Press Statement On "Buddha Relics" Exhibition

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Press Statement On "Buddha Relics" Exhibition

Postby youtan » Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:17 am

Press Statement On "Buddha Relics" Exhibition

PRESS STATEMENT

THE MALAYSIAN BUDDHIST CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL DO NOT SUPPORT “THE BUDDHA RELICS & TIBETAN ANTIQUES”
BY KADHAMPA ORGANISATION

The Malaysian Buddhist Consultative Council (MBCC) do not support “The Buddha Relics & Tibetan Antiques” event held at Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur from 23/12/10 to 1/1/11 organised by the “Malaysia Kadhampa Buddhist Association”.

The Buddha relics are the remains of the Buddha and they are highly respected among all Buddhists worldwide. As the Buddha relics are very rare and precious, the discovery of any Buddha relics would receive world attention. In addition, any claim of discovery of Buddha relics must be verified by recognised Buddhist masters and even scientifically by archaeologists and scientists.

Thus, the Malaysian Buddhist Consultative Council would like to inform the Buddhist disciples and the public not to support such event nor to attend the relics expo. The MBCC is unable to verify the authenticity of its Buddhist lineage.
In addition, the MBCC do not agree with the practice of any party who circulate the proclaimed “Buddha relics” commercially either through sales or donation.

The Malaysian Buddhist Consultative Council is consisted of Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM), Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia, Sasana Abhiwurdhi Wardhana Society (Sasana), Malaysian Fo Guang Buddhist Association and Vajrayana Buddhist Council Malaysia (VBCM).

Best regards,
Sek Chin Yong
Secretary

****************************************************
文告

马来西亚佛教咨询理事会不认同 嘎档巴总会

所主办的“佛陀舍利及古物展”

马来西亚佛教咨询理事会不认同,由马来西亚嘎档巴总会于2012年12月23日至2011年1月1日,假吉隆坡武吉加里尔体育馆所举办的“佛陀舍利及古物展”。

佛舍利是佛陀的遗骨,极受佛教徒的重视和尊崇。由于佛舍利的无比珍贵和重要,任何佛舍利的发现都必然引起世人的注意。任何佛骨舍利的发现,必须经过佛教高僧大德的核证,并获得考古学家及科学家以科学方式鉴证。如此庞大数量的佛舍利的突然出现,让我们对有关展出的舍利之真实极为保留。

因此,马来西亚佛教咨询理事会希望佛教徒及公众人士,不要支持有关活动,也吁请大家不要出席有关舍利展。佛教咨询理事会也不承认其正信佛教的地位。

除此,佛教咨询理事会也无法苟同任何团体,以任何商业兜售或捐款方式,来流通佛骨舍利。

马来西亚佛教咨询理事会成员包括马来西亚佛教青年总会(马佛青)、马来西亚佛教弘法会(BMSM)、锡兰佛教精进会(Sasana)、马来西亚佛光协会以及马来西亚佛教金刚乘总会。

马来西亚佛教咨询理事会

薛振荣
秘书
--

May the Blessings of the Triple Gem be with you and your family always.

With Metta,
Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia

No.9, Jalan SS25/24, Taman Mayang,

47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Tel: 03 - 7804 9154/7

Fax: 03 - 7804 9021

Website: http://www.ybam.org.my

Also connect YBAM at Facebook
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Re: Press Statement On "Buddha Relics" Exhibition

Postby Indrajala » Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:42 am

In addition, any claim of discovery of Buddha relics must be verified by recognised Buddhist masters and even scientifically by archaeologists and scientists.


It would be interesting to see DNA analysis done on all Buddha relics. See if they all come from a single individual or not.

I doubt any major Buddhist organization with relics would actually allow it though. Too much to lose if it turns out the relics they've been worshipping for so long are of questionable quality.
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Re: Press Statement On "Buddha Relics" Exhibition

Postby plwk » Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:36 am

I was there out of sheer curiosity...like a cat.... :tongue:

Nothing really outstanding...lots of stuff to look at and one curious event where their HH the 18th Dromtug Rinpoche Losang Chokeye Pelden displayed a self moving hair relic on a cloth on his throne table...
One thing I found strange was how certain 'relics' were being viewed with small magnifying glass like as if they were brooches or gemstones at the Reception area lol whereas there were others that were displayed in Stupas or proper casing...

