Current Page: 2 of 5
Re: Doubts about the Dalai Lama
Posted by: Misstyk ()
Date: April 09, 2012 12:59PM

I've been doing some research, and I've discovered that in the book "Story of Tibet", which is based on extensive interviews with the Dalai Lama by Thomas Laird, he says that practicing tantra with a consort was part of a very degenerate period in Tibet's history, and that it is wrong to practice this way. He states that unequivocally.

However, at roughly the same, the Dalai Lama has been publishing in his own books that practice with a consort is necessary in the "completion stage" of tantra. Furthermore, he states that monks "retain their purity" in sexual practice, because they retain the semen, which, according to the DL, is key to the practice. It's not sex if you don't ejaculate, it's spiritual practice and meditation. The vows of celibacy aren't violated.

Clearly, he's talking out of both sides of his mouth. As if he thinks we wouldn't notice.

(See: "How To Practice, Way To A Meaningful Life", "The Good Heart", "Sleeping, Dreaming, and Dying", by the 14th Dalai Lama)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/09/2012 01:11PM by Misstyk.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Doubts about the Dalai Lama
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 09, 2012 10:49PM


. Furthermore, he states that monks "retain their purity" in sexual practice, because they retain the semen, which, according to the DL, is key to the practice.

This comes right from the non Buddhist Hindu tantric practices.

One doesnt hear about any of this in the Theravedan Mahaparinibbana sutta. Buddha stated that he had not held back on any of the teachings needed. There was no secret practice yet to be revealed. He had passed on all that future students would need.

The Vajrayana types write the Theravedans off saying "The arahants practiced only for their own enlightement." The implication is that the Theravedans were selfishly concentrating only on their own advancement and no one elses.

The Vajrayana practitioners claim, "But we are doing this to actualize our Buddha Nature and bring all beings to liberation."

Somehow invoking this intention makes it OK to ignore the key passage in Parinibbana sutta that Buddha had left no hidden teachings. THis contradicts the stories that abound in Tibetan Buddhism of hidden teachings found in caves or revealed in visions.

Here is another clue about the Hindu origins of a lot of this. In his memoir, Turtle Feet: The Making and Unmaking of a Buddhist Monk, Nikolai Grozni described the process of his taking monastic vows.

Grozni was suprised at the impediments to becoming a monk.


"After spending nearly an hour discussing the different physical and mental flaws that barred one's entrance into the monastic community (something I found quite shocking, since the divide ran along caste lines: an untouchable stood a far greater chance of missing his teeth, a finger or an eye than a Brahmin did)"

Page 7 Turtle Feet: The Making and Unmaking of a Buddhist Monk Nikolai Grozni.

After taking his Gelukpa monk vows, Grozni alleges he had a conversation with Purba, a male Tibetan friend in Dharamsala right afterwards.

"Did you know that if you go into a dark room with the intention to have sex with a woman named, say Ani Dawa, but end up in the wrong bed and have sex with her girlfriend instead, you wouldn't be breaking your vows, technically speaking?"

"Purba where the hell do you get your information?"

"I've read it in the texts. In your mind, you think you are having sex with Ani Dawa, but in reality you are sleeping with a Tibetan girl named Pemo. You have no intention of having sex with Pemo. So, techically speaking, you are not breaking your monastic vows."

"Okay, Purba, but what if I never find out that I've had sex with the wrong person? Am I still going to be a monk or not?"

(Purba replied)

"See? This is what you are getting into! The whole thing is a mess. You could have twelve judges and hundreds of witnesses, and you still wouldnt be able to say who is breaking the rules and who isn't.

Technically speaking."

(Turtle Feet: The Making and Unmaking of a Buddhist Monk, pages 10-11)

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Doubts about the Dalai Lama
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 09, 2012 11:20PM

Kashmir, where Shavite Tantrism was practiced was not too far from Swat, the area where another tantric, Padmasambhava lived before going into Tibet.


