Author Topic: Pure view or Compassion?  (Read 13046 times)

psylotripitaka

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Pure view or Compassion?
« on: February 08, 2013, 08:16:46 AM »
In various threads, forum members have expressed that they regard the ban as the skillful means of the Dalai Lama (Chenrezig). I posted the following response in the 'messages from Alexis' thread, but because it is such an important topic of contemplation, I thought it would be good to have its own thread for for subject-specific dialogue. In light of all the Guru devotion discussions, this will probably come as a taboo topic, but it is an important topic to consider. If it has already come up elsewhere please forgive my unknowing but one can only spend so much time on here.


"Curious Vajratruth, so are you saying that if it serves the greater good, it is acceptable to do the following:

1) lie
2) trash talk our lineage Gurus including our own root Guru
3) force people to break their samaya through coercion, signature campaigns, economic withholding and so forth
4) encourage others to destroy peoples homes and shrines
5) cause international schism within the Buddhist community
6) bring the Buddhadharma into disrepute
7) encourage others to stop peaceful protesters by whatever means
8)put lineage Gurus on 10 most hated enemies of the state and issue death threats to them
9) cause extensive ostracism within an already exiled community
10) and so forth and so on?

Jetsun Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche said once that for the last sentient being the Guru would emanate an entire world system and its contents so that they can generate universal compassion and thereby attain enlightenment. There is also the section in Dorje Shugden Kangso saying that to tame disciples he displays skillful means beyond ordinary understanding by appearing in guises such as deluded and insane beings. However....

We are then left with a contemplation of how to have pure view yet interact with the conventions of a situation in a practical way. We may view everything as emanated by the Guru, yet we must avoid what is called 'wrong compassion' (compassion for Holy beings that are not suffering), so in order to generate compassion for the person that appears to be suffering and making mistakes, we have to withdraw our view that they are an emanation and relate to the suffering being that appears, and deal with the situation accordingly.

I can see the various benefits that are appearing as a response to the ban, however, certainly we must understand that the blessings of the Gelug lineage and Dorje Shugden practice would have spread just fine without the need for a ban, and in fact, it was already. Of course, now many people have an acute awareness about Dorje Shugden, however, we must acknowledge it is at such a very heavy cost indeed!! If we look at all the inappropriate bullshit that has happened, how much suffering there has been, how many people have broken their samaya, how many people have lost their faith and abandoned Dharma and so on, how can we think of such things as being the Dalai Lama's skillful means?

We may consider the two views I mentioned earlier, and indeed, it seems you hold these types of pure view of the Dalai Lama, however, from a practical point of view, regardless of whatever benefits we think have come, the actions of the Dalai Lama and his ban-supporters have been totally hypocritical, inappropriate for Buddhists, and completely contradict basic human rights, religious rights, lineage customs, the Dharma, and last but not least, common sense.

Inwardly, we may see the Dalai Lama as Chenrezig, but the aspect and actions of his emanation are conventionally wrong. This emanation has shown the aspect of abandoning the root Guru, so how does a person who's abandoned their root Guru have a blessed lineage to transmit if their very connection to the lineage has been severed?

I mean no disrespect to the Holy beings by sharing my contemplation, but though emanations of my Guru abound, different aspects are demanding the most appropriate response from me, and in this situation, compassion for a sentient being creating huge negative karma and ordering others to do the same is more appropriate than regarding the person as a Holy being.

If my Guru contradicted the Dharma like this, I would tell him his actions are wrong and to stop and heal the situation. The aspect the Guru is showing is an ordinary human being that makes mistakes. In the lamrim we are encouraged to focus exclusively on the good qualities of the Guru and maintain inattentiveness to apparent faults. However, if according to the normal conventions of society the mistakes are way beyond small things that we can easily overlook, it is our duty to confront these mistaken actions.

I have never had a connection to the Dalai Lama, but I have respected the beneficial Dharma actions that he has done. I understand that this situation is particularly challenging for those that regard him as one of their Teachers, but as I have said, if the wrong actions are by convention having a greater negative impact, it is our duty to confront our Teacher and tell them to stop. We may have pure view of the inner aspect, but the outer aspect is an ordinary human being doing wrong actions, and such a being is an object of compassion."

