Vajrayana

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Vajrayana

Postby dhamma_newb » Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:29 pm

I am interested in learning more about Vajrayana and have been exploring Dharma Wheel and also looking at posts here regarding Vajrayana.

I keep seeing posts here that state that Vajrayana is Adhamma. Is this true? Is the Vajrayana not the Buddha's Teachings? If so, does that mean that someone like the Dalai Lama is not following the Buddha's Teachings?

Thank you.

:anjali:
The watched mind brings happiness.
Dhp 36

I am larger and better than I thought. I did not know I held so much goodness.
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Re: Vajrayana

Postby d.sullivan » Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:54 pm

I have read books in which the Dalai Lame espouses the Doctrines of the Four Noble Truths, Anatta, Annica, and Nirvana. Since these are the core tenants of Buddhism, I would consider him a Buddhist. Others may disagree, however.
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Every leaf in the forest,
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As beautifully as it was taken up.

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Re: Vajrayana

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:40 am

Greetings DN,

dhamma_newb wrote:I keep seeing posts here that state that Vajrayana is Adhamma. Is this true? Is the Vajrayana not the Buddha's Teachings? If so, does that mean that someone like the Dalai Lama is not following the Buddha's Teachings?

As far as I can gather, there are many flavours of Vajrayana, but none of them seem to give primacy to the earliest strata of Dhamma-vinaya (as found for example in the Sutta Pitaka, Vinaya Pitaka, Chinese Agamas and equivalents in other Canons) which are regarded internally within Vajrayana as “hinayana” (lesser path). So, to start with, that’s what they’re not primarily based upon, even though they're happy to accept such teachings provisionally...

As for what they actually are based on (which I believe they call each sect's "root texts"), that's a question better put to Vajrayana practitioners than to us, lest we unintentionally misrepresent or slander. Personally, I'd reserve the use of the term adhamma for that which gives rise to greed, aversion and delusion, or to suffering spawned from those three factors. Only a practitioner of such a system could tell you whether the system gives rise to such things.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Vajrayana

Postby Durt_Dawg » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:56 am

Upholding Mantras, by recitation with mouth, gesturing with hand Mudras, and visualising with the mind sounds quite legit and are not disupted by Buddhist masters. But some of the practices that involves sex and bodily fluids sounds pretty dodgy to me.
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Re: Vajrayana

Postby dhamma_newb » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:34 am

Thank you all for the replies.

retrofuturist wrote:As far as I can gather, there are many flavours of Vajrayana, but none of them seem to give primacy to the earliest strata of Dhamma-vinaya (as found for example in the Sutta Pitaka, Vinaya Pitaka, Chinese Agamas and equivalents in other Canons) which are regarded internally within Vajrayana as “hinayana” (lesser path). So, to start with, that’s what they’re not primarily based upon, even though they're happy to accept such teachings provisionally...


Why would they think that what the Buddha taught was a lesser path?

retrofuturist wrote:Personally, I'd reserve the use of the term adhamma for that which gives rise to greed, aversion and delusion, or to suffering spawned from those three factors. Only a practitioner of such a system could tell you whether the system gives rise to such things.


I apologize for using the term adhamma incorrectly - I thought it meant teachings that are not the Buddha's Teachings.

:anjali:
The watched mind brings happiness.
Dhp 36

I am larger and better than I thought. I did not know I held so much goodness.
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Re: Vajrayana

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:04 am

Greetings,

dhamma_newb wrote:Why would they think that what the Buddha taught was a lesser path?

A question best put to them...

dhamma_newb wrote:I apologize for using the term adhamma incorrectly - I thought it meant teachings that are not the Buddha's Teachings.

Your use wasn't necessarily incorrect. It's just after having seen the label "adhamma" hurled at things that I believe are "dhamma", I'm hesitant to do likewise, when such statements may be ill-informed.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Vajrayana

Postby dhamma_newb » Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:22 am

Thanks Retro - I appreciate your tact. :smile:
The watched mind brings happiness.
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I am larger and better than I thought. I did not know I held so much goodness.
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Re: Vajrayana

Postby dhamma_newb » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:26 am

I'm reading Indestructible Truth: The Living Spirituality of Tibetan Buddhism (World of Tibetan Buddhism, Vol. 1) by Reginald A. Ray and it's a great intro to Vajrayana. The book answered all of my questions and more.
The watched mind brings happiness.
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Re: Vajrayana

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:51 am

dhamma_newb wrote:I'm reading Indestructible Truth: The Living Spirituality of Tibetan Buddhism (World of Tibetan Buddhism, Vol. 1) by Reginald A. Ray and it's a great intro to Vajrayana. The book answered all of my questions and more.

