More on Surveillance – H.H. Dalai Lama

This from The Guardian

Dalai Lama’s inner circle listed in Pegasus project data

Indian government, which hosts the Tibetan leader, suspected of being NSO client that selected numbers

“China’s nearest observation posts are hundreds of miles from Dharamsala, the city in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas that hosts Tibet’s government-in-exile and its highest spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. Still, Tibetans there have often felt closely watched.

Suspected Chinese spies have regularly been detected in the hill station. A decade ago, a digital security specialist watched in disbelief as sensitive files on Tibetan government computers were extracted on the screen before his eyes – activity that led to the unearthing of a massive cyber-espionage network, known as GhostNet, which was largely traced to Chinese servers.

Surveillance technology has evolved, and leaked data points to another possible interest in Tibetan communications – this time from a less obvious source.

Phone numbers of a top ring of advisers around the Dalai Lama are believed to have been selected as those of people of interest by government clients of NSO Group. Analysis strongly indicates that the Indian government was selecting the potential targets.”

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“Other phone numbers apparently selected by Delhi were those of the president of the government-in-exile, Lobsang Sangay, staff in the office of another Buddhist spiritual leader, the Gyalwang Karmapa, and several other activists and clerics who are part of the exiled community in India.”

The data may provide a glimpse at the delicate relationship between Tibet’s exiles and the Indian government, which has provided refuge for the movement since its leaders fled a Chinese crackdown in 1959, while also viewing it as leverage – and sometimes a liability – in its own relationship with Beijing.

The possible scrutiny of Tibetan spiritual and government leaders points to a growing awareness in Delhi, as well as in western capitals, of the strategic importance of Tibet as their relationships with China have grown more tense over the past five years.

It also highlights the growing urgency of the question of who will follow the current Dalai Lama, 86, a globally acclaimed figure whose death is likely to trigger a succession crisis that is already drawing in world powers. Last year the US made it a policy to impose sanctions against any government that interfered with the selection process.

The records suggest Tibetan leaders were first selected in late 2017, in the period before and after the former US president Barack Obama met the Dalai Lama privately on a foreign tour that also included earlier stops in China.

Senior advisers to the Dalai Lama whose numbers appear in the data include Tempa Tsering, the spiritual leader’s long-time envoy to Delhi, and the senior aides Tenzin Taklha and Chhimey Rigzen, as well as Samdhong Rinpoche, the head of the trust that has been tasked with overseeing the selection of the Buddhist leader’s successor.

The Dalai Lama, who has spent the past 18 months isolating in his compound in Dharamsala, is not known to carry a personal phone, according to two sources.

Following the launch of the Pegasus project, India’s IT minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw, said the project’s claims about Indian surveillance were an “attempt to malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions”. He told parliament: “The presence of a number on the list does not amount to snooping … there is no factual basis to suggest that use of the data somehow amounts to surveillance.”

India could have several motives for possible spying on Tibetan leaders but some in Dharamsala have concluded the question of succession may be a driving force. Naming successors to the Dalai Lama has sometimes taken years after the death of the title holder, and is usually led by the monk’s senior disciples, who interpret signs that lead them to the child next in line.

But China views the next Dalai Lama as a potential separatist leader who could weaken its authoritarian grip on Tibet. It has claimed the sole right to control the selection process, and analysts say it is already pressuring neighbours such as Nepal and Mongolia to rule out recognising any successor but its own.

Beijing is also contacting influential Buddhist teachers and clerics around the world, including some based in India, inviting them to China to try to lay the groundwork for its choice and muddy support for any candidate chosen by the Dalai Lama’s followers.

These entreaties to Buddhist leaders and other interference in the succession process have been viewed warily by India’s security agencies, who may have sought to closely monitor an issue with huge implications for Delhi’s own relationship with China – but where its direct influence and control is limited.

“India wants to make sure that Tibetans don’t strike a deal with the Chinese that involves the Dalai Lama going back to Tibet,” said a former staffer with the Tibetan administration, who asked not to be named.

