Author Topic: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala  (Read 19352 times)

Zhalmed Pawo

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2009, 06:46:46 AM »
To a friend.

One can receive an empowerment only from a Guru-Buddha.

The moment one makes a decision, or arrives to a conclusion, and holds it as a real fact, that the Guru in question is not a Buddha, is the very moment one's empowerment loses all validity. At that time, all the deity-practices one does upon the basis of that empowerment, become powerless, a lie, a make-believe.

Denigrating the empowering master is a definite no no in Vajrayana. If one wishes to continue in the practices involved, one must hold the empowering master as a Guru-Buddha no matter what, even if the empowering master breaks samaya.

No amount of logic, reasoning, or sophistry, will lead one around that basic fact of Vajrayana. If one wishes to practice tantra, the Guru is a Buddha, throughout the three times, and in all possible existential scenarios. Guru is Buddha. Period.

(Vajrayana is very easy and clear cut, you see. No need for being a philosopher or a thinker. Being a believer is all it takes, and all it asks. The rest is just meaningless wordplay.)

Zhalmed Pawo

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2009, 07:55:27 AM »
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.

Now this is a difficult issue, yes.

As for one, it is not easy, but it can be done. Easier would be to just retake the empowerments with somebody else.

As for two, this is a really difficult issue. In the good old times in India, Vajrayana was practiced in a manner of a singular transmission line. Singular in a sense that a single person held only a single transmission line. At later times, in India, and in Tibet, many people came to hold various transmision lines, various sets of deity-practice lineages. (A single lineage can of course hold various deities, we must remember, so the multi-linealism is something else. We are talking about multiple lineages.) So there are these two modalities of practice: the original "singular line" and the later "multi-line". And sadly for us, the whole idea of samaya breaking and the resultant loss of transmission, is termed on the basis of holding a singular line of transmission. What happens in a case when a person, say HHDL, who holds several transmissions and breaks the samaya of one, is not a clear case. It is not mentioned. Nobody knows. This is an uncharted territory. The "Vajrayana Rule Book" or the "Code of Conduct of Tantrikas" does not adress the issue of multi-line cases. Multi-linealism is a historical anomaly. It was never meant to exist. Do all transmission lines lose validity, or just the one where the samaya was broken? We just do not know.

I would personally not take an empowerment from someone who has broken their samaya, even if the break would be from an other line that I was considering. It could very well be that Kalachakra from HHDL is ineffectual, because he broke another line. But we do not know. Nobody knows. Personally, I would play it safe. (Especially since breaking a samaya is not the best kind of character reference. It looks bad on the guru's CV.)

Retaking empowerments from "a clear source" is therefore the sure way. (But nevertheless, a person who has taken empowerment must still hold the empowering master as a Buddha, for any practice involved to function. One can't get around that, no matter what.)


PS: It is interesting to note, that although the Geluk school became a great hot-bed of multi-linealism, many modern Geluk Gurus in the West are determined to pass the original "singularism". Very encouraging.

Zhalmed Pawo

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2009, 08:17:51 AM »
Heh. I just remembered, that there is one really bold way to get around a situation like this.

One could take the Yidam as the Guru, and bypass the "original guru" completely!

In the book Tara - praises to the saviouress (or something like that), edited and translated by Martin Willson, there is a wonderful sadhana written by one relatively modern Gelukpa teacher, that says, quoting from memory:

"Since the gurus today are so impure,
I take you yourself, Lady Tara, as my Guru."

That is a bold attitude indeed.  :D I have saved this as my last resort, to be used in the event of my Guru passing away and other Gurus abducted by aliens.  ;D

a friend

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2009, 03:09:16 AM »
@Zhalmed Pawo,

Not convinced. Two of the 6 Adornments are masters of logic. Nothing in Buddhism is a matter of blind faith, that I know of.
You didn't answer at least this fundamental point: that your drastic condemning the Dorje Shugden devotees to go on being the disciples of DL if they had taken true empowerments with him is tantamount to condemning them forever to break the #1 rule of Guru devotion: to hold the Guru as Buddha and to follow his instruction. So because the DL broke samaya, the disciples that were abandoned by him are forced to remain forever bad disciples? Since they are not giving up the holy Protector they are condemned to forever disobeying the Guru?
I really don't think our Lama Dorjechang planned such cruel destiny for anybody, that's what my faith is telling me. I don't know about rules meant to destroy the mind of the disciples and guide them to a dead end road and possibly to despair.

