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

Malcolm
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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 » Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:49 pm

PeterC wrote:
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?
That is not in fact the criteria of so-called unconventional behavior.
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.)
This idea that "uncertain deeds" is confined to doing menial or unpleasant things is a misconception. For example, Naropa was obese and carried around on a palanquin, mobbed by crowds, according to the account of Nyan Lotsawa as found in the Sakya Kabum.

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?
You are describing the condition of the modern tulku system.

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

Post by smcj » Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:38 pm

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?
You are describing the condition of the modern tulku system.
Ösel Tendzin wasn’t a tulku.

It’s more pervasive than that. It’s a post “spiritual materialism”, post “crazy wisdom” pretext for samsaric indulgence. It’s samsara posing as hip, slick, and cool Dharma. It’s as much spiritual materialistic as a sanctimonious hippie. Only a sanctimonious hippie would at least be refraining from creating non-virtuous karma.

However there is a seed of legitimacy in the premise of crazy wisdom, etc. and cannot be simply dismissed. So the trend is enthusiastically perpetuated. Sad.
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)

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

Post by mandog » Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:51 pm

Simon E. wrote:
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.
Wow. What great lamas you gave met. You really have had a precious human birth.

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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 6:00 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:49 pm
PeterC wrote:
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?
That is not in fact the criteria of so-called unconventional behavior.
No, but it’s a relatively easy test to apply that would have screened out Lakhar, Mukpo Jr and others. And none of this would even need discussing if people didn’t fetishize ‘crazy’ behavior in the first place.

mandog
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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 6:06 pm

PeterC wrote:
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?
I am not convinced that hitting people is unconventional. In Tibet, it was very normal for a lama to beat their disciples.

I was never hit by an authority figure, so my opinion is not so important, but I do have a dear friend who was beat quite frequently growing up. I’ve talked to him a lot about it and he claims it made him more gentle and polite. Who knows...

In the words of Lama Mipham:

63. Therefore do not rely on individuals,
But rely upon the Dharma.
Freedom comes from the genuine path that is taught,
Not from the one who teaches it.

64. When the teachings are well presented,
It does not matter what the speaker is like.
Even the bliss-gone buddhas themselves
Appear as butchers and such like to train disciples.

mandog
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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 6:14 pm

PeterC wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:00 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:49 pm
PeterC wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:54 am



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?
That is not in fact the criteria of so-called unconventional behavior.
No, but it’s a relatively easy test to apply that would have screened out Lakhar, Mukpo Jr and others. And none of this would even need discussing if people didn’t fetishize ‘crazy’ behavior in the first place.
The point is that it is not a relevant test. The results of the test do not help us discern who is qualified and who is unqualified.

It is like this. My apartment smells like gas. I decide I need to determine if there is a gas leak. I grab a thermometer. The thermometer tells me the temperature; it is very good at that.

Great, now I know the temperature. Unfortunately, knowing the temperature does not help me determine if there is a gas leak. It is actually completely irrelevant.

Like this, answering the questions of whether or not a guru has lived as a mendicant and whether or not a guru enjoys rich sense pleasures actually does not really help us determine if they are qualified. If they possess pure samaya with their own gurus, knowledge and experience of the teachings, and the twofold bodhicitta than they are qualified gurus regardless of whether or not they live like Jabba the Hutt.
Last edited by mandog on Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 6:20 pm

mandog wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:51 pm
Simon E. wrote:
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.
Wow. What great lamas you gave met. You really have had a precious human birth.
Nah....I’m just old mandog...And they were were much more accessible back then. :smile: I was at Rigpa on one occasion and arrived early, so sat at the feet of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche as he prepared to give empowerments. Just luck really.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

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

Post by mandog » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:21 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:20 pm
mandog wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:51 pm
Simon E. wrote:
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.
Wow. What great lamas you gave met. You really have had a precious human birth.
Nah....I’m just old mandog...And they were were much more accessible back then. :smile: I was at Rigpa on one occasion and arrived early, so sat at the feet of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche as he prepared to give empowerments. Just luck really.
It is funny to be addressed by my username. My real name is Charlie.

