Does Dzogchen have Persian or Zoroastrian influences?

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Re: Does Dzogchen have Persian or Zoroastrian influences?

Postby Aemilius » Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:15 am

Michael_Dorfman wrote:
Aemilius wrote:Before 1400's Oddiyana or Orgyen was even further to the North-West from India. Long before 1400's it was the present day Georgia, i.e. Ge-orgyen.
The name George thus means Guru of Orgyen. The myth or history of Saint George subduing, or slaughtering, the Dragon derives from the legend of Padmasambhava, who is the Guru of Orgyen, i.e. Saint George.
The name George has many variants in european languages, like italian Giorgio, german Jörg & Jürgen, hungarian György, swedish Jörgen, etc...


The name George also has Greek variants which date back prior to the time of the Buddha, and the accepted etymology ties it to the word "ergon", or "work". Trying to tie it to Oḍḍiyāna seems fanciful at best.


I think that Ge, or Gi etc more likely is a prefix to the root word Orgyen, Orgia, Orge. The name (and the word) exists in some european languages without the prefix, like in the swedish name Örjan (pronounced Öryan). It can be very early, that doesn't pose serious difficulties.

Land of Uryan appears in swedish priest Christfrid Ganander Thomasson's Finnische Mythologie (1821). This means that it was known as a name for a special kind of land in parts of Scandinavia before the era of modern buddhism.
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Re: Does Dzogchen have Persian or Zoroastrian influences?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:26 am

George comes from the Greek Γεώργ(ι)ος (Georg(i)os), which derives from the Greek word γεωργός (georgos), which means agriculturalist; from γεωργία (georgia) meaning agriculture.
"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: Dzogchen: Nongradual Buddhahood?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:49 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:I'll add them to my repertoire. Thank you very much! It is the first time I have read doha by Virupa (apart from one instance in Dowmans boook Masters of Mahamudra). Care to name the (English) source?
Nevermind, I found it!
http://www.hhthesakyatrizin.org/pdfs/melody_3.pdf

Virupa's Treasury of Dohas

From - Melody of Dharma, 2010, No.3

All sentient beings are emanations of mahamudra,
the essence of those emanations is the forever non-arising dharmadhatu,
also all characteristics of dualistic appearances, happiness, suffering and so on,
are the play of mahamudra, the original dharmata.

Because there is no truth and nothing on which to rely in play itself,
reality never transcends the seal of emptiness.

Some are completely tortured with empowerment rites,
some always count their rosary saying hum phat!
some consume shit, piss, blood, semen and meat,
some meditate the yoga of nadi and vayu, but all are deluded.

E ma ho!

Having been connected with a sublime Guru,
one should realize as follows:

because there is some kind of delusion,
true realization does not exist,

free from any extremes of partiality or bias
since there is nothing to realize and no realization,
the homogenous original state is neither with nor without [extremes].

If one realizes in this way there is definitely no-one else to ask.

Since diversity appears as the dharmakaya,
a mind that accepts and rejects never arises.

There is nothing to meditate or not meditate,
and nothing is covered with characteristics,
one should never depend on apparent and non-apparent objects,

a mind with action and agent does not exist,
free from all objects,
a mind with hope and fear does not exist,
turned away from all attachments,

if one realizes the original reality shown by the Guru,
the diversity of recollection and awareness
automatically dissolves into the dharmadhatu,

consciousness does not remain on an object,
since one is free from all attachment and grasping,
all phenomena are liberated
in the uncontrived original state.

If one is not attached to anything,
free from the stain of pride and so on,
devoted, totally connected with the sublime ones,
and free from mental activity of any kind,
there is no doubt one will be immaculate,

because one is purified of a knower
and objects of knowledge,
the direct perception of dharmata will arise.

If one has not realized original mahamudra,
since one is always attached to everything
because of the power of dualistic grasping,

thoughts arise in the mind
like the stream of the variety of blurred vision,
not abiding in the non-erroneous ultimate,
one cycles and wanders in samsara.

