Nyigma and Kagyu differences

Forum for discussion of Tibetan Buddhism. Questions specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
Post Reply
Mirror
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:53 am

Nyigma and Kagyu differences

Post by Mirror » Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:06 pm

Please could someone tell me, what are the main differences between Nyigma and Kagyu schools of tibetan buddhism?

User avatar
Grigoris
Former staff member
Posts: 20137
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Nyigma and Kagyu differences

Post by Grigoris » Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:09 pm

Mirror wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:06 pm
Please could someone tell me, what are the main differences between Nyigma and Kagyu schools of tibetan buddhism?
In terms of...?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

Mirror
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:53 am

Re: Nyigma and Kagyu differences

Post by Mirror » Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:48 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:09 pm
Mirror wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:06 pm
Please could someone tell me, what are the main differences between Nyigma and Kagyu schools of tibetan buddhism?
In terms of...?
In the term of approach and emphasis.

User avatar
Miroku
Former staff member
Posts: 1695
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:18 am

Re: Nyigma and Kagyu differences

Post by Miroku » Sun Jun 30, 2019 6:11 pm

It really depends, there are many lineages in Kagyu, just like there are many lineages in Nyingma. Also often approach is bit different from teacher to teacher. The main difference is that Kagyu folk most often practices mahamudra and Nyingma dzogchen, but even that is not an absolute.

I think that if you specify a bit what you mean by giving some examples that Grigoris should be one of the most capable ones to answer your question as he has plenty of experience.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

User avatar
Matt J
Posts: 859
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:29 am

Re: Nyigma and Kagyu differences

Post by Matt J » Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:06 pm

"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

User avatar
Mantrik
Former staff member
Posts: 1982
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:55 pm
Contact:

Re: Nyigma and Kagyu differences

Post by Mantrik » Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:58 pm

I have the impression, probably incorrectly, that in general there is less emphasis on the Ngakpa path in the Kagyu.
But I would genuinely like to know more about Kagyu Ngakpas.
http://www.khyung.com ཁྲོཾ

Om Thathpurushaya Vidhmahe
Suvarna Pakshaya Dheemahe
Thanno Garuda Prachodayath

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

User avatar
javier.espinoza.t
Posts: 1359
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:29 am
Location: Chile

Re: Nyigma and Kagyu differences

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:56 pm

a difference i know is that nyigma have anuyoga and kagyu does not.

User avatar
Miroku
Former staff member
Posts: 1695
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:18 am

Re: Nyigma and Kagyu differences

Post by Miroku » Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:59 pm

javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:56 pm
a difference i know is that nyigma have anuyoga and kagyu does not.
Well, quite a few schools of kagyu have some terma teachings so some version of anuyoga is probably present.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Terma
Posts: 271
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:07 am

Re: Nyigma and Kagyu differences

Post by Terma » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:02 am

Miroku wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:59 pm
javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:56 pm
a difference i know is that nyigma have anuyoga and kagyu does not.
Well, quite a few schools of kagyu have some terma teachings so some version of anuyoga is probably present.
True, there are several Kagyupa's that were treasure revealer's, but in this case then those terma's would probably be presented in terms of the Nyingma approach, since terma's (for the most part) come from the lineage of Guru Rinpoche and since many terma's do culminate in Anuyoga practices.

smcj
Posts: 6393
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: Nyigma and Kagyu differences

Post by smcj » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:48 am

I’m not an expert, but I’ve heard that the 3 divisions on Highest Yoga Tantra (Father, Mother, Nondual) loosely correspond to Maha, Anu, and Ati Yoga.

But I’m not well educated on the matter. It would be nice if Cone contributes to this thread.
*****
There is less emphasis on monastic vows in Nyingma.
*****
Kagyu practice makes people strong.
Nyingma practice makes people free.
Just my own observations on that.
1. No traditional Buddhist sect, Tibetan or otherwise, considers deities to be fictional. (DW post/Seeker242)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
4. Shentong] is the completely pure system that, through mainly teaching the luminous aspect of the mind, holds that the fruitions--kayas and wisdoms--exist on their own accord. (Karmapa XIII)

User avatar
conebeckham
Posts: 5016
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Nyigma and Kagyu differences

Post by conebeckham » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:23 am

Mirror wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:06 pm
Please could someone tell me, what are the main differences between Nyigma and Kagyu schools of tibetan buddhism?
These are institutional designations and the question as it stands is too vague to answer accurately.