Just yesterday, my friend read to me a press statement from a Chinese daily by the organisers asking the MBCC to come and investigate for themselves rather than making 'baseless statements' :popcorn:

Anyway, here's their site: http://kadhampa.org/EN/institute.htm
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Re: Press Statement On "Buddha Relics" Exhibition

Postby Blue Garuda » Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:54 am

youtan wrote:
In addition, the MBCC do not agree with the practice of any party who circulate the proclaimed “Buddha relics” commercially either through sales or donation.



Well, there are other relic exhibitions. They may well disapprove of this one as well, raising money for the Maitreya Project.

I attended when it visited my area, but there were only so many gallstones and bladderstones I could look at without being bored - very respectful, but bored. Interesting to see other relics, bits of robes etc. :

http://www.maitreyaproject.org/en/relic/index.html

I spoke to some Tibetans who thought the Maitreya project was mired in dodgy (my word) land deals etc. so again I wondered what my donation was actually supporting.
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Re: Press Statement On "Buddha Relics" Exhibition

Postby youtan » Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:27 pm

How to spot a Buddhist cult
-------------------------------
By Upasaka HL Wai

The Buddhist Channel, July 2, 2007

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- Like any other major religions in the world, Buddhism also has its fair share of cults. Whether the leader is called Guru Rinpoche, Sifu or Bhante, as long as there is tendency to use and abuse the Dharma for personal gain, such as in getting followers to feed on the leader's ego or eccentricity, cultist will always exist. Cults will also thrive as long as there are followers who willingly or have been unwittingly misled.


A cult is defined by the Free Dictionary as, (1) A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader, (2) A usually nonscientific method or regimen claimed by its originator to have exclusive or exceptional power in curing a particular disease and (3) Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to or veneration for a person, principle, or thing.


Here are some key signs where cultists can be spotted.

The leader is always right

Charismatic leadership demonstrates itself very strongly in a cult situation. The maxim is that "the leader is always right". More often than not, his "holiness" is self anointed and various honorific titles are produced without any clear evidence of certification. When questioned in particular about their ordination, specifically about where, how and when it took place, their replies are usually evasive, or at best a rambling list of obscure meanings (such as "a lineage of no school").

The leader will claim supreme knowledge in a body of information (vinaya, suttas or liturgy), and may use certain verses to justify their thoughts and actions. With this mind set, he feels he has the divine authority to instruct people how to live and how to behave (like the saying goes, the one eyed leads in the kingdom of the blind).

No questioning

Cult followers are wont to quote their leaders without ever questioning them. To question the leader of a cult may result in sanction or abandonment by other members and the leader. Even the "Kalama Sutta" can be twisted to suit their interpretation. One of the favorite verses is the selective application that only "... when you yourselves know: "These things (actions) are good; these things are not blamable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness," enter on and abide in them."

The problem with this is that followers are time and again told that they are "Dharma learners", that due to their "ignorance", they need to practice more diligently before they can decide for themselves. As such, it is imperative to form "spiritual friendship" kalyana mitra), the special bonding between "teacher and the apprentice". Unfortunately, cultist tends to exploit this relationship for their own purpose, which eventually leads to a perpetuation of a parasitic system or continuous dependency. This is anti-thesis to the symbiotic relationships that exist between the Sangha and lay followers as established in mainstream schools.

Cult followers will display an unquestionable zeal for their leader and will refuse to accept that their leader is ever wrong. The more extreme cases will even resort to violence to protect their teacher.

The whole world is against us

Public criticism and admonishment by those who are seen to be more knowledgeable or popular usually drive cult leaders to assume the "underdog" situation. Followers are constantly reminded that they are being bullied by "unseen" hands, by people in authority and by those who are "jealous" of their unorthodox ways. Their only way to counter such forces is to "band together".

No one else is right

Cult leaders believe they hold the monopoly of truth in their method of teachings and the way of practice. Anyone wishing to attend or visit another Dharma group or center is shunned by the rest of the congregation and considered to be a backslider. There was a case in Malaysia where a cult teacher grossly abused the Puggala Pannatti (the book of Classification of Four Types of Individuals) to brand those who did not follow prescribed rituals and modes of behavior as "padaparama" - individuals who cannot obtain release from worldly ills during this life-time even though he or she puts forth the best effort the Dhamma practice. To move up the scale, all one has to do is to strictly follow the prescribe methods and listen to the teacher's instructions.

