Sogyal, etc. split from THE SELF-ARISEN VIDYA TANTRA thread

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Lingpupa
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Sogyal, etc. split from THE SELF-ARISEN VIDYA TANTRA thread

Post by Lingpupa » Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:11 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 7:09 pm
Lingpupa wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:52 pm
"Khenpo Namdrol". Whoah. Is that the "Khenchen Namdrol Rinpoche" who took such a primitive view of the Rigpa students who had had enough of Sogyal Lakar?
Khenchen Namdrol is one of my main gurus, and he is the best person giving explanations of Dzogchen out there today; which is why many of the top Nyingma lamas, for example, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and so on, have been attending his teachings for years and years. He is the heir of Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok. You may not wish to study with him, but it would be wrong of you to discourage others from wishing to do so.

It would be like discouraging people from studying the teachings of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, merely because he and Sogyal were quite good friends from childhood.
Actually, it is not like that at all. I will admit to not having known that Chogyal Namkhai Norbu and Sogyal met as children, but I see no reason not to take your word for it, irrelevant as it may be. Khenchen Namdrol’s relationship with Sogyal and the Rigpa organisation is, however, of quite a different order. He has, as far as I know, been a regular teacher at the Rigpa centre in France, which can only be expected to yield an income stream. And his centre in Pharping hosts the “Rigpa Shedra East” each year, yielding another presumably not insignificant income stream.

I do not criticise him for either the teaching or the income. I know there are some, in particular those who were victims of Sogyal’s behaviour or who were personally close to such victims, who feel that the whole Rigpa organisation is so badly tainted that it should be entirely dismantled. However, the consequence would be that those Rigpa students whose complicity was of a negligible level would then be, so to speak, cast out, with the message that it’s their own fault, they should have checked the teacher more carefully in the first place. That would, in itself, be a form of low-level victim-blaming. So total closure seems to me as harmful an extreme as carrying on as if there was no problem, with Patrick Gaffney’s disbarring as a charity trustee being the only flicker of consequences. But most of those students do deserve to continue somehow, and anyone with the burden of a monastery to administer and maintain needs to get an income from somewhere.

What I DO find questionable is his failure to acknowledge the harm done to Sogyal’s victims, but his choice, rather, to condemn those who broke silence. He accuses them, instead, of being possessed by demons. His talk, both as a video and as a transcript, are available on the net in case of doubt. Some of us also have our own copies.

While I do, of course, entirely respect your decision to take him as your teacher, I think you must see that it is an entirely reasonable view for others to feel that someone who holds such a mediaeval mindset is not an example they want to follow. As is well-known, we are asked to study our potential teachers before committing to them. It is therefore quite proper to encourage others to take a look at these things before they make their minds up. If that, to use your word, “discourages” them from following this teacher, then so be it – but it is not specifically my intention. My intention is just to encourage people to have open eyes.

Finally, and I hope this is not too harsh, I’m not sure that it is up to you (or anyone else) to tell me (or anyone else) that it would be “wrong” to raise these points, even if it does, as you suggest, discourage them from taking teachings from him. Perhaps it would be wrong for you to do so, as you say that he is one of your main teachers. You may well wish to interpret your samaya-commitment to mean that you should maintain a code of sacred discretion. But perhaps that’s not how you meant it?
All the best
Alex Wilding
Stupa in the Snow blog at http://chagchen.org/

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Re: The Self-Arisen Vidya Tantra and The Self-Liberated Vidya Tantra A Translation of the Rigpa Rang Shar and Rigpa Rang

Post by mandog » Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:12 pm

Lingpupa wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:11 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 7:09 pm
Lingpupa wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:52 pm
"Khenpo Namdrol". Whoah. Is that the "Khenchen Namdrol Rinpoche" who took such a primitive view of the Rigpa students who had had enough of Sogyal Lakar?
Khenchen Namdrol is one of my main gurus, and he is the best person giving explanations of Dzogchen out there today; which is why many of the top Nyingma lamas, for example, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and so on, have been attending his teachings for years and years. He is the heir of Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok. You may not wish to study with him, but it would be wrong of you to discourage others from wishing to do so.

