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  • Tibet

    Dogchow posted:

    The temples China has rebuilt are now tourist attractions which have to follow suit with the party line in much the same way as YongXin's Shaolin does. And their language is restricted. the things I speak of are told to me form people who have family in the very middle of the parts of Tibet that you don't get to see. That's exactly the point is that you have only seen and heard very little, and when you hear more than you are used to you start to recoil and panic.

    What if what they are saying is true? What if your need to calm yourself and be apathetic to people's suffering is actually perpetuating the kind of destruction that is being claimed to happen? Didn't the Buddha kill one captain to prevent the captain from killing a hundred men? Was he not willing to risk that kind of bad karma if it meant exercising such an act of altruism?

    Here in Austin we have a lot of homeless people begging for money on the road. It is a common trend in Austin to justify their position as some kind of western karma parallel. What if you had the chance to choose to help someone, decided not to because you are afraid the guy might be pulling a trick on you, and the guy ends up starving that night?

    As for the genocide of Indians in America. It is funny you mention that because I think the Chinese are treating the Tibetans the way colonial America treated the Indians as far as the cultural eradication that has commensed. Once this has been done they will continue to treat the Tibetans as the Americans treat the Indians- forcing them to adapt a life of materialism and robbing them of ever being able to resume their previous, sustainable way of life.

    In regards to the comment about the Dalai Lama. If the Dalai Lama himself is willing for his people to be governed as long as they are allowed to maintain their culture, why then is he in exile unless the Chinese govt wants to eradicate the culture? You think the tibetans are in the position to put the Chinese Govt in the position that is currently the case? Is the Dalai Lama a threat to the Chinese people?

    Also, there is a lot that you had not responded to. Like the fact that you retaliate against Tibetan charges of abuse by bringing up violence that occurred thousands of years ago. I know might seem a little egotistic, but I insist that I mention this. Any good teacher would.

  • #2
    Dear friends,

    again i dont say there are no problems in Tibet. But what i am also saying is that the situation is not that catastrophic as some people would like to make believe. Some criticism seems to be born from anti chinese feelings, a kind of political racism.

    For instance, you say temples are for tourists. I have been only to two temples in Tibet, and i can assure you that they were not major tourist attractions but for monks to practice their own, maybe deviant, buddhism. It is like in China, the temples are not made for tourists but for worship. Again it is not the cultural revolution anymore and China enjoys a relatively high freedom of religion. I dont say it is perfect.

    As for language problem, being Basque i am quite sensitive to this problem. The french revolution and democracy has significantly persecuted basque language. Now in Tibet from what i have seen on chinese television, children can practice tibetan at school and from what i have seen there is no restriction in daily life.

    The first time i went to china, was because i felt so sorry for the tibetans. So i think you will find more apathetic people than me.

    Now i find it strange you quote a story of the buddha killing someone on a boat. Seems rather violent to me, why do you bring that on the tibetan issue? It makes my case for tibetan tantric buddhism having dark aspects. Why not just capture and tie this man on the boat?

    About the Dalai Lama, why would one think he is holy?
    Check this out

    The fact that karmic causes might explain the present tibetan situation is a tibetan point of view. Do you think that recently some tibetans didnt kill chinese people in Lhassa?

    Again some need an enemy to exist. If you feel hate or anger for the chinese than you are creating an enemy to exist. Isn t the Arahat, the one that does not have enemy? The Dalai Lama advocates to have a view of interdependance to understand Tibet. This way the enemy disappears.

    Why do you spend energy and time criticizing the chinese? Isn t the palestinian situation worse than the tibetan one? Why dont you use your energy to change USA's policies towards Israel? Wouldnt your energy and gongfu be more efficient and useful?

    Peace and love
    Last edited by liutangsanzang; 05-17-2008, 11:27 AM.


    • #3
      What do you think about this one at the end of text? The 5th Dalai Lama once issued the order, "Commoners of Lhari Ziba listen to my order: .... I have authorized Lhari Ziba to chop off your hands and feet, gouge out your eyes, and beat and kill you if you again attempt to look for freedom and comfort."

