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Re: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (New Kadampa Tradition)
Posted by: Tenzin Peljor ()
Date: July 21, 2011 02:45AM

Dear Sulmaya,
thank you very much fpr your reply, yes it is true, meant the pros not the cons, there are also some spelling and grammar errors...

Actual the complete trainings for monks and nuns as well as the rituals are based on the vinaya and the heart of it is the Pratomosksha. The Vinaya is one of the three baskets of Buddhism, and it is an important one, the Vinaya Sutra says:
“As long as the complete Vinaya, the supreme treasure, abides, the Lamp of Dharma shall abide.”
The problems for many monks and nuns in NKT are very much induced by the absence of the Vinaya and their rituals. Even to celebrate the mixing of lay and ordained (or monks and nuns/wemen or nuns and lay men/monks) as a type of 21st Century accomplishment is quite strange from a spiritual point of view because the mixing of lay and monastic life does not support the lifestyle of a monk or nun, it leads monastic life at risk.

Actual I felt my former post unkind to you but I wrote it in a hurry, please excuse me if I now pinpoint some of the new points you have expressed. I would like to do that to show you, that someone who has followed NKT for a long time is deeply influenced by the myths NKT has taught, myths that collapse with reality. Also for outsiders or former NKT members this pinpointing might be useful. Please do not take it personally or as an attempt to belittle you or of showing disrespect.

Your wrote:
"an entire practice that one can follow, which for all practical intents and purposes, includes lots of the Vinaya; Books like ‘Meaningful to Behold’, ‘Joyful Path’ or ‘Bodhisattva Vows’ for example, all touch on most of the teachings of the Vinaya branch. "

You assume this is an "entire practice", how do you know that? The practice if the Vinaya and the rituals for monks and nuns are not included, Ghuyasamaja Tantra, Kalachakra Tantra and so many other practices are not included etc. the NKT is a standard Dharma package for all but the point is everybody is also individual and needs different types of practices, NKT offers only a fraction of the variety of teachings and practice which could lead an individual to enlightenement. Who defines what is "entire" and for whom it is "entire" and if someone has a closer connection to the Kalachakra Tantra because he or she has practiced it in past lifes how is the Heruka/Vajrayogini Tantra for him "entire", its not "entire" for such an individual.

How do you know that the books you mention include the Vinaya, did you study the Vinaya to be able to draw such conclusions? These books DO NOT "touch on most of the teachings of the Vinaya branch" not at all, all of them touch some fractions of the Vinaya and this is just not sufficient to help the ordeined persons to follow the porper lifestyle of a monk or nun. What you say is just the repetition of the myths NKT spread but they are not correct. Of course someone like you and I who followed NKT believe them to be true, until we learn by studying outside NKT and in a qualified environment the texts of the Gelug school, that those claims do not withstand reality and they can be only upheld in NKT because people lack knowledge or believe what is claimed or just wish to give consistency to the NKT system "to not loose faith" or "developing doubts into the wrong direction".

I think it is not a good idea to take a hammer and to punsh some of the views you have expressed here, because every body needs their own pace and space and brave to check beliefs with reality and I do not wish to push these topics too much.

However, because this is also a public forum for the sake who it might help I reply to other points in your post too and I hope it doesn't create much discomfort to you.

"Possibly this hasn’t come to my attention, since it is a subject that doesn’t interest me too much. I am more interested in the actual philosophy and practice. So there too, you may be right. However, there is plenty of text concerning breaking vows, restoring vows, etc in many of the books."

I was a monk in NKT and I read almost everything, I truly was attached to the NKT presentation and KG's books and texts, I read also all NKT's Full Moon Magazines I go access to, and every flyer they published or spread, especially I was very keen to get detailed information about the vows and when or when not they are broken. But I didn't get those information and the support I needed. Compared with the outside NKT world as well from own experience within NKT, there are not the texts and support one needs to practice and to abide in a proper sustaining manner the lifestyle of a ordained person. Though this is also just a mere claim it is based on knowing the NKT universe to a certain extent and of having received in and outside of NKT ordination and of having received teachings and guidance on the Vinaya and the lifestyle of an ordained person.

