Is Guru Yoga Based on Pantheism?

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

Re: Is Guru Yoga Based on Pantheism?

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:42 pm

Malcolm wrote:I don't acquiesce to what anyone tells me to think.

I provided those sources for information.

And unlike you, I refrain from baseless ad homninem remarks.


I was just ribbin ya. You're right. The ad hom was unfair.
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Re: Is Guru Yoga Based on Pantheism?

Postby Andrew108 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:47 pm

deepbluehum wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:So let's get grounded. What do you think colors are?


Forms of light

So I guess you have come full circle and are taking a materialist position. If you think colour exists as forms of light then it's not surprising that you take consciousness to be a pervasive existent omnipresent thing.
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Re: Is Guru Yoga Based on Pantheism?

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:51 pm

Andrew108 wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:So let's get grounded. What do you think colors are?


Forms of light

So I guess you have come full circle and are taking a materialist position. If you think colour exists as forms of light then it's not surprising that you take consciousness to be a pervasive existent omnipresent thing.


It says in the Kosha that color is form. It is not a materialist position. It is part of nama-rupa.
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Re: Is Guru Yoga Based on Pantheism?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:59 pm

deepbluehum wrote:
It says in the Kosha that color is form. It is not a materialist position. It is part of nama-rupa.


Correct, it says that rūpa, the object of the eye (as opposed to the rūpa skandha) is color.
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Re: Is Guru Yoga Based on Pantheism?

Postby Andrew108 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:11 pm

deepbluehum wrote:
It says in the Kosha that color is form. It is not a materialist position. It is part of nama-rupa.

It's saying that color is a form in dependence on the skandhas and the skandhas are?
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Re: Is Guru Yoga Based on Pantheism?

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:16 pm

Andrew108 wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:
It says in the Kosha that color is form. It is not a materialist position. It is part of nama-rupa.

It's saying that color is a form in dependence on the skandhas and the skandhas are?


Andrew, please don't be pedantic. Just say what you want to say.

Skandhas are dependently arisen...

You will not do away with my point with this line of reasoning. The "consciousness without feature" is not dependently arisen.
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Re: Is Guru Yoga Based on Pantheism?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:18 pm

Andrew108 wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:
It says in the Kosha that color is form. It is not a materialist position. It is part of nama-rupa.

It's saying that color is a form in dependence on the skandhas and the skandhas are?


It is saying that color is a form [rūpa] that is part of the material [rūpa] aggregates, so color is based on the arrangement of the atoms of the four elements. Color is part of the secondary or derived matter of the rūpa skandha.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
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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: Is Guru Yoga Based on Pantheism?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:21 pm

deepbluehum wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:
It says in the Kosha that color is form. It is not a materialist position. It is part of nama-rupa.

It's saying that color is a form in dependence on the skandhas and the skandhas are?


Andrew, please don't be pedantic. Just say what you want to say.

Skandhas are dependently arisen...

You will not do away with my point with this line of reasoning. The "consciousness without feature" is not dependently arisen.



That does not make it "pan" or "universal".

Each and every person who attains cessation experiences that continuum independently. Peter Harvey wrote quite a good book about this where he carefully goes through all the Pali sources.

The Selfless Mind: Personality, Consciousness and Nirvana in Early Buddhism

I highly recommend it.

This "consciousness without feature" is the one-sided samadhi of cessation the Lanka-avatara asserts Arhats fall into, from which they are aroused to begin the Bodhisattva path.

It is not rig pa.
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: Is Guru Yoga Based on Pantheism?

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:31 pm

Malcolm wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:Andrew, please don't be pedantic. Just say what you want to say.

Skandhas are dependently arisen...

You will not do away with my point with this line of reasoning. The "consciousness without feature" is not dependently arisen.



That does not make it "pan" or "universal".


It might though. As is the case in Guru Yoga.


Malcolm wrote:This "consciousness without feature" is the one-sided samadhi of cessation the Lanka-avatara asserts Arhats fall into, from which they are aroused to begin the Bodhisattva path.

It is not rig pa.


I will see the text you cite. Generally, I'm familiar with the arguments. The Lanka-avatara sutra's claim about this makes no sense vis a vis the Buddha's assertions that they attain parinibbana. There wouldn't be someone to wake up. It is exactly the samadhi Buddha had when he passed. I don't really believe the Lanka-avatara sutra. As for it not being rigpa, as it is the opposite of avijja, it is vijja, vidya, aka, rigpa.
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Re: Is Guru Yoga Based on Pantheism?

