The Aro Authenticity Debate.

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dzoki
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Re: What it means to be a ngakpa

Post by dzoki » Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:26 pm

DGA wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:21 pm
He's been performing as Doc Togden for years now. I recall a facebook fan page for him maybe seven or eight years ago.

What's the harm? He looks healthy and happy.
There is no harm in playing music, the harm is that he is teaching a fake terma. Anyway, enough about this. Let's go :focus:

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Malcolm
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Re: What it means to be a ngakpa

Post by Malcolm » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:47 pm

dzoki wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:26 pm
DGA wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:21 pm
He's been performing as Doc Togden for years now. I recall a facebook fan page for him maybe seven or eight years ago.

What's the harm? He looks healthy and happy.
There is no harm in playing music, the harm is that he is teaching a fake terma. Anyway, enough about this. Let's go :focus:
How do you know his termas are fake? What is your basis for such an evaluation? Are they inconsistent with the meaning of the Dharma in general? Is there some teaching within them that contradicts Buddhadharma specifically? If yes, what specifically? If no, then what is the problem?
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


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

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

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

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: What it means to be a ngakpa

Post by dzoki » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:12 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:47 pm
dzoki wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:26 pm
DGA wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:21 pm
He's been performing as Doc Togden for years now. I recall a facebook fan page for him maybe seven or eight years ago.

What's the harm? He looks healthy and happy.
There is no harm in playing music, the harm is that he is teaching a fake terma. Anyway, enough about this. Let's go :focus:
How do you know his termas are fake? What is your basis for such an evaluation? Are they inconsistent with the meaning of the Dharma in general? Is there some teaching within them that contradicts Buddhadharma specifically? If yes, what specifically? If no, then what is the problem?
:D Come on Malcolm. Ok, just for a sport of it, I have one name for you: Aro Khyungchen Lingma - the originator of the terma, a lady who apparently lived in Tibet of Chogyam's imagination, in other words there is no lineage to this stuff. If you have doubts that Chogyam is teaching a load of BS, check out this article:

http://www.aroencyclopaedia.org/shared/ ... ar_eng.php

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The Aro Authenticity Debate.

Post by Virgo » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:27 pm

The Aro Authenticity Debate.

Split from: What it means to be a Ngakpa (viewtopic.php?f=49&t=27612&start=140).
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Re: The Aro Authenticity Debate.

Post by dzogchungpa » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:58 pm

:popcorn:
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Re: What it means to be a ngakpa

Post by Grigoris » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:04 pm

dzoki wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:12 pm
:D Come on Malcolm. Ok, just for a sport of it, I have one name for you: Aro Khyungchen Lingma - the originator of the terma, a lady who apparently lived in Tibet of Chogyam's imagination, in other words there is no lineage to this stuff. If you have doubts that Chogyam is teaching a load of BS, check out this article:

http://www.aroencyclopaedia.org/shared/ ... ar_eng.php
I have no grasp whatsoever of the Tibetan language, but the explanation doesn't really make any sense at all, even though it was in English.
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Re: The Aro Authenticity Debate.

Post by DGA » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:43 pm

For those who are just now joining us, previous episodes of this program can be enjoyed at the links below:

viewtopic.php?f=40&t=11438

viewtopic.php?f=48&t=6455

viewtopic.php?t=6408

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Re: What it means to be a ngakpa

Post by Mantrik » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:44 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:04 pm
dzoki wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:12 pm
:D Come on Malcolm. Ok, just for a sport of it, I have one name for you: Aro Khyungchen Lingma - the originator of the terma, a lady who apparently lived in Tibet of Chogyam's imagination, in other words there is no lineage to this stuff. If you have doubts that Chogyam is teaching a load of BS, check out this article:

http://www.aroencyclopaedia.org/shared/ ... ar_eng.php
I have no grasp whatsoever of the Tibetan language, but the explanation doesn't really make any sense at all even though it was in English.
Often words flow in this way after deep inhalation.
Personally I often have an efflorescent thigle.
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Re: The Aro Authenticity Debate.

Post by Simon E. » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:17 am

Malcolm said it best back in 2012. 'Some people like Chogyam and his trip and others think it is bullshit.'


Nothing has changed. Nothing will.

Authenticity or not is irrelevant. In five years or ten years if the Aro and this forum is still in existence the same debate will happen every few months or so.

And Chogyam's followers won't read it.

And other people will ring their hands again and see themselves as having a sacred duty to be indignant.
Taking advantage of a temporary situation. Back for a short time only folks.