Because of attachment and grasping
to all the fame and offerings,

and the arising of great hearing, reflection,
and intellectual comprehension, good experience,
siddhis, blessings, and the signs of power,

the contrived path is ultimately a stain,
the wise do not entrust their minds to them.

If one is interested in those things
and falls into the two extremes,

because it is the root of cycling
in the cycle of samsara,
look, what is the mountain of the mind
that is the root of everything?

If one becomes free from the mind
because it is not seen when looking,
liberation is certain.

Since the mind does not indicate
“The dharmadhatu is this”,
both meditation and an object of meditation
do not exist in that,

rest in the undistracted state
without any concepts of existence and non-existence.

If one intellectualizes emptiness,
non-arising, beyond mind,
freedom from extremes and so on in any way,
not dwelling in actual reality,
one will be very distracted.

Rest in a relaxed state disregarding empty or not empty.

Letting go in the state of independence
without meditating or not-meditating,
be just like a zombie, without a mind that accepts or rejects.

If one dwells in my state through knowing reality as it is,
the traces of the characteristics of dualistic appearances
will be quickly destroyed.

If one is distracted by characteristics
without dwelling in the state of realization,
one will not be able to avert the traces
of the characteristics of dualistic appearances,

though it seems a particle
is in the eye of one with ophthalmia,
the ophthalmic appearance cannot be repaired
without curing the eye disease.

Intellectualizing reality,
attachment to meditation experience,
cultivating and meditating on the actual true state
are causes of deviation.

Because attachment and aversion arose
towards conducive conditions,
one is bound.

All negative disharmonious conditions are sublime siddhis,
since negative conditions intensify the yogin’s experience,
since one understands the true state of negative conditions
without avoiding them, train in them,
maintain that, and practice until coming to the conclusion
of experience and realization,
just as a good horse is encouraged by a quirt.

If yogis with good experience lack the companion of conduct,
as that is not possessed, it is like people without feet.

Train in the actual ultimate real state free from attachment,
giving up nothing, accomplishing nothing, attached to
nothing, purifying nothing, rejecting nothing,
the best of the very best behavior is whatever feels good to one’s body.

Though relatively, the Buddhas have the great confidence of a dead body,
they diligently do whatever possible without abandoning
the great mass of sentient beings.

Though fearless, without fearful thoughts towards samsara,
refrain from even the slightest wrong action.

Though phenomena are realized to be empty like space,
free from an origin,
give up attachment and aversion
having destroyed all strong attachment.

Though one realizes the meaning
of the great transparent Dharmata free from extremes,
while one has not attained stability
keep one’s experience and realization secret from others.

Though one realizes that ultimately
both self and other do not exist,
relatively, think on the great benefit of migrating beings.

Though one has the confidence
that does not depend on the guidance of others,
place the very kind Guru on the crown of one’s head.

The one with attachment and grasping will debate everyone,
contrary conduct not in conformity with tradition is a deviation.

Since there is no object of perception and no perceiver,
difference is liberated in its own state.

Since the experiencer is destroyed,
one is free from all effort and practice.

Since the result to attain is destroyed,
one is liberated from all hope and fear.

Having totally uprooted I and mine,
one is victorious in the war with Mara.

Since realism is destroyed in its own state,
one is liberated from samsara and nirvana.

Since Rigpa is pure in the basis,
it is called “Perfect Buddhahood.”

Since phenomena and mind are exhausted in the state of exhaustion,
therefore it is explained as “nirvana”,

uncontrived, unchanging,
totally liberated from everything
to be given up or to attain.

E ma ho

That great profound term “mahamudra”,
whatever its basis of designation is, also has the label “empty”;
as moments are empty by nature, who realizes selflessness?

There is no realizer, just a name, a term, a label.

Also that is not perfect, a projection of disciples,
also in disciples there is no self,
similar with illusions and emanations
“Mahamudra” is a mental imputation of the childish.

“Delusion” and “non-delusion” are mere names, mere labels,
who is the person to feel or be aware of delusion?

If not even an iota of the result, nirvana, exists, and is not perceived,
“liberation and non-liberation” is an adventitious reification,

Nothing exists in peaceful and pure space,
so what is the path of liberation?

