Yes and I think that is part of the interesting point that i'm trying to open up with this conversation. Innate qualities and consequences of training/environment, their interplay, display and so forth.TrimePema wrote: ↑Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:49 pmYou say: "The 25 disciples were all emanations of Guru Rinpoche, Mind body speech quality and activity tulkus, break down into 25, mind of mind, mind of speech, mind of body, ETC"Sonam Wangchug wrote: ↑Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:02 pmYes, it is true.pemachophel wrote: ↑Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:06 pmTertons can make mistakes and majorly screw up. In fact, there are many stories of Tertons making mistakes, large and small. Viz. Pema Le-dre-tsal. So recognizing someone as a valid Terton and then later also recognizing they had gone off the rails doesn't seem contradictory to me.
However, it's also hard to discern what is a mistake, and what is a display, or what 'mistake' is due to the collective lack of merit of sentient beings.
I'm quite sure with an ordinary lens the Mahasiddha's would all appear to be mistaken, Virupa stopping the sun from setting to not pay a bar tab?
If someone is an authentic Terton, despite the perceived 'mistakes' that they have made, I think that alone is still very much worthy of respect.
By and large almost all of Tertons are emanations of Guru Rinpoche himself.
The 25 disciples were all emanations of Guru Rinpoche, Mind body speech quality and activity tulkus, break down into 25, mind of mind, mind of speech, mind of body, ETC
These are things which are quite hard to conceive of, and are we not always told that Nirmanakaya's display in 'inconceivable variety" in their benefit of sentient beings? emanating in both pure and impure forms for the host of beings.
I know the Tulku phenomena does make people feel strange, and it can seem like some kind of a white-wash for people. However, I am sure you also have faith in the idea of Nirmanakaya Trul ku's, and yes, there are different levels of Tulkus, not everyone who bears the name is authentic what-so-ever and not everyone who bears the name is actually an emanation. Some are born due to merit and aspiration prayers, and others are "blessed" tulkus blessed by the predecessor to fulfill the activities. Not everyone shares the Sem, mind so to speak.
However, as hard as it can be to accept, how tradition does teach is the following. I have been taught by one of the 16th karmapa's heart son's that in their tradition it is accepted that an actual Nirmanakaya does know the nature of reality ever since birth, and that true nirmanakaya's actually cannot act from selfish concern because they do not have a self so to speak of.
I have also asked a Khenpo from Ka-nying shedrup ling about this, who did reiterate yes, if they are really are a nirmanakaya then Yes, that is the case. As I have said, many people who have the name of Tulku are not what is discussed as an emanation of a Buddha, but if they are an emanation of a Buddha, then it is the case. Tertons used to be a bit more forward about this, Just look at Kunzang Dechen Lingpa's bio where he said a red heart beam shot from Guru rinpoche's heart and shone to Lhodrak where he was born.
The Khenpo's reply was such "considering omniscience is considered to be a quality of a Buddha, to what degree does an authentic emanation Trul ku, of a buddha have omniscience once they are reborn as a human, can it be temporarily veiled?
The emanation body (Nirmanakaya) of a Buddha is always endowed with omniscience, in the same way as it is the case with the enjoyment body (Sambhogakaya) and the reality body (Dharmakaya). This is because the three kayas are in essence the same. They only appear as different conceptual isolates to different types of beings. The Nirmanakaya appears to impure beings, the Sambhogakaya to slightly pure beings (= that means an area), and the Dharmakaya is the domain of the direct perception of a Buddha.
We should add that a Buddha's Nirmanakaya, Tib.: Tul ku སྤྲུལ་སྐུ།, is not the same as 'Tulku' is often used nowadays.
However, like I said this gets complicated because ... even with those who have the name of eminent teachers, some are 'blessed' as a tulku or in other words a minor tulku, and not actually sharing the Sem, or consciousness of their predecessor.
However, we can see many examples of those who do actually share the consciousness of their predecessors. Take for instance Terchen Barway Dorje who was an emanation of both Nupchen Sangye Yeshe and Yeshe tshogyal, the two were childhood friends and he could remember them playing together from either perspective.
As a long time student, what is your understanding of an emanated being, as opposed to a blessed tulku or a tulku based on their merits and aspirations. What is your understanding of how the Nirmakaya emanates to benefit sentient beings, and if, or at all the display of the nirmanakaya can become obscured, and fall victim to circumstances of their life.
At the end of the day though, having entered the Mandala of secret mantra, I would always encourage a student to have a pure perception of their teacher.
As far as CTR and his mistakes or lack thereof, I really cannot comment on that, however I can only note the high number of eminent teachers who have praised him, including some, who I do consider to be Living Buddha's.
Some people these days may be prone to think that all of this, Mind, body, speech, talk is non-sense, and due to obvious corruptions (nepotism for example) that the Tulku system may just be a construct, and Tibetan culture.