That said, I do not believe the ban has served the greater good. I urge you to think carefully about what the situation would look like today if the ban had never occurred. Here's a little help to get you started - First: think in great detail about all the destructive things that have happened since the ban went public. Second: imagine none of that ever happened.

Your dialogue is most welcome.

Losang_Tenpa

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Re: Pure view or Compassion?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2013, 09:59:46 AM »
I concur with just about everything you said. Thank you for sharing. :)

Ensapa

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Re: Pure view or Compassion?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2013, 10:08:48 AM »
In the light, I would still view the Dalai Lama as Chenrezig and that he is in a divine play with Dorje Shugden, Nechung and the rest of the High Lamas in order to tame living beings of this time and age. If you think about it, how many Lamas out there give initiations to plant the seeds for the future as opposed to actually training their students to be fit vessels of tantra, then giving initiations and empowerments for them to practice and reach enlightenment? From retrospect, the Dalai Lama's actions of denying his root Gurus indirectly seems to have generated a generation of Buddhists who hops around as if it was a spiritual buffet that they can choose from. Perhaps it is the nature of the beings in this worldsystem of this time and the only way the Dalai Lama can hook them is by manifesting the ban and denying his root lamas and promoting a twisted version of the rime. How kind is he to manifest this way.

Lineageholder

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Re: Pure view or Compassion?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2013, 10:19:11 AM »
I totally concur with your analysis, I cannot see how we can regard as good all the things that the Dalai Lama has done to instigate and continue this ban and regardless of how someone views the Dalai Lama, these damaging actions do have to be confronted and challenged.  What can be more damaging than to force Buddhist practitioners to break their vows and commitments to their Gurus, using Palden Lhamo for political purposes and causing a schism in the Buddhist community?

There is a real contradiction on this forum.  On the one hand, many people subscribe to the 'big picture' that the Dalai Lama has banned the practice in order to make Dorje Shugden practice more popular and cause it to flourish more widely, but then on the other hand they are hoping, as evidenced by recent threads, that the Dalai Lama stop criticising Dorje Shugden and lift the ban.  If it is the case that the ban has made Dorje Shugden practice more popular, everyone should be hoping that the Dalai Lama will criticise Dorje Shugden even more and never lift the ban!  So which is it? 

I understand that everyone who reveres the Dalai Lama is having difficulty in accepting what he has done to his own tradition and are struggling to make sense of it and from this point of view, the 'big picture' is one explanation - albeit a somewhat illogical one, I would say.

To my mind, the DL has brought the Gelugpa tradition into disrepute, as the consequences of his reasoning are that the Gelugpas have no pure practice and are spirit worshippers!  This is obviously ridiculous. How can bringing your own Gurus and tradition into disrepute ever be a good thing?  At the very least, someone who does this, even if they were well intentioned for some reason, would be doing an incredibly foolish thing.  I believe that if Dorje Shugden practice has grown in the years since the ban, this shows the power of Great King Duldzin to flourish this tradition even in the most unfavourable conditions.  It is more a testament to the power of our Protector than the skill of the DL, in my view.  We cannot know the Dalai Lama's motivation in doing these things but to all intents and purposes, he seems to have had a really good go at destroying the Gelugpa tradition and has gone too far in trying to accommodate the wishes of the other traditions who seem to be jealous of the Gelugpas.  In reality, all Buddhist traditions are equally precious and should be respected and protected equally. The domination of the Gelugpa tradition and the persecution of the other traditions of Tibetan Buddhism is due to the political actions of the Fifth Dalai Lama really, and that has caused bitterness amongst the other traditions. All the blame is being placed on Je Pabongkhapa and Dorje Shugden, sadly. It's just the manifestation of jealousy and sectarian hatred - but ironically it's Dorje Shugden is accused of being a sectarian spirit!

It's hard to see if these wounds will ever be healed, no matter what the Dalai Lama does about the ban. But then this is samsara, so what can we expect?  ;)

Tenzin Gyatso

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Re: Pure view or Compassion?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2013, 10:36:35 AM »

Truth is subjective and dependent on research, study, and analysis. Obviously HHDL has researched the Shugden issue and find it not beneficial. I subscribe to that truth. You may not.

