claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

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ngodrup
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by ngodrup » Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:00 pm

This is a very important point from HHDL.
Really, Vajrayana is supposed to be practiced by
people of the highest capacity. The should be able
to take the essence and at the same time avoid faults
while maintaining pure perception. That's a tall order,
but not impossible. But the risk is, if you don't have
subtle reasoning, then you justify your delusion. Non-dual
wisdom mind doesn't have much chance of arising in the
presence of dualistic thinking.

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lorem
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by lorem » Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:13 pm

Yes that's why cannot really judge Marpa or Ra Lotsawa, etc. May have been expedient means to act. Higher level bodhisattvas and then ordinary me--cannot talk for you.

Hopefully not poison. But again that is why one would pray to a protector, for example Dorje Lekpa, in metaphorically graphic terms. Strike me with a thunderbolt (not literally kill) but teach me. Rip out my heart, etc.

EDIT These things are out in the open in the West. People can read a newspaper or the Internet if they choose.
I should be meditating.

ngodrup
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by ngodrup » Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:49 pm

The press and internet are not well known for nuanced presentation.

Protectors, done appropriately, are very important for those of us that
live in the west. I imagine in those parts of Asia that are very impacted
by the modern world, too. Distraction, ego, etc. We need all the help we
can get to be genuine, sincere, present, authentic, kind... oh just the
seven noble human qualities...
"may the penetrate the minds of all sentient beings a so bring peace and
happiness to the world. Grant your blessing so that all our wishes be
spontaneously accomplished."

Mahakala, Palden Lhamo, Lord Gesar, and all the rest-- please help us.

Arjan Dirkse
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by Arjan Dirkse » Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:54 pm

Is the history of Buddhism free of violence, murder, greed, fraud, manipulation, falsehood, corruption, manipulators, egomaniacs, and tyrants? Probably not. Just as there were some (or many) popes who were guilty of the worst of crimes, I think the same is probably true for Dalai Lamas and Karmapas and all similar lineages. Were any children killed in war? Yes. It happens in every war, and it is a tragedy. War is always a tragedy.

All we can change is where we go from here. The past is for historians to sort out.

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lorem
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by lorem » Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:59 pm

Agree.
I should be meditating.

Arjan Dirkse
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by Arjan Dirkse » Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:33 pm

Reading it back, my previous post seems a bit too negative about Buddhism maybe - that wasn't my intention. I guess my main point is just to remember Buddhism is practised by human beings and human beings are fallible.

I am sure Buddhism can be a hugely positive influence, but when some part of it, or its history, is criticized I think it is good to do an honest examination for the truth and not get overly defensive.

hop.pala
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by hop.pala » Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:16 pm

Reading it back, my previous post seems a bit too negative about Buddhism maybe - that wasn't my intention. I guess my main point is just to remember Buddhism is practised by human beings and human beings are fallible.
That is,no living god resident on the earth.

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Grigoris
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by Grigoris » Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:09 pm

hop.pala wrote:
Reading it back, my previous post seems a bit too negative about Buddhism maybe - that wasn't my intention. I guess my main point is just to remember Buddhism is practised by human beings and human beings are fallible.
That is,no living god resident on the earth.
God?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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lorem
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by lorem » Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:45 am

hop.pala wrote:That is,no living god resident on the earth.
no creator on earth yes.

some travelers heard that their lama was near and wanted to offer prostrations. they approached the tent where this lama was and outside were three lamas talking. they asked is lama so-and-so here and the three lamas replied: no, no, no "lama" here. dejected they started to leave but fortunately the lama inside the tent had heard them and came outside to greet them.

do with it what "you" will.
I should be meditating.

muni
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by muni » Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:46 am

lorem wrote:
hop.pala wrote:That is,no living god resident on the earth.
no creator on earth yes.

some travelers heard that their lama was near and wanted to offer prostrations. they approached the tent where this lama was and outside were three lamas talking. they asked is lama so-and-so here and the three lamas replied: no, no, no "lama" here. dejected they started to leave but fortunately the lama inside the tent had heard them and came outside to greet them.

do with it what "you" will.


