From Lizard to Godzilla - A Critique of Tsongkhapa’s “Exposition of the Fourteen Tantric Root Infractions” – Part 4
(Reported by the True Heart News interviewing team in Taipei)
In previous report, we explained why lama Tsongkhapa’s so-called “religious reform” was simply putting old booze into a new bottle. People who have insight into the issue shun the Highest Yoga Tantra rooted in Hindu Shaktism as if it were poison. Yet, up the snowy plateau, the four sects of Tibetan “Buddhism” have cherished the primitive superstition as a fine vintage for thousands of years. Blinded by ignorance, they strayed deeper and deeper into the occult and never resurrected themselves. Who would have thought that one day their toxic brew would be spewed throughout the entire world? To clean this epidemic contamination will be immensely difficult.
The original preface reads:
Based on the cultivating ideas inherited throughout the Tibetan Tantric system, this doctrine about the fourteen root infractions and the Highest Yoga Tantra has been regarded as a highly confidential teaching that should never be rashly taught to the disciples. However, after the 14th Dalai Lama, leader of the Gelug sect went into exile in Dharamsala, North India, in the mid-twentieth century, this esoteric tantra has been deliberately taught and systematically disseminated to the Western public with the goal of popularizing Tibetan Tantric Buddhism. Because of this proliferation, the doctrine of the Tantric Couple-Practice, which was not easily revealed to ethnic Chinese in the Han area, is finally showing itself openly to the world and can be approached.
One can see that the term “tantra” has already cropped up quite a few times in the preface so far. However, it must be noted that the World-Honored One never mentioned this term, or even this concept, in the Sutras expounded during the three rounds of dharma transmission. As well, there is no account in the Two-Vehicle Liberation-Way or the Mahayana Buddhahood-Way sutras about anyone who practiced “tantra.” Tantra is a vulgar practice of Hinduism.
The founders of Lamaism imbedded tantra into Buddhism and based on this corrupted version of Buddhism, the four major sects of fake Tibetan Buddhism were established. Purporting unsubstantiated claims and doctrines teaching astonishingly erroneous views and practices, fake Tibetan Buddhism has always transmitted its teachings in a deliberately obscured manner. In relation to the Han Chinese who have always emphasized the Confucian five relationships of filial piety (五伦), the lamas were even more cautious about revealing their central dogma. Thus for the Chinese, the sexual tantra was rather enigmatic.
In the middle 8th century (about 750 A.D.), Tufan king Tritsong Detsan sent a special mission to India to invite Padmasambhava, the founder guru of the four major sects of Tibetan “Buddhism,” to Tibet to translate “sutras” and preach the “Buddha Dharma.” Legend has it that Padmasambhava “subdued the eight divisions of demons and spirits in the indigenous Bon religion.” [i] In reality, during the repeated encounters with Bon Shamanism, there was conflict, compromise and harmonization. Padmasambhava absorbed the beliefs and incorporated some of the demons and spirits of Bon Shamanism as “dharma protectors.” In other words, he amalgamated the heretical tantric tradition[ii]with Bon in order to adapt to the culture in Tibet where it became a new religion deceivingly labelled as “Buddhism.” This new religion has an outright barbarous nature and has been cloaked in cryptic writings, casuistic reasoning, and many inconsequential but elaborate rituals.
Padmasambhava’s new “religion” of Tantric Shamanism flourished like a wild weed for more than a thousand years on the isolated, uncivilized snowy plateau. There were hardly any good and knowledgeable masters to steer it back to the right direction, and it was never compared or contrasted against any authentic Buddhist traditions. Although it identifies itself as “Tibetan Buddhism,” its tenets are in serious discordance with the three-vehicle Bodhi. Not only are its teachings deviant and corrupt, its cultivation practice is also outlandish and shameless. Indeed, as the late Dharma Master Yinshun (印顺法师) once accurately critiqued, it is “a reclusive and eccentric” religion. Nevertheless, it had survived on its own without impinging upon the external world.
