Tathagatagarbha and Eternity

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Re: Tathagatagarbha and Eternity

Postby LastLegend » Tue May 10, 2011 7:05 am

Chan says that its the best.
Tantra says it is the best.
Pure Land says it is the best

Buddhas and Bodhisattvas shake head.


Compassion is inherent when we are no longer limited by the 8 consciousnesses. Selfish and such acts are a result of deluded Mind known as self, and its effects now are the 8 consciousnesses, from here arises everything including the idea of selfish and compassion and such...Karma is the law that even Buddha cannot surpass. But when one is Buddha or truly Empty, one longer deluded and doing things that will lead to karma because now one has Wisdom.

When we speak of compassion of Buddha, we are using the human mind here to understand it. But compassion of Buddha here seems to go in line with Wisdom. So it is not like compassion as an emotion or intention or anything we concieve of through the thinking mind. Through practice, Bodhicitta sometimes reveals itself briefly because at this moment we are at peace and clear, not deluded/occupied by thoughts.
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Re: Tathagatagarbha and Eternity

Postby Malcolm » Tue May 10, 2011 12:41 pm

adinatha wrote:
No sentient beings are endless...


Obviously, this is not held to be true in Dzogchen.


An explanation is not a path.


The Dzogchen explanation of the basis informs the path. There are two explanations of the basis in Dzogchen: the general basis and the body as the basis. The second depends on the first, and the path depends on the second.




Uttaratantra at the level of completion stage is just elements. But that is nonsense at the level of nonconceptuality, because there bliss is nonconceptual and not a vedana.


No, that is not what is being indicated. What is being indicated is that wisdom has a physical basis in one's body.


I don't see a master who matches Longchenpa. His teachings are so awesome, because they blow out anyone's dogmas.


I am glad you are a Longchenpa fanboy but...his two most important Dzogchen commentaries (tshig don mdzod and theg mchog dzod) have not made it into complete English translation yet. When they do, a lot of people will have to revise what they think about Dzogchen. Beyond that, we now have 6 of the original 17 commentaries of the 17 upadesha tantras - including the root tantra, sgra thal gyur. When these are published, people will have to revise their understanding of Dzogchen. These commentaries are far more interesting than Longchenpa, indeed they are what Longchenpa read.

Only a tiny, tiny portion of original Dzogchen texts have been published in English. When the Khandro Nyinthig is translated, then people again will have to revise what they think, etc.
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Re: Tathagatagarbha and Eternity

Postby Malcolm » Tue May 10, 2011 1:07 pm

adinatha wrote:Namdrol, I think I understand you a little better. You rely primarily on the Dzogchen tantras for your view and practice rather than on the terma cycles of the various gurus, except for your root guru, Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche. Is that about right?


I have relied principally on my gurus, ChNN and KDL, their teachings and personal experience. After that, tantras, upadeshas, etc.

I see you believe Guru Rinpoche is reliable, perhaps not all termas claiming to be from him are reliable for you. I would assume Vimalamitra is a reliable source of wisdom, no? Then, for you lineage is not that important.


I have not read all termas, but as we move down the road in time, termas about Nyinthig become more and more condensed since they are like refreshers. In terms of tantras, I primarily rely on the seventeen tantras, in of termas, I rely primarily on Vima Nyingthig, Khandro Nyinthig and Gongpa Zangthal. I also like Shabkar's teachings on Dzogchen; it and Ye shes bla ma are good beginner's texts.

What's important is direct perception of Samantabhadra via the Song of the Vajra.


Song of the vajra is a supreme Dzogchen method, as it is stated in the Nyi zla kha byor tantra and in the earlier terma cycles of Nyinthig.

I assume you hold Togal in high esteem. But then you somehow also think you still need to do chulen to dissolve the elements and attain rainbow body, right?


There are many reasons for chulen in Dzogchen. But yes, based on the teachings of both ChNN and KDL, chulen is a necessary secondary condition for attaining rainbow body. This is not just their teaching however, chulen is mentioned in the sgra thal gyur etc.

Probably Yantra Yoga too?


Yantra is important because it helps regulate the karmic winds. Not completely necessary, but important.

That would mean you don't think Yeshe Lama is the best source of information about Togal and Rainbow Body.