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Queequeg
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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 Queequeg » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:24 pm

PeterC wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:00 pm
And none of this would even need discussing if people didn’t fetishize ‘crazy’ behavior in the first place.


Pardon the interruption. Carry on.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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 6:26 pm

Hello Charlie. :anjali:
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

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

Post by smcj » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:27 pm

Like this, whether or not a guru has lived as a mendicant and whether or not a guru enjoys rich sense pleasures actually does not really help us determine if they are qualified. If they possess pure samaya with their own gurus, knowledge and experience of the teachings, and the twofold bodhicitta than they are qualified regardless of whether or not they live like Jabba the Hutt.
Technically correct. However the odds are heavily against a sybarite having authentic realization.

Caveat emptor.
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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Queequeg
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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 Queequeg » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:30 pm

mandog wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:14 pm
Like this, answering the questions of whether or not a guru has lived as a mendicant and whether or not a guru enjoys rich sense pleasures actually does not really help us determine if they are qualified. If they possess pure samaya with their own gurus, knowledge and experience of the teachings, and the twofold bodhicitta than they are qualified gurus regardless of whether or not they live like Jabba the Hutt.
Yeah, but if their Jabba the Hutt lifestyle is supported by the donations of the faithful, there's maybe a slim chance he's legit, but a much more likely chance that he's just another POS. Maybe if that's the only game, that's what you put up with. But that's simply not the case.

"There's a sucker born every minute."
P.T. Barnum

No matter what we do, there is no stemming that flow. The responsible ones can do their part and put up the warning signs, at least.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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

Post by mandog » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:31 pm

smcj wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:27 pm
Like this, whether or not a guru has lived as a mendicant and whether or not a guru enjoys rich sense pleasures actually does not really help us determine if they are qualified. If they possess pure samaya with their own gurus, knowledge and experience of the teachings, and the twofold bodhicitta than they are qualified regardless of whether or not they live like Jabba the Hutt.
Technically correct. However the odds are heavily against a sybarite having authentic realization.

Caveat emptor.
I disagree with you about the odds. There are many great lamas who were fond of luxury. There is no problem with enjoying sense pleasures for Vajrayana practitioners.

However, it is probably not great for a guru who is a fully ordained monk to live this way.
Last edited by mandog on Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by smcj » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:39 pm

I disagree with you about the odds
i’d rather draw to an inside straight in a high stakes poker game.
It is not like the common Mahayana where you have to be on the bhumis for it to be permissible to fully indulge in sense pleasures.
I’m not so sure that’s right.
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)

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

Post by Malcolm » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:09 pm

smcj wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:38 pm
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?
You are describing the condition of the modern tulku system.
Ösel Tendzin wasn’t a tulku.
Oh, he would have been recognized one eventually had he not been such a spectacular screwup. Then there is the Trungpa's kid, who was recognized a tulku (of a master who asserted he was not going to take rebirth on this planet again, ironically), and still screwed up.
It’s more pervasive than that. It’s a post “spiritual materialism”, post “crazy wisdom” pretext for samsaric indulgence. It’s samsara posing as hip, slick, and cool Dharma. It’s as much spiritual materialistic as a sanctimonious hippie. Only a sanctimonious hippie would at least be refraining from creating non-virtuous karma.
No, this also existed in Tibet from the beginning, which is why Lha bla ma Ye shes 'Od sought to outlaw of the practices of 'byor and grol, and why Saraha makes fun of people who engage in vratacārya (btul shugs spyod pa) as a pretense to gain followers and so on. One merely needs observe the libertine and sybaritic excesses of the sixth Dalai Lama, Reting Rinpoche, and all kinds of mad Tibetan saints of the past. The whole history of the Dharma in Tibet in many respects is lurching from one reform movement to the next, about once a century, if you examine the situation honestly. I mean, Patrul Rinpoche excoriates so called "crazy wisdom" behavior. All of this in response to "crazy wisdom" con artists.

