Rainbow Body - Why?

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Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby Aemilius » Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:37 pm

heart wrote:
Aemilius wrote:It is said that the Six Yogas of Naropa all belong to the Perfection Stage, they are something you do after have achieved awakening. There seem to be a lot of things to do after you have attained the awakening or the enlightenment. Historically the Tantra was available to you only after you had attatined the awakening through the Sutrayana, through the general and common yana. In the course of centuries more and more of the tantras gradually became public teachings. It seems that at the time of Marpa you generally had to go through a long period of study and practice in the sutrayana, which had to bear some fruit also. After awakening could you embark on study of the tantras.


I am not sure what you mean with "awakening" but the completion stage is practices that you do to achieve enlightenment, they are a part of the path. Rainbow body is fruition.

/magnus


I mean that if you have not achieved enlightenment any "Completion stage" practices that you do belong really to the Development stage.
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Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby heart » Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:03 pm

Aemilius wrote:
heart wrote:
Aemilius wrote:It is said that the Six Yogas of Naropa all belong to the Perfection Stage, they are something you do after have achieved awakening. There seem to be a lot of things to do after you have attained the awakening or the enlightenment. Historically the Tantra was available to you only after you had attatined the awakening through the Sutrayana, through the general and common yana. In the course of centuries more and more of the tantras gradually became public teachings. It seems that at the time of Marpa you generally had to go through a long period of study and practice in the sutrayana, which had to bear some fruit also. After awakening could you embark on study of the tantras.


I am not sure what you mean with "awakening" but the completion stage is practices that you do to achieve enlightenment, they are a part of the path. Rainbow body is fruition.

/magnus


I mean that if you have not achieved enlightenment any "Completion stage" practices that you do belong really to the Development stage.


I don't agree on your view of the Development and Completion stages. They both belong to the path. I am pretty sure you have no source for this idea but if you have please feel free to share it with us.

/magnus
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Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby Josef » Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:48 pm

Aemilius wrote:
heart wrote:
Aemilius wrote:It is said that the Six Yogas of Naropa all belong to the Perfection Stage, they are something you do after have achieved awakening. There seem to be a lot of things to do after you have attained the awakening or the enlightenment. Historically the Tantra was available to you only after you had attatined the awakening through the Sutrayana, through the general and common yana. In the course of centuries more and more of the tantras gradually became public teachings. It seems that at the time of Marpa you generally had to go through a long period of study and practice in the sutrayana, which had to bear some fruit also. After awakening could you embark on study of the tantras.


I am not sure what you mean with "awakening" but the completion stage is practices that you do to achieve enlightenment, they are a part of the path. Rainbow body is fruition.

/magnus


I mean that if you have not achieved enlightenment any "Completion stage" practices that you do belong really to the Development stage.

Say what?!
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Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby conebeckham » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:23 pm

It is said that the Six Yogas of Naropa all belong to the Perfection Stage, they are something you do after have achieved awakening. There seem to be a lot of things to do after you have attained the awakening or the enlightenment. Historically the Tantra was available to you only after you had attatined the awakening through the Sutrayana, through the general and common yana. In the course of centuries more and more of the tantras gradually became public teachings. It seems that at the time of Marpa you generally had to go through a long period of study and practice in the sutrayana, which had to bear some fruit also. After awakening could you embark on study of the tantras.



This is not true.

The Tantric Path of the Two Stages--Creation and Completion, or Development and Perfection, whatever you want to label them--is an "Aspirational Path" as well as the path that is famed for "Taking the result as the path." These two do not contradict, but here is not the place to go into detail regarding the reasons....this should be learned from a qualified Guru.

Perhaps a clarification of "awakening" would be helpful. What exactly do you mean by that term? It's most commonly used as a simile for "enlightenment" though I suppose it could be understood, perhaps, as akin to attaining the First Bhumi.

The Hevajra Tantra explicitly states that students train first in the "Sutra" paths. It does not require that one attain the "result" of the Sutra paths. Tantra would have no purpose, if that were the case--unless one believes that the Buddhahood of the Tantras is different from the Buddhahood of the Sutras, which is perhaps another discussion. Traditionally, it's taught that Buddhahood "caused" by relying solely on the Sutra Mahayana path takes eons, while that "caused" by relying on Tantras, and specifically Highest Yoga Tantra, is possible in this very life. Marpa's students doubtless had knowledge of Sutra, but, for example, we can't say Milarepa had "attained the awakening" of the Sutra Path prior to studying with Marpa...in fact, Mila had been practicing what we'd call "Black Magic" and I'd venture to say those sorts of practices are directly contradictory to the Sutra Path.

