Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

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Malcolm
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Malcolm » Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:16 pm

buddhagirl wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
buddhagirl wrote:
Hey Norwegian, i don't "completely misunderstand"!!! Please at least follow the genesis of this sub-topic so that you understand - Malcolm has, quite rightly, mentioned patriarchy a number of times in this thread, while i made a passing reference to feminism and was told i was off topic. And please stop telling me what to do! No wonder there aren't many women around here! Phew!
I think you misunderstood my point. I was suggesting that a wide ranging discussion of patriarchy was beyond the scope of this thread. I was not suggesting that a focused discussion of how patriarchal tendencies in our global culture are relevant to the Sogyal debacle is off topic.
Yep. OK. For the record, what i wrote re DKR "...and has put down feminists in earlier talks/writings." OK, end of story.
Yup, he sure has.
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Malcolm » Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:16 pm

buddhagirl wrote:
Punya wrote:
buddhagirl wrote: Thanks i'll look at it tonight/ over the weekend. Though if it's just more preaching, shoving his peculiar, partly medieval world view down our throats, I shan't be impressed.
Entirely up to you. :smile: You said you were searching for information. If you start a new thread we can discuss "the peculiar, partly medieval world view" thingy too.
This is off topic, i know. The funny thing is that, while everyone's telling me to start a new thread, I was already entertaining an idea today for a General Dharma subject, 'Dharma Parenting, it's not as easy as you think'. Having recently stumbled across the Instagram posts of the son of a certain lama, today he's posted some rather surprising pics. Think wads of money, a splif (i believe that's the stoner terminology). Ok, i just felt like sharing that -- sometimes the apple does fall quite far from the tree, it seems.
Link?
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Nemo » Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:10 pm

buddhagirl wrote:
Punya wrote:
buddhagirl wrote: Thanks i'll look at it tonight/ over the weekend. Though if it's just more preaching, shoving his peculiar, partly medieval world view down our throats, I shan't be impressed.
Entirely up to you. :smile: You said you were searching for information. If you start a new thread we can discuss "the peculiar, partly medieval world view" thingy too.
This is off topic, i know. The funny thing is that, while everyone's telling me to start a new thread, I was already entertaining an idea today for a General Dharma subject, 'Dharma Parenting, it's not as easy as you think'. Having recently stumbled across the Instagram posts of the son of a certain lama, today he's posted some rather surprising pics. Think wads of money, a splif (i believe that's the stoner terminology). Ok, i just felt like sharing that -- sometimes the apple does fall quite far from the tree, it seems.
Hypocrisy is what really killed Tibet.

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by tiagolps » Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:37 pm

Malcolm wrote:Oh, and BTW, bringing up Naropa and Tilopa, etc. is bullshit. Please stop doing it. The twelves trials are just stories, didactic stories to show what a huge egotist Naropa was. They doubtless have some basis, but they are exaggerated way beyond anything anyone can reasonably accept as anything other than Indian/Tibetan dramatic hyperbole.
BTW, aside from his relationship with Naropa, how do you feel about Tilopa's famous stories about him eating live fish and frogs and his ability to liberate the consciousness of each animal?
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Malcolm » Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:57 pm

tiagolps wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Oh, and BTW, bringing up Naropa and Tilopa, etc. is bullshit. Please stop doing it. The twelves trials are just stories, didactic stories to show what a huge egotist Naropa was. They doubtless have some basis, but they are exaggerated way beyond anything anyone can reasonably accept as anything other than Indian/Tibetan dramatic hyperbole.
BTW, aside from his relationship with Naropa, how do you feel about Tilopa's famous stories about him eating live fish and frogs and his ability to liberate the consciousness of each animal?
This is a common trope about Mahāsiddhas. Is it literal or a didactic story? Don't know, I wasn't there. But I think it can be better understood as a symbol.
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Nemo » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:11 pm

