Author Topic: Are you a sectarian?  (Read 12105 times)

yedi

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 38
    • Email
Are you a sectarian?
« on: August 20, 2009, 12:08:28 PM »
Dear Dharma friends,

I would like to know your opinion and experience on this widely spread criticism of Dorje Shugden practicioners being sectarians and not accepting other Tibetan Buddhist schools, not mixing them with their own school and so on.

For my case, I live as a nun in a Gelug monastery where Dorje Shugden is practiced. But I have also since 13 years continuous contact with my Nyingma master, where I received amongst others the complete Dzogchen empowerment, teachings and trainings. There was only a few years time after 97 in which I was afraid to go there because the quarreling phase on Dorje Shugden was very hot. Later I found out, that it had been calmed down in the Sangha and I asked my abbot to go there again, especially because I had also a lot of commitments connected with this lineage and I wanted to keep them up. I got the permission to go there again under the condition to be not involved in any conflicts and I was very happy, when also my Nyingma lama gave me immediately the necessary support to feel integrated again. Some people ask me sometimes, if my abbot knows, that I am here or if I can do also my Nyingma practices in the monastery. Then I can say always: yes. Of course I will not tell to much to avoid any conflicts, but actually it is like that: there hangs a big picture of Dorje Shugden on my wall, but in the middle of my altar is Guru Padmasambhava. I go regularly to all pujas inclusive the Dharmapala pujas, but inside of my monastic room I do all practices, which are traditional for Nyingmapas. Sometimes we have visit from the Dorje Shugden oracle and while the evocation he usually carries a very sharp sword. If he'd liked to kill me, as he is often said to do with those ones, who mix the lineages, he could do it immediately. But he is always very nice to me and gives me blessings. I wear also constantly a pendant with the Dorje Shugden mantra around my neck, together with a Tagdröl, which is blessed by all important Nyingma masters of the last century - and I feel very well with it ;D.

When I read in some Buddhist forums, that I am a sectarian because of my Dorje Shugden practice, I feel myself always very strange. Sometimes I tried to answer and told, that I am a disciple of both traditions and don't have any problem with it. Then people believed me to be just crazy or naiv and told me to read some books. I asked them, with how many Dorje Shugden practicionars they already spoke, to know their habit so clearly. Of course with nobody. Their is no need to talk with them, because these points of view are all well known and furthermore H.H. Dalai Lama has told, not to talk with such people. I don't spend time with such discussions anymore, it's like posting about Buddha in a fundamental Christian forum.
Another funny idea is the habit of some Buddhist organizations, to deny the status of being a Buddhist to Dorje Shugden practitionars. So for Gelug part I am not a Buddhist, for Nyingma part I am. Sounds like a Zen Koan  8)

I would like to know, if some other people here are in a similar situation, or if you have other interesting experiences around this topic.

Actually for my person I don't just mix the lineages 'anyhow'. Combining two lineages is for me a permanent process in which one has to check always how to bring different aspects of Dharma together in a working consense. But I think, there were in history a lot of people, who were able to do so.

yedi


emptymountains

  • Guest
Re: Are you a sectarian?
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2009, 05:20:49 PM »
Dear Yedi,

Thanks for posting this. I was about to start a new thread in a similar vein. I have actually become less sectarian since I have started Dorje Shugden practice, especially in regards to Buddhism and other religions. By focusing just on my own practice, I am no longer concerned about what others are doing or not doing with theirs.

My question is about Jamgon Kongtrul and Je Phabongkhapa. Both speak of the great fault of "rejecting Dharma." I have heard it said by people on the other side of this debate that by not doing Nyingma practices, we are guilty of abandoning Dharma. Yet, by practicing Lamrim we are practicing all of Buddha's 84,000 teachings, so I don't see the problem. We can accomplish all 84,000 teachings through just 1 practice, not necessarily through 84,000 practices!

yedi

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 38
    • Email
Re: Are you a sectarian?
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2009, 11:20:16 AM »
Dear Yedi,

Thanks for posting this. I was about to start a new thread in a similar vein. I have actually become less sectarian since I have started Dorje Shugden practice, especially in regards to Buddhism and other religions. By focusing just on my own practice, I am no longer concerned about what others are doing or not doing with theirs.

