What is final nirvana in the Tibetan tradition?

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Artziebetter1
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What is final nirvana in the Tibetan tradition?

Post by Artziebetter1 »

Friends and companions,I’m not trying to be annoying or contrarian but this question is on my mind 24/7 and I need clarification so I can relieve myself of this extra fear in my mind.

I want honest answers not answers telling something in order to steer me a certain direction.wether positive or negative.

When a Buddha on the final Bhumi wether the thirteenth or eighteenth depending on nyingma or mahamudra has finished his goal of liberating beings to the best of his capacity what happens to him and his awareness?

From what I understand in the Hinayana tradition this final nirvana is extinction for all nominal purposes and in ordinary language.I understand that the Buddhist scholars will say that this is not a ceasing or extinction of awareness because awareness was always a deception or fabricated illusion of a sentient being.I understand that position and I respect it.but from the position of a deluded being that’s attached to the subjective sense of being alive and aware,what is it?

When I first started Looking into Buddhism in 2012,My karma lead me to Believing ken wheeler’s nonsence interpretation of the Pali Nikayas of consciousness without remainder.also Brian Ruhe and his antimahayana stance.this was long before he openly became a crazed nazi.or atleast before I thought he did.I was pretty ignorant and credulous.I thought nirvana was some blissed out serene existence of the soul(yes since Brian ruhe is a ajahn cha follower and ken wheeler is a vedantin)like a permanent blissful samadhi!

This is not the Theravada view and I didn’t know that until I came across a Kashmir shaivite article wich tried to show why the two traditions were very unsimilar contrary to many modern Hindus who think it’s all the same thing!

After that,I joined Walter russel and his wife’s New age sect for a few years until I returned for two years to my birth faith Christianity.I was not happy as a Christian so I looked into Mahayana Buddhism and came across many anecdotal pure land and Tibetan stories that were somewhat evidence that its true.so I gave Mahayana or Tibetan Buddhism a shot.

At this point the non abiding nirvana of Buddhas appealed to me!I would be in bliss helping sentient beings forever I thought.

It was later that my dream was shattered and I found out that the five skandhas are done away with.yep,including consciousness.

Now it has been revealed to me by some kind members that a Buddha Does have awareness just that it’s unimpeded awareness.I am kind of skeptical about this being awareness in common usage but good that quelled my fears .

But then I learned that Tibetans believe differently about the final Bhumi and it’s ceasing.what I mean by that is that once you reach the final Bhumi and have finished work as a bodhisattva Buddha you go into final ceasing wich is like Theravada nirvana?Am I understanding this wrong?

Is awareness like I mean it eternal or not if you become a Buddha?is the final cessation like a peaceful samadhi with awareness like I mean it?

I would like to know malcolm’s opinion because I see him as the sole Buddhist authority I have access to and I trust his expertise even more than a Lama but other opinions based on sources would be highly welcome.

Again,I am not trying to be annoying or contrarian and I respect everyone’s beliefs but if there is a chance of me losing my awareness the way I mean awareness then I personally rather stay in samsara.I know that’s a heretical opinion but try and have empathy for my viewpoint please from my perspective.

I just want to live and be happy and content and at peace and I don’t think ending your subjective awareness The way I mean it is the way to escape suffering.I don’t want to debate this as I have my opinion and I respect your goals so I think mine deserve respect too.

I understand that eight years ago taking refuge was a mistake before I knew what I was getting into and I understand that it’s heavy karma to abandon the path.

I am practicing pure land recitations lately and you will desire nirvana as a resident thereof so I need to know before I possibly go to pure land and will something against my rational self will and preservation instinct.

Please tell me the truth and not something to steer me a desired way.

I thank you guys a million for your help and patience.

Meta and namaste
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Ayu
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Re: What is final nirvana in the Tibetan tradition?

Post by Ayu »

It seems to me, you have to find the point where you can concentrate on one certain tradition and stay there.
It's not very fruitful to mix the Theravada ideas with Mahayana-Tibetan views. It's no wonder you have difficulties to bring those teachings together.

