(By the True Heart News interviewing team in Taipei)On 20 January, 2012, the official website of Tibet Religious Foundation of H. H. the Dalai Lama published an article The View on Tibetan Buddhist Monastic Discipline and the Transformation of Adverse Conditions by Dawa Tsering. A note at the end indicates that this article was presented as an explanation at the inquiry meeting of The Control Yuan’s case investigation. In this article, Dawa Tsering reiterates that the Couple-Practice Tantra is not “the sexual intercourse in the secular sense” and that the Chinese world has many misunderstandings about Tibetan lamas, such as they are not Buddhist monks. He claims that Taiwanese scholars, who are not as good as European or American scholars, misunderstand Tibetan “Buddhism,” therefore making the public get a bad impression about Tibetan Tantrism, lamas and rinpoches.
The interviewing team called upon Chairman Zhang of the True Enlightenment Education Foundation to discuss this specific topic. Chairman Zhang points out that in this article, though Dawa Tsering contradicts himself logically, he is consistent about the Tantric practice. He pronounces to the world in black and white that the core of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism is the Couple-Practice Tantra. Not only do their sutras give clear instructions on this, but also lamas of all sects cultivate this either in visualization or in real practice. As long as you are a disciple of Lamaism with sharp capacity (enjoying sex) or a qualified guru, you can practice the actual Copulation Tantra.
Chairman Zhang cites paragraphs from the article:
When one practices to minimize the discrimination of one’s mind to the extent that one can control or even manipulate the desire, a desire will be transformed from an adverse condition into a supporting condition for practice. Buddhist sutras explain that this transformed “Couple-Practice Tantra” is absolutely not the sexual act between men and women in the usual sense.
Tantric sutras assert that as a person reaches a certain level of practice where he is no longer controlled or influenced by desires or the secular discriminating mind, or even the reverse where he is able to control them, then he is capable of utilizing the desires to explore a much more subtle reality and truth. This is when adverse conditions like desires and the discriminating mind are transformed into supporting conditions for practice.
To guru masters, meat-eating is not just to satisfy the desire for good food, but more importantly that desire is transformed into a supporting condition for practice to eliminate one’s discrimination: one eats whatever is offered, either meat or any other food. This is to eliminate one’s discrimination with no deliberate effort (Deliberate pursuit or rejection can be considered to be a kind of discrimination). To take a step further, no matter whether human flesh or beef, both should be viewed as just food to sustain life and to be consumed with no discrimination. This attitude eliminates one’s discrimination with no deliberate effort of rejection.
Chairman Zhang explains that in the first excerpt mentioned above, Dawa Tsering is basically saying: as long as one diminishes one’s discrimination, “without a thought that” he is having sex during the sexual practice, then one gains the power to manipulate desires and with this power the “Copulation-Practice” is then not sex.
The second excerpt is saying that the copulation tantra practiced by lamas is well-founded in the sutras; lamas do not take up the Couple-Practice Tantra out of blind faith.
The last excerpt explains it in even plainer language: As guru masters have attained the non-discriminating mind, they are well-skilled to perform the sex act with non-discrimination. This is why only guru masters are qualified to engage in the real couple-practice. The same logic applies to meat eating.
Chairman Zhang points out that, such an explanation that the defilement of the mind can be eradicated through defiled deeds is only a blatant lie! It is indeed exactly what the German scholar Trimondi called in his study “the law of inversion.”
Moreover, such reasoning falls precisely in line with the doctrines of Hindu Tantrism; according to the ancient Hevajra-Tantra, “one must rise by that through which one falls,” “a poison can be neutralized by poison, and evil deeds are eliminated by other evil deeds.”
Trimondi stated in his study that Tibetan Tantric Buddhism employs the “law of inversion” to nurture whatever prohibited by the Buddhists precepts, wantonly breaking the precepts and then transforming them into their opposites to attain liberation. Furthermore, lamas are not just “allowed” to break the precepts, but in fact they “ought to” break the precepts unreservedly in order to follow the aforementioned tantric doctrines: “fighting poison with poison, greed with greed, and evil with evil.”
(Victor and Victoria Trimondi, The Shadow of the Dalai Lama - Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism, Düsseldorf 1999, pp. 111-112）
Hence, the web article The View on Tibetan Buddhist Monastic Discipline and the Transformation of Adverse Condition by Dawa Tsering confirms the research findings of Trimondi.
