Recognising reincarnations

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Recognising reincarnations

Postby zenman » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:16 am

These two quotes lead me to consider a subject that I've pondered a few times before: the differences in recognitions of lamas reincarnations. I recall this matter has come by a few times before but I can't remember which cases exactly.

I'm not familiar with what emanations and reincarnations mean, have to do some googling on those, unless someone could easily explain it for me.

Anyway, my main question is, based on these two messages below as well as other similar cases, that there are disagreements on recognitions of the reincarnations. My intention is not to argue about this but to analyse why do these disagreements exist?

Thanks for the input all.

Karma Jinpa wrote:... a letter from Namdroling monastery: Kyabjé Drubwang Pema Norbu's reincarnation has been found!!!
All Palyulpas and Nyingmapas in general should rejoice; a great being---an emanation of Vajrasattva and reincarnation of Vimalamitra---has returned to tame beings once more!


Malcolm wrote:
Karma Jinpa wrote:reincarnation of Vimalamitra

He can't be a reincarnation of Vimalamitra since Vimalamitra, according to legend, attained 'pho ba chen po, and still lives at Wutai Shan.
He would be an emanation of Vimalamitra. As the legend has it, Vimalamitra returns to Tibet every one hundred years.
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Removed reference to issue which contravenes the Terms of Service.
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Re: Recognising reincarnations

Postby LastLegend » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:50 am

There is no way of knowing in my opinion. Most of us don't even know who we were in previous life.
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Re: Recognising reincarnations

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:48 pm

...why do these disagreements exist?
Because there is no clear cut procedure.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Recognising reincarnations

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:03 pm

A "reincarnation" means the rebirth of someone who has some portion of the two obscurations remaining. An "emanation" is someone who is in fact an expression of the compassion of a fully awakened Buddha who may manifest as an ordinary person externally, but internally has all the full mature qualities of a Buddha. How do you tell the difference? In Vajrayāna it does not really matter, since you are supposed to regard your guru as an actual buddha in every respect.

zenman wrote:These two quotes lead me to consider a subject that I've pondered a few times before: the differences in recognitions of lamas reincarnations. I recall this matter has come by a few times before but I can't remember which cases exactly.

I'm not familiar with what emanations and reincarnations mean, have to do some googling on those, unless someone could easily explain it for me.

Anyway, my main question is, based on these two messages below as well as other similar cases, that there are disagreements on recognitions of the reincarnations. My intention is not to argue about this but to analyse why do these disagreements exist?

Thanks for the input all.

Karma Jinpa wrote:... a letter from Namdroling monastery: Kyabjé Drubwang Pema Norbu's reincarnation has been found!!!
All Palyulpas and Nyingmapas in general should rejoice; a great being---an emanation of Vajrasattva and reincarnation of Vimalamitra---has returned to tame beings once more!


Malcolm wrote:
Karma Jinpa wrote:reincarnation of Vimalamitra

He can't be a reincarnation of Vimalamitra since Vimalamitra, according to legend, attained 'pho ba chen po, and still lives at Wutai Shan.
He would be an emanation of Vimalamitra. As the legend has it, Vimalamitra returns to Tibet every one hundred years.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Recognising reincarnations

Postby zenman » Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:37 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
...why do these disagreements exist?
Because there is no clear cut procedure.


Procedure meaning a process done by some or many experienced lamas who investigate and either reject or confirm it? I'd think that this is more a matter of perception, intuition and discrimination (as in the ability to discern the quality of subtle vibration) than procedure, if it means something like I explain here. Yes? No?

Malcolm wrote:A "reincarnation" means the rebirth of someone who has some portion of the two obscurations remaining. An "emanation" is someone who is in fact an expression of the compassion of a fully awakened Buddha who may manifest as an ordinary person externally, but internally has all the full mature qualities of a Buddha. How do you tell the difference? In Vajrayāna it does not really matter, since you are supposed to regard your guru as an actual buddha in every respect.


Great! A clear explanation :) What are the two obscurations of the reincarnations?
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Re: Recognising reincarnations

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:38 pm

zenman wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:
...why do these disagreements exist?
Because there is no clear cut procedure.


