Scientifically satisfactory evidence for the rainbow body[?]

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Re: Scientifically satisfactory evidence for the rainbow bod

Postby Sherab » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:41 am

Guty wrote:- on the ledge of the windows - it is more accessible for the persons placing the sphere shaped objects in the vicinity of the cremated person.

Highly unlikely because I knew what I saw. The cremation fire was still burning at that time. The ringsels were not only on the ledges but inside the cremation structure as well. There were so many of them that it was impossible for me to count. By the way, the ringsels at that time looks more like round balls of "dust" - rather fragile - and greyish.

Guty wrote:
In addition, there was nun who was a close student of the high lama. She was given a piece of the lama's bone. The bone subsequently broke by itself into three pieces, revealing images of deities within them.
- this I do not understand and I would rather not.

I don't understand it myself. But I knew the nun personally. She was there with me at that time.

Guty wrote: ringsel smells and looks fishier than anything else, but I'm not saying anything. you have one? have it tested for the chemical and organical composition, could help a lot to get somewhere at least.

Yes, I was given one but I gave it away to a Buddhist Centre where more people could see it. I don't feel the need to keep it for myself.
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Re: Scientifically satisfactory evidence for the rainbow bod

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:52 am

dmr82 wrote:
It depends on what you're really after. But two still living masters displaying siddhis like the 84 mahasiddhas seems pretty relevant if one looks for confirmation of these abilities.



All of these things remain anecdotal, as I am sure will you will admit.
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Re: Scientifically satisfactory evidence for the rainbow bod

Postby pensum » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:56 am

Sherab wrote:Highly unlikely because I knew what I saw. The cremation fire was still burning at that time. The ringsels were not only on the ledges but inside the cremation structure as well. There were so many of them that it was impossible for me to count. By the way, the ringsels at that time looks more like round balls of "dust" - rather fragile - and greyish.


What you describe here sounds like the result of condensation. The moisture evaporating from the body would rise as steam and condense on the cooler walls of the cremation stupa. The naturally occurring salts of the body, together with calcium etc. in the paint, cement, the salt the kudang was packed in, wood ash, etc. would then bond and solidify as the remaining moisture evaporates, leaving a greyish spherical residue.

I should mention that i am not a chemist or scientist, and so don't know all the exact components and mechanisms, but in a situation like Sherab describes these would be quite basic and i am sure easily explained in detail by a chemist or someone with a basic understanding of chemical compounds.
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Re: Scientifically satisfactory evidence for the rainbow bod

Postby justsit » Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:47 am

A video kindly posted by Kirtu this week contains some footage of cremation/ringsel. The relevant section runs from about 36:48-43:58.

Last edited by justsit on Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Scientifically satisfactory evidence for the rainbow bod

Postby pensum » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:16 am

Excellent documentary, thanks Justsit!
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Re: Scientifically satisfactory evidence for the rainbow bod

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:01 am

Guty wrote:Why do people love and believe in miracles? Why are they willing to die defending the most annoying, preposterous, stupidest stories in the world?
Because belief in miraculous persons gives them hope that their becoming and their doing, their conceptual minds based in hope, that future will bring something exceptional tomorrow and that one day will become "somebody special". It is an opiate. It helps escape reality that is too boring for dreamers. When you get rid of becoming and establish yourselves in reality, you'll see that these are redundant and toxic and help keeping minds in the loop of becoming. Once you find out you can't ever become anything else than you already are, the demand for the miraculous falls off.


This year will be the 30th anniversary of my taking refuge with a Tibetan teacher, who is very highly regarded.
In all of that time, I don't know that he ever did anything 'miraculous' that cannot also be given a different explanation.
I took the five precepts from him, including the vow to not drink. This was important for me, because I was in the habit of getting dangerously intoxicated on a regular basis, and pretty drunk every day otherwise, and had not been able to find an effective way to stop. Immediately after that (taking precepts), I completely lost any and all desire to drink. Even when I was given some alcohol since then, the taste was not something I craved. Naturally, one could argue that this is all my own doing and there is no way to dispute it. Either way, the effect is miraculous even if the cause isn't.

