Jetsun Taranatha

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Jetsun Taranatha

Postby Karma Jinpa » Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:02 pm

Recently read that not only was Taranatha one of the closest disciples of the 9th Karmapa, Wangchuk Dorje, but that he also wrote about the histories of several tantras. I know some of what he penned about the Tara tantras wound up in Martin Willson's In Praise of Tara: Songs to the Saviouress, but does anyone know where his history of the Yamantaka tantras can be found?

For that matter, does anyone know what lineage(s) of Yamantaka were held by Jetsun Taranatha, and which are in Jonang? He practiced Kamtsang, Shangpa, and Jonang, so I'm all ears.

:popcorn:
"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, it happens that a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་རཱ་ག་ཨ་སྱ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།
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Re: Jetsun Taranatha

Postby Malcolm » Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:21 pm

Karma Jinpa wrote:Recently read that not only was Taranatha one of the closest disciples of the 9th Karmapa, Wangchuk Dorje, but that he also wrote about the histories of several tantras. I know some of what he penned about the Tara tantras wound up in Martin Willson's In Praise of Tara: Songs to the Saviouress, but does anyone know where his history of the Yamantaka tantras can be found?

For that matter, does anyone know what lineage(s) of Yamantaka were held by Jetsun Taranatha, and which are in Jonang? He practiced Kamtsang, Shangpa, and Jonang, so I'm all ears.

:popcorn:



As a Jonangpa, he probably practiced Varjabhairava on the Rwa Lotsawa tradition, generally avoided by Kagyus because Rwa Lotsawa claimed he had ritually murdered Marpa's son.
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Re: Jetsun Taranatha

Postby smcj » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:20 pm

...because Rwa Lotsawa claimed he had ritually murdered Marpa's son.

By "ritually murdered" I assume you mean he tried casting a spell, and then when Marpa's son died he claimed credit, if I may be allowed to use non-technical terms.
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Re: Jetsun Taranatha

Postby conebeckham » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:59 pm

Taranatha was actually a Lam Dre/Sakyapa practitioner as well...in fact, the Jonang sprung to a great degree from the Sakyas, at least in terms of Tantric lineages. Also a holder of various Yamantaka lineages....his family lineage is actually directly from Ra Lotsawa Dorje Drak. In fact, he was the holder of a huge number of transmissions, chiefly from his main guru, Buddhaguptanatha, who came to Tibet from India.
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Re: Jetsun Taranatha

Postby conebeckham » Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:17 pm

Something else tangential....it's said that the "spells" Milarepa used, prior to his "reformation," to rain down death and destuction on his village, related to Yamantaka, as well.
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Re: Jetsun Taranatha

Postby smcj » Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:26 pm

:jawdrop:
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Re: Jetsun Taranatha

Postby Karma Jinpa » Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:20 pm

conebeckham wrote:Something else tangential....it's said that the "spells" Milarepa used, prior to his "reformation," to rain down death and destuction on his village, related to Yamantaka, as well.


That's something I've never heard before, Cone. Was it maybe a practice related to one of the worldly, unenlightened protectors in his Mandala?

Find it hard to believe Manjushri would be ok with killing via black magic, but then again, the fear of karmic retribution from those actions is what led Milarepa onto the path; the catalyst for him to become the greatest yogi in Tibetan history...

If it *was* the yidam, that's a whole new level of skillful means! :stirthepot:
"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, it happens that a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་རཱ་ག་ཨ་སྱ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།
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Re: Jetsun Taranatha

Postby untxi » Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:37 pm

As I know the story, Marpa's son was mocking Bhairava as a yidam because it has an animal's head. In truth Bhairava has the buffalo head as a trophy from conquering Yama... but anyway... Marpa's son is mouthing off about Bhairava-Yamantaka line this, and Ra, realizing this is creating negative associations for others, liberates him. Marpa's son is an adept so he transfers.consciousness to another body.
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Re: Jetsun Taranatha

Postby smcj » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:08 pm

Taking this thread even farther afield:
Marpa's son is an adept so he transfers.consciousness to another body.

