Gelug View of Dzogchen?

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Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby tomamundsen » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:17 am

Hi,

I am not entirely new to Tibetan Buddhism anymore, I've studied for over a year now. But I don't know hardly anything about Gelug. How does the Gelug school view Dzogchen? I have heard hearsay that Gelug treats Dzogchen as heretical because they claim that Dzogchen proposes atman.

Also, do you have Mahamudra, or do you only use Lamrim?
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Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby SunRay » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:42 am

Lamrim is the gradual path, sutrayana-practice. Mahamudra is tantrayana-practice. Gelug-practitioners of highest-scope enter the Tantrayana- or Vajrayana-vehicle after the completion of Lamrim and Ngöndro. Once entering the Vajrayana the Gelug continues the Mahayana, rather than shifting from Mahayana (sutrayana) to Vajrayana (tantrayana/mantrayana). On Mahamudratantra the Gelug customarily use the Kaguy Mahamudratantra, called the Gelug/Kaguy Mahamudratantra.

In general, the Gelug tend to place more more emphasis on vinaya than other sects/schools. The Gelug do not view Dzogchen as heresy. This Gelug, however, views the Dzogchen-teachings as such that they might be of too high-scope for people with only limited realizations of shunyata. In such case, a person could easily be left with an impression that the Dzogchen-teachings do not adhere to Madhyamika.

:alien:
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Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:34 am

There is definitely a Mahamudra tradition within the Gelug. If you want to understand its application within the broader Gelug tradition, Alex Berzin has some great stuff on "Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra" on his website:
http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/x/nav ... 32258.html

The Gelug practice of Mahamudra includes both Sutra Mahumadra and Tantra Mahamudra. If Tantra Mahamudra is what interests you Berzin has translated a teaching by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama on a text by the first Panchen Lama here: http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/ar ... mm_08.html

Hope this helps!

I'd also like to add that there is unfortunately a history of certain fundamentalist strands within the Gelug tradition who were completely closed to Dzogchen, but I think that this is changing in the modern day. This is in large part due to the efforts of His Holiness the Dalai Lama who received Dzogchen transmissions from great masters like HH Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche. His Holiness also gives general talks on Dzogchen texts like "Mind in Comfort and Ease" to thousands during his tours, and those thousands usually contain a good number of lamas and geshes.

The Fifth Dalai Lama was also a great practitioner and supporter of the Dzogchen tradition. From an introduction to a book by HHDL on Dzogchen:

Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso occupies an important place in the transmission of theNyingma teachings, and is included by Dudjom Rinpoche in his famous ‘History of theNyingmapas’ among the biographies of the tertöns. This is particularly on account of hisrevelation of the ‘pure visions’ of the
Gyachen Nyer Nga
—’Twenty-five SealedTeachings’. The fifth Dalai Lama was prophesied in certain termas as an emanation of the enlightened activity of King Trisong Detsen. He felt a deep connection with theNyingma tradition of Guru Padmasambhava, and had a number of important Nyingmateachers, such as Zurchen Chöying Rangdrol, Khöntön Paljor Lhundrup, and Terdak Lingpa, Minling Terchen Gyurmé Dorje. He was particularly close to the masters of the‘Northern Treasure’ lineage of Rigdzin Gödem, who appear frequently in his visions. Inhis autobiography he also speaks of Pema Rigdzin, the first Dzogchen Rinpoche, whomhe urged to found the Dzogchen monastery in Kham; he calls him "the great Dzogchenpawho has totally understood the Nyingtik". Dudjom Rinpoche writes:Of particular interest is the manner in which the Dalai Lama received the teachingscontained in the ‘Profound Pure Visions’, which was foretold in a prophecy in thetermas of the glorious Tashi Topgyal:You who are now king of the black-headed race,Through pure aspirations, your fifth incarnation will reveal‘Twenty-five’—with five special mind treasures.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/8300188/Dzogc ... Dalai-Lama
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
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Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby Stewart » Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:17 pm

tomamundsen wrote:Hi,

I am not entirely new to Tibetan Buddhism anymore, I've studied for over a year now. But I don't know hardly anything about Gelug. How does the Gelug school view Dzogchen? I have heard hearsay that Gelug treats Dzogchen as heretical because they claim that Dzogchen proposes atman.

Also, do you have Mahamudra, or do you only use Lamrim?


Hi Tom,

This thread is very interesting: viewtopic.php?f=48&t=3483

best wishes,
s.
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Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby Caz » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:01 pm

tomamundsen wrote:Hi,

I am not entirely new to Tibetan Buddhism anymore, I've studied for over a year now. But I don't know hardly anything about Gelug. How does the Gelug school view Dzogchen? I have heard hearsay that Gelug treats Dzogchen as heretical because they claim that Dzogchen proposes atman.

