Cops raid at the Karmapas office

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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby conebeckham » Sun Feb 06, 2011 12:09 am

To Yeshe, to Greg, and to all-
Regardless of how we feel about Tibetan "politics," or about the Dharma and money, or about any of this......the main thing is to recognize that the practice is the point.....the institutions and all the accompanying "samsaric" window-dressing are only for maintaining the transmission of something that cannot be stained. Maintaining a pure view, and pure devotion toward the lineage, is the thing. The so-called" reality of this situation will become apparent eventually, and those in the right will be seen in the light...those with less-then-pure motivations will come face-to-face with themselves, and their motives, in the bright light of day. No amount of internet activity, or reportage from any side, will change that in the end. No lawsuits, no political mechinations, no force......violence...... The inexorable truth of Karma cannot be changed merely by an op-ed piece in the news, or by wishing it were otherwise....or by any of these things.

In the meantime, may all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness. May all beings be free of suffering, and the causes of suffering.
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby Blue Garuda » Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:30 am

conebeckham wrote:To Yeshe, to Greg, and to all-
Regardless of how we feel about Tibetan "politics," or about the Dharma and money, or about any of this......the main thing is to recognize that the practice is the point.....the institutions and all the accompanying "samsaric" window-dressing are only for maintaining the transmission of something that cannot be stained. Maintaining a pure view, and pure devotion toward the lineage, is the thing. The so-called" reality of this situation will become apparent eventually, and those in the right will be seen in the light...those with less-then-pure motivations will come face-to-face with themselves, and their motives, in the bright light of day. No amount of internet activity, or reportage from any side, will change that in the end. No lawsuits, no political mechinations, no force......violence...... The inexorable truth of Karma cannot be changed merely by an op-ed piece in the news, or by wishing it were otherwise....or by any of these things.

In the meantime, may all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness. May all beings be free of suffering, and the causes of suffering.



That's pretty much what I meant - the rest is idle chatter at the moment.
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:53 am

Dear Cone,

I dunno, but it seems to me that the stainless and incomparable lineage of the Karma Kagyu doesn't need bundles of foreign currency in order for the practices to survive, what it needs are devoted and unrelenting practitioners (and this is true of any lineage and tradition). If the practices bring the "desired" results then the institutions, and all the other leeches making a profit off of the practice, don't mean squat!

You see I believe that institutions are not the samsaric fronts of the practice, the practices don't need a front (or a back for that matter), institutions utilise these perfect practices as a front, as a means to their samsaric ends. The ascetics, the siddhas and all the other realised beings don't need a front for their practice. Anyway, no matter how many bundles of foreign currency any lineage or tradition (or their institutions) may accumulate this is no guarantee of: a) their survival and b) their pertinence.

There is a lesson here to be learnt for all traditions and lineages and it ain't "find a better stash for your cash"!

Well I'm off to do some prostrations, ie work on my spiritual front! :tongue:
:namaste:
PS Let me draw your attention back to the Nandana Sutta that I posted, it seems you skipped that one and went straight to the Appaka Sutta.
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby Jinzang » Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:42 am

The standard education for a Karma Kagyu monk is nine years of shedra followed by a three year three month retreat. Someone has to support the monks while they're being trained and educated. The support comes from donations from lay supporters and most of the money donated goes to support monks being trained. If there is going to be another generation of Tibetan Buddhist teachers they need to be trained now and that is why the generous support of donrs is needed.
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby J-Bird » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:36 am

gregkavarnos wrote:Dear Cone,

I dunno, but it seems to me that the stainless and incomparable lineage of the Karma Kagyu doesn't need bundles of foreign currency in order for the practices to survive, what it needs are devoted and unrelenting practitioners (and this is true of any lineage and tradition). If the practices bring the "desired" results then the institutions, and all the other leeches making a profit off of the practice, don't mean squat!

You see I believe that institutions are not the samsaric fronts of the practice, the practices don't need a front (or a back for that matter), institutions utilise these perfect practices as a front, as a means to their samsaric ends. The ascetics, the siddhas and all the other realised beings don't need a front for their practice. Anyway, no matter how many bundles of foreign currency any lineage or tradition (or their institutions) may accumulate this is no guarantee of: a) their survival and b) their pertinence.