Ye shes bla ma is a wonderful text, but like all summaries, there are many important things it leaves out. It is a text for beginners. This is wh earlier I mentioned that Khenpo Ngachungs commentaries on Ye shes Bla ma which derived from supplementary oral instructions of the cycle are very important since they clarify many things in Ye shes bla ma that are not fully explicated.

I assume you resort to a tantra about that? A medical tantra?


The tantra which best explains rainbow body at death is the Cremation of the Remains Tantra (sku gdung 'bar ba).

For me, tantras and sutras are descriptions, but they can't get you into the practice.


Agreed.


You have to have a guru for that, by way of guru yoga sadhana as the head of a session. Then, because of that, some guru yoga sadhanas are supreme, where the master has completely invested his mind into it, and the sadhaka can Yog to him. Then, all that guru's wisdom is complete in that sadhaka. Lineage, guru yoga and sadhaka Yog to that is nirmanakaya, sambo, dharmakaya. Without these combined there's no possibility of realization. YOu've said that Namkhai Norbu stresses knowledge over devotion, but this is like a chicken and egg thing for me. There's only a stepped down version of knowledge from just resting in that nature that's pointed out. Guru yoga from a lineage has a power that's supreme in ripening beings.


Guru yoga is the main practice of Dzogchen, agreed. Like all students of ChNN, I do guru yoga in the most essential way. If I have time, then with more elaborations.

You've also said that anyone can do Dzogchen, but how do you explain the extremely few rainbow bodies going on?


Yes, for the first part: whether or not someone meets Dzogchen teachings depends on their karma. Dzogchen teachings themselves teach that one should not make distinctions in capacity. Dzogchen practice is based on a personal experience, not concepts -- I think you will agree. That personal experience can be shown to anyone. Everyone has the same basis. But if they have the karma for Dzogchen, then everyone has the same basic capacity and the rest depends in their personal diligence.

That depends on diligence -- most Dzogchen practitioners attain buddhahood in the bardo. Only those of best diligence attain buddhahood in this body in this lifetime.

How do you explain the fact that there are really probably about a couple handful of yogis who actually to Togal seriously. Also of them, most find it extremely difficult and don't reach fruition.


Anyone who even begins the practice of tögal will achieve full awakening in at most three lifetimes, if not during the bardo of dharmatā.
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Re: Tathagatagarbha and Eternity

Postby Malcolm » Tue May 10, 2011 8:25 pm

Incidentally, I think this citation show how sugatagarbha is understood in Dzogchen. The Lamp of Wisdom in the Gongpa Zangthal (Terma of Rigzin Godem) states:


"Therefore, the basis of all sentient beings is the primordial cause of buddhahood."
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he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

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Re: Tathagatagarbha and Eternity

Postby adinatha » Tue May 10, 2011 11:03 pm

Namdrol wrote:I have not read all termas, but as we move down the road in time, termas about Nyinthig become more and more condensed since they are like refreshers. In terms of tantras, I primarily rely on the seventeen tantras, in of termas, I rely primarily on Vima Nyingthig, Khandro Nyinthig and Gongpa Zangthal. I also like Shabkar's teachings on Dzogchen; it and Ye shes bla ma are good beginner's texts.


I've heard you say that Yeshe Lama is a beginner's text. That contradicts what different masters have told me. That it is the best treatise on Togal. Also, that it's descriptions of method alone are sufficient for attaining the Rainbow Body. In the description of the fourth appearance of Togal, there are the two possible routes, you either look at your hand, etc. etc. I know that there are lineages that rely entirely on this text for the practice of Tregcho/Togal and yogis in Tibet who only practice this and nothing else. It is supposed to be the foremost instructions.

What's important is direct perception of Samantabhadra via the Song of the Vajra.


Song of the vajra is a supreme Dzogchen method, as it is stated in the Nyi zla kha byor tantra and in the earlier terma cycles of Nyinthig.


Is it your position that the Song of the Vajra is mengagde? My impression was that it is semsde.

I assume you hold Togal in high esteem. But then you somehow also think you still need to do chulen to dissolve the elements and attain rainbow body, right?


There are many reasons for chulen in Dzogchen. But yes, based on the teachings of both ChNN and KDL, chulen is a necessary secondary condition for attaining rainbow body. This is not just their teaching however, chulen is mentioned in the sgra thal gyur etc.


