Author Topic: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala  (Read 19385 times)

Erstvollzug

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Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« on: October 16, 2009, 07:10:36 PM »
When examining the two levels of truth, ultimate and conventional, regarding all phenomena, I believe that it places us personally responsible for every detail of our environment.  There is a story about a person who believed he had a sacred relic that was in actuality a dog's tooth.  The mental imputation of the tooth as a relic was powerful and helped this person gather tremendous merit.  If a high lama says that anything is intrinsically defiled, we should know that we are not recieving a definitive teaching, but a teaching that requires analysis, specifically on our own karmic vision. 

The issue of the Dharmapala is one that we all need to work out. We must take personal responsibility for the appearance of schism in everything we see.  The Tantras offer a way of engaging appearance and purify it by cleaning the gates of our perceptions.  We must place the negative appearance in the tigle of the TAM of Tara!

For the world to see the Dharmapala as pure would mean the end of samsara.  If you see him as pure, you are fortunate indeed.  Now we must be very creative in seeing the lakes, rivers and oceans becoming clean, our forests and deserts breathing with abundance.  The appearance of disharmony between HHDL and our beloved dharmapala arises interdependantly with all of our deepest world issues.  Dedicate all of our merit to harmony everywhere.  The victory banner on the task of liberation will be the end of this issue.

a friend

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2009, 05:16:03 AM »
Very poetic and nice, filled with the best of wishes, you seem to have a good heart!

A couple of things. Several times we have received the advice and we have given ourselves mutually the advice of not introducing the Tantric subject here in this public place. The reasons are related to the nature of that knowledge and our vows.

About the Dharmapala I really don't follow the thought that seeing him as pure would signify the end of samsara. The world does not pay attention to Dharmapalas and in a general way respects them as part of our religion. The exception is our King Protector that now is considered by many as a harmful being and this started when the DL decided to destroy his holy nature in the eyes of the world. Samsara is bad enough, but this specific point in this ocean of wrong views and sufferings was started by an individual.

I agree about assuming my own karmic responsibility. There is no doubt that past deeds performed by beings belonging in my personal karmic stream are coming back to me in the form of this Dharma tragedy and I am so sorry for it.

This does not preclude that one has a responsibility in the eyes of the world in calling what is wrong, wrong. And what is holy, holy. Our Lamas are and were holy and saint beyond description, we should not accept that the fame of their defamer imposes in the mind of others the notion that our holy ones were wrong when they were incessantly right, our peerless saviours. Conventional reality is paramount according to our sages. We don't have the right to feed outsiders with higher knowledges that they didn't request and might have them interpret erroneously conventional reality. To be clear: by using higher knowledges as arguments in public discussions --when they belong to the throne of Dharma when taught and the secrecy of our minds when practiced-- we incur the risk of sparking in the outsiders the idea that to turn against our Lama, to incite people to break their sacred samaya with their own Lamas, to create a schism, to throw an entire nation against a minority, to instigate bad deeds in thousands of individuals, to congratulate people for their wrong behaviour ... are things that in some mysterious level should be accepted and interpreted as virtuous. To do this would be very harmful, and would go against the Buddha's main activity, which is to teach what is to be done and what is to be abandoned.

In a general way the best might be to remain silent about this unfortunate matter. And we remained silent for a long, long time. Then the persecution of the faithful devotees in the heart of our great monasteries became so severe that we had to alert the world and seek help for them. It seems that they start now to be strong and somehow protected but we have to keep our eyes open. The DL again this last weekend was preaching against the Protector and against the devotees in Washington, DC. Now the accusation of us being Chinese agents seems to be the last weapon left in his hands to justify his actions, and he and his government and the Youth and Women organizations are using it as much as they can. So we'll see. We wish to go back to silence. Let's hope we will, soon.

ADB, your beautiful message has been taken as a pretext to state again in another way things that have been stated before. I apologize for this. And I give you a warm welcome to the Forum. (This is just a personal message, do not be impressed by all those stars that one day Administration gave me, that only mean that I try to protect the Forum from electronic threats like malicious links and such, that´s all.)

Erstvollzug

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2009, 04:56:57 PM »
The tantric aspect was carefully delivered as not to make any discernable sense to the uninitiated.  I am happy that you adhere to the secrecy as I do.

