Dzogchen practiced on different solar systems?

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Dzogchen practiced on different solar systems?

Postby duffster1 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:16 am

I heard that Chogyal Namkhai Norbu has stated that Dzogchen is practiced on different solar systems.How would a person know such a thing? Is it even possible to be able to have such information,i find this statement puzzling and incredible at the same time.

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Re: Dzogchen practiced on different solar systems?

Postby mutsuk » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:30 am

This is actually a reference to some "pure realms" (zhing khams) not solar systems (although Rinpoche uses that expression). This comes from the 1st chapter of the sGra-thal-'gyur, and more precisely from the 12th question asked by Devendra to Vajradhara. There is actually no mention of "solar systems" at all.
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Re: Dzogchen practiced on different solar systems?

Postby Barney Fife » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:37 pm

Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche may be referring to the twelve Nirmanakaya Dzogchen Buddhas, one of whom is Buddha Shakyamuni, who spread the Dzogchen teachings in their respective Nirmanakaya pure realm world systems. These twelve are discussed in Dudjom Rinpoche's "The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism", and in the quote below from Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche's book of Nyingma biographies, "A Marvelous Garden of Rare Gems", p. 32-36, published by Padma Publishing.

The Twelve Teachers
One example of such manifestation is the way in which emanations appeared in this
world of sorrow. From the naturally manifest realm of the dense array of spontaneous
presence appeared the two main kinds of emanations just mentioned. With regard to
the latter, there were three ways in which sublime emanations came about through
blessings: (1) From some 101 types of precious jewels appeared naturally manifest
forms that were equal in physical appearance and life span to given groups of beings,
liberating them by performing many miracles. [1.6a] (2) From these jewels, a great
text, The Tantra of the Teachings: The Single Child, manifested naturally, ensuring
benefit for beings through the inherent proclamation of countless variations of teachings.
(3) The true nature of phenomena ensured freedom for beings in the first years
of vajra time, with a rain of teachings and material objects falling to guide them in
whatever way was necessary. The texts, moreover, were proclaimed in whatever languages
were appropriate.2
These emanations caused rays of light to shine forth in all ten directions of the six
worlds,3 carrying out enlightened activities that freed countless beings in a completely
natural way, without effort. [1.6b] They are referred to as "sublime emanations
appearing naturally through the principles of enlightened form, speech, and mind." Socalled
holy emanations of timeless awareness manifested as leaders and others who
ensured benefit by guiding beings in whatever way was necessary.
In this regard, the nirmanakaya emanations of the great Vajradhara appeared
naturally from the ongoing mandala of inexhaustible adornment—the enlightened
form, speech, and mind of all victorious ones in the naturally
manifest pure realm of the dense array of spontaneous
presence. In the first eon (known as the "Age of Manifold
Joy") of this universe, Vajradhara had appeared naturally
in sambhogakaya form atop a lotus. This emanation gave
Vajrasattva and Vajrapani all the teachings of natural great
perfection—teachings beyond words and letters—ensuring
that understanding occurred naturally through enlightened
intent. At that point, this perfect buddha, the great Vajradhara,
emanated in nirmanakaya forms to guide beings—in
as many as there were countless beings to be guided. To ensure
the purification of the five mind-body aggregates that
constituted their retinues, these emanations were endowed
with the five aspects of excellence.
That is to say, the excellent teacher, the great Vajradhara,
in the realm of Ganden Tsekpa, in the excellent environment
atop a lotus flower, [1.7a] appeared first as the incredible
teacher Cheu Nangwa, expounding the earliest of all
tantras, the source of all teachings—The Reverberation of
Sound—to a retinue of 1,002 buddhas. The compiler of the
tantra was a child of the gods named Gaje Wangchuk; his
companions were other children of the gods, such as Nyima
Raptu Nangje. This took place when the human life span
was immeasurably long. Although the teacher and the retinue
were not separate from one another, their enlightened
intent to guide beings was such that they seemed to be so.
[1.7b] And during this current eon, by virtue of the same
enlightened intent to guide, buddhas appear in a distinct
succession, at separate times and with individual names
and teachings.
Nirmanakaya emanations then emerged in succession.
The second manifested in the environment of our world of
sorrow as the teacher Cheu O Mitrukpa, who gave a retinue
of two hundred thousand dakinis the teachings of the
five tantras (enlightened form, speech, mind, qualities, and
activities). He spoke in the language of Vishnu—known
as "the god with five locks of hair"—a language that arose
from the natural sound of the elements interacting due to