      IV. Feudal Serfdom in Old Tibet

      Before the Democratic Reform of 1959 Tibet had long been a society of feudal serfdom under the despotic religion-political rule of lamas and nobles, a society which was darker and more cruel than the European serfdom of the Middle Ages. Tibet's serf-owners were principally the three major estate-holders: local administrative officials, nobles and upper-ranking lamas in monasteries. Although they accounted for less than 5 percent of Tibet's population, they owned all of Tibet's farmland, pastures, forests, mountains and rivers as well as most livestock. Statistics released in the early years of the Qing Dynasty in the 17th century indicate that Tibet then had more than 3 million ke of farmland (15 ke equal to 1 hectare), of which 30.9 percent was owned by officials, 29.6 percent by nobles, and 39.5 percent by monasteries and upper-ranking lamas. Before the 1959 Democratic Reform, Tibet had 197 hereditary noble families and 25 big noble families, with the biggest numbering seven to eight, each holding dozens of manors and tens of thousand of ke of land.

      Serfs made up 90 percent of old Tibet's population. They were called tralpa in Tibetan (namely people who tilled plots of land assigned to them and had to provide corvee labor for the serf-owners) and duiqoin (small households with chimneys emitting smoke). They had no land or personal freedom, and the survival of each of them depended on an estate-holder's manor. In addition, nangzan who comprised 5 percent of the population were hereditary household slaves, deprived of any means of production and personal freedom.

      Serf-owners literally possessed the living bodies of their serfs. Since serfs were at their disposal as their private property, they could trade and transfer them, present them as gifts, make them mortgages for a debt and exchange them. According to historical records, in 1943 the aristocrat Chengmoim Norbu Wanggyai sold 100 serfs to a monk official at Garzhol Kamsa, in Zhigoin area, at the cost of 60 liang of Tibetan silver (about four silver dollars) per serf. He also sent 400 serfs to the Gundelin Monastery as mortgage for a debt of 3,000 pin Tibetan silver (about 10,000 silver dollars). Serf-owners had a firm grip on the birth, death and marriage of serfs. Male and female serfs not belonging to the same owner had to pay "redemption fees" before they could marry. In some cases, an exchange was made with a man swapped for man and a woman for woman. In other cases, after a couple wedded, the ownership of both husband and wife remained unchanged, but their sons would belong to the husband's owner and their daughters to the wife's owner. Children of serfs were registered the moment they were born, setting their life-long fate as serfs.

      Serf-owners ruthlessly exploited serfs through corvee and usury. The corvee tax system of old Tibet was very cruel. Permanent corvee tax was registered and there were also temporary additional corvee taxes. Incomplete statistics indicate the existence of more than 200 categories of corvee taxes levied by the Gaxag (Tibetan local government). The corvee assigned by Gaxag and manorial lords accounted for over 50 percent of the labor of serf households, and could go as high as 70-80 percent. According to a survey conducted before the Democratic Reform, the Darongqang Manor owned by Regent Dagzhag of the 14th Dalai Lama had a total of 1,445 ke of land, and 81 able-bodied and semi-able-bodied serfs. They were assigned a total of 21,260 corvee days for the whole year, the equivalent of an entire year's labor by 67.3 people. In effect, 83 percent of the serfs had to do corvee for one full year.

      The serfs engaged in hard labor year in and year out and yet had no guaranteed food or clothing. Often they had to rely on money borrowed at usury to keep body and soul together. The annual interest rate for usurious loans was very high, while that for money borrowed from monasteries was 30 percent, and for grain 20 or 25 percent. Monetary loans from nobles exacted a 20 percent interest, while that for grain amounted to 20 or 25 percent.
      Gaxag had several money-lending institutions, and the Dalai Lama of various generations had two organizations specialized in lending money. Incomplete records in the account books of the two cash-lending bodies of the Dalai Lama in 1950 show that they had lent out about 3.0385 million liang of Tibetan silver in usurious loans.
      Snowballing interest of usurious loans created debts which could never be repaid by even succeeding generations and debts involving a guarantor resulted in the bankruptcy of both the debtor and the guarantor. The grandfather of a serf named Cering Goinbo of Maizhokunggar County once borrowed 50 ke of grain (1 ke equal to 14 kg) from the Sera Monastery. In 77 years the three generations had paid more than 3,000 ke of grain for the interest but the serf-owner still claimed that Cering Goinbo owed him 100,000 ke of grain. There was another serf named Dainzin in Donggar County who in 1941 borrowed one ke of qingke barley from his master. In 1951 when he was asked to repay 600 ke, he was forced to flee, his wife was driven to death and his seven-year-old son was taken away to repay the debt by labor.
      In order to safeguard the interests of serf-owners, Tibetan local rulers formulated a series of laws. The 13-Article Code and 16-Article Code, which were enforced for several hundred years in old Tibet, divided people into three classes and nine ranks. They clearly stipulated that people were unequal in legal status. The codes stipulated, "It is forbidden to quarrel with a worthy, sage, noble and descendant of the ruler"; "persons of the lower rank who attack those of the upper rank, and a junior official who quarrels with a senior official commit a serious crime and so should be detained"; "anyone who resists a master's control should be arrested"; "a commoner who offends an official should be arrested"; "anyone who voices grievances at the palace, behaving disgracefully, should be arrested and whipped." The standards for measuring punishment and the methods for dealing with people of different classes and ranks who violated the same criminal law were quite different. In the law concerning the penalty for murder, it was written, "As people are divided into different classes and ranks, the value of a life correspondingly differs." The lives of people of the highest rank of the upper class, such as a prince or leading Living Buddha, are calculated in gold to the same weight as the dead body. The lives of people of the lowest rank of the lower class, such as women, butchers, hunters and craftsmen, are worth a straw rope. In the law concerning compensation for injury, it was stipulated that a servant who injures his master should have his hands or feet chopped off; a master who injures a servant is only responsible for the medical treatment for the wound, with no other compensation required.

