Sugatagarbha : Gelugpa & Nyingma

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Re: Sugatagarbha : Gelugpa & Nyingma

Postby conebeckham » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:36 pm

There are definitely some different interpetations regarding the Fourth Empowerment and what, exactly, it is. But I've never heard any teacher say there's a "mystical transfer of experience." Not sure where that comes from, Tsongkhapafan--seems like a misapperception.

There's nothing to "transfer." In the Vajrayana, we say the Lama is the root of blessings. But "Blessing" doesn't mean giving the student something they didn't have previously. Of course, this ties in with the thread topic, as well.

You know, Tsongkhapafan, your tradition traces at least part of it's lineage back to Naropa. You do know, I assume, how Tilopa "transmitted" his most profound "direct introduction" to Naropa? How was that incident a a "description of the Spiritual Master's experience as a pointing out instruction that gives powerful blessings," in your tradition's view?
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Re: Sugatagarbha : Gelugpa & Nyingma

Postby heart » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:22 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:The fourth empowerment is not a direct introduction, it's a description of the Spiritual Master's experience as a pointing out instruction that gives powerful blessings, but not a mystical transfer of his complete experience. We can receive strong blessings that ignite spiritual experiences if we keep pure view of our Guru, but he or she cannot directly transfer all their experience of enlightened wisdom into our minds in an 'instant enlightenment'.


The fourth empowerment is a direct introduction, in fact all parts of an empowerment is some kind of pointing-out. But nothing is transferred. Blessing means recognition of your own nature, it is more like an inspiration caused by the Guru's confidence in the natural state.

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Re: Sugatagarbha : Gelugpa & Nyingma

Postby Tom » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:38 am

heart wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:The fourth empowerment is not a direct introduction, it's a description of the Spiritual Master's experience as a pointing out instruction that gives powerful blessings, but not a mystical transfer of his complete experience. We can receive strong blessings that ignite spiritual experiences if we keep pure view of our Guru, but he or she cannot directly transfer all their experience of enlightened wisdom into our minds in an 'instant enlightenment'.


The fourth empowerment is a direct introduction, in fact all parts of an empowerment is some kind of pointing-out. But nothing is transferred. Blessing means recognition of your own nature, it is more like an inspiration caused by the Guru's confidence in the natural state.

/magnus


The fourth empowerment from the Gelugpa's is tied to the third empowerment and result in an understanding of the unification of the realizations experienced in the second and third empowerments. For me I haven't found any irreconcilable differences between traditions here at least from a practical sense. The Gelugpa tantric perspective on Buddha nature is different from their sutra perspective. I think their understanding of the clear light mind as having the two aspects of the subject and object side provides somewhat of a bridge.

The real differences seem to be the more the emptiness or object side of the equation, and also the Gelugpa sutra presentation of natural Buddha nature which is quite narrow/precise (however you wish to read it). Their assertion that natural buddha nature is only the emptiness of a mind such as a bodhisattva's great love, or great compassion etc. is going to be at odds with others that assert the natural buddha nature pervades all phenomena, and certainly differs from a description of an empty wisdom or dhatu with the marks of a Buddha fully present but obscured.
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Re: Sugatagarbha : Gelugpa & Nyingma

Postby heart » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:46 am

Tom wrote:
heart wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:The fourth empowerment is not a direct introduction, it's a description of the Spiritual Master's experience as a pointing out instruction that gives powerful blessings, but not a mystical transfer of his complete experience. We can receive strong blessings that ignite spiritual experiences if we keep pure view of our Guru, but he or she cannot directly transfer all their experience of enlightened wisdom into our minds in an 'instant enlightenment'.


The fourth empowerment is a direct introduction, in fact all parts of an empowerment is some kind of pointing-out. But nothing is transferred. Blessing means recognition of your own nature, it is more like an inspiration caused by the Guru's confidence in the natural state.

/magnus


The fourth empowerment from the Gelugpa's is tied to the third empowerment and result in an understanding of the unification of the realizations experienced in the second and third empowerments. For me I haven't found any irreconcilable differences between traditions here at least from a practical sense. The Gelugpa tantric perspective on Buddha nature is different from their sutra perspective. I think their understanding of the clear light mind as having the two aspects of the subject and object side provides somewhat of a bridge.