My experience is similar: since all these trouble around Dorje Shugden started, I became more careful in judging anyones practice. Before it was much easier, like in the "Lord of the Rings": on the one side the good ones on the other side the bad ones. But Dharma practice never works so simple.

My question is about Jamgon Kongtrul and Je Phabongkhapa. Both speak of the great fault of "rejecting Dharma." I have heard it said by people on the other side of this debate that by not doing Nyingma practices, we are guilty of abandoning Dharma. Yet, by practicing Lamrim we are practicing all of Buddha's 84,000 teachings, so I don't see the problem. We can accomplish all 84,000 teachings through just 1 practice, not necessarily through 84,000 practices!

That would mean on the other hand, that every Nyingma should do also Gelug practice (inclusive Dorje Shugden :P). And of course the practice of the other two schools, Kagyü and Sakya, and also all other Mahayana and Theravada practices, since they are all Dharma. And not to forget all hidden Dharmas which are spread all over the world by the activities of the Bodhisattvas. If one wants to practice them all, one must have an enourmous capacity or better, the life span of a Deva. But usually it is hard to find even somebody, who is able to do all practices just from the own lineage. I think, the sense of pluralism is, that one can choose anything according to ones own character and capacity. And I think, it depends also on karmical relationships. "Reject" probably is more to understand in the sense of not accepting other Dharmas as Dharmas, but not, that one has to practice them all. I remember a teaching from Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, in which he told us, to be extremely careful with judging other masters and other practices, because one can create heavy negative karma with it. So I agree with you, that it is sufficient to follow just one way, f.e. the Lam Rim. There is also this well-known story of the person, who got highest realisation with the Mantra 'get lost!': it seems, that all 84.000 teachings of the Buddha are even covered just in these two words  ;D



yedi

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 38
    • Email
Re: Are you a sectarian?
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2009, 11:49:30 AM »
One evening some 10 years or so ago, the Kunten lama came over to my house with some monks and took 'all' of my statuary except Guru Padmasambhava for the new monastery's altar. Now years later and with Sumatiarya's passing to Dakinni Land last week, I will soon have a statue of Dorje Shugden. It like Japanese Rock Gardens, any tiny movement of the magnetic field as the rocks are placed every 30 or 40 years is 'big news'. Infinite patience brings immediate results.
  Venerable Gonsar Rinpoche said that Nymiga and Gulugs lived in total harmony together without any sectarianism.
  I live in the middle of an old Mormon Community and get along just fine with almost everyone I meet. Here people still wave and smile when passing one another.
  I think that the statement of Dorje Shugden's purpose to create the perfect conditions for all people everywhere irregardless of ............, speaks for itself that compassion and love are the most important Universal Principles that matter. The essence of effort each day to attain just a little bit better than the day or minute before with the Practice.

Good place to live, it sounds very peaceful  :)
There is a passage in Geshe Rabten's biography, when he travelled together with another monk from Sera through Tibet, that they visited on their journey H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, who was the Guru of his companion. I think, those days a lot of Nyingmapas studied in Gelug monasteries, because they were famous for their quality. When I met the last time my Nyingma Guru, he comforted us to study also with the sources of the Gelugpas, because they are very profound and systematically. In my case Dorje Shugden really prepares good conditions for my practice irregardless of my status. Not many Nyingmapas have the fortune, to get profound studies and enough time for their practice.

emptymountains

  • Guest
Re: Are you a sectarian?
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2009, 11:50:55 AM »
Dear Thom,

Quote
One evening some 10 years or so ago, the Kunten lama came over to my house with some monks and took 'all' of my statuary except Guru Padmasambhava for the new monastery's altar.

Forgive me if I misunderstand your meaning, but one unfortunate interpretation of these words is that the Gelug monks felt that a statue of Guru Padamasambhava was 'not goood enough'. Is that what you meant?

yedi

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 38
    • Email
Re: Are you a sectarian?
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2009, 11:04:21 AM »
Dear Thom,

Quote
One evening some 10 years or so ago, the Kunten lama came over to my house with some monks and took 'all' of my statuary except Guru Padmasambhava for the new monastery's altar.