A.pair of very nice rebuttals of DJKR's statement. I thought his staement was lame and avoided being honest and direct. It badly needed edititng.

https://buddhism-controversy-blog.com/2 ... ork-times/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/americanbu ... poche.html

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by tiagolps » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:49 pm

I don't think DJKR's text was as bad as this makes it out to seem:
There was a moment, after reading this, when I had the feeling that I could no longer continue as a Buddhist. I felt physically ill.
I mean, was her faith in the dharma really only dependent on one Rinpoche's words?
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Grigoris » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:07 pm

tiagolps wrote:
I don't think DJKR's text was as bad as this makes it out to seem:
There was a moment, after reading this, when I had the feeling that I could no longer continue as a Buddhist. I felt physically ill.
I mean, was her faith in the dharma really only dependent on one Rinpoche's words?
On the misunderstanding of one Rinpoche's words? :shrug:
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Grigoris » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:12 pm

And once people start losing their outrage and being distracted in this way, then momentum is lost. Students slogging through all 10,000 words of this article become side-tracked and lose their shock. They forget that this is about fellow students being harmed—and about students who would defend them being silenced. Their clear ideas of right and wrong are diminished. I cannot help but wonder if this isn’t an intentional strategy—why else did he request that students read the entire article? Why did he refuse to have it edited? I cannot help but wonder if this is not the first step towards business as usual at Rigpa centers.
Of course it is an intentional strategy. An intentional strategy of Vajrayana.

And yes, it should be business as usual at Rigpa (albeit with the absence of Sogyal Rinpoche) given it is a large well organised organisation that has spread Dharma via solid teachers across the West. Why shouldn't it be business as usual for Rigpa. Something happened, they should deal with it and move on without making the same mistake again. I think that is what Buddhism teaches, after all?
"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."
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Grigoris » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:20 pm

Nemo wrote:A.pair of very nice rebuttals of DJKR's statement. I thought his staement was lame and avoided being honest and direct. It badly needed edititng.

https://buddhism-controversy-blog.com/2 ... ork-times/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/americanbu ... poche.html
The second one is completely unreadable...
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
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"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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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Malcolm » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:35 pm

Vajrayāna fundamentalism is a real problem when people are being physically, sexually, and emotionally abused by their teachers. Fortunately, Migyur Rinpoche and HH Dalai Lama have shown that not everyone in the Tibetan Buddhist stratosphere is more concerned with maintaining appearances than student welfare.
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by tiagolps » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:49 pm

Grigoris wrote:
tiagolps wrote:
I don't think DJKR's text was as bad as this makes it out to seem:
There was a moment, after reading this, when I had the feeling that I could no longer continue as a Buddhist. I felt physically ill.
I mean, was her faith in the dharma really only dependent on one Rinpoche's words?
On the misunderstanding of one Rinpoche's words? :shrug:
Exactly, the way he wrote that text is no different than the way he writes everywhere else. He even speaks like that, all one has to do is hear one of his free online dharma talks, so it's not like he made the text confusing or long on purpose.

And the funny thing is, he warned that "readers of the New Yorks Times" would "pick and choose the bits and pieces that fit in with their own preconceived ideas". And thats exacly what she did in that one.
Last edited by tiagolps on Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Minobu » Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:02 pm

The whole thing is a learning experience
if you want some teacher to guide you through the steps necessary to enlightenment and that way involves S & M abuse...have fun.

the fear put out about breaking samaya to have some maniac abuse you in the name of religion in the modern age is absurd and reckless beyond contemptible.

People are desperately trying to justify this whole thing and thats the real learning experience.

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by MiphamFan » Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:02 pm

Malcolm wrote:Vajrayāna fundamentalism is a real problem when people are being physically, sexually, and emotionally abused by their teachers. Fortunately, Migyur Rinpoche and HH Dalai Lama have shown that not everyone in the Tibetan Buddhist stratosphere is more concerned with maintaining appearances than student welfare.
If they want to maintain appearances they should follow the example of Shakyamuni Buddha, who created a lot of the vinaya rules such as bannng eating of elephant, human etc meat due to how it would appear to outsiders.

