For centuries Tibetan people have been sleeping. We have believed everything Buddha taught from heaven to hell and from rebirth to nirvana as true. I do not question the Buddhist precepts of morality here but the main basis of it which is faith-based. Buddhist faith has caused the sleep of the Tibetan brain. Faith creates fear and greed. Fear of being reborn in hell or other lower realms, and greed for a birth ticket to heaven and other higher realms has imprisoned Tibetans in their own minds.
To free our people from this psychological prison, a battle must be waged against the Buddhist faith and that battle has begun. This battle is not an easy one but there is no backing down. I will not slack until evidence and reason triumph over faith. I refuse to not think, and much more not question the Buddhist faith. Buddhist faith is believing that is not so.
Buddhism has failed to prove its truth claims on the following:
• Mount Meru, three worlds, pure land and thirty-one planes of existence.
• Four realms of gods, demigods, hungry ghosts, hell creatures, and eighteen hell realms.
• Ten stages, five paths, karma, 49 day Bardo, Buddha nature, rebirth, and nirvana.
• Buddha was born from a woman’s armpit without human intercourse.
• Thirty-two major signs and eighty minor signs of a Bodhisattva.
• A Bodhisattva’s supernormal powers on clairvoyance, levitation, and flying.
• And entering and exiting through the wall of a rock is a feat considered a sign of having realized emptiness.
• Superimposition power of a bodhisattva’s consciousness on another sentient being’s. A Bodhisattva’s power of floating against river current remains a story.
• A Bodhisattva’s power in showing up in many forms in different locations in a second.
• Putting the earth into an atom without shrinking the size of the former nor enlarging the size of the latter.
Such claims defying the laws of physics is not yet proven.
There was a time I embraced Buddhism on faith and later I questioned everything I believed in by researching it. It does not take me to travel the entire breadth and length of the earth to figure out ivy as a poisonous plant. Faith is that ivy. “I am now enlightened!” is the greatest delusion Siddhartha Gautama ever shared with humanity. He fooled himself and his followers. His disciples asked Buddha on what happens when an enlightened person dies. Buddha evaded this fundamental Buddhist question by telling them that it was unimportant.
He told them to focus on here and now by giving a clever scenario of a man shot with a poisoned arrow. What else could he do when he had no real answer? Tibetans often succumb to this kind of holy trick which is also a cause for misery. The combination of demilitarization and depopulation through monks and nuns proved deadly to our independence. Had Buddha confessed that he did not know, I would have appreciated his honesty.
Why does Buddhism go on perpetuating these myths as facts despite zero evidence? Perpetuating lies for twenty-five centuries? These myths are necessary to make us believe that there is something larger than us out there. And that the status quo of those in power namely the lamas is the way things ought to be. Hence, Buddhism teaches myth as factual with no proof and It implants blind faith in Tibetans. The Buddhist goal is to strike terror in us so we in fear may look up to its worldview as the way out and in exchange get enslaved. It robs Tibetans of their ability to think and chains them to perpetual ignorance so government, society or religion can exploit them.
Buddhism promoting myth as reality for centuries testifies that Buddhism does not want its followers to be wise and free. It goes against their investment. Buddhist lamas wielded power in Tibet for over a millennium. It continues to do so in exile too. 30% of the Tibetan parliamentary seats are occupied by these lamas or monks. The Chinese fear that once Tibet is given freedom, the old theocratic government will come back alive to oppress Tibetans is not entirely without a base.
What makes a monk think it is right to demand evidence when you tell him that evolution is a fact? Why is it logical for a lama to demand proof when you tell him that earth revolves around the sun on its own axis? Why is it not legitimate for us atheists to demand proof from Buddhism that has made claims on hell as factual? Why do we give Buddhism a free pass when it fails to prove even a single truth claim it preaches? A Geshe asked me to prove that nirvana does not exist. It is a naïve question, to begin with.
Negation of nirvana does not demand a demand for evidence because generally, its nonexistence is its reasonable proof. The demand to prove the non-existence of aliens on an X planet– when there is no X planet to speak of in the first place– is misplaced.
Rebirth remains just a myth but I do appreciate Buddhist insight on the following:
Compassion, meditation, impermanence, interconnectedness, no self, and no soul, and emptiness.
But demand evidence on Buddhist claims and you are almost always met with stiff excuses and evasive politics when no answers are at hand. Clever answers get provided using the following psychological strategy.
• Metaphors, analogies, faith move mountain stories and skillful means rationalization.
• You lack spiritual merit blame game.
• Not seen need not mean not exist certainty as evidence for the existence of a nonexistent entity.
• And magic or display of supernormal powers harms people scare tactic.
• Excusing a lama’s bizarre behavior as a sacred activity.
