On a sinking ship, a responsible captain
would urge all passengers to evacuate,
to seek refuge beyond by bailing out safely,
before returning equipped to save the rest.
In eastern Tibet’s Sertar county in a valley is Larung Gar, which is the world’s largest Buddhist training institute. In fact, it might be the largest religious school in recent history. All signs were that it would continue to grow… until Chinese politically driven efforts ‘quartered’ its estimated 20,000 monastics to only 5,000. Frugal yet painstakingly self-funded and built houses are demolished on the pretext of the ‘personal safety and property of monks and nuns’. But how safe or protective can it be to render thousands homeless by destroying their homes, instead of improving their amenities? The true reason was governmental fear of mass uprisings, although it would have nothing to fear if there was no 1950 invasion and eventual occupation of Tibet in the first place, which led to over a million Tibetans’ deaths amidst torture, closure of 99% of all monasteries, and jailing of thousands of monks. Tibet remains one of the most repressed countries ever.
Happening in 2016, this is a startlingly grave, sad and sobering reminder of how difficult it is to create an actual Pure Land here in this heavily defiled Dharma-Ending Age. Tibet is one of the few nations where most citizens are heavily saturated with Buddhist influences from birth till death. In fact, Tibet’s imagery even to non-Buddhists remains spiritually charged. Think of the loftiest natural retreat places, in mountainous caves and monasteries, and Tibet always comes to mind. If even Tibetans cannot maintain and grow the most promising spiritual sanctuary in our world, it is surely challenging for us to do better. We must not deludedly think that because the manageable air-conditioned Buddhist centre we are in seems to be doing fine means we are bound to make this world a Pure Land soon. Pure Lands can only be created by Buddhas under many conditions. After the Dharma-Ending Age comes the ‘Dharma-Ended Age’, which will last a very long time. Even when Maitreya Buddha arises 5.6 billion years later, this world will still yet to be an actual Pure Land.
These are major reasons why Sakyamuni Buddha urged us to reach an actual Pure Land, the most recommended by all Buddhas being Amituofo’s (Amitabha Buddha) – to most swiftly train to be Buddhas capable of creating more Pure Lands to benefit others most efficiently. No, they do not propose abandoning this world. Make this world a better place now, but reach a better place (Pure Land) later for better training too, before returning to better this world as accomplished enlightened ones. Amituofo’s Pure Land has him, a Buddha, teaching in person, expediting and guaranteeing Buddhahood with the most skilful teaching means available. There, are no political strifes, natural disasters, human-made crises and such. To create Pure Lands, it is best to master the know-how in a Pure Land too. We now live in a Defiled Land instead, that disheartens and distracts us spiritually. (Sadly, this explains reports of unfortunate protest suicides at Larung Gar.)
As we should better school ourselves
to better help others in this life,
we should also reach Pure Land
to better train ourselves spiritually
to better help others in the next life.
More Punishment For Tibetan Buddhists
China Destroys Buildings At Tibetan Buddhist Academy
How You Are Recycling Yourself Every Three Lifetimes
Do Pure Land Aspirants Forsake Other Beings?
Why Not Seek Birth In Tusita Heaven?
Some ‘Shaolin’ Showdown
Why Free Tibet?