Sūtra, Tantra, & Essence Mahāmudrā

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Sūtra, Tantra, & Essence Mahāmudrā

Postby viniketa » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:14 am

Having only an elementary familiarity with both Mahāmudrā and Dzogchen, I recently ran across a book on Mahāmudrā and picked it up to learn more about Mahāmudrā: Brown, Daniel, (2006). Pointing Out the Great Way: The Stages of Meditation in the Mahāmudrā Tradition. It seems a good overview of the Mahāmudrā tradition; I like the way in which the author places the tradition in the history of both Indian and Tibetan Buddhism and in the three major methods of practice: sūtra, tantra, & essence.

As I do not read (or speak) Tibetan, as I thought would happen, I am coming across terminology that seems familiar but that, without a Sanskrit or Pali base, I'm uncertain. For example, the gnas lugs, Brown presents as the "Buddha nature" of mind, or "the way the realized mind stays". Now, Buddha-nature I would equate with tathāgatagarbha, while "the way the realized mind stays" I would equate with alāya; however, these are not necessarily the same in some traditions.

So, first I would ask: are these the correct approximations in Sanskrit of those two terms? Second, if so, does Mahāmudrā generally consider these two an equivalent?

Thanks in advance for reading and answering.

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Sūtra, Tantra, & Essence Mahāmudrā

Postby viniketa » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:50 pm

viniketa wrote: For example, the gnas lugs, Brown presents as the "Buddha nature" of mind, or "the way the realized mind stays". Now, Buddha-nature I would equate with tathāgatagarbha, while "the way the realized mind stays" I would equate with alāya; however, these are not necessarily the same in some traditions.

So, first I would ask: are these the correct approximations in Sanskrit of those two terms? Second, if so, does Mahāmudrā generally consider these two an equivalent?


For those who also don't read Tibetan and also may be interested in an answer to this, the only hint I've come across is that alāya, in Tibetan, is likely rendered as kun gzhi (according to this source), so the similarity in English description does not indicate that there are two concepts in one in gnas lugs.

I suppose I've broken some other unwritten forum etiquette by posting this here. Given the lack of response and advice given in other threads about ignoring posters to encourage them to leave the forum, I can only assume my inquiries here into Tibetan Buddhism as a possible avenue of practice will continue to receive no answer and are a waste of my time and "your" space. Apologies.

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Sūtra, Tantra, & Essence Mahāmudrā

Postby Astus » Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:32 pm

gnas lugs (place + method) = way of abiding -> natural state
gnas lugs kyi phyag rgya chen po = Mahamudra of the natural state
Dictionary doesn't mention any Sanskrit equivalent.
(I don't know Tibetan, just looked it up)

Equating alayavijnana with tathagatagarbha is another matter.

Thrangu Rinpoche says,

"Again, first there is the ground of ignorance and from that there is the subtle movement arising from conceptualisations, which in turn gives rise to the movements that stimulate the mind. When a practitioner realizes the ground, then there is the wisdom, the power, and the great compassion of a Buddha. As long as somebody does not recognize the ground, there is delusion and all that follows. The ground of both delusion and liberation is called alaya, the Sanskrit term for “universal ground.” The Tibetan translation for alaya is kun-gzhi, “basis of all.”"

You can find a lot more in "A Direct Path to the Buddha Within" on the subject.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Sūtra, Tantra, & Essence Mahāmudrā

Postby Malcolm » Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:44 pm

viniketa wrote:Having only an elementary familiarity with both Mahāmudrā and Dzogchen, I recently ran across a book on Mahāmudrā and picked it up to learn more about Mahāmudrā: Brown, Daniel, (2006). Pointing Out the Great Way: The Stages of Meditation in the Mahāmudrā Tradition. It seems a good overview of the Mahāmudrā tradition; I like the way in which the author places the tradition in the history of both Indian and Tibetan Buddhism and in the three major methods of practice: sūtra, tantra, & essence.

As I do not read (or speak) Tibetan, as I thought would happen, I am coming across terminology that seems familiar but that, without a Sanskrit or Pali base, I'm uncertain. For example, the gnas lugs, Brown presents as the "Buddha nature" of mind, or "the way the realized mind stays". Now, Buddha-nature I would equate with tathāgatagarbha, while "the way the realized mind stays" I would equate with alāya; however, these are not necessarily the same in some traditions.

So, first I would ask: are these the correct approximations in Sanskrit of those two terms? Second, if so, does Mahāmudrā generally consider these two an equivalent?