Procedure meaning a process done by some or many experienced lamas who investigate and either reject or confirm it? I'd think that this is more a matter of perception, intuition and discrimination (as in the ability to discern the quality of subtle vibration) than procedure, if it means something like I explain here. Yes? No?

Malcolm wrote:A "reincarnation" means the rebirth of someone who has some portion of the two obscurations remaining. An "emanation" is someone who is in fact an expression of the compassion of a fully awakened Buddha who may manifest as an ordinary person externally, but internally has all the full mature qualities of a Buddha. How do you tell the difference? In Vajrayāna it does not really matter, since you are supposed to regard your guru as an actual buddha in every respect.


Great! A clear explanation :) What are the two obscurations of the reincarnations?


Klesha obscurations and Knowledge obscurations. Bodhisattvas on the bodhisattvas have these.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Recognising reincarnations

Postby zenman » Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:38 pm

zenman wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:
...why do these disagreements exist?
Because there is no clear cut procedure.


Procedure meaning a process done by some or many experienced lamas who investigate and either reject or confirm it? I'd think that this is more a matter of perception, intuition and discrimination (as in the ability to discern the quality of subtle vibration) than procedure, if it means something like I explain here. Yes? No?


Addition: So if there are two or more differing views expressed by parties concerned, then there is something wrong with the intuited results. This is a question of skill, not of procedure. As clearly as a banana can be recognised as a banana on this gross level, a mindstream can be recognised on a subtle level.

Malcolm wrote:
Klesha obscurations and Knowledge obscurations. Bodhisattvas on the bodhisattvas have these.


Bodhisattvas on the bodhisattvas? A typo?
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Re: Recognising reincarnations

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:43 pm

zenman wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Klesha obscurations and Knowledge obscurations. Bodhisattvas on the bodhisattvas have these.


Bodhisattvas on the bodhisattvas? A typo?


yes, on the bodhisattva bhumis, as opposed to ordinary bodhisattvas.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: Recognising reincarnations

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:43 pm

zenman wrote:Procedure meaning a process done by some or many experienced lamas who investigate and either reject or confirm it? I'd think that this is more a matter of perception, intuition and discrimination (as in the ability to discern the quality of subtle vibration) than procedure, if it means something like I explain here. Yes? No?
Procedure like: This lama is responsible for making the final decision regarding candidates, in the event that this lama is not in the position to make the decision, then the responsibility lies with this lama, etc...

Or: A candidate will be considered valid on the basis of this, this and this criteria, if they do not satisfy the aforementioned criteria then they will not be eligible...

Procedure. You see there is property and wealth involved too, many times, not just a title. Or the future of a lineage may depend on the "right" candidate being found. So, as we all know quite well, whenever money, wealth and power comes into things then politics arise. Since they are bound to arise, if there is a set procedure (which there isn't) then this acts as a check to the politics. Even if there are politics involved, if there is a procedure in place then at least the politics are executed in a relatively smooth and conflict-free fashion.

But there is no set procedure, and intuition is a little difficult to verify objectively. And anyway, just because two (or more) intuited results conflict, doesn't mean that all of them are incorrect.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Recognising reincarnations

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:44 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
zenman wrote:Procedure meaning a process done by some or many experienced lamas who investigate and either reject or confirm it? I'd think that this is more a matter of perception, intuition and discrimination (as in the ability to discern the quality of subtle vibration) than procedure, if it means something like I explain here. Yes? No?
Procedure like: This lama is responsible for making the final decision regarding candidates, in the event that this lama is not in the position to make the decision, then the responsibility lies with this lama, etc...

Or: A candidate will be considered valid on the basis of this, this and this criteria, if they do not satisfy the aforementioned criteria then they will not be eligible...

Procedure. You see there is property and wealth involved too, many times, not just a title. Or the future of a lineage may depend on the "right" candidate being found. So, as we all well know quite well, whenever money, wealth and power comes into things then politics arise. Since they are bound to arise, if there is a set procedure (which there isn't) then this acts as a check to the politics. Even if there are politics involved, if there is a procedure in place then at least the politics are executed in a relatively smooth and conflict-free fashion.

