Sanskrit for nonmeditation

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Re: Sanskrit for nonmeditation

Postby asunthatneversets » Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:27 am

Non-meditation in sanskrit would be sahaja samadhi, which is spontaneous and effortless abiding in the natural state.

Non-meditation is a specific level of non-regressive abiding (in absorption) which transcends sessions and breaks between meditation sessions. So it's more than simply the opposite of meditation, which is what the negative sanskrit prefixes of 'a', 'ni', 'na' etc., would represent. Instead of a lack of meditation (or the absence of meditation), non-meditation is effortless meditation. Sahaja samadhi represents that state and is a fitting term in my opinion. But I'm no expert!
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Re: Sanskrit for nonmeditation

Postby Huifeng » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:18 am

Hmmm..., but "sahaja samadhi" (or derivatives) simply does not mean "non-meditation". It could be translated as something like "together-born meditation" (in an overly literal sense), or maybe even "inborn meditation" or "innate meditation" (a closer cognate) in certain contexts. But that doesn't sound much like "non-meditation" at all, at least to me.

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Re: Sanskrit for nonmeditation

Postby asunthatneversets » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:02 pm

Huifeng wrote:Hmmm..., but "sahaja samadhi" (or derivatives) simply does not mean "non-meditation". It could be translated as something like "together-born meditation" (in an overly literal sense), or maybe even "inborn meditation" or "innate meditation" (a closer cognate) in certain contexts. But that doesn't sound much like "non-meditation" at all, at least to me.

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Sahaja would be 'natural', 'spontaneous', 'innate' or 'inborn' as you suggested, all of which correlates with non-meditation. Non-meditation is stable, natural and effortless absorption i.e. contemplation [skt. samadhi, tib. ting dzin].

Sahaja wouldn't be a literal translation, but would be an accurate translation as far as context and meaning goes. The literal translation of 'non-meditation' would most likely result in a term which negates meditation, however 'non-meditation' isn't a term which is negating meditation, it is a way to convey that meditation has become 'natural', 'spontaneous', 'innate' or 'inborn'.

If a literal translation is sought, it seems the true meaning/context of 'non-meditation' would be lost, so while 'sahaja' isn't an exact, literal translation, it does represent what 'non-meditation' is intended to communicate.
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Re: Sanskrit for nonmeditation

Postby Huifeng » Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:42 am

I would suggest that some serious reconsideration of the term(s) in English would go a long way...

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Re: Sanskrit for nonmeditation

Postby Aemilius » Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:03 am

I recall that Herbert Guenther has in some his early books, possibly the one about Naropa, given the Four Yogas of Mahamudra in sanskrit. Anyway there are a lot of buddhist sanskrit sadhanas, gathas, tantras and and their commentaries in existence: sadhana collections Nishapannayogavali and Sadhanamala, tantras such as Hevajra and its commentary Yogaratnamala, etc..

Wikipedia gives the four yogas of mahamudra in sanskrit thus:
1. One-pointedness; ekAgra
2. Simplicity; nishprapAncha
3. One taste; samarasa
4. Non-meditation; abhAvanA
(A = long a)
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Re: Sanskrit for nonmeditation

Postby zenman » Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:18 pm

The term of non-meditation came across to me in a book of Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and so the question. The book, Fearless Simplicity, doesn't tell what is the Sanskrit original. Tsoknyi Rinpoche is from the dzogchen-tradition. Perhaps this will help to say what is the right term in the sense how Rinpoche describes this state.

Btw, is sahaja samadhi used in Buddhism? I've heard it be used only in Hindu yoga.
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Re: Sanskrit for nonmeditation

Postby dzogchungpa » Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:14 pm

There's little doubt that TR is referring to 'sgom med'. I do think 'abhAvana(A)' is about as close as you are likely to get in Sanskrit. I have not heard 'sahaja samadhi' being used in a Buddhist context.
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: Sanskrit for nonmeditation

Postby Aemilius » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:52 am

Sahaja is an important concept in Mahamudra, often translated as coemergent. It appears for example in the Songs of Saraha.It would be astonishing if the word non-meditation doesn't exist in the sanskrit gathas of Saraha and other Siddhas. Thomas Cleary has translated a bengali language collection of gaathaas of buddhist Siddhas.
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Re: Sanskrit for nonmeditation

