Author Topic: Ngagpa (White Sangha) and Dorje Shugden  (Read 15728 times)

Yeshe

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Ngagpa (White Sangha) and Dorje Shugden
« on: April 14, 2010, 07:07:00 PM »
The Ngagpa (Ngagma is the female) are the White Sangha, wearing white robes, who are ordained by virtue of taking Tantric vows and have no vow of celibacy and can live as householders.  Their ordination is accepted as being as valid as the 'Red Sangha' monastics.

Most of them are Nyingma but other TB schools also have them.

They specialise in shamanistic practices.

I wondered of anyone has any information on their Protector practice and whether Dorje Shugden is one of the Protectors they use.
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Zhalmed Pawo

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Re: Ngagpa (White Sangha) and Dorje Shugden
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2010, 08:04:27 PM »
The White Sangha is in fact way older than the tantric White Sangha of Tibet. By Theravada Suttas, and current Theravada practices, it is clear and evident, that belonging to the White Sangha means that one is a Householder with Vows other than the normal 5 vows. All 8 and 10 -precept practitioners are "white clad", as opposed to the "saffron clad". The Suttas mention them, and the modern "Theravada Nuns" holding 10 precepts cloth themselves in white robes. If one goes to a Theravada monastery as a Householder for the Uposatha period, taking the 8 precepts for a 24 hours, one is also asked to cloth in white, although this can be just white jeans and white t-shirt. So the White Sangha is just precisely a Householder Sangha holding precepts other than the mere 5 precepts.

Later, in some Vajrayana circles, this same idea of 'whiteness' was taken to be as a mark of someone who holds the 14 root vows. And this is the origin of the Tibetan White Sangha. "Ordained householdes", so to speak. Of course, there usually are additional requirements about the appearance, in Vajrayana White Cloth Sangha, like not cutting the hair, as opposed to the cutting of the hair of the Saffron Sangha. And so forth.

As to any shamanic practices, I'd say no way. It is a Buddhist thing, right from the start.

And as to the Protector practices, all lineages have their own Lineage Protectors and general Protectors, just as we do. I do know some White Clad Nyingmapas, who have shared a DS tsog or two, with me, and who have even taken DS-jenang, but this is their personal choice as practitioners, not a lineal thing. There of course might be White Nyingmapas who have traditionally relied on DS, but understandably they might be rather quiet about it nowadays.

Yeshe

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Re: Ngagpa (White Sangha) and Dorje Shugden
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2010, 10:40:38 AM »
Thanks for the replies.

I thought any DS practice would not be formally attached to a lineage.

As for 'shaman', I think the word needs reclaiming and we shouldn't be wary of using it.   I believe the word has 'sramana' as its root.

Over the last few years it has become a common term, abused by any wierdo from Glastonbury who wants to put you through a sweat lodge and get you to kill a rabbit and absorb its 'spirit'.

The rituals performed by White Sangha in Tibet are shamanistic as far as I know - trance, divination, exorcism and other dealings with the spirit realm (sometimes narrowly defined as 'hungry ghost' realm).

Obviously with a motivation of Bodhichitta as they are coming at it with a Buddhist perspective.  Intention, as always, defines whether an act is 'Buddhist' or not, IMHO.

I wondered if Karma Shugden was used in some of the wrathful rituals, as the Garuda is also allied to clearance in ritual.

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honeydakini

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Re: Ngagpa (White Sangha) and Dorje Shugden
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2010, 03:44:10 PM »
Thanks for the replies.

I thought any DS practice would not be formally attached to a lineage.

As for 'shaman', I think the word needs reclaiming and we shouldn't be wary of using it.   I believe the word has 'sramana' as its root.

Over the last few years it has become a common term, abused by any wierdo from Glastonbury who wants to put you through a sweat lodge and get you to kill a rabbit and absorb its 'spirit'.

The rituals performed by White Sangha in Tibet are shamanistic as far as I know - trance, divination, exorcism and other dealings with the spirit realm (sometimes narrowly defined as 'hungry ghost' realm).

Obviously with a motivation of Bodhichitta as they are coming at it with a Buddhist perspective.  Intention, as always, defines whether an act is 'Buddhist' or not, IMHO.