(Victor and Victoria Trimondi, The Shadow of the Dalai Lama - Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism, Dusseldorf 1999, pp. 111-112）
However, the couple-practice of Tibetan Tantrism is nothing like what Dawa Tsering stated in his web article: “In both Taiwan and Mainland China, there are plenty of professional and scholarly publications about Tibetan Buddhism or Tantrism due to commercial and social demands. Many of the writers actually understand nothing about Tantrism. With secular concepts and literal interpretation, they often misinterpret the tantric doctrines, thangkas, and the secret meanings. This is extremely ignorant!”
Tsering also claimed, “We believe sex scandals related to Tibetan Buddhism mostly occurred in Taiwan because the ‘Tibetan lamas’ who came to Taiwan out of political reasons in the earlier days were a motley crowd. On top of that, it had a lot to do with a misinterpretation of Tibetan Buddhism by many Chinese reading materials. In contrast, sex scandals and money fraud involving Tibetan lamas are much less heard of in Western societies; this apparently has everything to do with their depth of understanding of Tibetan Buddhism.”
Dawa Tsering’s article essentially excuses lamas’ sexual abuse and assault by shifting the blame to “the Chinese scholars who misinterpreted Tantric Buddhism” as well as “the misconduct of lamas who came to Taiwan earlier.” In other words, he was basically saying that Taiwanese scholars could not correctly comprehend the true meaning of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism. Besides, he was also suggesting that the lamas who came to Taiwan in the early days were not well qualified to perform the actual couple-practice.
More importantly, Dawa Tsering believes that sex scandals rarely occur in the West because Western scholars have a better understanding of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism.
Chairman Zhang sternly points out that soon after the spread of Tibetan “Buddhism” into European and North American countries such as Canada, the United States, Australia, Scotland, Germany, Switzerland, there has been a large number of female victims coming out successively to accuse the lamas of treating them as sex slave and sex instrument during the couple practice.
Regarding this, the True Enlightenment Education Foundation has published numerous translated works and will continue to report on this issue. Copies of the published works are available free upon request. Among the lamas being accused are Sogyal Rinpoche, the author of the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, the first Kalu Rinpoche, the 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye, etc.
Professor Helmut von Glasenapp (1891-1963), an eminent scholar of Indology and Religion at University of Tuebingen, Germany, made the following statement in his early research: “The Vajrayana Buddhism, especially its eroticized form, has encountered fierce rejection since it is deprecated by an overwhelming majority of Buddhists as a falsification of the true Buddhism.”
(Helmut von Glasenapp, The Five World Religions, München 1996, p. 136）
The research findings mentioned above speak clear and loud to the fact that Tibetan Tantric Buddhism was already not recognized by both Mahayana and Hinayana Buddhism as Buddha Sakyamuni’s teachings before it had spread across the world. Studies of Western scholars have long concluded that the sexual couple-practice of Tantric Buddhism has its roots in Hindu Shaktism, together with elements from local Tibetan religions. It has nothing to do with the teachings of Buddha Sakyamuni. The True Enlightenment Education Foundation’s research findings also testify to those Western studies because the “dual operations of bliss and emptiness” during the couple-practice simply belongs to the mental state of the conscious mind, which is not a true awakening and is refuted through the realization of the Buddhist Three-Vehicle Bodhi. For Buddhists who seek enlightenment, this state of the conscious mind is to be shunned.
Helmut’s research finding is plain and clear: “Tibetan ‘Buddhism’ engages in sexual practice; it is not orthodox Buddhism.”
Chairman Zhang remarks that what Dawa Tsering stated contradicts Helmut’s study and that he is openly deceiving the Taiwanese public with clumsy cover-ups. In Western countries, not only do female consorts publicly accuse lamas of sexual abuse, many academic scholars have also published their research findings that the essence of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism is the sexual couple-practice and is therefore rejected by orthodox Buddhism.
Chairman Zhang sincerely advises Dawa Tsering to amend his invalid arguments so that he would not contradict his own comments that “to expose the frauds and introduce the true meaning of Tibetan Buddhism to Taiwanese people is the most effective way” as well as that “if related authorities provide education and proper guidance to the public, such harmful activities to Taiwanese believers and Tibetan Buddhism will certainly discontinue.” Only in doing so can he avoid having his lies being picked out each and every time. Otherwise, nobody will believe the words of Dawa Tsering (the Director and spokesman of the Tibet Religious Foundation of H.H. the Dalai Lama) anymore.
This article is an English version of the Chinese edition published on
June 27, 2012.
Quote 1: The original cited video has been changed. Please refer to the new webpage as follows: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sj4ALQejBlM
Quote 2: The original cited article has been closed. Please refer to the backup screenshot of the original linked webpage as follows: Click here （a copy by using https://web.archive.org/）
Quote 3: The original cited article has been closed. Please refer to the backup screenshot of the original linked webpage as follows: Click here （a copy by using https://web.archive.org/）