However, it's not really true. There is an actual way that enlightened beings emanate, and these distinctions of Body, speech, mind, and so forth, do have meaning.
For example; after a master of that calibre passes away, they arise as their yidam deity, and then with their wisdom they know the exact circumstances of taking birth. The family, the environment, and what would be ideal. Depending on this they dispatch different emanations, for example, they send their consciousness in the form of an OM into the womb of their prospective mother if they want to be a body emanation, an Ah for a speech emanation, a Hung for a mind emanation and so forth.
These are also not trivial titles, they have correspondence. Body emanations tend to have very impressive forms, and hook those through their appearance, speech emanations tend to excel in expounding the dharma, Mind emanations tend to be very wrathful with a high degree of realization from a young age and so forth, and then there are of course those that are emanations of different teachers in all 5 degrees.
I know these kind of conversations can seem a bit overwhelming, (not saying they are to you) but it's important for us all not to be lazy about this, and merely dismiss these things as mere culture. The above explanations can be found in Karma Chakme's mountain dharma.
Anyone is more than welcome to explain their own understanding of these phenomena, especially based on what they have heard from their teachers or studied.
& for those thinking it was something invented at a later date it's not, Erik Pema kunsang said that there were instances of Guru Rinpoche recognizing students as the rebirth of Indian mahasiddha's and installing them at Samye gompa. He may have said this is found in the Pema Kathang but I can't recall.
It's generally considered unless emanations reflect our own human limitations to some degrees, they are not able to efficiently guide us in the same way.
Then you say "I know the Tulku phenomena does make people feel strange, and it can seem like some kind of a white-wash for people. However, I am sure you also have faith in the idea of Nirmanakaya Trul ku's, and yes, there are different levels of Tulkus, not everyone who bears the name is authentic what-so-ever and not everyone who bears the name is actually an emanation. Some are born due to merit and aspiration prayers, and others are "blessed" tulkus blessed by the predecessor to fulfill the activities. Not everyone shares the Sem, mind so to speak."
Personally I have no idea.
However, one Rinpoche told me all the tertons are actually blessed mindstreams. They're usually ordinary beings, however, some have gained realization in certain lifetimes like Dudjom Lingpa, but the majority have not. Some have no realization at all and just simply have blessed mindstreams. I'm not sure he really believes the idea that they are emanations of the Indian Mahasiddhas, but I'd have to ask him.
Another Rinpoche told me that even the Dalai Lama had to regain his realization in this lifetime, that's why he was controlled by the political players at the beginning of his life until after his escape from Tibet.
Another Rinpoche told me that even though he remembers the bardo and being in the womb, as well as important events from past lives, he still didnt recognize his own realization until it was pointed out to him again by his teacher, at which point he received the full mind transmission.
As far as the first point I will provide a quote here from Lama Tashi tobgyal who is a retreat master from Raktrul gompa and practices in the Bardor tersar lineage,
"With regard to Guru Rinpoche himself we have to remember that Guru Rinpoche was, in a sense, even kinder, even more beneficial to Tibet, than Buddha Shakyamuni. Really, there is no difference between Buddha Shakyamuni and Guru Rinpoche. Guru Rinpoche was the direct emanation of Buddha Shakyamuni. But the difference is, for Tibetans, that Buddha Shakyamuni never visited Tibet, never brought the teachings there; Guru Rinpoche did. So all Tibetan Buddhism really owes its existence to the kindness of Guru Rinpoche and the Kashmiri abbot Shantarakshita.
Especially, Guru Rinpoche insured that he would, and has, produced a ceaseless stream of emanations. For example, his best known disciples, the twenty-five disciples, were each his own emanation to begin with: five emanations of his body, five of speech, five of mind, five of qualities, five of activity. And, each of the five [had five emanations] — body [of] body, body [of] speech, body [of] mind, etc. He gave each of them a different set of instructions, predicted their time of rebirth, who their disciples would be, entrusted their particular teachings to particular dharmapalas or protectors, and prophesied those future events that would indicate the time had come to revive their teachings. He provided the specific teachings that would serve as remedies for those particular events or situations and then concealed all of this — the teachings themselves, the prophesies, and the entrustment — as treasure or terma, so that they would survive until the time came for those future emanations to take birth.
These terma teachings are therefore very different from most dharma. They are not the clever compositions of brilliant scholars. In fact, the tertons, the treasure revealers who had discovered them, have in many cases been utterly illiterate, or functionally illiterate, or is some cases merely poorly educated. Yet they were able through receiving, finding the physical texts, and through their visions, to transcribe sometimes ten or even a hundred volumes of teachings."
