Wrathful deities

Forum for discussion of Tibetan Buddhism. Questions specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
Crazywisdom
Posts: 1940
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:48 pm

Re: Wrathful deities

Post by Crazywisdom » Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:36 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:19 pm
Crazywisdom wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 10:35 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 10:03 pm


It is possible to clarify the lower by means of the higher, but one cannot elevate the lower to the higher. As for the dark practice recommended in this passage, it is based on the Kalacakra approach of the saḍaṅgayoga, not the dark practice of the Great Perfection. Why? Because it mentions the five signs, etc., fireflies, butterlamps, etc.

As for your contention, no, this chapter does not place place the tantra in the unsurpassed secret cycle, and Longchenpa himself would never make such a claim.

Why? There are two faults here: one, the teaching that the deities exist in the body with faces and hands a) does not go beyond mahāyoga in general; and with respect to the outer, inner, secret, and unsurpassed secret cycles, this assertion belongs to the secret cycle, not the unsurpassed secret cycle.
I’m sure he did make this claim and so did Khenpo Namdrol. The Kalacakra is not the only place these signs are described, also the Guhyasamaja. He is not saying the deities abide as faces and hands but as bindis of light like mustard seeds in the crown. This is the all-in-one tantra that covers all the bases.
No, Longchenpa never made this claim in the text of the commentary itself.

As for the signs under discussion, they are rejected in Dzogchen as being mental phenomena, not phenomena of pristine consciousness. You can consult Dudjom R's big red book on this point.

There isn't even a single mention of the topics of the unsurpassed secret cycle, let alone the four bindu cycles, the three series, etc. There are only one or two mentions of the Great Perfection in the root tantra. Commenting on this tantra from a Great Perfection perspective does not make it a great perfection tantra. It is a mahāyoga tantra being commented upon from a Nyinthig POV. Someone who never encountered Nyinthig would have no idea Longchenpa is talking about in this commentary at all. Mipham states:
Because this tantra is classified as the
Ati or highest division of Mahayoga. it is essentially
identical to the Maha classification of Atiyoga, among the
three divisions of the Great Perfection. For in the secret
Great Perfection there are three categories of teaching,
namely that which reveals the mandala in which creation &
perfection are indivisible and mind & pristine cognition are
manifest in themselves, that which reveals mind-as-such to
be the natural expression of primordial buddhahood without
regard for creation or perfection. and that which reveals
pristine cognition in its essence. manifesting in and of
itself as the nature of buddhahood. them. this
exposition sccords with the first.
-- Gyurme Dorje's thesis.


In other words, what is being claimed here is that when Mahāyoga is subdivided, there is mahā mahā, mahā anu, and mahā ati. And within Ati, there is ati mahā; ati anu, and ati ati.

Clearly, this commentary is commenting from the point of view of the indivisible creation and, with an emphasis on the completion stage. I think you have slightly misunderstood Longchenpa's meaning and purpose here.
I think we disagree on the meaning of maha Ati. Whether it comes by way of unified stages or sitting with bindi has zero consequential impact except as to the preferences of trainees who might need some concrete e xperiences due to having a very concretized view of nature. Otherwise, you have to assert Sarma is a limited and provisional lineage. So the possibilities and the pep talks are two very different things.
As
Having trouble pasting, but KN and GD don’t match. They’re using different originals. He says, Ati of Maha. As well manifold Ati.

Atiyoga in this context, the main emphasis is on the Maha aspect of Ati as well as the Ati of Maha.w Hence, this tradition has become known as "the uncommon, profound tradition" or "the tradition of eastern Tibet" [i.e., Kham]. TI1e word-for-word commentary called 11Jorough Dispelling q(Dar/mess throughout the Ten Directions written by Longchenpa belongs to this tradition. As the author states, " lhis text is a worthy object to offer garlands of praise, such as proclaiming that this is the king of all tantras; the pinnacle of all vehicles; the source of all transmissions; the swift path of the buddhas of the three times; and among secrets, the highest secret of all."
Vajra fangs deliver vajra venom to your Mara body.

