Ngakpa & Someone with Tantric Initiation: Difference?

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Ngakpa & Someone with Tantric Initiation: Difference?

Postby Kunzang8 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:22 am

Hi

1) What is the difference between someone who is a Ngakpa and someone who has taken higher tantric initiations - don't they have the same Tantric vows and commitments. I suppose it would be correct to say all Ngakpas are Tantric practitioners but not all Tantric practitioners are Ngakpas?

2) If one is a Ngakpa is it normal for such a person later to decide to become an ordained monk? Or for an ordained monk who for whatever reason later to become a Ngakpa (I'm not talking about reverting to being an ordinary lay person but a Ngakpa in the traditional sense). Anyone know such examples?

Thanks.
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Re: Ngakpa & Someone with Tantric Initiation: Difference?

Postby heart » Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:53 am

Kunzang8 wrote:Hi

1) What is the difference between someone who is a Ngakpa and someone who has taken higher tantric initiations - don't they have the same Tantric vows and commitments. I suppose it would be correct to say all Ngakpas are Tantric practitioners but not all Tantric practitioners are Ngakpas?

2) If one is a Ngakpa is it normal for such a person later to decide to become an ordained monk? Or for an ordained monk who for whatever reason later to become a Ngakpa (I'm not talking about reverting to being an ordinary lay person but a Ngakpa in the traditional sense). Anyone know such examples?

Thanks.


1. There is not a big difference really, but normally a ngakpa empowerment seem to add certain special samayas as well.

2. I heard of some Tibetan leaving the monastery and becoming a Ngakpa, however it seems that most monks leaving the monastery just becomes ordinary laypeople.

/magnus
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Re: Ngakpa & Someone with Tantric Initiation: Difference?

Postby Adamantine » Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:13 am

From "AN HISTORIC DESCRIPTION OF AWARENESS HOLDERS OF THE GREAT SECRET MANTRA WHO ARE RESPLENDENT IN WHITE CLOTHES AND LONG HAIR",
a brief oral commentary by Kyabje Kunzang Dorje Rinpoche: http://saraswatibhawan.org/an-historic-description-of-awareness-holders-of-the-great-secret-mantra-who-are-resplendent-in-white-clothes-and-long-hair/

There are two types of ngakpas – those of family lineage (rigs rgyud) and those of Dharma lineage (chos rgyud). Ngakpa family lineages are passed from father ngakpa to their sons from generation to generation. At present, these are family lineage holders such as the great lamas of the Nyingma tradition, Minling Trichen Rinpoche and Sakya Trinzin Rinpoche, the throne holder of the Dharma Potrang lineage.
There are Dharma lineage nagakpas in both the Nyingma and Sarma traditions. Since one may enter the Tantric mandala by receiving empowerment, scriptural authorization and practical instructions from a qualified Lama, it is not necessary to be born into a ngakpa family lineage. Once one has properly received these transmissions, one must authentically enter into the sadhana practices of approach, accomplishment and activity.
Ngakpas such as these allow their hair too remain long and uncut. They dress in simple, white clothes. Their minds reside in the unfabricated, natural state. These are the three aspects of the ngakpa’s non-contrivance (ma bcos rnam gsum gyi sngags pa).
Further, in colloquial language, there is a custom of referring to ngakpas as ‘white,’ ‘black’ and ‘multi-colored.’ Those who rely on alms and essence extraction as food, mystic heat and a single piece of cotton for clothing, and fully integrate their lives with sadhana practice are called ‘white ngakpas.’ Further, those who engage in sadhana practice in solitary retreat for only three months out of the year and perform rituals for lay people are called ‘multi-colored ngakpas.’ Similarly, ngakpas holding the family or Dharma lineages that spend less than seven days in retreat but perform village rites, are known as ‘black village ngakpas.’ These are well known designations in colloquial language.
These days in Tibet, there are only three ngakpa gomdes that are very well known. In the region of Amdo, there are the Rekong (reb kong) ngakpas who generally wear long, matted hair, a multi-colored shawl worm across the shoulder and red clothing. The Vajra Masters of this gompa are similarly attired, although they usually wear a white skirt.
Similarly, at Chakri Phurdrak (chags ri’I phur brag) gomde, a place where there is a spontaneously appearing letter ‘A’ on a rock, the renowned ngakpas who serve the government wear clothing similar to the general ngakpa’s attire described above.
On the border of U and Tsang, in Shang Zabphulung (shangs zab phu lung), there is a community of ngakpas known as ‘Zabphu’ zab phu’ ngakpas. These yogis wear uncut hair, multi-colored shawls and white skirts. There, once one has completed the general practices, the accumulations and purifications of the preliminary practices and has received empowerment, scriptural authorization and practical instructions for Lama Gongdu, one is allowed to wear the white clothing. When I was 27 or 28 years old, I lived at this ngakpa gomde for several years.
Generally speaking, in Tibet, there are many ngakpa gomdes, but one cannot possibly explain in detail the descriptions, histories and so forth of each and every one of them.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Ngakpa & Someone with Tantric Initiation: Difference?

