Talk:Shoko Asahara

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Move[edit]

Why is this page here? Shouldn't this be at "Shoko Asahara"? WhisperToMe 21:47, 3 Jul 2004 (UTC)

It obviously is now. Therefore:Yes check.svg Done --BjKa (talk) 16:04, 22 January 2015 (UTC)


Editing by Members[edit]

It appear that a member of Aum Shinrikyo/Aleph has joined in. Welcome :D. FWBOarticle 06:37, 28 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Thanks. Not a member though, but I've been about ten years ago. Added two rare pictures from my collection, will add same with better qualify if the CD survived. FWBOarticle: Aum/Aleph members appear to speak Japanese only (see the official site). --improperly signed by ExitControl at 03:24, 11 September 2004.


Dalai Lama[edit]

I am in doubt whether to remove the shot with Dalai Lama... If anyone is offended, feel free to remove. --improperly signed by ExitControl at 03:28, 11 September 2004.

removed link:

Shoko Asahara in fact met with Dalai Lama several times. The article, however deals more with Dalai Lama (and is highly critical of him) rather with Shoko Asahara. Besides, this is the only more or less scholarly publication (at least by its format) expressing opinions so far-fetched. For example, it says Dalai Lama (whom the authors call 'god-king') is planning some Asian-wide war to establish a huge Buddhist state... and it quotes religious texts to support this idea... and it says Shoko Asahara is somehow connected to this conspiracy, and that Shoko Asahara is somehow Buddhist deity Mahakala and the Dalai Lama is Avalokiteshvara and that some Buddhist initiation places them in such positions (?) and so forth and so forth... That is just too much. I belive it is quite apparent that Dalai Lama's influence over religious and human rights issue in China-governed Tibet (after the communist occupation in the 50s Tibet is part of China) - is based on his reputation, based on his peace-making initiativies and propagation of Buddhist religious values such as compassion and love. China of course not only criticizes Dalai Lama publicly and officially, but tries to undermine his reputation... This is very in line with the Chinese official rhetoric that D.L. is purely political figure who tries to undermine China's sovereinity and stability by seeking separation of Tibet from China and that all his peaceful talk is just a decoy, while in fact after religious freedoms for Tibetans this 'extremist' will then ask for political autonomy and then separation of the region from China. Some similarities here... --unsigned by 91.76.21.225, 01:33, 22 August 2007

Removed the link once again. --unsigned by 91.76.21.237, 22:33, 7 September 2007

Shoko Asahara indeed met with Dalai Lama at least twice (he actually met with many of the known and reputable spiritual teachers and leaders, including late Kalu Rinpoche of Tibetan Kagyu lineage and many yoga teachers). Many spoke very highly of him. The office of Dalai Lama aswered a request regarging these meetings, explaining that the meetings did indeed take place. Aum's accounts portray a friendly conversation about history of Buddhism in Japan (quotations seem to be correct in this regard). --unsigned by 91.76.21.237, 22:33, 7 September 2007

I believe the link should be removed. The meetings between them have been mentioned in the article and though that mention should be better sourced and perhaps more neutral, it isn't really appropriate in an encyclopedia to link to a non-neutral external link, no matter who the site is negative about. --Owlmonkey (talk) 18:36, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
Related, this sentence sounds like we're drawing a conclusion instead of just presenting neutral facts: "Therefore, the negative influence of the Aum association on Dalai Lama's public image, although almost non-existent, was additionally minimized." It presupposes that the Dalai Lama's public image was impacted to begin with, for example, which would need a citation. I'm going to remove that sentence unless someone really feels like a statement along those lines is necessary. --Owlmonkey (talk) 03:39, 18 September 2009 (UTC)


Why has all mention of Shoko Asahara's connection and support from the Dalai Lama been wiped?Temichi (talk) 04:36, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

I agree this is disconcerting and smacks of POV and/or Institutional control of the page. It is a matter of fact that Shoko Asahara paid the Dalai Lama around $2mil in exchange for his support of Aum Shinrikyo. It is a matter of fact that this support was instrumental in Shoko Asahara's cult gaining credibility as a registered religious organization by the Japanese government. I can understand why the aforementioned link was removed for mixing fantasy with half-truths... but that does not warrant removing all mention of the Dalai Lama's long-standing association with this cult in exchange for monetary compensation. Nor the numerous times he entertained their cult leader and gave him a directive to bring "true Buddhism" to Japanese. These are entirely valid and factual points dealing with Aum Shinrikyo, the Dalai Lama, and Shoko Asahara. That facts have been removed for the benefit of 1 party is disturbing.50.8.115.78 (talk) 18:03, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Accusations / Conviction[edit]

I removed this "Many of the accusations vanished in the course of a trial for lack of factual base." because Asahara was convicted on all thirteen counts. --WhisperToMe 00:27, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

To my knowledge, there were more accusations than 13 and these were dropped. I will check it more thoroughly. --ExitControl 18:41, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Checked. There were 17 counts, of which 4 were dropped in the course of the trial.ExitControl


Edit of 2004-10-11[edit]

Modified the following passage (modified or removed parts are in italic, explanation follows):

On March 20, 1995, Aum attacked the Tokyo Subway System with the nerve gas sarin. Twelve commuters died, and thousands more suffered a range of effects. After finding sufficient evidence, authorities accused Aum Shinrikyo in the attack, as well as in a number smaller-scale incidents. Several Aum followers admitted that they perpetrated these attacks, and one former doctor, who was a member of the cult, admitted his guilt and begged for forgiveness. He also denounced Asahara as the ultimate guilty party. (I will leave the notion that authorities accused a number of followers - not Aum Shinrikyo as organization - but will remove the doctor passage, as there is no point to focusing on that particular doctor since many of the followers gave similar testimonies). Tens of disciples were arrested, Aum’s facilities were raided and soon the court issued an order for Shoko Asahara’s arrest. He was discovered in a very small completely isolated room of the building belonging to Aum, supposedly (will remove "supposedly") meditating.