It would be like discouraging people from studying the teachings of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, merely because he and Sogyal were quite good friends from childhood.
Actually, it is not like that at all. I will admit to not having known that Chogyal Namkhai Norbu and Sogyal met as children, but I see no reason not to take your word for it, irrelevant as it may be. Khenchen Namdrol’s relationship with Sogyal and the Rigpa organisation is, however, of quite a different order. He has, as far as I know, been a regular teacher at the Rigpa centre in France, which can only be expected to yield an income stream. And his centre in Pharping hosts the “Rigpa Shedra East” each year, yielding another presumably not insignificant income stream.

I do not criticise him for either the teaching or the income. I know there are some, in particular those who were victims of Sogyal’s behaviour or who were personally close to such victims, who feel that the whole Rigpa organisation is so badly tainted that it should be entirely dismantled. However, the consequence would be that those Rigpa students whose complicity was of a negligible level would then be, so to speak, cast out, with the message that it’s their own fault, they should have checked the teacher more carefully in the first place. That would, in itself, be a form of low-level victim-blaming. So total closure seems to me as harmful an extreme as carrying on as if there was no problem, with Patrick Gaffney’s disbarring as a charity trustee being the only flicker of consequences. But most of those students do deserve to continue somehow, and anyone with the burden of a monastery to administer and maintain needs to get an income from somewhere.

What I DO find questionable is his failure to acknowledge the harm done to Sogyal’s victims, but his choice, rather, to condemn those who broke silence. He accuses them, instead, of being possessed by demons. His talk, both as a video and as a transcript, are available on the net in case of doubt. Some of us also have our own copies.

While I do, of course, entirely respect your decision to take him as your teacher, I think you must see that it is an entirely reasonable view for others to feel that someone who holds such a mediaeval mindset is not an example they want to follow. As is well-known, we are asked to study our potential teachers before committing to them. It is therefore quite proper to encourage others to take a look at these things before they make their minds up. If that, to use your word, “discourages” them from following this teacher, then so be it – but it is not specifically my intention. My intention is just to encourage people to have open eyes.

Finally, and I hope this is not too harsh, I’m not sure that it is up to you (or anyone else) to tell me (or anyone else) that it would be “wrong” to raise these points, even if it does, as you suggest, discourage them from taking teachings from him. Perhaps it would be wrong for you to do so, as you say that he is one of your main teachers. You may well wish to interpret your samaya-commitment to mean that you should maintain a code of sacred discretion. But perhaps that’s not how you meant it?

Malcolm actually commented on Khenchen Namdrol’s above speech about the samaya breaking students.

Basically, by saying they are possessed by demons Khenchen Namdrol is suggesting that they did not break samaya via their own agency. Really, what he is doing is trying to free the students of blame by suggesting they were under the control of unseen beings. This is actually something compassionate.

As for Sogyal Rinpoche, my opinion has really changed over the past few months. At first, I was outraged like everyone else. Now, I think maybe this was just an emotional response.

At the end of the day, Sogyal Rinpoche definetly did receive many legitimate streams of Dharma from many qualified teachers. From what I can tell, the way he explained the dharma was also not out of step with the explanations of the great masters of the past.

Maybe it is not good if he punched people and had sex with students, but the vajrayana is rich in methods in methods of purifying samaya. In other words, even if he broke samaya (of which I am not certain) there were ways to ensure that he purified his samaya with his own lamas, which would thus render him qualified to teach and give samaya to others.

Sogyal Rinpoche’s benefit for beings is actually really inconceivable. He introduced so many western students to great lamas who were no different from Shakyamuni or Guru P themselves.

Really, this is the degenerate age. Even qualified Lamas of the degenerate age are bound to have some bad qualities. It seems Sogyal was a mix of good and bad.

Best to study with the lamas who have the most good qualities and the fewest bad qualities.


Now, I think we need to remember to keep out own samaya pure. People don’t realize that they actually have samaya with every other person who has received any initiation they have received from any guru. If you have recieved wangs from Chokling tersar, Longchen nyingthik, Dudjom tersar, etc. Sogyal is at the very least like a vajra cousin. Best to not dwell on his faults.
Last edited by mandog on Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Self-Arisen Vidya Tantra and The Self-Liberated Vidya Tantra A Translation of the Rigpa Rang Shar and Rigpa Rang

Post by mandog » Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:19 pm

Lingpupa wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:11 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 7:09 pm
Lingpupa wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:52 pm
"Khenpo Namdrol". Whoah. Is that the "Khenchen Namdrol Rinpoche" who took such a primitive view of the Rigpa students who had had enough of Sogyal Lakar?
Khenchen Namdrol is one of my main gurus, and he is the best person giving explanations of Dzogchen out there today; which is why many of the top Nyingma lamas, for example, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and so on, have been attending his teachings for years and years. He is the heir of Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok. You may not wish to study with him, but it would be wrong of you to discourage others from wishing to do so.