“Ultimate and relative” are also just emphatic labels,
but the two truths don’t exist in the dharmadhatu,
the dharmadhatu does not exist.

The Treasury of Dohas [Song of Realisation] composed by the lord of Yogis, Virupa, is complete.

Reproduced by kind permission of Lama Tseten Migmar
"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: Dzogchen: Nongradual Buddhahood?

Postby Malcolm » Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:24 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:Care to name the (English) source?




The English source ultimately is myself. I translated the Doha, revised it with Lama Migmar. He allowed Sakya Center to print it, but left my name out inadvertently.

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there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: Does Dzogchen have Persian or Zoroastrian influences?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:43 pm

Thank you VERY much for your effort. But this begs the question: why did you state earlier that you have not seen any texts that refer to Mahamudra as primordial when you are the translator of a text that points out that it is primordial? Were you just being a smart ass? :smile:

Any chance of giving us the lung for the text? Pretty please?

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"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: Does Dzogchen have Persian or Zoroastrian influences?

Postby Virgo » Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:51 pm

Why do you need another lung Sherab? I am not trying to be a prick, just asking.

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Re: Does Dzogchen have Persian or Zoroastrian influences?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:59 pm

Coz I haven't received a lung for a Mahamudra doha ('ccept for the 3rd Karmapas Mahamudra Aspiration Prayer) from a Mahasiddha. For the connection to the Mahamudra lineage. For the blessing. Coz I'm a sucker for punishment. Ad nauseum...

Anyway, why wouldn't you want a lung for something so profound?

And, in closing, it's not so much a matter of "need" as a matter of want! :tongue:
"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: Does Dzogchen have Persian or Zoroastrian influences?

Postby Virgo » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:09 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Anyway, it's not so much a matter of "need" as a matter of want! :tongue:

I guess it's because for that sort of thing, lung isn't very important unless you are going to teach it.

Also, I like to only get lungs for things I feel I really need and will use, but that may be just my own limitation.

I am not trying to discourage you, by the way.
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Re: Does Dzogchen have Persian or Zoroastrian influences?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:12 pm

Virgo wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:
Anyway, it's not so much a matter of "need" as a matter of want! :tongue:

I guess it's because for that sort of thing, lung isn't very important unless you are going to teach it.

Also, I like to only get lungs for things I feel I really need and will use, but that may be just my own limitation.

I am not trying to discourage you, by the way.
Kevin
Actually, I am considering translating it into Greek, that would traditionally require that one has the lung.
"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: Does Dzogchen have Persian or Zoroastrian influences?

Postby Virgo » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:15 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:I am considering translating it into Greek, that would traditionally require that one has the lung.

That would be great (and yes, lung would be required).

And yes, Malcolm did a wonderful job. Thank you Malcolm. :namaste: :namaste: :namaste:

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Re: Does Dzogchen have Persian or Zoroastrian influences?

Postby tingdzin » Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:34 am

Before the thread went way off the rails, Malcolm, you made two or three points that bear comment.

1 Sri Singha was born in China -- any of the biographies that gives a birthplace says this. His birthplace is specified as So khyam, which through comparative historical linguistics and the accounts of later Tibetan histories, which do not mention Sri Singha at all, can be identified with the Chinese district of Suo fang. This does not mean Khotan -- I've seen that silliness several times and don't know how it got started. Nor does it mean Sri Singha was ethnic Chinese -- Suo fang, though part of the T'ang Empire, fell squarely into what was called the Sogdian (hu) prefectures, because they were populated by Sogdians, an Iranic-speaking people from present-day Uzbekistan (who had a lot of influence on early Chinese Buddhism, by the way). Sri Singha was supposed to have studied in his early life at Wu T'ai Shan, very close to Suo fang.

2 If you say that Uddiyana fell within the Indian sphere of cultural influence, I would ask you: where did that sphere stop? Certainly both West and East Turkistan (present-day terminology) got a lot of Indian cultural influence, pre-Islam. Does that mean that particular features of Buddhism, that developed there can be called Indian Buddhism, although they were never seen on the subcontinent? Uddiyana was in fact part of the Persian Empire at one point, as many scholars have pointed out.

