claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

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drodul
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claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by drodul » Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:31 am

Nicholas Kristof writes in a recent column that the Fifth Dalai Lama ordered children to be massacred in 1660 ( http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/10/09/op ... ?referrer=" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; .) What, if anything, is he talking about?

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lorem
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by lorem » Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:51 am

prob regarding the forced conversion of the Jonangpa monasteries to Gelukpa. I doubt the Great Fifth gave an order like that.
I should be meditating.

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lorem
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by lorem » Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:55 am

Stay out of politics. The Jonangpa conversion was bad enough. Add on top to that the Karmapa went into exile I believe and he and the Dalai Lama did not see each other for 40 years.

Truly sad times
I should be meditating.

tingdzin
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by tingdzin » Fri Oct 10, 2014 5:56 am

Kristof is no historian, and probably being deliberately provocative, a la Schopen, but I'll do research on the question and get back to you next week. There was a fair amount of internecine wafare in Tibet during he 5th's life, but deiberate killing of children is something I don't recall reading about.

jmlee369
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by jmlee369 » Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:17 am

The source seems to be this: http://books.google.com/books?id=K3SxW1 ... ma&f=false" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

While I am unable to see the citation for that particular quote, it could possibly be from a liturgical text, in which case it may not be as incriminating as people make it out to be.

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lorem
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by lorem » Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:32 am

Ugh. I wonder if Blue Annals/Roerich ever wrote on these topics.

Only thing I might even be able to comment on is the 10th Sharmapa and his death/reincarnation. I do believe there is a worldly protector that is supposed to have come about after his death that was given to the Bon. Not sure how that worked?

If you forget the past you're bound to relive it. The past is the past and not the same stream. Middle Way somewhere.
I should be meditating.

Greg
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by Greg » Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:16 am

jmlee369 wrote:The source seems to be this: http://books.google.com/books?id=K3SxW1 ... ma&f=false" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

While I am unable to see the citation for that particular quote, it could possibly be from a liturgical text, in which case it may not be as incriminating as people make it out to be.
The citation is to this article, which I imagine was Kristof's source as well:

"'Orientalism' and Aspects of Violence in the Tibetan Tradition" by Elliott Sperling, in Imagining Tibet, Thierry Dodin & Heinz Rather (eds.)
http://info-buddhism.com/Orientalism_Vi ... rling.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Sperling is in turn quoting directly from the 5th DL's autobiography.

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Malcolm
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by Malcolm » Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:48 pm

drodul wrote:Nicholas Kristof writes in a recent column that the Fifth Dalai Lama ordered children to be massacred in 1660 ( http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/10/09/op ... ?referrer=" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; .) What, if anything, is he talking about?

It's purely rhetorical.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

Greg
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by Greg » Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:29 pm

Malcolm wrote:
drodul wrote:Nicholas Kristof writes in a recent column that the Fifth Dalai Lama ordered children to be massacred in 1660 ( http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/10/09/op ... ?referrer=" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; .) What, if anything, is he talking about?

It's purely rhetorical.
According to Sperling it is 5DL's report of the instructions that he sent to a military force directing them to attack Tsang. Hard to see how that is purely rhetorical.

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Malcolm
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by Malcolm » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:18 pm

Greg wrote:
According to Sperling it is 5DL's report of the instructions that he sent to a military force directing them to attack Tsang. Hard to see how that is purely rhetorical.
It is not such a letter. It is a letter of petition to Tsi'u dmar po to quell disturbances in Tsang.

It states:

"Pleased to composed a letter of vajra words of the Yakṣa Tsi'u dmar po,the general of the arrogant ones appointed by the great master of Glorious Oddiyāna, the union of all the buddhas, as the protector of the doctrine and the profound treasures in the valleys surrounded by the Himalayas, headed by the temple of Zab Yangs Migyur Lhundrup (Samye)..."

It ends with:

"Please pacify all the negativities of this time such as the illness, wars and famines
of Pur rgyal and Tibet, and increase happiness,
fully increase the doctrine of scripture and realization,
effortlessly accomplish the wishes of me, the Vidyādhara..."


etc.

As I said, these lines are rhetorical.

This kind of scholarship is very irresponsible on Sperling's part.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

Greg
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by Greg » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:42 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Greg wrote:
According to Sperling it is 5DL's report of the instructions that he sent to a military force directing them to attack Tsang. Hard to see how that is purely rhetorical.
It is not such a letter. It is a letter of petition to Tsi'u dmar po to quell disturbances in Tsang.

It states:

"Pleased to composed a letter of vajra words of the Yakṣa Tsi'u dmar po,the general of the arrogant ones appointed by the great master of Glorious Oddiyāna, the union of all the buddhas, as the protector of the doctrine and the profound treasures in the valleys surrounded by the Himalayas, headed by the temple of Zab Yangs Migyur Lhundrup (Samye)..."

It ends with:

"Please pacify all the negativities of this time such as the illness, wars and famines
of Pur rgyal and Tibet, and increase happiness,
fully increase the doctrine of scripture and realization,
effortlessly accomplish the wishes of me, the Vidyādhara..."


etc.

As I said, these lines are rhetorical.

This kind of scholarship is very irresponsible on Sperling's part.
It certainly looks less bad if it is in fact a supplication to a dharmapāla and not an actual directive to smash babies off of rocks. And that is certainly extremely sneaky and misleading of Sperling to phrase things the way he did. But the fact that he actually did orchestrate a military campaign is probably enough for Kristof's point to stand.

