Did the 84 mahasiddhas authorize others to teach?

Forum for discussion of Tibetan Buddhism. Questions specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
fckw
Posts: 480
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:10 am

Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas authorize others to teach?

Post by fckw » Sun May 13, 2018 7:21 am

Very interesting: So far nobody presented a strong case why teaching authorisation was part of the lineage system in the early days of Vajrayana. This settles an uncertainty I had on this topic for quite some time in a, for me, surprising way.

User avatar
ratna
Posts: 352
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:32 pm

Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas authorize others to teach?

Post by ratna » Sun May 13, 2018 10:52 am

fckw wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 7:21 am
Very interesting: So far nobody presented a strong case why teaching authorisation was part of the lineage system in the early days of Vajrayana. This settles an uncertainty I had on this topic for quite some time in a, for me, surprising way.
Well, there is a formal way of authorization to teach that comes from the Tantras themselves -- it's called the vajra master empowerment.

R
Don't touch me while I'm tantric.

fckw
Posts: 480
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:10 am

Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas authorize others to teach?

Post by fckw » Sun May 13, 2018 12:24 pm

ratna wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 10:52 am
fckw wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 7:21 am
Very interesting: So far nobody presented a strong case why teaching authorisation was part of the lineage system in the early days of Vajrayana. This settles an uncertainty I had on this topic for quite some time in a, for me, surprising way.
Well, there is a formal way of authorization to teach that comes from the Tantras themselves -- it's called the vajra master empowerment.

R
That's interesting, can you say more about it?

Varis
Posts: 169
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:09 am

Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas authorize others to teach?

Post by Varis » Sun May 13, 2018 1:11 pm

heart wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 7:20 pm
Read any book on the 84 mahasiddhas. A few of them where not Buddhists but attained the same level of realisation.

/magnus
I don't recall any of their stories saying that they attained the Bhumis like the Buddhist ones did. Can you give me a source?

User avatar
Aryjna
Posts: 1123
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:45 pm

Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas authorize others to teach?

Post by Aryjna » Sun May 13, 2018 1:16 pm

Varis wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 1:11 pm
heart wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 7:20 pm
Read any book on the 84 mahasiddhas. A few of them where not Buddhists but attained the same level of realisation.

/magnus
I don't recall any of their stories saying that they attained the Bhumis like the Buddhist ones did. Can you give me a source?
Mahasiddha as a word already means they attained buddhahood. Other than that, in all versions of the texts that I recall, in the end of almost every biography, it is said that the mahasiddha went to the realm of the dakinis.

User avatar
heart
Posts: 4772
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas authorize others to teach?

Post by heart » Sun May 13, 2018 2:09 pm

Varis wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 1:11 pm
heart wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 7:20 pm
Read any book on the 84 mahasiddhas. A few of them where not Buddhists but attained the same level of realisation.

/magnus
I don't recall any of their stories saying that they attained the Bhumis like the Buddhist ones did. Can you give me a source?
Any book, if you are a siddha you have attained realisation.

/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)

User avatar
Berry
Posts: 286
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:19 am

Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas authorize others to teach?

Post by Berry » Sun May 13, 2018 2:31 pm

.

"Buddha's Lions - The Lives of the Eighty-Four Siddha's" by Abhayadatta, translated by James B.Robinson is an enjoyable read.

https://shop.dharmapublishing.com/produ ... dhas-lions


.
Leave the polluted water of conceptual thoughts in its natural clarity. Without affirming or denying appearances, leave them as they are. When there is neither acceptance nor rejection, mind is liberated into mahāmudra.

~ Tilopa

User avatar
dzogchungpa
Posts: 6333
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas authorize others to teach?

Post by dzogchungpa » Sun May 13, 2018 3:23 pm

heart wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 2:09 pm
Varis wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 1:11 pm
heart wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 7:20 pm
Read any book on the 84 mahasiddhas. A few of them where not Buddhists but attained the same level of realisation.

/magnus
I don't recall any of their stories saying that they attained the Bhumis like the Buddhist ones did. Can you give me a source?
Any book, if you are a siddha you have attained realisation.

/magnus


The BRUB's standards are really high, m.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

PSM
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:15 pm

Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas authorize others to teach?

Post by PSM » Sun May 13, 2018 6:54 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:17 pm
Well, Minapa's guru was Shiva ...
And Virupa destroyed a shrine to Shiva and converted his followers to Buddhism. It's all a bit confusing if you try to keep to rigid rules, which might actually be the point.

tingdzin
Posts: 1125
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:19 am

Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas authorize others to teach?

Post by tingdzin » Mon May 14, 2018 6:43 am

This and similar threads about qualifications mostly seem to be rooted in people either challenging notions of authority or asserting them. As one poster 'way back said, from a practitioner's standpoint (as opposed to that of people who just like Internet conversations and spinning out more fascinating detours into discursive thought), it is most important to examine one's own motivations for being interested in the question. Most people who have a strong opinion are on the one hand probably interested in either finding justification for following their own preferences in practice and/or for setting themselves up as teachers, or, on the other hand, assuring themselves that they are doing it right, and that people who do it differently are not.

