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 Post subject: Too much Vajrayogini?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:05 pm 
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Hi guys,
I fear I might not be qualified to speak about this but aren't many Gelug lamas put more emphasis on vajarayogini than the there recommended by Lama Tsongkapha I know her Tantra is only accessible after one out of those three But some have enlarged her image more than enough and say cos we're entering deeper into Kali yuga she's better than Lama Tsongkapha's choice picks I mean Guhyasamaja is virtually forgotten It's important for everyone to remember that whilst Lama Tsongkapha wrote three volumes of his Tantra in abbreviated discourse on Tantra and only wrote three pages of this so called "diamond queen" Note:I neither hate vajarayogini but I'm just discussing the phenomena happening recently :anjali:


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:21 pm 
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Tsem Tulku has written about this that Tsongkapa precisely said that for Kali Yuga there is no better Deity than Vajrayogini.

Pabongka Rinpoche also had visions about Vajrayogini and recommended it for his student as the deity to practice in this day and age.

Guhyasamaja tantra takes much more time to learn and achieve accomplishments, vajrayogini is a swifter path i think.

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If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:07 pm 
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Kaung wrote:
Hi guys,
I fear I might not be qualified to speak about this but aren't many Gelug lamas put more emphasis on vajarayogini than the there recommended by Lama Tsongkapha I know her Tantra is only accessible after one out of those three But some have enlarged her image more than enough and say cos we're entering deeper into Kali yuga she's better than Lama Tsongkapha's choice picks I mean Guhyasamaja is virtually forgotten It's important for everyone to remember that whilst Lama Tsongkapha wrote three volumes of his Tantra in abbreviated discourse on Tantra and only wrote three pages of this so called "diamond queen" Note:I neither hate vajarayogini but I'm just discussing the phenomena happening recently :anjali:


I wholeheartedly agree. Tsongkhapa only wrote three pages in his eighteen volumes of work on Vajrayogini, in comparison on his five volumes on guhyasamaja. Because for Je Rinpoche, his explanation on the structure of tantra is based on guhyasamaja, so it is deemed as the most important.

But i think the tradition is currently preserved in the mainstream gelug monastic curriculum (gyuto and gyurme). As HHDL pointed out in his commentary on Lama Chopa, the two tantric colleges are responsible in the preservation of the practice of guhyasamaja, and that it is currently still preserved. Also, there has been an advice by HHDL on the need to practice the three deities instead of just vajrayogini and yamantaka (unless one's own ge-gen recommends to practice).

I think the error in perception is due to the fact that many of these geshes and abbots do not travel and even if they do, they do not give major empowerments like Guhyasamaja. Furthermore, the emphasis of VY in FPMT centers (publishing all available texts and commentaries on VY but only a short sadhana of Guhyasamaja in the FPMT store) might have added on to the false impression that the importance of VY overrides the importance of Guhyasamaja. But we have to keep in mind this impression is false since firstly, i know LZR gives guhyasamaja empowerments quite often, and secondly, FPMT, although a Gelug organisation, cannot be representative of the Gelugpas. I am not saying that FPMT is of no authority or anything; in fact, i think it has one of the best organisational structure, and the teachers from FPMT are really amazing and wonderful. Furthermore, I think there is a reason pertinent to why LZR promotes VY practice in FPMT, and I definitely respect and rejoice in their pure practices on VY. But if one talks about mainstream gelug and its monastic curriculum, the three great seats (ganden, sera and drepung) and the two tantric colleges (gyuto and gyurme) are the real representatives.

Just my two cents worth. :namaste:

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Homage to the Mother of Buddhas as well as of the groups of Hearers and Bodhisattvas
which through knowledge of all leads Hearers seeking pacification to thorough peace
And which through knowledge of paths causes those helping transmigrators to achieve the welfare of the world,
And through possession of which the Subduers set forth these varieties endowed with all aspects.

- Ornament of Clear Realisation


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:15 pm 
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And, anyway, all Yidam have the same essence so it doesn't really matter which one you practice.

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Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:34 pm 
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Phabongkha Rinpoche's influence I think. As for why, Malcolm explains (scroll down):

http://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=13714

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-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:09 am 
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Vajrayogini is part of Chakrasamvara (Sri Heruka).
Sri Heruka is one of the three recommended by Lama Tsongkhapa.
Therefore there is no contradiction.

