Re Mipham's Tashi Tsikpa

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Re: Re Mipham's Tashi Tsikpa

Postby conebeckham » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:28 am

I am of the non-expert opinion that Chakrasamvara is not included here, at least not in explicit form. All these deities are red, really, or are at least strongly associated with the Pema family and with "magnetizing." Varahi isn't "Pema family," but she's most certainly recognized for Power-gathering or magnetizing functions or qualities, amongst other things. I think the phrase "Demchog" means "Supreme Bliss," and not specifically the name of "Khorlo Dompa," "Khorlo Demchok," etc.

In the lineage prayer for Chogling Sangtik Phurba, for example, I read "demchok" in connection with the "Benzra Heruka," but it's clear the reference is to Yangdak Heruka, specifically, if one knows about the cycle of Sangtik Khor Sum.

Of course, the major Yidams of HYT in Sarma are really all-encompassing...all Buddha Families are implicitly there, and sometimes explicitly as well. And the real identity of Khorlo Dompa is truly Immutable Supreme Bliss...but I'll go on record as disagreeing with the translation that includes "Cakrasamvara" by name. Other deities can certainly be of the same ultimate identity--in fact, in some sense they all are.

Always willing to be proven wrong, though!
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Re: Re Mipham's Tashi Tsikpa

Postby ngodrup » Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:23 am

I think the thing to do is ask one of Khenpo Jigpun's disciples.
Three I can think of in the Bay Area, Lama Drimed,
Khenpo Orgyen Thrinley and Tulku Jigme Wangrak.

Lama Drime's translation of the line is only three
deites: Chakrasamvara, Dope Gyalpo and Lha Chen.
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Re: Re Mipham's Tashi Tsikpa

Postby pemachophel » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:02 pm

The author of the following Wiki page, [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3ACakrasaṃvara_Tantra[/url], says that Chakrasamvara is a form of Shiva. I don't know who the author is and there is no supporting references. However, I Googled "Chakrasamvara + Shiva" thinking that Shiva might be considered an emanation of Chakrasamvara and that is why the epithet "Dem-chog." (This hunch is how I got to the afore-mentioned Wiki page.) This would confirm as well that the ninth Deity is Shiva or Mahadeva/Lhachen and not Takkiraja.

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Re: Re Mipham's Tashi Tsikpa

Postby ngodrup » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:36 pm

If you read the Chakrasamvara tantra, you may well get the idea that Shri Heruka is
in fact Shiva. But Lha Chen is considered to be a protector among Nyingmapas--
many recite a short daily prayer to Lha Chen by Mipham ( Hri. Si Sum Wang Ze
Wang Gyi Lha Chen Po...) as part of the daily Dharmapala section.
Lha Chen is quite separate, and he is depicted with consort.

As an aside, we also commonly honor Ganesh and Vishnu as protectors.
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Re: Re Mipham's Tashi Tsikpa

Postby conebeckham » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:43 pm

Cakrasamvara is not exactly Shiva. Academics may say they are equivalent, but this is not a correct understanding according to the many Tibetan lineages of Cakrasamvara practice. It's more nuanced, even from a strictly "academic/historical" view. Looked at historically, CakrasamvaraTantras as texts arose out of Saivite roots. Of course, looked at from within the Buddhist Tantric traditions, Sakyamuni manifested as Cakrasamvara and taught the tantras. Some commentators have pointed out that, at the time these texts and practices arose, there was not such differentiation between, for example, Naths and Buddhist Tantrikas.

In fact, Shiva, in his form as Bhairava, is underneath the foot of Cakrasamvara. Of all the Sarma HYT deities, it is said that Samvara did not "dissolve" but remained in the world (on Mt. Kailash) and will do so eternally. Saivites and other "Hindu" practitioners may find this offensive, but one of the central ideas of Cakrasamvara's appearance is to dispel and subdue the destructive elements of Siva. This has to be understood esoterically. Cakrasamvara is essentially immutable Great Bliss. As it is understood and practiced today, Cakrasamvara is most certainly NOT Siva.
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Re: Re Mipham's Tashi Tsikpa

Postby pemachophel » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:49 pm

Agreed, Chakrasamvara is not Shiva, but is Shiva an emanation of Chakrasamvara? I'm just wondering if this is the reason Ju Mipham used the epithet "Dem-chog." If Shiva is an emanation of Chakrasamvara, then this would be a neat poetic construction.

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Re: Re Mipham's Tashi Tsikpa

Postby conebeckham » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:59 pm

According to academic scholars, Cakrasamvara Tantras, and thus the practices relating to them, arose out of a milieu which was "Saivite." But at that time, based on what I've read, the delineations between "Buddhist" and "Non-Buddhist" yogins and yoginis was somewhat fluid. Historically, I think an academic interpretation is that Cakrasamvara was a late textual development arising from Saivite norms or whatever. In other words, Siva came first.

According to all the Cakrasamvara lineages I've enountered in reading and practice, Siva is NOT an emanation of Cakrasamvara. In fact, Cakrasamvara is an emanation of Buddha, as upaya to subjugate Siva.

I maintain that "DemChog" merely means "Supreme Bliss" in this context, and has nothing to do with the deity, or practices of, Cakrasamvara.

You can find the words "Demchog" in many place in the tantric literature of both the Sarma and Nyingma schools. I would venture a guess that much or even most of the time, Cakrasamvara is not the referent for these words.
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Re: Re Mipham's Tashi Tsikpa

Postby ngodrup » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:07 am

Which brings us back to Lha Chen -- one of the deities mentioned in the text--
is the protector Shiva, not synonymous with or even directly related with
the yidam Shri Heruka. Lha Chen, BTW, is red and depicted as standing with his
consort but not in union with her. He is very clearly a protector centered on
the red activity of power and magnetizing.
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