Shoko Asahara is currently imprisoned and faces 27 murder counts in 13 separate indictments. The prosecution argued that Asahara gave orders to attack the Tokyo Subway in order to seize the political government and become a king of Japan. The tensimony (syntax error) of former Aum members who were decent enough to repent (will remove as this is noted below already) confirmed these accusations. The prosecution also accused him of masterminding the Matsumoto incident and the Sakamoto family murder. As some of the disciples testified against Asahara, he was found guilty and sentenced to death on February 27, 2004. Several psychological experts have also done studies of the Aum cult and shown that Asahara had absolute control over his followers by brainwashing them. (this was actually the defense line of some of the accused, i.e. to argue that since Asahara "had absolute control", they couldn't distinguish good from evil and were "blindly following orders". Will remove as insignificant, especially the brainwashing theory is largely discredited. I we are to report this, I suggest to start a separate topic on Shoko Asahara trials, as amount of relevant information is quite large and there is no sense to post a portion of it here, while omitting other important details. I believe we currently have the most important basic facts here).

--ExitControl 18:41, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)


Poor?[edit]

The poor childhood is OK, but according to Crime Library, Matsumoto was not that poor in the 80's. He had a firm Aum Association of Mountain Wizards, which was supposedly prospering quite well. There are other discrepancies. I don't know which version is right, though, so I don't touch anything.
--improperly signed by Filip Hracek, 11 Dec 2004, 62.177.122.222


Execution[edit]

The last line says that the death penalty was carried out in 2004. This is incorrect. Shoko Asahara is still alive in a Japanese jail. I have altered this line to reflect the fact that he was sentenced to death on the 27th of February 2004. --unsigned by User:Roger Explosion, 13:03, 30 June 2005

For lack of time will remove everygthing outright absurdous and will replace the CrimeLibrary link with something adequate. Also, the death sentence COULD NOT BE "CARRIED OUT" if the person is still alive, what an absurdity. Removed for common sence violation. - ExitControl --unsigned by 85.140.41.145, 01:25, 12 March 2006


Is there a schedule for execution? Will his body get burned and ashes dispersed in secret to prevent ritual gathering at the graveside?
(I am a big public transport fan and cannot forgive him for attacking the underground railway system. He deserves to hang.) --91.83.16.172 (talk) 22:23, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Well, consider that Bush burned the whole city full of people with napalm, it's called Fallujah. But noone says he deserves to hang. Double standards, maybe? Dude, twelwe people has died, 12. It could be zero. Again, maybe he didn't 'mastermind'. Compare. --unsigned by 91.78.103.166 (talk), 19:16, 5 December 2008
U.S. President George Bush did not use napalm to burn the whole city of Fallujah. --User5802 (talk) 08:50, 17 December 2008 (UTC)


Shouldn't this article be updated with the execution of Shoko Asahara? Wikipedia articles should be factual and unbiased, it seems this article is controlled judging by the opening discussion. However, the facts are important. I refer to a news article on the BBC website dated Friday, 27 February, 2004, 13:44 GMT: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3491488.stm Please confirm this news report and update, or shall I continue to update this page and keep it current and factual? --Seanpbarry (talk) 02:19, 29 July 2010 (UTC) seanpbarry

Would you care to specify which facts from that BBC article that you would like to incorporate into the Wiki page? It is not entirely clear on my part what discrepancy you are referring to. -- Dront (talk) 10:15, 29 July 2010 (UTC)


When is he expected to be executed? If I understand the article correctly, he has been denied any further appeals. What are they waiting for then? Beorhtwulf (talk) 20:53, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

The Japanese government has a policy not to inform anyone about the execution date, please see Capital punishment in Japan#Execution for details. -- Dront (talk) 04:32, 24 August 2011 (UTC)


It is incorrect to write his execution was postponed because of the 2012 arrest of the members. The official execution date has never been announced. --79.242.147.79 (talk) 16:13, 28 July 2013 (UTC)


Mass Murderer[edit]

Should the first sentence in the article still say "alleged mass murderer"? He was convicted of it, after all, so there shouldn't be anything alleged about it. Anyone? --Tennotsukai 23:51, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Please feel free to change the text and update whatever latest information exists. Pavel Vozenilek 02:05, 20 September 2005 (UTC)


NPOV[edit]

This article appears to be heavily biased. It presents a man many describe as a megalomanic or sociopath as close to a saint. A more critical approach would be appropriate given the fact that he masterminded a mass-murder, as well as murders of several individuals.