A footnote to thepublished talk, which appeared in the October 1982 issue of the ashrampublication, the Siddha Path, (along with the eerie announcement thatBaba had “taken mahasamadhi,” i.e., died, on 2 October), informs usthat “[t]his is known in the scriptures as mahavajroli mudra—an esoteric yoga technique by which an accomplished yogi reabsorbs his seminalfluid, after emission.”17 I had already learned about vajroli mudra fromconsulting my book on Abhinavagupta. Amazed, I had read about thedetails of the practice of withholding semen by the male practitioner ofthe Kaula sexual rite.

yoga technique by which an accomplished yogi reabsorbs his seminalfluid, after emission.”17 I had already learned about vajroli mudra fromconsulting my book on Abhinavagupta. Amazed, I had read about thedetails of the practice of withholding semen by the male practitioner ofthe Kaula sexual rite. Mr. Yande’s talk, delivered less than two monthsbefore Baba’s death, seemed a thinly veiled admission, a challenge. Babaseemed to have thrown caution to the winds, to be urging us to seethings differently than we ever had before, and was laughing all thetime. The sense of secrecy, mystery, and evanescent inner circles ofwhich I could never quite be a part, utterly captivated and maddenedme. I wanted to know.No doubt one reason for the complexity of my response to theseevents was my own troubled sexual background. Just prior to joiningthe ashram, I had suffered serious psychological distress due to a seriesof abusive incestuous contacts with male family members that had cul-minated in my leaving Yale University suddenly in my sophomore year.In the ashram, with its perfectly predictable, regulated routines, puri-tanical codes of behavior, and celibate safety, I could concentrate myintense emotions into the love of a remote, brilliant, elderly guru, andthe icy, inaccessible mystico-erotic deity, Shiva, for whom I developed aperfect passion.

After five years of celibacy in my early twenties, I foundthat my erotic imagination was beginning to get the best of me. Withguru bhakti (intense devotion) held up as a model for my inner life,combined with the practice of self-discipline and physical restraint, sexdid indeed seem to hold some extraordinary taboo power.

(Then Sarah Caldwell tells us this of herself.)

My back-ground of sexual abuse, which I certainly could not have recognized or named at that time, added dimensions of fear, mistrust, and denial to the heady mix.

The discovery of the “left-handed” sexual practices ofKaula Tantrism through the Abhinavagupta volume held out a new pathfrom any I had yet seen. The sublime passages describing the ecstatic,brilliant bliss of realization that were the real goal of such rituals seemedto redeem sex as I had known it.

The promise of transforming thisugliness into something liberating and transcendent was too enticing. Iwas hooked on Shakta Tantra.

Before my fantasies of participating in the secret rituals could go toofar, however, I happened upon an important passage which outlinedthe qualifications necessary for its performance:


Only those great souls—who have grasped the Ultimate…who haveattained such a perfection in the Råjayoga…that they can detach their minds, at any stage, from the most stimulating sensuous situation and can, by sheer force of will…be at one with the Highest Subject—arerecognised to be qualified for the performance of the secret Kaula ritual….18


Corboy note: There are some problems.

First, how many persons are actually qualified to be 'great souls'. If you have already 'grasped the Ultimate' - why would tantrism remain a necessary additional step?

Two ( I speak as an unevolved peasant here), wouldnt it be a creepy and chilling experience to be sexually conjugated to someone who isnt even there for you during the act? Is'nt even there for you because he's able to 'detach his mind, at any stage, from the most stimulating, sensous situation, and can by sheer force of will by at one with the Highest Subject"??

Caldwell quotes a commentary on a portrait painting Abvinagupta an important teacher of Kashmiri Shaivite tantrism


it presents him as a typical follower of the Kula system…. [T]he char-acteristic feature of…Kaulism is that it denies antagonism between sen-suous joy and spiritual bliss (Ånanda); recognises the former to be ameans to the latter; and emphatically asserts that it is meant for the few,who are highly proficient in the Råja-Yoga as distinct from the Ha†ha-Yoga, who have such control over the mind that they can withdraw itfrom the stimulating object even at a time when it is being enjoyed most….8

But as I started to read further in the thick red volume aboutAbhinavagupta and the Kaula practices, I was taken aback. Sitting in mydorm room in the Ganeshpuri ashram in India, in the hour of sultryafternoon stillness between morning and afternoon work sessions chop-ping vegetables in the kitchen, I eagerly fingered page after pagedescribing in detail the secret sexual rites of the Kaula Tantra, the drink-ing of wine, eating of meat, and sexual intercourse. Since joining theashram tour in 1978 in Oakland, California, at the ripe age of 21, I hadcompletely and enthusiastically abandoned such pleasures, as Baba hadinstructed us to do.

Baba’s book, Ashram Dharma, which was distributedto every newcomer to the Ganeshpuri ashram, clearly described whatwas proscribed: sex, drugs, meat, liquor, gossip.