Nyingma as an institutional "school" can be understood as a collection of lineages, relating to the major Nyingma monastic centers, like Dzogchen, Mindroling, Palyul, etc., and to the practices those schools uphold. Kagyu is a descriptive term for those lineages, and practices, stemming from Marpa Lotsawa. This includes the Karma KAgyu, or Kamtsang, as sell as Drikung, Drukpa, and some of the smaller but still extant lineages... But in reality, the institutional Kagyu lineages---which does not really include the Shangpa Kagyu lineage, a practice lineage upheld by individuals from all the institutional lineages to varying degrees--all practice terma traditions originating in Nyingma lineages. (Actually, the Shangpa-affiliated Lama do too, to some degree).

There are rough correspondences between the Nyingma nine yana system and the Sarma Four Tantra level systems, but you can't really map them accurately. "Anuyoga" is an approach to deity yoga which can be found in some Sarma practices, for instance.

I think that, in terms of talking about tantra, it's better to say "Nyingma as contrasted to Sarma" than to say Nyingma contrasted with Kagyu, or Sakya, etc.

In very general terms, Nyingmapas focus on Dzogchen, and on Mengakde practices these days, and there is perhaps less of a monastic "Flavor," while Kagyupas certainly have non-celibate Ngakpas (including Marpa, of course) but monasticism is stressed more, and the path of Mahamudra is the core of their gradual presentation of practice, with the Six Yogas/PAth of Means as an innermost core. Historically, there are said to be reasons for the non-celibate "identity" of Nyingma, but of course if one understands the Sakya tradition we can see that's not truly a hard and fast differentiation, either.

One primarily identifies oneself as Nyingma or Kagyu based on one's main teacher's affiliation, or on the main practice traditions one upholds, or both. There are people who maintain both. As far as I know, there is no "Kagyu" practitioner I've ever met in our times who did not practice some "Nyingma" affiliated methods, and most Dzogchen-centered Nyingma teachers also teach a gradual path to their students, and focus very much on things like ngondro, the four thoughts, etc. For example, Kyabje Chadral Rinpoche's students do A LOT of Longchen Nyingthig ngondro. They spend more time on it than a Kamtsang three year retreatant would on our Chagchen Ngondro, for instance.

So---I hope that helps clarify the somewhat muddy waters!
Last edited by conebeckham on Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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")

Terma
Posts: 271
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:07 am

Re: Nyigma and Kagyu differences

Post by Terma » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:23 am

Too late to edit my earlier post, so I must correct it here...

True, there are several Kagyupa's that were treasure revealer's, but in this case then those terma's would probably be presented in terms of the Nyingma approach, since terma's (for the most part) come from the lineage of Guru Rinpoche and since many terma's do culminate in ati yoga practices.

(The bold is a correction of my earlier mistake.)

User avatar
conebeckham
Posts: 5016
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Nyigma and Kagyu differences

Post by conebeckham » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:27 am

Terma wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:02 am
Miroku wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:59 pm
javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:56 pm
a difference i know is that nyigma have anuyoga and kagyu does not.
Well, quite a few schools of kagyu have some terma teachings so some version of anuyoga is probably present.
True, there are several Kagyupa's that were treasure revealer's, but in this case then those terma's would probably be presented in terms of the Nyingma approach, since terma's (for the most part) come from the lineage of Guru Rinpoche and since many terma's do culminate in Anuyoga practices.
Most famously, Karma Nyingthig is a MenNgakDe terma discovered by Karmapa.

