What does front deity visualization work on?

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Tenma
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What does front deity visualization work on?

Post by Tenma » Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:21 pm

In the FPMT website, it says that the sadhanas are alright without empowerment if the person doesn't visualize themself as the deity. In that case, is it alright to do this on ANY deity like Yamantaka, Vajrayogini, etc.? Or are lower Tantra deities like Namgyalma, Saraswati, Amitayus, Chenrezig, Tara, etc. allowed this only? Because the Guru Dragphur sadhana allowed the front deity thing, so I was just curious.
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Lobsang Chojor
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Re: What does front deity visualization work on?

Post by Lobsang Chojor » Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:52 pm

It depends on the sadhana, I don't think there's any hard and fast rules about this.

I've been told it really depends on your teacher's view, for example this is Lama Zopa Rinpoche's view so if he's your guru you'd follow that, however even within FPMT I know people who take their teacher's opinion over Lama Zopa Rinpoche's.
"Morality does not become pure unless darkness is dispelled by the light of wisdom"
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Vasana
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Re: What does front deity visualization work on?

Post by Vasana » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:18 pm

Tenma wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:21 pm
In the FPMT website, it says that the sadhanas are alright without empowerment if the person doesn't visualize themself as the deity. In that case, is it alright to do this on ANY deity like Yamantaka, Vajrayogini, etc.? Or are lower Tantra deities like Namgyalma, Saraswati, Amitayus, Chenrezig, Tara, etc. allowed this only? Because the Guru Dragphur sadhana allowed the front deity thing, so I was just curious.
It's only ever ok if the text and additional info from a qualified teacher explicitly says its ok...From what I've seen, this is never the case for any wrathful yidams and usually only ever applies for those who are found in both sutra and tantra. And even then it doesnt always mean you have permission. You cant take a self-visualization practice and make it a frontal visualization practice - it needs to be given as a frontal to begin with. Creating, arranging or Modifying sadhanas isn't something you're at liberty to do unless you're a qualified teacher yourself, however convenient it might be. Also, practicing something that requires empowerment without it or practicing something that you're unsure if its needed won't yeild any beneficial results.
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

Tenma
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Re: What does front deity visualization work on?

Post by Tenma » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:50 pm

Vasana wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:18 pm
Tenma wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:21 pm
In the FPMT website, it says that the sadhanas are alright without empowerment if the person doesn't visualize themself as the deity. In that case, is it alright to do this on ANY deity like Yamantaka, Vajrayogini, etc.? Or are lower Tantra deities like Namgyalma, Saraswati, Amitayus, Chenrezig, Tara, etc. allowed this only? Because the Guru Dragphur sadhana allowed the front deity thing, so I was just curious.
It's only ever ok if the text and additional info from a qualified teacher explicitly says its ok...From what I've seen, this is never the case for any wrathful yidams and usually only ever applies for those who are found in both sutra and tantra. And even then it doesnt always mean you have permission. You cant take a self-visualization practice and make it a frontal visualization practice - it needs to be given as a frontal to begin with. Creating, arranging or Modifying sadhanas isn't something you're at liberty to do unless you're a qualified teacher yourself, however convenient it might be. Also, practicing something that requires empowerment without it or practicing something that you're unsure if its needed won't yeild any beneficial results.
If that's the case, then how come the elemental mantra("Om Eho Shuddhe Shuddhe...") has given effects? From what I've noticed, after following the visualization and mantra, I've been feeling "lighter" and strangely, better eyesight(didn't happen in the Medicine Buddha sadhana that was free of empowerments nor the Tara sadhana nor the sadhana of Chenrezig for eyesight). How is this so?
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Terma
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Re: What does front deity visualization work on?

Post by Terma » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:47 pm

If you are truly interested in a certain practice, then why don't you make an effort to receive that particular empowerment, transmission of the text and instructions on how the practice is done? Sometimes we need to help create our own causes for our practice to flourish in the future.

I don't doubt that there is some benefit to doing kye-rim (front visualization) practices but really, it has been said many times, that Vajrayana practice only comes through empowerment, transmission and liberating instructions coming from an authentic unbroken lineage.

It is so essential to seek out a living Master, IMO.

Good luck.

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Lobsang Chojor
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Re: What does front deity visualization work on?

