Author Topic: Brilliant explanation on ORACLES!  (Read 14704 times)

thaimonk

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Brilliant explanation on ORACLES!
« on: July 10, 2010, 09:08:15 PM »
Validity of Oracles




TK’s reply:

Geshe-la did give special treatment to his oracle uncle. Geshe-la invited his uncle the oracle several times to UK. In fact his oracle uncle took trance of Dulzin for over three hours and GAVE INITIATION OF AVALOKITESVARA to the students there one one occasion. That is how much the power of the oracle was revered before in NKT. Many trances were taken and Geshe-la privately consulted Dorje Shugden on many issues re himself, his deceased mother, the organization on the whole. So there is nothing weird about the whole oracle practice. Some of the greats like Pabongka, Trijang and Zong Rinpoches consulted oracles their whole lives and taught lojong/realized lojong also in their mindstreams. So part of what they do is great and part is weird? I don’t think so. We accept what we don’t understand about our lamas and refrain from labelling would be better conduct.

It was a rare occasion, when Dulzin took trance and gave initiation in Geshe-la’s centre. The Oracle Uncle was very respected, was given a seat of honour in the pujas there, many students came to receive his blessings when he was not in trance also. This all stopped when Geshe-la and his uncle has a huge fall out and NEVER SPOKE AGAIN UNTIL THE ORACLE’S DEATH A FEW YEARS BACK. So Geshe-la had a personal fall out with his Oracle Uncle and it all came to an end. Yes policies change and Geshe-la changes his mind. But it also means he can make mistakes (sorry). Geshe-la’s policies are GOOD FOR NKT AND THEIR MEMBERS, but his policies should not be seen as overview rule of thumb for all Tibetan Traditions around the world and their centres for example tulkus and oracles. NKT doesn’t ‘accept’ does not mean it is weird, wrong, or not applicable in thousands of other places. I have had EXCELLET EXPERIENCES WITH ORACLES AND TULKUS IN MY LIFETIME AS SCORES OF MY FRIENDS also. And we love lojong, lam rim, and it’s practices as these are our main practices always.

Geshe-la very much agreed with oracles and their usage, until his personal fallout with his uncle. That is a fact. Then his policies with oracles in NKT changed. But we don’t have to change our ‘policies’ regarding them and no one should berate us for it also. No one has the right.

Geshe-la / NKT received huge negative media and backlash because of the ‘1st wave’ of protests organized by Geshe-la against the Dalai Lama. Some of his key supporters felt the backlash, spoke up and some left. Geshe-la realized it was a mistake to protest so openly saying it is from him. He made a mistake. His policies changed. Next time around, it was the WSS with him supporting them from behind and ‘not’ NKT that organized the huge wave of protests. Don’t get me wrong, I feel Geshe-la is courageous. I prayed for him and his long life. I still do. My point is policies he makes can be changed according to student’s aptitude, place, time and also mistakes. THAT IS OK. But just because NKT’s policies do not give a ’special bus seat’ to oracles and tulkus does not mean their policies are correct for everyone.  Or these institutions should be ‘disparaged’, ‘ridiculed’ or spoken against in the thousands of other places they have positive effects and benefits. Also for hundreds of years in some cases. Geshe-la can make mistakes, but it does not mean he is not a authentic practitioner of sutra/tantra and very qualified to teach. He is very qualified. But his personal disagreemants with oracles does not set the plateau for everyone. Nor should his students comment negatively to non-NKT students who accept oracles and tulkus.

The backlash against Geshe-la/NKT was huge, but the protests brought attention to our cause onto the world stage. It gave a voice to where none would be heard. How compassionate of Geshe-la and courageous. How devoted and strong of his students that participated. I respect them very much on the whole as well as many dorje shugden lamas, centres and students around the world. With folded hands to Geshe-la and NKT deeply.

Dromo Geshes ( a great tulku on his ‘3rd’ incarnation hasn’t ‘messed’ up yet) always had great oracles in his monasteries. His last oracle Lhakpa Dondrub) passed away a few years back. Dromo Geshe had special chapel, thrones and places in his monasteries for his dorje shugden oracles. The last one was a layman also!

Trijang Rinpoche blessed, consecrated, oversaw the training of Choyang Dulzin Kuten (Geshe-la’s Uncle) and then authorized him as genuine when training completed. Zong Rinpoche consulted the oracle for most important issues until his last days and lived next door to the oracle in Gaden. Zong Rinpoche had a special oracle house and temple (Trokhang Dechen Chok) built for Dorje Shugden in Gaden. It has a special throne for the oracle to sit on in order to take trance right at the centre of the main shrine. This place exists today still. All of Gaden Shartse’s abbots, ex abbots, tulkus, Geshes, and sangha would have yearly audience on the Tibetan 1st month and 3rd day of New Year’s (losar). The whole sangha would be blessed by both Shugden and then Setrap entering Choyang Dulzin Kuten in the main prayer hall of Shartse. Yes the whole sangha. Also countless lamas, representatives from  Gaden Jangtze, Drepung and laity would jam the prayer hall yearly in Shartse for their blessings and pronouncements. Gaden Jangtse’s administrators would ask questions of Shugden during trance for the welfare of the whole Gaden Jangtze institution. The same in Sera boompra khangtsen with their Shugden oracle, where Kache Marpo takes trance. All has stopped because of the ban.