India may also be seeking to monitor continuing informal contact between Chinese officials and Tibetan leaders. The Dalai Lama revealed two years ago that India had vetoed his plans to try to meet Xi Jinping when the Chinese president visited India in 2014.

“The Dalai Lama himself has said several times that he maintains connections to the Chinese leadership through ‘old friends’,” the former Tibetan government staffer said. “India is very aware of this and they want to make sure that no deals are made without their knowing or involvement.”

Some Speculations on the Tulku Phenomenon

Let me stress this from the outset these are speculations.

I’ll start with some comments.

If there was an Atlantean civilization that fled East to Egypt and in search of higher ground, some of them might have carried on going and the obvious place to shelter from deluge is somewhere land locked and at high altitude like Tibet. The rising sea won’t easily get you there! Being at around 4000m on the plateau the altitude is similar to the Jungfrau Joch which would make it a great place to do observational astronomy / astrology. They may indeed hold a repository of age-old documentation. At one stage in history half the male population were in the monasteries. Knowledge and wisdom is / was taken seriously, it is not a frivolous land. The level of ingenuity needed to build some of the structures would have been world leading in its day. If people wish to preserve messages and knowledge in the days before terabyte hard drives, it would be nice if the essence of teaching could be carried forward across the generations. The detail could be written down, but it might need a teacher to bring it to life.  If you observe, for example, Tibetan ritual magic it is of the very highest order. It is concerted, highly organised and rhythmic. Bear in mind there may be a whole lot more of this which nobody else gets to see. For me it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that they have / had developed a skill level unimaginable to me.

In general, a reincarnating lama or Rinpoche is recognised as a young child. Often, they are found by dreams, or by consultation of the oracle. The incarnation is then recognised by one or more high lamas. There can be tests of recognition of the artefacts of a previous lama. I am not aware of any middle-aged git being recognised.

In the system of raja yoga, nirvana means the blowing off of the casual vehicle, which can cause death, or the form may persist until physical plane death sometimes referred to as para nirvana. In the case of a fourth-degree initiate this would mean the dissolution of the mayavirupa shell in which the now liberated buddhic/atmic essence is indwelling. At the destruction of the causal vehicle the being would have no personality, no soul to speak of. There would be nothing of the former being left to recognise. Technically speaking they are no longer human, there is no compulsion to reincarnate because there is no longer any cause.

The status of bodhisattva refers to anyone who has committed to achieve enlightenment. There is no obvious way of determining how far along that journey they are. I am guessing that when  the commitment is fully made it  is referred to as sotāpanna. Having made a heartfelt commitment, the reincarnating jiva enters the stream leading towards Buddhahood. There may be a fair way to go. There are many academic discussions about the degrees. I doubt these discussions are made by buddhas. They are often of an intellectual bent.

At the third initiation the bodhisattva is well on the way and success is ensured. Such a highly evolved being may for the benefit of all sentient beings delay his / her enlightenment so as to return and teach. It is too late to do this once one they have removed the causal vehicle. The initiate of the third degree is still technically human. On a subsequent incarnation they could build a high-quality vehicle in which an echo of the prior personality exists and of course it is imbued by the indwelling causal vehicle. This might make it possible for someone clairvoyantly able to recognise the indwelling reincarnated essence.

Nobody knows with any certainty the level of initiation of the 16 arhats. When the texts says so and so got enlightened does that mean that they got a bit more enlightened or does that mean that the job was finished? In other words, the weight of the causal vehicle was removed so that they are less heavy ergo lighter. If this is the case, then a reincarnating fourth degree initiate is likely not to be recognisable because there is nothing of the old “self” left.

A being might have “qualities” pertaining to some historical figure, be reminiscent of and even express the essence of what the other being was. It does not necessarily mean that it is a reincarnation of the causal vehicle.