We are here not to publicize our opinions and judgements, but to provide facts. Yes, you are not the first to notice that Asahara didn't make an impression of a mass murderer. In fact, to those he personally met he made an impression of a very kind and compassionate person (as I believe is noted in the article). Please note that most of the characteristics apeared after the 1995 sarin attack, so it is understandable that people made their judgement post-factum. --unsigned by 85.140.115.60, 00:04, 26 December 2005


CrimeLibrary Link Editwar[edit]

Removed the CrimeLibrary Link. Reason: heavy bias. It portrays Asahara as greedy and dishonest megalomaniac. Will provide examples later. --unsigned by 85.140.31.90, 14:55, 26 December 2005

I put it back. It actually talks about Shoko Asahara (unlike other links there) and it provides viewpoint of one side. Pavel Vozenilek 04:19, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
Pavel, I suspect that the reasons of such persistence in restoration of this particular like relate to website talking BAD about Shoko Asahara as they aren't very accurate or informative, this is the real problem, not Anti-Asahara POV, bad language or excessive simplicity of writing. Restoring it back is IMO not NPOV, but rather imposing own POV (yours). OK, I will find more informative website and replace, hope you will agree with the change since anti-Asahara POV will most likely remain largely in place :-) --unsigned by 85.140.41.145, calling himself "ExitControl", 01:25, 12 March 2006
I deleted opinion quoted after link: (biased against Asahara). The readers will form their own opinion after reading the article. If there are other articles or websites with a different viewpoint, please post them, but do not delete the existing ones. --unsigned by 204.156.77.13, 05:46, 23 April 2006
And I deleted the link. Don't know about viewpoints, but the language just doesn't seem to be OK for me. Anyone please find some article on Asahara not offensive to this degree language-wise and not coming from some counter-cult Christian or whatever 'ministry' or something? Surely, there must be some scholarly publication? --unsigned by 85.140.31.65, 02:51, 27 April 2006
When I was searching for materials on Shoko Asahara, I first found the Crime Library article and although it may be biased against Asahara, I think it is a very comprehensive work based on numerous references. Also, I do not understand what you query about its language. It could be stated that this article is biased against the sect but as you said, the readers can decide if they accept the opinion of the writer or not. I think you 'hide' a great source of one side from those who wish to get to know this person if you do not mention about the article. As I said, I also read it and did not develop a pure anti-Asahara view. --Hoscincer (talk) 22:51, 1 June 2010 (UTC)


Repetitive appeals for sources / needded citations[edit]

There are several requests to provide citations for statements and facts mentioned in the article text. I will deal with each of the passages below, but the general answer to unformulated question of the editor who inserted these requests as I understand it is as follows: either the passage is based on materials published by Aum or discovered by researchears or it is widely known in Japan. Passages in question are therefore actually condensed and rephrased articles. I am currently puzzled how to technically fulfill the request. So, I will remove the appeals from the article, but will do my best to provide sources to everything said in it in Talks - be prepared that is lengthy, I will give you translated direct quotes when needed and if some CrimeLibrary author believes otherwise - let him obtain my sources, have them translated and argue with that. Hope this will do. If we put quotations into the article text, they will amount to full article each and there will be about ten. Not possible technically, so I suggest to discuss it here.

Shoko Asahara’s attitude towards religion was not typical for Japanese. While religion does not play a significant role in the lives of ordinary Japanese except in days of religious ceremonies such as funerals and weddings, Mr. Asahara’s goal was to ‘achieve the ultimate enlightenment’, so frequently mentioned in ancient religious scriptures, from the very beginning. He studied seriously and tried various schools, meditations and approaches to find the way that is really effective. Mr Asahara’s tenacity is, perhaps, most clearly illustrated by his pursuit of Agonshu.[citation needed]

Asahara told the story of his involvement with Agonshu himself many times, as evidenced by the transcripst of his speeches, also this is widely known and references may be found in Japanese newspapers at least. If anyone doubts in anything specific, please request a fuller answer.

In the early 1980s, Shoko Asahara joined Agonshu, a Buddhist religious group. The most serious of its religious practices was the practice of 1000 consecutive days of offerings. Those who offered money daily throughout this period were promised enlightenment. Despite the financial hardships, he completed the course. The enlightenment never came. He later recalled the story on a number of occasions to his disciples to illustrate the importance of faith: despite serious doubts regarding the effectiveness of practice and the religious organization itself, he continued to the very last day.[citation needed]

This is as close to Asahara's actual words as it gets, translated personally by me. See the collection of Asahara lections, please let me know if you need the page number and book name (I guess I could find it).

Several years passed and Asahara’s efforts started to bring results. He continued to live in a small one-room apartment in Tokyo’s Shibuya district with his wife and two daughters. It was during that period that he negotiated the support of his first, most loyal, disciples.
He started teaching them yoga. Financial hardship continued to constrain his efforts, as Shoko Asahara refused to accept any payment for his coaching, as this was contradictory with regard to religious principles - that only those who have achieved enlightenment can accept material offerings.[citation needed]

Again, this is well known. Not sure if the material offerings detail can be found anywhere else, that's what these early disciples said, translated and summarized by memory, please let me know if you need to see any of the stories translated and I will try to translate for you. Warning: as this was be words of those disciples, it will be highly biased pro-Asahara material (because what was said was said before the trials, around 1989 i believe). I stripped the compliments and religious stuff out and boiled it down to basic facts. There are many similar recollections saying basically the same. The phenomena of Asahara's persuasive powers was discussed many times in Japan, Bit Takeshi - the famous comedian and film director - also interviewed him twice on television and praised him immediately during the air, students attending meetings in universities Asahara visited etc... If something else is of interest, please kindly request.