Both Gaden and Sera oracles were put into retreat for more than five years intense, examined, blessed and authorized by His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang in the end. The current oracle of Gaden is a student of  the previoius Zong Rinpoche, and Zong Rinpoche mentioned years ago that he would be an oracle. So if Geshe-la does not find them fitting for NKT, or his students find it weird, Gaden, Sera and Drepung did not. To each his own.

Many Geshes, teachers, Lamas consult the Gameng Choyang Kuten in US and Sera Oracle (authorized by Trijang Rinpoche, and this oracle’s father was also an oracle of Shugden) residing in Taiwan. They derive many benefits again and again. All of Shar Gaden Monastery invited the Gameng Choyang Kuten for their grand opening and had Dulzin peaceful/wrathful both take trance, bless the premises, answer questions and give prophecies to their successful survival.

When Geshe-la passes away (very sorry to mention this), what happens to his incarnation? If recognized? Not recognized is fine also. But Geshe-la recognized his own mother’s incarnation and makes sure she grows up to practice dharma again. No special seats, but why recognize her at all then. Just recognizing her is saying alot already.

Thai bus company will not give a special seat to the oracle on their buses but will give to monks, and that is true. But only to their monks. They do not recognize monks of the Tibetan Tradition. They do not feel it is a valid monkhood. So in Thailand, monks of the Tibetan tradition gets no discounts, no special seating (airplanes, taxis,etc), no religious priviledges their own monks receive. So their example is not applicable here at all.

Believing, propitiating or trusting oracles and tulkus DOES NOT MEAN THAT IS THE MAIN FOCUS OR PRACTICE EVER. The main practice would be all the teachings on MIND TRANSFORMATION coupled with annurtara tantra of generation and completion stages for sure. That is the real protection from everything in samsara. But along the way, why not alittle help from our friends via the oracle.


TK

(no offence/disrespect intended to Geshe-la in anyway or the vast institution of NKT-may they last thousands of years. If it was another situation, I could take refuge in Geshe-la as my guru also.)

( previous oracle of Dromo Geshe in Tibet :http://dorjeshugden.com/wp/?p=307 )

(The photo below is of the famous and very beneficial oracle of Dromo Geshe’s who resided in Kalimpong but now passed away. He was very clear and concise with his predictions and very loved by Dromo Geshe and many great lamas/laity who consulted him. The oracle’s name is Lhakpa Dondrub. He was a nice man also. I met and stayed with him. He would go into hundreds of trances per year and help so many. Unbelievable. But he himself was very devoted to Tsongkapa, Dromo Geshe, his practices and lived modestly.



Dromo Geshe was very realized and he had the oracles in his monasteries to help the countless that were not when Shugden entered them to speak. Amazing, skilfull, multi-faceted actions by attained minds. Many methods to benefit those who have desperate situations and lojong has not been actualized in their minds yet. May the oracle system live long and continue. May Dorje Shugden continue choosing his oracles as he has for 350 years.

If Nechung, Gadong, Yudroma, Tsering Chenga can choose oracles and take trance and thousands flock to dharamsala to have audience, WHY NOT OUR DORJE SHUGDEN. HE IS MUCH GREATER AND TAKING TRANCE TO SPEAK AND HELP US CAN BE DONE IN HIS ‘SLEEP’!)

TK

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TK’s reply:

Gameng Choyang Kuten didn’t officiate the opening of Shar Gaden. But Dorje Shugden himself officiated by taking trance of Gameng, and officiated with a Wisdom Dance, acceptance of offerings and advice/prophecies.

Just think of how many Lojong-Lam Rim-Annuttara-tantra-loving sangha were there witnessing this great event and feeling blessed to be in Dorje Shugden’s presence via Gameng. Giving them hope, anwering questions, giving direction when they are so isolated and surpressed not like our beloved dharma brothers/sisters who practice freely in democratic countries around the world.  The videos of this are on the homepage of this website of the event. I have watched the videos of Dorje Shugden take trance hundreds of times. I have downloaded onto my phone and watch when travelling. Like those monks, it gives me great hope. If Trijang Rinpoche/Zong Rinpoche/Dromo Geshe Rinpoche attained Lam Rim in their mindstreams and ‘rely’ on oracles (at least for us), then a nobody like me will follow their footsteps. Or at least not berate what I don’t understand yet fully. Just keep a respectful silence while absorbing and learning. Shugden in oracles will not liberate us from samsara, but can sure help while I am stuck here and not actualized realizations yet.

The abbot, ex abbots, lamas, sangha can accept the oracle. They are the lineage holders of all that we hold dear. HH Gaden Trisur Rinpoche fully accepts the oracle and Shugden’s trance according to his assistants in Shar Gaden. So when it comes to Lam Rim, Panchen Sonam Drakpa’s commentaries, the commentaries of the 6 Ornaments and Two Supremes, Madhyamika, Heruka, Yamantaka, Guhyasamaja, and thousands of hours of debate, these sangha we can rely on and trust and follow. We praise them, prostrate to them, and take refuge, but when it comes to oracles, they are weird?? They are illogical or it’s wrong? NKT policies should be applied to them? I don’t think so. Again, these traditions are not arbitrary nor started for negative reasons. They have their valid function and purpose backed up by 1,000 years of rich Buddhist traditions.

Hence we should think, it may not be in our culture, well neither is momos/tibetan tea/tsampa, but so what?  It could be fine. Never look through the lens of our culture/upbringing/familiarity to ‘judge’ another’s. It is baseless and dual.

