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Det där om Dalai Lama och att dränka kattungar levande…

FRIHETSSMEDJAN GRANSKAR: DALAI LAMA. Alla religioner har en konservativ gren som är kvinnofientlig, homofobisk, och sexfientlig. Men i den allmänna debatten är det skillnad på religion och religion. Kristendomens och islams fundamentalistiska grenar kritiseras ofta, med rätta, för kvinnofientlighet och homofobi, medan fundamentalistisk buddhism, speciellt Dalai Lamas tibetanska buddhism, inte granskas. Detta trots att Dalai Lama är den enda sittande religiösa och politiska ledare som styrt över en stat där slaveri var lagligt, och detta trots hans medeltida idéer om t.ex sex.

Äkta guld? Givetvis! Går andlig upphöjdhet guld hand i hand i Dalai Lamas värld?

Jag har ofta märkt att om man kritiserar Dalai Lama så reagerar många ungefär som om man just sagt att man vill dränka kattungar levande: med chock och ilska. Laman anses av många även här i väst  personifiera godheten själv och att kritisera honom är otänkbart!

Hur har det blivit så? Hur kan det komma sig att just Dalai Lama och tibet-buddhismen anses vara ett undantag, som inte lika ofta granskas kritiskt och som anses vara ”västerländsk” och ”modern” och utan fundamentalistiska drag.

Jag ska fokusera på Tibets fundamentalistiska buddhism och Dalai Lama här. Speciellt ska jag titta på hans syn på sex och homosexualitet.

Dalai Lamas syn på sex är primitiv. För att sammanfatta den är det att oralsex, analsex och sex med hans (mastrubation lika väl som petting) är fel, speciellt för buddhister. Homosexualitet är också fel. Visst, enligt många buddhister, och Dalai Lama,  syndar alla människor, men just dessa synder är mer syndiga än andra synder.

Men innan jag går in på hur ”Hans Helighet” ser på sexualitet ska jag lite kort berätta hur Tibet var innan kineserna tog över på 1950-talet, under Dalai Lamas styre.

Hans Helighet

En av lamans troner i Tibet.

Låt oss börja med hans titel. Hans titel är på engelska Hans Helighet, på engelska ”Holy Lord, Gentle Glory, Compassionate, Defender of the Faith, Ocean of Wisdom”.

Jag hade velat vara en fluga på väggen vid mötet mellan Mao tse Tung och Dalai Lama 1954. Dalai Lama, då 19 år (men i andligt aveende flera hundra år, något som påpekades för Mao under mötet), och Tibets ledare sen 1950. Det måste ha varit en oförglömlig syn. Mötet mellan tyrannerna. Mellan medeltida tyranni och 1900-talets kommunistiska tyranni.

1900-tals tyrannen, Mao, erövrade Tibet och många hundra tusentals människor mördades under den kinesiska terrorn. 1 miljon, sägs det. Det bör vara korrekt med tanke på att man anser att 60 miljoner dog i Kina under Maos styre.

Men att en 1900-tals tyrann krossar ett medeltida tyranni rättfärdigar inte det medeltida tyranniet.

Tibet 1950 var en teokrati. En andlig elit satt i enorma, vackra, guldbeprydda palats, medan det vanliga folket levde i en extrem fattigdom. Slaveri var tillåtet. Sjukvård existerade inte (eftersom de flesta sjukdomar skyllde man på andarna).

Den som vill se hur laman levde kan kika på bilder på Potala palatset eller Norbulingka.

Tibet under Lamans tyranni

Michael Parenti har skrivit en del om Tibet 1950 i Friendly Feudalism.

Först slaveriet:

In old Tibet there were small numbers of farmers who subsisted as a kind of free peasantry, and perhaps an additional 10,000 people who composed the “middle-class” families of merchants, shopkeepers, and small traders. Thousands of others were beggars. There also were slaves, usually domestic servants, who owned nothing. Their offspring were born into slavery. The majority of the rural population were serfs. Treated little better than slaves, the serfs went without schooling or medical care, They were under a lifetime bond to work the lord’s land–or the monastery’s land–without pay, to repair the lord’s houses, transport his crops, and collect his firewood. They were also expected to provide carrying animals and transportation on demand. Their masters told them what crops to grow and what animals to raise. They could not get married without the consent of their lord or lama. And they might easily be separated from their families should their owners lease them out to work in a distant location…

One 22-year old woman, herself a runaway serf, reports: “Pretty serf girls were usually taken by the owner as house servants and used as he wished”; they “were just slaves without rights.”Serfs needed permission to go anywhere. Landowners had legal authority to capture those who tried to flee.

Munkarnas kloster ägde många av dessa slavar. Ibland var det här med att bli munk eller nunna i sig självt ett slaveri:

Young Tibetan boys were regularly taken from their peasant families and brought into the monasteries to be trained as monks. Once there, they were bonded for life. Tashì-Tsering, a monk, reports that it was common for peasant children to be sexually mistreated in the monasteries. He himself was a victim of repeated rape, beginning at age nine.  The monastic estates also conscripted children for lifelong servitude as domestics, dance performers, and soldiers.

Parenti beskriver hur kvinnor behandlades i Tibet 1950

Not all Tibetan exiles are enamoured of the old Shangri-La theocracy. Kim Lewis, who studied healing methods with a Buddhist monk in Berkeley, California, had occasion to talk at length with more than a dozen Tibetan women who lived in the monk’s building. When she asked how they felt about returning to their homeland, the sentiment was unanimously negative. At first, Lewis assumed that their reluctance had to do with the Chinese occupation, but they quickly informed her otherwise. They said they were extremely grateful “not to have to marry 4 or 5 men, be pregnant almost all the time,” or deal with sexually transmitted diseases contacted from a straying husband. The younger women “were delighted to be getting an education, wanted absolutely nothing to do with any religion, and wondered why Americans were so naïve [about Tibet].”

