Dharma Wheel

A Buddhist discussion forum on Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism
It is currently Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:41 am

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Forum rules


Please click here to view the forum rules



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 71 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:35 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:47 am
Posts: 61
The Hindus (Shaivites) claim that they founded Tantras and the Buddhist claim that they were the first creators of Tantra. So which one came first?

I found this interesting explanation from here:


Quote:
The nāgārjuna of vajrayāna is generally identified by the Tibetan Buddhists with the mādhyamika philospher, but these two were definitely different teachers. Matsyendranātha, a Tantric teacher of Shaktism, enjoying great reputation as a kaula yogin appeared in Assam sometime in the early centuries of the Christian era. He is taken as the founder of the Kaula system in kaliyuga. That system is said to have been started by four yuganāṭhas in four yugas and they are respectively khagendranātha, kūrmanātha, meṣanātha and matsyendranātha. arāha alias rāhulabhadra, a Buddhist monk of the vijnānavāda school, learnt Kaula Tantra from some efficient teacher belonging to the line of matsyendranātha. He adapted it to the fundamental principles of vijnānavāda and presented it efficiently as a secret sādhana taught by Buddhism. He eliminated cleverly two very important principles of śākta tantra for such purpose. One of these is the principle of the existence of a constant entity called ātman. The other principle is that of absolute theism. Besides, he changed the names of Tantric deities so as to make them look like Buddhist ones and gave all philosophical terms a Buddhist coloring. Thus he presented the śākta system of matsyendranātha as mystic Buddhism and gave it the name, vajrayāna. One of his very efficient disciples was a monk named nāgārjuna who also is, many a time, wrongly identified with the ancient mādhyamika philosopher of the South by the Lamas of Tibet and Mongolia. He popularized among Buddhist monks such Tantrism which passed on under the name of vajrayāna Buddhism. Padmasambhava, a disciple in his line, carried such Tantric Buddhism to Tibet and from there it spread to many countries of the Buddhist world.



How true is the above account?

_________________
Namo Amitabha Buddha


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:43 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am
Posts: 12736
Tiger wrote:
The Hindus (Shaivites) claim that they founded Tantras and the Buddhist claim that they were the first creators of Tantra. So which one came first?

I found this interesting explanation from here:


Quote:
The nāgārjuna of vajrayāna is generally identified by the Tibetan Buddhists with the mādhyamika philospher, but these two were definitely different teachers. Matsyendranātha, a Tantric teacher of Shaktism, enjoying great reputation as a kaula yogin appeared in Assam sometime in the early centuries of the Christian era. He is taken as the founder of the Kaula system in kaliyuga. That system is said to have been started by four yuganāṭhas in four yugas and they are respectively khagendranātha, kūrmanātha, meṣanātha and matsyendranātha. arāha alias rāhulabhadra, a Buddhist monk of the vijnānavāda school, learnt Kaula Tantra from some efficient teacher belonging to the line of matsyendranātha. He adapted it to the fundamental principles of vijnānavāda and presented it efficiently as a secret sādhana taught by Buddhism. He eliminated cleverly two very important principles of śākta tantra for such purpose. One of these is the principle of the existence of a constant entity called ātman. The other principle is that of absolute theism. Besides, he changed the names of Tantric deities so as to make them look like Buddhist ones and gave all philosophical terms a Buddhist coloring. Thus he presented the śākta system of matsyendranātha as mystic Buddhism and gave it the name, vajrayāna. One of his very efficient disciples was a monk named nāgārjuna who also is, many a time, wrongly identified with the ancient mādhyamika philosopher of the South by the Lamas of Tibet and Mongolia. He popularized among Buddhist monks such Tantrism which passed on under the name of vajrayāna Buddhism. Padmasambhava, a disciple in his line, carried such Tantric Buddhism to Tibet and from there it spread to many countries of the Buddhist world.



How true is the above account?



It is very speculative. In any case, Buddhist tantras are primordial.

_________________
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen


Last edited by Malcolm on Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:47 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 1967
The deities involved are not bound by timelines invented by humans, and nobody knows which ones were first to be discovered by humans or first to be given names in oral or written tradition.

