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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:45 pm 
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Anders wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Crazywisdom wrote:
Anyway as Sanderson points out, Vajrayana was only a skillful means to condition Shakta Shaivas to recognize fundamental Mahayana principles.


Are you kidding? This is common knowledge for centuries.


Wait, what? Can you expand on that?


Yes, Indian Buddhist texts clearly describe how the different tantra series were taught for the purpose of the conversion of different casts. Highest Yoga Tantra was taught in order to appeal to the lowest castes.

M

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:13 pm 
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Malcolm wrote:

Yes, Indian Buddhist texts clearly describe how the different tantra series were taught for the purpose of the conversion of different casts. Highest Yoga Tantra was taught in order to appeal to the lowest castes.

M


So presumably us westerners are a modern variant of the 'lowest caste'?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:29 pm 
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Malcolm wrote:
Anders wrote:
Crazywisdom wrote:
Anyway as Sanderson points out, Vajrayana was only a skillful means to condition Shakta Shaivas to recognize fundamental Mahayana principles.

Wait, what? Can you expand on that?


Yes, Indian Buddhist texts clearly describe how the different tantra series were taught for the purpose of the conversion of different casts. Highest Yoga Tantra was taught in order to appeal to the lowest castes.

M


So tantra understands itself as being hinduist oriented upaya?

Ie, if in another world or time Tantra popped up alongside christianity, it would have looked radically different to appeal to these? How extensive is this? Do they understand it to be something uniquely Buddhist simply given hindu dressing, or something more quintessentially Hindu re-purposed and made possible for liberation?

What I mean is something along the lines of - Are you basically saying that Hindu beliefs and culture were the Raison D'etre of tantra and that without these there'd be no point to the arising of tantra (as opposed to Hindu culture more or less incidentally being the environment it was revealed in)?

Do you have some citations on this to get a feel for how the tantras understood themselves in this regard?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:33 pm 
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Malcolm wrote:
Yes, Indian Buddhist texts clearly describe how the different tantra series were taught for the purpose of the conversion of different casts. Highest Yoga Tantra was taught in order to appeal to the lowest castes.

That's slightly different from saying that Vajrayana was only a skillful means to condition Shakta Shaivas to recognize fundamental Mahayana principles, unless Shakta Shaivas = lowest castes.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:16 pm 
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Anders wrote:
Do you have some citations on this to get a feel for how the tantras understood themselves in this regard?

Here's a quotation from "The Treasury of Precious Qualities Book Two":
Quote:
The fourfold classification of the tantras according to caste takes into account the characteristic behavior of the beings in question. The conduct of the brahmin caste is dominated by a preoccupation with cleanliness and ascetic practice. The conduct of the merchant caste maintains a balance between physical, verbal, and mental activities. The kingly caste is characterized by vast aspirations; and, here, mental activity pre­dominates. Finally, the menial caste comprises those who belong to the common or lowest social rank, who have little interest in cleanliness and whose behavior is strongly marked by defilement. The four classes of tantra were expounded for these four classes of human beings. The Tantra of the Play of Chakrasamvara says:

    Kriyatantra fits the cleanly ways of brahmins.
    Charyatantra, higher than the former, fits the merchants’ life.
    Yogatantra fits the king with many retinues.To the ignorant and to no one else
    I taught primordial freedom.
    Now I set it forth for you, my lovely maid!

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Last edited by dzogchungpa on Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:17 pm 
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dzogchungpa wrote:
unless Shakta Shaivas = lowest castes.


In general, yes.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:19 pm 
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udawa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:

Yes, Indian Buddhist texts clearly describe how the different tantra series were taught for the purpose of the conversion of different casts. Highest Yoga Tantra was taught in order to appeal to the lowest castes.

M


So presumably us westerners are a modern variant of the 'lowest caste'?


The four tantra sets are also related to the four yugas, with HYT being connected with the Kali Yuga and so on.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:20 pm 
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Malcolm wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
unless Shakta Shaivas = lowest castes.


In general, yes.