It would be like discouraging people from studying the teachings of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, merely because he and Sogyal were quite good friends from childhood.
Actually, it is not like that at all. I will admit to not having known that Chogyal Namkhai Norbu and Sogyal met as children, but I see no reason not to take your word for it, irrelevant as it may be. Khenchen Namdrol’s relationship with Sogyal and the Rigpa organisation is, however, of quite a different order. He has, as far as I know, been a regular teacher at the Rigpa centre in France, which can only be expected to yield an income stream. And his centre in Pharping hosts the “Rigpa Shedra East” each year, yielding another presumably not insignificant income stream.

I do not criticise him for either the teaching or the income. I know there are some, in particular those who were victims of Sogyal’s behaviour or who were personally close to such victims, who feel that the whole Rigpa organisation is so badly tainted that it should be entirely dismantled. However, the consequence would be that those Rigpa students whose complicity was of a negligible level would then be, so to speak, cast out, with the message that it’s their own fault, they should have checked the teacher more carefully in the first place. That would, in itself, be a form of low-level victim-blaming. So total closure seems to me as harmful an extreme as carrying on as if there was no problem, with Patrick Gaffney’s disbarring as a charity trustee being the only flicker of consequences. But most of those students do deserve to continue somehow, and anyone with the burden of a monastery to administer and maintain needs to get an income from somewhere.

What I DO find questionable is his failure to acknowledge the harm done to Sogyal’s victims, but his choice, rather, to condemn those who broke silence. He accuses them, instead, of being possessed by demons. His talk, both as a video and as a transcript, are available on the net in case of doubt. Some of us also have our own copies.

While I do, of course, entirely respect your decision to take him as your teacher, I think you must see that it is an entirely reasonable view for others to feel that someone who holds such a mediaeval mindset is not an example they want to follow. As is well-known, we are asked to study our potential teachers before committing to them. It is therefore quite proper to encourage others to take a look at these things before they make their minds up. If that, to use your word, “discourages” them from following this teacher, then so be it – but it is not specifically my intention. My intention is just to encourage people to have open eyes.

Finally, and I hope this is not too harsh, I’m not sure that it is up to you (or anyone else) to tell me (or anyone else) that it would be “wrong” to raise these points, even if it does, as you suggest, discourage them from taking teachings from him. Perhaps it would be wrong for you to do so, as you say that he is one of your main teachers. You may well wish to interpret your samaya-commitment to mean that you should maintain a code of sacred discretion. But perhaps that’s not how you meant it?
Abuse is a horrible thing, but connecting people to Vajrayana teachings is exponentially more wonderful than abuse is horrible. Go look at the list of lamas that taught at rigpa; it is incredible.

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Re: The Self-Arisen Vidya Tantra and The Self-Liberated Vidya Tantra A Translation of the Rigpa Rang Shar and Rigpa Rang

Post by Malcolm » Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:34 pm

Lingpupa wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:11 pm
What I DO find questionable is his failure to acknowledge the harm done to Sogyal’s victims, but his choice, rather, to condemn those who broke silence. He accuses them, instead, of being possessed by demons. His talk, both as a video and as a transcript, are available on the net in case of doubt. Some of us also have our own copies.
It is not an accusation to say someone is being influenced by nonhuman beings, it is a diagnosis. There is a specific class of nonhumans known as dam sri, samaya breakers, whose action is to cause people in Sanghas to fight with each other and break samaya.

The reason the gyalpo was banned is precisely because of this kind of negative influence.