You have some incorrect assumptions or information regarding the Six Yogas, in general, and the Illusory Body, in particular. Suffice it to say that, for the purposes of this thread, Rainbow Body as discussed in Dzokchen is not the same as any Illusory body referred to in the Tantras. Also, just for the record, Illusory Body is not the same as the "Subtle Body" of Tsa Lung Tigle.
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Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby Pero » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:20 pm

Nangwa wrote:Say what?!


He says that he means that if you have not achieved enlightenment, any "Completion stage" practices that you do really belong to the Development stage.

:D
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Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby conebeckham » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:31 pm

Actually, Pero, I think he's saying something different...i.e., that completion stage practices are only to be engaged in subsequent to some sort of "awakening" from the "Sutra Path."
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Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby Pero » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:45 pm

conebeckham wrote:Actually, Pero, I think he's saying something different...i.e., that completion stage practices are only to be engaged in subsequent to some sort of "awakening" from the "Sutra Path."


Hey Cone, I actually just quoted him and turned two words around (because it wasn't the right word order). Hence the :D at the end. :)


edit: I was just making a joke with what Nangwa said. :)
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Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby conebeckham » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:49 pm

Oh. Duh.

:smile:
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Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby Aemilius » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:53 am

heart wrote:/magnus


There seem to be different views on this topic, it is inculded in the discussion of: Where in the four yogas of Mahamudra is the first Bodhisattva Bhumi? It is discussed for example in Tsele Natsok Rangdrol's Lamp of Mahamudra, according to this author it is somewhere in the first yoga of One Pointedness or at the commencement of the second yoga of Simplicity.
It is also dicussed in the terms of: What stages belong to Samatha or mundane dhyana and what stages belong to the Vipashyana or the Transcendental path? These two, samatha and vipashyana, correspond to the Development stage and the Completion stage. I am quite sure it is for example in the writings of Chögyam Trungpa. ( I don't have any of his books with me now, so...)
There definitely is a division into the mundane path and the transcendental path, it is dealt with in the mentioned work of Tsele Natsok Rangdrol, and it is common theme in buddhism generally. There is also a mundane eightfold path and a transcendental eightfold path, etc...
These two correspond to the Development stage and the Completion stage. This used to be common knowledge, but in the vogue is something that delights only at destroying every right view, at demolishing every piece of correct knowledge.
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Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby heart » Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:29 pm

Aemilius wrote:
heart wrote:/magnus


There seem to be different views on this topic, it is inculded in the discussion of: Where in the four yogas of Mahamudra is the first Bodhisattva Bhumi? It is discussed for example in Tsele Natsok Rangdrol's Lamp of Mahamudra, according to this author it is somewhere in the first yoga of One Pointedness or at the commencement of the second yoga of Simplicity.
It is also dicussed in the terms of: What stages belong to Samatha or mundane dhyana and what stages belong to the Vipashyana or the Transcendental path? These two, samatha and vipashyana, correspond to the Development stage and the Completion stage. I am quite sure it is for example in the writings of Chögyam Trungpa. ( I don't have any of his books with me now, so...)
There definitely is a division into the mundane path and the transcendental path, it is dealt with in the mentioned work of Tsele Natsok Rangdrol, and it is common theme in buddhism generally. There is also a mundane eightfold path and a transcendental eightfold path, etc...
These two correspond to the Development stage and the Completion stage. This used to be common knowledge, but in the vogue is something that delights only at destroying every right view, at demolishing every piece of correct knowledge.


Everyone on the path of Vajrayana, both completely obscured beginners and bodhisattva's dwelling on the bhumi's, practice both the development and the completion stage practices. The path is the union of means and wisdom until the end.

/magnus
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Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby Aemilius » Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:56 pm

heart wrote:
Everyone on the path of Vajrayana, both completely obscured beginners and bodhisattva's dwelling on the bhumi's, practice both the development and the completion stage practices. The path is the union of means and wisdom until the end.

/magnus


The Path of Union, or Prayogamarga, is in the Five Paths. Naturally there are also comparisons between the Five Paths, the Ten Bhumis, and the Four Yogas of Mahamudra, if one is interested in that, for example in the books of Thrangu Rimpoche, in the Lamp of Mahamudra, and in Dhagpo Tashi Namgyal's Mahamudra book. I'm not quite sure what you are getting at ? Maybe you can ask Chenrezig or your Yidam whether he/she is still doing the development stage (or completion stage) practices ?
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Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby conebeckham » Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:55 pm

Aemilius-

You're confusing things.

The "Paths" and "Grounds" you're talking about, as well as the "Four Yogas" of Mahamudra, cannot be equated with the Development and Completion stages of Highest Yoga Tantra in an exact correspondence.