• Followers must view root lama as a Buddha or hell awaits you when you die manipulative strategies.
Often circular argument gets supplied to answer the questions directed at the word of Buddha. Some of the often used excuses are simple. The light exists. But because you are defiled by negative emotions you cannot see it is one such blow off “explanation”.
“Spend 70 years in a monastery. Read 4000 volumes on Buddha’s discourses and its commentaries. Enlightenment will be evident to you” is a lama’s usual response. “Lack of evidence need not mean the evidence does not exist”. Fair enough.
Lack of evidence for the nonexistence of a nonexistent entity does not prove the nonexistence of the evidence too. Where does this kind of oxymoronic argument lead to? Nowhere. The existence of the entity in question and not its nonexistence must be proved first. The burden of proof falls on the one that claims something exists. How on earth can lamas go on preaching nirvana is real without experiencing it at all? How can they go on propagating hell without a single shred of evidence? In fact, lack of evidence is construed as evidence. There stands exposed the intellectual criminality. Tibetan liberals are no better either.
My point is not to alienate you my reader but to get straight through the bullshit. If every Tibetan is thinking alike, then is any Tibetan thinking at all? They fail to stomach criticism of Buddhist faith on the ground that it is none of our business. Why is it legitimate to criticize communism, capitalism, and science for its destructive powers? They have no answer. Why is it not legitimate to even criticize Buddhism? We must not spare faith devoid of facts. Every sensible Tibetan must criticize faith that is against facts. Don’t let it get away with its faulty truth claims. Attack its attitude that it has no obligation to prove anything because it is a religion.
Buddhism is guilty of creating fear and greed in us. It controls us through these baser emotions. Through this twin strategy, it gets us to accept its worldview whether religious or political. It creates fear in us of the consequences of being reborn in one of the three lower realms. That is if we don’t follow its teachings. It creates greed in us for the reward of being reborn in one of the three upper realms. That is if we follow its teachings. Following its teachings also promises nirvana. Nirvana is far more enticing and superior to heaven but no evidence that it exists.
One of the 10 commandments of Buddhism is “wrong view” which is dangerous and divisive. It preaches that whosoever does not believe in karma or does not take refuge in the Buddhist trinity is on the wrong path. Both atheists and followers of all other religions fall into this category of damnation.
Karma in Buddhism acts in the similar fashion as the creator in Christianity. They mean two different dynamics though. Karma gets used as one magic word or excuse to answer all questions. Why can’t Buddha show up before us once if he is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent or almost one? Rinpoches answer that you are saturated with negative karma and so it is not possible.
Not being able for one to remember the past life is no big deal to the lamas. Reason being we sometimes don’t even remember what we ate yesterday and who we met and when. No objection. It’s obvious that when the brain gets damaged in an accident the mind gets affected and memory gets lost. How is it possible that during 49-day Bardo you witness your loved ones in bereavement? And you wonder why you don’t see your footprints on the sands as you walk on a holy beach. And you miss your dear ones as if you were alive, well after you died and your body specifically your brain is totally cremated?
What happens to the interdependent function-supposing there is one-between the brain and the mind? “There is a connection. Only you haven’t discovered it yet.” This dogmatism is also born out of slavish reverence to the holier than everyone else that is the Buddha. Buddhism takes the possibility as evidence and not leave it as likely. A scientific mind would not do this. “Just because you have not seen it does not mean that it does not exist. There are many paths that a donkey has not traveled on” is their favorite line of dismissive defense.
You experience bliss from yawning, burping, sighing, sneezing, relieving, farting, scratching itch and orgasm. These examples it uses to state what glimpses of nirvana is like. That far it can reach. How can the development of compassion and insight create a nirvanic state–unborn, undying, unchanging, uncreated out of samsara–born, dying, changing and created? Can you get 1 out of 0 and a panda cub from a woman’s womb?
A trillion human beings walked on earth for the past 7 million years. Does it surprise you that not one individual in the entire human history died and came back to tell us what it was like? Not one so-called arahat or Buddha came back from death to prove his stupendous claims. This failure gave birth to the politics of bodhisattva and reincarnation. Supernatural power is claimed as a sign of spiritual attainment. Not one so-called bodhisattva has displayed a single supernatural power.
Neither the Dalai Lama nor Karmapa Lama nor Sakya Lama nor Nyingma Lama-the heads of the four major schools of Buddhism in Tibet has displayed any spiritual power that could change the mind of the PRC to set us free. Doing this much could have opened the eyes of the humanity. But the fact remains that Buddhist faith has failed both Tibet and humanity too. Regardless, seeking freedom through awakening that destroys faith and embraces reason is a sign that you are a thinking being. And that is the first objective here. PART II of this piece shall be out soon. Till then, do not think. Thinking is a crime. Questioning is a sin.