Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

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Malcolm
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Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it

Post by Malcolm » Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:34 pm

theanarchist wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
theanarchist wrote: Then of course there is the four Dzogchen "samayas", which are unbreakable since they are not conditioned.
Other vajrayana samaya connections are just as unbreakable.
Not what I meant. What I meant was that Dzogchen samayas are connected with reality. The 22 Vajrayāna samayas of the new tantra schools or the 29 samayas of the old tantra tradition are connnected with view and conduct.
Because even if it's nowhere as explicit as in dzogchen, in a highest yogatantra initiation what makes the initiation valid is the conferrence of a spark of the absolute nature of the deity.
No divine spark is implanted, Gurus are not creator gods.

What happens during an anuttarayoga initiation is an arrangement of dependent origination. Each initiation has its own samayas connected with the practices which it permits one to do. Please Kongtrul's Buddhist Ethics for a full account.
The vows you take during an initiation are vows, they are not the actual samaya.
Of course they are.
The actual samaya is the connection you make with the teacher by receiving initiation, the vows are a tool that enables the disciple to progress on that path in a meaningful way.
The vows are what maintain that connection. When you break those, you break the connection.
It is not harmful because you made some promise, it's harmful because it not following those rules is in itself harmful once you have made this type of connection.
It's harmful because you have made a promise, and that is the connection; this is why "dam tshig", "solemn word" is how Tibetans translate the term samaya. There is no mystical basis for samaya. It is premised strictly on accepting a set of promises.
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theanarchist
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Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it

Post by theanarchist » Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:30 pm

Malcolm wrote:
theanarchist wrote: It's harmful because you have made a promise, and that is the connection; this is why "dam tshig", "solemn word" is how Tibetans translate the term samaya. There is no mystical basis for samaya. It is premised strictly on accepting a set of promises.

No, it's not harmful because you have made a promise. It is harmful because in the initiation you made that special connection. If you would make the same promises outside of an initiation it would not have those consequences like for example vajra hell if you start to go against that teacher.

That's why you call that person vajra-master and root guru and it workes markedly differently than the connection you have with a sutra-mahayana teacher, for example in zen.

There definitely is a "mystical" basis for samaya. (that's why it's called SECRET mantra vajrayana) Without it there would be no samaya, nothing secret, along with no potential for "liberation in one lifetime" or "vajra hell". A simple broken vow will not get you to the lowest realm possible, it's nowhere near potent enough for such a result.

Maybe so far the "secret" bit in secret mantra vajrayana eluded you ;)

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Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it

Post by Norwegian » Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:50 pm

theanarchist,

Maybe you should start citing sources for your claims.

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Malcolm
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Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it

Post by Malcolm » Fri Dec 27, 2013 8:14 pm

theanarchist wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
theanarchist wrote: It's harmful because you have made a promise, and that is the connection; this is why "dam tshig", "solemn word" is how Tibetans translate the term samaya. There is no mystical basis for samaya. It is premised strictly on accepting a set of promises.

No, it's not harmful because you have made a promise. It is harmful because in the initiation you made that special connection.
That special connection is nothing more than the dependent origination you create with that teacher. You cannot take those promises outside of empowerment at all.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Relax, don’t worry about all the problems of samsara. Everything is relative. But try to be present.


— Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

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Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it

Post by reddust » Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:02 pm

Sayama to me seems like a promise, vow, or bonding. I did a little search and pulled up Berzin again. Common Bonding practice.

I need to get into my big books as well, you know for literal support. This has peaked my curiosity. I have met many teachers, only a few felt like I had a connection (I felt as if I knew them), either deep love, intense curiosity, loyalty, admiration, which has continued to this day even though I may not see these teachers again. I felt this way about certain Dharma students as well, especially when I first started. That felt like a bond as well. Taking the teachings, promising to respect the teachings, the teacher, you know, the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, Guru, yidam, and Dakini...that seems like Samaya to me as well.

