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 Post subject: Re: Vajra Hell
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:11 pm 
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gregkavarnos wrote:
Two words to mull over: denial and rationalisation.


I am afraid that I have to agree with gregkavarnos.
Unfortunately, it is something I have seen again and again in Vajrayana and Dzogchen circles.
Serious addiction with alcohol or/and drugs!!!!
Some people accept their addiction and this is the first step towards their freedom, and some they deny it and pretend that they have high capacity as true "Dzogchenpas" or "Tantrikas".... :(
From what I have heard from friends, the best way is to follow a therapy group like A.A. (the 12 steps of Anonymous Alcoholics). There is also a similar group for people who have addiction with drugs. And the same time to dedicate yourself in some practices!
This thread is not only for padma norbu, who was honest enough and had the courage to share with us his problem.
It can be useful for all vajra brothers and sisters who have similar afflictions.
Dzogchen - since is the highest vehicle - is meant for people who are mature and can take total responsibility of their life. There is no reason people to ask so often Rinpoche for advices that any sensible man or woman can decide by him/herself.
I am afraid this is a sign of immaturity, which is accompanied by the wish somebody else to be responsible for them.

Moreover, for repairing samaya there is the 100 syllables mantra of Vajrasattva. This is the reason we are always using it during Ganapuja.
For clearing our tendencies, there is the Purification of 6 Lokas.
Vajra Hell is well-known in all Buddhist traditions of Tibet.
It is said that "Vajrayana is a very quick vehicle towards enlightenment, but also a very dangerous one for people without awareness".
That was the reason the transmissions were kept secret, and some special transmissions are remain so until today.
So, Vajra Hell is not the common hell where beings are going because of strong hatred.
It is what Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche is saying in his books, and you can find a little excerpt of this in the thread "Rebirth as a Rudra".

The 5 precepts, the samaya and the causes for going to Vajra Hell are very different things. Please, do not put them all in the same sack!

5 precepts:
1. Not taking life.
2. Not taking what is not given.
3. Abstain from sexual misconduct.
4. Abstain from false speech.
5. Abstain from fermented drink that causes heedlessness.

Fourteen root downfalls or breaks of samaya:
1. Physically harming or slandering the teacher from whom one received the abhiṣeka.
2. Opposing the words of the buddhas.
3. Strong negative emotions towards one’s vajra brothers and sisters.
4. Abandoning loving kindness and compassion for sentient beings.
5. Abandoning the bodhichitta in aspiration or application.
6. Criticizing other Buddhist traditions.
7. Revealing secrets to those who are unworthy.
8. Mistreating one’s body.
9. Abandoning emptiness.
10. Keeping bad company: Associating with samaya corrupters.
11. Failing to reflect on emptiness.
12. Upsetting those who have faith in the teachings.
13. Failing to observe the samaya commitments.
14. Denigrating women.

I think that alcoholism and drugs are fitting to the break of the 8th and 10th samayas.

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 Post subject: Re: Vajra Hell
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:10 pm 
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This is an old topic at this point, but I suppose it's always good to get more information on the subject. Seems like the 5th precept is even more obvious than #8 and #10, though. Not sure how "lumping" is going on here since I've read alcohol abuse can lead to hell realms or other lower realms from people more respected than just some guy on a message board.

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 Post subject: Re: Vajra Hell
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:03 pm 
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padma norbu wrote:
Seems like the 5th precept is even more obvious than #8 and #10, though.


Everything is interconnected... :juggling:

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 Post subject: Re: Vajra Hell
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:06 pm 
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Hadn't Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche state that Samaya and Vaja Hell are relevant only to those who have discovered the nature of mind?

:popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: Vajra Hell
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:10 am 
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To the OP: if you are worried with rebirth in Hell, practice Pure Land buddhism.

If you are honest on your desire to have a rebirth on Pure Land, you will succeed, even with a broken Samaya.


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 Post subject: Re: Vajra Hell
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:36 am 
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In the bone yard wrote:
Hadn't Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche state that Samaya and Vaja Hell are relevant only to those who have discovered the nature of mind?