Forgive me if I misunderstand your meaning, but one unfortunate interpretation of these words is that the Gelug monks felt that a statue of Guru Padamasambhava was 'not goood enough'. Is that what you meant?

I wouldn't expect to find a statue of Guru Padmasambhava in a Gelug temple. The same I never have seen a statue of Je Tsonghkapa in a Nyingma temple. I think, this is normal, because a temple is dedicated to a special lineage and not comparable with a private shrine. But we have in our monastic temple f.e. a Thangka on which Buddha Shakyamuni is in the middle and flanked by Je Tsongkhapa and Guru Padmasambhava on each side. And I know, that Gonsar Rinpoche, who is mentioned by Thom, possesses privatly a very rare statue of Guru Padmasambhava still from his life time. One time Rinpoche gave me blessings with it. :)

Just yesterday accidently I came across the following passage in A Guide to the Words of My Perfect Teacher from Khenpo Ngawang Pelzang, which is the commentary to Peltrul Rinpoche's fundamental Nyingma text The Words of My Perfect Teacher ":

"The texts that indicate these graded paths are the Buddha's own teachings and the shastras of his followers. These exist in the form of the vast Buddhist canon, a very large number of transmissions and widely dispersed pith instructions, so the subject matter is infinite, and in this decadent age when the span of life is short it is impossible to learn it all, let alone practice it. As Sahara said:

Drink the cool, soothing nectar
Of your master's instructions until you are replete,
Else die exhausted in the plain of misery.
Still thirsting for the teachings in a myriad shastras."

So this should show clearly also from Nyingma side, that nobody can be claimed to reject Dharma, if one doesn't want to follow a certain practice.
 

yedi

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 38
    • Email
Re: Are you a sectarian?
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2009, 04:11:10 PM »
 ... In the same vein there are those who remind me of the Chinese Emperors' Eunuchs, that schemed to get the best cut of meat on the table. Only they ended up just holding a jar with their testicles in hand.

Funny image, but it hits the nail on the head ;D.
One has to decide, if one wants to practice Dharma or just to live the life of a fawning courtier. Practicing Dharma means not to relay on worldly things anymore as fame is. If some people believe Dorje Shugden practitioners to be something like the axis of evil, they can do. One time the will find out, that the only axis of evil is in themselves, also called 'grasping for an I'.

But there are also these little changes, as you mentioned previously, which give hope.
Just a few weeks ago the Dalai Lama came close to our place for one of his mega-events. Of course a few reporters also went up to our monastery, as soon they had found out, that we were not invited. As a result, on the next day just when the Dalai Lama arrived, there was a big article about us and the whole schism on the front page of the local newspaper. One day after I had to go down to the city for some little duties and I was really afraid to go there with my robe, especially after all the things which happened in the middle of the 90ths. I think it was the first time since my ordination, that I thought about to go there in a lay person's dress. Finally I decided to jump into the cold water. Usually in the city the people are very friendly to me, but this time as to my total surprise they were now extremely friendly. I thought by myself: 'Okay, they have seen all these pictures from the Dalai Lama's event in the TV, newspapers and so on and they don't know where I am from'. But then, two times somebody accosted me and asked me almost anxiously, if I come from the monastery up there or if I am one of 'these' Dalai Lama monks. When I answered 'from the monastery', they immediately beamed with joy and told me some nice stories, when they had been there one time for a visit and so on. I was completely impressed. All the time I thought that the people are friendly to me, because of the popularity of the Dalai Lama. And now I realized for the first time, that the people had been just friendly because of that what we are. So we were not accepted as visitors of a Buddhist love parade, which makes a lot of noise and leaves a lot of trash behind, but as welcomed part of the society. The same happened also to another nun, so there was nothing special with me.
Really great to know, that it is not that easy to destroy 30 years of our holy masters' work!  :D
« Last Edit: August 23, 2009, 04:22:13 PM by yedi »

godi

  • Guest
Re: Are you a sectarian?
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2009, 10:20:48 PM »
Hi yedi,
your story is really great!!!
Regards
Godi

vajra power

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 20
    • Email
Re: Are you a sectarian?
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2009, 11:22:28 PM »
hI YETI!