Postby Andrew108 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:32 pm

deepbluehum wrote:So does Guru Yoga betray the Pantheism underlying Mahayana, Vajrayana and Dzogchen?

This was the original question. My awkward reply was trying to point out that what is underlying the views you mention is the notion of emptiness. Radical emptiness in that a pantheistic unity would be empty of itself. Presence empty of presence. Energy empty of energy. Color empty of color.
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Re: Is Guru Yoga Based on Pantheism?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:50 pm

deepbluehum wrote:
I will see the text you cite. Generally, I'm familiar with the arguments. The Lanka-avatara sutra's claim about this makes no sense vis a vis the Buddha's assertions that they attain parinibbana. There wouldn't be someone to wake up. It is exactly the samadhi Buddha had when he passed. I don't really believe the Lanka-avatara sutra. As for it not being rigpa, as it is the opposite of avijja, it is vijja, vidya, aka, rigpa.



If your standard for evidence is going to be a Pali sutra, all you will wind up with is a śravakayāna view. The śravaka canon does not present a complete picture. It is oriented towards people who merely want to escape.

"The ultimate of the lower is the relative of the higher"
--Shantideva.
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: Is Guru Yoga Based on Pantheism?

Postby Jeff » Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:00 pm

Andrew108 wrote:
Jeff wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:Actually Jeff what do you think colors are?


The mind interpreting percieved energy flows.

Andrew - experienced tummo, or feel energy flows?

:smile:

No I haven't experienced tummo. I don't feel energy flows either. I mean how do I know it's energy? I guess I would have to label it? Also how do I know that there is consciousness?


Consciousness is just a word. Existence of everything can be used as a subset.

The "winds" of tummo (or energy) is usually felt as vibrations in the body. They are always present, but most commonly noticed after one has been able to find the gap between thoughts (also called silence/stillness/no thought).

:smile:
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Re: Is Guru Yoga Based on Pantheism?

Postby Andrew108 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:14 pm

Jeff, sorry but I'm not bothered.
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Re: Is Guru Yoga Based on Pantheism?

Postby Jeff » Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:19 pm

Andrew108 wrote:Jeff, sorry but I'm not bothered.


Just responding to your questions...

Enjoy.

:smile:
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Re: Is Guru Yoga Based on Pantheism?

Postby Lotus_Bitch » Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:36 pm

deepbluehum wrote:He said the Buddha only meant to refute a Creator God, but the notion of Brahman is basically fine with buddha-dharma. That was surprising to me.


With no disrespect what-so-ever, Buddha actually did refute the notion of Brahman or an independent, eternal, absolute "Awareness/Consciousness" that things arise from and dissolve into.

Taking these excerpts from a Dharmawheel forummer's blog.

http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2009/09/two-sutras-teachings-of-buddha-on.html:

Two Sutras (Discourses by Buddha) on the Mistaken Views of Consciousness

In these sutras, the Buddha warned against mistaken understandings of the I AM and non-dual experience/realisation prior to the Anatta insight (i.e. Thusness Stage 1~4). Shurangama Sutra in particular maps well with Thusness/PasserBy's Seven Stages of Enlightenment

First Sutra (Shurangama Sutra)

http://www.heartspace.org/writings/trad ... Sutra.html

(41) Ananda, you should know that the good person has thoroughly seen the formations skandha as empty, and he must return consciousness to the source. He has already ended production and destruction, but he has not yet perfected the subtle wonder of ultimate serenity.

He can cause the individual sense faculties of his body to unite and open. He also has a pervasive awareness of all the categories of beings in the ten directions. Since his awareness is pervasive, he can enter the perfect source. But if he regards what he is returning to as the cause of true permanence and interprets this as a supreme state, he will fall into the error of holding to that cause. Kapila the Sankhyan, with his theory of returning to the Truth of the Unmanifest, will become his companion. Confused about the Bodhi of the Buddhas, he will lose his knowledge and understanding.

This is the first state, in which he creates a place to which to return, based on the idea that there is something to attain. He strays far from perfect penetration and turns his back on the City of Nirvana, thus sowing the seeds of externalism.

Second Sutra (Mulapariyaya Sutta: The Root Sequence)

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


..."He directly knows water as water... the All as the All...

