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Re to Brigitte - Tulku

Dec 23, 2001 11:42 AM
by Gerald Schueler

<<<Before the tibetans tended to use the tulku idea to explain certain Westerners to themselves.>>>

It is a natural human tendency to project one's cultural and religious biases onto experiential events and people. To explain why a foreigner would be interested in Buddhism, it is natural to assume they must be a tulku or reincarnation, etc.

<<Of course, being the reincarnation of a Tibetan is not the same as being a tulku. >>>

Agreed, a reincarnation is a normal human being with a series of past lives, while a tulku is a one-time manifestation or dharma-being of a buddha or bodhisattva. There can only be one reincarnation at a time, but multiple tulkus are possibly. A tulku comes about when a buddha or bodhisattva consciously projects their Path-current (their especial spiritual teaching or aspect like wisdom or compassion) into an embryo and the result is a tulku - a reincarnation of a person who then embodies the same spiritual teaching-aspect as that buddha or bodhisattva. When a buddha consciously decides to take on a material body on the physical plane, that physical body is called a nirmanakaya.

<<<The case of Alexandra David-Neel is somewhat similar. When she met the thirteenth Dalai Lama in Kalimpong, North India, in 1912, he was 
amazed that she knew anything at all about Buddhism, let alone that she was genuinely interested in it. He therefore concluded that she might be an emanation of Dorje Phagmo (another of the few female 

This sort of thing is always either a rationalization made while trying to explain events, or an actual reading of akashic records, which is a difficult thing to do, especially in Buddhism where there is no ego or "person" to reincarnate.

<<<What these examples show is that the Tibetans used the tulku idea to place Westerners in a context that they (the Tibetans) could understand-a sort of Tibetanization of the West. >>>

Didn't the Aztecs assume that Cortex was actually the god Cortzecoatel (Spelling???) returning to them? 

<<<Lama Yeshe left Tibet in 1959,...>>>

Neat guy. Love his books.

<<<Two Western would-be tulkus in fact include a refference to Blavatsky these are Perceval, the son of a Belgian lama (who is not a tulku) and Edouard, a French boy who has been recognized as the 
tulku of Western woman (though she herself was also not a tulku), and if true would be the current incarnation of HPB!>>>

Blavatsky was not advanced enough to be able to consciously project her Path-current into an incarnation as a tulku. And according to her own teaching, one requires 100 years of devachan for each year lived, so we shouldn't be expecting her reincarnation for several thousand years. However, she was an Initiate, and many Initiates know how to forgo devachan and quickly return, so who knows? But even if this happens, it would not be a reincarnation of Blavatsky per se, but rather a reincarnation of her skandhas or mind-stream components.

<<<Dzogchen (a path to enlightenment that is somewhat independent of all the four main schools hut not in essential opposition to any of them).>>>

Any Buddhist can learn and practice Dzogchen, but it is officially a Ningmapa teaching stemming directly from Padmasambhava, the founder of the Ningmapa school.

<<<From the above, part I and II, one should clearly be able to conclude that Barborkas's theory of Blavatsky was simple a try of Barborka. 
And by theosophist somethimes used as an excuse to appologyse for her most temperred character, and so on. 

I discovered that Barborka didn't know what a tulku really was, some years ago. I enjoyed his book, though.

Jerry S.


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