@ADB. You are probably following this discussion. My advice is to find yourself a personal Lama and seek his advice. Choose the Lama carefully. He will help you with this matter. In the meantime, don't forget that Lord Buddha, i.e., Lord Vajradhara, is the super hypercosmic master of compassion and it never crossed his mind to create rules to torment you. So please don't worry. Everything is going to be ok. Just take care of your good heart.

Zhalmed Pawo

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2009, 12:44:13 PM »
Not convinced. Two of the 6 Adornments are masters of logic. Nothing in Buddhism is a matter of blind faith, that I know of.

You didn't answer at least this fundamental point: that your drastic condemning the Dorje Shugden devotees to go on being the disciples of DL if they had taken true empowerments with him is tantamount to condemning them forever to break the #1 rule of Guru devotion: to hold the Guru as Buddha and to follow his instruction.

Believing that the Guru is a Buddha (and that one's surroundings pure land, etc) is necessarily a matter of faith, not reasoning. It might at some point become an experiential fact, but until then, it is just faith, belief. The practice of 'living the view' is to live by that faith. Reasonings and scriptural quotations might help arousing that faith, but it is still a matter of faith, not reason.

As for the fundamental point: if one previously thought that the Guru was a Buddha, but later disregards him as a non-buddha, one has a problem. The problem being that one thereby takes refuge in one's own subjective rationalizations. If one does that, then one is in effect the sole authority of the universe. One is saying that "I myself choose who is a Buddha and who is not, accordng to my own subjective viewpoints." Therefore one is no longer practicing Vajrayana. And if one still continues the practices as if one would be a tantrika, one will not become a Buddha, but a Cosmic Gorilla. One achieves ultimate egohood, the opposite of enlightenment.

Therefore, once it is established in a true empowerment that the Guru is a Buddha, one cannot later recant. One must always regard the Guru as a Buddha, no matter what. If the Guru in question does something that makes further association with him impossible, like breaking his samaya, one must distance oneself from that Guru, but even then one should continue to regard him as a Buddha. He becomes a "distant Buddha whose words are not heard", but remains a Buddha nevertheless. In other words, one is no longer a disciple, but one must still maintain the view. One is no longer to listen his words, as he broke the samaya, but one cannot change one's view that he is a Buddha. It is bad enough that the Guru broke his samaya, but it would be even more horrible if the practitioner would do likewise. As to hold the Guru as Buddha and to follow his instruction is a fundamental practice, one cannot stop holding, but since the guru broke his samaya, he is not to be followed. As I have not taken empowerment from DL, I do not have to regard him as a Buddha, but those who have received empowerment from him do have to continue to view him as such. As DL has made it clear that he kicked out DS-practitioners, no longer accepting their discipleship, they are no longer his disciples and do not have to listen to his words, but empowering Guru is still a Buddha, no matter what.

wang

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2009, 12:17:55 AM »
I fully agree to Zhalmed’s points(which is very traditional, no additional westernized favors ), as otherwise it is exactly the same argument the other party said you should leave your own guru.

On what make a real initiation.  I heard that as far as you attended, fully understood the master’s instruction and followed it, than you got it.  This is some kind of ‘external behavior’ we can measure, not about internal realization etc. which can be ambiguous and subjective. 

So if anyone did take initiation from HHDL, sorry, he is your guru no matter what, the most you can do is leaving him but not attacking him. 

I think the most painful side of this conflict is for those who took initiation from HHDL, and also from a master who continue practice this protector say Trijiang Rinpocche.  HHDL’s open attack made them nowhere to go but in exile, and some of them can contribute to the Gelukpa ‘business’ in much larger scale if not because of that…Obviously, it is also a loss to 'Gelukpa lineage' for those young tulkus(say Trijiang Rinpoche and Rabten Rinpoche) not able to come to the three monasteries for education...
« Last Edit: October 21, 2009, 12:47:09 AM by wang »

LosangKhyentse

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2009, 12:51:46 AM »



Dear Thom,

YOU ARE OUR KACHE MARPO! Red and boiling on the outside. Calm, kind & loyal on the inside.