So the oracle tradition is not weird but a sacred, majestic, rich living legacy of Buddhism & its illustrious Masters from the land of the snows and now to the world.

TK

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TK’s reply:

1. Of course the ‘oracle-things’ can be explained. If this cannot be explained, the only conclusion IS NOT “THAT IT IS A  CULTURAL THING OF TIBETANS and HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH DHARMA”.

TRIJANG RINPOCHE AND ZONG RINPOCHE CONSULTED ORACLES ALWAYS AND EVERYTHING THEY DID WAS DHARMA FROM BEGINNING TO END. EVEN BREATHING FOR THEM WAS DHARMA. SO IF YOU DOUBT THAT, YOU HAVE TO DOUBT OUR WHOLE LINEAGE. Do you think Trijang/Zong Rinpoche will engage in activities that have no meaning and no relations to dharma? I DON’T THINK SO EVER. NO DEBATE.

It is your particular like and dislike due to ignorance perhaps that you have distorted thinking of certain very beneficial practices such as oracles or oracular practices.  The oracles can be very useful.

Western society relied on oracles and the like before the advent of Christianity. With Christianity, many practices such as the arts of divining, tarot cards, taking trances, reading the future, ouija boards all became labelled as evil and should be violently stopped. Violent and aggressive campaigns were set throughout Europe and the Americas to abolish these practices. We are the modern day results of that destruction in excluding anything labelled magical. Hence things like oracles are seen as superstitious, or invalid. That is the legacy of the advent of Christianity.

The Delphic oracles with their famous Pythias were sought over the ancient world for their very clear prophecies for hundred of years. Destroyed by Alexander so he can be assured no one else will know what was told to him. How selfish. In order to assure his victory.

2. It would take many pages and hours to type out what I have learned at the feets of 8 eminent lamas for the last decades to explain. I will condense very short. If you understand, fine. If you don’t it’s obvious then why you’re ‘against’ it.

3.  I would recommend to you to read ‘Wheel of Protection’ from ‘Exile From the Land of Snows’ to get an overview of how oracles work. Dorje Shugden and Nechung oracles operate somewhat differently, but generally same. Please do your homework, read, research, contemplate then speak to elucidate to others to clear their misunderstandings and ignorance. After all dharma is the highest form of giving. Before giving go get it.

See Here. Please read thoroughly:
http://dorjeshugden.com/wp/?p=1332

4. Simple story: When I was in Dharamsala 14 years back, an American backpacker lady fell off the hills there and was lost for around two days. Her friends, local police, and some Tibetans scoured lower upper dharamsala for her. Could not be found. I went to see the Yudroma oracle for my personal reasons as were a few other people for their questions also. At that time, another group had consulted her out of desperation. The American friends were very desperate. The lady oracle went into trance with the help of the monk from Gyuto Tantric College as Gyuto Tantric College often consult her( Yudroma is their protective deity). Yes the renowned Gelug Tantric college goes to her to consult often. When Yudroma entered the oracle ( i witnessed several times), she gave the location, place and fall clearly. She also said the lady is still alive but must get to her quickly. Within another half a day, following her instructions they found the backpacker who had broken a leg ( maybe wrist) and was stuck in a precarious location. The Americans were dumbfounded.

That was one of my first personal experiences with a recognized oracle with many more to come. Observed I did and convinced I am today.

5. Our bodies are just a shell in which our sublte consciousness temporarily abides. You can leave it and enter at will if you have practiced correctly. Ra Lotsawa and son were well known for that. Hence, since it is a shell, any beings can enter and abide including yourself. Thererfore possessions of the evil nature is definitely possible as the Vajra Yogini Kakkoo (ritual) text is a remedy for that. Possessions, ghosts, spirits, psychics, clairvoyants do exist previously and currently. The stories abound in the bios of Heruka lineage Mahasiddhas.

We can temporarily abide elsewhere or within an object and let a higher force use our bodies to speak, express, move or do whatever actions that are necessary. Hence Dorje Shugden and Kache Marpo can definitely enter such a ‘ready’ body. When we do the invitations for example in Lama Chopa and ask the deities to abide, it can be inviting them to enter a statue or thangka we are consecrating. They abide at our request to become a merit field not that they have nowhere to go.

Hence if they can enter a statue and abide, why not a human? Both are made of the four physical composite elements suitable for a consciousness to abide in. Of course there’s the formless also, but need not apply here for now.

In the Tara ritual, you ask Tara to come forth, abide in her image. Then we make offerings, requests, mantras, prayers, etc and at the end, you ask her to remain in this image by scattering dried rice/flowers with appropriate recitation. Then she abides. When you invite Dorje Shugden to enter an oracle, you recite the invitational liturgy at the beginning of our Dorje Shugden Kangsol. If you wish the peaceful to come, the oracle will wear monk robes, yellow chogo/Namjar, and Pandit’s hat. Then Dorje Shugden will enter in a peaceful form to talk, known as Dulzin. If wrathful is required, then oracle will wear the full robes with flags, boots, weapons, etc. This energy cannot stay long, or talk much as it is in fierce form. Old oracles in their 70’s who limp or are on walking sticks when taking trance of the wrathful form, can leap, bend swords, ‘dance’ and whole body convulses with the energy of the deity-Shugden. That is amazing, what is more is, someone like Kuten Lama (Geshe-la’s uncle) never studied much, but in trance as Dulzin he can give long (2-3 hours) discourses citing perfectly from Panchen Sonam Drakpa, Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti, Dharmakirti, etc’s texts and give you page numbers and cross reference points. He can give oral transmissions, initiations, compose texts on the spot as I have witnessed. He is elucidating among scholars, high incarnates such as Zong Rinpoche, Zemey Rinpoche, Dagom Rinpoche, the abbots, Geshes etc. He can refute with them or even debate if the occasion calls for it. Out of trance, Kuten Lama is a nice old man whose knowledge of dharma is that of little higher than the typical Tibetan laity. Certainly he couldn’t fool the masters in Gaden for 30 years.