If sincere practitioners tune out all the "noise" from the back-and-forth of these discussions, and try to see what motivates the posters, trying to avoid the two extremes mentioned above, they can get a good idea of what kind of teacher they would prefer to follow. Thinking that everyone should follow one's own favored approach is, of course, a sign of personal insecurity and a misunderstanding of what Buddhist practice is all about.

Other points by the way:
1) Even "authorized" teachers can be charlatans; one's own judgment is paramount. If one is not deceiving oneself, it will be much more difficult to be deceived by others in this matter.
2) The stories of the 84 mahasiddhas are not to be taken as justifying one or another opinion on this sort of question, as their historicity (in the Western critical sense) is dubious. Rather they are pointers to a sphere that is broader than our petty concerns with samsaric power.

User avatar
ratna
Posts: 352
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:32 pm

Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas authorize others to teach?

Post by ratna » Mon May 14, 2018 1:23 pm

fckw wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 12:24 pm
That's interesting, can you say more about it?
With a complete main initiation of one of the four classes of tantra, one also receives the vajra-master empowerment that invests one with the authority to give initiations, teach the tantras, perform consecrations, etc.

Of course, having received this empowerment is a necessary but not sufficient condition for acting as a vajra master -- one must also know what one is doing (mastering the ten fields of tantric expertise, etc), do the necessary retreats, and have other necessary qualifications.

R
Don't touch me while I'm tantric.

User avatar
dzogchungpa
Posts: 6333
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas authorize others to teach?

Post by dzogchungpa » Mon May 14, 2018 4:52 pm

tingdzin wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 6:43 am
Thinking that everyone should follow one's own favored approach is, of course, a sign of personal insecurity and a misunderstanding of what Buddhist practice is all about.

Well spoken.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

User avatar
conebeckham
Posts: 5027
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas authorize others to teach?

Post by conebeckham » Mon May 14, 2018 5:38 pm

ratna wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 1:23 pm
fckw wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 12:24 pm
That's interesting, can you say more about it?
With a complete main initiation of one of the four classes of tantra, one also receives the vajra-master empowerment that invests one with the authority to give initiations, teach the tantras, perform consecrations, etc.

Of course, having received this empowerment is a necessary but not sufficient condition for acting as a vajra master -- one must also know what one is doing (mastering the ten fields of tantric expertise, etc), do the necessary retreats, and have other necessary qualifications.

R
There are different levels of Vajra Master Empowerment, as well. Or, rather, different Tantras have different explanations of the "Vajra Master" empowerment, which is usually given after the Fourth, or "Word," empowerment. Sometimes it is not given, but in all cases it's true that it is "not a sufficient condition" as you state. I think it is a necessary one, though, in most Sarma systems, at least.
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")

Sennin
Posts: 867
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:19 am

Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas authorize others to teach?

Post by Sennin » Mon May 14, 2018 6:01 pm

The BRUB:
    • Given that the path can be traversed solely through this depth of confidence, it is acceptable to apply effort only with practice. If that is not the case and a person claims to be one who can show this path to others, it is imperative that they at least have experience based upon extensive personal study and contemplation because this path must be comprehended beyond any doubt in order to benefit both self and others. In particular, a teacher must never mistake the path; because if that were the case, then whatever they teach would be in error. Hence, this importance of being armed with the extensive knowledge of study and contemplation can never be underestimated. By diligently severing doubt through hearing and deliberation concerning all external knowable things -- through meditation, the dharmata must be sustained. Secretly, the self-awareness of basic space and awareness will be nakedly induced, bringing constant association with the naked realization of dharmakaya.
"One should always recite mantra, purifying the body."
--Cakrasaṃvara Tantra

User avatar
Josef
Posts: 2376
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:44 pm

Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas authorize others to teach?

Post by Josef » Tue May 15, 2018 1:16 am

Sennin wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 6:01 pm
The BRUB:
    • Given that the path can be traversed solely through this depth of confidence, it is acceptable to apply effort only with practice. If that is not the case and a person claims to be one who can show this path to others, it is imperative that they at least have experience based upon extensive personal study and contemplation because this path must be comprehended beyond any doubt in order to benefit both self and others. In particular, a teacher must never mistake the path; because if that were the case, then whatever they teach would be in error. Hence, this importance of being armed with the extensive knowledge of study and contemplation can never be underestimated. By diligently severing doubt through hearing and deliberation concerning all external knowable things -- through meditation, the dharmata must be sustained. Secretly, the self-awareness of basic space and awareness will be nakedly induced, bringing constant association with the naked realization of dharmakaya.
The BRUB is more concerned with letters of recognition than the authenticity of personal, intimate practice experience ;)
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.

