Author Topic: Tulku not allowed to pursue his spiritual education. What will happen to him?  (Read 13178 times)

WoselTenzin

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There is a young child I know whose parents have been told by a High Lama that their child is a tulku and have been advised to sent the child to the monastery for his spiritual education. This is so that in the future he can benefit many people.  However, his parents who are non-Tibetan and regular modern people who lead a secular life are not convinced and decide to keep their child with them. 

My question is:-

What will happen to this child when he grows up as he will not be getting the spiritual education to fulfill his intended destiny from his previous life aspiration.  Will he grow up to be normal and beneficial or would he take the wrong turn in life later because he was not properly nurtured when he was young?   

I believe this refers to tulkus who only have a few life times of practice and therefore their practice is not so stable yet.  For tulku who have many life times of practice, they can be put under any type of environment and even if it is extremely unfavourable, they will still rise above it and emerge to be able to benefit many beings.




kurava

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http://books.google.com/books?id=ec8-HH-hxwkC&pg=PA191&lpg=PA191&dq=tulku+disease&source=bl&ots=Kjp3bQ3HFX&sig=5ARv4SK7p6lDfzlL03cC3s-J0QY&hl=en&ei=WL74Tdq9KYzrrQf26uGFCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&sqi=2&ved=0CDsQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=tulku%20disease&f=false

In [ Dragon Thunder : My Life with Chogyam Trungpa ] by Diana J. Mukpo on page 138, it's said if a Tulku is not  given proper training at a monastery he might suffer from "tulku disease". In this book Diana was referring to her son who was not sent for monastic training and as a result suffered from this disease. However, the author did not reveal the nature of her son's disease.




hope rainbow

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I was once explained that such children may become kind of "lost", a bit like autistic children, not feeling like they fit where they are , just like if their mind was somewhere else. They simply look awkward. I understand that is what we call "tulku disease".
Yet i wonder, would they still live a long life?
Or would they somehow be able to dissolve their winds and get a rebirth in more conducive conditions?

Positive Change

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I had a very interesting discussion about this with a Dharma sister of mine from overseas and she explained that there are tulkus and there are Tulkus. As far as I understood, a Tulku is a high lama who has total control over his/her rebirth but it does not necessarily mean they have control over their attainments in their new life hence it is crucial that a Tulku pursues his/her spiritual education. Depending on the attainments, such 'realizations' may not be instantaneous.

Hence the terminology 'Tulku Disease' which literally means the 'degeneration' of that life so to speak. I was also told that this does not necessarily mean their mindstream is effected. They are still able to 'return' I am told. Is this right?

I can see how this happens as a Tulku actually has gain attainments to have control over his/her rebirth but is not necessarily 'attained' (if that makes any sense). Control over rebirth is merely a 'side effect' of certain practices and hence even though it gives them the opportunity to reincarnate in an opportune life, it does not by any means it will be 'easy'.

Please correct me if I am wrong with regards to the above.

Barzin

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What positive change said actually got me thinking.  Ya, it could be true that when a tulku took rebirth, it is not necessarily "attained"...  It could be just some of the practices that enabled him to do that and return for more dharma practice and attainments.  Therefore, not all Tulkus have the perfect conditions but some are able to push through and still make it back to the monastery and continue to "study"...

Let's say if a "tulku" is not so attained yet, but with the wisdom he has from previous life and yet facing so much obstacles and distractions, will it actually lead him to a wrong path since he was not properly nurtured... But wouldn't he have strong dharmic incline?   Wouldn't he want to find his way to dharma no matter how?  Or is it possible that they live like any normal secular person and give up dharma?

hope rainbow

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The way I understand this is like this: once bodhichitta has become deeply rooted as HABITUAL, then no matter what, the habits of a being will lead to more bodhichitta achievements, through habits and karma (merits).

Perhaps the very students of a tulku may be the reason why the karma for this tulku to re-connect with Dharma does not ripen.
Perhaps the students are the problem.

Positive Change

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Quote
The way I understand this is like this: once bodhichitta has become deeply rooted as HABITUAL, then no matter what, the habits of a being will lead to more bodhichitta achievements, through habits and karma (merits).

Perhaps the very students of a tulku may be the reason why the karma for this tulku to re-connect with Dharma does not ripen.
Perhaps the students are the problem.


Yes Hope Rainbow, you are right... sometimes the students of the tulku could well be the "problem". When I think of this, I think of Lama Osel who being such an attained Tulku still chooses to "leave". Surely it is not his selfishness that created the causes for such a thing to happen. There must be a higher reason behind this. There is a beautiful thread that touches on this here:

http://www.dorjeshugden.com/forum/index.php?topic=1197.0

Reading the above thread really makes me see the "workings" of attained beings as something that is beyond our understanding. What we think we perceive as profound is a mere drop in the ocean compared to the mindstreams of such revered Tulkus. Something to think about huh.

WoselTenzin

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The way I understand this is like this: once bodhichitta has become deeply rooted as HABITUAL, then no matter what, the habits of a being will lead to more bodhichitta achievements, through habits and karma (merits).

Perhaps the very students of a tulku may be the reason why the karma for this tulku to re-connect with Dharma does not ripen.
Perhaps the students are the problem.


Maybe not in all cases as some "tulkus" never got a chance to embark on their spiritual journey at all let alone have students. 

I don't know about tulkus being able to take controlled rebirth but yet not have a Dharmic inclination and succumb to parental pressure to not pursue Dharma hence the "tulku disease".  To be able to take controlled rebirth would mean that the person must have some success in his tantric practice in his previous life and for that to happen they must have developed some sort of Bodhicitta mind. 

