Author Topic: Tibetan Buddhism only loosely connected with Buddha's teachings?  (Read 196 times)

Offline KiwiNFLFan

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Tibetan Buddhism only loosely connected with Buddha's teachings?
« on: November 24, 2017, 06:10:09 am »
I saw on a Yahoo Answers page someone mentioning that Tibetan Buddhism has been dubbed "lamaism" because it is only loosely connected with Buddha's teachings. Is this true? I've been reading books by the Dalai Lama and he definitely the Four Noble Truths which are the foundation of Buddhism.

I've attended my local Tibetan Buddhist centre a few times and definitely intend to continue going. I particularly feel devoted to Tara and have started reciting the 21 Praises to Exalted Tara each morning and evening.

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Tibetan Buddhism only loosely connected with Buddha's teachings?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2017, 09:01:35 am »
I saw on a Yahoo Answers page someone mentioning that Tibetan Buddhism has been dubbed "lamaism" because it is only loosely connected with Buddha's teachings. Is this true? I've been reading books by the Dalai Lama and he definitely the Four Noble Truths which are the foundation of Buddhism.

I've attended my local Tibetan Buddhist centre a few times and definitely intend to continue going. I particularly feel devoted to Tara and have started reciting the 21 Praises to Exalted Tara each morning and evening.

Tibetan Buddhism is often called "lamaism" but not because of a loose connection to mainstream Buddhist teaching.  Lamaism refers to the teaching structure, were Lamas do the most important teachings.  A Lama is someone who has completed a so-called 3-year retreat, where, over that period, the retreatant is given transmission for all of lineage teachings and empowerment to teach the same.  These teachings include the pali canon, mahayana and vajrayana.  After completion of this retreat, the title of "Lama" is bestowed.

Your observation about the Dalai Lama is correct.  When Tibetan teachers teach from the Pali it's virtually the same as what you might hear in a Theravdin setting.

Your devotion to Tara is good.  If you get a chance, you might consider asking a lama give you a reading transmission or "lung" for the practice.

Offline ground

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Re: Tibetan Buddhism only loosely connected with Buddha's teachings?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2017, 11:10:33 pm »
There are numerous religions that are labelled 'buddhism' and do not have much in common.

Offline Rahul

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Re: Tibetan Buddhism only loosely connected with Buddha's teachings?
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2017, 01:33:08 am »
We can only guess as to what was the authentic 'Buddha's teachings'. Like a cube of ice passed from one person to another one slowly melts, the teachings of Buddha has passed through hundreds of generations and has inevitably been altered/modified ... We can assume that the older the scripture, the less modified it was, and thus closer to Buddha's original teachings. In that case, Pali canon can be considered as closest to the Buddha's original teaching. And yes, Tibetan Buddhist practices deviate in several ways from the earliest Tipitaka.

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Tibetan Buddhism only loosely connected with Buddha's teachings?
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2017, 07:19:08 am »
We can only guess as to what was the authentic 'Buddha's teachings'.

That's nice, but the OP wasn't asking about "authenticity".

But, as long as we're on the subject.  I don't think authenticity should be or even is a concern.  Validity is.  What really matters is if the teaching actually works as taught, not whether or not it's "authentic".

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We can assume that the older the scripture, the less modified it was, and thus closer to Buddha's original teachings.


A false assumption.  If we have to talk about authenticity, age is not a valid measurement.  Just because the Pali was codified before Mahyana sutras were, doesn't mean they are more authentic.  It doesn't mean the teaching are, in fact, older.   The Mahayana sutras, such as the Prajnaparamitas, are attributed to the Buddha's lifetime, so, they could have been preserved in oral form longer that the sutras that make up the Pali canon.

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And yes, Tibetan Buddhist practices deviate in several ways from the earliest Tipitaka.

They're different, that's for sure, but there's nothing wrong with that, is there?
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 08:43:54 am by IdleChater »

 


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