Requirements to give empowerments?

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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby philji » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:06 pm

Kunga wrote:Hudson thanks...he knew the empowerment perfectly, had all necessary items, was immaculate n his presentation of it. He is fluent in tibetan and English..has a family lineage of practitioners and was brought up since childhood with Rinpoche's. he guided us thru the wang in a perfect fashion and many said it was the most clear empowerment ever attended. He also gave lung and tri...so what to say can not fault in any of this....


Not sure why this post has been attributed to Kunga..I wrote it earlier today...philji :twothumbsup:
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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby ratna » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:40 pm

heart wrote:[Are you a Sakya? Just curious because this difference between jenanh and wangchen is normally considered very important in the Sakya. Not so in the Nyingma,or as my Guru once told me "an empowerment is an empowerment".


Among else, IMO this probably has to do with the fact that the commonly given short Nyingma empowerments are mostly not really jenangs but super short versions of all four empowerments -- even a donwang, "meaning empowerment", would in principle have the same meaning as the full four empowerments in the sense that it would be effective as a maturative rite, unlike a jenang.

The Chokling Tersar, for example, has only something like three jenangs but a whole lot more wangs of various lengths.

R
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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby Kunga » Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:12 pm

ratna wrote:
heart wrote:[Are you a Sakya? Just curious because this difference between jenanh and wangchen is normally considered very important in the Sakya. Not so in the Nyingma,or as my Guru once told me "an empowerment is an empowerment".


Among else, IMO this probably has to do with the fact that the commonly given short Nyingma empowerments are mostly not really jenangs but super short versions of all four empowerments -- even a donwang, "meaning empowerment", would in principle have the same meaning as the full four empowerments in the sense that it would be effective as a maturative rite, unlike a jenang.

The Chokling Tersar, for example, has only something like three jenangs but a whole lot more wangs of various lengths.

R

Great info. Thanks, Ratna.
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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby heart » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:07 pm

ratna wrote:
heart wrote:[Are you a Sakya? Just curious because this difference between jenanh and wangchen is normally considered very important in the Sakya. Not so in the Nyingma,or as my Guru once told me "an empowerment is an empowerment".


Among else, IMO this probably has to do with the fact that the commonly given short Nyingma empowerments are mostly not really jenangs but super short versions of all four empowerments -- even a donwang, "meaning empowerment", would in principle have the same meaning as the full four empowerments in the sense that it would be effective as a maturative rite, unlike a jenang.

The Chokling Tersar, for example, has only something like three jenangs but a whole lot more wangs of various lengths.

R


That could be, which are the jenangs in the Chokling Tersar?

/magnus
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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby ratna » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:18 pm

heart wrote:
That could be, which are the jenangs in the Chokling Tersar?

/magnus


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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:14 am

Kunga wrote:
mañjughoṣamaṇi wrote:
Hi Pema,

An acquaintance of mine "handed an empowerment back" along with practice commitments to Jetsun Kusho, so I believe there is some type of precedent for this within the Sakya tradition, thought I am uncertain what this means or how this is meant to function.

All the best.

Hi, the Sakya tradition is super strict about maintaining customs rather than inventing them, so this is not something that comes from them - it exists generally but many don't know about it. It's more like handing back the vows/samayas - one can return any set of vows from the three classes to one's preceptor.

K


I'm sure one can, with the guru's permission, amend or even hand back practice commitments. But handing back the empowerment itself, impossible. And handing back samaya? I doubt it so highly as to want to say that's not happening either.
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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:35 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:I'm sure one can, with the guru's permission, amend or even hand back practice commitments. But handing back the empowerment itself, impossible. And handing back samaya? I doubt it so highly as to want to say that's not happening either.
I know people that have "handed back" samaya/commitments.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby philji » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:34 pm

This is an interesting and somewhat related article by Thrangu Rinpoche about breaking Samaya.

There is another issue connected with empowerments that is of great concern to many people, which is samaya. Many people wonder whether it is good to receive empowerments at all, because each empowerment seems to come with commitments (Tib. samaya); and are these not a source of great danger to those who are unable to keep them?

The presentation of the commitments connected with empowerments as very, very strict and presented as very dangerous for a reason. It is presented that way in order to encourage practitioners to engage in virtue. To understand why this is done, you must remember, the primary responsibility of a guru is to, one way or another; get you to do the right thing.

In order to do that, they will sometimes say, “Having received this empowerment you are bound by such and such samaya, and should you transgress it you will be in great peril.” Presenting it this way is done in order to get you to do the right thing. But you should not think that having received empowerments places you in peril. Rather receiving empowerments is always a source of benefit.

Now, if someone receiving an empowerment were to utterly repudiate the entire thing and generate intense antipathy for the whole process and tradition, that is to consciously engage in a complete reversal of virtue and wrong-doing and do everything they could wrong, well obviously, under those circumstances, that person might fall to a lower rebirth.

But you are not going to fall to a lower rebirth simply because you receive an empowerment and thereafter can’t fulfil all your commitments.

