Indian Vajrayana

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Indian Vajrayana

Postby Skydancer » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:19 pm

I know this sub-forum's title says "Tibetan Buddhism". :-)

I would really love to know more about Indian Vajrayana the way it was practiced in the time of Indian Buddhist Mahasiddhas, like Tilopa, Saraha, Padmasambhava etc.. Is is still alive? Any good books (in English) on the subject?
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Re: Indian Vajrayana

Postby TsultimNamdak » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:04 pm

A very good academic work on the subject is Ronald M Davidson: Indian Esoteric Buddhism - A Social History of the Tantric Movement. Columbia University Press, 2002.
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Re: Indian Vajrayana

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:23 pm

Masters of Mahamudra by Keith Dowman is excellent. :twothumbsup:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Indian Vajrayana

Postby futerko » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:23 pm

TsultimNamdak wrote:A very good academic work on the subject is Ronald M Davidson: Indian Esoteric Buddhism - A Social History of the Tantric Movement. Columbia University Press, 2002.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/81263676/Indi ... M-Davidson
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Re: Indian Vajrayana

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:06 am

Skydancer wrote:I know this sub-forum's title says "Tibetan Buddhism". :-)

I would really love to know more about Indian Vajrayana the way it was practiced in the time of Indian Buddhist Mahasiddhas, like Tilopa, Saraha, Padmasambhava etc.. Is is still alive? Any good books (in English) on the subject?


The way it's practiced today is hardly similar to the way it was. But the best copy is Sakya Hevajra practice.
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Re: Indian Vajrayana

Postby Indrajala » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:31 am

Tantra in China predates Tibetan Vajrayāna. There's a good work on this subject which discusses to some extent the early situation in India as well as the Indian masters which transmitted the practices and teachings:

Esoteric Buddhism and the Tantras in East Asia

It is prohibitively expensive, but if you snoop around online there are pdfs.
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Re: Indian Vajrayana

Postby Sherlock » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:58 am

Tantric practice in China and Tibet historically represents yoga tantra and earlier practised in Indian monasteries circa 7th to 9th centuries. Anuttara yoga tantra never diffused there. It is Indian as well, just stemming from a slightly later period and practised outside of and at the fringes of monasteries. The higher yoga tantras don't require many outward signs of purity -- that's the key difference.

The Newaris also have an independent transmission of Indian Vajrayana with the HYTs.
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Re: Indian Vajrayana

Postby Indrajala » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:21 am

Sherlock wrote:Tantric practice in China and Tibet historically represents yoga tantra and earlier practised in Indian monasteries circa 7th to 9th centuries. Anuttara yoga tantra never diffused there. It is Indian as well, just stemming from a slightly later period and practised outside of and at the fringes of monasteries. The higher yoga tantras don't require many outward signs of purity -- that's the key difference.

The Newaris also have an independent transmission of Indian Vajrayana with the HYTs.


Of course.

I think, though, the East Asian component and relevant Indian teachers and scriptures often get overlooked when Tibetan Buddhists discuss Indian Vajrayāna. The key texts and early masters of East Asian tantra all came from India directly, though they predate anything in Tibet.
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Re: Indian Vajrayana

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:41 am

Tantric Treasure: Three Collections of Mysical Verse from Buddhist India, 2004, Roger R. Jackson, Oxford University Press.

Another one of my absolute favorites!
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Indian Vajrayana

Postby Yudron » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:21 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Tantric Treasure: Three Collections of Mysical Verse from Buddhist India, 2004, Roger R. Jackson, Oxford University Press.

Another one of my absolute favorites!


Thanks, Greg! I didn't know about that one. I just ordered a Nook e-book version from Barnes and Noble.
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Re: Indian Vajrayana

Postby Jikan » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:38 pm

deepbluehum wrote:
Skydancer wrote:I know this sub-forum's title says "Tibetan Buddhism". :-)

I would really love to know more about Indian Vajrayana the way it was practiced in the time of Indian Buddhist Mahasiddhas, like Tilopa, Saraha, Padmasambhava etc.. Is is still alive? Any good books (in English) on the subject?


The way it's practiced today is hardly similar to the way it was. But the best copy is Sakya Hevajra practice.


I've heard different claims about which contemporary practice most closely resembles what may have been practiced in ancient India. This discussion gets complicated fast because Japanese esoteric practices seem to have their historical origins in a slightly earlier period historically than those which were transmitted in Tibet (as Huseng observes), so their originals may look a bit different... which means that differences between Japanese and Himalayan variants in practice may reflect different origins rather than a difference from an identical ancestor, if that makes sense. Thus have I heard, at least.