The real differences seem to be the more the emptiness or object side of the equation, and also the Gelugpa sutra presentation of natural Buddha nature which is quite narrow/precise (however you wish to read it). Their assertion that natural buddha nature is only the emptiness of a mind such as a bodhisattva's great love, or great compassion etc. is going to be at odds with others that assert the natural buddha nature pervades all phenomena, and certainly differs from a description of an empty wisdom or dhatu with the marks of a Buddha fully present but obscured.


I am afraid that I have a very limited understanding of the Gelug tradition. The Gelug for sure don't embrace Nyingma tenets in their empowerment's. But, an empowerment is not an empty ritual in any Tibetan tradition. The Guru should have certain qualities, and during the empowerment the path to acquire such qualities are indicated. How is it indicated? It is indicated by actions of the body, by mantras and prayers and by abiding in the wisdom the student is supposed to realize, whether that is called emptiness or rigpa is beside the point. But in a very wide sense something is definitely indicated or pointed-out besides things like mantra's and permissions being conferred.

/magnus
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Re: Sugatagarbha : Gelugpa & Nyingma

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:57 am

conebeckham wrote:There are definitely some different interpetations regarding the Fourth Empowerment and what, exactly, it is. But I've never heard any teacher say there's a "mystical transfer of experience." Not sure where that comes from, Tsongkhapafan--seems like a misapperception.

There's nothing to "transfer." In the Vajrayana, we say the Lama is the root of blessings. But "Blessing" doesn't mean giving the student something they didn't have previously. Of course, this ties in with the thread topic, as well.

You know, Tsongkhapafan, your tradition traces at least part of it's lineage back to Naropa. You do know, I assume, how Tilopa "transmitted" his most profound "direct introduction" to Naropa? How was that incident a a "description of the Spiritual Master's experience as a pointing out instruction that gives powerful blessings," in your tradition's view?


Maybe I've misunderstood the meaning of the term 'direct introduction'. If it's simply a transmission of oral instructions based on experience, and the blessings of that instruction, I would agree that the fourth empowerment is a direct introduction.

As for Naropa, he had particularly clear discrimination and strong faith so he was able to receive the meaning of Tilopa's instructions from a few simple gestures. No doubt this was due to a strong connection they had shared in a previous life and the powerful blessings that Naropa received from his strong faith in his Guru. After all, he was maimed many times after following Tilopa's instructions but he had complete faith that everything would be okay.
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Re: Sugatagarbha : Gelugpa & Nyingma

Postby Tom » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:11 pm

heart wrote:
Tom wrote:
The fourth empowerment from the Gelugpa's is tied to the third empowerment and result in an understanding of the unification of the realizations experienced in the second and third empowerments. For me I haven't found any irreconcilable differences between traditions here at least from a practical sense. The Gelugpa tantric perspective on Buddha nature is different from their sutra perspective. I think their understanding of the clear light mind as having the two aspects of the subject and object side provides somewhat of a bridge.

The real differences seem to be the more the emptiness or object side of the equation, and also the Gelugpa sutra presentation of natural Buddha nature which is quite narrow/precise (however you wish to read it). Their assertion that natural buddha nature is only the emptiness of a mind such as a bodhisattva's great love, or great compassion etc. is going to be at odds with others that assert the natural buddha nature pervades all phenomena, and certainly differs from a description of an empty wisdom or dhatu with the marks of a Buddha fully present but obscured.


I am afraid that I have a very limited understanding of the Gelug tradition. The Gelug for sure don't embrace Nyingma tenets in their empowerment's. But, an empowerment is not an empty ritual in any Tibetan tradition. The Guru should have certain qualities, and during the empowerment the path to acquire such qualities are indicated. How is it indicated? It is indicated by actions of the body, by mantras and prayers and by abiding in the wisdom the student is supposed to realize, whether that is called emptiness or rigpa is beside the point. But in a very wide sense something is definitely indicated or pointed-out besides things like mantra's and permissions being conferred.

/magnus


Sure, after all the fourth empowerment is also called the word empowerment. Of course if by "pointing out" someone is specifically referring to a type of self occurring intrinsic awareness then there will be differences of opinion.
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Re: Sugatagarbha : Gelugpa & Nyingma

Postby conebeckham » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:29 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:Maybe I've misunderstood the meaning of the term 'direct introduction'. If it's simply a transmission of oral instructions based on experience, and the blessings of that instruction, I would agree that the fourth empowerment is a direct introduction.


