Dagpo Kagyu empowerments

Malcolm
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Re: Dagpo Kagyu empowerments

Post by Malcolm »

spinoza wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:15 pm
Malcolm wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 12:19 pm
PeterC wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:26 am

I think at the time they were writing, a lot was at stake. Fake lineages and fake termas did exist, and though the polemic literature may be a little...unnecessary at times, arguably it performed a needed quality control function. Though of course that wasn't the only, perhaps wasn't even the main reason for the existence of that literature.

Do we, centuries later, need to worry about it? Well, nobody is going to discover something in a text that suddenly makes people stop practicing a major teaching. But just as we're encouraged to study the guru for years (which nobody does anymore), it can't hurt to read some of this material. And if it does raise doubts in our minds, perhaps that indicates our confidence in the guru is not what it should be, or that we haven't worked hard enough on the practice to see its benefits.
Everyone should read Sapan’s three vows and his Clarifying the Muni’s Intent, even if it pisses them off. He raises excellent questions, and was an amazing scholar and practitioner. He was also the product of a particular era in Tibetan history, and it shows.
Sakya Chokden's commentary on his text defends Kagyu Mahamudra against many of the disputes raised by him.
Such is the nature of polemics.
Malcolm
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Re: Dagpo Kagyu empowerments

Post by Malcolm »

PeterC wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 1:18 pm
Malcolm wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 12:19 pm
Everyone should read Sapan’s three vows and his Clarifying the Muni’s Intent, even if it pisses them off. He raises excellent questions, and was an amazing scholar and practitioner. He was also the product of a particular era in Tibetan history, and it shows.
I found it very difficult to disagree with his arguments in Three Vows, even the ones I didn’t agree with.
Indeed, Sapan, without question, was the greatest scholar in Tibet in the 13th century. And why not? He spoke and wrote Sanskrit fluently, had received nearly every teaching extant in Tibet during his day, had studied with 30 Indian tutors, and so on. His personal library boasted 3000 texts in Tibetan and Sanskrit, etc., etc. Actually, Tibet has never seen such a scholar since his time. That does not mean I personally agree with every one of his claims or critiques. But his scholarship was an exemplary model of an originalist approach to Buddhadharma, basing himself closely on what the texts of sūtra and tantra say, as opposed to the opinions of this or that guru.
Pero
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Re: Dagpo Kagyu empowerments

Post by Pero »

Malcolm wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:45 pm
PeterC wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 1:18 pm
Malcolm wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 12:19 pm
Everyone should read Sapan’s three vows and his Clarifying the Muni’s Intent, even if it pisses them off. He raises excellent questions, and was an amazing scholar and practitioner. He was also the product of a particular era in Tibetan history, and it shows.
I found it very difficult to disagree with his arguments in Three Vows, even the ones I didn’t agree with.
Indeed, Sapan, without question, was the greatest scholar in Tibet in the 13th century. And why not? He spoke and wrote Sanskrit fluently, had received nearly every teaching extant in Tibet during his day, had studied with 30 Indian tutors, and so on. His personal library boasted 3000 texts in Tibetan and Sanskrit, etc., etc. Actually, Tibet has never seen such a scholar since his time. That does not mean I personally agree with every one of his claims or critiques. But his scholarship was an exemplary model of an originalist approach to Buddhadharma, basing himself closely on what the texts of sūtra and tantra say, as opposed to the opinions of this or that guru.
Sorry, I know this is off topic, but if he had such a big library how come he had a limited exposure to Dzogchen? Or at least so it seems to me if he concluded that is only the result IIRC.
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar
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conebeckham
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Re: Dagpo Kagyu empowerments

Post by conebeckham »

spinoza wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:05 pm
PeterC wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:37 pm
You’re going to have to cite a specific kagyu instruction manual to define what you mean by “Tantric mahamudra” in kagyu. Citing secondary texts that define the thing they’re criticizing will only lead to confusion. Also if it’s a critique of what Gampopa specifically did, you’ll need a text of Gampopa or PhagDru to describe what he did.
The reason I asked this is that I myself am trying to find this so called 'Tantric' Mahamudra lineage as described by SaPan of having a requirement of the four tantric empowerments in the Dagpo Kagyu. Being unfamiliar of such in primary Kagyu texts I had to look in the secondary literature. The Blue Annals clearly say besides Mahamudra instructions to the uninitiated, Gampopa too gave Mahamudra with the traditional four empowerments, where Mahamudra arises as the gnosis of the empowerments. My query is whether this kind of Mahamudra transmission is retained in practice by the Kagyu schools or not. This is not for criticism of Gampopa's Mahamudra transmissions by pointing-out instructions.

