Dagnang and recognition of Yangsis and Tulkus

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Dagnang and recognition of Yangsis and Tulkus

Post by phantom59 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:56 pm

Rinpoche is sometimes able to recognize who is a 'yangsi' and sometimes not. An example of one who is both a yangsi and a Tulku is His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This is because he is a yangsi in the sense of being the rebirth of the first Dalai Lama: from the first to the fourteenth, the present one. He is considered a Tulku in the sense of being an emanation of Chenrezi, Avalokiteshvara. So he is a unique example of being considered both.

And whether this is something recognized or not is depending upon the strength of the spiritual vision of the perceptor: if one does not have clear vision, clear perception, one may simply see a monk. If one however has clear perception, clear vision, then one can perceive the presence of Chenrezi and perceive that this is the same being that has continued to be reborn through the series of fourteen. So often the recognition or the ability to see what the being is, is based entirely upon the power of pure vision, called 'dagnang.' If a person has dagnang, for example you and I, anyone; if we have dagnang, pure vision, we can tell, we can see that this person is for instance Chenrezi or a re-birth - whereas if you do not have that, you have impure vision, then you are able to see another person or a monk

To begin with, if a Tulku is recognized, the first thing that is done is recognizing someone as a Tulku - and then following that would be the additional recognition if it was the case that someone is a Yangsi. One would come first: the Tulku recognition would be the first. And Rinpoche says that in the Sakyapa, Gelugpa, Kagyu and Nyingmapa schools there are no significant differences in the manner in which this would be done. There is no certain way that he would be recognizing someone inside of this school that would vary from the other schools. There was one occasion in which he was - in eastern Tibet - travelling and he went to one monastery which was called 'Dsa Shishugon.' It was a very big Gelugpa monastery which had about four thousand monks. He was invited and stayed there for about a week, giving teachings and initiations. There had been a very great Lama in that monastery who had been the throne-holder. His name was Ngawang Lobsang Yishe Gyatso. He had passed away. So while Rinpoche was there the monks came to him and asked him to locate the rebirth, the Tulku of this monk. And he somewhat protested, saying: I am not familiar with the area, I don't know the people or any of this and this. And they insisted that he attempt to locate the rebirth for them. So he requested them to write the Lama's full personal name; to write the exact date: the year, the month, and the day in which he passed away and some other information like this.

Then he spent one evening praying to Manjushri, his special deity. And when he went to sleep that night he had a dream. In the dream appeared a figure that said: "I am the rebirth of Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso; I am to the east of the monastery in a small family in which there are mother and father, two sons and a daughter. I am the youngest of the two sons." The next day then he said this to the monks and they went and searched for the one that fitted the description. When they located the boy and the family as described, they brought him to the monastery and Rinpoche examined him. He laid out the various implements that he had possessed in his past life, such as his rosary and his bowl and his dorje and the bell and put them together with others. Then he said to the child: take your bowl and your Dorje - and the child immediately went around and picked up his. And in this way then he was recognized as the rebirth of the previous throneholder in the monastery.

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Sakya Holiness : Following the Path, Reading the Signs

Post by phantom59 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:00 pm

Every sentient being possesses Buddha Nature and it is for this reason that
everyone, (if they work hard) can become a Buddha. At the moment we cannot
recognize our Buddha Nature because it is all covered up with defilements and
illusions. These defilements and illusions are not in the nature of mind, they
are outside it and only temporary. Therefore, by using the right method we can
eliminate them and thus become enlightened.

In our human life we have many requirements: a place to live, food to ear,
clothes to wear, medical care. However the most important thing in our lives is
our Dharma practice because whatever worldly power or worth that we have, it is
only beneficial until we die. The longest life lasts for a 100 years at the very
most and after that we lose everything, including our precious body: the body
for which we care so much, which we have had with us from our first day on
earth. Many people think that after death there is nothing. However those people
don't have logic on their side. They deny the existence of anything after death
because they cannot see it as present. Indeed there are many logical reasons for
believing in rebirth. Mind is not a thing which could disappear, be burned,
thrown away, or smashed. The mind is something you cannot hold on to. You cannot
destroy it. So when we leave this body it is not going to be burnt, buried,
thrown in the ocean or eaten by animals. Although the body itself will be
dismantled one day consciousness, the mind, since it is not a substance will not
disappear. It has to continue so there is a life after death and at the time of
death the only thing that helps you, is the Dharma practice you have done

Even in this life there is a vast difference between those people who practice
dharms and those who do not. People who do not believe in anything more than
this physical world appear to be happy but when they face tragedy they cannot
cope with it. However the spiritual person when beset by tragedy and sufferings
will remember the basic teachings which are known as the "four seals".