As to contradictions on this forum, CONTRADICTIONS is the wrong word. ??? It is a forum with different people and opinions after all. I know many of my Tibetan friends here in Dharamsala as well as Americans visit the forum regularly although they don't participate yet and do not agree, but they find the threads interesting all the same. When everyone has a different opinion expressed politely albeit passionately at times, this is not a contradictions but an expression of pluralistic thinking. Why should everyone on the forum sing the same tune or agree to everything? Makes it very boring and doesn't challenge our thinking. There should be differences in opinion on every forum so there will be polite sharing and discussions to learn. Why should everyone fall in line with just one type of thinking or theory. I respect everyone here although I don't believe Shugden is beneficial.  ::)

You believe Shugden is good. You don't subscribe to the big picture. Another individual believe Shugden is good and does subscribe to the big picture (whatever that might be). And I don't believe in either. So what is wrong with that? This is a forum and let's express and challenge eachother to think.  :)

This forum as far as I can tell does not belong to a group or organization but simply operates openly for all to read and enjoy. Why am I here? I am intrigued with why Shugden is such a big deal when there is so much more teachings out there to explore, namely 84,000. ;) 



I totally concur with your analysis, I cannot see how we can regard as good all the things that the Dalai Lama has done to instigate and continue this ban and regardless of how someone views the Dalai Lama, these damaging actions do have to be confronted and challenged.  What can be more damaging than to force Buddhist practitioners to break their vows and commitments to their Gurus, using Palden Lhamo for political purposes and causing a schism in the Buddhist community?

There is a real contradiction on this forum.  On the one hand, many people subscribe to the 'big picture' that the Dalai Lama has banned the practice in order to make Dorje Shugden practice more popular and cause it to flourish more widely, but then on the other hand they are hoping, as evidenced by recent threads, that the Dalai Lama stop criticising Dorje Shugden and lift the ban.  If it is the case that the ban has made Dorje Shugden practice more popular, everyone should be hoping that the Dalai Lama will criticise Dorje Shugden even more and never lift the ban!  So which is it? 

I understand that everyone who reveres the Dalai Lama is having difficulty in accepting what he has done to his own tradition and are struggling to make sense of it and from this point of view, the 'big picture' is one explanation - albeit a somewhat illogical one, I would say.

To my mind, the DL has brought the Gelugpa tradition into disrepute, as the consequences of his reasoning are that the Gelugpas have no pure practice and are spirit worshippers!  This is obviously ridiculous. How can bringing your own Gurus and tradition into disrepute ever be a good thing?  At the very least, someone who does this, even if they were well intentioned for some reason, would be doing an incredibly foolish thing.  I believe that if Dorje Shugden practice has grown in the years since the ban, this shows the power of Great King Duldzin to flourish this tradition even in the most unfavourable conditions.  It is more a testament to the power of our Protector than the skill of the DL, in my view.  We cannot know the Dalai Lama's motivation in doing these things but to all intents and purposes, he seems to have had a really good go at destroying the Gelugpa tradition and has gone too far in trying to accommodate the wishes of the other traditions who seem to be jealous of the Gelugpas.  In reality, all Buddhist traditions are equally precious and should be respected and protected equally. The domination of the Gelugpa tradition and the persecution of the other traditions of Tibetan Buddhism is due to the political actions of the Fifth Dalai Lama really, and that has caused bitterness amongst the other traditions. All the blame is being placed on Je Pabongkhapa and Dorje Shugden, sadly. It's just the manifestation of jealousy and sectarian hatred - but ironically it's Dorje Shugden is accused of being a sectarian spirit!

It's hard to see if these wounds will ever be healed, no matter what the Dalai Lama does about the ban. But then this is samsara, so what can we expect?  ;)

Ensapa

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Re: Pure view or Compassion?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2013, 10:37:04 AM »
I totally concur with your analysis, I cannot see how we can regard as good all the things that the Dalai Lama has done to instigate and continue this ban and regardless of how someone views the Dalai Lama, these damaging actions do have to be confronted and challenged.  What can be more damaging than to force Buddhist practitioners to break their vows and commitments to their Gurus, using Palden Lhamo for political purposes and causing a schism in the Buddhist community?