In the monastery, in the upper and lower Tantric colleges,
they study and practice mainly Guhyasamaja and Yamantaka.
If you are a layperson, have a career, etc. it only makes sense
to focus on one or two things. Chakrasamvara/Vajrayogini are
associated with yogic practice in the other schools and are, relatively
speaking, easy to do.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:33 am 
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His Holiness has stated clearly that if one's teachers determine one has a special connection with Vajrayogini, it is perfectly fine to practice in the Gelug tradition.

However, in terms of the study of tantra, VY is not really enough to understand Lama Tzongkhapa's teachings on the subject. This is because LTK writes his teachings on tantra from the perspective of gsang bde 'jigs gsum (Guyasamaja, Chakrasamvara and Yamantaka). So clearly for most students of his tradition these three should be most important.

HHDL is (rightly, I think), concerned about the practice of Guyasamaja degenerating as so much of Tzongkhapa's tantric literature is written from the perspective of this system. If the practice degenerates, understanding LTK's key tantric works will be more difficult. If we cannot properly study LTK's tantric commentaries and abandon them in favour of works of later lineage figures, how can we say we are preserving the Gelug tradition?

That being said , Vajrayogini's practice is excellent for busy people due to its simplicity. Also, it is said to carry a special blessing due to how the initiation is performed.

Some have said VY (in other forums,not here) is being suppressed in the monasteries, this is patently ridiculous. I received the initiation just last week from the abbot of Sera Jey, it was transmitted aling with Yamantaka and Anuguhaya Hayagriva over four days.

In FPMT I would not say that VY is emphasized particularly over other HYT deities. Indeed, Yamantaka seems most popular, and his self initiation is performed in a group setting by qualified students at many of the centres. Lama Zopa Rinpoche has also been emphasizing Anuguhaya Hayagriva practice the last few years .

The Master's Program students focus on Guyasamaja commentaries in the tantric module of their course, as they should. Why? Because Lama Tzongkhapa did so, and recommended this approach for the deep study of tantra. So it seems a good idea for full time study programs.

As for Tsem Tulku's statement about the supremacy of VY, thus has to be taken with a grain of salt. Rvery HYT deity has within its writings statements about why it is supreme. For example, Yamantaka's five unique features, Chakrasamvara's potential for giving rise to great bliss etc. So in the end it comes down to the individual. There is no one size fits all.

At every empowerment you attend the lama says why that particular deity is special.

Someone mentioned Chakrasamvara and VY as being easier to practice, I agree in the case of VY. But in the Gelug tradition a complete practice of Chakrasamvara in either the Luipa or Ghantapa lineage is very complex, long with difficult visualuzations. There is the practice of the Three Purifications and Chakrasamvara 5 Deity but this is not considered the full practice, it doesn't contain the body mandala for example.

Another thing I wanted to mention is that LTK states we need to develop both illusory body and clear light, and clearly says we need both pha gyu (father tantra) and ma gyud (mother tantra). Of course, most of us are probably not at the point where we need to worry about this at the moment.

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In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin


Last edited by JKhedrup on Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:14 am 
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thanks for your insight and clarification Ven. Khedrup.

:anjali:


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:02 am 
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JKhedrup wrote:
However, in terms of the study of tantra, VY is not really enough to understand Lama Tzongkhapa's teachings on the subject.


It is not sufficient for understanding the Sakyapa take on Vajrayāna either.


Quote:
As for Tsem Tulku's statement about the supremacy of VY, thus has to be taken with a grain of salt.

At every empowerment you attend the lama says why that particular deity is special.


Yes, but the reason given for Cakrasamvara and Yogini being especially relevant these days is that the mandala of Cakrasamvara is still extant, open. It was also by far the most popular cycle in India, I suspect, because it had such a compelling narrative based on this idea.

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How can you not practice the highest Dharma
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:19 am 
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In Sakya the Hevajra cycle would be most important for understanding their take on tantra, I am guessing?

Is this point about the mandala the reason it is said VY herself bestows portions of the initiation, whereas for other systems this is not the case?

_________________
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:07 pm 
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JKhedrup wrote:
In Sakya the Hevajra cycle would be most important for understanding their take on tantra, I am guessing?

Is this point about the mandala the reason it is said VY herself bestows portions of the initiation, whereas for other systems this is not the case?


Well, Lamdre in general, as well as rgyud sde spyi rnams, rin po che ljong shing, etc.

As for the second point -- this is about how Yogini is the essence of the mandala, but it is not exactly like that.

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http://www.bhaisajya.net
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http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen


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