Author Topic: Tulku System  (Read 19133 times)

DSFriend

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Tulku System
« on: October 31, 2010, 05:14:03 AM »
Tulku system has been in existence, supported and relied upon for hundreds of years. However, many nowadays question the validity/credibility of tulkus. Why so? Could it be due to our own strong delusion manifesting in doubts? Could people "misuse" tulkus for their own selfish gains thus, warranting for the abolishing of this system?

I for one believe strongly in tulkus, be it recognised or not they have been in existence since the days of Buddha Shakyamuni. It is these tulkus who embodies the teachings and so patiently and skillfully teach and show us how to practice the holy, unmistakable dharma.


Helena

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Re: Tulku System
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2010, 05:56:59 PM »
I believe in the tulku system and find them to be inspiring.

The fact that these highly attained beings can control their death and re-birth is most liberating.

Their existence and continuous return prove that reincarnation exists.

What's more, it proves that if we all can do our practice well and keep our vows and samayas well, we too can achieve the very same attainments.

I like the idea that with each succeeding lifetime, we can carry forward everything that we have learnt and our skills and knowledge will not be lost or wasted.

Above all, I really value the fact that I can meet my Guru again and again - life after life and continue where we have left off in each lifetime until I really become Enlightened.

Helena

lightning

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Re: Tulku System
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2010, 05:03:35 PM »
Same here I would rather meet my Guru in a form of qualified spiritual guide life after life till i reach enlightenment. As long as He/ She has the complete lineage teachings, I will seek out for HIm/Her.

beggar

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Re: Tulku System
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2010, 09:11:06 AM »
I can understand why people may have doubts in the system. The modern day mind is very skeptical, and want scientific proof for everything that they are presented. In a way, perhaps, it is good that people want to check things out and not accept things on blind faith. (There is a fine line between wanting to check things out and question for the purposes of learning, and wanting to question just for the sake of being argumentative, which can become very disrespectful)

This is also why the tulku system isn't something that is arbitrarily decided on but also follows a very systematic way of checking. Normally, a tulku is not identified just by one random person but undergoes a series of very stringent "tests", and his status is questioned, checked and ascertained by divination done only by the highest masters.

I think the surest sign of the fact that tulkus exist is by the actions of each lifetime itself. They don't need to be identified and recognised to continue doing great things in "this" life. Often, their actions eventually begin to match everything they were known to have accomplished in their previous lives and they continue to benefit others in everything that they do. Many tulkus, in fact, are so humble as to not even talk about the fact that they are tulkus. Often, they will deny remembering anything of their previous lives. Instead, they concentrate on the present life, they will often tell you that it is more important to focus on what they are doing right now. And sure enough, what they are doing right now mirrors (or exceeds) what they were doing in previous lives. To me this signals that, whether tulku or not, these are very great beings indeed.

WisdomBeing

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Re: Tulku System
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2010, 01:56:16 AM »
The tulku system has been established for centuries and still continues today to expedite the works of reincarnated High Masters. As far as I know, only one school does not recognise the tulku system, which is the NKT. Just because they don't recognise the tulku system doesn't mean the tulku system does not exist and is not authentic. So many High Lamas today are recognised tulkus and many young tulkus are recognised in monasteries today. If we do not think tulkus are real, then we are saying that HH Trijang Rinpoche, HH Pabongka Rinpoche, HH Zong Rinpoche and many more are not real tulkus?

Tulkus make perfect sense for the reasons outlined earlier - that their recognitions are made by several respected authorities and that they do manifest the qualities of their previous lives' attainments etc.


Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

thor

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Re: Tulku System
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2010, 10:24:55 PM »
I think the surest sign of the fact that tulkus exist is by the actions of each lifetime itself. They don't need to be identified and recognised to continue doing great things in "this" life. Often, their actions eventually begin to match everything they were known to have accomplished in their previous lives and they continue to benefit others in everything that they do. Many tulkus, in fact, are so humble as to not even talk about the fact that they are tulkus. Often, they will deny remembering anything of their previous lives. Instead, they concentrate on the present life, they will often tell you that it is more important to focus on what they are doing right now. And sure enough, what they are doing right now mirrors (or exceeds) what they were doing in previous lives. To me this signals that, whether tulku or not, these are very great beings indeed.