I have also been at a ceremony (vajrayana empowerment) in which, at one point, everything seemed to be radiating golden light, and many of the people, a couple hundred or so, in attendance, including myself were so moved by the experience that tears were rolling down our cheeks.
It was a ceremony conducted by a "high" lama, and it was as though for a few moments he had opened a window and shown everybody what was "really" real. It was a kind of feeling.

Of course, you can turn on the TV any time and see church shows where people cry and faint and scream "Hallelu-yah" and have all kinds of similar experiences. So, again, as you say, there is no way to specifically say it was caused by the things people say it was (a teacher's enlightenment, the glory of god, etc.). But, if some truth of "miracles" are not what a person's interest in Dharma practice is based on, then I don't think it actually matters if people subscribe to them or not, regardless of whether the emphasis is actually on the result, or on the cause.

I just want to mention these events because with or without them, my Dharma practice/conviction, what motivates me, is not based on miraculous stories whatsoever. Like you, I do not put much stock in relics or rainbows. And honestly, even among my dharma friends who seem to me rather obsessed by relics, I don't know any Buddhists who, even if they are into these things, base their practice on such things. If they did, I think there would be reason great for the concern you seem to have. At the same time, I think the Buddhist teachings, and the Vajrayana in general, reveal an understanding of the infinite nature of the mind and of the objects that the mind comes into contact with. Likewise, those who have devoted their entire lives to the study and practice of certain yogas or whatever you want to call them, are quite possibly able to do extraordinary things, but which are extraordinary simply because ordinary explanations are based on a comparatively limited understanding of how the components of our 'reality' actually arise. Whether someone wants to pursue that or not is up to them. for me, and I think perhaps for you as well, it would be a distraction.

There was something you said earlier:
You will see, if you will ever care to investigate, that the historical backgrounds of many religious events is unverifiable and often in favor of the skeptical premise, that there never was this and that person, never happened this and that miraculous even, or that some place as told by ancients, never existed historically. You will see, if you will ever care to investigate, that the historical backgrounds of many religious events is unverifiable and often in favor of the skeptical premise, that there never was this and that person, never happened this and that miraculous even, or that some place as told by ancients, never existed historically.

...and this brings up an interesting factor that distinguishes Buddhism from religion. We do not know who the first person was who rubbed two sticks together and produced fire, or made sparks by striking flint against a piece of metal. We can imagine it was a cave man or something, but we don't know. However, we can do exactly the same thing today and get the same results (that is how cigarette lighters work).

Likewise, we do not have any tangible proof that a Buddha ever said any of the things he is supposed to have said, so even if we were to assume that the entirety of Buddhism has been made up over the centuries, the fact is that you can still practice those teachings, regardless of who said them, and in doing so be liberated from suffering, and that is what validates them. You'll just have to wait until you die to find out for yourself some of that other stuff.

Until then, what is the point of disparaging others?
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Re: Scientifically satisfactory evidence for the rainbow bod

Postby Sherab » Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:48 am

pensum wrote:
Sherab wrote:Highly unlikely because I knew what I saw. The cremation fire was still burning at that time. The ringsels were not only on the ledges but inside the cremation structure as well. There were so many of them that it was impossible for me to count. By the way, the ringsels at that time looks more like round balls of "dust" - rather fragile - and greyish.


What you describe here sounds like the result of condensation. The moisture evaporating from the body would rise as steam and condense on the cooler walls of the cremation stupa. The naturally occurring salts of the body, together with calcium etc. in the paint, cement, the salt the kudang was packed in, wood ash, etc. would then bond and solidify as the remaining moisture evaporates, leaving a greyish spherical residue.

I should mention that i am not a chemist or scientist, and so don't know all the exact components and mechanisms, but in a situation like Sherab describes these would be quite basic and i am sure easily explained in detail by a chemist or someone with a basic understanding of chemical compounds.