But there is no set procedure, and intuition is a little difficult to verify objectively. And anyway, just because two (or more) intuited results conflict, doesn't mean that all of them are incorrect.


Just admit it Greg, it is all %100 faith based.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: Recognising reincarnations

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:51 pm

Malcolm wrote:Just admit it Greg, it is all %100 faith based.
I wouldn't say 100%. Having talked to a tulku and seen and read some accounts it seems to be more than just faith. Some do display specific/extraordinary qualities. Of course there is nepotism and (like I said) politics involved, which means that there it also has a strategic component, thus we are talking about a deviation from the ideal of faith. That in itself means that it is not 100% faith. There is some cunning in there too. Plus, of course, other more objective factors. Maybe even some virtue.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Recognising reincarnations

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:52 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Just admit it Greg, it is all %100 faith based.
I wouldn't say 100%. Having talked to a tulku and seen and read some accounts it seems to be more than just faith. Some do display specific/extraordinary qualities. Of course there is nepotism and (like I said) politics involved, which means that there it also has a strategic component, thus we are talking about a deviation from the ideal of faith. That in itself means that it is not 100% faith. There is some cunning in there too. Plus, of course, other more objective factors. Maybe even some virtue.


It is %100 percent faith -- there is no objective way of verifying any of it. So just admit it and be happy.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: Recognising reincarnations

Postby heart » Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:58 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Just admit it Greg, it is all %100 faith based.
I wouldn't say 100%. Having talked to a tulku and seen and read some accounts it seems to be more than just faith. Some do display specific/extraordinary qualities. Of course there is nepotism and (like I said) politics involved, which means that there it also has a strategic component, thus we are talking about a deviation from the ideal of faith. That in itself means that it is not 100% faith. There is some cunning in there too. Plus, of course, other more objective factors. Maybe even some virtue.


It is %100 percent faith -- there is no objective way of verifying any of it. So just admit it and be happy.


Well, many tulkus seems to be verified by dreams great masters have. I am not really sure I would call that just faith.

/magnus
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Re: Recognising reincarnations

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:01 pm

heart wrote:
Well, many tulkus seems to be verified by dreams great masters have. I am not really sure I would call that just faith.

/magnus


%100 percent faith. Why? well, if you accept the testimony of such a master it is based on faith, %100.
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Re: Recognising reincarnations

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:05 pm

Malcolm wrote:It is %100 percent faith -- there is no objective way of verifying any of it. So just admit it and be happy.
Objective? That's a strange term coming from you Malcolm! So I guess that a tulku admitting that they had memories of their past life when they were still a child but that over time the memories faded so that now they have little recollection of their previous life is not objective. So what would be an objective source of evidence then?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Recognising reincarnations

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:11 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:It is %100 percent faith -- there is no objective way of verifying any of it. So just admit it and be happy.
Objective? That's a strange term coming from you Malcolm! So I guess that a tulku admitting that they had memories of their past life when they were still a child but that over time the memories faded so that now they have little recollection of their previous life is not objective. So what would be an objective source of evidence then?


I have always made a distinction between falsifiable phenomena and non-falsifiable phenomena. Frankly, even though, from a Buddhist perspective, all children have some memory of past lives due to the activation of clairvoyance from the eighth month of pregnancy onwards, accepting this idea is based on faith, indeed even rebirth is just something you have to have faith in, %100.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: Recognising reincarnations

Postby zenman » Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:15 pm

Malcolm wrote: In Vajrayāna it does not really matter, since you are supposed to regard your guru as an actual buddha in every respect.


Medieval beliefs. Surely there are no buddhas teaching at every dharma center. It is entirely misleading to spread such beliefs. I've seen the fruit of this when it is realised that the guru isn't a buddha after all.

heart wrote:Well, many tulkus seems to be verified by dreams great masters have. I am not really sure I would call that just faith.
/magnus


Not just dreams, many other ways are also used but the main method should be the most direct one which I explained ahead.

