Significance of Dharma Names

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Significance of Dharma Names

Postby Karma Jinpa » Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:58 pm

Was wondering if anyone knows the traditional significance of the various types of Dharma names (given during Refuge, Bodhisattva vows, etc.)?

Also would be interested in others' personal experience as to what their names mean, though obviously I'm not asking for anyone to share their names if they're not comfortable with doing so.

The reason I ask is that I have several Refuge names and a Bodhisattva name, and am curious about such things being both a lowly practitioner and a lover of languages. My daughter actually received her first Dharma name before she was even born or named anything in English :)

In particular, I'd like to know if the name given by your teacher can be seen as an indicator of what you should make your main practice, since I was recently surprised to find that one of mine resonates particularly well with the Chöd Lüjin sadhana practiced in Karma Kagyu...

:thanks:

:popcorn: :coffee:
"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: Significance of Dharma Names

Postby KonchokZoepa » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:30 pm

i actually have two refuge names

first was given when i took refuge and this name and refuge was given by Rabsang Tulku Rinpoche. and it was konchok zoepa, meaning rare and precious patience. i think it was an indicator what quality would prove the most liberating in my life situations and dharma practice. and what virtuous quality is the most important for me to cultivate and master. and this is very accurate, though im not very good being patient in its Dharmic sense.

the second name was given last summer when i took some vow's from HH Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche and this was konchok dorje. and i think this was to give me the diligence to be vajralike or indestructible holding my vow's.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Significance of Dharma Names

Postby Karma Jinpa » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:47 pm

While Refuge isn't sectarian (i.e. taken in a certain lineage only), there do seem to be naming conventions for taking refuge with lamas within certain lineages.

For instance, the first element in Refuge names given by Drikung Kagyupas is almost always Könchog, which is likely a reflection of the lineage founder's Sanskrit name. Lord Jigten Sumgön was known as Ratnashri, and Könchog is the Tibetan word for Ratna. So, in a way this symbolizes that one took Refuge with a lama in Ratnashri's tradition.

The same is true of Karma Kagyupas. Most Kamtsang lamas give Karma as the first element of one's Refuge name, symbolizing that Refuge was taken with a lama following the tradition of Karmapa.

Incidentally, Könchog is the term used when referring to the Three Jewels, and Karma means enlightened activity. Perhaps that makes the names a clever use of skillful means, indicating that ultimately one takes refuge in one's own mind as Dharmakaya, and that we should be performing enlightened activity constantly in all our actions.

I think many of us would agree that our names are indicators of qualities we should aspire to; a kind of goal that our lamas have set for us. Is it possibly more than that, though?
"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: Significance of Dharma Names

Postby Simon E. » Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:11 pm

I had a Dharma name, given to me by my first Karma Kagyu teacher.
I have not used it since shortly after becoming a Dzogchen student.
I did not become aversive to it..it just felt redundant.

To everything there is a season.
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Re: Significance of Dharma Names

Postby Karma Jinpa » Sat Oct 05, 2013 5:04 am

Simon E. wrote:I had a Dharma name, given to me by my first Karma Kagyu teacher.
I have not used it since shortly after becoming a Dzogchen student.
I did not become aversive to it..it just felt redundant.

To everything there is a season.


Simon, which lineage of Dzogchen instructions do you practice? One of the nyingthiks (Longchen, Khandro, Chetsün)? Or perhaps one of the tersars (Dudjom, Chokling, etc.)?

While obviously the main influence within Karma Kagyu is Mahamudra, there are elements of Dzogchen within the lineage, too. For instance, the Namchö Dzogchen cycle of termas is quite important within Kamtsang thanks to the influence of the 1st Karma Chagme. And of course there's the Karma Nyingthik, composed by none other than the 3rd Gyalwang Karmapa, Rangjung Dorjé---close friend and contemporary of Longchen Rabjampa.
"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: Significance of Dharma Names

Postby Simon E. » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:32 am

D.C.
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Re: Significance of Dharma Names

Postby Karma Jinpa » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:35 am

Simon E. wrote:D.C.


And by DC, i presume you mean the Dzogchen Community of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche. Correct?
"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: Significance of Dharma Names

Postby Simon E. » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:39 am

Correct.
I should have been clearer.

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Re: Significance of Dharma Names

Postby Karma Jinpa » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:05 pm

No worries, Simon.

ChNN is pretty eclectic from what I've seen and experienced. He is originally from the Khön lineage of Sakya, yet obviously is heavily focused on Dzogchen from the various Nyingma lineages.

Just recently he gave a Shitro transmission from the Namchö terma cycle (which is historically held by the Palyul lineage), and has given many Longchen Nyingthik transmissions in the past. I'm sure he's given a vast array of others which I'm simply not aware of at the moment.

Perhaps he's following in the footsteps of his Rimé predecessors, like Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. Not sure if that's unintentional, or if it's his stated goal, but one could say his activity and focus seem a bit similar.

He's pretty well-respected within the Kagyu school, too. Pretty sure he's met some of the high Kagyu lamas before, and taught on some Kagyu topics.
"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: Significance of Dharma Names

Postby Karma Jinpa » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:13 am

Just remembered something that Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche mentioned. He said that your Refuge name is what you'll be known by when you become a fully enlightened Buddha.

:buddha1:
"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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