Also, Something like the Pakshi LaDrup is a terma (of Yongay Mingyur Dorje's) which focuses on some instructions which are somewhat more "Mahamudra" in flavor than "Ati," perhaps.
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")

Terma
Posts: 271
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:07 am

Re: Nyigma and Kagyu differences

Post by Terma » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:31 am

conebeckham wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:23 am
Mirror wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:06 pm
Please could someone tell me, what are the main differences between Nyigma and Kagyu schools of tibetan buddhism?
I think that, in terms of talking about tantra, it's better to say "Nyingma as contrasted to Sarma" than to say Nyingma contrasted with Kagyu, or Sakya, etc.
:good:

I think this is a very good way to look at it as well.

User avatar
Grigoris
Former staff member
Posts: 20137
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Nyigma and Kagyu differences

Post by Grigoris » Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:54 am

Cone rocking the answers (as per usual)!

Damn I am glad we have you around here.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

yagmort
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:18 pm

Re: Nyigma and Kagyu differences

Post by yagmort » Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:29 pm

imho these 2 lineages were much more distinctive during their respective propagation times. Kagyu have stemmed from Tilopa and Kagyu core practice at the time was highly secret karnatantra, which Marpa transmitted to Milarepa only among his students and this lineage have further been transmitted through Rechungpa. There was "equal taste" (six cycles of equal taste) terma hidden by Rechungpa revealed later by Tsangpa Gyare. So karnatantra, mahamdra, 6 yogas, equal taste and 9 cycles of bodiless dakini were practices of early kagyu masters who were almost all non-monastic "repas". Monastic kagyu stemmed from Gambopa and his lineage does not contain karnatantra. I dunno much about nyingma but i would guess early Nyingma masters were mostly dzogchenpas with Padmasambhava instead of Tilopa as the main figure of their lineage and practices. Nowadays i'd say it's rather hard to find "pure" kagyupas or nyingmapas.

User avatar
Mantrik
Former staff member
Posts: 1982
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:55 pm
Contact:

Re: Nyigma and Kagyu differences

Post by Mantrik » Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:52 pm

conebeckham wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:23 am


So---I hope that helps clarify the somewhat muddy waters!
Very much so. Thanks. :)
http://www.khyung.com ཁྲོཾ

Om Thathpurushaya Vidhmahe
Suvarna Pakshaya Dheemahe
Thanno Garuda Prachodayath

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

Mirror
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:53 am

Re: Nyigma and Kagyu differences

Post by Mirror » Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:07 pm

Matt J wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:06 pm
Here's on take on it:

https://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-ma ... ur-schools
and
conebeckham wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:23 am
Mirror wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:06 pm
Please could someone tell me, what are the main differences between Nyigma and Kagyu schools of tibetan buddhism?
These are institutional designations and the question as it stands is too vague to answer accurately.

Nyingma as an institutional "school" can be understood as a collection of lineages, relating to the major Nyingma monastic centers, like Dzogchen, Mindroling, Palyul, etc., and to the practices those schools uphold. Kagyu is a descriptive term for those lineages, and practices, stemming from Marpa Lotsawa. This includes the Karma KAgyu, or Kamtsang, as sell as Drikung, Drukpa, and some of the smaller but still extant lineages... But in reality, the institutional Kagyu lineages---which does not really include the Shangpa Kagyu lineage, a practice lineage upheld by individuals from all the institutional lineages to varying degrees--all practice terma traditions originating in Nyingma lineages. (Actually, the Shangpa-affiliated Lama do too, to some degree).

There are rough correspondences between the Nyingma nine yana system and the Sarma Four Tantra level systems, but you can't really map them accurately. "Anuyoga" is an approach to deity yoga which can be found in some Sarma practices, for instance.

I think that, in terms of talking about tantra, it's better to say "Nyingma as contrasted to Sarma" than to say Nyingma contrasted with Kagyu, or Sakya, etc.