There is a real contradiction on this forum.  On the one hand, many people subscribe to the 'big picture' that the Dalai Lama has banned the practice in order to make Dorje Shugden practice more popular and cause it to flourish more widely, but then on the other hand they are hoping, as evidenced by recent threads, that the Dalai Lama stop criticising Dorje Shugden and lift the ban.  If it is the case that the ban has made Dorje Shugden practice more popular, everyone should be hoping that the Dalai Lama will criticise Dorje Shugden even more and never lift the ban!  So which is it? 

I understand that everyone who reveres the Dalai Lama is having difficulty in accepting what he has done to his own tradition and are struggling to make sense of it and from this point of view, the 'big picture' is one explanation - albeit a somewhat illogical one, I would say.

To my mind, the DL has brought the Gelugpa tradition into disrepute, as the consequences of his reasoning are that the Gelugpas have no pure practice and are spirit worshippers!  This is obviously ridiculous. How can bringing your own Gurus and tradition into disrepute ever be a good thing?  At the very least, someone who does this, even if they were well intentioned for some reason, would be doing an incredibly foolish thing.  I believe that if Dorje Shugden practice has grown in the years since the ban, this shows the power of Great King Duldzin to flourish this tradition even in the most unfavourable conditions.  It is more a testament to the power of our Protector than the skill of the DL, in my view.  We cannot know the Dalai Lama's motivation in doing these things but to all intents and purposes, he seems to have had a really good go at destroying the Gelugpa tradition and has gone too far in trying to accommodate the wishes of the other traditions who seem to be jealous of the Gelugpas.  In reality, all Buddhist traditions are equally precious and should be respected and protected equally. The domination of the Gelugpa tradition and the persecution of the other traditions of Tibetan Buddhism is due to the political actions of the Fifth Dalai Lama really, and that has caused bitterness amongst the other traditions. All the blame is being placed on Je Pabongkhapa and Dorje Shugden, sadly. It's just the manifestation of jealousy and sectarian hatred - but ironically it's Dorje Shugden is accused of being a sectarian spirit!

It's hard to see if these wounds will ever be healed, no matter what the Dalai Lama does about the ban. But then this is samsara, so what can we expect?  ;)

If the "damage" on Buddhism by the Dalai Lama is real, dont you think Dorje Shugden, Nechung or even Mahakala would have stopped him and ended his life? Dalai Lama would have more and more inauspicious things happening to him such as diseases etc? His words would lose their power due to no blessings and people will stop listening to him? If he has truly betrayed Gelugpa, would the Dharma Protectors let him go? If they did, do the Dharma protectors still exist at this time? If you dont believe that they exist, then you might as well dont believe that Dorje Shugden dont exist. If you believe that the Dalai Lama has done so much damage on purpose and that is his intent, then why is it that he has not gotten the retributions yet? If there are no retributions for his 'bad deeds', it can only be 2 scenarios: the Dharma texts that speak of the repercussions of denying the lineage and denying the Guru is lying to us, the 50 verses are a lie, or that the Dalai Lama is just putting up an act for a higher purpose. Choose. If you believe that HHDL is evil, but no Dharma protector has stopped him so far then you're saying that Dharma protectors dont exist, and if he is evil as you say, why no repercussions? Why can he get away with so much 'evil' deeds? Did Aryadeva lie in his text about Guru devotion? think.

 As much as this forum subscribes to the whole bigger picture view, we also hope that the ban be lifted soon to usher a time where we can all practice the Dharmapala openly, and that there is less collateral damage in between. Do remember that just because you hate the Dalai Lama for the ban, it does not represent the sentiment of every Gelug that is also caught in the ban. The rest of the high lamas such as Gangchen Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche even said we should respect HHDL, and the monks of Serpom and Shar Ganden respect HHDL too.

psylotripitaka

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Re: Pure view or Compassion?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2013, 06:04:49 PM »
Ensapa,  I see what you mean, so you believe that if the human aspect of the Guru kills someone for example, that this action is ok because it is for a higher purpose; that if they command us to kill others we should do it without question because they have a higher purpose?

