I did not see until today that you posted a lengthy reply to my original post. Thank you very much for your reply. I think this is the first time we have actually had a direct exchange (normally you ignore my postings elsewhere), and I appreciate this opportunity to discuss with you.
All the best,
P.S. My original post and apology was not a 'tactic'. It is how I feel.
Dear Despak, I am a bit sick and so I have some time to reply to other points you’ve said in your previous post, points I didn’t pick up, although quite interesting and important from the pov of the practice of Dharma or religious practice, and the practical implications for daily life.
Everybody involved should “maintain pure view”. You described how you lead your disciples with this teaching. But the point is, as far as I have explored this, “pure view” is not understood correctly within NKT and there is a lot of confusion about this within the organisation including its application. In the simplest form we can posit ‘pure view’ means to see that everyone has the potential to attain a fully purified state in which all qualities are complete. When it comes to Tantric reality ‘pure view’ is something which belongs to a very different reality, and it is not advised to beginners but those with a strong foundation in the Sutra, this is very true for the tradition of Je Tsongkhapa and much more for the ancient Kadam school of Atisha!
I am no Tantric or Buddhist master nor a Buddhist teacher to feel able to express these ideas on ‘pure view’, but I heard from different qualified Buddhist teachers outside of NKT teachings on ‘pure view’ or read texts on it, which are quite different from the simplistic approach I learned within NKT. (I have a German text on ‘pure view’ by a close disciple of Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche - the author of the text is also a highly respected Gelug master - on my German cult site.)
Maybe we discuss and share our understanding on ‘pure view’ and its implication in that context of the controversy?
As I said HHDL didn’t criticize the NKT, he expressed his concern with respect to a certain practice on which exist claims it would be beneficial or harmful, in accordance with the Dharma / Buddhism or in contradiction to it. I see just nothing wrong to point out that something is harmful if it is harmful. I see nothing wrong in defending the own understanding.
With respect to pointing out what is harmful, it is the duty of HHDL and other high Buddhist masters within the context of Indian-Tibetan Buddhism to point out if there is something wrong, and to find measures to protect those involved in it, in the most skilful or best way. Much more this duty and the need to validate a practice can be found in Tibetan Buddhism, and the Indian Pandits and Siddhas had their own very profound way to proof the validity of a certain practice or texts which claimed to be Buddhist. With respect to Shugden there are many inconsistencies and lack of proper Tantric procedures with respect to its establishment. There was controversy right from the beginning, something which can not be observed with other practices. It is up to those with knowledge and respected elders to issue such things and to clarify these issues, even when this means to correct the own teacher – something which is not uncommon in Indian-Tibetan Buddhism.
With respect that you wish that HHDL lives what he states. Perception is based on the own mind, judgement as well. The perception and judgement can be wrong, correct, sem-wrong, semi-correct, true from a certain perspective and false from another.
From my perspective and investigation: If one perceives Shugden worship as being spiritual harmful (only 1 from a about 10 high masters of the different schools I’ve asked felt it is not harmful, the other were very keen to see its harm)* – a view I certainly share – to speak out against that what is perceived as being harmful is no hypocrisy it is a deed of giving fearlessness and giving protection, it is a compassionate deed. If you know there is a trap in the forest, set up by a skilful hunter, and you know animals will be caught up there, and suffer a lot to finally die; if you have a clear perception about this and you have investigated this issue thoroughly and you have compassion and wish to protect others from harm, what will you do?
For many Shugden worship is a spiritual trap. To speak out against it is a matter of compassion and taking responsibility. Even when the perception of the masters who have this view that Shugden is harmful have wrong perception this doesn’t mean that their motivation is not in accordance with their words and inner quality of compassion. Both, the accusation by WSS/NKT/GKG of HHDL would be a ‘liar’ or a ‘hypocrite’ show just a lack of understanding of the Dharma and a lack of understanding the facts and some simple philosophical issues.
So from my pov, there is no need to follow what you said: “I believe it is more effective to request the Dalai Lama to live up to his own words than to make him out to be an evil person. I don't believe anybody is evil in this story.”, because HHDL is following the principles of compassion in this issue, he lives up to his own words.
How WSS or some fanatics acts reminds me sometimes on a child with his most beloved toy. The caring mother has taken away the toy from the child due to having recognized that the toy is made of poisonous substances. The cry of the child with respect to the mother and the accusation it may bring up against her sound quite similar of what WSS is expressing: You don’t love me. You have no compassion. You are a ruthless mother (dictator)…
Another point in your precious post: Shugden worship is not necessarily Dharma even if it is labelled with that etiquette. As there are few beings able to discriminate what is Dharma and what is not it is surely better for the infants to listen to the wise. Also by giving up Shugden worship, the Dharma receives no harm, because neither Atisha nor Tsongkhapa have taught this ‘practice’. As both have not taught it, the question is why there is a need to cling on it, especially as it is involved in so much sectarianism, conflict and schism? From the pov of a Bodhisattva, there are many practices and he happily gives up what harms other beings. It is a mere belief that Shugden worship is ‘Dharma’ and ‘helpful’. History and investigation, and analysis show a different image (if done unbiased.)
For those viewing Shugden worship as being harmful, the practice is an obstacle for the individual as well as for the community, and those sharing the same place. Therefore the separation as now practiced in India is probably the best for both sides. Since the NKT has already separated themselves since its inception and do and can do what they like, there is no real problem for them with respect to this, besides that the controversy on Shugden may cause some people to avoid NKT. But this is nothing bad. There are many Buddhist schools people can follow.
Of course you say the points you stated are WSS’s members view, and that you have another approach.
I completely agree with you that there have been many problems due to an immature pure view within the NKT. I have experienced first hand some of the problems you are referring to. These are definitely things that need to be worked on and improved, and Geshe-la has been trying for the last several years to help people develop a more balanced view of things. He stressed this point quite strongly during the festival in Paris. We all have a lot of work to do in this regard, and thankfully people are aware of the problem and working on overcoming it. It will, however, take time to purge the NKT of this wrong view. Old habits die hard.
Well fine. May you all be successful.
Best wishes, t
*H.E. Gangteng Tulku Rinpoche, head of 25 monasteries in Buthan, said: “I think, and most Nyingmapa, Kayguepa and Sakyapa think, that Shugden is a demon. If you practice it you will get many disciples, many money and then many problems.”
It should be known that ‘demons’ or destructive forces are more active with respect to beings which are stable in their path and have certain types of realisations. ‘Demons’ can also appear as Buddhas. There are many stories I heard or read how they work and deceive practitioners, which reminded me strongly on my time within the NKT. If wished I am happy to offer a story I felt very much inspired with, and Patrul Rinpoche’s description how they work and how their influenced can be recognized. I was also a translator and offered accommodation for a Nyingma Yogi and healer who could perceive Shugden, and helped people having conflicts with respect to him.
I will read and reply to your last post in the next days. Thank you for having this discussion, and your kind and honest approach.
Edited 8 time(s). Last edit at 11/27/2008 11:14PM by Tenzin Peljor.