Questions about Vajrayana

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Dave The Seeker
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Questions about Vajrayana

Post by Dave The Seeker » Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:18 pm

This quote from another thread got me wondering/confused. Please note the bold , my emphasis, as to my question.
In the bone yard wrote:All sentient beings will have to eliminate their karma to eliminate rebirth. The path should be the goal.
We can't expect an animal or lower realm, human being to adhere to a Mahayana practitioner's set of morals.
A vajrayana practitioner cannot follow the morals of a Mahayana practioner without descent into hell realm.

For a Mahayana practitioner simply refraining from the 10 harmful acts will not be enough, generally speaking.
For example, no killing should be extended to animals (including insects and spiders!) and so forth. But as was stated in the original post, merit must be accompanied by wisdom.

We have to learn to listen to our heart for what's right and wrong and always use a healthy sense of discipline.
The biggest assistance to one's practice is keeping to the good influence of friends and acquaintances.
Now as I've searched and read, the schools of Tibetan Buddhism are Vajrayana. So what are the "higher morals" of a Vajrahana practitioner compared to a Mahayana practitioner?

This confuses me as I am studying the beginners course through FPMT (Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition) which is taught in the Gelug-pa tradition, so why is it the Mahayana tradition and not Vajrayana? As Gelug is a Tibetan/Vajrayana school?

Thanks for any and all help understanding this.

:namaste:
Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~

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smcj
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Re: Questions about Vajrayana

Post by smcj » Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:03 pm

Ask the FPMT people. As a generalization they are a good group.

But a short answer to your question is that Vajrayana is a subset of Mahayana, it is contained within the Mahayana. The "higher morality" is an odd phrase. It might mean the tantric vows that pertain to how certain things are viewed without criticism.

But I must say that the quote you bolded sounds rather extreme. I've been a Buddhist for 35 years and I've never heard anything like that. Where did you get it?

Having said that much may provoke others to disagree, so I will leave it there.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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conebeckham
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Re: Questions about Vajrayana

Post by conebeckham » Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:36 pm

It's an incorrect quote, the way it's written.

Vajrayana Samayas are said to trump any Mahayana "pledges," precepts or vows. But that does not mean Vajrayana practitioners are not to follow the vows or pledges of the lower vehicles. However, sometimes the Vajrayana requires actions that seem to be contradictory to Mahayana vows.

So, for example, meat and alcohol are part of Vajrayana ritual, and if one is really practicing Vajrayana, one must partake of meat and alcohol during the ritual. Claiming that one should not, based on Mahayana vows, is a downfall. But a Vajrayana practitioner understands the transformation of the meat and alcohol into sacred substances.

Vajrayana is skillful means, and it interprets the Mahayana vows in unique ways. But it does not say "don't follow those vows." As the most extreme example, Avoiding killing, a Mahayana Vow, should also be followed by Vajrayana practitioners, unless they understand the unique way in which killing is not contradictory to the inner meaning. In general, very few Vajrayana practitioners are truly practicing Vajrayana at the level of upholding the Vows, quite frankly.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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Dave The Seeker
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Re: Questions about Vajrayana

Post by Dave The Seeker » Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:54 pm

Thank you both very much for the reply and helping me to understand.

The quote was from another thread here at DW. I didn't understand how it could be correct, hence my confusion.
The last post in this thread is where it came from.
http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.ph ... 64#p176964


Thank you Cone, you have been of great help in my understanding of many things.

:namaste:
Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~

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Konchog1
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Re: Questions about Vajrayana

Post by Konchog1 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:19 pm

conebeckham wrote:Vajrayana Samayas are said to trump any Mahayana "pledges," precepts or vows. But that does not mean Vajrayana practitioners are not to follow the vows or pledges of the lower vehicles.
The second Tantric vow is to keep your vows. This means that breaking your Mahayana or Pratimoksha vows breaks your Tantric vows.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats

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conebeckham
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Re: Questions about Vajrayana

Post by conebeckham » Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:30 pm

Sure, Konchog, but that brings us to the question of whether, or how, a vow is broken.
For example, the prohibition against sexual activity and the practice of Karmamudra...

There are different interpretations about all of this, depending on one's lineage and teacher. Actually, the root vows can also differ, depending on lineage, and even on the specific Tantric system one is practicing. Huge subject......
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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Konchog1
Posts: 1483
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:30 am

Re: Questions about Vajrayana

Post by Konchog1 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:10 pm

conebeckham wrote:Sure, Konchog, but that brings us to the question of whether, or how, a vow is broken.
For example, the prohibition against sexual activity and the practice of Karmamudra...

There are different interpretations about all of this, depending on one's lineage and teacher. Actually, the root vows can also differ, depending on lineage, and even on the specific Tantric system one is practicing. Huge subject......
Indeed, there are differences in schools too. In the Gelug, monks are only allowed jhanamudra, otherwise they must disrobe first.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats

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