3) When you sat that Buddhist Dzogchen was entirely Indic-Buddhist inspired, that is still quite hotly debated, as you, being pretty au courant with modern scholarship, must know.
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Re: Does Dzogchen have Persian or Zoroastrian influences?

Postby Rakshasa » Wed Dec 25, 2013 11:29 am

InvisibleDiamond,

You do realize Pakistan was a part of India until quite recently right???

Pakistan was FULL of Hindus, who slowly left during the events of Independence.

Your comments are quite hurtful, insensitive, and most of all historically wrong.


Pakistan was NOT part of 'India'. Pakistan WAS part of 'British India'. Two different things completely. Before the British, the only time was under a single administration along with other parts of India was under the Mughals and the Afghan/Persian Muslim rulers. Abbassid Caliphate even encompassed parts of Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan as far upto Delhi.

Even during Buddha's time, Gandhara and Kamboja was not considered one of the "Indian mahajanapadas". Buddha even gives example of Kamboja to some Brahmins while debating about caste system and arguing that the idea was not existent outside 'Aryavarta'.

There is nothing called "Indo-cultural sphere". Culturally even a Malyali or a Keralite is more different from a Kashmiri than a French is to an Italian - despite Kerala and Kashmir both falling under 'India'. Also cultural similarity alone doesn't decide ethnic or political boundaries. An average Nepali and Uttarakhandi are more culturally and racially closer than an Uttarakhandi is with a Gujarati.
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Re: Does Dzogchen have Persian or Zoroastrian influences?

Postby Malcolm » Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:28 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:Thank you VERY much for your effort. But this begs the question: why did you state earlier that you have not seen any texts that refer to Mahamudra as primordial when you are the translator of a text that points out that it is primordial?


Mahāmudra is typically divided into three: basis, path and result. The Mahāmudra dohas treat all three. Take the passage:

All sentient beings are emanations of mahamudra,
the essence of those emanations is the forever non-arising dharmadhatu,
also all characteristics of dualistic appearances, happiness, suffering and so on,
are the play of mahamudra, the original dharmata.


This is not generally regarded as a statement concerning primordial buddhahood, it is generally considered to be a statement of concerning the cause continuum (rgyu rgyud).

In Mahāmudra traditions the basis is regarded as "the cause", not the result. When implanted with the seed of the ripening empowerment and the liberating instructions, the path produces a result.

The main difference is one of terminology. Everyone agrees [apart from the Bonpos] that Mahāmudra and Dzogchen provide the same buddhahood, differing primarily in how the basis and the path is presented.
Last edited by Malcolm on Wed Dec 25, 2013 4:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Does Dzogchen have Persian or Zoroastrian influences?

Postby Malcolm » Wed Dec 25, 2013 4:13 pm

tingdzin wrote:
1 Sri Singha was born in China -- any of the biographies that gives a birthplace says this.


The sole source for this attribution is the lo rgyus chen mo by Zhang ston. This text is quite late, and seems wholly fictional apart from some details borrowed from earlier accounts of Vairocana's adventures in India, as well as sharing details of Garab Dorje's birth as well as Manjuśrimitra. None of the details of his life ever place him anywhere outside of the region of Bodhgaya in any pre-sNying thig accounts. I am not aware of any pre sNying thig text that places Śrī Siṇgha outside of India.

His birthplace is specified as So khyam, which through comparative historical linguistics and the accounts of later Tibetan histories, which do not mention Sri Singha at all, can be identified with the Chinese district of Suo fang. This does not mean Khotan -- I've seen that silliness several times and don't know how it got started. Nor does it mean Sri Singha was ethnic Chinese -- Suo fang, though part of the T'ang Empire, fell squarely into what was called the Sogdian (hu) prefectures, because they were populated by Sogdians, an Iranic-speaking people from present-day Uzbekistan (who had a lot of influence on early Chinese Buddhism, by the way). Sri Singha was supposed to have studied in his early life at Wu T'ai Shan, very close to Suo fang.