      Making use of written or common law, the serf-owners set up penitentiaries or private jails. Local governments had law courts and prisons, as had large monasteries. Estate-holders could build private prisons on their own manor ground. Punishments were extremely savage and cruel, and included gouging out the eyes; cutting off ears, hands and feet; pulling out tendons; and throwing people into water. In the Gandan Monastery, one of the largest in Tibet, there were many handcuffs, fetters, clubs and other cruel instruments of torture used for gouging out eyes and ripping out tendons. Many materials and photos showing limbs of serfs mutilated by serf-owners in those years are kept in the hall housing the Tibetan Social and Historical Relics Exhibition in the Beijing Cultural Palace of Nationalities.

      Under the centuries-long feudal serfdom, the Tibetan serfs were politically oppressed, economically exploited and frequently persecuted. A saying circulated among serfs, "All a serf can carry away is his own shadow, and all he can leave behind is his footprints." Old Tibet can be said to have been one of the world's regions witnessing the most serious violations of human rights.

      Despite the cruel rule of the feudal serfdom, Tibetan laboring people never ceased their resistance struggles. They strove for their personal rights by making petitions, fleeing, resisting rent and corvee and even waging armed struggle. However, they were subjected to ruthless suppression by the three big estate-holders. The law of old Tibet stated, "All civilians who rebel all commit felonies." In such incidences not only the rebel himself would be killed, but his family property would be confiscated and his wife be made a slave. The 5th Dalai Lama once issued the order, "Commoners of Lhari Ziba listen to my order: .... I have authorized Lhari Ziba to chop off your hands and feet, gouge out your eyes, and beat and kill you if you again attempt to look for freedom and comfort." This order was reiterated on many occasions by his successors in power.
      Last edited by liutangsanzang; 05-17-2008, 02:58 PM.


      • #4
        Originally posted by liutangsanzang View Post

        For instance, you say temples are for tourists. I have been only to two temples in Tibet, and i can assure you that they were not major tourist attractions but for monks to practice their own, maybe deviant, buddhism. It is like in China, the temples are not made for tourists but for worship.
        Deviant Buddhism?

        I saw far more religious activities in the various Tibetan temples I visited in 1999, than I ever have in any Chinese temple. Far more. And I'm not sure you can classify their religion as "deviant".

        In fact, the only places in China that I witnessed any sort of real religious activity in Buddhist temples, were in Yunnan province. The temple on the top of Emeishan had functioning monks also.

        Shaolin has some practicing Buddhist monks. Some.
        Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

        "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

        (more comments in my User Profile)


        • #5
          I said maybe deviant.

          Vajrayana buddhism has many peculiar aspects, the practices are quite different from Theravada or common Mahayana buddhism. Just take the visualisations in meditations, it is quite different from chan meditation. And for me it might be a kind of brainwashing, to get hypnotyzed on buddhism. And in Tibet it can also be a political tool for lamas. In Chan yoiu let your mind much more free from religious dogmas.