The same is written here https://www.lionsroar.com/pointing-out-ordinary-mind/ by DZOGCHEN PONLOP RINPOCHE
Mantra Mahamudra is the tantric, or Vajrayana, form of Mahamudra practice. One enters into the path of mantra Mahamudra by receiving the four stages of tantric empowerment, or abhisheka: the vase abhisheka, secret abhisheka, prajnajnana abhisheka, and word abhisheka. Within these four abhishekas, a different pointing-out instruction is given at each stage. That instruction is practiced until the student accomplishes some level of realization, and then the student moves on to the next one
In the Kamtsang, so-called "Tantric Mahamudra" is pith instruction that is incorporated into presentations regarding the completion stage practices of deity yoga--most commonly, it is taught in the context of Completion Without Characteristics, but it also imbues the Completion with Characteristics (Tummo, and Six Yogas) as well as the Creation Stage. But the defining factor, at least to my mind, is that the Pointing Out Instruction related to each stage of practice culminates in the "Yoga Without Signs" which relates to the fourth empowerment. But this can be quite similar to the instructions commonly given as "Essence" or even "Sutra" Mahamudra. The Special feature of Tantra Mahamudra is the focus on experience of Bliss/Emptiness, generated by various practices, though this experience leads to the ultimate yoga, without signs. These methods relating to forceful generation of bliss are the unique element of Tantric Mahamudra, though there's also focus on "Appearance/Emptiness," etc.

So, yes, this tradition is very much alive. But Gampopa taught various means to various students. Some say "Sutra Mahamudra" is for those not fortunate enough to train in the Two Stages, and some say "Essence Mahamudra" is for the extremely fortunate ones who have no need to train in the Two Stages. Dakpo Larje had a prescription for every ailment!
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")
Malcolm
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Re: Dagpo Kagyu empowerments

Post by Malcolm »

Pero wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:49 pm
Malcolm wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:45 pm
PeterC wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 1:18 pm

I found it very difficult to disagree with his arguments in Three Vows, even the ones I didn’t agree with.
Indeed, Sapan, without question, was the greatest scholar in Tibet in the 13th century. And why not? He spoke and wrote Sanskrit fluently, had received nearly every teaching extant in Tibet during his day, had studied with 30 Indian tutors, and so on. His personal library boasted 3000 texts in Tibetan and Sanskrit, etc., etc. Actually, Tibet has never seen such a scholar since his time. That does not mean I personally agree with every one of his claims or critiques. But his scholarship was an exemplary model of an originalist approach to Buddhadharma, basing himself closely on what the texts of sūtra and tantra say, as opposed to the opinions of this or that guru.
Sorry, I know this is off topic, but if he had such a big library how come he had a limited exposure to Dzogchen? Or at least so it seems to me if he concluded that is only the result IIRC.
He asserted it was a ye shes. And when I asked ChNN about this in 1992, he said that Sapan was correct. Sapan mentions that he received Dzogchen teachings, but he does not specify which. But certainly he received sems sde in the Khon family lineage.
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tobes
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Re: Dagpo Kagyu empowerments

