Kagyus lose Mahamudra tradition

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Avyorth Rolinson

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Feb 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/19/98
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Special dedication to Mr Benny Hill of Bristol, the PC Plod of Cyberspace -
going boldly where none have gone before to protect copyrights on the NET!


For those who have e-mailed me for the text of the sound file as they didn't
have the ability to hear it, here it is!

This is from a teaching "Introduction to Mahamudra" given by Gen Thubten
Gyatso who was Kelsang Gyatso's Heart Disciple (until he lost his robes via
some young nuns apparently - echo of Krishna and the Gopi girls perhaps?).
The teaching was given in 1993/4 at Vajravahari NKT Centre in Preston,
England - this is the centre at which Jim Belither (NKT Secretary) is the
principle teacher, so it's almost certain that Jim was present. If he wasn't
actually present, then he'd have heard the tapes made of the teaching before
they were made available for public listening. Strange that he (or the NKT)
allowed such a piece of blatant sectarian arrogance to be released, unless
of course being official NKT policy nobody even considered the possible
implications of what Thubten was saying!!

"So therefore, this I would like to say, when Geshe Kelsang says that he
established the New Kadampa Tradition so as to preserve and protect the
Dharma, that was transmitted from the Wisdom Buddha Manjushri to Je
Tsongkhapa, this is what he is talking about, the Mahamudra. This is the
actual inner practice of the New Kadampa Tradition, the only practice of the
New Kadampa Tradition. And we can say these days, previously you could find
the practice of the Mahamudra outside this Tradition; other Traditions held
this practice. But these days we can say definitely it doesn't exist outside
of our Tradition. Only this Tradition holds the lineage, the pure lineage,
of the Vajrayana Mahamudra. So this is what we need to preserve, this is
what we need to protect. Geshe-la has carried this entire
lineage................................"

Anyone who'd like a copy of the sound file, it's still available. E-mail me
and I'll send you a copy - it's 645kb!

I guess all you Kagyu practitioners will be signing up with the NKT to
receive the only pure lineage of the Mahamudra!!!

Yours in the Dh (ark)

Avyorth

James Belither [NKT]

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Feb 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/22/98
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Recently Avyorth Rolinson has posted sections from a teaching "Introduction
to Mahamudra" given by Gen Thubten Gyatso, citing this as proof of the
exclusive and sectarian nature of the New Kadampa Tradition.

I would like to take this opportunity to clarify the NKT's view regarding
the four Tibetan Buddhist traditions, and the practice of Mahamudra.

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (Spiritual Director of the New Kadampa Tradition) has
never said that he is the only lineage holder of Mahamudra or ‘that only the
NKT holds the pure lineage of Mahamudra today'. Geshe Kelsang has said that
the central focus of practice within the New Kadampa Tradition should be
Lamrim (Stages of the Path), Lojong (Training the Mind), and Vajrayana
Mahamudra, but he has never suggested that these are exclusive to the NKT.

Sometime during the mid-1980’s I escorted the then abbot of Gyurme Tantric
College, an old school friend of Geshe Kelsang, from London to Manjushri
Centre and back again. During this visit Geshe Kelsang was requested to
translate 'Clear Light of Bliss' into Tibetan, as such a book (so this Lama
said) which sets out clearly and succinctly the instructions of Vajrayana
Mahamudra according to Je Tsongkhapa's tradition does not exist in Tibetan.
It also contains certain instructions passed down orally which are not found
in other books.

Geshe Kelsang didn't feel he had the time to do this translation but wrote a
condensed meaning of 'Clear Light of Bliss', or brief synopsis of its
subject-matter, in Tibetan. This was printed and distributed to a number of
Tibetan Lamas. I was impressed by this and remember telling this to Gen
Thubten.

Geshe Kelsang has said publicly that Mahamudra teachings are rarely given
within Gelugpa monasteries, although some may practise it privately, and
that many Gelugpas regard Mahamudra as a Kagyu practice. A Gelugpa Geshe
from Ganden Shartse Monastery once told an NKT student that he regarded
Geshe Kelsang as his Guru for Mahamudra teachings, and that some Tibetan
monks who spoke some English, or knew monks who spoke English, were studying
and practising the instructions in 'Clear Light of Bliss'.

