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Dans ces citations de textes en anglais glanées au gré du web anglophone nous présentons des critiques du tantrisme bouddhique qui soulignent la violence de certaines de ses pratiques disciplinaires traditionnelles au Tibet. Les liens vers les pages Web sont indiqués pour revenir si nécessaire aux articles originaux d'où sont extraites ces informations.


Contributions découvertes sur le Web anglophone à travers quelques brèves citations

par Marc Bosche

Quotes. A patchwork of contributions discovered on the Web : a few brief excerpts


Above: A monastic disciplinarian with his big stick & typical padded shoulders of the loblob outfit outside the Potala


Christopher Hitchens, His Material Highness, July 13, 1998


The Dalai Lama has come out in support of the thermonuclear tests recently conducted by the Indian state, and has done so in the very language of the chauvinist parties who now control that state's affairs. The "developed" countries, he says, must realize that India is a major contender and should not concern themselves with its internal affairs. This is a perfectly realpolitik statement, so crass and banal and opportunist that it would not deserve any comment if it came from another source.

[] Shoko Asahara, leader of the Supreme Truth cult in Japan and spreader of sarin nerve gas on the Tokyo subway, donated 45 million rupees, or about 170 million yen (about $1.2 million), to the Dalai Lama and was rewarded for his efforts by several high-level meetings with the divine one. »



Victor & Victoria Trimondi, The shadow of the dalai lama, Kalachakra initiation. What happens to the woman? http://www.trimondi.de

Once the yogi has stolen” her gynergy using sexual magic techniques, the woman vanishes from the tantric scenario. The feminine partner”, writes David Snellgrove, “known as the Wisdom-Maiden [prajna] and supposedly embodying this great perfection of wisdom, is in effect used as a means to an end, which is experienced by the yogi himself. Moreover, once he has mastered the requisite yoga techniques he has no need of a feminine partner, for the whole process is re-enacted within his own body. Thus despite the eulogies of women in these tantras and her high symbolic status , the whole theory and practice is given for the benefit of males(Snellgrove, 1987, vol. 1, p. 287).


The Dutch psychologist Fokke Sierksma, for instance, assumes that the lust of power” operates as an essential driving force behind Tibetan monastic life. A monk might pretend, according to this author, to meditate upon how a state of emptiness may be realized, but in practice the result was not voidness but inflation of the ego”. For the monk it is a matter of “spiritual power not mystic release(Sierksma, 1966, pp. 125, 186).

But even more astonishing than the magical/tantric world of ancient Tibet is the fact that the phantasmagora of Tantrism have managed in the present day to penetrate the cultural consciousness of our Western, highly industrialized civilization, and that they have had the power to successfully anchor themselves there with all their attendant atavisms. This attempt by Vajrayana to conquer the West with its magic practices is the central subject of our study. »

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Présentation from The Independent, 10. February 1999 :

For years June Campbell was the`consort`of a senior Tibetan Buddhist monk [Kalu Rinpoché]. She was threatened with death if she broke her vow of secrecy. But then enlightenment can be like that.

Feet of clay? No, it was a different part of the anatomy - and of all too fleshly substance - which caused the trouble. But, I suppose, you don`t expect Tantric sex to be a straightforward activity. Then again, sex of any kind isn`t really what you`re planning when you become a celibate nun.

It was, said June Campbell as she began her lecture, only the second time she had been asked to give a talk to a Buddhist group in this country since her book Traveller in Space came out three years ago. Small wonder. The topic of her talk was "Dissent in Spiritual Communities", and you don`t get much more potent types of dissent than hers. For she not only revealed that she had for years been the secret sexual consort of one of the most holy monks in Tibetan Buddhism - the tulku (re-incarnated lama), Kalu Rinpoche. She also insisted that the abuse of power at the heart of the relationship exposed a flaw at the very heart of Tibetan Buddhism.


