Sunday, October 04, 2009

Tibetan Prophecy and the Event of Mind

So... because of habitual tendencies we wander in bewilderment, and through bewilderment we obscure the ever-present original wisdom. We even come to regard our bewilderment as "mind," when in actuality, "mind" is merely an event. We become very confused about this event, dividing it into parts, and those parts into parts, building an imaginary pyramid out of blocks of air. We are looking for permanence: some guarantee that we will be here tomorrow and the next day and the next. We spend blood and treasure in a futile search for assurance that the imaginary pyramid of our lives will endure in a particular space and time where we can return, or to which we can eternally refer.

Unfortunately, things don't work out that way, but because we think they could, or should, we take special notice of prophecy. Prophecy will tell us about the tomorrow and the next day and the next  that we so fervently wish to experience as permanent pyramids. As my immaculate teacher once explained, it seems we are going somewhere (the future), and returning with a report (to now), but of course, that is nowhere near the actual case.

There is another use for prophecy, and that is as a deeper abiding in the clearly immediate, here and now event. Maybe if you want to get literary, you could say that prophecy can become a road map leading one through bewilderment to immediacy, although I am not entirely sure we should put it that way. That could make prophecy into a hope, which would of course totally prevent any further progress.

Surprise! There is no shortage of prophecy in the discovered treasures of Tibet. Today, we are going to briefly examine two.

So, first Rigdzin Jatsun Nyingpo's terma:
 " [S]cholars with a little qualifications will be born in Tibet. Because they are common asses wearing lions skins or figurines wrapped in much silk, there will be much competitive jealously from attachment and aversion towards the sublime.”
“Although the monks outer appearance are like a bhiksus without pretense, their inner grasping is the sharpness from a poison thorn; secreting misdeeds, and secretly engaging in adultery, there are many monks who are like coal painted white.
"Also there are many siddhas with the ability to ripen and liberate themselves and others, free from obstruction in signs of accomplishments. The lineage of siddhas who have taken dakinis and dharmapalas as servants will become widely spread just like a cluster of stars. But the ascetic discipline of those believed to be siddhas will become drinking alcohol. Qualities will become bad behavior. Practice will become attachment and aversion. Experience will become avarice. The sign of accomplishment is spawning bastards. Benefiting migrating sentient beings is seducing groups of young women. Activities are making the country impoverished. Many siddhas who are confident in the reliability of false craziness will exist.
"Some great meditators possessing authentic realization will arise. Most will have bellies distended with flesh, liquor, and food. They will build little white cottages on the mountain in the back of the towns, and be very interested in the performances of song and dance by retinues of young women. Though they understand each verse of supplication, they sink into dullness, making sleep their deity. They sit around and masturbate. Also many great meditators who know how waste their humans lives and throw away their days will exist.”
“What a laugh.”

“Although some kalyanamitras possess hearing and contemplation which correspond with the name and treatises, unprincipled, their outer conduct is like a new bride, but inwardly sharpened from the blazing tongue of flames of addictions. All that they meet, as many as all the water drunk in a single valley they will lead to the hells, many such kalyanamitras will exist.

"Nevertheless, a few signs of accomplishment will emerge from the Buddhists of Tibet.”

"How pathetic, eventually this law of the King will decline. The law of the subjects will be destroyed like a silk knot. All of the Dharma of the sravakas explained in Jambudvipa, like snow falling on the water, shall decline."

"Also the concentration of meditators will be dim like stars at dawn."

"Also all excellent wishes to benefit others shall sink to the bottom like a stone in a well."

"Also sentient beings, whether young or old, shall quickly die, like reaping the harvest."

"The kalyanamitra tutors sink in water like boats. The very few persons with qualities who arrive depart like the seasonal grasses. "

"Also the teaching of the Bhagavan Buddha is degenerating like the shadows of dusk. If one speaks beneficial words at that time, one will be reviled and feel regret. If one acts in accordance with the sublime Dharma, it will said ‘You are acting in self interest.’ If one teaches according to the intent of the Buddha, one will be misunderstood. If one explains action and result, it is claimed ‘You are speaking empty deceptive falsehoods.'