However there is a seed of legitimacy in the premise of crazy wisdom, etc. and cannot be simply dismissed. So the trend is enthusiastically perpetuated. Sad.
Its not a seed, it is a real thing. The fault lies in the fact that some people want to enter into vratacārya before they have adequately mastered the creation and completion stages, and are nowhere near heat on the secret mantra path of application. Such people were sarcastically referred to as "great meditators" by Jetsun Drakpa Gyaltsen his Song of Experience, composed in the 12th century. It is not a new thing.

Malcolm
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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 » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:21 pm

PeterC wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:00 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:49 pm
PeterC wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:54 am



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?
That is not in fact the criteria of so-called unconventional behavior.
No, but it’s a relatively easy test to apply that would have screened out Lakhar, Mukpo Jr and others. And none of this would even need discussing if people didn’t fetishize ‘crazy’ behavior in the first place.
It would not have screened out anyone anyway. You see, we are Anglos. We believe in laws. We live in nations where laws are above persons.

Tibet was not like that, as you know. Tibet had no legal system to speak of. No courts, no jails, just aristocrats with their soldiers meting out punishments based on local custom and personal capriciousness. The Tibetan establishment is still based on this idea.

If Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodo says Y is the tulku of X, that is it. There is no council that recognizes tulkus. It is all based on the word of a man.

For example, Dilgo Khyentse's family was the wealthiest family in the Derge region. Of course, this does not reflect poorly on Dilgo Khyentse, but since his family was the number 1 sponsor of Khyentse Wangpo, they had a significant say in the disposition of the Khyentse Ladrang's estate after his death. This is one of the reasons why there was significant tension between adherents of Loter Wangpo's Khyentse tulku, and the adherents of Chokyi Lodo, etc., who preferred him for various reasons, probably because Loter Wangpo was not from Kham, but rather, Tsang, and ceding the Khyentse Ladrang would have been ceding enormous wealth to someone who has not a Khampa.

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

Post by Malcolm » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:22 pm

mandog wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:31 pm

However, it is probably not great for a guru who is a fully ordained monk to live this way.
Rwa Lotsawa lived this way.

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

Post by mandog » Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:38 am

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:22 pm
mandog wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:31 pm

However, it is probably not great for a guru who is a fully ordained monk to live this way.
Rwa Lotsawa lived this way.
I had always assumed Rwa Lotsawa was not a monk. That is interesting.

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

Post by mandog » Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:47 am

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:22 pm
mandog wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:31 pm

However, it is probably not great for a guru who is a fully ordained monk to live this way.
Rwa Lotsawa lived this way.
Isn't it true that Rwa Lotsawa was basically just a malevolent magician until meeting Langlab Jangdor?

When this story was told to me by a Drikung guru, it was explained that Jigten Sumgon discouraged his disciples from practicing lineages that came through Ra Lotsawa because of questions about their legitimacy as Buddhist lineages.

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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 » Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:16 am

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:21 pm
PeterC wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:00 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:49 pm


That is not in fact the criteria of so-called unconventional behavior.
No, but it’s a relatively easy test to apply that would have screened out Lakhar, Mukpo Jr and others. And none of this would even need discussing if people didn’t fetishize ‘crazy’ behavior in the first place.
It would not have screened out anyone anyway. You see, we are Anglos. We believe in laws. We live in nations where laws are above persons.
I think you’re misunderstanding me on this point. The poster that I was replying to was suggesting that maybe Lakhar beating up the nun was in some way not abuse because she was still devoted to him. I was saying there’s of course no way to prove a negative proposition, but if you want a quick test as to whether a guru engaging in unexpected behavior is someone you really want to spend time with, etc etc. Of course I’m not saying there’s a rule that easily allows you to determine who is qualified as a teacher, or whether a tulku is who is claimed, unless you have accomplished some degree of omniscience. (In any case, do we even care - these are functionally not that different from aristocratic titles in other countries.) Just that if someone fail to apply Occam’s razor in these situations, then they’re a fool.

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