Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:33 pm

LastLegend wrote: I am not questioning the validity of Tantrayana, I am just questioning the understanding of the practitioners on this forum regarding certain components of teachings.


You are not in a position to question anyone's understanding of Vajrayāna buddhism since you are not a Vajrayāna practitioner.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby adinatha » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:40 pm

Here's what's at stake in this discussion. Vajrayana's power and validity stems from an unbroken lineage. Unbroken lineage means unbroken lineage of ultimate realization. Which means masters who have attained Vajradhara level since the time of the Buddha. Vajrayana is not just nifty methods. Without lineage the transmission of mind is not possible. We know this because when a lineage is broken, someone cannot just pick up a method and attain Vajradhara level. That has been shown to be the case. That unbroken lineage must go back to the Nirmanakaya, Shakyamuni, because he was the first to bring dharma here since the time of the last Nirmanakaya. Due to the principles of cause and effect and interdependence, others will be unable to reach the same level unless he passed his level on. Masters through the centuries have attained Vajradhara level. The mind transmission and blessings are still fresh. Dharma is not a matter of divine revelation. It's not like a being can pump you full of blessings. There must be lineage, conditions, transmission, practice, etc. So claiming to be a Vajrayana practitioner and also claiming the Sramanera only taught sravakayana undermines the Vajrayana. If the lineage is broken, there's no Vajrayana. I don't know how it happened or what the history is exactly, alls I know is that the lineage is unbroken, because there are Vajradhara gurus alive today. This still holds true for Dzogchen vis Garab Dorje and the masters who have attained the Body of Light. In Dzogchen you can pray to the Rainbow Body masters and get blessings directly, because there is that continuity. But in the Vajrayana tradition connected with Shakyamuni, there is a strict Earthly guru to student passing of the baton. Specifically a lineage must be composed of three unbroken lineages: lineage of teaching, lineage of empowerment and lineage of ultimate realization. If any one of these three are broken, the lineage is broken. There are very few lineages remaining where all three lineages are complete. Few Kagyu and Nyingma lineages are all really.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby LastLegend » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:46 pm

Namdrol wrote:
LastLegend wrote: I am not questioning the validity of Tantrayana, I am just questioning the understanding of the practitioners on this forum regarding certain components of teachings.


You are not in a position to question anyone's understanding of Vajrayāna buddhism since you are not a Vajrayāna practitioner.


If you are the real Diamond, you can cut me. But I am not here to create troubles just so you know.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby adinatha » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:54 pm

Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote:
To the contrary, it IS the standard for truth. I'm not saying it is true Gautama taught tantras. I'm saying there is no fact either way. So how can you conclude one way?



It is an inference based partly on the appearance of sutras in translation into Chinese, the noted evolution of these sutras in Chinese translation, comparisons with their late and in many cases final forms in Tibetan translation; the clear evolution of Indian tantras in Sanskrit, and in Tibetan translation, differing versions of the same text between new and older recensions, etc. The gradual evolution of tantra, uttaratantras, etc. The evolution of commentaries on these tantras, when they first appear, etc., intertextuality with non-buddhist tantras, and so on. The mutual rise of Buddhist and non-Buddhsit tantra, etc.

There are very many excellent reasons to assume that both Mahāyāna literature and Vajrayāna primary literature evolved in a manner that is simply absent in Nikāya/Agama sources. There is no evidence whatever to suggest that any Mahāyāna texts ever were communicated through an oral lineage like the Nikāya/Agamas. Even the so called gatha portion of these texts it turns out are generally _later_ in composition than the prose portions they summarize.


This assumes that what was found is all there is to find, that what was written encompasses what was said, or that what was written was written at the time it was said.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:24 pm

adinatha wrote: That unbroken lineage must go back to the Nirmanakaya, Shakyamuni, because he was the first to bring dharma here since the time of the last Nirmanakaya.



This is Hinayāna perspective, it is not even Mahāyāna, definitely not Vajrayāna (for example, according to the Cakrasamvara cycle of tantras, there are Nirmanakāyas teaching this tantra in the 24 pithas even today which accounts for the power of this cycle. It is the only mandala that was never withdrawn, and there is no suggestion in any history of the practice that it ever was taught by Shakyamuni, unlike Kalacakra and Guhyasamaja, for example).

Further, Sakyamuni never breathed a word of Dzogchen.

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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby adinatha » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:34 pm

Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote: That unbroken lineage must go back to the Nirmanakaya, Shakyamuni, because he was the first to bring dharma here since the time of the last Nirmanakaya.