People who knew Asahara during this period characterize him as a understanding, kind and compassionate person. One of them remembers that during one of her visits the foodstock of Mr Asahara’s family was completely used up and all that was left were some carrots. To motivate the hungry disciples that had not had their dinners to stay and train a little longer, he cooked a carrot salad. The fresh carrots went to disciples, while the rotten ones, unfit for the dish, he ate himself, smiling. Having heard about the unusual yoga teacher, friends of his disciples also started attending the classes.[citation needed]

Again, it is well-know how Aum was started. As to carrots, see above again (these are rephrased direct quotations except the words "understanding", "unusual" etc - there are unaltered). I tried to leave the disciple's POV out by stipping their religious explanations since I believe the human factor played the most important role. This passage answers the questions like "why these people, who recently graduated from elite universities, followed a bling and poor uneducated man living in some one-room remote apartment". These are questions that dominated the discussions on roots and origins of Aum in Japanese media for years. Basic answer: charisma. But here I demonstraded an example of charisma. Please request if you want anything translated.
I am thinking: this is perhaps not only the matter of sources, but the matter of credibility of sources as well as accuracy of reproduction and correctness of conclusion, an interesting separate subject in itself. We could discuss this as well (in a separate subtopic) - as similar questions will pop up in readers's minds most likely again in the future and this was people could get to 'talks' and read what already been discussed - if it becomes too lengthy, earlier parts will be archived, but still accessible (is that right?). Feel free to start.

--unsigned by 85.140.41.145, 12 March 2006


Appeals for sources removed; reason - this was just copied from 'Aum Shinrikyo' article by me (I stripped the data unrelevant to Asahara the person and left some information on Aum Shinrikyo as the organization he founded). I suggest to debate any doubtful passages here to see if we could rephrase or make the article more informative some other way. -- unsigned by User:ExitControl, 17 August 2006


There is only 1 source on this whole biography. Citations are needed for more then 1 thing in this so called biography. --69.137.143.166 (talk) 15:42, 16 March 2010 (UTC)


Removed misleading statements[edit]

Asahara succeeded to deploy a wide network of Aum Shinrikyo in Russia,

The 'wide network' conscisted in several training centers in one city, Moscow. This hardly could be called a 'wide' network.

where he was supported by Vice-Prime-Minister Oleg Lobov.

True. Lobov reportedly helped to establish one of the branch centers, on Petrovka street near the Bolshoi Theatre. He later was accused of 'helping the cult' and anwered that he was not informed by any of the responsible state agencies about any problems with this group.

In 1992 - 1994 the Russian Federal Radio broadcasted Asahara's sermons every evening, from 9 to 10 pm.

True. It was Radio Mayak. There were also television broadcast.

Even ten years after Asahara's accusation conspirated cells of Aum Shinrikyo still exist in Russia.

It is not clear what kind of 'conspirated cells' are meant. There is no Aum Shinrikyo for more than 8 years, to start with. Aleph, a successor organization, has no legal problems on any activities, so there is no need with any 'conspirated' things. Russia's Aum legal entity also ceased to exist in 1995 by a court order (unrelated to the sarin incidents in Japan, although it probably influenced the court to some degree), but it seems that some former Aum members continue to have some form of communication, there are some websites in Russian that they maintain. But there is no need for any 'underground' activities, as they aren't members of any outlawed organization, unlike countries like China there is no problem with religious activities.
--unsigned by 91.76.21.225, 01:33, 22 August 2007


Rituals and Beliefs[edit]

