Gelug View of Dzogchen?

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Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:16 pm

I finally found the source for this controversy about Chod in the monasteries:

From a speech by His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Gelug Conference Dharamsala, June 12, 2000

This is why I believe that Gen Tongpön’s criticism was valid. It may be true that Chöpa Dönden was a
great practitioner, who was giving instruction in accordance with his disciples’ predispositions. Ling
Rinpoche for example took Chöd teachings from him (although the text that was being used at the time,
remained unidentified). It seems to be the case that with monks getting involved in the practice though,
doing all sorts of things, making lots of noise with their chanting etc. that this was having an adverse
affect upon the study and education at Drepung in general. This seems to be why Tongpön Rinpoche
finally came out against it. I believe that there was good reason for what he did. If someone is following
the Gelug tradition, what on earth is the point of discarding what is in those eighteen volumes of Je
Rinpoche’s works and getting involved in some unrelated ‘personal instruction’? That is what I think.
The same is true with the Vajrayogini practice. In general it is important, but for example this is a
criticism directed at the Tantric colleges. What is the point of putting aside the practices of the main
three deities that have been so meticulously set forth and spending one’s time doing pleasant-sounding
Vajrayogini recitation? It is what is contained in Je Rinpoche’s works that those following the Gelug
tradition should cherish above all. It should be what we actually find in those works that we should be
emphasising and focusing upon. Meditation and contemplation should be upon those.
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 conebeckham » Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:28 pm

He's following Tsong Khapa's tradition, of course. Surely you know that.
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Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:16 pm

If he is following what Tsongkhapa taught and studying his texts he is very much following the Gelug tradition.

In Lam Rim Chenmo Lama Tsongkhapa warns about casting aside the classical Indian treatises in favour of a few "short oral instructions". LTK repeats this key advice in many of his other compositions.

In fact, what His Holiness is doing is trying to go back to the Gelug tradition as it was expressed in the collected works of Je Tsongkhapa. For personal practice the oral instructions are very beneficial, but if in the monastic colleges the shastras and tantras are not taught, who else will uphold the view of the Nalanda tradition.

If the breadth of study according to the Nalanda tradition were lost, it goes against exactly what Lama Tsongkhapa was trying to revive when he founded Ganden monastery.

As far as I know neither Ling Rinpoche nor Trijiang Rinpoche advised the casting aside of the traditional study of Sutra and Tantra as it is practiced in the great monastic seats of learning of the Gelug tradition. HHDL mentioned "while Vajrayogini is important" indicating he is not advocating casting this practice aside. Ling Rinpoche and Trijiang Rinpoche gave the empowerments of 13 deity Yamantaka, Guyasamaja, and both Luipa and Ghantapada Chakrasamvara many, many times - sometimes at the tantric colleges.

But what happens when the study of the root tantras is set aside in favour of newer developments is that the breadth of study is lost. In page after page of his works Tsongkhapa advises a broad, rich study of Sutra, Tantra and Shastra. In fact, His Holiness is following Lama Tsongkhapa's advice perfectly.
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: 2326
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:06 pm

Tsongkhapa fan, don't take my word for it. Take the word of Lord Tsongkhapa:(Lam Rim Chenmo, Snow Lion edition, pg.50)

There are those who conclude that any classic text should be considered only an explanatory teaching, therefore lacking the key points for practice. They hold that there are separate personal instructions that teach the core meanings that are the heart of practice. They then imagine that there are two forms of the excellent teaching- a teaching that is explained to you and a teaching that is practiced. Know that this attitude precludes development of great respect for the stainless sutras and tantras as well as the flawless treatises that comment on their intent....
Therefore, for those who desire liberation, the supreme and authentic instructions are indeed the classic texts.However, due to your limited intelligence and so forth, you may be unable to recognize those supreme texts as the supreme instructions through depending on them alone. Thus, you must seek out personal instructions, thinking "I will seek certain knowledge of those texts based on the personal instructions of an excellent being. But do not think "The texts are without substance, since they merely promote a superficial knowledge and eliminate others' misconceptions; yet the personal instructions, since they reveal the deep meaning, are supreme.


