Is Vajrayana really the fastest path?

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JinxedP
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Is Vajrayana really the fastest path?

Post by JinxedP » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:57 pm

Hi all,

I've been mostly a theravada practitioner for most of my meditative life, but I am interested in learning more about vajrayana. I'm particularly interested in Tantric practices and the claim that they are the fastest way to enlightenment. Why is this so? Also, how fast are we talking here? Anyone want to share their experiences? I guess it would also help to clarify what we mean by enlightenment, perhaps it is different than the Theravadan maps.

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Tiago Simões
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Re: Is Vajrayana really the fastest path?

Post by Tiago Simões » Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:15 am

JinxedP wrote:Hi all,

I've been mostly a theravada practitioner for most of my meditative life, but I am interested in learning more about vajrayana. I'm particularly interested in Tantric practices and the claim that they are the fastest way to enlightenment. Why is this so? Also, how fast are we talking here? Anyone want to share their experiences? I guess it would also help to clarify what we mean by enlightenment, perhaps it is different than the Theravadan maps.
Hey :smile: Before you get into Vajrayana I suggest you read and learn Mahayana.

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Lobsang Chojor
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Re: Is Vajrayana really the fastest path?

Post by Lobsang Chojor » Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:20 am

JinxedP wrote:Also, how fast are we talking here?
The tantras say that by keeping your samaya you will attain liberation within 16 lifetimes.
Anyone want to share their experiences?
If you mean experiences from practice people won't discuss this kind of thing.

I agree with Tiagolps you need to understand Mahayana before vajrayana.
ༀ་ཨ་ར་པ་ཙ་ན་དྷཱི༔ Oṃ A Ra Pa Ca Na Dhīḥ

"Morality does not become pure unless darkness is dispelled by the light of wisdom"
  • Aryasura, Paramitasamasa 6.5

thecowisflying
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Re: Is Vajrayana really the fastest path?

Post by thecowisflying » Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:19 am

Almost very tradition says they are the fastest path, whether it's the "FinaL Teaching of the One Vehicle" from the TIantai school, Trantric Vajrayana practices the "Perect Teachings of the Hua Yan, or the Sudden Enlightenment of Zen.

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ClearblueSky
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Re: Is Vajrayana really the fastest path?

Post by ClearblueSky » Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:58 am

JinxedP wrote: I guess it would also help to clarify what we mean by enlightenment, perhaps it is different than the Theravadan maps.
A Mahayana practitioner might say so (i.e. "attaining nirvana" and "complete Buddhahood" being two different things), a Theravadan may not. So there's not really a definitive answer for all of Buddhism. For example, if you look at the nine yanas (which isn't even an all of vajrayana thing, just one school's breakdown), it would say Theravada applies to only the first and second yana. The third would be all Mahayana, and the various vajrayana methods would be the fourth and onwards:
http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Nine_yanas

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Grigoris
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Re: Is Vajrayana really the fastest path?

Post by Grigoris » Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:06 pm

tiagolps wrote:
JinxedP wrote:Hi all,

I've been mostly a theravada practitioner for most of my meditative life, but I am interested in learning more about vajrayana. I'm particularly interested in Tantric practices and the claim that they are the fastest way to enlightenment. Why is this so? Also, how fast are we talking here? Anyone want to share their experiences? I guess it would also help to clarify what we mean by enlightenment, perhaps it is different than the Theravadan maps.
Hey :smile: Before you get into Vajrayana I suggest you read and learn Mahayana.
Because Vajrayana is not just a subset of Mahayana, right? :roll:
"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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Tiago Simões
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Re: Is Vajrayana really the fastest path?

Post by Tiago Simões » Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:56 pm

Grigoris wrote:
tiagolps wrote:
JinxedP wrote:Hi all,

I've been mostly a theravada practitioner for most of my meditative life, but I am interested in learning more about vajrayana. I'm particularly interested in Tantric practices and the claim that they are the fastest way to enlightenment. Why is this so? Also, how fast are we talking here? Anyone want to share their experiences? I guess it would also help to clarify what we mean by enlightenment, perhaps it is different than the Theravadan maps.
Hey :smile: Before you get into Vajrayana I suggest you read and learn Mahayana.
Because Vajrayana is not just a subset of Mahayana, right? :roll:
Depends on who you ask :smile:

AlexanderS
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Re: Is Vajrayana really the fastest path?

Post by AlexanderS » Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:00 pm

I believe that only the vajrayana offers the posibility of Buddhahood within one lifetime. However to make that progress you also need to find and connect with an awakened vajramaster. I believe full enlightment in this context means omniscience and complete perfection of all the transcendent qualities.

smcj
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Re: Is Vajrayana really the fastest path?

Post by smcj » Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:42 pm

I believe that only the vajrayana offers the posibility of Buddhahood within one lifetime.
So do I.

But then I've also been taught that since i can't see karma I can't tell how many lifetimes a person has already been practicing. So maybe somebody has been at it for a long time already and is ripe to the point where any little thing might tip be what it takes for them to become enlightened. Individual karma trumps general principle.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Grigoris
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Re: Is Vajrayana really the fastest path?

Post by Grigoris » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:37 pm

smcj wrote:
I believe that only the vajrayana offers the posibility of Buddhahood within one lifetime.
So do I.

