by Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen

We enthusiastically express our unending devotion to Kyabjé Düd’jom Rinpoche, Jig’drèl Yeshé Dorje—Mahasiddha and luminary gTértön of the 20th century. As the inconsequential eccentric yogi and yogini of the Aro gTér – we feebly attempt to raise Düd’jom Rinpoche’s demon-destroying banner of battle against the demonic carcinogen tobacco. We hope that Vajrayana practitioners who respect Padmasambhava and the Nyingma tradition will pay heed to Düd’jom Rinpoche’s text ‘The guide that leads the blind on a false path which ends in a precipice’ and to the words of the great gTértöns.

Düd’jom (bDud ’joms) means demon subduing. The word düd (bDud – mara) has many meanings and covers every aspect of dualistic derangement.

(The bDud bZhi – the four demons are as follows:

1. phungpo düd (phung po bDu) – the demon of illusory connections
2. nyon-mongpa’i düd (nyon mongs pa’i bDud) – the demon of emotional disturbances
3. chhi’dag düd (’chi bDag gi bDud) – the demon of fatality
4. nyem-jèd kyi düd (sNyem byed kyi bDud) – the demon of arrogance.

They are the source from which malevolencies arise – either in human form or in any other form.)

As we discuss it here bDud means: tobacco – the demonic carcinogen with tacit government sanction

We have been aware for some years that the ‘warnings’ on cigarettes and other tobacco products have been escalating in the UK and the USA. We were recently surprised, however, to find that the comedian Denis Leary had been frighteningly accurate in 1991 when he said: “You could have packets that were called the warning, and we’d still want them.”

We wondered how far it was possible to go with such warnings before they became a joke: “. . . expert texpert choking smokers don’t you think the joker laughs at you . . .”, as John Lennon put it, but the laugh is the laughter of the Lord and Lady of the Charnel Ground – the grin on the skull. It would appear that what should be ludicrous has become normal. Every successive warning disappears into itself and undermines its own message; and people find it hard to believe in demonic influence. Call it what you will, it is diabolical that governments who are happy to outlaw a variety of phenomena are unwilling to outlaw tobacco. It is diabolical that children can be exposed to secondary smoke with no evident governmental concern with regard to child abuse – yet infant-school teachers are not permitted to cuddle infants who have fallen over in the school playground. In a world of political correctness, smoking stands out as a significant and bizarre anomaly. Many people may be aware that we are not greatly enamoured of political correctness. To us it appears merely as the will of powerful lobbies who often wish to restrict human freedom. We seriously question the fundamental integrity of governments who banish handguns and fail to banish tobacco.

We are aware that there are strong pro-tobacco lobbies, and that there is considerable tax revenue at stake – but does this make sense of allowing one lethal product to be marketed, when various less dangerous products have had to be withdrawn from the market? What other ingestible product has anything remotely close to the warnings which accompany tobacco? Is this not uncanny? Is this not supernatural? Is this not demonically demented?

In his endless kindness to Vajrayana practitioners, Kyabjé Düd’jom Rinpoche quotes from the gTérmas of Chögyal Ratna Lingpa, Sang-gyé Lingpa, Rig’dzin Go’dem, Düd’dül Dorje, gTértön Longsel, Thugchog Dorje, Dro’dül Lingpa, and Ma-gÇig Labdrön, in order to explain the non-ordinary visionary history which illuminates the deleterious nature of tobacco.

Warnings concerning tobacco have been revealed as gTérmas since the first spread of Buddhism in Tibet, and therefore authentic Nyingma practitioners cannot have association with tobacco.

D üd’jom Rinpoche’s treatise deals with demonic intentionality as discussed in the gTérmas of the great gTértöns, and is thus mainly influential with those Vajrayana practitioners who have confidence in Padmasambhava and the gTérma tradition. It should, however, be of interest to other Buddhists – and to people in general – that such warnings have existed for so long and that they are so vehement.

With both Düd’jom Rinpoche and Chatral Rinpoche’s teaching in mind. we have decided that members of the public who attend ‘Open Teaching Retreats’ will have to commit to refraining from smoking for the entire weekend – i.e. ‘smoking off premises’ will no longer be tolerated. We have been attempting to reach this point for some years now – but strangely enough it has proved difficult. This injunction has not been acted upon until recently – not because of any evident resistance with regard to it appearing in print – but because of factors which no one can explain. Everyone asked expressed surprise and commented that they thought someone else had taken the task in hand. Is that not diabolical?