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Mystery of Lamaism

Part of the face from the Book of Lamaism

Introduction: Gautama Buddha in actual fact went to Tibet and de­veloped what is called Lamaism, a further extension of Buddhism, in an effort to produce a methodology to reach the basis of the mind and permit an individual to be spiritually free. – L. Ron Hubbard

Read Max Hauri's introduction letter to this article below.

Lamaism means literally the practice, system, or doctrine of the Lamas. Lama means the "Superior One." It is a term reserved for an ecclesiastic of high rank in Tibetan Buddhism but by courtesy is extended to any Gelong (an ordained Tibetan monk).

But what is Lamaism? When did it start? By whom? What are some of its most interesting points?

The year is 747 A.D. It's spring. An important event occurred which a young Tibetan nobleman might have described, thusly:

"The smoke rose vertically. This was the first thing I noticed. Then I realized I no longer felt the eternal wind. It had stopped – as if it too waited with bated breath for the arrival of Padma Sambhava, who is to bring its new knowledge and perhaps wisdom.

"The townsmen seemed to go about their business with muted voices though it's doubtful they foretold the Guru's arrival. Even the dogs stopped barking. A silence grew manifest – as if to leave a space for the hearing of the new Insight.

"Thus I waited.

"Then like the sun breaking over the white mountain citadels which have preserved us for so long – sudden­ly the blessed one and his disciples appeared on the inward plateau. The King and his wives were there to wel­come them.

"Our histories will later record for the world that this new Teacher, known on earth as Padma Sambhava, was the founder of the Dharma in the land of the Snowy Ranges. The Dharma, Dharma meaning knowledge; the truth that Buddha revealed and which we can discover in our own hearts and minds."

In fact, according to Tibetan writings Gautama Buddha took rebirth as Padma Sambhava with the express purpose of "preaching the Esoteric Dharma" which in modern terms we could describe as the most "far out" doctrines and practices of Buddhism.

Let's go back a few years. The back­ground of Tibetan Buddhism is called Tantrayana, "Vehicle of the Tantra texts", an occult form of Buddhism which began to arise in India in the second century A.D. and which by the sixth century found its way onto the curriculum of the great Buddhist universities of India.

Padma Sambhava was a renowned professor at the University of Nalanda, the most famous Indian Buddhist uni­versity. According to the biography of Padma the good king Thi-Srong-Detsan wanted to splendidly introduce Budd­hism in Tibet and inquired as to the most famous teacher and came up with Padma's name. He invited him, and Padma accepted.

After his arrival Padma built the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery at Samye, translated scores of Sanskrit Buddhist materials into Tibetan, es­tablished the higher religion of Budd­hism in Tibet and founded an order of monks. He also authored various works which we will examine later.

Padma became a great cultural hero of Tibet. A biography of him written by an immediate disciple attributes various OT powers to him and is al­ready legendary. As a 20th century Tibetan Lama states: "Padma Sam­bhava… was the first great teacher of the Doctrine of the Enlightened One to the people of Tibet… he lifted them socially from crude bar­barism to unsurpassed religious insight… all sects of Tibetan Buddhists re­vere him. The Precious Guru cannot but be regarded as being one of the chief Culture Heroes and Enlighteners of our common humanity."

One of the interesting things about Padma is that he hid copies of various works and translations in caves and caches throughout Tibet: "in order (as his biography states) that there might be preserved for future generations the original uncorrupted teachings… All that he taught was recorded and hidden. Even the teachings of the Lord Buddha in their purity he hid, so that the non-Buddhists might not interpolate them [interpolate: to alter or enlarge (a book, passage, etc.) by putting in new materials, especially without authorization or deceptively]. No one save the Tertons (a taker-out of hidden texts) would have the power to discover and bring forth the secreted writings."

According to the biography Padma, appointed Tertons to be reborn at various times with the express office of uncovering and revealing the sacred works. According to the Nyingma School of Tibet, sacred texts have been found by Tertons through the cen­turies in 49 different places in Tibet.

So Padma Sambhava was a fasci­nating character!