Firstly that all compounds-anything that is created through a cause and
conditions-are impermanent. Thus the powerful person will become weak, healthy
people one day become sick, and rich people one day become poor. Everything is
impermanent. So when Buddhist people come into contact with such situations they
recognize them as a sign of impermanence, and that is faith.

Secondly Buddha said that everything which posses defilements is suffering so
when Buddhist people are faced with tragedy they know that the nature of samsara
is suffering just as the nature of fire is hot whether it be a small fire or a
big fire. The different realms: the hell realms, the hungry ghost realm, the
animal realm, the human realm, the asura realm all have different types of
suffering. Some of course have more visible suffering and some have subtle
suffering-but it is all suffering. We can learn this from the scriptures and we
can also experience this very clearly in our own human life. No matter where you
are - whether you are in a developed or an underdeveloped country, there is not
real satisfaction no real happiness. There is always some kind of problem and
there is always suffering.

Especially when facing tragedy, the person who has spiritual practice will
realize that suffering is inevitable and so will have a readiness to face such a
situation. This readiness lessens the burden on the mind and when the burden on
the mind lessens then of course physical suffering is naturally less because in
body and mind, mind is like a boss, and the body is like a servant. So when the
mind is happy, even when you are in the poorest country, or in very poor
conditions then you are happy. However if your mind is not happy, even if you
are in the heavenly realms you are not happy.

The third thing Buddhas has said is that all phenomena are selfless. In other
words although we all cling to a self actually there is no personal self there.
We always say 'my body', 'my mind' but where is the mind itself? It has to be
either in the body or mind, or in between, or somewhere external, but you cannot
find it. So in all beings there is no personal self. Similarly with external
phenomena like table and flowers. If you take these to pieces you cannot find
any part which is inherently the thing itself. Thus all phenomena are selfless.

Fourthly Buddha says Nirvana is peace. Nirvana is where all suffering is
completely exhausted. The special characteristic of a Buddhist is that he
assents to these four basic teachings:
1. Everything is impermanent.
2. Everything is suffering.
3. Everything is selfless.
4. Nirvana is peace.

In addition of course to be a Buddhist one must have taken refuge in the Buddha,
Dharma, and Sangha. This is so because in order to cross the ocean of suffering
to get to Nirvana, or the enlightened state you need to take refuge just as, if
you go to an unknown country, you need a guide to show you the path, you need
the path, and to accomplish a long and difficult journey you require companions.
Similarly when traveling the Buddhist path the guide is the Buddha and the
Dharma is the path you need to follow to reach the destination. However you
cannot just have someone tell you how to get there, you have to actually travel
there yourself. That is why it says in Buddha's teachings that you yourself are
your own saviour because you have to practice the Dharma yourself to reach the
goal. The Sangha are the companions who are travelling along the same path to
the same destination and who can help you reach the goal.

It is not enough just to know Dharma intellectually since to know it and
experience it are two different things. In order to experience Dharma from the
inside you have to study and think about it all the time. Many people say it is
difficult to practice Dharma in modern society because life is very busy and
there are so many disturbances. However Dharma does not mean just reciting
mantras and meditating alone. The most important sense of the word 'Dharma' is
to change our present worldly mind into a spiritual mind. You can do this while
you are traveling, while you are working, talking with your friends. Once you
gain a little experience of Dharma then everything you do actually becomes a
teaching. For example when you are travelling, you see so many people, you see
things changing, you see suffering. That is already an experience of Dharma
because when things are changing that is the teaching of impermanence. When you
see suffering you realize that the whole of samsara is suffering. In this way
dharms is actually something to be practiced by mind wherever you go, or
whatever you do. Everything can be turned to Dharma practice.