:shrug:
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Re: Indian Vajrayana

Postby lama tsewang » Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:21 pm

hello, just i have one thought. I have noticed that lots of writings mention these grest Siddhas , who lived on their own , and were iconoclastic etc, But lots of things I have read , mention that Tantric practise was a part of the normal curriculum at Nalanda , and Vikramashila. Also, at one time Tantric was veery widespreda in Shri Lanka ,. In the introduction to Visuddhimagga , it mentions that the book was written to try to gain hegemony over The Mahayana Theravadins , and the Vajrayan Theravadins.
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Re: Indian Vajrayana

Postby Karma Dorje » Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:39 pm

lama tsewang wrote:hello, just i have one thought. I have noticed that lots of writings mention these grest Siddhas , who lived on their own , and were iconoclastic etc, But lots of things I have read , mention that Tantric practise was a part of the normal curriculum at Nalanda , and Vikramashila. Also, at one time Tantric was veery widespreda in Shri Lanka ,. In the introduction to Visuddhimagga , it mentions that the book was written to try to gain hegemony over The Mahayana Theravadins , and the Vajrayan Theravadins.
Tsewang


That's interesting, Tsewang. Could you please cite the source for the Nalanda and Vikramashila curricula? Did that include consort practice?
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Re: Indian Vajrayana

Postby Skydancer » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:33 pm

Thanks to all for your replies. You were very helpful.
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Re: Indian Vajrayana

Postby Khechara » Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:27 pm

Great thread! This topic is my main research interest. I am a newbie to this forum but have browsed through many topics as a 'guest' in the past.
I also came across the old thread ''Why don't Lamas resurrect the Kapalika type'' which is sadly locked and hence I couldn't post any replies there. Nevertheless, I have decided to share some valuable information about the current status of Indian Vajrayana and the Kapalika tradition in this thread.

Modern research by renowned scholars like Alexis Sanderson and Robert Beer has enabled us to understand that the Kapalika tradition of the Mahasiddhas, including Padmasambhava, was indubitably inspired by early Saivism. In his incredible book, ''Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs'', Robert Beer has lucidly explained about the Kapalika accouterments of medieval Buddhist tantric yogins. Perhaps it was quite hard to make a difference between a Saiva Kapalika and a Vajrayani kapalik yogi back in the days due to their similar appearances and practices.

It is also believed that Matsyendranath, the supposed founder of the exuberant 'Yogini Kaul' tradition, and also the guru of Goraknath, had Buddhist origins. The Kaulajnananirnaya and Matsyendra Samhita are two commonly known works attributed to this mysterious Nath yogi.

In the modern era it is commonly believed that the Kapalika Vajrayana tradition is extinct in India but it is not entirely true. Today, an Indian Tantric yogi and scholar, Kulavadhuta Satpurnananda, is carrying this oral tradition forward in Sikkim, India. Kulavadhuta (also known as Khyapa Baba) belongs to a royal family of Bengal, who were inheritors of the spiritual lineage of Atisha Dipankara. He was trained in the secret oral tradition of Vajrayana by the mysterious Byom Shankar Aghori and his consort Maheshwari Ma at Bakreshwar, one of the 51 Tantric vortexes of India. He was also a direct disciple of Ram Nath Aghori, who was once the Royal Guru of Nepal.
Kulavadhuta is a rare Kapalika yogi who is still keeping the old lineage of Indian Vajrayana alive. He is also a museologist, artist, Baul musician and a teacher with several years of experience as an iconographer. He is also carrying the Indian lineage of Guru Padmasambhava alive in India.

Kulavadhuta.jpg
Kulavadhuta at Guru Rinpoche's cave in Tashiding, Sikkim
Kulavadhuta.jpg (150.41 KiB) Viewed 763 times


If you are interested in knowing more about his tradition, then you can directly contact him through Facebook.

Here is some more information on him - http://livingessence.info/livingessence ... &Itemid=89
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Re: Indian Vajrayana

Postby Khechara » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:02 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:Masters of Mahamudra by Keith Dowman is excellent. :twothumbsup:


A masterpiece, indeed!
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Re: Indian Vajrayana

Postby dzogchungpa » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:50 pm

I tend to find Dowman's stuff a bit eccentric. For example, I happen to be looking through "Masters of Mahamudra" these days and I came across this, the first note to the commentary:
Prajñā, T.shes rab, lit. "superior cognition," perfect insight into the nature of all things as emptiness. Prajñā (pronounced "pragya" in India) is pre-eminently a cognitive function that actually militates against intellectualization in that it tends to keep consciousness moving amongst the five sensory organs, and particularly in light and sound, our principal senses.

Is that a traditional definition?
ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
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Re: Indian Vajrayana

Postby Khechara » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:39 pm

TsultimNamdak wrote:A very good academic work on the subject is Ronald M Davidson: Indian Esoteric Buddhism - A Social History of the Tantric Movement. Columbia University Press, 2002.


Thank you for posting this. I am going to start reading this book soon.
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Re: Indian Vajrayana

Postby invisiblediamond » Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:39 am

Khechara wrote:Great thread! This topic is my main research interest. I am a newbie to this forum but have browsed through many topics as a 'guest' in the past.
I also came across the old thread ''Why don't Lamas resurrect the Kapalika type'' which is sadly locked and hence I couldn't post any replies there. Nevertheless, I have decided to share some valuable information about the current status of Indian Vajrayana and the Kapalika tradition in this thread.

