Adamantine wrote: Karma Dorje wrote:
Yudron wrote:Yeah. I'm glossing over that part because, personally, I am not too crazy about Hindus taking Buddhist empowerments. When one takes refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, one stops taking refuge in other things, such as Vishnu. You do take refuge during an empowerment.
Respectfully, Yudron I beg to differ. What one gives up when taking refuge in the Buddha is going for refuge to samsaric beings, for the obvious reason that they can not grant true refuge as they themselves are still confused. If you are viewing Vishnu as a samsaric being and performing sadhana only to end up in Vaikuntha then you are entirely correct. However, I don' think it is so simple.
Firstly, many of the devas in the Hindu pantheon are worshipped either as yidams or enlightened protectors. One has to look no further than the centrally important Avalokitehsvara/Shiva/Mahakala to see this.
Secondly, even if one were to concede that the Hindu pantheon are worldly beings, there is a long tradition in Vajrayana of the practice of propitiating such beings for the temporal benefit of the practitioner.
Lastly and most importantly, there are very definitely philosophical approaches to the worship of the Hindu devatas indistinguishable to the approaches of Vajrayana.
None of my teachers have insisted that I halt my Hindu sadhana or felt that I was damaging my refuge vow. I think that is a matter for discussion with one's refuge lama.
That's interesting Karma Dorje. I feel like we may have brushed up against this issue peripherally in other topics but I am more than a bit curious now. I have a hard time imagining how it is possible to worship Vishnu , or Krishna for instance and not outright be contradicting one's refuge vow. Most elements of that belief system and practice fall into Eternalist views. If you can explain how it is possible not to fall into an Eternalist frame of reference when practicing that way I would be quite interested. I have personally in the course of my life found it necessary to drop prior spiritual practices to fully commit to my Buddhist practice for this reason. I am not putting forth judgement so don't take it that way, I am just genuinely interested to hear your take on it.
Well, I went to a Hindu Saraswati puja a couple of nights ago so that I could understand more of the similarities and differences. It was really lovely, and seemed to run like I imagine a Buddhist sadhana practice from the outer tantras would be, and had some very similar symbolism to a Buddhst Saraswati practice. I say "I imagine" because I have never been to a puja from the outer tantras, so I don't really know. I would argue that for me the practice was a Buddhist one, or because I hold a Buddhist frame of reference. The people around me, eyes closed, palms up, seemed to be seeking rapture.
Mipham said the view of the Kriyayogatantra :
"in absolute truth all phenomena; existants are equal in the indivisible nature of the two truths; appearances and emptiness. But, in relative truth, it views the yidams as lords, who are free from faults, are perfect in all the virtues, are the manifestation of the clarity of the ultimate sphere as the form of the primordial wisdom and who grants the temporary and final attainments. .. Oneself as the devotee to be blessed, as one who has still not reached the goal and who has coverings. .... in absolute truth all are equal and in relative truth the interdependent causation is incontrovertible. ... The view is to believe that through practicing and accepting all (phenomena) as signs of the body, speech and mind of the deities themselves, for the time being one achieves the power of numerous activities, and finally one attains the essence of the deities itself."
So, I don't really understand this kind of language, but it seems that if one wants to do Kriyayoga practice as such one remembers the view of the inseparability absolute and relative truth, while simultaneously exerting oneself at an elaborate sattvic practice, as though it was really really true. No wonder hardly anyone specializes in these practices in Vajrayana Buddhism anymore... for most of us this would be wicked confusing!
So, you are right Karme, only a wisdom lama can determine who to accept as a disciple and what to advise them about their practices. I think it would be pretty easy to make Chenresi another god in the Hindu pantheon, if if hasn't already been done. Would it be of some benefit, sure! But, would bring the same fruition of Buddhist Vajrayana? I kind of think it would be a different fruit?