Pema Rigdzin wrote:Holy crap, Ron. Seriously, are you even READING my posts? You keep repeating my own point to me as if it's yours.
Let me try one last time, AND PLEASE READ THIS VERY CAREFULLY FROM BEGINNING TO END because it should clear this matter up for you:
I have already established that WITHIN TIBETAN VAJRAYANA, there is a white sangha of lay yogis (to which I myself belong). I have further established that this IS A PHENOMENON UNIQUE TO TIBETAN VAJRAYANA.
Yes, IN TIBETAN VAJRAYANA, particularly in the Nyingma tradition that I myself practice, THERE IS A LAY SANGHA. The receipt of TANTRIC EMPOWERMENT and VOWS is what makes one part of that sangha.
EVERYWHERE ELSE, where they do not practice anuttarayoga tantra or have tantric vows, they practice SUTRA and follow the VINAYA, not anuttarayoga tantras.
Where do we get terminology such as the word sangha? We get it from the VINAYA, originally established by the BUDDHA.
What spells out the vows of monks, nuns, and lay Buddhists? The VINAYA.
Who does the VINAYA say belongs to the "sangha?" Monks and nuns and aryas.
Does it really matter whether non-arya lay people are considered "sangha" or not in NON-VAJRAYANA traditions? It doesn't affect their ability to achieve liberation one bit.
Up to this point you are 100% correct.
So to recapitulate this: if you're a layperson who practices highest yoga tantra in a Tibetan lineage, you have anuttarayoga tantric vows and are therefore considered by that tradition to be part of the sangha.
This may be true for the Nyingma tradition but for the others - especially the Gelug but I think Sakya and Kagyu as well - sangha means what it has always meant: monks and nuns who hold Vinaya precepts.