Dr. Sanderson: Phowa etc. are directly from Saivism

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Dr. Sanderson: Phowa etc. are directly from Saivism

Postby ConradTree » Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:43 pm

Many Vajrayana practices are from Saivism:

http://www.alexissanderson.com/uploads/ ... va_age.pdf
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Re: Dr. Sanderson: Phowa etc. are directly from Saivism

Postby BrianG » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:05 am

I find his scholarship to be extremely lacking. An example -

"Much the same phenomenon can be seen in Southeast Asia among the
Khmers, the Chams, and the Javanese. Among the first the dominant religion
was Saivism until the rise of the Theravada that accompanied the decline of
Angkor, and Tantric Buddhism, even when it enjoyed short periods of promi-
nence through exceptionally determined royal patronage, found itself bound, as
I have shown elsewhere, to accommodate its rival."


The dominant religion of Ankgor Thom was Vajrayana, with an emphasis on Hevajra, which should be obvious to anyone who has ever stepped inside the city. Later Saivites systematically defaced 20,000+ Buddha/Deity images within the city, and replaced them with phallic symbols. A century after that, Theravada became the dominant religion, and I'd speculate that the remnants of Buddhist Tantric practice were absorbed, becoming what is now known as Tantric Theravada.

My feeling is that he is clearly cherry picking evidence that supports his thesis, and omitting/twisting evidence that does not.
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Re: Dr. Sanderson: Phowa etc. are directly from Saivism

Postby Malcolm » Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:28 pm

Zen Dude wrote:I find his scholarship to be extremely lacking. An example -



Well, we all have opinions. Personally, much of what he says is backed up in Tibetan accounts which give the purpose for promulgating Buddhist tantra, i.e., to attract Shaivas and others to Buddhism by providing them with a religious form they could relate to. Sakya Pandita is very clear virtually all the practices in Buddhist tantra have Shaiva, etc., counterparts.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Dr. Sanderson: Phowa etc. are directly from Saivism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:25 pm

Most of the time when I hear claims like these I think to myself: "So what if they are?"

Buddhists do not have a monopoly on Dharma after all.

If a practice works why not use it?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Dr. Sanderson: Phowa etc. are directly from Saivism

Postby Malcolm » Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:41 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:Most of the time when I hear claims like these I think to myself: "So what if they are?"

Buddhists do not have a monopoly on Dharma after all.

If a practice works why not use it?



Sapan clarifies that what distinguishes Hindu and Buddhist tantra is view, not practice.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Dr. Sanderson: Phowa etc. are directly from Saivism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:44 pm

So, in regards to the various Nath and Kapalika Mahasiddhas, it was the Mahamudra view and not the practices that lead to their realisations?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Dr. Sanderson: Phowa etc. are directly from Saivism

Postby dzogchungpa » Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:50 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:Most of the time when I hear claims like these I think to myself: "So what if they are?"

Buddhists do not have a monopoly on Dharma after all.

If a practice works why not use it?

What are you, some kind of tirthika?
ཨོཾ་ཏཱ་རེ་ཏུཏྟ་རེ་ཏུ་རེ་སྭཱཧཱ༔
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Re: Dr. Sanderson: Phowa etc. are directly from Saivism

Postby Malcolm » Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:59 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:So, in regards to the various Nath and Kapalika Mahasiddhas, it was the Mahamudra view and not the practices that lead to their realisations?


Which siddhas do you have in mind?
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Dr. Sanderson: Phowa etc. are directly from Saivism

Postby dzogchungpa » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:15 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:So, in regards to the various Nath and Kapalika Mahasiddhas, it was the Mahamudra view and not the practices that lead to their realisations?


Which siddhas do you have in mind?

I don't know much about this subject, but looking through Dowman's "Masters of Mahamudra", how about Minapa/Matsyendra?
ཨོཾ་ཏཱ་རེ་ཏུཏྟ་རེ་ཏུ་རེ་སྭཱཧཱ༔
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Re: Dr. Sanderson: Phowa etc. are directly from Saivism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:44 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:So, in regards to the various Nath and Kapalika Mahasiddhas, it was the Mahamudra view and not the practices that lead to their realisations?