The painful realization is that we are all dealing with an appearance in the actions of HHDL.  This is dangerous ground to traverse, but how do we really know?  I do not.  As a practitioner I have been encouraged to work on the level of appearances.  My curiosity about the nature of HHDL's real motivation is excruciating at times, and there is no real way around that.  On the other hand, this issue has supplied us with contemplative material that either makes us better practitioners or destroys the foundation of our practice. 


Erstvollzug

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2009, 06:53:48 PM »
Trinley Kalsang,  you have made some good points about properly discerning the qualities of the guru.  My faith in HHDL has been shaken as to whether he is qualified or not as a guru for a long time.  If he is an ordinary being we can still strive to cleanse this corruption.  Kuten Lama has never uttered a harsh word about him and that fact inspires me to follow suit.  As followers of Dorje Shuden, we must demonstrate our positive qualities from the depth of our being.  Am I lacking courage to denounce him as a false guru, or just admitting that I do not know?  When sickness arises in the guru we are encouraged to see it as our own karmic vision.  Does this apply to mental illness as well?  I think so.  Even when we see illness in ordinary beings it could be from our karmic vision.  Naropa was sent by Tilopa to get teachings from a guru that babbled like a madman before finally refining his appearance to him.  After I was asked to no longer go to teachings at my local temple if I was still devoted to Dorge Shugden, I was pained. One monk even said he hated me.  I am not turning off my conceptual judgement, rather placing it on a back burner until all the details fill in. 

Zhalmed Pawo

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2009, 10:16:40 PM »
...My faith in HHDL has been shaken as to whether he is qualified or not as a guru for a long time.  If he is an ordinary being we can still strive to cleanse this corruption.  ... Am I lacking courage to denounce him as a false guru, or just admitting that I do not know?  ...

I wrote about this in another thread, and although then I said this in different words, I'll just summarize here:

If you have taken empowerments and made commitments to HHDL, then he is your guru. No space for speculation for you in that case, according to Vajrayana. The case is closed, in that case.

If you have not taken empowerments from HHDL, he is not your guru. In that case, for you he is a Sangha Jewel, a monk, a one monk among many. (And a leader of a nation, as well, but that has nothing to do with Dharma.)

So therefore, there is nothing to judge about, and you are not in a position to make a judgement anyway. Either HHDL is just a monk, and a political leader, or he is your guru, who also happens to be a political leader. Your opinion, or mine, about his qualifications as a guru are meaningless. If there is a vajra-commitment between you two, it stands no matter what, and if there is not a vajra-commitment, it is not your business at all.

If on the other hand, you are assessing whether to take empowerment from him - that is, trying to find if he has the qualities of a true guru - you are simply wasting your time, since he does not accept DS-practitioners to be his disciples or even empowerment-audiencers. So in this case also, it does not matter what you feel about his qualities, since he has judged you already to be lacking. He has denounced you, and he has disqualified you. You do not need to do any "discernments" towards him, as he has provided you with everything already: you yourself lack the qualifications of a true disciple of HHDL.

So don't worry about it all. :D

Erstvollzug

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2009, 01:05:55 AM »
The Buddha taught that we do not have a self that operates as an isolateable function.  Every neuron firing in a person's brain is fueled by the foods farmed by other person's neurons.  When the causal network is appreciated entirely, there are no longer individuals to be seen, because our positive regard has become objectless.  There is no real anyone.  Emptiness does not limit an object's functioning, rather it is an imputation of total possibility for it. To actually see how the mind projects a phantom atman on the aggregates requires a resistance to desire.  Tsongkhapa said that we cannot negate the conventional view of selfhood or any phenomena for that matter.  To do that would set us up for the peak of samsara. Out of compassion we must negate in the correct order. 
No contest, Thom, about the Theocratic Nightmare of the Tibetan people.  I may someday join in a demonstration.  I would do so peacefully and without a whisp of hate.  Have compassion for the tyrants!  Give all tyrants the permission to change for the better.  Lock them up? Sure, but do not hate them.  In the long view none of us is a lost cause.  If the dharma ever gets more important than ordinary kindnesses it is ruined. 