Malcolm
Posts: 29105
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Wrathful deities

Post by Malcolm » Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:16 am

Crazywisdom wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:36 pm

Having trouble pasting, but KN and GD don’t match. They’re using different originals. He says, Ati of Maha. As well manifold Ati.

Atiyoga in this context, the main emphasis is on the Maha aspect of Ati as well as the Ati of Maha.
They are not using different originals, GD's thesis is the word by word commentary.

We definitely disagree.

Crazywisdom
Posts: 1940
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:48 pm

Re: Wrathful deities

Post by Crazywisdom » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:21 am

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:16 am
Crazywisdom wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:36 pm

Having trouble pasting, but KN and GD don’t match. They’re using different originals. He says, Ati of Maha. As well manifold Ati.

Atiyoga in this context, the main emphasis is on the Maha aspect of Ati as well as the Ati of Maha.
They are not using different originals, GD's thesis is the word by word commentary.

We definitely disagree.
The mantras don’t match up, transliteration schemes notwithstanding, the bija don’t match. So I know there are different source texts for this. Then, the books notwithstanding, KN re wrote the book via oral transmission, by that I mean the arrangement of the mandala don’t match either book, among others. Or GD has some big errors, not sure if a lama helped him.
Vajra fangs deliver vajra venom to your Mara body.

Crazywisdom
Posts: 1940
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:48 pm

Re: Wrathful deities

Post by Crazywisdom » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:28 am

Someone mentioned peaceful deities were about stillness and wrathful for movement in ChNN. That actually does jibe with GGT, since the main practice of the peaceful mandala is recitation, and the main practice of the wrathful mandala is the dance of suppression.
Vajra fangs deliver vajra venom to your Mara body.

Crazywisdom
Posts: 1940
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:48 pm

Re: Wrathful deities

Post by Crazywisdom » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:05 pm

Crazywisdom wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:21 am
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:16 am
Crazywisdom wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:36 pm

Having trouble pasting, but KN and GD don’t match. They’re using different originals. He says, Ati of Maha. As well manifold Ati.

Atiyoga in this context, the main emphasis is on the Maha aspect of Ati as well as the Ati of Maha.
They are not using different originals, GD's thesis is the word by word commentary.

We definitely disagree.
The mantras don’t match up, transliteration schemes notwithstanding, the bija don’t match. So I know there are different source texts for this. Then, the books notwithstanding, KN re wrote the book via oral transmission, by that I mean the arrangement of the mandala don’t match either book, among others. Or GD has some big errors, not sure if a lama helped him.
GD is calling one of the seats a Bull and SK/KN is calling it an elephant. Maybe GD meant bull elephant. But don’t know how one mixes the two up. Further evidence of alternative sources.
Vajra fangs deliver vajra venom to your Mara body.

Malcolm
Posts: 29105
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Wrathful deities

Post by Malcolm » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:25 pm

Crazywisdom wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:05 pm
Crazywisdom wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:21 am
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:16 am


They are not using different originals, GD's thesis is the word by word commentary.

We definitely disagree.
The mantras don’t match up, transliteration schemes notwithstanding, the bija don’t match. So I know there are different source texts for this. Then, the books notwithstanding, KN re wrote the book via oral transmission, by that I mean the arrangement of the mandala don’t match either book, among others. Or GD has some big errors, not sure if a lama helped him.
GD is calling one of the seats a Bull and SK/KN is calling it an elephant. Maybe GD meant bull elephant. But don’t know how one mixes the two up. Further evidence of alternative sources.
The word for elephant and ox/bull are nearly the same in Tibetan. This is an easy error to make in translation.

Dharmaswede
Posts: 236
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:22 pm

Re: Wrathful deities

Post by Dharmaswede » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:37 pm

ford_truckin wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:08 am
1. What would be some of the pros and cons for practicing with a wrathful deity?
One of my teachers told me you run a greater risk of damaging your nervous system with wrathful Yidams if you practice beyond your capacity, such as in retreat. The energy being more 'agitative'.