Keep it up!

TK
:)





a friend

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2009, 04:04:15 AM »
@Zhalmed Pawo and Wang,

It's not enough to utter affirmative words to make something become the truth.

Prove it!

You are not going to be able to give me one line of scripture where it says that in a case as bizarre and unheard of as the one we are facing, with all the details without forgetting one, the disciples --victims I would call them-- still have the obligations that you try to impose on them in such dogmatic manner.
Because it never ever happened before (as Trinley Kelsang pointed out so accurately) and because Buddhism is thank heavens the religion of interpretation, you do not have the means to prove your point.
At best it remains open, precisely, to interpretation.







wang

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2009, 04:50:35 AM »
 "as otherwise it is exactly the same argument the other party said you should leave your own guru."

You will lost your ground in your insistent of doing your practice.

Why you value the protector pratice?  Because your matser taught you so, and Lamrim taught us follow own guru as if he is Buddha(and in Vajrayana, your guru is your Buddha)

Why I said 'the best we can do is leaving him, but not attacking him'' Because Lamrim taught as so.

If you are going to twist, or re-interpret Lamrim cos facing some difficult situation, you will lost your ground...If you need prove, you also need to prove why you insist on it other than your guru taught you so...

A lot suffured in this conflict, no one coming here dis-agree on this point I suppose...
« Last Edit: October 21, 2009, 05:13:21 AM by wang »

a friend

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2009, 05:05:36 AM »
Quote
As to hold the Guru as Buddha and to follow his instruction is a fundamental practice, one cannot stop holding, but since the guru broke his samaya, he is not to be followed.

As DL has made it clear that he kicked out DS-practitioners, no longer accepting their discipleship, they are no longer his disciples and do not have to listen to his words, but empowering Guru is still a Buddha, no matter what.

Beyond what I said before, there are faults of logic.
 
So, according to you, from what you accurately call a fundamental practice, without explanations you announce that you should reject half of it and be chained by the other half ... how come you can do that?

What does it mean to hold somebody as a Buddha, if not to follow his instructions? What does it mean?  To hold somebody as a Buddha has precisely that fonction, it actually means to follow his instructions. To visualize him bedecked in such or such way is insignificant compared with the only fonction that the Buddhas want to have, that is to teach us. I know that the tantric way is a very special way of teaching, but it is teaching nevertheless. So what does that mean to hold somebody as a Buddha if one cannot follow his instruction? What does it mean to be a Buddha in this case?
And if those people are no longer his disciples how can he be a Buddha for them? Are we talking about a self existent Buddha? You are trying to explain to the disciples that they have to make believe, to twist their minds ... how do you do that? By visualizing a bedecked person? Does that make him what he himself does not want to be? And again, what does that mean that the disciple does not have to follow him but still "hold him", this is quite extreme. What is it to hold a Buddha if not in order to follow his instruction, to become like him, and so on?
Frankly the only way to possibly "hold" is in a very general way that I can't talk about, the pure view of this system that is entirely all pervading and non specific. And of course you are not talking about that.
There is a degree of sophistry here that entirely goes beyond my capacity for understanding.
Anyway, this is not my personal problem. I am defending the minds of so many people that are tormented by doubts and anguish. So if you insist in your theory, do not stop, give a complete explanation because to say "this is like this and not otherwise" is not a reason, and what you are saying not only is impossible to understand but is possibly producing still more fear and anxiety in a number of people.

Your explanation if you want to give it might be welcome, but still, because this situation never happened before the matter has to remain open to interpretation.

Zhalmed Pawo

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2009, 04:51:50 PM »
Zhalmed, Regardless of who is "right" in this discussion, I think we can all agree this is exactly why this ban is so damaging and more pervasive than simply stopping a practice.  ................ where does that leave them?

Yes, on those points we all agree, I guess. He did the ultimate boo-boo, and all the blame is on him. He has destroyed, either directly or indirectly, the faith of millions of practitioners, both current and coming, and has cast the whole founding blocks of Vajrayana into the swamp of uncertainty.

But even more, there is one aspect in this unthinkable act of idiocy which I have not seen mentioned anywhere previously: "The case of missing tsog".