This means that Yeshe Lama is lying when it says its instructions result in Rainbow Body, because there is no mention of chulen in there.

Probably Yantra Yoga too?


Yantra is important because it helps regulate the karmic winds. Not completely necessary, but important.


Agreed.

That would mean you don't think Yeshe Lama is the best source of information about Togal and Rainbow Body.


Ye shes bla ma is a wonderful text, but like all summaries, there are many important things it leaves out. It is a text for beginners. This is wh earlier I mentioned that Khenpo Ngachungs commentaries on Ye shes Bla ma which derived from supplementary oral instructions of the cycle are very important since they clarify many things in Ye shes bla ma that are not fully explicated.


I gather this is your position. However, there are high level masters in the Nyingma lineage who would take umbrage with this statement. The tradition of accomplished rainbow bodies supports them.

You have to have a guru for that, by way of guru yoga sadhana as the head of a session. Then, because of that, some guru yoga sadhanas are supreme, where the master has completely invested his mind into it, and the sadhaka can Yog to him. Then, all that guru's wisdom is complete in that sadhaka. Lineage, guru yoga and sadhaka Yog to that is nirmanakaya, sambo, dharmakaya. Without these combined there's no possibility of realization. YOu've said that Namkhai Norbu stresses knowledge over devotion, but this is like a chicken and egg thing for me. There's only a stepped down version of knowledge from just resting in that nature that's pointed out. Guru yoga from a lineage has a power that's supreme in ripening beings.


Guru yoga is the main practice of Dzogchen, agreed. Like all students of ChNN, I do guru yoga in the most essential way. If I have time, then with more elaborations.


Guru Yoga in Dzogchen three levels and the third has four levels right? NNR's guru yoga appears to fall into the semsde or longde category.
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Re: Tathagatagarbha and Eternity

Postby adinatha » Tue May 10, 2011 11:44 pm

Namdrol wrote:
I don't see a master who matches Longchenpa. His teachings are so awesome, because they blow out anyone's dogmas.


I am glad you are a Longchenpa fanboy but...his two most important Dzogchen commentaries (tshig don mdzod and theg mchog dzod) have not made it into complete English translation yet. When they do, a lot of people will have to revise what they think about Dzogchen.


Why wouldn't I be? He manifested complete buddhahood. His guru yoga practice promises he and/or Vimalamitra will appear in person and reveal everything. That's a pretty high standard. I'm also an equal fanboy of Vimalamitra and Guru Rinpoche who both will appear in person to the devotee. For me, I'll believe what my masters tells me personally. That's no bullshit. The text promises a personal appearance. That's what I expect to happen. Based on what I know, His Holiness Dodrupchen Rinpoche is the best teacher of Dzogchen alive today. Longchen Nyingthig is his lineage. If it's good enough for him, it's good enough for me.

There is enough of tshig don mdzod translated to get the gist. There is a non-temporal understanding that underlies Dzogchen. The temporal story then becomes rather sunday school story.

Beyond that, we now have 6 of the original 17 commentaries of the 17 upadesha tantras - including the root tantra, sgra thal gyur. When these are published, people will have to revise their understanding of Dzogchen. These commentaries are far more interesting than Longchenpa, indeed they are what Longchenpa read.


Whose commentaries are you referring to? Vimalamitra's?

Only a tiny, tiny portion of original Dzogchen texts have been published in English. When the Khandro Nyinthig is translated, then people again will have to revise what they think, etc.


Or it will just screw up what is already understood better. Because Longchenpa took all these and compiled the Nyingthig Yabshi, then Jigdral Lingpa discovered the Longchen Nyingthig and the essence of the essence is Yeshe Lama. The point is that all these various Nyinthig transmissions were refined and the best was extracted and refined finer and finer. This is an important point. If you trust in lineage as I do, the rainbow body masters continue to improve and help us based on our circumstances. The meaning is that the old knowledge is nice for background, but the real good stuff about it that works and results in realization is in the essential foremost instructions from a master who actualize them fully. There are also oral instructions that go with Yeshe Lama that are never going to be written down. Once one gets the clear understanding of the path of Togal, there's no point in doing anything else.

