termas found outside of asia?

Simon E.
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Re: termas found outside of asia?

Post by Simon E. » Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:25 pm

I would just add that I did not say that I was no longer a true believer in the Vajrayana. You have misinterpreted my position. If you revisit my post I used the term True Believer, notice the capitals. Notice the underlying irony.
I was not taught the Vajrayana in a way that left literalism as the only alternative. Early on I encountered a very different way of perceiving the teachings. One that I suspect will become normative long after the reliance on Tibetan cultural forms is a thing of the past.
But that may be for those to come..
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

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Re: termas found outside of asia?

Post by TrimePema » Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:37 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:03 pm
Well, we would have to agree on what “meeting Guru Rinpoche” might mean wouldn’t we?
But it certainly is not my intention to be offensive by taking a view of these issues which is not literalist, and clearly you are not comfortable with my input so I will take my leave with no hard feelings.

:namaste:
It has multiple meanings. This is my understanding.

On a very basic and gross level it means recognizing the face of Samantabhadra. To be honest and direct, you seem to think that the "Dharmakaya nature of the mind" refers, on an ultimate level, to the state of relaxation, but in the words of Tsoknyi Rinpoche, that is "baby rigpa".

On a more developed level, the outer appearances (tsal) also give way to manifest and appear as the Guru - this is the sambhogakaya. Then on the ultimate level, it is the total realization of both the form and truth bodies of the nature of reality.

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Re: termas found outside of asia?

Post by Simon E. » Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:50 pm

I suggest that if you are actually interested in my POV, and I see no reason why you should be, that you read back over some of my posts. It’s just possible that I have come to that pov over a period of decades and after a good deal of teaching from some pretty heavyweight teachers. Starting with Trungpa Rinpoche with whom I spent 10 years and whose view of Dharma was much nearer to that which I have expressed than it was to any more trad exposition.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

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Re: termas found outside of asia?

Post by TrimePema » Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:05 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:50 pm
I suggest that if you are actually interested in my POV, and I see no reason why you should be, that you read back over some of my posts. It’s just possible that I have come to that pov over a period of decades and after a good deal of teaching from some pretty heavyweight teachers. Starting with Trungpa Rinpoche with whom I spent 10 years and whose view of Dharma was much nearer to that which I have expressed than it was to any more trad exposition.
So you're saying your view must be right because you spent time with heavyweight teachers? Out of curiosity, was this time spent 1 on 1 with them attending to your mindstream's every need and misconception or was it spent in public and you happened to be there?

I hold the Vidyadhara in extremely high regard. Have you received his Shambhala terma or were you of the camp that was taught the Kagyu tantra path?

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Re: termas found outside of asia?

Post by Simon E. » Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:13 pm

I spent time with CTR one to one on many occasions over a long time.

I do not think that there is a right way to view Buddhadharma.
I think that there are other ways of understanding Dharma other than the literal. And so did CTR, as even a cursory glance at Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism will attest.
I have had no exposure to the Shambhala teachings at all.

We mostly received teachings from the cycle ultimately derived from Ganges Mahamudra.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

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Re: termas found outside of asia?

Post by tobes » Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:53 pm

I think Simon E is saying: everything connected with the vajrayana is contrived, unless the nature of mind is seen. And when the nature of mind is seen, the play of appearances (including sacred appearances) is basically free and open, and not subject to a particular cultural vantage point.

I think this is a solid point. It accords with what I have been taught - it seems to me to be exactly the message of Ganges Mahamudra.

What is terma really but the discovery of new methods to facilitate this? If they're sadhanas, they always culminate in completion stage. And what is generation stage but a contrivance? Kongtrul puts this really well: "In general, creation stage is a contrivance, but the path of contrivance leads to the authentic natural state."

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Re: termas found outside of asia?

Post by Simon E. » Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:06 pm

That’s an accurate summation. :smile:
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

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Re: termas found outside of asia?

