Dzogchen teaching of Tsongkhapa

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Re: Dzogchen teaching of Tsongkhapa

Postby kirtu » Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:41 pm

conebeckham wrote:
You do absolutely need an understanding of emptiness but according to my Sakya and Nyingma teachers the Mind Only school position is sufficient
.

That's interesting, Kirt...I assume that this is the Mind Only interpretation which does not posit the absolutely existing Mind? Or, in other wordds, Yogacara that posits mind as ultimately empty?


No it's valid for Mind Only that posits the ultimately existing mind as well. As Tamdrin points out in a later posting this will not result in full enlightenment but can establish one on the bhumis. So it can get people started on tantra and can even result in the bhumis but it is incomplete and insufficient for full enlightenment. In Sakya in particular it is basically treated as a provisional view (as are all views lower than Madhyamaka).

In comparison the lower schools view of Sautantrika and Vaihasika is not sufficient for one to begin tantric practice, even kriya yoga tantra. However I think Tsongkhapa suggests that kriya yoga practice can begin with a lower view (I think this is in HHDL's commentary in "Tantra in Tibet" but I can't look that up). In practice some view of emptiness is better than none (unless it's too far off and is nihilistic).

Kirt
Last edited by kirtu on Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Dzogchen teaching of Tsongkhapa

Postby tamdrin » Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:42 pm

According to the Drikung Kagyu lineage, the mind only school of thought will get you to the 7th Bhumi, no farther (but hey thats not bad right? 7th bhumi woohoo!)[/quote]
This is one of the many interesting features of the Gongchig.
At first its a bit of a head scratcher but in the context of the commentary it is a pretty good argument.[/quote]

Hi Nangwa,
Yes it is an interesting text. I have parts of several translations and I think one commentary.. Whose commentary did you have Khenpo Tsultrim?
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Re: Dzogchen teaching of Tsongkhapa

Postby tamdrin » Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:48 pm

kirtu wrote:
conebeckham wrote:
You do absolutely need an understanding of emptiness but according to my Sakya and Nyingma teachers the Mind Only school position is sufficient
.

That's interesting, Kirt...I assume that this is the Mind Only interpretation which does not posit the absolutely existing Mind? Or, in other wordds, Yogacara that posits mind as ultimately empty?


No it's valid for Mind Only that posits the ultimately existing mind as well. As Tamdrin points out in a later posting this will not result in full enlightenment but can establish one on the bhumis. So it can get people started on tantra and can even result in the bhumis but it is incomplete and insufficient for full enlightenment. In Sakya in particular it is basically treated as a provisional view (as are all views lower than Madhyamaka).

In comparison the lower schools view of Sautantrika and Vaihasika is not sufficient for one to begin tantric practice, even kriya yoga tantra. However I think Tsongkhapa suggests that kriya yoga practice can begin with a lower view (I think this is in HHDL's commentary in "Tantra in Tibet" but I can't look that up). In practice some view of emptiness is better than none (unless it's too far off and is nihilistic).

Kirt


It seems that this discussion is somewhat theoretical, although interesting, practically speaking how is holding the mind only view going to allow one to reach onto the Bhumi's? I assume that it is this insight combined with rigorous practice?
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Re: Dzogchen teaching of Tsongkhapa

Postby Josef » Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:51 pm

tamdrin wrote:According to the Drikung Kagyu lineage, the mind only school of thought will get you to the 7th Bhumi, no farther (but hey thats not bad right? 7th bhumi woohoo!)

This is one of the many interesting features of the Gongchig.
At first its a bit of a head scratcher but in the context of the commentary it is a pretty good argument.[/quote]

Hi Nangwa,
Yes it is an interesting text. I have parts of several translations and I think one commentary.. Whose commentary did you have Khenpo Tsultrim?[/quote]
I have the a translation of an old commentary. I cant remember the lama's name from memory, he was in same way a relative of Jigme Lingpa, nephew maybe.
There is a new translation of the root text coming out in the Mahamudra volume of the Library of Tibetan Classics. Should be out in a few weeks.
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Re: Dzogchen teaching of Tsongkhapa

Postby tamdrin » Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:54 pm

Nangwa wrote:
tamdrin wrote:According to the Drikung Kagyu lineage, the mind only school of thought will get you to the 7th Bhumi, no farther (but hey thats not bad right? 7th bhumi woohoo!)

This is one of the many interesting features of the Gongchig.
At first its a bit of a head scratcher but in the context of the commentary it is a pretty good argument.