For example, I take issue that chulen is important for attaining the Rainbow Body, the same goes for the practice of tummo or yogas. These are lower level practices that provide the bridge to the realization that allows Togal to begin. Once the realization is met, one stays with that only. The lights and all that are the essence of the elements. As one continues in the path of self-liberating these appearances, they naturally dissolve into the essence. I think there is a danger in mixing up different levels of practice. It creates confusion. And it creates the misconception that dzogchen is the huge do-it-yourself program. It also makes it seem as if the lineage and guru are not important. This is a huge misuse of Dzogchen. Anyway, this is how it was explained to me. Togal is a relatively straight forward deal once it kicks in. You just have to ride...

The whole point of Dzogchen is that it is effortless. All kinds of complicated steps and detailed knowledge screws it up.
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Re: Tathagatagarbha and Eternity

Postby Malcolm » Wed May 11, 2011 12:26 am

adinatha wrote:
There is enough of tshig don mdzod translated to get the gist. There is a non-temporal understanding that underlies Dzogchen.



Yes, the basis i.e. essence, nature and compassion is atemporal. However, in terms of explaining why there is samsara how to become free of samsara, there is a temporal explanation. Without understanding that, one will not understand what one is doing in practice.

Whose commentaries are you referring to? Vimalamitra's?


Yes.

Only a tiny, tiny portion of original Dzogchen texts have been published in English. When the Khandro Nyinthig is translated, then people again will have to revise what they think, etc.


Or it will just screw up what is already understood better. Because Longchenpa took all these and compiled the Nyingthig Yabshi, then Jigdral Lingpa discovered the Longchen Nyingthig and the essence of the essence is Yeshe Lama.


I don't agree. But again, we are free to disagree (in a friendly way).

The point is that all these various Nyinthig transmissions were refined and the best was extracted and refined finer and finer. This is an important point.


This happens in all schools. Much is lost in this process, IMO.

Once one gets the clear understanding of the path of Togal, there's no point in doing anything else.


That's not true. It depends person to person.

For example, I take issue that chulen is important for attaining the Rainbow Body,


Ok. Noted. Not what my teachers or Dzogchen tantras and upadeshas say. But suit yourself. I can name three masters who attained rainbow body for whom chulen was critical -- Shabkar Natsog Rangdrol, Ngala Pema Duddul and Changchub Dorje. There are many more. Chulen is critical for breaking attachment to food, among other things. But you can do as you please.

The whole point of Dzogchen is that it is effortless.


Effortlessness does not mean what people thinks it means.

All kinds of complicated steps and detailed knowledge screws it up.


If one's knowledge is not practical for oneself, or useful in clarifying things for others, agreed.

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Re: Tathagatagarbha and Eternity

Postby adinatha » Wed May 11, 2011 12:44 am

Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote:
There is enough of tshig don mdzod translated to get the gist. There is a non-temporal understanding that underlies Dzogchen.



Yes, the basis i.e. essence, nature and compassion is atemporal. However, in terms of explaining why there is samsara how to become free of samsara, there is a temporal explanation. Without understanding that, one will not understand what one is doing in practice.


We agree to disagree.

This happens in all schools. Much is lost in this process, IMO.


Lineage lineage lineage lineage

For example, I take issue that chulen is important for attaining the Rainbow Body,


Ok. Noted. Not what my teachers or Dzogchen tantras and upadeshas say. But suit yourself. I can name three masters who attained rainbow body for whom chulen was critical -- Shabkar Natsog Rangdrol, Ngala Pema Duddul and Changchub Dorje. There are many more. Chulen is critical for breaking attachment to food, among other things. But you can do as you please.


Many many who did not.

The whole point of Dzogchen is that it is effortless.


Effortlessness does not mean what people thinks it means.


True, but it also means effortless.
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Re: Tathagatagarbha and Eternity

Postby adinatha » Wed May 11, 2011 2:55 pm

Won't there be another universal cycle at the end of this one? So sentient beings will continue to be reborn and thus are endless? And previous cycles have gone on indefinitely prior to this one as well right? Beginningless and endless.

Even if you are right, and Buddha Shakyamuni and Vajradhara have to revert to the basis, according to the law of karma, they could never lose their statuses as buddha could they? Same for any buddhas of the previous cycle right? Again beginningless and endless.

