Pagan Deity Propitiation by Dharma Siblings

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CicadaCanto
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Pagan Deity Propitiation by Dharma Siblings

Post by CicadaCanto » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:49 pm

Q: I have dharma siblings engaged in occult activities. Specifically the propitiation of pagan deities and gods. Whatever consequences to their own private dharma practice aside--

-- are there negative impacts for those close to them as dharma siblings? for the communities that we share?

Q': If there are negative impacts, are there methods of mitigating this?

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Aryjna
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Re: Pagan Deity Propitiation by Dharma Siblings

Post by Aryjna » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:08 pm

http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?titl ... _of_Refuge

As far as I can tell it is a serious problem.

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Re: Pagan Deity Propitiation by Dharma Siblings

Post by philji » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:11 pm

Worldly dieites can be benficial for worldly activity. What would you say about buddhists going to hindu temples or churches...would you worry about this?

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Re: Pagan Deity Propitiation by Dharma Siblings

Post by Aryjna » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:15 pm

philji wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:11 pm
Worldly dieites can be benficial for worldly activity. What would you say about buddhists going to hindu temples or churches...would you worry about this?
Of course. Going by Patrul RInpoche as quoted in the wiki article above (I think all of this is from his commentary on the Bodhicaryvatara). Given that Hindus hold extreme views (eternalism).

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Mantrik
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Re: Pagan Deity Propitiation by Dharma Siblings

Post by Mantrik » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:36 pm

The OP's question was about the impact on others close to those propitiating pagan deities, not whether it was right or wrong.

Unless the Buddhist participates or encourages in such actions, I can't see how that karma will affect them in the narrow sense.

However, if these people attract beings hostile to Dharma practice or in other ways interfere with it, then Dharmapala practice may be beneficial.

Unless it really bothers you, live and let live.

As for not attending events and rituals by other religions like Holi or Hallowe'en I think as long as there is no action by you which breaks vows you have taken, and you are mindful of your actions, it is not a problem. Limitations like this are bunkum.
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Re: Pagan Deity Propitiation by Dharma Siblings

Post by Aryjna » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:46 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:36 pm
The OP's question was about the impact on others close to those propitiating pagan deities, not whether it was right or wrong.

Unless the Buddhist participates or encourages in such actions, I can't see how that karma will affect them in the narrow sense.

However, if these people attract beings hostile to Dharma practice or in other ways interfere with it, then Dharmapala practice may be beneficial.

Unless it really bothers you, live and let live.

As for not attending events and rituals by other religions or taking part in Holi or Hallowe'en I think as long as there is no action which breaks vows you have taken, and you are mindful of your actions, it is not a problem. Limitations like this are bunkum.
Sorry, it wasn't very clear in my other post. I was talking about actually performing rituals etc., not visiting temples or speaking with someone who follows a different religion.

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Re: Pagan Deity Propitiation by Dharma Siblings

Post by CicadaCanto » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:49 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:36 pm
The OP's question was about the impact on others close to those propitiating pagan deities, not whether it was right or wrong... However, if these people attract beings hostile to Dharma practice or in other ways interfere with it, then Dharmapala practice may be beneficial.
Yes. That was the OP's (my) point.

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Re: Pagan Deity Propitiation by Dharma Siblings

Post by Mantrik » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:50 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:46 pm
Mantrik wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:36 pm
The OP's question was about the impact on others close to those propitiating pagan deities, not whether it was right or wrong.

Unless the Buddhist participates or encourages in such actions, I can't see how that karma will affect them in the narrow sense.

However, if these people attract beings hostile to Dharma practice or in other ways interfere with it, then Dharmapala practice may be beneficial.

Unless it really bothers you, live and let live.

As for not attending events and rituals by other religions or taking part in Holi or Hallowe'en I think as long as there is no action which breaks vows you have taken, and you are mindful of your actions, it is not a problem. Limitations like this are bunkum.
Sorry, it wasn't very clear in my other post. I was talking about actually performing rituals etc., not visiting temples or speaking with someone who follows a different religion.
I got that, but the original question wasn't about those performing the rituals; it was about the impact on others - their dharma siblings. ;)
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Aryjna
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Re: Pagan Deity Propitiation by Dharma Siblings

Post by Aryjna » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:53 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:50 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:46 pm
Mantrik wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:36 pm
The OP's question was about the impact on others close to those propitiating pagan deities, not whether it was right or wrong.