          Another deviant aspect might be the habit of meat eating. This is also a big difference with their cousins, the chinese Mahayana monks. Recently the Karmapa has strongly reacted against such an habit for kagyu lamas, seeing it as opposite to buddhist compassion for every living being.


          • #6
            I'm going to drop this issue, as it has become a typical political discussion.

            I am, however, saddened, that compassion towards suffering human beings can be sidestepped in one's mind as long as the action can be rationalized. That is our as-of-yet still simian brain power at work, i suppose.

            "You can not put the ocean in a cup, but you can put a cup in the ocean."


            • #7
              Originally posted by liutangsanzang View Post
              Before the Democratic Reform of 1959 Tibet had long been a society of feudal serfdom under the despotic religion-political rule of lamas and nobles, a society which was darker and more cruel than the European serfdom of the Middle Ages....
              Sorry. But after the first sentence, I felt it just wasn't worth reading the rest.

              "Democratic reform of 1959?" You've got to be kidding....

              I saw the destruction from your democratic reform. It was still there, and very obvious, in 1999.
              Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

              "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

              (more comments in my User Profile)


              • #8
                Oh, great stuff. Another example of "democratic reform". From IHT, today:
                BERLIN: The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, on Monday ended a five-day visit to Germany that became mired in controversy because only one government minister agreed to meet with him.

                Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, the development minister, met with the Dalai Lama on Monday. She apparently did so against the wishes of Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the leader of the Social Democrats, Kurt Beck. Both had said that no senior party leaders would meet with the Dalai Lama.

                Chancellor Angela Merkel, who met with the Dalai Lama in the chancellery in September, was on a weeklong tour of Latin America during his latest visit.

                The Chinese Embassy in Berlin spoke out against Wieczorek-Zeul's meeting. "We object to a member of the German government receiving the Dalai Lama, and to Germany allowing him to carry out this visit," Junhui Zhang, a Chinese diplomat told The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.
                Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

                "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

                (more comments in my User Profile)


                • #9
                  So you're saying, Liutangsanzang that the democratic reform was a good thing? despite the destruction that it involved as the new system was implemented?

                  I wonder about international impact on that reform? would that have happened if it didn't climax and ppl didn't flee?

                  I did read that article, but what Ii see is a typical dynamic of evolutionary processes. From the same varying socio-economic divisional standards interim to the way nature has it climax to degeneriate and rebuild anew.

                  That is the true greatness of the dark aspects. it allows grieving and phsycological platform to move on.

                  again, I really think you miss the point. If you're happy with the result for tibet, then what exactly is your problem with appreciating all the stuff that went into making it what it is? and again with you and karma and appreciating the past. @).

                  Blooming tianshi lotus.


                  • #10
                    Again, i dont say that there was no problem in Tibet's recent history nor that there is no problem nowadays.

                    But again what i say is that westerner idealize's tibet past in order to serve western's anti chinese propaganda. How dark was the serfdom there? How do you know? Read again this one about 5 Dalai Lama's orders: "Commoners of Lhari Ziba listen to my order: .... I have authorized Lhari Ziba to chop off your hands and feet, gouge out your eyes, and beat and kill you if you again attempt to look for freedom and comfort."
                    Do you believe it or is it propaganda? In this case isnt the economical status of the proletariate better now, without talking of political issues? But even if the result is somehow a progress, the end cannot justify the means as Gandhi said.

                    As in the radical's islam issue, i think it is difficult for you people to criticize one's own nationalism and propaganda. It is alway's the other one who is bad. From what i understand of basque terrorism, it is also because one is afraid to fall from western state's violence to another's violence, be it chinese or terrorist. But you can criticize western's violence without falling into violence: there is the middle way of non violence, like Gandhi has proven.


                    • #11

                      Do you understand that most of us who have been members here the longest, have all mostly come from the west and left, permanently or long term intermittently for varying long periods and over several to many yrs??

                      I think this concept of that We have difficulty criticising our own nationialism is a concoction of your own attachment to a perception that we see it like that, because you are trying to personalise everything due to imo your attachmnent to self and 'coming to terms with death' issues of blame and freedom and again karmic circles and peaceful sense behind the processive sequence of neccessary events from that through true emptiness and awakening by the injustices of those things, that no matter what anyone says to you, you just make up your own blamefilled story and dont hear reason or anything else but your own blamefilled ideas, as opposed to appreciating the nature of the cycle and every single one of it's parts and expressions.

                      you are definately a whole other type of ignorant radical. have you ever heard of pauline pants pants-down, and her infamous "I dont like anything" line? well, your insistance not to claim a dharmic root philosophy and criticism of absolutely everything else, reminds me of that.