There is a lesson here to be learnt for all traditions and lineages and it ain't "find a better stash for your cash"!

Well I'm off to do some prostrations, ie work on my spiritual front! :tongue:
:namaste:
PS Let me draw your attention back to the Nandana Sutta that I posted, it seems you skipped that one and went straight to the Appaka Sutta.


I dont really understand the logic of your position here. Since we live in the relative world, we all need some level of physical support to survive. This physical support, requires capital expenses on many levels. For lay-practitioners, we have houses, cars, food ect.... It is the same for monastics as Monks & Nuns have similar needs, although I would agree their needs should be less than lay people, but still there is a need for cash.

In reality money is a tool in this world, much like anything else. Just being in possession of it means almost nothing. Its what you do with it that matters.
I have never really understood this tendency we have in the west to assume that there is no place for money in the Sangha, after all, those texts many of us have, the public teachings by precious master many of us have attended, the dharma centers, the books, the audio teachings and even the computer you get on every day to participate in this chat room, all paid for by yes, money.

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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:59 pm

Hmmmmm...

Again people are confounding the practice with the institution. Maybe a short history lesson is needed?

The Kagyu, as an institution, really started to take form from Gampopa onwards. It was after Gampopa that Karmapa's, Sharmapa's, Situpa's and all manner of "funny-hat" wearing gentlemen popped up. Now, truth be said, originally the Karmapa's used to travel around with their retinue pitching tents along with the best of the Tibetan nomads, but after a while as the institutions started to soldify, well we know what the outcomes are dont we?

So, let's look back at the glorious lineage that gave birth to the Kagyu institution: Tilopa (originally a high paid brahmin priest to a king, left it all to pound sesame seeds for a living, and pounded Naropa into enlightenment), Naropa (abbot at Nalanda gives it all up to follow Tilopa and live in a retreat hut begging for alms), Saraha (abbot at Nalanda, got kicked out for "boozin 'n' floozin' "had a thing for sitting in jungles and eating turnip soup), Savaripa (a hunter living in a forest, given his sadhana by Avalokitesvara (well Saraha in disguise actually) himself), Nagarjuna (starts of as a brahmin, exiles himself after causing "a bit of bovver" goes to Nalanda and leaves to give live in caves and beg for food), Marpa? Milarepa?, etc... (I reccomend Masters of Mahamudra for a bit of background to the heavily stained Kagyu lineage)

So you see, and quite clearly, that the practices do not require institutions, the practices were doing just fine well before the institutions came into play. Now it is true that the institutions may act as physical supports for the practices BUT begging for ones food and "homelessness" were a couple of the main practices that the Buddha himself practiced and taught.

Lest we forget!
:namaste:
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby conebeckham » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:23 pm

Just a comment on this, from Jinzang:
The standard education for a Karma Kagyu monk is nine years of shedra followed by a three year three month retreat. Someone has to support the monks while they're being trained and educated. The support comes from donations from lay supporters and most of the money donated goes to support monks being trained. If there is going to be another generation of Tibetan Buddhist teachers they need to be trained now and that is why the generous support of donrs is needed.


Actually, very few monks enter Shedra, and not all do DrupDra.

Most monks start as young kids in the monasteries, some never go to Shedra or Drupdra (retreat) but end up working positions at the monastery, doing the group pujas, perhaps studying with teachers but not in the intensive way of Shedra.

Shedra is University, and produces "Khenpos." Drupdra is retreat, and produces "Lamas." Some folks do both, but it's pretty rare. There are also cases of Lamas who finish retreat and then enter Shedra, too.

As for support, it's true that most of the money supporting monasteries is "dana," but most monks' families pay, and monks are also responsible for raising funds for retreats, etc.
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby sherabpa » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:40 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Hmmmmm...

Again people are confounding the practice with the institution. Maybe a short history lesson is needed?

The Kagyu, as an institution, really started to take form from Gampopa onwards. It was after Gampopa that Karmapa's, Sharmapa's, Situpa's and all manner of "funny-hat" wearing gentlemen popped up. Now, truth be said, originally the Karmapa's used to travel around with their retinue pitching tents along with the best of the Tibetan nomads, but after a while as the institutions started to soldify, well we know what the outcomes are dont we?

