Author Topic: TIBETANS SHOULD NOT HAVE MONKS AS LEADERS, THAT IS A BIG MISTAKE  (Read 573 times)

thaimonk

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TIBETANS SHOULD NOT HAVE MONKS AS LEADERS, THAT IS A BIG MISTAKE
« on: December 03, 2018, 12:26:19 PM »
As the Dalai Lama ages, Tibetan exiles turn to secular unity over sacred

By Meagan Clark

DHARAMSALA, INDIA—  Surrounding the Dalai Lama’s temple in the Indian Himalayas, the leaders of Tibet’s exile community have been shifting their stance from sacred to secular as His Holiness ages, preparing to carry on the world’s longest-running non-violent resistance movement— with or without a spiritual leader.

Top Tibetan Buddhist monks are preparing to discuss whether or not the 83-year-old Dalai Lama should reincarnate, and if so, how to prevent China from claiming their own reincarnated figurehead.


“The problem I see right now is how reliant we are on one individual,” Namdol Lhagyari, 32, the youngest member of Tibet’s exile parliament, said. “I understand that every freedom movement requires one role model, one leader, who would push everyone in the right direction, bring everyone to one goal. But he has reached an age where we will have to prepare ourselves for a post-Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama and top monks planned to meet Nov. 29-Dec. 1 in Dharamsala, but a high-level monk’s death last week caused a hasty and indefinite-for-now postponement. Tibetan Buddhism teaches that while normal followers reincarnate according to their karma, a particularly enlightened person like the Dalai Lama can choose when and into whom he reincarnates.

And though His Holiness has reincarnated into a male child since 1642, the 14th Dalai Lama has said in 2015 that he may reincarnate into a girl. In early November, he told reporters that he may choose a “high lama or high scholar” or a person “around 20 years old”. The goal would be to fill the leadership vacuum faster, or by not reincarnating at all, pass on leadership to a democratically elected president in a system only started in 2011.

Under the 14th Dalai Lama’s guidance, Tibet has struggled for freedom from China since their military invasion in the 1950’s, enduring heavy casualties (some estimate 1.2 million including starvation) and brutal religious persecution. Since 2008, Tibet’s leadership has abandoned the pursuit of complete independence and sought “The Middle Way Approach” – genuine religious and political freedom within China. About six million Tibetans live inside the region, according to a 2014 census, while another one million live outside.

China has been steadily encouraging mainland Chinese to move into Tibet, replacing Tibetan language, businesses and even religion, with its own. Like other religions in China, Buddhism is tolerated in Tibet, but Beijing has appointed its own Buddhist leaders to ensure loyalty to the Communist Party comes first. (Chinese authorities consider the Dalai Lama a terrorist.) Many Tibetan refugees who’ve fled on foot in dangerous mountain conditions into Nepal have told stories of arrest, torture and killings for even mentioning the Dalai Lama, who himself fled to India in 1959.

Non-violence has long been a central tenant of the Dalai Lama-led Tibetan freedom movement, with India’s Gandhi as inspiration and drawing heavily from the concept of ahimsa, shared by some strains of the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain faiths. Ahimsa means “compassion” or “to do no harm” and refers to respect for all living things by avoiding violence.

So far, 152 Tibetans inside the region (and some outside) have self-immolated to protest the alleged ongoing atrocities by Chinese authorities, but no Tibetan has harmed another person in protest. This is commonly credited to the Dalai Lama’s leadership.

The Dalai Lama teaches that everyone has a Buddha nature, even evil people. So no one should harm another person, ever. Those seeking justice should harm the act and not the actor.

Tibet’s pacifism began in the 9th century when the region underwent a Buddhist transformation that included voluntarily disarming its military. Backing away from its former imperialism of what’s now northern India, Nepal and China, Tibet became a magnetic area of spiritual learning. While the Mongol khans (of Genghis Khan) took over, the Tibetans lent the rulers spiritual guidance in return for protection, but they did not rule themselves.

That was the beginning of what you could call a tradition of separating religion from the state.

Since then, Tibet has seen several violent uprisings, and its modern non-violence movement is just as much politically practical (why get crushed by the Chinese military) as spiritually principled.

In 2011, the Dalai Lama gave up his role’s political authority (held for nearly 400 years) by setting up the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), a democratic system with a parliament and president. No country recognizes the CTA as a sovereign government but it receives financial aid from several countries and international organizations.

Though the “toothless” CTA lacks police or prisons to enforce its laws, the Tibetan exiles follow their lead on civil matters. The CTA runs Tibetan schools and cultural programs, for example, and distributes welfare measures to Tibetan refugees in India.

It’s also a party-less democracy, meaning each elected representative runs only on his or her own merits.

This fall, the CTA parliament has been amending the Constitution to smooth election processes and prevent the community’s fracturing. On Oct. 3, for example, the president Dr. Lobsang Sangay signed a law banning nominations for parliament members from non-government organizations or political groups and shortening the length of elections to 100 days.

“We all are human beings right?” Sangay, the only president elected so far, said. “Greed, jealousy, laziness – these are cardinal sins in Buddhism. These play out. We must create a mechanism where these kinds of things are minimized.”

Sangay was born in India as the son of Tibetan refugees. He’s now an American citizen and a Harvard alum who studied international law and democracy.

