Interesting excerpt from the (Hindu) Mahanirvana Tantra

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Grigoris
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Interesting excerpt from the (Hindu) Mahanirvana Tantra

Post by Grigoris » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:25 pm

Mahamaya! whatever Thou hast asked for the good of men who act with a view to the fruits of action, I have answered all this in detail (103).

Men cannot live without such actions even for half a moment. Even when men are unwilling, they are, in spite of themselves, drawn by the whirlwind of action (104).

By action men enjoy happiness, and by action again they suffer pain. They are born, they live, and they die the slaves of action (105).
It is for this that I have spoken of various kinds of action, such as Sadhana and the like, for the guidance of the intellectually weak in the paths of righteousness, and that they may be restrained from wicked acts (106).

There are two kinds of action – good and evil; the effect of evil action is that men suffer acute pain (107).
And, O Devi! those who do good acts with minds intent on the fruits thereof go to the next world, and come back again to this, chained by their action (108).

Therefore men will not attain final liberation even at the end of a hundred kalpas so long as action, whether good or evil, is not destroyed (109).
As a man is bound, be it by a gold or iron chain, so he is bound by his action, be it good or evil (110).

So long as a man has not real knowledge, he does not attain final liberation, even though he be in the constant practice of religious acts and a hundred austerities (111).

The knowledge of the wise from whom the darkness of ignorance is removed, and whose souls are pure, arises from the performance of duty without expectation of fruit or reward, and by constant meditation on the Brahman (112).

He who knows that all which is in this universe from Brahma to a blade of grass is but the result of Maya, and that the Brahman is the one and supreme Truth, has this (113).

That man is released from the bonds of action who, renouncing name and form, has attained to complete knowledge of the essence of the eternal and immutable Brahman (114).

Liberation does not come from japa, homa, or a hundred fasts; man becomes liberated by the knowledge that he himself is Brahman (115).
Final liberation is attained by the knowledge that the Atma (Soul) is the witness, is the Truth, is omnipresent, is one, free from all illuding distractions of self and not-self, the supreme, and, though abiding in the body, is not in the body (116).

All imagination of name-form and the like are but the play of a child. He who put away all this sets himself in firm attachment to the Brahman, is, without doubt, liberated (117).

If the image imagined by the (human) mind were to lead to liberation, then undoubtedly men would be Kings by virtue of such kingdoms as they gain in their dreams (118).

Those who (in their ignorance) believe that Ishvara is (only) in images made of clay, or stone, or metal, or wood, merely trouble themselves by their tapas. They can never attain liberation without knowledge (119).

Can men attain final liberation by restriction in food, be they ever so thin thereby, or by uncontrolled indulgence, be they ever so gross therefrom, unless they possess the knowledge of Brahman? (120).

If by observance of Vrata to live on air, leaves of trees, bits of grain, or water, final liberation may be attained, then snakes, cattle, birds, and aquatic animals should all be able to attain final liberation (121).

Brahma-sad-bhava is the highest state of mind; dhyana-bhava is middling; stuti and japa is the last; and external worship is the lowest of all (122).
Yoga is the union of the embodied soul and the Supreme Soul," Puja is the union of the worshipper and the worshipped; but he who realizes that all things are Brahman for him there is neither Yoga nor Puja (123).

For him who possesses the knowledge of Brahman, the supreme knowledge, of what use are japa, yajna," tapas, niyama, and vrata? (124).

He who sees the Brahman, Who is Truth, Knowledge, Bliss, and the One, is by his very nature one with the Brahman. Of what use to him are puja, dhyana, and dharana? (125).

For him who knows that all is Brahman there is neither sin nor virtue, neither heaven nor future birth. There is none to meditate upon, nor one who meditates (126).

The soul which is detached from all things is ever liberated; what can bind it? From what do fools desire to be liberated? (127).

He abides in this Universe, the creation of His powers of illusion, which even the Devas cannot pierce. He is seemingly in the Universe, but not in it (128).

The Spirit, the eternal witness, is in its own nature like the void which exists both outside and inside all things, and which has neither birth nor childhood, nor youth nor old age, but is the eternal intelligence which is ever the same, knowing no change or decay (129-130).

It is the body which is born, matures, and decays. Men enthralled by illusion, seeing this, understand it not (131).

As the Sun (though one and the same) when reflected in different platters of water appears to be many, so by illusion the one soul appears to be many in the different bodies in which it abides (132).

As when water is disturbed the Moon which is reflected in it appears to be disturbed, so when the intelligence is disturbed ignorant men think that it is the soul which is disturbed (133).

As the void inside a jar remains the same ever after the jar is broken, so the Soul remains the same after the body is destroyed (134).

The knowledge of the Spirit, O Devi! is the one means of attaining final liberation; and he who possesses it is verily – yea, verily – liberated in this world, even yet whilst living, there is no doubt of that (135).