The imposition of secrecy therefore, in the Tibetan system, when it occurred solely as a means to protect status, and where it was reinforced by threats, was a powerful weapon in keeping women from achieving any kind of integrity in themselves, for it seems clear that the fundamental and ancient principles of Tantric sex -- the meeting together of two autonomous individuals as partners for sexual relations to promote spirituality--was tainted by the power wielded by one partner over the other. So whilst the lineage system viewed these activities as promoting the enlightened state of the lineage-holders, the fate of one of the two main protagonists, the female consort, remained unrecognized, unspoken and unnamed.

[]  It is certainly intriguing to know that despite Kalu Rinpoche's activities with women, and even quite some time after his death, several Tibetan scholars in the west continued to show complete ignorance of the hidden life existing within the lama system.  In his study of the history of Tibetan Buddhism, and in particular the difference between married lamas and celibate monks, Geoffrey Samuel wrote in 1993, 'Kalu Rinpoche was a monk, however, not a lay yogin, and most of his career took place in the celibate gompa setting of Pelpung'.[13]  Whilst it is true that Kalu Rinpoche spent many of his early years in the monastery of Pelpung in Tibet, it is also true that, after escaping Tibet in 1959 when the Chinese annexed the country, he spent many more as the abbot of a monastery in India, and during many of these years was not a monk, yet was afraid of the consequences of revealing his secret life. »





« What is primarily significant, then about contemporary fundamentalistic Buddhists is that, like their late nineteenth predecessors for whom religion and ethnicity were largely conflated, their Buddhism is intimately linked to political ideologyIn the present, Buddhism is consciously invoked by politically motivated Sinhalas to advance their own empowerment (usually to the exclusion of other communities) or to rationalize their agendas for actions taken against other communities in post hoc fashion. In the former nineteenth-century instance, the revival of Buddhism contributed to the formation of a new national political consciousness; in the latter instance of the present, Buddhism becomes a powerful trope [figure of speech] for expressing a matured political ideology that may be more appropriately identified as communal (since it is not inclusive enough to be truly national for a multiethnic society). »



Rakesh Chhetri , REVIVALIST DRUKPAS AND FUNDAMENTALISM by Rakesh Chhetri, January 22,1998,  Published in Kathmandu Post (Article No 18)


Bhutanese polity is in real crisis as the politics is essentially defined solely for the benefit of Drukpa ethnic group, in stead of solving the vital issues confronting the nation. It would be wrong to imagine that the Bhutanese regimes insistence on building the Bhutanese nation-state exclusively based on narrow Drukpa Buddhist considerations will achieve a consolidated Bhutanese nationhood. Bhutanese nation-state cannot be built on the contorted historical fallacy of only one ethnic Ngalung group (widely called Drukpa) blinded and deafened by delusions about their chauvinism, while completely ignoring other groupscontributions in building today’s Bhutan.

Aggressive forms of Buddhism exists in Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, today. In Bhutanese context, the role of feudal Buddhism must be understood in a far more complex scenario. The shaky monarchy has meticulously intertwined the feudal institutions with Buddhism so that the existing feudal and autocratic institutions are imbued with a sacred and exalted place in the Bhutanese psyche. »





The american-buddha web site wil request an e mail and password as it is opened only to registered visitors, please register first at the address below, in order to be granted access to the full text of the article.


A former American convert to Tibetan Buddhism for over 20 years speaks her mind. Her viewpoint is that, although American Tibetan Buddhists have made the understandable decision to adopt traditional Tibetan Buddhist beliefs because they seem authoritative and reliable, this decision has been a mistake.