Source? Samayacara is an almost exclusively Brahmin formulation and is the dominant Srividya lineage. Same goes for Saktism at the time of Abhinavagupta et al in Kashmir. Kapalika and Kulacara were outside the varna system altogether and would have all varnas represented in a single circle.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:29 pm 
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Karma Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
unless Shakta Shaivas = lowest castes.


In general, yes.


Source? Samayacara is an almost exclusively Brahmin formulation and is the dominant Srividya lineage. Same goes for Saktism at the time of Abhinavagupta et al in Kashmir. Kapalika and Kulacara were outside the varna system altogether and would have all varnas represented in a single circle.


Shiva temples are the only temples where all castes may enter. Other kinds of temples have caste restrictions, reserved only for the twice born castes.

But the real point is that Candalas and so on like to drink alcohol and eat meat, and so HYT is formulated to attract them.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:44 pm 
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Malcolm wrote:

But the real point is that Candalas and so on like to drink alcohol and eat meat, and so HYT is formulated to attract them.


So, if this is the case, is HYT really "transgressive" as so many would like to think?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:59 pm 
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conebeckham wrote:
So, if this is the case, is HYT really "transgressive" as so many would like to think?

The 5 nectars seem a bit on the transgressive side to me, but I'm kind of prudish.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:05 pm 
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conebeckham wrote:
Malcolm wrote:

But the real point is that Candalas and so on like to drink alcohol and eat meat, and so HYT is formulated to attract them.


So, if this is the case, is HYT really "transgressive" as so many would like to think?


For Buddhists born in the upper classes, sure.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:55 pm 
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Malcolm wrote:
Shiva temples are the only temples where all castes may enter. Other kinds of temples have caste restrictions, reserved only for the twice born castes.

But the real point is that Candalas and so on like to drink alcohol and eat meat, and so HYT is formulated to attract them.


That's not true of all the Vaishnava temples I know of, from Rameshvaram to Vrindavan. I can't think of any major temple that has such restrictions. Can you point to a source for this?

Certainly within Shaiva and Shakta sources it is not true that alcohol and meat were included to attract people habituated to their use. In fact, it was specifically prohibited for them as their character would fall into pashubhava. The pancamakara are only to be used by those with virabhava disposition. I can't speak to HYT and the reasons it was included, but certainly in terms of the Shaiva/Shakta tradition this wouldn't make much sense.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:01 pm 
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Karma Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Shiva temples are the only temples where all castes may enter. Other kinds of temples have caste restrictions, reserved only for the twice born castes.

But the real point is that Candalas and so on like to drink alcohol and eat meat, and so HYT is formulated to attract them.


That's not true of all the Vaishnava temples I know of, from Rameshvaram to Vrindavan. I can't think of any major temple that has such restrictions. Can you point to a source for this?

Certainly within Shaiva and Shakta sources it is not true that alcohol and meat were included to attract people habituated to their use. In fact, it was specifically prohibited for them as their character would fall into pashubhava. The pancamakara are only to be used by those with virabhava disposition. I can't speak to HYT and the reasons it was included, but certainly in terms of the Shaiva/Shakta tradition this wouldn't make much sense.


Dont conflate Hinduism/Indian religion as it exists now with Hinduism as it existed in the 8-11th century.

Anyway, what follows is clearly a description of a Kaulacarya rite, in his General Presentation of The Divisions of Tantras, Sonam Tsemo writes:

    Additionally, the passion-filled followers of Mahādeva imagine the result to obtain is Maheśvara as a saṃbhogakāya. Having receive the complete empowerment in their own system, they train in the intimate instruction of vase breathing, the intimate instruction of the garuda, and so on. Having gathered at the special time, when doing the ritual, the males are seated on the right , the females seated on the left, lighting nine floating butter lamps in the middle, likewise those burn, the tips are turned down, and having placed them in the water, also mothers, sisters, etc., are enjoyed.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:30 pm 
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Malcolm wrote:
Dont conflate Hinduism/Indian religion as it exists now with Hinduism as it existed in the 8-11th century.