Hi Nangwa,
Yes it is an interesting text. I have parts of several translations and I think one commentary.. Whose commentary did you have Khenpo Tsultrim?[/quote]
I have the a translation of an old commentary. I cant remember the lama's name from memory, he was in same way a relative of Jigme Lingpa, nephew maybe.
There is a new translation of the root text coming out in the Mahamudra volume of the Library of Tibetan Classics. Should be out in a few weeks.[/quote]

I believe that one of the Drikung throne holders was Jigmed Lingpa's son...
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Re: Dzogchen teaching of Tsongkhapa

Postby Josef » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:02 pm

tamdrin wrote:
Nangwa wrote:
tamdrin wrote:According to the Drikung Kagyu lineage, the mind only school of thought will get you to the 7th Bhumi, no farther (but hey thats not bad right? 7th bhumi woohoo!)

This is one of the many interesting features of the Gongchig.
At first its a bit of a head scratcher but in the context of the commentary it is a pretty good argument.


Hi Nangwa,
Yes it is an interesting text. I have parts of several translations and I think one commentary.. Whose commentary did you have Khenpo Tsultrim?

I have the a translation of an old commentary. I cant remember the lama's name from memory, he was in same way a relative of Jigme Lingpa, nephew maybe.
There is a new translation of the root text coming out in the Mahamudra volume of the Library of Tibetan Classics. Should be out in a few weeks.[/quote]

I believe that one of the Drikung throne holders was Jigmed Lingpa's son...[/quote]
Yeah, cant remember which one though.
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Re: Dzogchen teaching of Tsongkhapa

Postby Josef » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:05 pm

The commentary is by Rigdzin Chokyi Drakpa, he was the first Chungtsang Rinpoche.
I was mistaken about the Jigme Lingpa connection with this particular lama.
Last edited by Josef on Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dzogchen teaching of Tsongkhapa

Postby tamdrin » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:06 pm

I looked it up, seems to be he was the 5th Chungstang Rinpoche.
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Re: Dzogchen teaching of Tsongkhapa

Postby Josef » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:07 pm

tamdrin wrote:I looked it up, seems to be he was the 5th Chungstang Rinpoche.

That would make more sense.
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Re: Dzogchen teaching of Tsongkhapa

Postby kirtu » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:12 pm

tamdrin wrote:
kirtu wrote:
conebeckham wrote:
That's interesting, Kirt...I assume that this is the Mind Only interpretation which does not posit the absolutely existing Mind? Or, in other wordds, Yogacara that posits mind as ultimately empty?


No it's valid for Mind Only that posits the ultimately existing mind as well. As Tamdrin points out in a later posting this will not result in full enlightenment but can establish one on the bhumis. So it can get people started on tantra and can even result in the bhumis but it is incomplete and insufficient for full enlightenment. In Sakya in particular it is basically treated as a provisional view (as are all views lower than Madhyamaka).

In comparison the lower schools view of Sautantrika and Vaihasika is not sufficient for one to begin tantric practice, even kriya yoga tantra. However I think Tsongkhapa suggests that kriya yoga practice can begin with a lower view (I think this is in HHDL's commentary in "Tantra in Tibet" but I can't look that up). In practice some view of emptiness is better than none (unless it's too far off and is nihilistic).


It seems that this discussion is somewhat theoretical, although interesting, practically speaking how is holding the mind only view going to allow one to reach onto the Bhumi's? I assume that it is this insight combined with rigorous practice?


I don't know for sure because all the teachers emphasize the Madhyamaka. So details on this point are few. However I doubt that if one truly held the mind to be ultimately existing that this would be the case. However if one realized that the mind were empty and that all manifestations ultimately stemmed from the mind but that these manifestations were dependent upon previous karma then it would be possible even if it would not be a Madhyamaka view. So one could hold a form of Mind Only where there is some understanding that the mind creates the world we experience via the ripening of karmic seeds and that the mind needs to be purified and that the mind goes from sentient form to sentient form and still attain the bhumis. At this point though I think different lineages will assert different things (the view is dropped before one realizes emptiness directly could be one position for example).

Since everyone asserts the Madhyamaka then no one really details how this might happen. But Asanga is asserted to have attained the 2nd bhumi with the Mind Only view for example. Ironically Tsongkhapa did write about this to some extent in his "The Essence of Eloquence" translated by Hopkins as "Emptiness in the Mind Only School" but I have never made much headway in that text. Even in the foundational Sakya pre-Lamrim text "The Beautiful Ornament of the Three Visions", by Ngorchen Konchog Lhundrub introduction to Vajrayana comes after the Madhyamaka view is explained and that text is intended as a progressive meditation manual. So one would have been familiar with Madhyamaka before introduction to Vajayana in that curriculum.

Kirt
Last edited by kirtu on Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Dzogchen teaching of Tsongkhapa

Postby tamdrin » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:15 pm

Nangwa wrote:The commentary is by Rigdzin Chokyi Drakpa, he was the first Chungtsang Rinpoche.
I was mistaken about the Jigme Lingpa connection with this particular lama.



