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Origin of Full Length Prostrations

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:51 pm
by csmorg96
I've heard that the tradition of full length prostrations comes from Tilopa. In his ngondro commentary, Dudjom Rinpoche also provides some short qoutes to a tantra that describes the benefits of this style of prostration. Does anyone have anymore info? Either quotes from tantras referencing full length prostration or info about their origin would be cool to read.

Re: Origin of Full Length Prostrations

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:50 am
by Miroku
Hi, can I please ask you if you could PM me a quote of those benefits? I have been searching for that information for quite some time.

To your question. I think I have heard that full prostrations were used by peasants befor Indian kings and royalty. It was a traditional way of bowing to them, but then Buddha came and everybody saw that he is enlightened and also started to bow to him in this way. But cannot really vouch for it as it is a second hand information with an unclear source.

Re: Origin of Full Length Prostrations

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:52 am
by Fortyeightvows
pretty sure it has something to do with building the psychic body

Re: Origin of Full Length Prostrations

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:00 pm
by miranda
AFAIK Full lenth prostration is part of indian culture, and still exists in hindu religious practices. However it is a once act.
A newar buddhist friend used to told me they don't practice it as tibetan people, great numbers (100000...) or circumbulating or doing pilginage.... In their buddhist training it has not the place as in the tibetan ngondros.

I speculate it is some kind of uppaya developed for tibetan people whose physical strength and vitality is tipical of montain people....

my 2 cents.

Re: Origin of Full Length Prostrations

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:08 pm
by smcj
miranda wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:00 pm
AFAIK Full lenth prostration is part of indian culture, and still exists in hindu religious practices. However it is a once act.
A newar buddhist friend used to told me they don't practice it as tibetan people, great numbers (100000...) or circumbulating or doing pytilginage.... In their buddhist training it has not the place as in the tibetan ngondros.

I speculate it is some kind of uppaya developed for tibetan people whose physical strength and vitality is tipical of montain people....

my 2 cents.
As a random footnote, the Chinese word for prostrations found its way into English. It is “kowtow”. I think it literally translates as “head bump”, so it might mean half prostrations.

So in English you could say that in the NgonDro you are to kowtow to the 3 Jewels 111,111 times. Said that way it makes clear the humbling purpose of the practice.

Re: Origin of Full Length Prostrations

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:16 am
by PeterC
smcj wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:08 pm

As a random footnote, the Chinese word for prostrations found its way into English. It is “kowtow”. I think it literally translates as “head bump”, so it might mean half prostrations.
A Chinese prostration, however, is not quite the same as a Tibetan prostration. (There’s a separate term in Chinese for a flat-on-the-ground full-length prostration.)

I was once at a multidenominational puja in a Chinese temple. As a welcoming gesture, the Chinese sangha had put out those cushioned stools that more senior Chinese monks sometimes use for prostrations for their Tibetan guests. They tried to figure out how to prostrate using them, and then eventually giving up and shuffling a few steps back so that they could lie flat on the ground, while their somewhat confused hosts looked on with consternation...