I wondered if Karma Shugden was used in some of the wrathful rituals, as the Garuda is also allied to clearance in ritual.



Hi Yeshe,
I'm interested to know what the root word "sramana" means? and what do you all define as being "shamanistic" in this day and age (taking into account the rather jumbled versions that have arisen out of things like Glastonbury (haha about your reference to the rabbits).

I mean, in terms of trance, divination, exorcism - those are all practised within the Buddhist lineages, drawing upon the protection, guidance and blessings of the Three Jewels. Are those considered shamanistic too? What does it mean to be shamanistic? (especially in this day and age when it can sometimes have a negative connotation?)

Not trying to be belligerent but just interested to learn  :)

Yeshe

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Re: Ngagpa (White Sangha) and Dorje Shugden
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2010, 05:38:49 PM »
Thanks for the replies.

I thought any DS practice would not be formally attached to a lineage, so the answers so far fit that.

As for 'shaman', I think the word needs reclaiming and we shouldn't be wary of using it.   I believe the word has 'sramana' as its root.

Over the last few years it has become a common term, abused by any wierdo from Glastonbury who wants to put you through a sweat lodge and get you to kill a rabbit and absorb its 'spirit'.

The rituals performed by White Sangha in Tibet are shamanistic as far as I know - trance, divination, exorcism and other dealings with the spirit realm (sometimes narrowly defined as 'hungry ghost' realm).

Obviously with a motivation of Bodhichitta as they are coming at it with a Buddhist perspective.  Intention, as always, defines whether an act is 'Buddhist' or not, IMHO.

I wondered if Karma Shugden was used in some of the wrathful rituals, as the Garuda is also allied to clearance in ritual.




Hi Yeshe,
I'm interested to know what the root word "sramana" means? and what do you all define as being "shamanistic" in this day and age (taking into account the rather jumbled versions that have arisen out of things like Glastonbury (haha about your reference to the rabbits).

I mean, in terms of trance, divination, exorcism - those are all practised within the Buddhist lineages, drawing upon the protection, guidance and blessings of the Three Jewels. Are those considered shamanistic too? What does it mean to be shamanistic? (especially in this day and age when it can sometimes have a negative connotation?)

Not trying to be belligerent but just interested to learn  :)


Well, I sort of defined it by the actions performed - working with the spirit world in such activities as trance, exorcism, divination. And IMHO what makes any action 'Buddhist' is the intention to lessen suffering and to assists on the path to enlightenment (your own with a Bodhisattva motivation or for the benefit of others directly through compassion) and, as you say, reliance on Refuge in the 3 Jewels in order to achieve that end.

I would say that one whose life is dedicated to working with the spirits to serve their community is a shaman.

Some Buddhists are Shamans, some Shamans are Buddhists, if that makes sense.

That's not of course an exclusive set of actions - anyone may perform them including as you say ordained Red Sangha monastics.  In that case I would call the actions shamanistic, but the person is not exclusively devoted to that so they would not deserve the label of 'shaman'. (I can draw a picture of a my 'dream' house, but it doesn't make me an architect.) I guess I'm landing on a definition where actions may be shamanistic but only those who are significantly devoted to it are shamans.

The Tibetan White Sangha are permitted to have sex and use alcohol and meat in rituals, and are tied to their guru and lineage more through tantric 'samaya' than the Vinaya.  They may therefore perform shamanistic actions in an entirely different way.

Whether the physical actions are less advanced than visualised actions is another debate, but personally I feel that one who is able to work entirely through visualised offerings, body mandalas, consorts, protectors etc. would be a superior practitioner.  But the ultimate practitioner IMHO is the one who can perform the rituals both physically and through realisation, as the occasion demands.  Even sophisticated people may need to see something happening in order to help their minds find peace. And you can't use visualisation unless you have already encountered the object through your senses. (Imagine trying to visualise Dorje Shugden having never read a description or seen a picture etc.)