:popcorn:


Dudjom Rinpoche says it's from when you've taken an empowerment - nothing about having to have recognised anything for samaya to 'stick'.

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 Post subject: Re: Vajra Hell
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:10 am 
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Dronma wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:
Two words to mull over: denial and rationalisation.


I am afraid that I have to agree with gregkavarnos.
Unfortunately, it is something I have seen again and again in Vajrayana and Dzogchen circles.
Serious addiction with alcohol or/and drugs!!!!
Some people accept their addiction and this is the first step towards their freedom, and some they deny it and pretend that they have high capacity as true "Dzogchenpas" or "Tantrikas".... :(
From what I have heard from friends, the best way is to follow a therapy group like A.A. (the 12 steps of Anonymous Alcoholics). There is also a similar group for people who have addiction with drugs. And the same time to dedicate yourself in some practices!
This thread is not only for padma norbu, who was honest enough and had the courage to share with us his problem.
It can be useful for all vajra brothers and sisters who have similar afflictions.
Dzogchen - since is the highest vehicle - is meant for people who are mature and can take total responsibility of their life. There is no reason people to ask so often Rinpoche for advices that any sensible man or woman can decide by him/herself.
I am afraid this is a sign of immaturity, which is accompanied by the wish somebody else to be responsible for them.

Moreover, for repairing samaya there is the 100 syllables mantra of Vajrasattva. This is the reason we are always using it during Ganapuja.
For clearing our tendencies, there is the Purification of 6 Lokas.
Vajra Hell is well-known in all Buddhist traditions of Tibet.
It is said that "Vajrayana is a very quick vehicle towards enlightenment, but also a very dangerous one for people without awareness".
That was the reason the transmissions were kept secret, and some special transmissions are remain so until today.
So, Vajra Hell is not the common hell where beings are going because of strong hatred.
It is what Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche is saying in his books, and you can find a little excerpt of this in the thread "Rebirth as a Rudra".

The 5 precepts, the samaya and the causes for going to Vajra Hell are very different things. Please, do not put them all in the same sack!

5 precepts:
1. Not taking life.
2. Not taking what is not given.
3. Abstain from sexual misconduct.
4. Abstain from false speech.
5. Abstain from fermented drink that causes heedlessness.

Fourteen root downfalls or breaks of samaya:
1. Physically harming or slandering the teacher from whom one received the abhiṣeka.
2. Opposing the words of the buddhas.
3. Strong negative emotions towards one’s vajra brothers and sisters.
4. Abandoning loving kindness and compassion for sentient beings.
5. Abandoning the bodhichitta in aspiration or application.
6. Criticizing other Buddhist traditions.
7. Revealing secrets to those who are unworthy.
8. Mistreating one’s body.
9. Abandoning emptiness.
10. Keeping bad company: Associating with samaya corrupters.
11. Failing to reflect on emptiness.
12. Upsetting those who have faith in the teachings.
13. Failing to observe the samaya commitments.
14. Denigrating women.

I think that alcoholism and drugs are fitting to the break of the 8th and 10th samayas.


Also I can agree with you in one hand, in another hand we have to be cautious about what is called a drug and what is not, what is good and what is bad and so on ... our answer should not be automatic.
Substances are substances ... and they are of many kind.

Sönam

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By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
- Longchen Rabjam -


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 Post subject: Re: Vajra Hell
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:35 am 
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Sönam wrote:
Also I can agree with you in one hand, in another hand we have to be cautious about what is called a drug and what is not, what is good and what is bad and so on ... our answer should not be automatic.
Substances are substances ... and they are of many kind.


Gay sex/party drugs, now ubiquitous and used by some more adventurous heterosexuals (the cocaine epidemic of the 80's for example) are definite examples of a drug, a demon in physical form. Some of these substances are apparently used legitimately under some conditions. Well that's fine. But if the intention is to get high intentionally as the main purpose (or secondarily to enhance sexual pleasure, etc.) then it is misconduct.

Then alcohol - if one is addicted or wants to intentionally get drunk then it is misconduct.

