Buddhism is peaceful?

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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby michaelb » Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:13 pm

Sherab wrote:If forced conversions happened while the 13th Dalai Lama was alive, did he issue an order to Pabongka Rinpoche to stop those conversions? If no, why? (I don't think distance is a good explanation if the answer to my question is no.)
I think this is a little complicated. Geoffrey Samuels suggests that whilst Pabongkha's actions went against the Thirteenth Dalai Lama's spiritual interests, they did in some way fit in with his political aspirations of making Tibet a more organised centralised state. Along with making Geshe degrees more rigourous, setting up a standing army and other measures,
Civilized Shamans p51 wrote:Again in the religious sphere, the lama P'awongk'a Rimpoch'e, acting in association with the Dalai Lama, instituted a campaign to convert non-Gelugpa gompa in K'am to the Gelugpa school, by force where necessary.
He goes on to say:
Civilized Shamans p545 wrote:P'awongk'a Rimpoch'e thus stood in a complex relationship to the 13th Dalai Lama, and in fact the two men were not personally close. The 13th Dalai Lama, like the Great 5th, was interested in the Nyingmapa, and Dzogch'en traditions, and received teachings from Rimed lamas such as Terton Sogyal (also known as Lerab Lingpa: see Smith 1969a:17 n.59: Mullin 1988:37). His own orientation seems to have been open-minded and eclectic, and he was not identified with P'awongk'a's conservative and traditionalist faction. Nevertheless P'awongk'a was in some respects the logical expression in the religious sphere of the transformation that the 13th Dalai Lama was trying to bring about. Had the Lhasa government ever succeeded in turning Tibet into an effective centralized state, the Gelugpa might have continued to move in this direction and might have gradually eliminated the other Tibetan religious traditions in favor of a well-controlled academic and clerical version of Tibetan Buddhism.

One also has to bare in mind the other issues happening here. In complaints made about Pabongkha by Rimed lamas such as Jamyang Khyentse, Pabongkha's sectarianism was inextricably linked to his ghost worship. In response to these complaints, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama wrote to Pabongkha and told him to stop. Pabongkha wrote back saying that he was in error and he would stop. He didn't.
Last edited by michaelb on Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby michaelb » Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:15 pm

waimengwan wrote:Plus such a sectarian action will create a lot of negative karma for Pabongka will he have gotten another good human rebirth again?
You're right. He wouldn't.
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:23 pm

you are talking from your ass probly. Pabonka Rinpoche is most likely in a pure realm and not in the lower realms. if he does something sectarian and you suspect he doesnt even get a human rebirth what is your destiny even if you dedicate your whole life to Dharma. he is most likely a great bodhisattva and might be benefiting beings in ways you cannot imagine or hope to do yourself. so stop talking shit about great masters and save your self from that bad karma.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Norwegian » Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:41 pm

In another post KonchokZoepa, you stated you've practiced Buddhism for 2 years. So, for how many years have you studied Buddhism, including its history?

You see, I ask because there's a lot of information to digest. A lot. And if we talk about Tibetan Buddhism, this in particular is a vast subject. And its history is not black and white. There's many things to consider. If you know very little about Tibetan secterianism I can understand how you could have a naive and simplistic view of these things, but the fact of the matter is that it's a very nasty and very sad situation. And Pabongkha was outrageously secterian. And he is the one who spearheaded the movement of the worship of you-know-who.
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:49 pm

i admit i am not knowledgable of tibetan buddhist history, and not of the history of pabongka rinpoche either. sorry for if i talk out of my ass, but we cannot condemn people by theyre outer actions or conduct, not with our capacity and development. allthough i like that we can talk openly about such things but we should be vary of making judgements possibly in either direction, but at least not in a ''negative '' direction, at least for our own sake.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:36 pm

i dont know about the history of this matter, so i want to apologize if i disrupted or derailed the conversation. sorry, please continue :anjali:
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Sherab » Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:39 pm

FWIW, a friend of mine once asked my guru whether what Pabongka Rinpoche was bad (or something like that.) He told me that my guru took a really long time before answering "I don't know".
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby michaelb » Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:10 pm

KonchokZoepa wrote:i dont know about the history of this matter, so i want to apologize if i disrupted or derailed the conversation. sorry, please continue :anjali:
No worries, Konchok. There are differing opinions and it all comes down to who you trust. In a sense, unless you are considering taking empowerments from one of those lamas that hold that Pabongkha was a faultless and perfect bodhisattva the question of his qualities is irrelevant. Whether we should include him in our prayers to lineage lamas probably depends on what our lamas advise. The past is the past though, and it isn't worth losing any sleep over.