This practice, which we still have the sadhana for, evidently caused a lot of problems. So it was decided to allow the practice to die out. No empowerment was given to the next generation, so the practice became inert, dead. You can get the text, and do the sadhana, but since there is no lineage empowerment available, you'd just be wasting your time. Nobody today can make it work anymore.

Something to think about when the lineage/empowerment deniers are posting.

:focus:
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Re: Jetsun Taranatha

Postby Malcolm » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:14 pm

smcj wrote:Taking this thread even farther afield:
Marpa's son is an adept so he transfers.consciousness to another body.

This practice, which we still have the sadhana for, evidently caused a lot of problems. So it was decided to allow the practice to die out. No empowerment was given to the next generation, so the practice became inert, dead. You can get the text, and do the sadhana, but since there is no lineage empowerment available, you'd just be wasting your time. Nobody today can make it work anymore.


grong 'jug practices still exist in Nyingma with uninterrupted transmissions.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: Jetsun Taranatha

Postby smcj » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:19 pm

Malcolm wrote:
smcj wrote:Taking this thread even farther afield:
Marpa's son is an adept so he transfers.consciousness to another body.

This practice, which we still have the sadhana for, evidently caused a lot of problems. So it was decided to allow the practice to die out. No empowerment was given to the next generation, so the practice became inert, dead. You can get the text, and do the sadhana, but since there is no lineage empowerment available, you'd just be wasting your time. Nobody today can make it work anymore.


grong 'jug practices still exist in Nyingma with uninterrupted transmissions.

Well, that's certainly not mentioned in the Kagyu histories!
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Re: Jetsun Taranatha

Postby dzogchungpa » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:23 pm

Malcolm wrote:grong 'jug practices still exist in Nyingma with uninterrupted transmissions.

Good to know, that could come in handy some day.
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Re: Jetsun Taranatha

Postby Malcolm » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:25 pm

smcj wrote:Well, that's certainly not mentioned in the Kagyu histories!


Not only that, but they exist in Sakya Lam 'bras as well.
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Re: Jetsun Taranatha

Postby Konchog1 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:01 am

Ra Lotsawa's point of view:
When they were staying in Ngamong Chushul, Darma Dodé, who was the venerable Marpa’s son, came to the Dharma teachings. Ralo made him an excellent offering of five ounces of gold, five hundred loads of grain, and so on. Darma Dodé thought to himself, “If I could make this Ra Lotsawa become my pupil because all people high and low believe in him, my activity will definitely become vast.” He asked Ralo, “Ra Lotsawa, who do you consider your guru, and what kind of teachings do you know?”

Ralo said, “My teachers are Bharo and Meñjidvīpa. My teachings I know are called the oral lineage of Ra’s instructions.”

Darma Dodé said, “The real teachings are those of my father. His guru was mahapandita Nāropa. Your guru Bharo is a non-Buddhist yogin. Your yidam is in the form of an animal. Your guardian is the Mara Yama. That kind of Dharma is a cuase for rebirth in the lower realms. What you should do is enter my father’s Dharma. I have the profound Hevajra. I have the quintessential Mahāmāya. I have the ultimate essence, Cakrasamvara. I have the Guhyasamāja, which is as vast as space. I have Chatuhpita, which is the king of tantras.”

Ralo replied, “That is truly wonderful, but here is the reason why my teachings are superior to all those. Guhysamaja has the instructions on illusory body and luminosity, but does not have the essential rpoofound teaching of chandali’s blazing and dripping. The mother tantra’s Chakrasamvara does not have the enhancement of the vast methods of the father tantra. Hevajra does not the the precious six Dharmas or the necessary four Dharmas. Mahāmaya does not have the obstacle-eliminating yantra. Catuhpita does not have the three adoptions onto the path. All of them do not have the practice of the peaceful and wrathful deities. They do not have the activity practices of the faces, insignias, and so on. As this teaching of mine has them all, it is superior. Moreover, the tantra states:

The wrathful deities drop their weapons
When they see glorious Vajrabhairava.