The article says that Aum monks engaged in some sexual ritual, toched each others genitalias etc. If you read Haruki Murakami's book you will find out that any sexual act resulted in punishment up to immediate expulsion and special 'purification' retreat was necessary for violators in order to stay. More than this, it was prohibitet to even touch the opposite sex, to have 'unnecessary conversations', to sleep in the same room even if other people also share it etc etc. All of this is very well known, since exacly this were reasons for criticism of Aum all the time. It was usually interpreted in a way that celibacy and strict rules somehow influence the mind in a way that make Aum monks more controlable etc.
Next, the article says that some Indian god Shiva (allegedly Aum's chief god) has some epithet (what that is supposed to mean it does not say - epithet) and that epiteth is Rudra, same as Rudra Chakrin, which means 'apocaliptic fire' (actually not) and since Dalai Lama's residence has some connecion to this god Shiva in Hinduism this means something (which exactly it does not say). Well, firstly Aum's Lord Shiva is not any Hindu god Shiva. Lord Shiva means Adi-Buddha, the premordial Buddha in Tibetan it is Samanthabadra. Not Hindu Shiva, the premordial Buddha. It is even explained on Aleph's website. Next, Shoko Asahara to my knowledge has never claimed to be 'an avatar of Shiva' (neither Hindu nor whatever), he did say that he is a 'servant of Lord Shiva' and 'body of incarnation of Lord Shiva' acting on advice from Lord Shiva i.e. his actions are inspired by the premordial Buddha, the Lord Shiva. He never claimed to be a reincarnated God in human flesh. May sound similar, but the meaning is very different. To say something means zero knowledge regarding Busshist tradition and culture.
Next, the article claims that in Buddhism (I understand the author means not merely Aum Shinrikyo but Buddhist religion in general) there is some 'law of inversion' (?) by which non-violence becomes exact opposite - violence. I heard about the Eightfold Path and 'law of karma' but never heard anything about any laws of inversions. Then it says that Phowa teachings justify murder since Phowa (to author's knowledge) means 'killing' (it does not). There is a quote: 'The Guru is a life form born to phowa all souls'. And it says that it means 'to kill' all souls (???). Well, you can google and find out what Phowa is. This is basically and upgrade, elevation of cosciesness, very similar to Enlightenment. So, in this sense, it means 'to enlighten all souls'. There is one more meaning to it, there is a Vajrayana teaching called 'phowa' (transmission of cosciosness), one of the Six Yogas of Naropa using which the practitioner "learns to transfer one's consciousness through the top of the head directly into a pure realm and so doing by-passes some of the typical experiences that occur after death". This is what phowa is. I failed to find any reference to the 'law of inversion'. Well, we have seen what phowa in Buddhism means, but the article says anyway that in Aum to practice phowa meant to kill someone, quoting verses that it says is 'Tantra-Vajrayana Vow', but it's not Tantra-Vajrayana vow. Aum's Tantra-Vajrayana wow is similar to Mahayana Vow:

Ho, souls of the living creatures that rise and fail in the ocean of samsara like reflections on the still lake, let them remain calmly in Maha Nirvana. Converting my soul into four immesurable minds (=love, compassion, joy, equanimity), I take refuge in Mahayana.

In Tantra-Vajrayana vow we read Tantra-Vajrayana instead of Mahayana. The difference is that Mahayana is a 'large vehicle' aimed on providing a gradual path to enlightenment to many of the living creatures (as opposed to shravaka vehicle, the Hinayana which is aimed on individual practitioners) and Vajrayana is said to be a part of Mahayana, the Great Vehicle but with addition of special methods which are said to increase the effectiveness of one's practice in order to achieve enlightenment in one lifetime.
We could check these vows in Shoko Asahara's books, they are printed everywhere. You can't just quote nonexistent Buddhist 'laws', combine quotations taken out of their context, misrepresent even the most basic Buddhist ideas and be featured in Wikipedia.
Then, Trimondi says kundalini yoga means to engage in sex. No, it does not mean to engage in sex, go check for yourself, it means to *control* and 'transform' the sexual energy, that is why celibacy is required. It is 'the yoga of energy'. In Aum we can read in Asahara's books that not only celibacy is a condition but those who mastered this yoga method are required to 'keep' the sexual energy as sexual misconduct is very harmful for such people et cetera. No, when we see Shiva and Shakti in what seems to be a sexual union that doesn't proov that sex is normal. Again, we could check the books, read the sermons that deal with this subject. It is a symbol, it symbolizes the union between wisdom (represented by a female deity, Uma-Parvati) and method (represented by Shiva). In Indian traditions sacred images (or tankas in Tibetan tradition) use imageries to allegorically retell spiritual doctrines. Such, we can see deities with multiple hands, legs, heads, holding varyous objects such as drums (damaru) or bells each symbolizing its own thing, sitting in lotus posture or standing et cetera. These are not to be taken literally, you actually need to receive (hear, read) an explanation to learn what each of the object symbolizes. Therefore, sacred paintings may involve sexual unions, but this is an allegory, they are not to be taken literally.
Let me add the most unbelievable passage (IMO):

Hence, in interpreting the encounter between the two gurus in tantric terms, we have to assume it was an occult relation between a "god" (the Dalai Lama) and a "demon" (Asahara).

Well, I have never heard or read anything about tantric terms of interpretation of meetings other than that if you recieve the teachings, you serve as a disciple in this relationship (even if a person serves as a guru to others) and similarly, if you give the teaching, you serve as a guru (the teacher). Such is the common understanding. There are no demons and gods here. Demons and gods are indeed a part of a traditional Buddhist view on universe, but definetely unrelated to disciple-to-guru relationships, though it is said that some of the teaching were transmitted from the deities, such as Budha Vajradhara (the mentioned premordial Buddha). There are legendary Buddhist teachers (like Padmasambhava) who are said to has taught Buddhism to demons whom they had to subdue before they become peaceful deities and there are various colorful stories about that, but again - this is a completely different thing - guru is a guru, god is god and demon is a demon, these are not related. Actually the whole article consists of passages and statements like this. Of course, there is no 'evil Buddha' in Buddhism, there are 'wrathful deities' but these are no Buddhas, Buddhas are something else, they are compassionate 'enlightened beings' and not deities as such, there is a big difference in place that deities occupy in Buddhism and God in Christianity. Buddha is not military leader, it is 'the one who has awakened to the truth', the reality of one's mind. There are no 'evil Buddhas' in Tibetan Buddhist tradition. An umbelievably unprofessional compilation. It ends with this:

Is it really only a coincidence that the Fourteenth Dalai Lama appeared on the world stage together with the Japanese doomsday guru, Shoko Asahara?