I haven’t read many seminal texts by Tsongkhapa, and all texts I have read from him, Atisha, Shantideva etc have been translations in English or German. What I mean by ‘the teachings are in the spirit of Tsongkhapa’ is that the teachings are presented in the same mode of balance as they were presented by Tsongkhapa: Universal compassion as a starting point, Lamrim as a basis, Lojong as a continuation and Vajrayana as the completion. The very logical form of debate and questioning, as well as the simple approach to meditation are all aspects I have found in all literature coming from these masters. I think G.K. has presented this very well, fully and clearly. That is of course, only my opinion.

Actual if you would start to read the Lam Rim Chen Mo of Je Tsongkhapa and compare it with joyful path you would see quite a different spirit. Je Tsongkhapa establishes a paragraph and then he uses quotes from the scriptures and reasoning to verify his own claims. The taste between Je Tsongkhapa's Lamrim and Kelsang Gyatso's Lamrim is really different, mainly Je Tsongkhapa is by far more in depth and points out important points of practice which the KG just missed. To give you an example for comparision you can just start to study the Lam Rim Chen Mo of Je Tsongkhapa or the commentary to it by Kelsang Gyatso's own teacher, Geshe Lhundup Sopa, both texts are available in English. To show you a topic I miss in KG's Lam Rim compare the following from the Lam Rim Chen Mo with KG's Lamrim and then check how relevant this section is for any sincere adept of Mahayana Buddhism:

Je Tsongkhapa explains the defining characteristics of a student of the Mahayana in this way:

(Lam Rim Chen Mo, p 75ff, Snow Lion Publications)
The defining characteristics of the student who relies upon the teacher

Aryadeva states in his Four Hundred Stanzas (Catuh-sataka):

"It is said that one who is non-partisan, intelligent, and diligent
Is a vessel for listening to the teachings.
The good qualities of the instructor do not appear otherwise
Nor do those of fellow listeners."

Aryadeva says that one who is endowed with the three qualities is suitable to listen to the teachings. He also says that if you have all these qualities, the good qualities of one who instructs you in the teachings will appear as good qualities, not as faults. In addition, he says that to such a fully qualified person the good qualities of fellow listeners will also appear as good qualities and not as faults.

It is stated in Candrakirti's commentary that if you, the listener, do not have all these defining characteristics of a suitable recipient of the teachings, then the influence of your own faults will cause even an extremely pure teacher who instructs you in the teachings to appear to have faults. Furthermore, you will consider the faults of the one who explains the teachings to be good qualities. Therefore, although you might find a teacher who has all the defining characteristics, it may be difficult to recognize their presence.

Thus, it is necessary for the disciple to have these three characteristics in their entirety in order to recognize that the teacher has all the defining characteristics and in order then to rely on that teacher.

With respect to these three characteristics, "nonpartisan" means not to take sides. If you are partisan, you will be obstructed by your bias and will not recognize good qualities. Because of this, you will not discover the meaning of good teachings. As Bhavaviveka states in his Heart of the Middle Way (Madhyamaka-hrdaya):

"Through taking sides the mind is distressed, Whereby you will never know peace."

"Taking sides" is to have attachment for your own religious system and hostility toward others'. Look for it in your own mind and then discard it, for it says in the Bodhisattva Vows of Liberation (Bodhi-sattva-pratimoksa):

"After giving up your own assertions, respect and abide in the texts of the abbot and master."

Question: Is just that one characteristic enough?
Reply: Though non-partisan, if you do not have the mental force to distinguish between correct paths of good explanation and counterfeit paths of false explanation, you are not fit to listen to the teachings. Therefore, you must have the intelligence that understands both of these. By this account you will give up what is unproductive, and then adopt what is productive.

Question: Are just these two enough?
Reply: Though having both of these, if, like a drawing of a person who is listening to the teachings, you are inactive, you are not fit to listen to the teachings. Therefore, you must have great diligence. Candrakirti's commentary says "After adding the three qualities of the student to the two qualities of being focused and having respect for the teaching and its instructor, there are a total of five qualities."