Given what I have read I personally believe that it is not impossible that these lamas and monks, who dedicate their whole lives to it, can train themselves to the degree that they can, with prescience, point at their own incarnation.

In Toltec terms the dreamers of mankind are group conscious. It is also possible that a reincarnating jiva can “talk” through the medium of dream to a close colleague and let them know where they can be found upon rebirth.

Someone caught up in the centuries old preservation of the essence of knowledge and as an act of service having tulku rebirths might indeed be acquiring karmic merit whilst putting off his/her own release into Buddhahood. Indeed, this sounds like a very bodhisattva like thing to do.

I’ll speculate further that the beings doing this are high grade disciples and initiates of the first three mundane degrees.

Buddhism – Science – Museum Dream 02-06-2012

I am in a white building with a high ceiling. It is a place of learning perhaps a museum. Over to one side I see a young dark-haired man. He is wearing a pink polo shirt as am I. I start to speak to him of Buddhism in the West. This piques his interest. I say that more Tulkus are incarnating here. This piques his interest even more. He says that a part of his research is regarding Buddhism. His job at the museum is to do with this. It is also to do with the relationship between science and religion. He takes me back behind the scenes in the museum. As we walk, I tell him that I am an ex-science academic from Imperial College. This piques his interest even more. I comment that is it not a coincidence that we are similarly dressed in pink polo shirts? His eyes start to show some blue in them, a subtle glow.

We walk into his offices just as his female supervisor is leaving. I am not sure if I should shake hands with her or not. She walks past in any case.

Next, I am wandering around the museum, in the areas where people, the public, do not go. I come across a young woman who has her face painted in vibrant colours. The painting is of things like feathers arranged in a circle around her left eye. It is stunning. We walk off together.

Soon I am standing on a lawn. It is in a dip with a ridge around it about 5-10 metres away.  There are some colonnades. On the ridge are some people including the young man and the painted woman.

I am talking to them about the spread of Buddhism to the West. I am walking as I talk. The people are all staff at the museum. A dark-haired Russian girl who is of some considerable intellectual prowess tells the others to listen to what I am saying, it is right.

Behind me two men, one with white hair, are walking along the path. They hear what I am saying but because they know me from a science context they cannot “accept” it. It is a non sequitur to them.

Dream ends.

Panchen Lama

Excerpted from Wikipedia.

The Panchen Lama (Tibetan: པཎ་ཆེན་བླ་མ།, Wylie: pan chen bla ma), is a tulku of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. Panchen Lama is one of the most important figures in the Gelug tradition, with its spiritual authority second only to Dalai Lama he with the council of high lamas is responsible seeking out the next Dalai Lama. “Panchen” is a portmanteau of “Pandita” and “Chenpo”, meaning “Great scholar”.

The recognition of Panchen Lamas began with Lobsang Chökyi Gyaltsen, tutor of the 5th Dalai Lama, who received the title “Panchen Bogd” from Altan Khan and the Dalai Lama in 1645. “Bogd” is Mongolian, meaning “holy”. Khedrup Gelek Pelzang, Sönam Choklang and Ensapa Lobsang Döndrup were subsequently recognized as the first to third Panchen Lamas posthumously.

In 1713, the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing dynasty granted the title Panchen Erdeni to the 5th Panchen Lama. In 1792, the Qianlong Emperor issued a decree known as the 29-Article Imperial Decree for Better Governing in Tibet, and Article One of the decree was designed to be used in the selection of rinpoches, lamas and other high offices within Tibetan Buddhism, including the Dalai Lamas, Panchen Lamas and Mongolian lamas.

Traditionally, the Panchen Lama is the head of Tashilhunpo Monastery, and holds religious and secular power over the Tsang region centered in Shigatse, independent of the Ganden Podrang authority led by the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama are closely connected, and each participate in the process of recognizing each other’s reincarnations.