Since ancient times, Tibet had always been dominated by groups with vested interests, namely, the aristocracy, the landowners and the monastic lamas. Naturally this evolved into a union of religion and state. Under this theocratic system, the various Dalai Lamas were able to unscrupulously exploit the serfs in the agrarian society until the Chinese Communists officially entered Tibet. Before that, serfs made up ninety-five percent of the total population.[iii]
Whenever Tibet extended its territorial reach or encountered intrusions of foreign military and politics, the four sects of Tibetan “Buddhism” took the opportunity to expand its clout. In the year 1240, Tibet was invaded by Mongols. Then in 1260 A.D., (or around 1253), dharma-king of the Sakya Sect was conferred upon the title of Imperial Preceptor and granted a jade seal to govern Tubo (Tibet) by Yuan emperor in the first year of the Zhongtong era. In consequence, the perverse tantric coupling practice began to take root in the Mongolian area in the thirteen century. [iv][v]
Worse yet, the emperors of the Yuan Dynasty also began to worship Lamaism. For instance, the famous “dance of sixteen heavenly demons” (十六天魔舞) from the period of the Yuan emperor Shun was to express the ideas of Tibetan “Buddhism.” According to the Biography of Hama in The History of Yuan Dynasty (元史?哈麻传), a western barbarian monk, Jialinzhen (伽嶙真), through Tulu-Tiemur’s (秃鲁帖木儿) recommendation, brought the sexual practice of Karmamudrā (演揲儿法; yan dier fa) to the Yuan emperor Shun, who reveled and indulged in it. As the annals records, “[The emperor] appointed the lama as his state advisor (国师, guoshi). The lama’s disciples grabbed virtuous women …as ‘offerings’ …. They also selected 16 women to perform the dance of the sixteen heavenly demons. [The emperor’s male relatives and selected girls] acted intimately in front of the emperor, even in nakedness. …The emperor and the courtiers engaged in lascivious sex, while the monks went in and out of the palace freely without restrictions; their vulgar noises and filthy behavior were notorious outside of the palace.”[vi][vii][viii][ix]
The excessive favor the Yuan court afforded Tibetan Lamaism caused huge discontent amongst the general public during the final years of the dynasty when lamas defied every law and regulation. Code of the Yuan Dynasty (元典章) records that, “… [lamas] bullied and pilfered from common people, instigating trouble without reason.” Lamas even dared to chase and assault members of the royal families. Other lawless behavior included chasing men, raping women, competing for road space with royal families, even pulling royal concubines from carriages and beating them, gathering a crowd with weapons and entered into government offices to provoke trouble, beating a mail courier to within an inch of his life, and so on and so forth.[x]This was the mania spurred by the four sects of Tibetan “Buddhism” as they spread their “dharma” in Mongolia and the Han Chinese territory.
Throughout the Ming and Qing dynasties, imperial families continued to have dealings with the four sects of tantric “Buddhism” and repeatedly bestowed honorary titles upon them for mutual benefit. In 1407 A.D., on the fifth year of Yongle, Emperor Chengzu presented the fifth Karmapa Deshin Shekpa of the Karma Kagyu sect a black crown that now symbolizes the sect. Immensely pleased with this crown, it has been used by every Kagyu leader until the present day. In 1652 AD, ninth year of emperor Shunzhi, the emperor conferred upon the fifth generation Dalai of the Gelug sect the grandiose title of “Sitian Dashan Zizai Fo Suoling Tianxia Shijiao Putong Wachi Ladanla Dalai Lama 西天大善自在佛所领天下释教普通瓦赤拉呾喇达赖喇嘛.”[xi][xii] After fleeing to Dharamsala, India, during the mid-twentieth century, the 14th Dalai Lama capitalized on this exotic title to bewitch Westerners. Ironically, it was bestowed by a ruler of China, the country against which he claims independency.
After years of political appeasement and exchange for mundane interests between central China and Tibet, generations of imperial families, nobles, court officials etc. in the Chinese territory inherited the licentious couple-practice tantra and various pseudo-Buddhist teachings passed down by lamas. Like a four-legged lizard originally holed up in a dark, cold corner, Tantric “Buddhism” first stumbled onto the Mongolia grassland and then made its way into the bounteous central plains of China. Feeding on abundant imperial offerings and racking up the hard-earned resources of orthodox Buddhism, it gradually grew into a bloodthirsty reptile. In its most ruthless days, it had directly or indirectly terrorized all members of society in addition to the aristocrats and noblemen.
As for the spread of Tibetan “Buddhism” by the four major sects in Europe and America, we can look at it as either a serendipitous combination of events in human history or as inevitable universal collective karma. As mentioned earlier in the preface, by mid-twentieth century or 1959 to be precise, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama of the Gelug Sect and leader of the new generation of Tibetan “Buddhism,” defected from Tibet and arrived in northern India under the protection of foreign secret service. After some years of residence in a foreign territory, he started to make contact with the western world. Initially he proceeded with some small scope “religious diplomacy” and kept a low profile. In time he started to establish “Buddhist Centers” in European countries and America to spread the ideas of Tibetan “Buddhism.” Later on he began to liaise with foreign political powers, participate in highly publicized international events, start charity works and conduct talks and lectures. In other words, the Dalai Lama has become an active and prominent personality in the arena of international politics.[xiii][xiv][xv]
Admittedly, the Dalai Lama enjoyed a number of advantages when he expanded into European and American countries.