Unless the Buddhist participates or encourages in such actions, I can't see how that karma will affect them in the narrow sense.

However, if these people attract beings hostile to Dharma practice or in other ways interfere with it, then Dharmapala practice may be beneficial.

Unless it really bothers you, live and let live.

As for not attending events and rituals by other religions or taking part in Holi or Hallowe'en I think as long as there is no action which breaks vows you have taken, and you are mindful of your actions, it is not a problem. Limitations like this are bunkum.
Sorry, it wasn't very clear in my other post. I was talking about actually performing rituals etc., not visiting temples or speaking with someone who follows a different religion.
I got that, but the original question wasn't about those performing the rituals; it was about the impact on others - their dharma siblings. ;)

I think the two questions are: Does it damage samaya to take refuge in worldly deities (which is what they are doing as far as I can tell), and to what degree does samaya damaged in this way harms their vajra siblings and the whole community. Perhaps someone who knows more on the subject can answer that.

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Re: Pagan Deity Propitiation by Dharma Siblings

Post by Mantrik » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:00 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:53 pm

I think the two questions are: Does it damage samaya to take refuge in worldly deities (which is what they are doing as far as I can tell), and to what degree does samaya damaged in this way harms their vajra siblings and the whole community. Perhaps someone who knows more on the subject can answer that.
The OP only asked about the second one, and confirmed it. It was also more general than samaya.

Your first question is a good one - it just isn't what was asked - probably because the answer is pretty obvious.
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Aryjna
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Re: Pagan Deity Propitiation by Dharma Siblings

Post by Aryjna » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:08 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:00 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:53 pm

I think the two questions are: Does it damage samaya to take refuge in worldly deities (which is what they are doing as far as I can tell), and to what degree does samaya damaged in this way harms their vajra siblings and the whole community. Perhaps someone who knows more on the subject can answer that.
The OP only asked about the second one, and confirmed it. It was also more general than samaya.

Your first question is a good one - it just isn't what was asked - probably because the answer is pretty obvious.
The answer to the second one seems quite obvious to me, but I've been wrong before.

This is the reason I posted the link in the first place, which includes association with people holding extreme views as something to be avoided. Though not entirely accurate, I think it points to the same direction.

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Re: Pagan Deity Propitiation by Dharma Siblings

Post by Mantrik » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:58 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:08 pm

The answer to the second one seems quite obvious to me, but I've been wrong before.

So, back to the OP's question. Assuming this is happening, assuming they won't stop or listen or go away, and there are consequences for the OP and for the community, what do you suggest the OP and community can do to mitigate the effects?
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Aryjna
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Re: Pagan Deity Propitiation by Dharma Siblings

Post by Aryjna » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:13 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:58 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:08 pm

The answer to the second one seems quite obvious to me, but I've been wrong before.

So, back to the OP's question. Assuming this is happening, assuming they won't stop or listen or go away, and there are consequences for the OP and for the community, what do you suggest the OP and community can do to mitigate the effects?
I cannot answer that of course :D I suppose something that can be done is ask one of the teachers to explain to them why what they are doing is ridiculous.

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Quay
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Re: Pagan Deity Propitiation by Dharma Siblings

Post by Quay » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:21 pm

It would be helpful to know what kind of "occult activities" you are referring to and which pagan gods/deities you are talking about. There is a great number of the former with very different kinds of effects and of the latter a huge variance in what they require or do not require from someone.
Last edited by Quay on Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pagan Deity Propitiation by Dharma Siblings

Post by Sādhaka » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:39 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:53 pm
Mantrik wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:50 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:46 pm


Sorry, it wasn't very clear in my other post. I was talking about actually performing rituals etc., not visiting temples or speaking with someone who follows a different religion.
I got that, but the original question wasn't about those performing the rituals; it was about the impact on others - their dharma siblings. ;)

I think the two questions are: Does it damage samaya to take refuge in worldly deities (which is what they are doing as far as I can tell), and to what degree does samaya damaged in this way harms their vajra siblings and the whole community. Perhaps someone who knows more on the subject can answer that.