I heard from my teacher that the moment Bodhicitta manifest in a person's mindstream, in his next rebirth, how he acts, speaks and think will all arise from his Bodhicitta mind and he will be unmistakenly different from others and will stand out from the crowd no matter how ordinary he may look externally.  All the action of body, speech and mind of such a person will exudes compassion and everything he does would be Dharmic in nature.

Therefore, perhaps "tulku" that succumb to "tulku disease" took rebirth from their past aspiration but their attainments are not stable and not controlled rebirth.  Just my thinking.  Anyone know something different?


dsiluvu

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Hence the terminology 'Tulku Disease' which literally means the 'degeneration' of that life so to speak. I was also told that this does not necessarily mean their mindstream is effected. They are still able to 'return' I am told. Is this right?

I can see how this happens as a Tulku actually has gain attainments to have control over his/her rebirth but is not necessarily 'attained' (if that makes any sense). Control over rebirth is merely a 'side effect' of certain practices and hence even though it gives them the opportunity to reincarnate in an opportune life, it does not by any means it will be 'easy'.

Please correct me if I am wrong with regards to the above.

From what I have heard from my Lama... there are basically many levels of "Tulkus". Some are stronger and some are not so strong...this I take to mean their mind stream and their attainments as there are also many levels of attainments just like many levels of Boddhisattvas. Their main purpose is to continuing their practice and their work in spreading/teaching Dharma when they have incarnated back.

So for those that are not so highly attained, if they are not nurtured properly with the right conditions/education/care, that does not direct them to their main purpose for incarnating...then they may manifest the "tulku desease". However there are those that no matter where they take rebirth or how difficult the situation is for them, they will actually persevere and overcome them to achieve their destiny.

I have read some books, can't remember off my head now, that the " tulku desease" could manifest in a form of mental sickness, like acting crazy and or even dying young. This is simply because what they came back to "samsara" for was not achieved...they have no other purpose but to spread the Dharma and continue their practice, hence if they are deprived of that, their lives will be cut short so that they can take on another new rebirth where the situation allows or supports them to pursue their destiny. That is what I know so far.

Has anyone actually witnessed or seen a "tulku disease"  before?
   

WoselTenzin

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From what I have heard from my Lama... there are basically many levels of "Tulkus". Some are stronger and some are not so strong...this I take to mean their mind stream and their attainments as there are also many levels of attainments just like many levels of Boddhisattvas. Their main purpose is to continuing their practice and their work in spreading/teaching Dharma when they have incarnated back.

So for those that are not so highly attained, if they are not nurtured properly with the right conditions/education/care, that does not direct them to their main purpose for incarnating...then they may manifest the "tulku desease". However there are those that no matter where they take rebirth or how difficult the situation is for them, they will actually persevere and overcome them to achieve their destiny.
   

Even "lower" level Tulkus who have some successes in their practice in the past can have such major obstacles in continuing the spiritual journey let alone the rest of us who do not have any attainments.   Therefore, if we now have favourable conditions to practice Dharma, we should seize the opportunity, put in our best effort and not let our attachments and our hang ups be an obstacle to our Dharma practice. 

Many of our obstacles are self created and it is also within our power to get out of it we choose the benefits of our future lives over the comfort zone of this life.   Well of course, it is easier said than done but ultimately, it is our CHOICE.

Galen

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From what I have heard from my Lama... there are basically many levels of "Tulkus". Some are stronger and some are not so strong...this I take to mean their mind stream and their attainments as there are also many levels of attainments just like many levels of Boddhisattvas. Their main purpose is to continuing their practice and their work in spreading/teaching Dharma when they have incarnated back.

So for those that are not so highly attained, if they are not nurtured properly with the right conditions/education/care, that does not direct them to their main purpose for incarnating...then they may manifest the "tulku desease". However there are those that no matter where they take rebirth or how difficult the situation is for them, they will actually persevere and overcome them to achieve their destiny.

I have read some books, can't remember off my head now, that the " tulku desease" could manifest in a form of mental sickness, like acting crazy and or even dying young. This is simply because what they came back to "samsara" for was not achieved...they have no other purpose but to spread the Dharma and continue their practice, hence if they are deprived of that, their lives will be cut short so that they can take on another new rebirth where the situation allows or supports them to pursue their destiny. That is what I know so far.

Has anyone actually witnessed or seen a "tulku disease"  before?
 

I do agree with dsiluvu that Tulkus reincarnate to continue their practice and if their situation is not conducive for them to practice, they may manifest disease to that they can take rebirth in another situation where they can practice.

I also believe that there are Tulkus who are denied of their spiritual education at a young age will somehow find dharma in their live and seek for it themselves. They must also have a strong mind. My guru is a Tulku and he was not recognised until he was a young adult.

So, some may get the Tulku disease and some may not, given the same situation.

kris

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I had a very interesting discussion about this with a Dharma sister of mine from overseas and she explained that there are tulkus and there are Tulkus. As far as I understood, a Tulku is a high lama who has total control over his/her rebirth but it does not necessarily mean they have control over their attainments in their new life hence it is crucial that a Tulku pursues his/her spiritual education. Depending on the attainments, such 'realizations' may not be instantaneous.

I am just curious... If the Tulku has total control over his next rebirth, then why would he end up in an environment which is not conducive for him to do practice, hence causing the "Tulku Disease"? May be some lower tulku has some control over the rebirth but not full control? Can it be something like that?