Postby zenman » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:25 pm

I remember that in the book Tantric Treasures which partly deales with Saraha, the author said that at times it is difficult to know whether siddhas such as Saraha and others have been buddhists, hindus or something else.
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Re: Sanskrit for nonmeditation

Postby dzogchungpa » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:31 pm

I believe that 'sahaja' corresponds to 'lhan skyes' in Tibetan, and is an important term in Tibetan Buddhism, but I have never heard of 'sahaja samadhi' being used in a buddhist context.
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: Sanskrit for nonmeditation

Postby Aemilius » Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:56 am

zenman wrote:I remember that in the book Tantric Treasures which partly deales with Saraha, the author said that at times it is difficult to know whether siddhas such as Saraha and others have been buddhists, hindus or something else.


There is a good book about buddhist siddhas in India by Keith Dowman: Masters of Mahamudra, it is worth reading. The thing is that some of the buddhist siddhas were adopted by different hindu/nonbuddhist siddha-lineages. This is one of the themes that Keith Dowman discusses at length in his book.

You can find mention, for example, of Gorakhnath in modern hindu tantra yoga movements. There are books about Gorakhnath or Goraksha in english. In one of the preserved songs of Goraksha, in the hindu tradition, he mentions Shunyata, this word has now been translated as "purity".

Buddhist tantrism survived in India atleast till 1500's, David Templeman has translated books that come from this late period of buddhist tantrism in India, and the article: Buddhaguptanatha and the Late Survival of Siddha Tradition in India.

David Tampleman: Taranatha's Life of Krishnacarya/Kanha
David Templeman & Jonang Taranatha: The Seven Instruction Lineages. This book is about buddhist tantric lineages in India.
David Templeman & Jonang Taranatha: The Origin of Tara Tantra
http://www.keithdowman.net/books/mm.htm
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Re: Sanskrit for nonmeditation

Postby zenman » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:30 am

Aemilius wrote:There is a good book about buddhist siddhas in India by Keith Dowman: Masters of Mahamudra, it is worth reading. The thing is that some of the buddhist siddhas were adopted by different hindu/nonbuddhist siddha-lineages. This is one of the themes that Keith Dowman discusses at length in his book.

You can find mention, for example, of Gorakhnath in modern hindu tantra yoga movements. There are books about Gorakhnath or Goraksha in english. In one of the preserved songs of Goraksha, in the hindu tradition, he mentions Shunyata, this word has now been translated as "purity".


What do you mean by buddhists siddhas being adopted by hindus or other sects? Adding their names to lineage charts or what?

So does the book say that Goraksha was a buddhist who was somehow taken to be a hindu and his teachings were interpreted according to hindu philosophy and not according to a buddhist philosphy which makes his texts warped? I remember a friend once telling me when reading some book of Goraksha that it just doesn't make sense, perhaps this is why.
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Re: Sanskrit for nonmeditation

Postby Anders » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:41 am

Huifeng wrote:
zenman wrote:Does anyone know the Sanskrit word for non-meditation?


Quite possibly there is no actual word for such a thing. Or, it may not be a word, but a phrase. Unless one can be sure that this originally comes from an actual Sanskrit source. Otherwise you may just be creating a neologism. Not necessarily a bad thing, but needs to be acknowledged for what it is.

~~ Huifeng


In Nagarjuna's Upadesha we have the 'absence of practise' which might come close:

"The noble practice consists of practicing the absence of all practice. Why? Because during all noble practice, one never departs from the three gates of liberation."
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Sanskrit for nonmeditation

Postby Aemilius » Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:58 am

zenman wrote:
Aemilius wrote:There is a good book about buddhist siddhas in India by Keith Dowman: Masters of Mahamudra, it is worth reading. The thing is that some of the buddhist siddhas were adopted by different hindu/nonbuddhist siddha-lineages. This is one of the themes that Keith Dowman discusses at length in his book.

You can find mention, for example, of Gorakhnath in modern hindu tantra yoga movements. There are books about Gorakhnath or Goraksha in english. In one of the preserved songs of Goraksha, in the hindu tradition, he mentions Shunyata, this word has now been translated as "purity".