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Questions of Nyimo Gomchen

Post by phantom59 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:06 pm

The Questions of the Contemplative Nyimo Gomchen and the Responses of Sakya Pandita

I reverently bow at the feet of the Holy Guru! The glorious Sakya Pandita wrote the following lines to Nyimo Gomchen, a contemplative filled with faith and spiritual aspiration, applying himself earnestly to his practice: In response to your questions:

What is the cause of renouncing this life?
It is the awareness that the cycle of existence is devoid of essence.

What is the contributing condition for such renunciation?
Seeing the faults of the cycle of existence.

What is the criterion of renunciation?
Mentally turning away from the Eight Mundane Concerns.

What is the sign of renunciation?
Not being affected by the Eight Mundane Concerns even though one encounters them.

What is the criterion for attaining Enlightenment in one life?
Liberating one's body from aging and death and accomplishing the nature of the Four Bodies of a Buddha.

What is unspecified action?
Action that is unable to produce either good or bad results.

What is dedication of merit?
Something that transforms the causal roots of virtue into whatever result one desires.

What is prayer?
The yearning for bountiful results of spiritual practice.

What is the meaning of auspicious verses?
Special words that produce good results by the blessing of truth.
In realizing the nature of the mind, is there a complete grasp of the meaning of the Three Collections of Teachings and the Four Classes of Tantras? There are two realizations: Realizing the emptiness of the mind, and realizing the union of apparent reality and the emptiness of mind. In realizing the emptiness of the mind, one does not fully grasp the meaning of the Three Collections of Teachings and the Four Classes of Tantras. With such realization one may fully comprehend the Cessation of a Listener (Shravaka), but since that cessation falls to the extreme of emptiness alone, one would not grasp the meaning of the Mahayana teachings. This is stated in all the Mahayana Sutras and Tantras. In realization of the union of apparent reality and emptiness, there is no blemish of even the most subtle faults. It therefore holds the basis of morality, and the Collection of Vinaya is complete. Since the Heroic Samadhi and all other states of concentration arise from such realization, the collection of Sutras is complete. Since it cognizes all knowable things, from form to the Omniscient Mind, the collection of Abhidharma is complete. And due to its comprehension of the special outer and inner dependently-related events, the Four Classes of Tantra are complete.

Are the Three Jewels complete in one's own mind?
In the mere emptiness of the mind and the understanding of that emptiness, the Three Jewels are not complete. In the union of the cognition and emptiness of the mind, the seeds of the Three Jewels are complete. If one properly realizes the meaning of that union, the Three Jewels are manifestly complete.

Is the Supreme Accomplishment (Siddhi) attained due to the Guru or the Meditation Deity?
It does not occur from either one separately. Rather, it occurs due to the Guru, the meditational Deity, the Buddhas of the three times, one's own mind, and from the realization of the indivisibility of all of Samsara and Nirvana.

What makes a person one's true Guru?
The person from whom one correctly receives the four empowerments in accordance with the Tantras in one's true Guru. A Guru from whom one has not received such empowerment - how ever good a person he might be - is one's Guru in name only, For example, the person from whom one receives monastic ordination is one's true abbot, but if one has not been ordained by someone, he is not one's true abbot. And even if he is called "Abbot", he is such in name only. Thus: "without bestowing empowerment, there is no Guru. Without monastic ordination, there is no abbot. Without precepts, there is no continuum of virtue. Without going for refuge, one is not a spiritual person." That is the meaning of the above verse.

Is it possible for there to be hearing, reflection and meditation concerning one utterance of the Buddha?
In reliance upon one utterance of the Buddha, one may practice hearing, reflection and meditation. The nature of such an utterance is that it is an enlightened activity of a Tathagata.

Among all the teachings of the Buddha, which are profound?
With respect to the mentalities of individual disciples, all of the teachings are profound. On the other hand, only the Tantric teachings are profound for all disciples in common.