I have taken an empowerment from HHDL long before I was educated about the issue.  Now what?
« Last Edit: October 18, 2009, 01:10:35 AM by ADB »

a friend

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2009, 03:13:24 AM »
@Zhalmed Pawo,
I agree with and really like your last paragraph, so pragmatic.
Nevertheless, when it comes to describing the Guru/disciple relationship, are you saying that samaya would arise automatically if somebody had “attended” empowerments from him?
Many Westerners probably think that because they physically attended the initiations … they are chained by samaya. But this is not as automatic as it seems.
“If you have taken empowerments”, you say, and this is correct. But we should specify that not because of being present at an empowerment one is taking the empowerment.
Not to mention true refuge, at least a forced form of bodhicitta and a good rational comprehension of shuñata are mandatory to being suitable to receiving an empowerment. And among the throngs of attendees of so many empowerments, not all of them had these qualifications. How many non Buddhists attended because they were “searching” in some general variegated spiritual path! These definitely did not enter into a samaya because they didn’t have true refuge at the time, they weren’t even Buddhists.

Moreover, there is a tricky question that is subject to interpretation. If you go to a Guru, believing that he is this immaculate type of person, and after the fact, years later, you discover that, had you known about certain serious deeds you would not have taken the empowerment, then that samaya is subject to discussion, because you were giving yourself to a certain Guru, who in reality was not there. Food for thought ... In Dharma, (and in life in general) everything depends on the mind, and foremost on the motivation. There are no automatic, unconscious commitments possible. So maybe some people were establishing a samaya with a Deity, with all the Buddhas, but not necessarily with the one person who was in front of them ...
For those tormented by this matter, I would say, grab for yourselves the old Latin saying, "in dubbio pro reo". If in doubt, then the decision has to be favorable to the accused. In this case I really would like to deliver from unfair shackles those who regret having been there, at all those empowerments of older, innocent times.

On the other hand, your last paragraph is valid both ways. There is no such thing as a one way samaya. If you are a Protector’s practitioner you are not in any samaya with the Dalai Lama, no matter how many true empowerments you received from him. He broke the samaya with you, he abandoned you, whether you like it or not. He does not want you. Period. So why insist?

a friend

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2009, 03:53:38 AM »
From ADB:
Quote
do not hate them.  In the long view none of us is a lost cause.  If the dharma ever gets more important than ordinary kindnesses it is ruined.

I have taken an empowerment from HHDL long before I was educated about the issue.  Now what?

ADB, I'd like to answer the last sentence first. I think your question reveals that you have been suffering a lot from this matter. Even though I already answered in the previous message to ZP, I would like to repeat it directly for you: please stop feeling bad, if you had a samaya with the Dalai Lama, today 1) since you were not educated on the issue, you were entering in a relationship with a Guru that was not the one you thought it was, so that samaya is, at least, questionable, a matter of interpretation, 2) foremost, if you believe that Dorje Shugden is the Wisdom Buddha under the form of the Protector of the Dharma, then your samaya with the Dalai Lama does not exist any more. The DL rejected you years ago. And he continues rejecting you, actually at every public presentation he goes on rejecting you. But once was enough, you have been set free by him, since he does not want you as a disciple. There is no such thing as a one way samaya, whether you like it or not. The Dalai Lama is not any more your Guru, on his own decision, you had nothing to do with it. So go and throw a party if you want, because you are free!

About the first part of the quotation, I agree entirely. We should not hate. Some people, though, have been hit harder than others, so I don't judge them if they are very angry. But it's good advice to say what you are saying there.
I have repeated several times that I have the opposite problem. I have a personal affection for the DL, and at the end of the day, I cannot get rid of it. It actually gets stronger with time, this affection. You know, we have been forced by his actions to denounce him to the world, because we had to defend those monks and all those lay Tibetans whose persecution he ordered. Also because the world needs to know that our Lamas were glorious holy beings, not the sectarian caricatures he's made of them. But I have in my mind a clear psychological picture of his life, and I understand that the DL had his own problems as a human being, that started who knows when in his karmic past, but surely in this lifetime the day when they first went to look for him when he was a tiny kid. Unimaginable destiny. Tremendous problems. Immense errors. But his errors do not preclude my love for him, on the contrary. Just don't give me this salad of higher knowledges to find justifications that destroy the Dharma (this was all around, not directed only to you).
I really appreciate your good heart.

a friend

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2009, 04:25:16 AM »
 ;) Our lips are sealed ... :D



Zhalmed Pawo

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2009, 05:54:09 AM »
Nevertheless, when it comes to describing the Guru/disciple relationship, are you saying that samaya would arise automatically if somebody had “attended” empowerments from him?

