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dani

Commitment and responsiblities...

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This is unfortunately very true, especially when small groups invite a teacher. They are often choosing subjects too advanced, even for the organizers, and fall into a complete commercial attitude.
There is another issue that worries me in this respect.

I heard Buddhas, having no karma of their own, can manifest only according to our own karma. Now...if for ex. someone organises an initiation - for ex. the very popular Kalachakra initiation and this initiation is to be given by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and then he gets sick and cannot come or gets sick after...not having created the causes to be sick, he shows the signs of sickness and undergoes it the conventional way, an amount of beings for the duration of those signs are not in contact with His Holiness and he doesn't teach Dharma :verysad: .

 

Q1: the commitments (non)practitioners know or don't know to have taken during some mass initiation with His Holiness (same question refers to the vows we take), if we do not do the commitments and break our vows, can this be the cause for His Holiness to get sick, etc.? :verysad:

 

(Somebody told me just recently in a discussion about painkillers not to think that à¢-Ëœhigh Lamas don't experience pain...their headache can be just as painful as yours, they just might not need a painkiller, because they perceive it differently, but it doesn't mean it is not there...'

...it hit me that day...they are not just manifesting signs, like something painted on the wall :clown: , conventionally they undergo it the same way I do, they just understand its nature, which I don't...so I create causes, karma and due to my negative karma a Buddha might undergo sickness :,( ?!...

So what if (s)he perceives it differently? I don't! )

 

Q2: even if the person giving initiation or vows is not a Buddha, but a Boddhisatva, if I understand correctly, a Bodhisattva having realized emptiness, also no longer produces karma...so to a large extent his/her manifestation of signs of sickness, etc. could also be due to those unfulfilled commitments or broken vows of others? And also, could these negativities also present some obstacles for Boddhisatva's own spiritual practice; having given an initiation, (s)he too takes responsibility, no?

 

Q3: if a person giving an initiation is not a realized being just a good practitioner or a high scholar, like a Geshe, couldn't unfulfilled commitments have serious setbacks for their own practice; wouldn't they accumulate negativities through the (in)action of their à¢-Ëœinitiates'?

 

I just wanted to look at things from the other prospective, because it was clear from discussion to me that it is stupid to smash my head against the cement ground jumping from the 10th floor...but sometimes, I get in these stupid à¢-Ëœso what?' moods :angel:

Looking at the consequences others might suffer due to my actions most of the time sobers me up even in those moods ;) .

But it opened up some issues, that are not completely clear to me. I would be most grateful if somebody could explain a bit more in detail :prayer: the responsibility we effectively have towards our teachers, towards Dharma, not the least the commitment we make to all sentient beings...because if I understood things more or less, the risk is all our Lamas eventually (as the minimum) get stuck in bed with a flu for a long time? :verysad: And then what? :(

 

All the very best to all!

Dani

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Guest Petra S
Do not beleive that initiations of the first to third Tantric class can be taken lightly, or that they are powerless. They require a certain understanding before to take them, to have engaged the mind till a certain point to make them effective, to know what to do at the moment of the intiation, to really receive it, etc...
How can one know he has enough understanding?

 

If one didn't really receive the initiation, why would it matter if one is holding his/her commitments or not? :dontknow: No understanding -> no initiation -> no responsibility. Is this true?

 

What are the commitments anyway? Why would just repeating mantras present such a problem? Do they include anything else, like a certain way of thinking or behaving?

 

Looking at the consequences others might suffer due to my actions
Why would somebody give an initiation if others then create negative karma? 8/ He or she could simply say: The conditions for the initiation are... If it is really possible to create negativity by taking initiation, why don't they do this? (I know somebody who is not a Buddhist but she has a Kalachakra initiation.)

 

People often say: you get what you are ready for. Somebody explained to me: if one is ready for initiation, one gets an initation, if one is ready for blessings, one gets blessings, so it is just good to go to an initiation in any case. Is this true?

 

With best wishes,

Petra

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hello,

 

What are the commitments anyway? Why would just repeating mantras present such a problem? Do they include anything else, like a certain way of thinking or behaving?

Personally it would make no sense for me to just repeat some words which would have no real meaning for me and would not bring to a certain change in my mind, life, way of behaving ... why lose precious time?? Why doing something which has no sense for me anyway?? :dontknow: As I understand commitments, they are far more than simple repeating of words, but their meaning IS to lead to an inner change. Which DEFINITELY takes much much more effort than simple repeating of words.

 

He or she could simply say: The conditions for the initiation are... If it is really possible to create negativity by taking initiation, why don't they do this?

The same goes for the person who comes to the initiation. I mean, why in the world would somebody, who doesn't know "anything about anything" go to a certain initiation (not to mention a high one) in the first place?? Because this sounds mystical? It seems very strange to me that we are all perfectly aware of the fact that we have to be acquainted with laws of some country when we enter it, for example, when we go abroad, we inform ourselves about the speed limit etc.; when we have something to do with buying a real-estate, there are also certain laws behind it (and we KNOW that we HAVE TO get to know them, otherwise we can get into trouble). So why would it be different for when we get in touch with religious events?? Is it not also our own responsibility to investigate something before we do it? How can the responsibility be solely on the initiator's side??

After all, if one comes to a high initiation, knowing that he has no ground to make anything useful out of it, why does he proceed in doing it? What is the motivation behind? To collect "free tickets to enlightenment"? Simple curiosity? He / she could just as well not take the initiation, even if he / she is in that room at that very moment when the initiation takes place.