“Democratizing the society, secularizing the politics so there’s separation between church and state, is the idea, to prepare [for the Dalai Lama’s transition],” Sangay said. “Before it was only His Holiness as the leader. Now we have a political leader who has different responsibilities who will take care of necessary and administrative matters, who will carry forward the movement.”

-The Media Project


https://themediaproject.org/news/2018/12/3/as-the-dalai-lama-ages-tibetan-exiles-turn-to-secular-unity-over-sacred

thaimonk

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Re: TIBETANS SHOULD NOT HAVE MONKS AS LEADERS, THAT IS A BIG MISTAKE
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2018, 12:42:02 PM »
Note what Namdol Lhagyari said is very good:

“The problem I see right now is how reliant we are on one individual,” Namdol Lhagyari, 32, the youngest member of Tibet’s exile parliament, said. “I understand that every freedom movement requires one role model, one leader, who would push everyone in the right direction, bring everyone to one goal. But he has reached an age where we will have to prepare ourselves for a post-Dalai Lama.”



These are important points to remember:


1. Tibetan lamas and monks SHOULD not enter politics. They should not hold positions of power, leadership and political roles. It will demean the Dharma. They are not trained, nor qualified nor have the credentials to be in government. They also do much damage to religion as people start to respect them less. The lines between respecting them as spiritual beings (sangha) and speaking against them when they are in government and make wrong decisions become blurred.

2. Monks and nuns should not get involved with the running of the country but should stick to education. Giving good education to the public about ethics, morality and in some cases Buddhism. No one wants to see a political monk or nun. Because it contradicts the very reason they renounced the worldly life in order to enter a life of contemplation, learning, meditation and gaining enlightenment.

3. Look at other countries where Buddhism is strong where sangha is sangha and never get involved with government or being public officials. In Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Sri Lanka etc where there are tens of thousands of sangha, you don't see them in the government at all. Local or national governments both do not have sangha. Even in Christian countries you don't see priests in government. That is Tibet's big mistake to place monks/high lamas in so many government positions and as public officials. Very dangerous for the country as it has proven with Tibet and Tibetans.

4. Monks, nuns and high lamas should do dharma practice, produce books, videos, give teachings, guide the public, do funerals, blessings, be a nurturer, study dharma, build real temples, keep existing temples spiritual, animal shelters, environmentalists, be mediators, help with orphanages, shelters, the poor, half way houses, poor houses, and basically all sorts of charities that benefit the mind and body of sentient beings that is NOT GOVERNMENT BASED. If sangha gives good education, they can produce kind and good leaders to run the country.



Tibetans should never never never allow Sangha (monks, nuns and spiritual personages) to be involved with government, politics and rule of law because it ends up in disaster. That is how Tibet lost it's country and will never get it back. There are too many monks in the Tibetan Parliament and as leaders remember Samdhong Rinpoche as the prime minister of exiles. That was very bad. The King of Tibet currently is a monk. How does that look? Very political.
Tibet made that huge mistake and Tibet will never recover from it.


thaimonk

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Re: TIBETANS SHOULD NOT HAVE MONKS AS LEADERS, THAT IS A BIG MISTAKE
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2018, 01:29:34 PM »
A friend of mine sent this to me and I thought it was relevant and spot on-



Namdrol Lhagyari wants to out the Dalai Lama out to pasture because of his age. But the Dalai Lama was only in his 20?s in 1959 and in the past 60 years the CTA let slip many opportunities, if not to regain independence, then to put the Tibetan cause on a better footing. All this time, the CTA not developed itself and have merely relied on the Dalai Lama to do all the work.

Perhaps some wanted to. Some like Jamyang Norbu was progressive in thinking but he was gagged into oblivion. As the result, today there is no one who can fill the Dalai Lams’s shoes.

The CTA and Tibetan cause today suffers from its own history of suppressing opinions and fearing the development of any personage who might rival the Dalai Lama and challenge the CTA’s policies. When the Dalai Lama is no more the CTA will run for a short time on the fumes of the DL’s past reputation/goodwill and then the #Tibet will be forgotten.

CTA only fails and continue to fail.




 :(

Rowntree

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Re: TIBETANS SHOULD NOT HAVE MONKS AS LEADERS, THAT IS A BIG MISTAKE
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2018, 09:27:53 AM »
What is happening is very scary. It is the vanishing of the ancient Tibet empire that was upheld strongly since the 5th Dalai Lama's time. In less than 400 years, everything is coming to an end. It is the dead end for the Tibetans, their people, language, religion and culture. I agree fully that the monastic community should focus on learning, preserving, proliferating and spreading the precious dharma. However, the downfall of Tibet is mainly due to the practice of dictatorship that is borderline of guru devotion and blind faith.

The system of governing Tibet has allowed Tibetan Buddhism to produce erudite masters, mahasiddhas and yogis. The Buddhist and tantric teachings are well preserved due to the outdated serf system of a feudal society. However, that system is no longer applicable to the 21st century. Due to the reluctant to change, the CTA continues to apply the same methods that have made them lost their countries. That didn't ring a bell still and they continue to behave the way they are.

Lobsang Sangay is the most useless Sikyong in the Tibetan history who is supposed to be a graduate from the Havard University with modern education in the West. He should know better what will work but he comfortably follows the old ways since it suits his agenda for personal gain.

Having monks as leaders was a bad choice. It helps no one and the end result is losing the country.