Crazywisdom
Posts: 1940
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:48 pm

Re: Wrathful deities

Post by Crazywisdom » Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:19 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:25 pm
Crazywisdom wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:05 pm
Crazywisdom wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:21 am


The mantras don’t match up, transliteration schemes notwithstanding, the bija don’t match. So I know there are different source texts for this. Then, the books notwithstanding, KN re wrote the book via oral transmission, by that I mean the arrangement of the mandala don’t match either book, among others. Or GD has some big errors, not sure if a lama helped him.
GD is calling one of the seats a Bull and SK/KN is calling it an elephant. Maybe GD meant bull elephant. But don’t know how one mixes the two up. Further evidence of alternative sources.
The word for elephant and ox/bull are nearly the same in Tibetan. This is an easy error to make in translation.
Thank you.
Vajra fangs deliver vajra venom to your Mara body.

Malcolm
Posts: 29105
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Wrathful deities

Post by Malcolm » Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:53 pm

Dharmaswede wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:37 pm
ford_truckin wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:08 am
1. What would be some of the pros and cons for practicing with a wrathful deity?
One of my teachers told me you run a greater risk of damaging your nervous system with wrathful Yidams if you practice beyond your capacity, such as in retreat. The energy being more 'agitative'.
This is a vacuous assertion.

User avatar
Quay
Posts: 340
Joined: Mon May 16, 2016 6:07 pm

Re: Wrathful deities

Post by Quay » Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:02 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:25 am
ford_truckin wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:19 am
How hard is it these days to find a trustworthy guru?
Lineage heads make good starter lamas.
Starter lama? :) Thank you for that. Gave me a good case of what a friend of mine calls "view giggles."

Malcolm wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:19 pm
...

As for the signs under discussion, they are rejected in Dzogchen as being mental phenomena, not phenomena of pristine consciousness. You can consult Dudjom R's big red book on this point....
I had occasion to consult that book for the same explanation. I found it convincing.
"Knowledge is as infinite as the stars in the sky;
There is no end to all the subjects one could study.
It is better to grasp straight away their very essence--
The unchanging fortress of the Dharmakaya."

– Longchenpa.

lobsangrinchen
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:17 pm

Re: Wrathful deities

Post by lobsangrinchen » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:40 pm

I don't have anything to add, other than this has been a fascinating thread and I am grateful to have the knowledge and scholarship of everyone contributing here - DW has continually been an interesting and educational forum for me personally :good:

Pero
Posts: 2228
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:54 pm

Re: Wrathful deities

Post by Pero » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:16 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:53 pm
Dharmaswede wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:37 pm
ford_truckin wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:08 am
1. What would be some of the pros and cons for practicing with a wrathful deity?
One of my teachers told me you run a greater risk of damaging your nervous system with wrathful Yidams if you practice beyond your capacity, such as in retreat. The energy being more 'agitative'.
This is a vacuous assertion.
Why?
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar

Malcolm
Posts: 29105
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Wrathful deities

Post by Malcolm » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:24 pm

Pero wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:16 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:53 pm
Dharmaswede wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:37 pm


One of my teachers told me you run a greater risk of damaging your nervous system with wrathful Yidams if you practice beyond your capacity, such as in retreat. The energy being more 'agitative'.
This is a vacuous assertion.
Why?
This kind of statement is found nowhere in the tantras, etc. It is a ridiculous assertion meant to intimidate people.

ford_truckin
Posts: 156
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:03 am

Re: Wrathful deities

Post by ford_truckin » Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:21 am

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:25 am
ford_truckin wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:19 am
How hard is it these days to find a trustworthy guru?
Lineage heads make good starter lamas.
Any lineage heads that give teachings on a regular basis in North America?
"We should not express outwardly signs of wisdom, goodness, or diligence, for inwardly we are filled with falsity."
- Shinran Shonin

