Requirements to give empowerments?

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Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby Luke » Sat May 19, 2012 12:48 pm

What traditionally are the requirements that a lama has to fulfill in order for him or her to be able to give empowerments to other people?

Have any living western lamas fulfilled these requirements?
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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby kirtu » Sat May 19, 2012 11:45 pm

As no on else has responded I'll throw something out -

Western lama's have apparently fulfilled these requirements. I am thinking of two lamas from HE Chagdud Tulku's lineage who give Apong Terton Red Tara empowerment.

However I don't know the requirements myself. But they include accomplishing a deity practice to some minimal degree, often in terms of a strict retreat with mantra accumulation commitment.

I was surprised to read a teaching by HH Sakya Trizen on Sakya Pandita Guru Yoga in which he said that in order to be able to give empowerments on that practice one had to do an unbroken retreat and accumulate a minimum of 800,000 mantras of that practice.

I was taken aback in Sept/Nov 1999 when HH Trulshik Rinpoche actually said in relation to Shakyamuni Buddha practice that we should even later give Shakyamuni Buddha empowerment in order to spread the practice (but HHTR did not elaborate on what to do in order to accomplish that practice).

So certainly one issue aside from retreat with some minimal mantra accumulation is the permission of your lama.

However in "Blazing Splendor", Tulku Urygen's uncle Samten Gyatso was asked by the 15th Karmapa to give empowerments and he refused multiple times until he finally had to accept. Samten Gyatso did not want to give empoerments due to the relationships formed between vajra master and disciple.

This was one of the big topics explored on eSangha and I thought it had come up here once before too.

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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby ngodrup » Sun May 20, 2012 2:17 am

Different lineages have different criteria.

For example, in the Gelugpa, assuming that one is a monk with
academic credentials, or a Rinpoche, Yamantaka has a realtively
small mantra commitment (in a strict retreat) prereq. to give
the empowerment. The commentary says 100k at least, or 300k
as better case -- plus completing a pacifying fire puja.

In the Kagyu, on the other hand, it is assumed the empowering
lama has completed 3 year retreat, and probably at least a million
mantras on that deity.

But there are deities that are not the main yidams for which
an otherwise qualified lama might give the wang, but they have
little practice of it. Say, for example, you've done mainly Vajrayogini,
but not much Tara, or Amitayus...

Looks like within the general principles, there's flexibility.
Of course, having teaching authority is paramount.
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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby Malcolm » Sun May 20, 2012 2:21 am

Luke wrote:What traditionally are the requirements that a lama has to fulfill in order for him or her to be able to give empowerments to other people?

Have any living western lamas fulfilled these requirements?


You need to have permission of your Lama. For example, when I received the transmission of Troma Nagpo from Kayprok Tulku, a Sherpa Lama was was one of Trulshik Rinpoche's best friends from childhood, when he concluded the empowerment, he told us that he had given it in the most complete way so that if we ever needed to bestow the empowerment, we could. Granted, this means that one has to learn a considerable number of things, but you see how it is.

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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby ngodrup » Sun May 20, 2012 5:10 am

And there certainly are Western lamas giving empowerments.
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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby Caz » Sun May 20, 2012 10:05 am

I suspect it will vary from Tradition to Tradition. The most important thing is the permission of the Guru if the Guru says you are ready then you are. :applause:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby Luke » Sun May 20, 2012 11:19 am

Thanks for all your responses. I guess what I'm really wondering is if there is some standard, traditional curriculum for learning to give empowerments. I mean, in monasteries, is there something like a "giving empowerments 101" course just like there might be a course about the Prajnaparamita Sutra? When does a monk/nun learn about all the details of the empowerment rituals?
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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby Blue Garuda » Sun May 20, 2012 11:23 am

Caz wrote:I suspect it will vary from Tradition to Tradition. The most important thing is the permission of the Guru if the Guru says you are ready then you are. :applause:



That depends on whether the Guru himself is ready; this is often indicated by approval from their lineage masters who are Vajra Masters.

After all, not all Lamas give empowerments, for good reasons.

In answer to the rest of the OP:

Yes, there are Tantric Colleges which Lamas may attend after their training (in the case of the Gelugpa) as Geshes.