To understand this, it may help to consider the word for “commitment” which in Sanskrit was translated as “samaya” and was translated into Tibetan as dam tshig, which means, “words of promise” or “words of bond.” Now, the idea of “words of promise” is not that if you transgress against these rules or regulations, you will fall fast into vajra hell after your death.

Rather the point is that having received empowerment and instruction, you should practice it. If you don’t actually practice, simply receiving empowerment is insufficient. As we have seen, one of the things that keep practice going is the momentum of commitment.

So, if you make a commitment when you receive empowerment to practice, the momentum of that commitment will enable you to carry it through. In other words, the commitment or promise that you make during the empowerment is actually a source of great help or assistance to you.

Having received the empowerment and then not doing the practice is not going to cause you to fall to lower states; it’s simply that the promise didn’t really fulfil its function, because it didn’t produce the momentum of commitment and, therefore, practice.

So samaya should be regarded more as a useful tool than a threat. The purpose of it is to give you the means to establish a momentum of diligent practice, and this is established because you approach the empowerment with that attitude of enthusiastic commitment.

If you ask, “Well do I need to keep samaya?” You do need to keep samaya, because you need to keep your promises. But you should not keep them out of fear.




--- Thrangu Rinpoche The Interval between Life and Death
[Dharma Quotations from Namo Buddha Publications]
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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby Kunga » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:32 pm

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
Kunga wrote:
mañjughoṣamaṇi wrote:
Hi Pema,

An acquaintance of mine "handed an empowerment back" along with practice commitments to Jetsun Kusho, so I believe there is some type of precedent for this within the Sakya tradition, thought I am uncertain what this means or how this is meant to function.

All the best.

Hi, the Sakya tradition is super strict about maintaining customs rather than inventing them, so this is not something that comes from them - it exists generally but many don't know about it. It's more like handing back the vows/samayas - one can return any set of vows from the three classes to one's preceptor.

K


I'm sure one can, with the guru's permission, amend or even hand back practice commitments. But handing back the empowerment itself, impossible. And handing back samaya? I doubt it so highly as to want to say that's not happening either.


The samayas primarily are the vows you receive in a tantric empowerment. Anyone can hand back vows, if they've been given them, and haven't broken them. If you hand back those vows you hand back the samayas. Practice commitments aren't the same as the samayas of the five buddha families.
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Re: Requirements to give empowerments?

Postby Inge » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:17 pm

philji wrote:This is an interesting and somewhat related article by Thrangu Rinpoche about breaking Samaya.

There is another issue connected with empowerments that is of great concern to many people, which is samaya. Many people wonder whether it is good to receive empowerments at all, because each empowerment seems to come with commitments (Tib. samaya); and are these not a source of great danger to those who are unable to keep them?

The presentation of the commitments connected with empowerments as very, very strict and presented as very dangerous for a reason. It is presented that way in order to encourage practitioners to engage in virtue. To understand why this is done, you must remember, the primary responsibility of a guru is to, one way or another; get you to do the right thing.

In order to do that, they will sometimes say, “Having received this empowerment you are bound by such and such samaya, and should you transgress it you will be in great peril.” Presenting it this way is done in order to get you to do the right thing. But you should not think that having received empowerments places you in peril. Rather receiving empowerments is always a source of benefit.

Now, if someone receiving an empowerment were to utterly repudiate the entire thing and generate intense antipathy for the whole process and tradition, that is to consciously engage in a complete reversal of virtue and wrong-doing and do everything they could wrong, well obviously, under those circumstances, that person might fall to a lower rebirth.

But you are not going to fall to a lower rebirth simply because you receive an empowerment and thereafter can’t fulfil all your commitments.

To understand this, it may help to consider the word for “commitment” which in Sanskrit was translated as “samaya” and was translated into Tibetan as dam tshig, which means, “words of promise” or “words of bond.” Now, the idea of “words of promise” is not that if you transgress against these rules or regulations, you will fall fast into vajra hell after your death.

Rather the point is that having received empowerment and instruction, you should practice it. If you don’t actually practice, simply receiving empowerment is insufficient. As we have seen, one of the things that keep practice going is the momentum of commitment.

So, if you make a commitment when you receive empowerment to practice, the momentum of that commitment will enable you to carry it through. In other words, the commitment or promise that you make during the empowerment is actually a source of great help or assistance to you.

Having received the empowerment and then not doing the practice is not going to cause you to fall to lower states; it’s simply that the promise didn’t really fulfil its function, because it didn’t produce the momentum of commitment and, therefore, practice.

So samaya should be regarded more as a useful tool than a threat. The purpose of it is to give you the means to establish a momentum of diligent practice, and this is established because you approach the empowerment with that attitude of enthusiastic commitment.

If you ask, “Well do I need to keep samaya?” You do need to keep samaya, because you need to keep your promises. But you should not keep them out of fear.




--- Thrangu Rinpoche The Interval between Life and Death
[Dharma Quotations from Namo Buddha Publications]

Thank you for posting this useful (for me) quote.
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