Regardless of what you and others may think, Khenchen Namdrol is one of the best and brightest teachers of his generation. He is a real bodhisattva. One mustn't criticize real bodhisattvas, even if you cannot understand some of their actions. He lives only to do one thing, and that is to spread the Dharma for the benefit of all sentient beings. Everything else is irrelevant.
Last edited by Malcolm on Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Self-Arisen Vidya Tantra and The Self-Liberated Vidya Tantra A Translation of the Rigpa Rang Shar and Rigpa Rang

Post by Lingpupa » Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:52 pm

Mandog and Malcolm make some interesting points. I myself don't feel like saying any more - that would just be to stir an opinion soup!
All the best
Alex Wilding
Stupa in the Snow blog at http://chagchen.org/

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Re: Sogyal, etc. split from THE SELF-ARISEN VIDYA TANTRA thread

Post by Arnoud » Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:55 pm

Is he a gelong?

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Re: Sogyal, etc. split from THE SELF-ARISEN VIDYA TANTRA thread

Post by Malcolm » Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:09 pm

Arnoud wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:55 pm
Is he a gelong?
Yes, Khenchen Namdrol is a bhikṣu, a very pure one by all accounts.

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Re: Sogyal, etc. split from THE SELF-ARISEN VIDYA TANTRA thread

Post by Arnoud » Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:14 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:09 pm
Arnoud wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:55 pm
Is he a gelong?
Yes, Khenchen Namdrol is a bhikṣu, a very pure one by all accounts.
Thank you. That is good to hear.

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Re: Sogyal, etc. split from THE SELF-ARISEN VIDYA TANTRA thread

Post by Malcolm » Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:27 pm

Arnoud wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:14 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:09 pm
Arnoud wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:55 pm
Is he a gelong?
Yes, Khenchen Namdrol is a bhikṣu, a very pure one by all accounts.
Thank you. That is good to hear.
When Khenpo teaches, he prepares for months, and when he is teaching, it is no nonsense: he comes to the place, he teaches, he leaves and goes home. No visitors, no parties, and no social events. I hear when he is not teaching, he is pretty relaxed and funny. But I have not spent personal time with him since I first met him in 1993.

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Re: Sogyal, etc. split from THE SELF-ARISEN VIDYA TANTRA thread

Post by Arnoud » Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:38 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:27 pm
When Khenpo teaches, he prepares for months, and when he is teaching, it is no nonsense: he comes to the place, he teaches, he leaves and goes home. No visitors, no parties, and no social events. I hear when he is not teaching, he is pretty relaxed and funny. But I have not spent personal time with him since I first met him in 1993.
Thank you. That is good to know. I appreciate the answers.

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Re: Sogyal, etc. split from THE SELF-ARISEN VIDYA TANTRA thread

Post by smcj » Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:51 pm

First, please understand that I am not a student of, supporter of, or apologist for Sogyal Rinpoche. All my posts have as part of their signature a statement of support for Mingyur R’s and HHDL’s position on lama abuse.
I think you must see that it is an entirely reasonable view for others to feel that someone who holds such a mediaeval mindset is not an example they want to follow.
Yes, that is entirely reasonable.

*****

Okay, so new sub-topic:
Excluding Sogyal R from the discussion, can anyone play Devil’s Advocate and postulate how and why it might be important to give an authentic Vajrayana carte blanche approval? Why was that idea ever included in the first place?

Or is the very idea so odious that Tibetans need to change the Teachings?
https://soundcloud.com/user-730689343/chenrezig-puja
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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Re: Sogyal, etc. split from THE SELF-ARISEN VIDYA TANTRA thread

Post by Sādhaka » Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:33 pm

smcj wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:51 pm
Or is the very idea so odious that Tibetans need to change the Teachings?

No.

It’s simple IMO: If someone is interested in a teacher, but they’re not 100% sure about taking commitments with them; then instead of receiving teachings, they should ask for a blessing and shake the teacher’s hand (reg grol, or Liberation through Touch).

If the teacher in question has that power, then the interested individual will surely become their student in a future lifetime, if not later in this lifetime, when they’re ready.

If the teacher does not have that power, then the interested individual probably wouldn’t want to receive teachings from them anyway; yet no harm will have been done by simply having had asked them for a blessing/shook their hand.

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Re: The Self-Arisen Vidya Tantra and The Self-Liberated Vidya Tantra A Translation of the Rigpa Rang Shar and Rigpa Rang

Post by PeterC » Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:44 am

With the benefit of some time having passed since the events, I did go back and read KNR's comments again. His choice of words is very careful indeed. It's a lot more skillful than some of the other people who have commented on this. People were upset because (b) he seemed to be blaming the victims - when in fact he was talking about non-human entities causing obstructions - and (b) he didn't criticize Lakhar openly. I think both are actually quite understandable, even if you would have liked him to take a different position.