Post by Lobsang Chojor » Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:39 am

Tenma wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:21 pm
In the FPMT website, it says that the sadhanas are alright without empowerment if the person doesn't visualize themself as the deity. In that case, is it alright to do this on ANY deity like Yamantaka, Vajrayogini, etc.? Or are lower Tantra deities like Namgyalma, Saraswati, Amitayus, Chenrezig, Tara, etc. allowed this only? Because the Guru Dragphur sadhana allowed the front deity thing, so I was just curious.
Also, I've just remembered that I was told that really this only really applies in a group practice.
"Morality does not become pure unless darkness is dispelled by the light of wisdom"
  • Aryasura, Paramitasamasa 6.5
ༀ་ཨ་ར་པ་ཙ་ན་དྷཱི༔ Oṃ A Ra Pa Ca Na Dhīḥ

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Vasana
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Re: What does front deity visualization work on?

Post by Vasana » Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:18 am

Tenma wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:50 pm
Vasana wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:18 pm
Tenma wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:21 pm
In the FPMT website, it says that the sadhanas are alright without empowerment if the person doesn't visualize themself as the deity. In that case, is it alright to do this on ANY deity like Yamantaka, Vajrayogini, etc.? Or are lower Tantra deities like Namgyalma, Saraswati, Amitayus, Chenrezig, Tara, etc. allowed this only? Because the Guru Dragphur sadhana allowed the front deity thing, so I was just curious.
It's only ever ok if the text and additional info from a qualified teacher explicitly says its ok...From what I've seen, this is never the case for any wrathful yidams and usually only ever applies for those who are found in both sutra and tantra. And even then it doesnt always mean you have permission. You cant take a self-visualization practice and make it a frontal visualization practice - it needs to be given as a frontal to begin with. Creating, arranging or Modifying sadhanas isn't something you're at liberty to do unless you're a qualified teacher yourself, however convenient it might be. Also, practicing something that requires empowerment without it or practicing something that you're unsure if its needed won't yeild any beneficial results.
If that's the case, then how come the elemental mantra("Om Eho Shuddhe Shuddhe...") has given effects? From what I've noticed, after following the visualization and mantra, I've been feeling "lighter" and strangely, better eyesight(didn't happen in the Medicine Buddha sadhana that was free of empowerments nor the Tara sadhana nor the sadhana of Chenrezig for eyesight). How is this so?
Could be a coincidence? :shrug: Physical and mental feelings like lightness come and go. Visualizing lights or colours for healing the elements is found in some Bon practices from Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and other hindu practices which don't strictly require transmission. I would guess it's mostly the visualizing of colour/light that's having the positive effect for you if you don't actually have the lung for the mantra it's self. The vibrations are also probably quite healing on the body if you're chanting with the proper melody .As for the other sadhanas not working....who knows. You either havn't practiced them for long enough (both session-duration and frequency of sessions ) for the function of the mantra to manifest... or there are other karmic and circumstantial factors involved.
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

Soma999
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Re: What does front deity visualization work on?

Post by Soma999 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:18 am

Just do your best and your 100 % percent.

If you can access empowerment and teaching but because of laziness or other reasons you don't come, then that's not good. If you think "i can all di it by myself, a teacher ? i don't care, i'm my own teacher", that's not very good also.

But if you do your 100 %, give all your heart into the practice, i'm quiet sure through your practice you will connect with the mind of lamas, who will help you and let your mind mature. Then, that's a kind of empowerment.

Also, Garchen Rinpoche offer online empowerment.

I would say the key point is to give your best with pure intention. That is the fertile soil through which the roots of empowerment grow. If you give your 100 % percent into the practice, you will be helped, certainly, even if there is not a lama in your contry. That may look strange, but a true guru can be connected with many people in many ways.

But give your best. That works only if you are 100 % authentic and do all you can.

Initiation helps your mind mature so that you recognise your pure essence as the deity. So you can transform your body into the body of the deity, which purify your negativity, your words become one with the mantra and your mind no longer feel isolated and in duality, but in union with the deity.

In front generation, there is 2 : you and the deity. But you can feed the idea this deity is present in you even thought you may not recognise it completly yet. But by giving yourself to the deity, you in fact dive into your own pure mind. And then you come to realise the unity between you and the deity, and the union with the deity and the dharmakaya.

When you realise deeper, that's an empowerment. When the duality is gone, you are truly initiated.

What are you initiated into ? To your true nature.

It's of course better to be guided and have a Guru. A true guru can open all the doors, all the gates, not only to one deity, but to your own wisdom heart in whom all deity resides.

If doing alpinism, i would not go alone. If learning piano, i would need a teacher. If wanting to learn karate, i need a teacher to correct me.