Post by tobes »

conebeckham wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 10:40 pm
spinoza wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:05 pm
PeterC wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:37 pm
You’re going to have to cite a specific kagyu instruction manual to define what you mean by “Tantric mahamudra” in kagyu. Citing secondary texts that define the thing they’re criticizing will only lead to confusion. Also if it’s a critique of what Gampopa specifically did, you’ll need a text of Gampopa or PhagDru to describe what he did.
The reason I asked this is that I myself am trying to find this so called 'Tantric' Mahamudra lineage as described by SaPan of having a requirement of the four tantric empowerments in the Dagpo Kagyu. Being unfamiliar of such in primary Kagyu texts I had to look in the secondary literature. The Blue Annals clearly say besides Mahamudra instructions to the uninitiated, Gampopa too gave Mahamudra with the traditional four empowerments, where Mahamudra arises as the gnosis of the empowerments. My query is whether this kind of Mahamudra transmission is retained in practice by the Kagyu schools or not. This is not for criticism of Gampopa's Mahamudra transmissions by pointing-out instructions.

The same is written here https://www.lionsroar.com/pointing-out-ordinary-mind/ by DZOGCHEN PONLOP RINPOCHE
Mantra Mahamudra is the tantric, or Vajrayana, form of Mahamudra practice. One enters into the path of mantra Mahamudra by receiving the four stages of tantric empowerment, or abhisheka: the vase abhisheka, secret abhisheka, prajnajnana abhisheka, and word abhisheka. Within these four abhishekas, a different pointing-out instruction is given at each stage. That instruction is practiced until the student accomplishes some level of realization, and then the student moves on to the next one
In the Kamtsang, so-called "Tantric Mahamudra" is pith instruction that is incorporated into presentations regarding the completion stage practices of deity yoga--most commonly, it is taught in the context of Completion Without Characteristics, but it also imbues the Completion with Characteristics (Tummo, and Six Yogas) as well as the Creation Stage. But the defining factor, at least to my mind, is that the Pointing Out Instruction related to each stage of practice culminates in the "Yoga Without Signs" which relates to the fourth empowerment. But this can be quite similar to the instructions commonly given as "Essence" or even "Sutra" Mahamudra. The Special feature of Tantra Mahamudra is the focus on experience of Bliss/Emptiness, generated by various practices, though this experience leads to the ultimate yoga, without signs. These methods relating to forceful generation of bliss are the unique element of Tantric Mahamudra, though there's also focus on "Appearance/Emptiness," etc.

So, yes, this tradition is very much alive. But Gampopa taught various means to various students. Some say "Sutra Mahamudra" is for those not fortunate enough to train in the Two Stages, and some say "Essence Mahamudra" is for the extremely fortunate ones who have no need to train in the Two Stages. Dakpo Larje had a prescription for every ailment!
:good:

It should just be your signature, but then you will be accused of pride, so we have to do this each time.....
spinoza
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Re: Dagpo Kagyu empowerments

Post by spinoza »

conebeckham wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 10:40 pm
spinoza wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:05 pm
PeterC wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:37 pm
You’re going to have to cite a specific kagyu instruction manual to define what you mean by “Tantric mahamudra” in kagyu. Citing secondary texts that define the thing they’re criticizing will only lead to confusion. Also if it’s a critique of what Gampopa specifically did, you’ll need a text of Gampopa or PhagDru to describe what he did.
The reason I asked this is that I myself am trying to find this so called 'Tantric' Mahamudra lineage as described by SaPan of having a requirement of the four tantric empowerments in the Dagpo Kagyu. Being unfamiliar of such in primary Kagyu texts I had to look in the secondary literature. The Blue Annals clearly say besides Mahamudra instructions to the uninitiated, Gampopa too gave Mahamudra with the traditional four empowerments, where Mahamudra arises as the gnosis of the empowerments. My query is whether this kind of Mahamudra transmission is retained in practice by the Kagyu schools or not. This is not for criticism of Gampopa's Mahamudra transmissions by pointing-out instructions.