Being present in Preston when Gen Thubten gave this talk I felt he was being
exaggerated in his enthusiasm for Geshe Kelsang’s Mahamudra teachings on the
basis of this information.

It is anyway hardly feasible to define an entire tradition’s view on the
basis of a few words from one person on one occasion, and such an isolated
quotation is not a reflection of the view ever held either by Geshe Kelsang
Gyatso or the general members of the NKT.

Considering the NKT’s position regarding the Tibetan traditions in general,
Geshe Kelsang has stated on innumerable occasions that he deeply appreciates
all four Tibetan Buddhist traditions, praises Buddhist masters from all four
schools in his books, and teaches that all four schools provide a complete
and valid path to enlightenment. The nearly 4,000 pages of his collected
writings contain not a single criticism of any other spiritual tradition,
Buddhist or non-Buddhist.

Perhaps we can regard the following quotation from Geshe Kelsang's interview
with Professor Donald Lopez in the Spring '98 issue of Tricycle magazine as
the definitive statement of the NKT's position:

Professor Donald Lopez: "Given your devotion to Dorje Shugden and your
founding of the New Kadampa Tradition, do you feel that Je Tsongkhapa's
view, meditation, and practice is the most complete in all Tibetan Buddhism?
Is it only through Je Tsongkhapa's teachings that one can attain
enlightenment? Or is it also possible through Nyingma or Kagyu?"

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso: "Of course! Of course we believe that every Nyingmapa
and Kagyupa have their complete path. Not only Gelugpa. I believe that
Nyingmapas have a complete path. Of course, Kagyupas are very special. We
very much appreciate the example of Marpa and Milarepa (in the Kagyu
lineage). Milarepa showed the best example of guru devotion. Of course the
Kagyupas as well as the Nyingmapas and the Sakyapas, have a complete path to
enlightenment. Many Nyingmapas and Kagyupas practice very sincerely and are
not just studying intellectually. I think that some Gelugpa practitioners
need to follow their practical example. But we don't need to mix our
traditions. Each tradition has its own uncommon good qualities, and it is
important not to lose these. We should concentrate on our own tradition and
maintain the good qualities of our tradition, but we should always keep good
relations with each other and never argue or criticize each other. What I
would like to request is that we should improve our own traditions whilst
maintaining good relations with each other."

Let us hope we can all move forward into increasing mutual harmony and
respect, and not backwards.

Sincerely,

James Belither
Secretary
New Kadampa Tradition
22nd February 1998


Avyorth Rolinson

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Feb 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/25/98
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James Belither [NKT] wrote in message <6cpn0c$649$1...@panther.rmplc.co.uk>...


>Recently Avyorth Rolinson has posted sections from a teaching "Introduction
>to Mahamudra" given by Gen Thubten Gyatso, citing this as proof of the
>exclusive and sectarian nature of the New Kadampa Tradition.

".....previously you could find


the practice of the Mahamudra outside this Tradition; other Traditions held
this practice. But these days we can say definitely it doesn't exist outside
of our Tradition. Only this Tradition holds the lineage, the pure lineage,
of the Vajrayana Mahamudra. "

- the words of Thubten Gyatso, Heart Disciple of kelsang gyatso, speak very
plainly.


>
>Sometime during the mid-1980’s I escorted the then abbot of Gyurme Tantric
>College,

Totally irrelevant to the point in question, Jim. I can only presumme that
it is here as an attempt to deflect from the point in question.


>Being present in Preston when Gen Thubten gave this talk I felt he was
being
>exaggerated in his enthusiasm for Geshe Kelsang’s Mahamudra teachings on
the
>basis of this information.

".....these days we can say definitely it doesn't exist outside


of our Tradition. Only this Tradition holds the lineage, the pure lineage,

of the Vajrayana Mahamudra. " - kelsang gyatso's Heart Disciple teaching.
And your response is that he is being 'exaggerated in his enthusiasm'! I'd
say that he was being just a touch more than that.

Funny also, Jim, that Ken Rab posted a couple of weeks ago that he'd spoken
with you about this teaching in Preston and that you'd told him that you had
no recollection of anything like this being said.