I had been celibate forfive years, living in separate quarters from my husband in the ashram, amajor factor in the eventual dissolution of my marriage (performed byBaba in 1979 in South Fallsburg). In my understanding and Baba’s unequivocal teaching, sex had no place whatsoever in spiritual life.

Whatthen was this mystico-erotic ritual (described in the Abvinagupta text), in which the genitals of a girl wereworshipped, touched, and honored, her menstrual fluids ingested, alongwith wine, fish, grain, and meat? I was utterly confounded.

One passage that especially caught my eye was Abhinavagupta’sdescription of the perfect Duti (literally, “Messenger”), the ideal sexualpartner for the Tantric rites:

A D¨ti, necessary in the performance of the secret ritual, is to be awoman who can personify Çakti; has the eyes, rolling with intoxication;lips red like the ripe fruit of Bimba; beautiful teeth; face with well kniteyebrows; eyes, beautiful like those of a fawn in fear; charming smile;hair, dark like a multitude of glittering black bees; eye-brows, bent likethe bow of cupid; complexion similar to that of melted gold; ears, deckedwith ear-ornaments, beautifully engraved….

The passage went on to enumerate the beauty of such a Duti’s neck,rising breasts, arms, fingers, thighs, abdomen, hips, ankles, voice, andface, in the “head to foot” praise genre found in such poems as the Saundaryalahari (Ocean of Beauty, a hymn of praise to the goddessTripurasundari).

However, I had at that time never heard of such a genre, nor had I ever read anything quite like this erotic wish-list.

Thepassage went on to mention that the mind of such a partner should befully enlightened, “continually experiencing the pure bliss of identifica-tion with [God].”

While her physical attributes are desirable, the “expo-nents of Kaulism had realised that such a woman is extremely difficultto find,” and thus had placed their emphasis on the woman’s mental qualities and capacities for enlightenment by means of the secret Kaularitual

(Note: in the situations discussed here on Rick Ross's message board, we hear time and again that what prompts the damage reports are selection of girls and women who have the mental quality of being easily groomed, flattered and then manuvred into keeping secrets. Caldwell noted that many of the girls selected by Muktananda were too young to be adept at yogic states, giving the lie to the whole thing. Corboy

("Eyes beautiful like those of a fawn in fear" -- this to me is a description of a girl or woman who can be easily dominated by the male yogi. And it looks much too convenient for the ideal Murti to have the attributes of a Playboy Bunny. If this is Universal Wisdom, why shouldn't older women, wiser women be included in this description? Again, I am but an unevolved peasant. And plan to remain that way. Corboy)

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Doubts about the Dalai Lama
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 09, 2012 11:42PM

The actual Bauls of Bengal also practiced sexual tantra.

The nominal Buddhists of the Himalayas and Mongola/Buriat took a very old indigenous sexual ritual and rationalized it as necessary for Buddhist practice.

This ignores the radical contribution of Buddhism itself - for it originally began as a movement which rejected caste distinctions and rejected the validity of ritual as a means to gain enlightement.


(I say 'actual' because some call themselves Baul, especially in areas where Baul musicians are honored. But because of Baul outsider status the group has little ability to defend itself from those who want to come in from the outside and appropriate the name. In this regard the Bauls share social vulnerability with tribal peoples whose traditions are being irresponsibly commercialized by outsiders)

Tantric methods (retention of semen by the male practitioner) is also used during intercourse.

However, they are quite different from the Vajrayanas in an important respect. The Bauls were outsiders. Their rituals and relationships have not been institutionalized and are not a fast route to social respectability--with the exception of music. The Bauls who are known or suspected of practicing sexual tantra are, by contrast with the Vajrayanas, regarded with fear and suspicion by the establishment--precisely because they defy rigid Indian norms.

But the Bauls who remained close to their tradition were the ones who were socially and sexually transgressive. This led to social and political disenfranchisment. Many practiced with mature women. Their practice of sexual tantra brought them social hardship, not prestige. Unlike in Tibet their tantra was private, not was not used to consolidate political power.

But...the techiques used by the Bauls - retention of semen by the male during intercourse - was similar to the methods used by the Kashmiri Shivites and what has been described used by the tantrics in nominally Buddhist areas in the Himalayas and Mongolia.




Seeking Bâuls of Bengal... in a glossary entry on 'four moons' practices, has 'semen, menstrual flow, ... to
style Tagore 'the greatest of the Bauls of Bengal'.48 Dasgupta's refutation of ...