That is the most important truth in my mind. Apart from all the dough ball divinations, tests with personal items from past lives and official recognitions, I believe the reason the tulku system has stood the test of time is because people are able to witness for themselves how many tulkus continue the works of their previous lives. The most highly attained tulkus do not need a recognition or title for their great deeds to continue, they naturally continue doing what they came here to do, which is to benefit others and to plant seeds of dharma in our minds. The incarnation of Changka Rolpai Dorje is a case in point.

Of course there are also lower level tulkus whose behaviours may be aberrations due to circumstances of time and place, but the larger proportion of beneficial tulkus proves there is merit in the tulku system. After all the system has withstood the test of time for hundreds of years in Tibet. Only now, when Tibetan Buddhism is exported over here in the West does it go under scrutiny again.

dsiluvu

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Re: Tulku System
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2010, 05:57:05 PM »
With so many skeptical mind sets,

I think it is a great blessing that we can still witness the Tulku system, and this also gives people a chance to believe in reincarnation and the power of the mind.

The Tulku system reinforces our understanding, the authenticity of teachings being passed down in an unbroken lineage and most importantly it is a proof that the mind continues.

Yes I too support the Tulku system.

Helena

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Re: Tulku System
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2010, 09:43:14 AM »
It gives a lot of hope that we are not going to be left behind and that we can all be saved from this samsaric cycle.

I think it is a living testament that attainments are real and can be accumulated or deepened with each lifetime.

Just one Tulku's existence and life-story are enough to conduct a wealth of teachings to any Dharma practitioner.

And much thanks to the website for bringing us the first ever English translated bio of HH Trijang Rinpoche.

Trijang Rinpoche's life story teaches us so much - be it about how a Guru or lama should be taken care of, how much challenges are faced by each Lama and yet they can endure through it all.

Most of all, I find it incredibly inspiring that one Lama can sustain and propagate an entire lineage.

The destruction of a place or country is not important. The most important factor here is the Lama.

Hence, all we need is a few good Tulkus, Gurus and Lamas - and the whole world can literally be saved.

Helena

kurava

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Re: Tulku System
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2010, 12:17:05 AM »
The tulku system has been established for centuries and still continues today to expedite the works of reincarnated High Masters. As far as I know, only one school does not recognise the tulku system, which is the NKT. Just because they don't recognise the tulku system doesn't mean the tulku system does not exist and is not authentic.




Dear WB,

Since breaking away from Tibetan Buddhism under TGIE, effectively NKT is operating without lineage and tradition. Without this support system , and lacking high masters within their organisation to carry on this tulku system, there is always the risk of abuse. Perhaps Geshe Kelsang recognised this danger and did not encourage this tradition within NKT not because he did not believe in it.
 

Helena

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Re: Tulku System
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2010, 10:24:35 PM »
Dear WB,

Since breaking away from Tibetan Buddhism under TGIE, effectively NKT is operating without lineage and tradition. Without this support system , and lacking high masters within their organisation to carry on this tulku system, there is always the risk of abuse. Perhaps Geshe Kelsang recognised this danger and did not encourage this tradition within NKT not because he did not believe in it.
 


That sounds like a possibility. Having said that, it is only something NKT students can verify and clarify.

There is always risk of abuse in every system - not just religion. But just because there is risk does not mean we have to stop. The benefits far out-weigh the risks. That would be more of what I am concerned about - how will it benefit people and how many people can we help.

I am sure Geshe Kelsang Gyatso knows what is best for his students as HE KNOWS THEIR MINDS. Hence, the Guru will design and craft what is best suited for his students.

Other Gurus will set different systems and may do things differently, there is no wrong or right. Just different methods for different folks. At least, every one of us is getting help and is benefiting.
Helena

DSFriend

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Re: Tulku System
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2011, 02:48:49 PM »

Dear WB,

Since breaking away from Tibetan Buddhism under TGIE, effectively NKT is operating without lineage and tradition. Without this support system , and lacking high masters within their organisation to carry on this tulku system, there is always the risk of abuse. Perhaps Geshe Kelsang recognised this danger and did not encourage this tradition within NKT not because he did not believe in it.
 

I do respect what NKT is doing, how this organisation has spread the buddha dharma throughout the world. I am aware of how NKT broke off from main stream Gelug lineage...but i do not fully understand how this works. Doesn't all the blessings come from the lineage masters who passes on the teachings,...thus, the believe in each and every master and their incarnations?

jessicajameson

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Re: Tulku System
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2011, 10:54:56 PM »
I just watched a documentary on tele yesterday about tulkus in Bhutan - how odd that I happen to stumble on this forum thread today!