KK: (ie Ken Rab):
>>To my knowledge, and after checking with some other NKT students
>>no-one has
>>heard Geshe Kelsang say that 'only the NKT holds the pure lineage of
>>Mahamudra today'.
>>I spoke about this point with Jim Belither, Secretary of the NKT.

Funny how Ken changes from my point about Thubten to kelsang gyatso - I
never said anything about him!

KK:
>>It may
>>be that putting these points together has been misunderstood and taken as
>>'only the NKT holds the pure lineage of Mahamudra today'.


Now you remember that Thubten had been 'exaggerated in his enthusiasm' -
funny old thing the human memory. Next you'll be remembering Sam Ten being
'exaggerated in his enthusiasm' in that TTP class that you and he couldn't
remember. Remember the one in which he said that kelsang gyatso said that we
nkt TTP students shouldn't read non-nkt books, etc?

From my posting:
>>When I was a TTP student at
>>Manjushri Centre (studying "Guide to Dakiniland") Samten told the class
one
>>day that GKG was very unhappy to know that students were also relying upon
>>other lamas and their teachings. Samten told us that GKG said that such
>>behaviour was creating serious obstacles for the NKT (for Manjushri Centre
>>in particular) and that it would lead to GKG's health deteriorating. He
told
>>us that if we were pure disciples then we had to read only GKG's books.
This
>>caused several of the students a great deal of difficulty. These students
>>had lived at/been involved with Manjushri Centre when Lama Yeshe had been
>he Spiritual Director and had received many teachings and empowerments from
>>other lamas - including Gelugpa, Kagyu and, if I remember correctly,
>>Nyingmapa. Consequently they had samaya with other lamas that they now
felt
>>was being challenged. Several of them told me that they would not comply
>>with this instruction, but would discretely continue as before. A couple
of
>>nuns at Manjushri Centre also told me that they'd also been criticised for
>>having a photograph of the Dalai Lama on their personal shrines.

here we have Ken Rab's reply:
>>I understand from several other people who were present at the same talk
>>given by Ven. Samten that this was never said.
>>Samten simply does not believe this and, along with
>>students who also heard the talk to which Avyorth refers, he doesn't
believe that he said that.

I think by now Ken's words are becoming just a little more transparent in
their duplicity and deceit.

>
>It is anyway hardly feasible to define an entire tradition’s view on the
>basis of a few words from one person on one occasion, and such an isolated
>quotation is not a reflection of the view ever held either by Geshe Kelsang
>Gyatso or the general members of the NKT.


Not an isolated quotation, Jim, I personally heard these ideas mentioned
many times whilst involved in the nkt. Also, as you know, Thubten spoke as
the Heart Disciple of kelsang gyatso. He also gave a commentary to kelsang
gyatso's Vajrayana Mahamudra teachings at the Summer Festival in 1993. He
gave Heruka-Vajrayogini empowerments several times, many many many other
empowerments, established and developed most of the nkt centres both in the
UK, mainland Europe, also North, Central and South America and so on.
Without the driving force and endless energy and enthusiasm of Thubten
Gyatso the nkt would be a very pale reflection of its present self. I
suspect these factors lay behind kelsang gyatso's reported refusal to
address Thubten's liking for young nuns (and others) or so I've heard.

Funny how that passage was not edited out before the teachings were released
to the nkt club.

>Let us hope we can all move forward into increasing mutual harmony and
>respect, and not backwards.

Yes, nice words, Jim, let's have a look to see what kelsang gyatso is doing
to increase mutual harmony and respect:

> His main wish is to destroy the practice of Dorje Shugden
> and then to change the entire Gelug tradition. He wants to integrate all
the
> four schools of Tibetan Buddhism into one so that the leaders of the other
> traditions will no longer have a role and he will become the only leader
of
> Tibetan Buddhism. In this way he can easily control the spiritual life of
> all practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism. I know this is his wish; he has
been
> working towards this for many years.
- the words of kelsang gyatso posted recently on this newsgroup referring to
the Dalai Lama.

Yep, spot on old kelsang, you sure know how to build mutual respect!


Yours in the Dh (ark)

Avyorth

>

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