Wednesday, 1 September 2010

4) Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.

Again, Milarepa went to gather together earth and rocks to make a house, and slowly the walls of the house were built up. It was such heavy work however, that large sores began to appear on his back. Since he could no longer carry things on his back, he carried them on his hip, but then sores also developed there, and so he carried things on his chest and sores developed there. He was surrounded by sores, and not only that, the water and earth he was carrying to make mortar entered into them and it was very painful for him. Yet he thought, Well, this is the command of my lama and continued his work with diligence and energy. Though he was in such pain Milarepa reflected: I can't really show these sores or speak of these problems to Marpa because he is a very high lama and also he would probably get angry with me. His wife is full of compassion and kindness but if I show them to her, she would probably think I am proud of all the work I've done. With no place to turn, he was filled with despair and weeping in the house. 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.

Firstly Marpa instilled despair and great distress as shown above. This was just the one storey house. In the end he built a nine storey tower! After building the tower he was not allowed to attend a teaching and was going to commit suicide. This is the ultimate painful mind far worse than any fear of the outside world. Milarepa also was told by Marpa to place a storm in a field and developed great fear that because he killed insects he was doomed to hellish existance.

Marpa explains why he did this as follows:
Marpa gathered all students around him and addressed Milarepa. Great Magician, you are my karmically connected son. I knew this from the very beginning. When I was plowing the field, that was my way of going out meet you. (In Tibet, there is the tradition that when someone important comes, you don't wait home, but you go out to meet them. The more important they are, the farther out you meet them.) However, you had killed many people and other sentient beings. In order to purify these negative actions, you had to go through all trials. Eight times you were thrown into despair. All these occasions were to purify negative actions, to make stronger your renunciation of samsara.

We have to ask ourself do these practices still exist in this world? Are they appropriate? Is this method valid? Not according to Rick Ross. Rick Ross's cult definition does not take into account traditional Buddhism and therefore traditional Buddhism is in danger of being branded spiritual abuse. We have all seen movies of oriental masters 'abusing' their disciples, 'controlling', 'enslaving' and everything that is defined as bad religion.

Even in the 7th century fear was greatly instilled as we see from Shantidevas works

Chapter 2 of his Guide says
40. Although lying here on a bed, and relying on relatives, I alone have to bear the feeling of being cut off from my vitality.

41. For a person seized by the messengers of death, what good is a relative, and what good is a friend? At that time merit alone is a protection, and I have not applied myself to it.

42. O Protectors, I, negligent, and unaware of this danger, have acquired many vices out of attachment to this transient life.

43. One completely languishes while being led today to have the limbs of ones body amputated. Parched with thirst, and with pitiable eyes, one sees the world differently.

44. How much more is one overpowered by the horrifying appearances of the Messengers of Death as one is consumed by the fevers of terror, and smeared with a mass of excrement?

45. With distressed glances, I seek protection in the four directions. Which good person will be my protection from this great fear?

46. Seeing the four directions devoid of protection, I return to confusion. What shall I do in that state of great fear?

47. Right now I go for refuge to the Protectors of the world whose power is great, to the Jinas, who strive to protect the world and who eliminate every fear.

48. Likewise, I earnestly go for refuge to the Dharma that is mastered by them and that annihilates the fear of the cycle of existence, and to the assembly of Bodhisattvas as well.

49. Trembling with fear, I offer myself to Samantabhadra, and of my own will I offer myself to Manjughosa.

50. Terrified, I utter a mournful cry to the Protector, Avalokita, whose conduct overflows with compassion, that he may protect me, a sinner.


In Buddhism we fear both a worldly life and impending catastrophy such as death and hellish rebirth

Therefore the debate is, is instilling fear bad religion or traditional authentic Buddhism?

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