Thanks in advance for reading and answering.

:namaste:


gnas lugs renders two Sanskrit terms: bhutatā and tattva, for example Longchenpa's famed gnas lugs rin po che mdzod is given a Sanskrit title by him: tattvaratnakośa. I do not know why translators from Tibetan persist in translating "gnas lugs" as "way of abiding". Thus it is pretty clear the title of the text ought to be translated "Treasury of Precious Reality".

Gnas lugs in this context simply means "reality".

Ālaya and gnas lugs are equivalent in Mahāmudra teachings in both Kagyu and Sakya.

The third sense of gnas lugs, often overlooked, is "anatomy", for example, when we talk about the rtsa'i gnas lugs i.e. the anatomy of the channels, and so on.

M
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http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

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Re: Sūtra, Tantra, & Essence Mahāmudrā

Postby Yudron » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:36 pm

Malcolm wrote:
viniketa wrote:Having only an elementary familiarity with both Mahāmudrā and Dzogchen, I recently ran across a book on Mahāmudrā and picked it up to learn more about Mahāmudrā: Brown, Daniel, (2006). Pointing Out the Great Way: The Stages of Meditation in the Mahāmudrā Tradition. It seems a good overview of the Mahāmudrā tradition; I like the way in which the author places the tradition in the history of both Indian and Tibetan Buddhism and in the three major methods of practice: sūtra, tantra, & essence.

As I do not read (or speak) Tibetan, as I thought would happen, I am coming across terminology that seems familiar but that, without a Sanskrit or Pali base, I'm uncertain. For example, the gnas lugs, Brown presents as the "Buddha nature" of mind, or "the way the realized mind stays". Now, Buddha-nature I would equate with tathāgatagarbha, while "the way the realized mind stays" I would equate with alāya; however, these are not necessarily the same in some traditions.

So, first I would ask: are these the correct approximations in Sanskrit of those two terms? Second, if so, does Mahāmudrā generally consider these two an equivalent?

Thanks in advance for reading and answering.

:namaste:


gnas lugs renders two Sanskrit terms: bhutatā and tattva, for example Longchenpa's famed gnas lugs rin po che mdzod is given a Sanskrit title by him: tattvaratnakośa. I do not know why translators from Tibetan persist in translating "gnas lugs" as "way of abiding". Thus it is pretty clear the title of the text ought to be translated "Treasury of Precious Reality".

Gnas lugs in this context simply means "reality".

Ālaya and gnas lugs are equivalent in Mahāmudra teachings in both Kagyu and Sakya.

The third sense of gnas lugs, often overlooked, is "anatomy", for example, when we talk about the rtsa'i gnas lugs i.e. the anatomy of the channels, and so on.

M


Thank you. I do hope that if you start preparing Dzogchen translations for publication, that you will either have a glossary in the back with this kind of explanation or put the Tibetan in the same volume, so we can know what words you are translating. When you actually give your reasoning, it is really good for stumbling old poor readers like myself, and also for aspiring young translators who can then ask scholars about these specific kind of points.
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Re: Sūtra, Tantra, & Essence Mahāmudrā

Postby Malcolm » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:44 pm

Yudron wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
viniketa wrote:Having only an elementary familiarity with both Mahāmudrā and Dzogchen, I recently ran across a book on Mahāmudrā and picked it up to learn more about Mahāmudrā: Brown, Daniel, (2006). Pointing Out the Great Way: The Stages of Meditation in the Mahāmudrā Tradition. It seems a good overview of the Mahāmudrā tradition; I like the way in which the author places the tradition in the history of both Indian and Tibetan Buddhism and in the three major methods of practice: sūtra, tantra, & essence.

As I do not read (or speak) Tibetan, as I thought would happen, I am coming across terminology that seems familiar but that, without a Sanskrit or Pali base, I'm uncertain. For example, the gnas lugs, Brown presents as the "Buddha nature" of mind, or "the way the realized mind stays". Now, Buddha-nature I would equate with tathāgatagarbha, while "the way the realized mind stays" I would equate with alāya; however, these are not necessarily the same in some traditions.

So, first I would ask: are these the correct approximations in Sanskrit of those two terms? Second, if so, does Mahāmudrā generally consider these two an equivalent?

Thanks in advance for reading and answering.