Post by pemachophel » Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:13 am

I meant meeting Guru Rinpoche face to face just like you might meet anyone in your daily life. I meant it exactly as literal as that. Not one iota less.
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Re: termas found outside of asia?

Post by Simon E. » Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:28 am

I know a man whose integrity I don’t doubt and whose sanity and common sense I respect who went to Lourdes and saw the Virgin Mary in the flesh. I don’t doubt his sincerity. I don’t doubt yours. Such phenomena no doubt exist.
They arise in great emptiness. They dissolve in great emptiness.
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Re: termas found outside of asia?

Post by Fortyeightvows » Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:38 am

Simon E. wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:28 am
I know a man whose integrity I don’t doubt and whose sanity and common sense I respect who went to Lourdes and saw the Virgin Mary in the flesh. I don’t doubt his sincerity. I don’t doubt yours. Such phenomena no doubt exist.
They arise in great emptiness. They dissolve in great emptiness.
Thats great!

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Re: termas found outside of asia?

Post by PeterC » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:43 am

Simon E. wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:51 am
Is this the same Guru Rinpoche who is possibly legendary only..of whom there is possibly more than one..and about whom there is no agreed timeline or biography?..
If the Vajrayana is not about what you do, but is also about what you believe, then I am aware that I am not a True Believer and probably should stop posting on the Vajrayana forums.
Well, I don't really believe anything, I just infer from experience :)

This is an issue which comes up again and again in different forms. Let's run with this example. Nobody seriously disputes that Kunzang Dorje was a great master. So is he, and are many other great masters just mistaken or deluded when they believe in these mystical figures? When they talk about termas being extracted from rock? When they put faith in the authenticity of practices whose historicity is highly dubious? To any reasonable person, doubt arises when you consider these issues, and then you are faced with reconciling that doubt with the confidence you have in your present teachers and their lineages.

One way to resolve this is simply with faith - to assert belief. Some people are happy with that, and they're fortunate in that regard.

Another way is to have confidence that the teachings - a terma, let's say - emerges from the enlightened mind of a master which is not different from the enlightened mind of all lineage masters. Provided we have confidence in the teaching and in the guru who conveys it to us, we don't need to greatly concern ourselves about the details. There are various ways to develop that confidence, but they all come down to practice and personal experience.

Different people will experience that confidence in different ways. They will express it in different ways. I would never express it in the same way that Kunzang Dorje does. However that doesn't mean I disagree with his conclusion.

The Vajrayana, and the Buddhadharma in general is all about what you do. Other religions are all about unevidenced, unexperienced belief, but we definitely are not.

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Re: termas found outside of asia?

Post by Sonam Wangchug » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:49 am

PeterC wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:43 am
Simon E. wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:51 am
Is this the same Guru Rinpoche who is possibly legendary only..of whom there is possibly more than one..and about whom there is no agreed timeline or biography?..
If the Vajrayana is not about what you do, but is also about what you believe, then I am aware that I am not a True Believer and probably should stop posting on the Vajrayana forums.
Well, I don't really believe anything, I just infer from experience :)

This is an issue which comes up again and again in different forms. Let's run with this example. Nobody seriously disputes that Kunzang Dorje was a great master. So is he, and are many other great masters just mistaken or deluded when they believe in these mystical figures? When they talk about termas being extracted from rock? When they put faith in the authenticity of practices whose historicity is highly dubious? To any reasonable person, doubt arises when you consider these issues, and then you are faced with reconciling that doubt with the confidence you have in your present teachers and their lineages.

One way to resolve this is simply with faith - to assert belief. Some people are happy with that, and they're fortunate in that regard.

Another way is to have confidence that the teachings - a terma, let's say - emerges from the enlightened mind of a master which is not different from the enlightened mind of all lineage masters. Provided we have confidence in the teaching and in the guru who conveys it to us, we don't need to greatly concern ourselves about the details. There are various ways to develop that confidence, but they all come down to practice and personal experience.

Different people will experience that confidence in different ways. They will express it in different ways. I would never express it in the same way that Kunzang Dorje does. However that doesn't mean I disagree with his conclusion.