He must have gone into trance thousands of times since Buxa when he was officially approved as genuine by H.H. Trijang Dorje Chang. Leaping around and bending swords is neat, but lesser spirits can also do the same. What is amazing and convincing is what comes out of the mouth of the oracle time and time tested again. Even things you asked Dorje Shugden through another oracle ten years back, when taking trance of a ‘new’ oracle he can recount and remind you. It has happened to me. I consulted Shugden through Sera’s oracle, then much later the Gaden oracle. While in trance Dorje Shugden reminded me of what he said precisely and accurately what he told me ten years back through a completely different person, different setting, different translators, different monastery. Mind you, what he told me was very intimate and very applicable to me. He has even indicated clearly to me what my gurus have told me in private- he reminded me of their vajra commands. This happened to me. I do not need you or anyone else’s confirmation as the advice was timely, very helpful and I saw the results. His advices and dharma talks will blow your mind. You feel you are in the presence of someone very old, grand and from another time. But then that cannot be used here, as that is subjective-my feelings of him that it.

6. Lama Tsongkapa’s Guru Yoga practice and Guru Rinpoche’s practice are not in the sutras or tantras from India. They were not taught in Pre-Tibet-Buddhist India. Due to the many enlightened activities of enlightened beings after the Buddha, of course that is possible. Buddha Shakyamuni cannot be the only enlightened one, otherwise the dharma is false. But by seeing the many attainments gained by many practitioners over 600 hundred years, we know Guru Yoga of Tsongkapa is valid.  The close lineage of the Mahamudra instructions that are practiced by Tsongkapa’s disciples are also not the sutras and tantras of Buddha Shakyamuni/Vajradhara. Nyingmas rely heavily on Secret treasure texts or Termas never spoken about and guru Rinpoche’s mantra is nowhere to be found in the original sutras and tantras yet has created many realized beings within the Nyingma, Kagyu and Sakyas.

Yet Guru Rinpoche’s initiation, practices, rites, rituals, images form the central core of the Nyingma lineage. Tsongkapa’s  Guru Yoga practice was revealed by Manjushri directly to Tsongkapa. Hence if something is not in the sutras do not disqualify their authenticity nor benefits. In this case the qualifications of the author is very important.

Thai Buddhists do not recognize Yamantaka, Heruka nor Vajra Yogini. They do not have the lineage nor believe that it originated from the perfect Buddha. Not finding something somewhere can lead to endless unnecessary debates. Hence, for us the author is very important. Dorje Shugden is not mentioned in the sutras. Dakpo Rinpoche named the ‘village lama’ by the 13th Dalai Lama ‘left’ his body and transported to Tushita to receive the practice of Dorje Shugden. So today if someone was to say that was their soure of teachings, this forum would be alive with snide sarcastic posts. So why is it we can believe Dakpo Rinpoche. Just because it happened 50, 100, 200 or whatever years ago? If we don’t believe him, then our whole Dorje Shugden lineage is a lie. Then why are we even here. The origins of our Dorje Shugden practice, Heruka, Vajra Yogini, etc are all from ‘magical’ beginnings. Yet we believe and trust. Why not oracles? Why not Shugden entering a qualified oracle consecrated and authenticized by HH kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang the heart son of Pabongka who in turn is the heart son of Dakpo Rinpoche? Contemplate.

Not everything has to be in the sutras yet we still need a lineage no matter how magical it’s origins. Western culture claims to not accept anything magical but more practical. Hogwash. Much of western religions and our Buddhism is awash with ‘magical, mystical and obscure’ beginnings yet we still practice and proclaim logic. Logic by us is very limited. We cannot take full refuge in our logic after certain point.

Heruka revealed his tantra by teaching on Mt Kailash to Vajra Yogini then to human first. How to verify that? Yet many have received attainments from Her practice. So we need to see results to ascertain validity of origins in this case. Many have received benefits from Dorje Shugden’s oracles for the last 350 years including myself many times over.

How many scholars and masters rely on Asanga’s ‘Ornament of Clear Realizations’ given to him by Maitreya Buddha in Tushita. Doesn’t that sound wierd in today’s terms? How about if I wrote a text and told you Tara told me the contents. It would be psychiatric time. Well why do we accept Asanga’s assertions coming from such a source? Because we rely on the author and mostly the benefits in this case. Nagarjuna retrieved how many wisdom texts from the Nagas hidden away? Show me a naga. Have you seen one? Hence validity in Tibetan Buddhism is not stemmed only from the original sutras alone. There will be more teachings arising in the future logically speaking to suit the various aptitudes. Lam Rim made it’s first appearance by Atisha’s composition. Before that it was unheard of. Yet it is our core practice now having been passed down and further versions written of course the latest by Pabongka. Oracular practices do not need to be in the original sutras/tantras to validate their authenticity and applicability for dharma practitioners of this age, time and circumstances.