Neither by acts, nor by begetting offspring, nor by wealth is man liberated; it is by the knowledge of the Spirit, by the Spirit that man is liberated (136).

It is the Spirit that is dear to all; there is nothing dearer than the Spirit;O Shiva! it is by the unity of Spirits that men become dear to one another (137).

Knowledge, Object of knowledge, the knower appear by illusion to be three different things; but if careful discrimination is made, Spirit is found to be the sole residuum (138).

Knowledge is Spirit in the form of intelligence, the object of knowledge is Spirit whose substance is intelligence, the Knower is the Spirit Itself. He who knows this knows the Spirit (139).

I have now spoken of knowledge which is the true cause of final liberation. This is the most precious possession of the four classes of Avadhutas (140).
"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."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
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Re: Interesting excerpt from the (Hindu) Mahanirvana Tantra

Post by Pero » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:07 pm

What did you find interesting about it?
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
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Re: Interesting excerpt from the (Hindu) Mahanirvana Tantra

Post by Grigoris » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:11 pm

If you fiddle with it just a tiny bit (replace some terms) you will find that it differs only very slightly from Buddhist Tantra.
"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."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Interesting excerpt from the (Hindu) Mahanirvana Tantra

Post by krodha » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:03 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:11 pm
If you fiddle with it just a tiny bit (replace some terms) you will find that it differs only very slightly from Buddhist Tantra.
I gave this excerpt just a brief skim and saw numerous points of departure that not even a replacement of terms would rectify.

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Re: Interesting excerpt from the (Hindu) Mahanirvana Tantra

Post by Grigoris » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:20 pm

krodha wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:03 pm
I gave this excerpt just a brief skim and saw numerous points of departure that not even a replacement of terms would rectify.
Would you care to furnish an example?
"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."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Interesting excerpt from the (Hindu) Mahanirvana Tantra

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:18 am

What chapter is this - from the Sir John Woodroffe (1865–1936) translation?
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Re: Interesting excerpt from the (Hindu) Mahanirvana Tantra

Post by krodha » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:02 am

Grigoris wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:20 pm
krodha wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:03 pm
I gave this excerpt just a brief skim and saw numerous points of departure that not even a replacement of terms would rectify.
Would you care to furnish an example?
These statements cannot be warped to fit the Buddhist view:

  • (i) man becomes liberated by the knowledge that he himself is Brahman (115). Final liberation is attained by the knowledge that the Atma (Soul) is the witness...

    (ii) The soul which is detached from all things is ever liberated...

    (iii) As the Sun (though one and the same) when reflected in different platters of water appears to be many, so by illusion the one soul appears to be many in the different bodies in which it abides (132).

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Re: Interesting excerpt from the (Hindu) Mahanirvana Tantra

Post by amanitamusc » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:00 am

krodha wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:02 am
Grigoris wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:20 pm
krodha wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:03 pm
I gave this excerpt just a brief skim and saw numerous points of departure that not even a replacement of terms would rectify.
Would you care to furnish an example?
These statements cannot be warped to fit the Buddhist view:

  • (i) man becomes liberated by the knowledge that he himself is Brahman (115). Final liberation is attained by the knowledge that the Atma (Soul) is the witness...

    (ii) The soul which is detached from all things is ever liberated...

    (iii) As the Sun (though one and the same) when reflected in different platters of water appears to be many, so by illusion the one soul appears to be many in the different bodies in which it abides (132).
That last one is a killer.

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Re: Interesting excerpt from the (Hindu) Mahanirvana Tantra

Post by Grigoris » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:57 am

amanitamusc wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:00 am
(iii) As the Sun (though one and the same) when reflected in different platters of water appears to be many, so by illusion the one soul appears to be many in the different bodies in which it abides (132).[/i]
That last one is a killer.
Dharmadhatu anyone? Or maybe Tathagatagarbha?
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"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."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Interesting excerpt from the (Hindu) Mahanirvana Tantra

Post by Grigoris » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:09 am

Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:18 am
What chapter is this - from the Sir John Woodroffe (1865–1936) translation?
It is from the end of the concluding chapter.
"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."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Interesting excerpt from the (Hindu) Mahanirvana Tantra

Post by Queequeg » Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:48 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:57 am
amanitamusc wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:00 am
(iii) As the Sun (though one and the same) when reflected in different platters of water appears to be many, so by illusion the one soul appears to be many in the different bodies in which it abides (132).[/i]
That last one is a killer.
Dharmadhatu anyone? Or maybe Tathagatagarbha?
It seems to me, Buddhists will push this idea right up to edge, but if you actually cross it, start calling out "Wrong View". Understandable - that commitment is all kinds of problematic.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
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Re: Interesting excerpt from the (Hindu) Mahanirvana Tantra