"Taking life, deceptive trade practices, are each poisonous supports. Competing in skill at theft and plunder, teachers who take the life of virtue are made into one’s mother. “Father” is not heard by children, “master” is not heard by servants, “lord” is not heard by subjects. The wicked are in full bloom."

"Ornaments are made into weapons. Dharma activities shorten one’s life, but misdeeds raise one’s spirits. The temples fall into disrepair. Since the negative local spirits spread, there is much frost and hail. Mamos and dakinis spread contagious diseases among children, adult diseases for adults, cattle diseases for cattle, and blights on harvests, etc., will appear suddenly like dust devils. Trees wither above the roots, generations are destroyed by famine. Rats invade the land."

"At that time, there are no Dharma activities, and since misdeeds increase, cause and result is ignored. Because of the power of the ten misdeeds, etc., the merit of Tibet sinks lower and lower."

"Pekar possess bhandhes, only a few men possess vows. Since demons and spirits possess mantra practitioners, commitments do not exist and illness increase. Since Gyalpos possess men, they start wars. Since srinmo possess women, they commit adultery, administer poisons and are deceptive. Since The'u rang possess children, they steal, have fevers, and are badly behaved. There are many madmen and rabid dogs. Since the food portions of sentient beings diminish, the essence of their elements is harmed."

"Efforts will be made to reach the top of the Himalayas and there will be farming on the mountains."

"Since the time of Tibet’s misfortune has arrived, when the rope of the King’s compassion is cut, it will be difficult for I, Padma, to offer protection. Nevertheless, in those circumstances, I myself will emanate many times."

"Specifically, the time when these profound treasures will be of benefit is when the life expectancy is forty years, after it approaches thirty years, the Buddha’s teaching reaches its end."

"There will be no rain from the sky, fires will blaze. The ground and harvest will be dried up with blight. The astrological calculations will be disharmonious and there will be little benefit because of erroneous connections."

"For inner signs, since the elements of fire and water are confused, medicines will not be beneficial, and will become poison. The sun and the moon are red and stones are moved with the wind. Dirty snow and bloody rain fall. Also many planets of evil omen, and many stellar signs will arise. The earth shakes and hail and thunder cause damage. Many hailstone fall. Earth dragons make grunting sounds."

"Since the life of men is shorter, there are large groups of single women. Most of the laws of the country are broken and it becomes cold. Brothers and sisters, elder and younger brothers all fight and wound one another. Proper Dharma is dimmer than a star in the daytime. Charlatans destroying the teachings arise like streams in summer."

"There is fighting above, below and in the middle and armies in Central Tibet scatter to the borders. Armies at the border escape to Central Tibet, all the people in Central Tibet flee into the southern lowlands like scattered beans."

Next, Lhatsun Ngonmo's terma:
"As the Kaliyuga progresses towards the final conflagration,

life expectancy of man decreases and the weight of darkness
becomes more intense, but there remain restraints on the downward
path when the Voice of Buddha is heard and the Path of Dharma
followed. Towards the end of the era, when the duration of man's
lifespan has been reduced from sixty to fifty years and there has
been no respite in man's increasing egoism, these conditions will
prevail, portending ruin to the Great Stupa: householders fill
the monasteries and there is fighting before the alter; the
temples are used as slaughterhouses; the ascetics of the caves
return to the cultivated valleys and the Yogins become traders;
thieves own the wealth and cattle; monks become householders
while priests and spiritual leaders turn to robbery, brigandage,
and thievery. Disorder becomes chaos, turning to panic which
rages like wildfire. Corrupt and selfish men become leaders while
abbots turned army officers lead their monks as soldiers; nuns
but their own bastards to death. Sons see their estates and
inheritances stolen from them. Mean and vulgar demagogues become
local leaders while young girls instruct the young in schools.
The belch of the Bon Magician resounds in the Yogin's hermitage
and the wealth of the sanctuaries is looted; the scriptures of
the Tathagatas, the images of the Buddhas, the sacred icons, the
scroll paintings and the stupas will be desecrated, stolen and
bartered at the market price - their true worth forgotten; the
temples become cowsheds and stables covered with dung.