heat and cold. This took place when humans enjoyed a life
span of ten million years.
The third emanation manifested in the environment of a
mass of light resulting from the combination of warmth and
moisture. The teacher Jampal Jigpa Kyopa addressed a retinue
of six hundred thousand bodhisattvas. The teachings of
several tantras—Dredging the Pit of Cyclic Existence, Peacocks
with Entwined Necks, and The Glorious Resolution
of the Four Elements—carried on the gentle murmuring of
the wind, fell from the sky and were given after having been
translated into the language of the three-tufted garudas.
This took place when the life span of humans was one hundred
thousand years.
The fourth emanation manifested in the environment of
a womb, the source of desire and attachment. [1.8a] The
teacher Zhonnu Rolpa Nampar Tsewa addressed a retinue
of five thousand yaksha spirits and rock demons, giving
them the teachings of eleven tantras: five basic tantras of the
Category of Mind and six auxiliary tantras. This took place
when the life span of humans was eighty thousand years.
The fifth emanation manifested in the environment of the
garden of the physician Kumara. The teacher of the sixth
buddha family, Vajradhara, addressed a retinue that consisted
of the "seven successive buddhas,"4 giving them an immeasurable
number of teachings, including those concerning
the six transcendent perfections. This took place when
the life span of humans was seventy thousand years. [1.8b]
The sixth emanation manifested in the environment of
Meri Barwa, the charnel ground of the display of the supreme
secret. The teacher Zhonnu Pawo Tobden Chenpo
addressed a retinue of seven bodhisattvas, who were described
as "having the strength of clouds," giving them the
teachings of many classes of tantra—father tantras, mother
tantras, and so forth.5 This took place when the life span of humans was sixty thousand
years.
The seventh emanation manifested in the environment known as Sinpo Rului
Dradang Denpa. The teacher Drangsong Tropai Gyalpo gave a retinue of ten million
bloodthirsty demons the teachings of such texts as the ten
tantras for guiding wild beings. This took place when the
life span of humans was ten thousand years.
The eighth emanation manifested in the environment
of Vulture Peak,6 in the region of Rajgir in India. The
teacher, the arhat Ser-o Dampa, addressed a retinue consisting
of countless spiritually advanced shravakas who
were endowed with miraculous powers, giving them tens of
thousands of teachings concerning the Vinaya of the sacred
dharma. This took place when the life span of humans was
five thousand years.
The ninth emanation manifested in the environment of
the victorious mansion of the bodhi tree known as Sokpo
Yuyi Minmachen. The teacher Tsewai Rolpai Lodro addressed
a retinue of bodhisattvas who had attained the
eighth level of realization, [1.9a] giving them teachings on
texts such as the seven tantras concerning subtle teachings.
This took place when the life span of humans was one thousand
years.
The tenth emanation manifested on Vulture Peak. The
teacher Kashyapa the Elder addressed a retinue of seven
fully ordained arhats, giving them such sacred teachings
as the sutras, the Kriya tantras, and the seventy-five thousand
sections of the Anuyoga approach (which is based on
explanatory commentaries). This took place when the life
span of humans was five hundred years.
The eleventh emanation manifested in the environment
of the vajra seat of Bodh Gaya,7 the source of enlightenment.
The teacher Ngondzok Gyalpo addressed a retinue
of the lords of the three families,8 transmitting to them
only the definitive meaning of the teachings. This occurred
when the life span of humans was three hundred years.
The twelfth emanation manifested in the excellent environment
of the garden of Anathapindika.9 The excellent
teacher Shakyamuni taught the excellent dharma to the
four groups in his retinue,10 turning the wheel of the teachings
concerning the Four Noble Truths sixteen times. The
sixteen topics were impermanence, suffering, emptiness,
the nonexistence of the self, causal factors, the origin of suffering, the process of
origination, conditionality, the spiritual path, correct reasoning, [1.9b] spiritual
attainment, renunciation, the cessation of suffering, the state
of peace, the state of perfection, and disengagement from
the world. This took place when the life span of humans was
one hundred years.
These emanations appeared in these twelve environments,
presenting teachings through the five aspects of excellence,
resulting in a total of sixty aspects of spiritual teachings, the
underlying intent of which was to purify the sixty cycles of
evolution and devolution of this eon.
Furthermore, some ninety-six aspects of the dharma
must come together in one who is a foremost holder of the
teachings, or a manifest nirmanakaya emanation; such a
one is referred to as a "master of spiritual teachings." (If a
buddha lacking some of these aspects were to appear in the
world, that buddha's teachings would be said to be fragmentary.)
Emanations like this come about by having perfected
the altruistic motivation they previously aroused. Only in
this way could they have appeared as holy leaders of beings
from the time the human life span was immeasurable until it was one hundred years.


sorry about the formatting.
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Re: Dzogchen practiced on different solar systems?

