Gangteng Rinpoche: Buddha really was a giant

Alfredo
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Gangteng Rinpoche: Buddha really was a giant

Post by Alfredo » Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:21 pm

Click on July 2013 teachings: http://www.longchenrabjam.org/en/node/15

Gangteng Rinpoche warns his listeners not to trust science (or does he mean secular scholarship in general?) more than religion, since some scientists just make things up in order to get famous. (Fortunately this never happens in religion.) He notes that some of his students have expressed doubts about their text, when it says (for example) that Sakyamuni Buddha had a body which is very large, and assures them that such details are meant to be taken literally. He invites those who are still dubious to resolve their doubts, for example, by traveling to Bodhgaya and finding out (from archeologists? or is their testimony suspect as well?) what Buddha looked like.

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Anders
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Re: Gangteng Rinpoche: Buddha really was a giant

Post by Anders » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:03 pm

Who doesn't like a bit of fundamentalist irrationalism about irrelevant details in the morning?
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

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Re: Gangteng Rinpoche: Buddha really was a giant

Post by Huseng » Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:36 pm

Buddha's enormous bowl, in Afghanistan at the moment, is a testament to the legend:

Image

Image

Some details:

http://sdhammika.blogspot.com/2011/11/b ... -bowl.html

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Thomas Amundsen
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Re: Gangteng Rinpoche: Buddha really was a giant

Post by Thomas Amundsen » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:38 pm

From that site:
The bowl was probably an early larger copy of the Buddha’s actual bowl placed in a monastery in Vesali for people to offer their first fruits in, a custom common in ancient India and which survived even in Sri Lanka and elsewhere up to the 19th century. The bowl’s great size may well have encouraged the acceptance of the widespread belief amongst ancient Buddhists that the Buddha was 18 feet tall. Only someone that big could have used or even lifted a bowl this size.

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Re: Gangteng Rinpoche: Buddha really was a giant

Post by DGA » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:54 pm

Was Mayadevi also a giant? Or Yasodhara?

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Re: Gangteng Rinpoche: Buddha really was a giant

Post by KonchokZoepa » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:10 pm

funny funny funny.


i think in these cases the teacher maybe should elaborate that the 'size' of buddha in abhidhamma context could be even bigger than a giant. and in this context when talking about the infinitude or largeness of buddha, doesnt refer to the rupakaya but the mind of the buddha. or something.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

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Alfredo
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Re: Gangteng Rinpoche: Buddha really was a giant

Post by Alfredo » Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:28 pm

And then there's his footprint in Sri Lanka. (Or is it Adam's?)

Can we rule out the possibility that Shakyamuni had the mutant power to grow and shrink his body?

PS. The size of his mother is irrelevant, since he emerged magically from her...was it the armpit?
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Re: Gangteng Rinpoche: Buddha really was a giant

Post by Palzang Jangchub » Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:30 pm

On a serious note, this is not such an uncommon notion in ancient cultures. The Greeks, for instance, believed their heroes to have had a certain gargantuan quality. A testament to this is that they enshrined or entombed fossilized remains of mammoths and such, believing them to be the bones of their mythical forebears.

See: http://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/ind ... /2266/2142

:stirthepot: :popcorn:
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"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྩ་བའི་བླ་མ་སྐྱབས་རྗེ་མགར་ཆེན་ཁྲི་སྤྲུལ་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་ཁྱེད་མཁྱེན་ནོ།།
རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་མཁས་གྲུབ་ཀརྨ་ཆགས་མེད་མཁྱེན་ནོ། ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོཿ

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Re: Gangteng Rinpoche: Buddha really was a giant

Post by Matylda » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:24 pm


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Re: Gangteng Rinpoche: Buddha really was a giant

Post by ClearblueSky » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:18 am

Alfredo wrote: some scientists just make things up in order to get famous. (Fortunately this never happens in religion.)
I can only assume, and hope you're being sarcastic with this sentence. Of course any given scientist can make anything up, but by the very nature of what science is, that doesn't go far. When someone has a scientific theory, it's tested, and the only way it's proven is by trying hard to prove it untrue, only until you can't do that with many attempts is it even remotely accepted. Even after that, if one scientist "proves" something but the majority of other scientists don't agree, it's pretty much considered discredited and the scientist is not taken very seriously.
Religion on the other hand is constantly filled with people making things up to become famous. Obviously there's one religion I take seriously, but it of course even happens in Buddhism all the time.

If you were joking and it just went over my head, I apologize and you can ignore this post (unfortunately it's tough to tell sarcasm through the computer).
I will say though, even though I think saying religion trumps science is a pretty ridiculous statement from anyone, I've received teachings from Gangteng Tulku several times, and I thought those teachings were absolutely wonderful. He's a very genuine teacher, even if I disagree from that particular statement.

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Re: Gangteng Rinpoche: Buddha really was a giant

Post by Alfredo » Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:15 am

I am not joking, in the sense that Gangteng Tulku really did say that (see link). But like you, I suspect that he does not really grasp how science works, or what other fields of scholarship are likely to say about the legend that Buddha was a giant. I am glad to hear that he is otherwise a fine teacher, though.
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Re: Gangteng Rinpoche: Buddha really was a giant

Post by lobster » Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:57 am

A lot of this is about context. At present we do not ask advice on spiritual practice from 'scientists'. They may offer insight on the processes but this is not their area. In a similar way a Turku with a specialised but limited education is going to offer most useful advice in their area. The Tulkus 'insight' into checking the evidence, may be more to do with faith than the 'scientific method'. Those of us straddling the two educations are in a fortunate position.

It is certainly possible that the Buddha was more discerning than our present dharma giants. Discernment is the key.

