Did the 84 mahasiddhas practice Ngöndro?

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Lay-Man
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Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas practice Ngöndro?

Post by Lay-Man » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:32 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Lay-Man wrote: With regards to your position that there is no clear evidence of the "evolution of Ngondro" I would only offer this simple point. Buddha Shakyamuni did not teach on the 4 extra-ordinary practices of Ngondro. In-fact there is no Sutric source for the 4 extra-ordinary practices themselves.
Why would there be a sūtra source for practices such as Vajrasattva, Maṇḍala and Guru Yoga? The first comes from Yoga Tantra, and the second two sre found in the Guhyasamaja Tantra.

The klong gsal 'bar ma nyi ma nyi ma rgyud, revealed by Nyang Ral Nyima Odzer in the late 12th century, explicitly lists the four common foundations, impermanence, death, karma, and suffering of samsara, as well as refuge, bodhicitta, mandala, Vajrasattva, and Guru Yoga. It is almost certain that this pattern of preliminaries dates from this tantra. This tantra itself set the pattern for Nyingma practice up until today.

With respect to Vajrasattva, it explicitly states it should be recited "Recite this one hundred, one thousand, one hundred thousand or countless times."
Understood. I guess from my POV, Tantra is indeed itself an evolution of Buddhism. My statement was in response to Heart's remark that there is no substantiation that Ngondro had evolved over time, which simply is not true. Its very existence itself is an evolution of the greater Buddha Dharma.

yagmort
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Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas practice Ngöndro?

Post by yagmort » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:31 am

so the partial answer to my question would be that ngöndro first been explicitly mentioned in the late 12-th century in the work by Nyang Rel Nyima Özer. But it still remains unclear when have 111000 accumulation part been added as a requirement? The fact that Vajrasattva should be recited "one hundred, one thousand, one hundred thousand or countless times" does not, i guess, automatically expand on all 4 of the rest of the practices, unless it is clearly stated in aforementioned work by Nyima Özer. And this is the part Lay-Man was trying to be helpful with:
Lay-Man wrote:...Yagmort was asking about when the practice of actually accumulating 111,111 recitations of each of the 4 extraordinary practices associated with Ngondro came about. Again, this is a relatively newer invention, to my knowledge. Likely 200-300 years old.

That being said, of course the existence of preliminary practices in general go back to India...

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heart
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Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas practice Ngöndro?

Post by heart » Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:58 am

Lay-Man wrote: Respectfully I am finding it hard to engage in a dialogue with you about this. It is my experience in this thread that you attempt to refute my notional positions with an argument or contrary position, only to change that position when it is addressed, taking up an all together new position. Its unclear to me what you would like me to say at this point.
Seems to me you just make it up as you go Lay-Man, you obviously have no "clear historical demarcation" or any base for your "200-300 years". But it is all good, don't worry. :smile:

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
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"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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lelopa
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Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas practice Ngöndro?

Post by lelopa » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:20 am

anjali wrote:With tongue-in-cheek, I've occasionally thought that the massive number of required accumulations is an example of Parkinson's Law, where work expands to fill the time available for its completion. Full time practitioners (especially younger monks/nuns) need stuff to keep them busy, so more and more activities were added to fill up the available time. ;)
:mrgreen:
this is a very interesting point of view!
ཨོཾ་ཨཱཿཧཱུྃ་བོ་དྷི་ཙིཏྟ་མ་ཧཱ་སུ་ཁ་ཛྙཱ་ན་དྷཱརྟུ་ཨཱཿ

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heart
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Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas practice Ngöndro?