:namaste:


gnas lugs renders two Sanskrit terms: bhutatā and tattva, for example Longchenpa's famed gnas lugs rin po che mdzod is given a Sanskrit title by him: tattvaratnakośa. I do not know why translators from Tibetan persist in translating "gnas lugs" as "way of abiding". Thus it is pretty clear the title of the text ought to be translated "Treasury of Precious Reality".

Gnas lugs in this context simply means "reality".

Ālaya and gnas lugs are equivalent in Mahāmudra teachings in both Kagyu and Sakya.

The third sense of gnas lugs, often overlooked, is "anatomy", for example, when we talk about the rtsa'i gnas lugs i.e. the anatomy of the channels, and so on.

M


Thank you. I do hope that if you start preparing Dzogchen translations for publication, that you will either have a glossary in the back with this kind of explanation or put the Tibetan in the same volume, so we can know what words you are translating. When you actually give your reasoning, it is really good for stumbling old poor readers like myself, and also for aspiring young translators who can then ask scholars about these specific kind of points.


Sorry, I made a hasty error -- Longchenpa's text is not the tattvaratnakośa, but the tathatvaratnakosha. Nevertheless, my point is the same.

M
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Sūtra, Tantra, & Essence Mahāmudrā

Postby viniketa » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:34 pm

Thanks to all for their kind replies. Brown translates gnas lugs as "the way the realized mind stays" throughout the book. For example:
The fundamental view of the mind in mahāmudrā is that the mind in its original state reflects its inherently awakened condition, what in earlier Buddhism was called buddha-nature. In the mahāmudrā tradition it is called the way the realized mind stays (gnas lugs). The ordinary individual, however, is blocked from realizing the mind’s real nature by negative habits and erroneous ideas.


However, this is the only place he seems to equate it with "buddha-nature". In his own glossary at the end, he lists:
innate mind [buddha-nature] gnyug ma’i yid


In his notes, he states:
Yin lugs is equivalent to gshis lugs, but not equivalent to gnas lugs. The “way of being” and the “way the realized mind stays” describe successive refinements of the natural mind.


I find the last a bit odd, the idea of "successive refinements of the natural mind".

Of gshis, he says in the notes:
The natural temperament of the mind is emptiness/clear light. The technical term, gshis, means “temperament,” here translated as “natural condition.”


In short, it seems Brown is as confusing as others in the way he attempts to translate these ideas related to conditions and states of "mind".

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Sūtra, Tantra, & Essence Mahāmudrā

Postby viniketa » Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:30 am

Astus wrote:You can find a lot more in "A Direct Path to the Buddha Within" on the subject.


Astus - Thank you for this reference. I've not seen that text before. It looks very thorough in it's treatment of Buddha-nature. I hope to be able to tackle it soon. :twothumbsup:

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Sūtra, Tantra, & Essence Mahāmudrā

Postby Jnana » Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:15 am

viniketa wrote:In short, it seems Brown is as confusing as others in the way he attempts to translate these ideas related to conditions and states of "mind".

When I read Brown's book I noticed a few places where his translations of passages from the Tibetan Mahāmudrā source texts were a bit odd, and even somewhat inaccurate. However, this is the exception and not the rule.

For a better translation of Mahāmudrā source texts I'd recommend the translations found in Mahāmudrā and Related Instructions by Peter Alan Roberts. For further commentary I'd recommend the published translations of teachings given by Thrangu Rinpoche on the Mahāmudrā texts by Dakpo Tashi Namgyal and Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje listed in this pinned thread. (There are other equally good modern commentaries by other lamas, but these are comprehensive.)

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Re: Sūtra, Tantra, & Essence Mahāmudrā

Postby viniketa » Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:07 pm

Jnana wrote:For a better translation of Mahāmudrā source texts I'd recommend the translations found in Mahāmudrā and Related Instructions by Peter Alan Roberts. For further commentary I'd recommend the published translations of teachings given by Thrangu Rinpoche on the Mahāmudrā texts by Dakpo Tashi Namgyal and Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje listed in this pinned thread. (There are other equally good modern commentaries by other lamas, but these are comprehensive.)


Thank you for the references.

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Sūtra, Tantra, & Essence Mahāmudrā

Postby Jinzang » Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:22 am

Excuse me if I missed it, but gnas lugs would usually be translated as "mode of abiding." There are a number of terms in Tibetan and Sanskrit used to indicate ultimate reality and you can either lump them together and use them interchangably or you can try to tease out fine distinctions of meaning between them. It seems the translator of the book you cite is a "lumper" and I can't really fault him for that.
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