|Little Buddha (film poster)|
Thursday, May 24, 2018
Reincarnation? Buddhist rebirth (video)
Bill Kurtis (Wait, Wait), DocSpot; Ananda M., Crystal Quintero, Wisdom Quarterly Wiki edit
A tulku (Tibetan སྤྲུལ་སྐུ་, sprulsku, Zhügu, tülku, trulku) is a reborn ("reincarnated") custodian of a specific lineage of teachings in Tibetan Buddhism who is given empowerments and trained from a young age by students of his or her predecessor.
High-profile examples of tulkus include the Dalai Lamas, the Panchen Lamas, the Samding Dorje Phagmos, the Karmapas, Khyentses, and the Kongtruls. There is also the special case of a "Little Buddha" from the West.
Any Vajrayana practitioner can be reborn as a tülku, if one fails to reach Buddhahood or a Pure Land in the bardo (intermediate plane) of dying, bardo of dharmata or bardo of becoming.
Valentine summarizes the shift in meaning of the word tülku:
"This term, [which] was originally used to describe the Buddha as a "magical emanation" of enlightenment, is best translated as "incarnation" or "steadfast incarnation" when used in the context of the tulku system to describe patriarchs that reliably return to human form." More