The news of the world are filled again with anti-Chinese propaganda. I am appalled these days at how simplistic anti-Chinese bickering is allowed to be. China has done much if not the most of all nations for secularism and science-informed politics. I hold it fitting to defend China especially on a science column.
While portraying every unwelcome Middle Eastern movement as extremist religious terrorism, Western double-moral wants to tell us that such issues are absent in China. But self-immolations, just as much as suicide attacks, and attacking other, of suffering capable beings is not peaceful islam and most certainly not peaceful Buddhism that desires enlightenment by meditating about loving kindness cross-legged on mountain tops. Not only is there a slight conflict with the “peaceful” part, it is also opposed to everything that Buddhism stands for as far as the famous guy sitting 40 days under the pipal (Bodhi) tree is concerned.
Tenzin Gyatso, also called "Dalai Lama", is according to Western media the nice peace loving guy who has nothing to do with politics at all, which is why he gets all kinds of politically motivated Prizes, now 1.7 million dollars from Templeton. If Tenzin had even just a tiny fraction of the loving kindness he pretends to be all about in front of the simpletons who lap it up around the world, he would order his followers in China to stop doing the kind of crap they are engaging in. He would perhaps tape a little video saying “Hi guys, me here, please when burning yourselves, could you just stop screaming my name as if I endorse such idiocy, thanks a bundle.”
But this is not what the Dullai Lamo is doing, although the Chinese would welcome any message that could help the situation; they would spread a message of peace immediately. But mister religious/political leader does not care for peace, because he wants the autonomous region of Xizang (Tibet) back in the Middle Ages, worshipping his feet. Granola munching new age hippies around the world need to understand that Tibetan “Buddhism” under DL is to Zen Buddhism what the catholic church under the pope is to poor baby Jesus.
Buddhism is about the realization of fundamental emptiness and about addressing suffering at the source, namely our craving for pleasurable existence. It is a slow path, one that involves doubt and analytic meditation. The original Buddha found his two master’s teachings insufficient. Eventually, he came to so called “enlightenment” all by himself. Buddhism is at the core anti-authoritarian, anti-religious.
Much of Indian Buddhism is of course no more than a religion for the stupid masses. It is the usual sell-out, the perversion of a wise person’s teachings into bribing priests for a shortcut to heaven. But Tibetan “Buddhism” is perhaps the worst in terms of negating the core of the original message. Tibetan Buddhism distinguishes itself by claiming to have methods for achieving Buddhahood quickly! Alarm bells ringing yet? They call it the Vajrayāna path. Out the window goes skeptical analytical meditation. Here come ritual and doctrine sold as a shortcut to fortune. Vajrayāna holds utmost sustained effort in guru devotion essential. Bye autonomy and skepticism, welcome mein Fuehrer. And surprise surprise, Tibetan “Buddhism” stresses esotericism. “Tantric practice” is secret practice to avoid “misinformed people from harmfully misusing the practices”. Only problem: Buddhism that deserves to be called Buddhism does not have any practices that could possibly harm anybody!
Hu Jintao, the world’s most influential leader, has a scientific background and worked as an engineer building hydroelectric power stations. He studied Buddhism in order to facilitate the dialogue with those still infected by primitive religion in the underdeveloped west of his large and populous, multiethnic country (and the rest of the world).
The recent unrest in the Ganzi Tibetan autonomous prefecture in Sichuan may involve mistakes on all sides, but mostly it involves a mix of ethnic racism/nationalism and religious fanaticism that has no place in modern society and it does certainly not reflect the opinions of the Tibetan people, Buddhists in China, or much anything in China, which shines with its peaceful coexistence of 56 different ethnic groups, only two of which have sizable minorities that are strongly infected by religious extremism.
The second World Buddhist Forum was held in Wuxi (Jiangsu Province) in March 2009. The State Administration for Religious Affairs and organizations like the China Religious Culture Communication Association(CRCCA) work tirelessly to allow for a peaceful coexistence of religions in China, for their cultural exchange, and thus real religious freedom. The Buddhist Association of China (BAC) and the China Association for Preservation and Development of Tibetan Culture (APDTC) also work on these issues. If you want the light of Buddhism to reach further into Xizang, help to stop the Dalai Lama and his Western backers from stirring up religious fanaticism and ethnic tensions.
As long as Western media supply only nonsense fed to them by anti-China groups mostly based in the US and its little sidekick UK, we should go with the account given to us by those living in the region, the Chinese, who after all know most about Tibet, who have liberated Xizang from serfdom (slavery), and who keep supporting the region with enormous efforts and patience ever since, as most Tibetans will happily testify.
People in the west of China are thankful for the sustained efforts that help them not resembling their next door neighbors (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan) which are "helped" by Western and Russian forces, to whom "Liberation" means to simply smash a place like say Iraq, then watch how the known ethnic and religious tensions ensure the people there kill each other for years to come, then leave to smash the next place.