We can still confront sentient beings about their wrong actions without losing respect for them, indeed it is because we love and respect them that we try to correct them. Also, just practically speaking, the members of  Dorje Shugden society have done a good job speaking up without being rude, although there are a couple exceptions where it was necessary for them to be more direct.

Of course Ashvagosha's compilation of what is said in the Tantras isn't a lie, but we need to reflect on the Gurus actions by holding them up to the mirror of Dharma. If their actions are revealing the path of abandonment, it is not inappropriate to engage them in dialogue about their actions. The particular actions related to the ban are especially very damaging from the pov of Dharma and the pov of the society the Gurus human aspect is operating in. Also, the Gurus teach that some aspects of the 50 verses are cultural and we can adjust according to context. The Gelong vows are similarly flexible.

As for the advisement to respect the Dalai Lama, consider that there are different meanings of 'respect'. Respecting the Dharma activities of a teacher. Being respectful when communicating with others. Respecting the Holy inner and secret aspect of the Guru. Respecting the Buddhanature of living beings. Respecting sentient beings ' freedom and happiness. Be respectful in communicating your views so the world will see a peaceful example that accords with the Dharma. Be respectful because otherwise you will lose your status, funding, and other kinds if support. Be respectful or your human rights will be abused.

Just think of what would have happened to the FPMT if Lama Zopa decided they would be loyal to the lineage Gurus and keep relying on the Protector. Respect has many meanings depending on context.

As for Gurus beating students to help them purify, in today's society, such things are best kept private between Guru and disciple. And if such actions are going to have the opposite effect, it is not appropriate to do it. That is why Marpa Lotsawa told Jetsun Milarepa not to treat his own students as he had done to Milarepa.

Regardless of the view we take, it is outrageous how damaging the ban has been. When we act in contradiction to the Dharma, we are taught to be ashamed of our actions and to take immediate corrective actions. If the Gurus act in accordance with the Dharma, especially in such a broad reaching way as this ban, what is that telling students and the world about the efficacy of the teachings. If I were a teacher that perpetuated the abuses, I would either lift the ban and apologize, or out of respect for the 3 Jewels and world society, I would step down as a teacher rather than perpetuate negativity.

psylotripitaka

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Re: Pure view or Compassion?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2013, 06:10:38 PM »
In the last paragraph, I meant to say 'if the Gurus DO NOT act in accordance with the Dharma'...

vajratruth

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Re: Pure view or Compassion?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2013, 06:16:27 PM »
Psylotripitaka,I see your point and the reality is, no one knows the mind of an enlightened being whom the Dalai Lama is.  For me, I asked myself whether I am a political analyst or a Dorje Shugden practitioner. If I regard myself as the former, then perhaps questioning the motive behind the Dalai Lama’s ban is in order but what good would that do? What good would it do the practitioner, the practice and the Dharma to trace the origins of the ban? The origins of certain things is not what the Buddha focused on just as the Awakened One did not see benefit in answering questions pertaining to the origins of the earth and the universe.

If one were to say that the Dalai Lama had malicious intentions instead of good ones for the ban where does that place our state of mind vis-à-vis the living emanation of Chenrezig?  It is not skillful for us the practitioner to think badly of one whom Trijang Rinpoche has instructed us to keep supporting. So the key question is not whether the Dalai Lama had good or bad intentions for the Shugden ban, but whether we trust the holy Trijang Rinpoche or not? That is the more important question to answer.

So if we are  Dorje Shugden practitioners we are also by definition Dharma practitioners and the more beneficial question for us is to ask how we should respond to the ban? For me the proper response is to make my practice even stronger, to have total faith in my Guru and trust in his advice and to do what I can to bring the ban down instead of attempting to bring the Dalai Lama down.

I do not condone the ban nor do I agree with it but that said, I cannot reverse what has been done and so I take my clues from the masters who practice Dorje Shugden today…and they clearly just focus on the practice. I agree that the cost is high. The “cost” is always higher when we want to accomplish something great but we can lessen the cost by making the corresponding result great. 



psylotripitaka

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Re: Pure view or Compassion?
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2013, 06:31:40 PM »
Vajratruth, for sure!