I think this all is psychic, you know, it happens in the mind of the student, nothing magical unless you want it to be :namaste:
Mind and mental events are concepts, mere postulations within the three realms of samsara Longchenpa .... A link to my Garden, Art and Foodie blog Scratch Living

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Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it

Post by dzogchungpa » Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:11 pm

Malcolm wrote:That special connection is nothing more than the dependent origination you create with that teacher. You cannot take those promises outside of empowerment at all.
I've often wondered what exactly is going on during an empowerment. I don't see how saying this special connection is the dependent origination created with that teacher really explains anything. Could you elaborate?
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Malcolm
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Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it

Post by Malcolm » Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:38 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:That special connection is nothing more than the dependent origination you create with that teacher. You cannot take those promises outside of empowerment at all.
I've often wondered what exactly is going on during an empowerment. I don't see how saying this special connection is the dependent origination created with that teacher really explains anything. Could you elaborate?

You have five aggregates; these are the cause. The teacher arranges their connection to the five buddhas, the result, through the empowerment. If you don't attain buddhahood during the empowerment, then you have a path to follow.

Most people do not understand that abhisheka is primarily a method of attaining buddhahood, and only secondarily, an introduction to a path.

When we talk about dependent origination, there are five: outer, inner, secret, ultimate and sucheness. If you really want to understand this, then you should go and study Lamdre with the Sakyapas.
Atikosha
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Relax, don’t worry about all the problems of samsara. Everything is relative. But try to be present.


— Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it

Post by dzogchungpa » Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:33 am

Malcolm wrote:You have five aggregates; these are the cause. The teacher arranges their connection to the five buddhas, the result, through the empowerment. If you don't attain buddhahood during the empowerment, then you have a path to follow.
OK, thanks. How does the teacher arrange this connection?
Malcolm wrote:When we talk about dependent origination, there are five: outer, inner, secret, ultimate and sucheness.
Do these correspond to the aggregates and Buddhas?
Malcolm wrote:If you really want to understand this, then you should go and study Lamdre with the Sakyapas.
OK, is there a convenient reference in English to get started?
It takes a great being to be daring enough to cultivate a bad reputation. - Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche

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Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it

Post by theanarchist » Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:55 am

dzogchungpa wrote: I've often wondered what exactly is going on during an empowerment. I don't see how saying this special connection is the dependent origination created with that teacher really explains anything. Could you elaborate?

Well, after the first initiation I ever took (was Guru Rinpoche, given by Chimed Rigdzin Rinpoche) I was pretty much zapped out of my everyday confused state of mind and habitual worries for something like three days. Actually, thinking back, I was running around pretty stoned, but in a high functional way, within a few hours I got myself a new job without any difficulties. Without even much thinking, I just did it. That was probably the best time of my life.

If I learned anything from that experience it is that vajrayana is very much the real thing.

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Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it

Post by theanarchist » Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:08 am

dzogchungpa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:You have five aggregates; these are the cause. The teacher arranges their connection to the five buddhas, the result, through the empowerment. If you don't attain buddhahood during the empowerment, then you have a path to follow.
OK, thanks. How does the teacher arrange this connection?

My guess is that the teacher, who abides in a direct experience of emptiness nature of all phenomenon (and the notion of him/her and disciples as seperated entities no longer existant in his/her mind) in the ceremony just touches and activates that experience in you.

My experience with some lamas is that they can even archieve full blown telepathic abilities and I think that is a result of the realisation of emptiness nature. I have first hand experience of this ability with the late Nyoshul Khenpo and later another, old disciples confirmed it, saying that this was pretty much an everyday occurence around him.

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Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it

Post by theanarchist » Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:13 am

Malcolm wrote:
That special connection is nothing more than the dependent origination you create with that teacher. You cannot take those promises outside of empowerment at all.
Of course not. Without the empowerment itself, there is nothing to promise and nothing to hold.

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Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it

Post by dechengyalmo » Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:09 am

Dear all,

Actually the content of samaya should be teached just after receiving the initiation, this is why we will not find much about it if we do not make our own efforts. And also the ones who have received the samayas and openly talk about its detailed content, break their samayas automatically.