<article-title>Seeking Bauls of Bengal</article-title> <contrib-group ...The Bauls of Seeking Bauls of Bengal offer an eloquent and illuminating critique
of the established ... Openshaw ends up largely abandoning the term in favor of
the name those she ... Retention of semen staves off mortality, for ejaculation ... - Similar pages

Embodied Knowledge and Divinityto the Bauls of Bengal, wandering minstrels with an ecstatic inclination ......
semen is then described as rising up the man's spine, chemically alter- ..... 7
Jeanne Openshaw, Seeking Bauls of Bengal (New Delhi: Cambridge University ... - Similar pages

Seeking Bâuls of Bengal0521811252 - Seeking Bauls of Bengal - by Jeanne Openshaw Description More
information. Description. 'Bauls' have achieved fame as wandering minstrels ...âuls_of_Bengal.html?id...okC - Similar pages

The Hindu : Book Review : Bengal's Baul singersAug 9, 2005 ... SEEKING BAULS OF BENGAL: Jeanne Openshaw; Foundation ... Not unoften
her approach peters down to a sex-tract on semen-retention. - 17k - Cached - Similar pages

Seeking Bauls of Bengal by Carol SalomonSeeking Bauls of Bengal Journal article by Carol Salomon; The Journal of the ...
These studies, Openshaw argues, reify and essentialize Bauls, wrongly ....
identified with semen and menstrual blood and therefore not separate from the
body, ... - Similar pages

Seeking Bauls of Bengal. - Free Online LibraryApr 1, 2005 ... Free Online Library: Seeking Bauls of Bengal. ... Openshaw carried out her
research primarily in the Rarh area in the southwest of the .... sudden expulsion;
especially expulsion of semen from the male urethra. is extremely ... - Similar pages

Seeking Bauls of Bengal - page 2 | Journal of the American Oriental ...Seeking Bauls of Bengal from Journal of the American Oriental Society, The. ...
and four, "Fieldwork in Rarh" and "Fieldwork in Bagri," Openshaw presents
further ... identified with semen and menstrual blood and therefore not separate
from the ... - 55k - Cached - Similar pages

Influence of Sufism on LalonThough Lalon's songs are the main staple for the Bauls of Bengal today, Lalon
himself .... That is why the meditator practices retention of semen (Urdhoroti). - - Cached - Similar pages

South Asia ResearchJun 6, 2010 ... upper-class Bengalis in search of their roots (Openshaw 1994:12). Variously .....
male essences (rajalJ-bij, that is menstrual fluids and semen). Mani says I am bij,
I ...... Bauls of Bengal, in the quest of man of the heart, Gian ... - Similar pages

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Doubts about the Dalai Lama
Posted by: Misstyk ()
Date: April 10, 2012 06:07AM

What "very old Indigenous practice" in Mongolia and Buryatia? There is no tradition of tantric sex in that region, that I know of. Shamans didn't practice tantric sex. Are you saying they borrowed the Hindu practice, when Tibetan Buddhism spread into their region? That would make sense. Just clarifying.

(Note--Corboy: analyzing TB in light of tantric history would best go on the Tantra thread, don't you think? :) )

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/10/2012 06:09AM by Misstyk.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Doubts about the Dalai Lama
Posted by: Misstyk ()
Date: April 10, 2012 06:16AM

Grozy's Tibetan friend is splitting the wrong hairs. If a monk's intent was to have sex, then they've broken the vow. Who he intended to have sex with doesn't matter. (eyeroll) It's monks desperately searching for loopholes in the rules who come up with these ridiculous scenarios, and the faulty reasoning to justify their actions. If this is what their minds are on so much of the time, they should give back their robes and live a little.

Notice that the DL says monks remain celibate even while practicing tantric sex, if they don't "spill the seed". But think about it--how much trial and error did that monk have to go through before he learned the technique? Who does the DL think he's kidding?!

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Doubts about the Dalai Lama
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 10, 2012 11:15PM

Mysstk's correct. The articles I posted yesterday about tantra do belong in the separate tantra thread.

Yeah. We need more discussion about how tulku ships are dished out.

Another title worth investigating is 'terton' - treasure finder. One very un Buddhist feature is that the TBs believe in discovering 'treasures' that is to say, teachings and relics at convenient times--in visions or written on cave walls, or conveniently 'found'.