Financial Exploitation

Cult is usually preoccupied with raising money, either for charitable purposes or to build their center. One of their favorite methods is to emphasize on the teachings of "non-self", "egolessness", "greed" and "emptiness" and then relating it to how one's personal wealth had less "merit" compared to those who shares it with the community to spread the Dharma. Cult groups teach that sacrificing for the better good of the organization is far better than putting one's money elsewhere.

Using fear and intimidation

Cult religions rely on private and public intimidation to keep their members in line. In Buddhism particularly, where the emphasis of mind training through meditation is integral to the practice, weak individuals or those facing personal problems are especially susceptible to such treatment. Through their charisma, cult leaders are adept at "empathizing" with those facing personal problems.

When the leader gets angry and uses harsh words, they explain it away as an expression of "love and compassion". Some justify this by labeling the aggressive response as "fierce friendship". And when the targeted member is also subjected to peer pressure to "modify his or her behavior", the intimidation becomes complete. This is what "mob psychology" is all about.

As a result, members of the cult group continuously face intra-group battles to maintain their desire to be accepted and their status may change depending on what's going on in their life. In this way religious cult leaders are able to keep a steady stream of members obligated and bound to their organization.

Brainwashing

Almost all Buddhist cults use some form of mind altering techniques such as meditation, fear of the teacher, fear of "bad karma" and emotional manipulation to brainwash the members of the congregation to stay.

Such leaders are also adept at pricking on guilt conscience, often playing with the mind of the confused, giving personal counseling about "observations of mental formations" after a round of sitting.

Rather than leading the student to strengthen personal resolve to face their internal demons, the cultist would instead cultivate ideas of deliverance through community support, thereby perpetuating dependency on external forces.
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Re: Press Statement On "Buddha Relics" Exhibition

Postby youtan » Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:30 pm

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Re: Press Statement On "Buddha Relics" Exhibition

Postby sooling » Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:55 am

Dear Malaysian Buddhist Organizations,

Re: Discouraging Public from Attending Kadhampa Buddhist Association's Relics Exhibition in Malaysia

It is very important to create unity in our country and to uphold the charter that lets us have complete religious freedom to practice any religion and worship as we like.

Whether we agree with a certain teacher, sect, school or tradition of Buddhism or not, we have no authority whatsoever to judge or condemn them. When we do so, we open ourselves to condemnation and being judged by others. We also expose ourselves to receiving negative criticism.

Instead, we should quietly promote the spiritual teachings of the Buddha according to our own tradition without interfering in others'. When we interfere in others' organizations and do things like send notices or letters out to discourage other people from attending their activities, we are creating disunity. We are stepping on the fundamental rights that we have within Malaysia to practice any religion we like. You should not do this.

You should practice your religion, stay with your school of Buddhism and your thought and do it thoroughly. Forgive those you do not agree with. Also, you do not need to participate in organizations you do not agree with.

You have no authority and are not authorized by anyone to be the judge of what is correct and not correct in Malaysia. There is no such authority, we are already protected by the law to have religious freedom.

Buddhist organizations should not send out these kinds of circulars and negative comments about other organizations. In this case, I refer to the notice that was sent out recently discouraging people from going to the Kadhampa Buddhist Association’s Buddha Relics & Tibetan Antiques Exhibition in Bukit Jalil. The same applies to anybody else because if complaints are filed against any organization, it will be filed in a way that indicates that they are creating disunity. This will not be very good because they are creating disunity.

So please, desist from these types of activities in the future. Please create harmony, provide knowledge, practice compassion and follow the ways of the Buddha who has taught us that practice should be from the inside. Please refrain from judging others.

I hope you take heed of this because your reputation could be stained by these types of actions and letters.