And therefore teaches that Vajrabhairava’s power overwhelms all other wrathful deities. There is an activity practice for each of his faces and insignias, which is not to be found in any other tantra. The guardian of this teaching is the ruler over the lives of all beings in the three realms, who knows what is good and bad, can distinguish between truth and lies, therefore what greater guardian could one need?”

This answer displeased Darma Dodé, who said,” It’s not right for you to say that your Nepalese non-Buddhist Dharma is superior to the Dharma that my father translated after receiving it from an Indian Pandita. I am a Hevajra siddha. I am completely confident in relation to you, so we will compete to see who is more powerful, and I will wipe out every single Dharma teaching you have translated.”

Darma Dodé then then went on retreat for a month practicing the sorcery that is taught in the Hevajra root tantra. When he directed the power of the sorcery, Lama Ralo and his pupils were traveling down a track that led into a valley, and one of the attendants fell off his horse and was killed. Then a tempest arose and Ralo became concerned, and thought that it would not be right not to answer this kind of harm, but the omens are that his passing into the next world is a long time away.

Then Ralo went up to Enmar again, and while he was staying there, one night he had a vision in a state of luminosity, and saw that the Dharma teachings he had translated would cease to exist if he did not kill Darma Dodé. He summoned the protector and his retinue who appeared in his presence. He told them, “Go and take Darma Dodé’s life." Instantly they transformed into a dust storm that went off in the direction of Lhodrak. In a little while the protector brought a human heart that he had put into his skull bowl and cut open with his curved knife, and said, “He is a good being who is a holder of the teachings, but his arrognce would be harmful to your lineage, and so I have brought you his life. Now perform the wrathful fire-offering.” Then the protector disappeared.

When Ralo performed the fire-offering, there were many marvels, such as the flames taking on the shapes of various weapons, and the smoke had the aroma of burning human flesh.

The next day, Darma Dode was thrown by his horse and killed, his consciousness being ejected into the heart of Mañjuśrī.


Next Ra Lotsawa excuses his killing with a teaching on Mahamudra (!)

Marpa Sönam Rinchen, who was a relative of Lord Marpa came to see Ralo and said, “What greater bad karma is there than this slaying you have accomplished?”
Ralo replied, “You don’t understand a key meaning of the profound mantrayana. All of this becomes an aid to me.” And then Ralo sang him this song:

The primordial, naturally present nature
This unfabricated, self-arising wisdom,
Has no shape or color that can be identified.
It is beyond thought or words, good or bad.

All beings, who are deluded
Not realizing that everything is like that,
Cause knowledge to be obscured
And experience all kinds of appearance, happiness and suffering.

They do not know that these appearances are their own delusions
And believe in the reality of the habitual tendency of perceiving good and bad.
As everything appears to be solidly real, they are attached to this life,
And believe in the duality of self and others, friends and enemies.

In order to overcome that, the Buddha taught
Eighty four thousand Dharmas
But beings, under the power of ignorance,
Won’t listen to methods that will help them.

They malign the swift path of profound instructions
And declare them to be heretical.
Which will cause them to wander in the lower existences
And to forever go round in the cycle of birth and death.
Continuously experiencing unendurable suffering.

There is no other method that can free them,
So I, with overwhelming compassion,
Summon ignorant, deluded beings
Into the triangular pit of the essence of phenomena.

With the sharp weapon of wisdom and knowledge
I chop up their cherished aggregate of physical form
So that they know the illusory nature of composite phenomena
And purify them of believing in the solidity of appearances.

With the weapon of limitless compassion,
I slay the duality of you and me
So that attachment and aversion, subject and object, naturally vanish
And the five poisons are transformed into the five wisdoms.

With the self-arising weapon of knowledge
I slay ignorance, the obscuration of knowledge,
And their own, unfabricated, true face appears to them,
And they are purified of fixation on illusory appearance, on happiness and suffering.

In order that those slain enemies and obstructers
Are liberated from the chains of belief in reality
Their ultimate true nature manifests to them
And they reach the invincible level of the Dharmakaya.
From that state, in order to benefit other
They arise with the major and secondary signs and benefit beings.