Sadly, I'm sure there will be many more lamas that are problematic and 'test' our faith in the future. How we respond to these difficulties says more about us than them.
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:52 am

Okay so, Phabongkha Rinpoche is one of my gurus and I like his stuff besides the 'burn the heretics' stuff. This is how I see it:

There are two possibilities.

1. Phabongkha Rinpoche is a Buddha who correctly protected the Gelugpa school from harm by any means necessary and correctly promoted a virtuous and powerful protector that should be moved from minor to major status.

OR (Don't hang me yet)

2. Phabongkha Rinpoche is a Buddha who correctly displayed himself as a monster to show the dangers of sectarianism is a visceral way that would never be forgotten so that the schools could come together in harmony during exile and thus Tibetan Buddhism would not only survive but flourish. Phabongkha Rinpoche is held up as the 'evil to be avoided' by HHDL and others and this is what Phabongkha Rinpoche intended. Better he suffer the hatred and negative karma than an actual bigot.
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-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby JKhedrup » Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:36 am

Phabongkha Rinpoche is held up as the 'evil to be avoided' by HHDL and others and this is what Phabongkha Rinpoche intended


HH Dalai Lama is critical of Phabongkha Rinpoche's sectarianism and promotion of the spirit. But he hardly holds him up as "evil to be avoided". He will give an oral transmission of Phabongkha's Lam Rim at Sera monastery this coming December.

His Holiness has a quite balanced view, actually. Do not blind yourself to the reality of the sectarian actions and be prepared to speak out, but at the same time aknowledge those compositions that were profound and beneficial. We like things to be absolute- black and white. Clear dinlineations between good and bad. We want our heroes to be perfect and our enemies to be without a single positive quality. But that doesn't really accord with reality.
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: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby JKhedrup » Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:45 am

JKhedrup wrote:
Phabongkha Rinpoche is held up as the 'evil to be avoided' by HHDL and others and this is what Phabongkha Rinpoche intended


HH Dalai Lama is critical of Phabongkha Rinpoche's sectarianism and promotion of the spirit. But he hardly holds him up as "evil to be avoided". He will give an oral transmission of Phabongkha's Lam Rim at Sera monastery this coming December.

His Holiness has a quite balanced view, actually. Do not blind yourself to the reality of the sectarian actions and be prepared to speak out, but at the same time aknowledge those compositions that were profound and beneficial. We like things to be absolute- black and white. Clear dilineations between good and bad. We want our heroes to be perfect and our enemies to be without a single positive quality. But that doesn't really accord with reality.


Some of his works are excellent, no problem saying that.
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: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby michaelb » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:26 am

Konchog1 wrote:Okay so, Phabongkha Rinpoche is one of my gurus and I like his stuff besides the 'burn the heretics' stuff. This is how I see it:
There are two possibilities...

This focuses on one aspect of the sectarianism but I've a feeling the geopolitical aspect is more important to his legacy and how he is viewed. When Guru Rinpoche first tamed the demons of Tibet so Dharma could flourish, practices were put in place that would keep Tibet safe. The anti-Nyingma sectarianism that Pabongkha spread led to these practices no longer being performed and left Tibet open to invasion. The first place the Chinese invaded? Chamdo, Pabongkha's seat in Kham. "virtuous and powerful protector?" Tibet was invaded and major monasteries destroyed within a few decades of this being disseminated widely. HH Dudjom Rinpoche said,
Counsels from My Heart p54 wrote:Guru Rinpoche prophesied the calamity that has befallen Tibet and he also spoke of ways it could have been avoided. From the time of the fifth to the thirteenth Dalai Lamas, all the ceremonies needed to avert disaster were performed properly. But when the thirteenth Dalai Lama passed away, the prophecies were put aside and neglected, and the ceremonies and rituals were not performed as they should have been. Because of this, the prediction was fulfilled, "Evil doctrines will spread, evil forces will arise within and the people's minds will be possessed by demons... This is why our country has sunk into the catastrophe that you know only too well."
In that he restored the Nyingma practices at Namgyal, it seems HH Dalai Lama agrees with this view point.