Which siddhas do you have in mind?
Carbaripa (Carpati), Kapalapa, Minapa...
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Dr. Sanderson: Phowa etc. are directly from Saivism

Postby Malcolm » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:50 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:So, in regards to the various Nath and Kapalika Mahasiddhas, it was the Mahamudra view and not the practices that lead to their realisations?


Which siddhas do you have in mind?
Carbaripa (Carpati), Kapalapa, Minapa...



We have to examine whether they are "siddhas" or mahāsiddhas. There is a difference. In general, it would be their practice of tantric practices combined with Buddhist view.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Dr. Sanderson: Phowa etc. are directly from Saivism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:53 pm

Is the Mahasiddha view necessarily a Buddhist view?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Dr. Sanderson: Phowa etc. are directly from Saivism

Postby Sherlock » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:11 pm

Is there actually Phowa in the sense of transference of consciousness to a pure land in Shaivism or other Hindu tantras? I know there is transference to corpses.
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Re: Dr. Sanderson: Phowa etc. are directly from Saivism

Postby Malcolm » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:22 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:Is the Mahasiddha view necessarily a Buddhist view?


It is necessarily a view consistent with dependent origination, emptiness and so on, otherwise, we couldn't consider a siddha "mahā" i.e. awakened.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Dr. Sanderson: Phowa etc. are directly from Saivism

Postby Malcolm » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:23 pm

Sherlock wrote:Is there actually Phowa in the sense of transference of consciousness to a pure land in Shaivism or other Hindu tantras? I know there is transference to corpses.


Read Sanderson's paper.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Dr. Sanderson: Phowa etc. are directly from Saivism

Postby Sherlock » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:56 pm

I was reading it since yesterday but hadn't gotten there yet. So phowa is utkrantih in sanskrit, interesting.

Another interesting fact is that the Buddhist tantrikas were initially converts from Shaivism and would have been famil8ar with Shaivite tantra. The example of the Guhyamasaja commentary on how to acquire a consort from Shaiva untouchables was quite interesting
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Re: Dr. Sanderson: Phowa etc. are directly from Saivism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:43 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:Is the Mahasiddha view necessarily a Buddhist view?


It is necessarily a view consistent with dependent origination, emptiness and so on, otherwise, we couldn't consider a siddha "mahā" i.e. awakened.
Hmmmm...
"[Nath Siddha] Goraksha has the distinction of founding the largest sect of yogins in India. His followers known as naths, yogis, gorrakhnathis and kanphatas, outnumber other tantric lineages by far...They are monastic by vow and practice and their soteriological aim is to unite with Brahman through tantra yoga, a heterogenous corpus of yoga techniques derived from Patanjali and tantric techniques, many shared with the Buddhists." from Masters of Mahamudra by Dowman.

"Goraknath: Who is the creator of the body (kaya); Wherefrom has light been created? What is the mouth of Divine Knowledge (Brahma Gyana)? How can the unseeable be seen?
Macchendra (guru to Goraknath): The Absolute (Brahma) is the creator of the body; out of truth has efflugence (tej) been created; the void is the mouth of Divine Knowledge; and through the Sadguru and the disciple realisation may the unseeable be made visible." from The Gorakhbodh.

Given accounts like these and Patanjali's meditative technique Sasmita Samadhi (meditative abosrption on the ego-substance) I think one may posit that maybe (just maybe) Nath Siddha Gorakshas view was not consistent with dependent origination. Does this mean that we cannot consider Goraksha awakened?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Dr. Sanderson: Phowa etc. are directly from Saivism

Postby ConradTree » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:59 pm

page 184 for phowa.

I guess Shiva does have a Pure Land.
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Re: Dr. Sanderson: Phowa etc. are directly from Saivism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:06 pm

ConradTree wrote:page 184 for phowa.

I guess Shiva does have a Pure Land.
According to Shaivites, yes. According to (some) Buddhists he dwells in the Indras Palace in the Trāyastriṃśa heaven of the god realms. That would place him squarely within samsara.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Dr. Sanderson: Phowa etc. are directly from Saivism

Postby Malcolm » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:33 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:Does this mean that we cannot consider Goraksha awakened?


I don't.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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