Karma Jinpa wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:The Four Kadampa Guru Deities are Buddha Shakyamuni, Arya Tara, Arya Avalokiteshvara and the Wisdom Protector so anyone who practises lamrim would be advised to build a strong connection with Avalokiteshvara because he is the embodiment of wisdom and lamrim is ultimately a Mahayana path.
Kadampa after Atisha or Gelukpa after Tsongkhapa? And who's this "Wisdom Protector"? I'm genuinely curious.
The four deities--Sakyamuni, Tara, Avalokita, and Acala, the "wisdom protector"--are the famed Kadampa deity practices of Atisha. And of course his Lam Rim was the model for all the various subsequent Tibetan manifestations of that genre.
Gelukpa, after Tsong Khapa, focused on the Three Tantras and the Protectors of the Three Scopes.
Karma Jinpa wrote:Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Avalokita the embodiment of the loving-kindness and compassion of all the Buddhas, whereas Manjushri is the embodiment of the wisdom of all the Buddhas? Of course, the essence of all the deities being non-dual, they each have all of the enlightened qualities and are thus replete with both wisdom and compassion, being Buddhas.
Yes, Avalokita is the manifestation of the compassion of all the Buddhas, while Manjusri is said the be the manifestation of the wisdom of the Buddhas.
Karma Jinpa wrote:Perhaps I need to focus on this non-dual nature, rather than drawing distinctions...
One can draw accurate distinctions while understanding the essential unity of manifestations, eh?
Otherwise, we couldn't have these wonderful conversations.