This is Hinayāna perspective, it is not even Mahāyāna, definitely not Vajrayāna (for example, according to the Cakrasamvara cycle of tantras, there are Nirmanakāyas teaching this tantra in the 24 pithas even today which accounts for the power of this cycle. It is the only mandala that was never withdrawn, and there is no suggestion in any history of the practice that it ever was taught by Shakyamuni, unlike Kalacakra and Guhyasamaja, for example).

Further, Sakyamuni never breathed a word of Dzogchen.

N


That might be your interpretation re yanas. That view is not shared by Kagyu. I mentioned Garab Dorje in my passage is the Nirmanakaya who brought Dzogchen here. You skimmed. According to the Chakrasamvara Shakyamuni is transformed into Heruka to subjugate Mahadeva and Kalaratri. It is his connection that makes the tantra a possible continuum.

Also Hevajra explicitly begins, "thus I heard," indicating Shakayamuni will speak according to the tradition of nidana
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:42 pm

adinatha wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote:
To the contrary, it IS the standard for truth. I'm not saying it is true Gautama taught tantras. I'm saying there is no fact either way. So how can you conclude one way?



It is an inference based partly on the appearance of sutras in translation into Chinese, the noted evolution of these sutras in Chinese translation, comparisons with their late and in many cases final forms in Tibetan translation; the clear evolution of Indian tantras in Sanskrit, and in Tibetan translation, differing versions of the same text between new and older recensions, etc. The gradual evolution of tantra, uttaratantras, etc. The evolution of commentaries on these tantras, when they first appear, etc., intertextuality with non-buddhist tantras, and so on. The mutual rise of Buddhist and non-Buddhsit tantra, etc.

There are very many excellent reasons to assume that both Mahāyāna literature and Vajrayāna primary literature evolved in a manner that is simply absent in Nikāya/Agama sources. There is no evidence whatever to suggest that any Mahāyāna texts ever were communicated through an oral lineage like the Nikāya/Agamas. Even the so called gatha portion of these texts it turns out are generally _later_ in composition than the prose portions they summarize.


This assumes that what was found is all there is to find, that what was written encompasses what was said, or that what was written was written at the time it was said.


Not at all, it merely assumes that we have what we have, and we can examine what we have, study what we have, and limit our knowledge to what real evidence we do have.

It does not presume "new" tantras cannot be written (they can and are).

But there are obvious flaws in your view, not present in the view of those who regard Mahāyāna abd Vajrayāna texts as results of (inspired) literary production -- one, your view cannot explain the definite use of literary artifice and style in Mahāyāna sutras, cannot explain the codification and stylization completely absent in the NIkayas/Agamas; cannot explain the explict addressing of sectarian points by Mahāyāna sutras to Abhidharma concepts which are definitely found only in texts that post date the Buddha by many centuries.

For example, the Hevajra Tantra mentions Vaibhashika, Sautrantika, Yogachara and Madhyamaka. One might suppose that in Buddha's omniscience he predicted these schools; or occams razor style, one might just understand that the Hevajra tantra was composed after the catursiddhanta system was finalized sometime in the mid sixth century with Madhyamaka at the top. Even further, there is no evidence that categories such as "kriya, carya, and Yoga" tantra existed prior to the ninth century, since such categories are completely absence in tantric taxonomical commentaries written in the eighth century, and only really appear with Vajramālā tantr (the main commentary tantra on the Guhysamaja) which was not composed prior to the beginning of the ninth century based on its own appearance in Tibetan translation as well as its commentary. And we have a lot of information about the primitive i.e. pre-Vajramālā Guhyasamaja tradition.

For me it does not matter at all whether it was "revealed" or composed. It is a very interesting text that introduces most of doctrine we have about the ten vāyus, the notion of "bindu" and so on forth. My personal assumption is that it was composed by a yogi/yogis.

I could care less who it was supposedly taught by.

One of the things that shows a shift about tantric mis en scene among Indians is the relocation of the scene of the teachings from Nirmanakāya locations that we find in lower tantras up to Yoga tantra to Sambhogakāya dimensions like the "bhaga of the mother" and so on in Hevajra and other tantras, or Akanishtha Gandavyuha in Guhygarbha, etc. (which is very influential on Tibetan composition Dzogchen tantra mis en scene).

I have translated a lot of Indian Tantric Material and Nyingma tantric material. There stark stylistic differences between tantras composed in India and tantras composed in Tibet. Most Nyingma(but not all) tantras were definitely composed in Tibet by Tibetans.

So again, I restate my POV. Authorship does not matter. This is a worry for fundamentalists, not scholars, and not yogis.