At some point, I began to feel that I had been duped, and began to unpack my psychological baggage. I discovered that I was seething with resentment over the years of self-abasement, and humiliated by the fact that I had aided my captors. While this language, and some of the language that I use in my essay below, may seem harsh or accusatory, I believe that I feel about these things just as any other ordinary person would feel after the years of effort turn out to have been invested for no good reason. Additionally, the inner compulsion to perform ritualistic practices in which I had lost faith, and the need to overcome the fear that abandoning these practices would cause me to suffer terrible consequences, has made for many painful days and nights. The process of self-deprogramming has taken me to the edge of despair, and beyond. The truth is that one who delivers their belief into the hands of others risks having to fight to get it back. Having fought that fight, it is my desire to save other people from wasting their time, energy and happiness in what I now view as a bad investment in the realm of faith. I would suggest that sincere spiritual seekers return to themselves and appreciate the good aspects of our own Western culture in order to achieve spiritual satisfaction. »



Julian Gearing, Tibetan Buddhism the Western way


KATHMANDU - If you are a Buddhist you may want to try this, but you would be wise to exercise a degree of caution. Jump from an aircraft at 12,000 feet and adopt the Lotus position. Make sure you have a parachute on. Be aware, though, that when you sit in this meditation pose, you fall much faster than normal spread-eagled skydivers.

Lama Ole Nydahl had a parachute on when he decided to jump and "sit" - a position suggested to him by his parachuting instructor. The Danish Buddhist guru is no stranger to dropping from the sky. This was his 88th jump. But caught up in the "wonderful experience", he failed to take full account of the increased velocity of plummeting to Earth "Buddha-like".

Lama Ole, as he is known, teaches his students of Diamond Way Buddhism how to prepare for death. On this sunny day in July in Germany he narrowly avoided having to put his teachings of "conscious dying" into practice. Realizing that he was about to hit the ground, he pulled his emergency ripcord. His 'chute partially slowed his descent as his body smashed on to a concrete landing site. 

From his hospital bed, the broken and bruised 63-year-old Buddhism teacher explained that people could obviously imagine how attractive the idea of sitting during free-fall parachuting sounds to a Buddhist lama. But he admitted the accident was his own fault. He was "due for some essential teachings on sickness and pain", he said, and that he hoped this would increase his "maturity as a teacher". Now he is up walking and teaching again. »



Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, TIBETAN BUDDHISM IN THE WEST


Instead of making the teachings accessible, some Tibetan lamas have created a huge divide with Westerners through a combination of their superiority complex, their fundamental lack of respect towards Westerners and an inadequate interest in Western thinking.

[] It is true that Tibetans think that Westerners shop for Dharma, and they can't keep the tantric teachings secret; but are they to blame if the lamas themselves turned the Dharma into a travelling show, including performances such as the sand mandala and the lama dances? It would be better if we could discover all these downfalls of the Tibetans sooner rather than later. Because otherwise, we might become disillusioned, and that might be a reason for giving up the Dharma.

But detecting these downfalls is no easy task. Generations of experience in being hypocritical have left lamas rather subtle and sophisticated. One example is how many Westerners fall for the almost annoying theatre of the lamas' humility, little seeing that behind the curtain is a fierce fight for who gets the highest throne. This maneuvering becomes especially dramatic when the occasion involves a large crowd, and even more so, if there are potential big donors present, especially those from Taiwan, who seem to judge the value of lamas solely by their rank, or how many letters "H" precede their names. »



Stephen Batchelor, a chapter in Ursula King (ed.). Faith and Praxis in a Postmodern Age. London: Cassell, 1998. It was first delivered as a paper at a conference celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Bristol.


« So might we discern a trend in Buddhism of moving away from dependence on organized religious institutions towards a more individuated form of practice, in which each person finds his or her own way within the dharmadhatu: the Dharma realm’? A way of life that subverts the traditional legitimating myth of ‘path’ with a myth of recovered wilderness? After centuries in premodern societies, Buddhism finds itself abruptly catapaulted into postmodern societies, where even its central metaphor of path’ is questionable.

[] Today the force of the term ‘agnosticism’ has been lost. It has come to legitimate an avoidance of the existential questions posed by birth and death. Just as the modern agnostic tradition has tended to lose its confidence and lapse into scepticism, so has Buddhism tended to lose its critical edge and lapse into religiosity.