Kirt

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 Post subject: Re: Vajra Hell
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:40 am 
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kirtu wrote:
Sönam wrote:
Also I can agree with you in one hand, in another hand we have to be cautious about what is called a drug and what is not, what is good and what is bad and so on ... our answer should not be automatic.
Substances are substances ... and they are of many kind.


Gay sex/party drugs, now ubiquitous and used by some more adventurous heterosexuals (the cocaine epidemic of the 80's for example) are definite examples of a drug, a demon in physical form.

Kirt


I do not agree with your presentation ... that's exactely the point I made about being cautious. But I'm not ready to discuss more about it ... unless we found another approach.

Sönam

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By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
- Longchen Rabjam -


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 Post subject: Re: Vajra Hell
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:42 pm 
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Nosta wrote:
To the OP: if you are worried with rebirth in Hell, practice Pure Land buddhism.

If you are honest on your desire to have a rebirth on Pure Land, you will succeed, even with a broken Samaya.

I'd like to be so optimist as you are! :lol:
Unfortunately, the causes that would lead someone to experience Vajra Hell are the same that would make his Pure Land practice ineffective.
A samaya can be mended and there are minor and major breaches. Not all is the same. Any honest practitioner ends up mending his samaya and minimize the damage. When someone doesn't care about it and seriously breach his samaya, persisting in the attitude/ action(s) that lead to the samaya breakage, the prognostic is not favorable at all. Dharma becomes a poison because the person gives it his personal spin to fulfill his personal agenda, corrupting it and turning it into a cause for lower rebirths. As motivation, especially a pure motivation, seems to be tantamount to the practice of Pure Land Buddhism, how can someone whose intentions are corrupt engage in a positive practice?
What you are saying, basically, is that the intention to save one's ass turns karma ineffective. It doesn't work that way.


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 Post subject: Re: Vajra Hell
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:43 pm 
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Paul wrote:
Dudjom Rinpoche says it's from when you've taken an empowerment - nothing about having to have recognised anything for samaya to 'stick'.


Oh... very good!
The book "Light of Fearless Indestructible Wisdom" by Rinpoche's student is very special to me.

So many people now get empowerments without qualifications.
But not all empowerments are meant to reveal the nature of mind, for instance to large groups of people.
If qualifications not in place then not all empowerments will reveal nature of mind.

Samayas are vajrayana commitments. Vajradara Trungpa Rinpoche once said "Once you get on the train, there's no getting off."
Meaning you are committed to your samayas once nature of mind is revealed.
I think it was from one of his 1970s seminars...recorded in the precious book "Lion's Roar"?

Rinpoche came from a time and place where empowerments were meant to open the nature of mind and you needed qualifications.
:smile:


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 Post subject: Re: Vajra Hell
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:58 pm 
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In the bone yard wrote:
Rinpoche came from a time and place where empowerments were meant to open the nature of mind and you needed qualifications.
Qualifications? Is an apprenticeship in carpentry a good enough qualification so that I can get the nature of mind pointed out to me or do I just need to have paid my membership fee to the respective club?
:namaste:

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 Post subject: Re: Vajra Hell
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:05 pm 
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I guess he means prior practice with specific attainments. I guess, because he wasn't very clear. Some empowerments are kept secret for a good reason.
Most, however, are advisable to assist if there's the possibility, as long as one doesn't go there with a "collector mentality". Not always is needed the intention to do the associated sadhana, but sometimes just to create a connection with a certain lineage/practice if so one wishes. It's always good to keep in mind that one doesn't need to perform all the sadhanas one receives. That would be impossible and unnecessary, because practitioners are taught (or should be) how to keep all samayas intact when only doing their main practice. Still, prior consultation of the event protocol and requisites is always wise, I guess.