So let's have a look at some of the materials which bear his name. Lamaism as characterized at its inception by Padma is above all concerned with the mind and exteriorization. Of all of the words of the Buddha it is an ex­tension in particular of the following:

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought. It is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the wagon.

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought. It is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him."

In interpreting the Tibetan materials we are to examine, it should be re­membered that we are examining these with a light so powerful that it dispels the shadows that have plagued previous Western interpreters even when they thought they understood them. That light is, of course, Scientology, the ultimate development of the study of knowledge, the mind and spirit. It would not be easy to approach these early Tibetan Buddhist materials, most of which are enfolded in a symbolic language, without knowing the parts of man as revealed in Scientology. In fact, as fascinating as these materials are, one must resist a temptation to read more insight into them than there actually is.

So hoist your mental sails and let's make for the milestone of Lamaism, a book on "Self-liberation" by Padma Sambhava. It has the following intro­duction:

"Herein follows the Art of Know­ing the Mind, the Seeing of Reality, called Self-liberation, from 'The Pro­found Doctrine of Self-liberation by Meditation upon the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities."

Basically this could be summed up as: There's an absolute which is senior to and not part of the physical universe. This Absolute is Ultimate Truth – and you're it bud! Liberation is the pro­cess of really realizing this point. The basic trap is to sink into and believe the illusion that the physical universe is king. On the contrary, says Padma, "Mind [by which he means uncon­ditioned beingness] when uninhibited conceives all that comes into exist­ence."

Sorrow and unhappiness basically stem from not knowing oneself. Rea­lizing the essence one already is is "the foundation of all the joys."

What it takes to achieve self-liberation is (1) the teaching, (2) under­standing it, (3) applying it, and (4) rea­lizing the fruit of the teaching.

A point of confusion in the trans­lations is that the same term, "mind" is used to embrace both the finite mind of thoughts and concepts and the Mind, which is the self-existing absolute, one's own essence. "By controlling and understanding" the finite mind, one can reach the Mind in its true state. This "mind" is "naked, immaculate; not made of anything, being of the Voidness; clear, vacuous, without du­ality, transparent; timeless, uncompounded, unimpeded, colorless; … transcendent over creation.

Scientologists would recognize this as Axiom One of the Scientology Ax­ioms which far more accurately states the case: "Life Is Basically A Static. Definition: a Life Static has no mass, no motion, no wavelength, no location in space or in time. It has the ability to postulate and to perceive."

In the closing paragraphs of this book Padma Sambhava states: "Al­though taught during this present epoch, the text… was hidden away amidst a cache of precious things. May this Book be read by those blessed devotees of the future."

Thank you, Padma.

Another work attributed to Padma is possibly one of the five most fasci­nating pre-Scientology works: the Bardo Thodol. Hold onto your hat – we're going to take a trip through death! The Bardo Thodol! Known to the West as the "Tibetan Book of the Dead," through the splendid edition of W. Y. Evans-Wentz.

Bardo is the state intervening be­tween death and rebirth. Literally the title could mean, "Liberation by Hear­ing on the After-death Plane."

This is a technical not a philosophic manual. As the introduction states, this is "The Great Doctrine of Liberation by Hearing, which Confers Spiritual Freedom on Devotees of Ordinary Intelligence." As was discussed in Issue 23 of Advance! the real intent of Buddhism, not previously known to the West, was exteriorization. This manual is a further development of this subject. It contains this key point: except possibly for the highest adepts, Man could not stably exteriorize with Buddhist technology. In other words, it was a failed technology. Padma spotted the key point that at death natural exteriorization occurs. His ef­fort was to take advantage of this point by convincing the being that he could remain stably in this state and thus obtain "liberation."

He also recognized that a being was easier to work with in an exteriorized state as, unencumbered by a body, he is far more able and receptive. Various paranormal capabilities were acknow­ledged. For example, at one point the disembodied being is thusly addressed:

"O Nobly-born, that art actually en­dowed with the power of miraculous action…a power come to thee naturally… thou art able in a moment to traverse the four continents… or canst instantaneously arrive in what­ever place you wishest."