"He directly knows Unbinding as Unbinding. Directly knowing Unbinding as Unbinding, he does not conceive things about Unbinding, does not conceive things in Unbinding, does not conceive things coming out of Unbinding, does not conceive Unbinding as 'mine,' does not delight in Unbinding. Why is that? Because he has known that delight is the root of suffering & stress, that from coming-into-being there is birth, and that for what has come into being there is aging & death. Therefore, with the total ending, fading away, cessation, letting go, relinquishment of craving, the Tathagata has totally awakened to the unexcelled right self-awakening, I tell you."

That is what the Blessed One said. Displeased, the monks did not delight in the Blessed One's words.
Rob Burbea in Realizing the Nature of Mind:

One time the Buddha went to a group of monks and he basically told them not to see Awareness as The Source of all things. So this sense of there being a vast awareness and everything just appears out of that and disappears back into it, beautiful as that is, he told them that’s actually not a skillful way of viewing reality. And that is a very interesting sutta, because it’s one of the only suttas where at the end it doesn’t say the monks rejoiced in his words.

This group of monks didn’t want to hear that. They were quite happy with that level of insight, lovely as it was, and it said the monks did not rejoice in the Buddha’s words. (laughter) And similarly, one runs into this as a teacher, I have to say. This level is so attractive, it has so much of the flavor of something ultimate, that often times people are unbudgeable there
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Re: Is Guru Yoga Based on Pantheism?

Postby Lotus_Bitch » Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:43 pm

Jeff wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:I recently asked Garchen Rinpoche how Guru Yoga works. Garchen Rinpoche told me the nature of mind is omnipresent and permeates all beings which is why one can unite with the mind of the guru. I asked him if this was the same as the Hindu notion of Brahman? He said the Buddha only meant to refute a Creator God, but the notion of Brahman is basically fine with buddha-dharma. That was surprising to me.

Malcolm has also pointed out that in the Khandro Nyingthig texts Guru P has stated that everything is rigpa.

So does Guru Yoga betray the Pantheism underlying Mahayana, Vajrayana and Dzogchen?


Garchen Rinpoche is very wise.

At the level of duality, the easiest way to think of it is that we are all beings in consciousness. A true guru is able to connect at the heart (or overlap presence in consciousness). Through the connection information/energy/light is shared which can "acceralate" spiritual growth (almost like drafting). At it's essence, the practice is the same as Tibetan Deity Yoga. But, in Deity yoga, one must have control of "tummo" to connect with the Deity/Master in consciousness. A true guru has realized non-dual and can thus at a dualistic level "connect" to anyone.

:smile:

What you typed starting with "At the level of duality, the easiest way to think of it is that we are all beings in consciousness" is closer to an Advaitan view.

http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2009/09/two-sutras-teachings-of-buddha-on.html

Buddha warned (in Shurangama Sutra) against taking Consciousness as a permanent Spiritual Self:

(33) Further, in his practice of samadhi, such a good person's mind is firm, unmoving, and proper and can no longer be disturbed by demons. He can thoroughly investigate the origin of all categories of beings and contemplate the source of the subtle, fleeting, and constant fluctuation. But if he begins to speculate about self and others, he could fall into error with theories of partial impermanence and partial permanence based on four distorted views.

First, as this person contemplates the wonderfully bright mind pervading the ten directions, he concludes that this state of profound stillness is the ultimate spiritual self. Then he speculates, "My spiritual self, which is settled, bright, and unmoving, pervades the ten directions. All living beings are within my mind, and there they are born and die by themselves. Therefore, my mind is permanent, while those who undergo birth and death there are truly impermanent."

......

Because of these speculations of impermanence and permanence, he will fall into externalism and become confused about the Bodhi nature. This is the third externalist teaching, in which one postulates partial permanence.

......

Finally, if your pure, bright, clear, and unmoving state is permanent, then there should be no seeing, hearing, awareness or knowing in your body. If it is genuinely pure and true, it should not contain habits and falseness.

How does it happen, then, that having seen some unusual thing in the past, you eventually forget it over time, until neither memory nor forgetfulness of it remain; but then later, upon suddenly seeing that unusual thing again, you remember it clearly from before without one detail omitted? How can you reckon the permeation which goes on in thought after thought in this pure, clear, and unmoving consciousness?

Ananda, you should know that this state of clarity is not real. It is like rapidly flowing water that appears to be still on the surface. Because of its rapid speed, you cannot perceive the flow, but that does not mean it is not flowing. If this were not the source of thinking, then how could one be subject to false habits?

If you do not open and unite your six sense faculties so that they function interchangeably, this false thinking will never cease.