The same is written here https://www.lionsroar.com/pointing-out-ordinary-mind/ by DZOGCHEN PONLOP RINPOCHE
Mantra Mahamudra is the tantric, or Vajrayana, form of Mahamudra practice. One enters into the path of mantra Mahamudra by receiving the four stages of tantric empowerment, or abhisheka: the vase abhisheka, secret abhisheka, prajnajnana abhisheka, and word abhisheka. Within these four abhishekas, a different pointing-out instruction is given at each stage. That instruction is practiced until the student accomplishes some level of realization, and then the student moves on to the next one
In the Kamtsang, so-called "Tantric Mahamudra" is pith instruction that is incorporated into presentations regarding the completion stage practices of deity yoga--most commonly, it is taught in the context of Completion Without Characteristics, but it also imbues the Completion with Characteristics (Tummo, and Six Yogas) as well as the Creation Stage. But the defining factor, at least to my mind, is that the Pointing Out Instruction related to each stage of practice culminates in the "Yoga Without Signs" which relates to the fourth empowerment. But this can be quite similar to the instructions commonly given as "Essence" or even "Sutra" Mahamudra. The Special feature of Tantra Mahamudra is the focus on experience of Bliss/Emptiness, generated by various practices, though this experience leads to the ultimate yoga, without signs. These methods relating to forceful generation of bliss are the unique element of Tantric Mahamudra, though there's also focus on "Appearance/Emptiness," etc.

So, yes, this tradition is very much alive. But Gampopa taught various means to various students. Some say "Sutra Mahamudra" is for those not fortunate enough to train in the Two Stages, and some say "Essence Mahamudra" is for the extremely fortunate ones who have no need to train in the Two Stages. Dakpo Larje had a prescription for every ailment!
Thanks, this is what exactly was I asking about. Does this Kamtsang Mahamudra instruction also accrod with what SaPan calls 'resultant gnosis of the creation and completion stages' after having recieved the four empowerents in highest Yoga tantras? SaPan implies by 'Gnosis [ye shes] risen from initiations' Mahamudra as a knowledge resulting from the four empowerments of Anuttarayogatantras.
In sum, Sapan presents Mahåmudrå as the resultant gnosis of the creation and completion stages, which a disciple can only practice after having received the four initiations of the Niruttara Tantra class from a qualified guru.
quoted by Julia Stenzel in The Mahåmudrå of Sakya Pandita
Last edited by spinoza on Sun Aug 09, 2020 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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conebeckham
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Re: Dagpo Kagyu empowerments

Post by conebeckham »

I believe the answer is “yes.” Mahamudra is a “resultant gnosis” as well as a path. It is ultimately Wisdom and would seem to be equivalent to the wisdom resulting from practice of the two stages, but especially that of a conjoined creation and completion outlook. Or so I understand it....
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")
Crazywisdom
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Re: Dagpo Kagyu empowerments

Post by Crazywisdom »

conebeckham wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 10:40 pm
spinoza wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:05 pm
PeterC wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:37 pm
You’re going to have to cite a specific kagyu instruction manual to define what you mean by “Tantric mahamudra” in kagyu. Citing secondary texts that define the thing they’re criticizing will only lead to confusion. Also if it’s a critique of what Gampopa specifically did, you’ll need a text of Gampopa or PhagDru to describe what he did.
The reason I asked this is that I myself am trying to find this so called 'Tantric' Mahamudra lineage as described by SaPan of having a requirement of the four tantric empowerments in the Dagpo Kagyu. Being unfamiliar of such in primary Kagyu texts I had to look in the secondary literature. The Blue Annals clearly say besides Mahamudra instructions to the uninitiated, Gampopa too gave Mahamudra with the traditional four empowerments, where Mahamudra arises as the gnosis of the empowerments. My query is whether this kind of Mahamudra transmission is retained in practice by the Kagyu schools or not. This is not for criticism of Gampopa's Mahamudra transmissions by pointing-out instructions.