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:53 pm

adinatha wrote:
That might be your interpretation re yanas. That view is not shared by Kagyu. I mentioned Garab Dorje in my passage is the Nirmanakaya who brought Dzogchen here. You skimmed. According to the Chakrasamvara Shakyamuni is transformed into Heruka to subjugate Mahadeva and Kalaratri. It is his connection that makes the tantra a possible continuum.



No, this not so and not one single Indian commentary maintains this (out of thirteen commentaries on the root tantra alone). This is just later Tibetans freaked out the heterodox nature of the tantras, trying to whitewash all of this to fit their preconceived notions. Moreover, Cakrasamvara does not even begin with evam māyam srutam.

And then what about the tantras that begin "This at one time did I teach..." like guhyasamaja which are all set in Akanistha Gandavyhua.


Also Hevajra explicitly begins, "thus I heard," indicating Shakayamuni will speak according to the tradition of nidana


This does not prove that Shakyamuni Buddha taught the text. But hey, your faith is yours. You keep it. If you want to be snowed by literary conventions -- that is your business.

There are suttas in the Pali Canon that explicitly date from after Buddha's parinirvana that begin with evam māyam srutam. There is one such text in the Majjihma Nikāya. Not every text that begins with evam maya srutam issued from the mouth of Sakyamuni -- for example, all of the Dzogchen tantras -- not a single one was ever taught by our pal Gotama Buddha.

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby adinatha » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:02 pm

Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote:This assumes that what was found is all there is to find, that what was written encompasses what was said, or that what was written was written at the time it was said.


Not at all, it merely assumes that we have what we have, and we can examine what we have, study what we have, and limit our knowledge to what real evidence we do have.

It does not presume "new" tantras cannot be written (they can and are).

But there are obvious flaws in your view, not present in the view of those who regard Mahāyāna abd Vajrayāna texts as results of (inspired) literary production -- one, your view cannot explain the definite use of literary artifice and style in Mahāyāna sutras, cannot explain the codification and stylization completely absent in the NIkayas/Agamas; cannot explain the explict addressing of sectarian points by Mahāyāna sutras to Abhidharma concepts which are definitely found only in texts that post date the Buddha by many centuries.


You can formulate theories is all you can muster in an *attempt* to explain.

Namdrol wrote:For example, the Hevajra Tantra mentions Vaibhashika, Sautrantika, Yogachara and Madhyamaka. One might suppose that in Buddha's omniscience he predicted these schools; or occams razor style, one might just understand that the Hevajra tantra was composed after the catursiddhanta system was finalized sometime in the mid sixth century with Madhyamaka at the top.


So you apply Occam's Razor to whether the Buddha was omniscient? The obvious application of Occam's Razor here would be omniscience is impossible. So...

So it's better not to go there, because you are applying Occam's Razor to an assumption anyway.

Namdrol wrote:Even further, there is no evidence that categories such as "kriya, carya, and Yoga" tantra existed prior to the ninth century, since such categories are completely absence in tantric taxonomical commentaries written in the eighth century, and only really appear with Vajramālā tantr (the main commentary tantra on the Guhysamaja) which was not composed prior to the beginning of the ninth century based on its own appearance in Tibetan translation as well as its commentary. And we have a lot of information about the primitive i.e. pre-Vajramālā Guhyasamaja tradition.


I made no assumptions about which sutras and tantras are reliable. Also your dating of texts is based on assumptions. Dating of texts is notoriously impossible.

Namdrol wrote:For me it does not matter at all whether it was "revealed" or composed. It is a very interesting text that introduces most of doctrine we have about the ten vāyus, the notion of "bindu" and so on forth. My personal assumption is that it was composed by a yogi/yogis.


You know what they say about those who assume? It's not like the notions of vayus and bindus, etc., was unknown generally by the yogi world in the 10th Century. It seems that this knowledge MAY have been well developed even in the Buddha's time. the Buddha talked about mind-made body and upanishads, etc., talk about bindu and vayu. The Buddha's tantras just apply this knowledge to freedom from extremes liberation.

Namdrol wrote:I could care less who it was supposedly taught by.


That's your opinion. But authenticity does play a role in a consideration of reliability.

One of the things that shows a shift about tantric mis en scene among Indians is the relocation of the scene of the teachings from Nirmanakāya locations that we find in lower tantras up to Yoga tantra to Sambhogakāya dimensions like the "bhaga of the mother" and so on in Hevajra and other tantras, or Akanishtha Gandavyuha in Guhygarbha, etc. (which is very influential on Tibetan composition Dzogchen tantra mis en scene).