So, let's look back at the glorious lineage that gave birth to the Kagyu institution: Tilopa (originally a high paid brahmin priest to a king, left it all to pound sesame seeds for a living, and pounded Naropa into enlightenment), Naropa (abbot at Nalanda gives it all up to follow Tilopa and live in a retreat hut begging for alms), Saraha (abbot at Nalanda, got kicked out for "boozin 'n' floozin' "had a thing for sitting in jungles and eating turnip soup), Savaripa (a hunter living in a forest, given his sadhana by Avalokitesvara (well Saraha in disguise actually) himself), Nagarjuna (starts of as a brahmin, exiles himself after causing "a bit of bovver" goes to Nalanda and leaves to give live in caves and beg for food), Marpa? Milarepa?, etc... (I reccomend Masters of Mahamudra for a bit of background to the heavily stained Kagyu lineage)

So you see, and quite clearly, that the practices do not require institutions, the practices were doing just fine well before the institutions came into play. Now it is true that the institutions may act as physical supports for the practices BUT begging for ones food and "homelessness" were a couple of the main practices that the Buddha himself practiced and taught.

Lest we forget!
:namaste:


The behaviour of siddhas such as Maitripa and Saraha that resulted in their expulsion from monastaries was part of the mahasiddha lineage of instructions, which made a deliberate rejection of monasticism part of its code. It had nothing to do with rejecting 'institutionalism' per se. Note that Gampopa's introduction of the Kadampa vinaya lineage to the Kagyu was quite deliberate. He saw that a non-monastic lineage was not appropriate for that time and place. The possibility of a Kagyu lay lineage had ended, as Marpa foresaw, with the untimely death of his son.

If there is an point to be made in regard to institutionalised Buddhism, it is for monastaries, which are always intitutions, to be more careful in their observance of the vinaya. Nobody denies that would be a good thing. But its not for anyone but the heads of the lineages to recommend an abandonment of monasticism. Certainly, the orgy of 'derobing' the followed the Tibetan diaspora for the West seems to have had little positive influence on the spread of dharma in the West.

Jamgon Kongtrul in his biography laments more than once the contamination of samaya brought about by offerings. Monastic sponsorship is obviously a necessary evil of our world. If you want to change the world, that's your choice, but my understanding of the dharma is that changing the world begins at home. Whatever one thinks of Orgyen Thinley, the amassed cash and dodgy land deals are probably no worse than those of any other Tibetan monastary in India. The real issue is the nature of the Chinese connection.
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby conebeckham » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:26 pm

I like this ^ from Sherabpa....

Marpa was a "Gentleman Farmer," we might say....he wasn't part of an "institutionalized Buddhism"--but he had to return to Tibet when his money ran out, to gather more. Those Mahasiddhas in India may not have been part of an "institutionalized" Buddhism, either...but they WORKED for it, that's for sure. Milarepa, too--anyone feel like building me a tower or two? :smile:

But I don't think Greg has issues with working for the dharma or paying for the dharma, per se....I think his concerns are with money and wealth being the PRIMARY concerns of the institutions. I don't see this, in the scenario we're discussing, but I grant that there must be "Dharma Teachers" who are only in it for the money. I suppose?

Also, one quibble with Sherabpa's post....the issue, to me, is not the "Chinese Connection." That's the red herring.....or one of them.

The issue, to me, is why the investigation in the first place? Given, as noted, that it is likely no different from the situation with many other monasteries, ashrams, etc., in India, why the big deal, why the Front Page News? Who started this ball rolling, and who keeps kicking it downhill?
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby conebeckham » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:05 pm

Here's the latest, from Karmapa's Office:

http://www.kagyuoffice.org/#Feb6Statement
Member of Italian Foreign Affairs Committee Expresses Solidarity & Office Denies Baseless Claim that China SIM Cards Found
7 February, 2011. Dharamsala


The Karmapa Office of Administration gratefully acknowledges the overwhelming support for His Holiness the Karmapa from well-wishers all across India and from around the world. Today, Matteo Mecacci, a member of the Italian Parliament, paid a personal visit to His Holiness the Karmapa at his residence in Dharamsala. While expressing faith and respect for the Indian judicial process, the Italian MP—who serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Italian Chamber of Deputies—also expressed his solidarity with His Holiness the Karmapa during this trying period. He requested spiritual solidarity in return from His Holiness.

