Posts Tagged 'sectarianism'

The NKT, Sectarianism and Fractals

Before Today, I never would have known that fractals could be useful in illustrating Atisha’s advice on how to gain the attainments of all deities through accomplishing the practice of just one. But the author of Heart Jewel (both the site and the blog) has presented a skillful refutation of the smear that the New Kadampa Tradition is sectarian by using a fractal illustration.

The NKT follows the middle way which avoids the extremes of sectarianism and eclecticism.

Extreme #1: One tradition is better than the other three (“one size fits all”), which leads to sectarianism.

Extreme #2: Four traditions are better than one (“I need all I can get”), which leads to eclecticism.

The Middle Way: (a) One tradition cannot accomplish everything for everybody (“different strokes for different folks”), which counters sectarianism. But, (b) one tradition can accomplish everything for you (“less is more”), which counters eclecticism.

– From the article: You Do the Math: Understanding Atisha’s Fractal Dharma

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How do Buddhists View Other Religions?

This is a video interview with Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (filmed at least 10 years ago) about how Buddhists view other religions. In particular, Geshe Kelsang is asked how Buddhists view Christianity. He said that it is a very beautiful religion that shares a lot of similarities with Buddhism. Some people love both religions, but in the end they should choose just one. Otherwise there is fighting inside.

This is similar to why, in the NKT, many practitioners say it’s best to focus on one tradition. Because, if we follow multiple traditions, we will be confused and have an internal conflict about which path is correct or which teacher is correct. This is why most practitioners in the NKT focus on one tradition. Not out of sectarianism or coming from a critical attitude toward other traditions.

Dharma Protector

Another great site which refutes the smears of the New Kadampa Tradition is dharmaprotector.org

This unofficial website is a compilation of responses to the allegation of sectarianism on the part of the New Kadampa Tradition and its founder, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. By collecting together direct quotes from his published works, formal interviews, and even public debates, this website aims to show how the New Kadampa Tradition is actually non-sectarian. I wrote the first section to help us understand Geshe-la’s middle way between sectarianism and syncretism. – dharmaprotector.org

NKT and Sectarianism

Another easily refuted smear that is frequently spread on the internet is that the New Kadampa Tradition is sectarian.

Sectarianism is bigotry, discrimination, intolerance or hatred arising from attaching importance to perceived differences between subdivisions within a group, such as between different denominations of a religion or the factions of a political movement.

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso on sectarianism:

At the same time as cherishing our own tradition we should respect all other traditions and the right of each individual to follow the tradition of their choosing. This approach leads to harmony and tolerance. It is mixing different religious traditions that causes sectarianism. This is why it is said that studying non-religious subjects is less of an obstacle to our spiritual progress than studying religions of different traditions. From the book Understanding the Mind.

From the New Kadampa Truth website:

Truth: The NKT is not sectarian because we respect all religions and the right of others to choose what they want to practice, while we ourselves practice the teachings of our Mahayana tradition.

Read the full article Smear: NKT is Sectarian