Is a person who realizes the emptiness of the mind a Buddha?
One who has realized emptiness alone is not a Buddha. If one comprehends all knowable things, one is fully enlightened. Furthermore, there are two modes of comprehension, the comprehension that there is no realization of an ultimately (i.e. inherently) existent phenomenon; and the comprehension of all distinct, conventionally existent phenomena.

Do you claim to be a realized person?
Since I have not ultimately realized any phenomenon, I do not claim to be a realized person. But since I know the Five Fields of Knowledge concerning conventional truth, I claim to be a Pandit.

Among your pupils are there some who ascertain the nature of the mind?
I understand that among my pupils there is no one with ultimate realization of the mind, but there are many who are learned in conventionally existent phenomena.

The mind being without an inherent nature, what is there in the ascertainment of the mind?
If one does not ascertain the mind, even though one accumulates merit, doesn't that just lead to temporary happiness?
If one does not realize the mode of existence of the mind - the meaning of emptiness - one cannot attain the joy of Liberation by means of one's collection of merit. Although that may act as a cause for the joys up to the Peak of Cyclic Existence, the collection of merit is not perfected, And, on the other hand, if one does not have knowledge of know able objects but only realization of the emptiness of the mind, how can one be a Buddha? If that were possible, there would be Buddhas in the Nirvana of Listeners, for which there is realization of emptiness alone, and there would also be Buddhas in empty space. But how could there be Buddhas there? Thus the assertion of all the Sutras and Tantras is that Buddhahood occurs through knowledge of all knowable objects and through realization that there is no inherent nature to be realized, i.e. knowing that of which there is nothing to be known,

At what point does one have the certainty of attaining Enlightenment?
Some people realize the emptiness of the mind alone, but have not perfected the qualities of the Method aspect of the training. Some have such qualities, but do not realize the emptiness of the mind. Some have both, but they are not able to guide their practice of the Method with their knowledge. Some have the other qualities, but since they lack the lineage of blessing, they are unable to generate the Clear Appearance. Thus, I fear that Buddhahood is far from them. Since I have a number of these attributes, I hope to attain Enlightenment, but not by the swift means.

Who is your Root Guru?
My Root Guru is the Great Sakyapa Drakpa Gyaltsen, the Vajradhara, who is the nature of the body, speech and mind of all the Tathagatas of the three times.

For what reason is he your Root Guru?
He has granted me the four empowerments of the vase, and so on; he has shown me the four paths of the Stage of Generation, and so on; he has set forth the dependent relationships of the Four Bodies, including the Emanation Body, etc.; in short, since he practices in accordance with the Buddha's teachings in the Sutras and Tantras, he performs the deeds of a perfectly enlightened being; and thus I regard him as my Root Guru. On the other hand, one who does not grant empowerment according to the Buddha's teachings, does not reveal the Path and does not set forth dependent relationships, but does ascertain the mind, is limited in his teachings to those leading to the Cessation of a Listener - regardless of whatever merit he accumulates. Such a kind of person is not fit to be regarded as the Root Guru of a Mahayana practitioner, for that path is not a Mahayana path. Thus from the treatise called Synthesis (sDud pa): "With Wisdom alone, without the Method, one falls to the state of a Listener." Thus, those who give little emphasis to the Method and great emphasis to Wisdom slip down to the Nirvana of the Listener.