Although Kali as a name has a very long history, the black goddess figure we know now is quite possibly less old than Vajrayogini's first mention.

Tara, Ganesha, Garuda etc. appear in both and the same 'chicken and egg' quest applies.

The way in which deities are regarded is also entirely different so comparing one with the other is pretty pointless.

I would take all claims of primacy and superiority with a pinch of salt - it is really of no relevance as they bear no relation to the timeless nature of those deities.

_________________
Left


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:50 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am
Posts: 12736
Further, in terms of textual history, the earliest tantra by name that we have is the core of the famed Ayurvedic classic, the Caraka Samhita. This text is called Agniveśa Tantra.

The term "tantra" is just a general word in Sanskrit that means effectively "manual".

M

_________________
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:54 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:26 am
Posts: 189
I know chakras came first in Buddhist tantras.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:08 pm 
Online
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 2808
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA
Actually, "Chakras" in Buddhist Tantras are a relatively late subject, going by the Tibetan corpus....if I recall, you don't find much about them in the Early Translations. But I'm not sure this has any relevance to the question at hand...

_________________
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:26 am
Posts: 189
David Gordon White:

"The earliest accounts of the cakras as "circles" or "wheels" of subtle energy located within the yogic body are found in the Caryagiti and the Hevarjra Tantra, two circa eighth-century Buddhist Tantric works that locate four cakras within the human body at the levels of the navel, heart, throat and head."
-Kiss of the Yogini, page 24.

"While the breath channels (nadis) of yogic practice has already been discussed in the classical Upanishads, it was not until such Tantric works as the eighth-century Buddhist Hevajra Tantra and Caryagiti that a heirarchy of inner energy centers-variously called cakras, padmas or pithas-were introduced."
-Yoga in Practice, page 14.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:04 pm 
Online
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 2808
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA
Getting back to the original quote....it's quite confusing. There was apparently an important Madhyamika scholar with the name Rahulabhadra, who was (I think) contemporary with Nagarjuna, the Madhaymika "explicator." Some say there is conflation with another, later, Nagarjuna, a Tantrika, who was a practitioner of Guhyasamaja, surely one of the earlier Buddhist Tantras. There's also a Rahula, sometimes called Rahulagupta, who was contemporary with Maitripa, and was Atisha's teacher--and bestowed Hevajra upon Atisha. I think this Rahulagupta also figures in the transmissions to Khyungpo Naljor. I wonder if this is the Rahula(bhadra?/gupta?) of the original quote, who was said to have "invented Buddhist Tantra" by removing elements of Hindu doctrine? It doesn't seem likely-- bu tif that's the Rahula of the original quote, I would say he couldn't have been the "originator of Buddhist Tantra," as his contemporaries are also well known in Vajrayana lineages--and they're all later than the earlier, Nyingma Kama, Tantras found in Tibet. Right?

_________________
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:48 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:16 am
Posts: 185
Location: The Middle of Nowhere
Tiger wrote:
The Hindus (Shaivites) claim that they founded Tantras and the Buddhist claim that they were the first creators of Tantra. So which one came first?

I found this interesting explanation from here:


Quote:
The nāgārjuna of vajrayāna is generally identified by the Tibetan Buddhists with the mādhyamika philospher, but these two were definitely different teachers. Matsyendranātha, a Tantric teacher of Shaktism, enjoying great reputation as a kaula yogin appeared in Assam sometime in the early centuries of the Christian era. He is taken as the founder of the Kaula system in kaliyuga. That system is said to have been started by four yuganāṭhas in four yugas and they are respectively khagendranātha, kūrmanātha, meṣanātha and matsyendranātha. arāha alias rāhulabhadra, a Buddhist monk of the vijnānavāda school, learnt Kaula Tantra from some efficient teacher belonging to the line of matsyendranātha. He adapted it to the fundamental principles of vijnānavāda and presented it efficiently as a secret sādhana taught by Buddhism. He eliminated cleverly two very important principles of śākta tantra for such purpose. One of these is the principle of the existence of a constant entity called ātman. The other principle is that of absolute theism. Besides, he changed the names of Tantric deities so as to make them look like Buddhist ones and gave all philosophical terms a Buddhist coloring. Thus he presented the śākta system of matsyendranātha as mystic Buddhism and gave it the name, vajrayāna. One of his very efficient disciples was a monk named nāgārjuna who also is, many a time, wrongly identified with the ancient mādhyamika philosopher of the South by the Lamas of Tibet and Mongolia. He popularized among Buddhist monks such Tantrism which passed on under the name of vajrayāna Buddhism. Padmasambhava, a disciple in his line, carried such Tantric Buddhism to Tibet and from there it spread to many countries of the Buddhist world.