The same is written here https://www.lionsroar.com/pointing-out-ordinary-mind/ by DZOGCHEN PONLOP RINPOCHE
Mantra Mahamudra is the tantric, or Vajrayana, form of Mahamudra practice. One enters into the path of mantra Mahamudra by receiving the four stages of tantric empowerment, or abhisheka: the vase abhisheka, secret abhisheka, prajnajnana abhisheka, and word abhisheka. Within these four abhishekas, a different pointing-out instruction is given at each stage. That instruction is practiced until the student accomplishes some level of realization, and then the student moves on to the next one
In the Kamtsang, so-called "Tantric Mahamudra" is pith instruction that is incorporated into presentations regarding the completion stage practices of deity yoga--most commonly, it is taught in the context of Completion Without Characteristics, but it also imbues the Completion with Characteristics (Tummo, and Six Yogas) as well as the Creation Stage. But the defining factor, at least to my mind, is that the Pointing Out Instruction related to each stage of practice culminates in the "Yoga Without Signs" which relates to the fourth empowerment. But this can be quite similar to the instructions commonly given as "Essence" or even "Sutra" Mahamudra. The Special feature of Tantra Mahamudra is the focus on experience of Bliss/Emptiness, generated by various practices, though this experience leads to the ultimate yoga, without signs. These methods relating to forceful generation of bliss are the unique element of Tantric Mahamudra, though there's also focus on "Appearance/Emptiness," etc.

So, yes, this tradition is very much alive. But Gampopa taught various means to various students. Some say "Sutra Mahamudra" is for those not fortunate enough to train in the Two Stages, and some say "Essence Mahamudra" is for the extremely fortunate ones who have no need to train in the Two Stages. Dakpo Larje had a prescription for every ailment!
Moot points in Kalachakra
Crazywisdom
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Re: Dagpo Kagyu empowerments

Post by Crazywisdom »

PeterC wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:37 pm
spinoza wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:24 am I am not suggesting that SaPan deemed Kagyu empowerments to be invalid. I was referring to SaPan's critique of the Pointing-out instructions that was equated with the fourth empowerment, I'm unsure whether it is referring only to the Sutra Mahamudra, that's why I asked whether Dagpo Kagyu retains the 'Tantric' Mahamudra that has a requirement of the full four empowerments(not only the fourth which is often given as Pointing-out instructions). By tantric I mean what was reffered to as Mahamudra arising from gnosis of the four empowerments of Mantrayana by SaPan. This is also reffered as Upaya path which Gampopa sometimes avoided for his pupils unfit for tantric empowerments to bestow them these tantric instructions, as said in the blue annals.
Now the Venerable Mid-la did not teach the upaya-marga and the Mahamudra separately, but sGam-po-pa used to preach the hidden precepts of the upayamarga to those only whom he considered fit to receive Tantric Initiations. (On the other hand) he used to bestow the hidden precepts of the Mahamudra on those who were fit to receive the paramitas, though they did not get any (Tantric)initiation .... The understanding of the Mahamudra doctrine was even produced by him in some individuals of weak intellect, poor ones and sinners without delay ...It is said since that time the streams of the bKa'-gdams-pas and those of the Mahamudra became united. (Blue Annals, Roerich 459-460)
You’re going to have to cite a specific kagyu instruction manual to define what you mean by “Tantric mahamudra” in kagyu. Citing secondary texts that define the thing they’re criticizing will only lead to confusion. Also if it’s a critique of what Gampopa specifically did, you’ll need a text of Gampopa or PhagDru to describe what he did.

The problem with the polemic literature is that it commonly mistates what the target of attack actually taught.

Others like Conebeckham will know this better than me, but you also won’t find a lot of discussion in kagyu mahamudra manuals around whether pointing out is equivalent to the fourth empowerment, or whether you should receive a major empowerment before practising mahamudra, etc. The view of my main kagyu teachers is yes and yes. But that’s not written in any of the manuals I’ve been taught.
The funny thing is they have not been giving actual first three empowerments since India. There are all symbolic. No actual consort being given. Most of this tantric polêmica is because of speculation upon incomplete information. Amazing it still goes on today. Tantra was meant to be a concrete physical practice with obvious purpose.
Fortyeightvows
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Re: Dagpo Kagyu empowerments

Post by Fortyeightvows »

Malcolm wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:45 pm Everyone should read Sapan’s three vows and his Clarifying the Muni’s Intent,
Wow. Thanks for that recommendation! I just looked at few sentences. Amazing
Crazywisdom
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Re: Dagpo Kagyu empowerments

Post by Crazywisdom »

Malcolm wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 12:19 pm
PeterC wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:26 am
tobes wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:06 am I think Sarah Harding's WTF paper is really good for showing just how deep this labyrinth goes. In the end, I think the real question is: what is actually at stake in all of this?