The Bhumis are a system of classifying realization and experience.
I believe, and it has been communicated to me by my teachers, that a "Frst Level Bodhisattva" would reside on the First Bhumi. Such a being would have a direct experience of Emptiness such that it was thoroughly established, and not just a glimpse, as it were. I do not believe any of us here is claiming to be at such a state. I would equate your use of the term "awakening" with such a level, and I don't feel any other, lesser, experience would be sufficient to be called "awakening." In fact, such an experience, though we could call it an "awakening," is merely a step on the path to Full Enlightenment or Buddhahood, which is what most folks refer to when they use the word "awakening." Although to our eyes, someone who abides on the First Bhumi would appear to be a Buddha, that person would understand the immeasurable distance between his or herself and the final Bhumi of Buddhahood.

The Four Yogas of Mahamuda is a different system, which explicitly spells out the experiences one can have on this path, and there are correspondences with the Path of the Bhumis. But both of these "systems" are just methods of classifying and categorizing experience.

When we talk about the Paths of Creation and Completion, we're talking about something quite different. These are "paths" in the sense that they contain explicit instructions on the methods used in Tantric practice.

I'm not going to get into details, but very briefly stated, the Path of Creation or Phase of Creation or Development involves generation of the deities and mandala, and is concerned chiefly with uprooting attachment to mundane, samsaric appearance and experience. The Path of Completion, sometimes called the "Phase of Perfection," can be divided into two: Completion Stage with signs, and Completion Stage beyond (or without) signs. The former of the two is where you will find the Six Yogas, while the latter of the two is where you will find Mahamudra, Yugananda practice, and Emptiness Meditation, depending on the system, the teacher, the lineage....

Both of these phases/paths/stages go together, and there are various ways of presenting these. In a sense, they go together and are practiced together. Simply stated, one takes the view of the completion stage without signs as the basis or underlying "reality" of the Development Stage. However, it's also taught that the Creation Stage must be practiced until some stability has been developed, prior to engaging chiefly with the Completion Stage practices. In the Six Yogas in particular, one traditionally "completes" the Creation Stage, whether measured by time, by mantra recitation, or by signs, before one engages in the practices of the Six Yogas. However, attaining stability in the Creation Stage is not the same as an "Awakening" on the Bhumis, much less any correspondence with the Four Yogas of Mahamudra.

So, if you understand all this, you can see that we cannot equate the Stages of the Bhumis, the Schema of the Four Yogas of Mahamudra, and the Two Stages of Tantric practice, as "levels" with any equivalence.

It's somewhat like trying to use a yardstick to measure a cup of flour, or using a measuring cup to determine how long a piece of string is.
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Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby conebeckham » Tue Sep 21, 2010 5:01 pm

...and we've gone far afield of the original question regarding Rainbow Body, which, I gather, is a "result" in the Dzokchen lineages.
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Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby Aemilius » Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:33 pm

Nevertheless Tsele natsok Rangdrol, Chögyam Trungpa, and others, do make a comprehensive picture of the path and it includes various different things. I don't see it as illogical or impossible. To use the terms that you introduced, you can measure distance with yards, or with fathoms, or with meters, etc... A person with acute sight can understand how these different ways of measurement really do correspond and they describe the same thing , i.e. distance. This person is on the contrary making clear what was confused!!


conebeckham wrote:Aemilius-

You're confusing things.

The "Paths" and "Grounds" you're talking about, as well as the "Four Yogas" of Mahamudra, cannot be equated with the Development and Completion stages of Highest Yoga Tantra in an exact correspondence.

The Bhumis are a system of classifying realization and experience.
I believe, and it has been communicated to me by my teachers, that a "Frst Level Bodhisattva" would reside on the First Bhumi. Such a being would have a direct experience of Emptiness such that it was thoroughly established, and not just a glimpse, as it were. I do not believe any of us here is claiming to be at such a state. I would equate your use of the term "awakening" with such a level, and I don't feel any other, lesser, experience would be sufficient to be called "awakening." In fact, such an experience, though we could call it an "awakening," is merely a step on the path to Full Enlightenment or Buddhahood, which is what most folks refer to when they use the word "awakening." Although to our eyes, someone who abides on the First Bhumi would appear to be a Buddha, that person would understand the immeasurable distance between his or herself and the final Bhumi of Buddhahood.

The Four Yogas of Mahamuda is a different system, which explicitly spells out the experiences one can have on this path, and there are correspondences with the Path of the Bhumis. But both of these "systems" are just methods of classifying and categorizing experience.

When we talk about the Paths of Creation and Completion, we're talking about something quite different. These are "paths" in the sense that they contain explicit instructions on the methods used in Tantric practice.

I'm not going to get into details, but very briefly stated, the Path of Creation or Phase of Creation or Development involves generation of the deities and mandala, and is concerned chiefly with uprooting attachment to mundane, samsaric appearance and experience. The Path of Completion, sometimes called the "Phase of Perfection," can be divided into two: Completion Stage with signs, and Completion Stage beyond (or without) signs. The former of the two is where you will find the Six Yogas, while the latter of the two is where you will find Mahamudra, Yugananda practice, and Emptiness Meditation, depending on the system, the teacher, the lineage....