:popcorn:

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Re: Gangteng Rinpoche: Buddha really was a giant

Post by WeiHan » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:56 am

I am not impressed by this kind of pretense of confidence making assertions. In my experience, followers of such religious fundamentalism are often the most hypocritical lot. I never realise their own self contradiction when they came into one.

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Re: Gangteng Rinpoche: Buddha really was a giant

Post by WeiHan » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:50 am

I find that the post cannot be edited.

Regarding the topic, Don't you find that religious fundamentalists are usually overly defensive as if the scientists even bother to engage with them to refute their claim. I am personally not aware of any scientist whose work is primarily on disproving religious' claim such as whether the Buddha is a huge man or not. In light of this, I find the advise to his students not to believe in scientists overly defensive and he don't probably has a clue what he is talking about.

Simon E.
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Re: Gangteng Rinpoche: Buddha really was a giant

Post by Simon E. » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:52 pm

If this is the Gangten Rinpoche that I have in mind we must remember that he has lived a life vastly different to anything that we can imagine..although relatively young, he was born in a remote area of Bhutan and not subject to western style education and thought processes.

We should cultivate the mind of the honey bee..taking the essence, the nectar, and not attempt to swallow the whole plant, flower, root leaves, and stem..
If you use the word 'mind' without defining your terms I will ask you politely for a definition. :smile:
This is not to be awkward. But it's really not self-explanatory.

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Re: Gangteng Rinpoche: Buddha really was a giant

Post by WeiHan » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:17 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:52 pm
If this is the Gangten Rinpoche that I have in mind we must remember that he has lived a life vastly different to anything that we can imagine..although relatively young, he was born in a remote area of Bhutan and not subject to western style education and thought processes.

We should cultivate the mind of the honey bee..taking the essence, the nectar, and not attempt to swallow the whole plant, flower, root leaves, and stem..
I understand your point. But my point isn't about whether one believes in the historical Buddha who is super huge size. The Rinpoche is overly self defensive to blame everything to science at the slightest enquiry. I will respect his view if he simply quotes his belief with supports from scriptural texts etc...without blaming and attacking scientists and science..Bhutanese, these days are generally less religiously devoted. In this Rinpoche's mind, he must be blaming all these erosion in faith to advancement in science..but really it is not..any general man on the street will raise their eyebrows if you tell them real human of these size existed..we don't need scientists to question this. i also don't think we need modern education to have a fair mind.

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Re: Gangteng Rinpoche: Buddha really was a giant

Post by Simon E. » Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:15 pm

My intention is neither to defend this Rinpoche nor judge him.
I am pointing out that imparting the essence of the teaching and the ability to confer empowerments ( for example) are not dependant on a teachers views of science.
If you use the word 'mind' without defining your terms I will ask you politely for a definition. :smile:
This is not to be awkward. But it's really not self-explanatory.

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Re: Gangteng Rinpoche: Buddha really was a giant

Post by heart » Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:53 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:15 pm
My intention is neither to defend this Rinpoche nor judge him.
I am pointing out that imparting the essence of the teaching and the ability to confer empowerments ( for example) are not dependant on a teachers views of science.
Good point!

/magnus
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"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

WeiHan
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Re: Gangteng Rinpoche: Buddha really was a giant

Post by WeiHan » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:00 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:15 pm
My intention is neither to defend this Rinpoche nor judge him.
I am pointing out that imparting the essence of the teaching and the ability to confer empowerments ( for example) are not dependant on a teachers views of science.
That said, however, if a teacher has some wisdom from his practice, how can his views regarding certain subject be so extreme. example, scientists like to make up false stuffs.

Most often, a Guru empowerments which he conferred when sitting on a throne has little effect on his audience but his personal views which he imparted to his close followers has more profound effect. This Rinpoche is always in constant need of huge fund for his projects in Bhutan. What he promised his close followers is that making offering to the Maning Mahakala-the lineage protectors will definitely bring them success in wealth. I personally witness tragedy from the influence of this view. It, at the minimum, gave some guys a false sense of confidence which lead to tragic decision which affects their life greatly. example, one guy really believes that propitiating Mahakala will guarantee him wealth success and so he resigned his cushy job to embark on a business endeavor (which I personally don't see high chance of success). The outcome is what you would have guessed. this guy wasted 5 years on a crappy plan based on false confidence. Another guy never want to have a proper job because he believes the red deities in this lineage will attracts him great wealth with trading.Apparently, this is what this Rinpoche told him. of course, the outcome is what should you have guessed. I have other examples including bankruptcy which i do not want to recount.

I think all these guys have their character traits to be blamed partially but the teacher personal teachings has a role to play in their final decision.

if you guys are just there to receive empowerments, some teachings which he taught from traditional texts (it can't go wrong), then it is fine. But if his close students hook you up to help in setting up centres etc fro this Rinpoche, you better think twice.

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Re: Gangteng Rinpoche: Buddha really was a giant

Post by Pero » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:42 pm

WeiHan wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:00 pm
....
if you guys are just there to receive empowerments, some teachings which he taught from traditional texts (it can't go wrong), then it is fine. But if his close students hook you up to help in setting up centres etc fro this Rinpoche, you better think twice.
I don't understand, why think twice about helping in his centres? I'll probably do so next year. The examples you gave mostly show to me the naivety (to put it nicely) of people. I wouldn't think even for a second to ask any of my teachers about help with my job, in the sense of how to do it better. If any one of them gave me unsolicited advice on it, I would definitely listen but also think it through - if it didn't make much sense or brought high likelihood of negative consequences I would not follow it.

Practices can indeed help with your relative circumstance but you can't just expect everything to go well without good work on your own side. The saying "God helps those who help themselves" goes for us as well, I think many people don't do enough on the help themselves part. I certainly don't. Although I don't do enough on the other side either, in the end I seem to be just a lazy bum. :emb:
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
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