Can someone comment abit about the relationship between practising yidams and dzogchen? What is the common trend now? Do we need to practise yidam in order to practise dzogchen and how many yidams, dakinis and protectors do we need?
any related comments or experiences in this area thanks!
Dzogchen sees others yana as provisory.
Garab Dorje says : "Dzogpa Chenpo is the fortress of view, its Paths and stages are completed instantly. It is not comparable to the lower yanas.
From the Kunched Gyalpo tantra it is said ...
In Mahayoga, intending to attain the Vajradhara state and
Having entered the door of skillful means and wisdom,
In the pure mandala of one's own mind-stream,
One trains ine the fourfold "recitation-and-sadhana."
Whereas the great bliss of Atiyoga
Is the enlightened mind, free from efforts and acquirements.
The view with efforts and acquirements in Dzogpa Chenpo
Is a diversion to Mahayoga.
If one views things as cause and result in Dzogpa Chenpo,
It is a diversion to Anuyoga.
Well Sönam in the 17 tantras of the Instruction section there is yidam practice. There is also things like prostrations, mandala offerings, guru yoga and so on I been told. How do you explain that if it is your opinion that yidam practice belong to the lower yanas?
Also it always been obvious, to me at least, that the Kunjed Gyalpo teaches in a way that can only be understood fully by very seasoned mahayoga practioners.
It's not my own opinion, as I comment it, you can found all those references in the "Practice of Dzogchen" by Longchen Rabjam.
But my opinion is that it seems quite evident ...
Dzogchen is the path and the fruit at the same time.
The nature of the Basis is, primordially pure essence (Ngo-Bo), Spontaneously accomplished nature (Rang bZhin), and omnipresent compassion (Thugs-rJe). Compassion arises from the basis with the "eight modes of arising of spontaneous accomplishments" (Lhun-Grub Kyi 'Ch'ar-Tshul brGyad) ... if one realize them, when they arise, to be self-appearances, it is Dzogchen.
If one sees them as other than self-appearances then it becomes Ma-Rig-Pa ... therefore one start practicing ngöndro, and so on.
Therefore Dzogchen is Rigpa and is without any other needs ... other is Ma-Rigpa and needs ngöndro and deities practices.
ANd I do not agree with the relation you made between the Kunjed Gyalpo Tantra and mahayoga.
Kunjed Gyalpo is from the Semde Division, and as Gyurmed Tshewang Chogtrub explains it clearly :
"The theory of Semde transcends all the various levels of yanas, two truths, six perfections and two stages
, all the composed and contamined aspects of the 'truth of path' which are bound with the rigid concept of apprehending ..."