In Tibetan buddhism I only heard of 10 bhumis.
And Nirvana is no final goal AFAIK. Rather it is a kind of spiritual holiday from Mahayana view, because we (Mahayanis) are bound to come back until even the last sentient being reached buddhahood. :shrug:

In Theravada Nirvana is a final goal. That's their teaching and it's worth to pose your question there.
https://dhammawheel.com/

Or stick to what the purelanders teach, if you want to keep that practice. https://dharmawheel.net/viewforum.php?f=60
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:
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Ayu
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Re: What is final nirvana in the Tibetan tradition?

Post by Ayu »

See maybe this thread about Pureland teachings as well :
https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?p=521303#p521303
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:
nomono
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Re: What is final nirvana in the Tibetan tradition?

Post by nomono »

I had the same problems as you when I first learned about buddhist teachings. Not anymore.

Ive read a lot of books by Teachers like Thrangu Rinpoche, Tai Situ Rinpoche Kalu Rinpoche etc. who all (and not only them) describe Buddhahood not as mere nothingness where nothing is. The Buddhas enlightened activities never cease.
Consciousness which ceases in attaining Buddhahood is described as the deluded dualistic mind which never existed and was all along an illusion. There is something that is recognized which they call Primordial Wisdom (Jnana) or Primordial Awareness.
Some call it the clear light mind of a Buddha which is empty yet luminous. Emptiness does not mean it doesnt exist.

The Mind of a Buddha or Buddhanature has to be called empty because if not it would be a thing, and things are produced, have a birth and dissolution or end. People would misunderstand it as something graspable and would reified it.
But because the mind is empty it is unimpeded, not here or there, not fixed. Thats how I have understood.

Maybe read the works of Thrangu Rinpoche and Tai Situ Rinpoche and if you lean to this nihilistic views read about shentong madhyamaka teachings. And then go back to rangtong teachings.

Read "Transcending Ego: Distinguishing Consciousness from Wisdom" by Thrangu Rinpoche and "Ground, Path and Fruition" by Tai Situ Rinpoche and "Luminous Mind" by Kalu Rinpoche. They helped me a lot.

Dont think that Buddhahood is mere nothingness.
javier.espinoza.t
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Re: What is final nirvana in the Tibetan tradition?

Post by javier.espinoza.t »

maybe you should look for what nirvana is in buddhism and not in tibetan traditions.

if by tibetan traditions you mean the so called tibetan buddhism, then you should look for sutrayana and vajrayana different path's results according to Guru Padmasambhava's teaching. you can find this in the Nyigma tradition of tibetan buddhism.

it is good that you try to learn from a reputable master that has attained such result and try to avoid the new age brand of spiritualisms.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: What is final nirvana in the Tibetan tradition?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

From the point of understanding of ordinary beings,
Perfect awareness, and extinction of “consciousness” (as we experience it) appear as contradictory.
Two totally different things.
This seems to be your reoccurring dilemma.

But for a Buddha, this is not a contradiction at all.
You might even say that buddhahood itself is
the resolving of this apparent conflict
(both sides of which are samsaric concepts).

According to the Vajrayana Teachings
Buddha is a manifestation of (the) Dharmakaya,
You might say, the ultimate big truth of everything.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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Re: What is final nirvana in the Tibetan tradition?

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

In short, when someone like Guru Rinpoche passes away, he’s still available to people through prayer for Buddha Activities and blessings. However it takes no effort on his part at all.

That’s very different than an Arhat’s liberation that’s like being in a coma. BIG difference.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: What is final nirvana in the Tibetan tradition?

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

You should really find a teacher to have some trust in, ask them these questions, and start studying/practicing. Continuing to go in a circle over this one fairly abstract question is not going to get you anywhere.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
Artziebetter1
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Re: What is final nirvana in the Tibetan tradition?

Post by Artziebetter1 »

nomono wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:44 pm I had the same problems as you when I first learned about buddhist teachings. Not anymore.

Ive read a lot of books by Teachers like Thrangu Rinpoche, Tai Situ Rinpoche Kalu Rinpoche etc. who all (and not only them) describe Buddhahood not as mere nothingness where nothing is. The Buddhas enlightened activities never cease.
Consciousness which ceases in attaining Buddhahood is described as the deluded dualistic mind which never existed and was all along an illusion. There is something that is recognized which they call Primordial Wisdom (Jnana) or Primordial Awareness.
Some call it the clear light mind of a Buddha which is empty yet luminous. Emptiness does not mean it doesnt exist.