It doesn't say in the Vima or Khandro Nyingthig that chulen is a prereq for rainbow body does it?
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Re: Tathagatagarbha and Eternity

Postby Malcolm » Wed May 11, 2011 6:29 pm

adinatha wrote:Won't there be another universal cycle at the end of this one? So sentient beings will continue to be reborn and thus are endless? And previous cycles have gone on indefinitely prior to this one as well right? Beginningless and endless.


Sentient beings will arise again. Necessary precondition for samsara.




Even if you are right, and Buddha Shakyamuni and Vajradhara have to revert to the basis,


These are nirmanakāyas of compassion -- they are emanations of dharmakāya. They will never revert.

according to the law of karma, they could never lose their statuses as buddha could they? Same for any buddhas of the previous cycle right? Again beginningless and endless.


Sentient beings who attain incomplete buddhahood revert to the basis. The basis arises because of left over traces since they did not finish their job, then samsara arises again. Then new sentient beings arise from the traces of affliction left over from the previous eon. In this way Dzogchen Nyinthig reconciles all sentient being attaining buddhahood with cyclical samsara. The basis itself of course is never altered nor does it change in anyway.

It doesn't say in the Vima or Khandro Nyingthig that chulen is a prereq for rainbow body does it?


The KN recommends a chulen among whose benefits is "purifying rigpa", "removing obstacles of the elements" etc.

Chulen is important in Dzogchen practice.
Last edited by Malcolm on Wed May 11, 2011 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tathagatagarbha and Eternity

Postby adinatha » Wed May 11, 2011 7:05 pm

Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote:Won't there be another universal cycle at the end of this one? So sentient beings will continue to be reborn and thus are endless? And previous cycles have gone on indefinitely prior to this one as well right? Beginningless and endless.


Sentient beings will arise again. Necessary precondition for samsara.


Okay. Understood.


Even if you are right, and Buddha Shakyamuni and Vajradhara have to revert to the basis,


These are nirmanakāyas of compassion -- they are emanations of dharmakāya. They will never revert.


Then wouldn't a master like Tilopa who has realized the level of Buddha Vajradhara also not revert?

according to the law of karma, they could never lose their statuses as buddha could they? Same for any buddhas of the previous cycle right? Again beginningless and endless.


Sentient beings who attain incomplete buddhahood revert to the basis. The basis arises because of left over traces since they did not finish their job, then samsara arises again. Then new sentient beings arise from the traces of affliction left over from the previous eon. In this way Dzogchen Nyinthig reconciles all sentient being attaining buddhahood with cyclical nirvana. The basis itself of course is never altered nor does it change in anyway.


Okay understood.

It doesn't say in the Vima or Khandro Nyingthig that chulen is a prereq for rainbow body does it?


The KN recommends a chulen among whose benefits is "purifying rigpa", "removing obstacles of the elements" etc.

Chulen is important in Dzogchen practice.


What does Vima Nyingthig say?
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Re: Tathagatagarbha and Eternity

Postby Malcolm » Wed May 11, 2011 7:46 pm

adinatha wrote:What does Vima Nyingthig say?


Well, I have not found a chulen text in this cycle-- but I also have not looked, frankly -- though as I mentioned, chulen is mentioned as an important practice in the root tantra, sgra thal gyur and other places. In Vimalamitra's commentary on the sgra thal rgyur devotes more than forty pages to explicating a single verse on various chulens and concludes that chulen "...ultimately perfects the qualities of buddhahood".
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Re: Tathagatagarbha and Eternity

Postby adinatha » Wed May 11, 2011 8:00 pm

Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote:What does Vima Nyingthig say?


Well, I have not found a chulen text in this cycle-- but I also have not looked, frankly -- though as I mentioned, chulen is mentioned as an important practice in the root tantra, sgra thal gyur and other places. In Vimalamitra's commentary on the sgra thal rgyur devotes more than forty pages to explicating a single verse on various chulens and concludes that chulen "...ultimately perfects the qualities of buddhahood".


Interesting. Other masters like Gampopa have said there is no realization in chulen, and that "direct perception of dharmata" (rigpa) is the chulen of fact. Some masters seem to say working with channels is necessary, others say it is not. Drikung's chulen does not involve any eating of pills, leaves or licking rocks.

