Tulkus who have rejected their role

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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby Malcolm » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:23 am

smcj wrote:
The politics of the tulku system revolves around power first, and money second.

The 8 worldly dharmas are corrupting influences on dharma organizations and personalities, to be sure. However if one believes in reincarnation, and believes that advanced practitioners actually do return, then it seems like throwing the baby out with the bath water to dismiss the phenomena as simply corrupt or even invalid. Better perhaps to find a way to minimize the economic, political, and social benefits so that the level of b.s. is reduced as much as is possible.



One does not need to reject rebirth to reject the corrupt system of the recognition of reincarnations.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby smcj » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:02 am

One does not need to reject rebirth to reject the corrupt system of the recognition of reincarnations.

Do you object to the corruption, or to the recognition?
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby Malcolm » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:18 am

smcj wrote:
One does not need to reject rebirth to reject the corrupt system of the recognition of reincarnations.

Do you object to the corruption, or to the recognition?


Both, actually.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby Glyn » Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:29 pm

Malcolm wrote:
smcj wrote:
One does not need to reject rebirth to reject the corrupt system of the recognition of reincarnations.

Do you object to the corruption, or to the recognition?


Both, actually.


Same here, although there would still be more than enough corruption without the tulku system in place. Objectively seen the tulku system isn't really much more than institutional, and socially acceptable, child abuse.
"It's not ok to practice Dharma sometimes, just when you feel like it. You have to practice all the time" - Lama Rigzin Rinpoche.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby hop.pala » Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:23 pm

Same here, although there would still be more than enough corruption without the tulku system in place. Objectively seen the tulku system isn't really much more than institutional, and socially acceptable, child abuse.
[/quote]

Buddha had reasons,why teaching the anatta doctrine.The bodhisattvas keep alive the Dharma.What you know,from previous life of an person?(pledge of bodhisattvas,because going with purpose).What know the physical consciousnes("the child"),from previous life?When the enlightened masters go away,the buddhism come to an end,because only Shakyamuni was able alone,without help reach the enlightenment.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby tatpurusa » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:31 pm

There have always been, and there will always be tulkus both in Tibet, the "West" and the rest of the world for that matter.
The question is only, wether their recognition is useful or not.
Of course it is always useful (but by no means easy) to recognise what exists, even if "only" in a samsaric context.
Negating it, is just another form of illuding oneself.

Institutionalized recognition is something quite different, and the process is prone to manipulations, corruption and all sorts of power play.
The degree of its corruption, and wether it is meaningful or useless, depends on the forms, controls and rules of the process,
and of course on its entire social context.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby Jikan » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:41 pm

tatpurusa wrote:Institutionalized recognition is something quite different, and the process is prone to manipulations, corruption and all sorts of power play.
The degree of its corruption, and wether it is meaningful or useless, depends on the forms, controls and rules of the process,
and of course on its entire social context.


OK. given what you know about the forms, controls and rules of the process, and of course on its entire social context as practiced today, what is your position on the tulku system?

I ask because this isn't some kind of abstract matter--it's an actual phenomenon that impacts actual bodies, now.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby Simon E. » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:44 pm

I would politely point out sir or madam that there has not 'always ' been Tulkus. They are in fact a relatively recent phenomenon.
And furthermore neither you nor anyone else can possibly know that there will 'always' be Tulkus.

:namaste:
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby dzogchungpa » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:06 pm

We are all tulkus, but most of us have rejected our roles. :sage:
ཨོཾ་ཏཱ་རེ་ཏུཏྟ་རེ་ཏུ་རེ་སྭཱཧཱ༔
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby tatpurusa » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:58 pm

Simon E. wrote:I would politely point out sir or madam that there has not 'always ' been Tulkus. They are in fact a relatively recent phenomenon.
And furthermore neither you nor anyone else can possibly know that there will 'always' be Tulkus.

:namaste:


Their institutionalized recognition is a relatively recent phenomenon, not their existence per se.

The meaning of a tulku is an advanced or enlightened practitioner reborn on the physical level.
Buddha Shakyamuni was not the first ever Buddha in this world, and no Tibetan tulku was the first ever enlightened being
reborn on this physical plain.
And even if they stop being recognised, this does not mean that they are going to stop coming back.
Bodhisattvas come back from time to time, taking a nirmanakaya form, even if they are not recognised at all.
So yes, as long as this samsara exists and till all sentient being will be liberated, there will be tulkus, whatever you
call them, and whoever recognises them or not.
This is their samaya.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby tatpurusa » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:28 pm

Jikan wrote:OK. given what you know about the forms, controls and rules of the process, and of course on its entire social context as practiced today, what is your position on the tulku system?

I ask because this isn't some kind of abstract matter--it's an actual phenomenon that impacts actual bodies, now.


My position is that even if it is highly corrupted today for various reasons (including but not only Chinese manipulations like in case of Panchen Lama),
it still continues to be a meaningful and useful phenomenon, but its usefulness depends on the individuals, societies and cultures affected by it.

1. For Tibetans in Tibet it is a very important factor providing them with hope and strength not to let their culture die.
2. For Tibetans outside Tibet something that helps preserving their identity and culture.
3. For certain individuals both within and outside Tibetan culture who have the affinity to this phenomenon (i.e. people with good enough karma to be able to distinguish between real and fake tulkus and masters) can provide a precious
opportunity to meet authentic persons who are able to clear their doubts and confirm their own experiences.

Of course for a lot of individuals deeply influenced by other cultures (like the Western / Christian one), even if becoming Buddhists of Tibetan
traditions, it can be extremely difficult to see anything useful in it. But this does not mean that it is useless for others the same way.

So, as with all phenomena, it depends on the observer, on his/her karmic vision.