I draw in the life and merit of
The forms of ignorance and illusory appearances
I extend the life and increase the merit of yogins
Merely as the illusory relative truth

The body of tendencies and karmic results
Is blessed as wisdom amrita
And fed to the mouths of the mandala deities
Which destroys the the peg that fastens down samsara and its materiality.

This is a good result for me, good for others, good for both.
It is the swift path of profound skilful methods.

This escorts to the level of buddhahood
All the beings who continually perform bad acts
And who will not listen to the Dharma.
This is my, Ralo’s, special Dharma.

Without doing long life practices or methods to avoid death,
Without gathering ransoming lives, or gathering the accumulations
Life and merit is increased through slaying by sorcery
That is my, Ralo’s, special Dharma.

The five poisons are primordially pure.
Without needing to make efforts in meditation that stops them,
Whatever arises are cultivated and liberated
That is my, Ralo’s, special Dharma.

Meditation on the unfabricated natural meaning
Its own power manifesting as deities without hindrance,
Emptiness not preventing appearances,
That is my, Ralo’s, special Dharma.

Through meditation on appearances and emptiness as deities
One knows that their essence has no existence, is empty.
Appearances does not prevent emptiness.
That is my, Ralo’s, special Dharma.

Marpa Sönam Rinchen, developed faith in Ralo on hearing this, and asked Ralo to forgive him for having had a mistaken view. He became a follower of Ralo’s, received his empowerment and instructions and became a siddha. Subsequently, he benefited many beings and departed to the celestial realms.
This is of course Ra Lotsawa's pov. Darma Dode would have had a different explanation of events.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Jetsun Taranatha

Postby invisiblediamond » Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:45 am

Malcolm wrote:
smcj wrote:Taking this thread even farther afield:
Marpa's son is an adept so he transfers.consciousness to another body.

This practice, which we still have the sadhana for, evidently caused a lot of problems. So it was decided to allow the practice to die out. No empowerment was given to the next generation, so the practice became inert, dead. You can get the text, and do the sadhana, but since there is no lineage empowerment available, you'd just be wasting your time. Nobody today can make it work anymore.


grong 'jug practices still exist in Nyingma with uninterrupted transmissions.


Where can I find such a teacher?
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Re: Jetsun Taranatha

Postby smcj » Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:41 am

This has got to be in the top 10 list for quickest and furthest off-topic a thread has gone.
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Re: Jetsun Taranatha

Postby Karma Jinpa » Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:04 am

smcj wrote:This has got to be in the top 10 list for quickest and furthest off-topic a thread has gone.


An interesting and intensely fascinating detour, nonetheless.

Does anyone know if there's an English translation of Taranatha's History of the Yamantaka Tantras? If so, is there an electronic version?
"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, it happens that a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་རཱ་ག་ཨ་སྱ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།
ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།


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Re: Jetsun Taranatha

Postby johninman » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:01 pm

One can easily see why Dharma masters outside of tantric traditions disparage the Tantra and its followers.His Holiness,the Dalai Lama has made comments about the misuse of 'lower activities'[buddhist against buddhist]in Tibet to be one of the karmic reasons for the recent and terrible history there.
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Re: Jetsun Taranatha

Postby dzogchungpa » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:57 pm

johninman wrote:One can easily see why Dharma masters outside of tantric traditions disparage the Tantra and its followers.His Holiness,the Dalai Lama has made comments about the misuse of 'lower activities'[buddhist against buddhist]in Tibet to be one of the karmic reasons for the recent and terrible history there.

I wonder what the other karmic reasons were?
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Re: Jetsun Taranatha

Postby Jikan » Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:17 pm

johninman wrote:One can easily see why Dharma masters outside of tantric traditions disparage the Tantra and its followers.His Holiness,the Dalai Lama has made comments about the misuse of 'lower activities'[buddhist against buddhist]in Tibet to be one of the karmic reasons for the recent and terrible history there.


Can you give an example of such polemic by a Dharma master outside a tantric tradition?
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