Even for samaya explanations one needs transmission from a teacher. Next to that one can study books on that topic. Getting transmission is the best way, then one avoids so many misunderstandings which will just lead to needless "Samaya Paranoja". You only have to fear it if you do not inform yourself properly.

Did you know for example that 6 factors have to be present in order to break certain samaya? :

For example for the 1st root samaya these 6 factors must be complete in order to be a complete downfall:

1. The master being an authentic one
2. Knowing that the offense will displease him or her
3. Offending the master directly with actions or words
4. Done not for others`sake or similar purposes
5. Done for selfish motives
6. Having no interest in purifying the offense

To be a downfall 7 factor must be present.
1. It must be inspired from an afflictive emotion.
2. You have to be aware that you are acting from an afflicted emotion.
3. The third factor is to be careless in your actions and speech.
4. The fourth factor is to actually cause hurt or harm.
5. The fifth is to have no remorse,
6. The sixth is to rejoice in the action.
7. The seventh is to not be drunk or crazy when you do the action and to be in full possession of your faculties.

If you have all seven of these factors for any of the fourteen commitments, it is a root downfall. If you do not amend the downfall within a fixed period of time, the Tantric vow is completely broken. If you let it go for one year without confessing it to the lama who has given you the empowerment, teaching, and instruction. If the lama has only done two of these three, you have two years to confess. If they have only done one of these three, you have three years to confess.

( from The Treasury of Knowledge, Jamgön Kongtrul, Buddhist ethics)

The samaya is considered to be of a small, an average or of a great extent depending on the strength of the relationship of the student to the vajra-master. From among the three aspects of the Vajrayana relationship (empowerment, explanations and essential instructions) if only empowerment is received, the samaya will be of a small degree. If a combination of two of these three aspects is received, the samaya will be of an average degree and if all three aspects are involved, the samaya is of the greatest degree. Accordingly a broken samaya is graded into small, average and great.

For the Nyingma Lineage you can read from Dudjom Rinpoche "Perfect Conduct" for example.

One general advice: if you do at least 21 times the long Vajrasattva mantra or 1 mall long the short Vajrasattva mantra you will prevent the bad karma accumulating coming from a break, offense, root downfall,.

In the books different are mentioned how to repair broken samayas.

I hope this general information will give some more clarity
Please you all try to get personal teachings and transmission on the samayas who received some. And please DO NOT read the samayas in the book, for the case you plan to order them, if you did NOT received them and better get the transmission to the samayas meaning directly from a teacher, either by going to a dharma center where a lama is or by going to India and ask some Khenpo there.
If you are not sure what you have received, ask the Lama from whom you have received the initiation.

Concerning initiations: You only do not receive samayas when you do not follow the visualization in an initiation, that is the true blessing initiation. But if you follow a initiation with visualization, even the lama will not talk about samayas, usually you have the samayas connected to the particular tantra class you are taking the initiation. At least the teacher will say what kind of specific samayas you will get. Also even you do not take initiations from a master, but if you seriously think of him/her your master and receive teachings of the vajra from him, you are bound by certain samayas too.... so choose wisely with whom you want to establish a student-guru relationship.

And also please read this:

INITIATIONS TO PUBLIC AND SAMAYAS
In this information age, a lot of Vajrayana teachings have been translated, with contents partially extracted and communicated to the public. Sometimes out of compassion and kindness, Vajrayana masters give Anuttarayoga Tantra teachings and initiations even to beginners for them to have a connection with the Vajrayana path. Such teachings often come with samaya vows. However it does not mean that the students receiving them who lack the qualifications to practise and the realisation are bound by these vows.
The students must have some realisation after practising, and having received the samaya from the Annutarayoga Tantra, there should be some genuine effect after practising. If there is no intention of practising nor receiving the samaya vows, and samaya vows were received without any intention or understanding, then the students would not have received the samaya vows at all. Basically, both the guru and the student must be qualified in order to effect the samaya vows.
Samaya is not a joking matter or something to be abused. It cannot be passed on like a piece of mundane contract, it is a very serious matter. The one giving you must have the pure samaya, and the one receiving it must be ready and must have the quality to receive it.
by H.H. Gyalwang Drugpa Rinpoche
http://www.drukpa.org/index.php/en/news ... -of-samaya" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

JUST A INITIATION WITHOUT ANY SAMAYAS ?