Note that I mentioned that the ringsels were found on the inside and outside, and the burning was still on-going at the time when I saw the ringsels. So you rationalization does not work.
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Re: Scientifically satisfactory evidence for the rainbow bod

Postby muni » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:02 am

Guty wrote:Why do people love and believe in miracles? ... defending the most annoying, preposterous, stupidest stories in the world?


This is it, a description of my life in a nutshell. :twothumbsup:

Then the translation « miracles » is bounded by how we see it. While the vast possibilities of enlightened nature is certainly indescridable or not useful for proving mind by which is grasping to form, object.

Also for example if it was possible to explain/prove everything with satisfactory evidence, we just need a prescription or an explanation and there we go, enlightenment guaranteed.

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Re: Scientifically satisfactory evidence for the rainbow bod

Postby pensum » Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:17 pm

Sherab wrote:
pensum wrote:
Sherab wrote:Highly unlikely because I knew what I saw. The cremation fire was still burning at that time. The ringsels were not only on the ledges but inside the cremation structure as well. There were so many of them that it was impossible for me to count. By the way, the ringsels at that time looks more like round balls of "dust" - rather fragile - and greyish.


What you describe here sounds like the result of condensation. The moisture evaporating from the body would rise as steam and condense on the cooler walls of the cremation stupa. The naturally occurring salts of the body, together with calcium etc. in the paint, cement, the salt the kudang was packed in, wood ash, etc. would then bond and solidify as the remaining moisture evaporates, leaving a greyish spherical residue.

I should mention that i am not a chemist or scientist, and so don't know all the exact components and mechanisms, but in a situation like Sherab describes these would be quite basic and i am sure easily explained in detail by a chemist or someone with a basic understanding of chemical compounds.

Note that I mentioned that the ringsels were found on the inside and outside, and the burning was still on-going at the time when I saw the ringsels. So you rationalization does not work.


But what i described would occur during the fire, that is the whole point. Yes the condensation theory is a rough explanation of what would occur on the inside of the chamber. Though it could also occur on the outside as well, for cremation stupas are typically made especially for the cremation and hence do not have time to properly cure and dry, hence the fire would cause the cement to sweat as the remaining moisture works its way to the surface. Certain compounds then mixing with the calcium etc. in the whitewash to form the ringsel on the outside. This too would occur while the fire was burning, and could continue after it had died down as well.

What i don't seem to have made clear in my earlier attempt is that all phenomena are miraculous, one without an explanation is just an enigma. Why is it that people lose their sense of wonder just because something can be explained? I know the basic development of a plant growing from a seed and yet i am still in awe of both the flower's beauty and the process of its unfolding. Knowing the mechanisms of DNA, spermatozoa and ova, the development of the embryo and the process of birth, does not diminish my wonder that is life. I know that the colours of the sky at sunset are caused by the refraction of light, yet i have never ceased to marvel at their beauty throughout all the years of my life. And there are so many things i don't understand or can't explain that fill me equally with wonder, and when explanations are found for what was once a mystery i marvel at both the explanation, the process of discovery itself and the mind capable of plumbing such mysteries; just like Shakyamuni, Shri Singha, Guru Rinpoche and so many other great masters have done when it comes to the mechanisms of the mind. It's all so damn exquisite and magical, not just the unexplainable or poorly explained bits--all of it. It is the great perfection, not the little perfection or partial perfection; Kuntuzangpo doesn't mean "somewhat good" or "sort of good" but all good--everything, without exception, perfect and good. To believe that something is diminished due to knowing part of the mechanism behind it is to confuse ignorance with wisdom. While to think that something is not a miracle just because it can be explained is to deny the great bliss that suffuses all of samsara and nirvana.
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Re: Scientifically satisfactory evidence for the rainbow bod

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:20 pm

Sherab wrote:So you rationalization does not work.


Just admit it, Sherab, you don't completely accept the Buddha's teaching "Where this exists, that exists". You don't completely accept "arising from conditions".

The Tantra that I mentioned, the sku gdung 'bar ba, explains very precisely all the causes and conditions for the arising of the various types of things we call "ring srel" aka śariraṃ, i.e. relics. There really isn't a detailed explanation for these phenomena outside of Dzogchen tantras.

