Non-Tibetan Mahasiddha lineages?

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Non-Tibetan Mahasiddha lineages?

Postby underthetree » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:57 pm

This is a question that has been on my mind for a very long time: are there any authentic lineages today that have one of the original Mahasiddhas as their originator, but that have not come down through Tibetan channels?

The question arises from another question: how might one practice in the original manner of the Mahasiddhas? My - very loose - lineage affilication is with Drikung Kagyu and so the lineage is from Tilopa. But... I've never felt completely at one with the Tibetan context. I don't find I have any significant connection to Padmasambhava, for instance, and so I always feel a little bit fraudulent saying the Seven Line Prayer - meanwhile I understand that this prayer is of fundamental importance to Tibetan Vajrayana and so from a practice point of view it's a dilemma for me. Who would an Indian follower of, say, Tilopa have supplicated as the Guru? Vajradhara, I suppose, but exactly how?

If someone could point me in the direction of some Indian Vajrayana resources from the early Middle Ages I'd be truly grateful.

I'm posting this in the general Mahayana forum - if a moderator thinks it belongs somewhere else, please move accordingly.

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Re: Non-Tibetan Mahasiddha lineages?

Postby conebeckham » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:50 pm

First off, Padmasambhava was not Tibetan.......perhaps I'm stating the obvious.

Secondly, look to Nepal for that which you seek, young padawan! :smile:

Seriously, there are extant Vajrayana lineages in Nepal, going back to the Mahasiddhas....Chakrasamvara, Vajrayogini, they're all there. Ive seen a group of wandering sadhakas, chanting in Sanskrit, with harmoniums, two-headed drums, etc. Their practice is quite beautiful.
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Re: Non-Tibetan Mahasiddha lineages?

Postby underthetree » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:17 pm

First off, Padmasambhava was not Tibetan.......perhaps I'm stating the obvious.


Absolutely. It's just that Padmasambhava has come to represent Tibetan Buddhism while - as far as I know - having no (remembered) impact on the Indian scene. If that isn't true then obviously a big part of my question is answered...

Secondly, look to Nepal for that which you seek, young padawan!


I've never used an emoticon before in my life, but :namaste: Of course: Nepal. And I think it's true that there are still Buddhist Naths there as well.
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Re: Non-Tibetan Mahasiddha lineages?

Postby zangskar » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:19 pm

conebeckham wrote:Seriously, there are extant Vajrayana lineages in Nepal, going back to the Mahasiddhas....Chakrasamvara, Vajrayogini, they're all there. Ive seen a group of wandering sadhakas, chanting in Sanskrit, with harmoniums, two-headed drums, etc. Their practice is quite beautiful.

Are these Newar lineages?

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Re: Non-Tibetan Mahasiddha lineages?

Postby underthetree » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:25 pm

Are these Newar lineages?


That was going to be my next question.
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Re: Non-Tibetan Mahasiddha lineages?

Postby conebeckham » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:04 am

I believe they were Newari, yes...but I cannot confirm that. I saw them near Pharping, years ago (before it was so developed)--and was told by someone that they were Vajrayana Buddhists practicing a Vajrayogini puja....
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Re: Non-Tibetan Mahasiddha lineages?

Postby conebeckham » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:34 am

Say what?

That's just wrong.
There are scads of practices where one visualizes particular gurus-Padmasambhava, Milarepa, the 2nd, 8th, 16th Karmapa and many others...and these practices are most definitely confined to monasteries.
Last edited by conebeckham on Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Non-Tibetan Mahasiddha lineages?

Postby Indrajala » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:51 am

conebeckham wrote:I believe they were Newari, yes...but I cannot confirm that. I saw them near Pharping, years ago (before it was so developed)--and was told by someone that they were Vajrayana Buddhists practicing a Vajrayogini puja....


Was it this place?

Image

They are Newari and as the story goes Naropa taught the family many centuries ago a tantra which they still maintain to this day.

If you didn't know it was Buddhist, you would think it was Hindu. Their manner of offering with rice is apparently quite similar to how some Hindus do it.
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Re: Non-Tibetan Mahasiddha lineages?

Postby Indrajala » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:55 am

underthetree wrote:This is a question that has been on my mind for a very long time: are there any authentic lineages today that have one of the original Mahasiddhas as their originator, but that have not come down through Tibetan channels?


Shingon in Japan and now in Taiwan traces their lineage back to India through China. You have figures like Amoghavajra, Huiguo and Kukai as representative attained yogis. However, it is far removed from the original Indian cultural sphere.
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Re: Non-Tibetan Mahasiddha lineages?

Postby conebeckham » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:59 am

I saw those practitioners at that place, Huseng... Yes indeed! But I saw a separate group, or so it seemed to me, at a location further up the hill, nearer the cave with the self-arising Tara....
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Re: Non-Tibetan Mahasiddha lineages?