 I want to be clear my intention is that the ban be taken down, not the Dalai Lama. I was merely pointing out the effects of hypocrisy and stating what I would do as a corrective action. Certainly we may not know the mind of others, or whether or not they are actually enlightened for that matter, but it does not dismiss the appropriateness of standing up and saying enough is enough.

WisdomBeing

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Re: Pure view or Compassion?
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2013, 01:25:08 PM »
You know, we have discussed this issue extensively and i think it will be one of those "can we please respectfully agree to disagree"... for once I agree with Tenzin Gyatso (shock horror) that we don't all have to agree! A hypothesis was presented - some agree, some don't.

Personally i prefer to believe in the "bigger picture" hypothesis because it makes sense to me, though i was told just the other day, don't believe everything you read on the internet!!

Why i believe it is based really on the words of HH Trijang Rinpoche in "Music Delighting an Ocean of Protectors", where he essentially said don't lose faith in either HH Dalai Lama nor Dorje Shugden. I also heard from a facebook friend who told me that HH Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche respects HH Dalai Lama. Of course i have no way to validate that but i choose to believe it.

As psylotripitaka says there are different interpretations of 'respect' but i take the general view of respecting him as how the previous incarnation of HH Trijang Rinpoche meant it.

Just to side-track to what psylotripitaka said:

Quote
As for Gurus beating students to help them purify, in today's society, such things are best kept private between Guru and disciple. And if such actions are going to have the opposite effect, it is not appropriate to do it. That is why Marpa Lotsawa told Jetsun Milarepa not to treat his own students as he had done to Milarepa.

While i'm not one for spiritual sadomasochism, i did read somewhere that the teacher would gamble on whether the action would have a positive or an opposite effect because in the end, the teacher cannot control the response of the student. The teacher can only know that if he or she does not apply a wrathful action, that particular student may end up in hell for thousands of years, so it is worth doing a particular action, however incomprehensible it may seem. It could wake the student up and change the course of his life and future lives or it could turn the student away - so the teacher does have a huge risk but he or she would weigh it up and decide whether to follow the particular course of action. Thus that would be the teacher acting purely out of compassion and the student should have pure view of the teacher in order to benefit to the max! That's my understanding anyway.
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

Lineageholder

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Re: Pure view or Compassion?
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2013, 02:52:57 PM »
Firstly, I'd like to say that I don't hate the Dalai Lama. I don't respect him as a spiritual authority, but I do respect him as someone who needs our help and as my Mother.  Actually, he's performed a great kindness as through his actions I have had the opportunity to engage in spiritual actions to protect my tradition.  I wish it wasn't necessary, though.

With the Yellow Book in circulation, even if the Dalai Lama was destroying Buddhism, how could the Dharma Protectors cause something to happen to him?  It would simply prove what was being said all along and the other tradition's criticisms would be valid.  Dorje Shugden is more skilful than that - so far, he has prevented the Dalai Lama from creating the worst damage. The Dalai Lama has been singularly unsuccessful in everything he has done, apart from to become a spiritual icon for others. Even though he is widely revered as a Buddhist Teacher he does not encourage people to follow Buddha's teachings and creates confusing ideas such as moving 'beyond religion' - if anything, he is promoting secularism! However, this does not seem to have affected the practice of Buddha's teachings. He has not succeeded in regaining Tibet and no matter what he does, he cannot get the Chinese to have a positive view of him, even though he is a Marxist.  He is now regarded as unimportant politically, and many leaders will even refuse to meet with him and even if they do, he is not treated with respect - remember how he was made to leave through the back entrance to the White House, and humiliating pictures were taken of his exit.

For all intents and purposes, the Dalai Lama has totally failed.  Fortunately, those who do revere him have developed a positive view of Buddhism, which is a good thing.  For better or for worse, the Dorje Shugden issue is largely unknown outside of Buddhism, and even though many efforts have been made to get the world's press involved and to highlight the human rights abuses, there has been no wide scale coverage of the issue.  Perhaps this is damage limitation by the Dharma Protectors as well.