[] The danger is that, for the sake of appearing ‘relevant,’ they sacrifice the equally vital need to retain a lucid, critical perspective. »



Isabel Hilton on Mick Brown,  The Dance of 17 Lives: the incredible true story of Tibet's 17th Karmapa, Bloomsbury, 304pp, £16.99 ISBN 0747571619 (review) http://www.newstatesman.com/200405170048

Shamarpa had been in trouble before. In the 18th century, the 10th Shamarpa accompanied his brother, the 6th Panchen Lama, to Beijing, where the Panchen died of smallpox. The emperor made a generous gift of gold coins to the dead man's family. As the funeral cortege wound its way back to Tibet, the Shamarpa quarrelled over the treasure and then fled to Nepal, where he incited the king to send his army to invade Tibet. The Tibetans had to call for the assistance of Chinese imperial troops and the then Dalai Lama, incensed by Shamarpa's behaviour, forbade his reincarnation and buried his crown under the courthouse steps in Lhasa - which, for a Karma Kagyu lama, is about as bad as it can get.

It was nearly 200 years later that the 14th Dalai Lama was prevailed upon to lift the ban and the present incarnation was recognised formally. To his opponents, Shamarpa is as greedy and ambitious in the 21st century as he was in the 18th. Then he turned to Nepal for support; today, he relies largely on foreign devotees, some of whom have taken up his cause with a militancy seldom seen outside Trotskyite cells. »



Geoffrey Samuel (1995), The dissenting tradition of Indian tantra


Another important point is the extensive overlap between the siddhas and Saivite practitioners of the Kapalika variety (cf. Lorenzen 1972). Several major siddhas (e.g. Kanha = Krsnacarya) are important in both Buddhist and Saivite (Nath, etc) teaching and initiation lineages. It is now clear that this goes beyond the Bhairava-like nature of fierce Tantric Buddhist deities to actual sharing of deities and texts (e.g Mahakala; cf. Samuel 1993: 422) and to substantial textual borrowings from Hindu Tantric scriptures being incorporated into central Vajrayana Buddhist Tantric texts (Sanderson 1991).

This leads on to another issue, the "shamanic" aspect of Vajrayana practice in India. [3] The assumption of divine identity through ritual is a critical part of the Vajrayana, and the implication is that it confers divine power on the practitioner. This divine power is the basis of the siddha's magical ability, and there are indications that some siddhas at some periods at least made a living as itinerant magical practitioners, travelling sorcerors one could say - sections of major Tantric texts such as the Hevajra consist of collections of spells to be used for various purposes, to defeat an enemy army, compel a woman's love, and the like. »





Above : "Compassion" with a big stick ? 


Anh Do & Teri Sforza


« Punishment for rule-breakers was severe. Each monastery had a disciplinarian called an "iron club" lama, who was responsible for maintaining order. Monks who appeared to nod off during prayers or classes were beaten with wooden prayer beads or switches for what was said to be their own good. It didn't matter if the offending monks were young or old; if they broke the rules, they met the same fate. Kusho cringed as a monk he knew was beaten in front of him for mischievousness; the sights and sounds of it haunted him. He felt terrible for the boy every time he saw him.It was so hard to make friends. He worked hard to fit in and avoid the whip. »

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Revolutionary Worker #944, February 15, 1998 When the Dalai Lamas Ruled: http://rwor.org/a/firstvol/tibet/tibet1.htm

« The largest monasteries housed thousands of monks. Each "parent" monastery created dozens (even hundreds) of small strongholds scattered through the mountain valleys. For example, the huge Drepung monastery housed 7,000 monks and owned 40,000 people on 185 different estates with 300 pastures.

Each estate had its own dungeons and torture chambers.

Monasteries also made up countless religious taxes to rob the people--including taxes on haircuts, on windows, on doorsteps, taxes on newborn children or calves, taxes on babies born with double eyelids...and so on. A quarter of Drepung's income came from interest on money lent to the serf-peasantry. The monasteries also demanded that serfs hand over many young boys to serve as child-monks.

The class relations of Tibet were reproduced inside the monasteries: the majority of monks were slaves and servants to the upper abbots and lived half-starved lives of menial labor, prayer chanting and routine beatings. Upper monks could force poor monks to take their religious exams or perform sexual services. (In the most powerful Tibetan sect, such homosexual sex was considered a sign of holy distance from women.) A small percent of the clergy were nuns.