Sim Soo Ling

致 马来西亚的佛教团体,

关于:呼吁佛教徒及公众人士杯葛嘎档巴佛教总会在马来西亚的舍利展

在我们的国家马来西亚,制造国民团结和维护宪法中的宗教自由是非常重要的。

因此,无论我们认不认同某佛教导师或宗派,我们都没有权利批判和诋毁他们。当我们那样做的时候,我们也制造别人对我们同样的批判和诋毁的机会。

我们应该依据自己的宗派来弘扬佛陀的教法,不干涉他人的事务。如果我们干涉其他团体的事务并召开新闻发布会、刊登网站、发电邮散播来呼吁佛教徒及公众人士杯葛其他佛教团体的活动,我们就是在制造分裂,并且是在挑战马来西亚人民宗教自由权利的宪法,你们不应该这样做。

贵团体应该实践本身所属的宗教、护持宗派、透彻的去修行,并原谅那些你们不认同的人和团体。并且,贵团体也没有必要参与他们的活动。

贵团体没有权威,或被任何人赋予权利批判在马来西亚什么是对和什么是错的。这种权威团体根本不存在,因为在马来西亚的我们是被宗教自由宪法所保护的。

佛教团体应该停止通过各管道散播对其他团体所做出的负面讯息。我在此所指的是有关最近阻止大众参与嘎档巴佛教总主办的舍利古物展的通告。如果任何团体被投诉的话,人们将以制造社会分裂的理由来投诉。那很不好,因为这真正的是在制造社会不和谐。

所以请不要参与这种做法,并而制造和谐,增长知识、修行和慈悲心,跟随佛陀的教法,那就是着重于内在的修行。 请尽量不要去批判他人,《六祖坛经》里也说道“若真修道人,不见世间过”。

我衷心希望贵团体能认真看待这件事,因为贵团体的名声可能会因类似的举止或书信而受损。


沈素玲

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Vajrayana Buddhist Council of Malaysia (Registration number 749),

Re: Discouraging Public from Attending Kadhampa Buddhist Association's Relics Exhibition in Malaysia

Everyone respects His Holiness the Dalai Lama, but not everyone who respects him needs to follow his views, thoughts or even his school and tradition of Buddhism. The VBCM has no authority from the Dalai Lama or any religious figure to be the police of Buddhism in Malaysia.

You are a group of lay people who are not ordained, do not hold monastic vows nor live a life of Buddhism to be able to judge others. Just because you go to Dharamsala, take a few pictures with the Dalai Lama and receive one or two letters from some of his people, does not mean you have the authorization to say, command, dictate or authorize anything in our country. Malaysia is a democracy that upholds the unity of its people, and not segregation.

Secondly, we are protected by the law to practice any religion of our choice that we like. Our government permits this. The Dalai Lama, his group of people and the Tibetan exiled government have no authority in any way in our country. Remember – we are Malaysians, we follow Malaysian law and the law allows us to practice what we wish.

You should stop sending out flyers and distributing information in any way which discourages people from going to any other religious organizations besides your own. For example, I refer to the recent notices you have been sending out discouraging people from attending the Kadhampa Buddhist Association’s Buddha Relics & Tibetan Antiques Exhibition at Bukit Jalil. If you continue to send circulars like this, then everyone else will be forced to report you for disunity and creating disharmony. This is what it is all about. Or is it that you wish to damage any competition?

I am not interested in your organization. Frankly, I have no respect for your organization because of your political actions. Tibetans already have so many politics, do not bring Tibetan politics to Malaysia.

You are dragging your people down and your promotion of your lamas are also tainted due to your political actions.

Please desist from these types of negative activities in the future and start practicing compassion, forgiveness and tolerance. It is the right of every single Malaysian to practice whatever religion they choose.



Sim Soo Ling

CC Jabatan Pendaftaran Pertubuhan Malaysia / Registrar of Societies


致 马来西亚金刚乘佛教总会

关于:呼吁佛教徒及公众人士杯葛嘎档巴佛教总会在马来西亚的舍利展

每个人都尊敬达赖喇嘛法王,但是虽然尊敬,并不表示每个人都要遵照他的看法、思想和他所属的宗派。马来西亚金刚乘佛教总会(VBCM) 没有被达赖喇嘛或任何宗教权威赋予权利来当马来西亚的佛教警察。

你们只是一群在家人,从未受过比丘/比丘尼戒,也没有过着真正佛教的生活,所以你们没有资格批判其他人。只因你们去过印度达兰萨拉,与达赖喇嘛合照,从达赖喇嘛身边的人那里获得信件,并不代表你们就有权利在马来西亚指示和命令任何人或团体遵照你们的意愿行事。马来西亚是个以国民团结为至高无上的宗旨的民主国家,而不是分裂国民。

再者,宪法保护我们让我们有宗教自由,我们可以随自己的意愿信奉任何合法的宗教/宗派。达赖喇嘛和他的西藏流亡政府不能对马来西亚人民施予任何权利和控制。请记住,我们是马来西亚人,我们遵守马来西亚宪法,宪法也让我们自由信奉自己选择的宗教/宗派。

你们应该停止散播对其他佛教团体的负面报道。举例,最近你们发出呼吁公众人士杯葛嘎档巴佛教总会的活动。如果你们继续这样做,其他人在别无选择之下会向有关方面投诉你们在制造分裂和影响社会稳定。难道你们的目的是要除掉竞争对手?