Postby duffster1 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:25 pm

Thank you :namaste:
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Re: Dzogchen practiced on different solar systems?

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:41 pm

Barney Fife wrote:Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche may be referring to the twelve Nirmanakaya Dzogchen Buddhas


No, he is referring to the so called "thal ba'i gnas", of which there are thirteen. thal ba may mean "galaxy" or it may mean "universe". It is certainly broader than a solar system.

Within these thirteen thal ba are so called "fields" (kṣetras, zhing khams). The term zhing khams is often translated as "pure land", but that is inaccurate -- there are both pure and impure kṣetras. A better term is "buddhafield", since a kṣetra is defined as the field of activity of a given Buddha or bodhisattva. All of the zhing khams mentioned in these thirteen thal bas contain buddhas.

In these thirteen thal bas and their buddhafields it is maintained that Dzogchen teachings are presently found during this epoch.
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Re: Dzogchen practiced on different solar systems?

Postby Nighthawk » Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:51 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Barney Fife wrote:Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche may be referring to the twelve Nirmanakaya Dzogchen Buddhas


No, he is referring to the so called "thal ba'i gnas", of which there are thirteen. thal ba may mean "galaxy" or it may mean "universe". It is certainly broader than a solar system.

Within these thirteen thal ba are so called "fields" (kṣetras, zhing khams). The term zhing khams is often translated as "pure land", but that is inaccurate -- there are both pure and impure kṣetras. A better term is "buddhafield", since a kṣetra is defined as the field of activity of a given Buddha or bodhisattva. All of the zhing khams mentioned in these thirteen thal bas contain buddhas.

In these thirteen thal bas and their buddhafields it is maintained that Dzogchen teachings are presently found during this epoch.

What is the criteria to get into these buddhafields?
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Re: Dzogchen practiced on different solar systems?

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:12 pm

Nighthawk wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Barney Fife wrote:Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche may be referring to the twelve Nirmanakaya Dzogchen Buddhas


No, he is referring to the so called "thal ba'i gnas", of which there are thirteen. thal ba may mean "galaxy" or it may mean "universe". It is certainly broader than a solar system.

Within these thirteen thal ba are so called "fields" (kṣetras, zhing khams). The term zhing khams is often translated as "pure land", but that is inaccurate -- there are both pure and impure kṣetras. A better term is "buddhafield", since a kṣetra is defined as the field of activity of a given Buddha or bodhisattva. All of the zhing khams mentioned in these thirteen thal bas contain buddhas.

In these thirteen thal bas and their buddhafields it is maintained that Dzogchen teachings are presently found during this epoch.

What is the criteria to get into these buddhafields?



One assumes merit, just the same as what got into this buddhafield.
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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: Dzogchen practiced on different solar systems?

Postby mutsuk » Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:19 pm

Malcolm wrote:No, he is referring to the so called "thal ba'i gnas", of which there are thirteen.

No, you are mixing these sanctuaries (thal-ba'i gnas) and the pure realms or buddhafields (zhing khrams). There are eight of these sanctuaires only, and thirteen pure realms. Actually pure realms (zhing khams) are a subdivision of these sanctuaries.

Malcolm wrote:thal ba may mean "galaxy" or it may mean "universe". It is certainly broader than a solar system.

No, the meaning is in fact pretty precise. Actually, the commentary of the sGra thal-'gyur (as well as the oral teachings from Khenpo Jikphun as translated by JLA) clearly explain these very literally. For instance the first of these pure realms, thal-ba'i dbyangs or Melody of Ashes (or Particles, dust whatever sounds nicer in english), is named like this because on its ground is spread (brdal ba) a large variety of "sands" (bye ma, i.e. powder, etc.) of precious gems or metals, such a gold (gser), etc.
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Re: Dzogchen practiced on different solar systems?