Sennin
Posts: 867
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:19 am

Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas authorize others to teach?

Post by Sennin » Tue May 15, 2018 1:23 am

Josef wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 1:16 am
Sennin wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 6:01 pm
The BRUB:
    • Given that the path can be traversed solely through this depth of confidence, it is acceptable to apply effort only with practice. If that is not the case and a person claims to be one who can show this path to others, it is imperative that they at least have experience based upon extensive personal study and contemplation because this path must be comprehended beyond any doubt in order to benefit both self and others. In particular, a teacher must never mistake the path; because if that were the case, then whatever they teach would be in error. Hence, this importance of being armed with the extensive knowledge of study and contemplation can never be underestimated. By diligently severing doubt through hearing and deliberation concerning all external knowable things -- through meditation, the dharmata must be sustained. Secretly, the self-awareness of basic space and awareness will be nakedly induced, bringing constant association with the naked realization of dharmakaya.
The BRUB is more concerned with letters of recognition than the authenticity of personal, intimate practice experience ;)
Aww you got me...that's not the BRUB...but Longchenpa...I tried to sneak it by.
"One should always recite mantra, purifying the body."
--Cakrasaṃvara Tantra

User avatar
Palzang Jangchub
Posts: 1006
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:19 pm
Contact:

Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas authorize others to teach?

Post by Palzang Jangchub » Tue May 15, 2018 2:37 am

Then, of course, there are wannabe cult leaders who, having neither authorization to teach, nor realization, impart a correct understanding of certain Dharma concepts that is later verified by bonafide teachers. So maybe we can learn from even the sketchiest people up to a point, though certainly a qualified guru is best to lead us on the path.
Image

"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྩ་བའི་བླ་མ་སྐྱབས་རྗེ་མགར་ཆེན་ཁྲི་སྤྲུལ་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་ཁྱེད་མཁྱེན་ནོ།།
རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་མཁས་གྲུབ་ཀརྨ་ཆགས་མེད་མཁྱེན་ནོ། ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོཿ

User avatar
Josef
Posts: 2376
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:44 pm

Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas authorize others to teach?

Post by Josef » Tue May 15, 2018 2:22 pm

fckw wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 7:21 am
Very interesting: So far nobody presented a strong case why teaching authorisation was part of the lineage system in the early days of Vajrayana. This settles an uncertainty I had on this topic for quite some time in a, for me, surprising way.
Not only early Vajrayana. This notion of explicit authorizations is shiny and new. There is a difference between being told to teach (which we hear often in namthar) and being given permission to do so. Often, in the stories of great masters they exhibit great humility and through that humility do not put themselves in the position of reverence. They are encouraged to teach by others.
It seem that the notion of being encouraged to teach has been conflated with "permission" to do so.
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.

Varis
Posts: 169
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:09 am

Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas authorize others to teach?

Post by Varis » Tue May 15, 2018 7:10 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 1:16 pm
Mahasiddha as a word already means they attained buddhahood. Other than that, in all versions of the texts that I recall, in the end of almost every biography, it is said that the mahasiddha went to the realm of the dakinis.
heart wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 2:09 pm
Any book, if you are a siddha you have attained realisation.

/magnus
Reading again their biographies the implication appears to be that Minapa and Gorakshanath were not tirthikas. Although their guru is Shiva, he was teaching Buddhadharma not Shaivism. Keith Dowman also notes that Minapa and Gorakshanath take 500 years and aeons, respectively, to attain Buddhahood unlike their peers who attained liberation in one lifetime.

User avatar
Palzang Jangchub
Posts: 1006
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:19 pm
Contact:

Re: Did the 84 mahasiddhas authorize others to teach?

Post by Palzang Jangchub » Wed May 16, 2018 6:10 am

Varis wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 7:10 pm
[...] the implication appears to be that Minapa and Gorakshanath were not tirthikas. Although their guru is Shiva, he was teaching Buddhadharma not Shaivism.
Shiva is also considered a worldly protector of the Buddhadharma. In Mipham Rinpoche's Tashi Gyepa prayer, he refers to Shiva by the name Dejung (bde 'byung) or Sukhajāta, the "origin of bliss."

http://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-mas ... cious-ones

And then of course there is the historical/scholarly concern of whether the Shaiva Tantras or Buddhist Tantras came first, if one had influence over the other and to what extent. Not to mention Vajrayana augmenting Hindu iconography to make it Buddhist, such as Shiva's trishul(a) becoming Guru Rinpoche's khatvanga, etc., etc. ...
Image

"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྩ་བའི་བླ་མ་སྐྱབས་རྗེ་མགར་ཆེན་ཁྲི་སྤྲུལ་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་ཁྱེད་མཁྱེན་ནོ།།
རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་མཁས་གྲུབ་ཀརྨ་ཆགས་མེད་མཁྱེན་ནོ། ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོཿ

Post Reply

Return to “Tibetan Buddhism”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 81 guests