That's about as far as my thinking has gone so far. I'm willing to learn much more, including if my view so far is more deluded than usual! LOL :)

I took part in an exorcism (of spirits form a house rather than a person) recently which was performed in the main by a Gelugpa Lharampa Geshe.  Unlike the Christian exorcisms of casting out demons etc. it was done with as much compassion for the spirits as for the householders.  The motivation was 'Buddhist'.  Someone else may have come in to throw magic water around with a motivation of extracting cash - which of course would not be at all Buddhist.

Sure, some of Buddhist practice is simply a cultural accretion from the host country, but the 4NT, 8FP and Bodhichitta motivations turn many actions into Buddhist actions.  Oh, and I am delighted to learn about the Indian origins of Chod and any other related activities (such as spending time in charnel grounds) which I see as authenticating the practices and perhaps may prevent people from claiming that they are all later Bonpo practices and not Buddhist.

Here are a couple of Wki links re. the etymology and activities of shamans:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaman

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sramana

I'm happy for anyone to chip in about White Sangha, shamans, or even the Shugden Oracle in this context. ;)

This link is to a site which describes the Nyingma White Sangha in some detail:

http://www.nyingma.com/artman/publish/ngakpa_intro.shtml   :)
« Last Edit: April 15, 2010, 05:50:41 PM by Yeshe »
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honeydakini

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Re: Ngagpa (White Sangha) and Dorje Shugden
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2010, 06:14:50 PM »
Hi Yeshe,
Thanks for your speedy and detailed reply :)

It's very interesting to learn of these different methods, approaches to practice but what I found most interesting and great about your explanation is most definitely the most important aspect of motivation and Bodhicitta intention. I guess in this way, it doesn't matter what method you use - shamanistic, conventional methods of meditation, prayer, Mahasiddha methods, going out to party with your students, sitting in charnel grounds - because ultimately those are only means to a (very beautiful and enlightened) end.

I think the only "danger" or risk in that is that many practitioners can twist their practices, where they incorporate things that may literally be dangerous to them (such as inviting or communicating with spirits that they are not really qualified enough to handle) or just boost their attachments ("look at me doing these esoteric, exotic practices") under the guise of it being out of a Bodhicitta motivation. I refer to people who do things like channeling spirits for example, which can open the door to a lot of other harmful, uncontrollable things. And perhaps a person really does mean it with good intention, but i think that for many of us, our motivation is not really that pure at this stage, and we also may not have a high enough level of wisdom to know how to handle such practices (or beings!)

Most important then, at OUR LEVEL, I think is the guidance of a qualified teacher from an authentic lineage and background who can give us the proper, "safe" methods that are tried and tested and which, coupled with our strong, positive motivation, can lead only to benefit and not derail us in any way into any sort of harm.

well, I'm speaking from my own experience anyway. I have a lot of respect for different practices as I believe that people are doing them with the best of intentions and out of a wish to help. But I know I certainly do not have any qualifications near any Sangha (white or saffron or maroon!) to be able to work with such shamanistic practices yet (especially as they could veer dangerously into dealing with spirits, if done incorrectly) so I shall rather be safe than sorry and follow the advice of my lama!

Zhalmed Pawo

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Re: Ngagpa (White Sangha) and Dorje Shugden
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2010, 07:03:38 PM »
Shramanas and shamans have nothing in common. They are two totally independent and historically separate traditions.(The following is taken from wikipedia, as I am lazy.)

____________

A shramana (Sanskrit ?rama?a ?????, P?li sama?a) is a wandering monk in certain ascetic traditions of ancient India, including Jainism, Buddhism, and ?j?vika religion (now extinct) [ZP adds, that Ajivikas were the other branch of Jainism. See Bronkhorst The riddle of the Jainas and Ajivikas in early Buddhist literature.PDF ] Famous ?rama?a include religious leaders Mahavira and Gautama Buddha.