And of course, these are only some examples, there must be so many possible reasons for its usefulness / uselessness as there are observers.
Last edited by tatpurusa on Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby Tom » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:30 pm

Simon E. wrote: I would politely point out sir or madam that there has not 'always ' been Tulkus.


Can not haz tulkus? So, when did Buddhas start emanating?
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:53 am

2. For Tibetans outside Tibet something that helps preserving their identity and culture.


With the exception of HH Dalai Lama and HH Karmapa- diaspora-born Tibetans, the younger generation especially, whether in India or the West, do not have strong faith in the system and are surprised by some Western and Chinese/Viet Namese disciples who take the tulku title at face value.

In the Gelug monasteries (I cannot speak for those of other traditions as I am not familiar), the studied monks have a very skeptical attitude towards tulkus that goes back to pre-1959 Tibet. If the tulku cannot debate well or teach a scripture class, with very few exceptions (for example if they live a relatively austere life in retreat) the Sangha body will not be very impressed. However, it is true that in pre-1959 Tibet laypeople may have been impressed, and this was often expedient for ensuring the financial wel-being of the monastery
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: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby Wayfarer » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:46 am

Glyn wrote:Please share stories of Tulkus who have rejected their roles and are doing other things with their lives? The only ones I can think of are somewhat controversial, with the exception of Osel Torres, who is now teaching a bit.


I am interested in Osel Torres, because I had a vivid encounter with Lama Yeshe once. He gave a talk at Paddington Town Hall in Sydney, sometime in the late 1970's when I was first learning about the teaching. Afterwards he appeared to me in a vivid dream sorrounded by an aura. I have heard off and on about Osel Torres since then, I hope he is doing well - actually I am sure he is. I was very impressed with Lama Yeshe, I consider myself lucky to have attended that talk. He was kind of 'funny-profound' in a way which has stayed with me ever since.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby smcj » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:20 am

JKhedrup wrote:
2. For Tibetans outside Tibet something that helps preserving their identity and culture.


With the exception of HH Dalai Lama and HH Karmapa- diaspora-born Tibetans, the younger generation especially, whether in India or the West, do not have strong faith in the system and are surprised by some Western and Chinese/Viet Namese disciples who take the tulku title at face value.

In the Gelug monasteries (I cannot speak for those of other traditions as I am not familiar), the studied monks have a very skeptical attitude towards tulkus that goes back to pre-1959 Tibet. If the tulku cannot debate well or teach a scripture class, with very few exceptions (for example if they live a relatively austere life in retreat) the Sangha body will not be very impressed. However, it is true that in pre-1959 Tibet laypeople may have been impressed, and this was often expedient for ensuring the financial wel-being of the monastery

In Kagyuland, HH 16th Karmapa was not especially learned. Because of this he generally did not give teachings, he gave empowerments. That is in part why HHDL has insisted that the current Karmapa, given that he is in HHDL's sphere of influence, get a 'decent education'.
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: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby Simon E. » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:38 am

Tom wrote:
Simon E. wrote: I would politely point out sir or madam that there has not 'always ' been Tulkus.


Can not haz tulkus? So, when did Buddhas start emanating?

Whoops. :smile: ( my grammar ! )
Buddhas HAVE always been emananting. The concept of tulkudom is relatively recent.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:45 am

With Thrangu Rinpoche as a teacher HH Karmapa is in good hands in terms of "scholarship".

I do know that a few stalwarts in India were lamenting that the Karmapa was "becoming Gelugpa" when I was in Dharamsala. But in the next Kagyu Monlam there was a long and well composed drama piece about Milarepa that HHK had himself put together, and brilliant teachings on Je Milarepa's biography.

My feeling is that if Karmapa can fully embody both the Yogic tradition of Milarepa and the scholarly aspect of Gampopa Dhagpo Lhaje, the lineage will be in very good hands. Out of the number of lamas of the younger generation I have met, none matches HHK in terms of warmth and charisma, though the young Zong Rinpoche is also quite impressive, and from the documentary I watched Dilgo Kyentse Yangsi could also become quite impressive.

Still, there are many other "tulkus" I have met who speak to their attendants rudely, pile up donations, and don't hold up their part of the bargain in terms of intention or ethics. I even heard one laughing at the "stupidity" of doting devotees who he wishes would leave as they were "driving him crazy" and keeping him away from some shopping he needed to do. So please, do be careful everyone. Evaluate a tulku with at least as much discernment as you would any other teacher.
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: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby michaelb » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:13 am

Glyn wrote:Please share stories of Tulkus who have rejected their roles and are doing other things with their lives? The only ones I can think of are somewhat controversial, with the exception of Osel Torres, who is now teaching a bit.
i knew a man in Tso Pema who had been recognized as a tulku as a young child. He spent much of his childhood at Rumtek and Sherab Ling. When he was 12 he was unwell and sent home to be with his family. During this time he made friends with some local boys and started smoking, drinking and doing other things his monastery didn't approve of. They decided they didn't want him back and he wasn't invited back. He said they were doing puja for his swift rebirth. He regrets doing this because if he was still a tulku he would be rich with nice clothes and a nice car, etc.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby muni » Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:44 am

tatpurusa wrote:There have always been, and there will always be tulkus both in Tibet, the "West" and the rest of the world for that matter.
The question is only, wether their recognition is useful or not.
.

Ha!
As I always thought, tulku is emanation of the qualities, not qualities of a "some one" or "some thing", rather qualities to awaken and the skills to help awaken.

Recognition is by wisdom. Then useful depends, like delusion as well.
Falling down into thoughts' stream, identification arises.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby AlexanderS » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:07 pm

I've personally been very impressed with more or less all the tulku's i've met and I feel very fortunate to have met them and received teachings from them.
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