No, that's probably for a reason: to stage a military coup, to take over Japan and then launch (non-existent) nuclear missiles to America to start the Armageddon. Another 'axes of evil' maybe, this time with H.H. Dalai-Lama in place of Osama Bin Laden. Perhaps its not worth such a lenghy critique, but I wanted to explain why the article is below standards. The website says in its other articles things like that CIA trained some 'Tibetan guerillas'. It again is not clear on what sources such claim is based. Recent history of Tibet is well known and there are little controversies there. Figures, timelines, everything - readily available. You don't need to learn Buddhism to deal with history. Yet again, we find fantastic tales on evil Tibetan politician and good and reasonable Chinese (that murdered more than a million Tibetans to date in 10 years, while the population is several millions total and these are facts, not interpretations). Anyone may have an opinion, but it must be in conformity with the facts and facts must be correct.
--unsigned by 91.76.21.237, 22:33, 7 September 2007


Why Italics?[edit]

I don't understand why a large portion of the last sentence of the section "Relentless religious search" are italicized. I started to attempt a repair; however, it seems difficult to impossible. Help? Is there an apostrophe at the end of this section because a writer was trying to incorporate a quote (wrongly)? --Feisty.gibbon (talk) 12:20, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Italicized for no reason. No idea about apostrophe. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.78.103.166 (talk) 18:23, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

The sentence in question seems to have dissappeared. I'm marking this as Yes check.svg Done --BjKa (talk) 16:04, 22 January 2015 (UTC)


Never called himself "emperor"[edit]

Shoko Asahara (麻原 彰晃 Asahara Shōkō?, born Chizuo Matsumoto (松本 智津夫 Matsumoto Chizuo?) on March 2, 1955) is a founder of Japan's controversial Buddhist religious group Aum Shinrikyo (now known as Aleph) and identified himself as "Sacred Emperor of Japan" (神聖法皇 Shinsei-Hōō?) and his children as "princes" (皇子 ōji?) in his revolution plan which was named "Japan Śambhalization Plan" (日本シャンバラ化計画 Nihon Shambara-ka Keikaku?).

Removed entirely. False.
Shoko Asahara, to the best of my knowledge, identified himself as Asahara or Asahara Shoko, which is a religious name that he has assumed, while the name with which he was born is Chizuo Matsumoto. There are many books and speech transcripts which could be examined by interested readers and I don't know of any where Shoko Asahara called himself Emperor or his children 'princes'. Besides 'Shoko Asahara' he also called himself 'guru' which is a spiritual teacher in sanskrit. His children he called 'children' and also 'attainers' (meaning they attained various yoga practice levels recognized within the organization).
There is no indication that Japan Shambalization Plan was anyhow connected with the revolutions. Shabhala is a sacret land of spiritual happiness where everyone is piritually awakened and practices to advance one's spirituality. This is a Tibetan Buddhist concept. Many recognize spiritual texts mention Shambhala, the Buddhist 'heaven' as the ultimate destination for those who practice spirituality in Tibetan tradition. Therefore, the 'Shambhalization Plan' was a set of bold goals set by Shoko Asahara aimed at opening Aum branches all across Japan and persuading the Japanese to join Aum Shinrikyo. 'Lets work hard and turn our beloved Japan into Shambhala', he was saying. The idea was that once Aum Shinrikyo becomes a popular mainstream religion, social problems will disappear as everyone will be acting based on spiritual values, practice Buddhism and observe religious precepts. And when every major foreign country will have Aum branches which will be popular too, 'noone will ever attack Japan because Japan is the homeland of their soul'. This is what the 'Shambhalization plan' meant. Although we may argue whether this plan was realistic, it was characteristic of Aum in its early stages.
There are two viewpoints. First is that Aum was violent all along and planned a revolution from the very beginning, in order to install Shoko Asahara as emperor of Japan. This is a theory based on... well, basically based on lies and wild imagination. Unfortunately this is a theory fully supported and propagated by the prosecution in Aum-related trials, including the trial of Shoko Asahara himself.
Another theory, supported by many scholars, is that Aum, after its altruitsic aspirations has met with the harsh reality, evolved from an altruistic law-abiding organization into a violent group, trying to achieve its ideals by way of a revolution. Although again, this theory also does not explain how exactly Aum was planning to achive this 'revolution'. For example, Aum members has produced (fully independently) a rifle, one. But it is extremely hard to arm the 'revolutionaries' when you only have one rifle. The revolutionary army probably needs some basic weapons besides the Shoko Asahara books on Buddhism, obviously. I think it is pretty apparent that Aum did not plan a revolution. If we by revolution we don't mean the Shambhalization Plan where Japanese become Aum members and Japan becomes a land of the happy, the Shambhala, the Shangri-La.
So, why the prosecution in Aum trials and many scholars support to various degrees this theory of a violent revolution planned by Aum. There are many reasons for that, one is that they cannot understand and explain to the public what exactly Shoko Asahara planned, did and sought to achieve with his actions. For example, they cannot explain the Tokyo Subway Gas attack. While in fact, while the jury ruled Asahara ordered this attack, there were many evidences that he might not even know what was going on at that stage in his own organization. The reality is that in order to explain the Subway Gas attack scholars and prosecution attempted to interpret Asahara actions and sermons in this manner. This way you could ignore the reality: that you don't know why this happened and what Shoko Asahara tried to achieve (if we assume he indeed ordered those acts). The only other option (and scholars and the prosecution used this option too, of course) is to try to portray Asahara as a delusional lunatic not really able to plan his actions logically. But again, a lot of educated, smart and to various degrees influential people were very impressed by Asahara's intelligence, so this explanation is not very good as well.
If you read both Asahara books and sermons and sholarly publications on this topic, you get this (above described) picture. Of course, when we read a newspaper article or some not very carefully though out scholarly publication, authors may try to convince that they know and understand what Asahara wanted and how he planned to achieve that. But if we examine the facts closely, we realize that this is not the case.
So, I tried to explain what the Shambhalization Plan was. Also, that Shoko Asahara has never called himself Emperor and his children princes.
This allegation comes from the event which did indeed take place: a group of his disciples devised a document in which Asahara was the ruler and various Aum members we ministers etc. This was the scheme of an 'Aum government'. So, there is a theory that Aum actions were aimed in turning this fantasy into reality, but as I said above, there are no facts that really corroborate this theory. If you ask me, I think this was probably a kind of game, an excercize - Asahara disciples trying to think as state leaders. Because again, if you want the game to become reality, then you need to revolution because Japanese people will not support Asahara as a replacement to Japan's emperor, will not vote for him to become prime-minister etc. I this this is pretty clear. And again, if you want to have a revolution, you need to have some rebel army and this army must be large enough and of course armed. So, if you don't acquire arms and built the rebel army, probably you don't plan a revolution? Again, if sarin gas and bio agents are your weapons, then how exactly you are going to seize power after you use them, again? I think this is pretty obvious. And the most plausible theory is that Asahara somehow was planning to use sarin, weapons, built the rebel army, become the Emperor but didn't succeed in all that because he was not very smart. But again, almost every stupid criminal who wants to purchase an illegal weapon buys the weapon on a black market. Just maybe he didn't plan all that and we just don't know what he wanted? Very logical conclusion, don't you think?
And one more theory, coming from Asahara defense attorneys, is that he just didn't control all that. Didn't know, didn't control.
Asahara himself doesn't talk at all for a very long time.
Hope this was helpful.
—Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.76.173.183 (talk) 16:31, 16 November 2008 (UTC)