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Re: What it means to be a ngakpa

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:10 am

dzoki wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:12 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:47 pm
dzoki wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:26 pm


There is no harm in playing music, the harm is that he is teaching a fake terma. Anyway, enough about this. Let's go :focus:
How do you know his termas are fake? What is your basis for such an evaluation? Are they inconsistent with the meaning of the Dharma in general? Is there some teaching within them that contradicts Buddhadharma specifically? If yes, what specifically? If no, then what is the problem?
:D Come on Malcolm. Ok, just for a sport of it, I have one name for you: Aro Khyungchen Lingma - the originator of the terma, a lady who apparently lived in Tibet of Chogyam's imagination, in other words there is no lineage to this stuff.
You realize that this critique, absence of lineage, has been leveled against the whole treasure tradition, right? And frankly, just as there has never been any satisfactory answer to these critiques other than "I believe this," or "My teacher says it is true," (or false as the case may be) likewise here the criticism amounts to "I don't believe this." The same applies to all tantras, sūtras, and collections like Abhidhamma, likely the very first "terma" in the history of Buddadharma.

Do you have any idea how many names of people there are in Buddhist texts for whom evidence of their historical existence is utterly lacking? Why do we believe in such people? The answer is simple —— someone told us to and we do, even though we have no proof these names were ever connected with sentient beings who lived and died on this planet, or any other.

Aro Lingma may be a fantasy, or she may have been a historical person. I don't know and neither do you. We can have our opinions about these things, but opinions are not facts. Not only that, there are many termas and tertons that have come and gone in Tibet, whose names we have never heard of and will never know, too minor to have been recorded by anyone, too obscure, too remote. It is merely an accident that Chogyur Lingpa found favor with Khyentse Wangpo -- in Nangchen everyone thought he was a fraud and laughed him out of town. Even Kongtrul records that he doubted Chogyur Lingpa at first.

Having said all that, it could be useful for you to review Gendun Chophel's theory of confirmation bias:

Beyond each mountain pass is a different religious sect with thousands of scholars and fools who follow it saying, "Just this is true, this will not deceive you." This self-authorization of one's own truth delights a group of similar beings; when told to a group who does not agree, they are scornful.

—— The Madman's Middle Way, Lopez; Chicago, 2006.

This is how we sound, and we sound scornful.
If you have doubts that Chogyam is teaching a load of BS, check out this article:

http://www.aroencyclopaedia.org/shared/ ... ar_eng.php
bkra lam me (བཀྲ་ལམ་མེ་) is an actual word. Apart from obvious phonetic mistakes like confusing bkra (brilliant) with khra (harrier), and not understanding that me reduplicates of the final consonant in lam as an intensifier, quite frankly, I have seen any number of fanciful etymologies of Tibetan words explained by Tibetans, based on similar kinds of errors, for example the fanciful etymolgies we see for bye ma la mu tra, a.k.a Paṇḍita Vimalamitra of Vima sNying thig fame.

These kinds of fanciful etymologies are also found in Indian Buddhist text. All that this explanation shows is that Chogyam's Tibetan is awful.

In reality, he is talking about ojas (mdangs) the most subtle part of food refined into a subtle fluid that maintains health, vitality, sexual potency, and ultimately, one's life force. Ojas means "brilliant."

But he is not talking about the Dharma here, he is talking about the effect of stress, sexual misconduct, etc., on one's brilliance. The principle thing that degrades ojas is sadness and stress.

Trungpa invented a whole new vocabulary for Westerners out of Tibetan words that has little or nothing at all do with how they are actually understood in Tibetan culture. But I am sure you think he is an authentic terton. Why?

So, you are going have to do a little better to find something Chogyam is teaching which really contradicts the Dharma. Fanciful explanations based on ignorance of Tibetan isn't sufficient, because Tibetans engaged in plenty of fanciful explanations based on ignorance of Sanskrit, as anyone knows who has taken the time to read Sakya Paṇḍita's Differentiation of the Three Vows.

A personal aside:

BTW, I was quite young in the Dharma when I met Ngagpa Yeshe Dorje Rinpoche (the recollection of whose name never fails to bring tears to my eyes), at a time when he and Chogyam did not get along anymore. But I have to admit that Ngagpa Rimpoche emphatically stated to me personally that he wanted no part in any conflict with Chogyam, despite Rinpoche's personal disappointment in many of Chogyam's decisions. In my youthful delusion that I mistook for faith, out of pride I took up a grudge that was not mine to carry. That is why I issued an apology for saying unkind things about the Aro folk, such as "Their teachings are fake termas."