Traditionally, a ?rama?a is one who renounces the world and leads an ascetic life of austerity for the purpose of spiritual development and liberation. Typically ?rama?as assert that human beings are responsible for their own deeds and reap the fruits of those deeds, for good or ill. Liberation, therefore, may be achieved by anybody irrespective of caste, creed, color or culture, in contrast to certain historical caste-based traditions, providing the necessary effort is made. The cycle of rebirth, sa?s?ra, to which every individual is subject, is viewed as the cause and substratum of misery. The goal of every person is to evolve a way to escape from the cycle of rebirth.
____________

Shamanism is an anthropological term referencing a range of beliefs and practices regarding communication with the spiritual world. [2] A practitioner of shamanism is known as a shaman, pronounced /????m?n/, /??e?m?n/, (us dict: shâ?·m?n, sh??·m?n, (|?shäm?n; ?sh?-|) noun (pl. -man(s)).[3]

Shamanism encompasses the belief that shamans are intermediaries or messengers between the human world and the spirit worlds. Shamans are said to treat ailments/illness by mending the soul. Alleviating traumas affecting the soul/spirit restores the physical body of the individual to balance and wholeness. The shaman also enters supernatural realms or dimensions to obtain solutions to problems afflicting the community. Shamans may visit other worlds/dimensions to bring guidance to misguided souls and to ameliorate illnesses of the human soul caused by foreign elements. The shaman operates primarily within the spiritual world, which in turn affects the human world. The restoration of balance results in the elimination of the ailment.[4].

The term shaman is a loan from the Turkic word šamán [ZP thinks that the word comes from Tungusic language, not Turkic, as the so called Altaic language-group in not a reality, but a fantasy of earlier linguists, but who cares], the term for such a practitioner, which also gained currency in the wider Turko-Mongol and Tungusic cultures in ancient Siberia. Shamanism played an important role in Altaic mythology. Tengriism which was the major belief of Xiongnu, Turkic, Hungarian and Bulgar [and many many more] peoples in ancient times incorporates elements of shamanism.
___________

It is of course possible, and even probable, that in Tibet, being a Central Asian region, some shamanic practices gave an outer form to some Buddhist practices, but this must be understood as being just on the level of the surface. For example, the tormas that are offered in many Tantric rites, were in India flat cakes, whereas in Tibet they took the shape of conical cakes because of the then-current Bon practices, and now in the West, the tormas are very often heaps of factory-produced bisquit-packets and assorted candies. The surrounding culture may give the outer form, but the core idea remains Buddhist.

The White Sangha of Tibet is no more Shamanic, than we Westerners are Industrialists, in our practice.

Yeshe

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Re: Ngagpa (White Sangha) and Dorje Shugden
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2010, 08:01:53 PM »
Shramanas and shamans have nothing in common. They are two totally independent and historically separate traditions.(The following is taken from wikipedia, as I am lazy.)

The White Sangha of Tibet is no more Shamanic, than we Westerners are Industrialists, in our practice.


Two assertions there, with a Wiki sandwich! LOL:)

Nobody claimed they sramanas were shamans.  I have read that the etymology of shaman may be sramana.

Secondly, I would like some evidence to back up the assertion that White Sangha (Ngagpa/Ngakma) are not shamanistic. I've mentioned the oracles, the exorcisms, the divining etc. which use spirits.
It has not been claimed that they are shamans, just that their practices are shamanistic.

They claim as much themselves:

''Khamtrül Ngak’chang Yeshé Dorje Rinpoche was a Nyingma Lama who practised mainly as a 'village ngakpa' - as a Tantric shaman specialising in shé-dür (exorcism) and weather control for the benefit of those amongst who he lived. ''

http://www.nyingma.com/artman/publish/yeshe_dorje.shtml

If the Nyingma and White Sangha themselves see their role as shamanistic, I for one won't argue. :)



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Zhalmed Pawo

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Re: Ngagpa (White Sangha) and Dorje Shugden
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2010, 09:29:40 AM »
Ah yes, now I understand what you mean. I made a mistake in reading the op as making a sort of "blanket statement" that equates Nyingma White Sangha and shamans.

But yes, many Tibetan Buddhists act as healers - some do it by Ayurvedic medicine, some by Taoist medicine, some by shamanistic means, some by Tantric means like Bhaisayaguru-practice, and nowadays I guess by using Western medicine as well. So while some use shamanistic means, it does not make them pure shamans, in a sense that neither are some other Tibetan healers Vedantists, Taoists or Western materialists. That was basically my point.