我对你们的团体不感兴趣,老实说我根本不尊敬你们,因为你们只会搞政治。西藏的政治已经够乱的了,不要把西藏政治带来马来西亚。

你们的做法使你们的团体受到负面影响,你们所弘扬的喇嘛们也会因为你的政治手段而受到负面影响。

我希望你们培养慈悲心,修行谅解和宽容,并马上停止你们的做法,因为你们的做法已经和马来西亚人民的宗教信仰自由的权利背道而驰。

沈素玲

CC Jabatan Pendaftaran Pertubuhan Malaysia /大马社团注册局
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Re: Press Statement On "Buddha Relics" Exhibition

Postby Blue Garuda » Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:58 pm

I guess in amongst all the claims and counter-claims about exisiting practitioners and teachers is the sensible advice not to attack or criticise each other.

Schisms and power struggles, sects and cults have all been around for a very long time. We could spend many years standing inside one camp or the other being led well or misled badly, or spend many years seeking to find out all we can about the politics and economics of schools with a Tibetan origin before we accept teachings from them.
There's no rush, so some of that examination should take place before commitment to a guru and their organisation.

Ultimately, Buddhism provides us with excellent guidance and sets of vows. If what we observe is wholesome, compassionate and otherwise also consistent with the Dharma, then at some point we may make a personal commitment. If we discover corruption, greed, a lust for power and a desire to be worshipped, then we should turn away.

The tricky part, as shown here with respect to the relics, is to what extent we should warn others not to contribute to something if we decide it is dodgy. It is possible to do so without expressing anger or even negative comments. For example:

'I am a disciple of the Gelugpa, and my guru is a Gelugpa Geshe. In these matters I follow the advice of my root guru, and of his root guru the Dalai Lama. Their advice has always been correct in other respects, and so I have taken vows to support them. Others are free to make up their own minds about the issue, but it is not something I wish to be involved with.' (And maybe give details of teachings by HHDL or your guru which explain the decision in more depth.)

This may be more wholesome, effective and compassionate than:
'These people form a dangerous cult, which lies about its history. Their leader is a fraud and they worship a demon ghost who wants to destroy the Dalai Lama.'
The risk, of course, is that this approach leads to inflamed and angry counter-accusations and may actually entrench a supporter of the activity you wish to dissuade them from, and help reinforce the bonding of the group which perceives itself as being victimised. In fact, as shown in the letters above, it makes it easy for that group to take the moral 'PR' high ground.

So, what to do? If I was there I would ask my guru for guidance first. If I had no guru, I would not donate without finding out what facts I could, but not be swayed by emotive language.

As it is Malaysia, I wonder what Tsem Tulku has had to say, which will guide many people. Anyone know? Would he express a view through Vajrayana Buddhist Council Malaysia (VBCM)?
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Re: Press Statement On "Buddha Relics" Exhibition

Postby henry » Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:43 pm

Malaysia Kadhampa Buddhist Association used be known part of the organization known as Gelugpa Buddhist Association, Taiwan, *now known as Kadhampa Buddhist Association, Taiwan* and supports Dolgyal practice.

now, it is an attempt to break away from Ganden Tripa administration.
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Re: Press Statement On "Buddha Relics" Exhibition

Postby Blue Garuda » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:02 pm

henry wrote:Malaysia Kadhampa Buddhist Association used be known part of the organization known as Gelugpa Buddhist Association, Taiwan, *now known as Kadhampa Buddhist Association, Taiwan* and supports Dolgyal practice.

now, it is an attempt to break away from Ganden Tripa administration.


You may be correct about their motivation, as they appear to wish to operate independently, judging by the correspondence quoted.