There is no authority upon which we may rely, apart from our own judgement. But we are not omniscient, and many teachings loudly once decried as fraudulent are now praised everywhere without question. Who is to say that Aroter is not something like this? You? Me? Anyone?
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


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

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

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

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: The Aro Authenticity Debate.

Post by DGA » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:13 am

DGA wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:43 pm
For those who are just now joining us, previous episodes of this program can be enjoyed at the links below:

viewtopic.php?f=40&t=11438

viewtopic.php?f=48&t=6455

viewtopic.php?t=6408
more to the point...

the contributions of member sdw in one of those old threads above are of particular interest. You can see why here.

viewtopic.php?t=11438#p147417

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Re: The Aro Authenticity Debate.

Post by MatthewAngby » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:27 am

Oh my! I didn’t know I would cause this debates ( indirectly ). Anyway I trust Grigoris more for some reason - so what’s your view on it grigoris ? Are the Aro ‘s the real deal or?
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Re: The Aro Authenticity Debate.

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:29 am

DGA wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:13 am
DGA wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:43 pm
For those who are just now joining us, previous episodes of this program can be enjoyed at the links below:

viewtopic.php?f=40&t=11438

viewtopic.php?f=48&t=6455

viewtopic.php?t=6408
more to the point...

the contributions of member sdw in one of those old threads above are of particular interest. You can see why here.

viewtopic.php?t=11438#p147417
Not really sure which contributions you are talking about here, all I found from SDW was a kind of boring argument with Greg about robes, was there something else?
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Re: What it means to be a ngakpa

Post by pael » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:03 am

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:10 am
...'' fake termas."

There is no authority upon which we may rely, apart from our own judgement. But we are not omniscient, and many teachings loudly once decried as fraudulent are now praised everywhere without question. Who is to say that Aroter is not something like this? You? Me? Anyone?
I read Padmasambhava-quote which say something like ''who rely on fake terma is damned'. Did he say so? On who we can rely?
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Re: What it means to be a ngakpa

Post by dzoki » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:38 am

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:10 am
Aro Lingma may be a fantasy, or she may have been a historical person.
Aro Lingma is a fantasy, there is no historical record of her, or at least Chogyam never bothered to present one - that is apart from his Fairy tails, which have no root in any Tibetan text. Your argument is pretty much same as that of Christians, when they say: "You cannot prove that God does not exist, therefore he must exist." Which is a logical falacy.

Malcolm, sometimes I feel that you like to stir up discussion just for the sake of discussion :D and make an argument just for the sake of arguments. This issue of Aro has been beaten to death on this forum, so I am not sure that it needs to be discussed again.

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Re: What it means to be a ngakpa

Post by Fa Dao » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:47 am

Right on bro!! That takes real courage :bow: I have read through some of the Aro stuff and although not my cup of tea I never saw anything that directly contradicted Buddhadharma...seemed like there were people in there that were/are serious and sincere practitioners so I never much bothered with an opinion about them....I have been on this site for well over 5 years and always thought it was kinda sad though that they were/are banned from here...who knows what someone from there might have added to some of the conversations on here?


A personal aside:

BTW, I was quite young in the Dharma when I met Ngagpa Yeshe Dorje Rinpoche (the recollection of whose name never fails to bring tears to my eyes), at a time when he and Chogyam did not get along anymore. But I have to admit that Ngagpa Rimpoche emphatically stated to me personally that he wanted no part in any conflict with Chogyam, despite Rinpoche's personal disappointment in many of Chogyam's decisions. In my youthful delusion that I mistook for faith, out of pride I took up a grudge that was not mine to carry. That is why I issued an apology for saying unkind things about the Aro folk, such as "Their teachings are fake termas."

There is no authority upon which we may rely, apart from our own judgement. But we are not omniscient, and many teachings loudly once decried as fraudulent are now praised everywhere without question. Who is to say that Aroter is not something like this? You? Me? Anyone?
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Re: What it means to be a ngakpa

Post by Simon E. » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:52 am

dzoki wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:38 am
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:10 am
Aro Lingma may be a fantasy, or she may have been a historical person.
Aro Lingma is a fantasy, there is no historical record of her, or at least Chogyam never bothered to present one - that is apart from his Fairy tails, which have no root in any Tibetan text. Your argument is pretty much same as that of Christians, when they say: "You cannot prove that God does not exist, therefore he must exist." Which is a logical falacy.

