(Reported by the True Heart News interviewing team in Taipei)
In the Fruit Clusters of Siddhis, Tsongkhapa’s exegesis of the book Vajra Vehicle Root Downfalls, the tantric root precepts are explained in terms of “the meaning of terminology according to Tantra (the meaning of the title)” as well as “the meaning of the content according to Tantric texts (the meaning of the text).” This article will look into the latter as we have explained the former previously.
The way that the fourteen tantric root infractions are explained - in terms of “the meaning of terminology according to Tantra” and “the meaning of the content according to Tantric texts” - is a clear indication that the Vajra Vehicle Root Downfalls were put together based on the tantras written by tantric patriarchs. The True Enlightenment Education Foundation must first clarify the fact that these have nothing to do with the Buddhist precepts established by Buddha Sakyamuni. In his book, Tsongkhapa divides his illustration of the root infractions into three sections: introduction, explanation, and conclusion. This article will discuss the introduction.
The introduction segment is further divided into two sections: first, the expression of worship and second, the commitment to the undertaking. In regard to the “expression of worship,” Tsongkhapa writes:
“‘Having bowed down…’ To what? Having bowed down to the feet, construed as a lotus, of the author’s guru. Since it is the lowest part of his body, it indicates extreme respect.”
Insofar as the Vajra Vehicle Root Downfalls’ content is derived from the tantras composed by tantric patriarchs, the four sects of “fake Tibetan Buddhism” attribute their gurus with a status higher than Buddha. Therefore, they consider prostrating to a guru’s feet as a way of showing “extreme respect.” As a matter of fact, the tantric tradition has established the gurus as always being the absolute authority and cannot be treated with even the slightest condescension or contempt. There’s a very good reason for this being, the Couple-Practice of the tantric vajra vehicle must be personally transmitted to a disciple by his root guru. If a disciple does not have thorough reverence for the guru, the root guru cannot possibly induce the disciple’s desire for practicing the tantric vajra vehicle. Also, should unexpected circumstances arise from the practice of sexual union, it is less likely for the disciple to protest because of the root guru’s absolute authority and the restraint of the fourteen root infractions. These are the underlying reasons for setting up the gurus as figures of unquestionable authority.
Tsongkhapa: “Many saintly gurus of previous times have said that this indicates that you should respectfully worship your special objects of refuge not only at the outset of writing something, but at the outset of any practice of spiritual activity.”
Tsongkhapa cites “Many saintly gurus of previous times have said…” to exalt the gurus’ supreme status and underscore the importance of his words in order to ensure disciples’ adherence to his words. Respecting and obeying teachers and elders is a given, and prostrating to one’s guru “at the outset of any practice of spiritual activity” is a reasonable demand as well. The problem is, the prestige Tsongkhapa credits the tantric gurus with is largely gratuitous. The cultivation of all tantric gurus ends in the sexual Couple-Practice, which means that they are not passing on any wholesome practice that benefits the body and mind to their disciples, let alone any Buddhist Dharma of the three-vehicle Bodhi. The return for respectfully worshiping your special objects of refuge is most likely physical and mental harm, unless one has already been so brainwashed that one is no longer disturbed by and ashamed of the debauched tantric practice.
The gurus of Tibetan “Buddhism” enjoy creating tantras by writing their own books, which bring them not just repute but many other perks. They are unaware of the serious karmic retributions that await them in future lifetimes once their books, which preach false Buddha dharma, go up on the shelves. Misrepresenting adulterous sexual practices as Buddhist cultivation is one of the most grievous sins. Not only is it a deed of deception, it also results in destruction of the Buddha Dharma and violation of Buddhist precepts. Despite the facts, Tsongkhapa encourages all gurus to worship their own root gurus at the beginning of their writings. In doing so, such mutual extolling and glorification among gurus is an effective means to create in the reader’s mind an illusion of the gurus’ supremacy.
Tsongkhapa’s introduction of the fourteen root infractions evidences that Tibetan “Buddhism” is a classic cult of “guruism.” When the gurus have been elevated to a status far above Buddha Sakyamuni, this cult can no longer be characterized as Buddhism. The True Enlightenment Education Foundation’s description of it as “fake Tibetan Buddhism” is thus accurate and well justified.
Explaining the Vajra Vehicle Root Downfalls in terms of “the meaning of terminology according to Tantra” and “the meaning of the content according to Tantric texts”, shows that this book was written for the purpose of ensuring smooth dissemination of the tantric vajra vehicle. It is quite obvious that Tsongkhapa purposely touts the tantric root gurus in its introduction of the meaning of the content according to Tantric texts.
Lauding the tantric vajra vehicle as the “unsurpassed dharma,” the tantric gurus obviously all believe that it is a vehicle which can enable them to “attain Buddhahood in a single lifetime.” However, since this rapid-fire way to Buddhahood entails sexual Couple-Practice, without first building up the absolute authority of the root gurus and binding the disciples in blind faith, the Couple-Practice could never be transmitted and popularized swimmingly.
The founders of the tantric vajra vehicle, including Tsongkhapa, were well aware that the responsibility of ensuring smooth propagation of the tantric sect rests on their shoulders. This is the main reason why the Vajra Vehicle Root Downfalls places special emphasis on the authority and supremacy of the gurus, to set the stage for the Couple-Practice.
Tibetan “Buddhism” has, for centuries, nestled itself in the delusion that one can attain Buddhahood in a single lifetime via the tantric vajra vehicle. Today this deranged heritage and the misguided notions it spawns are still lodged in the minds of all tantric gurus, whose disciples will pass down the same misconception to neophytes when they become gurus themselves. So perpetuated, the entrenched delusion and the powerful collective karma it incurs seal an unalterable fate.
As a matter of fact, all tantric gurus who cultivate the tantric vajra vehicle have vowed to transmit it through writing. One consequence of this is that the massive number of publications on tantras has been drowning out sutras and writings of orthodox Buddhism. These tantric discourses often duplicate one another’s content and detail personal experiences with the tantric practice, practically fostering a new genre of “tantric pornography.” It does not matter whether or not these gurus are conscious of the fact that their tantric vajra teachings are just another Kama Sutra in essence and not Buddhism, their indulgence in meat, alcohol and sex disqualify them as Buddhist monastics. Rather, this is a classic case of avaricious monastics with deep craving for worldly dharmas.
Buddhist monastics are venerated for their strict adherence to pure precepts and abstinence from mundane sexual relationship. Indeed, lamas are not Buddhist monastics and what they teach is far from benefit to their adherents. The root tantric infractions of Tibetan “Buddhism” were deliberately set up and implemented to sanctify sexual abuse by aggrandizing the gurus’ status as well as threatening the victims from speaking up against them, which is unjustifiable and against basic human rights. A member of any religion has the right to speak up when he or she has been physically or mentally abuse within the system. When a religion outwardly advocates benevolence but resorts to institutional blackmail to silence those who have been wronged by its members, exactly what kind of religion is it?
This article is an English version of the Chinese edition published on
April 30, 2014.
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