Post by heart » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:23 am

anjali wrote:With tongue-in-cheek, I've occasionally thought that the massive number of required accumulations is an example of Parkinson's Law, where work expands to fill the time available for its completion. Full time practitioners (especially younger monks/nuns) need stuff to keep them busy, so more and more activities were added to fill up the available time. ;)
In the monastery that I am familiar with there are really very little time for personal practice, maximum 1 or 2 hours. They normally don't do Ngöndro in that time though but a lot of other practices. So they have actually have less time for personal practice than we lay people have.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
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"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Malcolm
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Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas practice Ngöndro?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:29 pm

Lay-Man wrote:
Understood. I guess from my POV, Tantra is indeed itself an evolution of Buddhism.
And from our POV, Vajrayāna is a revelation of the profound methods of Buddhadharma. The source of all teachings is the Realms and Transformations of Sound Tantra, which was taught in the first eon by Nangba Dampa.
My statement was in response to Heart's remark that there is no substantiation that Ngondro had evolved over time, which simply is not true.
Ngondro is means of purification and gathering the two accumulations. It is the path all buddhas have trod. Therefore, it is absolutely false to call it some kind of Tibetan innovation.
Buddhahood in This Life
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The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
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One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
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yagmort
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Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas practice Ngöndro?

Post by yagmort » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:42 pm

Malcolm, following that logic things like tonglen did also exist in first eon?

you said it yourself it did not existed in India, so if mahasiddhas of India didn't do ngöndro and all the early kagyu masters - like Milarepa, Rechungpa, Ngamdzong Repa, Lingrepa and so forth - are not mentioned of doing ngöndro, then perhaps it wasn't there at the times?

if ngöndro is not - at least the 111000 accumulating part i am talking here - a "tibetan innovation", then please share any reference you know of its existence prior 17th century?

and if you can't, please have some integrity to accept then that you have no proof for your words and that is just your biased opinion. which i respect btw, but as for me i can't accept it as a reasonable supposition.

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Karinos
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Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas practice Ngöndro?

Post by Karinos » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:49 pm

Great discussion :anjali:

for first 10 years of my Dharma "practice" I was soooo against doing Ngondro..!
You don't really have to follow that teacher who tells you you must do it. There are so many Lamas out there. "You can have many Lamas and only this one who was the most kind for you is your actual Root Guru" (quote from Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche). Go and try - ask personally many Lamas, maybe one eventually will give you Tantric empowerment, lung and explanations without necessity of doing Ngondro. Maybe even Dharmapala empowerment... yes everything is possible.

I did that. Of course it was not easy too. I had to earn money to travel to meet those teachers I wanted. For that purpose I had to finish studies and emigrate to different country to find good job. Eventually I was able to afford to travel where around the world and meet teachers I wanted. Hardships may not necessary be only building stone towers you know, surviving corporate job and stay in sanity is hard too :jumping:

eventually I've received all empowerment I wanted. When I accumulated first million of mantra of first yidam practice I was given I've realized my practice was shallow, my mind unstable, emotions all over and not to mention even channels etc. So I took (myself) decision to do Ngondro (Karma Kagyu) which my very first Lama told me to do, and over few years I have completed 100k accumulations.

Now my practice is little better and I'm not opposing advises to do Ngondro anymore :anjali:

yagmort
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Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas practice Ngöndro?

Post by yagmort » Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:11 pm

ngöndro is a good practice to break through the habits and resistance of our rational mind. our mind always seeks entertainment and distraction. if you try to keep it on one subject for any long, it quickly became bored and loose attention. so it creates lots and lots of procrastination. if you didn't first discipline it, it will be really hard to keep a sustained focus on any given practice which you gonna do after ngöndro. at the same time, i don't think ngöndro is mandatory and certain individuals can be persistent enough without ngöndro - if we are to believe that many masters have actually attained realisation without prostration boards and sifting through kilos of saffron rice :)

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Karinos
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Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas practice Ngöndro?

Post by Karinos » Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:42 pm

yagmort wrote:at the same time, i don't think ngöndro is mandatory and certain individuals can be persistent enough without ngöndro - if we are to believe that many masters have actually attained realisation without prostration boards and sifting through kilos of saffron rice :)
I absolutely agree. That's why I wrote one should go and ask different Lamas personally (not in public). However if one is closed minded on just single tradition it can be hard :)

Lay-Man
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Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas practice Ngöndro?