Its ok he doesn't need a Jigme Lingpa connection to have been a wise Lama
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Re: Dzogchen teaching of Tsongkhapa

Postby tamdrin » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:19 pm

It seems that this discussion is somewhat theoretical, although interesting, practically speaking how is holding the mind only view going to allow one to reach onto the Bhumi's? I assume that it is this insight combined with rigorous practice?[/quote]

I don't know for sure because all the teachers emphasize the Madhyamaka. So details on this point are few. However I doubt that if one truly held the mind to be ultimately existing that this would be the case. However if one realized that the mind were empty and that all manifestations ultimately stemmed from the mind but that these manifestations were dependent upon previous karma then it would be possible even if it would not be a Madhyamaka view. So one could hold a form of Mind Only where there is some understanding that the mind creates the world we experience via the ripening of karmic seeds and that the mind needs to be purified and that the mind goes from sentient form to sentient form and still attain the bhumis. At this point though I think different lineages will assert different things (the view is dropped before one realizes emptiness directly could be one position for example).

Since everyone asserts the Madhyamaka then no one really details how this might happen. But Asanga is asserted to have attained the 2nd bhumi with the Mind Only view for example. Ironically Tsongkhapa did write about this to some extent in his "The Essence of Eloquence" translated by Hopkins as "Emptiness in the Mind Only School" but I have never made much headway in that text.

Kirt[/quote]
Yeah but this doesn't really answer my question.. How does holding any kind of view become the cause of attaining any supermundane realization? It would seem to me that it would have been practice that caused this. Wasn't Asanga the one that meditated in the cave for 12 years waiting for Maitreya to come?
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Re: Dzogchen teaching of Tsongkhapa

Postby kirtu » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:40 pm

tamdrin wrote:Yeah but this doesn't really answer my question.. How does holding any kind of view become the cause of attaining any supermundane realization? It would seem to me that it would have been practice that caused this. Wasn't Asanga the one that meditated in the cave for 12 years waiting for Maitreya to come?


Asanga was the guy who practiced for 12 years in a cave on Maitreya and after finally encountering Maitreya face to face wrote down his teachings. Maitreya is the source of the elaboration of the Mind Only teachings with Shakyamuni the source of the Mind Only school.

Just holding the view doesn't do much. One has to practice. Now the practice might only be engaged contemplation - that's practice (so practice doesn't have to be a sadhana). But after learning, contemplation and meditation then insight arises. Insight can arise in the lower views too but view limits the insight that can arise.

Actually bringing this back to dzogchen - Padmasambhava wrote in - I can't find the text or remember it's title right now - about all the lower schools beginning with non-Buddhist schools and going all the way up to Mahayoga and Anuyoga tantra in terms of their obscurations.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Dzogchen teaching of Tsongkhapa

Postby tamdrin » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:48 pm

kirtu wrote:
tamdrin wrote:Yeah but this doesn't really answer my question.. How does holding any kind of view become the cause of attaining any supermundane realization? It would seem to me that it would have been practice that caused this. Wasn't Asanga the one that meditated in the cave for 12 years waiting for Maitreya to come?


Asanga was the guy who practiced for 12 years in a cave on Maitreya and after finally encountering Maitreya face to face wrote down his teachings. Maitreya is the source of the elaboration of the Mind Only teachings with Shakyamuni the source of the Mind Only school.

Just holding the view doesn't do much. One has to practice. Now the practice might only be engaged contemplation - that's practice (so practice doesn't have to be a sadhana). But after learning, contemplation and meditation then insight arises. Insight can arise in the lower views too but view limits the insight that can arise.

Actually bringing this back to dzogchen - Padmasambhava wrote in - I can't find the text or remember it's title right now - about all the lower schools beginning with non-Buddhist schools and going all the way up to Mahayoga and Anuyoga tantra in terms of their obscurations.

Kirt

Cool, Was it the "garland of views" attributed to Padmasambhava that you were thinking about?
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Re: Dzogchen teaching of Tsongkhapa

Postby kirtu » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:51 pm

tamdrin wrote:
kirtu wrote:Actually bringing this back to dzogchen - Padmasambhava wrote in - I can't find the text or remember it's title right now - about all the lower schools beginning with non-Buddhist schools and going all the way up to Mahayoga and Anuyoga tantra in terms of their obscurations.

Cool, Was it the "garland of views" attributed to Padmasambhava that you were thinking about?


I'm thinking it is "Self-Liberation Through Seeing with Naked Awareness" but I'd like to confirm it.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Dzogchen teaching of Tsongkhapa

Postby kirtu » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:25 am

kirtu wrote:You do absolutely need an understanding of emptiness but according to my Sakya and Nyingma teachers the Mind Only school position is sufficient
.

