Thursday, October 13, 2016

New Kid On The Block (新卡当巴派)


Nowadays, I have kept a distance with Tibetan Buddhism as I found that the more I look into Buddhist sects in Penang; the more confused I became towards the developments of local Tibetan Buddhist schools. This is why:

Just recently, I had a conversation with a lady who asked me if I know the ‘Green School’ of Tibetan Buddhism.

I was surprised why she asked the ‘Green School’ because the traditional major Tibetan Buddhist Schools are none other than the: Ningmapa (red), Kagyupa (white), Sakyapa (flowery) and Gelupa (yellow); of course we have the ‘Jonangpa’ and ‘Kadampa’. In addition, we have the ‘Bonpo’ which is not well known and accepted in Southeast Asia as yet. And not forget to mention the once popular ‘New Buddha School’.

After some research, I realised the so-called ‘Green School’ was referred to as the ‘New Kadampa’. I am just surprised why they don’t call themselves the ‘Blue School’ (蓝教) which has the pronunciation as ‘lan-jiao’ aka ‘penis’ in Hokkian (no offence) …

As far as I know, the New Kadampa School is a very controversial school that is being excluded from the main Tibetan Schools by HH Dalai Lama because of a dharma protector: Dorje Shuden (大王金刚). Dalai Lama labelled Dorje Shuden as evil and Buddhist of good faith should not worship it. As far as I can see, stopping disciples to worship any spirits is really no big deal. After all, no one should worship any spirits other than that of the Buddha. Apparently followers of New Kadampa are offended with Dalai Lama’s action and people was said to be killed because of different opinion. Perhaps it is the aggressiveness of the New Kadampa followers that had caused this school to be treated as outlawed.

Apparently, the disputes between traditional Gelupa and the New Kadampa is oblivious by most Penang Buddhists and most of these good fated folks accept everything as simply ‘Buddhism’. I had followed shortly about the teaching of this New Kadampa in Penang. New Kadampa was brought to Penang from Singapore many years ago and I was told that it has also set foot in Bukit Mertajam too recently.

Basically the teaching of New Kadapa is almost the same as Gelupa. Their main ritual is the ‘Solitary Hero Yamantaka’ and this sect follows the Prasangika School (应成中观) of Madhyamika which is void of central meaning (不设宗义), independent of view (不落见地) and independent of establishing central body (不设本体). However, this school of Madhyamika is also being criticized by the Sakya School as denying all dharma; and utilizing absolute denial as the ultimate truth which already meant ‘grasping on sides’ (执边). On the other hand, the Ningmapa thinks that too much emphasis on ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ also not teaching of the Great Perfection (大圆满).

Having touched the central teaching of the New Kadampa, may I remind the potential follower of this school to act vigilant because the teaching they would receive locally in Penang would not be at par with those outside of Malaysia. Yamantaka for example, the completion stage would just be blurred out and most of the time; the disciples would be asked to donate money and involve in fund raising activities. Having said so, all of the Tibetan Buddhist centres want money… So be prepared to take out your wallet.

I have seen it all; and you are warned with full respect.

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