Lemma[edit]

Is it Assahara or Asahara? --improperly signed by User5802 (talk), 04:11, 29 November 2008

I believe 'Asahara' would be correct being that the sound AS is not to be found in the Japanese syllabary - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kana<br. />Thus: 'A - SA - HA - RA'. --IRONY-POLICE (talk) 21:01, 2 January 2009 (UTC)


Outdated niceties[edit]

(aka "READ THIS FIRST! WARNING!")
As this article is currently being edited by me, as all reasons for revisions/material removal will be taken into account - text revised, references changed, sources added - please DO NOT add, remove or revise anything until your intended contribution is discussed here (in talk) and confirmed. Otherwise you may loose your input, engage in an edit war despite my intention to prevent that and (at worst) have your Wikipedia registration revoked. I suggest we follow the unwritten Wikipedia decency rule: before you edit, discuss in talk and wait until there is a consensus (ideally).
If the reason for your contribution is based on Wikipedia guidelines, let us discuss in talks whether we understand them correctly. If we find the guidelines contradict common sense, we are going to have them revised.
--unsigned by User:Yuri Kozharov at 18:30, 19 September 2009

And let me propose that you take a look at this: Wikipedia:WikiBullying Dupont och Dupond (talk) 16:45, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
You might also wish to review WP:THREAT. --Alan (talk) 16:48, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
I welcome differences in opinion as this speaks of the democracy in action. If anyone finds in the above suggestion anything that is perceived as contradicting anything, speak up, don't hold it for yourself, share it with others :-) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Yuri Kozharov (talkcontribs) 14:11, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
As an introduction to this talk page, I find these paragraphs pretty disturbing. It amounts to declaring "I'm in charge here; normal wiki customs (anyone can edit) are hereby revoked, and any defiance of my control will be met with revocation of membership". I think it should be (a) toned down, and (b) preceded by some words of explanation. MrDemeanour (talk) 17:51, 30 January 2010 (UTC)


Moved this section here while fixing proper chronology. And since it is ancient I'm marking this as Yes check.svg Done --BjKa (talk) 16:04, 22 January 2015 (UTC)


Only subway gassings?[edit]

Asahara has ardently participated in a lot more questionable action long before the 1995 Tokyo gas attack. These debatable accomplishments include holding cult members against their will, murdering former cult members, murdering the wife and child of an anti-cult lawyer, forcing patients to pay gargantuan hospital fees for using cultist hospitals as well as attempts for acquiring various weapons including allegedly, the ingredients for nuclear bombs. The group also has a lengthy list of assassinations of opposers such as heads of Buddhist sects and Kiyoshi Kariya, brother of a disillusioned cult member in which he was murdered and his body disposed in an incinerator.
--Artaxus 21:57 04/14/10 (UTC)