Years ago, I noticed when reading histories of the Russian Orthodox church that in many if not most cases, bishops were often former aristocrats who had become monks.

In reading lives of the saints one often found that with few exceptions, those who made it to the saint calendar had been from upper class families.

Abbacies of important monasteries were also likely to go toupper class persons. Monasteries had huge amounts of land and donated wealth, so it was more likely that upper class persons would have had the education to manage all this.

At least in Old Russia, under aged children were not sent off to become monks and only adults were appointed bishops and abbots.

Getting back to the Tibetan situation, selecting children as incarnate successors had advantages. It guaranteed a malleable person and a long minority, which kept things cozy for the regents appointed to oversee matters.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Doubts about the Dalai Lama
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 11, 2012 12:15AM

Wannabefree made a number of posts. They can be read here.


Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Doubts about the Dalai Lama
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 11, 2012 12:29AM

Wannabefree wrote of how she was verbally abused by her teacher.

Nikolai Grozni described verbal berating he endured from his tutor, a famous professor of Buddhist logic. Early on he was reduced to tears of frustration and shame. Later, he became a lot more suspicious and in the end realized the guy was full of it.

However, and this may be interesting, Grozni does not mention doing visualization practices. He does not mention saying his rosary and he lived in his own room, giving the bulk of his time to studying Tibetan language and texts.

He was also free to select friends who were irreverant and chose to associate with them. He also met a monk who was convinced that all the suffering of Tibetans from 800 CE to 1951 had been caused by monks and lamas (!).

Wannabefree wrote


I've ordered "The Guru Papers", thanks. More questions: was this a Tibetan monk, or a Western monk? Why/how did you get into a one-on-one study situation with him? You're lucky you weren't coerced/manipulated into sex, as other women have been, but it's hard to say which is worse, since you've been struggling with the aftereffects of your experience for years now.

RE: having different masks--it's clear from what women say, who have been coerced into "tantric sex" (which turns out to be ordinary sex), that the lamas do very much have a public persona, which they guard very carefully like gold, and a behind-the-scenes more authentic self (and it isn't pretty!). You're not alone in noticing that. I don't think these techniques are something they all use (or know) however (though I could be wrong), and it may be reasonable to guess that those who do know these techniques use them only on certain individuals who seem vulnerable, for whatever reason. Some of these guys are predatory, either psychologically or sexually, so they look for the emotionally weaker members of the sangha.

This description of the difference between a lama's public face and private face is important.

Grozni told how he was with his friends when the logic professor came along, and gave Grozni a public and massive scolding for being an idler.

After this high lama strutted off, one of Grozni's friends said, that he had not understood a thing this monk had said but that he had put on a great show. His body language, gestures, voice intonations, pauses were all marks of a great actor and showman.

This friend had produced and directed plays in Germany. Because he had not understood Tibetan and didnt give a damn about saving his soul, he had been free to see the collection of acting techniques that this bullying lama had mastered and that most of his subordinates could not identify.

On another venue, someone who had served time among Lamas wrote this:


Beam Me Up Dzogchen

To me missing aspects of what spiritual teachers discuss are EMOTIONS and healthy relationships with day to day reality or important people in one's life. Head nods are given to keeping some order in one's life, like cleaning one's personal space but that seems to me as if life is supposed to be lived pretty much ROBOTICALLY and the 'really important part' of life is sitting on the meditation cushion contemplating suffering or zoning out into 'enlightenment'.

A person who met up with a Westerner who later became a teaching lama reported this.

(Lama X) expressed a really smug enjoyment of the idea of using the Advaita Shuffle TB style.

He joked frequently that what he liked about dzogchen was that when life got to be difficult he could just press the dzogchen button and nothing would mean anything painful any more. When in doubt just zone out, sort of thing.

It aggravated me that he advocated side-stepping facing reality, facing moral or emotional challenges or dealing with emotional ambivalence. It seemed to me grotesquely morally slippery and emotionally dangerous.

It's true he was a young whipper-snapper then, he might be a plain old raging narcissist now or a more mature adult. I don't really know.

But he seemed to have gotten his ideas from his TB teachers, so I wonder how sane he could be when all around him has been moral slipperiness.

Emotions seem to be something denigrated by all these people who are into the enlightenment thing.

Either emotions are overlooked because of dazzling intellectual prowess or something to transcend or to transform into non-emotional awareness states.