But here were are at where we started. Buddha Shakyamuni and Vajradhara cannot revert. I would argue then a master like Tilopa who realized the level of Vajradhara also cannot revert. His methods to realize Vajradhara prohibit reversion to the basis. Perhaps there are those Mahamudra traditions that do not have the capacity to realize Vajradhara's nature fully. But there are those that do.

The methods that reach the level of Vajradhara are extremely abstract and profound, something like magic. So there is that.
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Re: Tathagatagarbha and Eternity

Postby Malcolm » Wed May 11, 2011 8:25 pm

adinatha wrote:But here were are at where we started. Buddha Shakyamuni and Vajradhara cannot revert. I would argue then a master like Tilopa who realized the level of Vajradhara also cannot revert. His methods to realize Vajradhara prohibit reversion to the basis. Perhaps there are those Mahamudra traditions that do not have the capacity to realize Vajradhara's nature fully. But there are those that do.



I have mentioned elsewhere many times, and perhaps you have not seen, that the main difference between a practice of tantric Mahāmudra and a practice of Dzogchen that the former works from the outside in via the two stages, whereas the latter works from the inside out via the four visions. Both systems have the capacity to produce rainbow body.

Essence mahāmudra is a slow path, like sems sde.

However I think that Dzogchen is faster, easier and has more detailed explanations of what is happening.

I forgot to mention that yes, I think Tilopa realization is perfect, etc. Also there is chulen associated with the lineage of Tilopa, Naropa, etc.


The methods that reach the level of Vajradhara are extremely abstract and profound, something like magic. So there is that.


Actually, I think they are very straight forward and practical, nothing abstract about them at all. It all works based on dependent origination.
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Re: Tathagatagarbha and Eternity

Postby Mr. G » Wed May 11, 2011 8:39 pm

Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote:But here were are at where we started. Buddha Shakyamuni and Vajradhara cannot revert. I would argue then a master like Tilopa who realized the level of Vajradhara also cannot revert. His methods to realize Vajradhara prohibit reversion to the basis. Perhaps there are those Mahamudra traditions that do not have the capacity to realize Vajradhara's nature fully. But there are those that do.



I have mentioned elsewhere many times, and perhaps you have not seen, that the main difference between a practice of tantric Mahāmudra and a practice of Dzogchen that the former works from the outside in via the two stages, whereas the latter works from the inside out via the four visions. Both systems have the capacity to produce rainbow body.

Essence mahāmudra is a slow path, like sems sde.

However I think that Dzogchen is faster, easier and has more detailed explanations of what is happening.

I forgot to mention that yes, I think Tilopa realization is perfect, etc. Also there is chulen associated with the lineage of Tilopa, Naropa, etc.



But you did say, and it is a bit depressing to hear, that Vajrayana practice
does not revert back to the basis.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
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Re: Tathagatagarbha and Eternity

Postby Malcolm » Wed May 11, 2011 8:43 pm

mr. gordo wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote:But here were are at where we started. Buddha Shakyamuni and Vajradhara cannot revert. I would argue then a master like Tilopa who realized the level of Vajradhara also cannot revert. His methods to realize Vajradhara prohibit reversion to the basis. Perhaps there are those Mahamudra traditions that do not have the capacity to realize Vajradhara's nature fully. But there are those that do.



I have mentioned elsewhere many times, and perhaps you have not seen, that the main difference between a practice of tantric Mahāmudra and a practice of Dzogchen that the former works from the outside in via the two stages, whereas the latter works from the inside out via the four visions. Both systems have the capacity to produce rainbow body.

Essence mahāmudra is a slow path, like sems sde.

However I think that Dzogchen is faster, easier and has more detailed explanations of what is happening.

I forgot to mention that yes, I think Tilopa realization is perfect, etc. Also there is chulen associated with the lineage of Tilopa, Naropa, etc.



But you did say, and it is a bit depressing to hear, that Vajrayana practice
does not revert back to the basis.


You mean the opposite. But don't worry, when you become a Buddha on the stages, then you will have ample time to perfect your realization.
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Re: Tathagatagarbha and Eternity

Postby adinatha » Wed May 11, 2011 8:48 pm

Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote:But here were are at where we started. Buddha Shakyamuni and Vajradhara cannot revert. I would argue then a master like Tilopa who realized the level of Vajradhara also cannot revert. His methods to realize Vajradhara prohibit reversion to the basis. Perhaps there are those Mahamudra traditions that do not have the capacity to realize Vajradhara's nature fully. But there are those that do.