Lama Tzongkhapa is very clear- the emphasis should be on the original sutras, tantras and shastras. In the case of Tantra, this means the root tantras and commentaries of 13 Deity Yamantaka, Guyasamaja and Chakrasamvara, on which Lord Tsongkhapa commented extensively.

The Kadam Emanation scripture- as precious as its teachings are- cannot be held above the great Sutras, Tantras and Shastras. It can be cultivated on the basis of a scrutinizing study of the Great Classic texts. To set emphasis on those texts aside in favour of emphasizing a "Whispered Lineage" does not seem to be in the spirit of what Lama Tsongkhapa is stating here. They are teachings that supplement and enhance what we gain from the great texts of the Indian Pandits and the vast commentaries on those instructions from Lama Tzongkhapa and his two sons. :namaste:
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 Tara » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:18 pm

Please note:

Two posts have been removed.

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Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby Tom » Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:13 pm

JKhedrup wrote:Tsongkhapa fan, don't take my word for it. Take the word of Lord Tsongkhapa:(Lam Rim Chenmo, Snow Lion edition, pg.50)

There are those who conclude that any classic text should be considered only an explanatory teaching, therefore lacking the key points for practice. They hold that there are separate personal instructions that teach the core meanings that are the heart of practice. They then imagine that there are two forms of the excellent teaching- a teaching that is explained to you and a teaching that is practiced. Know that this attitude precludes development of great respect for the stainless sutras and tantras as well as the flawless treatises that comment on their intent....
Therefore, for those who desire liberation, the supreme and authentic instructions are indeed the classic texts.However, due to your limited intelligence and so forth, you may be unable to recognize those supreme texts as the supreme instructions through depending on them alone. Thus, you must seek out personal instructions, thinking "I will seek certain knowledge of those texts based on the personal instructions of an excellent being. But do not think "The texts are without substance, since they merely promote a superficial knowledge and eliminate others' misconceptions; yet the personal instructions, since they reveal the deep meaning, are supreme.


Lama Tzongkhapa is very clear- the emphasis should be on the original sutras, tantras and shastras. In the case of Tantra, this means the root tantras and commentaries of 13 Deity Yamantaka, Guyasamaja and Chakrasamvara, on which Lord Tsongkhapa commented extensively.

The Kadam Emanation scripture- as precious as its teachings are- cannot be held above the great Sutras, Tantras and Shastras. It can be cultivated on the basis of a scrutinizing study of the Great Classic texts. To set emphasis on those texts aside in favour of emphasizing a "Whispered Lineage" does not seem to be in the spirit of what Lama Tsongkhapa is stating here. They are teachings that supplement and enhance what we gain from the great texts of the Indian Pandits and the vast commentaries on those instructions from Lama Tzongkhapa and his two sons. :namaste:


JKhedrup,

You seem to be coming around :-)!

Originally, you were saying that its possible for Dzokchen to be a Gelug practice since there is precedent such that Vajrayoini, Ganden Chod, Hayagriva are not in Tsongkhapa's Sumbum

Then, when it is suggested that these are really auxiliary practices for Gelug (whose primary practice, Yamantaka, Guyasamaja and Chakrasamvara) you commented that actually HHDL said that Vajryogini was the suggested practice for Westerners with not much time.

Finally, you quote positions that says we should not sweep aside the traditional subjects in factor of Vajrayogini and now we are back to Yamantaka, Guyasamaja and Chakrasamvara.

Hey, I am just being cheeky! Just my way of pointing out that I think everyone agrees here. I think we all agree that the main Gelug positions on sutra and tantra are found in Tsongkhapa's Sumbum. Then there are also auxiliary practices such as Vajrayogini that for some because of circumstance or connection become their main practice. Further, there are some Gelug practitioners that skillfully include practices from other traditions such as Mahamudra and Dzokchen. How wonderful!