Sakya Pandita says one must be cautious about relics: he doesn't rule out that they could be a result of realization, but he also observes that they could be mere formations of the four elements or even the artifices of demonic non-humans meant to deceive.

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Re: Scientifically satisfactory evidence for the rainbow bod

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:57 pm

pensum wrote: What i don't seem to have made clear in my earlier attempt is that all phenomena are miraculous, one without an explanation is just an enigma. Why is it that people lose their sense of wonder just because something can be explained?


In Japan, a method was developed whereby an entire symphony orchestra
can fit inside of a very small box, a box that is no bigger than a cracker.
Even when something can be explained, I am still in awe.
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Re: Scientifically satisfactory evidence for the rainbow bod

Postby Guty » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:47 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Until then, what is the point of disparaging others?

That would be an incorrect understanding of my posts. I may sometimes target the peculiarities and qualities of people; however, since I do not believe in their separate independent existence, I can't target them as something inferior or deal with them in a truly condescending manner. But sometimes people believe in inferior things and I just 'respect them too much to respect their ridiculous beliefs'.. so my reactions target those beliefs without necessarilly targeting the people behind them. We should strive to become intellectually mature, emotionally sober and well equipped with genuine insight to avoid unnecessary dependance on the 'extraordinary' and indemonstrable. What is really necessary and indispensable, is within reach of an ordinary consciousness and ordinary perceptive capabilities. All else is unnecessary addition, piled on the sacred doctrine by people who love sensations more than the precious gift of our intrinsic selfexistent, luminous potentiality.
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Re: Scientifically satisfactory evidence for the rainbow bod

Postby dmr82 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:37 pm

Malcolm wrote:All of these things remain anecdotal, as I am sure will you will admit.


Nope there is footage of the master from The Magus of Java.





That is what was demonstrated in public. Read the book written by a greek engineer who visited him over a period of 10 years if you want to know what he and his teachers from this lineage are capable of. The siddhis are real and he even has a wife and kids yet through his training achieved these abilities. Just because modern dzogchen practitioners don't demonstrate these abilities doesn't mean they are not real. And their absence in modern dzogchen practitioners doesn't devalue dzogchen as the highest vehicle for achieving enlightenment. I think the oral transmission and highest ati yoga instruction manuals didn't set out to deceive people when they mention the abilities that manifest upon completion of the visions.
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Re: Scientifically satisfactory evidence for the rainbow bod

Postby Guty » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:51 pm

I can have absolutely no objections against mythology. The problem arises, when some portion of vajrayanists interchange and confuse the mythology with actual history. But that is still their own, personal, subjective perception - those who see through, are also liable to point out at this misconception just like an adult who sees a child attacking the projection screen in the cinema will kindly and compassionately explain them, that those things are not real. Often it doesn't help either so when the child grows up it will understand on its own. But helping to correct the false views should be understood as a necessity.

On the other hand, I guess I understand there may be a little more to it. Belief in the miraculous may be of help in certain situations, when for example a tantrika does generation practices - live faith in that case, if correctly directed toward completion and unification with the ideals of enlightened attributes becomes a great help. Ultimate, perfected faith is an adhesive, gluey element which attracts these attributes and allows binding, merging and realizing. I have used this ability, and I have used it in anuyoga practice some years ago; but at the same time, I do not need a concrete hard conviction, that all the legendary deeds of mahasiddhas are literally true and historically authentic; to me compartmentalizing the mythical and allegorical from real and actual eventually became necessary for the practice and for living. Later on I started deconstructing everything which appeared to be very beneficial for my further progress in removing conceptual limitations, so I understood, that the very same thing which can be of great help in the generation episode, will be an obstacle if you are trying to stabilize in contemplation. The practice of dzogpachenpo is entirely free from superstition from the very beginning, cause it only uses cognition, direct seeing and adds no interpretation to what is seen.