The Vajrayana, and the Buddhadharma in general is all about what you do. Other religions are all about unevidenced, unexperienced belief, but we definitely are not.
Doubt is also a belief.

It is also a Klesha according to the Mahayana, something that not a lot of people talk about due to the 5 poisons scheme being more popular.
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Sonam Wangchug
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Re: termas found outside of asia?

Post by Sonam Wangchug » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:57 am

Simon E. wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:50 pm
I suggest that if you are actually interested in my POV, and I see no reason why you should be, that you read back over some of my posts. It’s just possible that I have come to that pov over a period of decades and after a good deal of teaching from some pretty heavyweight teachers. Starting with Trungpa Rinpoche with whom I spent 10 years and whose view of Dharma was much nearer to that which I have expressed than it was to any more trad exposition.
Keep in mind that this is the same Trungpa Rinpoche that saw Mahakala, and revealed Terma yellow parchment scripts and a Phurba that belonged to Guru Rinpoche (The guy your not sure existed)

"So Tülku Drubgyü came back to Kyere. He arrived on the fifteenth day of the third month. At that time, Trungpa Rinpoche gave many prophecies. He said that in the future things would not go well for the whole of Surmang. All the buildings would be destroyed. There would be no monks, and there would be grass growing over the foundations. And then he said, “At that time, I will be in India, and eventually I will arrive in America.” Although he said that, they didn’t believe him. They said, “That’s impossible. It would never happen, and if you say things like that, it will be inauspicious.”

Rinpoche was supposed to leave for Dütsi Tel on the sixteenth. But before he left, he had a vision of Four-Armed Mahakala. There’s a high pass called Yul La that you have to cross to get from Kyere to Dütsi Tel. Trungpa Rinpoche saw Four-Armed Mahakala standing on the pass looking in the direction of Kyere, and Four-Armed Mahakala said, “Don’t go to Dütsi Tel.”

Trungpa Rinpoche told Tülku Drubgyü about what he saw. But Tülku Drubgyü said that the saddle was on the horse, the baggage was on the mules, and all the preparations for their departure were complete. So Trungpa Rinpoche said that they should just take it a bit slow, and it may just turn out that they wouldn’t need to go to Dütsi Tel.

So they just took their time that day. Then a messenger arrived. He said that the Chinese had fallen on Surmang. There were seven Chinese officials there who said, “Where is Trungpa Rinpoche? He must come with us. We are having a meeting at Jekundo and Trungpa Rinpoche must come. If Trungpa Rinpoche comes to Jekundo, he will have a high rank at this meeting.” The Chinese waited for Trungpa Rinpoche for about seven days.

Well, this matched Trungpa Rinpoche’s prophecy, so the people at Dütsi Tel sent a message saying, “Don’t come. Don’t come. The Chinese have come to the monastery. We will start the practice without you. Don’t come.”

So he stayed at the retreat cave at Kyere, and he revealed many yellow scrolls and the Tsasum Gongdü (Embodied Realization of the Three Roots) termas. Ugyen Tendzin, Ge Lama, Tülku Drubgyü, Sönam Tseten, and a monk from Dzogdze monastery were all there at that time. From the practice of Padmakara and Yeshe Tsogyal in union came a terma casket, inside of which was a list of termas and an account of the sacred places of Kyere Shelkar, a hair of Yeshe Tsogyal, and a kila of Padmakara."

https://www.nalandatranslation.org/arti ... -rinpoche/
"To have confidence in the teacher is the ultimate refuge." -Rigzin Jigme Lingpa

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Re: termas found outside of asia?

Post by Simon E. » Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:56 am

I’m touched by the idea that maybe I wasn’t paying attention, or hadnt noticed that CTR was a terton. :smile:

However I remember his own explanation. Because I was there.
“ It’s all the Sambhokaya. It’s not personal. Guru Rinpoche, the terma and the terton all arise together.They are not different. The inner meaning is all about the nature of mind essence. It’s not about tricks for the audience”.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

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Sonam Wangchug
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Re: termas found outside of asia?