"When religious duties are forgotten, spirits of darkness,
which had been controlled by ritual power, become unloosed and
frenzied and govern the mind of whatever being they possess.
Spirits of vindicative power possess monks; spirits of egoistic
wickedness possess the Mantradhara or magician; spirits of
disease possess the Bon Priest; enchanting spirits causing
disease possess men; grasping, quarreling spirits possess women;
spirits of wantonness possess maidens; spirits of depravity
possess nuns; spirits of rebellion and malice possess children;
every man, woman and child in the country becomes possessed by
uncontrollable forces of darkness. 

The signs of these times are
new and fantastical modes of dressing - traditional styles are
forgotten; the monks wear fancy robes and the nuns dress up
before a mirror. Every man must carry a sword to protect himself
and each man guard his food from poison. The Abbot and Master
poison their pupil's minds and hearts; the executive and
legislature disagree; men become lewd and licentious; women
become unchaste; monks ignore their discipline and moral code;
the Mantradharas break their covenant. 

"As the frenzy of malicious, selfish, vindictive and ruthless
spirits grows, paranoid rumor increases and ornament and clothing
fashions change more frequently.
"Drunkards preach the Path to Salvation; the advice of
sycophants is followed; fraudulent teachers give false
initiations; guileful impostors claim psychic powers; loquacity
and eloquence pass as wisdom. The arrogant elevate profanity; the
proletariat rules the kingdom; kings become paupers; the butcher
and murderer become leaders of men; unscrupulous self-seekers
rise to high position. The Masters of the High Tantras stray like
dogs in the streets and their faithless errant students roam like
lions in the jungle. Embodiments of malice and selfishness become
revered teachers, while the achievements of Tantric Adepts become
reviled, the guidance of the Secret Guru execrated, the precepts
of the Buddha ignored and the advice of Yogis and Sages unsought.
Robes become worn by fools and villains while monks wear foreign
dress; even murderers wear the sacred robe. Men resort to
maledictory enchantment learning Mantra for selfish ends; monks
prepare poisonous potions for blackmail, extortion and profit.
False doctrines are devised from the Buddhas' Word and the
teachers' interpretations become self-vindications. 

treacherous paths, previously uncharted, are followed; many
iniquitous practices spread; behavior becomes tolerated which was
previously anathema; ideals are established contrary to
tradition; and all good customs and habits are rejected and many
despicable innovations corrupt. The wealth of the monasteries is
plundered and spent upon gluttony by those under vow; following
errant paths, men become trapped by their own mean actions; the
avaricious and spurious protectors of the pure teaching no longer
fulfill their functions.

"The celestial order, disrupted, loosens plague, famine and
war to terrorize terrestrial life. The planets run wild, and the
stars fall out of their constellations; great burning stars arise
bringing unprecedented disaster. No rain falls in season, but out
of season; the valleys are flooded. Famine, frost and hail govern
many unproductive years. The rapacious female demons [ma mo] and
the twelve guardian protectresses of the Dharma, unpropitiated
and enraged release diseases, horrible epidemics and plagues
which spread like wildfire, striking men and cattle. Earthquakes
bring sudden floods while fire, storms and tornadoes destroy
temples, stupas and cities in an instant. At this time the Great
Stupa itself falls in ruins. During this pall of darkness the
Wheel of Dharma at Vajrasana [Bodh Gaya] does not function; India
is stricken with famine; the Kathmandu Valley is inflicted with
plague; earthquakes decimate the people of Upper Ngari in Western
Tibet; plague destroys the people of Central Tibet; the Kyi
Valley District of Lhasa subsides; the peaks of the High
Himalayas in the borderland on Mon fall into the valleys. Three
strong forts are built on the Five Peaked Mountain; Yogis
assemble in the Valley of the Bear's Lair on Mon; two suns rise
in Kham to the east; the Chinese Emperor dies suddenly; four
armies descend on Central Tibet from the borders; the Muslim
Turks conquer India; the Garlok army suppresses the Dharma in
Kashmir; the Mongols conquer Tibet; the Jang army enters Kham;
the Protectors' Temple, Rasa Trulnang [Ra sa hphrul snang] in
Lhasa is threatened; the famous temple of Samye is desecrated;
the stupas of Bhutan tilt and the Wheel of Dharma malfunctions

