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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:41 pm 
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Tiger wrote:
1. Vajrayana practitioners consider higher Tantras/Yogas (Mahamudra, Dzogchen etc) as the ONLY method to attain Buddhahood (correct me if I am wrong here). Which is why I asked if Buddha Shakyamuni also delivered empowerments.


Anuttarasamyaksambodhi is only possible through empowerment -- this is why for example abhiśeka is mentioned as a key feature of buddhahood in in the Āvataṃsaka sūtra and so on.

When a bodhisattva attains buddhahood, they do so on the basis of an empowerment (abhiśeka) transmitted through from all the tathagatas of the ten directions. For exmaple,the Buddhāvataṃsaka-nāma-mahāvaipulya-sūtra states:

    Whoever attains facility through the supreme samadhi, they completely receive the ornaments of the empowerment conferred from the victors of the ten directions
Ārya-tathāgatācintyaguhyanirdeśa-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra states:

    By attaining empowerment, one is endowed with all qualities.
Ārya-svapnanirdeśa-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra:

    On the tenth stage one is predicted as a buddha through empowerment
Āryākṣayamatiparipṛcchā-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra:

    Since the tenth creation of bodhicitta is the empowerment that grants power over qualities, wisdoms and all phenomena, it is seen to be equal with space through the example of the name "cakravartin".
Ārya-ratnacūḍaparipṛcchā-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra:

    All who are impeded by a single birth obtain empowerment.
Ārya-lalitavistara-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra:

    Through possessing love and compassion, the bodhisattva who has been conferred the empowerment of merit and wisdom leaves Tuṣita.
Thus, empowement in Vajrayāna, the direct route to experiencing anuttarasamyaksambodhi in a single lifetime in a single body, is fully validated by Mahāyāna sutras.

M

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:15 pm 
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So even in regular Mahayana there is a tantric-like empowerment that is given by the rest of the Buddhas when you are on the appropriate bhumi.

Thats what I'm understanding.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:23 pm 
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SSJ3Gogeta wrote:
So even in regular Mahayana there is a tantric-like empowerment that is given by the rest of the Buddhas when you are on the appropriate bhumi.

Thats what I'm understanding.



It takes place through light rays, but yes, effectively the Vajrayāna prinicple of empowerment is validated by Mahāyāna sutra. The principle difference fo course is that the empowerments of the former systemcan be granted to ordinary persons, while the empowerments of the latter system are reserved for tenth stage bodhisattvas.

M

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:27 pm 
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Malcolm,

If empowerment from a Guru is required to attain Anuttarasamyaksambodhi, then why is it called Anuttarasamyaksambodhi to begin with? Our Buddha is often described as a fully self enlightened one and this is because he attained enlightenment through his own efforts. Getting a prediction of Buddhahood from a Buddha is a different thing altogether. And as you must be knowing, Tantra existed even during the time of Buddha and before him. So this feature of learning under a Guru and carrying a lineage is certainly an influence from non-Buddhist Tantras. Of course, one could also ask "who gave the first empowerment?" (this is like a who created the creator paradox). A Mahasiddha is an accomplished being but he is not necessarily a Buddha.

I do agree that when a Dzogchen teacher transmits the teaching or introduces a disciple to Dharmata, it is a really wonderful experience of non-conceptuality. However, it is not that it is only found within Dzogchen. As I said, there are states even beyond that and even Taoists can reach this stage through their Qi Gong practices. The standard Buddhist path still is based on Shamatha and Vipashyana. All Buddhist sects utilize these two general methods in some form or another.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:36 pm 
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Tiger wrote:
As I said, there are states even beyond that and even Taoists can reach this stage through their Qi Gong practices.



Please substantiate all your continuing statements regarding Taoism.

:namaste:


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:54 pm 
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Why are you so concerned with invalidating Vajrayana? If its not for you, don't practice it... but its obviously worked for many and will continue to do so. This whole talk of superior and inferior Buddhahood based on the amount of effort that it takes to get there is pure nonesense. And Vajrayana is nothing like Taoism, you should really drop that argument. I think you should really drop the whole thing. I personally respect and revere all realized beings, regardless of what path they took to get there. Sorry, I guess I just don't understand your motives here. It seems like there is something about Vajrayana and Dzogchen that you find threatening so you are trying at all costs to knock it down. Its all Dharma dude... respect!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:57 pm 
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CrawfordHollow wrote:
Why are you so concerned with invalidating Vajrayana?.....