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Malcolm
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by Malcolm » Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:01 pm

Greg wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Greg wrote:
According to Sperling it is 5DL's report of the instructions that he sent to a military force directing them to attack Tsang. Hard to see how that is purely rhetorical.
It is not such a letter. It is a letter of petition to Tsi'u dmar po to quell disturbances in Tsang.

It states:

"Pleased to composed a letter of vajra words of the Yakṣa Tsi'u dmar po,the general of the arrogant ones appointed by the great master of Glorious Oddiyāna, the union of all the buddhas, as the protector of the doctrine and the profound treasures in the valleys surrounded by the Himalayas, headed by the temple of Zab Yangs Migyur Lhundrup (Samye)..."

It ends with:

"Please pacify all the negativities of this time such as the illness, wars and famines
of Pur rgyal and Tibet, and increase happiness,
fully increase the doctrine of scripture and realization,
effortlessly accomplish the wishes of me, the Vidyādhara..."


etc.

As I said, these lines are rhetorical.

This kind of scholarship is very irresponsible on Sperling's part.
It certainly looks less bad if it is in fact a supplication to a dharmapāla and not an actual directive to smash babies off of rocks. And that is certainly extremely sneaky and misleading of Sperling to phrase things the way he did. But the fact that he actually did orchestrate a military campaign is probably enough for Kristof's point to stand.
By 1660 (the date of the above cited letter), the Fifth was firmly in control of Tibet.

Sperling conflates two distinct epochs in the Fifth's life, disturbances in Tsang that also tally with disturbances caused by Dogyal, and the events of Tsang war in 1640.

Moreover, Sperling does not state to whom he sent these instructions, but it is clear when the letter is read in full it was sent to Tsi'u dmar. Now of course it is too late, because this misinformation now shows up on many web sites.

In 1640, he was only 23 and fully controlled by the regent, Sonam Chophel, who waged war against the King of Tsang in the Fifth's name.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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kirtu
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by kirtu » Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:43 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sperling conflates two distinct epochs in the Fifth's life, disturbances in Tsang that also tally with disturbances caused by Dogyal, and the events of Tsang war in 1640.

Moreover, Sperling does not state to whom he sent these instructions, but it is clear when the letter is read in full it was sent to Tsi'u dmar. Now of course it is too late, because this misinformation now shows up on many web sites.
But since your fingers are not broken you can inform Kristof and Sperling (and in the later case in an academic forum) of the errant reading.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by DGA » Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:49 pm

We're talking about an article in a book from 1996, right?

1996?

Surely this has been corrected in the scholarship already.

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Malcolm
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by Malcolm » Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:57 pm

Jikan wrote:We're talking about an article in a book from 1996, right?

1996?

Surely this has been corrected in the scholarship already.

Nope.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Malcolm
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by Malcolm » Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:57 pm

kirtu wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Sperling conflates two distinct epochs in the Fifth's life, disturbances in Tsang that also tally with disturbances caused by Dogyal, and the events of Tsang war in 1640.

Moreover, Sperling does not state to whom he sent these instructions, but it is clear when the letter is read in full it was sent to Tsi'u dmar. Now of course it is too late, because this misinformation now shows up on many web sites.
But since your fingers are not broken you can inform Kristof and Sperling (and in the later case in an academic forum) of the errant reading.

Kirt

Not my job.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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kirtu
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by kirtu » Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:25 pm

Malcolm wrote:
kirtu wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Sperling conflates two distinct epochs in the Fifth's life, disturbances in Tsang that also tally with disturbances caused by Dogyal, and the events of Tsang war in 1640.

Moreover, Sperling does not state to whom he sent these instructions, but it is clear when the letter is read in full it was sent to Tsi'u dmar. Now of course it is too late, because this misinformation now shows up on many web sites.
But since your fingers are not broken you can inform Kristof and Sperling (and in the later case in an academic forum) of the errant reading.

Kirt

Not my job.
Yes it is. If the academics get something egregiously wrong it is in fact the job of translators and Dharma teachers to correct the issue. You could publish a paper in something like the Journal of Buddhist Ethics along with a few other translators/Western Dharma teachers. Or you could write an article concerning the misinterpretation and publish it in a magazine like Tricycle. But this kind of misinterpretation needs to be addressed.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

DGA
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by DGA » Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:21 am

Malcolm wrote:
Jikan wrote:We're talking about an article in a book from 1996, right?

1996?

Surely this has been corrected in the scholarship already.

Nope.
If so, then Buddhist Studies is an anemic discipline indeed.

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lorem
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by lorem » Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:24 am

When you wield a phurba plunge it into your own heart. When you pray to a protector you want them to be your true friend. Atisha said a true friend is someone who will point out your faults so you can grow. That's all I know.

Don't pick up what's not yours. But then you have vows, etc.

I'll send him a nice letter but I am not qualified to point out the mistake.
I should be meditating.

DGA
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Re: claim about Fifth Dalai Lama

Post by DGA » Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:31 am

This may be where two different standards for politeness and courtesy collide. It's very appropriate to point out a peer's mistake, in public, in academia. This is considered part of how ideas are refined. But when is it right to point out a peer's mistakes publicly for Buddhists?

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