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Laity Conflict With Dalai Lama Isn't Buddhist but Political

Those of us who have heard of the members of a subsect of Vajrayana in which its followers respond with aggression toward the Dalai Lama would wonder why they are not behaving like bodhisattvas. It is because they do not believe themselves to be bodhisattvas. This is why the Dalai Lama condemned their leader. In order not to cause controversy I will not mention the name of the subsect or their guru because I view as an internal matter and because just mentioning this is like showing disrespect for the Buddha.

However, this type of behavior is not new, nor is it limited to Mahayana. Certain Theravada schools have had monks abuse their position of power as well. However, it does not make a monk or a layperson an evil person. Rather, it shows that all sentient beings, including you and I, from non-Buddhists to Buddhists and their leaders are subject to six root delusions and twenty lesser delusions, afflictions and other spiritual maladies consistent with self grasping.

Such maladies do not go away only their own due to the six spiritual poisons (attachment (raga), anger (pratigha), ignorance (avidya), pride/conceit (māna), doubt (vicikitsa) and wrong view/false view/opinionatedness) arising from ego delusion (reification of the self i.e. as a permanent entity that is unchanging). Reification is when an object is worshiped or esteemed so highly that the object is given cult status.

Likely they arise by reification of spiritual leaders as justification for acting out of character as bodhisattvas, thus leading me to suspect that they consider themselves ordinary lay people included in the Mahayana Buddhist dedication to all sentient beings.

If this is true, then it is regretful that disciples with the humility of a layperson act in such a way. Were they to act with the humility of bodhisattvas, there would not be sectarian conflict within Buddhism.

Yet no one is immune to such behavior as all sentient beings include human beings. Although I find justification to rationalize conflict, it is beneath us to argue and fight with the Dalai Lama since that breaks the precept of respect for Buddha.

Though I am a lay person, ordinary and unable to follow one precept, let alone the Five Precepts, it saddens me to see even the Buddhadharma (Buddha's Teaching) being place secondary to what is the worldly endeavor of politics.

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