Does the Kalachakra really call for a Buddhist holy war against Muslims?

Picture of 2011 Kalachakra empowerment performed by HHDL in Washington, D.C., the old man instagramed to illustrate this episode of Pulp Buddhism in which the Naropa Prairie Dog Players discuss how Tibetans believe this teaching foretold of a Buddhist holy war against Muslims…

Allen begins.

“In 1982 a bunch of us from KTC Chicago did a road trip to NYC to receive the Kalachackra empowerment from Kalu Rinpoche at Columbia University.”

Allen continues.

“During the ceremony Rinpoche handed me a conch shell to blow, which much to his surprise, I got a sound out of.”

Allen pauses.

“I was afterwards told this foretold that I would someday become a teacher of the dharma.”

Jonathan replies.

“According to Tibetans in India, including Rinpoches of the Karma Kagyu presumably, a Buddhist holy war against Muslims is a thing for them.”

Allen replies.

“I had no idea.”

Sally replies.

“No wonder Thaye Dorje, Ole Nydhal’s guru, hasn’t spoken out against his disciple calling for a Buddhist holy war against Muslims.”

Sally continues.

“Good to know.”

Jonathan replies.

“Apparently, the emperor of Kalachackra will rise up and defeat the Muslims in a Buddhist holy war against Islam.”

Sally replies.

“So Ole Nydhal talking shit about Muslims isn’t him being an old man raving about foreigners but in fact has a basis in Buddhist scripture as far as Thaye Dorje is concerned.”

Allen replies.

“I stand corrected, my bad.”

Caroline replies.

“Is this who we are as Buddhists though, followers of scripture, Buddhist fundamentalists?”

Caroline pauses.

“I think not.”

End scene. Fini.

Another episode of Pulp Buddhism brought to you by the Naropa Prairie Dog Players and by viewers like you, thank you for your support.

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4 Comments

Filed under Buddhism

4 responses to “Does the Kalachakra really call for a Buddhist holy war against Muslims?

  1. Gabe

    From the Berzin Archives:

    “Despite textual disclaimers of calling for an actual holy war, the implication here that Islam is a cruel religion, characterized by hatred, malice, and destructive behavior, can easily be used as evidence to support that Buddhism is anti-Muslim. Although some Buddhists of the past may in fact have had this bias and some Buddhists of today may likewise hold a sectarian view, one may also draw a different conclusion in light of one of the Mahayana Buddhist didactic methods.

    For example, Mahayana texts present certain views as characterizing Hinayana Buddhism, such as selfishly working for one’s liberation alone, without regard for helping others. After all, the stated goal of Hinayana practitioners is self-liberation, not enlightenment for the sake of benefiting everyone. Although such description of Hinayana has led to prejudice, an educated objective study of Hinayana schools, such as Theravada, reveals a prominent role of meditation on love and compassion. One might conclude that Mahayana was simply ignorant of the actual Hinayana teachings. Alternatively, one might recognize that Mahayana is using here the method in Buddhist logic of taking positions to their absurd conclusions in order to help people avoid extremist views. The intention of this prasangika method is to caution practitioners to avoid the extreme of selfishness.

    The same analysis applies to the Mahayana presentations of the six schools of medieval Hindu and Jain philosophies. It also applies to each of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions’ presentations of the views of each other and the views of the native Tibetan Bon tradition. None of these presentations gives an accurate depiction. Each exaggerates and distorts certain features of the others to illustrate various points. The same is true of the Kalachakra assertions about the cruelty of Islam and its potential threat. Although Buddhist teachers may claim that the prasangika method here of using Islam to illustrate spiritual danger is a skillful means, one might also argue that it is grossly lacking in diplomacy, especially in modern times.

    The use of Islam to represent destructive threatening forces, however, is understandable when examined in the context of the early Abbasid period in the Kabul region of eastern Afghanistan.”

  2. Where does one report for Buddhist Apocalypse Duty? Is there a group W bench? 😉

  3. Jackie

    Muslim invaders? Bring em on!

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