Regarding wrathful actions, I don't think these actions can be effective except if they are enacted by a Spiritual Guide who has clairvoyance and great compassion.  How can a Spiritual Guide take the risk of turning people away from the path? - only someone with clairvoyance and who knows the outcome of the action for sure will be able to do it.  Thus there are very few people who are qualified to perform these actions.

WisdomBeing

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Re: Pure view or Compassion?
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2013, 03:05:28 PM »
Dear Lineageholder,

Just a quick one re the wrathful actions, yes i do agree that only a very qualified spiritual guide who i think would be enlightened, would be able to achieve this effectively. Without clairvoyance, wisdom and compassion, it can be very destructive. Saying that, i think that even with clairvoyance, the effect of the spiritual guide's actions is not 100% guaranteed because it is the student who has to decide how to react. The spiritual guide may think that 99%, the student will transform for the better, but there is that 1% which cannot be controlled. If the student is not able to respond well because of his or her own issues - nothing to do with the perfect quality of the guide, then the student may leave. However, due to the compassion of the guide, he is willing to risk that because the benefit would be so much greater.
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

honeydakini

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Re: Pure view or Compassion?
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2013, 05:27:25 PM »
This is an extremely interesting discussion and thank you Psylotripitaka for bringing it up. We've had many discussions about this "bigger picture" before LOL! quite a number of years ago, with various points of view.

First, I think it's very important to understand that nobody on this forum wants to bring down the Dalai Lama or cause any harm to him. I think it's also important to understand that whatever we say with regards to the Dalai Lama, or TO the Dalai Lama, we must realise that it is not just about the Dalai Lama but the millions of people who regard him as their teacher. This applies to how we talk of any teacher of course, even our own. Questioning and debate is good, but it's important to do this well so that we don't inadvertently cause more doubt and confusion in other students' minds, which could make them unsteady in their practices or in some cases, turn them away from the teacher and teachings. I have seen this happen sometimes within my own center and with other people with other teachers, so I think we need to be careful how we talk about someone as prominent as the Dalai Lama because it could potentially affect the practice of just as many students who follow him and take teachings from him.

Secondly, I have found the 'bigger picture' a helpful way to think about the situation. This isn't to say that we just sit back and let it happen. So I think what Lineageholder said about it being contradictory isn't really that contradictory. Please let me explain. As the ban is happening, there is a lot of talk about the subject and about Dorje Shugden and that's how the word gets out, as it were. A lot of people who might never otherwise hear about the practice are now hearing about it because it's being mentioned on platforms that would never otherwise talk about it - national and international media, for example!

But we don't just leave it at that, brush our hands clean and say that it's all well and good that DS is growing big in the world now, so let's just wait to see what happens. In the meantime, as it's happening, we do still need to stand up and talk and show WHY the ban is not logical. There are different ways to do this too. We can be respectful about it, call attention to the various contradictions in a Dharmic sense, use the Dharma teachings to back up whatever we have to say, show different elements of why the ban has been unfair, hurtful, and how people are literally suffering because of the ban. BUT we must do all this without putting down the Lamas or speaking in any way harshly or in a damaging or derogatory way (we do this, remembering that they are still teachers to others, and we don't wish to affect these other students and practitioners).

I didn't really like hearing people stand on a street and calling the Dalai Lama a liar and things like that. I thought the peaceful protests were an excellent show of solidarity and effort and called attention to the unfairness of the ban, but there were so many other words that could have been used. To say something as strongly as "Dalai Lama, stop lying" - it will also hurt other practitioners of the Dalai Lama, and that's not what we want to do either.

Also, I think that another way to speak up for the ban doesn't just have to be about putting down the perpetrators of the ban but also about highlighting the good qualities of the practice - of which there are many. Then, we create two strands of action: first, to logically and gently point out the unfairness of the ban and how it is causing suffering to others and secondly, to promote the goodness, truth and positivity of the practice.