I hope this sincerely help you. I have spent over 6 solid hours writing the various explanations on this thread. I didn’t write to convince you but to open your mind to things that perhaps are very foreign and at first unacceptable to you. I hope you will investigate further as knowledge is knowledge. We carry that into our future lives. As Shantideva says, there’s no limit to our minds ability to comprehend.

I wish you luck and I humbly hope you will accept for others’ sake, if not your own, practices that may benefit them by not discarding due to ignorance. All practices by our lineage lamas should be respected and feel how fortunate we are to even hear about them. Our lineage lamas are free of faults, hence their practices, teachings, traditions, manners should be respected even if some cannot be applied now due to degenerate times, but they should not be seen as something Tibetan and hence culturally beneficial only.

TK

source: http://www.dorjeshugden.com/forum/index.php?topic=820.135
« Last Edit: July 10, 2010, 09:21:53 PM by thaimonk »

LosangKhyentse

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Re: Brilliant explanation on ORACLES!
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2010, 06:24:59 PM »
Quote
There will be more teachings arising in the future logically speaking to suit the various aptitudes. Lam Rim made it’s first appearance by Atisha’s composition. Before that it was unheard of.

I specifically asked Dagom Rinpoche about this, he said it was a mistake to see lam rim as something newly written, rather it is the teachings of Buddha (sutra in particular).  Yes, there was a text written by Atisha but the meaning is not new, it is merely a summary of the main points.  Definitively Buddha is the author, if this point is not clear there will be problems.


Lam Rim made it's first appearance as named Lam Rim from Atisha. But of course it was existing way before even before Shakyamuni. Again the teachings will appear in different forms, but there is no new teaching to become a Buddha obviously. Whatever will appear in the future will be skilfull new styles of presentation to suit the times and beings. New styles does not mean new teachings. That is understood and nothing to debate regarding. Of course it is a mistake to see it as new. Too obvious.

Tk

crazycloud

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Re: Brilliant explanation on ORACLES!
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2010, 09:08:03 PM »
Tk

With regards to the overall point of this thread, and similarly wiht the Drakpa Gyaltsen issue, you spend a great deal of time establishing that Oracles and Tulkus are real, I am glad people find this information helpful.

As far as I understand it, the only argument on the table is is it helpful for modern practitioners? In particular, in this case, westerners. Doens't matter so much for easterners because such practices are already embedded in their culture and are generally not as disturbing.

In any case, many of your arguments seem to revolve around the idea that our lineage lamas relied on these practices, which given the actual area of disagreement, is irrelevant. Once again, no-one (I believe) is saying Oracles are not valid.

Too obvious.

Condescending for such an avowedly humble practitoner, no? I wonder if you are actually as humble as you repeatedly claim?

DSFriend

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Re: Brilliant explanation on ORACLES!
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2010, 12:54:20 PM »
Tk

With regards to the overall point of this thread, and similarly wiht the Drakpa Gyaltsen issue, you spend a great deal of time establishing that Oracles and Tulkus are real, I am glad people find this information helpful.

As far as I understand it, the only argument on the table is is it helpful for modern practitioners? In particular, in this case, westerners. Doens't matter so much for easterners because such practices are already embedded in their culture and are generally not as disturbing.

In any case, many of your arguments seem to revolve around the idea that our lineage lamas relied on these practices, which given the actual area of disagreement, is irrelevant. Once again, no-one (I believe) is saying Oracles are not valid.

Too obvious.

Condescending for such an avowedly humble practitoner, no? I wonder if you are actually as humble as you repeatedly claim?

STOP ALL FORMS OF PERSONAL ATTACKS!

Helena

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Re: Brilliant explanation on ORACLES!
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2010, 01:47:48 PM »
I really have to thank TK for all the extensive explanations on Oracles.

Prior to June this year, I was also a non-believer in Oracles. That was because I had not experienced one myself and I did not understand. Sometimes I think people just need to experience certain things for themselves, then they will cease to make so much noise about what they do not know fully.

By TK sharing that High Attained Lamas such as Trijang and Zong Rinpoche also consulted Oracles, it goes to prove that they can't be wrong and if they can't be wrong, why should I continue to say that it is wrong. Who AM I??? So, that statement is already saying a great deal. It's all the endorsement I need.

I believe Oracles serve many different functions. More than anything it provides a good reliable source of checks and balances, and above all, it allows the Enlightened Beings to communicate with us directly via the Oracles. Otherwise, we will never get a chance!

Naturally, all High Lamas are extremely attained, and they may not need to consult an Oracle. But even they will still do so, to show their great humility and their deep respect for the Enlightened Beings via Oracle. After all, it is not the Oracles that they are paying respects to, it is the Enlightened Beings themselves.

For normal lay people like me, my personal experience with an Oracle, not only re-affirmed my faith in my Guru but also, the belief in myself - that I am on the right path.

Sure, it is great for some people who are seemingly always confident and they always know what they want to do and they know what they do is right - but even them will have moments of doubts, or go through phases of uncertainty - and they could very well consult an Oracle for a clear instruction or direction and put their own worry to rest. That provides such comfort and relief!

I sincerely believe if the hundreds of monks in Shar Gaden did not receive clear instructions from the DS Oracle themselves, they may not have that kind of courage and conviction to do what they did. Hence, today we have Shar Gaden and it is growing! Because that firm instruction has fuelled thier courage, and their courage will give others more faith and courage to join them. This is a great thing!