As far as you can tell.... Well, it depends on whether or not the specific rite(s) they're doing has anything in it that implies that they're taking actual refuge in the deities involved.

The way I see it, westerners in general (and even some Asians) are doing and saying things contrary to the Dharma pretty much constantly, whether they're doing occult rituals from other traditions or not. I mostly stay silent about it though, as there doesn't seem to be much that can be done about it.

Anyway, the Buddhas Dharma has everything one needs, even for temporary worldly benefits.

Therefore even though there may or may not be any harm in propitiating worldly deities or doing esoteric rites from traditions related to those worldly deities, I don't see the point in it. It seems like an waste of time.
Last edited by Sādhaka on Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:51 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Pagan Deity Propitiation by Dharma Siblings

Post by Mantrik » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:41 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:13 pm
Mantrik wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:58 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:08 pm

The answer to the second one seems quite obvious to me, but I've been wrong before.

So, back to the OP's question. Assuming this is happening, assuming they won't stop or listen or go away, and there are consequences for the OP and for the community, what do you suggest the OP and community can do to mitigate the effects?
I cannot answer that of course :D I suppose something that can be done is ask one of the teachers to explain to them why what they are doing is ridiculous.
I don't know the Guru, but he/she may well ask them not to practise with them and so they would lose the Dharma connection, and may focus even more on the pagan activities. This happened when one of my Lamas asked certain cult practitioners not to attend his classes - they went even more to the 'dark side'.

If it is a matter of behaviour, I suggested not to ostracise them, but live and let live whilst being aware all the time of any effects they are having on the people mentioned by the OP. There are plenty of Vajrayana practices with offerings to local guardians and dharmapalas - boosting those protections is better than trying to fight head on. Tara practice is also very accessible.

A more tangential approach, if the Lama isn't the sort to boot them out, may be to introduce the pagan practitioners to Vajrayana practices which may satisfy their unfulfilled need for something spiritually visceral - 5 Elements practice, Riwo Sangcho, Naga Puja etc. according to what the OP knows appeals to them.
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Re: Pagan Deity Propitiation by Dharma Siblings

Post by Grigoris » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:32 pm

I once asked Loppon Ogyan Tanzin Rinpoche about making offerings to a local protector here on the island where I live and he was cool about it. Gave some advice too. There is nothing "wrong" with making an offering to a local protector (in the same way that there is nothing "wrong" with making an offering to appease a local powerful human, like paying taxes for example). I don't take refuge in the local mayor, but I require a working relationship with him to continue my activity, so I make offerings; in the same way I don't take refuge in the local protector, but need a working relationship with him to continue my activity, so...
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Re: Pagan Deity Propitiation by Dharma Siblings

Post by Mantrik » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:26 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:32 pm
I once asked Loppon Ogyan Tanzin Rinpoche about making offerings to a local protector here on the island where I live and he was cool about it. Gave some advice too. There is nothing "wrong" with making an offering to a local protector (in the same way that there is nothing "wrong" with making an offering to appease a local powerful human, like paying taxes for example). I don't take refuge in the local mayor, but I require a working relationship with him to continue my activity, so I make offerings; in the same way I don't take refuge in the local protector, but need a working relationship with him to continue my activity, so...
:good:
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Aryjna
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Re: Pagan Deity Propitiation by Dharma Siblings

Post by Aryjna » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:10 pm

The OP said they are propitiating pagan gods. It does not really sound like it could be offerings to a local protector done appropriately. But who knows.

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Re: Pagan Deity Propitiation by Dharma Siblings

Post by Fortyeightvows » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:18 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:58 pm
So, back to the OP's question. Assuming this is happening, assuming they won't stop or listen or go away, and there are consequences for the OP and for the community, what do you suggest the OP and community can do to mitigate the effects?

Religious pluralism :yinyang:

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