The Six Paramitas in Vajrayana

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The Six Paramitas in Vajrayana

Postby Karma Jinpa » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:05 pm

As the first teaching I received and the gate thru which I entered the Dharma, I have a soft spot for the Six Paramitas. They are the foundation of Chöd, and the way to engage in action bodhicitta, thus becoming a bodhisattva.

Several texts (both sutric and tantric) have been written on them, not the least of which are Shantideva's Bodhicaryavatara and Ngulchu Thogme's 37 Bodhisattva Practices.

Was wondering how the various schools approach and teach the Perfections, as my experience is primarily Ka-Nying but I like to keep things Rimé. Often it seems that they're not given enough importance, with things like yidam practice and the completion stage yogas being given more of the spotlight.

His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche had this to say:

The six paramitas are generally the practice of a bodhisattva—it is a practice of the Mahayana and is taught in the sutras. At the same time, the six paramitas, all aspects of it actually, have to be part of the practice in the Theravada as well as Vajrayana, although it is part of the practice of Mahayana.

In order to overcome all of the karma, and even the habit of that, even the lightest, most transparent subtle imprint of it, you have to transform and then truly become what you ultimately are, which is the embodiment of primordial wisdom; limitless, free of all dualism and triplicity. So for that the six paramitas are practiced.


The full teaching transcript can be found here: http://www.greatliberation.org/library/monthly-teachings-library/monthly-teachings/t14r82387/
"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, it happens that a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་རཱ་ག་ཨ་སྱ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།
ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།


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Re: The Six Paramitas in Vajrayana

Postby muni » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:52 pm

:namaste: Available on internet:
http://www.bodhicitta.net/Six%20Perfections.htm Here a teaching-text by Lama Zopa Rinpoche

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZw4s3H1 ... D1DBD6F3E8 Explanation by Ringu Tulku Rinpoche

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J0__3MlQ3w By HH Gyalwang Drukpa


These dvd's are expensive, sometimes to find for lower price. http://www.amazon.com/The-H-Dalai-Lama- ... B0006U3SXK By HH The Dalai Lama
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Re: The Six Paramitas in Vajrayana

Postby untxi » Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:53 pm

My root teacher was very clear in saying that if one understood dzogchen (or mahamudra) one would realize that it is actually nothing more than the completion of the six perfections. That said, the six perfections are explicitly addressed in the details of the creation and completion stage practices.
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Re: The Six Paramitas in Vajrayana

Postby Karma Jinpa » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:37 pm

:good:

Wisdom being the final paramita, I can certainty see that, though I'd never heard it explained quite like that.

Thanks for sharing, untxi & muni!

:twothumbsup:
"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, it happens that a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་རཱ་ག་ཨ་སྱ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།
ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།


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Re: The Six Paramitas in Vajrayana

Postby untxi » Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:36 pm

The more familiar you are with tantra and its theory the easier it is to see the analogs between sutra and tantra practice. You say you are Rime so Je Rinpoche's Three Paths is a good example. Reunuciation is turning one's mind from samsara. In kyerim it is turning away from contaminated appearances for pure appearances. In dzogrim it is withdrawing the prajna into avadhuti. Again and again you can see these analogies.
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Re: The Six Paramitas in Vajrayana

Postby Lhug-Pa » Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:51 am



Should have added the following quote:


Namsebangdzo, on Inexhaustible Miracles: The Ten Perfections on the Path of Compassionate Beings by Tempa Dukte Lama wrote:The Ten Perfections are keys that open the door to inexhaustible miracles in our life. They are heart practices of compassionate beings through which we perfect our actions of body, speech, and mind. The Ten Perfections are manifestations of compassion in our living experience. The Ten Perfections are divided into two parts. The first five are the causal Perfections: the Perfections of generosity, wholesome conduct, patience, effort and concentration. The second five are the Perfections of fruition: The Perfections of power, aspirational prayers, skillful means, and discriminating awareness. As compassionate beings, we nurture our wholesome qualities through the causal Perfections. Once our practice bears fruit, the Perfections become a skillful means to help all beings. The qualities of the Ten Perfections and their expressions in our lives are infinite on the path to realizing our awakened nature.
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Re: The Six Paramitas in Vajrayana

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:47 am

http://innerself.com/Spirituality/dalai_lama_53104.htm

Free teaching on the six perfections excerpted from "Path to Bliss" by HH Dalai Lama.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
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Re: The Six Paramitas in Vajrayana

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:50 am

In terms of the Paramitas becoming a Vajrayana practice of the Paramitas, I remember that with the perfection of generosity, this is becomes unique in terms of a self generation practice, where offering goddesses are emanated to make offerings to the field of merit and also the self-generation.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
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Re: The Six Paramitas in Vajrayana

Postby KonchokZoepa » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:06 am

this is a very good thread. thanks Karma Jinpa for creating it :namaste:
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Re: The Six Paramitas in Vajrayana

Postby Tsultrim T. » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:33 pm

I too greatly value the importance of the Prajñāpāramitā and find it surprising that there seems to be a lack of emphasis placed on the text within Tibetan Buddhism. I know it is a foundational text that is usually studied in one way or another but the wisdom of the text is so vast that it seems to offer new insights everytime one reads it. In Newari Vajrayana Buddhism there is a little more importance placed on the text and many temples have antique copies, which one can sponsor to be read by the Vajraycharyas as a way to gain merit. Also it was surprising to learn what a huge role the text played in Machig's early development, so I think it might have a special place in the hearts of those us of us who focus on Chod practice. While difficult to get through, I think the many translations out there, especially Edward Conze's various works are a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the Prajñāpāramitā. Finally here is a picture of a statue I recently had commissioned, enjoy!
Prajñāpāramitā.jpg
Prajñāpāramitā.jpg (77.81 KiB) Viewed 356 times
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Re: The Six Paramitas in Vajrayana

Postby conebeckham » Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:07 pm

I don't know that it was undervalued.....in Kongtrul's three year retreats, Heart Sutra was recited daily at lunch, and in the afternoons, even now, many folks recite it as part of their afternoon practice.