There does seem to be a difference in emphasis. While some consider the whispered lineage as heart instructions, others such as HHDL considers them secondary practices. But, I am not aware that anyone really suggests that the whispered lineage should be studied at the expense of the Indian masters.

I found it interesting you posted Tsongkhapa's quote. These comments from Tsongkhapa seem not targeted towards those like the masters of the emanation scripture lineage (who of course came after Tsongkhapa) who from reading their biographies it is clear they were are all great scholars as well as great yogis. They are more a warning against running off to do fancy sounding practices, contained in a few words, without any basic foundation. Something, I think all traditions would agree with!
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Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:23 pm

Dear Tom,
I was actually responding to several comments that were removed because they violated the ToS, so maybe the context was a bit confused. And also, I would be the first to admit that my understanding and views are changing all the time as I learn more and hear different opinions all the time. Still, let me reply to a few of your points.

Originally, you were aging that its possible for Dzokchen to be a Gelug practice since there is precedent such that Vajrayoini, Ganden Chod, Hayagriva are not in Tsongkhapa's Sumbum


Yes, they are Gelug practices in that they are practiced by Gelugpas. My argument was that Dzogchen if practiced by high teachers in the Gelug lineage, could be considered part of the lineage. On that point I do not waver, it is a question of emphasis.

Then, when it is suggested that these are really auxiliary practices for Gelug (whose primary practice, Yamantaka, Guyasamaja and Chakrasamvara) you commented that actually HHDL said that Vajryogini was the suggested practice for Westerners with not much time.


In fact I stated myself in that very thread, and in other places on the board, that the main thrust of Gelug tantra is the three of Vajrabhairava (Yamantaka), Guyasamaja and Chakrasamvara, with Guyasamaja being the basis for many of the commentaries Lama Tzongkhapa wrote on tantra.

There does seem to be a difference in emphasis. While some consider the whispered lineage as heart instructions, others such as HHDL considers them secondary practices. But no one really suggests that the whispered lineage should be studied at the expense of the Indian masters.


The lineage holders of the Ganden Ear Whispered lineage, like Trijiang Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche etc. all spend periods of many years studying the monastic curriculum of the great Indian texts in their monasteries. So it is clear that they did the work as Tsongkhapa outlined. The quote that was mentioned was that HHDL was somehow changing the Gelug tradition by questioning placing primary emphasis on practices like Chod and VY.
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: 2326
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:34 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.
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.


My initial point seems quite clear to me. That this is what the emphasis is, and that these practices must be studied and maintained, especially at the scholastic institutions. But that as their personal practice, people have other choices and can still be considered "Official Gelugpas".

To understand the whole situation better it is good to read the speeches of HHDL made at the Gelug conferences.

But, I am not aware that anyone really suggests that the whispered lineage should be studied at the expense of the Indian masters.


Several of the neo-Gelug movements in the West do not have any source material from the Indian treatises as part of their courses, even though such material is widely available. One does not even encourage its students to read the works of Tsongkhapa, but only of their particular master.

So the quotes I posted were indeed relevant to the current state of the Gelug tradition in the west, and the posts that appeared above but had to be removed. Though in terms of the removed ones, of course you couldn't have known that.
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: 2326
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby Tom » Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:53 pm

JKhedrup wrote:Dear Tom,
I was actually responding to several comments that were removed because they violated the ToS, so maybe the context was a bit confused. And also, I would be the first to admit that my understanding and views are changing all the time as I learn more and hear different opinions all the time. Still, let me reply to a few of your points.

Originally, you were aging that its possible for Dzokchen to be a Gelug practice since there is precedent such that Vajrayoini, Ganden Chod, Hayagriva are not in Tsongkhapa's Sumbum


Yes, they are Gelug practices in that they are practiced by Gelugpas. My argument was that Dzogchen if practiced by high teachers in the Gelug lineage, could be considered part of the lineage. On that point I do not waver, it is a question of emphasis.

Then, when it is suggested that these are really auxiliary practices for Gelug (whose primary practice, Yamantaka, Guyasamaja and Chakrasamvara) you commented that actually HHDL said that Vajryogini was the suggested practice for Westerners with not much time.