Emotions seem to me to be the core of what is perceived to be bad about samsara and that is where I think these spiritual teachers have proven to be the most disturbed, emotionally.

There is also an entitlement issue going on it seems.

There are those who opt out of samsara and then there are supposed to be the drones, like the serfs in Tibet, who are supposed to pay for and caretake those who zone out of ordinary, practical life.

June Campbell talks about the history of the thinking process as valuing so-called facts and not valuing emotional reality because emotions have historically been relegated to being merely female.

I do think that people who go into 'enlightenment' states, non-dual states or bliss states need to have both healthy emotional lives and practical lives and that enlightenment states would otherwise be unhealthy and dangerous to the person who experiences that and to the people around who might be put in the position of caretaking a 'reality-handicapped' individual.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Doubts about the Dalai Lama
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 04, 2012 10:22PM



Previous Dalai Lamas were not always peaceful monks
Jul 12, 2011 by Daniel Burke

WASHINGTON (RNS) The Dalai Lama is spending 10 days here leading an elaborate Buddhist ritual designed to encourage compassion -- exactly the kind of peacenik advocacy we have come to expect from the 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner.

But while most of Tibet's 13 previous Dalai Lamas displayed similar moral scruples, a few weren't quite so peaceable, or even very monklike at all.

Catholics may reluctantly recall instances of popes behaving badly. But Tibetans don't draw bright moral lines between "good" and "bad" Dalai Lamas, explained Robert Barnett, an expert on the history of Tibet at Columbia University in New York.

"They are not judgmental about these differences," he said. "All are considered necessary and valuable." And all are considered reincarnations of Chenrezig, a kind of Buddhist saint dedicated to saving others from delusion and suffering.

Just as the Buddha may be depicted as red with anger in one painting and serene in another, Tibetans expect their lamas -- or Buddhist monks -- to exhibit a variety of behaviors.

Following are a few of the more colorful Dalai Lamas:

-- The Third Dalai Lama (1543-1588) was the first to bear the title while alive. (The first two Dalai Lamas were anointed posthumously.) In 1578, Sonam Gyatso struck a deal with the Mongolian ruler Altan Khan: Altan Khan was dubbed "king of religion" and Sonam Gyatso deemed "Dalai Lama," which means "ocean of wisdom." The alliance was political as well as religious, with both men seeking powerful friends at a time of violent tumult.

-- The Fifth Dalai Lama (1617-1682) was the first to assume religious and political supremacy in Tibet. Before Lobsang Gyatso seized power in 1642, Tibet was ruled by competing tribes and religious sects. With the help of Mongolian warlords, the Fifth Dalai Lama waged war on rival monasteries, forcing them to convert to his Buddhist sect.

Though some Tibetans argue otherwise, most historians agree that "it is valid to say that the Fifth Dalai Lama became ruler of Tibet through violence," Barnett said.

Like the present Dalai Lama, "The Great Fifth," as he is often known, relinquished political power to devote his later years to religious study.

-- The Sixth Dalai Lama (1682-1706) might be called the Hugh Hefner of Dalai Lamas.

Fond of silk robes, beer and women, Tsangyang Gyatso refused to take monastic vows, choosing instead to pen poems and search for lovers in the towns that surrounded his monastery. Folklore held that huts in which that search proved successful were painted yellow; many remain so today.

Still, the Sixth Dalai Lama is beloved among Tibetans, who see deep dharma messages about the transience of earthly existence in the playboy's poetry. Like the Bible's Song of Solomon, the poems' celebrations of sex are often applied to religious pursuits, such as the attainment of enlightenment.

-- The current Dalai Lama's most recent predecessor, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama (1876-1933), is often credited with bringing Tibet into the modern age.

Later dubbed "The Great Thirteenth," Thupten Gyatso introduced currency, developed a legal system, established Tibet's first post office, built public schools, founded a police force and bolstered the military -- all while trying to fend off a British invasion and assert Tibet's independence from China.

Like his successor, Thupten Gyatso also built bridges to the West and downplayed tensions between the various Buddhist sects. Before he died at age 58, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama predicted dark days ahead for Tibet, accurately foretelling China's invasion, and a dimming of Buddhism's influence over daily life in the Himalayan highland.

(Additional sources: The Dalai Lama's official website:, and "Secret Lives of the Dalai Lama," by Alexander Norman.)

Options: ReplyQuote
Current Page: 2 of 5

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.