The latest acadmenic thought on Dzog Chen and Mahayoga

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The latest acadmenic thought on Dzog Chen and Mahayoga

Postby Leo Rivers » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:56 pm

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Notes, thoughts and fragments of research on the history of Tibet
Sam's excellent insight and web sight ---> Total history of Ati Yoga here in about 4 installments through the last 5 years.

http://earlytibet.com/2011/08/03/early-dzogchen-iv/
http://earlytibet.com/2008/01/24/early-dzogchen-iii/
http://earlytibet.com/2008/01/15/early-dzogchen-ii/
http://earlytibet.com/2008/01/08/early-dzogchen-i/

http://earlytibet.com/2007/06/20/padmasambhava/
http://earlytibet.com/2007/08/27/in-search-of-the-guhyagarbha-tantra/

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Sam's blurb:

The Author

I am based at the British Library, as Research Manager for the International Dunhuang Project, where I am currently involved in a 3-year project on the Tibetan Chan tradition. Previous research projects include a 5-year project on Tibetan paleography and a 3-year project on the earliest Tibetan tantric manuscripts. I also occasionally lecture at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

My PhD in Religious Studies was awarded in 2000 by the Department of Religions and Theology at the University of Manchester. The dissertation, on the Dzogchen works of the 18th-century writer Jigmé Lingpa, was published as Approaching the Great Perfection in 2003.

Since then I have worked closely with the Tibetan manuscript collections from Central Asia. My research has focused mainly on the impact of social and historical factors on key issues in Tibetan culture. These include the contemplative tradition of the Great Perfection, the tantric ritual system and its social contexts, and the development of mythical narratives of imperial Tibet. I’ve also written on the intersection between orality and literacy, and on the creation and development of the Tibetan writing system. Tibet: A History, my narrative history of Tibet, was published by Yale University Press in 2011.
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Re: The latest acadmenic thought on Dzog Chen and Mahayoga

Postby Nemo » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:02 pm

This may be fun. Worth checking out.
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Re: The latest acadmenic thought on Dzog Chen and Mahayoga

Postby conebeckham » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:39 pm

Interesting stuff. Leo, have you read Jacob Dalton's thesis re the dgongs pa 'dus pa'i mdo? It ties in, to some degree, with this stuff....
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Re: The latest acadmenic thought on Dzog Chen and Mahayoga

Postby SSJ3Gogeta » Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:05 pm

Only qualm I had with Tibet A History by Sam van Schaik is that he says that Marpa actually met Naropa.

But Ronald Davidson strongly disagrees.

So I don't know what the truth is.

Not that it matters, since Marpa has genuine lineages from several masters, like Maitripa.
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Re: The latest acadmenic thought on Dzog Chen and Mahayoga

Postby Leo Rivers » Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:15 pm

It is this kind of renovation of understanding of original materials in their original context that creates an unavoidable strain between traditional presentations and academic insight. But I can't help but think that this kind of warmth generate by wresting with the materials is what will re-invigorate practicing a Buddhism that come to have to struggle with it's own identity rather than just recite the inheritance. It's a good exercise in embracing the situation.

From- Lighting the Lamp: An Examination of the Structure of the Bsam gtan mig sgron Jacob Dalton and Sam van Schaik

Given that rdzogs chen is closely associated in the Guhyagarbha tantra with the ritual moment of the culmination of perfection stage yoga, the question of what it signifies remains.

In general, the significance seems to differ little from later Great Perfection traditions: all qualities (yontan) and enlightened activities ('phrin las) - that is, the aims of the Buddhist practitioner -are complete (rdzogs) from the start (ye nas). That is to say, in another phrase that is used in the tantra far more often, everything is spontaneously present (lhun gyis grub).8 Furthermore, there is an emphasis on the transcendence of concepts in a state beyond the reach of thought (bsam gyis mi khyab). In spite of the association of rdzogs chen with these ideas, so familiar from the later Great Perfection texts, the phrase itself occurs only four times in the tantra, and is certainly not the defining term for this complex of ideas that it later became.

Certain texts preserved in the Dunhuang collections confirm that the term rdzogs chen was actually used in practice in the context of the ritual moment of consecration. 9 For example, in PT 321, a sadhana based arounda Heruka mandala, following self-consecration and the offering of the bodhicitta to the mandala of deities, the text mentions the mandala of the secret great perfection (rdzogs pa chen po gsang ba'i dkyil 'khor), which is associated with the purity of all phenomena.

7 Dalton 2004.
8 For translations of the passages reflected to here, see Germano 1994, pp. 214-215.
9 Dalton 2004. 10 PT 321, f.16r. Another manuscript, ITJ 437, a treatise on the development and perfection stages incorporating material from the Guhyasamaja tantra and the Vajramrta


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Re: The latest acadmenic thought on Dzog Chen and Mahayoga

Postby Stewart » Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:17 pm

Elaborate on this please, I have never heard that Marpa never met Naropa.
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Re: The latest acadmenic thought on Dzog Chen and Mahayoga

Postby SSJ3Gogeta » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:47 pm

Stewart wrote:Elaborate on this please, I have never heard that Marpa never met Naropa.



http://books.google.com/books?id=H5tdZz ... pa&f=false


Naropa is overrated anyway. Marpa did definitely meet many genuine gurus though.
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Re: The latest acadmenic thought on Dzog Chen and Mahayoga

Postby viniketa » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:02 pm

Thank you for the info, Leo! :thanks:

Leo Rivers wrote:It is this kind of renovation of understanding of original materials in their original context that creates an unavoidable strain between traditional presentations and academic insight. But I can't help but think that this kind of warmth generate by wresting with the materials is what will re-invigorate practicing a Buddhism that come to have to struggle with it's own identity rather than just recite the inheritance. It's a good exercise in embracing the situation.


