Shaivite and Buddhst Tantra. Which came first?

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Shaivite and Buddhst Tantra. Which came first?

Postby Tiger » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:35 pm

The Hindus (Shaivites) claim that they founded Tantras and the Buddhist claim that they were the first creators of Tantra. So which one came first?

I found this interesting explanation from here:


The nāgārjuna of vajrayāna is generally identified by the Tibetan Buddhists with the mādhyamika philospher, but these two were definitely different teachers. Matsyendranātha, a Tantric teacher of Shaktism, enjoying great reputation as a kaula yogin appeared in Assam sometime in the early centuries of the Christian era. He is taken as the founder of the Kaula system in kaliyuga. That system is said to have been started by four yuganāṭhas in four yugas and they are respectively khagendranātha, kūrmanātha, meṣanātha and matsyendranātha. arāha alias rāhulabhadra, a Buddhist monk of the vijnānavāda school, learnt Kaula Tantra from some efficient teacher belonging to the line of matsyendranātha. He adapted it to the fundamental principles of vijnānavāda and presented it efficiently as a secret sādhana taught by Buddhism. He eliminated cleverly two very important principles of śākta tantra for such purpose. One of these is the principle of the existence of a constant entity called ātman. The other principle is that of absolute theism. Besides, he changed the names of Tantric deities so as to make them look like Buddhist ones and gave all philosophical terms a Buddhist coloring. Thus he presented the śākta system of matsyendranātha as mystic Buddhism and gave it the name, vajrayāna. One of his very efficient disciples was a monk named nāgārjuna who also is, many a time, wrongly identified with the ancient mādhyamika philosopher of the South by the Lamas of Tibet and Mongolia. He popularized among Buddhist monks such Tantrism which passed on under the name of vajrayāna Buddhism. Padmasambhava, a disciple in his line, carried such Tantric Buddhism to Tibet and from there it spread to many countries of the Buddhist world.



How true is the above account?
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Re: Shaivite and Buddhst Tantra. Which came first?

Postby Malcolm » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:43 pm

Tiger wrote:The Hindus (Shaivites) claim that they founded Tantras and the Buddhist claim that they were the first creators of Tantra. So which one came first?

I found this interesting explanation from here:


The nāgārjuna of vajrayāna is generally identified by the Tibetan Buddhists with the mādhyamika philospher, but these two were definitely different teachers. Matsyendranātha, a Tantric teacher of Shaktism, enjoying great reputation as a kaula yogin appeared in Assam sometime in the early centuries of the Christian era. He is taken as the founder of the Kaula system in kaliyuga. That system is said to have been started by four yuganāṭhas in four yugas and they are respectively khagendranātha, kūrmanātha, meṣanātha and matsyendranātha. arāha alias rāhulabhadra, a Buddhist monk of the vijnānavāda school, learnt Kaula Tantra from some efficient teacher belonging to the line of matsyendranātha. He adapted it to the fundamental principles of vijnānavāda and presented it efficiently as a secret sādhana taught by Buddhism. He eliminated cleverly two very important principles of śākta tantra for such purpose. One of these is the principle of the existence of a constant entity called ātman. The other principle is that of absolute theism. Besides, he changed the names of Tantric deities so as to make them look like Buddhist ones and gave all philosophical terms a Buddhist coloring. Thus he presented the śākta system of matsyendranātha as mystic Buddhism and gave it the name, vajrayāna. One of his very efficient disciples was a monk named nāgārjuna who also is, many a time, wrongly identified with the ancient mādhyamika philosopher of the South by the Lamas of Tibet and Mongolia. He popularized among Buddhist monks such Tantrism which passed on under the name of vajrayāna Buddhism. Padmasambhava, a disciple in his line, carried such Tantric Buddhism to Tibet and from there it spread to many countries of the Buddhist world.



How true is the above account?



It is very speculative. In any case, Buddhist tantras are primordial.
Last edited by Malcolm on Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shaivite and Buddhst Tantra. Which came first?

Postby Blue Garuda » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:47 pm

The deities involved are not bound by timelines invented by humans, and nobody knows which ones were first to be discovered by humans or first to be given names in oral or written tradition.