Postby Indrajala » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:34 am

conebeckham wrote:I saw those practitioners at that place, Huseng... Yes indeed! But I saw a separate group, or so it seemed to me, at a location further up the hill, nearer the cave with the self-arising Tara....


There is also the Padmasambhava caves nearby. One with his purported hand-print and the other down the road a bit.

There is an ancient Vajrayogini shrine inside the building displayed in the above photo. It is normally locked up, but if you ask them they can open it for you.
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Re: Non-Tibetan Mahasiddha lineages?

Postby underthetree » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:30 pm

As a Vajrayogini practitioner I have to make the pilgrimage to Nepal at some point.

It does seem to me that Nepal is ground zero for syncretic religion. Naths, Shaivites, Vajrayana, Mahayana, all cross-pollinating. Are any of these Newari sadhanas in print, or available in English on the web? It would be intriguing to compare them to the Tibetan ones.
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Re: Non-Tibetan Mahasiddha lineages?

Postby conebeckham » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:47 pm

Huseng wrote:
conebeckham wrote:I saw those practitioners at that place, Huseng... Yes indeed! But I saw a separate group, or so it seemed to me, at a location further up the hill, nearer the cave with the self-arising Tara....


There is also the Padmasambhava caves nearby. One with his purported hand-print and the other down the road a bit.

There is an ancient Vajrayogini shrine inside the building displayed in the above photo. It is normally locked up, but if you ask them they can open it for you.


Yep. I've been to all those places--it's an amazing area. The inside of that shrine is a "must-see" for Vajrayogini practitioners, for sure!
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Re: Non-Tibetan Mahasiddha lineages?

Postby kirtu » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:22 pm

Huseng wrote:
underthetree wrote:This is a question that has been on my mind for a very long time: are there any authentic lineages today that have one of the original Mahasiddhas as their originator, but that have not come down through Tibetan channels?


Shingon in Japan and now in Taiwan traces their lineage back to India through China. You have figures like Amoghavajra, Huiguo and Kukai as representative attained yogis. However, it is far removed from the original Indian cultural sphere.


I thought Shingon maintained the transmission as Kukai taught it and that his transmission was essentially the same as the Chinese had received from India?

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Re: Non-Tibetan Mahasiddha lineages?

Postby kirtu » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:24 pm

Huseng wrote:
conebeckham wrote:I saw those practitioners at that place, Huseng... Yes indeed! But I saw a separate group, or so it seemed to me, at a location further up the hill, nearer the cave with the self-arising Tara....


There is also the Padmasambhava caves nearby. One with his purported hand-print and the other down the road a bit.

There is an ancient Vajrayogini shrine inside the building displayed in the above photo. It is normally locked up, but if you ask them they can open it for you.


Is this the main Vajrayogini shrine in the valleys outside of Kathmandhu?

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Re: Non-Tibetan Mahasiddha lineages?

Postby Jikan » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:33 pm

Huseng wrote:
underthetree wrote:This is a question that has been on my mind for a very long time: are there any authentic lineages today that have one of the original Mahasiddhas as their originator, but that have not come down through Tibetan channels?


Shingon in Japan and now in Taiwan traces their lineage back to India through China. You have figures like Amoghavajra, Huiguo and Kukai as representative attained yogis. However, it is far removed from the original Indian cultural sphere.



I wonder if Shugendo might also be relevant to the discussion: ascetic yogis largely outside the mainstream

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shugend%C5%8D
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Re: Non-Tibetan Mahasiddha lineages?

Postby pemachophel » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:36 pm

My friend Yeshe Dorje has spent 40 some years in Nepal, mostly in retreat. He is currently the caretaker at Chatral Rinpoche's retreat center at Godawari. Last visit to the U.S., he mentioned that there are some really good Newari Vajrayana practitioners in Nepal. That's saying something coming from him. He does not offer Dharma praise easily. So, if you're looking for non-Tibetan Buddhist tantric lineages, definitely consider a long stay in Nepal. :namaste:
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Re: Non-Tibetan Mahasiddha lineages?

Postby Indrajala » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:22 pm

kirtu wrote:I thought Shingon maintained the transmission as Kukai taught it and that his transmission was essentially the same as the Chinese had received from India?

Kirt


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Re: Non-Tibetan Mahasiddha lineages?

Postby Indrajala » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:22 pm

kirtu wrote:Is this the main Vajrayogini shrine in the valleys outside of Kathmandhu?

Kirt


I think so. It is quite ancient and dates back to Naropa as I was told.
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Re: Non-Tibetan Mahasiddha lineages?

Postby conebeckham » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:45 pm

conebeckham wrote:Say what?

That's just wrong.
There are scads of practices where one visualizes particular gurus-Padmasambhava, Milarepa, the 2nd, 8th, 16th Karmapa and many others...and these practices are most definitely confined to monasteries.



Ugh. Should have been "these practices are most definitely NOTconfined to monasteries.
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