 "The great monasteries of the of the country become deserted
and the Belch of the Bon Priest resounds in the quiet hermitages;
the wise and simple leaders of the monasteries have been poisoned
so that the lineal explanations and practices are fragmented or
lost; the holders of the lineal traditions meet sudden death.
Impostors and frauds cheat the people and black spectres haunt
the land. The knot in the silken thread binding demonic forces in
divine bondage is untied and the cord of faith keeping the human
mind harmonious is severed. The kings law is broken and the
strength of communal unity lost; the peoples' traditions are
rejected and the sea of contentment dries up; personal morality
is forgotten and the cloak of modesty thrown away. Virtue is
powerless and humiliated and led away by coarse, immodest and
fearful rulers. Abbots, teachers and professors become army
officers while the ignorant guide religious aspirants, explain
the doctrine and give initiation. Aspirants speak with self-
defensive abuse while butchers and wild elephants lead men. The
passes, valleys and narrow paths are terrorized by shameless
brigands; fearful, lawless and leaderless, the people fight
amongst themselves, each man working selfishly. Tibet becomes
corrupt and defiled. These are the conditions prevailing during
the middle of the Kaliyuga when the duration of man's life is
fifty years: these are the portents of the destruction of the
Great Stupa.
Note: This portion of the prophecy concludes with a statement many educated Tibetans believe is a direct reference to Tarthang Rinpoche:
"These signs and sufferings will awaken the mind of a man, and
disgusted with the human condition, favoured in his actions and
governed by sympathy and compassion towards the sufferers, he
will dedicate himself to the restoration of the Great Stupa. He
will aspire to the highest human achievement and fulfill his wish
to rebuild perfection."
So, naturally, the question that jumps immediately to everyone's mind is: "this is what is going to happen in the future, right?"


Prophecy and the event of mind argues this is what is happening right now.

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7 reader comments:

Bev Thornton said...

"This has already begun and is happening right now," - jumped immediately to mind. Much of what is described, I have observed in person, in the sequence described. I do not know what to do so live as a recluse. I have done some of the things I was instructed to do, in a certain order, but have now encountered obstacles, years of them. I am having difficulty even just finding right livelihood. What are we to do, now?

TENPA said...


Don said...

Interesting. Did any of these guys say whether we should invest in Inflation-Protected Bonds (TIPS) or stick with regular Treasuries?

TENPA said...

Depends if you are interested in the (a) store of value, or (b) medium of exchange aspect of negotiable instruments. Speaking very personally, I would invest in eBay, since there are going to be more and more garage sales as we go along.

Anonymous said...

I believe that should be Jatson ['rainbow color'] Nyingpo, not 'Jetsun'.

I was reading through the scattered prophecies in his six volumes of Ter ('ja' mtshon pod drug) a few years ago. One that interested me, and might interest you too, was to this effect: when the lifespan of humans is forty years, food grown underground in caves will be better than food grown above ground.

On that account, forget TIPS and treasuries. Instead, make friends--REAL good friends--with someone who works for NORAD or the Defense Intelligence Agency!

TENPA said...

Last I heard, DIA's interest in caves was confined to the recent residents of those in Uddiyana -- strange the commonality of interest between them and us, eh?

Anonymous said...

"he will dedicate himself to the restoration of the Great Stupa"

I feel this is a reference to Drubwang Shakya Shri.