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:19 pm

mutsuk wrote:
Malcolm wrote:No, he is referring to the so called "thal ba'i gnas", of which there are thirteen.

No, you are mixing these sanctuaries (thal-ba'i gnas) and the pure realms or buddhafields (zhing khrams). There are eight of these sanctuaires only, and thirteen pure realms. Actually pure realms (zhing khams) are a subdivision of these sanctuaries.


There are thirteen thal bas explained in the sgra thal gyur -- it is very clearly explained:

1. thal ba dbyangs
2. thal ba 'dzin
3. thal ba skyob
4. thal ba brdal ba
5. thal ba'i be con
6. thal ba'i rgyun
7. rab tu thal bas khyab
8. thal ba'i sgra
9. thal ba'i rlung
10. rin po che'i rlung thal ba
11. 'du ba'i thal ba
12. dung ldan thal ba
13. skar ma'i thal ba

Each one is called a buddhafield, because each one also has a teacher, retinue, teaching, etc.

While the commentary on the text indeed glosses "thal ba" as brdal ba in this context i.e. "spread out", however, Norbu Rinpoche maintains that "thal ba" means "beyond".

What the text says is that there are eight types of thal ba'i gnas.

1. 'jig rten khams (durgatiloka)
2. shing khams (kṣetraloka, buddhafields)
3. dam bca' skyobs
4. skyon gnas
5. 'pheb pa'i sa
6. sbyor ba
7. grags
8. song ba'i gnas


We are discussing here class two: buddhafields where Dzogchen is taught.

Perhaps we are talking past each other.
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Re: Dzogchen practiced on different solar systems?

Postby wisdom » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:26 pm

Regardless of the meaning, I think it would be arrogant to assume A) We are the only intelligent life in this whole universe and B) We are the only ones who have discovered the true nature of reality as it is. Mind is mind, senses are senses. No matter how alien another species is, they all have mind. Therefore it is safe to assume that other worlds have a form of Dharma, and that other worlds also possess some form of Dzogchen. It might be hard to recognize due to how they may express it, and also their specific experience of the mind may differ from our own based on how their senses operate or what they experience. Beings who experience a wider range of sound for example might have mantras that we cannot even hear, their concept of seed syllables and so forth might be different. To them, the sound "A" might be insignificant, or at least not as important as it is to us humans who rely on it for all our speech. Beings who experience a wider spectrum of light may have meditations we can't conceive of. Beings whose brains are wired differently may find it easier or more difficult to achieve realization. Beings whose biology is different might experience the poisons differently. But in the end, mind is mind, and we are probably, almost certainly not alone in being intelligent beings in this universe.

Nature has a pattern, that pattern has surely repeated itself on other worlds as it has on our own.
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Re: Dzogchen practiced on different solar systems?

Postby mutsuk » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:57 pm

Malcolm wrote:There are thirteen thal bas explained in the sgra thal gyur -- it is very clearly explained:

Of course, it is very clearly explained. There are 8 Thal-ba'i gnas, and the second category of these is that of the pure realms (zhing-khams). It is here that there are 13 pure realms. You can read that at the beginning of the 5th question of the 1st chapter.

While the commentary on the text indeed glosses "thal ba" as brdal ba in this context i.e. "spread out", however, Norbu Rinpoche maintains that "thal ba" means "beyond".

This is clearly not the case. The meaning of thal-ba is given throughout the commentary as (reduced to) powder, etc. HE Khenpo Jigphun has a long explanation about it, directly related to the title.
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Re: Dzogchen practiced on different solar systems?

Postby duffster1 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:25 pm

Were are these buddhafields?
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Re: Dzogchen practiced on different solar systems?

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:36 pm

mutsuk wrote:This is clearly not the case. The meaning of thal-ba is given throughout the commentary as (reduced to) powder, etc. HE Khenpo Jigphun has a long explanation about it, directly related to the title.



Well, I think you are over looking the meaning of thal ba as "samatikramatikrānta".
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Re: Dzogchen practiced on different solar systems?

Postby mutsuk » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:43 pm

Malcolm wrote:
mutsuk wrote:This is clearly not the case. The meaning of thal-ba is given throughout the commentary as (reduced to) powder, etc. HE Khenpo Jigphun has a long explanation about it, directly related to the title.



Well, I think you are over looking the meaning of thal ba as "samatikramatikrānta".