Post by Astus » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:19 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:11 pm
it differs only very slightly from Buddhist Tantra.
The quoted section is fairly standard Vedanta philosophy. Do you have any Buddhist tantra in mind that sounds very similar?
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Interesting excerpt from the (Hindu) Mahanirvana Tantra

Post by Pero » Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:06 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:57 am
amanitamusc wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:00 am
(iii) As the Sun (though one and the same) when reflected in different platters of water appears to be many, so by illusion the one soul appears to be many in the different bodies in which it abides (132).[/i]
That last one is a killer.
Dharmadhatu anyone? Or maybe Tathagatagarbha?
Not really. We aren't all part of a tathagatagarbha.
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar

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Re: Interesting excerpt from the (Hindu) Mahanirvana Tantra

Post by Grigoris » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:01 pm

Pero wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:06 pm
Not really. We aren't all part of a tathagatagarbha.
I think your are being overly literal in the interpretation of the passage.

The Tathagatagarbha is also referred to as the Dharmadhatu in some traditions, where the Dharmadhatu is the ground/space of all existence. If somebody views the passage allegorically instead of literally...
"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."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Interesting excerpt from the (Hindu) Mahanirvana Tantra

Post by krodha » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:27 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:01 pm
Pero wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:06 pm
Not really. We aren't all part of a tathagatagarbha.
I think your are being overly literal in the interpretation of the passage.

The Tathagatagarbha is also referred to as the Dharmadhatu in some traditions, where the Dharmadhatu is the ground/space of all existence. If somebody views the passage allegorically instead of literally...
Dharmadhātu is the emptiness of phenomena, and moreover is not held to be something actually established or real.

Tathāgatagarbha is just a name for the latent and unrecognized nature of mind, while obscured by affliction, delusion, etc.

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Re: Interesting excerpt from the (Hindu) Mahanirvana Tantra

Post by Malcolm » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:41 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:01 pm
Pero wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:06 pm
Not really. We aren't all part of a tathagatagarbha.
I think your are being overly literal in the interpretation of the passage.

The Tathagatagarbha is also referred to as the Dharmadhatu in some traditions, where the Dharmadhatu is the ground/space of all existence.
Tathāgatagarbha is also referred to in the Lanka as the all-basis consciousness and as a term for those who are afraid of emptiness.

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Re: Interesting excerpt from the (Hindu) Mahanirvana Tantra

Post by Pero » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:32 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:01 pm
Pero wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:06 pm
Not really. We aren't all part of a tathagatagarbha.
I think your are being overly literal in the interpretation of the passage.

The Tathagatagarbha is also referred to as the Dharmadhatu in some traditions, where the Dharmadhatu is the ground/space of all existence. If somebody views the passage allegorically instead of literally...
Sorry but I don't see it. Just seems like a very faulty allegory if I try to apply it to Buddhism (in my limited knowledge of course). :shrug:
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar

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Re: Interesting excerpt from the (Hindu) Mahanirvana Tantra

Post by Grigoris » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:19 pm

Can we please stay on topic for once?

Pretty please?

Thanks.

Off topic discussion moved here: viewtopic.php?f=36&t=30336
"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."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Interesting excerpt from the (Hindu) Mahanirvana Tantra

Post by Grigoris » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:54 pm

Pero wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:32 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:01 pm
Pero wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:06 pm
Not really. We aren't all part of a tathagatagarbha.
I think your are being overly literal in the interpretation of the passage.

The Tathagatagarbha is also referred to as the Dharmadhatu in some traditions, where the Dharmadhatu is the ground/space of all existence. If somebody views the passage allegorically instead of literally...
Sorry but I don't see it. Just seems like a very faulty allegory if I try to apply it to Buddhism (in my limited knowledge of course). :shrug:
Why? Consider the Buddhist believers in the idea of a reified "True Self".

In this instance we have people schooled in emptiness and yet they make the error of assigning a concrete/existing nature to emptiness.

Could it not be that the same thing is happening in this instance? Maybe WE are the one's that are making the mistake in assigning concrete characteristics, when the text is actually allegorical/metaphorical?

Another example: How many times have you come across practicing Buddhists that consider Yidam to be actual beings? That conceive of Buddhas such as Amitabha as this actual red guy living over there in that direction?

Are we sure the Hindu Tantric texts are meant to be taken literally? I mean, Buddhist Tantric texts are not, so why do we assume...?

Okay, granted, some Hindu teachers (possibly not possessing the necessary realisations) explain the texts in a manner that seem to directly contradict Buddhist teachings on emptiness.

But if the Hindu Tantric path is so mistaken then how is it that there are 4 Nath Siddhas (5 if you include the kapala siddha Kapalaka) included in the list of 84 Mahasiddhas?
"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."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Interesting excerpt from the (Hindu) Mahanirvana Tantra

Post by amanitamusc » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:28 pm

Sometimes it takes a while to leave one belief for another.Some people will blur them both together and feel
satisfied.

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