Agree... :thumbsup:

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Re: The latest acadmenic thought on Dzog Chen and Mahayoga

Postby conebeckham » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:39 pm

Naropa's over-rated. Ha Ha, one can read all sorts of things here at Dharma Wheel!

:thinking:
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Re: The latest acadmenic thought on Dzog Chen and Mahayoga

Postby Stewart » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:25 pm

SSJ3Gogeta wrote:
Stewart wrote:Elaborate on this please, I have never heard that Marpa never met Naropa.



http://books.google.com/books?id=H5tdZz ... pa&f=false


Naropa is overrated anyway. Marpa did definitely meet many genuine gurus though.



What a ridiculous comment to make.
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Re: The latest acadmenic thought on Dzog Chen and Mahayoga

Postby Malcolm » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:49 pm

Stewart wrote:Elaborate on this please, I have never heard that Marpa never met Naropa.



In Sakya sources, it is reported that Milarepa himself never reported that Marpa had met Naropa in person. Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen expresses the opinion therefore, that Marpa indeed never met Naropa in person. Jetsun Rinpoche was born mid 12th century.The standard dates for Mila are 1052-1135.

Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen lived 1147-1216. He was teaching the Hevajra tantra by the time he was eleven. He had received Kagyu teachings from minor lineage holder from Marpa.

So the Sakyas have always maintained that Marpa never met Naropa in person, that he was a disciple only of Maitripa in fact.
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Re: The latest acadmenic thought on Dzog Chen and Mahayoga

Postby Stewart » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:23 am

Malcolm wrote:
Stewart wrote:Elaborate on this please, I have never heard that Marpa never met Naropa.



In Sakya sources, it is reported that Milarepa himself never reported that Marpa had met Naropa in person. Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen expresses the opinion therefore, that Marpa indeed never met Naropa in person. Jetsun Rinpoche was born mid 12th century.The standard dates for Mila are 1052-1135.

Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen lived 1147-1216. He was teaching the Hevajra tantra by the time he was eleven. He had received Kagyu teachings from minor lineage holder from Marpa.

So the Sakyas have always maintained that Marpa never met Naropa in person, that he was a disciple only of Maitripa in fact.


I had never heard that, but then again my background is Kagyu, and from what I have been told Marpa spent around 12 years or so with Naropa.

Who really knows? But very interesting indeed.



Thanks M.
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Re: The latest acadmenic thought on Dzog Chen and Mahayoga

Postby conebeckham » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:29 am

Anything is possible when you're talking about Tibetan Hagiographies. In particular, writers have agendas--even academics have agendas, much less adherents and promulgators of various lineages.

But in the end, Naropa is a source of great blessings, and he is known widely as the "synthesizer" (or compiler, if you like) of the most famous Tibetan Tantrayana Completion Stage system known to the wide world, and is important not merely for the Kagyupas--as well as being the source of Sakyapas Vajrayogini. He is hardly "over-rated," regardless.
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Re: The latest acadmenic thought on Dzog Chen and Mahayoga

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:07 am

conebeckham wrote:Anything is possible when you're talking about Tibetan Hagiographies. In particular, writers have agendas--even academics have agendas, much less adherents and promulgators of various lineages.

But in the end, Naropa is a source of great blessings, and he is known widely as the "synthesizer" (or compiler, if you like) of the most famous Tibetan Tantrayana Completion Stage system known to the wide world, and is important not merely for the Kagyupas--as well as being the source of Sakyapas Vajrayogini. He is hardly "over-rated," regardless.



I think there is also a littel competition happening here --because the Naro Khacho teachings in Sakya are always billed as "The teaching so special even Marpa didn't get it".

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Re: The latest acadmenic thought on Dzog Chen and Mahayoga

Postby conebeckham » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:59 am

Right-
Like I said, "agendas."
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Re: The latest acadmenic thought on Dzog Chen and Mahayoga

Postby kirtu » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:50 pm

conebeckham wrote:Naropa's over-rated. Ha Ha, one can read all sorts of things here at Dharma Wheel!

:rolleye: :lol: :coffee:
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Re: The latest acadmenic thought on Dzog Chen and Mahayoga

Postby Greg » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:55 pm

SSJ3Gogeta wrote:Only qualm I had with Tibet A History by Sam van Schaik is that he says that Marpa actually met Naropa.

But Ronald Davidson strongly disagrees.

So I don't know what the truth is.

Not that it matters, since Marpa has genuine lineages from several masters, like Maitripa.


I've never entirely understood why Maitripa (and Saraha) are not included in stuff like the Mahamudra lineage prayer, given they seem to be as important as Naropa and Tilopa.
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Re: The latest acadmenic thought on Dzog Chen and Mahayoga

Postby conebeckham » Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:00 pm

They are included in SOME Mahamudra lineage prayers......I think you're thinking of the Dorje Chang Thungma?
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Re: The latest acadmenic thought on Dzog Chen and Mahayoga

Postby Greg » Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:33 pm

conebeckham wrote:They are included in SOME Mahamudra lineage prayers......I think you're thinking of the Dorje Chang Thungma?


That, and just in general when one reads a book on the Kagyu lineage for a general audience it seems like one gets the Tilo-Naro-Marpa-Mila formulation exclusively. Maybe it would be too complicated to throw in Saraha-Maitripa since they are sort of parallel to the first two - that would be my guess, at least.

I mean, I feel like I knew who Tilopa and Naropa were for a million years before I had any inkling of Saraha and Maitripa -even though they are arguably just as important.
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Re: The latest acadmenic thought on Dzog Chen and Mahayoga

Postby conebeckham » Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:18 pm

Don't forget Shawaripa/Savaripa!

:smile:

But we're really getting off topic here....
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