I like what you say and this little story. I cannot express what it seems to express. I think that words like divine, devotion are expressing the existence-non-existence.
It doesn’t matter to say god or lama, there is just nature expressing.
“ Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek. ”
H H Dalai Lama

"Relax." nirvana-samsara do not stray from spaciousness.

MartinAMills
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by MartinAMills » Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:55 am

As it turned out, someone did indeed write to Elliot Sperling on this issue (a Wikipedia contributor by the handle of MacPraughan, I believe), and further checked with the likes of Samten Karmay and Sean Jones on the status of the Fifth Dalai Lama's letter. Sperling noted his mistake in a footnote of the electronic version of his original article, which can be found here:

https://info-buddhism.com/Orientalism_V ... rling.html

Sperling writes:

"Note by Elliot Sperling, Feb. 4, 2016: “Rather than indicating military action, as the original article mistakenly implied, the missive from the 5th Dalai Lama was addressed to a protector deity and sought the punishments that are mentioned therein via divine means. I’m grateful to Samten Karmay for pointing this out and to Sean Jones for spurring further inquiry. ES”

Simon E.
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by Simon E. » Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:31 pm

I'm not sure that seeking punishments by divine means..whatever that means.. is much better.
If you use the word 'mind' without defining your terms I will ask you politely for a definition. :smile:
This is not to be awkward. But it's really not self-explanatory.

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Adamantine
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by Adamantine » Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:29 pm

Yeah the correction doesn’t indicate what Malcom’s point
was: that in the context of a communication with a dharmapala
the specifics were more rhetorical than literal.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha

MartinAMills
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by MartinAMills » Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:43 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:31 pm
I'm not sure that seeking punishments by divine means..whatever that means.. is much better.
I would say it's VERY different. For example, there is a lower tantra rite which involves visualising one's tutelary deity cutting one's own body up into pieces and feeding it to demons. Read literally, it looks like a suicide note; but the (explicitly stated) purpose of the rite is to reduce selfishness, particularly in the presence of your enemies, towards whom it is meant to generate generosity. So, the content of the invocation works at an ideal, intentional level, not one of physical reality.

Looking at the case at hand, the Tibetan government of the Fifth Dalai Lama certainly had Mongol military allies, and did indeed send an expeditionary force against the rebellious regent Depa Norbu, but most of what the Dalai Lama's government did was perform a huge number of wrathful rituals against Norbu and his forces who were holed up in a place called Samdruptse Castle. Contrary to the language of the letter to the deity, the Fifth Dalai Lama and his government instructed the Mongol commanders to negotiate with the ex-regent, and offer him lands in the north in exchange for giving up his rebellion. When the Mongol forces arrived at Samdruptse to negotiate terms, a terrible thunderstorm caused the negotiating tent to almost blow away, which caused Depa Norbu and his men to conclude that the gods were against their rebellion. They quit the castle and fled north and ultimately to Bhutan, which was taken by Dalai Lama's government as a sign of the success of the divine intervention that they had asked for. As far as historians can tell, the entire rebellion was put down without actual bloodshed, and certainly without actual genocide.

The letter's focus seems therefore to have been on the ideal level, just as Buddhist healing rites like those to Tara are designed to work at the level of the karmic forces BEHIND an illness, rather than the illness itself - they're not antibiotics. Same as at the political level: there seems never to have been any intention to actually carry out those acts (smashing children's heads, etc.) at the actual physical level, but to have cut the divine forces that gave the ex-regent his sovereign power.

Simon E.
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by Simon E. » Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:41 pm

If you say so. :shrug:
If you use the word 'mind' without defining your terms I will ask you politely for a definition. :smile:
This is not to be awkward. But it's really not self-explanatory.

MartinAMills
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by MartinAMills » Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:00 pm

Hmmm...just saying it ain't a simple calculation. ;-)

passel
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by passel » Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:27 am

I think the op-ed got the quote from this book- it's in there, but I don't have access to its right now for a better citation. I was pretty surprised when I read it, but I've gotten so used to being disappointed by buddhists that I too k it as accurate when I read it; in the book it's also presented as an admonition to actual violence against human beings, though it's just mentioned in passing, as a way to say that Buddhists have not always been peaceful:

https://www.amazon.com/Buddhism-Islam-S ... 0812222598
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

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