Best not to bring the Shugden issue up here, as the exhibition is the main topic and in my experience the mere mention of Shugden can derail a thread, especially when the Ganden Tripa is mentioned as well. ToS ask us to refrain from such controversial subjects. Thanks.
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Re: Press Statement On "Buddha Relics" Exhibition

Postby heart » Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:44 am

Yeshe wrote:'These people form a dangerous cult, which lies about its history. Their leader is a fraud and they worship a demon ghost who wants to destroy the Dalai Lama.'
The risk, of course, is that this approach leads to inflamed and angry counter-accusations and may actually entrench a supporter of the activity you wish to dissuade them from, and help reinforce the bonding of the group which perceives itself as being victimised. In fact, as shown in the letters above, it makes it easy for that group to take the moral 'PR' high ground.


I think it is a good thing to warn people about sects, Buddhist or not. I have seen to many people suffer after spending years and years with doubtful teachers, where is the compassion in letting that happen again and again?

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Press Statement On "Buddha Relics" Exhibition

Postby ground » Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:41 am

I guess the only important criteria are the qualities the individuals have who are following certain groups, schools or traditions. Whether those groups, schools or traditions are called "sects" by some is of no relevance. And since qualities of mind cannot be assessed the displays of body and speech according to buddhists conventions and the harmfulness or harmlessness of these for the individuals themselves and others are crucial.


Kind regards
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Re: Press Statement On "Buddha Relics" Exhibition

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:45 am

sooling wrote:
You should stop sending out flyers and distributing information in any way which discourages people from going to any other religious organizations besides your own. For example, I refer to the recent notices you have been sending out discouraging people from attending the Kadhampa Buddhist Association’s Buddha Relics & Tibetan Antiques Exhibition at Bukit Jalil. If you continue to send circulars like this, then everyone else will be forced to report you for disunity and creating disharmony. This is what it is all about. Or is it that you wish to damage any competition?

I am not interested in your organization. Frankly, I have no respect for your organization because of your political actions. Tibetans already have so many politics, do not bring Tibetan politics to Malaysia.

You are dragging your people down and your promotion of your lamas are also tainted due to your political actions.

Please desist from these types of negative activities in the future and start practicing compassion, forgiveness and tolerance. It is the right of every single Malaysian to practice whatever religion they choose.

Sim Soo Ling




I think what Sim Soo Ling says is wonderful. I completely agree that it is very important to take politics out of Buddhism because it will eventually destroy it. No one in this world speaks for Buddhism and we live in a democratic society where everyone has freedom to practise as they wish and it should always be so. If anyone advises others not to go to certain Teachers or groups, they are spreading division and disharmony.

May religious freedom and tolerance prevail.
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Re: Press Statement On "Buddha Relics" Exhibition

Postby Blue Garuda » Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:51 am

heart wrote:
Yeshe wrote:'These people form a dangerous cult, which lies about its history. Their leader is a fraud and they worship a demon ghost who wants to destroy the Dalai Lama.'
The risk, of course, is that this approach leads to inflamed and angry counter-accusations and may actually entrench a supporter of the activity you wish to dissuade them from, and help reinforce the bonding of the group which perceives itself as being victimised. In fact, as shown in the letters above, it makes it easy for that group to take the moral 'PR' high ground.


I think it is a good thing to warn people about sects, Buddhist or not. I have seen to many people suffer after spending years and years with doubtful teachers, where is the compassion in letting that happen again and again?

/magnus


I agree that it is good to give people factual information. It is not good to make moral or religious judgements on their behalf and seek to press those views on them.

My point was not about whether we should do so, about how we may convey these things and cause the least harm.
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Re: Press Statement On "Buddha Relics" Exhibition

Postby Blue Garuda » Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:20 am

TMingyur wrote:I guess the only important criteria are the qualities the individuals have who are following certain groups, schools or traditions. Whether those groups, schools or traditions are called "sects" by some is of no relevance. And since qualities of mind cannot be assessed the displays of body and speech according to buddhists conventions and the harmfulness or harmlessness of these for the individuals themselves and others are crucial.


Kind regards


An excellent point.

It is also true, IMHO, that if we start with a label like 'cult' and seek to find external signs which we feel justify slapping it one one group or another, we may soon find that very few religious groups escape such scrutiny.