"Tertons are always challenging to people because they often act unconventionally. And it’s natural, or not surprising, that during the life of a terton people usually think they’re crazy. (After they pass away, of course, we all make statues of them and worship them and so on.) Or they say, “Well, this is just too much — too many revelations, too many discoveries; this is not possible.” Actually if you learn what they’re really doing and what’s going on, you start to understand that they are emanations of Guru Rinpoche. They seem like ordinary men and women when you meet them, but they’re doing things that are simply beyond our usually experience. For example, they might lapse into a nap for a few minutes and you think, “Well, what is that? He was asleep for two, three minutes.” But as in the case of Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa, since dream time can be very different from waking time, he was able to get detailed instruction on feast dance from Guru Rinpoche and a retinue of dakinis in what for us probably would just look like somebody slumping for a few minutes and coming back out of it. And that’s what they’re doing. They’re doing things like this all the time. And it’s not surprising that we don’t recognize because we don’t it."
As to your second point, I think that the training and practice of tulku's does play a role, however, I also don't think relating to that as a display which is really what the word Tulku, Trul'pai ku, emanation body, or magical display connotes. A display in the water of the collective merit or lack of merit of sentient beings, I don't really see these as contradictory.
It is interesting to note though, that Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche said somewhere in blazing splendor that even the Karmapa, despite being who he is, does require pointing out instruction again in this life. There was some debate around it.
Then as far as causes and conditions go, I think it's worthy to discuss the role that students broken samaya's may play in effecting the teacher. That is why the 16th said that when people ask him to find a reincarnation of their teacher, it comes clearly in his mind, however if the students of that teacher has broken samaya with him, it's as though the vision is covered in mist.
It is said when a teacher reveals a Gong ter for example, their mind is completely indivisible from Guru Rinpoche.
as Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche points out though, as far a Terton reading the Dakini script, this is something only a Terton can do, a Terton who has the karmic connection with that Terma. He said he does not believe even highly accomplished and learned masters like Sakya pandita, tsongkhapa and so forth could read Dakini script. This can be found in his book Straight talk.
There are Tertons who know about the location of other earth terma, but they know that they are not the ones with the karmic connection to reveal and transcribe them, and so, they leave them be.
When Khenpo Jigme Phuntsog rinpoche visited pharping he remarked that the entire rock surrounding the Asura cave was filled with Terma.
& also we have to discuss auspicious circumstance, it has been mentioned here about a women asking Dudjom Rinpoche for a Tara sadhana, at the right time and place which was the auspicious circumstance for him revealing a Gong ter on Green Tara.
Similarly, when someone had given a Yellow terma parchment to Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and asked if he could decipher it, he had to soak it in water (with mendrup) and do repeated puja's until the Dakini script could show (to him).. Yellow parchment is unlike ordinary paper as it does not fall apart in water. Someone offered him 40 pages to write the Terma down, and the terma stopped exactly on the 40th page. HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche mentioned that there was a short medium and long version, and the paper provided for the medium one. Again, auspicious circumstance. This can be found in his Bio Brilliant moon.
However, it has been mentioned that Terma can also become damaged to to speak, as they have been there for a long time. So there are still some physical properties that seem connected to cause and conditions. Yet, the connection is still profound.
When Terchen Barway Dorje found some scrolls which were inside a casket their contents had been damaged, He had been drinking and ordered the scrolls to be burned in a fire, to which his students just thought he was buzzed. However, when the smoke from the parchment drifted up his nostrils the entire contents of the Ter' revealed in his mind. Tertons are simply incredible beings, to which we can never fit within the confines of our concepts. Check out the Book Blazing splendor for this story.
Things get complicated even more, because there is the phenomena of Terma thief, beings that may have at the time of Guru Rinpoche and Yeshe tshogyal been birds, and so forth, that saw the Terma being put away, and are subsequently born as beings who know where it is and want to take it.
One also cannot simply take Earth terma out like a withdraw from the bank, as they are guarded by Terdak, terma guardians. That is why Tertons put back some offerings into the space from which they take, and after patching up the wall, it returns to solid stone, there are evidence of such places, such as where Chokgyur lingpa did this in Kham.
It's no wonder with all of these fantastic tales about Terma though that people are skeptical, and that is why revealing Terma openly witnessed by all used to be a thing that happened. Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche remarks that earth terma can be so hot, they they cannot be handled by people directly when they are produced, and even scorch the brocade they are placed upon.
& of course, there have been fake tertons too, and even today there are quite a few, particularly in eastern Tibet. It takes a being with a very High realization to confirm Terma, The Karmapa's used to do this, and also Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo used to have this place.
These days, I am sure Terma are still being revealed, as some have even mentioned in this thread, but who will validate it? and would everyone accept the validation? in these dregs of time where many people lack devotion.
However, Terma are not ordinary words and constructs, and no matter how learned somebody was they could not construct a Terma. Terma's have particular qualities and validations, Tulku Thondup has a whole book about this.
I think it's an important conversation to be had in these times of doubts, where some may question the Terma tradition, as people these days are even questioning the existence of some lineage masters of the past all together.