Many of us have had incarnations as lamas, teachers, perhaps even as someone regarded as masters. What's the big deal? In which ways is it useful to publicly say that this or that person has been this or that teacher before? Especially if the teacher was not so highly accomplished. And if we are talking about someone who was a high teacher, I think it would be better to keep quiet about it. Just let those who know bring the person up, educate him and not give the people too much to think about, what they cannot verify in meditation themselves.
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Re: Recognising reincarnations

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:16 pm

Malcolm wrote:I have always made a distinction between falsifiable phenomena and non-falsifiable phenomena. Frankly, even though, from a Buddhist perspective, all children have some memory of past lives due to the activation of clairvoyance from the eighth month of pregnancy onwards, accepting this idea is based on faith, indeed even rebirth is just something you have to have faith in, %100.
So you keep telling us.

But I asked: what constitutes objective evidence?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Recognising reincarnations

Postby Norwegian » Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:26 pm

Sherab Dorje,

Even if a tulku says "I had such and such memories", how can you confirm that? How can you know that? You can't (unless you're on the bhumis yourself and you've developed the ability to read others minds, etc.). It's taken on faith, no?

Perhaps one of the best examples of a real legit tulku, was when Dudjom Lingpa emanated his direct incarnation, that of Dudjom Rinpoche. But even if there's this and that consideration with this story, at the end of the day, for me, this is all faith based. That doesn't mean it's "bad" per se. I have faith in both Dudjom Lingpa and Dudjom Rinpoche and I don't see why Dudjom Rinpoche isn't Dudjom Lingpa's direct incarnation. But can you present proof? Evidence? Enough to satisfy the criteria of someone like Richard Dawkins?

I have no way of knowing 100% for sure one way or the other. I just have to accept or reject that Dudjom Rinpoche is the direct incarnation of Dudjom Lingpa.

I recall a story, and I'll have to do it from memory as I can't find it to post here, but I believe it was Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo who recognized a tulku of a teacher of a monastery. A little boy was enthroned and everybody were super thrilled that their teacher had returned. One student however had his doubts, and went up to Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, and asked if the little boy really was the tulku. Mind you, this was Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, one of the greatest masters of Tibet. Who could ever doubt such a master? Well, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo took aside the monk, then pointed outside, at a donkey. Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo told the monk that the donkey was the real rebirth of the teacher. So, basically the boy was enthroned just for arousing faith in the monks. If you had asked the monks if that boy was the rebirth of their teacher, they would naturally say "Of course he is! He was recognized! There's no mistake."
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Re: Recognising reincarnations

Postby zenman » Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:40 pm

Norwegian wrote:Sherab Dorje,

Even if a tulku says "I had such and such memories", how can you confirm that? How can you know that? You can't (unless you're on the bhumis yourself and you've developed the ability to read others minds, etc.). It's taken on faith, no?

Perhaps one of the best examples of a real legit tulku, was when Dudjom Lingpa emanated his direct incarnation, that of Dudjom Rinpoche. But even if there's this and that consideration with this story, at the end of the day, for me, this is all faith based. That doesn't mean it's "bad" per se. I have faith in both Dudjom Lingpa and Dudjom Rinpoche and I don't see why Dudjom Rinpoche isn't Dudjom Lingpa's direct incarnation. But can you present proof? Evidence? Enough to satisfy the criteria of someone like Richard Dawkins?

I have no way of knowing 100% for sure one way or the other. I just have to accept or reject that Dudjom Rinpoche is the direct incarnation of Dudjom Lingpa.

I recall a story, and I'll have to do it from memory as I can't find it to post here, but I believe it was Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo who recognized a tulku of a teacher of a monastery. A little boy was enthroned and everybody were super thrilled that their teacher had returned. One student however had his doubts, and went up to Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, and asked if the little boy really was the tulku. Mind you, this was Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, one of the greatest masters of Tibet. Who could ever doubt such a master? Well, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo took aside the monk, then pointed outside, at a donkey. Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo told the monk that the donkey was the real rebirth of the teacher. So, basically the boy was enthroned just for arousing faith in the monks. If you had asked the monks if that boy was the rebirth of their teacher, they would naturally say "Of course he is! He was recognized! There's no mistake."


:good:
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