mutsuk wrote:In the Kalacakra daytime and nighttime yogas, the so-called "visions" are not described as "visions" but as signs (rtags).
Tagtsang Lotsawa makes the argument, and a very interesting one at that -- he asserts that if wisdom is not the basis, the visions of pratyāhāra will not arise. He then states it is because wisdom is merged with emptiness that the visions can arise:
- "Great bliss and empty forms [śunyatābimba, stong gzugs] are shown to exist in the basis with this wisdom element of the basis [gzhi]...and it is established through the citation of the root text and commentary of “wisdom merged into emptiness." The reasoning is that it is because the visions of the empty forms when mediating on withdrawal [pratyāhāra, so sor sdud pa] and so on will therefore be without a cause."
I find this to be a credible account for explaining the genesis of thogal visions as well.
Mipham states in his commentary on the Wisdom Chapter of Kalacakra (as translated by Ives Waldo):
- Depending on the great perfection, the path of thod rgal is still a procedure of the completion stage that involves effort. In general establishing the kāya of illusion etc. teaches the display [rtsal] of the illusory body, a teaching which also arises in the father tantras and in the mother tantras. Depending on bliss and bindu, it is taught relying on luminous display. In the Dzogchen tantras there is insight from emptiness the natural state, the wisdom of reality. From mere direct resting in luminous appearance, the conventions of the illusory body etc. are taught.
In all these [teachings], by practicing the intrinsic radiance of the luminous nature of mind as the special pith of the quick path of mantra, both dharmakāya and rūpakāya, in their respective ways are made into real objects, and one seems to enter into them. However, by the distinction of [this experience] having or not having subtle contaminations of karmic prā.na, whichever it may be, there is the ultimate of all completion stages, the effortless great perfection, the secret path of the Oral Instruction Class, up to the four appearances of thod rgal, with paths ever higher and higher, the vast way of attaining truth that cannot be taken away. There is that explanation, but it is not presented by many writings.
I agree that the daytime yoga in Kalacakra is not thogal, but they even describe buddhaforms showing up in the center of thigles, use of postures and gazes, etc.
Of course there are differences in the two systems, but it is my present opinion (which could change tomorrow based on some reliably datable text) that it is unlikely that thogal developed until after the Kalacakra was introduced to Tibet (1027). My speculation is that these entopic visions were given a context by the elaborate internal anatomy presented in Kalacakra, and this was further developed by yogis in Dzogchen circles.