Although Kali as a name has a very long history, the black goddess figure we know now is quite possibly less old than Vajrayogini's first mention.

Tara, Ganesha, Garuda etc. appear in both and the same 'chicken and egg' quest applies.

The way in which deities are regarded is also entirely different so comparing one with the other is pretty pointless.

I would take all claims of primacy and superiority with a pinch of salt - it is really of no relevance as they bear no relation to the timeless nature of those deities.
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Re: Shaivite and Buddhst Tantra. Which came first?

Postby Malcolm » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:50 pm

Further, in terms of textual history, the earliest tantra by name that we have is the core of the famed Ayurvedic classic, the Caraka Samhita. This text is called Agniveśa Tantra.

The term "tantra" is just a general word in Sanskrit that means effectively "manual".

M
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Re: Shaivite and Buddhst Tantra. Which came first?

Postby SSJ3Gogeta » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:54 pm

I know chakras came first in Buddhist tantras.
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Re: Shaivite and Buddhst Tantra. Which came first?

Postby conebeckham » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:08 pm

Actually, "Chakras" in Buddhist Tantras are a relatively late subject, going by the Tibetan corpus....if I recall, you don't find much about them in the Early Translations. But I'm not sure this has any relevance to the question at hand...
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Re: Shaivite and Buddhst Tantra. Which came first?

Postby SSJ3Gogeta » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:16 pm

David Gordon White:

"The earliest accounts of the cakras as "circles" or "wheels" of subtle energy located within the yogic body are found in the Caryagiti and the Hevarjra Tantra, two circa eighth-century Buddhist Tantric works that locate four cakras within the human body at the levels of the navel, heart, throat and head."
-Kiss of the Yogini, page 24.

"While the breath channels (nadis) of yogic practice has already been discussed in the classical Upanishads, it was not until such Tantric works as the eighth-century Buddhist Hevajra Tantra and Caryagiti that a heirarchy of inner energy centers-variously called cakras, padmas or pithas-were introduced."
-Yoga in Practice, page 14.
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Re: Shaivite and Buddhst Tantra. Which came first?

Postby conebeckham » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:04 pm

Getting back to the original quote....it's quite confusing. There was apparently an important Madhyamika scholar with the name Rahulabhadra, who was (I think) contemporary with Nagarjuna, the Madhaymika "explicator." Some say there is conflation with another, later, Nagarjuna, a Tantrika, who was a practitioner of Guhyasamaja, surely one of the earlier Buddhist Tantras. There's also a Rahula, sometimes called Rahulagupta, who was contemporary with Maitripa, and was Atisha's teacher--and bestowed Hevajra upon Atisha. I think this Rahulagupta also figures in the transmissions to Khyungpo Naljor. I wonder if this is the Rahula(bhadra?/gupta?) of the original quote, who was said to have "invented Buddhist Tantra" by removing elements of Hindu doctrine? It doesn't seem likely-- bu tif that's the Rahula of the original quote, I would say he couldn't have been the "originator of Buddhist Tantra," as his contemporaries are also well known in Vajrayana lineages--and they're all later than the earlier, Nyingma Kama, Tantras found in Tibet. Right?
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Re: Shaivite and Buddhst Tantra. Which came first?

Postby Red Faced Buddha » Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:48 am

Tiger wrote:The Hindus (Shaivites) claim that they founded Tantras and the Buddhist claim that they were the first creators of Tantra. So which one came first?

I found this interesting explanation from here:


