conebeckham wrote:And in response to Individual's initial post, I came across this from an old "Shenpen Osel" on-line--this should be very helpful..
Original source: http://www.shenpen-osel.org/issue7.pdfQuestion: In the Prayer of Mahamudra, by
Rangjung Dorje, it says that beings by nature are
continually buddha. Is there a difference in
explanation from a tantric perspective on this?
Because they seem to be asserting that the
actual buddha is present. Is this way of explaining
that sentient beings have the buddha potential
but not the buddha essence in any way
contradictory to an explanation of the tantric
view that the nature of sentient beings is always
buddha and never changes?
Rinpoche: The important thing here is to distinguish
two different perspectives. From the perspective
of primordial awareness itself, primordial
awareness is never stained. From its own perspective,
it is always completely free of any flaw.
And so from that perspective then, it is unchanging,
and it is the same at the time of the ground,
the path, and the fruition. This is called naturally,
completely pure nirvana, and is explained
as one type of nirvana—naturally, completely
pure nirvana: rangshin namdak nyangende. The
other type of nirvana is called lobur dridral
nyangende, and that means the nirvana that is
free from fleeting adventitious stains, which is,
in other words, the manifestation of actual
enlightenment. This type of nirvana is explained
from the perspective of sentient beings and the
stages of the path. So if you say these two are
the same, according to Shakya Chogden in this
commentary, the problem you run into is that
you are then saying that the cause and the result
are exactly the same thing. That is why they
distinguish between these two types of nirvana
and distinguish between [viewing the question]
from the perspective of primordial awareness
itself, and from the perspective of sentient
beings and the stages of the path.
Also, it is possible that if people thought,
“Well, my nature is buddhahood, so I’m enlightened,”
that would be an arrogant way of thinking.
And so, in order to prevent people from having
that type of belief, which would just be arrogant
[and therefore detrimental to them], it is said, “No,
you are not enlightened yet; you have the potential
to become enlightened, but it is not the same
as saying that you are enlightened.” So it is probably
important that that be done.
aka "the two truths".
Language is by nature conventional, so any expression of ultimate truth can be subject to infinite skeptical criticism by conventional minds. But conventional minds, if they look inward, could see that this infinite skepticism could be used to apply to their own ideas, to apply universally, and see emptiness. Initially, this can create confusion, the feeling of nihilism, the ground falling out from underneath the mind.