Post by Lay-Man » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:44 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Lay-Man wrote:
Understood. I guess from my POV, Tantra is indeed itself an evolution of Buddhism.
And from our POV, Vajrayāna is a revelation of the profound methods of Buddhadharma. The source of all teachings is the Realms and Transformations of Sound Tantra, which was taught in the first eon by Nangba Dampa.
My statement was in response to Heart's remark that there is no substantiation that Ngondro had evolved over time, which simply is not true.
Ngondro is means of purification and gathering the two accumulations. It is the path all buddhas have trod. Therefore, it is absolutely false to call it some kind of Tibetan innovation.
Whoa. I never claimed that the presence of the two accumulations themselves were a "Tibetan Innovation". Or if I somehow gave that impression than that is my fault. I would however state that the codification of the "4-extra ordinary" foundations what compares the Ngondro practices are indeed largely a Tibetan practice.

Lay-Man
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Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas practice Ngöndro?

Post by Lay-Man » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:46 pm

heart wrote:
Lay-Man wrote: Respectfully I am finding it hard to engage in a dialogue with you about this. It is my experience in this thread that you attempt to refute my notional positions with an argument or contrary position, only to change that position when it is addressed, taking up an all together new position. Its unclear to me what you would like me to say at this point.
Seems to me you just make it up as you go Lay-Man, you obviously have no "clear historical demarcation" or any base for your "200-300 years". But it is all good, don't worry. :smile:

/magnus
Again if you can find me a text which explicitly states a requirement of 100,000 recitation of each of the 4 extra-ordinary practices that is older than 300 years I will revisit my position. But in fact you have not yet done so.

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Grigoris
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Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas practice Ngöndro?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:00 pm

Lay-Man wrote:Again if you can find me a text which explicitly states a requirement of 100,000 recitation of each of the 4 extra-ordinary practices that is older than 300 years I will revisit my position. But in fact you have not yet done so.
Can I ask why you give a shit? Cars are also less than 300 years old, and yet I imagine you drive one.
"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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Lay-Man
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Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas practice Ngöndro?

Post by Lay-Man » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:12 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Lay-Man wrote:Again if you can find me a text which explicitly states a requirement of 100,000 recitation of each of the 4 extra-ordinary practices that is older than 300 years I will revisit my position. But in fact you have not yet done so.
Can I ask why you give a shit? Cars are also less than 300 years old, and yet I imagine you drive one.
My inquiry has nothing to do with the utility of the practice of accumulation by numbers. Certainly in the older days accumulation through some other mechanism was likely no less rigorous. So the car analogy is unfounded. This is a discussion about history and genesis of the tradition of Ngondro, and has nothing to to with utility as your car analogy implies.

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heart
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Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas practice Ngöndro?

Post by heart » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:13 pm

Lay-Man wrote:
heart wrote:
Lay-Man wrote: Respectfully I am finding it hard to engage in a dialogue with you about this. It is my experience in this thread that you attempt to refute my notional positions with an argument or contrary position, only to change that position when it is addressed, taking up an all together new position. Its unclear to me what you would like me to say at this point.
Seems to me you just make it up as you go Lay-Man, you obviously have no "clear historical demarcation" or any base for your "200-300 years". But it is all good, don't worry. :smile:

/magnus
Again if you can find me a text which explicitly states a requirement of 100,000 recitation of each of the 4 extra-ordinary practices that is older than 300 years I will revisit my position. But in fact you have not yet done so.
I already told you that I don't have any interest in the numbers. 100.000 is not a lot in the Tibetan culture. We do what our Guru tells us to do, that is actually the real Ngondro. If you want to revisit your position or not doesn't really matter to me, so feel free.

/magnus
Last edited by heart on Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Sonam Wangchug
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Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas practice Ngöndro?