Beyond sectarianism, politics etc, I think the answer is: very little.
I think at the time they were writing, a lot was at stake. Fake lineages and fake termas did exist, and though the polemic literature may be a little...unnecessary at times, arguably it performed a needed quality control function. Though of course that wasn't the only, perhaps wasn't even the main reason for the existence of that literature.

Do we, centuries later, need to worry about it? Well, nobody is going to discover something in a text that suddenly makes people stop practicing a major teaching. But just as we're encouraged to study the guru for years (which nobody does anymore), it can't hurt to read some of this material. And if it does raise doubts in our minds, perhaps that indicates our confidence in the guru is not what it should be, or that we haven't worked hard enough on the practice to see its benefits.
Everyone should read Sapan’s three vows and his Clarifying the Muni’s Intent, even if it pisses them off. He raises excellent questions, and was an amazing scholar and practitioner. He was also the product of a particular era in Tibetan history, and it shows.
Naropa on Six Vajra Yogas of KT. Forget the branches and get to the root.
Crazywisdom
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Re: Dagpo Kagyu empowerments

Post by Crazywisdom »

Malcolm wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:42 am
Pero wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:49 pm
Malcolm wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:45 pm

Indeed, Sapan, without question, was the greatest scholar in Tibet in the 13th century. And why not? He spoke and wrote Sanskrit fluently, had received nearly every teaching extant in Tibet during his day, had studied with 30 Indian tutors, and so on. His personal library boasted 3000 texts in Tibetan and Sanskrit, etc., etc. Actually, Tibet has never seen such a scholar since his time. That does not mean I personally agree with every one of his claims or critiques. But his scholarship was an exemplary model of an originalist approach to Buddhadharma, basing himself closely on what the texts of sūtra and tantra say, as opposed to the opinions of this or that guru.
Sorry, I know this is off topic, but if he had such a big library how come he had a limited exposure to Dzogchen? Or at least so it seems to me if he concluded that is only the result IIRC.
He asserted it was a ye shes. And when I asked ChNN about this in 1992, he said that Sapan was correct. Sapan mentions that he received Dzogchen teachings, but he does not specify which. But certainly he received sems sde in the Khon family lineage.
So why read something we know is wrong? In Dzogchen wisdom is not necessarily brought on by four initiations. The first 3 are worldly. Actual so called gnosis is not dependent on worldly anything. Let alone stages. So what are we learning from Sapan?
spinoza
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Re: Dagpo Kagyu empowerments

Post by spinoza »

Crazywisdom wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:21 am
PeterC wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:37 pm
spinoza wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:24 am I am not suggesting that SaPan deemed Kagyu empowerments to be invalid. I was referring to SaPan's critique of the Pointing-out instructions that was equated with the fourth empowerment, I'm unsure whether it is referring only to the Sutra Mahamudra, that's why I asked whether Dagpo Kagyu retains the 'Tantric' Mahamudra that has a requirement of the full four empowerments(not only the fourth which is often given as Pointing-out instructions). By tantric I mean what was reffered to as Mahamudra arising from gnosis of the four empowerments of Mantrayana by SaPan. This is also reffered as Upaya path which Gampopa sometimes avoided for his pupils unfit for tantric empowerments to bestow them these tantric instructions, as said in the blue annals.
You’re going to have to cite a specific kagyu instruction manual to define what you mean by “Tantric mahamudra” in kagyu. Citing secondary texts that define the thing they’re criticizing will only lead to confusion. Also if it’s a critique of what Gampopa specifically did, you’ll need a text of Gampopa or PhagDru to describe what he did.

The problem with the polemic literature is that it commonly mistates what the target of attack actually taught.