When people are made to make announcements that they "do not want to share spiritual or material resources with DS-practitioners" they are not only made to practice social ostracism and ghettoization against us DS-practitioners, but they are also made to avoid the Vajrayana communion of tsog with us. They are in fact announcing, that they will no longer "share the blessed substances of tsog" with us. Although tsog is not doctrinally as central as the Christian Communion, it is practically the equivalent, from religio-social point of view, in Tantra. Having a periodical tsog it is a must, in Vajrayana, and to refuse a participation of tsog with or from someone, is tantamount of saying that the person denied is either a non-vajrayanist - whereby the denial is essential - or a heretical bastard destined to vajra-hell - whereby it is something else altogether.

I have enjoyed tsog with practitioners from various lineages, and I have heard from certain Nyingma-sources that GKG, the great "ultra-shugdenite", had even invited some high Nyingma-Lamas for a tsog, and shared accordingly with them, in Old England  ;) , but I wonder, after these Modern socially enforced "announcements", will all this unity and community amongst vajrayanists now cease and stop? Will there in the future be two different strokes of vajrayanists, who do not share the circle of tsog amongst each other? This seems to be the will of a certain tibetan man. The whole unity of Vajrayana Sangha is in danger of being destroyed, thanks to this certain boo-boo-man.

Zhalmed Pawo

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2009, 05:51:02 PM »
Firstly, in the case it has not been evident already, I'm not interested in establishing or proving HHDL as either a Buddha, a Bodhisattva, a Bhikkhu, a Buddhist, a human, or a demon, nor am I intent to prove otherwise. His status as this or that concerns me not. I'm only interested in us, the practitioners, who have to practice in these maddening times. It is our practice that I'm concerned about.


You are not going to be able to give me one line of scripture where it says that in a case as bizarre and unheard of as the one we are facing, with all the details without forgetting one, the disciples --victims I would call them-- still have the obligations that you try to impose on them in such dogmatic manner.
Because it never ever happened before (as Trinley Kelsang pointed out so accurately) and because Buddhism is thank heavens the religion of interpretation, you do not have the means to prove your point.
At best it remains open, precisely, to interpretation.

True. I cannot provide scriptural quotations on this, but neither can you, and so, we have to interpret and infer.

I tend to be conservative and prudent in these things. My point is this: Two opposite samaya-breakings do not make a zero breaking.

If the guru broke his samaya, the student is thereby, due to this "conservative theory", not given an allowance to break his. Otherwise, we would have two samaya-breakers, the guru and the student. I would therefore advice the student not to break his samaya, eventhough the guru might have done so. And yet, so that the student would not be dragged into vajra-hell with the original samaya-breaker, I would advice the student to take a definite distance from the vajraloser-guru.



...more stuff to come, in the next reply.

Zhalmed Pawo

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2009, 07:04:43 PM »
Quote
As to hold the Guru as Buddha and to follow his instruction is a fundamental practice, one cannot stop holding, but since the guru broke his samaya, he is not to be followed.

As DL has made it clear that he kicked out DS-practitioners, no longer accepting their discipleship, they are no longer his disciples and do not have to listen to his words, but empowering Guru is still a Buddha, no matter what.

Beyond what I said before, there are faults of logic.
 
So, according to you, from what you accurately call a fundamental practice, without explanations you announce that you should reject half of it and be chained by the other half ... how come you can do that?

What does it mean to hold somebody as a Buddha, if not to follow his instructions? What does it mean?  To hold somebody as a Buddha has precisely that fonction, it actually means to follow his instructions. To visualize him bedecked in such or such way is insignificant compared with the only fonction that the Buddhas want to have, that is to teach us. I know that the tantric way is a very special way of teaching, but it is teaching nevertheless. So what does that mean to hold somebody as a Buddha if one cannot follow his instruction? What does it mean to be a Buddha in this case?