The women interviewed by Lewis recounted stories of their grandmothers’ ordeals with monks who used them as “wisdom consorts.” By sleeping with the monks, the grandmothers were told, they gained “the means to enlightenment” — after all, the Buddha himself had to be with a woman to reach enlightenment.

The women also mentioned the “rampant” sex that the supposedly spiritual and abstemious monks practiced with each other in the Gelugpa sect. The women who were mothers spoke bitterly about the monastery’s confiscation of their young boys in Tibet. They claimed that when a boy cried for his mother, he would be told “Why do you cry for her, she gave you up–she’s just a woman.”

Det bör räcka för att få en viss idé om hur det var i Dalai Jamas Tibet. Läs gärna Friendly Feudalism för mer information.

Det där om sex…

För att se att Hans Helighet behållit många av sina medeltida idéer kan man se hur han ser på sex. Det är med just sexsynen jag ska avsluta denna artikel.

Det har varit ganska tyst om Dalai Lamas syn på homosexualitet sen 1997 då det var en stor debatt kring detta.

As he prepares to meet today with gay Buddhist leaders, the Dalai Lama has clarified his position on the morality of homosexuality for Buddhists and non-Buddhists.

”We have to make a distinction between believers and unbelievers,” the exiled Tibetan leader said at a press conference yesterday in San Francisco. ”From a Buddhist point of view, men-to-men and women-to-women is generally considered sexual misconduct.

”From society’s viewpoint, mutually agreeable homosexual relations can be of mutual benefit, enjoyable and harmless.”

His comments were an effort to clarify statements in a book — ”Beyond Dogma,” published last year by North Atlantic Books in Berkeley — that upset some gay Buddhists.

The Dalai Lama said the same Buddhist scripture that advises against gay and lesbian sex also urges heterosexuals to refrain from oral sex, anal sex and masturbation. ”Even with your own wife, using one’s mouth or the other hole is sexual misconduct,” he said. ”Using one’s hand, that is sexual misconduct.”

Låt oss titta närmare på detta. Vi läser i Daily Telegraph:

Although he is known for his tolerant, humane views, he is a surprisingly harsh critic of homosexuality. If you are a Buddhist, he says, it is wrong. ”Full stop.

No way round it.

”A gay couple came to see me, seeking my support and blessing. I had to explain our teachings. Another lady introduced another woman as her wife – astonishing. It is the same with a husband and wife using certain sexual practices. Using the other two holes is wrong.”

At this point, he looks across at his interpreter – who seems mainly redundant – to check that he has been using the right English words to discuss this delicate matter. The interpreter gives a barely perceptible nod.

”A Western friend asked me what harm could there be between consenting adults having oral sex, if they enjoyed it,” the Dalai Lama continues, warming to his theme. ”But the purpose of sex is reproduction, according to Buddhism. The other holes don’t create life. I don’t mind – but I can’t condone this way of life.”

En intervju med franska Dimanche:

In an interview with the French magazine Dimanche, January, 2001, the Dalai Lama says:

“Q: Your Holiness, what do you think of homosexuality?

DL: It’s part of what we Buddhists call “bad sexual conduct.” (Pause.) Sexual organs were created for reproduction between the male element and the female element — and everything that deviates from that is not acceptable from a Buddhist point of view. (He counts off on his fingers.) Between a man and [another] man, a woman and another woman, in the mouth, the anus, or even using a hand (the DL mimes masturbation)…

Q: So you share this view with Christianity?

DL: We share much more than that: the same philosophy of love of one’s neighbor, the aspiration to elevate a human being above his/her vices, compassion and forgiveness…”

In the same interview, he specifically said he was “for” (heterosexual) sex with condoms or the pill. That is, it’s fine for heterosexuals to have non-procreative sex, recreational sex — as long as they go “straight” for it, with no foreplay involving the “hands,” “mouth” or “anus.”

Från debatten 1997 då dalai Lama mötte homosexuella buddhister i USA:

When in 1997, Jose Cabezon, a gay Tibetan Buddhist scholar, personally asked the Dalai Lama to comment on the lack of Buddhist teaching restrictions on vaginal sex, the Dalai Lama stated no traditional objection to several orgasms — “up to five consecutive orgasms (!) in one night” — for heterosexual vaginal sex partners. However, homosexual lovers and partners are not permitted to share one mutual orgasm ever under the sexual misconduct restrictions. With his characteristic hearty chuckle, the Dalai Lama did acknowledge that the question about the discrepancy in the teachings was a good one…

The Dalai Lama has said repeatedly that “The Buddha is the historical reference for Buddhists” — for daily practice and international discussion of Buddhist issues. Yet, when I personally asked him in 1997, “When and where did the Buddha give teachings prohibiting same sex partners?”, he replied, “I don’t know.” When Lourdes Arguelles, a respected lesbian professor of education, asked, “When and where did Buddha give teachings on inappropriate organs to use during sex?”, he again honestly replied, “I don’t know.” And he still doesn’t know because there is no record of the Buddha, “the ultimate historical reference”, ever giving such teachings. Later prominent teachers in the Dalai Lama’s Indo-Tibetan Buddhist lineage did make such ethical pronouncements.

För den som håller med, eller den som reagerat på denna artikel som om jag ungefär skulle förespråkat att dränka kattungar levande, rekommenderas denna läsning: WikipediaMichael ParentiSkepticBlog, och Q-Notes samt Feminisnt

Och givetvis betyder detta inte att alla buddister är som de fundamentalistiska buddister jag skriver om. Fundamentalism är en sak, buddism en annan.

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