Mahavairocana empowerment applicability

Re: Mahavairocana empowerment applicability

Postby Indrajala » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:45 pm

eijo wrote:You've never said what you mean by "legitimate", and a better answer would hinge on that.


Meaning a sadhana associated with Mahavairocana requires the Mahavairocana empowerment, so if you have the empowerment, then you should be able to do the sadhana, even without a teacher (the text itself, as I have seen, may not say you need a teacher).

Basically I'm saying you fulfil the requirements as a text states (not external expectations), rendering the practice legitimate. I looked at one sadhana that simply states you need the empowerment.

In any case, it all seems quite subjective and up in the air. At your own risk, so they say.
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Re: Mahavairocana empowerment applicability

Postby eijo » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:52 pm

Indrajala wrote: At your own risk, so they say.


That sums it up nicely for me.
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Re: Mahavairocana empowerment applicability

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:07 pm

Indrajala wrote:
If you're referring to oral instructions that are passed down from generation to generation, I'm sceptical these instructions would actually reflect the original practice and oral commentary, supposing such a thing existed apart from the text from the start. Things change in transmission and translation.


In the Tibetan tradition, there are two levels when it comes to tantra -- the ripening empowerment and the liberating instruction. You are not really qualified to practice sadhana without instruction i.e. the liberating instruction. Beyond this, upadeshas are necessary, which define the key points of practice that arise from the experience of realized masters in the lineage. So generally, to be fully equipped to practice in a given Indo-Tibetan practice lineage such as Lamdre, Naro Khachod, etc., (no matter what school) or even Yogatantra such as Sarvavidyā, you need three things: empowerment, instructions and upadeshas.
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Re: Mahavairocana empowerment applicability

Postby Indrajala » Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:49 am

Malcolm wrote:In the Tibetan tradition...


Fair enough, but the texts I've looked at themselves don't mention these things, which from a scholarly point of view makes me wonder how much was added on top of them after they were translated. The content might remain static, but the expectations and conditions associated with a given text or practice seem often to have been multiplied and amplified. This isn't wrong, but just makes you wonder if the model of 2013 accurately reflects what they were doing in the 9th century.
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Re: Mahavairocana empowerment applicability

Postby Malcolm » Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:06 pm

Indrajala wrote:
Malcolm wrote:In the Tibetan tradition...


Fair enough, but the texts I've looked at themselves don't mention these things, which from a scholarly point of view makes me wonder how much was added on top of them after they were translated. The content might remain static, but the expectations and conditions associated with a given text or practice seem often to have been multiplied and amplified. This isn't wrong, but just makes you wonder if the model of 2013 accurately reflects what they were doing in the 9th century.


Indian tantric texts themselves this give triad of teachings, so it is not some invention of Tibetans. If your goal is adherence to some Indian idea of tantric practice, then your best bet is to become educated in the Sakya school's tradition. Four of the five founding masters of Sakya were conversationally fluent in Sanskrit and studied with the great Indian pandits of their day who came to Tibet. As far as the Sakya school is concerned, its early textual tradition is a direct import of 10th/11th century Indian Buddhist tantrism and its procedures and values. Granted, the Sakya school's practices underwent consolidation and streamlining, but is in general very faithful to how things were being done in India during the 10th and 11th century, especially in lower tantra.

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Re: Mahavairocana empowerment applicability

Postby Fortyeightvows » Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:32 am

Am I allowed to open this thread up again?

This is a very interesting thread and I think it is one of the most interesting threads I have read here on the dharmawheel.

It reminds me of an instance where we were talking about if a highest yoga empowerment (chakasamvara) from one of the other schools of Tibetan Buddhism qualified on to receive Vajrayogini in the geluk tradition.
I asked one master if this was so and he answered something like 'it fulfills the Indian tradition, but maybe not the Tibetan tradition' his reasoning was that if one was receiving these empowerments in india before tantric buddhism went to tibet, there was no geluk, kagyu, etc.
Maybe the same principle applies here.
Kobo Daishi didn't receive his abisheka from a shingon master, did he?