Alternatively, some are trained by Vajra Masters outside of a formal college setting.
One Westerner who has been recognised as a valid master and who gives empowerments is Lama Jampa Thaye:

http://www.dechen.org/dechen/jampathaye.html

''Lama Jampa Thaye is a scholar and meditation master trained in the Sakya and Karma Kagyu traditions of Buddhism and authorized as a lama by his two masters, Karma Thinley Rinpoche and H.H. Sakya Trizin. Born in England in 1952, he became a student of Rinpoche at the age of 20 and met His Holiness a year later.

Karma Thinley Rinpoche bestowed upon him innumerable initiations, transmissions and instructions from the Kagyu, Sakya, Nyingma and Kadam traditions. In particular, he received from Rinpoche the famous collection of vajrayana initiations known as the One Hundred Sadhanas of Bari Lotsawa, the One Hundred Lojong Teachings, the complete cycle of Konchog Chindu and various works on Kagyu philosophy.

From H.H. Sakya Trizin, Lama Jampa has obtained many initiations and transmissions from all four sets of tantras, most notably the Thirteen Golden Dharmas, Lamdre Tsokshe, the esoteric teachings of Vajrayogini, the Jonang Transmission of the Eighty Four Mahasiddhas and the One Hundred Sadhanas of Narthang. ''
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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby Caz » Sun May 20, 2012 11:42 am

Blue Garuda wrote:
Caz wrote:I suspect it will vary from Tradition to Tradition. The most important thing is the permission of the Guru if the Guru says you are ready then you are. :applause:



That depends on whether the Guru himself is ready; this is often indicated by approval from their lineage masters who are Vajra Masters.

After all, not all Lamas give empowerments, for good reasons.

In answer to the rest of the OP:

Yes, there are Tantric Colleges which Lamas may attend after their training (in the case of the Gelugpa) as Geshes.

Alternatively, some are trained by Vajra Masters outside of a formal college setting.
One Westerner who has been recognised as a valid master and who gives empowerments is Lama Jampa Thaye:

http://www.dechen.org/dechen/jampathaye.html

''Lama Jampa Thaye is a scholar and meditation master trained in the Sakya and Karma Kagyu traditions of Buddhism and authorized as a lama by his two masters, Karma Thinley Rinpoche and H.H. Sakya Trizin. Born in England in 1952, he became a student of Rinpoche at the age of 20 and met His Holiness a year later.

Karma Thinley Rinpoche bestowed upon him innumerable initiations, transmissions and instructions from the Kagyu, Sakya, Nyingma and Kadam traditions. In particular, he received from Rinpoche the famous collection of vajrayana initiations known as the One Hundred Sadhanas of Bari Lotsawa, the One Hundred Lojong Teachings, the complete cycle of Konchog Chindu and various works on Kagyu philosophy.

From H.H. Sakya Trizin, Lama Jampa has obtained many initiations and transmissions from all four sets of tantras, most notably the Thirteen Golden Dharmas, Lamdre Tsokshe, the esoteric teachings of Vajrayogini, the Jonang Transmission of the Eighty Four Mahasiddhas and the One Hundred Sadhanas of Narthang. ''


Yes certainly, There's not denying if your Guru comes from a Authentic lineage and he has the permission of his Guru to grant empowerment's then if said Guru gives permission to grant empowerment's to those whom he considers ready I would respect his advise. Not everyone goes to Tantric college nor does everyone need to. :smile:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby Blue Garuda » Sun May 20, 2012 1:24 pm

Caz wrote:
Blue Garuda wrote:
Caz wrote:I suspect it will vary from Tradition to Tradition. The most important thing is the permission of the Guru if the Guru says you are ready then you are. :applause:



That depends on whether the Guru himself is ready; this is often indicated by approval from their lineage masters who are Vajra Masters.

After all, not all Lamas give empowerments, for good reasons.

In answer to the rest of the OP:

Yes, there are Tantric Colleges which Lamas may attend after their training (in the case of the Gelugpa) as Geshes.

Alternatively, some are trained by Vajra Masters outside of a formal college setting.
One Westerner who has been recognised as a valid master and who gives empowerments is Lama Jampa Thaye:

http://www.dechen.org/dechen/jampathaye.html

''Lama Jampa Thaye is a scholar and meditation master trained in the Sakya and Karma Kagyu traditions of Buddhism and authorized as a lama by his two masters, Karma Thinley Rinpoche and H.H. Sakya Trizin. Born in England in 1952, he became a student of Rinpoche at the age of 20 and met His Holiness a year later.

