Wednesday, 1 September 2010

1)Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability

In Milarepas story it says

Marpa said to him: I am Marpa, so you can make your prostrations now. Milarepa offered his prostrations and said: I am a great sinner who has committed tremendous negative actions. I offer you, however, my body, speech, and mind. Please give me food, clothing, and the teachings of Dharma so that I can attain buddhahood in this very life. Marpa replied: It doesn't really concern me that you have committed all these negative actions. What is important is that you have offered me your body, speech, and mind.

Wishing to leave his texts in a safe place, he put them in Marpa's shrine hall. When Marpa saw them there, he exclaimed: Take those books away right now! They are covered with obscurations. They stink of your negative practices and will pollute all my texts. Remove them immediately from the shrine hall. Milarepa thought: Marpa probably thinks these are my black magic texts and so took them out of the shrine hall.

Marpa asked Milarepa to use his magic to destroy people crops and frighten local people Which caused Milarepa distress to which he thought
Afterwards, thinking about what he had done, Milarepa became depressed and discouraged. In the past he had killed human beings and he now realized that in sending hail he had killed a lot of small sentient beings as well. If I think of the causes and conditions for rebirth in a future life, I have killed many people, and now I have killed small sentient beings as well. I haven't been able to practice the Dharma properly and certainly I'll be born in the hell realms. He went to Marpa and begged him: My negative activity is increasing and certainly in the next life I will be born in a burning hot hell. Please, through your great compassion grant me the teachings of the Dharma.

Whilst building and demolishing houses for Marpa this became Milarepas situation
Dagmema came and asked him why he was crying, but Milarepa did not reply. She lifted up his chin and said: Don't cry; you will get the Dharma teaching. Milarepa finally told her his real feelings: You are kind to me as a mother. And in order to obtain the precious Dharma, I must build this house. Yet in building this house my body is becoming nothing but a huge wound. Until now I have worked as hard as I can carrying stones and earth, but it is extremely painful. Dagmema now looked at Milarepa's body which had been covered before, and seeing all his festering, open sores, she cried: You are right. I've never seen such wounds on a human being before. Your situation is even worse than an animal's. A horse only gets saddle sores on its back, but you have them all over your body. I don't understand why Marpa is making you go through all of this.

One day Marpa was giving the initiation of Chakrasamvara (Demchok). Many of his students had come and brought wonderful offerings. Milarepa also went and happily joined the crowd. But Marpa looked at him and said, What do you have to offer? Milarepa replied, Well, I've been building this house and that's my offering. Marpa admonished him: You're building this house but it's not finished. It's a finished house that you must offer. And he chased Milarepa away, but Milarepa did not leave immediately even though he'd been told to. He made his request again: Please, let me stay and receive this initiation. Marpa came up to him, cuffed him across the face and tossed him outside. Milarepa went sobbing to Dagmema, who comforted him, Don't worry. Slowly, with time, you will receive the Dharma. Sometime after this initiation, Marpa came to Milarepa. We had a little bit of a set-to the other day. Has your mind not turned against me for this? Milarepa replied, I have committed monstrous negative actions. They are the cause of the bad things that happen to me. My faith in the lama has not changed, not at all.

Except for one goat with a bad leg, which he thought wasn't good enough to offer and thus left at home, Lama Ngokpa took everything he had gathered throughout his life as an offering to Marpa. Lama Ngokpa then said to Marpa, I give you power over my body, speech, and mind, and all the wealth that I have. Whatever I possess, I offer to you. The only thing I haven't offered you is one goat with a bad leg. I ask you to give me the special instructions of the Dakinis. Marpa replied, All the other Dharma I know I have given you, but if you want to receive this secret instruction of the Dakinis, you'll have to bring me that goat. Lama Ngokpa himself went back to his house and fetched the goat. It took him one day to return to his house, and then he walked the whole night back with the goat on his shoulders and offered it to Marpa.

In this story Marpa indeed has absolute authority. Who is he accountable to? We say that to take money is the sign of a bad teacher but Marpa took everything even the mans last goat!

Then Marpa said to Milarepa

Although you went through great difficulties, never did you have wrong views, either about Dharma or myself. This is very wonderful: due to this circumstance, in the future your students will be genuine practitioners. They will also have faith and will not generate a negative view. Marpa continued: The view and the practice of Dharma that I teach is extremely important, wondrous, and most unusual, because within the secret Vajrayana, there's a special link between the lama and the student. Whatever happens between the two of them happens in order to develop the qualities of the student. If anger arises, it's not a normal arising of anger. There is a purpose to it. All of the Dharma teachings that I brought back from India at the risk of my life, I will give to you.


Currently we complain that our teacher wishes for financial assistance from us and a degree of work. Yet Milarepa maintained faith no matter how hard he was worked and how much money and possessions Marpa took. Even his health was destroyed he still held faith. As the story says he did not develop wrong views about the Dharma or Marpa. When even his whole body was ruined with boils and sores Marpa was seemingly heartless not allowing him to attend the Chakrasambara intitiation. Nowadays we claim that there is a lack of gratitude. Where was the gratitude from Marpa? This story is a qualified lineage & pure behaviour. Marpa is absolute authority & would not explain himself or apologise for anything. Therefore the debate is when & why is this a characteristic of bad religion and when is it the path of Buddhism?

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