Jesus and the Pharisees: Tibetan Buddhist Version.

I came across this text three years ago and it immediately reminded me of similar passages in the New Testament where Jesus confronted the Pharisees. Which convinced me even more of the Holy Spirit’s universality across civilizations and historical periods.

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The Pantomime Of The Confession

In the Gyangtse valley, Drukpa Kunley, the Divine Madman, set about visiting the monastery of Tséchèn. It was the day of the general confession of the monks. In the midst of the ceremony, the yogi improvised a curious choreography in the courtyard of the monastery: he started whirling, carefully going round the big stones while ostensibly stepping over the small ones, making clown-like expressions with his face. The master of discipline, escorted by the guardians of the monastery, rushed up to put an end to these eccentricities which caused the young monks to laugh, and made the older monks lose their marbles during their psalmodies and ritual gestures.

— What is this comedy? Why are you disrupting the ceremony with this crazy dance?

— It is no stranger than your way of confessing, replied Kunley. In the Vinaya, the rule of the monks, the Buddha made clear that there are major mistakes, the roots, and minor mistakes, the cut off branches, but you conscientiously avoid unearthing the roots!

And the eccentric naldjorpa, the rootless yogi, improvised this song:

“Do not hope to understand the spirit of Awakening

If you content yourself with following the Law to the letter.

The Buddha is in the inside.

What is the point of rituals and prayers

If you are incapable of loving all the beings

Like your own children?”

In Contes des sages du Tibet [Tales of the Sages of Tibet] of Pascal Fauliot, Paris, Éd. du Seuil, 2006.

Drukpa Kunley (1455-1520)

The Divine Madman is the most venerated yogi of Tibet—and the patron saint of Bhutan. For the Tibetan Buddhists, great lamas or simple believers, les adventures and songs of this erratic, eccentric, lusty, and shocking master, are an infinite source of learning. Was Drukpa a wise or a madman?

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