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Thread: HH Dalai Lama aka Avalokitesvara?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    HH Dalai Lama aka Avalokitesvara?

    Was curious the views of traditions outside Tibetan practice regarding the claim that HH is the 74th reincarnation of Avalokitesvara. Also if he is the bodhisattva of compassion, why do folks still pray to Guan Yin ( who as I understand it is Avalokitesvara presented/adapted as a female when buddhism came to China).

    Dave _/_

  2. #2

    Re: HH Dalai Lama aka Avalokitesvara?

    ...sounds like a formal title with no possible basis in reality. imho.

    gassho, no disrespect,
    tobi

  3. #3
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: HH Dalai Lama aka Avalokitesvara?

    Hi,

    To cut a long story short, you may see Avalokitesvara as a single principle but that s not my understanding, and if I remember well the Dalai lama says he is just a plain and simple monk. The way I see and meet it is like the moon reflected in countless bowls, the dear tibetan leader is just like you, an ordinary guy and Kannon. Kannon doesn t abide anywhere, it is our own being manifested as compassion and 1000 daily actions. Kannon is also a listening ability, an open mindedness which can be experienced in every step of our life. Buddhas and Boddhistavas represents aspects of our being-life, you may want to find them in somebody special, but I am afraid that his will take you to the stage of burning incense and doing ceremonies. Dogen s Zen is not to pray Kannon, but to allow Kannon to be alive in our life, in people, situations, and things we meet.
    But nothing stops us to study Buddhist culture, history and see things from the exoteric perspective, which pretty much means traditional religion.

    I hope this helps

    gassho

    Taigu

  4. #4
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    Re: HH Dalai Lama aka Avalokitesvara?

    Tobiishi and Taigu, thanks for the perspectives. : )

    Tobi, I think I know where you're coming from on that. Me, I try to be open to all possibilities. Maybe he is, maybe he isn't ( in a direct sense). *shrug*

    Taigu, I feel I see what you're saying and agree. But what about other Mahayana traditons? Or Therevada? Do they think the same of this claim? Just struck me as a bit bold. How would anyone know? and thx for sharing on HH's view of it. I was curious how he percieves this statement.

    Dave _/_

  5. #5

    Re: HH Dalai Lama aka Avalokitesvara?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Hi,

    To cut a long story short, you may see Avalokitesvara as a single principle but that s not my understanding, and if I remember well the Dalai lama says he is just a plain and simple monk. The way I see and meet it is like the moon reflected in countless bowls, the dear tibetan leader is just like you, an ordinary guy and Kannon. Kannon doesn t abide anywhere, it is our own being manifested as compassion and 1000 daily actions. Kannon is also a listening ability, an open mindedness which can be experienced in every step of our life. Buddhas and Boddhistavas represents aspects of our being-life, you may want to find them in somebody special, but I am afraid that his will take you to the stage of burning incense and doing ceremonies. Dogen s Zen is not to pray Kannon, but to allow Kannon to be alive in our life, in people, situations, and things we meet.
    But nothing stops us to study Buddhist culture, history and see things from the exoteric perspective, which pretty much means traditional religion.

    I hope this helps

    gassho

    Taigu
    Ditto! (An Americanism that means "just what Kannon Taigu said") 8)

    Whenever & wherever any of us feel and manifest love and compassion ... that is "Kannon". Call "Kannon" a "symbol", call him/her "real", no matter: For that manifestation of "love and compassion" is thus made 'real' and a true force in this life-world we share.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZenDave
    But what about other Mahayana traditons? Or Therevada? Do they think the same of this claim?
    Well, I will not speak for all Buddhists ... but, generally, the special religion role and significance of the Dalai Lama is recognized only with Tibetan Buddhism, and perhaps his particular sect of that. However, like Gandhi or Martin Luther King, we can all honor someone who stands for peace and non-violence in this world. We can also all appreciate a good man and wise teacher.

    Gassho, Jundo

  6. #6

    Re: HH Dalai Lama aka Avalokitesvara?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    [
    Whenever & wherever any of us feel and manifest love and compassion ... that is "Kannon". Call "Kannon" a "symbol", call him/her "real", no matter: For that manifestation of "love and compassion" is thus made 'real' and a true force in this life-world we share.
    HH is Avalokitesvara to the same extent that we all are . . . he may simply be burdened by people reminding him of it all the time!

    Peace,
    Eika

  7. #7

    Re: HH Dalai Lama aka Avalokitesvara?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eika
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    [
    Whenever & wherever any of us feel and manifest love and compassion ... that is "Kannon". Call "Kannon" a "symbol", call him/her "real", no matter: For that manifestation of "love and compassion" is thus made 'real' and a true force in this life-world we share.
    HH is Avalokitesvara to the same extent that we all are . . . he may simply be burdened by people reminding him of it all the time!

    Peace,
    Eika
    You can call me "His Holiness Jundo" if you want. 8) Maybe just on my birthday?

    Anyway, "call me anything you want, just don't call me late for dinner".

    It must be hard to HH the Dalai Lama, and any celebrity or symbol or idol, the live like that day in and day out.