I have translated a lot of Indian Tantric Material and Nyingma tantric material. There stark stylistic differences between tantras composed in India and tantras composed in Tibet. Most Nyingma(but not all) tantras were definitely composed in Tibet by Tibetans.

So again, I restate my POV. Authorship does not matter. This is a worry for fundamentalists, not scholars, and not yogis.

N


Authorship is who wrote it down. Who knows who finally wrote down an oral transmission or saw a vision of a transmission? By the time someone writes it down it's passed through several ears and mouths anyway. The question is did the Buddha Shakyamuni transform his body and speak words about dakinis and sex for someone to hear. That is strictly a faith question, and no evidence will ever come out to say otherwise.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:04 pm

adinatha wrote:This still holds true for Dzogchen vis Garab Dorje and the masters who have attained the Body of Light.


In reality, the most important lineage in Nyingma is the very, very, very short lineage:

My three kāya guru, me.

Don't need all that historical bullshit. That is for people who lack confidence.

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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:19 pm

adinatha wrote:
Namdrol wrote:For example, the Hevajra Tantra mentions Vaibhashika, Sautrantika, Yogachara and Madhyamaka. One might suppose that in Buddha's omniscience he predicted these schools; or occams razor style, one might just understand that the Hevajra tantra was composed after the catursiddhanta system was finalized sometime in the mid sixth century with Madhyamaka at the top.


So you apply Occam's Razor to whether the Buddha was omniscient? The obvious application of Occam's Razor here would be omniscience is impossible. So...



No, the obvious application is that the Hevajra tantra was written after the four siddhanta system came into being. There were no Vaibhashikas during the time of the Buddha because the Mahavibhasa had not been written and would not be written for 500 years.

I do not think that it impugns Shakyamuni Buddha's omniscience to imagine that he did not speak every text attributed to him whether directly or indirectly.



I made no assumptions about which sutras and tantras are reliable. Also your dating of texts is based on assumptions. Dating of texts is notoriously impossible.


Well, here is a big difference, for you it seems "reliable" means "taught by a known historical Buddha with a name".

As for dating of texts, it is not nearly as hard as you think. Dating people is harder than dating texts, actually.


You know what they say about those who assume? It's not like the notions of vayus and bindus, etc., was unknown generally by the yogi world in the 10th Century. It seems that this knowledge MAY have been well developed even in the Buddha's time.


Actually the ten vāyus are all mentioned by name in the pre-Buddhist Candogya Upanishad. The first Buddhist text they appear in is the Buddhist Ayurvedic treatise Asthanga Hridaya Samhita.


the Buddha talked about mind-made body and upanishads, etc., talk about bindu and vayu. The Buddha's tantras just apply this knowledge to freedom from extremes liberation.


Agreed. I still don't think this is sufficient to attribute authorship of 9th century CE texts, or even 100 BCE Mahāyāna texts to the Buddha.


Namdrol wrote:I could care less who it was supposedly taught by.


That's your opinion. But authenticity does play a role in a consideration of reliability.


Nah, this is just a political game Tibetans play with each other. The Indian Mahasiddhas did not give a shit about all this crap.


Authorship is who wrote it down. Who knows who finally wrote down an oral transmission or saw a vision of a transmission? By the time someone writes it down it's passed through several ears and mouths anyway. The question is did the Buddha Shakyamuni transform his body and speak words about dakinis and sex for someone to hear. That is strictly a faith question, and no evidence will ever come out to say otherwise.


You sound like a Christian defending creationism.

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby adinatha » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:28 pm

Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote:
That might be your interpretation re yanas. That view is not shared by Kagyu. I mentioned Garab Dorje in my passage is the Nirmanakaya who brought Dzogchen here. You skimmed. According to the Chakrasamvara Shakyamuni is transformed into Heruka to subjugate Mahadeva and Kalaratri. It is his connection that makes the tantra a possible continuum.



No, this not so and not one single Indian commentary maintains this (out of thirteen commentaries on the root tantra alone). This is just later Tibetans freaked out the heterodox nature of the tantras, trying to whitewash all of this to fit their preconceived notions. Moreover, Cakrasamvara does not even begin with evam māyam srutam.

And then what about the tantras that begin "This at one time did I teach..." like guhyasamaja which are all set in Akanistha Gandavyhua.


Hevajra does. Co-location of course explains it. I'm not saying I believe in co-location, but it is one possibility. You can presume it is Tibetans freaked out, or you can believe Lord Jigten Sumgon was a nirmanakaya who was omniscient and wasn't lying or whitewashing because he was freaked out.