As signs of the lamas' power, traditional ceremonies used body parts of people who had died: flutes made out of human thigh bones, bowls made out of skulls, drums made from human skin. After the revolution, a rosary was found in the Dalai Lama's palace made from 108 different skulls. »

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 http://rwor.org/a/firstvol/tibet/tibet2.htm et




Richard S. Ehrlich, press correspondant in Asia (currently based in Bangkok) Taipei Times, "Living with communism: Inside Tibet today," Jan. 17 2000, Page 6). http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/archives/2000/01/22/0000021071

 Richard S. Ehrlich is from San Francisco, California, and first journeyed to Asia in 1972. Reporting news from across Asia since 1978, his bases have included Hong Kong, New Delhi, and now Bangkok.  His coverage has focused on the guerrilla wars in Afghanistan, Kashmir, Punjab, Sri Lanka and Cambodia, as well as the regions cultures and other events.  He received his Master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, and won their 1978 Foreign Correspondents Award. 

A Tibetan told me: "He stopped being a monk after five years because his monastery's senior lama beat novices with a stick during scripture examinations. Tibetan Buddhist monasteries often mete out such child abuse. During the Dalai Lama's time, before he fled Tibet in 1959, head lamas in his Potala Palace beat errant monks for gambling or other naughty behavior."

If you delve into Tibetan affairs a bit deeper you'll discover Tibetan monks beating their students in monasteries in and out of Tibet is nothing new.

Richard S. Ehrlich also wrote




Shenphen Rinpoché (son of Dudjom rinpoché), meeting  Dharmapalas (wrathful protectors) when he was a child


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In the daytime, I couldn't play either. My eldest sister would never play with me because I would see these things, and when I would point them out to her, she would see the same things. And my servants, the young men who were looking after me, none of them would take responsibility for me at night.  That is how bad it was.

And the words they spoke weren't words a small kid could understand like, "I love you." Instead they would say, "Give me your heart. I want to eat you," or something like that. Those were their exact  words, and I was only five or six years old. I couldn't sleep.  I would see their translucent bodies, and they would come and grab me.

When I would look up I would see this horrible face, and then I'd faint. Most of my childhood was  spent in either a fainting or unconscious state. I've always  been like that. I had a difficult life as a kid.

My mother and father would sleep together and put me in the middle between them, and as soon as they fell asleep, someone would shake me. I'm not joking. The protector would shake me so I would wake up, and  then I would see on the ceiling this deity with three heads, tongue rolled up, guts hanging out, one hand holding a knife, saying, "Come, come, I want to just cut your neck."

And later in my life, I didn't understand why they didn't have the wisdom to know I was just a child. »



Michael Parentis The Tibet Myth  http://www.swans.com/library/art9/mparen01.html

Young Tibetan boys were regularly taken from their families and brought into the monasteries to be trained as monks. Once there, they became bonded for life. Tashì-Tsering, a monk, reports that it was common practice for peasant children to be sexually mistreated in the monasteries. He himself was a victim of repeated childhood rape not long after he was taken into the monastery at age nine. ( Melvyn Goldstein, William Siebenschuh, and Tashì-Tsering,
The Struggle for Modern Tibet: The Autobiography of Tashì-Tsering (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1997) The monastic estates also conscripted peasant children for lifelong servitude as domestics, dance performers, and soldiers.



Fictions spéculatives par Marc Bosche, copyright  28 mars 2006. Textes sous licence Creative Commons (copie autorisée pour usage non commercial). L'éditeur ne peut assumer aucune responsabilité éditoriale pour les liens externes proposés, ne connaissant pas nécessairement les arrières plans et les contextes des sites vers lesquels ces liens pointent depuis la présente page. Le fait de citer ces sources externes ne signifie pas que l'éditeur soit en accord avec toutes les opinions exprimées par ces sites externes vers lesquels des liens pointent.

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