In very general terms, Nyingmapas focus on Dzogchen, and on Mengakde practices these days, and there is perhaps less of a monastic "Flavor," while Kagyupas certainly have non-celibate Ngakpas (including Marpa, of course) but monasticism is stressed more, and the path of Mahamudra is the core of their gradual presentation of practice, with the Six Yogas/PAth of Means as an innermost core. Historically, there are said to be reasons for the non-celibate "identity" of Nyingma, but of course if one understands the Sakya tradition we can see that's not truly a hard and fast differentiation, either.

One primarily identifies oneself as Nyingma or Kagyu based on one's main teacher's affiliation, or on the main practice traditions one upholds, or both. There are people who maintain both. As far as I know, there is no "Kagyu" practitioner I've ever met in our times who did not practice some "Nyingma" affiliated methods, and most Dzogchen-centered Nyingma teachers also teach a gradual path to their students, and focus very much on things like ngondro, the four thoughts, etc. For example, Kyabje Chadral Rinpoche's students do A LOT of Longchen Nyingthig ngondro. They spend more time on it than a Kamtsang three year retreatant would on our Chagchen Ngondro, for instance.

So---I hope that helps clarify the somewhat muddy waters!
Thank you for that guys. That's what I was looking for. I just wanted to know some basic differences. Only to be able to distinguish them, because I didn't see differences except that about Dzogchen and Mahamudra. Thanks a lot!
Last edited by Mirror on Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
javier.espinoza.t
Posts: 1359
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:29 am
Location: Chile

Re: Nyigma and Kagyu differences

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:07 pm

conebeckham wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:23 am
Mirror wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:06 pm
Please could someone tell me, what are the main differences between Nyigma and Kagyu schools of tibetan buddhism?
These are institutional designations and the question as it stands is too vague to answer accurately.

Nyingma as an institutional "school" can be understood as a collection of lineages, relating to the major Nyingma monastic centers, like Dzogchen, Mindroling, Palyul, etc., and to the practices those schools uphold. Kagyu is a descriptive term for those lineages, and practices, stemming from Marpa Lotsawa. This includes the Karma KAgyu, or Kamtsang, as sell as Drikung, Drukpa, and some of the smaller but still extant lineages... But in reality, the institutional Kagyu lineages---which does not really include the Shangpa Kagyu lineage, a practice lineage upheld by individuals from all the institutional lineages to varying degrees--all practice terma traditions originating in Nyingma lineages. (Actually, the Shangpa-affiliated Lama do too, to some degree).

There are rough correspondences between the Nyingma nine yana system and the Sarma Four Tantra level systems, but you can't really map them accurately. "Anuyoga" is an approach to deity yoga which can be found in some Sarma practices, for instance.

I think that, in terms of talking about tantra, it's better to say "Nyingma as contrasted to Sarma" than to say Nyingma contrasted with Kagyu, or Sakya, etc.

In very general terms, Nyingmapas focus on Dzogchen, and on Mengakde practices these days, and there is perhaps less of a monastic "Flavor," while Kagyupas certainly have non-celibate Ngakpas (including Marpa, of course) but monasticism is stressed more, and the path of Mahamudra is the core of their gradual presentation of practice, with the Six Yogas/PAth of Means as an innermost core. Historically, there are said to be reasons for the non-celibate "identity" of Nyingma, but of course if one understands the Sakya tradition we can see that's not truly a hard and fast differentiation, either.

One primarily identifies oneself as Nyingma or Kagyu based on one's main teacher's affiliation, or on the main practice traditions one upholds, or both. There are people who maintain both. As far as I know, there is no "Kagyu" practitioner I've ever met in our times who did not practice some "Nyingma" affiliated methods, and most Dzogchen-centered Nyingma teachers also teach a gradual path to their students, and focus very much on things like ngondro, the four thoughts, etc. For example, Kyabje Chadral Rinpoche's students do A LOT of Longchen Nyingthig ngondro. They spend more time on it than a Kamtsang three year retreatant would on our Chagchen Ngondro, for instance.

So---I hope that helps clarify the somewhat muddy waters!
it helps!

Post Reply

Return to “Tibetan Buddhism”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], heart, PadmaVonSamba and 123 guests