Post by Sonam Wangchug » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:21 pm

Lay-Man wrote:Yamort,
I guess I could look into the actual codification of Ngondro's 4 extra-ordinary practices at some point, but it don't have much time these days with work and my family! The question about the codification of 100,000 accumulations is a bit easier to bite of an explore because there seems to be a clear historical demarcation of the accumulations being institutionalized by much of the Sarma traditions in the 17/18 centuries...or so. But perhaps one day I can look into the great question of the Ngondro itself!


Heart,
With regards to your position that there is no clear evidence of the "evolution of Ngondro" I would only offer this simple point. Buddha Shakyamuni did not teach on the 4 extra-ordinary practices of Ngondro. In-fact there is no Sutric source for the 4 extra-ordinary practices themselves. As such, we can state empirically that the development and codification of these 4 extra-ordinary practices was in fact an evolution of the Buddha's teachings that took place long after Shakyamuni's death.
The 100,000 are there are a rough guide, so that our Ego with its deceptive ways doesn't get into thinking that we've done a lot, when we in fact haven't. Various masters used to do 800,000.

The times have changed, ngondro is a nourishing blossom of buddha activity, to help the times. In the old times, the time of the "fruit." many would would get awakening even after a relatively short teaching by The Buddha.

Many Terma's have ngondros included within them, so clearly guru rinpoche thought it necessary for the people of the times.. which is more than good enough for me :namaste:

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Grigoris
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Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas practice Ngöndro?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:55 pm

Lay-Man wrote:
Grigoris wrote:
Lay-Man wrote:Again if you can find me a text which explicitly states a requirement of 100,000 recitation of each of the 4 extra-ordinary practices that is older than 300 years I will revisit my position. But in fact you have not yet done so.
Can I ask why you give a shit? Cars are also less than 300 years old, and yet I imagine you drive one.
My inquiry has nothing to do with the utility of the practice of accumulation by numbers. Certainly in the older days accumulation through some other mechanism was likely no less rigorous. So the car analogy is unfounded. This is a discussion about history and genesis of the tradition of Ngondro, and has nothing to to with utility as your car analogy implies.
If practice has nothing to do with utility, then what is the value of practice? Personally I don't care when a practice originated, I care if it is effective of not and I think most here will be witnesses to the efficacy of Ngondro (regardless of their resistance towards it). Have you done the classic 4 x 111,111?

PS You didn't really answer to the question: Why do you give a shit?
"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

Lay-Man
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Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas practice Ngöndro?

Post by Lay-Man » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:05 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Lay-Man wrote:
Grigoris wrote:Can I ask why you give a shit? Cars are also less than 300 years old, and yet I imagine you drive one.
My inquiry has nothing to do with the utility of the practice of accumulation by numbers. Certainly in the older days accumulation through some other mechanism was likely no less rigorous. So the car analogy is unfounded. This is a discussion about history and genesis of the tradition of Ngondro, and has nothing to to with utility as your car analogy implies.
If practice has nothing to do with utility, then what is the value of practice? Personally I don't care when a practice originated, I care if it is effective of not and I think most here will be witnesses to the efficacy of Ngondro (regardless of their resistance towards it). Have you done the classic 4 x 111,111?
Yes. I have done them.
PS You didn't really answer to the question: Why do you give a shit?
The discussion started on this thread because Yagmort asked the question, and I thought it would be helpful to him to share my own research.

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Grigoris
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Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas practice Ngöndro?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:31 pm

Yes. I have done them.
Well then, I rejoice in your merit! Just to steal some from you! :)
Lay-Man wrote:The discussion started on this thread because Yagmort asked the question, and I thought it would be helpful to him to share my own research.
Fair enough.
"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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heart
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Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas practice Ngöndro?

Post by heart » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:51 pm

Lay-Man wrote:
The discussion started on this thread because Yagmort asked the question, and I thought it would be helpful to him to share my own research.
And what is that research?

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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