This is not the function of a HYT mandala visualization. Without understanding the principle of the basis of purification, the result of purification, and the purifier, one has not understood the purpose of the creation stage on any level at all. And no one has 16 arms and four legs, for example, not one single human being alive, past or present. This is the reason, for example, that when doing completion stage practices, one generally uses the sahaja or natural form of the deity i.e. with one face and two arms and legs.Blue Garuda wrote: However, the purpose is to shift the mind and become the Yidam in the Yidam's world. The mind enters that reality totally so all phenomena are also real.
If the mind finally enters the mandala and remains there, it becomes that of an enlightened Buddha.
Secondly, as Nangwa pointed out, the principle of the completion stage, partially, is to break clinging to the mentally generated pure appearances of the creation stage. The generated mandala is only mind, meant to cut attachment to the world of the impure vision. It does not go beyond mind in any sense. In order to go beyond mind one needs the experience of the completion stage. When one is able to unify the two stages within one's pratice, this is called the state of mahāmudra, in tantric terms.
It is said that if an butcher is given the explanation of Dzogchen they will achieve buddhahood more rapidly that a learned pandita who has never received any explanations of Dzogchen. So when explainging and teaching Dzogchen to an uneducated butcher, do we resort to complicated Buddhist words and topics? Do we belabor them with skandhas, dhātus and āyatanas? No. We just explain their state to them in terms any one can easily grasp -- the five elements and body, speech and mind. These eight things are readily understood by anyone.What does Dzogchen offer that is greater?
There is no need to spend years learning the forensics of dead medieval tenet systems that no one beleives anymore merly to refute these topics with Madhyamaka reasonings that everyone disagrees on. How pyrrhic this exercise is. Enjoyable, a past time, but ultimately a dead end.
Other people have brought up the issue of Dzogchen as a triumphalist position. But that is missing the point. What I brought up was the fact that much of what is studied in the "lower" vehicles can be passed over when learning Dzogchen.
People seem upset because Dzogchen does position itself both within and outside of the the nine vehicles. I did not invent this. One can read this very same thing in Norbu Rinpoche Crystal and the Way of Light:
"...there is a danger that some readers may make the false assumption that it implies a hierarchy of teachings with Dzogchen at the top. In fact, the whole layout could have been reversed with Dzogchen at the bottom; or the chart could be read from the bottom up which is the sequence in which the gradual paths are presented and practiced, each stage having to be completed before the next can be approached. Dzogchgen differs from gradual paths because the master introduces the disciple directly to the Great Perfection, which is the heart of all paths. But the reason so many paths exist is that there is a teaching suited to the capacity of every indivuidual. So, for example, for someone to whom sutra teaching is best suited, that teaching can be said be the "highest", because that teaching will work best for that individual. Any use of the words "high" and "highest" in relation to the Dzogchen teachings, should be read with this important proviso in mind." pg. 53
"Gradual paths insist that a practitioner must work from here upwards. Dzogchen, on the other hand, doesn't adopt a hierachical approach; it poceeds right away on the basis of of the master giving the student a Direct Introduction to the primordial state to enable the student to recognize that state for him or herself, and then remain in it.
Dzogchen is beyond limits, and the practices of any of the other levels can be used a secondary practices by a Dzogchen practitioner. But the principle practice of Dzogchen is to enter directly into a non-dual contemplation, and to remain in it, continuuing to deepen it until one reaches total realization." pg. 175
My concern here in this thread is not defending Dzogchen as the highest. My interest in the OP's question has to do with certain features I have observed in reading original Dzogchen texts, and seeing that they consistently confirm and reinforce many things my teacher has said in the 36 years he has been teaching Dzogchen around the world.
I don't have a partcular agenda in sharing these thoughts with people. I am a pretty open book and people have seen the evolution (or degeneration) of my thinking on various topics based on my study and practice. We have all been having a long conversation with each other for many years now. Sometimes my thoughts make people happy and sometimes they do not.