At the end of the day, Enlightened Beings will and can choose to emanate as whatever form they deem would benefit us most. So, for that and more, I truly am grateful that they will always find many different ways to guide us, help us and ultimately, bring us to Enlightenment.
Helena

triesa

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Re: Brilliant explanation on ORACLES!
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2010, 04:55:19 PM »
Thank you TK for taking the time to explain the traditions and origins of oracles. When I first heard of tulkus and oracles, I have never doubted their authenticity. In fact like what TK said, many other beliefs and religions have long used oracles in their practices. I myself have witnessed an oracle being in tranced to convey messages to one of my reliatives who went to seek advice some 15 years ago. I did not know if the being giving the advice was a wordly god or an enlightened being, however, thinking along this line, why can't Dorje Shugden takes trance in appointed oracles to give advice to the dharma practitioners?

And especially if our lineage lamas like Pabongka Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche had all consulted these oracles for advice, purely out of humility as they did not need to , we as dharma practitioners at this degenerate age  would be more than fortunate if we could be directly guided by the advice given by our dear protector Dorje Shugden through oracles to clear help obstacles for our dharma practice.

As we do not have the merits to have direct vision of any enlightened being, I would sincerely thank all the compassionate oracles for taking trance of any froms of Shugden to give clear advice to practitioners upholding the lineage of Tsongkhapa's teachings.

Even though some may not like the mystical side of oracles, the truth always lies in the results of the advice given.

Triesa


vajrastorm

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Re: Brilliant explanation on ORACLES!
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2012, 03:17:14 AM »
Thank you, TK, for this very illuminating and brilliant explanation of the validity of oracles. In fact, in this and a subsequent post, you showed us also, in a clear logical step-by-step explanation not only why the Tulku and Oracle systems are valid and authentic, but also why the sutra and tantra teachings and practices, that came from Great Enlightened Masters  after Buddhadharma was brought to Tibet,are also valid and authentic. This includes the Lamrim and Dorje Shugden practice.

First you showed why , even though Geshe-la and NKT are entitled to their not recognizing the Tulkus and Oracles systems  because it is an "organizational policy", it is not a "truth statement" and does not bind all Tibetan Buddhist practitioners to follow the policy.

You then showed us how ,even though practices of Je Tsongkapa like the Guru Yoga and the Mahamudra instructions or Guru Rinpoche's practices are not contained in the original sutras and tantras of Buddha Shakyamuni, yet they have created many realized beings from the Gelug Lineage and the other three Tibetan Lineages.Buddha Shakyamuni is not the only Buddha. THere are many other Enlightened Beings. The important thing re- any practice or teaching  is that the author must be authentic and there are many many benefits from these practices.Another important point is that it is a practice/teaching  that has a lineage and that great Masters like Pabongka Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche and Domo Geshe Rinpoche(great Masters of Sutra and Tantra) are part of this lineage.

You also explained how it is not possible to use logic to explain the 'magical' aspects of these practices. We cannot rely on our logic which is "very limited". We cannot "take full refuge in our logic after a certain point".

Thus, by this reasoning, if Nargajuna gave us his brilliant and authoritative Middle View of Emptiness, after retrieving many wisdom texts from the Nagas, texts that were hidden away before this, we believe in its authenticity and validity. Again if Je Tsonglapa gave us his brilliant expounding of Nargajuna's Middle View of Emptiness, after Manjushri spoke to him and gave him advice on it, we believe in its authenticity and validity.

So too do we believe in the validity and authenticity of the Practice of Dorje Shugden because we believe that Dagpo Rinpoche was given this practice in Tushita Heaven and passed the practice to the great Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche.It follows that we also do not doubt the authenticity and validity of the Dorje Shugden Lineage.(However Kyabje Trijang  Rinpoche's brilliant book 'Music Delighting the Ocean of Protectors' has also unmistakably proven that Dorje Shugden is an Enlightened Protector who arose to protect the teachings Of Je Tsongkapa, in particular his unexcelled propounding of Nargajuna's Middle View of Emptiness).

In these increasingly degenerate times, skillful practices and methods have to be employed by Enlightened Beings and great Masters , methods that are suited to the different aptitudes and minds of the beings of these times. Hence we have practices like the Oracles and Tulku systems, and Protector practices like Enlightened Protector Dorje Shugden's practice.

Last but not least, you showed us that the Lamrim, for instance, is not a new teaching , but that it is Lord Buddha's teaching in a new form to suit this degenerate age. Thus Dagom Rinpoche said that, "definitively", the Lamrim's author is still Buddha Shakyamuni.


Ensapa

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Re: Brilliant explanation on ORACLES!
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2012, 07:07:38 AM »
I am in awe with TK's brilliant explanation on oracles and how they work, and the logic behind it. Oracles may seem to be a foreign thing to western educated people due to the advent of Christianity, but it is not something mystical or unexplainable in most asian cultures. It is the acceptance that there are other, more powerful beings that are able to communicate with us directly that makes asian societies more receptive and open to the idea of oracles and mediums. Therefore it is not something that is foreign or unusual, because there is already a mass consciousness and acceptance of the existence of otherworldly beings.

It would be harder to accept for people who are not familiar with the 6 realms of existence or who is fully convinced or convicted that other types of beings do exist. The text says hungry ghosts and such, and we know places who are haunted, or people getting possessed, so they definitely exist. If they do exist, why are oracles a mystery? Unless we are not fully convinced of the law of karma and the 6 realms of existence, that is.