:good:

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:21 pm 
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Tiger wrote:
If empowerment from a Guru is required to attain Anuttarasamyaksambodhi, then why is it called Anuttarasamyaksambodhi to begin with? Our Buddha is often described as a fully self enlightened one and this is because he attained enlightenment through his own efforts.


Anuttarasamyaksambodhi means "unsurpassed perfect full awakening"-- there is nothing about the term, from a Mahayāna perspectice that suggests that the Buddha was "self-enlightened".


We can see that gurus are intended to be respected in common Mahāyāna as well:

Ārya-mahākaruṇāpuṇḍarīka-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra shows that in the past when the Buddha was a bodhisattva he relied on a guru

    Ananda, As such, in the past when I practiced the conduct of a bodhisattva I bowed fully bowed and prostrated to a Guru.

The buddhas arise in the world as gurus, as Saddharmapuṇḍarīka-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra clearly states:

    Limitless amazing victors
    produce loving minds to benefit the world;
    since they arise as guiding Guru teachers,
    from now on they will attact disciples in the ten directions.

And also recommends that:

    The wise generate devotion to a guru

Ārya-sarvadharmasvabhāvasamatāvipañcita-samādhirāja-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra recommends:

    Serving the guru with noble intention,
    doing whatever he asks just as he asks,
    one should serve Dharma teachers without interruption,
    such is the precept of the victor.


Ārya-sāgaramatiparipṛcchā-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra states:

    Two Dharmas to esteem:
    serving the spritual friend
    and relying on the guru with devotion.

We can see from just this small sampling of important Mahāyāna sūtras how important it is to rely on a guru in common Mahāyāna in order to acheive Anuttarasamyaksambodhi. There are many other similar statements made in Mahāyāna sūtras. So we must understand that relying on a guru is critical for acheive buddhahood.

M

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:24 pm 
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CrawfordHollow wrote:
Why are you so concerned with invalidating Vajrayana? If its not for you, don't practice it... but its obviously worked for many and will continue to do so. This whole talk of superior and inferior Buddhahood based on the amount of effort that it takes to get there is pure nonesense. And Vajrayana is nothing like Taoism, you should really drop that argument. I think you should really drop the whole thing. I personally respect and revere all realized beings, regardless of what path they took to get there. Sorry, I guess I just don't understand your motives here. It seems like there is something about Vajrayana and Dzogchen that you find threatening so you are trying at all costs to knock it down. Its all Dharma dude... respect!


I am not invalidating Vajrayana at all. In fact, all I am saying is that the Mahasiddhas are truly accomplished, yet they are not Sankyaksambuddhas.

If I claim to be a Buddha or a Mahasiddha, there will be many who will question my claim and some may even go on to disprove my claim. In the same way, it is the Vajrayanists first who have claimed to be most supreme, at the expense of orthodox Buddhist sects which are relegated to lower scale, so is it any wonder that there are some who are critical of such tall claims? Besides, I am doing so in a "Dharma-free-for-all" forum, so I think it shouldn't be a problem. The burden of proof lies at the shoulders of those who make tall claims of attaining Buddhahood in a single lifetime, not on the others.

If you call other Buddhist sects as "inferior", do you think they will not contest this claim? They will. And they have the moral justification to do so. But it is only the compassion among the general Mahayanists, that they rather choose to ignore such critique instead of pursuing the argument with the same zeal with which the Vajrayanists disparage the other vehicles.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:35 pm 
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Tiger wrote:
it is the Vajrayanists first who have claimed to be most supreme...


No,that would be Gautama Buddha, who proclaimed that only through his Dharma and VInaya woud one attained buddhahood, then came Mahāyāna (Perfection of wisdom sutras, etc.), then came Yogacara, third turning; then came general mantras, then annutarayogatantra, etc.