I have mentioned elsewhere many times, and perhaps you have not seen, that the main difference between a practice of tantric Mahāmudra and a practice of Dzogchen that the former works from the outside in via the two stages, whereas the latter works from the inside out via the four visions. Both systems have the capacity to produce rainbow body.


Indeed, thank you for reiterating. It makes sense what you are saying re outer inner if you are talking about two-stage yoga vis a vis dzogchen.

Essence mahāmudra is a slow path, like sems sde.


This will depend on the lineage. I don't see how enlightenment in one life is a slow path. Even Manjushrimitra or was it Vimalamitra had to practice outer rushen six months of the year and togal the other six for fifty years or something like that. Time is totally relative anyway.

However I think that Dzogchen is faster, easier and has more detailed explanations of what is happening.


This will also depend on the lineage re faster. I don't know about easier. You have mentioned one needs to do togal, then rasayana and chulen. That's all a huge chore, gathering all the ingredients and doing all the steps. It could be fun too, like creating the six million dollar man. The level of dzogchen that requires all these steps, in my mind, is not the highest level beyond action. But again one is never precluded from doing anything that will generate merit and remove obstacles. Of course everyone's body is different and there's a lot of room for experimentation.

I forgot to mention that yes, I think Tilopa realization is perfect, etc. Also there is chulen associated with the lineage of Tilopa, Naropa, etc.


Yes, but it is not included in the oral instructions that comprise the most secretive level of Kagyu. There chulen is explicitly said to belong to a lower level of practice, basically the two-stage yoga level with tummo and karmamudra.

The methods that reach the level of Vajradhara are extremely abstract and profound, something like magic. So there is that.


Actually, I think they are very straight forward and practical, nothing abstract about them at all. It all works based on dependent origination.[/quote]

No. The outer part of the method does indeed work from interdependence. Drikungs are particularly partial to interdependence. Lineage blessings are not to be underestimated. They are the source of power. But the inner realization is beyond interdependence. There's no latter without the former. Period.
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Re: Tathagatagarbha and Eternity

Postby tamdrin » Wed May 11, 2011 8:49 pm

There are many signs that one would reach if one had even gotten to the end of the path of accumulation, or even entered into the path of accumulation by cultivating bodhicittha that would let one know one was on the right path... A Buddha knows he is omniscient because he has seen directly the past aettnd future lives of not only himself but of every being in existence.
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Re: Tathagatagarbha and Eternity

Postby Malcolm » Wed May 11, 2011 9:13 pm

tamdrin wrote:There are many signs that one would reach if one had even gotten to the end of the path of accumulation, or even entered into the path of accumulation by cultivating bodhicittha that would let one know one was on the right path... A Buddha knows he is omniscient because he has seen directly the past aettnd future lives of not only himself but of every being in existence.


Signs of the path differ in different systems. The signs of the path of hinayāna are not the signs of the path of Mahayāna; the signs of the Secret Mantra are not the signs of the path of Mahāyāna; the signs of the path of Dzogchen are not the signs of the path of Secret Mantra.
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Re: Tathagatagarbha and Eternity

Postby tamdrin » Wed May 11, 2011 9:19 pm

Namdrol wrote:
tamdrin wrote:There are many signs that one would reach if one had even gotten to the end of the path of accumulation, or even entered into the path of accumulation by cultivating bodhicittha that would let one know one was on the right path... A Buddha knows he is omniscient because he has seen directly the past aettnd future lives of not only himself but of every being in existence.


Signs of the path differ in different systems. The signs of the path of hinayāna are not the signs of the path of Mahayāna; the signs of the Secret Mantra are not the signs of the path of Mahāyāna; the signs of the path of Dzogchen are not the signs of the path of Secret Mantra.



I disagree, being able to see past and future lives as well as being clairvoyant are signs of progress on any meditative path. Entering the paths which lead to buddhahood mahayana and its subsets vajrayana (and it you want to include dzogchen as a separate system as you do..) involves entering the mahayana five path system by cultivating earth like bodhiccita as opposed to the hinayana system of the five paths.. otherwise there is no other basis to form the intention to buddhahood.
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