Empowerments

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dolphin_color
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Empowerments

Post by dolphin_color » Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:28 am

What is the role that empowerments play in the Gelug tradition? Can I read the Lamrim Chenmo and associated literature without an empowerment (on my own), and attempt to put its principles into practice? Frankly, I'm not very clear on what an empowerment accomplishes. I'd appreciate any clarification you can provide.

stevie
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Re: Empowerments

Post by stevie » Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:03 am

I have googled for you and voila:
An empowerment is a ritual in Vajrayana which initiates a student into a particular tantric deity practice.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empowerment_(Vajrayana)

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Eusebius
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Re: Empowerments

Post by Eusebius » Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:40 am

Of course you can read the Lamrim Chenmo, since it is a comprehensive collection of "sutra" (exoteric) teachings, as opposed to tantra.
Reputable publishers (Wisdom, FPMT, etc.) are usually good about stating in the front of books whether an empowerment or a specific teaching is required _to do a meditation practice_. In terms of what we like to call "View" (philosophy) there are generally no restrictions. Sometimes in certain lineages there are very advanced texts on emptiness that might require permission or empowerment (I'm thinking of a specific example in Drikung Kagyu here). The confusion may come from the practice of doing a reading transmission of non-tantric root texts by a lama who holds the teaching lineage for that text--which to me seems more of a blessing than a requirement. As always check, verify, test ... & ask a qualified lama for specifics.

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Lobsang Chojor
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Re: Empowerments

Post by Lobsang Chojor » Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:05 pm

dolphin_color wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:28 am
What is the role that empowerments play in the Gelug tradition?
Empowerments in the Gelug tradition serve the same purpose as in all the Tibetan traditions, that is essentially permission to practice the deity, His Holiness the Dalai Lama says "When an empowerment is conferred on you, it is the nature of your mind—the buddha nature—that provides a basis upon which the empowerment can ripen you. Through the empowerment, you are empowered into the essence of the buddhas of the five families. In particular, you are ‘ripened’ within that particular family through which it is your personal predisposition to attain buddhahood."
Can I read the Lamrim Chenmo and associated literature without an empowerment (on my own), and attempt to put its principles into practice? Frankly, I'm not very clear on what an empowerment accomplishes. I'd appreciate any clarification you can provide.
The Lamrim Chenmo is a sutric text so can be read by anyone and the meditations associated can be done by anyone, there are some good books out there giving meditation instructions based on the Lam Rim, especially by the FPMT.
"Morality does not become pure unless darkness is dispelled by the light of wisdom"
  • Aryasura, Paramitasamasa 6.5
ༀ་ཨ་ར་པ་ཙ་ན་དྷཱི༔ Oṃ A Ra Pa Ca Na Dhīḥ

dolphin_color
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Re: Empowerments

Post by dolphin_color » Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:12 am

Thanks.

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