Non-Buddhists who read about Lakar or DJK's reply will just say Buddhists are a bunch of crooks who cover their asses with a lot of fancy rhetoric about compassion etc.

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by dzogchungpa » Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:35 pm

MiphamFan wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Vajrayāna fundamentalism is a real problem when people are being physically, sexually, and emotionally abused by their teachers. Fortunately, Migyur Rinpoche and HH Dalai Lama have shown that not everyone in the Tibetan Buddhist stratosphere is more concerned with maintaining appearances than student welfare.
If they want to maintain appearances they should follow the example of Shakyamuni Buddha, who created a lot of the vinaya rules such as bannng eating of elephant, human etc meat due to how it would appear to outsiders.

Non-Buddhists who read about Lakar or DJK's reply will just say Buddhists are a bunch of crooks who cover their asses with a lot of fancy rhetoric about compassion etc.
Honestly, I don't think DJKR is particularly concerned with maintaining appearances. Either that, or he is just really bad at it.

Anyway, this raises an interesting point. Should the "rules" of Vajrayana be modified or expanded or at least clarified? If so, how?
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Malcolm » Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:51 pm

tiagolps wrote:
Grigoris wrote:
tiagolps wrote:
I don't think DJKR's text was as bad as this makes it out to seem:


I mean, was her faith in the dharma really only dependent on one Rinpoche's words?
On the misunderstanding of one Rinpoche's words? :shrug:
Exactly, the way he wrote that text is no different than the way he writes everywhere else. He evens speaks like that, all one has to do is hear one of his free online dharma talks, so it's not like he made the text confusing or long on purpose.

And the funny thing is, he warned that "readers of the New Yorks Times" would "pick and choose the bits and pieces that fit in with their own preconceived ideas". And thats exacly what she did in that one.
Really, just readers of the NYT? You mean there aren't tons of folks lining up behind Dzongsar, picking and choosing the bits that fit in with their own preconceived ideas. And what about Dzongsar's own preconceived ideas? Or are we to assume he doesn't have any? It's all pure compassion untainted with any ignorance at all?
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by tiagolps » Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:58 pm

Malcolm wrote:
tiagolps wrote:
Grigoris wrote:On the misunderstanding of one Rinpoche's words? :shrug:
Exactly, the way he wrote that text is no different than the way he writes everywhere else. He evens speaks like that, all one has to do is hear one of his free online dharma talks, so it's not like he made the text confusing or long on purpose.

And the funny thing is, he warned that "readers of the New Yorks Times" would "pick and choose the bits and pieces that fit in with their own preconceived ideas". And thats exacly what she did in that one.
Really, just readers of the NYT? You mean there aren't tons of folks lining up behind Dzongsar, picking and choosing the bits that fit in with their own preconceived ideas. And what about Dzongsar's own preconceived ideas? Or are we to assume he doesn't have any? It's all pure compassion untainted with any ignorance at all?
Of course, I'm not disagreeing, but DJKR likes to provoke, he knows the majority of his western students ARE "readers of NYT".

I wouldn't be surprised If he did read it too. :tongue:
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Minobu » Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:02 pm

dzogchungpa wrote: Anyway, this raises an interesting point. Should the "rules" of Vajrayana be modified or expanded or at least clarified? If so, how?
It's not the rules that are in question.
It's the teachers.

If Milarepa did not achieve what he is now famous for what would the world know of Marpa?
nothing...
If Marpa did not know what he was doing and the end result, disaster would have followed ,and Marpa in his time ,would just be some mean guy and Milarepa a victim.

I like to think that the vajra master Marpa knew full well what he was doing and the results to follow.

what happened here with Soygal is a disaster. It's not the teachings fault or any flaw in the teaching.

