Tag Archives: buddhism

Buddhism and film

Buddhism and film

Many people ask me: Why do you make film? As if I am doing something blasphemy, sacrilegious. I think, this is quite interesting to me, always. Especially in the west many people ask me. Quite shocking sometimes that they ask. Because I think in the west – this is another thing that I project – sometimes west and especially America is even more morally oriented than the east. I think the value of morality is so strong here. So I guess Buddhism, the Dalai Lama, pure moral, pure, something like that I think they categorize that. And film, limousine, sex, drugs, you know, violence. So I guess they stereotype both angles, and that is why many people ask why you as a Buddhist and for that matter a teacher, a practitioner, making film. Well first of all I must say I don’t see film making as something sacrilegious, actually there are a lot of other kind not so wholesome things that I do much worse than film making, I think. But I don’t see any conflict, to us Buddhism is like a science, is a study of life, is study of one’s individual self and how we look at the world. So since we approach Buddhism as a science and film is like a utensil, it’s a tool, it’s a medium. I don’t see any conflict between film and Buddhism. And it is not as if Buddhism, Buddhist scriptures have actually prohibited art or any kind of symbolic or representing medium. As you have seen, there is a strong culture and tradition of Buddhist painting and art and film can be just one new modern technology that we can use and it’s a timely, it is the right time, it is a very powerful medium.

Projecting the Dharma, Yale 2008

Buddhist role models

Buddhist role models

Those who are familiar with Buddhism, you know this very well. We have our model people, you know model to whom we can sort of look up to. We have different models. And in Buddhism, if I choose two we will be totally confused. There is someone like Kashyapa or Shariputra who generally we can consider very pure, monks, serene, begging bowl, humble, all of that. Then we have someone like Tilopa on the other side who is eating raw fish, drinking wine, roaming around with the prostitutes. Completely different. So who is the real role model? Both. This crazy Tilopa is not even one, in fact for some people he is even higher than the Shariputra. Like the great Saraha, one of the greatest Buddhist saints. His guru is a prostitute. All these stories, all these accounts should tell us that this is a system that is trying to realize the truth, not the perfection of morality. In fact, some of these people like Naropa for instance, he was an abbot of a great Buddhist monastery, university, Nalanda university. Many years. And suddenly, one day, he disrobed, sort of, he became, you know like, unconventional. And when asked, he said: “Until yesterday I was not a monk. From today onwards I am a monk.” So the truth, quest for the truth is what sort of triggers the path of Buddhism.

Fundamental View of Buddhism, Moscow 2010

fundamental view of Buddhism

fundamental view of Buddhism

The fundamental view of Buddhism is little difficult to talk. A great Indian philosopher, Nagarjuna, praised to the Buddha. He said: “I prostrate to the Buddha who has given up, who has abandon all the view.” So the fundamental view of Buddhism is actually viewlessness. This is already very difficult to understand.

Fundamental View of Buddhism, Moscow 2010

eventual point of buddhism

eventual point of Buddhism

One thing you should not forget is, practice, really, practicing – this is very important, please write it down somewhere or tattoo it on your stomach or something like that. The point of buddhism, the eventual point of buddhism is not to make good karma. Okay, one line. That has to be somewhere on your chest or something. Tattoo it. Point of buddhism is not to create good karma. Point of buddhism is to transcend karma. So important that we know this. Actually don’t tattoo please.

Parting from the four attachments, Nepal June 2009
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