In fact I stated myself in that very thread, and in other places on the board, that the main thrust of Gelug tantra is the three of Vajrabhairava (Yamantaka), Guyasamaja and Chakrasamvara, with Guyasamaja being the basis for many of the commentaries Lama Tzongkhapa wrote on tantra.

There does seem to be a difference in emphasis. While some consider the whispered lineage as heart instructions, others such as HHDL considers them secondary practices. But no one really suggests that the whispered lineage should be studied at the expense of the Indian masters.


The lineage holders of the Ganden Ear Whispered lineage, like Trijiang Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche etc. all spend periods of many years studying the monastic curriculum of the great Indian texts in their monasteries. So it is clear that they did the work as Tsongkhapa outlined. The quote that was mentioned was that HHDL was somehow changing the Gelug tradition by questioning placing primary emphasis on practices like Chod and VY.


Cool, like I said I don't really see a disagreement just different emphasis. The arguments seemed very circular to me.

Also, seemed to me the quote from HHDL and Tsongkhapa are making two different points - but like you mentioned I missed a couple of posts!
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Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby Tom » Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:58 pm

JKhedrup wrote:Several of the neo-Gelug movements in the West do not have any source material from the Indian treatises as part of their courses, even though such material is widely available. One does not even encourage its students to read the works of Tsongkhapa, but only of their particular master.


Wow, I find that hard to believe! Then again I don't move in those circles.
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Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:03 pm

Not really circular.
To me the very strange thing is that the most conservative Gelugpas who decry "mixing" are in fact practicing teachings borrowed from other sources themselves. They speak of "practicing purely Tsongkhapa's tradition".

So while there was this great outcry against Dzogchen being incorporated, they go on practicing Vajrayogini, Chod, etc. which came from other sources. This is the paradox I was pointing to.

I personally think that the tradition leaves room for innovation, and room for personal choice in terms of individual practice.This does not bother me.

A comment was made that HHDL did not know what Gelug was since he didn't seem to know the Kadam Emanation Scripture. My point is that the backbone of the Gelug tradition is the Nalanda tradition, hence the Exhortation to study those works in Tsongkhapa's texts.

People said that Dzogchen was not in LTK's Collected Works so it wasn't Gelugpa- well, neither were Chittamani Tara or Chod.

I am not against innovation, merely double standards. It is good to understand the evolution of Gelugpa from the time of LTK to the modern period.

We can understand that the basis of the practice is what Tsongkhapa taught and that the primary sources are his works and the Indian treatises,while at the same time practicing essential instructions received from our teachers.

In fact, this is discussed in Lam Rim Chenmo!
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: 2326
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Gelug View of Dzogchen?

Postby Tom » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:19 pm

JKhedrup wrote:My initial point seems quite clear to me.


Let's hope so :-)!

JKhedrup wrote: Not really circular.
To me the very strange thing is that the most conservative Gelugpas who decry "mixing" are in fact practicing teachings borrowed from other sources themselves. They speak of "practicing purely Tsongkhapa's tradition".


I seemed to miss this claim in the thread.

JKhedrup wrote:
A comment was made that HHDL did not know what Gelug was since he didn't seem to know the Kadam Emanation Scripture.


This is of course completely ridiculous. I have heard H.H. Dalai Lama make frequent references to it.

JKhedrup wrote:People said that Dzogchen was not in LTK's Collected Works so it wasn't Gelugpa- well, neither were Chittamani Tara or Chod.


I have already explained why I don't think your response is a good argument.

JKhedrup wrote:
We can understand that the basis of the practice is what Tsongkhapa taught and that the primary sources are his works and the Indian treatises,while at the same time practicing essential instructions received from our teachers.


It seems everyone is making this point. There is no contention here.

The thread interests me and I have definite opinions on it because I have spent countless hours discussing this very topic with my teachers from both traditions and actually still do. No one seems to agree that you should mix traditions though it is possible to practice within two traditions. I guess that is a distinction that has been important to me and may be others have had an opposite approach suggested to the by their teachers.
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