So it seems we said pretty much the same.

But as to some Nyingmapas using the word shaman, I would not read too much into it. Many Japanese Zen teachers call themselves Zen Priests, although they cannot really be priests as they do not have a god who they could officiate on behalf of the congregation. Many Asian Buddhists use foreign words known to the Western audience in a Buddhist sense, freely, so one should not read too much into it. Shakyamuni used words just like that as well; for example he called himself the true Brahmin, but this did not mean that he was advocating Vedas or that he would have been from the brahmin caste. This kind of audience specific free usage of words must be remembered. So while some Ngakpas use shamanistic means to help others temporally, they are still Buddhists, not shamans.


PS: As there was also mentioned weather control, here is a story told by a Western Ngakpa about Zong Rinpoche's weather-frog.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2010, 09:36:09 AM by Zhalmed Pawo »

Zhalmed Pawo

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Re: Ngagpa (White Sangha) and Dorje Shugden
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2010, 10:04:38 AM »
What is the difference between shamanistic spirit-contact and oracle-invocation, if any?

As I understand, an oracle borrows his or her body to the deity, and is unconscious during the invocation. The spirit enters the body of the oracle, and "takes over". (The Tibetan word for oracle, kuten, means "bodily base", or something like that.)

As far as I understand the idea of a shananistic contact, the shaman remains conscious, but his of her mind is transposed to anoter level, to a spirit world. In this sense a travel to Tushita would be close to shamanistic practice. It would seem that only the method used is different - Buddhists use the Form level concentrations, whereas shamans use trance techiques, possibly with some chemical substances.

Hmmm...

Zhalmed Pawo

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Re: Ngagpa (White Sangha) and Dorje Shugden
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2010, 07:03:57 PM »
ZP,

Travel to Tushita is only possible for those who have achieved Vajradhara's unification. I don't think anything can be comprared to this.

With form realm concentrations, you might get vision of deities, etc. but you won't go to Tushita.

Also, trance-like states and dhyana have nothing in common.

Yours,

To get certainty of the possible difference of shamanistic trance-like states and dhyana, one would need to have experience of both. Not many do, I guess. (To find someone who has experience of even one of those, is difficult.)

But that is not important. More interesting is the question of Pure Lands. There are traditions, that treat them as "normal Brahma-level heavens" and there are traditions that treat them as separate from those, even though the names are sometimes the same. So how does one differentiate a Brahma-heaven and a Pure Land that has the same name? In one, one does not practice Dharma, and in one, one does practice Dharma, but maybe this comes from the side of the practitioner or being residing there. This would mean that the "place" is not different, only that the karma of the resident is different. (Just as here on Jambudipa, some beings practice and some do not.)

By classical Buddhism, a person who has realized emptiness, and destroyed attachement and hatred, but still has the five subtle fetters, is called a Non-Returner, and upon the bodily death, is destined to take a last rebirth into the Brahma-world where he attains total liberation. So in this kind of system of categorization, the Brahma-worlds and Pure Lands are the same, only the beings there are different, some practicing and some not. In some Mahayana-schools, including Gelukpa-school, the Pure Lands are seen as distinct from these heavens, evethough even the names are many times just the same. I tend to believe the classical system in this matter, as here in Jambudipa the world is the same, only residents differ. (Practically of course, it does not matter whether one splits heavens or groups of beings, but the classical system seems more reasonable in my mind.)

Zhalmed Pawo

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Re: Ngagpa (White Sangha) and Dorje Shugden
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2010, 10:20:41 PM »
...Your second point is also very interesting and I tend to agree with what you say. Howerver, your logic would imply that, for instance, Amithaba Buddha would be just an ordinary form realm Deva for some, and a Buddha for others. It is a worthy point to reflect upon, because it implies that there are only buddhas for those who can perceive them as such. For others, these same beings are the deities of the hindu pantheon. ...

