Re: Re: An Old un-Theosophical prejudice.
Jan 03, 1999 08:18 PM
by Richard Taylor
In a message dated 1/4/99 12:18:02 AM, Leon wrote:
<<The only reason this subject was brought up (by this writer, at least.) was,
as useful information about the real purpose of such teachings in Tibet--(in
the face of the apparent misinformation first posted)--in order to expose
their extreme dangers as a practice for untrained experimenters, >>
This is quite true. But then, the Tibetan instructions for ALL Tantras are
very explicit, whether relating to so-called "karmamudra" or not. Tantric
rituals are not for the uninitiated, nor for the beginner nor even the
educated. Tantric practices have generally been reserved for the most
extremely gifted Buddhist practitioners, chosen by trained masters, after
many, many years of "mundane" (Mahayana) Buddhist practice. I myself will
never in this lifetime, I suspect, be worthy of such advanced instruction,
which is why I merely repeat what I have learned of Tantras from my academic
education as well as my interaction with lamas and practitioners in the
<<Also forgive me, Rich, if what I have quoted from HPB about "ignorant Lamas"
has hurt your feelings. Between you and me, I am well aware of the vows an
"initiated" Tibetan Buddhist must take to protect their Lama-Guru and their
Lineage--since some of my best friends (and my former wife :-) are
I definitely don't have hurt feelings over comments in this arena. I think
Blavatsky, as usual, is quite right: most Tibetan lamas ARE ignorant. To be
entitled to the designation "lama" one has only to successfully complete the
standard 3-year, 3-month retreat led by a Buddhist master. The title "lama"
is merely an honorific, and is held by many people, including several thousand
individuals who are held to be (major and minor) "incarnations" of preceding
personalities. So "lama" is not a high or rare designation. At the same
time, HPB herself recognized the power and authority of such high lamas as the
Panchen (Teshu/Tashi) Lama and the Dalai Lama. You will find that when I
quote from Tibetan teachers and texts, my quotes are from highly educated, and
usually profoundly spiritual, Tibetan scholars and leaders. I do not repeat
the gossip I hear from Tibetan friends and dilettantes.
Lastly, I am very disappointed to see the name-calling going on in this forum.
Disagreements are natural, and for my part civil debate is always welcome,
especially if the goal is to explore and clarify the teachings of Theosophy as
reported by HPB. Also, I think it *is* wise to bring up the fact that
selfish, materialistic forces exist in our world which would seek to betray
Theosophy and undermine humanity's progress towards its great and distant
goal. Calling each other Dugpas, however, even in jest, seems to me to play
more into the hands of such forces than to uphold the Brotherhood and unity
which stems from the first fundamental proposition in the Secret Doctrine, and
the First Object of the Theosophical Movement. These ideals are FIRST for a
reason. I certainly hope the accusations and "flaming" emails will cease.
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