Origins of Dzogchen

Re: Origins of Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:16 am

Jax wrote:Ahem... Guys, I didn't hear one word of refutation regarding Sam Van Schaik's and David Germano's attributions of the origins of Dzogchen. Do you know of more scholarly evidence that points to other origins? Or is this topic taboo to the "true believers" in the mythological stories regarding Dzogchen's origins?



There is nothing to refute. They are text critical historians -- their job is to figure out when a certain idea was first documented on a piece of paper. The inferences they draw from that however should not be regarded as gospels themselves. Western scholarship is all fine and dandy, but it does not lead one to understand what is a valid teaching and what is not.

Dzogchen tantras are intrinsically valid irrespective if they were written in the eight century, the first aeon, or the twenty first century, they do not need the confirmation of this or that western scholar's opinion. They express the awakened state of persons such as Garab Dorje, Manjushrimitra, Vimalamitra, Rigzin Godem, ChNN, KDL, etc.


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Re: Origins of Dzogchen

Postby heart » Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:18 am

gad rgyangs wrote:
wisdom wrote:In essence, causal vehicles help people overcome habitual ways of obscuring their own primordial nature, and to that end it serves Dzogchen well.


I don't think you really mean causal vehicles here, which only reinforce delusion. They do not serve dzogchen, they are the negation of it. read the kunjed gyalpo if you have any doubts about this.


I said this before, but for newcomers I will repeat it again. The Kunjed Gyalpo is a Dzogchen manuals directed at practitioners of the Mahayoga and Anuyoga vehicles. Why is this? It is full of reference from those "lower" Tantras and how to let go of fixations one might have developed while practicing them. The Kunjed Gyalpo is not directed at very obscured Western intellectuals that think that if they read a Tantra they have understood it, which is why they will never understand it.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: Origins of Dzogchen

Postby heart » Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:19 am

Namdrol wrote:
Jax wrote:Ahem... Guys, I didn't hear one word of refutation regarding Sam Van Schaik's and David Germano's attributions of the origins of Dzogchen. Do you know of more scholarly evidence that points to other origins? Or is this topic taboo to the "true believers" in the mythological stories regarding Dzogchen's origins?



There is nothing to refute. They are text critical historians -- their job is to figure out when a certain idea was first documented on a piece of paper. The inferences they draw from that however should not be regarded as gospels themselves. Western scholarship is all fine and dandy, but it does not lead one to understand what is a valid teaching and what is not.

Dzogchen tantras are intrinsically valid irrespective if they were written in the eight century, the first aeon, or the twenty first century, they do not need the confirmation of this or that western scholar's opinion. They express the awakened state of persons such as Garab Dorje, Manjushrimitra, Vimalamitra, Rigzin Godem, ChNN, KDL, etc.


N


Very well put Namdrol.

/magnus
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Re: Origins of Dzogchen

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:29 am

gad rgyangs wrote:
wisdom wrote:In essence, causal vehicles help people overcome habitual ways of obscuring their own primordial nature, and to that end it serves Dzogchen well.


I don't think you really mean causal vehicles here, which only reinforce delusion. They do not serve dzogchen, they are the negation of it. read the kunjed gyalpo if you have any doubts about this.


These are just your intellectual concepts from reading and misunderstanding the import of what you've read. There are definitely some relative experiences that make it easier for one to recognize one's knowledge of the natural state, and therefore there are definitely contrived practices that can bring about such conducive circumstances. Dzogchen is full of such practices. Contrived practices cannot "cause" one to recognize rigpa, so one cannot say they directly lead to that knowledge. But they can definitely make it easier for one to relax into that knowledge.
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Re: Origins of Dzogchen

Postby heart » Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:39 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote: Contrived practices cannot "cause" one to recognize rigpa, so one cannot say they directly lead to that knowledge. But they can definitely make it easier for one to relax into that knowledge.


That is the point which the whole nine yanas are about, and this is probably why Namdrol in an other thread said Dzogchen (in the sense of the actual practice) was beyond the nine yanas.