Yes. And just that has happened with the Vaishnavas here in Jambudipa - they see Buddha Shakyamuni as an emanation of Vishnu. (Classical Vaishnavism says that Vishnu merely wanted to lead Veda-deniers to hell, and therefore manifested as a teacher who denies self, but modern Vaishnavism, for example Hare Krishnas, see Buddha as Vishnu-the-animal-protector, who "temporarily took Vedic authority away, because people used the amimal sacrifice doctrine of the Vedas as a justification of non-vedic meat-eating".) Similarly, Buddha's cousin Devadatta did not see Shakyamuni as a Buddha, but just as a human, a religious leader. So, a Buddha can appear as a Buddha, as a god, as a human, or whatever, depending on the karmic perception of the looker. I think the same rules of karmic vision should apply both here, and in Brahma-heavens. One sees what one can, and one gets what one sees, so to speak.

There is of course also the teaching that says, that if one is reborn into the Brahma-world through 'normal means', one is not capable to start the Buddhist Path there, but if one 'gets there as a Buddhist', one can finish the training there. This would seem to prove the idea mentioned before.

Some typical methods to 'getting there as a Buddhist practitioner' are of course refuge combined with attainment of dhyana and realization of emptiness (Theravada), refuge combined with absolute faith to the Principal Buddha of the heaven (Pure Land Buddhism), and refuge combined with empowerment and maintaining the vows (Anuttarayogatantra). This is a matter that interests me quite a lot. I mean, the matter that the different Buddhist traditions have some uncanny similarities amidst their strangely different methodologies. There is evidently a common thread, although the appearances might say that the traditions are totally different.

___________

Now, let's see if anyone connects the following self-quote with something else: "Similarly, Buddha's cousin Devadatta did not see Shakyamuni as a Buddha, but just as a human, a religious leader. So, a Buddha can appear as a Buddha, as a god, as a human, or whatever, depending on the karmic perception of the looker. I think the same rules of karmic vision should apply both here, and in Brahma-heavens. One sees what one can, and one gets what one sees, so to speak." ;D

Zhalmed Pawo

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Re: Ngagpa (White Sangha) and Dorje Shugden
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2010, 12:54:37 AM »
You are obviously refering to the DL.

However, I think we had concluded, following A Friend, that, although sublime perceptions might be the crux of Buddha's teachings, they can never be used to justify a conventionnal-level misbehavious, schism, etc. They are 'personal instructions' not public justifications.

Yes, the DL, but also in the other direction: Maybe the DL simply is not capable, due to karmic reasons, to see DS as a Buddha. So when he encourages Buddhists not to take refuge in spirits, he is correct. In this case his problem is merely disregarding the Guru's instructions (Trijang's, that is) and 'engouraging' others by oppressive means.

And as I think of it, it is of course theoretically possible that the DL actually does think that DS is a Buddha, but simply believes in the Yellow Book superstitions, and while having a pure view nevertheless cannot "justify a conventionnal-level misbehaviours, schism, etc". One would of course think that how on earth could he think that a Buddha might kill Lamas, but one has to remember, that he himself, as the Dalai V, has ordered the murder of many many beings, so maybe he does not see a problem in the idea of 'Killer Buddhas'. After all, there is that certain Mahayana Vow, that says something about this, and even Theravada Jatakas say the same thing, concerning Bodhisattvas. In this case, his problem resides in confusion - he himself as a Bodhisattva could kill, and is therefore not to be censured, but a Buddha could not, and can therefore be censured.

(I'm not saying any of this is true, or that I think that this is what the DL thinks, but these are theoretical possibilities, nevetheless.)


Yeshe

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Re: Ngagpa (White Sangha) and Dorje Shugden
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2010, 08:12:08 AM »
You are obviously refering to the DL.

However, I think we had concluded, following A Friend, that, although sublime perceptions might be the crux of Buddha's teachings, they can never be used to justify a conventionnal-level misbehavious, schism, etc. They are 'personal instructions' not public justifications.

Yes, the DL, but also in the other direction: Maybe the DL simply is not capable, due to karmic reasons, to see DS as a Buddha. So when he encourages Buddhists not to take refuge in spirits, he is correct. In this case his problem is merely disregarding the Guru's instructions (Trijang's, that is) and 'engouraging' others by oppressive means.