Then, these five qualities can be reduced to four:
(1) striving very diligently at the teaching,
(2) focusing the mind well when listening to the teaching,
(3) having great respect for the teaching and its instructor, and
(4) discarding bad explanations and retaining good explanations.

Having intelligence is the favourable condition that gives rise to these. Being non-partisan gets rid of the unfavourable condition of taking sides.

Investigate whether these attributes that make you suitable to be led by a guru are complete; if they are complete, cultivate delight. If they are incomplete, you must make an effort to obtain the causes that will complete them before your next life. Therefore, know these qualities of a listener. If you do not know their defining characteristics, you will not engage in an investigation to see whether they are complete, and will thereby ruin your great purpose.

You say:
That everything is done from compassion is indeed a mere claim by me, you are right. I can only really back that up by comparing it to other tradition’s practices. In some cases, these other practices may engage in Mahamudra meditation, mantra meditation or something else, without properly developing renunciation, going for refuge and, developing or generating compassion/love. At least ‘on paper’, all the sadhana practices within NKT begin this way and, when guided, the meditation sessions seem to place a lot of importance on this.

Oh it hurts me to read this, really. How do you know that other traditions might not "properly developing renunciation, going for refuge and, developing or generating compassion/love."? I assume you cannot see the sectarian thoughts of NKT which express in such a statement. Did you study other traditions to be able to "compare other tradition’s practices"? How can someone claim validly they "may engage .... without properly developing renunciation, going for refuge and, developing or generating compassion/love."? If you listen to qualified teachers of the other Tibetan schools this idea would utter collapse. Though individual practitioners IN ALL Tibetan schools (and of course including NKT and other school of thoughts) might not stress renunciation, refuge and love/compassion, it is utter present and shines through the masters and adepts of other schools. Every sincere adept of all the other schools will stress these points as well and they are also utter included in the Mahamudra tradition. Have you ever received Mahamudra teachings from the Kagyu school? I assume not other wise you couldn't make such a claim—again a 'propaganda claim' NKT transmits to their followers to point out the supremacy or specialness of NKT, it is a belittling and sectarian attitude.

"I agree with your last points, nothing is independent. But I find it a negative thing, rather than a positive one, that many Gelug schools are by default (and without appeal) attached in some way to HH DL, and therefore to the whole political cause for Tibet. I very strongly believe that religion should be as far removed from politics as is humanly possible. In line with this, I believe that GK has done some brave and positive things for the benefit of many Buddhist who have been shunned by HH DL’s views."

I see for you to see the qualities of a master like His Holiness the Dalai Lama is attachment and it is not faith. It would be good to learn what faith actual means and not to mix it with attachement. The majority of Buddhists and non_buddhists are able to see the qualities of the Dalai Lama and have admiration for him and respect. And this inspirational faith leades to the two other types of faith and finally effort. Actual it becomes more clear who has qualities and who not of one reflects in an unbiased manner the quote above from Je Tsongkhapa and applies the meaning of to the own mind and then re-checks the issue of the qualities or faults of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. But this is an introspective process which everybody is free or not free to do. Have you ever considered that the policy of "not mixing dharma with politics" might be nothing else than politics? (I commented on this some time ago: Mixing Dharma with Politics) And what about the contradiction that KG himself agreed in the past that the protests were politics and promised not to engage again but still continued to get involved in politics? Not only got he involved in politics also his organisations was utter involved into it. I assume the belief of KG being brave comes because he has successfully established himself to his followers as the small but brave and pure David who fights against the impure bad and evil politician the Dalai Lama. People like such stories, but again it is only one of the many NKT myths which NKT followers swallow without being able to look behind such beliefs or images if they meet the reality. The NKT and KG push this attitude of the small and pure Goliath by many means, be it that they quote "a sutra" that in "extreme impure times a pure person will come" who restores the purity of the Dharma etc. and then NKT followers in their naivety attach those stories to KG and the evil Dalai Lama who must be fight by a pure person like KG. Another strange thing is the obsessive image there are a lot of assassins outside NKT ("payed by the Dalai Lama clique") who intend to kill the small David aka KG. Recently this led so far that NKT security put stripes on the gullies to be sure that no assassins come out of the gully who kill Kelsang Gyatso. This type of paranoia was already well reported by a former bodyguard of him and it tells quite a lot of the state of mind if one reflects on this more deeply with some knowledge about psychology and paranoia/fear etc.