Also, do you have Mahamudra, or do you only use Lamrim?


Je Tsongkhapa did not include Dzogchen in his formulation so it is not practised officially within the Gelug tradition.

: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: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby Tom » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:31 pm

Tom,

Further to the Gelug Mahamudra comments, this book is truly a treasure...

http://tibetanbuddhistsociety.org/great ... mudra.aspx

also, despite sometimes being called the Gelug/Kagyu Mahamudra, Gelug Sutra Mahamudra differs considerably from the different Kagyu schools Mahamudras.
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Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby ngodrup » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:23 pm

Lama Tsongkhapa asked Manjushri in a pure vision whether Dzogchen is authentic.
Manjushri told him that it is. That said, Gelugpas generally believe that it is beyond
the capacity of most people.

Nyingmapas and Kagyupas do not agree, they hold that
Dzogchen is accessible to any "qualified" disciple.

Gelugpas also hold the same view about tantra in general, especially HIghest Yoga Tantra.
It's worthwhile to remember, however, that Je Tsongkhapa wrote more treatises on
Tantra than Sutra. Maybe as much as 70% of the Sung Bum is on Tantric topics.

Tibetans (Gelugpas included) generally view Tsongkhapa as an emanation of Guru Rinpoche,
so they can't really have a point of view that undermines Guru Rinpoche's doctrine, Dzogchen.

As to the argument that Dzogchen is inconsistent with Prasangika, it is worthwhile notice that
the early school of Khenpo Sangarakshita, etc. did not have access to later, unique distinctions
that Lama Tsongkhapa made that form the basis for the Gelug presentation of these topics.
Therefore latter Scholars such as Jigmed Lingpa and Ju Mipham demonstrate the correlation.

From a more Gelug point of view, you could read Khonton Peljor Lhundrub's Meditation on the
Nature of Mind. He was a proto-rime master, teacher to the 5th Dalai Lama, abbot of Sera Je,
and the book reviews the perspectives of all schools of his time. So there's really no basis for
discrimination.
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Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby conebeckham » Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:17 pm

Re Ngodrup's Post: Image
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Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:12 pm

Je Tsongkhapa did not include Dzogchen in his formulation so it is not practised officially within the Gelug tradition.



Caz,
What do you mean by "practiced officially"? Who decides that?
Certainly Lama Tzongkhapa's works form the core of the Gelug tradition, but the tradition is a constantly evolving thing.

Vajrayogini was not widespread in our tradition until recently, and LTK's collected works touch on it very briefly but it was not a practice that was emphasized. Je Tzongkhapa emphasized Sang De Jik Sum (Guhyasamaja, Chakrasamvara, Yamantaka).

The Namgyal Monastery of the Dalai Lamas, a Gelug monastery for the most part, upholds the Vajrakilaya practices and a pure vision teaching by the 5th Dalai Lama called "Bearing the Seal of Secrecy" (see yungdrung forum for more info).

Similarly, Chod practiced was not mentioned by Tzongkhapa but was popularized by Phabonkhapa and others. This lineage came through Padampa Sangye.

Chittamani Tara does not appear in the works of Tzogkhapa, but the initiation is given by great teachers including HHDL, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and the current and past abbots of Sera Jey and Sera Mey.

Yangsang (most secret) Hayagriva came through the Nyingma tradition and was introduced to Sera Jey by one of its great former abbots. It is the main yidam and protector of the monastery since hundreds of years, and there is an annual group retreat of all the monks lasting several weeks on this deity.

Why can the same not happen with Dzogchen? We have historical precedents for this through the Great Fifth Dalai Lama, the current Dalai Lama and several other masters of our tradition.

:namaste: khedrup
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:31 pm

I should add that the Chod practice coming through Padampa Sangye was popularized in the Gelug tradition to the point that the transmission became known as "Ganden Chod".
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
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Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby Mariusz » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:50 pm

I wonder why they didn't add Longchen Nyinthig yet in their curriculum vitae? Jigme Lingpa cherished Gelug Prasangika as I know :smile:
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Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby Caz » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:53 pm

JKhedrup wrote:
Je Tsongkhapa did not include Dzogchen in his formulation so it is not practised officially within the Gelug tradition.



Caz,
What do you mean by "practiced officially"? Who decides that?
Certainly Lama Tzongkhapa's works form the core of the Gelug tradition, but the tradition is a constantly evolving thing.

Vajrayogini was not widespread in our tradition until recently, and LTK's collected works touch on it very briefly but it was not a practice that was emphasized. Je Tzongkhapa emphasized Sang De Jik Sum (Guhyasamaja, Chakrasamvara, Yamantaka).

