Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby heart » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:30 am

Adamantine wrote:
heart wrote:
Jnana wrote:There are no sacred cows in Buddhism. Dzogchen's own supersessionist rhetoric is absurd on the face of it. Even moreso since it has no Indian precedent. The Dzogchen Tantras fall into the same category of scriptural apocrypha as the Vajrasamadhi Sutra and other non-Indian sources. It's rather hilarious that something which was never a significant part of Indian Buddhism is now proclaimed as the apex of all things Buddhist!


I am not sure that kind of argument is actually helping here. Soon you will be trowing away the whole Nyingma tradition. Thanks to Milarepa we know that there was Dzogchen in Tibet when Marpa brought Mahamudra to Tibet. That is of course if you accept his biography and the 100.000 songs as based on reality.

/magnus


Well there's also the fact the Guhyagarbha Tantra is clearly dated to pre 8th-cent India since there is evidence of a sanskrit original stored in Samye, verified by Śākyaśrībhadra.


Yes, that is true. Also the name of the Guhyaghabha Tantra have been found in among the DunHuang documents.

/magnus
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby heart » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:36 am

Jnana wrote:
heart wrote:I am not sure that kind of argument is actually helping here. Soon you will be trowing away the whole Nyingma tradition.

There's no need to throw away anything. I'm not saying that there is nothing valuable in the Dzogchen Tantras (or the Vajrasamādhi Sūtra for that matter). Indeed, all of these texts have been sources of understanding and inspiration for many people for centuries. However, IMO the teachings of the Indian mahāsiddhas (Tilo, Naro, etc.) represent the high point of Mahāyāna Buddhism, and nothing else has surpassed them in any way (contrary to the claims of certain Tibetan doxographies, and so on).


Seriously, questioning the validity of a traditions lineage is just that.

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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Adamantine » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:37 am

heart wrote:
Yes, that is true. Also the name of the Guhyaghabha Tantra have been found in among the DunHuang documents.

/magnus


Yeah but this doesn't mean these documents have an early date as they've realized there are things dated as late as 10th cent. from there.
But the Sakya historical accounts of the sanskrit Guhyagharba from Samye are convincing enough.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby heart » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:50 am

Adamantine wrote:
heart wrote:
Yes, that is true. Also the name of the Guhyaghabha Tantra have been found in among the DunHuang documents.

/magnus


Yeah but this doesn't mean these documents have an early date as they've realized there are things dated as late as 10th cent. from there.
But the Sakya historical accounts of the sanskrit Guhyagharba from Samye are convincing enough.


Not if you are a western scholar. :smile:

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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:10 pm

Jnana wrote:
Namdrol wrote:And how is this different than Mahāyāna in general?

It isn't. As I've already said, it's the same boring recurring theme in the long history of Buddhist polemics: Move the goal posts, invent new rules, create a lineage history going back to some authoritative source (preferably Indian), then claim that yours is a superior game. It's like arguing over the quickest way to arrive at the Garden of the Hesperides.

[/quote/

I wasn't making a polemical argument -- I was making a taxonomical statement, which for some reason you insist was polemical -- even though it is not.


Namdrol wrote:Generally speaking it works like this -- if you read books by Kagyus, Mahāmudra and Dzogchen are the same.

And this is the crux of the issue, given that this thread is in the Mahāmudrā sub-forum. I've offered explicit statements by a number of teachers who have trained in both systems, as has Astus. I think that their analysis is cogent, and that yours is not.


And I can offer citations by masters who have trained in both systems who assert the presentation of the basis in Dzogchen and Mahāmudra are not the same, and that it is an error to conflate them based in superficial similarities.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:12 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Namdrol wrote:Well, except that modern authors, like Dudjom R., ridiculed the Tibetan tendency to dismiss "Tibetan" tantras just because they were "Tibetan", pointing out there was no good reason to assume that Indians were more realized by nature than Tibetans.
But then doesn't the concept of lineage just fall apart at the seams? I mean, so much time and energy is spent by all trying to trace the lineage of their teaching back to its (normally) Indian source and suddenly...

Doesn't a statement like this leave the whole deal open to tantras that do not have an Indian origin (or at least a lineage to back them up), like the English language tantra of the Aro mob?
:namaste:



Well, not at all. If a full realized Tibetan produces a tantra, then it should be accepted as a valid teaching -- same goes for a fully realized American, African, European, etc.

The fact is however, is that there is very little to "reveal" -- so there is not much point in producing new texts that say the same stuff over and over again.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:34 pm

Jnana wrote:However, IMO the teachings of the Indian mahāsiddhas (Tilo, Naro, etc.) represent the high point of Mahāyāna Buddhism, and nothing else has surpassed them in any way (contrary to the claims of certain Tibetan doxographies, and so on).