There is a lot of pseudo democracy within the NKT. But no more than in any other organization I have ever seen, religious or non-religious. It seems to be human nature. Much has been changed within NKTs internal rules, as well as in their general behavior and presentation based on criticism and advice given by others. This indicates that perhaps they are not a totalitarian authority.

Have you made experiences in other Dharma organizations? I made experience in NKT as an EPC and and follower and I made experiences in other Buddhist and mundane organisations. When I compare the experiences and statements and how the organisation is run behind the scene, the NKT fits into the pattern of a dictatorship and KG is the autocrat, other organisations, except similar "cultish" organisations, are by far more democratic and pluralistic than NKT. Actual because many NKT people opposed the idea of mundane business with the Kadampa hotels KG asked to remove all NKT people from membership of the NKT centres who were not fully committed to him and supported his ideas. If you have only devoted followers after having removed those who do not share the own ideas I wonder what type of democracy this should be? Not only this the own faults of a lack of democracy NKT people project then onto the Dalai Lama and the TGIE and do not see that the claims are only reflections of the own situation and that the situation in the TGIE is quite different to the situation in NKT...

As I said, after 12 years of NKT it needs really time to check and to correct what one has learned in NKT and it is really a rather hard task. It might be overwhelming. When I realized the differences of NKT and the Buddhist world I was sometimes so shocked that my body trembled because I could not get both "realities" together.

I wish you all the best,

I forgot:
"I would be interested to hear if you agree or disagree with any of the ‘cons’ in my previous list?"
I have to read them if you are still interested that I read it and to reply I would do it, if it is not so important to you, I would rather avoid it due to a lack of time.
Also I wish to express my gratitude for your openness to discuss these points, to share them and to openly agree if you see that something was a mere claim. It makes discussion possible if there is not a defensive attitude and I hope my replies did not attack you?

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/21/2011 02:49AM by Tenzin Peljor.

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Re: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (New Kadampa Tradition)
Posted by: Sulmaya ()
Date: July 21, 2011 05:41AM

Dear Tenzin,

Many thanks for your reply. I do not feel in the slightest attacked by you, please do not worry.

It seems we are coming from two very different pasts and situations, which will make it difficult for me to agree or disagree with most of your points.
For example, you have been a monk within the NKT, wanting to learn as much as you could about your vows, etc. I have never been that committed within
the NKT and have never been a sole NKT practitioner at all.

...which is also why your proposal that I am relaying NKT propaganda is absolutely incorrect. I can assure you, I have always been very vocal with critique and
suggestions within the tradition, and have even written open letters addressing many of the negative and harmful issues that exist therein. I have never been,
nor am I, an "NKT Buddhist". I have lots of association with it and have and continue to learn much from them, which naturally finds its way into my personal practise.

I have lived in a centre in London and was in a relationship with an EPC at another large centre in the UK. I know many EPCs from around the world, know how they work and what kinds of 'systems' they face, and know many ex-ordainees. Some of their experiences have been negative, some positive. I am therefore not basing my arguments on any form of NKT propaganda, but have some direct experience with the issues being raised.

Other traditions I have studied: I primarily read, study and practice by myself. In terms of actual traditions, I have done study/meditation retreats with the FPMT, FWBO (now called Tritipaka or something like that..?), Diamond Way - as well as related but non-Buddhist traditions such as ISKCON. At University I did an indepth study of Mikyo Dorje, the 8th Karmapa's translation of Chandrakirti's Guide to the Middle Way, and have done my own studies on Lama Anagarika Govinda. Contrary to your assumption, I deeply admire both Kagyu lineages, and actually prefer them, in general, to Gelug. Currently, I am studying a book called Quantum Buddhism by Graham Smetham, which is shedding invaluable light on all things emptiness.

