[quote=“On Aug 27, 2011, BigJohn”]
Yes, there is a tradition of Tantric Buddhism in Tibetan Buddhism, but it is not the common practice in Tibetan Buddhism, whatever references you can drag up.
So, you can complain against certain non-mainstream forms of Tibetan Buddhism, but this is not the same things as saying that all Tibetan Buddhism or most Tibetan Buddhism contains these practices.
Even within those parts of TB that are focused on the Tantric side, you have presented no evidence that the sexual element is usually or often coerced.
Basically, you need to fine tune your argument so that it is not against Tibetan Buddhism but against people who abuse it for sexual reasons.[/quote]
Tantric Buddhism is the highest and final stage of teachings in TB, the esoteric side of the tradition. It’'s not “the common practice” only because most students and practitioners in TB don’t reach that stage, yet many do. ALL the teachers/lamas do reach and complete that level of initiation and practice. The TB tantric literature contains frequent references to Hindu deities, therefore proving undeniably that this level of the TB tradition was adopted from Hinduism. Adding a thin veneer of Buddhist language and theory doesn’t change the fact that it’s Hinduism at its foundation.
Scholars (Ronald Davidson, among others) have long acknowledged that Buddhism incorporated Hindu tantra during the medieval period in India, in a desperate attempt to attract adherents in a time when Buddhism was losing followers to Hinduism, and was becoming a dying tradition. According to these historians of the tradition, this desperate bid only hastened Buddhism’s demise in India, as followers and the public were shocked by the new practices, knowing full well that the Buddha never taught sexual practice, a cult of teachers/lamas, magic, and so forth. They regarded this new development in Buddhism as a corruption of the original, and followers reportedly abandoned the tradition in droves. In this severely weakened state, it took little effort by later Muslim invaders to administer the coup-de-grace, and eliminate the tradition entirely, along with the practices they regarded as “vile” (the consumption of unclean substances in the Highest YogaTantra practices, and the sex rituals).
This is historical fact, not the inventions of a Taiwanese sect. TB evolved from a corrupt form of Buddhism that developed when Buddhism was on the wane in India. Of course the Buddha never taught tantra, that’s ridiculous. Anyone can read the sutras and see that. They can also see in scripture that the Buddha said that there are no secret teachings, he kept nothing secret from his followers.
As to coercion in the practice of sexual tantra, that’s a discussion for a whole other thread. But as an example, the esoteric side of the Kalachakra Tantra (as taught by the DL, and published by Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey, former head of the Tibetan Library in Dharamsala) teaches that in order to obtain the cooperation of the young “consorts”, the pre-teen and teenaged girls required by the ritual, candies should be offered. If that is not persuasive, then the girls should be plied with alcohol and raped. The Hevajra Tantra of the Sakya sect specifies that girls of 9 and 12 years old should be used for the ritual. What kind of consent can one get from a 9- or 12-year-old who has no understanding of sex?
The fact is that the tantric tradition is founded on pedophelia/hebephelia, and manipulation and deceit, sometimes violence, in the exploitation of young women and girls to fulfill the requirements of ritual. It should come as no surprise that such a tradition is scandal-ridden in modern times, especially when introduced to the West, where it’s not possible to persuade parents to give away their young daughters to the monastery by declaring them “Buddhamothers” and goddesses.