1. Language proficiency: In his early years, the current Dalai Lama hired Heinrich Harrer, a Nazi fugitive who escaped to Tibet, as his English teacher. Harrer taught him English as well as other related western languages.
2. A breakthrough in worldview: Through Harrer’s instruction as well as numerous visits abroad, Dalai acquired a world view very different from his predecessors; it gave him the courage to knock on the doors of the western world.
3. The sense of novelty and the appeal of a fake brand: After World War II, western societies began to take interest in oriental cultures. Dalai just happened to have emerged at that time and his monastic appearance and self-proclaimed benevolent “Buddhism” allowed him an easy entrance and acceptance by the European and American societies.
4. His dual role as temporal/religious leader: The 14th Dalai himself is not only socially astute, he also uses his political and religious identity to his advantage. He can easily morph his way in and out of western societies and shifts his identity to evade attacks and questions. His “dual status” also enables him to exert powerful influence in the treacherous and complex international political environment.
5. Humanization of the doctrines: The four sects of Tibetan “Buddhism” spread into the West at a period when western attitudes favored the new and loathed the old. The “lustful practices” in tantric doctrines coincided with the European and American peoples’ notion of enjoying the pleasures of life here and now, the two found an instant rapport with one another.
All these favorable factors translated into an expeditious propagation of Tibetan “Buddhism” into the western world and the Dalai Lama himself became a beloved celebrity of western audience. In 1989, the Swedish Royal Academies awarded the 14th Dalai Lama the Nobel Peace Prize. Bolstered with such “coronation,” Dalai and the four sects of Tibetan “Buddhism” entered into the western world with even more fanfare. This reptile, having swum across the ocean, refused to remain in the pond. Backed by powerful allies, it breathed the fresh air of western democracy, consumed the sweetness of material affluence afforded by western countries, and grew exponentially. The western societies have not realized that the seemingly philanthropic Dalai Lama, who speaks about love, compassion and benevolence all the time, brought with him a “religion” as devastating as the monstrous Godzilla.
[i] http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-tw/%E8%93%AE%E8%8A%B1%E7%94%9F retrieved May 05, 2014
[ii] http://www.enlighten.org.tw/fact/2 retrieved May 05, 2014
[iii] http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/03/27/us-china-tibet-serfs-idUSTRE52Q05U20090327 retrieved Sept 15, 2014 (Tibet serf debate shadows China's "emancipation day")
[iv] http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-tw/%E8%97%8F%E5%82%B3%E4%BD%9B%E6%95%99 retrieved Sept 15, 2014
[v] Pradyumna P. Karan, The Changing Face of Tibet: The Impact of Chinese Communist Ideology on the Landscape. Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky. 1976. Pp. 64.
[vi] http://big5.china.com/gate/big5/culture.china.com/history/yeshi/11036692/20110803/16683663.html retrieved May 05, 2014
[vii] http://www.lsjyshi.cn/pdf/tmw.pdf retrieved Sept 17, 2014
[viii] Cbeta Chinese Electronic Tripitaka Collection ePub H01N001 http://books.google.com.tw/books?id=hVXcAwAAQBAJ&lpg=PA1&hl=zh-TW&pg=PA1#v=onepage&q&f=false retrieved Sept 17, 2014
[ix] George Qingzhi Zhao, Marriage as Political Strategy and Cultural Expression: Mongolian Royal Marriages from World Empire to Yuan Dynasty. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. 2008. pp. 89-90.
[x] http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-tw/%E8%97%8F%E5%82%B3%E4%BD%9B%E6%95%99 retrieved May 05, 2014
[xi] http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-tw/%E8%97%8F%E5%82%B3%E4%BD%9B%E6%95%99 retrieved May 05, 2014
[xii] Lama Kunsang, Lama Pemo, Marie Aubèle, Marie Aubele, History of the Karmapas: The Odyssey of the Tibetan Masters with the Black Crown. Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion Publication. 2012. pp. 258.
[xiii] http://www.newsweek.com/when-heaven-shed-blood-164864 retrieved Sept 30, 2014 (When Heaven Shed Blood)
[xiv] http://www.dalailamaworld.com/classified.php?f=41 retrieved May 05, 2014 (The 14th Dalai Lama, Freedom in Exile - the Autobiography of the Dalai Lama, Official Chinese website of H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)
[xv] http://www.dalailamaworld.com/topic.php?t=193 retrieved May 05, 2014 (Chronology of Events of the 14th Dalai Lama)
This article is an English version of the Chinese edition published on
May 15, 2014.