The current 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, was recognized by the 14th Dalai Lama on May 14, 1995. Three days later, the 6 year old Panchen Lama was kidnapped by the Chinese government and his family was taken into custody. In efforts to control Tibetan Buddhism and the reincarnations of both the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama, the Chinese government has named a proxy to act as the Panchen Lama, Gyaltsen Norbu, in Tibet. The Chinese proxy has been widely rejected by Tibetan buddhists and abroad, while governments have called for information about and the release of the Panchen Lama. Gedhun Choekyi Nyima has never been publicly seen since 1995.

Name

The successive Panchen Lamas form a tulku reincarnation lineage which are said to be the incarnations of Amitābha. The title, meaning “Great Scholar”, is a Tibetan contraction of the Sanskrit paṇḍita (scholar) and the Tibetan chenpo (great). The Panchen Lama traditionally lived in Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse. From the name of this monastery, the Europeans referred to the Panchen Lama as the Tashi-Lama (or spelled Tesho-Lama or Teshu-Lama).

Other titles of Panchen Lama include “Panchen Bogd”, the original title given by Altan Khan at the creation of the lineage. “Bogd” (Mongolian: ᠪᠣᠭᠳᠠ богд) is Mongolian, meaning “holy, saint”. In 1713, 5th Panchen Lama Lobsang Yeshe received the title “Panchen Erdeni” from Kangxi Emperor of Qing Empire, which is inherited by successive Panchen Lamas since then. “Erdeni”, or “Erdini”, (Manchu: ᡝᡵᡩᡝᠨᡳ erdeni) is Manchu, meaning “treasure”.

Have You Ever “Dissed” a Tulku?

“Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine.”

 Alan Turing

I have been toying with a train of thought today. Many people in their self-diagnosed omniscience fail to take into consideration that which lies outside of their all-encompassing wisdom.

As a loose hypothesis it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that I am indeed a reincarnated Buddhist priest, possibly even an acquaintance of Siddhārtha. Yet many people have “dissed” me and treated me badly.

They have sent me their bile, their anger and their justifications.

They have treated me like shit. They have fought me at every pace. They wish to argue the toss.

Wouldn’t it be ironic, don’t you think?

If my dreams are pointing at a truth and all these people are being dicks, know-it-alls and ignorant.

But of course, the omniscient know best.

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I shifted near half a tonne of grass cuttings today.

That pillow is already calling.

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Well, life has a funny way of sneaking up on you

When you think everything’s okay and everything’s going right

And life has a funny way of helping you out

When you think everything’s gone wrong and everything blows up

In your face

Tulku or Toulkou

Excerpted from Wikipédia

Un tülkou ou tulkou, contraction de tulpekou, parfois appelé à tort bouddha vivant, est, dans le bouddhisme tibétain, une personnalité religieuse (lama en général) reconnue comme réincarnation d’un maître ou d’un lama disparu. Cette tradition a débuté au Tibet, officiellement au XIIIe siècle, dans la branche karma-kagyu de l’école kagyupa avec la lignée des karmapa (Düsum Khyenpa (1110-1193) étant considéré comme le premier karmapa). Les lignées des dalaï-lamas et des panchen-lamas sont des lignées de tulkous de l’école gelugpa. Ils sont considérés comme des émanations de bodhisattva, revenu sur terre pour aider les êtres.

Cette tradition est spécifique du bouddhisme tibétain.

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Excerpted from RigpaWiki

Tulku (Tib. སྤྲུལ་སྐུ་, Wyl. sprul sku) — an incarnation. The word literally means nirmanakaya but is used in common speech to refer to any incarnate lama. The tradition of recognizing reincarnate masters began in Tibet in the early 12th century with the line of Karmapas.

Penor Rinpoche writes:

Traditionally a tulku is considered to be a reincarnation of a Buddhist master who, out of his or her compassion for the suffering of sentient beings, has vowed to take rebirth to help all beings attain enlightenment. To fulfill this aspiration, a tulku will generally need to go through the complete process of recognition, enthronement and training.