Malcolm
Posts: 29105
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Wrathful deities

Post by Malcolm » Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:23 am

ford_truckin wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:21 am
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:25 am
ford_truckin wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:19 am
How hard is it these days to find a trustworthy guru?
Lineage heads make good starter lamas.
Any lineage heads that give teachings on a regular basis in North America?
His holiness Sakya Trichen.

ford_truckin
Posts: 156
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:03 am

Re: Wrathful deities

Post by ford_truckin » Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:25 am

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:23 am
ford_truckin wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:21 am
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:25 am


Lineage heads make good starter lamas.
Any lineage heads that give teachings on a regular basis in North America?
His holiness Sakya Trichen.
Awesome, thanks. :cheers:
"We should not express outwardly signs of wisdom, goodness, or diligence, for inwardly we are filled with falsity."
- Shinran Shonin

Dharmaswede
Posts: 236
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:22 pm

Re: Wrathful deities

Post by Dharmaswede » Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:04 am

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:24 pm
Pero wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:16 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:53 pm


This is a vacuous assertion.
Why?
This kind of statement is found nowhere in the tantras, etc. It is a ridiculous assertion meant to intimidate people.
I think I understand the intimidation point, however my sense is that the motivation in this case was very, very different.

The assertion was based on multiple observations of such cases in the West, accumulated over decades, and offered in a very small setting.

Probably a mistake to share it here. My apologies.

Crazywisdom
Posts: 1940
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:48 pm

Re: Wrathful deities

Post by Crazywisdom » Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:15 am

Quay wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:02 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:25 am
ford_truckin wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:19 am
How hard is it these days to find a trustworthy guru?
Lineage heads make good starter lamas.
Starter lama? :) Thank you for that. Gave me a good case of what a friend of mine calls "view giggles."

Malcolm wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:19 pm
...

As for the signs under discussion, they are rejected in Dzogchen as being mental phenomena, not phenomena of pristine consciousness. You can consult Dudjom R's big red book on this point....
I had occasion to consult that book for the same explanation. I found it convincing.
Longchepa describes the common central channel signs and the unique Dzogchen signs in Ch. 13 of GGT.

Also, take into account the Yangti which uses mind. Signs for Yangti culminate the way Longchenpa describes.
Last edited by Crazywisdom on Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:25 am, edited 3 times in total.
Vajra fangs deliver vajra venom to your Mara body.

Crazywisdom
Posts: 1940
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:48 pm

Re: Wrathful deities

Post by Crazywisdom » Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:19 am

ford_truckin wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:21 am
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:25 am
ford_truckin wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:19 am
How hard is it these days to find a trustworthy guru?
Lineage heads make good starter lamas.
Any lineage heads that give teachings on a regular basis in North America?
HHDL, HH Chetsang Rinpoche. Garchen Rinpoche is like a trusted general and a teacher to HHCR. HH Taklung Matul Rinpoche. HH Karmapa.
Vajra fangs deliver vajra venom to your Mara body.

ford_truckin
Posts: 156
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:03 am

Re: Wrathful deities

Post by ford_truckin » Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:45 pm

Crazywisdom wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:19 am
ford_truckin wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:21 am
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:25 am


Lineage heads make good starter lamas.
Any lineage heads that give teachings on a regular basis in North America?
HHDL, HH Chetsang Rinpoche. Garchen Rinpoche is like a trusted general and a teacher to HHCR. HH Taklung Matul Rinpoche. HH Karmapa.
Good to know there are more out there, thanks. I am focused on some other things now but will look into getting a teaching when the time comes. Maybe recite mantras and try to follow 5 precepts for the time being.
"We should not express outwardly signs of wisdom, goodness, or diligence, for inwardly we are filled with falsity."
- Shinran Shonin

Post Reply

Return to “Tibetan Buddhism”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Daniel Aitken, Queequeg, Rick and 91 guests