The Namgyal Monastery of the Dalai Lamas, a Gelug monastery for the most part, upholds the Vajrakilaya practices and a pure vision teaching by the 5th Dalai Lama called "Bearing the Seal of Secrecy" (see yungdrung forum for more info).

Similarly, Chod practiced was not mentioned by Tzongkhapa but was popularized by Phabonkhapa and others. This lineage came through Padampa Sangye.

Chittamani Tara does not appear in the works of Tzogkhapa, but the initiation is given by great teachers including HHDL, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and the current and past abbots of Sera Jey and Sera Mey.

Yangsang (most secret) Hayagriva came through the Nyingma tradition and was introduced to Sera Jey by one of its great former abbots. It is the main yidam and protector of the monastery since hundreds of years, and there is an annual group retreat of all the monks lasting several weeks on this deity.

Why can the same not happen with Dzogchen? We have historical precedents for this through the Great Fifth Dalai Lama, the current Dalai Lama and several other masters of our tradition.

:namaste: khedrup


The Gaden Tripa would have to okay such practices don't read to much into what I said Venerable :)
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: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:08 pm

I don't think so. The Gelug tradition is not as monolithic an as it first appears.
I don't think the Ganden Tripa of the time consented to Sera Jey taking as its yidam and protector Hayagriva. This was decided autonomously by the monastery.
Nor did the Ganden Tripa of the time consent to the popularization of the Chod practice by Phabongkhapa. In fact, there was a major debate about the introduction of Chod into the monastic liturgies and calendar that was extremely contentious. Yet the Ganden Chod remains practiced to this day.
In the end, there is a great variety of practices within the tradition depending on what is favoured by one's monastic college, master, and personal preference. The vast majority of lamas at the three seats for example take HH Dalai Lama as their main inspiration even if he is not the official holder of the Ganden throne. Way more monks would have taken initiations from HH Dalai Lama that from the reigning Ganden Tripa or previous ones. Therefore, samaya bonds with His Holiness are what make most of us Gelug monastics vajra brothers and sisters, rather than the connection with the Ganden Tripa.
Yet even if His Holiness is the common vajra master of almost all of us, different Gelug lamas might not focus on Sang De Jig Sum in their tantra practice, but instead use Chittamani Tara, Vajrayogini, Hayagriva, Gyalwa Gyatso or a others depending on where they were born and their own teachers.
Last edited by JKhedrup on Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby Caz » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:15 pm

JKhedrup wrote:I don't think so. The Gelug tradition is not as monolithic an as it first appears.
I don't think the Ganden Tripa of the time consented to Sera Jey taking as its yidam and protector Hayagriva. This was decided autonomously by the monastery.
Nor did the Ganden Tripa of the time consent to the popularization of the Chod practice by Phabongkhapa. In fact, there was a major debate about the introduction of Chod into the monastic liturgies and calendar that was extremely contentious. Yet the Ganden Chod remains practiced to this day.
In the end, there is a great variety of practices within the tradition depending on what is favoured by one's monastic college, master, and personal preference. The vast majority of lamas at the three seats for example take HH Dalai Lama as their main inspiration even if he is not the head of their lineage. Yet they might not focus on Sang De Jig Sum in their tantra practice, but instead use Chittamani Tara, Vajrayogini, Hayagriva, Gyalwa Gyatso or a others depending on where they were born and their own teachers.


The Gelug tradition is fairly diverse, I think its safe to say regardless of what practices are introduced Lama Tsongkhapa's frame work is what its based on whether some practice more liberally or conservatively depends on who you have as a Guru I guess. :jumping:
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: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:20 pm

Sure, but my point is regarding the initial assertion that because LTK "did not include Dzogchen within his formulation" , it is not "officially" in the tradition.
But then that would mean Chittamani Tara, Vajrayogini, Ganden Chod, Hayagriva are not "officially in the tradition". Many lamas would balk at this suggestion, and argue many reasons about how they have become part of the tradition as it was passed down from generation to generation.
So, why is this not possible with the Dzogchen teachings of the Fifth Dalai Lama, for example? They have been passed down for generations.
If we are to stick strictly to the formulation of LTK, we should practice as Yidams Yamantaka, Chakrasamvara, Guyasamaja and nothing else. We should practice as protectors Kalarupa, Mahakala, Vaishravana and nothing else.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
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Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby Konchog1 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:32 pm

Everything has been said, but I will add that it seems to me that the Mahamudra in Gelug comes from Tsongkhapa's Drikung Drukpa teachers.
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"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby Tom » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:03 am

JKhedrup wrote:If we are to stick strictly to the formulation of LTK, we should practice as Yidams Yamantaka, Chakrasamvara, Guyasamaja and nothing else. We should practice as protectors Kalarupa, Mahakala, Vaishravana and nothing else.


Not nothing else... but the position of the current Dalai Lama is basically that these should be the core of a Gelugpa's tantric practice.