Many Westerners probably think that because they physically attended the initiations … they are chained by samaya. But this is not as automatic as it seems.

“If you have taken empowerments”, you say, and this is correct. But we should specify that not because of being present at an empowerment one is taking the empowerment.

Yes. One needs to relate to the Guru as a Buddha, for empowerment to happen.

This of course necessiates that one has a correct view of what a Buddha is and does, and so forth. Just to think that "a buddha" is some sort of "bald exotic Asian religious guy" and then relating to the empowering master as such, does not mean that one relates to a Buddha!

Therefore: Without true Refuge, no empowerment. And so forth. (Otherwise house flies and other insects in the premises would become tantrikas by the virtue of just being there.)

Zhalmed Pawo

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2009, 06:06:29 AM »
I have taken an empowerment from HHDL long before I was educated about the issue.  Now what?

He is still your guru, since you took empowerments from him. But he broke his samaya with you, so you are no longer bound to his words, and in fact you should avoid him, since samaya-breakers are to be avoided. But he still is your guru, since he has shown you great kindness, and therefore you should keep him in your refuge tree visualizations, and so forth.

Weird, I know, I know. :)

Zhalmed Pawo

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2009, 07:01:01 AM »
Hmmm... I should add this:

If someone, in this case ADB, starts to think and ponder whether his guru in fact was a real Guru after receiving empowerment, this line of thought will in all likelihood block all progress in the deity-practices involved. If you doubt the qualifications of the Guru, you doubt the practice and yourself as well. Therefore one should not try to assess the qualities of a Guru after empowerment. After the empowerment, it would be more beneficial for the practice to just retain the view that "he is a worthy guru indeed", and just let it be at that.

But as in this case the guru broke his samaya towards the disciple, the disciple must avoid the samaya-breaker. This is a tough situation. Usually, in these cases, one is adviced to retake the same empowerments with someone else, so that one can progress in the practices with total confidence, without any mental hindrances. This is the psychologically easiest way, although practically usually difficult.

But if one can simply avoid the guru in queston (which is very easy with HHDL, since when are you going to meet him anyways) while maintaining pure view towards him, this would be the best. But not always easy.

So, my advice: (1) Hold the HHDL in the refuge tree as a Guru-Buddha, but avoid him otherwise. (2) If you find this difficult, try to twist your mind, like for example thinking that "he is a true guru, but became sick, and therefore did what he did", and hold this view internally, never uttering it aloud to others. But remember, as he is to you a Guru-Buddha, you should not hold compassion towards him, only love and respect. This might allow you to use option 1 more easily. (3) But if this kind of mental trick, or other similar mental gymnastics, feels wrong or awkward, then retake your empowerments with someone else, and simply proceed with your practices.



My view on this matter is completely practice oriented. I'm not interested in the so called objective truth. All that matters is the practice, and other issues either help the practice, or hinder it. They have no validity beyond the practice. There is nothing beyond the practice. No truth, only practice.




EDIT: A bad typo.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2009, 04:28:08 PM by Zhalmed Pawo »

Zhalmed Pawo

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2009, 05:23:52 PM »
Moreover, there is a tricky question that is subject to interpretation. If you go to a Guru, believing that he is this immaculate type of person, and after the fact, years later, you discover that, had you known about certain serious deeds you would not have taken the empowerment, then that samaya is subject to discussion, because you were giving yourself to a certain Guru, who in reality was not there. Food for thought ... In Dharma, (and in life in general) everything depends on the mind, and foremost on the motivation. There are no automatic, unconscious commitments possible. So maybe some people were establishing a samaya with a Deity, with all the Buddhas, but not necessarily with the one person who was in front of them ...

An valid and interesting point, indeed!