Others like Conebeckham will know this better than me, but you also won’t find a lot of discussion in kagyu mahamudra manuals around whether pointing out is equivalent to the fourth empowerment, or whether you should receive a major empowerment before practising mahamudra, etc. The view of my main kagyu teachers is yes and yes. But that’s not written in any of the manuals I’ve been taught.
The funny thing is they have not been giving actual first three empowerments since India. There are all symbolic. No actual consort being given. Most of this tantric polêmica is because of speculation upon incomplete information. Amazing it still goes on today. Tantra was meant to be a concrete physical practice with obvious purpose.
The actual empowerments are absent in lay lineages too? Their prohibition among monastics is justifiable but doesn't initiation into Anuttarayogatantras require the complete empowerments? Does any text allow substitutes for actual empowerments or they are done with jñānamudrās?
Malcolm
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Re: Dagpo Kagyu empowerments

Post by Malcolm »

Crazywisdom wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:48 am
Malcolm wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:42 am
Pero wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:49 pm
Sorry, I know this is off topic, but if he had such a big library how come he had a limited exposure to Dzogchen? Or at least so it seems to me if he concluded that is only the result IIRC.
He asserted it was a ye shes. And when I asked ChNN about this in 1992, he said that Sapan was correct. Sapan mentions that he received Dzogchen teachings, but he does not specify which. But certainly he received sems sde in the Khon family lineage.
So why read something we know is wrong? In Dzogchen wisdom is not necessarily brought on by four initiations. The first 3 are worldly. Actual so called gnosis is not dependent on worldly anything. Let alone stages. So what are we learning from Sapan?
Sapan isn’t wrong, on this point. But his position is predicated on certain assumptions
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PeterC
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Re: Dagpo Kagyu empowerments

Post by PeterC »

Crazywisdom wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:21 am
PeterC wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:37 pm You’re going to have to cite a specific kagyu instruction manual to define what you mean by “Tantric mahamudra” in kagyu. Citing secondary texts that define the thing they’re criticizing will only lead to confusion. Also if it’s a critique of what Gampopa specifically did, you’ll need a text of Gampopa or PhagDru to describe what he did.

The problem with the polemic literature is that it commonly mistates what the target of attack actually taught.

Others like Conebeckham will know this better than me, but you also won’t find a lot of discussion in kagyu mahamudra manuals around whether pointing out is equivalent to the fourth empowerment, or whether you should receive a major empowerment before practising mahamudra, etc. The view of my main kagyu teachers is yes and yes. But that’s not written in any of the manuals I’ve been taught.
The funny thing is they have not been giving actual first three empowerments since India. There are all symbolic. No actual consort being given. Most of this tantric polêmica is because of speculation upon incomplete information. Amazing it still goes on today. Tantra was meant to be a concrete physical practice with obvious purpose.
Yeah, I asked a lama when I should offer my consort to him once, he told me not to be so old-fashioned

Though more seriously, in a lot of extensive empowerments these days the vajra master just waves the implements for the first empowerment around, I think a lot of students miss out on important detail as a result. It takes a lot longer but I think there's value in explaining the function and visualization of all the stages.
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conebeckham
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Re: Dagpo Kagyu empowerments

Post by conebeckham »

PeterC wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:23 am
Crazywisdom wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:21 am
PeterC wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:37 pm You’re going to have to cite a specific kagyu instruction manual to define what you mean by “Tantric mahamudra” in kagyu. Citing secondary texts that define the thing they’re criticizing will only lead to confusion. Also if it’s a critique of what Gampopa specifically did, you’ll need a text of Gampopa or PhagDru to describe what he did.

The problem with the polemic literature is that it commonly mistates what the target of attack actually taught.

Others like Conebeckham will know this better than me, but you also won’t find a lot of discussion in kagyu mahamudra manuals around whether pointing out is equivalent to the fourth empowerment, or whether you should receive a major empowerment before practising mahamudra, etc. The view of my main kagyu teachers is yes and yes. But that’s not written in any of the manuals I’ve been taught.
The funny thing is they have not been giving actual first three empowerments since India. There are all symbolic. No actual consort being given. Most of this tantric polêmica is because of speculation upon incomplete information. Amazing it still goes on today. Tantra was meant to be a concrete physical practice with obvious purpose.
Yeah, I asked a lama when I should offer my consort to him once, he told me not to be so old-fashioned