I will carefully read the Lam Rim Chen Mo and compare it to what I know. I thank you for your open responses. I currently need to study them further, but remain steady with my previous points. A small note here: I never said GKG's books are the best in the world or better than specific others. I stated that I find them to be very full and complete. Nobody will ever be able to write a volume of Buddhism that includes every sutra, every pali commentary, every discourse and every practice. It would be completely impossible. Therefore, you are completely right about NKT not including Kalachakra. But they include highest yoga tantra of some form nonetheless.

Best Wishes to you, Peace.

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Re: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (New Kadampa Tradition)
Posted by: Tenzin Peljor ()
Date: July 21, 2011 09:32PM

Dear Sulmaya, thank you very much!
I appreciate your openness and honest and frank reply!

With respect to be able to compare and to judge different systems, within religious systems ISCON, Diamond way and FWBO are similar to NKT in being controversial and at least the latter two are also similar to NKT by claiming to study only in that school of though is sufficient, there is discouragement to study outside of that school of thought, though FWBO seems to be more moderate than Diamond way.

Its true we have different experiences and we were also absorbed at different levels within NKT. For people who are rather on the periphery and not too deeply involved or who are not monks or nuns within NKT there are differences. Of course this is true for everybody's statement or experience. However, I think there are patterns and incorrect myths in NKT which can be pointed out in a more generalizing way.

My feeling was not, that you spread "NKT propaganda" with the aim to change the direction of the discussion but that there are unconscious myths one starts to believe when one flollows NKT and that some of your "pros" I see as a reflection of those myths.

Best wishes,
PS: What was very helpful for me is the quote from Lam Rim Chen Mo and the reflection that if one is biased or partisan one can neither see the good qualities of a person nor the faults, not only this one even projects good qualities where there are no qualities or one projects faults where there are no faults. This explains the different perceptions of how Kelsang Gyatso and the Dalai Lama are perceived by different individuals or groups. But everybody must check their own mind to get rid of the fault of being partisan and this needs some honest introspection, care and time. My experience of how much I and others were attached to NKT and KG and his books, and the amount of hostility towards the Dalai Lama and other spiritual systems was only a sign that I and others within NKT didn't have even one of the basis qualities to be a qualified student of the Mahayana. Being non-partisan has never been stressed in NKT though it is a must-develop on the path as Je Tsongkhapa pointed out. From experience within NKT and the real Gelug school as well as other Tibetan Buddhist schools I can say that being unbiased and nonpartisan is by far more emphasized outside NKT then in NKT, Instead of speaking so much about purity and to cling so much to the idea of "purity" (a conception about which Robert J Lifton said that it is the basis of fundamentalism or Totalitarianism) NKT would do better to stress the importance to develop the qualities of a qualified Mahayana student and the benefits or demerits of being non-partisan or partisan. However all of this important spiritual work needs honest, brave introspections and a willingness to detect the own faults in the own mind but this important task is rather blocked in NKT due to the tremendous pressure to work hard hard hard for the organisation so that it spreads all over the world.

Wherever you are, where ever you go, I wish you all the best,

Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 07/21/2011 09:40PM by Tenzin Peljor.

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Re: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (New Kadampa Tradition)
Posted by: jnpphprc ()
Date: October 28, 2011 03:58AM

Hi Everyone,
I'm a newbie, a member of the NKT and am in the process of distancing myself from it. I have been a Buddhist all my adult life, in 2 other traditions. Moving around a lot due to work, I tended to find the nearest Buddhist group of any type near my home.
The NKT is my nearest group now and having spent a year or two there, I'm having big doubts. People seem friendly enough, but unwilling to stick their necks out and discuss anything other than their version of Buddha. Also, there's a kind of worship going on, which is creepy. It's as if catholic saints have just been changed into various buddhas who can intercede on practitioners behalf.
My Theravadin side tells me this is wrong and enlightenment is entirely up to onesself!
I am being asked not to read anything other than Geshe Kelsang's books and there's a climate of fear among the group I attend, as if they're afraid to speak to me as I'm a heretic!

It's bizarre, as a lot of GKG's books say roughly what Tibetan Buddhist books always say, so if you choose a topic and research it among a variety of authors, they still want you only to teach from his book.

It's all about spending lots of money jetting round the world to various empowerments and low level competition to see who has collected the most.

