Practicing dzogchen without tantric vows? Do i need them?

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The Mantra Mongoose
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Practicing dzogchen without tantric vows? Do i need them?

Post by The Mantra Mongoose »

Hello everyone,

I'm slightly confused on the the relationship between tantric vows, and dzogchen. I received instructions to practice dzogchen and my guru told me that no tantric vows were conferred. I'm just interested in how i can be practicing a highest yoga tantra without receiving tantric vows? Don't get me wrong, I completely trust my guru on this and realize i have entered into dzogchen samaya with them. I'm just confused on the relationship between tantra/dzogchen and am wondering if someone could help me understand how that works out? Lastly, would there be any benefit in pursuing tantric vows/practice in the future if from a dzogchen view there not necessary or i have no interest? Mods, forgive me if this isn't the right forum for this post, i didn't know if i should place it here or in the dzogchen forum.
Hung! On the northwest border of the country Oḍḍiyāna,
On the pollen heart of a lotus flower,
The marvelous, supreme accomplishment has been attained.
You are renowned as the Lotus-Born,
Surrounded by a retinue of many Ḍākinīs.
Following you to be like you,
I beseech you to come and bless me.
Guru Padma Siddhi Hung -The Seven Line Prayer of Guru Rinpoche
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Re: Practicing dzogchen without tantric vows? Do i need them?

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Dzogchen is not Highest Yoga Tantra, they are different systems.

If you've ever had a Tantric empowerment, my understanding is then you have implicitly taken Tantric vows. However, vows and rules generally are not as central to Dzogchen teachings proper as they are in Tantra. That said, it's pretty common for people who practice Dzogchen to have had all kinds of empowerments, and to do some Tantric practices.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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Re: Practicing dzogchen without tantric vows? Do i need them?

Post by Gyurme Kundrol »

If your Guru has given you Dzogchen and you have an interest and faith in practicing that, then trying to practice vows from maha or anu yoga would be considered a deviation. All of the vows are included and perfected in our natural state already.
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Re: Practicing dzogchen without tantric vows? Do i need them?

Post by heart »

The Mantra Mongoose wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:03 am Hello everyone,

I'm slightly confused on the the relationship between tantric vows, and dzogchen. I received instructions to practice dzogchen and my guru told me that no tantric vows were conferred. I'm just interested in how i can be practicing a highest yoga tantra without receiving tantric vows? Don't get me wrong, I completely trust my guru on this and realize i have entered into dzogchen samaya with them. I'm just confused on the relationship between tantra/dzogchen and am wondering if someone could help me understand how that works out? Lastly, would there be any benefit in pursuing tantric vows/practice in the future if from a dzogchen view there not necessary or i have no interest? Mods, forgive me if this isn't the right forum for this post, i didn't know if i should place it here or in the dzogchen forum.
https://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Samaya

/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)
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Re: Practicing dzogchen without tantric vows? Do i need them?

Post by The Mantra Mongoose »

Dzogchen is not Highest Yoga Tantra, they are different systems.

If you've ever had a Tantric empowerment, my understanding is then you have implicitly taken Tantric vows. However, vows and rules generally are not as central to Dzogchen teachings proper as they are in Tantra. That said, it's pretty common for people who practice Dzogchen to have had all kinds of empowerments, and to do some Tantric practices.
Hey Johnny,

thanks for the reply. i believe i was equating Dzogchen and HYT because of the way there are sometimes presented, and because of my lack of knowledge on the subject as a whole. Thanks for clearing things up.
If your Guru has given you Dzogchen and you have an interest and faith in practicing that, then trying to practice vows from maha or anu yoga would be considered a deviation. All of the vows are included and perfected in our natural state already.
Hey Gyurme,

thanks for the reply, that makes a lot of sense. I feel I'm in a weird position because i only received Refuge and Bodhisattva vows with a practice from a outer tantra, then immediately was thrown into the deep end with Dzogchen by my teacher. What you said on conduct makes sense, a person practicing Dzogchen wouldn't still follow the conduct of a lower yana like kriya tantra for example even if they still maintain that practice because of commitment as that deviates or is subsumed into the conduct of the hIgher yana that they have been brought into. Am i understanding what your saying correctly?
Hung! On the northwest border of the country Oḍḍiyāna,
On the pollen heart of a lotus flower,
The marvelous, supreme accomplishment has been attained.
You are renowned as the Lotus-Born,
Surrounded by a retinue of many Ḍākinīs.
Following you to be like you,
I beseech you to come and bless me.
Guru Padma Siddhi Hung -The Seven Line Prayer of Guru Rinpoche
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The Mantra Mongoose
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Re: Practicing dzogchen without tantric vows? Do i need them?