How true is the above account?


Hinduism.However Shaivism isn't Hinduism,it is a school of Hinduism that worships Shiva as the supreme being.

_________________
A person once asked me why I would want to stop rebirth. "It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want to be reborn."
I replied. "Wanting to be reborn is like wanting to stay in a jail cell, when you have the chance to go free and experience the whole wide world. Does a convict, on being freed from his shabby, constricting, little cell, suddenly say "I really want to go back to jail and be put in a cell. It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want that?"


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:08 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:13 pm
Posts: 339
Beware of Hindus appropriating Buddhism. Aside from enforced slavery and murder one of their main methods to combat Buddhism in the past was to fudge the boundaries between the religions with misinformation and nonsense. In fact both Hindus and Buddhists have tantras because neither created them...they are ultimately derived from the shamanic traditions of aboriginal Indian tribes, like the Nagas.
:namaste: R.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:40 am 
Online
Former staff member
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Posts: 10290
Location: Greece
Raksha wrote:
Beware of Hindus appropriating Buddhism. Aside from enforced slavery and murder one of their main methods to combat Buddhism in the past was to fudge the boundaries between the religions with misinformation and nonsense. In fact both Hindus and Buddhists have tantras because neither created them...they are ultimately derived from the shamanic traditions of aboriginal Indian tribes, like the Nagas.
:namaste: R.
Which boundaries? Amongst the 84 Mahasiddhas of Mahamudra (for example) we find four Nath siddhas: Kankaripa, Minapa, Goraksa and Caurangi which are shared as lineage holders between Buddhists and Shaivite Naths. If there are boundaries, they must be pretty bloody porous (to the point of being non-existent).
:namaste:

_________________
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:13 pm
Posts: 339
[/quote]Which boundaries? Amongst the 84 Mahasiddhas of Mahamudra (for example) we find four Nath siddhas: Kankaripa, Minapa, Goraksa and Caurangi which are shared as lineage holders between Buddhists and Shaivite Naths. If there are boundaries, they must be pretty bloody porous (to the point of being non-existent).[/quote]

If I had the same method as you Greg I would reply, '..84 Mahasiddhas of Mahamudra! What are you talking about? Most of the Mahasiddhas didn't practice Mahamudra!! etc. etc.'. Instead, I am going to calmly read through your post and try to reply to your argument, without seizing one piece and 'going off on one'. I recommend 'Indian Buddhist Pandits' (LTWA) as a companion volume to the 'Lives of the 84 Mahasiddhas'. This will give you a glimpse into the world of ancient Indian debate (vada). Countless Buddhist scholars, including many of the Mahasiddhas, devoted their lives to fending off philosophical attacks from Hindus. It was a serious business because the loser forfeited their freedom, and their temple or temples would be forcibly converted to the religion of their opponent. Of course none of this would have happened if the differences between their respective religions was 'non-existent'. The history of the struggle between Hinduism and Buddhism is a long and complicated one, which I don't propose to go into in this post. Suffice to say that the Hindus never beat the Buddhists in debate, so in the end they simply copied large sections of Buddhist teaching and claimed that they had invented it themselves. They also used Hindu kings to attack and destroy Buddhists institutions, with the justification that Buddhism was really just a Hindu heresy. In this way, Buddha was claimed by the Hindus as an avatar of Vishnu. So their ultimately successful method was, 'if you can't beat them, appropriate their teachings and temples claiming that they were yours all along.' In the most extreme cases Buddhist nuns were actually enslaved and forced into prostitution, so it is not only totally incorrect to suggest that there is no difference between these religions, it is actually quite offensive. In short, Hinduism and Buddhism: two different religions Greg.
:namaste: R.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:33 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:10 pm
Posts: 805
Raksha wrote:
Suffice to say that the Hindus never beat the Buddhists in debate...