Which is why one takes the empowerment, and also receives the empowerment, only from the Dharmakaya, and not from the-dude-in-front-of-me-who-farts-and-stinks-like-i-myself-do-although-i-envision-him-as-a-non-farter-holy-one, eventhough the rotten "bag-of-bones" is absolutely needed in front of one.

The empowering master is just a conduit, an electrical wire. The power plant resides elsewhere. The stinky mold ridden plug-hole is a must nevertheless.

As for the clause "you were giving yourself to a certain Guru, who in reality was not there", one really must respond by saying that one is not giving anything to anyone, and there is no-one there anyway, in tantric empowerment. (This is not zen-sophistry, but a tantric fact.)

There is just "me" and the "Dharmakaya", and to find that "D" as fast as possible, "me" uses a "Nirmanakaya" as a conduit. If one singular "N"-wire gets cranky, the "me" just uses a different wire. No biggie. All those "N"-plugholes must of course be respected and not misused, but they must also be seen as just as what they are. (They are mere Service Points of the Nirvana Co. Ltd.)

 ;D

PS: I grant that some rare individuals, out of their previous karmic connections to a certain "N"-plughole, can take the "N" as a "D"-hole, but that is incredibly rare. Milarepa did that, and boy, was that a pain to him... I prefer the easy way.

yedi

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2009, 07:59:11 PM »
I have taken an empowerment from HHDL long before I was educated about the issue.  Now what?

He is still your guru, since you took empowerments from him. But he broke his samaya with you, so you are no longer bound to his words, and in fact you should avoid him, since samaya-breakers are to be avoided. But he still is your guru, since he has shown you great kindness, and therefore you should keep him in your refuge tree visualizations, and so forth.

Weird, I know, I know. :)

There is still another possibility which I heard from Gonsar Rinpoche: He said that the Dalai Lama turned the wheel of Dharma several times in his life for different kind of sentient beings. But the last turn of the wheel was obviously not for him .....  ;)

a friend

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2009, 03:16:39 AM »
@Zhalmed Pawo.

If you have authority to say what you are saying, I apologize for disputing it.
I appreciate very much the effort you are doing to clarify the situation of ADB and others.
But I really don't know where you are taking them by insisting that DL is today their Guru even though he (the DL) has broken samaya with them.

I would appreciate that you explain how somebody can be your Guru while simultaneously the samaya is broken. No samaya, no Guru. He might've been your Guru a million times in the past, but today? HE does not want to be your Guru, how are you going to force that? Takes two to tango. A Guru/disciple relationship does not occur with one party alone willing and the other one refusing.

Moreover, imagine the conundrum! If ADB or whomever were to "have" to be DL's disciples even with him not wanting them, what disciples would they be? Forced to constantly be breaking the rules of Guru devotion! Because the main part of Guru devotion is not to praise the Guru nor to offer him things nor being his attendant, the main part of Guru devotion is to consider him as Buddha and follow his instructions. And as far as can perceive, the main instruction the DL has been giving publicly in the last 14 years at least is to break away from the Holy Protector and more recently, even from his devotees. So where does this leave ADB and the others? No, this is not correct. I also care about  practice, but first of all I care about the minds of people, and this is not a way for them to have any peace of mind to do any Dharma practice.

I can see that you are giving ADB (or anybody in his situation) more than one possibility as a way out, and the easier for the mind, it seems, is to receive again the initiation and forget about it. It’s very kind of you, but I don’t see the logic there either. The fact to receive several times an empowerment from different Lamas does not preclude that the previous ones are still your Guru. In the case of DL the reason for him ceasing to be the Guru cannot be that he’s going to be replaced, is that he ceased to be such on his own accord.


 Of course, when you mention that one should avoid samaya/breakers, two things. One, what is closer than what goes on in the mind? How can you avoid somebody whose intimate proximity you entertain in the mind? Another conundrum ... Two, that reminds me that there is a breaking of samaya previous to the one from DL to his disciples, it’s the one from him to his own Guru, that is now entirely public and commented upon. Now, the vast majority of people attending those empowerments years ago didn’t have any clue about this one, and the rule you mention already applied then. I didn’t want to mention this but you brought the subject to the table, so now let’s go all the way. If you break samaya with you Guru, can you transmit to others what he gave you? I don’t think so. I don’t want to say more, but there you might  have one more reason for these people not having to consider him their Guru.