paramhansa yogananda

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paramhansa yogananda

Postby omnifriend » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:47 am

hi everyone,
i know that in tantric buddhism they use pranayama (breathing practices). and am wondering what the vajrayana buddhist has to say about kriya yoga in the tradition of paramahansa yogananda the swami who wrote autobiography of a yogi. do those who know about paramhansa's pranayama technique called sushumna breathing consider it tantric, because it is a blissful practice as is the vajrayana practices. im just wondering if this practice is utilized in both traditions or what the buddhist perspective is on the kriya yoga tradition and that particular pranayama. thank you. metta, omnifriend
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Re: paramhansa yogananda

Postby adinatha » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:51 am

The Buddhist stance about Hindu tantra is that it results in a samsaric condtion, because Hindu tantrics do not understand emptiness, and when they practice pranayama they fixate on bliss.
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Re: paramhansa yogananda

Postby Will » Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:27 am

This Kriya yoga Swami quoted in the link says Yogananda altered for the worse the original Kriya techniques:

http://www.sanskritclassics.com/yogananda.htm
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Re: paramhansa yogananda

Postby dzoki » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:24 am

omnifriend wrote:hi everyone,
i know that in tantric buddhism they use pranayama (breathing practices). and am wondering what the vajrayana buddhist has to say about kriya yoga in the tradition of paramahansa yogananda the swami who wrote autobiography of a yogi. do those who know about paramhansa's pranayama technique called sushumna breathing consider it tantric, because it is a blissful practice as is the vajrayana practices. im just wondering if this practice is utilized in both traditions or what the buddhist perspective is on the kriya yoga tradition and that particular pranayama. thank you. metta, omnifriend


What he describes there as a nirvikalpasamadhi is basically the fourth of four formless dhyanas. Also the method they use corresponds to the result, they basically train in achieving calm and present state through manipulation of breath. The book is othervise full of invented stories and fantasies. I have read several biographies of "avatars" like that and the stories were strikingly similar (did the authors copy from each other?).
I think as a whole the method of this kriyayoga (there other kriyayogas in India unrelated to this particular one) is probably working, but from buddhist point of view it will not liberate you.
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Re: paramhansa yogananda

Postby Aemilius » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:55 pm

adinatha wrote:The Buddhist stance about Hindu tantra is that it results in a samsaric condtion, because Hindu tantrics do not understand emptiness, and when they practice pranayama they fixate on bliss.


There are the 14 root vows of Tantra, and among them the 6th vow: Not to revile or denigrate other teachings (than what one is following oneself).
This is the explanation of Kalu Rimpoche.
There are now several interpretations of it. Some teachers narrow it to mean only the other schools of Mahayana. Even that is a difficult vow to hold, don't you think ?
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Re: paramhansa yogananda

Postby withywindel » Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:25 pm

What I have learned in Tibetan Buddhism is that you use kriya plus sex. In other words, you practice Kriya, a mantra, while engaging in sex. Did Yogananda do this? Some people say that he did, and one person has witnessed it. http://downthecrookedpath-meditation-gu ... ntras.html

As far as only Hindus experiencing the bliss state, the Tibetan tantras speak of it as being blissful, and many say that you need to have sex in order to reach enlightenment.
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Re: paramhansa yogananda

Postby deepbluehum » Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:57 pm

withywindel wrote:What I have learned in Tibetan Buddhism is that you use kriya plus sex. In other words, you practice Kriya, a mantra, while engaging in sex. Did Yogananda do this? Some people say that he did, and one person has witnessed it. http://downthecrookedpath-meditation-gu ... ntras.html

As far as only Hindus experiencing the bliss state, the Tibetan tantras speak of it as being blissful, and many say that you need to have sex in order to reach enlightenment.


Bliss-emptiness is emptiness. Sexual bliss is physical. The latter may be a bridge to the former, if one has the transmission, etc.
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Re: paramhansa yogananda

Postby Jikan » Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:36 pm

withywindel wrote:As far as only Hindus experiencing the bliss state, the Tibetan tantras speak of it as being blissful, and many say that you need to have sex in order to reach enlightenment.


who says that sex-practice is necessary to awakening? There are teachers who advocate it as a means to an end, but who says it is necessary?
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Re: paramhansa yogananda

Postby alwayson » Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:45 pm

Jikan wrote:who says that sex-practice is necessary to awakening?