But then I've also been taught that since i can't see karma I can't tell how many lifetimes a person has already been practicing. So maybe somebody has been at it for a long time already and is ripe to the point where any little thing might tip be what it takes for them to become enlightened. Individual karma trumps general principle.
^^^This often overlooked (especially by western Buddhists) point!^^^
"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

Rakz
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Re: Is Vajrayana really the fastest path?

Post by Rakz » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:40 pm

If it were the case that Vajrayana temples are like factories pumping out Buddhas left and right then I would of been the first one to go and sign up. Obviously it is not the case.

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Malcolm
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Re: Is Vajrayana really the fastest path?

Post by Malcolm » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:43 pm

Grigoris wrote:
smcj wrote:
I believe that only the vajrayana offers the posibility of Buddhahood within one lifetime.
So do I.

But then I've also been taught that since i can't see karma I can't tell how many lifetimes a person has already been practicing. So maybe somebody has been at it for a long time already and is ripe to the point where any little thing might tip be what it takes for them to become enlightened. Individual karma trumps general principle.
^^^This often overlooked (especially by western Buddhists) point!^^^
The statement "Buddhahood in one lifetime" refers to a complete beginner with no accumulations.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Grigoris
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Re: Is Vajrayana really the fastest path?

Post by Grigoris » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:52 pm

tiagolps wrote:Depends on who you ask :smile:
Sure. If you ask somebody that does not have clue, they may tell you something different.
"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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Grigoris
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Re: Is Vajrayana really the fastest path?

Post by Grigoris » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:56 pm

Malcolm wrote:The statement "Buddhahood in one lifetime" refers to a complete beginner with no accumulations.
Must have some pretty decent accumulations to have been born as a human with all the qualities, characteristics and endowments necessary for enlightenment.

Anyway, right now you are asking us to buy that there are beings that, during their infinite round of rebirths in samsara, have acquired no accumulations at all???
"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

smcj
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Re: Is Vajrayana really the fastest path?

Post by smcj » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:58 pm

The statement "Buddhahood in one lifetime" refers to a complete beginner with no accumulations.
Right. So how do you know who is a complete beginner and who isn't?

As a footnote to this, early on my Gelug teacher told me that the "sudden enlightenment" phenomena was actually misleading. It does happen, but only because the person's karma from previous lifetimes of practice has ripened to the point where their enlightenment appears as if it is sudden. The work it takes to get ready is always there. It is just a matter of whether it can been seen in the context of this lifetime or not. It could easily be many lifetimes of practice coming to fruition without any apparent effort in this lifetime.

Anyway that's a Gelug view. I haven't heard it from other sources.
Last edited by smcj on Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Tiago Simões
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Re: Is Vajrayana really the fastest path?

Post by Tiago Simões » Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:02 pm

Grigoris wrote:
tiagolps wrote:Depends on who you ask :smile:
Sure. If you ask somebody that does not have clue, they may tell you something different.
Of course for the OP, it's best to learn the difference between Shravaka/pratyekabuddhas and full buddhahood.

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Malcolm
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Re: Is Vajrayana really the fastest path?

Post by Malcolm » Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:04 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The statement "Buddhahood in one lifetime" refers to a complete beginner with no accumulations.
Must have some pretty decent accumulations to have been born as a human with all the qualities, characteristics and endowments necessary for enlightenment.

Anyway, right now you are asking us to buy that there are beings that, during their infinite round of rebirths in samsara, have acquired no accumulations at all???
There are two kinds of accumulation of merit: mundane and transcendent — the accumulations I was referring to were the latter.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

AlexanderS
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Re: Is Vajrayana really the fastest path?

Post by AlexanderS » Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:16 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Grigoris wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The statement "Buddhahood in one lifetime" refers to a complete beginner with no accumulations.
Must have some pretty decent accumulations to have been born as a human with all the qualities, characteristics and endowments necessary for enlightenment.

Anyway, right now you are asking us to buy that there are beings that, during their infinite round of rebirths in samsara, have acquired no accumulations at all???
There are two kinds of accumulation of merit: mundane and transcendent — the accumulations I was referring to were the latter.
What is the short explanation on the difference between mundane and transcendent accumulations? Are transcendent accumulations our merit dedicated towards enlightenment?

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Grigoris
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Re: Is Vajrayana really the fastest path?

Post by Grigoris » Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:25 pm

AlexanderS wrote:What is the short explanation on the difference between mundane and transcendent accumulations?
First thing that popped into my head too. I've never heard of merit being categorised in this manner.
"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

smcj
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Re: Is Vajrayana really the fastest path?

Post by smcj » Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:31 pm

What is the short explanation on the difference between mundane and transcendent accumulations? Are transcendent accumulations our merit dedicated towards enlightenment?
Malcolm is certainly capable of giving his own explanation. But if I may I'd like to give my $.02.

Mundance merit would ripen as circumstances. Transcendent merit, when combined with wisdom, would ripen as enlightenment. You can easily imagine a scenario of an impoverished enlightened Master, or of an affluent Dharma dilettante. Or you can have an impoverished dilettante and an affluent Vajra Master. Maybe there are health problems too. There's all types of mixed karmas possible.
First thing that popped into my head too. I've never heard of merit being categorised in this manner.
Neither had I but I was too chicken to admit it.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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