    The Dalai Lama is a very nice man, very wise in many ways, a great Buddhist scholar, gifted teacher, symbol of peaceful resistance, beautiful human being ... equally foolish, somtimes petty, flesh and blood, sneezing and farting, bozo on the bus like you, me, Dogen, my teacher Nishijima ... probably the Buddha, if we encountered the real human being.

    By coincidence, I once saw the Dalai Lama sneeze really loudly in front of hundreds of people at this conference I attented. The Dalai did not realize that he had his microphone one and turned beet red. It was wonderful to see the embarrassed, natural response. That was Kannon sneezing!

    Gassho, J

  8. #8

    Re: HH Dalai Lama aka Avalokitesvara?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo

    You can call me "His Holiness Jundo" if you want. 8) Maybe just on my birthday?
    His Holiness or his Homeliness? :twisted:

    Eika

  9. #9

    Re: HH Dalai Lama aka Avalokitesvara?

    Quote Originally Posted by chugai
    Cool by me, but then again, I call everyone Avalokitesvara.
    Boy that must get tiring...

    Scene: Two friends encounter a stranger at a bar, and introduce themselves.

    Friend 1: "Oh hey stranger. I'm Avalokitesvara, and this is my buddy Avalokitesvara."
    Stranger: "Oh... that's... cool.... I'm -"
    Friend 1: "Avalokitesvara, I know. Pleasure to make your acquaintance! We just ordered a couple drinks and we're waitin' on the bartender Avalokitesvara to fix'em for us. You want anything?"

    lawl.

    Even typing Avalokitesvara that much was frustrating!

  10. #10

    Re: HH Dalai Lama aka Avalokitesvara?

    I don't have much actual experience outside of tibetan circles, as that's all that exists here in my town, but they most definitely teach/believe that he is.

    We are asked to recite the long life prayer for HH Dalai Lama in our sangha meetings, which states this in it, though numerous regular members (myself included) aren't really comfortable with a number of the prayers so we dropped them. Tibetan buddhism is a bit much for me (guru yoga, phowa, etc, etc), but it's what exists here in my town, so I roll with it.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    Re: HH Dalai Lama aka Avalokitesvara?

    Thx for that Scotty. Butttt if it doesn't resonate with you, then why go? Why cling to it? Just curious.

    Dave _/_

  12. #12

    Re: HH Dalai Lama aka Avalokitesvara?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZenDave
    Thx for that Scotty. Butttt if it doesn't resonate with you, then why go? Why cling to it? Just curious.

    Dave _/_
    I suppose it's because I truly care about the people I meet with. When I go to our meetings I feel a stillness inside that is hardly seen or felt anywhere else in my life at the moment. I have my issues with some of the aspects of Tibetan buddhism, but the members are not hardcore tibetan buddhists. Yes, the teacher is a Lopon (Master Dharma Teacher) in the Drikung Kagyu lineage, and overall it's tibetan based, but our discussions are all over the place, and absolutely wonderful. It's the only thing I have available that I can experience in person in a physical location, face to face, to feel their warmth and feel the love and acceptance they emanate.

    Maybe I am just clinging to it, and not all of it resonates with me, but I don't feel like I should just drop it all when there is so much I gain from it in other aspects. Then again, I don't feel like I can just let go and give my everything to it, so I don't know. I suppose I should sit with that one awhile.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    Re: HH Dalai Lama aka Avalokitesvara?

    Thanks for sharing , Scotty. I can see why you would over look the differences.

  14. #14

    Re: HH Dalai Lama aka Avalokitesvara?

    Hi,

    It worth knowing that Tibetan Buddhism (Tantra) has the strong idea of pure and impure vision and that a main practice is to transform our impure vision (nice Joe, ugly Bob etc) into pure vision of everyone is Avalokitesvara etc. This process is helped by having someone like HHDL being 'officially' Avalokitesvara to make the projection and progress easier.

    I find Tantra interesting but damn hard work so prefer zazen - sit around and do nothing (still damn hard work but in a different way).

    Of course Mahayana vs Vajrayana (tantra by a different name only) has caused many arguments over the centuries but doesn't need to. One fascinating area (for me anyway) is how zen (Mahayana)and tantra seem to be mutually exclusive. In Japan they are separated into Shingon and Zen, in Tibet there was a big debate and unfortunately (IMO) the Chan guy lost and got kicked out. Anyway, all good fun.

    Cheers,

    Paul

  15. #15

    Re: HH Dalai Lama aka Avalokitesvara?

    I'm, eh, not all that fond of the Dalai Lama. It's not so much that I dislike him as that I dislike the set of assumptions that often goes with him. It starts with misgivings about whether modern people really need to get our ethics from the scion of a feudal theocracy. People in Buddhist circles, even those who have no official relationship to the Tibetan lama system, often seem to very literally worship him or at least consider him un-gainsayable. Then we get to his habit of pulling some questionable political moves, his anti-gay ideology, and this weird way that it's considered a given that he's some kind of selfless and wise saint. And that doesn't even get started about peoples' ignorance of Tibet's historical relationship to China or the ugly sinophobia that crops up in "pro-Tibet" circles.

    Just my 2.

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