 

We ourselves are creators of our karma (not the initiator), be it positive or negative one. And we always have a choice and have to act according to our ability to get proper information at proper time.

 

Best regards.

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Guest Petra S

Thank you for your answer.

 

As I understand commitments, they are far more than simple repeating of words, but their meaning IS to lead to an inner change. Which DEFINITELY takes much much more effort than simple repeating of words.
Yes, I guess you are right. I guess the initiation should really serve a broader attitude of benefiting oneself and the others and not just remain an accidental spiritual adventure.

 

This makes sense. But where did you people find this out? I surf on the internet and read books, but I don't remember reading about this. Whit all the initiations that one can freely take (I mean, for a lot of money, but no other restrictions) - how can one think of all these things? ://

 

Is it not also our own responsibility to investigate something before we do it?
How many responsible adult people do you know? :(

 

How can the responsibility be solely on the initiator's side??
Where is here the responsibility of the organizers? How is the responsibility shared between the three? I would say the most ignorant has the least responsibility. I don't know about the initiator, but the organizer is the one who is spreading information to the broad public, so he should bear his part too, I think.

 

Au revoir,

Petra S

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hello,

 

How many responsible adult people do you know? :(
We should all do our best, I guess ... we are all in the same pot anyway ;)

 

Where is here the responsibility of the organizers?
We are all responsible for the actions we make or don't make. And the weight of negative / positive karma differs according to our level of understanding and motivation. So there is again us, who can make a change - in our own behavior.

 

Wishing you all the best,

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Guest Ani.Chödrön

Tashi Delek,

 

I guess the initiation should really serve a broader attitude of benefiting oneself and the others
You can compare taking an initiation to gardening: after the seed is sown, it has to be nourished in many ways if you want to see it blossom and bear fruits. Similarly, we have to prepare the ground before taking initiation and know how to cultivate the potential if we want to see fruits.

 

But where did you people find this out?
A Qualified Teacher is like a gardener that takes care for the whole process. You can consult him about which practices help your spiritual development most and he knows which would confuse you further; how to perform them and what to do when obstacles come; he can supply you with anything that you might need for your ripening.

It's a pity to see people who come in contact with Buddhism, but do not know what to do and do not meet results, and so they abandon a good chance that they had. From this reason in Dharmaling the initiations are not taken lightly.

 

All the very best,

chödrön

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Good morning,

 

How can one know he has enough understanding?
Probably when his/her teacher says so.

In the matter of Initiation, or transmission of higher practices, advises of one's root Lama is very important.

When a Lama comes to a place to give an initiation, he might expect that each participant has already asked his or her root teacher. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the organiser to inform the participants properly of the necessity to have discussed the matter and obtain the permission from their Root Lama. Having failed to do so, they are also bearing the responsibility of the eventual downfall the participants will create.

 

Indeed, if someone “ends up” into a room where an Initiation is taking place, but without any proper information about the process which has to be visualized, then we could say the Initiation is not received. From that point, we can conclude that no commitment is taken.

But, if someone knows enough to come to such Initiation with the intention to take the Initiation, but yet without to have asked his Teacher, or without being fully aware of the inner process, may s/he comes out thinking “I have taken the Initiation”, s/he has taken also the commitments.

 

About the commitments:

These commitments are going from simply reciting the mantras of the Buddha the Initiation has been given (lower Tantra), up to the Bodhisattva & Tantric vows + the six session of Guru Yoga (MahaAnuttaraYogaTantra). Sometime, there is also the commitment to perform the retreat of that Buddha, within a limited period of time.

The Bodhisattvas & Tantric vows are vows taken for life.

 

Breaking commitments and vows have very negative consequences. Therefore it shall not be taken lightly, neither form the side of the Lama, the organisers, and the participants.

A repeat, just to be clear, the organiser cannot think: “the Lama knows all, therefore he will say to people to go out if he thinks they are not ready for this Initiation”. This is not the case. The role of the Lama invited in a Center is not to control such things. It is the Center's or the organiser's responsibility.

 

When I'm talking about Root Lama, Root Teacher, it refers to a qualified Teacher you have checked upon for long enough to know that he has really the inner and outer qualifications to guide disciples. This can take years. But due to the importance of that relation Master-to-Disciple, one shall be very careful.

You can have several teachers, receive the usual teachings and basic Initiations from lets say any teacher, just Geshe or accomplished Lama. But for the major decisions in life, or regarding important Initiation or commitments, you shall be guided by a highly qualified Lama.

To be clear also here: is not a Lama someone who is only doctor in Buddhist philosophy. Wisdom doesn't jump on you when you get a diploma! A Lama is a “loving mother”. And this “Love & care” isn't in every scholar, despite the wish of some who would like to get worshiped as a Lama, yet without the necessary inner qualification for it. This title isn't simply equal as “monk” or “teacher”, even though it is often use in such a way in the West. All Tibetan monks are not “Lama”.

In nowadays societies, you have many people pretending to be “Lama” just on the basis of diploma or because having done some years of retreat. Disciples have to be very cautious, check carefully and in length the qualities of every teacher, especially before to decide to engage in Master-to-Disciple relationship. Better to take time before that, than to regret painfully to have made this or that choice too quick, and be disappointed.

 

All the very best, Gelong Thubten Shenphen

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