The Buddha's teachings can take any form or medium to fit the dispositions of the people of the different times. Buddhas also take different forms to benefit different types of beings. Whether or not it came from his own being or from another qualified lineage holder like Nagajurna, they make no difference as their paths and the results are the same. It is merely the same teachings but contained in a different medium. The container may be different but it does not change the essence of its contents at all, but to those who are not familiar they may appear as so.

Likewise, oracles may be something that the shamans of Tibet uses, but it is merely a method that can be used to also show and convey the presence of an enlightened being who is in a form that is more accessible than us such as Dorje Shugden or Setrap for example, to give us a tangible form for us to believe in and usually their advice and the Lama's advice are the one and the same. My own precious Lama once told us that it is because the students do not believe in the Lama's words, or that to the student's deluded minds the lama's goals and instructions sound too far fetched, that the oracle gives them the confirmation to strengthen their faith in their Lama. In other words, the existence of oracles is to help students who are unsure of their Lama's instructions strengthen their faith in the Lama and his instructions, as the being in the oracle and the Lama is the one and the same in reality: they're both enlightened, and therefore their advice will always be identical.

Positive Change

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Re: Brilliant explanation on ORACLES!
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2012, 09:04:58 AM »
I seem to hear that oracles have a tendency to "pass down" the gift (if that is a correct term to use) from generation to generation. I know this is not true in all accounts but does it mean that if your father or grandfather was an oracle, there is more of a likelihood of you becoming one?

Is there some link to substantiate this somehow likening it to attained beings having off springs that are also other attained beings (HHDL and siblings). If so, what is that link and how does one explain it? Is it merely natural progression whereby "genetically" if we were to pro-create we tend to be from the same mold.

And if that is the case, am I right to assume that oracles are born and not "made"? That even if one wanted to be an oracle, if we were not predestined, so to speak, to be as one, the likelihood of it ever happening is rare if not impossible? Am curious!!!!

thor

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Re: Brilliant explanation on ORACLES!
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2012, 04:01:27 PM »
I seem to hear that oracles have a tendency to "pass down" the gift (if that is a correct term to use) from generation to generation. I know this is not true in all accounts but does it mean that if your father or grandfather was an oracle, there is more of a likelihood of you becoming one?

Is there some link to substantiate this somehow likening it to attained beings having off springs that are also other attained beings (HHDL and siblings). If so, what is that link and how does one explain it? Is it merely natural progression whereby "genetically" if we were to pro-create we tend to be from the same mold.

And if that is the case, am I right to assume that oracles are born and not "made"? That even if one wanted to be an oracle, if we were not predestined, so to speak, to be as one, the likelihood of it ever happening is rare if not impossible? Am curious!!!!

Reincarnation is based on a continuous mindstream reincarnating over and over in different places, form or formless. I have not heard of any theory that says that genetics have anything to do with the reincarnation of great tulkus.

#1. One's mind comes from one's mindstream and that is unrelated to the mindstream of the father and mother, at least in a genetic sense. It is entirely possible that karma dictates we have some connection with our parents of this and previous lifetimes but hey, we have reincarnation so often that we would have karmic connections with countless numbers of the countless sentient beings that exist.

#2. If great attained masters have full control of their birth and death, then they choose the time and place of their next rebirth. Nothing to do with the parents.

#3. There is definitely a trend that attained parents will generally have attained offspring (sorry if I sound crude). It is logical - if an attained master is going to take a consort and have children, there must be a greater purpose. The consort in question is possibly no ordinary person but a dakini or an emanation. And the child that is the result of this union is usually a tulku. Why? Tulkus have made prayers in previous lives to meet dharma again at a very young age, and where better than as the child of such a couple?

I dont know how oracles are made but i would like to think that anyone can become an oracle, given the right training and disposition. Yes, there are certain oracles that were born, for instance the oracle of Sera, who is the son of another oracle, when he was born, there were many signs that a special being had reincarnated.

But there are other oracles that are trained from nothing, there are sincere monks who offer to undergo the training of an oracle to serve the monastery. These oracles to be have to undergo rigorous training, immense pain, countless retreats, etc in order to become an oracle.

Likewise, if an oracle that is 'born' doesnt follow the rules and undergo the training, they are not going to be a successful oracle. So I guess the answer is - oracles are both made and born.


beggar

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Re: Brilliant explanation on ORACLES!
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2012, 07:01:14 PM »
Thank you for reviving this post. Let's keep it alive because the posting by TK is one that should never be forgotten. Tremendous stuff.

I think it is important for people to have an understanding of what this is actually about, and that it is not just some hocus pocus or magic, which people pooh-pooh away or dismiss. There are thousands of years behind this practice and while yes, there are some hoaxes and conmen out there, there are also many highly trained and genuine ones. It seems to be something highly mystical to many of us in the western world (or perhaps also in some parts of the east), but for many, this is a very natural and normal part of their lives. There is nothing to be scoffed at for it comes from highly validated sources, endorsed by the most respected and attained teachers of the tradition.

There's a new video out on the subject of oracles, which may be helpful for people to understand the subject better. It's interesting to see how much this practice is still being kept alive in the modern world, and still consulted frequently. Also, that new oracles are constantly being trained up to maintain the practice. Here it is (accompanied by a good article too):

http://dorjeshugden.com/wp/?p=12322

icy

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Re: Brilliant explanation on ORACLES!
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2012, 03:19:18 PM »
Thank you TK for taking precious time to write this substantial and brilliant insight on oracles.  Therein are a lot of sustainable information to increase  knowledge and faith in Oracles and Dorje Shugden on a higher level. 