I do think his point about obstructors has merit. I don't want to discuss it too much here, but I spend quite a lot of time in a place where the various vajrayana-associated sanghas are in a constant state of undignified and unethical conflict. It can quite clearly be traced back to serious breaches of samaya by certain individuals. I've seen how sanghas can decay and become poisonous when this behavior becomes widespread. This is in large part why I'm very careful about spending time with the 'organizational' aspects of any sangha. Attributing this to malevolent non-human entities is actually a kinder way of describing it than attributing it to bad behavior by humans.

What I DO find questionable is his failure to acknowledge the harm done to Sogyal’s victims, but his choice, rather, to condemn those who broke silence.
I would have liked him to say that too. I would have liked a lot of other teachers to say something, but many felt, for reasons we can understand even if we don't agree with, that they couldn't. Look at Lakhar's website, there is a who's who list of major teachers and monasteries contributing eulogies to him who also make no mention of this at all. I think we all know why they don't, and why their public comments might not fully reflect their private opinions. But if we criticize KNR for not saying this, we also need to condemn a *lot* of other people. He's just highlighted because a video was taken of him and put on the internet.
Sogyal Rinpoche’s benefit for beings is actually really inconceivable. He introduced so many western students to great lamas who were no different from Shakyamuni or Guru P themselves
This is also undeniably true. But:
Maybe it is not good if he punched people and had sex with students, but the vajrayana is rich in methods in methods of purifying samaya. In other words, even if he broke samaya (of which I am not certain) there were ways to ensure that he purified his samaya with his own lamas, which would thus render him qualified to teach and give samaya to others.
With all due respect, no. The issues of whether Lakhar was a qualified vajra master, whether samaya existed with his students, etc etc. have been discussed to death on other threads.

I think one has to be very careful about warning students off from a teacher, unless it's in extreme circumstances, since you risk causing someone not to hear the Dharma. If this were, say, Lakhar himself, Mukpo Jr or Dorje Chang Buddha III, then I think we do have a responsibility to help people avoid harm. But we're not talking here about someone who has caused actual harm - we're talking about someone who at most, didn't say something that we would have liked him to say, had quite understandable reasons for that, and was not different from most other prominent teachers in that regard.

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Re: Sogyal, etc. split from THE SELF-ARISEN VIDYA TANTRA thread

Post by Sonam Wangchug » Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:13 am

Lingpupa wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:11 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 7:09 pm
Lingpupa wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:52 pm
"Khenpo Namdrol". Whoah. Is that the "Khenchen Namdrol Rinpoche" who took such a primitive view of the Rigpa students who had had enough of Sogyal Lakar?
Khenchen Namdrol is one of my main gurus, and he is the best person giving explanations of Dzogchen out there today; which is why many of the top Nyingma lamas, for example, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and so on, have been attending his teachings for years and years. He is the heir of Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok. You may not wish to study with him, but it would be wrong of you to discourage others from wishing to do so.

It would be like discouraging people from studying the teachings of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, merely because he and Sogyal were quite good friends from childhood.
Actually, it is not like that at all. I will admit to not having known that Chogyal Namkhai Norbu and Sogyal met as children, but I see no reason not to take your word for it, irrelevant as it may be. Khenchen Namdrol’s relationship with Sogyal and the Rigpa organisation is, however, of quite a different order. He has, as far as I know, been a regular teacher at the Rigpa centre in France, which can only be expected to yield an income stream. And his centre in Pharping hosts the “Rigpa Shedra East” each year, yielding another presumably not insignificant income stream.

I do not criticise him for either the teaching or the income. I know there are some, in particular those who were victims of Sogyal’s behaviour or who were personally close to such victims, who feel that the whole Rigpa organisation is so badly tainted that it should be entirely dismantled. However, the consequence would be that those Rigpa students whose complicity was of a negligible level would then be, so to speak, cast out, with the message that it’s their own fault, they should have checked the teacher more carefully in the first place. That would, in itself, be a form of low-level victim-blaming. So total closure seems to me as harmful an extreme as carrying on as if there was no problem, with Patrick Gaffney’s disbarring as a charity trustee being the only flicker of consequences. But most of those students do deserve to continue somehow, and anyone with the burden of a monastery to administer and maintain needs to get an income from somewhere.