Post by The Mantra Mongoose »


Hey Magnus,

Thanks for the Link, i am aware of the Dzogchen samayas, i'm just confused on the integration of vows and conduct as it were. i will be getting the book "Perfect Conduct: Ascertaining the Three Vows by Dudjom Rinpoche" soon and i'm sure that will clear up a lot of my issues. Plus, i'll keep working through stuff with my Guru. Thanks again.
Hung! On the northwest border of the country Oḍḍiyāna,
On the pollen heart of a lotus flower,
The marvelous, supreme accomplishment has been attained.
You are renowned as the Lotus-Born,
Surrounded by a retinue of many Ḍākinīs.
Following you to be like you,
I beseech you to come and bless me.
Guru Padma Siddhi Hung -The Seven Line Prayer of Guru Rinpoche
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Re: Practicing dzogchen without tantric vows? Do i need them?

Post by heart »

The Mantra Mongoose wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:56 pm

Hey Magnus,

Thanks for the Link, i am aware of the Dzogchen samayas, i'm just confused on the integration of vows and conduct as it were. i will be getting the book "Perfect Conduct: Ascertaining the Three Vows by Dudjom Rinpoche" soon and i'm sure that will clear up a lot of my issues. Plus, i'll keep working through stuff with my Guru. Thanks again.
Ok, seems I don't understand your problem then.


/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)
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Re: Practicing dzogchen without tantric vows? Do i need them?

Post by javier.espinoza.t »

The Mantra Mongoose wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:03 am Hello everyone,

I'm slightly confused on the the relationship between tantric vows, and dzogchen. I received instructions to practice dzogchen and my guru told me that no tantric vows were conferred. I'm just interested in how i can be practicing a highest yoga tantra without receiving tantric vows? Don't get me wrong, I completely trust my guru on this and realize i have entered into dzogchen samaya with them. I'm just confused on the relationship between tantra/dzogchen and am wondering if someone could help me understand how that works out? Lastly, would there be any benefit in pursuing tantric vows/practice in the future if from a dzogchen view there not necessary or i have no interest? Mods, forgive me if this isn't the right forum for this post, i didn't know if i should place it here or in the dzogchen forum.
if he/she is your guru and told you that didn't gave you any samaya, that is so. no one can change that fact, not even Buddha.

the overall regarding the lower vehicle is that the only way to simultaneously completely fulfill the infinite samayas that exists, including those that you may have received, is that you "awake" in vidyia. normaly we common people engage in it and purify them circumstantially through skillfull means (guruyoga and lesser methods).

a different thing is that you engage in lower vehicles and there is no problem because while in vidya you fullfill whatever requierement and particulary the view you have (from view, meditation and conduct in dzogchen) encompasses them all. you can ask your guru about it.

this is how i see it.
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Re: Practicing dzogchen without tantric vows? Do i need them?

Post by Gyurme Kundrol »

The Mantra Mongoose wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:48 pm
Hey Gyurme,

thanks for the reply, that makes a lot of sense. I feel I'm in a weird position because i only received Refuge and Bodhisattva vows with a practice from a outer tantra, then immediately was thrown into the deep end with Dzogchen by my teacher. What you said on conduct makes sense, a person practicing Dzogchen wouldn't still follow the conduct of a lower yana like kriya tantra for example even if they still maintain that practice because of commitment as that deviates or is subsumed into the conduct of the hIgher yana that they have been brought into. Am i understanding what your saying correctly?
There is no order in which we have to do things. Its OK to be thrown into Dzogchen. I was introduced to Vajrayana via Dzogchen, and didnt even take an HYT empowerment until I had received multiple Dzogchen teachings. Everyones karma is different. The commitments and practice of Dzogchen already contain the perfection of the vows of the lower yanas and their conduct since its all already complete in our Buddha Nature. For clarification of your doubts, its probably best to ask your Guru what they think you should be doing.
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Re: Practicing dzogchen without tantric vows? Do i need them?