IT SEEMS YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN GURU RINPOCHE'S STATUE IN GYELUK MONASTERY. WELL, THERE IS A MONASTERY IN DARJEELING CALL DUNGKAR MOASTERY. IT IS A GYELUK MAONASTERY AS WELL AS DORJE SHUGDEN PRACTITIONER. YOU WILL FIND A HUGE GURU RINPOCHE'S STATUE NEXT OT  BUDDHA AND JE TSAONGKHA PA. THIS MOASTERY IS ABANDONED BY LOCAL TIBETAN AFTER THE CONTROVERCY. IT IS REALLY SAD!!

vajra power

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 20
    • Email
Re: Are you a sectarian?
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2009, 12:30:19 AM »

hello yeti,
i told you about the gyeluk monastery where you can find Guru Rinpoche's statue. well, click below and you will see for yourself.


http://www.wfb-hq.org/Articles%20and%20Analysis0005.html

yedi

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 38
    • Email
Re: Are you a sectarian?
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2009, 04:06:41 PM »
hI YETI!

IT SEEMS YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN GURU RINPOCHE'S STATUE IN GYELUK MONASTERY. WELL, THERE IS A MONASTERY IN DARJEELING CALL DUNGKAR MOASTERY. IT IS A GYELUK MAONASTERY AS WELL AS DORJE SHUGDEN PRACTITIONER. YOU WILL FIND A HUGE GURU RINPOCHE'S STATUE NEXT OT  BUDDHA AND JE TSAONGKHA PA. THIS MOASTERY IS ABANDONED BY LOCAL TIBETAN AFTER THE CONTROVERCY. IT IS REALLY SAD!!

i told you about the gyeluk monastery where you can find Guru Rinpoche's statue. well, click below and you will see for yourself.

http://www.wfb-hq.org/Articles%20and%20Analysis0005.html


Dungkar Gompa had acquired an especially holy Guru Rinpoche statue, said to have been blessed by Padmasambhava himself. When the owner was on the way to India with the statue, it spoke when passing Dungkar Gompa.

Sounds great! I hope to have one time the possibility to come to Darjeeling and to visit this monastery and its Guru Rinpoche statue :)

It's really so crazy: one can do all, which contradicts 100% to the 'reasons' of the Dharamsala ban directly infront of the nose of the Dalai Lama followers and nothing happens ... okay, at least amongst the Westerners I found sometimes a little reaction  ;)

yedi

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 38
    • Email
Re: Are you a sectarian?
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2009, 04:27:14 PM »
  Holding one's head up high and taking pride in one's own certainty that Love shines more brightly than hate.
Smiling and saying Hi! can make anyone's day a little brighter! Afterall, why be shy when in actuality, everyone you meet or pass by is an old friend or your Mother....................

Imho, that's the point. For those people, who have to live like outcasts in their society it's really not much fun and difficult to hold one's head up. But it's so important, not to loose faith and to keep up one's practice. And a  smile or an act of friendship effects sometimes more then 1000 words, especially if a situation is already overwhelmed by rational irrationality like in the Dorje Shugden affair.

stibo

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: Are you a sectarian?
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2009, 08:25:02 PM »
Quote
I wouldn't expect to find a statue of Guru Padmasambhava in a Gelug temple.

Hi Yeti,

When I assisted to the Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche's teaching in the temple of Phengeling in Kathmandu, there was a big statue of Guru Padmasambhava at his left. It was back in 2005 during the Mon Lan.

Best Regards,

stibo

yedi

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 38
    • Email
Re: Are you a sectarian?
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2009, 11:59:16 AM »
Quote
I wouldn't expect to find a statue of Guru Padmasambhava in a Gelug temple.

Hi Yeti,

When I assisted to the Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche's teaching in the temple of Phengeling in Kathmandu, there was a big statue of Guru Padmasambhava at his left. It was back in 2005 during the Mon Lan.

Best Regards,

stibo

Thanks to let me know that  :)
I am very happy, that I had the great opportunity to meet Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche a few times in my life and still I am sad because of his sudden passing away.