What I DO find questionable is his failure to acknowledge the harm done to Sogyal’s victims, but his choice, rather, to condemn those who broke silence. He accuses them, instead, of being possessed by demons. His talk, both as a video and as a transcript, are available on the net in case of doubt. Some of us also have our own copies.

While I do, of course, entirely respect your decision to take him as your teacher, I think you must see that it is an entirely reasonable view for others to feel that someone who holds such a mediaeval mindset is not an example they want to follow. As is well-known, we are asked to study our potential teachers before committing to them. It is therefore quite proper to encourage others to take a look at these things before they make their minds up. If that, to use your word, “discourages” them from following this teacher, then so be it – but it is not specifically my intention. My intention is just to encourage people to have open eyes.

Finally, and I hope this is not too harsh, I’m not sure that it is up to you (or anyone else) to tell me (or anyone else) that it would be “wrong” to raise these points, even if it does, as you suggest, discourage them from taking teachings from him. Perhaps it would be wrong for you to do so, as you say that he is one of your main teachers. You may well wish to interpret your samaya-commitment to mean that you should maintain a code of sacred discretion. But perhaps that’s not how you meant it?
That is his RIGHT to a personal OPINION, just as you have your own.

It doesn't invalidate him as a Genuine Dharma teacher.

Or perhaps you expected every Dharma teacher to share your opinion?
"To have confidence in the teacher is the ultimate refuge." -Rigzin Jigme Lingpa

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Re: The Self-Arisen Vidya Tantra and The Self-Liberated Vidya Tantra A Translation of the Rigpa Rang Shar and Rigpa Rang

Post by mandog » Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:26 am

PeterC wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:44 am
With the benefit of some time having passed since the events, I did go back and read KNR's comments again. His choice of words is very careful indeed. It's a lot more skillful than some of the other people who have commented on this. People were upset because (b) he seemed to be blaming the victims - when in fact he was talking about non-human entities causing obstructions - and (b) he didn't criticize Lakhar openly. I think both are actually quite understandable, even if you would have liked him to take a different position.

I do think his point about obstructors has merit. I don't want to discuss it too much here, but I spend quite a lot of time in a place where the various vajrayana-associated sanghas are in a constant state of undignified and unethical conflict. It can quite clearly be traced back to serious breaches of samaya by certain individuals. I've seen how sanghas can decay and become poisonous when this behavior becomes widespread. This is in large part why I'm very careful about spending time with the 'organizational' aspects of any sangha. Attributing this to malevolent non-human entities is actually a kinder way of describing it than attributing it to bad behavior by humans.

What I DO find questionable is his failure to acknowledge the harm done to Sogyal’s victims, but his choice, rather, to condemn those who broke silence.
I would have liked him to say that too. I would have liked a lot of other teachers to say something, but many felt, for reasons we can understand even if we don't agree with, that they couldn't. Look at Lakhar's website, there is a who's who list of major teachers and monasteries contributing eulogies to him who also make no mention of this at all. I think we all know why they don't, and why their public comments might not fully reflect their private opinions. But if we criticize KNR for not saying this, we also need to condemn a *lot* of other people. He's just highlighted because a video was taken of him and put on the internet.
Sogyal Rinpoche’s benefit for beings is actually really inconceivable. He introduced so many western students to great lamas who were no different from Shakyamuni or Guru P themselves
This is also undeniably true. But:
Maybe it is not good if he punched people and had sex with students, but the vajrayana is rich in methods in methods of purifying samaya. In other words, even if he broke samaya (of which I am not certain) there were ways to ensure that he purified his samaya with his own lamas, which would thus render him qualified to teach and give samaya to others.
With all due respect, no. The issues of whether Lakhar was a qualified vajra master, whether samaya existed with his students, etc etc. have been discussed to death on other threads.