BUT - the Gelug position is that one needs an understanding of emptiness according to the Prasangika view - this is asserted in Koeppl's translation of Rongzom in "Establishing Appearances as Divine" : pg 33:

The Nyingma notion of a superior view of Mantra contrasts sharply with Tsongkhapa, who consistently argues that the view of Mantra is nothing but Prasangika[100]


Koeppl goes on to cite Tsongkhapa's "The Stages of Mantra" and asserts that Khedrup Je also asserts that all of Tantra is Prasangika.

So on this point one would assume that for the Gelug Yogacara/Cittamatra is insufficient even for entry into tantra, even lower tantra.

Kirt

[100] Although Tsongkhapa often empasizes [sic] that the view of Tantra is nothing but Madhyamaka, he nevertheless also suggests that the subject realizing emptiness is different from the Sutrayana subject in that realization. Tsongkhapa describes the subject in the esoteric context as great bliss (bde ba chen po, mahasukha). See for instance Komarovski (2000):73, n.103.
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Dzogchen teaching of Tsongkhapa

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:58 pm

Milarepa said:

You should know what all appearances are the nature of mind,
Mind is the nature of emptiness.

This unites the Madhyamaka and Yogacara views together, which is what is needed to attain enlightenment.
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Re: Dzogchen teaching of Tsongkhapa

Postby Josef » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:11 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:Milarepa said:

You should know what all appearances are the nature of mind,
Mind is the nature of emptiness.

This unites the Madhyamaka and Yogacara views together, which is what is needed to attain enlightenment.


The quote does skillfully unify the philosophical outlooks.
Its similar to Jigten Sumgon's arguments in his Gongchik that we discussed earlier in the thread.
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Re: Dzogchen teaching of Tsongkhapa

Postby conebeckham » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:18 am

Yes, Mila Shepa Dorje realized the ultimate meaning of all vehicles.
Here's a song of Mila's, called "Milarepa and The Geshe of Drin." Translation is by Tony Duff, from here:
http://www.holybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/Songs-of-Milarepa-Geshe-In-Drin.pdf


I bow down at the feet of Marpa the translator;
Please bless me to be free of conventions!

The blessings of the lord guru have entered my mind;
My mind never gets lost to the dharmas of distraction.

I’ve meditated over and again on loving kindness and compassion,
So I’ve forgotten all about grasping at self and other.

I’ve meditated over and again on the guru at my crown,
So I’ve forgotten all about being an important man of authority.

I’ve meditated over and again on being inseparable with the yidam,
So I’ve forgotten all about inferior aggregates and elements.

I’ve meditated over and again on the hearing lineage instructions,
So I’ve forgotten all about the literature of books.

I’ve preserved over and again ordinary awareness,
So I’ve forgotten all about being confused in
ignorance.

I’ve meditated over and again on the inherent three kayas,
So I’ve forgotten all about the meditation of hope and fear.

I’ve meditated over and again while remembering what comes after this life,
So I’ve forgotten all about the fears of birth and death.

I’ve preserved again and again only the experiences of meditation,
So I’ve forgotten all about gratifying the whims of dear ones.

I’ve connected my mind with practice over and again,
So I’ve forgotten all about the sides in tenet systems.

I’ve meditated over and again on lack of birth, cessation, and dwelling,
So I’ve forgotten all about asserted views.

I’ve kept in mind over and again that appearances are dharmakaya,
So I’ve forgotten about meditations that have reference points.

I’ve put myself over and again into an uncontrived relaxation,
So’ve forgotten about contrived ways of behaviour.

I’ve maintained over and again a low profile in body and speech,
So I’ve forgotten all about the puffed-up presence of being a big man.

I’ve turned this illusory body over and again into a hermitage,
So I’ve forgotten all about its use as a house for pleasure.

Having gained experience of what is beyond words,
I’ve forgotten all about going carefully through them;
But it’s all right, you go ahead and teach by going
carefully through the words of treatises!
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
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Re: Dzogchen teaching of Tsongkhapa

Postby Paul » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:45 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:Milarepa said:

You should know what all appearances are the nature of mind,
Mind is the nature of emptiness.

This unites the Madhyamaka and Yogacara views together, which is what is needed to attain enlightenment.


This is very similar to this teaching from Padmasambhava:

Lady Tsogyal asked the master: Are objects and mind a duality?

The master replied:
The objects seen are mind's display.
The many displays are the play of your mind.
And while they are empty in essence,
The objects you see can dissolve and need not be rejected.

Firmly resolve that objects and mind are not two.
Image

"Do not block your six senses; delight in them with joy and ease.
All that you take pleasure in will strengthen the awakened state.
With such a confidence, empowered by the regal state of natural mind,
The training now is simply this: lets your six senses be at ease and free." - Princess Parani
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