Modern research by renowned scholars like Alexis Sanderson and Robert Beer has enabled us to understand that the Kapalika tradition of the Mahasiddhas, including Padmasambhava, was indubitably inspired by early Saivism. In his incredible book, ''Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs'', Robert Beer has lucidly explained about the Kapalika accouterments of medieval Buddhist tantric yogins. Perhaps it was quite hard to make a difference between a Saiva Kapalika and a Vajrayani kapalik yogi back in the days due to their similar appearances and practices.

It is also believed that Matsyendranath, the supposed founder of the exuberant 'Yogini Kaul' tradition, and also the guru of Goraknath, had Buddhist origins. The Kaulajnananirnaya and Matsyendra Samhita are two commonly known works attributed to this mysterious Nath yogi.

In the modern era it is commonly believed that the Kapalika Vajrayana tradition is extinct in India but it is not entirely true. Today, an Indian Tantric yogi and scholar, Kulavadhuta Satpurnananda, is carrying this oral tradition forward in Sikkim, India. Kulavadhuta (also known as Khyapa Baba) belongs to a royal family of Bengal, who were inheritors of the spiritual lineage of Atisha Dipankara. He was trained in the secret oral tradition of Vajrayana by the mysterious Byom Shankar Aghori and his consort Maheshwari Ma at Bakreshwar, one of the 51 Tantric vortexes of India. He was also a direct disciple of Ram Nath Aghori, who was once the Royal Guru of Nepal.
Kulavadhuta is a rare Kapalika yogi who is still keeping the old lineage of Indian Vajrayana alive. He is also a museologist, artist, Baul musician and a teacher with several years of experience as an iconographer. He is also carrying the Indian lineage of Guru Padmasambhava alive in India.

Kulavadhuta.jpg


If you are interested in knowing more about his tradition, then you can directly contact him through Facebook.

Here is some more information on him - http://livingessence.info/livingessence ... &Itemid=89


Whoa. I know this guy. He's a nice guy. Whether there's really a lineage there is not clear. I questioned him and he talks like an ordinary syncretic Hindu. He doesn't know Vajrayana in any form familiar. In India there are no pedigrees, with a few exceptions. Anyone can say anything. Hard to know if there's any truth to it.
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Re: Indian Vajrayana

Postby Khechara » Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:01 am

invisiblediamond wrote:
Khechara wrote:Great thread! This topic is my main research interest. I am a newbie to this forum but have browsed through many topics as a 'guest' in the past.
I also came across the old thread ''Why don't Lamas resurrect the Kapalika type'' which is sadly locked and hence I couldn't post any replies there. Nevertheless, I have decided to share some valuable information about the current status of Indian Vajrayana and the Kapalika tradition in this thread.

Modern research by renowned scholars like Alexis Sanderson and Robert Beer has enabled us to understand that the Kapalika tradition of the Mahasiddhas, including Padmasambhava, was indubitably inspired by early Saivism. In his incredible book, ''Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs'', Robert Beer has lucidly explained about the Kapalika accouterments of medieval Buddhist tantric yogins. Perhaps it was quite hard to make a difference between a Saiva Kapalika and a Vajrayani kapalik yogi back in the days due to their similar appearances and practices.

It is also believed that Matsyendranath, the supposed founder of the exuberant 'Yogini Kaul' tradition, and also the guru of Goraknath, had Buddhist origins. The Kaulajnananirnaya and Matsyendra Samhita are two commonly known works attributed to this mysterious Nath yogi.

In the modern era it is commonly believed that the Kapalika Vajrayana tradition is extinct in India but it is not entirely true. Today, an Indian Tantric yogi and scholar, Kulavadhuta Satpurnananda, is carrying this oral tradition forward in Sikkim, India. Kulavadhuta (also known as Khyapa Baba) belongs to a royal family of Bengal, who were inheritors of the spiritual lineage of Atisha Dipankara. He was trained in the secret oral tradition of Vajrayana by the mysterious Byom Shankar Aghori and his consort Maheshwari Ma at Bakreshwar, one of the 51 Tantric vortexes of India. He was also a direct disciple of Ram Nath Aghori, who was once the Royal Guru of Nepal.
Kulavadhuta is a rare Kapalika yogi who is still keeping the old lineage of Indian Vajrayana alive. He is also a museologist, artist, Baul musician and a teacher with several years of experience as an iconographer. He is also carrying the Indian lineage of Guru Padmasambhava alive in India.

Kulavadhuta.jpg


If you are interested in knowing more about his tradition, then you can directly contact him through Facebook.

Here is some more information on him - http://livingessence.info/livingessence ... &Itemid=89


Whoa. I know this guy. He's a nice guy. Whether there's really a lineage there is not clear. I questioned him and he talks like an ordinary syncretic Hindu. He doesn't know Vajrayana in any form familiar. In India there are no pedigrees, with a few exceptions. Anyone can say anything. Hard to know if there's any truth to it.


Hello there. Well, I don't know him personally but from what I do know about him, he is far from being an 'ordinary syncretic Hindu'. The Vajrayana tradition which he belongs to is an old Nath lineage. I came across one of his short books, ''In Search of Tantra: Vajrayana'' on Scribd. This was published for an academic session on the subject a few years ago. I'd like to know what you discussed with him. :)
http://www.scribd.com/doc/51812667/tantra-book-format-small
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