Books for beginner Gelug students

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Josef
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Re: Books for beginner Gelug students

Post by Josef » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:53 pm

Atisha's Lamp for the Path
Bodhicaryavatara
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

kausalya
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Re: Books for beginner Gelug students

Post by kausalya » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:03 pm

Books, and the ideas within them, mean nothing absolute. They are only useful for what they inspire in your mind. Same with physical teachers.

If a student sees sectarianism in Phabongkha's intent, the problem is with that student and the ideas they take as solid. Engaging constructively with our neuroses is a primary way to develop bodhichitta/pure vision. At this time, Phabongkha acted however he acted in the hope that you, right now, could see the essence of his words, which is totally nonsectarian. For reference, see Padampa Sangye's advice to Machig Labdron.

The nature of skillful means is such that, if you can't understand it, then the method is not for you. Every method has its place, because every method originates from mind. This alone is the basis to stop disparaging all lineage lamas, regardless of how they appear to you. Nothing is ever so simple.

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Grigoris
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Re: Books for beginner Gelug students

Post by Grigoris » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:03 pm

kausalya wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:03 pm
Nothing is ever so simple.
Actually, some things are very simple. AND it is a misnomer to believe that: back then things were done like that so we cannot judge how things were done. In all Ages there were people that went with the dominant trend and others that fought against it.

For example: I am sure that not all Geluk supported the pogroms against the Jonangpa.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: Books for beginner Gelug students

Post by kausalya » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:12 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:03 pm
kausalya wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:03 pm
Nothing is ever so simple.
Actually, some things are very simple. AND it is a misnomer to believe that: back then things were done like that so we cannot judge how things were done. In all Ages there were people that went with the dominant trend and others that fought against it.

For example: I am sure that not all Geluk supported the pogroms against the Jonangpa.
I agree with you that some judgment is necessary; that's why things are different now. The essence of the teachings, though, passed through every one of the teachers, regardless of their personal foibles. That's what matters, and that's what it means to have an unbroken lineage. To discount that is to break samaya. Even HHDL appears to have a balanced view on Phabongkha if he doesn't discard him entirely.

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Re: Books for beginner Gelug students

Post by Grigoris » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:13 pm

kausalya wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:12 pm
I agree with you that some judgment is necessary; that's why things are different now. The essence of the teachings, though, passed through every one of the teachers, regardless of their personal foibles. That's what matters, and that's what it means to have an unbroken lineage. To discount that is to break samaya. Even HHDL appears to have a balanced view on Phabongkha if he doesn't discard him entirely.
If you have samaya, if you don't you can just completely ignore them.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

kausalya
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Re: Books for beginner Gelug students

Post by kausalya » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:24 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:13 pm
kausalya wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:12 pm
I agree with you that some judgment is necessary; that's why things are different now. The essence of the teachings, though, passed through every one of the teachers, regardless of their personal foibles. That's what matters, and that's what it means to have an unbroken lineage. To discount that is to break samaya. Even HHDL appears to have a balanced view on Phabongkha if he doesn't discard him entirely.
If you have samaya, if you don't you can just completely ignore them.
My understanding is that all modern Gelug teachers have been touched in some way by Phabongkha. Is this false?

Either way, I would be hesitant to "completely ignore him" in the same way I don't completely ignore any of the other traditions, although I practice solely in Gelug. Seeing the wisdom in every different method and developing faith on that basis prevents sectarianism completely.

The method doesn't exist for the teacher, but for the student. I've heard it said that a wise teacher doesn't guarantee a wise student, but a wise student guarantees a good teacher.

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Mantrik
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Re: Books for beginner Gelug students

Post by Mantrik » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:48 pm

Ayu wrote:
Wed May 03, 2017 12:54 pm

I didn't argue that, but I think it is not good to condemn Pabonka's work outright.
Absolutely.

There's the old adage about not throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand is not only something FPMT accept, but I have also attended classes by a senior Geshe from Drepung who is quite clear that whatever the 'other' situation, the book is fine.
Further, as far as I know the Vajrayogini sadhana contains no controversial references either - one was certainly added by a cult at a later date, but not by him afaik.
It's fine to recommend Tsongkhapa's original texts or abridged versions but they are as dull as ditchwater, something to be dipped into, but generally unsuitable for a beginner I think.
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Re: Books for beginner Gelug students

Post by kausalya » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:23 pm

My reason for posting, and for resurrecting this old thread, was to point out that it's necessary for each one of us to achieve equanimity on this issue, and it's my deepest wish for everyone to do so. More importantly, perhaps, I have complete faith that it's possible.

The reason not to judge any prior lama harshly is that his/her overt methods weren't for us, but for his/her own students, who digested them and passed the essence on to us in a different form, one that was appropriate for those times and those students that they themselves had.

At this point, it's like arguing about a dream. My own attempts at practice are aimed at neither accepting nor rejecting anything -- simply using whatever arises as a means to transform my mental afflictions.

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Re: Books for beginner Gelug students

Post by Fortyeightvows » Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:56 pm

My understanding is that all modern Gelug teachers have been touched in some way by Phabongkha. Is this false?
You are absolutely correct in saying this!
Further, as far as I know the Vajrayogini sadhana contains no controversial references either
That is also correct but I'm not sure how it relates here.

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Re: Books for beginner Gelug students

Post by kausalya » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:36 pm

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:56 pm
Further, as far as I know the Vajrayogini sadhana contains no controversial references either
That is also correct but I'm not sure how it relates here.
I think it's just an attempt to justify some of Phabongkha's good works. The problem with this reasoning, although I also agree with the statement on its face, is that it doesn't actually "take the good with the bad," so to speak. Thus, it's a barrier to equanimity.

In order to come to peace with the present and act completely constructively for the benefit of all, a more subtle approach is necessary. I see anything less as courting with the downfall of abandoning love (real love, full love) for any sentient being.

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Mantrik
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Re: Books for beginner Gelug students

Post by Mantrik » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:10 pm

kausalya wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:36 pm
Fortyeightvows wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:56 pm
Further, as far as I know the Vajrayogini sadhana contains no controversial references either
That is also correct but I'm not sure how it relates here.
I think it's just an attempt to justify some of Phabongkha's good works. The problem with this reasoning, although I also agree with the statement on its face, is that it doesn't actually "take the good with the bad," so to speak. Thus, it's a barrier to equanimity.
No, it is an indication that most of the 'bad' is forbidden from discussion here, and that we are already aware of it. I sought to balance those whose comments were 'all bad' so to bring about equanimity. How odd not to comment on those remarks as a barrier to equanimity.
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Om Thathpurushaya Vidhmahe
Suvarna Pakshaya Dheemahe
Thanno Garuda Prachodayath

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

kausalya
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Re: Books for beginner Gelug students

Post by kausalya » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:18 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:10 pm
No, it is an indication that most of the 'bad' is forbidden from discussion here, and that we are already aware of it. I sought to balance those whose comments were 'all bad' so to bring about equanimity. How odd not to comment on those remarks as a barrier to equanimity.
Both are barriers, but the more subtle one was what I thought most important to distinguish. You already did the first job yourself, and my intention was not to reject what you were saying out of hand. My only goal was to take us from negative, to positive (with your help), to neutral.

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