If, however, we start with our own mind of compassion and gain an understanding of the intention of the group and its leader, we may arrive at a very different conclusion.
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Re: Press Statement On "Buddha Relics" Exhibition

Postby heart » Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:30 pm

Yeshe wrote:
heart wrote:
Yeshe wrote:'These people form a dangerous cult, which lies about its history. Their leader is a fraud and they worship a demon ghost who wants to destroy the Dalai Lama.'
The risk, of course, is that this approach leads to inflamed and angry counter-accusations and may actually entrench a supporter of the activity you wish to dissuade them from, and help reinforce the bonding of the group which perceives itself as being victimised. In fact, as shown in the letters above, it makes it easy for that group to take the moral 'PR' high ground.


I think it is a good thing to warn people about sects, Buddhist or not. I have seen to many people suffer after spending years and years with doubtful teachers, where is the compassion in letting that happen again and again?

/magnus


I agree that it is good to give people factual information. It is not good to make moral or religious judgements on their behalf and seek to press those views on them.

My point was not about whether we should do so, about how we may convey these things and cause the least harm.


There is only so many ways to break an egg, plain speech will suffice. Don't get me wrong, this is difficult things, but hanging on to a bad Guru in Vajrayana is not at all ok. Remember that leaving a wrong teacher behind we don't need to abandon the Dharma.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Press Statement On "Buddha Relics" Exhibition

Postby Blue Garuda » Sat Jan 01, 2011 1:10 pm

heart wrote:
There is only so many ways to break an egg, plain speech will suffice. Don't get me wrong, this is difficult things, but hanging on to a bad Guru in Vajrayana is not at all ok. Remember that leaving a wrong teacher behind we don't need to abandon the Dharma.

/magnus



We're talking about an exhibition here, and whether it should be supported. If there is factual evidence that money raised is to be used for harmful actions, then I guess it's fine to be plain, especially if we are acting preventatively.
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Re: Press Statement On "Buddha Relics" Exhibition

Postby Blue Garuda » Sat Jan 01, 2011 1:24 pm

A general note:

In discussing this exhibition here we should not raise the issue of the protector practices, other than as I am doing as a reminder of ToS:

''4. Discussion of Controversial Practices and Traditions

Although the Terms of Service provide specific guidelines surrounding the New Kadampa Tradition, Dharma Wheel volunteer staff will have the right amend or delete any post which they judge may lead to disharmony. This applies to related topics and organizations, including monasteries and lamas supporting the Shugden practice.''


I'm sure that discussion of this 'Khadampa' group in the context of its practices also falls into the 'controversial' description, for obvious reasons, so it would be good if we can discuss the exhibition and the associated problem without tripping over ToS.

People may wish to explain why this group's practices may be harmful etc. but I think that the wording 'may lead to disharmony' is important, as once we give a platform to one side of the debate we're down a slippery slope. I appreciate that this is difficult, and find it hard myself, so thanks for your co-operation. :anjali:
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Re: Press Statement On "Buddha Relics" Exhibition

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:45 pm

Yeshe wrote: I'm sure that discussion of this 'Khadampa' group in the context of its practices also falls into the 'controversial' description, for obvious reasons, so it would be good if we can discuss the exhibition and the associated problem without tripping over ToS.



This is a quote from their website:

We want to help all living beings to be liberated from sufferings. Just like the sun and moon, throughout day and night, sweep away darkness and defilements and brighten up the whole world. Also like a huge tree blocking away our sufferings of body and mind and allowing us to become peaceful and enter nirvana.

I'm not a member of their tradition, but I don't think anyone would have a problem with this. If anyone says that their practice is controversial, it's just politics.

From the point of view of the exhibition, they simply have the freedom to exhibit whatever they want, surely?
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Re: Press Statement On "Buddha Relics" Exhibition

Postby Mr. G » Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:07 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote: If anyone advises others not to go to certain Teachers or groups, they are spreading division and disharmony.



If those teachers are practicing Shugden, then yes, I would advise them not to study with them. I think it was also good to clarify who was sponsoring this exhibition as well. Criticism should not be constantly equated to division and disharmony.

If anyone says that their practice is controversial, it's just politics.


Or perhaps their practice is controversial and people need to be advised of that.

From the point of view of the exhibition, they simply have the freedom to exhibit whatever they want, surely?


Yes, I agree. I also think investigating the group behind the sponsorship of the exhibition should be clarified as well.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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