                      Is there by chance something you are trying currently to emancipate yourself from?

                      Where were you born, Liutangsanzang? where did you grow up? ...

                      Anyway, Also, you talk of poverty and repetitively highlight it as a topic of yours.. is thaat not worship of a dark god as part of exactly what you call deviant of other vedicly rooted philosophy?

                      Blooming tianshi lotus.
                      Last edited by blooming tianshi lotus; 05-20-2008, 01:28 AM.


                      • #12
                        Well, if you dont need to deconstruct western propaganda, very well zen. As Godard said in a movie about the VietNam war:"Everything is all right". You are nearly a great sage equalling heaven.

                        Remember the movie Kundun,about the 14 Dalai Lama. Isnt it a great piece of Hollywood propaganda. Tibet there is presented in such a harmonious way, with all the lamas having great compassion. The problem is that many historians paint a different Tibet with a lot of cruelty coming from the nobles and the lamas.

                        Not that this movie Kundun has no merits. It may open people to compassion and buddhism. But can you create merits on lying?

                        Just a thought on western propaganda and movies... Matrix is also a hell of propaganda when it comes to Zion.

                        And thanks for deconstruction of my ego.

                        What do you think about western propaganda when it comes to China?


                        • #13
                          Nothing better to do on a Thursday night than to watch Liu and BL go at it.

                          Where else can you get this sort of entertainment?
                          Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

                          "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

                          (more comments in my User Profile)


                          • #14
                            Sorry I've not posted for a while; I've been moving and had exams, and then nearly broke my knee so things have been a bit hectic.
                            I've still got exams and moving to finish, so I'll still be a bit sporadic.

                            I don't really see much point in this topic continuing though; Liu obviously has his point of view and will not change whatsoever. Odd that he contradicts himself sometimes though.
                            Very small example is the film Kundun; not all the Lamas are portrayed as being perfect.
                            Quite the opposite when it comes to Reting Rinpoche, and everything is laid bare about his terrible non-monkly habits.
                            Again, HHDL's Father and the way the Kachag live is laid bare, and the way that money is demanded for finding the boy HHDL, and how his Father is suddenly made rich beyond anyone of his previous status' dreams.
                            It's not a great thing, and it's made obvious, they don't shy from it.

                            But anyway, the UN have agreed that about 8million ethnic minority people (mostly Tibetan) have been killed since the invasion. The UN continue to decry China's humanitarian actions as abuse, torture, and murder.
                            They really do know what they're talking about.
                            And China continues to refuse access for the UN to certain monks that they've demanded they be allowed to see, to see if they're alive or healthy.

                            This isn't a bunch of Free Tibet people raving, it's the UN.

                            I have never said Tibet was perfect.
                            No humans are perfect; if they were, they'd be Buddha.
                            There are Buddhas working amongst us, and hopefully their work and prayers will help us survive ourselves.

                            Djon Ma
                            Karma Dechen Djon Ma
                            "For as long as space endures, And as long as living beings remain, Until then may I too abide, To dispel the misery of the world."


                            • #15
                              Djonma, i only have belief and i am always ready to change according to truth. That s what i do in meditation, letting other points of view to have their life.

                              Again, i dont deny there are problems in Tibet but what i question is the western illusions. These illusions sometimes come close to be sectarian when it is about buddhism.

                              For instance take the 14 Dalai Lama. You call him his holiness. But what about the cruelties he is reported to have done when he was 5 and 13 Dalai Lama. Does that make him a saint? In this life some people consider his words do not adjust his life. Take the habit of meat eating, take his relations to the mad terrorist japanese guru of Aum Shirinkyo. Check this

                              The guru yoga is very dangerous. It is good for devotion but can become a tool for power. Why dont you have guru yoga in Theravada? Theravadans only need the good spiritual friend. And strangely the guru yoga practice is strong in a country where lamas have political power. Cant it be a totalitarian tool?

                              I would also like to ask you about your opinion on the tibetan nuns. Why is it so male dominated? Most of the great lamas are men, most of the so called tulkus, living reincarnation, are men. Why? Cant women become tulkus?

                              Thanks for your answers and devotion to buddhism. But one should not take illusions for reality, nor be sectarian.

                              Peace and love


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