasa Cit

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:54 pm

brendan wrote:Washing is just one example.

What about woman and children?

What about medicine, giving practitioners safe infrastructure (sewage systems etc)..


You really actually have no clue what you are talking about. Your ignorance of Tibetan culture and history is pretty appalling.
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Re: China destroys the ancient Buddhist symbols of Lhasa Cit

Postby Indrajala » Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:57 pm

Malcolm wrote:Do you people have any clue how racist you sound right now?


Similar observations were made by the Silla (Korean) monk Hyecho in the 8th century:

已東吐番國, 純住氷山雪山川谷之間, 以氈帳而居, 無有城墎屋舍. 處所与突厥相似, 隨逐水草. 其王雖在一處, 亦無城, 但依氈帳以爲居業. 土地出, 羊馬猫牛毯褐之類. 衣着毛褐皮裘, 女人亦爾. 土地極寒, 不同餘國. 家常食麨, 少有餠飯.國王百姓等, 惣不識仏法, 無有寺舍. 國人悉皆穿地作坑而臥, 無有床席. 人民極黑, 白者全希. 言音与諸國不同. 多愛喫虱, 爲着毛褐, 甚饒蟣虱. 捉得便抛口裏, 終不棄也.

East of here is Tibet where they live in wool tents pitched between gorges and mountains totally frozen and covered in snow. With no town walls or houses, their dwellings are like those of the Turks. They move in rhythm with the grasslands and waters, while the king alone lives in one place. Yet even he has no castle, residing simply in a woolen tent. Their land produces sheep, horses, and yaks, as well as carpets and hemp. They wear clothes of fur, hemp, and leather, men and women alike. The weather is very cold, more so than in other countries. At home, they always eat barley flour, and a small amount of breads. Neither the royalty nor commoners know anything of the Buddha’s teachings and there are no monasteries. They dig pits in the ground, lying there to sleep, using neither chairs nor beds. The people are very dark, with those of fair complexion exceedingly rare. Their language is quite different from the other countries. They love catching and eating lice, and since they wear furs and hemp, such creatures are very common. When they notice one, they catch it and immediately toss it in their mouths. They would never let it go.


So, even in this period a Tang-era Korean thought the Tibetans were rather uncivilized in their living arrangements (and this before the widespread introduction of Buddhism). Tibet's neighbour Tang China had a bathing culture, though it wasn't necessarily universally popular. Koreans were known to wash twice daily, though, even in Chang'an.

Have you examined the hygienic habits of 19th century Canadians and Americans in comparison to the hygienic habits of 19th century Tibetans?


Wash basins and tubs existed even in frontier North America.
Last edited by Indrajala on Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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