Well, to give an true example - from which we can make inferrals and interpretations - that cannot be overridden or proven wrong, since it is fundamental to all known traditions of Buddhism:

Buddha Shakyamuni, in Pali and Sanskrit Sutras, has given many instructions to householders (read: men and women), that are not to be applied by homeless ones (read: monks and nuns), and also many instructions to homeless ones (read: monks and nuns) that are not to be applied by householders (read: men and women). Nevertheless, neither party, householders or homeless ones, does dare to deny the absolute validity and authority of all those instructions, and still, they purposefully manage to "close their ears" to those instructions meant for the other party. If a monk would listen and follow the teachings that maintain that "the ultimate joy is one's offspring sitting in one's lap", that "one should spend 25% of one's business income by partying with one's family and friends", or that "one should adorn one's wife in luxury" (necessary adornments, that is), and so forth, it would soon be the end of his career as a monk. And if a buddhist man would listen the teachings that expound the vices and depravity of womenkind, of sons and daughters, of music and dance, of everything human, would he remain even buddhist?

So, it s clear, that right from the beginning, Buddhism has had this interesting view that Buddha is Buddha, and always correct, but nevertheless, that He has provided different Dharma, different words, to differing audiences; often apparently conflicting , but still eternally true. Therefore, it is totally normal, from a Buddhist point of view, to hold the Teacher as Teacher, and still close one's ears from His holy words, if there is a "dharmically good reason" for that closure of ears to happen.

So you see, we all are following Shakyamuni Buddha in a manner of necessarily not listening everything. Why would a Guru, since he is in Vajrayana necessarily only a Buddha, be followed in a different manner?

You see?

What I have tried to advice to some of us unfortunate ones, is no more mysterious that that. Basic Buddhism, in fact.

Zhalmed Pawo

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2009, 08:17:28 PM »
They weren't following Buddha on these instructions because they didn't hear them or weren't around when addressed (ie. lay holders weren't there when Buddha ordained a monk). 

Oh yeah? Please do not nit-pick (or however it is written). :D

The Sutta corpus we today have has been passed through monastic recitators, so all that we have in the Suttas has been "heard by monks", and the corpus holds Words of Buddha that are detrimental to monastics. "My case" is proven by that fact alone: Buddhists have traditionally had no problems in "closing their ears". We today might be the first or second generation of New Householding Buddhists to have access to "all monastic material", true. But historical considerations of the transmission of the tradition mean nothing here. (If strict historiocity would be applied, the Sangha of Refuge would be two the tin-salesmen from Afganistan.)

But as for your actual point, I do agree, that the problem is indeed, that Buddhism has become a Big Mesh. In the old days, Buddha taught whoever asked, but there was no TV, no push. But nowadays, hii hoo... you can push your vision, through using your big name, title, connections, and so forth. Not really the same. But then again, neither is the authority the same.

But as this sidetracking discussion has nothing new concerning the original issue, I will repeat: Empowering Guru must be seen as a Buddha, no matter what.


a friend

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Re: Thoughts on mental imputation and the Dharmapala
« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2009, 05:19:52 AM »
Quote
True. I cannot provide scriptural quotations on this, but neither can you, and so, we have to interpret and infer.

Z. Pawo: Good, I accept this of course. It takes away the extreme of dogmatism  :P
I have to express my gratitude for this discussion that intensifies my own eternal faith and gratitude for my immaculate, holy Lamas.

I would like to say that the cases of individuals tend to be prominent in my mind, and I´m pretty sure that this is ok. Practice is key, no doubt. But first comes the practitioner and I tend to protect others from a weight that I'm not sure I would know how to carry myself.

@ ADB and others with similar painful questions or doubts: I think that it's very possible that many among you never received a true empowerment, either because the person who imparted it/them had previously broken samaya and cut himself from the lineage, and/or because of multiple questions on the part of the disciples, like not having true refuge and the other essential knowledges required for an initiation, or else, because not knowing much or even nothing at all about the vows and commitments at the time of attending the empowerments. It's obvious that there cannot be such thing as an unconscious commitment. If you were not aware for instance that you were to hold the Guru as Guru no matter what for ever and ever, if you were not clearly aware of this, then you could not have taken the commitment. This again would be an indication that you do not have the obligations that an empowerment with full knowledge of what one is doing can impose.

No matter what, ADB's call for kindness towards the DL says a lot about what a good human being should do, even without the duties of Vajrayana. To understand, to forgive the DL, to keep on loving him and having compassion, and yes, keeping faith in him as a Buddha to be, once his own problems have been solved.

This does not preclude for those who have taken the responsibility of protecting his victims to do the necessary in the world in order to stop the abuse from him as a political leader.