Formal recognition generally occurs soon after a tulku has been identified, but only after other important lineage masters have been consulted. The newly identified tulku does not take on any formal responsibilities at the time of recognition.

The next step of enthronement may or may not occur for a tulku, depending on the circumstances. Enthronement formally invests the tulku with the responsibility of furthering the activities associated with their particular tulku lineage. Thus, if there are specific teachings and practice traditions associated with their lineage, and if there are perhaps monks, nuns, monasteries, retreat centres, lay communities and so forth for which the tulku traditionally takes responsibility, then the tulku is formally vested with those responsibilities at the time of enthronement. In the event that an enthronement ceremony is conducted, it may take place soon after recognition or some years later. If the tulku is too young to assume their responsibilities upon enthronement, others may be entrusted to take on those responsibilities until the tulku is ready.

Finally, a tulku needs to complete a formal course of training which includes years of study and meditation. This training reawakens the tulku’s powers of insight and compassion and develops their skilful means for helping others. It is only after such training that a tulku is ready to take on the role of a teacher.

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Excerpted from Wikepedia

A tulku (Tibetan: སྤྲུལ་སྐུ་, Wylie: sprul sku, ZYPY: Zhügu, also tülku, trulku) is a reincarnate custodian of a specific lineage of teachings in Tibetan Buddhism who is given empowerments and trained from a young age by students of his or her predecessor.

High-profile examples of tulkus include the Dalai Lamas, the Panchen Lamas, the Samding Dorje Phagmos, the Karmapas, Khyentses, the Zhabdrung Rinpoches, and the Kongtruls.

Nomenclature and etymology

The word སྤྲུལ or ‘sprul’ (Modern Lhasa Tibetan [ʈʉl]) was a verb in Old Tibetan literature and was used to describe the བཙན་པོ་ btsanpo (’emperor’/天子) taking a human form on earth. So the sprul idea of taking a corporeal form is a local religious idea alien to Indian Buddhism and other forms of Buddhism (e.g. Theravadin or Zen). Over time, indigenous religious ideas became assimilated by the new Buddhism; e.g. sprul became part of a compound noun, སྤྲུལ་སྐུ་’sprul.sku’ (“incarnation body” or ‘tülku’, and ‘btsan’, the term for the imperial ruler of the Tibetan Empire, became a kind of mountain deity). The term tülku became associated with the translation of the Sanskrit philosophical term nirmanakaya. According to the philosophical system of trikaya or three bodies of Buddha, nirmanakaya is the Buddha’s “body” in the sense of the bodymind (Sanskrit: nāmarūpa). Thus, the person of Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha, is an example of nirmanakaya. In the context of Tibetan Buddhism, tülku means the corporeal existence of enlightened Buddhist masters in general.

In addition to Tibetans and related peoples, Tibetan Buddhism is a traditional religion of the Mongols and their relatives. The Mongolian word for a tülku is qubilγan, though such persons may also be called by the honorific title qutuγtu (Tib: ‘phags-pa and Skt: ārya or superior, not to be confused with the historic figure, ‘Phags-pa Lama or the script attributed to him, (Phags-pa script), or hutagt in the standard Khalkha dialect. According to the Light of Fearless Indestructible Wisdom by Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal: the term tülku “designates one who is ‘noble’ (or ‘selfless’ according to Buddha’s usage) and used in Buddhist texts to denote a highly achieved being who has attained the first bhumi, a level of attainment which is truly egoless, or higher.”

The Chinese word for tülku is huófó (活佛), which literally means “living Buddha” and is sometimes used to mean tülku, although the Dalai Lama has said that this is a mistranslation, as a tülku isn’t necessarily a realized being.

Meaning of “tulku”

Any Vajrayana practitioner can be reborn as a tülku, if they fail to reach Buddhahood or a Pure Land in the bardo of dying, bardo of dharmata or bardo of becoming.