Eventually, there isn't really a contradiction. The ban brings the issue up to a point that it gets international attention and attention that is broader than it ever would have been without the controversy. While that's happening, we help those who are suffering as much as we can by supporting them in any way (I think, for example, this website sponsors Shar Gaden and other DS monasteries) and bring hope to the situation by sharing education, presenting different views of why the ban is not correct and highlighting the truth behind the enlightened nature of our protector. There are many things happening at once, and I think that the discussions about Dorje Shugden globally really are at their apex at the moment, in a way that perhaps wouldn't have been possible without the ban.

I'm not saying I agree with the ban and that I am glad it happened, or anything like that. I am just trying to look at it for what it has been and trying, in the midst of all the darkness it has created, to find a little glimmer of light and goodness in it all. And all the while, to maintain faith in all the teachings, the teachers and especially in that rather prophetic line that Trijang Rinpoche wrote in his text about both our protector and the Dalai Lama (which WisdomBeing Kate has highlighted above).

I hope this helps to give you a different perspective somehow... I'm enjoying the discussions! Please do add on!

psylotripitaka

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Re: Pure view or Compassion?
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2013, 10:42:47 PM »
I really appreciate all the contributions here.

Buddha made predictions about how long his teachings would survive (in the heart of practitioners), and I believe it was Ngulchu Dharmabhadra later who said that due to the karma of living beings, the amount of time previously predicted had been cut in half. Buddha also predicted that it would come apart from the inside. When we look around at what is happening in this Kali Yuga produced by our own contaminated aggregates, we see people in high positions contradicting the teachings or falling off the boat completely, and this shakes us up inside, like, if these people who have practiced for many years cannot bring about complete transformation, who am I to think I can do it. And indeed many people fall off the boat entirely. There are plenty of examples of the Dharma being destroyed from the inside and we are trying to come to terms with this rapid decline in Holy objects.

But alas, we know that through continually trying we gain both temporary and ultimate benefits so it is worthy of our continued efforts. I know that I repeat this alot, but according to the Lojong in particular, everything we experience is an opportunity to generate, increase, and stabilize realizations, which is the whole reason Buddha taught, and the real meaning of being human. THAT is the real essence of the controversy - it is an opportunity to accomplish realizations.

Not sure who I think I am to be coming on this sight talking like I do, like I even know what the hell I'm talking about, but I am moved to try sharing things that help me, to inspire others mainly in this - My real intention for starting this thread was to again remind us of this most essential of points. There are these many different perspectives on how to work with the ban and the degeneration of our world in general, but as Geshe Chekawa said 'Apply meditation to whatever circumstances you meet'.

Renunciation (aka the Mind of Definite Emergence) is the resultant experience of becoming aware of both the predicament we've put ourself in, and the solution. If our main intention each day is to train the mind and we genuinely tried to give it a good go, that is the highest delight to the Gurus regardless of whatever particular strangeness is appearing in our outer world.

If the Dalai Lama's actions increase one persons faith and another person's compassion due to being mindful of the teachings, when all is said and done, both people are pleasing the Holy beings! Though we may be confused and in a hard place having to decide between Gurus or how to make practical decisions, if we have a good heart and sincerely have tried to generate realization throughout the day and night, we should at the deepest level of our being feel confident that we are not missing the most essential point of being human and meeting the Dharma. This does not excuse inappropriate behavior, but working in some way on our mind is better than none at all, and will eventually bare its fruit.

So, at the end of the day, though we may focus on many different things, the most important point is that we take complete responsibility for what our mind is producing and use that very substance to support inner realizations and therefore the swift destruction of our contaminated aggregates, for the Kali Yuga is not separate from that. In Pure Dakini Land, there is no suffering; no ban; no broken samaya. From the point of view of both Sutra and Tantra, surely we see how our circumstances, when conjoined with mindfulness of wisdom, are the quick path to enlightenment; to that Pure Dakini Land!

Whoever you are, whoever your Guru is, whatever hard decisions we are faced with, please do not miss this essential point. Please seize this opportunity.

As Je Pabonkhapa said:

- "Right this moment is the time to steel your will!"
- "It's not only time - it's almost too late."
- "It's time to place real experience upon your midstream."
- "Who's the faster: Yama, the Lord of Death, or you in your practice of realizing the essence of your eternal dream - the welfare of both yourself and others - as much as you can each day? Unifying your three doors, put the whole of your effort into your practice."