Tibetan oracles date way back to shamanistic Tibetan religion of the Bon, the pre-Tibetan Buddhist period.  The mediums take trance on numerous classes of worldly spirits.  However, when Buddhism came to Tibet it has adopted this tradition to include oracles for Buddhist pantheon of enlightened guardian deities for much higher purposes.  The female oracles will take trance of female guardian deities such as Palden Lhamo and male oracles will take trance of male guardian deities such as Setrap and Dorje Shugden.

All dharmapalas are subservient to the Dalai Lama and high lamas.  It is the reason they appeared subdued and make kata offerings to the Dalai Lama and high lamas when they come into their presence. 

Ensapa

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Re: Brilliant explanation on ORACLES!
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2012, 06:42:55 PM »
I seem to hear that oracles have a tendency to "pass down" the gift (if that is a correct term to use) from generation to generation. I know this is not true in all accounts but does it mean that if your father or grandfather was an oracle, there is more of a likelihood of you becoming one?

Is there some link to substantiate this somehow likening it to attained beings having off springs that are also other attained beings (HHDL and siblings). If so, what is that link and how does one explain it? Is it merely natural progression whereby "genetically" if we were to pro-create we tend to be from the same mold.

And if that is the case, am I right to assume that oracles are born and not "made"? That even if one wanted to be an oracle, if we were not predestined, so to speak, to be as one, the likelihood of it ever happening is rare if not impossible? Am curious!!!!

Some oracles like the one featured in beggar's video are hereditary, as some people are born with genes that will make them more prone to taking trance. As you can see in the video, the oracle's son is not interested in taking his father's place as an oracle and thus there won't be anymore oracles from that family line. As I have explained in an earlier post and also in the video, there are certain physical characteristics that makes a person more suitable to be an oracle than others.

There isn't a link when it comes to tulkus, but there has been many cases where 2-3 brothers of the same family also happen to be tulkus like in the Dalai Lama's case for example. Perhaps that particular family provided the conducive conditions for multiple tulkus to appear there or that they happen to have a lot of merits, but in general, there are no genetic predispositions. One exception is the Sakya Trinzin's line where the mind of the sons is considered to be the same as the father in terms to spiritual attainments and mindstream. Again, that is just one case and cannot be applied to all.

Oracles can be trained. Anyone at all can be trained to be an oracle but it will take a long time and more retreats to have the same effect, but as usual it would be harder and more intensive. Normally, it is the protector who choose their oracles and they would obviously choose the person whose body is the most suitable for them. It would be easier than to start from scratch and undergo much unnecessary hardships. It would be like going into a relationship with a stranger, where there is absolutely no basis for the relationship to start on and more effort will have to be made to get things started.

The understanding of oracles and its nature is important to ensure that we do not develop wrong views of a Buddha's way of kindness to reach out to us. It is also to encourage us to investigate more into the various methods used instead of just dismissing something that we do not know or understand to be superstition without prior intense investigation. It helps us to break our mental barriers so that our views can expand.

honeydakini

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Re: Brilliant explanation on ORACLES!
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2012, 10:55:20 AM »
I just wanted to say that I really appreciate this posting and TK's explanations on the history and origins of oracles. It's very helpful.

There is a lot of misconception here in the west that oracles are not valid or not real practice and that we shouldn't rely on these practices. My own teacher often speaks about oracles. He would consult them back in the old days in Tibet and still, in his monastery in India today, so they are very much a real and respected part of our own center. I don't think we have the opportunity at the moment to host an oracle in our own small center, but we have a small throne for him and hope to create the causes through our daily practices here. I guess you never know!

I can understand the Western skepticism, but I also believe it is something that we cannot simply dismiss. It doesn't make sense to me to have such strong belief in the Gurus and our lineage masters, and study the practices they have passed down to us, but dismiss the oracular tradition. This is also a part of the tradition, lineage and practice that these same teachers have followed for centuries and passed down to us since they left Tibet. We can't say we believe only their teachers on the lojong, lamrim etc but not the more "mystical" things like oracles, just because we can't see it with our own eyes. We have heard such direct stories about the benefits of oracles, such as Dorje Shugden, in trance, advising the Dalai Lama when to leave and by which routes. Do we choose to not accept or believe in these stories? But believe in everything else that the Gurus have to say? This wouldn't make sense for our practice.

I have also reasoned it out this way: if it is possible for people to be possessed by ghosts and "lesser beings" like that, then it should definitely be possible for a higher being to also take trance through a human body. And surely, it would be so much more beneficial for the human vessel to take on the energies of a protector, for they are coming through only for the purposes of benefitting.

Anyway, if people choose not to pursue this practice, that's fine. There are many Buddhist traditions in the world who don't consult oracles. But I think it is important we at least acknowledge its existence and validity, and respect practitioners' choice to follow it.

I've found this newly discovered video on oracles quite helpful also, as it explores the validity of oracles from a western perspective. It's good education http://dorjeshugden.com/wp/?p=12322

Thanks again everyone and have a lovely Sunday.

Zhalmed Pawo

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Re: Brilliant explanation on ORACLES!
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2012, 03:18:29 PM »
Thank you vajrastorm for lifting this old thread back to the light.

Now we all can easily see that TK also says that Gurus can make mistakes. How wonderful.

There is nothing pure in this world.