Also Hevajra explicitly begins, "thus I heard," indicating Shakayamuni will speak according to the tradition of nidana


This does not prove that Shakyamuni Buddha taught the text. But hey, your faith is yours. You keep it. If you want to be snowed by literary conventions -- that is your business.


If I were to believe literary critics I would have to have a kind of faith too. I've never hinted this proves Shakyamuni taught the text. I'm saying you can't prove something is true. Snowed implies overwhelmed in defeat. You can only disprove a theory. Truth is elusive. For me truth is equated with the kayas. There is no other truth. Literary conventions are weak.

There are suttas in the Pali Canon that explicitly date from after Buddha's parinirvana that begin with evam māyam srutam. There is one such text in the Majjihma Nikāya.



What do you mean they explicitly date? Not possible.

Not every text that begins with evam maya srutam issued from the mouth of Sakyamuni -- for example, all of the Dzogchen tantras -- not a single one was ever taught by our pal Gotama Buddha.


I think you're right, Dzogchen was taught by what's his face, Garab somebody or other.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby adinatha » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:43 pm

Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote:So you apply Occam's Razor to whether the Buddha was omniscient? The obvious application of Occam's Razor here would be omniscience is impossible. So...


No, the obvious application is that the Hevajra tantra was written after the four siddhanta system came into being. There were no Vaibhashikas during the time of the Buddha because the Mahavibhasa had not been written and would not be written for 500 years.

I do not think that it impugns Shakyamuni Buddha's omniscience to imagine that he did not speak every text attributed to him whether directly or indirectly.


You are being selective about how you apply Occam's Razor, and that selectivity masks a bias.

I made no assumptions about which sutras and tantras are reliable. Also your dating of texts is based on assumptions. Dating of texts is notoriously impossible.


Well, here is a big difference, for you it seems "reliable" means "taught by a known historical Buddha with a name".

As for dating of texts, it is not nearly as hard as you think. Dating people is harder than dating texts, actually.


It's impossible actually. Approximations can be made.

You know what they say about those who assume? It's not like the notions of vayus and bindus, etc., was unknown generally by the yogi world in the 10th Century. It seems that this knowledge MAY have been well developed even in the Buddha's time.


Actually the ten vāyus are all mentioned by name in the pre-Buddhist Candogya Upanishad. The first Buddhist text they appear in is the Buddhist Ayurvedic treatise Asthanga Hridaya Samhita.


Well, the Buddha could have taught this stuff to someone, right?


the Buddha talked about mind-made body and upanishads, etc., talk about bindu and vayu. The Buddha's tantras just apply this knowledge to freedom from extremes liberation.


Agreed. I still don't think this is sufficient to attribute authorship of 9th century CE texts, or even 100 BCE Mahāyāna texts to the Buddha.


I never said Buddha authored a single text. Authorship is not the issue.

Namdrol wrote:I could care less who it was supposedly taught by.


That's your opinion. But authenticity does play a role in a consideration of reliability.


Nah, this is just a political game Tibetans play with each other. The Indian Mahasiddhas did not give a shit about all this crap.


Could be. I'm partial to Indian masters too. But a few Tibetan masters are noteworthy... One or two. But I see a similar pattern with Western Buddhist scholars attempting to placate a Western sensibility about humanism and some concrete idea about history. It amounts to the same thing.


Authorship is who wrote it down. Who knows who finally wrote down an oral transmission or saw a vision of a transmission? By the time someone writes it down it's passed through several ears and mouths anyway. The question is did the Buddha Shakyamuni transform his body and speak words about dakinis and sex for someone to hear. That is strictly a faith question, and no evidence will ever come out to say otherwise.


You sound like a Christian defending creationism.


A lot of people like to play the association game here. It's quite Jungian, nay... Freudian, perhaps Gestaltian.

There's nothing like good old standard falsifiability: the ultimate Occam's Razor. If one cannot formulate a test of the falsifiability of one's theory, it's just metaphysical. This is quite liberating, because so much is just metaphysical. Then, we can explore the inner functionality of yoga, faith, action, elements, etc., free of the impediment of facticity. We can explore dharma with a freeform approach that naturally merges with the nature of our real condition.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:10 am

adinatha wrote:
You are being selective about how you apply Occam's Razor, and that selectivity masks a bias.



Merely point out to you that there are other ways to see the shortest path.


Approximations can be made.


I don't think we are pinpointing a publication date here.

Well, the Buddha could have taught this stuff to someone, right?


It is not found in the Bhaisajya vastu, which is a large collection in Vinaya which records Buddha's medical treatment of monks. There is a definite record of Buddha practicing some pranayāma techniques we find even today in Yantra Yoga in the Majjihma Nikāya.