We were also pleased to see some fair and balanced coverage in the media over the weekend. However, we again completely deny the libelous press reports claiming that Chinese SIM cards were found on our premises. This constitutes libel and outright defamation of character. No SIM cards were taken. No SIM cards are listed on the seizure memos issued by the police themselves. Inspector Ramesh Rama of the Kangra police—who was one of the officers conducting the police raids—today confirmed what our Office already knew. He stated that the Kangra police knew nothing of such SIM cards and were as puzzled as we are by the reports that such SIM cards had been seized.

The charge of espionage is a matter with grave consequences. His Holiness the Karmapa is a highly revered spiritual leader of a Buddhist order with millions of devotees worldwide. He has the unwavering confidence and support of His Holiness the Dalai Lama as well as the entire Tibetan Government-in-exile. By repeating such unfounded claims without even bothering to check facts or seek comment, the media printing such fabrications is engaging in blatant character assassination. The Karmapa Office of Administration has issued letters to the editors of the relevant publications seeking an immediate retraction and apology.

And from yesterday:

The Karmapa Office of Administration welcomes the Central Government's expression of confidence in His Holiness the Karmapa. Union Minister Virbhadra Singh travelled to the state from Delhi and made several clear statements of support for His Holiness the Karmapa and the Tibetan community as a whole. Addressing a press conference, Union Minister Singh charged the Himachal Pradesh state government with maligning His Holiness the Karmapa. He further urged regularizing land purchase rules to grant Tibetans certain rights to own land in Himachal Pradesh, in which Dharamsala is located. Union Minister Singh is a member of the Cabinet of the Indian Government and a five-time former chief minister of the state of Himachal Pradesh.

However, we are disappointed to note that some press are continuing to report major inaccuracies and outright fabrications. We reiterate in the strongest possible terms that reports, such as the one published most recently by Times of India, that Chinese SIM cards were seized from the monastery is pure fiction. No SIM cards were taken, as can be confirmed by the seizure list prepared (FIR No23/11, dated 26/1/2011 by the police). The repeated assertion of this outright lie constitutes baseless slander, and defames the character of one of the most revered figures in Tibetan Buddhism. The fact that such fictitious reports are published without contacting the accused party's spokespersons for comments indicates that these members of the press are are not objective reporters. We welcome the press to contact us to check their facts or seek comment, and call on the press to rise to the standards of responsible journalism.
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby tamdrin » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:02 am

Havn't these Lama's heard of banks. I mean who keeps hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash in boxes lying around in their homes. That is a little silly IMHO, as the Dalai Lama has said the Karmapa should then keep his money in a sort of Trust which will be dispersed for his projects.
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby conebeckham » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:15 am

The trust has been trying to deposit money in the banks, but they were not able to get approval....one of the responses mentions this.
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby narraboth » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:40 pm

Trust or bank account is really quite a 20th centry stuff.
In Tibet, people used to offer gold, silver, butter and all valuables to temple and lama, and they keep it for good (usually).
We go further, India at Buddha's time, when all kings offer all valuables, did they ask after 'mmm, how the sangha are going to use it? why people need it when they are giving up worldly life?' People offer for their own good, for their own merit. It's not their concern about what food sangha is going to buy with the money, otherwise it's not an offer. Offering means giving up.

The more funny thing here is, people didn't offer anything, and they accuse why Karmapa got so much offering, and karmapa didn't use the money properly... I mean, come on, what's that to do with you?
Donating itself can accumulates merit, no matter the donate would become tons of cash or become some a luxury temple which some people think monks don't need. I will rejoice for other people's generosity.
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby narraboth » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:58 pm

( http://www.kagyuoffice.org/ ):

SHORTLY HERE:

"With the tremendous outpouring of messages of support from people around the world wishing to contribute positively to the current situation, His Holiness the Karmapa has advised the international Dharma centers, students and supporters around the world that the following practices would be good to do in the current situation:

Prayers to the 21 Taras
Seven-Limb Supplication to Padmasambhava
Dharma Protector Practice, such as Mahakala and others