Either way this is a very interesting thread and it seems the participants are all very knowledgable (with the exception of myself)
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Re: Mahavairocana empowerment applicability

Postby rory » Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:47 am

Kobo Daishi didn't receive his abisheka from a shingon master, did he?

yes, he most certainly did, a very distinguished one in China.

Kukai's master was Hui-Kuo, one of the foremost pupilsl of Amoghavajra and by Kukai's day recognized as Amoghavajra's successor. There were monks from Korea, Central Asia and Java studing Esoteric Buddhism under Hui-Kuo. Kukai received his abhisheka from him in Ch'ang-an. Abe, Weaving of Mantra p.122
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Re: Mahavairocana empowerment applicability

Postby Fortyeightvows » Sat Oct 18, 2014 8:08 am

I'm not sure that Hui-Kuo would have identified himself as a shingon master.
I imagine he considered himself to teach mizong 密宗. I doubt anyone in china at that time was calling their sect shingon.
I believe shingon is a Japanese word.
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Re: Mahavairocana empowerment applicability

Postby rory » Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:56 am

Since Kukai was the founder of the Shingon sect it's logically impossible that he could receive initiation from a Shingon master, so I assumed you were using the word generically. Sorry; he was initiated by the Chinese tantric master Huiguo.
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The gist of these passages is that the Buddha's practice as the cause and His virtue as the effect are altogether contained in the five characters of "Myo-ho ren-ge kyo". If we uphold the five characters, the merits of those cause and effect are naturally transferred to us. (NOPPA D2, P146)
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Re: Mahavairocana empowerment applicability

Postby jmlee369 » Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:23 pm

Fortyeightvows wrote:I'm not sure that Hui-Kuo would have identified himself as a shingon master.
I imagine he considered himself to teach mizong 密宗. I doubt anyone in china at that time was calling their sect shingon.
I believe shingon is a Japanese word.


It is possible that tantric practice in China was known as 眞言宗 because tantra is also sometimes referred to as the Mantra vehicle, Mantrayana, and 眞言 is one translation of mantra.
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Re: Mahavairocana empowerment applicability

Postby Fortyeightvows » Sun Nov 23, 2014 3:32 am

It doesn't matter to the point I was trying to make.
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Re: Mahavairocana empowerment applicability

Postby Acala » Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:49 pm

jmlee369 wrote:
Fortyeightvows wrote:I'm not sure that Hui-Kuo would have identified himself as a shingon master.
I imagine he considered himself to teach mizong 密宗. I doubt anyone in china at that time was calling their sect shingon.
I believe shingon is a Japanese word.


It is possible that tantric practice in China was known as 眞言宗 because tantra is also sometimes referred to as the Mantra vehicle, Mantrayana, and 眞言 is one translation of mantra.


This is an old debate, Robert Sharf on one side, Orzech (and others) on the other, whether or not Tang Dynasty "Zhenyan" (the Mandarin pronunciation of Shingon...which is not a "Japanese word", just the Japanese pronunciation of those characters, which were a Chinese translation for the word mantra as said above), was an actual "school" of Buddhism.

We are not going to get the answer here on this forum.
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Re: Mahavairocana empowerment applicability

Postby Fortyeightvows » Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:02 pm

Again, it doesn't matter to the point I was trying to make.
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Re: Mahavairocana empowerment applicability

Postby Acala » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:21 am

Fortyeightvows wrote:Again, it doesn't matter to the point I was trying to make.


I did not this entire thread was centered (and limited to) the point you were trying to make.

Apologies.
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Re: Mahavairocana empowerment applicability

Postby Fortyeightvows » Mon Feb 16, 2015 6:09 am

No apology necessary friend.

It's not necessarily that the thread is entire thread was centered or limited to the point I was trying to make. But in my limited time using this board I have noticed that the culture generally dictates that if the discussion no longer relates to the original post that a new thread be started. The original post was about empowerment applicability. Do you have any thoughts on this?

Also it seems like the etymology of would make for a good thread itself.
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