This is a biography of a living person, not a place to spread rumours. I suggest you remove the above contribution. Rumiton (talk) 14:22, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Or you could simply provide some reliable sources and cite them in the article. Beorhtwulf (talk) 20:53, 23 August 2011 (UTC)


Rika?[edit]

The article states that Asahara has "12 children, including Rika". But the name doesn't appear anywhere else in the article, or in the article on Aum, nor is Asahara mentioned in any other article relating to a Japanese person named Rika, as far as I can tell. So, who is this Rika and why is it relevant to point him/her out specifically? --85.229.60.8 (talk) 00:35, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

It seems "Tomoko" "Rika" and a link to the Aleph-Website were added to the biography-infobox by an anonymous user at 222.126.63.4 on 09:39, 5 July 2007. Later someone added the "12 children". I agree that this looks confusing, so I'm removing Rika. --BjKa (talk) 12:44, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Later history[edit]

The "later history" section has major problems, including, but not limited to, using another wiki as a source. --SVTCobra (talk) 16:49, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

Judgement on whether Asahara 'understood' religious concepts and speculation on some secret undercovers he 'led' and that some 'wisemen' knew beforehand what he was all about and such, who wrote this?[edit]

Currently: He at last declared "Put tantra Vajrayana into practice as the consistency to Mahamudra" and he led a series of religious terrorism using his secret organization which ordinary believers did not know.[13] Shoko Asahara did not quite understand the meaning of Vajrayana and Mahamudra, since he targeted the unspecified large number of people as the mark. Some people, including lawyers and journalists, saw through the religious fanaticism of Aum Shinrikyo. They continued appealing for the dangerousness of Aum Shinrikyo, while jeopardizing their own lives, but hardly attracted attention

This is a POV, no matter sourced or not. And fantasiing. I.e. that Asahara had some circle of close 'henchment' whom he ordered something, this comes basically from prosecution on his trials, if you want to write this, then attribute properly. Again, whether Asahara understood Buddhist teaching is a clear POV. Again, that distorrted Vajrayana was 'used as justification for murders' is the prosecution and PSIA talking to the media, why not attribute. How is that 'ordinary believers' did not know Murai, for example. They knew them well. Just had no idea any of them would pull out anything as later turned out they did. Well, nice if people read the links but you need to know the subject better if you lift from the links to here. In my to-do for deletion and rephrasing, this rant. Yuri Kozharov (talk) 15:20, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

For removal: passage from Japanese wiki on what lover Asahara was[edit]

Article: Both marriage and sexual relations between pupils were forbidden by Asahara, but Aum understood all doctrines of "tantra of the Secret Community" as the ontological model of real phenomenon world (not figurative topology in the macrocosm), and they thought that only the founder was permitted to have sexual relationship with many women for the integrity of initiation.[1] Comments: what Asahara and Aum 'understood' and how is a weird fantasy, although it is now confirmed that he had children from women other than his wife. It is not clear how this is related to doctrine, however, especially when words as 'macrocosm' which were never used in Aum kick in. The Japs are overproductive. Yuri Kozharov (talk) 15:25, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

Asahara did not 'practice western esotericism [...] and esoteric Christianity.[edit]

His life was pretty much in view of his circle of followers and family. If he did, it would be known. Christianity is a later period, perhaps 1992 or later, it is unclear what he study, but he wrote the book 'Declaring Myself Christ' where he conveyed his 'spiritual revelation' and generally commented on the Book of Revelation, added Buddhist scriptures, all kind of religious prophecies and such, main idea was that he is suffering for the others, namely his disciples and in general his country Japan, by becoming a public enemy and scapegoat. As to the Western, he believed in importance of input to world history of secret societies such as the Freemasons, but himself was never involved with any of them, so hardly 'practiced' anything. For removal. Again, as Asahara's teachings are mixture of everything, just untrue, its mainly Buddhism with some yoga and all kinds of conspiracist and prophetic ideas were chiefly for mass consumption, they later stopped being reprinted, were not that important and relied upon. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yuri Kozharov (talkcontribs) 17:51, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

As to that Asahara is less important than Evangelic apostles (?)[edit]

Source: in a nuclear "Armageddon", borrowing the term from [...]

IMO to rephrase, as what of what importance is it to stress that he did not write the Book of Revelation? Here his ideas are about some kind of nuclear, biological and chemical Holocaust that might happen if the powerful people that direct the actions of the entire world powers (Asahara believed such elites do exist, as many sane people do) and that Japan is unprepared for modern warfare should the US cease protecting it or should Japan's interest contradict the American, as happened in WWII before. In fact, for Japan Asahara's teaching were quite original, as esoteric Indian variety of Buddhism and yoga were little known domestically in Japan, so that even the Dalai Lama was thinking his efforts could be positive (for which he was later been criticized). It is a unnecessary simplification to say, as many many authors did, that Aum had compiled someone else's teachings and putting on them labels like 'doomsday', 'milleniaristic', 'apocaliptic' etc. Let's say Holocaust, borrowing from Israeli Sochnut website. Borrowed from a right-wing rabbi. Could it be? He could quote and support, but as to 'borrowed' - that all long ago is entirely in public domain already, no copiright claims on behalf of Christians, freemasons or whoever please. Yuri Kozharov