I never said Buddha authored a single text. Authorship is not the issue.


Yes, actually, it is what we have been discussing.




It amounts to the same thing.


In the hands of some western scholars, sure. As far as I am concerned, I am just calling it the way I see it.




A lot of people like to play the association game here. It's quite Jungian, nay... Freudian, perhaps Gestaltian.


Just telling you how you sound. It is up to you what to do with it.

There's nothing like good old standard falsifiability: the ultimate Occam's Razor. If one cannot formulate a test of the falsifiability of one's theory, it's just metaphysical. This is quite liberating, because so much is just metaphysical.


I agree -- it is also liberating when one does not have to explain away all the hermeneutical difficulties of explaining how one guy in 460-407 +- BCE explained a whole bunch of teachings, 3/4's of which (and millions of words) were then concealed in some other dimension only to be revealed mystically some hundreds of years later.

For example, supposedly the Buddha gave the Guhyasamaja initiation to the first Indrabhuti. He wrote the text down and taught it to everyone in his kingdom who achieved liberation. Then Oddiyāna basically disappeared. Then, sometime later, since a lake developed there, many nāgās were born in that lake. And eventually they moved to the shore and founded a city. At the same time, Vajrapani, who was safe guarding the tantra, taught it to these nāga people. Then a south Indian King, Visukalpa had a dream -- he travelled to Oddiyāna, who there met an old lady, who have him the initiation, and from this point then supposedly Vajrayāna started to spread in India starting in South India.

According to Nyingma, a bunch of texts fell on a guys house -- he did not understand them, and took them to Kukuripa who sorted them out understood them, practiced them etc.

In other words, these are all legends. As for Cakrasamvara, it is as I said. Someone in Kagyu may have decided to adapt some other story -- but there is nothing in the Cakrasamvara literature itself to indicate that Sakyamuni had anything to do with it. Instead, Shri Heruka is regarded as a separate Nirmanakāya in the twenty four lands who is presently still active to this very day.

And as someone who was trained in Sakya, I prefer the Sakya account -- a) Sambhogakāya is the author and source of all Vajrayāna teachings, when it says thus have I head, it means it was spoken by the Sambhogakāya and heard by Vajrapani, not by Ananda. B) "The single vajra word is heard differently by those of different capacity". This means a) we do not need to be worried about whether Sakyamuni had anything to with the tantras, or Mahāyāna, since Manjushri is the one who heard Mahayāna, according to this understanding b) it allows for the evolution of dharma according to the needs of people and their capacity.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Jnana » Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:45 am

adinatha wrote:But you can't try to please everyone by going for the lowest common denominator.

It's not a question of trying to please everyone. When discussing these issues on the other side of the fence one encounters just as much resistance and pushback from traditionalists as one does here on the Mahāyāna side. It's also not a matter of going for the lowest common denominator. The orientation is temporal relative to the time period of Gautama. Doctrinal development is coherently and sufficiently demonstrated through a historical timeline as Namdrol has already explained. I recognize that you don't accept this as satisfactory, and that's fine.

adinatha wrote:The problem is when people think they are being rational when they are not. A lot of talk sounds rational but is just a mask for an emotional bias, which is pre-rational.

Agreed.

adinatha wrote:But you are again demonstrating politics as a foundation for your opinions, not rational thought.

I have no polemical agenda. Clan affiliation should really not be an issue, but I've always been a devoted mahāyānika. The interpretive method I'm working with is dynamic enough to account for a variety of disciplines and interpretations, without privileging any sources.

adinatha wrote:I mean what are we doing here practicing dharma, trying to get a fresh breath of unmediated reality right?

Sure. But we are also discussing hermeneutics. A function of prajñā. Also tangentially related to the development of path knowledge (mārgākārajñatā).
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby adinatha » Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:46 am

Namdrol wrote:
I never said Buddha authored a single text. Authorship is not the issue.


Yes, actually, it is what we have been discussing.


No. Authorship is writing. The Buddha never held a writing instrument, at least that's the tradition. He only spoke. Writing would have come later.



A lot of people like to play the association game here. It's quite Jungian, nay... Freudian, perhaps Gestaltian.


Just telling you how you sound. It is up to you what to do with it.


Not sure.

There's nothing like good old standard falsifiability: the ultimate Occam's Razor. If one cannot formulate a test of the falsifiability of one's theory, it's just metaphysical. This is quite liberating, because so much is just metaphysical.


I agree -- it is also liberating when one does not have to explain away all the hermeneutical difficulties of explaining how one guy in 460-407 +- BCE explained a whole bunch of teachings, 3/4's of which (and millions of words) were then concealed in some other dimension only to be revealed mystically some hundreds of years later.