The path of such Indian mahāsiddhas was the two stages. Mahāmudra was the result experienced by these Indian mahāsiddhas from practicing the two stages which is why Saraha, Tilopa and Naropa passed on so many tantric practices (especially, Cakrasamvara, which begins with Saraha).

Sahaja Mahāmudra, according to the great Drugpa Kagyu master Gyalba Yanggonpa, is Gampopa's own system. So you really cannot claim that Kagyu Mahāmudra is any more Indian that the Dzogchen you are criticizing.

In fact, if anything, the Dzogchen you are criticizing is, from a western textual perspective, a bit earlier than Kagyu Mahāmudra. Chetsun Senge Wangchuk achieved rainbow body in 1128, having passed on his teachings to lCegom Nagpo and Shangton, just to put things in perspective. By this time the 17 tantras and the Dzogchen Nyingthig system were fully articulated. Milarepa passed in 1135. Milarepa's teachings became famous, in part, because his student Gampopa spread the fame of his teacher among Kadampas and secured the reputation of the Kagyu school. Nyinthig continued in obscurity in western Tsang largely, I imagine, because it became a family lineage of the lCe clan (Lcegom Nagpo, etc) and the Zhang clan (Zhangton, his son Zhangkhas Nyibum, etc.).

While I am not going to knock the practice the two stages, for me, Dzogchen is more interesting.

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Jnana » Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:14 pm

Namdrol wrote:So you really cannot claim that Kagyu Mahāmudra is any more Indian that the Dzogchen you are criticizing.

Again, the teachings of the Indian mahāsiddhas (Tilo, Naro, etc.) is the high point of Mahāyāna Buddhism, and hasn't been surpassed by anything that came later, including Kagyu mahāmudrā.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:30 pm

Jnana wrote:
Namdrol wrote:So you really cannot claim that Kagyu Mahāmudra is any more Indian that the Dzogchen you are criticizing.

Again, the teachings of the Indian mahāsiddhas (Tilo, Naro, etc.) is the high point of Mahāyāna Buddhism, and hasn't been surpassed by anything that came later, including Kagyu mahāmudrā.


I see, so for you, the most profound practice and the high point of India Mahāyāna is the two stages with their result, Mahāmudra as taught by Virupa, Tilopa, Naropa, etc. from the Hevajra, Cakrasamvara, Kalacakra and other annutarayoga tantras.

If I did not know better, I would say you were a Sakyapa.

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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:40 pm

Namdrol wrote:Well, not at all. If a full realized Tibetan produces a tantra, then it should be accepted as a valid teaching -- same goes for a fully realized American, African, European, etc.
Of course I agree completely here BUT again this is dependent on the recognition of the realisation of the terton by a lineage that can...

Again we find ourselves chasing Indians (and we are not dressed as cowboys either).
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Jnana » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:02 pm

Namdrol wrote:I see, so for you, the most profound practice and the high point of India Mahāyāna is the two stages with their result, Mahāmudra as taught by Virupa, Tilopa, Naropa, etc. from the Hevajra, Cakrasamvara, Kalacakra and other annutarayoga tantras.

Yes, of course. And also the teachings of Maitrīpa and Atiśa, and so on.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:08 pm

Jnana wrote:
Namdrol wrote:I see, so for you, the most profound practice and the high point of India Mahāyāna is the two stages with their result, Mahāmudra as taught by Virupa, Tilopa, Naropa, etc. from the Hevajra, Cakrasamvara, Kalacakra and other annutarayoga tantras.

Yes, of course. And also the teachings of Maitrīpa and Atiśa, and so on.



Ok -- well, I find the 17 tantras and Nyinthig more interesting.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby conebeckham » Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:42 pm

Namdrol wrote:Sahaja Mahāmudra, according to the great Drugpa Kagyu master Gyalba Yanggonpa, is Gampopa's own system. So you really cannot claim that Kagyu Mahāmudra is any more Indian that the Dzogchen you are criticizing.


Well...although Saraha certainly practiced the Two Stages, he is often credited as the primary Mahasiddha source of Sahaja Mahamudra......which is presented as separate from the two stages.

Or so I've been taught.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Mr. G » Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:16 pm

Off-Topic posts split to:

Chatting About Astrology
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    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Jnana » Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:17 am

conebeckham wrote:Well...although Saraha certainly practiced the Two Stages, he is often credited as the primary Mahasiddha source of Sahaja Mahamudra......which is presented as separate from the two stages.