And as I think of it, it is of course theoretically possible that the DL actually does think that DS is a Buddha, but simply believes in the Yellow Book superstitions, and while having a pure view nevertheless cannot "justify a conventionnal-level misbehaviours, schism, etc". One would of course think that how on earth could he think that a Buddha might kill Lamas, but one has to remember, that he himself, as the Dalai V, has ordered the murder of many many beings, so maybe he does not see a problem in the idea of 'Killer Buddhas'. After all, there is that certain Mahayana Vow, that says something about this, and even Theravada Jatakas say the same thing, concerning Bodhisattvas. In this case, his problem resides in confusion - he himself as a Bodhisattva could kill, and is therefore not to be censured, but a Buddha could not, and can therefore be censured.

(I'm not saying any of this is true, or that I think that this is what the DL thinks, but these are theoretical possibilities, nevetheless.)



Obviously, it is a downfall to claim attainments one does not possess, or to accuse another of spirit possession, but what if that Dalai Lama had been taken over by a spirit, or was actually a spirit all along?  Can the 'self' of that DL be held to account for actions performed whilst 'possessed'?

The 'Hungry Ghost' realm is a convenient shorthand, and has historically been regarded as containing several different types of spirit, some relating specifically to such possessions.

It would not be a stretch too far IMHO to look to regard the sudden dislike of a Buddha, and attacks on that Buddha as a supposed 'demon' or 'ghost', to be the work of a harmful spirit on the mind of the current DL. Of course, those who do not believe in such things could still maybe point to the infleunce of a certain oracle on the DL's mind.

(Source: The 'Gyu-Zhi' or '4 Tantras' text written by Chandranandana and translated from Sanskrit into Tibetan.  Explored in a very readable book called 'The Diamond Healing' by Terry Clifford.)

« Last Edit: April 20, 2010, 09:02:08 AM by Yeshe »
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Ensapa

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Re: Ngagpa (White Sangha) and Dorje Shugden
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2013, 06:29:11 AM »
You are obviously refering to the DL.

However, I think we had concluded, following A Friend, that, although sublime perceptions might be the crux of Buddha's teachings, they can never be used to justify a conventionnal-level misbehavious, schism, etc. They are 'personal instructions' not public justifications.

Yes, the DL, but also in the other direction: Maybe the DL simply is not capable, due to karmic reasons, to see DS as a Buddha. So when he encourages Buddhists not to take refuge in spirits, he is correct. In this case his problem is merely disregarding the Guru's instructions (Trijang's, that is) and 'engouraging' others by oppressive means.

And as I think of it, it is of course theoretically possible that the DL actually does think that DS is a Buddha, but simply believes in the Yellow Book superstitions, and while having a pure view nevertheless cannot "justify a conventionnal-level misbehaviours, schism, etc". One would of course think that how on earth could he think that a Buddha might kill Lamas, but one has to remember, that he himself, as the Dalai V, has ordered the murder of many many beings, so maybe he does not see a problem in the idea of 'Killer Buddhas'. After all, there is that certain Mahayana Vow, that says something about this, and even Theravada Jatakas say the same thing, concerning Bodhisattvas. In this case, his problem resides in confusion - he himself as a Bodhisattva could kill, and is therefore not to be censured, but a Buddha could not, and can therefore be censured.

(I'm not saying any of this is true, or that I think that this is what the DL thinks, but these are theoretical possibilities, nevetheless.)

There are a number of giveaway signs that the Dalai Lama considers Dorje Shugden as an enlightened being, but is lying and making excuses that he is not - one of them is on his website where he talks about how Dorje Shugden has took care of him when he was young, implying that he has a very close relationship with him. The other is about him dreaming about Dorje Shugden. Think about it - The Dalai Lama has never said he saw Nechung or that he dreamt about Nechung before but why does he say that about Dorje Shugden? Obviously those are hidden messages that alludes to Dorje Shugden being enlightened and that the whole thing is just a smokescreen of some kind. If Dorje Shugden was really a spirit, why does the Dalai Lama need to spin so much tales that are not even solid to begin with to prove his point, unless they are all just a smokescreen?