Hermeneutics is bondage it seems. May I suggest Pornographics?

For example, supposedly the Buddha gave the Guhyasamaja initiation to the first Indrabhuti. He wrote the text down and taught it to everyone in his kingdom who achieved liberation. Then Oddiyāna basically disappeared. Then, sometime later, since a lake developed there, many nāgās were born in that lake. And eventually they moved to the shore and founded a city. At the same time, Vajrapani, who was safe guarding the tantra, taught it to these nāga people. Then a south Indian King, Visukalpa had a dream -- he travelled to Oddiyāna, who there met an old lady, who have him the initiation, and from this point then supposedly Vajrayāna started to spread in India starting in South India.


Sounds crazy. You don't honestly believe that shit do you? Crazy Indians and their magical thinking. I'm telling you, there's another reason why this is the story. Indians are basically no bullshit people. There is a secret symbolic meaning to all this that applies to the method of the tantra. This applies to all Indian mythology. You have to talk to a learned Brahmin to know these things. In the case of the tantras, perhaps some of these lineages are broken. For example, in Mahabharata or Ramayana, the characters and battles related to channels and chakras. And names relate to mantras.

According to Nyingma, a bunch of texts fell on a guys house -- he did not understand them, and took them to Kukuripa who sorted them out understood them, practiced them etc.

In other words, these are all legends. As for Cakrasamvara, it is as I said. Someone in Kagyu may have decided to adapt some other story -- but there is nothing in the Cakrasamvara literature itself to indicate that Sakyamuni had anything to do with it. Instead, Shri Heruka is regarded as a separate Nirmanakāya in the twenty four lands who is presently still active to this very day.


You have to take into account the oral heritage that accompanies the text. If you try to sort out dharma from texts, you will be lost forever.

And as someone who was trained in Sakya, I prefer the Sakya account -- a) Sambhogakāya is the author and source of all Vajrayāna teachings, when it says thus have I head, it means it was spoken by the Sambhogakāya and heard by Vajrapani, not by Ananda. B) "The single vajra word is heard differently by those of different capacity". This means a) we do not need to be worried about whether Sakyamuni had anything to with the tantras, or Mahāyāna, since Manjushri is the one who heard Mahayāna, according to this understanding b) it allows for the evolution of dharma according to the needs of people and their capacity.


You can say whatever you want, and no one can do anything about it. For me, the question is not whether it makes sense, but whether the account plays into a method of ultimate realization. In the case of Kagyu there is like a fractal picture of reality. Self-similar wheels within wheels, and mandalas within mandalas. By connecting to the teacher, you are connecting to the Buddha, who is Vajradhara, who is Shakyamuni. Thus, dissolving the masters into one's body has power; it's not just a nice sentiment. It has blessings with power to transform the mind in an instant. At the moment of recognizing Mahamudra, there is no separation between the student and Vajradhara or Shakyamuni, etc. Then, the tantra which is beyond time and within time converge upon one's mind with great force, and that force can be experienced personally beyond any shadow of a doubt. So one experiences the siddhis in the context of this lineage vision and not in another way. So one doesn't doubt that the lineage is Vajradhara, Shakyamuni, etc., etc. This is a huge part of Kagyu life.

Today my teacher called my wife just to see if she would pick up the phone. He was testing if we have good interdependence with the Buddha's enlightenment day today. Whether we would be available for dinner and puja tonight. He never mentioned he had some plan for today. This is how a Kagyu is. Everything has to be interdependent with Shakyamuni, not as a textual justification, but in actual daily practice. Shakyamuni is the cornerstone of a tried and true methodology. Even Chakrasamvara is not a huge focus. Various deities and such are useful and nice, but the real deity is the unbroken lineage of ultimate realization and the practices of the gurus of the lineage. For example, Drikung gurus will never say, "okay I'm finished," after teaching or practice. They will only say, "now rest." Then, they won't get up quickly, but slowly and gently. Then, they won't disturb the practice or teaching area for days. It's all about respect for them. This is how the blessing energy is preserved and kept fresh, by being super careful about samayas. It works.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:58 am

adinatha wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
I never said Buddha authored a single text. Authorship is not the issue.


Yes, actually, it is what we have been discussing.


No. Authorship is writing. The Buddha never held a writing instrument, at least that's the tradition. He only spoke. Writing would have come later.



Well, I wasn't going to point this out to you -- but Mahāyāna sutras self referentially (in the Buddha's own words) refer to themselves being written down, copied, etc.