Through initiation a teacher introduces you how to transform. Some people say, oh you can receive the initiation, it is just kind of a blessing, there is no commitment. This is not true.This is not serious!
If you want to receive just a blessing, then it is much better you go for example to the teacher and request him, " please teacher give me a very rich blessing". Because within initiation there are many things to put on your head, to eat or to drink. Then you are more sattitisfied, thinking " Now I have received a rich blessing" ,even you do not understand anything. But than after that there is commitment. There is the commitment of doing this practice! If there is no commitment, then why teacher introduce you this path? So through initiation the teacher is giving you a introduction, is empowering you, so for if you are doing this practice, you can have then that realization.

But when you are receiving an initiation and you are not applying, then it is negative, because you have that kind of commitment but to which you are not paying respect! So in this case it is much better you go before receiving an initiation to the teacher asking him to give you a more rich blessing. Then maybe teacher understands and he puts then some more things on your head, more things to eat and drink etc. and then you are sattisfied. Then you have no any commitment. This is the serious!

But also you must not worry for receiving initiations.because if you have knowledge, then you can receiving initiations without any problem: If you are following a teaching practice, you are doing only one kind of practice, and with that you can unify all teachings and receive transmissions etc. into that. If you have this knowledge than you can also keep commitments etc. Then you don't have this problem. But then most people they have not this kind of knowledge.
So when you have not this kind of knowledge and you are receiving inistiation, and you are not doing any practice, then it is becoming negative.

By Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

Much love
Last edited by dechengyalmo on Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Vasana
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Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it

Post by Vasana » Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:17 pm

Useful thread.
"The changing cycle of joy and sorrow, like the changing seasons –
As a time of suffering will surely come around to me,
May I truly practice the sublime teachings."
- Dudjom Rinpoche

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Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by Soma999 » Thu May 12, 2016 11:18 am

Everything imply rules. Everything.

You start a relationship, there are rules about it, if you want to giva this relationship a chance.

You start a job, there are rules, about your employees or collegues, there is a commitment.

You rent a room, there is a commitment to pay, to not do forbiddent things.

Eveythings works because of karma, action.

Collecting empowerments without changing oneself is - from my point of view - useless.

Even collecting a lot of knowledge, but being stubborn, not changing our way to live, not learning how to listen, not even increasing our boddhicitta, which use does it have ?

If knowledge and erudition don't perfect the 6 paramitas, maybe it's just feeding your mental and letting your heart starve.

And how can an empowerment and exercices, meditation be fruitful ? I would suggest they are fruitful when they integrate in a teaching one follow, when they merge with a philosophy, when they unite with a way to live.

Does it mean something to ask to receive the empowerment of Chenrezig, and at the same time, don't make the slightest effort to become a better person ? To cultivate boddicitta ?

Does it makes sense to honour the divine feminine, and at the same time, doing everything to despise women ?
Concerning the way to see the Guru, it's also important. If you consider the Guru to be no better than your neighbour, you will get the blessing of a neighbour. If you see what works through the Guru, you may get something from the spiritual plane.

The way to consider the Guru if not something that should be taken lightly.

Samaya are commitment related to the divine.

This could be energetic : don't take this food etc...

If you are introduced to a mandala and don't give it importance, don't value it, don't live by what it respresents, don't consider how you were introduced to it... why would you want the forces of the mandala to come very fast when you call them ?
One deep samaya is "as one give, so one receive".

If you cherich your teachings, they will transform you.

If you cherish what you receive, it will bring you blessings.

If you give value to what you get, what you get will add value to your life.

One of the greatest samaya is love and devotion.

Then, for some tradition, there are very specific samaya, which for exemple could include not taking certain substances, not doing certain things... they are transmitted when someone is initiated.

Samaya allows one to keep a sacred view, and this kind of view is of utmost importance.

They are not there to reduce our liberty. They are there as natural consequences of entering sacred space.