His Holiness also mentioned that if people wish to contact other Dharma friends from other centers in their area -- not only Karma Kagyu, but practitioners of all schools of Tibetan Buddhism - and join with them to do group practice sessions together, that would also be very auspicious."
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby Blue Garuda » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:08 pm

Jinzang wrote:The standard education for a Karma Kagyu monk is nine years of shedra followed by a three year three month retreat. Someone has to support the monks while they're being trained and educated. The support comes from donations from lay supporters and most of the money donated goes to support monks being trained. If there is going to be another generation of Tibetan Buddhist teachers they need to be trained now and that is why the generous support of donrs is needed.



I have so far not see a plausible explanation for the quantities of money and the way it was held. This one doens't hold water either:

Firstly, the cost of supporting a monk in India is not great.

Secondly, if the money was being spent supporting monks in their training, it could not simultaneously accumulate in wads of cash eslewhere.

It is also puzzling why this money was compared with old Tibetan family and feudal habits, as if it is of relevance in modern India. The old days are gone.

In the UK, if there is a court case and source of an individual's wealth cannot be substantiated, it is assumed to be the proceeds of crime and is confiscated by the state. If the Karmapa's office could substantiate the origin of the money, there would surely be no interest at all from the Indian authorities - it could be resolved immediately. Indians are meticulous book-keepers and know that keeping track of donations is easily accomplished, even if only in gross amounts donated in a certain place on a certain day.

There is so far too little information to be sure about this issue IMHO so let's not jump to conclusions of either guilt or innocence and look for evidence to support that view. Better to let the evidence eventually lead to an informed judgement.

I would certainly not be praying in support of the Karmapa, as that would imply that I knew he was innocent, nor would I of course pray for him to be found guitly, but I would be praying that the truth is revealed and that compassion will be applied to all involved. In such a case, Mahakala practice (as he is a Dharmapala associated with Compassion) would be my choice as it is ultimately the Dharma we should seek to protect.
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Feb 08, 2011 4:41 pm

What? You mean Mahakala doesn't prtoect my egotistical self-serving? Well, wait 'til he comes around next Dharmapala day and he sees what's waiting for him in his offering bowls!
:namaste:
PS
Donating itself can accumulates merit, no matter the donate would become tons of cash or become some a luxury temple which some people think monks don't need. I will rejoice for other people's generosity.
So if you donate money to a power hungry dictator and they use the cash to purchase weapons and kill off all their rivals you will accumulate merit? Somehow I don't think so!

I think you may find that: why you donate, who you donate to, what the donation is used for and how you feel about what the donation is used for will determine if any merit/demerit will be accumulated or not.
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby conebeckham » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:29 pm

Giving with good intention and devotion is the most important thing. We're not talking about dictators here, are we? We're talking about the Karmapa, and the Karma Kagyu lineage.

It's true that there are a variety of factors involved in Dana, but the main thing is devotion and aspiration. Recall the story of the Dog's Tooth.

Yeshe--As for the "amount" of money--It's not about that. Another Red Herring. The investigation/sting/raid/whatever-you-want-to-call-it occurred shortly after the Kagyu Monlam. If I were looking for cash at the Kagyu Administation's offices, that is certainly when I'd go and look for it.....anyone who's been to a big Tibetan Ceremony knows that the envelopes and cash left on the thrones, along with all those Katags, is going to be pretty sizable. People make offerings at big pujas. The monks collect it. The question is, what should they do with it once it's collected? If India won't let them deposit it in a bank, then what?

There was a pending land purchase---if you guys actually READ the reports, you'll see that this appears to be the "central issue" the local government is really addressing.......
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:00 pm

Paranoia about refugees buying up large parcels of land, I think you'll find that in just about every country on this planet!
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby Mr. G » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:01 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:]So if you donate money to a power hungry dictator and they use the cash to purchase weapons and kill off all their rivals you will accumulate merit? Somehow I don't think so!



Can you cite any references for your accusations or is this rumor based on some inference?
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:37 pm

mr. gordo wrote:Can you cite any references for your accusations or is this rumor based on some inference?
I sincerely hope you are being tongue in cheek otherwise I will have to seriously reccommend medication and counselling for paranoid disorders!
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