Bön Mother Tantra

Discussion of the fifth religious tradition of Tibet.
Post Reply
User avatar
kalden yungdrung
Posts: 4606
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:40 pm

Bön Mother Tantra

Post by kalden yungdrung » Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:58 pm

Tashi delek,

Bön has a Mother Tantra, where the Natural State a term used in Bön Dzogchen is already in the beginning explained.
Further interesting are the 6 Yogas which seems to have similarities with the 6 Yogas of Naropa.
These 6 Yogas are an excellent practise which i practised already a long time ago, when i was busy in Shangpa Kagyud.
In the Shangpa Kagyud it were mainly the 6 Yogas of Niguma. For me personal the best what i ever have learned in Vajrayana were these 6 Yogas.


The Bön Secret Mother Tantra is first divided into 3 parts:

- base (gzhi
- path (lam)
- fruit ('bras),

which are subdivided into 6 parts each, altogether making 18 steps that the practitioner should pursue in order to attain liberation.
In the 1985 edition, the first 3chapters are the 3 Root Tantras, and chapter 4 (nga), as was discussed earlier, is what Martin calls the historical preface.

Then, the text is divided as follows:

I- The commentary of the 6 facets of the base:
1- "The Total-base of the spontaneously-manifested wisdom teachings" (Kun gzhi ye shes Ihun grub bstan pa), which is an explanation of the introduction to the Natural State (chapter 5).
2- "The Appearing-base of the spontaneously-manifested 3 [enlightened] dimensions" (Snang gzhi sku gsum Ihun grub), of truth dimension
- (bön sku, dharmakaya)
- perfected dimension (rdzogs sku, sambhogakaya)
- manifested dimension (sprul sku, nirmanakaya) (ch. 6).
3- "The Empty-base of the spontaneously-manifested 4 [enlightened] dimensions" (Stong gzhi sku bzhi Ihun grub), where the 4 dimensions are explained in 4 different chapters in terms of
- channels (rtsa, nodi)
- vital breath (rlung, prana)
- [essential] sphere (thig le, bindu)
- performance (spyod pa, bhoga or carya),
each explained in a different chapter (ch. 7 to 10 respectively).
4- "The Scriptural-base of the spontaneously-manifested 4 empowerments" (Lung gzhi dbang bzhi Ihun grub):
- external (phyi bo)
- internal (nang ba)
- secret (gsang ba)
- esoterical or ultra-secret (yang gsang ba) (ch. 11).
5- The Meaning-base of the spontaneously-manifested view and conduct" (Don gzhi Ita spyod Ihun grub), where instructions for familiarizing oneself with methods for stabilization practice (zhi gnas) are given (ch. 12).
6- The Activity-base of the spontaneously-manifested deed (Las gzhi 'phrin las Ihun grub) (ch. 13).

Chapter 14 relates the history of the lineage.

II- The 6 parts of the path are:
1- The path of Accumulation (Tshogs lam,) (ch. 15).
2- The path of Union (sByor lam) (ch 16).
3- The path of Seeing (Thong lam) (ch. 17).
4- The path of Meditation (sCom lam) (ch. 18 to 22).

The path of meditation comprises 6 methods or "6 principles of expediency" (lam khyer drug), which are "only with some difficulty compared with the 6 Dharmas of Naropa."

The 6 principles of expediency are:
• The expedient use of Means, devoted mainly to the channels and vital breath, which corresponds to " the sphere of the Elements" (Byung ba'i thig le) (ch. 18).
• The expedient use of Dream (rmi lam) which corresponds to "the sphere of Self-ness" (bDag nyid thig le) (ch. 19).
• The expedient use of Fear, which is the practice of cho or practice of fearful places (gnyan sa lam), which corresponds to "the sphere of Accumulation" (Tshogs gyi thig le) (ch. 20).
• The expedient use of Projection ('pho ba) which corresponds to "the sphere of Accomplishing" (Grub pa'i thig le) (ch. 21).
• The expedient use of Death which explains the after-death intermediate states (bar do) and corresponds to "the sphere of Abiding" (gNas gyi thig le). Its commentary has been missing since its re-discovery by Guru Nontse.
• The expedient use of Sleep (gnyid pa lam khyer) which corresponds to "the sphere of Clarity" (gSal ba'i thig le) (ch. 22).

Some of the 6 methods correspond to the ones of Naropa and others do not, chöd is not part of the 6 dharmas of Naropa.

5- The path of Freedom (Thar lam,) (ch 23).
6-The path of Ripening and Liberation (sMin grol lam) (ch 24 and 25).
These 6 parts of the path of meditation are also the second to the seventh grounds (sa, bhumi) of the path of a bodhisattva,
- where the path of seeing is the first,
- the path of freedom the eight,
- the path of ripening the ninth,
- the path of liberation the tenth.

The 6 parts of the fruit are:
1- The fruit of Excellence (mChog 'bras).
2- The fruit of Meaning (Don 'bras).
3- The fruit of [Practice] Session (Thun 'bras).
4- The fruit of Nature (Ngang 'bras).
5- The fruit of Space (kLong 'bras).
6- The fruit of Non-existence (Med 'bras).

The 18 together are the deep teachings of exalted liberation (rnam grol). As seen above, cho is the third practice among the 6 principles of expediency: the expedient use of fear.

When divided as the 45 wisdom spheres, chöd is the twenty-second, the sphere of accumulation, where wisdom is perfected in accomplishment or realization (thig le ye shes grub la rdzogs).

The inclusion of chöd within the 6 methods seems to be unique to the Bön system. Chöd is also found in an abbreviated form in the main
practice of the Secret Mother Tantra, the Threefold Practice of the Authentic Wisdom (dGongs spyod rnam gsum), which refers to the practice of the - - teacher (bla ma),
- tutelary deity (yi dam)
- skygoer.

In the third, the skygoer (as an aspect of oneself) comes out and chops one's body, liberating the meditator "from the bonds of all grasping at reality," while the latter performs the chopping gesture (phyag rgya, mudra).

This practice is found in the chapter of the path of Freedom.

The base represents:
- the view
- the path the practice
- the fruit the result.

The importance of the path lies in the explanation of how and what practices should be done. In particular, the path of meditation offers the 6 methods corresponding to the 6 skygoers who guard the practices of the path, among which chöd is the third, and is represented by the red skygoer Tshog gyi Dagmo.
The best meditation is no meditation

Post Reply

Return to “Bön”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests