Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

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Re: Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

Post by Grigoris »

AmidaB wrote: Thu May 02, 2019 8:24 am Maybe this is an interesting in relation to the 'atman' (from here: ... ed-using-a)
I will attempt to answer, with help from mAnUkya upanishad. English language, being the most simplistic in grammar, has and uses only 1 word to describe Atma. That 1 word being soul. However, according to vEdAnta, there are several types of Atma. Per mAndUkya upanishad verse ii, Atma is of chatush pAda or of 4 quarters, which are -

vaiswAnara Atma = This Atma governs your body when you are in the awake state of being, such as between when you get up from bed in morning till you sleep at night. Into this Atma our mind is sucked into and retained until we go to sleep.
taijasa Atma = This Atma governs our body when we are dreaming state during our sleep. When you are asleep at night, and are dreaming, it is this Atma that is 'living' in the body. Into this Atma our mind is sucked into and retained until we move from dreaming state to non-dreaming state in our sleep.
pragnyAna Atma = This Atma governs our body when we are in the REM sleep stage during our sleep. That is the state when we are asleep but are not dreaming yet we are breathing and alive. Into this Atma our mind is sucked into and retained until we wake up from sleep. This 'is the lord of all; this is omniscient; this is the in-dwelling controller (of all); this is the source and indeed the origin and dissolution of all beings.' claims verse 6 of mAndUkya upanishad. Therefore, it can be emphasized that so long as this pragnyAna Atma exists, the body is alive or made to live, otherwise the body cannot live or be made alive.
Verse 7 then goes into the 'turiya' state of the Atma, or the 4th pada the 4th quarter of Atma, but for the purpose of this answer, going into it in detail is not necessary and it will suffice to explain what it is by simply stating that it is neither conscious nor unconscious, it exists within us as well as outside us.

Based on above verses of mAndUkya upanishad, it is clear that a body can still be medically alive even if one or all 2 of the above non-turiya Atmas are gone, so long as the pragnyAna Atma is still present, even if it is just a flicker, in the body.
Interesting breakdown. Reminds me of the Tibetan teachings on the intermediary states (bardo).
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

Post by cclawyer »

Tibetan Buddhists adopted the Mahayana philosophy of the Self returning to its pure origins, as described in The Mahaparinirvana Sutra:
“If a person is able truly to discern
That his/ her intrinsic being possesses the Buddha-Nature,
Then you should know that such a person
Will enter into the Secret Matrix [the Tathagatagarbha].
That person who knows the Self [atman] and what belongs to the Self [atmiya]
Has already transcended the mundane world.”
Mahaparinirvana Sutra, Chapter Twelve: On the Nature of the Tathagata, p. 104, translation by Kosho Yamamoto 1973, Dr. Tony Page, 2007

The Mahayana doctrine of Tathagatagharbha mirrors the Upanishadic doctrine of Atman because “when Buddhism developed itself into Mahāyāna Buddhism, it could not but take the appearance of Monism as a result of Absolutization of the Buddha, and approach the Upanisadic thinking in its philosophy.” Jikido Takasaki, A Study on the Ratnagotravibhagha (Uttaratantra), Being a Treatise on the Tathagatagarbha Theory of Mahayana Buddhism

Thus, like Hindu yogis, Tibetan Buddhists pursue yogic practices and seek the guru’s blessings to remove kleshas that obscure awareness of Tathagatagharba, the Essence of Mind. “What we call ‘essence of mind’ is the actual face of unconditioned pure awareness, which is recognized through receiving the guru's blessings and instructions. If you wonder what this is like, it is empty in essence, beyond conceptual reference; it is cognizant by nature, spontaneously present; and it is all-pervasive and unobstructed in its compassionate energy.”Mipham Rinpoche, The Essence of Mind

Once re-established in the pure awareness of the Essence of Mind or Tathagatagharba, one becomes the equal of the Buddha. “’The Self’ signifies the Buddha; ’the Eternal’ signifies the Dharmakaya; ’Bliss’ signifies Nirvana, and ’the Pure’ signifies Dharma.” Mahaparinirvana Sutra, Chapter Twenty-Three From that liberated sphere, the Bodhisattvas emanate benefit into all realms, as generosity becomes their vehicle to achieve the ultimate liberation of all beings. The Mahaparinirvana sutra states: “When the Bodhisattva gives, he so contrives things that beings do not ask and yet are given [what they need]. As a result of this, on the morning of Buddhahood, he attains the Sovereign Self [aisvarya-atman; i.e. the autonomous, free and unrestricted Self].” Mahaparinirvana Sutra, Chapter Twenty-Three

Thus, Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism espouse similar views of the cause of compelled reincarnation and the means of ending it. Compelled reincarnation is due to infatuation with appearances, arising from delusive belief in self-existence separate from Atman or Tathagatagharba. Compelled reincarnation is ended by cleansing the mind of kleshas that cause attraction to external objects. “All created things are sorrow; Nirvana is Bliss. It is most wonderful and destroys create
d things.” Mahaparinirvana Sutra, Chapter Twenty-Three

The two flows of doctrine were symbolically merged when Avalokiteshvara, the Buddhist god of compassion, was merged with Shiva, the King of the Vedic Yogis. "Wangchuk Chenpo (Mahashevara, Shiva), the great god of Hinduism, is also described as a manifestation of Avalokiteshvara.[url= ... actice%20-
%20TL%20August%202006.pdf]Tai Situ Rinpoche, Avalokiteshvara Practice.[/url]

The Uttara Tantra is a really core text on Buddha Nature, and some kind person posted a pdf of it at this link. The Uttara Tantra: A Treatise on Buddha Nature A Commentary on The Uttara Tantra Sastra of Asariga by The Venerable Khenchen Thrangu, RinpocheAbbot of Rumtek Monastery, transIated by Ken and Katia Holmes
From the Foreword: ''one of the greatest works of this tradition, The Uttara Tantra by the great scholar Asanga was preserved. This book consists of 404 verses devoted almost exclusively to enduring and permanent in this world, namely, tathagatagarba or buddha nature. Buddha nature is that primary essence that all beings possess and which is the essence that makes it possible for all beings to achieve enlightenment."

For a recent scholarly discussion of the co-emergence of Hindu and Buddhist Tantra, this article is an eye-opener. C. Wallis, A Comparison of Shaiva and Buddhist Tantra
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