Tsongkhapa

if you want to awaken while alive.
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Re: paramhansa yogananda

Postby deepbluehum » Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:25 pm

Tara, remember we are talking about the path to buddhahood in one life, not sravakayana arhatship or the path of seeing whilst traversing the bhumis.

For the path of transformation, tantrayana masters say sexual practices are necessary. Then, tantrayana has a path of liberation taught by Dakpo Kagyu where sexual practice is taught generally to be a base and useless practice. However, in conversations with Dusum Kyenpa, and his other main disciples, Gampopa teaches how to practice karmamudra in very graphic detail. Dzogchen masters put the sexual practices as a kind of preliminary practice, where these are useful but not indispensable.

I feel sexual practices are very useful, especially for Dzogchen, because of the way Dzogchen works with the body. Here, in DC we don't have the danger that one will not be able to maintain the visualization, mantra, pranayama and pure vision whilst in sexual embrace. There's no danger in not retain seed. Why? Because for DC once the direct introduction has resulted in teh beginnings knowledge of rigpa, sensual experience becomes rigpa's food, and you can clearly distinguish sems from rigpa. Being able to recognize rigpa directly during sexual contact creates kind of a permanent link to rigpa, and rigpa becomes hard to forget. With rigpa as the deity, etc., there's no specific action to maintain or prevent.

In tantrayana it is also very useful for the same reasons, but you need to follow the program and that is a bit more complicated undertaking. But if you have spent time purifying your channels the wisdom deity simply visualized will generate powerful bliss. So it can be sort of five cents of one, a nickel of the other.
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Re: paramhansa yogananda

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:10 am

Did you receive a teach regarding what you are saying about sex experience in rigpa or is this your experience?
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Re: paramhansa yogananda

Postby Aemilius » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:24 am

alwayson wrote:
Jikan wrote:who says that sex-practice is necessary to awakening?


Tsongkhapa

if you want to awaken while alive.


From what I have learned from the works of Tsongkhapa and his followers is that you do not attain awakening through sex but through samadhi. There are different kinds of samadhi that are described in the Sutras and Tantras. There are samadhis that use sex in some way or another, but here according to Tsongkhapa sex can be part of one's samadhi 1. through visualisation, 2.through the use of non-human consorts, such as Devis etc., or 3. as a human partner,( and here follows a list of qualifications for the partner).
The three samadhis are Shurangama, Vajropama and Mayopama samadhi, besides them there are hundreds of samadhis that are mentioned in the Mahayana. The term "awakening" includes hundreds of different things, it includes the fantastic qualities of the ten bodhisattva levels, and it includes the three or four kayas of a complete Buddha. You don't need to practice the so called "tantric sex" for all of these.
Even in the case of Shakyamuni or bodhisattva Siddhartha, because during his youth he enjoyed women, he had according to Etienne Lamotte three wives and two thousand concubines, there must have been an element sexual experience as a basis in his following years of meditation and ascetism.
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Re: paramhansa yogananda

Postby withywindel » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:18 pm

Jikan asks: who says that sex-practice is necessary to awakening? There are teachers who advocate it as a means to an end, but who says it is necessary?

withywindel answers:


Lama Thubten Yeshe (Introduction to Tantra, 147) wrote:


"There is a certain point in the mastery of the completion stage where physically embracing a consort is necessary . . . ."



Je Tsong Khapa who founded the Gelugpas, agreed that to attain Buddha-hood in one lifetime, it is necessary to use an actual consort (karma mudra) saying,


"A female companion is the basis of accomplishment of liberation."



That is, in order to generate an illusory body as that of a particular deity with all the qualities of existence, another person must interact with it.

Tsongkhapa, founder of the Tibetan Gelugpa sect is of the same opinion:


“A female companion is the basis of the accomplishment of liberation”


The Dalai Lama said he would not reach enlightenment in this lifetime because he did not have a consort.

The Dalai Lama also said that many within Buddhist schools believe that the Shakyamuni became enlightenment with a consort under the Bodhi Tree and that his was edited out in many iconographies and written accounts.

It is generally understood in the tantric tradition, that it is not possible to bring all five winds into the central channel at the same time unless one performs karmamudra. The yogi will do the practice at an advanced stage. Milarepa did karmamudra with dakinis. The source for the oral instructions on the completion stage of the Kalachakra Tantra by Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey of the Gelugpa. I've also heard this from the Drikung Kagyu lamas. In some lineages an advanced yogi who is a monk will take a consort and it is not seen as violating vows, because this is what the Buddha said to do as part of the tantric method.