Well, just my opinion.

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Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by _R_ » Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:48 pm

Inge wrote:So many people speak about samaya, but it is my impression that they, like me, have no idea what samaya really is.
I have never read a satisfactory explanation, neither in books, nor online. Nor have I heard any teacher explain this properly.

In your knowledge, what exactly is samaya?
Ngakpa Karma Lhundup Rinpoche said it is keeping the pure perception towards root guru.
I'm the best.

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Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:55 pm

Inge wrote:So many people speak about samaya, but it is my impression that they, like me, have no idea what samaya really is.
I have never read a satisfactory explanation, neither in books, nor online. Nor have I heard any teacher explain this properly.

In your knowledge, what exactly is samaya?
my oath.

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Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by Tenma » Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:38 am

Are there basic ones for practitioners that are high school freshmen that aren't so complex?

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Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by jkarlins » Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:32 pm

I wonder what the function of the protectors is in terms of samaya connections.

I don't know if this has been brought up either, but samaya as a connection makes me think about other kinds of connection, to people who aren't the lama, or situations. A more general kind of connectedness, as opposed to isolation.

Jake

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Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by Vasana » Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:39 pm

Tenma wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:38 am
Are there basic ones for practitioners that are high school freshmen that aren't so complex?
Well, I'm not sure that's exactly how it works. It might be more fruitful investigating what makes them complex and difficult to follow for you? With that being said, there are more and less ellaborate ways of thinking about Samaya which may be worth considering.

I've heard one way of seeing samaya can loosely be summarized as actually following all of the advice of your teacher at all times. If your teacher is worth his/her weight in salt then this advice isn't limited to formal practice sessions but includes advice on how to orient the mind, body and speech in every moment of the day, regardless of what you're doing. (4 foundations of mindfulness / Satipatthana, non—distraction and prescence )

If we have an honest look at our actions it becomes clear just how often we forget the teachings or don't bring to mind the appropriate teaching at the appropriate moment. This is unavoidable since we are so habituated to distraction and the loss of mindful attentiveness. If you don't have a solid foundation in really integrating the 4 thoughts that turn the mind to the dharma and the four noble truths, it's inevitable your actions will slide towards non-virtue, attachment, aversion, dullness and that which harms samaya rather than actions that inch you closer to realization while preserving samaya. You may think the 4 thoughts and the 4 noble truths are somehow lesser than the main courses of Vajrayana but that isn't really the case. This is why there is so much emphasis on building a stable foundation when approaching Vajrayana. The four thoughts are applicable even for those who have long completed any preliminary practices because we so often forget them in day to day moments.
"The changing cycle of joy and sorrow, like the changing seasons –
As a time of suffering will surely come around to me,
May I truly practice the sublime teachings."
- Dudjom Rinpoche

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Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by Vasana » Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:41 pm

How Atisha maintained his vows:
"The great Indian master who went to teach to Tibet, one day explained to his disciples how he kept his vows. "Since I have taken the monk vows, I have scrupulously respected all rules that they imply without breaking them a single time. As for the bodhisattva vows, I realize that at least once a day I have a thought or accomplish an action violating them. Nevertheless, I never let more than few hours go by before renewing them. As for the Vajrayana commitments, if one considers them in detail, I believe that I almost constantly break them. It is like sand blown onto a plate of polished metal. Although you may try to wipe it away,
the sand constantly piles up" The disciples were surprised by the implications of the last statement. They thought that engaging in Vajrayana practice was more harmful than beneficial, and that there was more chance falling into hell than reaching Awakening.

Atisha said, 'This is not true, because the Vajrayana includes skillful means coming from the Buddha's compassion, allowing us to use the Vajrayana despite unavoidable violations of the samayas. It is said, for example, that if we recite even only twenty-one times a day the one-hundred-syllable mantra of Vajrasattva (Dorje Sempa), this purifies us from these broken vows and preserves the efficiency of the Vajrayana"
"The changing cycle of joy and sorrow, like the changing seasons –
As a time of suffering will surely come around to me,
May I truly practice the sublime teachings."
- Dudjom Rinpoche

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