Post by javier.espinoza.t »

The Mantra Mongoose wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:03 am Hello everyone,

I'm slightly confused on the the relationship between tantric vows, and dzogchen. I received instructions to practice dzogchen and my guru told me that no tantric vows were conferred. I'm just interested in how i can be practicing a highest yoga tantra without receiving tantric vows? Don't get me wrong, I completely trust my guru on this and realize i have entered into dzogchen samaya with them. I'm just confused on the relationship between tantra/dzogchen and am wondering if someone could help me understand how that works out? Lastly, would there be any benefit in pursuing tantric vows/practice in the future if from a dzogchen view there not necessary or i have no interest? Mods, forgive me if this isn't the right forum for this post, i didn't know if i should place it here or in the dzogchen forum.
of course there is benefit, if you feel you have to follow them you can, and perhaps should, and reflect on their profound principle, meaning and implicancies. you'll have to ask your guru for them first, and for explanations.
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Re: Practicing dzogchen without tantric vows? Do i need them?

Post by The Mantra Mongoose »

Hey everyone,

I’m currently talking with my Guru through email and they have clarified a lot of my issues, I just didn’t want to be lazy and be passive about these thing so in addition to talking to my teacher I wanted to ask for advice from those here on the forum who may have gone through my same issues. Thank you to everyone for taking the time to help me out. Be well.
Hung! On the northwest border of the country Oḍḍiyāna,
On the pollen heart of a lotus flower,
The marvelous, supreme accomplishment has been attained.
You are renowned as the Lotus-Born,
Surrounded by a retinue of many Ḍākinīs.
Following you to be like you,
I beseech you to come and bless me.
Guru Padma Siddhi Hung -The Seven Line Prayer of Guru Rinpoche
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Re: Practicing dzogchen without tantric vows? Do i need them?

Post by Crazywisdom »

There are Dzogchen samayas like voidness, clarity etc. These relate to the nature of dzogchen and spontaneous presence which is the way to practice any sense of committment there.
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Re: Practicing dzogchen without tantric vows? Do i need them?

Post by The Mantra Mongoose »

Ok, seems I don't understand your problem then.


/magnus
Hey Magnus and everyone,

I wanted to clarify what i was trying to say in my last couple posts as they were all over the place due to lack of proper distinction. I was confusing and conflating the three categories of vow, samaya, and practice commitment with each other. The whole time i was saying tantric vows ( which was clarified for me) when in truth what i also needed to say was tantric samaya. I was confused about the different groups of samaya between the Tantric classes and wanted to know for example, does a Dzogchen practitioner who is keeping the Dzogchen samayas to the best of there ability also need to make sure to keep samayas from lower yanas like the the bonding exercises of the five Buddha family's as described in yoga tantra or highest yoga tantra in tandem with those Dzogchen samayas and how the families are described there? Or is following the Highest class of samaya received by itself sufficient as the lesser are subsumed into the higher?

Another example would be if a Dzogchen practitioner wanted to receive a empowerment from a lower class of tantra because they just were called to the practice itself or for other reasons. The samaya received from that tantric empowerment would have already been present in the Dzogchen samaya themselves so there is no conflict or need to adopt or reject anything. From what i learned from talking with my Guru and Gyurme's comment there no need to worry just keeping the Dzogchen samayas fulfills all.
Hung! On the northwest border of the country Oḍḍiyāna,
On the pollen heart of a lotus flower,
The marvelous, supreme accomplishment has been attained.
You are renowned as the Lotus-Born,
Surrounded by a retinue of many Ḍākinīs.
Following you to be like you,
I beseech you to come and bless me.
Guru Padma Siddhi Hung -The Seven Line Prayer of Guru Rinpoche
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Re: Practicing dzogchen without tantric vows? Do i need them?

Post by PeterC »

The Mantra Mongoose wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 4:08 am
Ok, seems I don't understand your problem then.


/magnus
Hey Magnus and everyone,

I wanted to clarify what i was trying to say in my last couple posts as they were all over the place due to lack of proper distinction. I was confusing and conflating the three categories of vow, samaya, and practice commitment with each other. The whole time i was saying tantric vows ( which was clarified for me) when in truth what i also needed to say was tantric samaya. I was confused about the different groups of samaya between the Tantric classes and wanted to know for example, does a Dzogchen practitioner who is keeping the Dzogchen samayas to the best of there ability also need to make sure to keep samayas from lower yanas like the the bonding exercises of the five Buddha family's as described in yoga tantra or highest yoga tantra in tandem with those Dzogchen samayas and how the families are described there? Or is following the Highest class of samaya received by itself sufficient as the lesser are subsumed into the higher?