It's an excellent thing to recite in Tibetan, or in English as well, on a daily basis.
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Re: The Six Paramitas in Vajrayana

Postby Karma Jinpa » Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:03 pm

Cone, didn't mean to imply the Paramitas are undervalued... Perhaps they're so well-established in the Tibetan mindset that they're taken as a contextual basis that presupposes we're thoroughly trained in them? For those of us born into non-Buddhist cultures, at least, we seem to have a bit more training to do (in this and many other aspects). The Heart Sutra is certainly well-known and practiced. Thank you for kindly reminding us to look into the Tibetan commentaries on that.

And thank you, Tsultrim, for that beautiful photo of your Yum Chenmo rupa. She's exquisite. I have an electronic copy of Edward Conze's translation of the Prajnaparamita Sutra in 8,000 lines, and will have to make time to read more of it amidst the myriad texts available to me. Does anyone know of an English translation of PS in 100,000 lines, whether from Sanskrit or Tibetan? I ask because that's the version usually specified as sitting atop the utpala in visualizations of Manjushri.

:cheers:
"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, it happens that a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་རཱ་ག་ཨ་སྱ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།
ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།


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Re: The Six Paramitas in Vajrayana

Postby conebeckham » Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:40 pm

Ah...I was replying to Tsultrim T.s concern that the Prajnaparamita literature was undervalued.

Monks recite it daily in monasteries. It's often done after Mahakala puja....

Of course, studying it, rather than a ritual recitation, is a different matter. I myself count the Heart Sutra as the most important Buddhist text, from a personal POV, and my study of it back in college was a "door-opener."
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Re: The Six Paramitas in Vajrayana

Postby Tsultrim T. » Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:14 pm

Cone,
I wasn't aware of it really being recited on a regular basis, in the Nyingma traditions I practice in it certainly isn't. I am glad to hear it seems to be more alive in Kagyu settings! Also I have never really heard of any Lamas teaching directly from the text (besides maybe HHDL), more often the 37 Practice of a Bodhisattva or Bodhisattvacharyāvatāra are taught. Thanks!
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Re: The Six Paramitas in Vajrayana

Postby invisiblediamond » Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:32 pm

Besides wisdom, the other five actions are worldly. The actions only become paramitas, transcendent, when combined with wisdom. Thus, thru wisdom all six paramitas are completed as paramitas, not gradually one by one. Then, with this understanding, you practice the giving perfection, etc., as stated in the Diamond Sutra.

The Vajrayana add the five emotions and five wisdoms are one nature of the vajra. Mahamudra and Dzogchen assert nongradual transmission. But all say, if you remain in that state, without following after mind, it is the completion of all six paramitas at the moment. One gathers the accumulations effortlessly.
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Re: The Six Paramitas in Vajrayana

Postby smcj » Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:47 am

Karma Jinpa wrote:Was wondering how the various schools approach and teach the Perfections, as my experience is primarily Ka-Nying but I like to keep things Rimé. Often it seems that they're not given enough importance, with things like yidam practice and the completion stage yogas being given more of the spotlight.

The 6 perfections are utilized in deity and tsa-loong practices. Enthusiastic perseverance when things go well, patience when they don't, meditative concentration certainly, etc. I'm saying this badly, and I apologize for the crudeness of it, but it is a traditional/classical teaching. You should be able to get the point, at least as far as this thread goes, but you'd need a real Vajrayana teacher to explain how each perfection is utilized properly in the context of tantric practices.
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Re: The Six Paramitas in Vajrayana

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:08 am

Sorry, posting error.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
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Re: The Six Paramitas in Vajrayana

Postby Karma Jinpa » Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:57 am

A gem from GBI:

Garchen Rinpoche wrote:The practice of the six perfections is really the foundation of the Mahayana. The first is generosity, which is a supreme method for clearing away self-clinging. If we posses something that is very precious, then we tend to think “I own this thing, this is mine,” and we think this again and again. This reinforces the concept, and as time goes on we really become attached. In fact we become so attached that we wouldn't be willing to give it away to anyone else. Because of grasping at the notion of self, we cling to that object. We find that we are bound by these objects. If we have one hundred dollars we want one thousand dollars. The tighter we hold, the more it binds us. If we have one thousand dollars, then we want ten thousand, then we have to have one hundred thousand, and so on. Again the tighter we hold, the more we are bound.

When we offer the mandala, we make an offering to all enlightened beings, and this mental offering becomes an antidote to the thought, “this is mine, I own this.” Slowly it begins to free our minds from the bondage of self-clinging. We have this tendency as well to cling to our own bodies, thinking that this form is mine. If we make effort to think that the body is like another being’s home, somebody else’s house, then there is no reason whatsoever for us to be attached to it. This is another method for training the mind in order to purify self-grasping.
"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, it happens that a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་རཱ་ག་ཨ་སྱ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།
ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།


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