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 Post subject: Re: Vajra Hell
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:38 pm 
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Dechen Norbu wrote:
I guess he means prior practice with specific attainments. I guess, because he wasn't very clear. Some empowerments are kept secret for a good reason.
Most, however, are advisable to assist if there's the possibility, as long as one doesn't go there with a "collector mentality". Not always is needed the intention to do the associated sadhana, but sometimes just to create a connection with a certain lineage/practice if so one wishes. It's always good to keep in maind that one doesn't need to perform all the sadhanas one receives. That would be impossible and unnecessary, because practitioners are taught (or should be) how to keep all samayas intact when only doing their main practice. Still, prior consultation of the event protocol and requisites is always wise, I guess.
All practices have as their ultimate goal (developing the qualities necessary to facilitate) pointing out the true nature of mind. Even "lowly" old Sutra practices. Now one may "need" "qualifications" in order to be given a certain practice, but really the only "qualification" one needs is the karma to be in the right place at the right time. And, if you take into account that all of us possess tathagatagarbha, what more do we need in order to get it pointed out to us? :shrug:
:namaste:

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 Post subject: Re: Vajra Hell
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:41 pm 
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Dechen Norbu wrote:
Most, however, are advisable to assist if there's the possibility, as long as one doesn't go there with a "collector mentality". Not always is needed the intention to do the associated sadhana, but sometimes just to create a connection with a certain lineage/practice if so one wishes. It's always good to keep in mind that one doesn't need to perform all the sadhanas one receives. That would be impossible and unnecessary, because practitioners are taught (or should be) how to keep all samayas intact when only doing their main practice.


As a beginner in Vajrayana I have struggled with two major issues, of which I have found very little help in beginner's books, forums etc. The first is the "find a Guru" recommendation, which has been dealt with above. The second is getting empowerments. On the one hand you'll hear that "this is a really great empowerment, this is a truly precious opportunity that you must not miss" or "you will make a great connection" - then afterwards you find out that you are stuck with life long commitments to practices that may not end up on your daily menu. On the other hand, you'll get the advice to be careful with what empowerments you take. Not always easy for a beginner to make a judgement call in these matters! If you don't have a Guru, you are very likely to receive empowerments from different teachers – which makes it very difficult to figure out how to keep the samayas intact as a whole.

This precious life is very short so one must proceed to the best of one's ability, and one must look to find a Guru. Thus, one mustn't err on the side of being to cautious either...

This may sounds like I have been running around getting empowerments from everywhere, that is not the case. I have always taken advice of senior students, or researched and connected with the Lama before taken an empowerment. But that is not a guarantee. And it only take a few iffy experiences to create hesitation and doubts that are difficult to handle.

Jens


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 Post subject: Re: Vajra Hell
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:54 pm 
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gregkavarnos wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:
I guess he means prior practice with specific attainments. I guess, because he wasn't very clear. Some empowerments are kept secret for a good reason.
Most, however, are advisable to assist if there's the possibility, as long as one doesn't go there with a "collector mentality". Not always is needed the intention to do the associated sadhana, but sometimes just to create a connection with a certain lineage/practice if so one wishes. It's always good to keep in maind that one doesn't need to perform all the sadhanas one receives. That would be impossible and unnecessary, because practitioners are taught (or should be) how to keep all samayas intact when only doing their main practice. Still, prior consultation of the event protocol and requisites is always wise, I guess.
All practices have as their ultimate goal (developing the qualities necessary to facilitate) pointing out the true nature of mind. Even "lowly" old Sutra practices. Now one may "need" "qualifications" in order to be given a certain practice, but really the only "qualification" one needs is the karma to be in the right place at the right time. And, if you take into account that all of us possess tathagatagarbha, what more do we need in order to get it pointed out to us? :shrug:
:namaste:

There are empowerments that won't be given to you unless you meet certain requirements. For instance, many teachers won't give you certain empowerments unless you have finished ngondro. Just an example.
Some empowerments require that you have already some degree of maturity in your practice and commitment. They are not to be taken lightly, especially when they deal with certain protectors, for instance.
I'm just naming some situations where you're expected to meet certain conditions, for your own sake, before you receive a certain empowerment. This is not difficult to understand and has nothing elitist about it. Before you run you need to learn how to walk, that's all. In some cases it's the same when it comes to empowerments. :smile:


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 Post subject: Re: Vajra Hell
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:57 pm 
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Dharmaswede wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:
Most, however, are advisable to assist if there's the possibility, as long as one doesn't go there with a "collector mentality". Not always is needed the intention to do the associated sadhana, but sometimes just to create a connection with a certain lineage/practice if so one wishes. It's always good to keep in mind that one doesn't need to perform all the sadhanas one receives. That would be impossible and unnecessary, because practitioners are taught (or should be) how to keep all samayas intact when only doing their main practice.