The nāgārjuna of vajrayāna is generally identified by the Tibetan Buddhists with the mādhyamika philospher, but these two were definitely different teachers. Matsyendranātha, a Tantric teacher of Shaktism, enjoying great reputation as a kaula yogin appeared in Assam sometime in the early centuries of the Christian era. He is taken as the founder of the Kaula system in kaliyuga. That system is said to have been started by four yuganāṭhas in four yugas and they are respectively khagendranātha, kūrmanātha, meṣanātha and matsyendranātha. arāha alias rāhulabhadra, a Buddhist monk of the vijnānavāda school, learnt Kaula Tantra from some efficient teacher belonging to the line of matsyendranātha. He adapted it to the fundamental principles of vijnānavāda and presented it efficiently as a secret sādhana taught by Buddhism. He eliminated cleverly two very important principles of śākta tantra for such purpose. One of these is the principle of the existence of a constant entity called ātman. The other principle is that of absolute theism. Besides, he changed the names of Tantric deities so as to make them look like Buddhist ones and gave all philosophical terms a Buddhist coloring. Thus he presented the śākta system of matsyendranātha as mystic Buddhism and gave it the name, vajrayāna. One of his very efficient disciples was a monk named nāgārjuna who also is, many a time, wrongly identified with the ancient mādhyamika philosopher of the South by the Lamas of Tibet and Mongolia. He popularized among Buddhist monks such Tantrism which passed on under the name of vajrayāna Buddhism. Padmasambhava, a disciple in his line, carried such Tantric Buddhism to Tibet and from there it spread to many countries of the Buddhist world.



How true is the above account?


Hinduism.However Shaivism isn't Hinduism,it is a school of Hinduism that worships Shiva as the supreme being.
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Re: Shaivite and Buddhst Tantra. Which came first?

Postby Namgyal » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:08 am

Beware of Hindus appropriating Buddhism. Aside from enforced slavery and murder one of their main methods to combat Buddhism in the past was to fudge the boundaries between the religions with misinformation and nonsense. In fact both Hindus and Buddhists have tantras because neither created them...they are ultimately derived from the shamanic traditions of aboriginal Indian tribes, like the Nagas.
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Re: Shaivite and Buddhst Tantra. Which came first?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:40 am

Raksha wrote:Beware of Hindus appropriating Buddhism. Aside from enforced slavery and murder one of their main methods to combat Buddhism in the past was to fudge the boundaries between the religions with misinformation and nonsense. In fact both Hindus and Buddhists have tantras because neither created them...they are ultimately derived from the shamanic traditions of aboriginal Indian tribes, like the Nagas.
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Which boundaries? Amongst the 84 Mahasiddhas of Mahamudra (for example) we find four Nath siddhas: Kankaripa, Minapa, Goraksa and Caurangi which are shared as lineage holders between Buddhists and Shaivite Naths. If there are boundaries, they must be pretty bloody porous (to the point of being non-existent).
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Re: Shaivite and Buddhst Tantra. Which came first?

Postby Namgyal » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:13 pm

[/quote]Which boundaries? Amongst the 84 Mahasiddhas of Mahamudra (for example) we find four Nath siddhas: Kankaripa, Minapa, Goraksa and Caurangi which are shared as lineage holders between Buddhists and Shaivite Naths. If there are boundaries, they must be pretty bloody porous (to the point of being non-existent).[/quote]

If I had the same method as you Greg I would reply, '..84 Mahasiddhas of Mahamudra! What are you talking about? Most of the Mahasiddhas didn't practice Mahamudra!! etc. etc.'. Instead, I am going to calmly read through your post and try to reply to your argument, without seizing one piece and 'going off on one'. I recommend 'Indian Buddhist Pandits' (LTWA) as a companion volume to the 'Lives of the 84 Mahasiddhas'. This will give you a glimpse into the world of ancient Indian debate (vada). Countless Buddhist scholars, including many of the Mahasiddhas, devoted their lives to fending off philosophical attacks from Hindus. It was a serious business because the loser forfeited their freedom, and their temple or temples would be forcibly converted to the religion of their opponent. Of course none of this would have happened if the differences between their respective religions was 'non-existent'. The history of the struggle between Hinduism and Buddhism is a long and complicated one, which I don't propose to go into in this post. Suffice to say that the Hindus never beat the Buddhists in debate, so in the end they simply copied large sections of Buddhist teaching and claimed that they had invented it themselves. They also used Hindu kings to attack and destroy Buddhists institutions, with the justification that Buddhism was really just a Hindu heresy. In this way, Buddha was claimed by the Hindus as an avatar of Vishnu. So their ultimately successful method was, 'if you can't beat them, appropriate their teachings and temples claiming that they were yours all along.' In the most extreme cases Buddhist nuns were actually enslaved and forced into prostitution, so it is not only totally incorrect to suggest that there is no difference between these religions, it is actually quite offensive. In short, Hinduism and Buddhism: two different religions Greg.
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Re: Shaivite and Buddhst Tantra. Which came first?