That's why your seeing, hearing, awareness, and knowing are presently strung together by subtle habits, such that within the profound clarity, existence and non-existence are both illusory. This is the fifth kind of upside-down, minutely subtle thinking.
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Re: Is Guru Yoga Based on Pantheism?

Postby Lotus_Bitch » Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:09 am

Jeff wrote:
Depends on how you define "universal Buddha consciousness". Non-dual perception itself is really just the beginning (or it expands). An example in this context would be... At first one can connect with everyone, then "merge" with everyone and ultimately "be" everyone. But, all of this is in the context of always "knowing" it is all part of the field of awareness/consciousness.

:smile:

A universal consciousness of any kind is rejected in Buddhism. Futhermore your response is typical of the Hindu view predicated upon meditative experiences such as the formless jhana of infinite consciousness.

http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2009/09/two-sutras-teachings-of-buddha-on.html

As my friend who is an experienced Dzogchen practitioner, Vajrahridaya (who himself wrote a very good article on refuting Consciousness as 'Source' which I posted in ‘What makes Buddhism different’) said:


Ah, but this is not at all what Rigpa or Dharmakaya means. Rigpa is basically the consciousness of emptiness of dependent origination, so also originates dependently and is not some self supporting universal awareness. But since all aspects of the so called "universe" are inherently empty always, so Rigpa is always, only in as much as it is recognized.

p.s. Namdrol could clear this up, as he has access to untranslated Tibetan texts and could talk about what Rigpa means. He has said that it is not established as well. Rigpa is only inherent in the sense that all compounded things are inherently empty always. Just like the Buddhas first statement. "Mind and it's phenomena are luminous, uncompounded and free since beginningless time." Or something to that effect in maybe not that order. If someone has the quote?
And as Vajrahridaya pointed out:

One reason within it's philosophy descriptive of reality is...

We as Buddhists don't make real something eternal that stands on it's own, so we don't see the cosmos the same way as monism (one-ism) does. Which is why we don't consider a monist ideation of the liberated state as actually signifying "liberation." We see that a monist is still binding to a concept, a vast ego... an identity even if beyond concept or words, is still a limitation to the liberated experience of a Buddha. We see that even the liberated state is relative, though everlasting due to the everlasting realization of inter-dependent-co-emergence. We don't see any state of consciousness or realization as being one with a source of absolutely everything. We see the liberated consciousness as just the source of our own experience, even though we ourselves are also relative to everything else. The subtle difference is a difference to be considered, because it actually leads to an entirely different realization and thus cannot be equated with a monist (one-ist) view of the cosmos at all which we consider a bound view and not equal to the liberated view.

Also... there is the concept of the creative matrix in Buddhism and this matrix is without limit and is infinite. But it's not an eternal self standing infinite. It's an infinitude of mutually dependent finites... or "infinite finites" that persist eternally without beginning or end and without a source due to mutual, interpersonal causation you could say.

It's not that a Buddhist does not directly experience a unifying field of perception beyond being a perceiver that is perceiving... but, the Buddhist does not equate this even subconsciously, deep within the experiential platform of consciousness, with a source of all being. It's merely a non-substantial unity of interconnectivity, not a vast and infinite oneness that is the subject of all objects. That would not be considered liberation from the perspective of a Buddha. That would merely be a very subtle, but delusional identification with an experience that originates dependent upon seeing through phenomena, where the consciousness expands past perceived limitations. Even this consciousness that experiences this sense of connection with everything, beyond everything is also considered a phenomena and is empty of inherent, independent reality. Yet persists for as long as the realization persists, which for a Buddha is without beginning nor end.

This subtle difference is an important difference that makes Buddhism transcendent of monism, or "there is only" one-ism.

Because of this, it is a philosophy that see's through itself completely without remainder. Thus a Buddha is considered a "thus gone one" or a Tathagata.

Take care and have a wonderful night/day!!
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Re: Is Guru Yoga Based on Pantheism?

Postby deepbluehum » Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:27 am

I forgot I read Harvey already. He underscores that the suttas do not really deny a Self. He points to the same clauses I did to support that.

*edit* rather I should say he blurs the line between Vedanta with this passage.
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Re: Is Guru Yoga Based on Pantheism?

Postby Lotus_Bitch » Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:28 am

Jeff wrote:
Consciousness is just a word. Existence of everything can be used as a subset.

The "winds" of tummo (or energy) is usually felt as vibrations in the body. They are always present, but most commonly noticed after one has been able to find the gap between thoughts (also called silence/stillness/no thought).