Of course, traditions evolve and the Dalai Lama has also given teachings on Dzokchen but does this make it then a Gelug practice?

Also, other Gelugpa Lamas focus more on the Ganden Nyengyu etc, but for labels to be useful you have to demarcate a tradition somehow, and Caz's referencing Lama Tsongkhapa's works, I thought, was quite a sensible response to the initial question.
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Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:49 am

Yes, absolutely. But I was making the point that if we only follow LTK's curriculum strictly it would involve practicing these three. HHDL says that the practice of these must be upheld as the core curriculum of the tantric colleges, and I am in complete agreement. Especially the emphasis on Guyasamaja must be maintained, because many of the tantric commentaries of LTK and his disciples were written on the basis of this system.

We also see how a practice of Sang De Jig Sum would be very difficult for the average householder and this is why HHDL has said during a previous Gelug conference that for those with a connection to the practice and limited time, Vajrayogini is suitable.

The point I was making is that the Gelug tradition, has been, since the beginning, an evolving thing. So official or not official cannot necessarily be determined based on whether something is in the Sungbum of LTK or not. If this were the case, then we would have to discount Vajrayogini, Chittamani Tara and Ganden Chod, popularized by Caz's own lineage gurus.
It is interesting to note as well that Lama Tzongkhapa's exhortation to his followers, in his Lam Rim texts and so forth, was to study in depth the great treatises of the Indian masters and not only the Tibetan commentaries.

Also,the function of the Ganden Tripa, although an esteemed position, is not to serve as some type of guru to all of the followers of Gelug lineage, like the Karmapa does for the Karma Kagyu. In fact, the majority of Ganden Tripas do not form samaya bonds through giving empowerments to a large number of Gelug faithful, though they may have their own students. In this way, the current Dalai Lama is more of a unifying influence and far more influential than any of the current or previous Ganden Tripas of this era, who though well-known in their respective monasteries, do not have the same stature as HH Dalai Lama.

I guess the point I am trying to make here is that people seem to have a concept of the tradition as an orthodox, monolithic construction. But Tsongkhapa was eclectic from the beginning, and the Gelug tradition in its history has continued to incorporate all sorts of elements into its fold.

In my opinion, the crux of the Gelug tradition is the study of the 5 Great Treatises in the monasteries, and the debate that takes place around that. This maintains a certain level of education and discussion. It carries through the Nalanda tradition of thorough examination of the intent of Buddha's sutras through the lens of the great Pandits. Tzongkhapa states in his own Lam Rims that people should not be satisfied only with commentaries by lamas, but examine the texts of the Indian trailblazers themselves.

In terms of practice lineages, though, this is much more a matter of personal choice, and neither the Ganden Tripa or Sungbum of LTK can act as a litmus test of orthodoxy for Gelug practitioners. These practice traditions, especially in the tantric context, comes through one's lamas and are necessarily eclectic because the needs of various disciples are quite different. So for a busy householder unable to practice Sang De Jig Sum, for example, a teacher might recommend the very brief Chittamani Tara Stairway to Liberation practice as their main tantric commitment.

So to say that dzogchen cannot be considered an official part of the Gelug tradition because it isn't included in the works of LTK (of which there seems to be some argument, if we look at the other thread posted about this topic), does not seem a valid reason. Because all sorts of different Gelug lamas considered as realized beings have incorporated a variety of practices after the passing of Lama Tzongkhapa, and those practices have in many cases become essential aspects of the tradition.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
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Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby Mariusz » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:23 am

Buton Rinczen Drup (1290-1364 r. n.e.) made the collection of scripture generally known as the Old Nartang (snar thang) edition of the Kangyur (bka' 'gyur) and Tengyur (bstan 'gyur). In it He did not include such things as termas of Inner Tantras and other Tantras of Dzogchen because they seem to be not authentic source. Is it not true Tsonkghapa followed Him strictly? As I saw some Gelug lamas never gave initiations from Maha, Anu, or Ati, for example H.E. Dagyab Rinpoche.
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Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:32 am

Mariusz, yes there was criticism due to this, and that is also why many of the works in the tibetan tradition trace the khungs (source) of their topic to a particular Sanskrit source. But things change and evolve constantly. If we were to strictly follow this paradigm of Buton Rinchen Drub, for example, then the beloved practices of Chittamani Tara and Ganden Chod would have to be cast from the Gelug tantric corpus because they are in the ancient canon. The Lama Chopa liturgy and the vast number of commentaries on it wouldn't be considered canonical.
Sera Jey would have to get rid of Hayagriva, and a large segment of the teachings of the 5th Dalai Lama would have to be cast aside. So I am not sure this paradigm continued beyond the early stages of the tradition.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2328
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