Possibly though I doubt it. I prefer to stick to Vimalamitra's intrerpretation in the commentary and the long explanation by HE Khenpo Rinpoche.
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Re: Dzogchen practiced on different solar systems?

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:52 pm

mutsuk wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
mutsuk wrote:This is clearly not the case. The meaning of thal-ba is given throughout the commentary as (reduced to) powder, etc. HE Khenpo Jigphun has a long explanation about it, directly related to the title.



Well, I think you are over looking the meaning of thal ba as "samatikramatikrānta".

Possibly though I doubt it. I prefer to stick to Vimalamitra's intrerpretation in the commentary and the long explanation by HE Khenpo Rinpoche.


Is Khenpo Jigphun's explanation to be found in his collected works? [I am a direct disciple of his].
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Re: Dzogchen practiced on different solar systems?

Postby mutsuk » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:11 pm

Malcolm wrote:Is Khenpo Jigphun's explanation to be found in his collected works? [I am a direct disciple of his].

At least not in the editions of his gSung 'bum that I know of (from TBRC). I'm referring to a large file of notes and explanations that JLA has compiled from the teachings of HE Khenpo Rinpoche. Rinpoche has given similar explanations for at least 3 other Tantras of the 17 Tantras (but I'm not sure which ones) and was told there are printed transcripts of these in Chinese. Unfortunately, these transcripts have been unaccessible to me and I wonder if they exist for real (although I recently got an info stating that they had been privately printed in Chengdu for the chinese community of his disciples, but this is very vague...).
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Re: Dzogchen practiced on different solar systems?

Postby Barney Fife » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:30 pm

cool. great details, etc.
i also heard that there may be a listing of 64 Dzogchen Buddhas in their respective aeons and with their respective buddhafields and world systems. I heard that all the details of these, including how many beings each buddha liberated, are given in the second chapter of the The Tantra of the Teachings: The Single Child. The text is mentioned near the beginning of the Nyoshul Khen quote above.
Even though the names of the locations and time periods are listed, it would be hard to say where and when they are, relative to our mental universe. Wisdom's comments may relate to this, like it is other dimensions of experience.
Wisdom's remarks interesting in that regard, and also re: dakini language, sound, light, and language. Not sure but I've heard that the Dzogchen Tantras were originally in dakini language, and were gradually brought into human language by the original Dzogchen vidyadharas and finally made completely accessible in human language by Longchenpa.
Also heard somewhere that in our human world there is a relation between the Oddiyana language and dakini language, not sure about that either. There are legends that over the centuries all the residents of Oddiyana were liberated and became dakas and dakinis. Which relates to the teaching that through Vajrayana and Dzogchen one may become a vidyadhara or daka or dakini of the nirmanakaya buddhafields, either in this very lifetime or in one's next or future lifetimes. Such an attainment of nirmanakaya enlightenment would confer potential access to all of these kinds of realms. Where one would function on different sound and light spectrums, but with the same fundamental mind?

Widsom wrote:
Nature has a pattern, that pattern has surely repeated itself on other worlds as it has on our own.


What? Do you mean that it is not all being created anew every moment by Divine Unity Consciousness, like Jes Bertelsen teaches? :smile:
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Re: Dzogchen practiced on different solar systems?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:45 am

Barney Fife wrote:cool. great details, etc.
i also heard that there may be a listing of 64 Dzogchen Buddhas in their respective aeons and with their respective buddhafields and world systems.


Temporally, it is not hard to discern. They are prior to this eon.
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Re: Dzogchen practiced on different solar systems?

Postby Barney Fife » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:32 am

Thank you malcolm, that is interesting, it does sound what I remember hearing. Don't know about past and future tense in the Tibetan language, if it is always obvious or not. Richard Barron translates Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche's accounts of the twelve Dzogchen Buddhas in the past tense. But some of these could still be active and accessible to Dzogchen yogis? So like the Dzogchen Buddha of that field may have manifested temporally in the past, but some of the places could still be active as Dzogchen buddhafield in which one may be born now? Like Shakyamuni Buddha is the twelfth buddha in that list, and he manifested in the past, but we are still at present in Buddha Shakyamuni's Dzogchen buddhafield?

thank you,

b.f.
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Re: Dzogchen practiced on different solar systems?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:45 am

Barney Fife wrote:Thank you malcolm, that is interesting, it does sound what I remember hearing. Don't know about past and future tense in the Tibetan language, if it is always obvious or not.


In this case it is quite clear in the original text.
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