Funny ...why is not Soygal having sex with men. seriously if his practice was so Vajrayanic then why not do it to men..
ok so thats way out there...but the proof is in the pudding..and soygal was tampering with stuff he obviously had not a clue about or it's outcome.

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Malcolm » Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:06 pm

tiagolps wrote:
Of course, I'm not disagreeing, but DJKR likes to provoke..
He is not provocative, he is a tiresome bore, yada yada yada, always going off on the same point, like a scratched cd.
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Norwegian » Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:08 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
MiphamFan wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Vajrayāna fundamentalism is a real problem when people are being physically, sexually, and emotionally abused by their teachers. Fortunately, Migyur Rinpoche and HH Dalai Lama have shown that not everyone in the Tibetan Buddhist stratosphere is more concerned with maintaining appearances than student welfare.
If they want to maintain appearances they should follow the example of Shakyamuni Buddha, who created a lot of the vinaya rules such as bannng eating of elephant, human etc meat due to how it would appear to outsiders.

Non-Buddhists who read about Lakar or DJK's reply will just say Buddhists are a bunch of crooks who cover their asses with a lot of fancy rhetoric about compassion etc.
Honestly, I don't think DJKR is particularly concerned with maintaining appearances. Either that, or he is just really bad at it.

Anyway, this raises an interesting point. Should the "rules" of Vajrayana be modified or expanded? If so, how?
I don't think anybody have suggested that samaya should be discarded or changed. I think what's been argued is that some people seem to have a rather different understanding of samaya.

For example Orgyen Tobgyal and Dzongsar Khyentse seem to suggest that if Sogyal Lakar was a qualified guru, and you received empowerment from him, and then left him (and on top of this have made a public announcement of his abuse), you have now violated your samaya, and you will burn in hell. Too bad. Your fault.

But then His Holiness the Dalai Lama has not suggested this at all whatsoever. He has said you can definitely leave a teacher if that teacher harms you or others, and his or her actions are negative etc. Now I'm pretty sure HHDL knows what he's talking about when it comes to samaya. 100%. And if someone are to suggest that "Well, he's a Gelugpa. This is a Nyingma matter", then I am also quite sure he knows Nyingma well enough to have a well-educated statement on this matter. Not to mention he's a Dzogchen master...

So, I think the issue here is ones interpretation of samaya. And whether it's correct or not.

In terms of leaving an abusive teacher with whom you have samaya, assuming this is the case, you can do that. But it's important that you do so in a proper manner, without bringing in negative thoughts and emotions such as anger, hate, revenge, vitriol, etc. HHDL argues that if the teacher was of such a character that there was widespread abuse then not only should you leave that teacher, you should also inform others about it. Again, I would argue, to do this informing, in an objective and reasoned manner, without bringing in negative thoughts and emotions.

HHDL on this particular issue (https://info-buddhism.com/Ethics-in-the ... nship.html):
But if someone is supposed to propagate the Dharma and their behavior is harmful, it is our responsibility to criticize this with a good motivation. This is constructive criticism, and you do not need to feel uncomfortable doing it. In “The Twenty Verses on the Bodhisattvas’ Vows,” it says that there is no fault in whatever action you engage in with pure motivation. Buddhist teachers who abuse sex, power, money, alcohol, or drugs, and who, when faced with legitimate complaints from their own students, do not correct their behavior, should be criticized openly and by name. This may embarrass them and cause them to regret and stop their abusive behavior. Exposing the negative allows space for the positive side to increase. When publicizing such misconduct, it should be made clear that such teachers have disregarded the Buddha’s advice. However, when making public the ethical misconduct of a Buddhist teacher, it is only fair to mention their good qualities as well.
and:
Just as there are three ways of relating to a guru, there are three ways of responding to his or her instructions if they contradict the Dharma. According to Vinaya, if a teacher tells you to do a non-Dharmic action, you should reject that advice. According to Paramitayana (the bodhisattva vehicle), if an instruction conforms with the Buddhist path, follow it. Otherwise, do not. According to Vajrayana (or Tantrayana), if a guru gives an instruction that is not in accord with the Dharma, the student should not follow it and should go to the teacher to clarify and explain why they cannot. This advice comes directly from the Buddha and is found in the scriptures. The same applies if you think the advice of your teacher is unskillful or unwise, even though it may be ethical. The purity of the teacher’s motivation is not enough: the instruction must be appropriate for the situation and the culture of the place.

