Sunday, December 27, 2009

Non-Sectarianism (不分教派 )

I have not come across any Buddhist precept that forbids anyone in a particular school of Buddhism from accepting the empowerments, blessings or lineage transmissions from other schools of Buddhism. At least, to my knowledge, I have not come across any such precepts.

Due to our past karmic connections, we will have more opportunities to interact with friends from Tibetan Buddhism in future. So, we need to understand it clearly and develop the right attitude towards dealing with such situations in future, to avoid the unnecessary confusions and hindrances, paving a smoother path ahead.

I think we cannot stop the development of events due to our past karmic connections. Dharma Sister Chan joked about it by saying that maybe we should quickly learn the Tibetan language, in order to communicate with our Tibetan friends more effectively. I think it makes sense. I don’t mind telling all of you that, every one of us here had been a Tibetan in our past life. So, every one of us here has a strong karmic connection with Tibetan Buddhism too. We had practiced Tibetan Buddhism diligently in our past life. So too is Grand Master who also had a strong karmic connection with Tibetan Buddhism in his past life.

We are merely going back to our past and re-establishing the spiritual relations. I hope you will welcome our Tibetan friends with joy. Open up our mind and welcome them, and help them within our means. This is walking the Path of a Bodhisattva. Why not? To me, I opened up my mind to anyone. I will remain steadfast in upholding the important precepts, the rest are trivial matters that do not bother me at all. I don’t think it is wrong in making a connection with other schools of Buddhism.

All schools of Buddhism belong to the same family. The splits should not even have happened in the first place. Who was the one causing the splits? It was only an act of man. When a person becomes strongly sectarian and thinks only highly of his own group, this is no longer Buddhism but a different religion. For instance, assuming that you are a Nyingma and you think that only Nyingma is the right school but others are not, and you disallow others in your group to visit other schools of Buddhism, or otherwise accusing them for transgressing the precepts and breaching the Dharma, then I think you have already deviated from the teachings of Buddhism, and that you have developed a wrong view of sectarianism.

Buddhism is accommodating, open and advocates equality. All schools of Buddhism are equal. Grand Master advocates equality all the time. No matter which group you belong to, do not be discriminative of other schools. We should treat the different schools with equality, and welcome all the Rinpoches, Lamas and practitioners from the different schools.

There is only one Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism) and He belongs to all schools of Buddhism. His heart mantra is “Om A Hum. Becha Guru Padma Siddhi Hum.” It is being chanted by the True Buddha School and Sakya in the same way. Guru Rinpoche will confer his blessings to a Nyingma, a Kagyu and practitioners from other schools of Buddhism in the same manner. He will not just bless the True Buddha School and ignore the Kagyu. That is impossible! Guru Rinpoche is non-sectarian. If He had a differentiating mind, He would not be Guru Rinpoche!
It will be best if you could learn from Bodhisattva Respectful-of-All who was mentioned in the Lotus Sutra. He treated everyone as a Buddha or Bodhisattva, and he was ready to accept blessings from anyone he met. However, the sentient beings tend to be discriminative, exclusive and egoistic. As long as you have such negative mindsets, you will never break free from the cyclic existence. It is crucial for a practitioner to develop the right view, particularly the Madhyamika (Middle Way) - keep an open mind and do not be discriminative.