Another example would be if a Dzogchen practitioner wanted to receive a empowerment from a lower class of tantra because they just were called to the practice itself or for other reasons. The samaya received from that tantric empowerment would have already been present in the Dzogchen samaya themselves so there is no conflict or need to adopt or reject anything. From what i learned from talking with my Guru and Gyurme's comment there no need to worry just keeping the Dzogchen samayas fulfills all.
At the risk of stating the obvious. The content of samaya vows is itself secret. Discussing them in public is a breach of them, though of course we do that all the time here. The questions you ask above are ones that you should direct to a vajra master or vajra siblings.
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Re: Practicing dzogchen without tantric vows? Do i need them?

Post by heart »

The Mantra Mongoose wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 4:08 am
Ok, seems I don't understand your problem then.


/magnus
Hey Magnus and everyone,

I wanted to clarify what i was trying to say in my last couple posts as they were all over the place due to lack of proper distinction. I was confusing and conflating the three categories of vow, samaya, and practice commitment with each other. The whole time i was saying tantric vows ( which was clarified for me) when in truth what i also needed to say was tantric samaya. I was confused about the different groups of samaya between the Tantric classes and wanted to know for example, does a Dzogchen practitioner who is keeping the Dzogchen samayas to the best of there ability also need to make sure to keep samayas from lower yanas like the the bonding exercises of the five Buddha family's as described in yoga tantra or highest yoga tantra in tandem with those Dzogchen samayas and how the families are described there? Or is following the Highest class of samaya received by itself sufficient as the lesser are subsumed into the higher?

Another example would be if a Dzogchen practitioner wanted to receive a empowerment from a lower class of tantra because they just were called to the practice itself or for other reasons. The samaya received from that tantric empowerment would have already been present in the Dzogchen samaya themselves so there is no conflict or need to adopt or reject anything. From what i learned from talking with my Guru and Gyurme's comment there no need to worry just keeping the Dzogchen samayas fulfills all.

This is a common confusion. The way I understand it is that practice commitment are not really Samaya but if you don't keep them it becomes a Samaya infringement because you promised the master during the empowerment to do whatever he asked of you. So in many public empowerments these days there is no practice commitments but of course there is always Samaya when you receive an empowerment.

/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)
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Re: Practicing dzogchen without tantric vows? Do i need them?

Post by Karma_Yeshe »

:good:

People don't seem to understand that when conferring an empowerment, the Guru transmits a method to the student. If the student is not realised during the empowerment, he or she should follow that method afterwards, because otherwise, there is not much sense in giving and receiving the empowerment in the first place.
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Re: Practicing dzogchen without tantric vows? Do i need them?

Post by Danny »

You don’t need tantric vows to practice dzogchen. What you need is direct introduction from a teacher that meets all the qualifications, I.e. a teacher that teaches in perfect harmony with Garab Dorjes three statements.
Then later if your interested, you can discover the differences between initiation, empowerment, blessings, vows, samayas etc of the tantric system.
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Re: Practicing dzogchen without tantric vows? Do i need them?

Post by heart »

Danny wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 12:40 pm You don’t need tantric vows to practice dzogchen. What you need is direct introduction from a teacher that meets all the qualifications, I.e. a teacher that teaches in perfect harmony with Garab Dorjes three statements.
Then later if your interested, you can discover the differences between initiation, empowerment, blessings, vows, samayas etc of the tantric system.
Actually there are samayas in Dzogchen. https://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Samaya

/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)
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Re: Practicing dzogchen without tantric vows? Do i need them?

Post by Malcolm »

heart wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 4:14 pm
Danny wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 12:40 pm You don’t need tantric vows to practice dzogchen. What you need is direct introduction from a teacher that meets all the qualifications, I.e. a teacher that teaches in perfect harmony with Garab Dorjes three statements.
Then later if your interested, you can discover the differences between initiation, empowerment, blessings, vows, samayas etc of the tantric system.
Actually there are samayas in Dzogchen. https://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Samaya

/magnus
Sort of, yes. But they all basically boil down to: don't be a dick.
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Re: Practicing dzogchen without tantric vows? Do i need them?

Post by heart »

Malcolm wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 10:07 pm
heart wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 4:14 pm
Danny wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 12:40 pm You don’t need tantric vows to practice dzogchen. What you need is direct introduction from a teacher that meets all the qualifications, I.e. a teacher that teaches in perfect harmony with Garab Dorjes three statements.
Then later if your interested, you can discover the differences between initiation, empowerment, blessings, vows, samayas etc of the tantric system.
Actually there are samayas in Dzogchen. https://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Samaya

/magnus
Sort of, yes. But they all basically boil down to: don't be a dick.
To me it seems all Samayas boil down to that. :smile:

/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)
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