What do you mean by buddhists siddhas being adopted by hindus or other sects? Adding their names to lineage charts or what?

So does the book say that Goraksha was a buddhist who was somehow taken to be a hindu and his teachings were interpreted according to hindu philosophy and not according to a buddhist philosphy which makes his texts warped? I remember a friend once telling me when reading some book of Goraksha that it just doesn't make sense, perhaps this is why.


It is clear from the buddhist sources, like the ones that have been translated bu David Templeman, that Buddhism existed as an organisation, as a distinct identity, in India at the time of Buddhaguptanath, ie in 1500's. There is a difference between buddhism and hindu tantrism, as regards doctrine and as regards the principles in the religious social organisation that is called Sangha.
In modern european theistic society it happens that a person has been a buddhist and an atheist for the whole of his adult life, but when he dies his relatives arrange a theistic funeral for him!
In a similar fashion it is just plain evident that when buddhism ceased to exist in India as a religous movement that could defend itself, the hindus could decide anything they wanted about the buddhists that they decided to keep.

The fact is that same persons exist in the buddhist siddha lineages, these you can find in Keith Dowman's books and on his website, and in hindu nath yogi and some other hindu lineages. If You didn't know, the hindus also adopted Buddha Gautama Shakyamuni at some point, they declared him to be an Avatar of Vishnu!

In Europe (and world wide) we have the case of Baden-Powell, the founder of Scout movement: He hated religion in his youth, and escaped from the school during the lessons of theistic religion. It has been said that he never uttered the word that means "supreme spirit". During my time I have seen how the wikipedia article about Baden-Powell has been changed from a purely atheist themed biography to a theistic one! What can You do, if You are dead yourself? 'Evidence' can easily be forged, when the stakes are high.
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Re: Sanskrit for nonmeditation

Postby zenman » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:05 am

Ok, I see.
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Re: Sanskrit for nonmeditation

Postby zenman » Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:24 pm

Aemilius wrote:The fact is that same persons exist in the buddhist siddha lineages, these you can find in Keith Dowman's books and on his website, and in hindu nath yogi and some other hindu lineages. If You didn't know, the hindus also adopted Buddha Gautama Shakyamuni at some point, they declared him to be an Avatar of Vishnu!

...What can You do, if You are dead yourself? 'Evidence' can easily be forged, when the stakes are high.


My intention is not to take an opposition and start arguing on this matter but to speak out my own view. I have had a direct and clear experience of Shakyamuni Buddha in meditation which has given me personal clarity on the subject. Therefore I am not merely saying what I've been told by others or what the history books say. I do not ask anyone to base their view on what I say. I am not claiming that he was hindu. Clearly he taught a distinct doctrine which has become what we now call buddhism. I do not know how vajrayana buddhism views Shakyamuni, whether he is seen as something similar as hindus see their avatars, you know, an embodiment of complete freedom, for a lack of a better description. Sometimes I've seen Buddha to be said an ordinary guy who after a series of experiences, started to question his existence and later came to awakening and then started his teaching mission. Certainly his life or legend can be viewed like this but I have a reason to believe that he was not unlike masters such as the greatest of the nathas and siddhas. By saying this I mean that in my experience, he was and still is a great siddha of a larger group of masters who guide the humanity as a whole. Sometimes these masters incarnate to start a mission, bring out some specific teachings and ways of cultivation which are beneficial for the mankind. It is only inevitable that such teachings in time, come to take their own distinct forms, rituals and doctrinal nuances. We can see this has taken place for example in buddhism, christianity and taoism. Anyway, I wanted to say this aloud and underline that any great master that has ever lived is not dead. Bodies come and bodies go but masters like Shakyamuni Buddha are ever very much available to us through attuning to them consciously. I do not mean that by meditating Buddha one should try to establish a connection with him like with a physically living person to be able to conversate and talk with him (or some other master) and like this bring out the true words of the Buddha to finally settle down the dispute about who he was, what he taught, whether has was a hindu or whatever. No. I am saying that it is very beneficial to our understanding to get some personal experience of the company of a master such as the Buddha and feel their presence in our own physical bones and marrow. In my experience meditating the company of a such spiritual master, is the smartest thing we can do.

Thank you.
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