Some of the teachers are ill prepared , ill supported and have massive personal problems of their own yet they're pushed out to teach, gather money and spread like wildfire. People have to have standing orders or direct debits on a monthly basis,payable for these courses.
I feel sorry for the people who are decent, but being duped as they are vulnerable, some quite desperate to 'belong' and who will go along with anything, even being told they are not a very good person and suffer from 'self cherishing' if they raise legitimate queries.
I'm just looking for a sounding board as I start to remove myself from this and get back into genuine mainstream Buddhism.
Great site!

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Re: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (New Kadampa Tradition)
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 28, 2011 04:15AM

Fear is one of the afflictive emotions.

A Buddhist center is supposed to support ones practice, not make it more difficult by aggravating and implanting afflictive emotions.

We have enough of our own without a badly run Buddhist center heaping additional turbulence into our lives.

When in doubt, go to the Pali sources and trust your belly-wisdom.

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Re: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (New Kadampa Tradition)
Posted by: Tenzin Peljor ()
Date: October 28, 2011 05:25AM

I'm just looking for a sounding board as I start to remove myself from this and get back into genuine mainstream Buddhism.

I think this is the best you can do. I am happy to see someone who has that clarity about this subject matter. Congratulations and Good Luck!

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Re: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (New Kadampa Tradition)
Posted by: jnpphprc ()
Date: October 28, 2011 06:16AM

Thanks Corboy and Tenzin Peljor,

I'm starting right back at the beginning with the Dhammapada.
After my experiences I feel like a fraud though and wonder if I'd be welcome at a mainstream centre even though I've never practiced Shugden. I just ignored it and got on with the Chenrezig and Manjushri instead!
Kind thoughts to you all!

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Re: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (New Kadampa Tradition)
Posted by: Tenzin Peljor ()
Date: October 28, 2011 06:30AM

Thanks Corboy and Tenzin Peljor,

I'm starting right back at the beginning with the Dhammapada.
After my experiences I feel like a fraud though and wonder if I'd be welcome at a mainstream centre even though I've never practiced Shugden. I just ignored it and got on with the Chenrezig and Manjushri instead!
Kind thoughts to you all!

As far as I know there is no problem to continue somewhere else even if one openly admits that one followed NKT. I read some of the accounts of former NKT followers at New Kadampa Survivors Forum and their feedback on this was positive.

If you you want to go back to the Dhammapada, I would like to recommend to you also the Tibetan Dhammapada. I found the following quote which helped me a lot to get clarity about spiritual friendship:

Tibetan Dhammapada
Intimate Friends

Wise ones, do not befriend
The faithless, who are mean
And slanderous and cause schism.
Don't take bad people as your companions.

Wise ones, be intimate
With the faithful who speak gently,
Are ethical and do much listening.
Take the best as companions.

Do not devote yourself
To bad companions and wicked beings.
Devote yourself to holy people,
And to spiritual friends.

By devotion to people like that
You will do goodness, not wrong.

By devotion to faithful and wise people
Who have heard much and pondered many things,
By heeding their fine words, even from afar,
Their special qualities are attained here.

Since those devoted to inferiors degenerate,
Those to equals mark time,
And those to great ones attain sanctity,
Be devoted to those great ones.

By devotion to ethical,
Calm, and most knowledgeable great beings,
One attains to a greatness
Greater even than the great.

Just as the clean kusha grass
That wraps a rotten fish
Will also start to rot,
So too will those devoted to an evil person.

Just as a leaf folded
To contain an incense offering
Also becomes sweet,
So too will those devoted to the virtuous.

When one does no wrong yet
Is devoted to evil people,
One will still be abused,
For others suppose that this one too is bad.

The devotee acquires the same faults
As the person not worthy of devotion,
Like an untainted arrow smeared
With the poison of a tainted sheath.

Steadfast ones who fear the taint of faults,
Do not befriend bad people.
By close reliance and devotion
To one's companion,
Soon one becomes just like
The object of one's devotion.

Therefore, knowing that one's devotion
Is like the casing of the fruit,
The wise devote themselves to holy,
Not to unholy people,
And drawn along the monk's path
They find the end of misery.