I think one has to be very careful about warning students off from a teacher, unless it's in extreme circumstances, since you risk causing someone not to hear the Dharma. If this were, say, Lakhar himself, Mukpo Jr or Dorje Chang Buddha III, then I think we do have a responsibility to help people avoid harm. But we're not talking here about someone who has caused actual harm - we're talking about someone who at most, didn't say something that we would have liked him to say, had quite understandable reasons for that, and was not different from most other prominent teachers in that regard.
Heard a rumor recently that the nun Sogyal Rinpoche punched in the stomach remains devoted to him to this day. Maybe this is true. Maybe it is true, but she is delusional. I don’t know.

Personally, I avoided Rigpa while Sogyal was alive. Still though, I am not convinced that he was completely unqualified. I think you are right, and we should allow dead topics to rest.

PeterC
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Re: The Self-Arisen Vidya Tantra and The Self-Liberated Vidya Tantra A Translation of the Rigpa Rang Shar and Rigpa Rang

Post by PeterC » Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:54 am

mandog wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:26 am
Heard a rumor recently that the nun Sogyal Rinpoche punched in the stomach remains devoted to him to this day. Maybe this is true. Maybe it is true, but she is delusional. I don’t know.

Well yes, there is always doubt. But when you see people claiming that their lama engages in unconventional behavior so as to teach students, there's a pretty simple first-order test one can apply to assess how plausible that is: does any of that behavior disadvantage the lama in any way? Are they doing the modern equivalent of begging on the streets, eating fish guts, cleaning a brothel, or otherwise doing things that attract opprobrium and are physically unpleasant? (There are lamas in modern times who lived as beggars - it's not something confined to medieval hagiographies.) Or is he eating/drinking like a king, sleeping with a harem of teenagers, beating up people who don't serve him properly, driving a gold-plated Rolls Royce paid for by the Sangha and telling people to donate money to buy him a bigger house?

smcj
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Re: Sogyal, etc. split from THE SELF-ARISEN VIDYA TANTRA thread

Post by smcj » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:40 am

Once again let me make it clear that I am not a student of, supporter of, or apologist for Sogyal R. As it says in my signature at the bottom of my posts I support the positions of Mingyur R and HHDL against lama abuse.
*****
Heard a rumor recently that the nun Sogyal Rinpoche punched in the stomach remains devoted to him to this day. Maybe this is true. Maybe it is true, but she is delusional. I don’t know.
For the sake of this discussion let us assume that Sogyal R was in fact a defiled and corrupt ***hole. If that is factually true, and if it is also true the nun in question still sees him as pure, the she believes a falsehood. She really is delusional. Full stop.
*****
Okay, so is everybody on the same page?
*****
So now, also for the sake of this hypothetical discussion, let us hypothetically accept that there is some actual functionality to the teachings on guru yoga and the idea of receiving blessings. If that is true, and if in her ‘delusion’ the nun in question is able to access those blessings (which is a big ‘if’), is it a mistake for her to do so?

Keep in mind Sogyal R is no longer with us, and he cannot cause any further harm to her or anybody else. Also keep in mind her receipt of blessings isn’t dependent on him being a realized master. (For this discussion we have already accepted his status as an ***hole.) Her receipt of blessings is only contingent on her seeing him as pure. Right?

I mean, what if she gains realization through her ‘delusion’? I doubt that she will gain realization that way, but it’s not impossible.
https://soundcloud.com/user-730689343/chenrezig-puja
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

Simon E.
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Re: Sogyal, etc. split from THE SELF-ARISEN VIDYA TANTRA thread

Post by Simon E. » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:28 am

Everything is always more nuanced and tricky than simple accounts would have them.

If for example I had avoided Rigpa I would not have received teachings from Dudjom Rinpoche and Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche.

” Man is made for joy AND woe”. As Blake observed.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Nemo
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Re: Sogyal, etc. split from THE SELF-ARISEN VIDYA TANTRA thread

Post by Nemo » Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:02 pm

Many assholes were able to give pointing out instructions. Once you have them all conceptuality is a valueless pile of shit. Your concepts die with your body. Sucks if your teacher is such an asshole. The mental gymnastics justifying them will be difficult. Perhaps you will be shunned. What does it matter though? Simply hide your outward dharma manifestations so as not to give people the wrong idea about Buddhism.

Simon E.
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Re: Sogyal, etc. split from THE SELF-ARISEN VIDYA TANTRA thread

Post by Simon E. » Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:21 pm

Pointing out “instructions” have little to do with concepts. And very few are able to give the genuine article.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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