Vajrajapa / Guhysamaja Question

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Vajrajapa / Guhysamaja Question

Postby Vajrabhijna » Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:24 am

:namaste:

I have a question about Guhyasamaja from Kagyu perspective. Firstly, everything I have been able to find on it has been Arya/Gelug. I would like to know if there are any good Kagyu sources in English.

My question in specific is about Om / Ah / Hum & deity/color assignments. It seems that in Gelug Akshobhya and Vairocana are often switched (maybe because of primacy of Guhyasamaja mandala in Gelug?), so how are om, ah and hum assigned in Kagyu? Is there a difference?

Also... I have seen Lochana/Mamaki changed around...what's up with that? I have heard that Gampopa comments on this but am unable to find.

:namaste:
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Re: Vajrajapa / Guhysamaja Question

Postby Karma Sherab » Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:00 pm

:namaste:

Essentially the Kagyu Guhyasamaja is the Arya tradition. There is an exception to this and that is the Guhyasamaja transmitted in the Shangpa Kagyu line.

Kagyus also transmit the practice Akshobyavajra (blue) as the central deity in the 32 deity mandala of Guhyasamaja (Arya tradition) which Marpa Lotsawa passed on. I am unsure whether the Kagyu also hold the Jñānapada tradition where there is a nineteen deity mandala with Munjuvajra (yellow) is the central deity.
There are many other possibilities such Guhyasamaja Lokeshvara (red) etc etc but few practitioners of such variations.

I remember also reading that the now deceased Khyabje Tenga Rinpoche gave the initiation of a Green Amoghavajra of the Guhyasamaja cycle to a "special needs" case.

The transposition of deities is not uncommon and I don't know the explanation but it is something to do with the unique mandala of the particular Buddha family that the central deity belongs to (this much I remember).

Hope this partly answers your question :anjali:
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Re: Vajrajapa / Guhysamaja Question

Postby Vajrabhijna » Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:09 pm

:namaste:

Thank you, Karma Sherab! That did definitely partially answer my question (although I would still like to read some other knowledgeable answers). Yours was an extremely informative post, and might give me some more questions the more I think about it.

Is jnanapada mostly Sakya then? Are different cycles given because of different mind family types, different lineages, or both, or...?

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Re: Vajrajapa / Guhysamaja Question

Postby lama tsewang » Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:13 am

there is one very , basic underlying thing in your question that , it sounds like you dont seem to know. the source for tsongkhapas guhyasamaja teaching is the kagyu marpa lineage/ at least , thats what they say. the response to your post mentioned something about the shangpa lineage having some kind of different guhyasamaja , i wish i could know whats meant by that,

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Re: Vajrajapa / Guhysamaja Question

Postby Vajrabhijna » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:23 am

:namaste:
The issue for me is not origin - I had assumed the origin to be the same, given Tsongkhapa's background, it's changes made in presentation - I'm not even sure if there are changes, but I do know that there's a pronounced Akshobhya/Vairocana switch in general Gelug presentation.

My question can be put like this:
1. Does this switch (or anything else) cause a difference in Gelug/Kagyu Guhyasamaja presentation?
2. Or, is this switch *because* of the Guhyasamaja presentation itself, which (at least in Arya) centralizes Askhobhya, which is then reflected in Gelug's interpretation of *all* mandala assignments beyond Guhyasamaja?

*I think* I found some evidence in Garland of Mahamudra Practices that indicates there is no switch insofar as Vajrajapa is concerned.

It's not that I distrust the Gelug sources / presentation, it's that I want to make sure my practice, as limited as that is, is as unconfused as possible, especially since I am wholly reliant on Gelug sources for this, and my lineage is nominally Kagyu.

Right now the only thing I do is vajrajapa, so I would at least like to get that right. Any light shed on these questions, or anything else related to the topic, is much appreciated.

:namaste:
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Re: Vajrajapa / Guhysamaja Question

Postby Karma Sherab » Sat Jul 06, 2013 2:04 pm

Hi Lama Tsewang:

I am sorry that my answer was not clear - The Shangpa Kagyu Guhyasamaja is the same as any other (Akshobya Vajra is central). I was trying to say that the Shangpa Kagyu Lineage is different and did not pass through Marpa, Mila Dvagpo etc is all. The Shangpa come from Niguma to the Tibetan Khungpo Naljor etc.

Hi Vajrabhijna
Vajrabhijna wrote:My question can be put like this:
1. Does this switch (or anything else) cause a difference in Gelug/Kagyu Guhyasamaja presentation?
2. Or, is this switch *because* of the Guhyasamaja presentation itself, which (at least in Arya) centralizes Askhobhya, which is then reflected in Gelug's interpretation of *all* mandala assignments beyond Guhyasamaja?


This question appears ill conceived as if you have received the Geluk transmission - technically you should practice that method (sadhana) taught. You can't just switch bits and pieces. When you have practiced heaps and Guhyasamaja appears and tells you otherwise, then you can have a permutation and a sub-lineage.

There shouldn't be any significant differences between Kagyu and Gelug on this topic. Variations are in technicalities such as the style of mudras etc and they even vary from monastery to monastery in Tibet - nothing to do with lineage.

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Re: Vajrajapa / Guhysamaja Question

Postby Vajrabhijna » Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:22 pm

:namaste:

As it stands, I have a very casual transmission from a kagyu lama, who asked me to study English sources I could find. Those that I have found, I believe draw from Gelug sources. This is the root of my concern.

I am not trying to mix anything, my question is geared rather at unmixing anything. So we can conclude that there is no difference in the Gelug texts, or Tsonkhapa's exposition of the guhyasamaja, as from the Kagyu?

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Re: Vajrajapa / Guhysamaja Question

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:28 pm

Vajrabhijna wrote::namaste:

As it stands, I have a very casual transmission from a kagyu lama, who asked me to study English sources I could find. Those that I have found, I believe draw from Gelug sources. This is the root of my concern.

I am not trying to mix anything, my question is geared rather at unmixing anything. So we can conclude that there is no difference in the Gelug texts, or Tsonkhapa's exposition of the guhyasamaja, as from the Kagyu?

:namaste:



In general, for the most part the Gelug presentations of Guhyasamaja follow the commentarial tradition introduced by translator Go Lotsawa, who is considered part f the Sakya tradition.
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Re: Vajrajapa / Guhysamaja Question

Postby JKhedrup » Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:38 pm

Thought this little blurb from an archive of HH Karmapa's website might be relevant and of interest:
Their Holinesses Dalai Lama (center), Gyalwang Karmapa (right) and Sakya Trizen (left) lead procession commencing the Guyhasamaja teachings by HH Dalai Lama

Their Holinesses Gyalwang Karmapa and Sakya Trizin attended His Holiness’ Dalai Lama’s teaching and commentary on Guhyasamaja at the Tsuglagkhang. Over 2600 people attended the teaching, including more than 2000 monks and nuns, and 169 foreigners. To receive the empowerment, attendees were required to have already received the Guhyasamaja Initiation as a pre-requisite to these advanced teachings.


http://kagyuoffice.org/2007/05/

I also heard from several Karma Kamtsang practitioners that His Holiness Karmapa has been trying to revive the traditions of extensive Guhyasamaja and Hevajra practice in his monasteries, introducing more study of these two particular systems. But I was not able to find any links online related to this.
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