Which path to Enlightenment is shorter: that of a learned pandit, or that of a "kusulu"?
In general, the acts of a "kusulu" are impure. "Kusali" means "a virtuous person". There are kusalis who do not rely on the Buddha's path, and there are also pandits who do not rely on that path. Neither of them become Buddhas. There are both pandits and kusalis who are Buddhists. Among them there are both pandits and kusalis following the Vehicle of the Perfections who attain Buddhahood, and it takes them three countless eons to do so - a long time. There are also tantric pandits and kusalis who establish internally certain dependent relationships and thereby swiftly attain Enlightenment.
Now it is said that the task of a pandit is to become learned in the outer and inner field of knowledge. And it is said that a kusali supremely devotes himself to inner practice, after discarding all external affairs. To attain perfect Enlightenment, one first becomes knowledgeable regarding all knowable objects and cuts through false assumption by means of hearing and reflection. Then by taking Samadhi as one's essential practice, one cuts through false assumptions by means of meditation and thus achieves the Dharma of Insight. In this way one gradually attains Enlightenment. Therefore, it is necessary to be both a pandit and a kusali. In terms of those approaches taken separately the pandit is closer to Buddhahood. Now one might object to that, citing the Sutra, Mound of Jewels (dKon mchog brtsegs pal): "If one meditates for one moment, the merit from this is greater than that of listening and explaining to others for ten eons." I think there is no contradiction here. The meaning of that citation is that meditation has such benefits if one already knows the object of meditation; but without such knowledge, how could there ever be such benefits? The Vinaya scriptures also state that one should not meditate in a hermitage without having understood the Collections of Teachings. The Treasury of Phenomenology (mNgon pa mdsod) also states: "Endowed with proper hearing and reflection, Devote yourself to meditation." Arya-Deva also states: "Without relying upon conventional reality, One will not realize ultimate reality. Without realizing ultimate reality one will not attain Liberation." Thus, in all the Sutras it is frequently said that by hearing certain points of Dharma, one is liberated from certain obstacles. There fore, if hearing and reflection liberate one, one is advised to meditate afterwards. It is wonderful that you dwell as a contemplative, and I think it would be good if you continue in your efforts on the path of the Tantric method.
I realize that there is no realization of the answers to the question of this realized person (i.e. yourself), I understand that there is no understanding, and I know that there is nothing to be known.

This concludes my responses to the questions of the contemplative Nyimo Gomchen.

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The Separation From The Four Attachments

Post by phantom59 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:11 pm

To the feet of the Holy Guru, I bow! Generally, having obtained a body of leisure and fortune and met with the precious teaching of the Buddha; giving rise to an unfabricated mind with the aim of practicing the unmistaken Holy Dharma, should practice the 'Separation from the Four Attachments.' If asked what that is; non-attachment to this life; non-attachment to the Three Realms of Existence; non-attachment to self-purpose; non-attachment to phenomena and characteristics.

To explain that; this life is like a water bubble and the time of death is indefinite, it is not worth having attachment.

The Three Realms of Existence are like poisonous fruit, superficially delicious, eventually inflicting harm; having attachment to them is deluded.

Attachment to self-purpose is like cherishing the son of an enemy; though superficial joy may appear to be like joy, eventually it will certainly inflict harm. Even the superficial happiness from attachment to self-purpose certainly will eventually lead to a bad rebirth.

Manifestly attached to phenomena and characteristics is like grasping for water in a mirage; though a superficial appearance of water, there is no substance to be drunk. This Existence, appearing to a deluded mind, when examined with wisdom no entities are found to exist. Knowing not to rest the mind in the past, not to rest the mind in the future, not resting the consciousness in the present; know all dharmas to be free of elaboration.

Practicing like that, with non-attachment to just this life there will be no bad rebirths; non-attachment to the Three Realms - not born in Existence; non-attachment to self-purpose - not born as a shravaka/pratyekabuddha; non-attachment to phenomena and characteristics - to quickly manifest Complete Perfection.

The instructions on the 'Separation from the Four Attachments,' the unmistaken heart intention of Pal Sakyapa Chenpo, written by Sakya Pandita

'At the time when the great Lama Sakyapa [1092-1158], twelve years of age, was performing the six month meditation and recitation of Arya Manjughosha; at one time actually saw, in the middle of a mass of light, above a jewelled throne, the Lord Manjushri, orange, with the 'Dharma Teaching' mudra, seated in a pleasant manner; with a retinue of bodhisattvas standing on the right and left. The Lord said;

"With attachment to this life
There is no Dharma practitioner;
With attachment to samsara
There is no renunciation;
With attachment to self purpose
There is no Enlightenment Thought;
If grasping arises
There is no view."

Having been said; he thought - obtaining a special discernment of all dharmas, analyzing the meaning, the united 'Mind Training' of the four attachments and the separation are the entire practice of the 'Path of Perfection.' Samapatamiti. '

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