Can you recommend any books or articles that studied this? I have always wondered this, but most of what I have read came from the Buddhist POV, so that's probably biased. It would be interesting to see if there are academic research that confirms that for the most part, Buddhist pandits trounce Hindu ones.

_________________
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

- The Open-Ended Proof from The Panoplia Prophetica


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:10 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am
Posts: 12736
Raksha wrote:
Suffice to say that the Hindus never beat the Buddhists in debate...


That is a pretty unfounded statement. Did you forget Shankaracarya? Navy Nyaya?

_________________
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:40 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am
Posts: 12736
pueraeternus wrote:
Raksha wrote:
Suffice to say that the Hindus never beat the Buddhists in debate...


Can you recommend any books or articles that studied this? I have always wondered this, but most of what I have read came from the Buddhist POV, so that's probably biased. It would be interesting to see if there are academic research that confirms that for the most part, Buddhist pandits trounce Hindu ones.



There are no real objective accounts, just sectarian annals on both sides.

_________________
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:48 pm 
Online
Former staff member
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Posts: 10290
Location: Greece
Raksha wrote:
If I had the same method as you Greg I would reply, '..84 Mahasiddhas of Mahamudra! What are you talking about? Most of the Mahasiddhas didn't practice Mahamudra!! etc. etc.'. Instead, I am going to calmly read through your post and try to reply to your argument, without seizing one piece and 'going off on one'.
YAWN!
Quote:
Of course none of this would have happened if the differences between their respective religions was 'non-existent'.
Straw man. I never said that there are no differences, I said that there are no boundaries, or to be exact:
gregkavarnos wrote:
If there are boundaries, they must be pretty bloody porous (to the point of being non-existent)
AND I said that the abovementioned Siddhas were SHARED by Nath and Buddhist lineages. Like they share Tara, Vaisravana, Kali, Siva Nataraj, Bhairava, Sarasvati, etc...

This does not deny the existence of seperate religions.

But wait on, is the discussion about religions or practice? Tantra is, after all, merely a form of method/practice COMMON to some forms of Hinduism and Buddhism.

But, going back to the OP, does it really matter which came first? I mean will the winner of the race get a gold medal? Coryright or trademark rights? A generous monetary bounty? Front row seats at enlightenment? :shrug:
:namaste:

_________________
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:28 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am
Posts: 12736
gregkavarnos wrote:

But wait on, is the discussion about religions or practice? Tantra is, after all, merely a form of method/practice COMMON to some forms of Hinduism and Buddhism.


This is a kind of misconception. "Tantra", as a movement is a purely Western historical construction. As I have often pointed out, the earliest texts known as "tantras" are medical texts belonging to Ayurveda.

_________________
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:35 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:05 am
Posts: 1302
Location: San Francisco, CA
Funny how in Buddhist tantras you have Buddhist deities stepping on the faces of Hindu deities, but not the other way around.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:51 pm 
Online
Former staff member
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Posts: 10290
Location: Greece
Malcolm wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:

But wait on, is the discussion about religions or practice? Tantra is, after all, merely a form of method/practice COMMON to some forms of Hinduism and Buddhism.


This is a kind of misconception. "Tantra", as a movement is a purely Western historical construction. As I have often pointed out, the earliest texts known as "tantras" are medical texts belonging to Ayurveda.
I said method not movement. Do you prefer the term praxis?
:namaste:

_________________
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:05 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am
Posts: 12736
gregkavarnos wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:

But wait on, is the discussion about religions or practice? Tantra is, after all, merely a form of method/practice COMMON to some forms of Hinduism and Buddhism.


This is a kind of misconception. "Tantra", as a movement is a purely Western historical construction. As I have often pointed out, the earliest texts known as "tantras" are medical texts belonging to Ayurveda.
I said method not movement. Do you prefer the term praxis?
:namaste:


There is no real such thing as "Tantrism".

_________________
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 71 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: conebeckham, heart, LastLegend and 11 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group