M

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:42 pm 
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Tiger wrote:
In fact, all I am saying is that the Mahasiddhas are truly accomplished, yet they are not Sankyaksambuddhas.



Mahasiddhas obtain the highest type of Buddhahood.


Tiger wrote:
it is the Vajrayanists first who have claimed to be most supreme, at the expense of orthodox Buddhist sects which are relegated to lower scale



From my point of view, Vajrayana is the orthodox Buddhism, being based on Madhyamaka, being taught at Nalanda, Vikramshila etc. You can't say that about Theravadins who follow crypto-realist Abhidharma.


Tiger wrote:
The burden of proof lies at the shoulders of those who make tall claims of attaining Buddhahood in a single lifetime, not on the others.



Its been proved......over and over again. Read "Blazing Splendor". Whats the alternative anyway? 3 incalculable eons of perfect practice.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:44 pm 
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Tiger wrote:
I do agree that when a Dzogchen teacher transmits the teaching or introduces a disciple to Dharmata, it is a really wonderful experience of non-conceptuality. However, it is not that it is only found within Dzogchen. As I said, there are states even beyond that and even Taoists can reach this stage through their Qi Gong practices. The standard Buddhist path still is based on Shamatha and Vipashyana. All Buddhist sects utilize these two general methods in some form or another.


Tiger:

You lost me at "parochialists". Aren't all traditions exclusivist to one degree or another?

Re: Dzogchen I suggest leaving that completely aside for purpose of your inquiry. I find empowerment dificult enough to understand as to path of transformation. "It is a really wonderful experience of non-conceptuality" shows the portion of your inquiry which pertains to path of spontaneous liberation is not serious and misses the whole point. If you have not been directly introduced to your real nature how do you know if you no longer remain in doubt? Re: path of spontaneous liberation:

[c]oncerning the teachings of the Path of spontaneous liberation of Ati Dzogpa Chenpo, which, as we have seen, were introduced into the human world by tönpa Garab Dorje, it must be emphasized that, even though no one has ever attributed these teachings directly to Shakyamuni, no serious Tibetan Master would dare to assert that they do not constitute a Buddhist Path—or even that they do not constitute the supreme Path of Buddhism. On the one hand, for a teaching that does not belong to the concrete, material level—as is the case with Dzogchen Ati—to be Buddhist, it is not necessary that it should have been taught by Shakyamuni’s concrete material level or nirmanakaya. On the other hand, just as there is one type of teaching of the Buddha that arises when he empowers the bodhisattvas to voice them, and another type that arises when the Buddha empowers the arhats (both of which are contained in Buddhist sutras and considered to be direct teachings of the Buddha), there is still another type of Buddhist teachings that is transmitted through prophecy: Shakyamuni announces that at such and such a moment, in such and such a place, such and such individual will reveal such and such type of Buddhist teaching, and consequently, when the prophesied teaching arises, it is considered as a direct teaching of the Buddha. Since Shakyamuni prophesized that a certain time after his parinirvana or physical death, there would appear in Oddiyana a teaching beyond cause and effect which would be the most essential of all Buddhist teachings, it is universally recognized that the Buddhist Dzogchen teaching taught in Oddiyana by the tönpa Garab Dorje is a direct teaching of the Buddha. And, in contrast to the teachings that bodhisattvas and arhats give in the sutras, insofar as Garab Dorje is deemed to be an emanation of the Buddha, the teachings of Ati Dzogpa Chenpo that manifested through him are not considered to have been given through “empowerment,” but to have been taught directly by the Buddha.

Capriles

I suggest it is dangerous to feed trolls. As usual Loppon has explained all that is necessary regarding empowerment in path of transformation.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:47 pm 
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Malcolm wrote:
Tiger wrote:
it is the Vajrayanists first who have claimed to be most supreme...


No,that would be Gautama Buddha, who proclaimed that only through his Dharma and VInaya woud one attained buddhahood, then came Mahāyāna (Perfection of wisdom sutras, etc.), then came Yogacara, third turning; then came general mantras, then annutarayogatantra, etc.