Malcolm, sometimes I feel that you like to stir up discussion just for the sake of discussion :D and make an argument just for the sake of arguments. This issue of Aro has been beaten to death on this forum, so I am not sure that it needs to be discussed again.
This is pure projection. It is you who is stirring up discussion for the sake of it. Malcolm is moving the debate away from controversy. You are correct, the issue has been done to death...and will be again.
But what you are actually saying is that the issue won't be finished with until everyone shares your view of the matter.
In reality, you may have to settle for the fact that some sane, learned, members of this forum do not share your view of the Aro gTer, and that this does not amount to an endorsement of them.
Why not let it go?
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Re: What it means to be a ngakpa

Post by Mantrik » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:19 am

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:10 am

There is no authority upon which we may rely, apart from our own judgement. But we are not omniscient, and many teachings loudly once decried as fraudulent are now praised everywhere without question. Who is to say that Aroter is not something like this? You? Me? Anyone?
Our own judgement can lead us to a Guru, and reliance on that Guru. The Aro issue is whether or not people should be advised against following the guy as their Guru. Sure, we can bat the terms around and make fun of non-conformity, but in the end, if you participate on a forum like this, sooner or later you may well find that someone either convincingly refutes what your Guru has taught, or possibly persuades you that your Guru is someone you should abandon.

I abandoned one Guru for all sorts of reasons, but conversations here some years ago played their part. My former Guru and his organisation was harmful to some of his followers, without doubt, and for me it was a good judgement to leave. For others, I wonder if it would have been better for them not to know, such is the devastation caused to their lives by discovering how they were misled and exploited. I see that when I help a few to pick up the pieces. Some, maybe Aro followers who see this thread, may be led to doubt, of course.

With that in mind, in the case of Aro, we have to use our judgement to see the balance of benefit and harm. As you say, we can't authenticate ancient scriptural derivation, or the tales of tertons long gone, so we're left with what Aro actually do. As I wrote earlier, there is a kernel of Dharma in there and perhaps we need to crack open the nut-shell to appreciate it. Mostly harmless, beneficial for some, is my 'judgement'.

In Tibet they value the dreamers. Elsewhere, you need to be very careful where you say: 'I have a dream'.
Last edited by Mantrik on Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What it means to be a ngakpa

Post by weitsicht » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:44 am

Why do get discussions so easily heated on the DW?

Three issues I would like to contribute: one quotation, one question, one reference

(1) Yuk sha. Leave it there. Leave it there. Let's have some tea C.R.Lama
(2) Where lies the difference between a Ngakpa and a Togden? Lineage? Vows? Celibacy?
(3) few years ago I tumbled across David Chapman's site and found this article very intriguing https://vividness.live/2015/11/27/empti ... en-ethics/ I am very thankful to what I learnt through this text and others and I couldn't care less about the question of the acceptability of Aro'gTer

@Johnny Dangerous why did you change the thread's title?
Ho! All the possible appearances and existences of samsara and nirvana have the same source, yet two paths and two results arise as the magical display of awareness and unawareness.
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Re: What it means to be a ngakpa

Post by PeterC » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:09 pm

dzoki wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:38 am
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:10 am
Aro Lingma may be a fantasy, or she may have been a historical person.
Aro Lingma is a fantasy, there is no historical record of her, or at least Chogyam never bothered to present one - that is apart from his Fairy tails, which have no root in any Tibetan text. Your argument is pretty much same as that of Christians, when they say: "You cannot prove that God does not exist, therefore he must exist." Which is a logical falacy.

Malcolm, sometimes I feel that you like to stir up discussion just for the sake of discussion :D and make an argument just for the sake of arguments. This issue of Aro has been beaten to death on this forum, so I am not sure that it needs to be discussed again.
What is the internet for if not facilitating argument for its own sake?

I can no more *prove* that Aro is a fraud than I can prove that there isn't an elephant in my room with me. Moreover both Chogyur Lingpa and Dudjom Lingpa were viewed as frauds early in their lives. So why can't we concede that Aro might be genuine? But that's probably the wrong question. In the absence of definitive proof, we have to act like statisticians rather than logicians. We can't prove that a terma isn't fraudulent, but we can look at whether there are practitioners considered highly realized who practiced the teachings in that terma and considered them to be genuine. Chokling and Dudjom lineages can say that. Aro, not so much. So while Aro might be genuine, life is short, and there's a higher probability that we're wasting our time with Aro than with other lineages.

Or we could just ask Jyoti, since she's penetrated the definitive meaning of all Buddhadharma. That would settle it.

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