Both of these phases/paths/stages go together, and there are various ways of presenting these. In a sense, they go together and are practiced together. Simply stated, one takes the view of the completion stage without signs as the basis or underlying "reality" of the Development Stage. However, it's also taught that the Creation Stage must be practiced until some stability has been developed, prior to engaging chiefly with the Completion Stage practices. In the Six Yogas in particular, one traditionally "completes" the Creation Stage, whether measured by time, by mantra recitation, or by signs, before one engages in the practices of the Six Yogas. However, attaining stability in the Creation Stage is not the same as an "Awakening" on the Bhumis, much less any correspondence with the Four Yogas of Mahamudra.

So, if you understand all this, you can see that we cannot equate the Stages of the Bhumis, the Schema of the Four Yogas of Mahamudra, and the Two Stages of Tantric practice, as "levels" with any equivalence.

It's somewhat like trying to use a yardstick to measure a cup of flour, or using a measuring cup to determine how long a piece of string is.
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Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby conebeckham » Wed Sep 22, 2010 5:03 pm

OK, I'm not saying one can't "measure progress" in any of the Paths, whether we're talking about Mahamudra, or Sutra-based practice of the Paramitas, or tantric practice of the two stages. I also don't dispute that great masters may be able to equate certain "levels" of one given path with "levels" of another.

But the Two Stages of tantric practice--creation and completion--are not "levels" of accomplishment on a path.

Perhaps what you're getting at is the "perfection" of those stages...for example, a person who had perfected the Generation Stage would likely be at a pretty advanced place......but I'm not sure such "perfection" can be accomplished without a corresponding practice or experience of Completion Stage.

There are stories of Tantrikas who were adept at Creation Stage, to the point where they became the deity and were perceived as such--yet these beings were reborn in bad situations after death, due to their karma.....often times due to not understanding the fundamental reality of the Creation Stage.

So, I think the Two Stages really do go together, and need to be practiced together, until enlightenment.
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Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby Pero » Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:55 pm

conebeckham wrote:...
Perhaps what you're getting at is the "perfection" of those stages...for example, a person who had perfected the Generation Stage would likely be at a pretty advanced place......but I'm not sure such "perfection" can be accomplished without a corresponding practice or experience of Completion Stage. ...


Tulku Urgyen said that one can achieve enlightenment through practicing solely the completion stage, but not through solely practicing the creation stage.

As for the bhumis being connected to the 4 yogas of Mahamudra, if that were so, then even non-buddhist practitioners would be one the 1st bhumi after mastering shine. I find it hard to believe that.
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Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby Aemilius » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:35 am

Pero wrote:
conebeckham wrote:...
Perhaps what you're getting at is the "perfection" of those stages...for example, a person who had perfected the Generation Stage would likely be at a pretty advanced place......but I'm not sure such "perfection" can be accomplished without a corresponding practice or experience of Completion Stage. ...


Tulku Urgyen said that one can achieve enlightenment through practicing solely the completion stage, but not through solely practicing the creation stage.

As for the bhumis being connected to the 4 yogas of Mahamudra, if that were so, then even non-buddhist practitioners would be one the 1st bhumi after mastering shine. I find it hard to believe that.



Exactly! That is why they say that the first Bhumi is not achieved at the first level of One-pointedness, which is samatha only. Please consider for example The Lamp Of Mahamudra for a discussion on that point.
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Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby conebeckham » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:31 pm

Tulku Urgyen said that one can achieve enlightenment through practicing solely the completion stage, but not through solely practicing the creation stage


Which leads us to the conclusion that one does not need to be "awakened" prior to practicing the completion stage. I rest my case.
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Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby catmoon » Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:30 pm

conebeckham wrote:...and we've gone far afield of the original question regarding Rainbow Body, which, I gather, is a "result" in the Dzokchen lineages.


No matter where you go, there you are, and it's a result.

I think.


Hmmmmmm.....
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Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby Aemilius » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:47 am

conebeckham wrote:
Tulku Urgyen said that one can achieve enlightenment through practicing solely the completion stage, but not through solely practicing the creation stage


Which leads us to the conclusion that one does not need to be "awakened" prior to practicing the completion stage. I rest my case.


In the Tantra generally after initiation you should consider yourself as already enlightened. You "become enlightened" by maintaining this awareness (that you are enlightened), this is one explanation of the tantric method. It seems that most people can't really feel that they are enlightened though they have received tantric initiation. They still want to "become enlightened" although they have been told in the initiation that they are enlightened. Now they go so far that they start arguing by which means they could "become enlightened" !? -enlightened still or enlightened again ??
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