This is all very interesting but none of this shows that in fact Shri Singha was Sogdian, it is not impossible, but it is not certain. Such an account is utterly lacking in the accounts of the bodhicitta texts and the vajra bridge instructions.

2 If you say that Uddiyana fell within the Indian sphere of cultural influence, I would ask you: where did that sphere stop?


Northwards, think we can define it to be within the region covered by the Mauryan Empire, which definitely covers all areas which can be defined as Gandhara as well as Oḍḍiyāna. Apart from Shri Lanka, Buddhism never really penetrated the deep southern portion of the subcontinent, which is accounted for by the fact that Mauryan Empire never stretched that far. We can see the influence of the Roman Empire on the map of the world even today, so such a long standing network of trade and kinships that were set up during the Maurya can be considered to have endured for hundreds of years after the fall of the Mauryan empire itself.

A note: there is a passage that records the fact that Oḍḍiyāna is a country that no longer exists in the world in the long Vajra Bridge lo rgyus.

As far as Buddhism beyond this region [Khotan, etc.], I think it is fair to consider that these are also "Indian" Buddhisms in so far as their Buddhism was of the export variety. As we know, oft times exports cannot be found at home.

3) When you sat that Buddhist Dzogchen was entirely Indic-Buddhist inspired, that is still quite hotly debated, as you, being pretty au courant with modern scholarship, must know.


Apart from some Chan influence [very debatable] which also has Indian roots, I see no reason to doubt otherwise.

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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: Does Dzogchen have Persian or Zoroastrian influences?

Postby AvrilWebster » Wed Dec 25, 2013 8:12 pm

Rakshasa wrote:
InvisibleDiamond,

You do realize Pakistan was a part of India until quite recently right???

Pakistan was FULL of Hindus, who slowly left during the events of Independence.

Your comments are quite hurtful, insensitive, and most of all historically wrong.


Pakistan was NOT part of 'India'. Pakistan WAS part of 'British India'. Two different things completely. Before the British, the only time was under a single administration along with other parts of India was under the Mughals and the Afghan/Persian Muslim rulers. Abbassid Caliphate even encompassed parts of Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan as far upto Delhi.

Even during Buddha's time, Gandhara and Kamboja was not considered one of the "Indian mahajanapadas". Buddha even gives example of Kamboja to some Brahmins while debating about caste system and arguing that the idea was not existent outside 'Aryavarta'.

There is nothing called "Indo-cultural sphere". Culturally even a Malyali or a Keralite is more different from a Kashmiri than a French is to an Italian - despite Kerala and Kashmir both falling under 'India'. Also cultural similarity alone doesn't decide ethnic or political boundaries. An average Nepali and Uttarakhandi are more culturally and racially closer than an Uttarakhandi is with a Gujarati.



When you say "Pakistan" is part of British India, you mean Western Punjab was a part of British India right?

Western Punjab became renamed as Pakistan, after they transferred the Hindus out.
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Re: Does Dzogchen have Persian or Zoroastrian influences?

Postby Aemilius » Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:04 pm

Rakshasa wrote:
InvisibleDiamond,

You do realize Pakistan was a part of India until quite recently right???

Pakistan was FULL of Hindus, who slowly left during the events of Independence.

Your comments are quite hurtful, insensitive, and most of all historically wrong.


Pakistan was NOT part of 'India'. Pakistan WAS part of 'British India'. Two different things completely. Before the British, the only time was under a single administration along with other parts of India was under the Mughals and the Afghan/Persian Muslim rulers. Abbassid Caliphate even encompassed parts of Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan as far upto Delhi.


That is not correct, the Maurya dynasty, during 3th and 4th century BCE, held the area of Indus river valley and most of what is today considred as India under a single administration.
Historically, the area Indus river valley is considered to be the heart of Indian civilisation.
Indus river valley has been the centre of Indian civilisation for more than 5000 years, and that is now a central part of Pakistan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_India
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