The alternative view put forward by those lamas that believe Pabongkha was faultless and perfect, might be that the invasion of the Chinese helped the Dharma to spread around the world. If Pabongkha brought about the invasion of Tibet, he also brought about the spreading of his own form of Gelugpa practice to every corner of the world, from England to Malaysia, Thailand to Italy, and of course to China, where those lamas enjoy patronage from the Chinese government.
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby waimengwan » Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:17 am

Sectarianism is like Racism, it is such a base emotion and feeling. People can say praise to Je Pabongka's works but he was sectarian somehow that does not jive with me. Sectarianism is based on dualism, Pabongka is dualistic in his views? I don't buy it thats me anyhow.

Guru Rinpoche already predicted the spread of the dharma in the western world and so forth. Pabongka did not bring about Tibet's loss through you know who worship, it was the Tibetans inability to modernise and evolve to a modern country that brought the loss. It is so easy to pin the blame on Je Pabongka, I mean can't get freedom for Tibet, just blame it on Pabongka how convenient.

@Jkhedrup If Rinpoche asks me to go I will do so for sure! :)
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:53 am

it was the Tibetans inability to modernise and evolve to a modern country that brought the loss. It is so easy to pin the blame on Je Pabongka, I mean can't get freedom for Tibet, just blame it on Pabongka how convenient.


The occupation of Tibet was brought about by a number of causes- such a large event usually is. To say that there is only one cause for such a huge event is rather naieve. Karma is so complex that only a Buddha can penetrate it completely. Can we dismiss the failure of construction of Guru Rinpoche statues as a contributing factor? I don't think so- even though my mind does not really work that way the lamas can see how things function on a spiritual level in a way that I can't.

We cannot deny the role that sectarianism played in dividing the population and making it vulnerable. But at the same time there were many other factors that played a role. One major one, at least a major condition, which I am surprised you didn't mention, is the communist ideology of the Chinese government and military- one that swept through the county and led to occupation and persecution not just in Tibet but also in ethnic Mongolian (Inner Mongolia) and Uighur (Muslim) areas. Or the countless Chinese citizens who were persecuted during the Cultural Revolution and can still be thrown in jail for questioning the regime.

Malcolm once said "Blaming the Tibetans for the occupation of their country is like blaming a woman for getting raped." At the time I was taken aback and found the statement rather extreme, but upon reflection it actually makes sense.

If a woman goes to a parking garage alone in a dangerous neighbourhood late at night wearing revealing clothing, is she taking risks? Certainly. If she were to be assaulted would we say it was her fault? Of course not. Because to say so would be deeply insensitive and callous, showing no compassion for the violence she suffered.

Same with the Tibetan situation. Great violence has been done to them as a people. Was their society plagued with problems? Certainly- but so were many societies in the period of the 1950s.

I have known Tibetans for nearly 18 years and worked with them on a neatly daily basis for the better part of the last 9 years. They can be a frustrating people in many ways. But they also have carried the complete synthesis of Sutra and Tantra through to the modern period. They have endured suffering that us urban dwellers sitting in comfortable apartments with our laptops in Amsterdam, Kuala Lumpur or Los Angeles could never imagine. I have heard directly from the Tibetans, in their own language, about the violence they have endured. I have seen the bullet scars on the skin of several of my friends when we went swimming one time near Dharamsala (they never said anything, I had to ask).

So forgive me if it is difficult to have an unemotional, "logical" discussion about why the Tibetans are at fault for the violence that resulted in the loss of their homeland and endangerment to their culture. I would find it equally distasteful if we were to have the same endless conversation on the board for months on end faultfinding about the native people in Canada, the Khmer Krom in Vietnam, the descendants of Black slaves in America, the Armenians or the Kurds in Turkey.

No matter how violent or "feudal" such cultures may have been historically, no one would dare to say it was "their fault" for the occupation, enslavement and loss of freedom of those populations. Yet somehow, in modern academic and liberal discourse, it is okay to do this with the Tibetans. I don't get it.
Last edited by JKhedrup on Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:14 am, edited 3 times 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.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:54 am

@Jkhedrup If Rinpoche asks me to go I will do so for sure!


You should ask him to go. It would make sense to have a student with the complete lineage of several of the Lam Rim texts- some of the transmissions being given are quite rare.
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: 2324
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby muni » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:13 am

JKhedrup wrote: I would find it equally distasteful if we were to have the same endless conversation on the board for months on end faultfinding about the native people in Canada, the Khmer Krom in Vietnam, the descendants of Black slaves in America, the Armenians or the Kurds in Turkey.



