Question re Nagas

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jkarlins
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Re: Question re Nagas

Post by jkarlins » Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:33 pm

I haven't learned this one yet, it seems a little more rare, at least in the circles I run in. I did get the lung for 21 Taras a few years ago, and there's one associated with the Nagas. The text I have says she is connected with "pacifying the poison of the Nagas," I think, so I do that one, and sometimes offer some sweets on a shrine during this. I've heard nagas like sweets.

Toenail
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Re: Question re Nagas

Post by Toenail » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:55 pm

What is the point of doing rituals like this, if one does not have the ability to perceive these beings? It sounds like blind faith to me. Indiscriminate negative health effects from pollution can be explained perfectly without believing in ghosts. Believing in nagas without direct perception is cultural baggage.

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Grigoris
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Re: Question re Nagas

Post by Grigoris » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:12 pm

From what I hear this bookhas a lot of info (and great pictures) but is somewhat expensive...
"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

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jkarlins
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Re: Question re Nagas

Post by jkarlins » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:31 pm

Cool! I have a similar one from Thailand, probably less academic, but lots of neat pictures. I'll post some at some other point.

Jake

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Malcolm
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Re: Question re Nagas

Post by Malcolm » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:37 pm

Grigoris wrote:From what I hear this bookhas a lot of info (and great pictures) but is somewhat expensive...

It is a good book, but the Tibetan indigenous cultural understanding of Nagas (klu) expands considerably on the Indian one, and needs to considered in its own right as well.
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Re: Question re Nagas

Post by tingdzin » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:08 am

:good:

Quite so.

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Re: Question re Nagas

Post by Proclus » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:24 am

Toenail wrote:What is the point of doing rituals like this, if one does not have the ability to perceive these beings? It sounds like blind faith to me. Indiscriminate negative health effects from pollution can be explained perfectly without believing in ghosts. Believing in nagas without direct perception is cultural baggage.
As I have continued practice for some years now, my world view has become less scientific materialism and more wonderfully dreamlike. My view has become wider and less certain. The existence of spirits has become a possibility.

Longchenpa says "Looking around, I find the perception of beings to be truly amazing. They fixate on what is not real, so it certainly seems real...They reify what is indeterminate as determinate, so that it seems determinate. They reify what is not so as being so, so it certainly seems so."

I accept that what is true and real may be beyond my conceptual understanding.

My Lamas, who I trust, recommended that it wise and kind to consider other beings, whether I can see them or not. Since doing so, I have had experiences which bear out the world view that includes an inter-relationship with other beings.

To strip Vajrayana of its "cultural baggage" would be so sad in that it is so vast, so encompassing, so beautiful - truly beyond words.

tingdzin
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Re: Question re Nagas

Post by tingdzin » Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:03 am

Proclus wrote:To strip Vajrayana of its "cultural baggage" would be so sad in that it is so vast, so encompassing, so beautiful - truly beyond words.
:twothumbsup:

tns225
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Re: Question re Nagas

Post by tns225 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:25 pm

Klu in Tibet: Beliefs and Practices
https://www.duo.uio.no/handle/10852/38825
Anyone can share the above restricted file? Thank you

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Re: Question re Nagas

Post by Pema Rigdzin » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:55 pm

Can someone explain nagas in a bit more concrete terms? I've never given them a ton of thought, mostly just suspended disbelief/belief, as I tend to do with things I cannot see or prove--or disprove. I have given their existence the benefit of the doubt and performed naga practices, though rarely. Are they said to be material beings, inasmuch as we humans or any phenomena can be construed as material? if so, why can't we see them or their dwellings? Or are they more ethereal, like gyalpo and the like are said to be? And do they straight up look like snakes, or are they like half-humanoid, half-snake in appearance?

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Re: Question re Nagas

Post by pemachophel » Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:03 pm

In Buddhism, Nagas are categorized as animals. They may live in many places: lakes, streams, oceans, springs, mountains, rocks/boulders, large, old trees -- actually in any of the four elements. They may take the form of snakes, dragons, or half-snakes/half-humanoid, but they can take all sorts of shapes. Although they have certain supra-human powers, they are clouded by ignorance and are prone to anger and revenge. If you have "vision," you can see Nagas. Just as humans have dogs and cats for pets, Nagas fancy snakes, frogs, turtles, alligators, crocodiles, and waterfowl.

Because "vision" is, to a large extent, dependent on one's dominant element, you may or may not be able to see them. Do Naga puja and Naga ang on a regular basis and maybe you will be able to see them.

Good luck & best wishes.
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

Toenail
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Re: Question re Nagas

Post by Toenail » Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:21 pm

Because "vision" is, to a large extent, dependent on one's dominant element, you may or may not be able to see them.
Could you write more about this? What dominant element?


Also I wonder why Nagas are so central in buddhist ritual. Nowadays problems from Gyalpo aka mental illness, war etc. seem to be much more.

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Re: Question re Nagas

Post by pemachophel » Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:55 pm

If I remember correctly, Dudjom Lingpa says people dominated by earth and water are more apt to have visions than people whose dominant elements are wind and fire. Maybe Malcolm can explain the mechanics of this (and correct me if I've got the elements wrong).

Nagas have great influence over the environment. They rule all the other elemental spirits, like Nyen, Nodjin, and Sadaks. Given the massive degradation of the environment, seems to me plenty of reason to propitiate the Nagas. As Khandro Kamala was mentioning this last weekend at Boulder Valley Ngakpa House, Nagas do also cause mental-emotional problems, not just skin diseases, certain cancers, and urogenital diseases.
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

Punya
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Re: Question re Nagas

Post by Punya » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:19 am

Proclus wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:24 am
Toenail wrote:What is the point of doing rituals like this, if one does not have the ability to perceive these beings? It sounds like blind faith to me. Indiscriminate negative health effects from pollution can be explained perfectly without believing in ghosts. Believing in nagas without direct perception is cultural baggage.
As I have continued practice for some years now, my world view has become less scientific materialism and more wonderfully dreamlike. My view has become wider and less certain. The existence of spirits has become a possibility.

Longchenpa says "Looking around, I find the perception of beings to be truly amazing. They fixate on what is not real, so it certainly seems real...They reify what is indeterminate as determinate, so that it seems determinate. They reify what is not so as being so, so it certainly seems so."

I accept that what is true and real may be beyond my conceptual understanding.

My Lamas, who I trust, recommended that it wise and kind to consider other beings, whether I can see them or not. Since doing so, I have had experiences which bear out the world view that includes an inter-relationship with other beings.

To strip Vajrayana of its "cultural baggage" would be so sad in that it is so vast, so encompassing, so beautiful - truly beyond words.
:good:
Just as the trunk of an ordinary tree
Lying in the forests of the Malaya mountains
Absorbs the perfume of sandal from the moist leaves and branches
So you come to resemble who whomever you follow.

~Words of My Perfect Teacher

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