One could say in our terms that the Bardo Thodol is an attempt to achieve a spiritually free being, able to exist without reference to a body or MEST, by overcoming the almost inevitable compulsion of the being to sink back into a body due to his past overts (evil Karma).

Textually the manual consists of in­structions to the officiating priest coupled with the passages he is to read to the exteriorized thetan from just before the point of death to a period some 49 days later when he picks up another body if such be the case.

Of course it was vital to know whether the subject was really dying or not. For this another treatise ex­isted listing all the death symptoms.

By the way, an interesting point is that in Tibetan funeral rites the body is cremated or otherwise completely disposed of so that the thetan can not compulsively hang around it – which would impede the liberation attempts.

When the person died he was di­rected to leave through the natural opening in his skull. The first moment of exteriorization, symbolized by a radiant Clear Light, was considered the key point because if the person could hold on to the full realization of his basic self "his liberation will be certain." According to this manual he will be most certain of his own being-ness when he first blows out of his head.

After the first point of exterioriza­tion, the being enters the Intermediate or Between-lives area. It is made clear to him as he goes through this period what condition he is in and what his chances of liberation are.

Day by day there is a reading and instructions by the priest to the being to help him confront his condition and escape the wheel of rebirth.

The Intermediate area is no joy ride. Per the text the being is beset with terrifying and often gruesome visions and hallucinations which do not, however, have objective existence but are "reflections of (his) own conscious­ness." If he can't confront them he'll become overwhelmed and hasten his rebirth. The manual urges the person to realize these apparitions are only his own mental dramatizations. By confronting them and the truth of his own beingness as well then "thou wilt obtain Buddhahood."

The manual stresses that each mo­ment he doesn't seize his opportunity for liberation, that chance becomes more remote as he spins in toward re­birth.

During the Intermediate state the newly-deceased is also advised in the interest of liberation to (1) let-go of his worldly possessions so he is no longer attached to them; and (2) to keep his thoughts purified by, for ex­ample, not getting angry even if he sees his relatives misperforming his funeral rites!

Eventually, according to the Bardo Thodol, the being (if he hasn't achieved liberation) arrives at the point in time where through his compulsions for a body he is being drawn rapidly toward rebirth.

As the person nears the rebirth stage the manual states he will "see visions of males and females in union" and he is cautioned to "withhold … from going between them." Final ef­forts are made to get the being to sub­limate his need for a body. If that fails the officiating priest, through con­tinuing to read the Bardo Thodol, assists the person to choose the most optimum birth possible. It is particu­larly stressed that he should pick up a body in a land where religion flourishes so he can resume his path to emanci­pation.

The author urges in the Bardo Thodol that the text be read "in the midst of vast congregations. Dissemi­nate it" so that beings will already be familiar with it when it is read at death. As the text states:

"Whatever the religious practices of any one may have been – whether extensive or limited – during the moments of death various misleading illusions occur; and hence this Thödol is indispensable. To those who have meditated much, the real Truth dawneth as soon as the body and consciousness-principle part. The acquiring of experience, while living is important: they who have [then] re­cognized [the true nature of] their own being, and thus have had some experience, obtain great power during the Bardo of the Moments of Death, when the Clear Light dawneth."

There are instructions in the Bardo Thodol at various levels and appeals.

For instance, at one point the author states: "(Instructions to the Officiant): If it be an illiterate boor who knoweth not how to meditate then say this: 'O nobly-born, if thou knowest not how to meditate'" and the priest would then go on to read the Bardo Thodol instruction at this point.

In the final conclusion of the manual it answers the question why these aural instructions might be effective:

"There is no flesh and blood body to depend upon, but a mental body, which is (easily) affected. At whatever distance one may be wandering in the Bardo, one heareth and cometh, for one possesseth the slender sense of super­normal perception and foreknowledge; and, recollecting and apprehending in­stantaneously, the mind is capable of being changed (or influenced). There­fore is it (i.e. the Teaching) of great use here."