I would really much rather see people understand this instead of creating projections and illusions. At the same time I do not wish to be involved, this is only my explanation of my point, I do not have any desires to change perceptions of others if they wish to keep them.
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Re: Scientifically satisfactory evidence for the rainbow bod

Postby Guty » Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:01 pm

dmr82 wrote:
Malcolm wrote:All of these things remain anecdotal, as I am sure will you will admit.


Nope there is footage of the master from The Magus of Java.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2NAohPcT4U
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aos0hnwiHt8

That is what was demonstrated in public. Read the book written by a greek engineer who visited him over a period of 10 years if you want to know what he and his teachers from this lineage are capable of. The siddhis are real and he even has a wife and kids yet through his training achieved these abilities. Just because modern dzogchen practitioners don't demonstrate these abilities doesn't mean they are not real. And their absence in modern dzogchen practitioners doesn't devalue dzogchen as the highest vehicle for achieving enlightenment. I think the oral transmission and highest ati yoga instruction manuals didn't set out to deceive people when they mention the abilities that manifest upon completion of the visions.


but if this that master who you said earlier manifested abilities of Guru Rinpoche, then I have to laugh out loudly. :thanks:

-> this is also interesting, it is about how abilities and miracles of "guru rinpoche" are usually done:


-> mahasiddha Derren Brown, who is the third one who demonstrates deeds of impeccable enlightenment for unenlightened audience for entertainment purposes.. (no, not really) ... for educational purposes and for people to get a chance to independently form their opinions:

Last edited by Guty on Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Scientifically satisfactory evidence for the rainbow bod

Postby dmr82 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:13 pm

Guty wrote:



This only proves that it can be faked not that the masters abilities are fake.

And you should read the books I recommended. The other master has the actual "yang shen" achievement which equals completing the 4th vision in togal practice. Come and go as he wishes. And you can laugh all you want this world will remain hidden to you.
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Re: Scientifically satisfactory evidence for the rainbow bod

Postby Guty » Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:24 pm

dmr82 wrote:This only proves that it can be faked not that the masters abilities are fake.

And you should read the books I recommended. The other master has the actual "yang shen" achievement which equals completing the 4th vision in togal practice. Come and go as he wishes. And you can laugh all you want this world will remain hidden to you.



not hidden, but discarded. after I could totally see through it, I discarded it as redundant and totally unnecessary world.

But I will be delighted to know more about his yang shen achievement if there is some material where I could read more about it. The "other master" that you mention. :thanks:
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Re: Scientifically satisfactory evidence for the rainbow bod

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:36 pm

dmr82 wrote:
Malcolm wrote:All of these things remain anecdotal, as I am sure will you will admit.


Nope there is footage of the master from The Magus of Java.


Sleight of hand.

Just because modern dzogchen practitioners don't demonstrate these abilities doesn't mean they are not real. And their absence in modern dzogchen practitioners doesn't devalue dzogchen as the highest vehicle for achieving enlightenment. I think the oral transmission and highest ati yoga instruction manuals didn't set out to deceive people when they mention the abilities that manifest upon completion of the visions.


No, I don't think there is any intended deception either. Quite the opposite, actually, they prevent people from claiming total buddhahood in absence of such demonstrable abilities.

Even if such abilities are real, they are mundane, having nothing to do with actually gaining realization. People who think otherwise are going down a rabbit hole.
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Re: Scientifically satisfactory evidence for the rainbow bod

Postby Guty » Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:40 pm

Malcolm wrote:Even if such abilities are real, they are mundane, having nothing to do with actually gaining realization. People who think otherwise are going down a rabbit hole.


yep
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Re: Scientifically satisfactory evidence for the rainbow bod

Postby dmr82 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:59 pm

Malcolm wrote:...they prevent people from claiming total buddhahood in absence of such demonstrable abilities.

Even if such abilities are real, they are mundane, having nothing to do with actually gaining realization.


You are contradicting yourself. First you say realized beings can demonstrate them, then you say having them has nothing to do with having realization. Also there is nothing mundane about them as sentient beings can't display them except through fakery and deception.
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