Are the bell, dorje and damaru only for tantric use?

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Aspiring.Monk
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Are the bell, dorje and damaru only for tantric use?

Post by Aspiring.Monk » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:00 pm

I have instructions from Lama Zopa to perform Tsongkhapas Guru Yoga as a life practice and in the book that I have there are places where the bell and dorje are used along with the Damaru.

I am wondering if this is for practitioners with tantric empowerment or if anyone that possess the bell, dorje and damaru can use them during the practice.

Thank you.

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kirtu
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Re: Are the bell, dorje and damaru only for tantric use?

Post by kirtu » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:17 am

Aspiring.Monk wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:00 pm
I have instructions from Lama Zopa to perform Tsongkhapas Guru Yoga as a life practice and in the book that I have there are places where the bell and dorje are used along with the Damaru.

I am wondering if this is for practitioners with tantric empowerment or if anyone that possess the bell, dorje and damaru can use them during the practice.

Thank you.
Bell, dorje and damaru are only for tantric practitioners. This means Tibetan Buddhist practitioners who have received an empowerment (some would say that it has to have been a Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment).

Did Lama Zopa give you the Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga instruction directly (including in a possibly huge group setting). If so, follow his instructions.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"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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Josef
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Re: Are the bell, dorje and damaru only for tantric use?

Post by Josef » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:53 am

Aspiring.Monk wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:00 pm
I have instructions from Lama Zopa to perform Tsongkhapas Guru Yoga as a life practice and in the book that I have there are places where the bell and dorje are used along with the Damaru.

I am wondering if this is for practitioners with tantric empowerment or if anyone that possess the bell, dorje and damaru can use them during the practice.

Thank you.
In that particular lineage the bell and dorje are associated with receiving an annutaratantra empowerment (as Kirt indicates above).
The Ganden Lha Gyema is a sort of ngondro for Gelugpas, once you receive an annutaratantra empowerment in that lineage from a qualified master you can learn to use the bell and damaru in that sadhana.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

Aspiring.Monk
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:16 pm

Re: Are the bell, dorje and damaru only for tantric use?

Post by Aspiring.Monk » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:02 am

kirtu wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:17 am
Aspiring.Monk wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:00 pm
I have instructions from Lama Zopa to perform Tsongkhapas Guru Yoga as a life practice and in the book that I have there are places where the bell and dorje are used along with the Damaru.

I am wondering if this is for practitioners with tantric empowerment or if anyone that possess the bell, dorje and damaru can use them during the practice.

Thank you.
Bell, dorje and damaru are only for tantric practitioners. This means Tibetan Buddhist practitioners who have received an empowerment (some would say that it has to have been a Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment).

Did Lama Zopa give you the Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga instruction directly (including in a possibly huge group setting). If so, follow his instructions.

Kirt
Sadly no Lama Zopa did not give it to me directly (face to face) or in a group setting. I reached out to his office asking for Life Practices and after several months I received a document outlining what LZR recommended. There were other practices along with Guru Yoga such as recitation of the Vajrasattva mantra (which I found a version in an FPMT book that can be done without empowerment) and reading of Sutras. One of which requires reading transmission, that I received from the video that LZR can be used for the transmission.

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kirtu
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Re: Are the bell, dorje and damaru only for tantric use?

Post by kirtu » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:47 am

Aspiring.Monk wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:02 am
kirtu wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:17 am
Bell, dorje and damaru are only for tantric practitioners. This means Tibetan Buddhist practitioners who have received an empowerment (some would say that it has to have been a Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment).

Did Lama Zopa give you the Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga instruction directly (including in a possibly huge group setting). If so, follow his instructions.

Kirt
Sadly no Lama Zopa did not give it to me directly (face to face) or in a group setting. I reached out to his office asking for Life Practices and after several months I received a document outlining what LZR recommended. There were other practices along with Guru Yoga such as recitation of the Vajrasattva mantra (which I found a version in an FPMT book that can be done without empowerment) and reading of Sutras. One of which requires reading transmission, that I received from the video that LZR can be used for the transmission.
But Lama Zopa did give you these instructions. I would follow them. Just don't use the bell, vajra or damaru until you have received empowerment. These are not necessary even when you do have permission and instruction to use them. Everything in Buddhism is training the mind and heart. Guru Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga is specifically a practice to invoke the blessing of the Guru and to accumulate merit and ideally wisdom (actually every Tibetan Buddhist practice accumulates merit and wisdom) and can eventually result in you yourself realizing really and truly that you are a Buddha by directly manifesting your infinite compassion and wisdom.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"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

jmlee369
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Re: Are the bell, dorje and damaru only for tantric use?

Post by jmlee369 » Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:10 am

Josef wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:53 am
Aspiring.Monk wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:00 pm
I have instructions from Lama Zopa to perform Tsongkhapas Guru Yoga as a life practice and in the book that I have there are places where the bell and dorje are used along with the Damaru.

I am wondering if this is for practitioners with tantric empowerment or if anyone that possess the bell, dorje and damaru can use them during the practice.

Thank you.
In that particular lineage the bell and dorje are associated with receiving an annutaratantra empowerment (as Kirt indicates above).
The Ganden Lha Gyema is a sort of ngondro for Gelugpas, once you receive an annutaratantra empowerment in that lineage from a qualified master you can learn to use the bell and damaru in that sadhana.
Just to clarify, a major empowerment in any class of tantra allows you to use a vajra and bell, whereas the damaru is limited to anuttarayoga tantra.
Aspiring.Monk wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:00 pm
I have instructions from Lama Zopa to perform Tsongkhapas Guru Yoga as a life practice and in the book that I have there are places where the bell and dorje are used along with the Damaru.

I am wondering if this is for practitioners with tantric empowerment or if anyone that possess the bell, dorje and damaru can use them during the practice.

Thank you.
I'm curious if this is Ganden Lha Gyama that you're referring to, since I have yet to come across the use of damaru in this practice. But as others have mentioned, it is not necessary to use the vajra and bell.

Fortyeightvows
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Re: Are the bell, dorje and damaru only for tantric use?

Post by Fortyeightvows » Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:35 am

jmlee369 wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:10 am
Just to clarify, a major empowerment in any class of tantra allows you to use a vajra and bell, whereas the damaru is limited to anuttarayoga tantra.
Correct

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