If the guru refuses to accept your reservations about following their non-Dharmic or unskillful instructions and kicks you out, pack your bags and leave. Your guru can tell you to leave physically, but they cannot make your mind leave the Dharma.
As well as this:
WBT: Many students are afraid of breaking samaya—the commitment and bond with their guru—if they speak openly about what they perceive to be abuse. Does a teacher’s abusive behavior destroy the samaya and release the student?

HHDL: I don’t know. Although the guru has in a sense broken the samaya, that does not allow the student to break it as well. If the guru kills, that does not mean I can too! We shouldn’t emulate bad examples! We should respect the common perspective of the world in terms of what is right and wrong. [...]

It is essential to distinguish between two things: the person and their action. We criticize the action, not the person. The person is neutral: he or she wants to be happy and overcome suffering, and once their negative action stops, they will become a friend. The troublemaker is the afflictions and actions. Speaking out against the action does not mean that we hate the person. [...]

Thus, we may criticize a teacher’s abusive actions or negative qualities while we respect them as a person at the same time. There are still some beneficial aspects of the guru. A mistaken action doesn’t destroy their good qualities. If you criticize in this way, there is no danger of hellish rebirth as a result. Motivation is the key: speaking out of hatred or desire for revenge is wrong. However, if we know that by not speaking out, their bad behavior will continue and will harm the Buddhadharma, and we still remain silent, that is wrong.
We should look at what the great masters of the past and present said about these things, as well as the tantras, their commentaries, and other important works. So for example, here's Kongtrul on the teacher-student relationship, and this particular issue:
"The harmful teacher is one of bad temperament, of little pure vision, great in dogmatism; he holds [his own view) as highest, praises himself, and denigrates others."

In general, the nonspiritual teacher (mi-dge-ba’i bshes-gnyen) is a lama, teacher (mkhan-slob), dharma brother [or sister] (grogs-mched), and so forth—all those who are attached to the phenomena (snang) of this life, and who get involved in unvirtuous activity. Therefore, one must abandon the nonspiritual friend. In particular, although they have the manner of goodness in appearance, they cause you to be obstructed in your liberation.



The nonspiritual teacher has a bad temperament, little pure vision (dag-snang), is very dogmatic (phyogs-ris), holds as highest his view (lta-ba) as the only dharma, praises himself, slanders others, implicitly denigrates and rejects others’ systems (lugs) of dharma, and slanders the lama—the true wisdom teacher—who bears the burden of benefiting others. If you associate with those who are of this type, then, because one follows and gets accustomed to the nonspiritual teacher and his approach, his faults stain you by extension, and your mindstream (rgyud) gradually becomes negative. Illustrating this point, it has been said in the Vinaya Scripture:

"A fish in front of a person is rotting and is tightly wrapped with kusha grass. If that [package] is not moved for a long time, the kusha itself also becomes like that. Like that [kusha grass], by following the sinful teacher, you will always become like him."



Therefore, as it has been said in The Sutra of the True Dharma of Clear Recollection (mDo dran-pa nyer-bzhag; Saddharmanusmriti-upasthana):

"As the chief among the obstructors (bar-du gcod-pa) of all virtuous qualities is the sinful teacher, one should abandon being associated with him, speaking with him, or even being touched by his shadow.
"

In every aspect one should be diligent in rejecting the sinful teacher.

How does this fit with Orgyen Tobgyal and Dzongsar Khyentse's statements? To me, it just doesn't.

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