As a beginner in Vajrayana I have struggled with two major issues, of which I have found very little help in beginner's books, forums etc. The first is the "find a Guru" recommendation, which has been dealt with above. The second is getting empowerments. On the one hand you'll hear that "this is a really great empowerment, this is a truly precious opportunity that you must not miss" or "you will make a great connection" - then afterwards you find out that you are stuck with life long commitments to practices that may not end up on your daily menu. On the other hand, you'll get the advice to be careful with what empowerments you take. Not always easy for a beginner to make a judgement call in these matters! If you don't have a Guru, you are very likely to receive empowerments from different teachers – which makes it very difficult to figure out how to keep the samayas intact as a whole.

This precious life is very short so one must proceed to the best of one's ability, and one must look to find a Guru. Thus, one mustn't err on the side of being to cautious either...

This may sounds like I have been running around getting empowerments from everywhere, that is not the case. I have always taken advice of senior students, or researched and connected with the Lama before taken an empowerment. But that is not a guarantee. And it only take a few iffy experiences to create hesitation and doubts that are difficult to handle.

Jens

Well, as with many things in life, sometimes you have to go with your best guess. Before assuming heavy commitments, be sure to know your teacher well enough. this means spending some time with him and his organization. That takes some time.
Still, most well known teachers are safe. They won't give empowerments publicly without explaining prior (them or their students) if there are commitments associated to them. Then you choose. When in doubt, ask the teacher and explain your situation briefly.
You seem to be going fine, IMO.


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 Post subject: Re: Vajra Hell
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:36 pm 
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kirtu wrote:
(the cocaine epidemic of the 80's for example) are definite examples of a drug, a demon in physical form. Some of these substances are apparently used legitimately under some conditions. Well that's fine.


Don't know if I'm reading this correctly, but are you saying that cocaine has a legitimate use? If so I'd disagree, due to the fact that it is a synthetic chemical. Organic Coca or Jayo plant (or Cannabis, Ayahuasca, Peyote, etc.) on the other hand might have a legitimate use with the right guidance and intention; however I don't see any possible benefit in the use of cocaine (although it's possible that a Mahasiddha, with his or her ability to transmute anything, would snort a line without being affected, as for some strange circumstance he or she is doing it as skillful means as Bodhisattva activity at a party (but the occurrence of this particular circumstance seems very doubtful to me). So unless one can perform some major Siddhis, better to not try this. And even then, one might not be sure if they yet have the capacity to do something like that, no? Or maybe this is what you were getting at with your statement in the first place? :shrug:


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 Post subject: Re: Vajra Hell
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:35 pm 
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Just an aside of here - cocaine hydrochloride, a natural extract of coca leaves, does indeed have a legitimate medical use as a topical anesthetic. Pure, pharmaceutical grade cocaine bears little resemblance to its bastardized street version.


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 Post subject: Re: Vajra Hell
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:18 pm 
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Paul wrote:
Dudjom Rinpoche says it's from when you've taken an empowerment - nothing about having to have recognised anything for samaya to 'stick'.


Well when I took Refuge vows 8 years ago with Chogyam Trungpa's old companion Akong Tulku (at a branch of his Samye Ling centre) I thought I'd go along to a couple of empowerments too. They were (even) better attended than the refuge ceremony, and -to my memory- included no practice instructions, mention of vows etc., or even warnings. I think someone even said he'd planted a seed in us that need not ripen until future lifetimes.

I can't consider practicing Vajrayana in my current lifetime (although I could atleast tackle mahayana!), and talk of vajra hell just seems to feed my (and others'?) ego more fairy-tales of being sealed off from Reality, etc._ So far, I've just gone on what I read a couple of times, to the effect that empowerments are not always given as such, and need not be taken as such in such cases.

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