:smile:

It becomes a problem when certain states of consciousness are reified as an absolute (such as non-conceptual states of consciousness.)

An interesting article to liven up the discussion:

http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2009/09/rigpa-and-aggregates.html

Rigpa and Aggregates

Posted by: An Eternal Now

(Also see: Dzogchen, Rigpa and Dependent Origination)

From Dharma Overground, Dharma Dan (Daniel M. Ingram):

Dear Mark,

Thanks for your descriptions and analysis. They are interesting and relevant.

I think of it this way, from a very high but still vipassana point of view, as you are framing this question in a vipassana context:

First, the breath is nice, but at that level of manifesting sensations, some other points of view are helpful:

Assume something really simple about sensations and awareness: they are exactly the same. In fact, make it more simple: there are sensations, and this includes all sensations that make up space, thought, image, body, anything you can imagine being mind, and all qualities that are experienced, meaning the sum total of the world.

In this very simple framework, rigpa is all sensations, but there can be this subtle attachment and lack of investigation when high terms are used that we want there to be this super-rigpa, this awareness that is other. You mention that you feel there is a larger awareness, an awareness that is not just there the limits of your senses. I would claim otherwise: that the whole sensate universe by definition can't arise without the quality of awareness by definition, and so some very subtle sensations are tricking you into thinking they are bigger than the rest of the sensate field and are actually the awareness that is aware of other sensations.

Awareness is simply manifestation. All sensations are simply present.

Thus, be wary of anything that wants to be a super-awareness, a rigpa that is larger than everything else, as it can't be, by definition. Investigate at the level of bare sensate experience just what arises and see that it can't possibly be different from awareness, as this is actually an extraneous concept and there are actually just sensations as the first and final basis of reality.

As you like the Tibetan stuff, and to quote Padmasambhava in the root text of the book The Light of Wisdom:


"The mind that observes is also devoid of an ego or self-entity.
It is neither seen as something different from the aggregates
Nor as identical with these five aggregates.
If the first were true, there would exist some other substance.

This is not the case, so were the second true,
That would contradict a permanent self, since the aggregates are impermanent.
Therefore, based on the five aggregates,
The self is a mere imputation based on the power of the ego-clinging.

As to that which imputes, the past thought has vanished and is nonexistent.
The future thought has not occurred, and the present thought does not withstand scrutiny."
I really found this little block of tight philosophy helpful. It is also very vipassana at its core, but it is no surprise the wisdom traditions converge.

Thus, if you want to crack the nut, notice that everything is 5 aggregates, including everything you think is super-awareness, and be less concerned with what every little type of consciousness is than with just perceiving them directly and noticing the gaps that section off this from that, such as rigpa from thought stream, or awareness from sensations, as these are golden chains.
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Re: Is Guru Yoga Based on Pantheism?

Postby deepbluehum » Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:58 am

Malcolm wrote:If your standard for evidence is going to be a Pali sutra, all you will wind up with is a śravakayāna view. The śravaka canon does not present a complete picture. It is oriented towards people who merely want to escape.

"The ultimate of the lower is the relative of the higher"
--Shantideva.


It's just this view that I can't accept. I find that the fruit of the practice as described in the Pali suttas is completely free and not one-sided. It is beyond limitations already. The polemics of Mahayana are just derision without a basis. I say that based on practicing both modes. You can't go higher than this.

Proof of this comes from the Vajrayana method. If you want to discover the selflessness of things, you don't do something out there. You just continue to meditate on your own "clarity-emptiness." I would argue, the Pali cited above is just this same thing. The "consciousness without feature," is not a frozen samadhi but a continuous one that blends with the four positions. Tilopa explained to Naropa that to recognize Mahamudra, you look in your own mind; once one discovers the emptiness of one, you discover the emptiness of all, so he said. That's some real bait and switch if you believe the Pali is limited and then you spend a bunch of time with Mahayana and Vajrayana just to find out you're just going to meditate on your own luminous awareness, as if the Arahats didn't know about that, especially if you the Pali I cited above, major let down.

What I gathered is that the Pali sources were not available or unpopular to the point where the later Mahayana Vajrayana thought the Arahat path was taking a vow, focusing on the breath and freezing the mind in samadhi, thereby lacking true wisdom. From research I've gathered that the Theras fell from a practice tradition and basically focused on preserving their texts. The Mahayana, etc. was sort of a reaction against that.
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