Just as a spoon cannot taste the sauce,
Infantile ones do not understand
The doctrine, even after
A lifetime of devotion to the wise.

Just as the tongue can taste the sauce.
Those with wisdom can understand
The entire doctrine, after just
A brief attendance on the wise.

Because infantile ones lack eyes to see,
Though they devote their lifetimes
To the wise, they never
Understand the entire doctrine.
Those with wisdom fully understand
The entire doctrine after just
A brief attendance on the wise.
They have eyes to see.

Though they devote their lifetimes
To wise beings, infantile ones
Do not understand the doctrine
Of the Buddha in its entirety.
Those with wisdom understand
The doctrine of the Buddha
In its entirety after just
A brief attendance on the wise.

Even just one meaningful line
Sets the wise ones to their task,
But all the teaching that the Buddhas gave
Won't set infantile ones to work.

The intelligent will understand
A hundred lines from one,
But for the infantile beings
A thousand lines do not suffice for one.

[If one must chose between them],
Better the wise even if unfriendly.
No infant is suited to be a friend.
Sentient beings intimate with
The infant-like are led to hell.

Wise persons are those who know
Infantile ones for what they are:
'Infantile ones' are those
Who take infants to be the wise.

The censure of the wise
Is far preferable
To the eulogy or praise
Of the infant.

Devotion to infants brings misery.
Since they are like one's foe,
It is best to never see or hear
Or have devotion for such people.

Like meeting friends, devotion to
The steadfast causes happiness.

Therefore, like the revolving stars and moon,
Devote yourself to the steadfast, moral ones
Who have heard much, who draw on what is best -
The kind, the pure, the best superior ones.

(taken from Gareth Sparham's translation Wisdom Publications)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/28/2011 06:32AM by Tenzin Peljor.

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Re: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (New Kadampa Tradition)
Posted by: jnpphprc ()
Date: October 28, 2011 07:02AM

Oh yes Tenzin, a beautiful translation.
My big admission is that I am presently an ordained person. I don't want to undo my vows but I feel like a fraud, even though I have no problems keeping them. I live alone in a remote area away from worldly life and find it so easy to practice in the silence here.

Even though I might not be seen as a properly ordained person, I read my vows daily and keep to them. The Dharma centres are all half a day's travel away for me so I've found it easy to distance myself from the manipulation.

It's only one step away from burning books , when you tell someone what they can and can't read.

Scarier still, I asked a resident teacher at one of the festivals what , in their opinion, was the mark of a good teacher. The reply stunned me. I was told 'it doesn't matter what you say to them as long as they go away happy'.
In that case, the most I'll ever teach is simple meditation for beginners...

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Re: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (New Kadampa Tradition)
Posted by: Tenzin Peljor ()
Date: October 28, 2011 09:44PM

My big admission is that I am presently an ordained person. I don't want to undo my vows but I feel like a fraud, even though I have no problems keeping them. I live alone in a remote area away from worldly life and find it so easy to practice in the silence here.

Even though I might not be seen as a properly ordained person, I read my vows daily and keep to them. The Dharma centres are all half a day's travel away for me so I've found it easy to distance myself from the manipulation.

dear superscot,
it is good that you have the rabjung vows: congratulations! as far as I can see these vows or pledges are proper rabjung vows and they are extremely useful though they are not really monks or nuns vows, they are the vows of "a person inbetween", so you are neither a real lay nor a real ordained person but "on the way to become a member of the buddhist order". you can keep these vows also for the rest of your life or you can use them as a basis to receive later the novice/getsul vows. i had these vows from 1998-2002, then in 2002 I received the gestul vows and in 2006 the fully ordained vows. so I lived myself with them for 4 years, and I am happy about it, though I feel betrayed cause I was thinking I am a real monk but wasn't ;-)

I can recommend the following excellent commentary from a former abbot of Sera Je Monastery who has taught also in the beginning at Manjushri Centre: [].

And if you wish, I could send you a PDF with a commentary about the vows from one of my teachers, who taught the Vinaya in Italy in 2007.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/28/2011 09:50PM by Tenzin Peljor.

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