Karma Thinley Rinpoche bestowed upon him innumerable initiations, transmissions and instructions from the Kagyu, Sakya, Nyingma and Kadam traditions. In particular, he received from Rinpoche the famous collection of vajrayana initiations known as the One Hundred Sadhanas of Bari Lotsawa, the One Hundred Lojong Teachings, the complete cycle of Konchog Chindu and various works on Kagyu philosophy.

From H.H. Sakya Trizin, Lama Jampa has obtained many initiations and transmissions from all four sets of tantras, most notably the Thirteen Golden Dharmas, Lamdre Tsokshe, the esoteric teachings of Vajrayogini, the Jonang Transmission of the Eighty Four Mahasiddhas and the One Hundred Sadhanas of Narthang. ''


Yes certainly, There's not denying if your Guru comes from a Authentic lineage and he has the permission of his Guru to grant empowerment's then if said Guru gives permission to grant empowerment's to those whom he considers ready I would respect his advise. Not everyone goes to Tantric college nor does everyone need to. :smile:


That holds true as long as said Guru is a Vajra Master and adheres totally to his tradition. However, we know which organisation we are talking about here. ;)

My view is that abandoning the lineage methods of training and dishing out permission to give empowerments to Westerners (who spent a couple of years running a Dharma Centre or wear robes without adhering to lineage practices) is just plain wrong. Of course, any group can do as it pleases, but if they give empowerments in the same way as a Tibetan lineage then they should also be trained totally in accordance with that lineage, and with the current approval of that lineage to ensure consistency and quality.
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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby Caz » Sun May 20, 2012 2:09 pm

Westerners are not Tibetans, If I could make the call as to who was capable of doing what that would be interesting, perhaps the primary function of saying yes depends upon being able to see the persons mind in question, Id much rather leave the commenting upon who is ready to the Guru. Empowerment's depend on the view from the student, Those without any faith how can you receive blessings ? Whether a person is a Vajramaster or not doesn't depend on their paper qualification there are plenty with official qualification but lacking in realizations. Yet a Student could still receive blessings from them if they view them as a Buddha. The story of the dogs tooth is a perfect example of how someones faith transformed the perceived object. :buddha1:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

Liberation in the Palm of your hand~Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche.
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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby heart » Sun May 20, 2012 2:20 pm

kirtu wrote:However in "Blazing Splendor", Tulku Urygen's uncle Samten Gyatso was asked by the 15th Karmapa to give empowerments and he refused multiple times until he finally had to accept. Samten Gyatso did not want to give empoerments due to the relationships formed between vajra master and disciple.


My understanding from talking to Lamas at Ka-Nying monastery (monastery in Samten Gyatso's tradition) is that you have to be a Guru to give empowerment's that is someone is going to use to actually attain enlightenment. So, you have to be able to directly introduce people to the natural state of their body, speech and mind and then support and help them until they attain full enlightenment. I have a teaching by Tulku Urgyen somewhere were he says that it is a pretty big deal to take on a new disciple since the bond will last for very many lifetimes. So a three year retreat is not the measure and it really doesn't matter how many mantras you recited it is only a question of realization.

/magnus
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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby heart » Sun May 20, 2012 2:22 pm

Caz wrote:Westerners are not Tibetans


They are just humans, no big difference.

/magnus
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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby Malcolm » Sun May 20, 2012 2:30 pm

Caz wrote:The story of the dogs tooth is a perfect example of how someones faith transformed the perceived object. :buddha1:


The dogs tooth story is a perfect example of how unscrupulous sons dupe their mothers naive faith.
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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun May 20, 2012 4:32 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Caz wrote:The story of the dogs tooth is a perfect example of how someones faith transformed the perceived object. :buddha1:


The dogs tooth story is a perfect example of how unscrupulous sons dupe their mothers naive faith.
Thus saving their mothers lives without shaking her faith! ;)

I also got the idea that it was a teaching about the viability of skilful means and the empty nature of phenomena.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
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One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby Blue Garuda » Sun May 20, 2012 6:40 pm

Caz wrote:Westerners are not Tibetans, If I could make the call as to who was capable of doing what that would be interesting, perhaps the primary function of saying yes depends upon being able to see the persons mind in question, Id much rather leave the commenting upon who is ready to the Guru. Empowerment's depend on the view from the student, Those without any faith how can you receive blessings ? Whether a person is a Vajramaster or not doesn't depend on their paper qualification there are plenty with official qualification but lacking in realizations. Yet a Student could still receive blessings from them if they view them as a Buddha. The story of the dogs tooth is a perfect example of how someones faith transformed the perceived object. :buddha1:


Inconsistent.