If these are deleting suffering, should say lets start such conversations, no time to lose.
Let's not forget all the others, since I know no one who is as right as me! It is for sure an endless job to try to purify others in order to get peace in own mind.
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby michaelb » Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:23 pm

waimengwan wrote:Sectarianism is like Racism, it is such a base emotion and feeling.
I agree.
Guru Rinpoche already predicted the spread of the dharma in the western world and so forth. Pabongka did not bring about Tibet's loss...
I'm not sure Guru Rinpoche did predict the spread of Dharma to the west. The famous 'iron bird' prophecy seems difficult to locate, but that's not the issue. There are other predictions such as the one that Chris Fynn used as his signature in old discussions on related subjects "the'u rang lha ru mthong ba'i dus bod sdug pa'i dus la babs pa yin" When goblins are taken for deities, a time of suffering will fall upon Tibet." Whether we agree with this or not is not so important. What is important is that the view that certain Nyingma practices protected Tibet and when they stopped the protection stopped is held by lamas including HH Dudjom Rinpoche and (i'm assuming) by HH Dalai Lama. This view shapes Phabongkha's legacy more than just the fact that he was sectarian. There have been many sectarian lamas over the years but special opprobrium seems to be reserved for Phabongkha amongst his critics. My point was to suggest a reason for this.
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby waimengwan » Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:40 pm

So the construction of large Guru Rinpoche statues was prophesied by Dudjom Rinpoche as to be able to avert invasion of Tibet? I have never heard of that before. Do share some information about this or a reference. Thanks

Yes I agree there is definitely collective karma in play in the loss of Tibet. But if it is karma then the Tibetans are at fault, they did creates the causes and circumstances to lose their homeland. I am not saying this as a put down to them, nor do I not sympathise with their plight, but to it seems logical to come to such a conclusion.

U know the massacre of the Sakyas, Buddha and arhats could not stop it, when karma starts to manifest no power in the universe can stop its resultant effects.
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:08 pm

Yes I agree there is definitely collective karma in play in the loss of Tibet. But if it is karma then the Tibetans are at fault, they did creates the causes and circumstances to lose their homeland.


None of us experiences a result of either suffering or happiness we have not created the causes for. But that does not make the loss any less tragic.

The danger of looking at this only through the karma of the sufferer alone, ignoring the condition (in this case the Chinese invasion) and the other causes at play here quickly leads to a slippery slope of judgement, and if we aren't careful, lack of compassion.

That is why I mentioned I would find it equally distasteful if the constant faultfinding of Tibetans by several posters here was directed at any other victimized group- the Khmer Krom in Cambodia, Native populations in Canada, the US, Australia, Kurds in Turkey- of course this is far from an exhaustive list.

I am not saying this as a put down to them, nor do I not sympathise with their plight, but to it seems logical to come to such a conclusion.


What was your motivation then? I am curious and open to hearing it. Whether such a conclusion is logical is not the question- I am just saying such events are precipitated by more than one cause. And when one witnesses or speaks of such an event, it is better to generate compassion for the people suffering rather than trying to brush it off as "just their karma".
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
 
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:11 pm

However, within Buddhism there problems about using terms like victim blame - the notion of blame is not asserted in Buddhism in that, firstly, there has never been any need to develop a theodicy; and, secondly, the agent of one's actions, the person, is not claimed as being objectively existent. Instead we are, as Dennett (1992) puts it, “centres of narrative gravity.” That is not to say that persons or their actions do not exist, but rather to say that our mode of existence is merely conventional, merely imputed. (For more on this see Garfield 2006 and Newland 2009). If we are to ascribe agency and responsibility (notions that underpin the idea of both 'victim' and 'blame') then we will be ascribing agency and responsibility to the nominal entity of 'person' only. The concepts that underlie Kamenetz's shock and outrage belong to metaphysical assertions which are themselves an anathema to Buddhist thought.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma_in_B ... philosophy

from the same article:
Moreover, Geshes such as Sonam Rinchen have been at pains to point out that all of us have rich karmic pasts filled with unripened causes that will manifest only when the circumstances that allow them to ripen occur. The fact that the Nazis discriminated against a particular community says nothing about the qualities or karmic heritage of the community. In other words, if we are to talk about 'blame' then it is something that we all should be concerned about.

Many modern Buddhists such as Thich Nhat Hanh prefer to suggest the "dispersion of karmic responsibility into the social system," such that "moral responsibility is decentered from the solitary individual and spread throughout the entire social system," reflecting the left-wing politics of Engaged Buddhism
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: 2324
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

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