The Mind of a Buddha or Buddhanature has to be called empty because if not it would be a thing, and things are produced, have a birth and dissolution or end. People would misunderstand it as something graspable and would reified it.
But because the mind is empty it is unimpeded, not here or there, not fixed. Thats how I have understood.

Maybe read the works of Thrangu Rinpoche and Tai Situ Rinpoche and if you lean to this nihilistic views read about shentong madhyamaka teachings. And then go back to rangtong teachings.

Read "Transcending Ego: Distinguishing Consciousness from Wisdom" by Thrangu Rinpoche and "Ground, Path and Fruition" by Tai Situ Rinpoche and "Luminous Mind" by Kalu Rinpoche. They helped me a lot.

Dont think that Buddhahood is mere nothingness.
Thanks so much for this.Didnt Malcolm say in one thread that Buddha’s not ceasing enlightened activity is a misconception?I can find the quote if you want.

Shentong merely says that a person has Buddha nature and it’s obscured not that nirvana is awareness do they?

I will read these works.but if the five skandhas are gone away with what is left for a Buddha to have awareness with?I always thought in the sutras that a Buddha only acts based on past merit and volition because he’s not aware.
Artziebetter1
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Re: What is final nirvana in the Tibetan tradition?

Post by Artziebetter1 »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:50 pm From the point of understanding of ordinary beings,
Perfect awareness, and extinction of “consciousness” (as we experience it) appear as contradictory.
Two totally different things.
This seems to be your reoccurring dilemma.

But for a Buddha, this is not a contradiction at all.
You might even say that buddhahood itself is
the resolving of this apparent conflict
(both sides of which are samsaric concepts).

According to the Vajrayana Teachings
Buddha is a manifestation of (the) Dharmakaya,
You might say, the ultimate big truth of everything.
Yes it does seem very contradictory.from what I understand a Buddha has no awareness at all the way I mean it and he acts based on past merit and action like a robot.thats just what I fear and have read.I could be wrong.
Artziebetter1
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Re: What is final nirvana in the Tibetan tradition?

Post by Artziebetter1 »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 7:04 pm You should really find a teacher to have some trust in, ask them these questions, and start studying/practicing. Continuing to go in a circle over this one fairly abstract question is not going to get you anywhere.
My city has no lamas at all.
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: What is final nirvana in the Tibetan tradition?

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Artziebetter1 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 7:58 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 7:04 pm You should really find a teacher to have some trust in, ask them these questions, and start studying/practicing. Continuing to go in a circle over this one fairly abstract question is not going to get you anywhere.
My city has no lamas at all.
There are all kinds of lamas teaching on the internet. Honestly, you are also impatient and obsessed with this question. You should slow down and do some real study along with the help of informed teaching. It doesn’t have to be any in person; you should just adjust your expectations of some immediate answer to a complex question.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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Re: What is final nirvana in the Tibetan tradition?

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

I just PMed you.
Check your inbox.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
Artziebetter1
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Re: What is final nirvana in the Tibetan tradition?

Post by Artziebetter1 »

I'm reading transcending ego:distinguishing Consciousness from wisdom now and its a great book!Thanks for the recommendations.I will read the second book after I read this one.
Artziebetter1
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Re: What is final nirvana in the Tibetan tradition?

Post by Artziebetter1 »