The person giving the empowerment is OK as long as their Guru approves.

The person giving the empowerment is OK as long as the recipient sees them as a Buddha.

Discussing the practices of a controversial organisation on DW is not permitted, even if you dip out of using their name. ;)

Of course that's my interpretation of the ToS. Just think of me as a Buddha and you'll accept the advice. LOL :)
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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby Caz » Sun May 20, 2012 8:53 pm

Blue Garuda wrote:
Caz wrote:Westerners are not Tibetans, If I could make the call as to who was capable of doing what that would be interesting, perhaps the primary function of saying yes depends upon being able to see the persons mind in question, Id much rather leave the commenting upon who is ready to the Guru. Empowerment's depend on the view from the student, Those without any faith how can you receive blessings ? Whether a person is a Vajramaster or not doesn't depend on their paper qualification there are plenty with official qualification but lacking in realizations. Yet a Student could still receive blessings from them if they view them as a Buddha. The story of the dogs tooth is a perfect example of how someones faith transformed the perceived object. :buddha1:


Inconsistent.

The person giving the empowerment is OK as long as their Guru approves.

The person giving the empowerment is OK as long as the recipient sees them as a Buddha.

Discussing the practices of a controversial organisation on DW is not permitted, even if you dip out of using their name. ;)

Of course that's my interpretation of the ToS. Just think of me as a Buddha and you'll accept the advice. LOL :)


I wasn't being Controversial projecting isn't helpful. :namaste:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

Liberation in the Palm of your hand~Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche.
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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby Caz » Sun May 20, 2012 8:55 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Caz wrote:The story of the dogs tooth is a perfect example of how someones faith transformed the perceived object. :buddha1:


The dogs tooth story is a perfect example of how unscrupulous sons dupe their mothers naive faith.


Unwise rather then Unscrupulous Malcom, She was doing well until he destroyed her faith. :oops:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

Liberation in the Palm of your hand~Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche.
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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby Caz » Sun May 20, 2012 8:57 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Caz wrote:The story of the dogs tooth is a perfect example of how someones faith transformed the perceived object. :buddha1:


The dogs tooth story is a perfect example of how unscrupulous sons dupe their mothers naive faith.
Thus saving their mothers lives without shaking her faith! ;)

I also got the idea that it was a teaching about the viability of skilful means and the empty nature of phenomena.
:namaste:


On that note Greg the primary factor of her receiving blessings and accomplishing results was her faith. Applying faith to a Guru is essential for results as Im sure you well know. :thumbsup:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

Liberation in the Palm of your hand~Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche.
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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby Blue Garuda » Sun May 20, 2012 9:22 pm

Caz wrote:
Blue Garuda wrote:
Caz wrote:Westerners are not Tibetans, If I could make the call as to who was capable of doing what that would be interesting, perhaps the primary function of saying yes depends upon being able to see the persons mind in question, Id much rather leave the commenting upon who is ready to the Guru. Empowerment's depend on the view from the student, Those without any faith how can you receive blessings ? Whether a person is a Vajramaster or not doesn't depend on their paper qualification there are plenty with official qualification but lacking in realizations. Yet a Student could still receive blessings from them if they view them as a Buddha. The story of the dogs tooth is a perfect example of how someones faith transformed the perceived object. :buddha1:


Inconsistent.

The person giving the empowerment is OK as long as their Guru approves.

The person giving the empowerment is OK as long as the recipient sees them as a Buddha.

Discussing the practices of a controversial organisation on DW is not permitted, even if you dip out of using their name. ;)

Of course that's my interpretation of the ToS. Just think of me as a Buddha and you'll accept the advice. LOL :)


I wasn't being Controversial projecting isn't helpful. :namaste:


Not 'projecting' . I just know the context. :)
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