It was really eye-opening to watch the documentary. I. for one. believe in the existence of tulkus. However, watching the documentary I could see why people are losing faith.  According to the documentary, the government in Bhutan have officially taken over the recognition of tulkus. People have placed MORE trust in a political body than in a religious one. Really degenerate times...

In many Bhutanese families, if their child were to display certain special qualities, their parents would immediately push their very hardest to make them be recognized as a tulku in the monasteries. Why? Because of the assets and status that they will attain if their son does get recognized as one.

Since the habit is such, many Bhutanese have inter-family disputes, "my son is the real reincarnation of xxx tulku"..."no, my son is the real incarnation, yours is a fake".

The general public don't have faith in whoever is sitting on the throne unless it's government approved...!! How terrible is that!!

The media doesn't help either. How they presented the documentary didn't present it in the way that made the tulku system or the existence of tulkus sound genuine at all.

vajrastorm

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Re: Tulku System
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2011, 10:01:03 AM »

Despite the fact that the Tulku System is getting to be more and more 'political', it still is a system that many Dharma practitioners especially Mahayana and Vajrayana practitioners will continue to believe in.

For one thing, we believe that Bodhisattvas have made vows to return again and again until all beings attain Liberation and Enlightenment .It is by returning as incarnate Lamas that they can best teach the Dharma and guide beings on the Path to Liberation and Enlightenment. Hence they will reincarnate again and again. For them to be authenticated as incarnations of these Holy Beings, the Tulku System needs to be continued.

The recent enthronement of the third incarnation of Domo Geshe Rinpoche is a fine example of why this system has to stay. This third incarnation was recognized and confirmed by Dharmapala Dorje Shugden, after a painstaking process of extensive prayers and rituals to Dorje Shugden and divination by the oracle of Dharmapala Dorje Shugden,  all of which was conducted by Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche.  This young incarnation and his Ladrang are now in Shar Gaden. He will be trained and educated under the watchful eye of his mentor, Kyabje Trijang Choktrul. In time, the spiritual world will see this incarnation assume the greatness of the first most illustrious attained and compassionate Dharma master Domo Geshe Rinpoche. Thus does a Bodhisattva return again and again to spread the Dharma and benefit all beings.

DSFriend

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Re: Tulku System
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2011, 06:43:31 PM »


In many Bhutanese families, if their child were to display certain special qualities, their parents would immediately push their very hardest to make them be recognized as a tulku in the monasteries. Why? Because of the assets and status that they will attain if their son does get recognized as one.

Since the habit is such, many Bhutanese have inter-family disputes, "my son is the real reincarnation of xxx tulku"..."no, my son is the real incarnation, yours is a fake".

The general public don't have faith in whoever is sitting on the throne unless it's government approved...!! How terrible is that!!


Politics and religion has been fused together in Bhutan for a very long time now. I suppose it's only natural that after so long, that the people see the government as the ultimate spiritual authority as well.

Which is best? A nation without a mass consciousness in Buddhism or a nation ruled by Buddhist authorities.
Can a nation be ruled by the Dharma completely? I doubt. On the fact that even during Buddha's time, not all of those who heard the Dharma became Buddhist.

Big Uncle

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Re: Tulku System
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2011, 04:00:03 PM »
Dear DSFriend,

I think I prefer a nation ruled by Buddhist authorities because open Buddhist practice would be encouraged like temples and the Sangha. In nations where Buddhism is not common, it is very hard to practice and temples are few and far in between. Even being a monk or a nun in such a country would be so hard and people would just see you in a strange way or would even find it difficult to accept.

Back to the Tulku system... Tulku is a Tibetan term that literally means 'Emanation Body', which is one of the 3 bodies of a fully enlightened Buddha. This is mentioned in the Buddhist scriptures but the Tibetans brought it one step further by institutionalizing the recognition of such beings. However, not all Tulkus are highly evolved spiritually. These are the Tulkus who spend a few lifetimes in practice and their behaviour can sometimes be wayward if not taught and guided early on. Hence, the monastery search for Tulkus as soon as they are born so they can be trained up. On the other hand, Tulkus that are highly evolved do not need to be trained, they will find their own way to benefit others.

The first official Tulku is Karmapa Lama and he apparently started this institution by prophesying his future incarnations. However, not all Tulku leave behind such traces. The most famous Tulku today of course is the Dalai Lama.