Of course, then you will want to read Ray's Vol 2 THE SECRET OF THE VARJA WORLD, which is the one that actually deals with Vajrayana.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: Vajrayana

Postby dhamma_newb » Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:15 am

tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma_newb wrote:I'm reading Indestructible Truth: The Living Spirituality of Tibetan Buddhism (World of Tibetan Buddhism, Vol. 1) by Reginald A. Ray and it's a great intro to Vajrayana. The book answered all of my questions and more.

Of course, then you will want to read Ray's Vol 2 THE SECRET OF THE VARJA WORLD, which is the one that actually deals with Vajrayana.


Or course ;)
The watched mind brings happiness.
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I am larger and better than I thought. I did not know I held so much goodness.
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Re: Vajrayana

Postby Alobha » Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:06 am

retrofuturist wrote: Personally, I'd reserve the use of the term adhamma for that which gives rise to greed, aversion and delusion, or to suffering spawned from those three factors. Only a practitioner of such a system could tell you whether the system gives rise to such things.

Not necessarily. If a system contradicts the teachings of the Buddha and states things which are true as untrue or states things which are untrue as true, then this will give rise to delusion and suffering. One doesn't need to practice every system to know what's wrong and what isn't. It's enough when one knows what's right.
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Re: Vajrayana

Postby dhamma_newb » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:53 pm

Alobha wrote:
retrofuturist wrote: Personally, I'd reserve the use of the term adhamma for that which gives rise to greed, aversion and delusion, or to suffering spawned from those three factors. Only a practitioner of such a system could tell you whether the system gives rise to such things.

Not necessarily. If a system contradicts the teachings of the Buddha and states things which are true as untrue or states things which are untrue as true, then this will give rise to delusion and suffering. One doesn't need to practice every system to know what's wrong and what isn't. It's enough when one knows what's right.


What's right for me and what's right for others won't be the same. That's why we have to figure it out for ourselves.
The watched mind brings happiness.
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I am larger and better than I thought. I did not know I held so much goodness.
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Re: Vajrayana

Postby johnny » Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:40 pm

dhamma_newb wrote:I am interested in learning more about Vajrayana and have been exploring Dharma Wheel and also looking at posts here regarding Vajrayana.

I keep seeing posts here that state that Vajrayana is Adhamma. Is this true? Is the Vajrayana not the Buddha's Teachings? If so, does that mean that someone like the Dalai Lama is not following the Buddha's Teachings?

Thank you.

:anjali:



ugh, what a loaded question. i'll try too answer with great tact:

the vajrayana contains an extremely vast variety of teachings. some are very much in line with what the buddha taught.

do they follow the buddhas teachings? almost all of their scriptures came into existence long after the agamas/nikayas of the oldest known buddhist schools. so technically they are not following THE buddhas teachings, as these scriptures were created by others. or not, some say these scriptures came straight from the buddha via some kind of inter-dimensional transference or something and that they actually supersede traditional dhamma. maybe this is true? i don't claim too know. but as far as historians are concerned, they were a later development created by individual buddhist thinkers and schools and a combining of bon and hinduism with buddhism. it's up too the practitioner too decide where they stand. personally i think all schools have good things too teach us and i accept that every school could contain some nonsense. the key is too test it out for yourself. the buddha always invited people too test out the dhamma for themselves. so you can find what works for yourself.

however do they follow the buddhas teachings in spirit? many of them do, very much so! there are many teachings and teachers in vajrayana that teach wonderful things that are in line with the buddhas teachings. and many of the scriptures were written by buddhists and are also very much in line with the traditional teachings and so share the same spirit.

i studied vajrayana for a few years, then zen, and now theravada. vajrayana has a lot too sift through too find simple teachings. for example you could be instructed too worship an ancient tibetan god or a hindu god. this kind of thing is not found in the traditional dhamma. however i have heard these things explained in a way that makes them work for the most part along with the traditional dhamma and even heard it explained as though it's not worship at all but learning too become humble or imbue oneself with the attributes of such and such deity (whether this is a modern idea or not i don't know).

there are thousands of practices and other things too do in vajrayana, many of which are not found in the traditional dhamma. which are wrong and which are right? obviously any that break precepts or are otherwise opposed too the dhamma are wrong. other than that though, there is really no way too tell other than personal experience.

should one practice dream yoga? the buddha certainly never taught it. but i did for years and it helped me understand not self, and impermanence. both of which are core ideas in the dhamma!

should one practice tibetan breathing excersizes too work with prana? the buddha did not teach such things. but i did this for years, and still do it today (although i switched too qigong, but tomato tomato) and found that it makes me have more energy for meditation and i feel healthier in general.