I am not conflating anything, adhikara according to bhava is present in the earliest Shaiva/Shakta tantras (for example Rudrayamala) and consistent throughout all scriptures. It is intrinsic to this tantric system. Do you have an actual source for Shaiva/Shakta being associated with and practiced primarily by lower and outcastes or are you just speculating based on reports from Tibetans? There is no evidence of this within the Shakta systems themselves.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:41 pm 
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Karma Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Dont conflate Hinduism/Indian religion as it exists now with Hinduism as it existed in the 8-11th century.


I am not conflating anything, adhikara according to bhava is present in the earliest Shaiva/Shakta tantras (for example Rudrayamala) and consistent throughout all scriptures. It is intrinsic to this tantric system. Do you have an actual source for Shaiva/Shakta being associated with and practiced primarily by lower and outcastes or are you just speculating based on reports from Tibetans? There is no evidence of this within the Shakta systems themselves.


Going to the region of the Brahmaputra, he discovered hosts of men and women apparently engaged in non-Vedik practises, swilling wine, eating flesh and engaging in sexual intercourse. All were naked, their eyes reddened with liquor. Yet all were enlightened. Going to Buddha, Vashishta asked how this could be. Buddha is made to reply: "Vashishta, listen! I will speak of the highest path of Kula by knowing which a man takes the form of Rudra immediately!" He then speaks of the practice of Mahachinachara. By this method, all the Hindu gods became enlightened.

http://www.shivashakti.com/rudrayam.htm

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:08 pm 
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Malcolm wrote:
Going to the region of the Brahmaputra, he discovered hosts of men and women apparently engaged in non-Vedik practises, swilling wine, eating flesh and engaging in sexual intercourse. All were naked, their eyes reddened with liquor. Yet all were enlightened. Going to Buddha, Vashishta asked how this could be. Buddha is made to reply: "Vashishta, listen! I will speak of the highest path of Kula by knowing which a man takes the form of Rudra immediately!" He then speaks of the practice of Mahachinachara. By this method, all the Hindu gods became enlightened.

http://www.shivashakti.com/rudrayam.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Where is the reference to lower castes and outcastes? This merely refers to pancamakara practice in the Tibetan or Arunachal Pradesh region (Mahachina) in the higher reaches of the Brahmaputra, not lower castes in India.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:12 pm 
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Karma Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Going to the region of the Brahmaputra, he discovered hosts of men and women apparently engaged in non-Vedik practises, swilling wine, eating flesh and engaging in sexual intercourse. All were naked, their eyes reddened with liquor. Yet all were enlightened. Going to Buddha, Vashishta asked how this could be. Buddha is made to reply: "Vashishta, listen! I will speak of the highest path of Kula by knowing which a man takes the form of Rudra immediately!" He then speaks of the practice of Mahachinachara. By this method, all the Hindu gods became enlightened.

http://www.shivashakti.com/rudrayam.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Where is the reference to lower castes and outcastes? This merely refers to pancamakara practice in the Tibetan or Arunachal Pradesh region (Mahachina) in the higher reaches of the Brahmaputra, not lower castes in India.


Non-vedic...

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:02 pm 
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Malcolm wrote:
Non-vedic...


You are reading too much into this. Shudras are part of the vedic fold as illustrated in the Purusha Sukta, just not twice-born. Even outcastes like Candala are part of the vedic society, fulfilling roles that are considered ritually unclean. This reference to non-vedic people is to people from the Tibetan plateau that are not practicing the Vedas at all.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:19 pm 
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Karma Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Non-vedic...


You are reading too much into this. Shudras are part of the vedic fold as illustrated in the Purusha Sukta, just not twice-born. Even outcastes like Candala are part of the vedic society, fulfilling roles that are considered ritually unclean. This reference to non-vedic people is to people from the Tibetan plateau that are not practicing the Vedas at all.



The Indian texts refer to Candalas explicitly. Anyway, the main point is that Indian commentators identified HYT has being for Shaivaites and lower cast people who liked booze, meat and sex, and lower tantra for the successively higher casts who are more constrained by ritual purity.

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