The question I would ask is, "Introduction to what?"
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Re: Sugatagarbha : Gelugpa & Nyingma

Postby Malcolm » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:56 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Maybe I've misunderstood the meaning of the term 'direct introduction'. If it's simply a transmission of oral instructions based on experience, and the blessings of that instruction, I would agree that the fourth empowerment is a direct introduction.


As tom mentioned, the fourth empowerment is an introduction the meaning of the experience generated by the third empowerment, and this is the same in all four schools.

A direct introduction has the same meaning as the fourth empowerment but, according to the Nyingma system, does not need to be preceeded by the three lower empowerements.

Sakya Pandita accepts direction introductions given seperately from a formal empowerment, but only if that person has already received a formal empowerment.

The Nyingma and the Kagyu schools maintain that it is not necessary to give formal empowerments as a requirement for receiving direct introduction.

Pahongkha maintained that Tsongkhapa rejected the idea of direct introduction, which is why he altered the transmission of Vajrayogini and excluded the introduction to dharmatā that clearly exists in the Sakya tradition of Naro Khachö from earliest times.
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Re: Sugatagarbha : Gelugpa & Nyingma

Postby conebeckham » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:02 pm

Quoting from Berzin's website, here:
http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/ar ... mpowerment

Thus, from the basis viewpoint taken in the explanations of the Gelug tradition, unenlightened beings may confer the first three empowerments based on their personal experiences. Only a Buddha, however, can describe the simultaneous perception of the two truths from personal experience and thereby confer the fourth empowerment by the force of his or her words. Therefore, to receive the fourth empowerment, disciples need to see that the tantric master definitively is a Buddha.
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Re: Sugatagarbha : Gelugpa & Nyingma

Postby Mariusz » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:14 pm

Namdrol wrote:As tom mentioned, the fourth empowerment is an introduction the meaning of the experience generated by the third empowerment, and this is the same in all four schools.
So is it possible to complete one's own HYT path without receiving the fourth empowerment from one's own HYTmaster?
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Re: Sugatagarbha : Gelugpa & Nyingma

Postby Malcolm » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:17 pm

Mariusz wrote:
Namdrol wrote:As tom mentioned, the fourth empowerment is an introduction [to] the meaning of the experience generated by the third empowerment, and this is the same in all four schools.
So is it possible to complete one's own HYT path without receiving the fourth empowerment from one's own HYTmaster?


No, I don't think so.
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Re: Sugatagarbha : Gelugpa & Nyingma

Postby Mariusz » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:22 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Mariusz wrote:
Namdrol wrote:As tom mentioned, the fourth empowerment is an introduction [to] the meaning of the experience generated by the third empowerment, and this is the same in all four schools.
So is it possible to complete one's own HYT path without receiving the fourth empowerment from one's own HYTmaster?


No, I don't think so.

Why? according to your definition one needs only to generate the meaning of the experience from the third empowerment as i understand it.
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Re: Sugatagarbha : Gelugpa & Nyingma

Postby Malcolm » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:40 pm

Mariusz wrote:Why? according to your definition one needs only to generate the meaning of the experience from the third empowerment as i understand it.



Because comprehending this meaning depends on one's merit and the instruction of the Guru.
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Re: Sugatagarbha : Gelugpa & Nyingma

Postby Mariusz » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:50 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Mariusz wrote:Why? according to your definition one needs only to generate the meaning of the experience from the third empowerment as i understand it.



Because comprehending this meaning depends on one's merit and the instruction of the Guru.
So something has to be received also from the master, unconditioned, not only generated from experience of the master, since the master had also one's own master from He/She received this something unconditioned too. Is it true?
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Re: Sugatagarbha : Gelugpa & Nyingma

Postby Malcolm » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:57 pm

Mariusz wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Mariusz wrote:Why? according to your definition one needs only to generate the meaning of the experience from the third empowerment as i understand it.



Because comprehending this meaning depends on one's merit and the instruction of the Guru.
So something has to be received also, unconditioned, not only generated from experience of the master, since the master had also one's own master from He/She received this something unconditioned too. Is it true?


No, the fourth empowerment, an example wisdom, simply contextualizes the experience of the third empowerment and is used to indicate the meaning of the innate. It is not an actual transference of any sort of experience.
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Re: Sugatagarbha : Gelugpa & Nyingma

Postby Mariusz » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:01 pm

Namdrol wrote: It is not an actual transference of any sort of experience.
Thanx.:) Is it this adding (the fourth empowerment) for the third initiation necessary for realization of the union of the actual clear light/pure illusory body because the third initiation was not enough for it?
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