Postby pueraeternus » Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:33 pm

Raksha wrote:Suffice to say that the Hindus never beat the Buddhists in debate...


Can you recommend any books or articles that studied this? I have always wondered this, but most of what I have read came from the Buddhist POV, so that's probably biased. It would be interesting to see if there are academic research that confirms that for the most part, Buddhist pandits trounce Hindu ones.
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Re: Shaivite and Buddhst Tantra. Which came first?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:10 pm

Raksha wrote:Suffice to say that the Hindus never beat the Buddhists in debate...


That is a pretty unfounded statement. Did you forget Shankaracarya? Navy Nyaya?
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Re: Shaivite and Buddhst Tantra. Which came first?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:40 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
Raksha wrote:Suffice to say that the Hindus never beat the Buddhists in debate...


Can you recommend any books or articles that studied this? I have always wondered this, but most of what I have read came from the Buddhist POV, so that's probably biased. It would be interesting to see if there are academic research that confirms that for the most part, Buddhist pandits trounce Hindu ones.



There are no real objective accounts, just sectarian annals on both sides.
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Re: Shaivite and Buddhst Tantra. Which came first?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:48 pm

Raksha wrote:If I had the same method as you Greg I would reply, '..84 Mahasiddhas of Mahamudra! What are you talking about? Most of the Mahasiddhas didn't practice Mahamudra!! etc. etc.'. Instead, I am going to calmly read through your post and try to reply to your argument, without seizing one piece and 'going off on one'.
YAWN!
Of course none of this would have happened if the differences between their respective religions was 'non-existent'.
Straw man. I never said that there are no differences, I said that there are no boundaries, or to be exact:
gregkavarnos wrote:If there are boundaries, they must be pretty bloody porous (to the point of being non-existent)
AND I said that the abovementioned Siddhas were SHARED by Nath and Buddhist lineages. Like they share Tara, Vaisravana, Kali, Siva Nataraj, Bhairava, Sarasvati, etc...

This does not deny the existence of seperate religions.

But wait on, is the discussion about religions or practice? Tantra is, after all, merely a form of method/practice COMMON to some forms of Hinduism and Buddhism.

But, going back to the OP, does it really matter which came first? I mean will the winner of the race get a gold medal? Coryright or trademark rights? A generous monetary bounty? Front row seats at enlightenment? :shrug:
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Re: Shaivite and Buddhst Tantra. Which came first?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:28 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
But wait on, is the discussion about religions or practice? Tantra is, after all, merely a form of method/practice COMMON to some forms of Hinduism and Buddhism.


This is a kind of misconception. "Tantra", as a movement is a purely Western historical construction. As I have often pointed out, the earliest texts known as "tantras" are medical texts belonging to Ayurveda.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Shaivite and Buddhst Tantra. Which came first?

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:35 pm

Funny how in Buddhist tantras you have Buddhist deities stepping on the faces of Hindu deities, but not the other way around.
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Re: Shaivite and Buddhst Tantra. Which came first?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:51 pm

Malcolm wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:
But wait on, is the discussion about religions or practice? Tantra is, after all, merely a form of method/practice COMMON to some forms of Hinduism and Buddhism.


This is a kind of misconception. "Tantra", as a movement is a purely Western historical construction. As I have often pointed out, the earliest texts known as "tantras" are medical texts belonging to Ayurveda.
I said method not movement. Do you prefer the term praxis?
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One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Shaivite and Buddhst Tantra. Which came first?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:05 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:
But wait on, is the discussion about religions or practice? Tantra is, after all, merely a form of method/practice COMMON to some forms of Hinduism and Buddhism.


This is a kind of misconception. "Tantra", as a movement is a purely Western historical construction. As I have often pointed out, the earliest texts known as "tantras" are medical texts belonging to Ayurveda.
I said method not movement. Do you prefer the term praxis?
:namaste:


There is no real such thing as "Tantrism".
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