/magnus
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Re: Origins of Dzogchen

Postby Sönam » Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:00 am

Dechen Norbu wrote:
Jax wrote:Ahem... Guys, I didn't hear one word of refutation regarding Sam Van Schaik's and David Germano's attributions of the origins of Dzogchen. Do you know of more scholarly evidence that points to other origins? Or is this topic taboo to the "true believers" in the mythological stories regarding Dzogchen's origins?

Probably you also know that such polemics aren't any reason of concern for a serious Dzogchen practitioner. I can't see a real practitioner losing his sleep over the mythical or non mythical origins of Dzogchen.


good point ... as it is about experimentation!

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.
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Re: Origins of Dzogchen

Postby smcj » Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:49 am

My new most-favorite quote:

A human being has his limits. And thus in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits.
ChNN

I like that quote so much I may get annoying with it. It's just so applicable in so many places!
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Origins of Dzogchen

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:57 am

smcj wrote:My new most-favorite quote:

A human being has his limits. And thus in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits.
ChNN

I like that quote so much I may get annoying with it. It's just so applicable in so many places!
Make it our signature then! ;)

PS ChNN forgot to add to his statement: "...he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits and then he tries to sell it."
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Origins of Dzogchen

Postby Sönam » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:38 pm

mystic author wrote:
Sonam, I love Longchen Rabjam, but he contradicts himself. The fact he received numerous empowerments and did sadhana contradicts what he wrote.


That he received numerous empowerments and so on is only related to his Tibetan fact, all Tibetan practitioners received numerous empowerment and so on ... so it's not a contradiction.

Moreover, the View espoused in the quote is from the Absolute perspective, not from that of a practitioner.


This prove you superficially understand Dzogchen ... there is no different truths in Dzogchen, no absolute or relative. Longchen Rabjam and others told a lot about.
Dzogchen starts with DI and seing or nature ... how could it be relative and absolute? You're mixing tantra and dzogchen ...


Did he ever describe Togal the way, say, Jigme Lingpa or Karma Chagme does? In "The Precious Treasury of Basic Space of Phenomena," he only, and briefly, describes Togal as channeling the continuum of radiance, which is akin to receiving, or conducting, Shakti.


THere is no need to describe Thögal or any other practice, for Dzogchen is self-liberation ... Longchen Rabjam has a much greater view than many others, including Lingpa and certainly Karma Chagme.

But all that is only dialectic ... who cares about? the perceiver, the perceived?

Sönam
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.
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Re: Origins of Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:12 pm

mystic author wrote: The fact he received numerous empowerments and did sadhana contradicts what he wrote.


This merely proves that you do not understand Dzogchen.

The root tantra of Dzogchen, the sGra thal gyur states quite unequivocably:

    In order to utterly purify
    the body, voice and mind of migrating beings,
    fortunate one's are to ripened.
    The continuums of the devoted is ripened
    in four different ways;
    elaborately, unelaborately,
    very unelaborately
    and extremely unelaborately.
    Also, for the purpose of perfuming,
    the approach, accomplishment and near approach
    are performed by a qualified Guru.
    In addition, construct the mandala coming from the tantras,
    with the earth rite,
    the preparations, the layout and the powders.
    After that, the rite of conferring empowerment
    begins from the the śravaka vehicle.
    Having completed the eight stages [of vehicles[,
    confer the Great Perfection empowerment of the potentiality of vidyā,
    and explain the purpose of each of those [steps],
    the the entry, and special power.

There are a great number of other such citations. For example, The Mirror of the Heart Tantra states:


    Where will accomplishment be without relying on the empowerments of secret mantra? For example, it is like a boatman without a paddle. How will one be able to cross to the other side? If the empowerments are fully obtained, all secret mantras not accomplished will be accomplished.

Did he ever describe Togal the way, say, Jigme Lingpa or Karma Chagme does?


In a great more detail in fact in such collections as the bLama yang tig, the mKha' 'gro yang tig, the Zab mo yang tig, as well as the Tshig don rin po che mdzod and the Theg mchog mdzod. Without Longchenpa, the brief presentations of Jigme Lingpa and Karma Chagme would not be possible.