I think that to climb the mountains of the spirit, it's very important to have a real good guide.

If you don't have one accessible, feel you are united with them, you discuss with them, during sleep you come visit them. And if the occasion come to meet one, and if this teacher is authentic, maybe it's wise to learn from him/her.

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Grigoris
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Re: What does front deity visualization work on?

Post by Grigoris » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:40 am

Empowerment is a form of introduction.

I f you walk into a large room full of people and want to meet a certain person, you can go to the effort of stumbling around the room introducing yourself to everybody in the hope you bump into the right person. Some people may be happy to see, others will be pissed off. You may mistakenly introduce yourself more than one time to a person, you may even miss finding them in the crowd. But if you have somebody that knows the person introduce you directly to them, well...
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Re: What does front deity visualization work on?

Post by kirtu » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:57 pm

Tenma wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:21 pm
In the FPMT website, it says that the sadhanas are alright without empowerment if the person doesn't visualize themself as the deity. In that case, is it alright to do this on ANY deity like Yamantaka, Vajrayogini, etc.?
No, not deities which are strictly Highest Yoga Tantra deities.
Or are lower Tantra deities like Namgyalma, Saraswati, Amitayus, Chenrezig, Tara, etc. allowed this only? Because the Guru Dragphur sadhana allowed the front deity thing, so I was just curious.
I'm surprised that a Guru Dragphur sadhana would permit a front generation.

Front generation alone is for individuals who haven't received the empowerment. It develops merit, concentration and all positive qualities actually but the view is more Kriyayoga tantra.

Kirt
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"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Re: What does front deity visualization work on?

Post by conebeckham » Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:29 pm

There are diffferent kinds of “front visualization.”

“Front generation” without self-generation, or without stressing self-generation, is a method of the lower Tantras, and is primarily for gathering the accumulation of merit. One supplicates the deit(ies), makes offerings, performs the seven limbs, etc. This is a powerful method.

In Mahayoga or HYT front generation serves this purpose as well, though self generation is usually practiced first (in the case of Sarma sadhana), or the self- and front-generation is practiced simultaneously, in the case of most Nyingma and Terma deity practices. In these cases, the front generation serves more purposes, or performs various functions, which need to be learned from one’s guru. In all cases, the guru is the root of blessing and it is more important to establish a relationship with a guru than to become fixated on various deities. In the final view, the deity is none other than the guru.
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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conebeckham
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Re: What does front deity visualization work on?

Post by conebeckham » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:31 pm

Tenma wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:50 pm
Vasana wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:18 pm
Tenma wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:21 pm
In the FPMT website, it says that the sadhanas are alright without empowerment if the person doesn't visualize themself as the deity. In that case, is it alright to do this on ANY deity like Yamantaka, Vajrayogini, etc.? Or are lower Tantra deities like Namgyalma, Saraswati, Amitayus, Chenrezig, Tara, etc. allowed this only? Because the Guru Dragphur sadhana allowed the front deity thing, so I was just curious.
It's only ever ok if the text and additional info from a qualified teacher explicitly says its ok...From what I've seen, this is never the case for any wrathful yidams and usually only ever applies for those who are found in both sutra and tantra. And even then it doesnt always mean you have permission. You cant take a self-visualization practice and make it a frontal visualization practice - it needs to be given as a frontal to begin with. Creating, arranging or Modifying sadhanas isn't something you're at liberty to do unless you're a qualified teacher yourself, however convenient it might be. Also, practicing something that requires empowerment without it or practicing something that you're unsure if its needed won't yeild any beneficial results.
If that's the case, then how come the elemental mantra("Om Eho Shuddhe Shuddhe...") has given effects? From what I've noticed, after following the visualization and mantra, I've been feeling "lighter" and strangely, better eyesight(didn't happen in the Medicine Buddha sadhana that was free of empowerments nor the Tara sadhana nor the sadhana of Chenrezig for eyesight). How is this so?
Mantras really aren't "magic spells" that change things, you know. They are reminders--condensed reminders of something that is true, but often not apparent. The Element Mantra, along with, for example the Om Svabhava mantra, or the Om Shunyata Jnana mantra, are reminders of the primordially pure nature of elements, the empty nature of all Dharmas, and the Empty Nature of Wisdom mind, respectively. The mantras don't create these states. In the same way, deity mantras don't really "create" deities--they are equivalent to the deities, the true nature of the deities......
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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