Though more seriously, in a lot of extensive empowerments these days the vajra master just waves the implements for the first empowerment around, I think a lot of students miss out on important detail as a result. It takes a lot longer but I think there's value in explaining the function and visualization of all the stages.
Absolutely, Even the vase empowerment in elaborate form--relating to the five wisdoms, etc. and Buddha Families--is incredibly deep, but hardly ever explained.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")
Crazywisdom
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Re: Dagpo Kagyu empowerments

Post by Crazywisdom »

spinoza wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:24 pm
Crazywisdom wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:21 am
PeterC wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:37 pm

You’re going to have to cite a specific kagyu instruction manual to define what you mean by “Tantric mahamudra” in kagyu. Citing secondary texts that define the thing they’re criticizing will only lead to confusion. Also if it’s a critique of what Gampopa specifically did, you’ll need a text of Gampopa or PhagDru to describe what he did.

The problem with the polemic literature is that it commonly mistates what the target of attack actually taught.

Others like Conebeckham will know this better than me, but you also won’t find a lot of discussion in kagyu mahamudra manuals around whether pointing out is equivalent to the fourth empowerment, or whether you should receive a major empowerment before practising mahamudra, etc. The view of my main kagyu teachers is yes and yes. But that’s not written in any of the manuals I’ve been taught.
The funny thing is they have not been giving actual first three empowerments since India. There are all symbolic. No actual consort being given. Most of this tantric polêmica is because of speculation upon incomplete information. Amazing it still goes on today. Tantra was meant to be a concrete physical practice with obvious purpose.
The actual empowerments are absent in lay lineages too? Their prohibition among monastics is justifiable but doesn't initiation into Anuttarayogatantras require the complete empowerments? Does any text allow substitutes for actual empowerments or they are done with jñānamudrās?
These days it is mostly a blessing ceremony
Crazywisdom
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:48 pm

Re: Dagpo Kagyu empowerments

Post by Crazywisdom »

conebeckham wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:34 am
PeterC wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:23 am
Crazywisdom wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:21 am
The funny thing is they have not been giving actual first three empowerments since India. There are all symbolic. No actual consort being given. Most of this tantric polêmica is because of speculation upon incomplete information. Amazing it still goes on today. Tantra was meant to be a concrete physical practice with obvious purpose.
Yeah, I asked a lama when I should offer my consort to him once, he told me not to be so old-fashioned

Though more seriously, in a lot of extensive empowerments these days the vajra master just waves the implements for the first empowerment around, I think a lot of students miss out on important detail as a result. It takes a lot longer but I think there's value in explaining the function and visualization of all the stages.
Absolutely, Even the vase empowerment in elaborate form--relating to the five wisdoms, etc. and Buddha Families--is incredibly deep, but hardly ever explained.
Touching and looking is pretty common.. the explanations can drag on
sherabpa
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Re: Dagpo Kagyu empowerments

Post by sherabpa »

spinoza wrote: Sun Aug 09, 2020 4:09 pm Does this Kamtsang Mahamudra instruction also accrod with what SaPan calls 'resultant gnosis of the creation and completion stages' after having recieved the four empowerents in highest Yoga tantras? SaPan implies by 'Gnosis [ye shes] risen from initiations' Mahamudra as a knowledge resulting from the four empowerments of Anuttarayogatantras.
It is precisely Sapan's objection that mahamudra is a result, and not a path, so there cannot be a mahamudra 'practice'. Such meditations are the ordinary samatha/vispasyana of the paramitayana tradition or else part of the vajrayana system of the development and completion stages. This rules out what later became called 'essence mahamudra'.

However Situ Panchen explains there is some Indian precedent (e.g. from Jnanakirti) for calling the wisdom of paramitayana 'mahamudra', and he quotes Indrabhuti as stating that the wisdom empowerment should not be preceded by the other three initiations for disciples of the very highest ability. This latter approach is clearly the 'essence mahamudra' (though Situ Panchen does not use this term), and so we can accept that the sutra mahamudra is for 'beginners' as Gampopa intended it, and in fact can lead them to become suitable vessels for the vajrayana of the two stages or of tantric mahamudra, and even possibly essence mahamudra.
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