Grigoris wrote: ↑
Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:53 am
And let's just run a quick rational review of the situation:
Aro gTer have no lineage. No amount of "To quoque"
logical fallacies can deny this.
The terma has not be ratified/certified/recognised by anybody other than it's writer and thus it's legitimacy is questionable.
It is not like there is a treasure ratification committee. Treasures are "ratified" because a highly respected person reviews the text by various means and decides it is good. But it is all based on the chain of authority that ends with one's own personal decision to accept or reject this or that teaching as "true or false."
This is the position the entire treasure tradition finds itself: the first well known terton, Nyangral Nyima Ozer, was not "authenticated" by anyone, and was roundly criticized by those outside his circle of disciples, and others with whom he associated who were also involved in treasure revelations.
For example, in his composition of the Indian biography of Padmasambhava, Jetsun Taranatha laughs at people who accept treasure biographies like the Life of the Lotus Born
(bzang gling ma
), and so on.
Nyang's successor, Guru Chowang, too was roundly criticized in 13th century Tibet for just making things up. Guru Chowang was not recognized by anyone as the reincarnation of Nyang Ral, he just went around and started telling people that he was Nyang Ral's incarnation. At that time, the treasure tradition was just getting a head of steam. Guru Chowang, BTW, is the original terton of the Seven Line Prayer that you chant everyday.
Much later on, Dili Terton, aka Dudjom Lingpa, without any teacher at all started writing down termas. But no one told him to go ahead and reveal treasures, and no one formally recognized him as the incarnation of Kathog Duddul Dorje.
Nyala Chanchub Dorje, ChNN's guru, just started revealing treasures, no one told him to. No one ratified his treasures, and they were largely unknown to anyone outside his direct circle of disciples in his region of Kham. He was well known as a physician, not a terton.
The reason I point all this out is that stating something is questionable value because it was not "ratified" by anyone in fact even applies to Mahāyāna sūtras in general, and the tantras as well.
You see, Greg, the only reason you accept the treasure tradition as valid that you have decided to do so, and since you have decided for yourself this or that treasure was a valid teaching, you seek it out.
You can try and claim that you accept these as valid because it was ratified by this or that person, but even here, you are accepting this person's authority purely on the basis of your own opinions about what to accept and what to reject. The same goes for Dhogyal, its followers, and detractors as well.And that same is true for Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, and so on There is no objective authority in these matters, no objective standard by which we can confirm at the outset "this one is true, this one is false" apart from examining the teachings themselves to see if their meaning is in accord with the Dharma. Sometimes we decide that this or that does not conform to the meaning, sometimes we do. But it is all based on our personal opinions. The idea that it is based on any thing else is ridiculous.
Even more problematical is the notion that false termas contain no blessings. Let us say for example, someone reveals some "mind" treasure, in every respect conforming with the meaning of sūtra, tantra, and atiyoga. It however is denounced as false because the terton's character is suspect, etc. What does it mean to say that a treasure has no blessings? From the point of view of some Sakyas and Gelugpas, the treasure tradition in general lacks blessings completely because even though the meaning of the teaching may conform perfectly, there is no continuous lineage which can be traced back to an Indian master, and ultimately, to the Buddha.
This leaves us with one more important factor that can lend legitimacy to Aro gTer, or put an end to this pointless debate: Who is Doc's teacher?
His gurus include HH Dalai Lama, HH Sakya Trizin, HH Dudjom Rinpoche, Ngakpa Yeshe Dorje RInpoche, CR Lama, etc., but his root guru is the late Kunzang Dorje Rinpoche, who composed the Tummo section of the Khandro Thugthig.
Who was the person that gave Doc permission to teach (let alone reveal terma)? I searched their site and found no information, except some vague references to their undeniably fake lineage.
As pointed out above, many tertons just start revealing termas without being told they should reveal termas. The usual procedure is to reveal them, and then practice them for many years in secrecy. Only when signs of their efficacy arise, do tertons in general start promulgating their revelations. But their efficacy can only be proven by practicing them oneself, and attaining awakening. So too, the only way to prove them false is to practice them and fail to attain awakening.
Undeniable, because the onus is on the people making the claim to prove it true, something which has not been done.
Can you provide anything more than anecdotal evidence that any treasure is "valid?" Apart from personally engaging in their practice themselves, the only pramāṇa, authority or valid cognition, upon which one may rely upon for authenticating treasures is śabdapramāṇa, the authority that depends on the testimony of a reliable witness. But in that case, how does one establish the witness as an authority?
In the end, śabdapramāṇa amounts to no more than this, as the great Dzogchen master and scholar, Gendun Chophel remarks:
Whatever most people like appears as the truth; whatever most mouths agree on appears as a philosophical tenet. Inside of each person is a different form of valid knowledge, with an adamantine scripture supporting it.
Madman's Middle Way, pg. 63.
Inferential valid knowledge is produced from direct awareness; inference analyzes whether direct perception is true or false; because the child is serving as the father's witness, I am uncomfortable about positing conventional validity.
Madman's Middle Way, pg. 62
And finally, to demonstrate the poverty of your wish for a certain proof that anything can be proven to be true or false with respect to validating a treasure and any other teaching at all:
One may think:"We concede that our decisions are unreliable, but when we follow the decisions of the Buddha, we are infallible." Then who decided the Buddha was infallible? If you say, "The great scholars and adepts like Nāgārjuna decided that he was infallible," then who decided that Nāgārjuna was infallible? If you say, "The Foremost Lama [Tshong kha pa] decided it," then who knows that the Foremost Lama is infallible? If you say, "Our kind and peerless lama, the excellent and great so and so decided," than infallibility, which depends on your own excellent lama, is decided by your own mind. In fact, therefore, it is a tiger who vouches for a lion, it is a yak who vouches for a tiger, it is a dog who vouches for a yak, it is a mouse who vouches for a dog, it is an insect who vouches for a mouse. Thus, an insect is made the final voucher for them all. Therefore, when one analyzes in detail the final basis for any decision, apart from coming back to one's own mind, nothing else whatsoever is perceived.
Madman's Middle Way, pp. 49-50
So your demand that the Aro people prove their treasures are valid is really quite foolish, and your denunciation of their teachings is based solely on your own jaundiced eye.