Or so I've been taught.

Yes, there's plenty of precedents in the Dohās and also the texts by Jñānakīrti, Maitrīpa, Sahajavajra, Vajrapāṇi, etc., for what Gampopa developed. Je Gampopa was a great systemizer.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:25 am

conebeckham wrote:
Namdrol wrote:Sahaja Mahāmudra, according to the great Drugpa Kagyu master Gyalba Yanggonpa, is Gampopa's own system. So you really cannot claim that Kagyu Mahāmudra is any more Indian that the Dzogchen you are criticizing.


Well...although Saraha certainly practiced the Two Stages, he is often credited as the primary Mahasiddha source of Sahaja Mahamudra......which is presented as separate from the two stages.

Or so I've been taught.


There are two systems of realizing mahāmudra: the two stages or guru yoga. Mahāmudra is based on direct introduction in both cases. Apart from that, there is no other Mahāmudra.

Some people like to talk about a sutra mahāmudra, but it is very clear that was elaborated by Gampopa for people he felt were not ready for real Mahāmudra teachings. Not only have I read this, but this was also kindly explained to me by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso personally.

BTW, since this is just the "Mahāmudra" forum -- it is not the sole province of Kagyupas. Sakyas, Gelugs, Nyingmapas also have teachings on Mahāmudra. So in no way can the Kagyu perspective on Mahāmudra be considered definitive or all-embracing -- all schools of Tibetan Buddhism have lineages and teachings on Saraha's original Sahaja Mahāmudra. But only Kagyu and later, Gelug, have teachings on a system termed sutra mahāmudra. Sutra mahāmudra is not bad -- in fact, it is quite a good system -- but in reality it is just a name for perfection of wisdom teachings with some effort made to correlate the view of the tantras and the dohas with the view of sutra.

N
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Jnana » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:56 am

Namdrol wrote:So in no way can the Kagyu perspective on Mahāmudra be considered definitive or all-embracing

I haven't heard anyone say otherwise. However, it's also not the Dharma-free-for-all debate sub-forum. It would certainly be good to have threads presenting mahāmudrā teachings from Nyingma, Sakya, and Gelug lineages as well as Kagyu. But at this point, the many 100s of years of sectarian sniping is a waste of valuable time. All of the sectarian criticisms from all quarters have already been voiced and addressed centuries ago.

Namdrol wrote:Sutra mahāmudra is not bad -- in fact, it is quite a good system -- but in reality it is just a name for perfection of wisdom teachings with some effort made to correlate the view of the tantras and the dohas with the view of sutra.

Yes, of course.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:07 am

Jnana wrote: All of the sectarian criticisms from all quarters have already been voiced and addressed centuries ago.



You seem to have misaken me for someone who is sectarian.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby Jnana » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:55 am

Namdrol wrote:You seem to have misaken me for someone who is sectarian.

I've never considered you to be a two-dimensional caricature.
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Re: Mahāmudrā & Dzogchen

Postby conebeckham » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:21 pm

Namdrol wrote:There are two systems of realizing mahāmudra: the two stages or guru yoga. Mahāmudra is based on direct introduction in both cases. Apart from that, there is no other Mahāmudra.

Some people like to talk about a sutra mahāmudra, but it is very clear that was elaborated by Gampopa for people he felt were not ready for real Mahāmudra teachings. Not only have I read this, but this was also kindly explained to me by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso personally.

BTW, since this is just the "Mahāmudra" forum -- it is not the sole province of Kagyupas. Sakyas, Gelugs, Nyingmapas also have teachings on Mahāmudra. So in no way can the Kagyu perspective on Mahāmudra be considered definitive or all-embracing -- all schools of Tibetan Buddhism have lineages and teachings on Saraha's original Sahaja Mahāmudra. But only Kagyu and later, Gelug, have teachings on a system termed sutra mahāmudra. Sutra mahāmudra is not bad -- in fact, it is quite a good system -- but in reality it is just a name for perfection of wisdom teachings with some effort made to correlate the view of the tantras and the dohas with the view of sutra.


I understand this position, Namdrol, and I have had almost exactly the same conversation with Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso myself, and have also heard him comment on it publically in a larger group, as well. Nevertheless, if one takes the position, as you have in another thread, that Mahamudra REALLY means the "result," then can it not be said that all practices and techniques are really Mahamudra teachings, in a sense? Granted, the contents of the teachings contained in the Sutra presentation focus on Mind's Emptiness and Nature, Qualities, Awareness, etc. But even Serlingpa's Lojong tradition, which is surely a Sutra-based tradition with no Tantric content can be said to be part of the presentation.......
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