Nov 14, 1995 10:16 PM
by K. Paul Johnson
According to Jerry Hejka-Ekins:
> 1. The passage in question mentions the Panchen Lama's "Master of
> Ceremonies" as being "one of our own revered Mahatmas is." It
> does not mention Sengchen Tulku or his successor. As you have
> admitted the identification of Sengchen Tulku to the above
> passage is a possibility among other possibilities but not a
I admitted no such thing. The Sengchen Tulku WAS the Master of
Ceremonies and there was no other. This from Das's testimony.
The question is which Sengchen we're talking about.
> 2. Since we have as yet no definitive evidence that the title
> "Master of Ceremonies" refers to Sengchen Tulku his successor
> or as you mentioned a "friend of the T.S." this passage may
> very well have nothing to do with Sengchen Tulku at all.
How so? Let me repeat from TMR which paraphrases Das
Autobiography p. 63: "...he completely ignored his usual
duties of receiving pilgrims blessing images and amulets and
conducting ceremonies. In an ordinary two-week period Sengchen
would have given six thousand benedictions which only he and
the Panchen as avatars were qualified to perform."200
This doesn't leave any alternatives as far as I can see.
> But the passage you have in mind BCW III:398 does not
> specifically mention Sengchen Tulku. You didn't mention that HPB
Like the Olcott passage it describes him so specifically as to
exclude any other possibility. Your objections are as if I had
taken a reference to "the president from Arkansas" and another
reference to "Hillary's husband and Chelsea's father" as
identifying Bill Clinton and you were
insisting "It does NOT mention Bill Clinton by name therefore
you have no basis for identifying him." HPB calls him "the
Chohan-Lama of Rich-cha-tze Tibet the Chief of the
Archive-Registrars of the secret libraries of the Dalai and
Ta-shu-hlunpo Lamas-Riboche...A Pan-chchen or great teacher
one of the most learned theologians of Northern Buddhism and
esoteric Lamaism." Again from Das's account it is clear that
there was only one person who could give him access to those
libraries whose responsibilities connected him to both the
Dalai and Panchen Lamas etc.
> in the same passage also describes whoever she is talking about
> as a "`Panchhen' or great teacher one of our most learned
> theologians of Northern Buddhism and esoteric Lamaism" BCW
> III:398. This might fit Sengchen Tulku but it also might fit
> others. Your connections in TMR between whoever HPB and HSO are
> talking about which may very well be two different persons and
> Sengchen Tulku are circumstantial but not definitive.
The only reasonable basis that I can see for thinking that is
assuming that Das is unreliable. Olcott and HPB are on record
as considering him highly reliable.
> HPB mean Master by your's or her definition? How can you know?
> On the face of it I would think the title would mean a Lama with
> a very important position and a person of high status. I might
> speculate that HPB *might* also mean an Adept or a Mahatma They
> are not the same as HPB made clear but I see nothing to pin
> that speculation on. On the other hand even if by "Chohan Lama
> of Shigatse" HPB met "Master" it still doesn't mean that she was
> referring to Sengchen Tulku.
As I have repeatedly made clear any definition of Adept or
Mahatma that relies solely on imponderables like
"Fifth-Rounder" or other measures of spiritual stature would
render historical identification of them impossible. If no one
under any circumstances could prove anybody to be an Adept or
Mahatma by such standards then this objection seems to be a
"one size fits all" objection to any possible identification.
Mighty useful AGAINST any hypothesis but entirely useless FOR
> So here is an example of building a speculation upon a
> speculation: HSO *might* be identifying Sengchen Tulku as a
*was* identifying either Losang Palden the Sengchen Lama of
1882 or his successor
HPB *might* be talking about the same person
*was* talking about Losang Palden
> *might* be referring to as a Mahatma.
*was* referring to as a Mahatma to the extent that one can be
identified by any historically observable traits-- e.g. a
recognized expert authority in an authentic spiritual tradition
to which HPB claimed affiliation
Therefore Sengchen Tulku
> *might* be one of HPB's Mahatmas. And you say that this is one
> of your more "fruitful possibilities"? To me it looks like you
> are building upon quicksand--not a good foundation for a solid
I suggest you read the primary sources yourself and evaluate
this. To me it looks like you are inclined to dismiss even the
more solid evidence as quicksand.
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