Post by Sonam Wangchug » Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:53 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:56 am
I’m touched by the idea that maybe I wasn’t paying attention, or hadnt noticed that CTR was a terton. :smile:

However I remember his own explanation. Because I was there.
“ It’s all the Sambhokaya. It’s not personal. Guru Rinpoche, the terma and the terton all arise together.They are not different. The inner meaning is all about the nature of mind essence. It’s not about tricks for the audience”.
Yes but, if I am not mistaken you did state in another thread that you had a loss of devotion in the Vidyadhara in his later life, and divided his early self and later self, and his later self as though he had some kind of negative energy around him and was in something like a fallen state.

so if you had noticed CTR was a Terton

just how on earth could you lose devotion like that in a Terton? Tertons have many a time been perceived negatively or even crazy by the people of their times.

So somehow, I think that actually believing someone is a Terton I.E an emissary/emanation of Guru Rinpoche, and losing faith in them because of their unconventional actions seems to be contradictory

Interested in your perspective though, because I also notice time to time, despite you saying that about CTR the hints of admiration and faith do leak out here and there, so it seems you are not totally ready to write him off despite your perception of him in his later life. I find this a bit encouraging.
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Re: termas found outside of asia?

Post by pemachophel » Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:06 pm

Tertons 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.
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Re: termas found outside of asia?

Post by Simon E. » Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:08 pm

I was a devoted student of CTR. I have no doubt that he had a profound degree of realisation.
He was also a drunk, a womaniser, a cokehead and was profoundly self destructive.
How do I square that circle? I can’t. I stopped trying a long time ago after a long struggle to come to some kind of understanding.
I don’t believe that he was displaying some kind of “crazy wisdom”..In fact I think that whole concept is bullshit.
On the other hand I can’t deny the profound nature of his awakened mind.
As his destructive traits became more pronounced I distanced myself.

But I owe him a huge debt of gratitude and his view of Dharma had a deep influence on me.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

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Sonam Wangchug
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Re: termas found outside of asia?

Post by Sonam Wangchug » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:02 pm

pemachophel wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:06 pm
Tertons 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.
Yes, it is true.

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.
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Re: termas found outside of asia?

Post by Sonam Wangchug » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:14 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:08 pm
I was a devoted student of CTR. I have no doubt that he had a profound degree of realisation.
He was also a drunk, a womaniser, a cokehead and was profoundly self destructive.
How do I square that circle? I can’t. I stopped trying a long time ago after a long struggle to come to some kind of understanding.
I don’t believe that he was displaying some kind of “crazy wisdom”..In fact I think that whole concept is bullshit.
On the other hand I can’t deny the profound nature of his awakened mind.
As his destructive traits became more pronounced I distanced myself.

But I owe him a huge debt of gratitude and his view of Dharma had a deep influence on me.
Okay, gotcha.

But to what degree as a student of the Vajrayana, and having entered into the Mandala and taken Samaya were/are you commited to pure perception, as pure perception is an actual practice and a mind training, and for most people not completely spontaneous.

It is said when we perceive such limitations in our teacher, at that moment, the Guru is not functioning as the Guru principle proper, but as a deluded perception of our mind.

Do you think that there are no merits to pure perception, do you think all of those teachers who came to view their teachers as Buddha's in the flesh, were delusional?

Do you think that the Vajrayana path actually does not teach students to cultivate pure perception in every instance of their teacher? Do you think this is merely a risky and delusional way of thinking, or do you think through this path one can arrive at full realization.

Do you acknowledge your own perspective to be differing from the teachings found in the Tantra's about this subject?
"To have confidence in the teacher is the ultimate refuge." -Rigzin Jigme Lingpa

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Re: termas found outside of asia?

Post by TrimePema » Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:49 pm

Sonam Wangchug wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:02 pm
pemachophel wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:06 pm
Tertons 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.
Yes, it is true.

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.
You 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"

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.

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