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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

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Re: Origins of Dzogchen

Postby smcj » Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:30 pm

SMCJ, you have yet to determine my "limits" as a Dharma interpreter, demystifer, and upgrader. But, yes, every human has limits on every level, and that includes legendary and contemporary Dzogchen teachers.

I do not have the capability to determine your "limits as a Dharma interpreter, demystifier, and upgraded." I have had my own prejudices about how Dharma is to be enacted proven wrong time and again. I cannot correctly assess what is going on in my own mind, much less someone else's. You are free to do as you please.

However it is incumbent on me to have some sort of protocol for where, when, and from whom I take guidance. I am a bit conservative and picky about that. My conservatism is not totally dictated by the establishment of the lineages, as I've said I've had my expectations invalidated repeatedly. I've met lowly geshes that I thought were amazing, and rock-star/grand pooh-bah high lineage lamas that made me want to run for the hills. But my threshold is quite high for what I will accept as a credible voice in Dharma. Suffice it here to say that you have not crossed that threshold, but since that is my own personal choice in the matter you should not take offense.

ChNN's quote is appropriate in almost any thread here. I personally believe that it should be the premise of any study of Dharma. But particularly so in Dzogchen, where the profoundest of Truths can so easily be so converted into complacency and dismissiveness. My own take on Dzogchen can be characterized as, "Well if the Ultimate needs nothing from me, then so be it. But since I don't like suffering let me put my efforts into the relative, lower tantras." As such I am not a Dzogchenpa per se, but I do allow for it in my worldview.

I am also an old geezer. As such I can claim to have been studying TB for a third of a century. Having been the head of a small Dharma center that hosted teachers from all lineages I feel I've had an embarrassment of riches when it comes to exposure. But quite frankly I'm still a beginner when it comes to actual practice. I have not utilized my time wisely, so even with decades of participation I have little to show for it. However since I have a somewhat odd perspective on Dharma I hope that I can at least entertain some people with my posts, hopefully without offending anyone too much.
:namaste:
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Origins of Dzogchen

Postby smcj » Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:04 pm

If I may I'd like to go off topic briefly. As I've just said I think I have an odd perspective on Dharma, particularly Dzogchen. I'd like to share a true story that I use as a personal parable for Dzogchen.
**********************************
A long time ago a friend of mine went through a really rough time. He husband came down with cancer and they had no health insurance. She had to stay at home to take care of him, her two year old son, and aging father. They went through all their money and then some. The day her husband died was the same day the marshals came to give her the eviction notice. Times were definitely rough.

Fast forward 10 years. She pulled herself up by the bootstraps and became a successful real estate agent. She met an affluent man and got married again. The two of them were in town for a business meeting and I met her at her very upscale hotel. We were walking around the bottom floor of the hotel with all its expensive shops, and there was an art gallery. In the art gallery there were a bunch of paintings from a local artist that were selling for the tens of thousands of dollars each. She was a little taken aback because that artist had been a close friend of her mother's and had given her mother a bunch of paintings for free. My friend still had them in her garage, and had them the entire time she was in desperate financial straits. On the open market they were worth a small fortune.

So even when the marshals were knocking on the door to evict her, she was in fact quite a wealthy women. But she could only see that only retroactively. Even though it was a fact that she had assets, until she could locate them and know their value they were worthless to her. Just having someone say to her, "…you've got plenty of money" would have sounded absurd to her at the time.

In the same way we are all have Dzogchen as our nature. It is a fact. But just having someone tell us that does us no good. Until and unless we are able to access it in some way we might as well not have it. At some point in the future if we can access it, we will undoubtedly see that we had it the entire time.

Like i said, I've got an odd perspective. Hope you find it entertaining!
Last edited by smcj on Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:55 pm, edited 3 times in total.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Origins of Dzogchen

Postby Seishin » Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:06 pm

I have locked this thread as it has gone way off topic. It will open again in due course.

Gassho,
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