In Dzogchen and essence mahamudra, karmamudra is not important, and works with different channels.

From The Essential Dalai Lama: His Important Teachings by Dalai Lama:


"Yogis who have achieved a high level of the path and are fully qualified can engage in sexual activity, and a monastic with this ability can maintain all the precepts."
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Re: paramhansa yogananda

Postby withywindel » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:21 pm

Bliss-emptiness is emptiness. Sexual bliss is physical. The latter may be a bridge to the former, if one has the transmission, etc.

The bliss state of the Hindus is not the same type of bliss state as the physical sexual orgasmic state. It is not actually physical in the since of bodily experience. You in fact, forget your body.
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Re: paramhansa yogananda

Postby kvy » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:04 pm

Dear Omnifriend,

I have been practicing Kriya Yoga for years as part of my Dharma practice, and find it to be totally compatible. The point is to use breath and intention to move the prana into the central channel. Similar practices, called Tsa-Lung, are found in the part Vajrayana Buddhism known as Anu Yoga. My Lama, a Nyingmapa Master, is well aware of and supports my Kriya practice!

Important is that you bring whatever practice you do to the view of Dzogchen. The point of Kriya practice should not be trance like absorption, which is just a temporary vacation from samsara, but rather, as a support for resting in the Nature of Mind.

Good Luck!
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Re: paramhansa yogananda

Postby Jetavan » Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:48 pm

withywindel wrote:Lama Thubten Yeshe (Introduction to Tantra, 147) wrote:
"There is a certain point in the mastery of the completion stage where physically embracing a consort is necessary . . . ."
Page 135 in some editions.

If a consort is necessary, then why not just get married?
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Re: paramhansa yogananda

Postby anjali » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:02 pm

kvy wrote:I have been practicing Kriya Yoga for years as part of my Dharma practice, and find it to be totally compatible. The point is to use breath and intention to move the prana into the central channel. Similar practices, called Tsa-Lung, are found in the part Vajrayana Buddhism known as Anu Yoga. My Lama, a Nyingmapa Master, is well aware of and supports my Kriya practice!


Kvy, three questions (please send a PM if you are uncomfortable answering in a public forum): Who is your lama? (Sounds like an open-minded teacher.) Where did you take your kriya initiation (do you have the higher kriyas)? How did you handle the issue of sharing a restricted teaching and technique(s) with your lama?
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Re: paramhansa yogananda

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:40 am

To put this into context a little:

The standard view amongst many Gelugpas is that La Tsongkhapa delayed the final pinpoint of enlightenment until the bardo so he would not have to use a consort. The reasoning was he felt for the benefit of the teachings and of sentient beings it was necessary to establish a pure monastic community.

HH Dalai Lama does speak of consort practice, but also mentions how its widespread use by untealized and unqualified persons contributed to the decline of Buddhism in India.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
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Re: paramhansa yogananda

Postby Adi » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:00 am

JKhedrup wrote:To put this into context a little:

The standard view amongst many Gelugpas is that La Tsongkhapa delayed the final pinpoint of enlightenment until the bardo so he would not have to use a consort. The reasoning was he felt for the benefit of the teachings and of sentient beings it was necessary to establish a pure monastic community.


I had not heard of that before but it makes perfect and profound sense, to delay one's own enlightenment in the service of other sentient beings.

HH Dalai Lama does speak of consort practice, but also mentions how its widespread use by untealized and unqualified persons contributed to the decline of Buddhism in India.


Can you kindly point me to a work or place online about his remarks on this? I'd like to read (or hear) what he has to say.

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Re: paramhansa yogananda

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:08 am

Jetavan: hood question. The answer is that in order to take a consort obe has to have such a high level of realization that the matter is irrelevant for most of us. Same reason Tzongkhapa emphasized monasticism. I will cut and paste references when I can get to a computer.

I have heard that in the course of his 60 year teaching carreer HHDL said he encountered 2 or 3 yogis attained enough to really benefit from consort practice.

For laypeople without the restriction of celibacy sex with one's partner is not a problem. I just don't want people to misunderstand that realky hot sex is a way to get enlightened. Traveling to work in various dharma centres I 've met some people with ppretty weird ideas.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
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