just because they are not found in the traditional dhamma does not make them wrong by any means!

what i do is make sure i have a firm grounding in what the traditional dhamma is, and then i supplement it with practices from other traditions as long as they do not conflict.

i think they can all work together as long as you have a firm base.

and this can go any way you want, you can practice zen and decide that is official and only use methods from other traditions that fit in with it. or make vajrayana your base, or yogacara, or whatever.

or maybe you can just pick one tradition and stick with that completely and use nothing from other styles. perhaps this is a good way too go. who knows?

really it's personal preference in the end. the only ones that are unquestionably incorrect are the practices that break precepts or are otherwise opposed too the spirit of the dhamma/dharma.

finally i'll say:

maybe none of the above is correct in any way.

all i know is that i know nothing.

do a lot of research. a LOT. and then you will be able to come too your own informed decisions on the matter.
The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again.
There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said -and calendars.”
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Re: Vajrayana

Postby bloxgros » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:25 am

Here is some information about tibetan language used for buddhist texts: http://blo-gros.info/index.php?id=tibetan-language

and

the emerging web about Tibetan Buddhism by the book of L.A.Waddell http://www.buddhism-of-tibet.webuda.com/index.php?id=history-buddhism-tibet
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Re: Vajrayana

Postby Dan74 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:39 am

The trouble with doing research in order to find the "best" tradition is that we are looking for a way to clear delusion with a deluded mind - there is really little hope of an objective assessment.

Still, there are some signposts that should perhaps be kept in mind. There are a few pointers here: http://buddhism.about.com/od/findingatempleandsangha/a/teacherfine.htm but I like to pay attention to how the teacher conducts him or herself. A teacher my make us feel uncomfortable because they may not wish to stroke our egos and indulge us, but are they honest, upright, attentive and insightful, concerned with the students' welfare or with their own?

As for actual traditions, well, as long as it is not a new cult of some sort - there are deep and powerful teachings within every major Buddhist tradition.
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Re: Vajrayana

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:04 pm

dhamma_newb wrote:I keep seeing posts here that state that Vajrayana is Adhamma. Is this true? Is the Vajrayana not the Buddha's Teachings? If so, does that mean that someone like the Dalai Lama is not following the Buddha's Teachings?

If you don't accept or trust the answers/replies to all the "posts here that state that Vajrayana is Adhamma," why are you going to respond differently to the answers/replies in this thread? :shrug:

I'm beginning to think that this topic - the relationship between Theravada and Mahayana - needs its own all-encompassing thread like "The Great Vegetarian Debate". There can never be a definitive answer, any more than there can be a definitive answer to the question of whether football is a better game than basketball, and for pretty much the same reasons, i.e. there isa good deal of support for any position you care to take.
Right now we already have
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=13661
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=13659
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=13336 (particularly close to the present topic)
and http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=13588 (locked)
on pretty much the same subject and last posted to within the last week.

:namaste:
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Re: Vajrayana

Postby santa100 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:13 pm

dhamma_newb wrote:
"Is the Vajrayana not the Buddha's Teachings? If so, does that mean that someone like the Dalai Lama is not following the Buddha's Teachings?"

What are the Buddha's Teachings?
"Every evil never doing
and in wholesomeness increasing
and one's heart well-purifying:
this is the Buddhas' Sasana"

So regardless of which tradition a teacher's from: Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana, whoever successfully carry out the above instruction is a follower of the Buddha's Teaching. Just like picking a martial art to learn, don't go for brand name or orthodoxy, go for one that is most suitable to your body frame and strength and will best help you walk out alive and unscathed from a rough situation..
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Re: Vajrayana

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:22 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:I'm beginning to think that this topic - the relationship between Theravada and Mahayana - needs its own all-encompassing thread like "The Great Vegetarian Debate". There can never be a definitive answer, any more than there can be a definitive answer to the question of whether football is a better game than basketball, and for pretty much the same reasons, i.e. there isa good deal of support for any position you care to take.

Excuse the language, but I think that thread would turn into the world's most terrifying shitstorm so fast. I agree in principle though!

I would never go as far as to say that Tibetan Buddhism is adhamma. However, it definitely contains many elements that are not only not Buddhist, but identifiably pre-Buddhist or from parallel cultures that have nothing to do with Buddhism; I would also, in private company, contend that many teachers, both Western and indigenous, have not been rigorous in their scholarship or entirely honest in their presentation of what is and isn't truly Dhamma.

So explore it for sure but be careful. As an above poster said, there's a lot of cultural stuff to sift through before you hit the Dhamma - and when you do, it's basically Theravada, if I can be so bold to insinuate such a thing.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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