M


Or more generally, there is hardly a religion that has ever existed that did not present itself as superior or perfected in some way. Same goes for political parties and sports teams, car manufacturers, deodorant sellers.... it's a practically universal human failing.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:46 pm 
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I think it is important to note that the Tibetan tradition incorporates all Yanas. Its not like once one starts practicing Vajrayana then all of the other Yanas become obsolete. As Malcolm has pointed out all of the vehicles leads towards liberation, and at the same time they are all worthless if misunderstood. Its not like anyone's trying to convert you here, Tiger. I don't see anyone going around ranting a "my Buddhism is better than yours" rap. Just accept that there is no single correct way that leads to Buddhahood. If you wish to clear up some of your misunderstandings about Vajrayana then there are many here more qualified than myself who can help you in an open dialouge. Otherwise just stick to whichever tradition suits you. Or I suppose we could continue to argue about the point to death...

Troy


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:44 am 
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Josef wrote:
No, there is no evidence to support that Shakyamuni ever gave empowerments or taught Vajrayana at all.
At least not in the physical realm.


I agree with Josef.Scholars called the idea that Buddha secretly taught Vajrayana "ridiculous" or something along those lines.However,that doesn't mean that people shouldn't practice Vajrayana or see it as a path to enlightenment.Just realize that it,like various other schools of Buddhism are evolving forms of Shakyamuni's original teachings. :buddha2:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:29 am 
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Red Faced Buddha wrote:
Josef wrote:
No, there is no evidence to support that Shakyamuni ever gave empowerments or taught Vajrayana at all.
At least not in the physical realm.


I agree with Josef.Scholars called the idea that Buddha secretly taught Vajrayana "ridiculous" or something along those lines.However,that doesn't mean that people shouldn't practice Vajrayana or see it as a path to enlightenment.Just realize that it,like various other schools of Buddhism are evolving forms of Shakyamuni's original teachings. :buddha2:


That seems very reasonable, but I am afraid there are no records at all from the time of the Buddha in Buddhism. The earliest records that exist are Theravada, but they were written down hundreds of years after Buddhas death. The earliest Mahayana teachings appeared not long after the earliest Theravada sources. What did the Buddha taught? It is all hearsay.

/magnus

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:11 pm 
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heart wrote:
Red Faced Buddha wrote:
Josef wrote:
No, there is no evidence to support that Shakyamuni ever gave empowerments or taught Vajrayana at all.
At least not in the physical realm.


I agree with Josef.Scholars called the idea that Buddha secretly taught Vajrayana "ridiculous" or something along those lines.However,that doesn't mean that people shouldn't practice Vajrayana or see it as a path to enlightenment.Just realize that it,like various other schools of Buddhism are evolving forms of Shakyamuni's original teachings. :buddha2:


That seems very reasonable, but I am afraid there are no records at all from the time of the Buddha in Buddhism. The earliest records that exist are Theravada, but they were written down hundreds of years after Buddhas death. The earliest Mahayana teachings appeared not long after the earliest Theravada sources. What did the Buddha taught? It is all hearsay.

/magnus


I know that.However,it's like that with all religions.The various Vedas,the Koran,the Bible,several other religious text were written long after their authors had died(although the Koran and Bible were written down sooner than the Sutras were.)but does Buddhism really only need one man and without him the whole thing falls apart?Throughout the ages,various enlightened people,if not enlightened had enlightened ideas,expanded the teachings and doctrines of Buddha.

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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?"


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:59 pm 
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We don't need one man, but we need the lineage of genuine realization. That is the heart of Vajrayana. So it doesn't matter if Buddha taught Vajrayana, he had that genuine realization and through his students he transmitted it.

/magnus

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:42 pm 
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According to the tradition of the Kalachakra Tantra, Shakyamuni Buddha did give an empowerment when he taught the Kalachakra at Amaravati while simultaneously teaching on Vulture Peak.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:50 pm 
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heart wrote:
We don't need one man, but we need the lineage of genuine realization. That is the heart of Vajrayana. So it doesn't matter if Buddha taught Vajrayana, he had that genuine realization and through his students he transmitted it.

/magnus


It seems like a very corruptible system.

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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?"


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