For example, supposedly the Buddha gave the Guhyasamaja initiation to the first Indrabhuti. He wrote the text down and taught it to everyone in his kingdom who achieved liberation. Then Oddiyāna basically disappeared. Then, sometime later, since a lake developed there, many nāgās were born in that lake. And eventually they moved to the shore and founded a city. At the same time, Vajrapani, who was safe guarding the tantra, taught it to these nāga people. Then a south Indian King, Visukalpa had a dream -- he travelled to Oddiyāna, who there met an old lady, who have him the initiation, and from this point then supposedly Vajrayāna started to spread in India starting in South India.


Sounds crazy. You don't honestly believe that shit do you? Crazy Indians and their magical thinking. I'm telling you, there's another reason why this is the story. Indians are basically no bullshit people. There is a secret symbolic meaning to all this that applies to the method of the tantra.


It is meant to be taken as history, at least that is how Tibetans take it.


This applies to all Indian mythology.


You know, you just sunk your own argument.


You have to talk to a learned Brahmin to know these things. In the case of the tantras, perhaps some of these lineages are broken.


No, this lineage is still quite alive and well.

For example, in Mahabharata or Ramayana, the characters and battles related to channels and chakras. And names relate to mantras.


In the tantric period of Indian history, post Gupta, everything that could be made tantric was made tantric.

According to Nyingma, a bunch of texts fell on a guys house -- he did not understand them, and took them to Kukuripa who sorted them out understood them, practiced them etc.

In other words, these are all legends. As for Cakrasamvara, it is as I said. Someone in Kagyu may have decided to adapt some other story -- but there is nothing in the Cakrasamvara literature itself to indicate that Sakyamuni had anything to do with it. Instead, Shri Heruka is regarded as a separate Nirmanakāya in the twenty four lands who is presently still active to this very day.


You have to take into account the oral heritage that accompanies the text. If you try to sort out dharma from texts, you will be lost forever.


That is exactly the point, you must sort out the Dharma from the non-essentials. If you do not, you will lost down a rabbit hole of fundamentalist literalism.



You can say whatever you want, and no one can do anything about it. For me, the question is not whether it makes sense, but whether the account plays into a method of ultimate realization. In the case of Kagyu there is like a fractal picture of reality.


This has nothing to do with some Unique Kagyu spin on things.

Self-similar wheels within wheels, and mandalas within mandalas. By connecting to the teacher...


Irrelevant to the point we are discussing.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby adinatha » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:00 am

Jñāna wrote:Sure. But we are also discussing hermeneutics. A function of prajñā. Also tangentially related to the development of path knowledge (mārgākārajñatā).


If it's not connected to the lineage of ultimate realization, it's useless for the path.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby adinatha » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:12 am

Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote:
Namdrol wrote:Yes, actually, it is what we have been discussing.


No. Authorship is writing. The Buddha never held a writing instrument, at least that's the tradition. He only spoke. Writing would have come later.



Well, I wasn't going to point this out to you -- but Mahāyāna sutras self referentially (in the Buddha's own words) refer to themselves being written down, copied, etc.


Does it say when?

Sounds crazy. You don't honestly believe that shit do you? Crazy Indians and their magical thinking. I'm telling you, there's another reason why this is the story. Indians are basically no bullshit people. There is a secret symbolic meaning to all this that applies to the method of the tantra.


It is meant to be taken as history, at least that is how Tibetans take it.


Stupid Tibetans.

This applies to all Indian mythology.


You know, you just sunk your own argument.


Not at all. You are assuming I'm a proponent of something. I'm saying there's no verification. Because of this, all of history is myth like, because facticity is elusive. But that does not mean you can irrevocably assert, this is myth, because the facticity of mythic status is not falsifiable.

That is exactly the point, you must sort out the Dharma from the non-essentials. If you do not, you will lost down a rabbit hole of fundamentalist literalism.


That's why you can't say a text has status X.

This has nothing to do with some Unique Kagyu spin on things.


Of course not to you.

Irrelevant to the point we are discussing.


You can choose to ignore this, but it has a direct impact on all these issues. One has to be aware of the big picture.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Jnana » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:22 am

adinatha wrote:
Jñāna wrote:Sure. But we are also discussing hermeneutics. A function of prajñā. Also tangentially related to the development of path knowledge (mārgākārajñatā).


If it's not connected to the lineage of ultimate realization, it's useless for the path.

It's all connected. Just not in a linear or literal sense. Mahāyāna Dharma is dynamic and multifaceted. There's simply no need for privileging the constraints of a literal interpretation of visionary narrative.
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