Valentine summarizes the shift in meaning of the word tülku: “This term that was originally used to describe the Buddha as a “magical emanation” of enlightenment, is best translated as “incarnation” or “steadfast incarnation” when used in the context of the tulku system to describe patriarchs that reliably return to human form.

Finding a successor

Pamela Logan outlines a general approach for finding a successor:

When an old tulku dies, a committee of senior lamas convenes to find the young reincarnation. The group may employ a number of methods in their search. First, they will probably look for a letter left behind by the departed tulku indicating where he intends to be born again. They will ask the close friends of the departed to recall everything he said during his last days, in case he may have given hints. Often, an oracle is consulted. Sometimes a prominent lama has a dream that reveals details of the child’s house, parents, or of geographical features near his home. Sometimes heaven presents a sign, perhaps a rainbow, leading the search party to the child.

Laboratory and Rinpoche Dream 10-12-19

I found this in my archive near the numerology previous.

I woke up at 4.20 this morning, got up and had some coffee, read the on-line newspapers and then went back to bed at ~6. I knew that I was going to have a dream if I went back to sleep.

I am back at my old place of work, in a laser lab. The lab is very unkempt and in a bad state. There are broken optical filters on the floor and various opto-mechanical mounts scattered about. I can’t believe it is in such a mess. I am without crutches and walking normally. I get down on my hands and knees and start to clear up the mess, putting things in the small blue plastic boxes where they belong. I am at this for quite a while. I sit on the optical table to tidy things up further. I am putting filters and lenses in the little envelopes they shipped in. T pops his head round the door and sees me there. He says that he wants to talk to me. I carry on. He is distracted by someone on his ‘phone. He then says again that he would like to see me and talk. He says that “we are going to my favourite restaurant for lunch, and I am buying. Please call me.” There is a sense that this is a leaving do. I say nothing but have no intention of calling him. As he is leaving the room, I say that his hair colour has changed. He blushes and is pleased that I noticed. “No, I haven’t dyed it, it is simply reverting to natural.” He is much younger in the dream than when I last met him.

I continue tidying up. Now in the corner of the room there are some people aligning a laser system, I know them, and they too are much younger. They are making a long job of it. I toss them an optical element which lands precisely on the optical table. T comes back after the lunch, slightly upset that I didn’t go. He asks if it is simply because of my introversion that things aren’t working out? What am I doing now, nothing? No, I say that I do a lot of meditation, raja yoga and Tibetan deep voice chanting. At this point a young man walks by, he is dressed in Tibetan Buddhist robes with a yellow hat. He has his rosary and a slight wispy beard. He is a westerner. He says I hope you are only chanting at authorised rituals.  I say that I have sufficient control to do this on my own, safely. Under his arm is an ornate and highly decorated book entitled “The life of Something Rinpoche” which is about his discovery and enthronement as a Tulku.

He has asked to study at the laboratory as part of his education. I follow him to a room next to the lab. Where he is installed. In it is a massive king size bed, bedecked with ornamental cloth of a very luxurious kind. It has oriental Tibetan designs. On the floor are many Tibetan style rugs. On the bed is his attendant a small older man, also ornately dressed. Rinpoche gets on the bed and I can see his diary where he is writing an account of his experiences. The university has welcomed him there to study. I go to walk out of the room. His attendant says that it is customary to back out of the room, bowing and showing reverence to Rinpoche. I do this but know that I do not need to.

I go home to my house. When I am there, {it is not my actual house} I am talking to the wife. A book appears in my hands, it too is very ornate. The pages are a bit stuck. I open them carefully and there are folded over folio like pages that pull out. My first guess is that it was the book I saw previously. But it is not. It still has a very Tibetan feel. It is a different book and contains old photographs of Tibetan scenes. It pertains to me. I decide that the book is a present for my wife and hand it to her.

We look out of the window and see that the river has burst its banks. We are surrounded by water. She opens the front door and goes out to explore. I notice that the drain is partially blocked. I unblock it and the excess water starts to drain away.