Postby Malcolm » Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:02 pm

Kunzang8 wrote:Hi

1) What is the difference between someone who is a Ngakpa and someone who has taken higher tantric initiations - don't they have the same Tantric vows and commitments. I suppose it would be correct to say all Ngakpas are Tantric practitioners but not all Tantric practitioners are Ngakpas?

2) If one is a Ngakpa is it normal for such a person later to decide to become an ordained monk? Or for an ordained monk who for whatever reason later to become a Ngakpa (I'm not talking about reverting to being an ordinary lay person but a Ngakpa in the traditional sense). Anyone know such examples?

Thanks.




A lot of people like to wear a stripped robe these days, and call themselves a Ngakpa, but if your mantras have no force and power, then just what is the point of calling yourself a Mantrika? Not much.

Even if you have the formal sngags pa empworment like me, hesitate to call yourself a sngags pa if your mantras have about as much force as wind on a still hot humid summers day.
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Re: Ngakpa & Someone with Tantric Initiation: Difference?

Postby Adamantine » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:06 am

Malcolm wrote:
Kunzang8 wrote:Hi

1) What is the difference between someone who is a Ngakpa and someone who has taken higher tantric initiations - don't they have the same Tantric vows and commitments. I suppose it would be correct to say all Ngakpas are Tantric practitioners but not all Tantric practitioners are Ngakpas?

2) If one is a Ngakpa is it normal for such a person later to decide to become an ordained monk? Or for an ordained monk who for whatever reason later to become a Ngakpa (I'm not talking about reverting to being an ordinary lay person but a Ngakpa in the traditional sense). Anyone know such examples?

Thanks.




A lot of people like to wear a stripped robe these days, and call themselves a Ngakpa, but if your mantras have no force and power, then just what is the point of calling yourself a Mantrika? Not much.

Even if you have the formal sngags pa empworment like me, hesitate to call yourself a sngags pa if your mantras have about as much force as wind on a still hot humid summers day.



Malcolm, did you encounter many/any ngakpas in your Tibet travels?
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Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Ngakpa & Someone with Tantric Initiation: Difference?

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:18 am

Adamantine wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Kunzang8 wrote:Hi

1) What is the difference between someone who is a Ngakpa and someone who has taken higher tantric initiations - don't they have the same Tantric vows and commitments. I suppose it would be correct to say all Ngakpas are Tantric practitioners but not all Tantric practitioners are Ngakpas?

2) If one is a Ngakpa is it normal for such a person later to decide to become an ordained monk? Or for an ordained monk who for whatever reason later to become a Ngakpa (I'm not talking about reverting to being an ordinary lay person but a Ngakpa in the traditional sense). Anyone know such examples?

Thanks.




A lot of people like to wear a stripped robe these days, and call themselves a Ngakpa, but if your mantras have no force and power, then just what is the point of calling yourself a Mantrika? Not much.

Even if you have the formal sngags pa empworment like me, hesitate to call yourself a sngags pa if your mantras have about as much force as wind on a still hot humid summers day.



Malcolm, did you encounter many/any ngakpas in your Tibet travels?


A few.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
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: Ngakpa & Someone with Tantric Initiation: Difference?

Postby Adamantine » Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:32 am

Malcolm wrote:
Adamantine wrote:
Malcolm, did you encounter many/any ngakpas in your Tibet travels?


A few.



That's good to hear. I was wondering how the ngakpa lineages were managing there.
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Re: Ngakpa & Someone with Tantric Initiation: Difference?

Postby pemachophel » Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:54 pm

There's a whole community of ngakpa, old and young, at Lung Ngon Monastery in Golog. In July, I had the opportunity to practice with them during one of their afternoon sessions. The youngest had just come from school. They had their own temple within the late Kusum Lingpa's compound. There is also a healthy community of ngakpa at Rebkong. While Malcolm's point about having mantric power is a good one, even the youngest ngakpa at Lung Ngon don't hesitate to wear the red and white zen and call themselves ngakpa.

I also came across a chodpa at Do Khyentse's charnel ground about 20 km from Lung Ngon. He was dressed as a layman. He lived in a small cabin just above the dismemberment platform (we're talking sky burials here) and officiates at the dismemberments and feeding. He was a man in his 60s. He had just finished a "funeral" when we arrived. Although he was not sporting long hair and was not wearing the red and white zen, I would call him a ngakpa. He was clearly not a monk. He was wearing a layman's chuba.

BTW, in Bhutan, ngakpa are called gomchen (literally "great meditators"). In everyday use, both terms are not meant as literal descriptions but as goals to be aimed at and, in any case, merely indicate a non-monastic full-time practitioner specializing in mantrayana. As the above-quoted article on ngakpa states, at least in some ngakpa communities, one may wear the red and white zen once one has completed ngon-dro and received lung, ti, and wang for the Tsa-wa Sum. In other lineages, one must've completed tsa-lung.

Just my two cents.

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Re: Ngakpa & Someone with Tantric Initiation: Difference?

Postby byamspa » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:35 pm

LOL, as many variations as rainbow colors, all the same source though.

Don't worry about the outer stuff, some of its just window dressing. Altho it can be helpful to remind one of their vows and commitments, and why on earth they are doing all this stuff for anyways.

There can be power in such things, and there can be distraction and attachment. So... that's my 2 c.
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