The clarity of the dharmakaya’s wisdom is called “the mirror-like wisdom.” All images whether a king’s castle or rotting meat appear clearly as in a mirror. But while clearly seen, there is no attachment to these appearances. The Buddha is able to clearly see human being’s purity and impurities, their delusions and suffering. Due to mirror-like wisdom everything is precisely known by the Buddha. Whatever is reflected in the mirror of this wisdom appears unmistakably, that is, white does not appear as yellow or yellow does not appear as red. Similarly, the dharmakaya perceives everything as it really is.
The sambhogakaya has two wisdoms: firstly, the wisdom of equanimity, in which everything is seen impartially. With this wisdom there is no distinction between important and unimportant, self and other, best or worst; nevertheless, this does not mean that a buddha cannot discern good and bad, suffering and bliss, delusion and non-delusion. The sambhogakaya can discriminate between these because the sambhogakaya has the second wisdom; discriminating awareness—phenomena are distinguished accurately, but are viewed impartially.
Impure beings that have no aspiration
It is the storehouse containing all the latencies of samsaric appearance. Although its nature is neutral, and it does not impede liberation in itself, it is the source of everything that has to be eliminated. This suggests that the ground consciousness is the foundation for samsara, but not for nirvana. When the ground consciousness is eliminated by “the vajra samadhi” with vajra meaning something which is “indestructible” and samadhi meaning “meditation,” it is transformed into the wisdoms and is no longer the ground consciousness. So the nature of the ground consciousness is delusion; not the true nature of reality. When Buddhahood or arhatship is attained, the ground consciousness ends.
The ground consciousness is the true identity of external phenomena such as mountains and the internal phenomena such as thoughts. This is because the ground consciousness is the source of all the illusory appearances of samsara. Although its nature is neutral, and it does not impede liberation in itself, it is the source of everything that has to be eliminated.

Interesting quotes from that book.if you do not have sight,touch,smell,or hearing then aren't you completely unconscious?
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Re: What is final nirvana in the Tibetan tradition?

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

...but if the five skandhas are gone away with what is left for a Buddha to have awareness with?I
Dharmakaya. It’s pure awareness.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
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Re: What is final nirvana in the Tibetan tradition?

Post by Caoimhghín »

Ayu wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:51 amIn Tibetan buddhism I only heard of 10 bhumis.
I thought there was up to 20 depending on your tradition, but I certainly am not a Tibetan Buddhist with seriously relevant exposure to Tibetan Buddhism, just a mere book reader with regards to serious interfacing with anything Tibetan, and one who often merely just skims. For instance, I can't substantiate why I think some sects add 10 whole extra bhūmis after Buddhahood.
savi saghara aṇica di, savi saghara dukha di, savi dhama aṇatva di:
yada paśadi cakhkṣuma tada nivinadi dukha eṣo mago viśodhia.

"All formations are inconstant," he said.
"All formations are stressful," he said.
"All phenomena are selfless," he said.
When one sees this, one becomes adverse to stress, and this is the path of purity.

(Gāndhārī Dharmapada fragments)
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Re: What is final nirvana in the Tibetan tradition?

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

In Tibetan buddhism I only heard of 10 bhumis.
10 Bodhisattva bhumis.
Then Buddhahood, which is sometimes subdivided into 3 bhumis.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: What is final nirvana in the Tibetan tradition?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Artziebetter1 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 7:57 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:50 pm From the point of understanding of ordinary beings,
Perfect awareness, and extinction of “consciousness” (as we experience it) appear as contradictory.
Two totally different things.
This seems to be your reoccurring dilemma.

But for a Buddha, this is not a contradiction at all.
You might even say that buddhahood itself is
the resolving of this apparent conflict
(both sides of which are samsaric concepts).

According to the Vajrayana Teachings
Buddha is a manifestation of (the) Dharmakaya,
You might say, the ultimate big truth of everything.
Yes it does seem very contradictory.from what I understand a Buddha has no awareness at all the way I mean it and he acts based on past merit and action like a robot.thats just what I fear and have read.I could be wrong.
Well, you could be.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
nomono
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Re: What is final nirvana in the Tibetan tradition?

Post by nomono »

Why do you need the sense organs to have awareness?

Think of a person who has no touch sense, no hearing sense, no smelling sense and no sight. Would that person be unconscious? No. Awareness or Consciousness can function without the senses.
In fact (as far as I know and please correct me) there is a time in the dissolution process of the body where all sense organs are shut down and the dying person is still aware.

Dont fix and limit/restrict awareness/mind. The goal is to achieve total unimpeded free mind.

And Shentong as well as traditional rangtong both do not teach nihilistic nothingness or that Buddhas have no awareness. But this ‚awareness‘ or buddhamind cant be really expressed in words with our deluded dualistic mind.
Full Buddhahood cannot be described it has to be tasted

I would also recommend you commentaries of the Uttaratantra which speak about the qualities of a Buddha.
Karl Brunnölzl ‚When Clouds Part‘ and ‚Luminous Heart‘ where he describes teachings of the 3rd Karmapa on this issues.
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