Of course, the critical flaw of the above proceedings is that the person helping didn't know when he had ob­tained a product or not so he just carried straight on through. The whole manual was read. I imagine if a guy "did make it," say on the sixth day, that it caused a heck of an overrun when the priest just carried on. And that would be the greatest criticism one could make of this marvelous work. There were no statistics of results, no success stories. A workable procedure, by definition, must contain demon­strable results. And without real statis­tics the Bardo Thodol couldn't help but become a sterile ritual.

The Buddhism that Padma Sambhava brought to Tibet had several other interesting technical features. These were various "aids" to medita­tion and the sought-for achievement of desired spiritual states. These aids were the mantras, yudras and mandalas as defined below.

Mantras were syllables or sentences, usually without meaningful contents, which a guru imparted in secret initia­tion to his disciple. For example, om ma-ni pad-me hum was a famous man­tra designed to invoke a certain type of spiritual power. These mantras were based upon the concept of there being certain vibrations associated with spirit­ual beings and with spiritual and phy­sical forces and that these factors can be invoked by uttering the mantra. Unless, of course, the mantras were properly intoned they were considered useless.

A second tool of Lamaism was the mudra or patterned gestures or pos­tures of the hands and fingers. The idea was that certain postures could lead to certain salutory psychic states. They were also said to direct in a certain manner the magnetic or electrical cur­rents of the body.

The third tool was called the mandala, often depicted in Tibetan art. The mandala can be considered a spirit­ual map on an artistic and symbolic level, and was used as an aid to medi­tation.

After Padma's time the religious history of Tibet, while colorful, main­tained the basic heritage that Padma conferred. His eventual spiritual suc­cessors, the Dalai and Panchen Lamas, were personages of a later period.

The invasion in 1950 of Chinese Communist forces marked the end of Tibet's claim on world history, a claim that was never other than spiritual. It burst the bubble that behind the Hima­layan wall rested a mystery of sur­passing spiritual power. The shell was there but not the power, for truth to be the Truth must promote survival on all dynamics, and falling before soldiers driven by an atheistic ideology is hardly good survival. But the ancient Lamas did not fail. By 1950 Tibet was simply no longer the focus of their heritage. It had passed on to the future.

And by 1950 through the work of L. Ron Hubbard that future had al­ready arrived. Through Dianetics and Scientology the problems and inhibi­tions to exteriorization and spiritual states outside the body have been fully solved. And there's no need to wait for death or abandon the game of life!

Thus, the Bardo Thodol and Lamaism failed; failed because the real barrier to exteriorization and freedom was not known to the early pioneers of Lamaism – the reactive mind.

Not only that but any "release" from the body game or physical uni­verse which might have been attained by Lamaism would only have been tem­porary as the vicious nature of the reactive mind would have shortly caused a relapse.

Man would have to wait another 724 years until L. Ron Hubbard's release of Dianetics, Scientology and the Ad­vanced Courses before the real nature of the mind – and the technology to handle it fully – would be known.

The advent of Lamaism occurred exactly at the halfway point between Buddha's death(483 B.C.) and A.D. 24 [AD: After Dianetics, the publishing of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health] of our era.

Padma Sambhava and those who contributed to Lamaism and kept alive, on the high wind-swept Tibetan plateau, Man's age-old hope of spiritual free­dom would welcome in Scientology the incredible solution to their failures and aspirations.

After endless eons of wandering through existence in a winless direc­tion, at last through Scientology and the Advanced Courses the wheel of re­birth is now our trophy and we can join the new wonderful game of triumphant life.


Dear Friends, Here is a very interesting writing, which describes the Lamaism in Tibet and gives an insight into the Bardo Thodol. "Bardo Thodol" in English: "Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State" and is also called the "Tibetan Book of the Dead". Here two sections from it:

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought. It is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the wagon.

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought. It is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him."

"The Intermediate area is no joy ride. Per the text the being is beset with terrifying and often gruesome visions and hallucinations which do not, however, have objective existence but are "reflections of (his) own conscious­ness." If he can't confront them he'll become overwhelmed and hasten his rebirth. The manual urges the person to realize these apparitions are only his own mental dramatizations. By confronting them and the truth of his own beingness as well then "thou wilt obtain Buddhahood."

Much love,

Max Hauri


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