vajrayana

Vajrayana (Devanagari: वज्रयान; Oriya: ବଜ୍ରଯାନ, Tibetan: རྡོ་རྗེ་ཐེག་པ་, rdo rje theg pa; Mongolian: Очирт хөлгөн, Ochirt Hölgön, Chinese: 密宗, mì zōng) is also known as Tantric Buddhism, Tantrayāna, Mantrayāna, Secret Mantra, Esoteric Buddhism and the Diamond Vehicle. Vajrayana is a complex and multifaceted system of Buddhist thought and practice which evolved over several centuries.

According to Vajrayana scriptures Vajrayana refers to one of three vehicles or routes to enlightenment, the other two being the Theravada and Mahayana.

Its main scriptures are called TantrasA d. istinctive feature of Vajrayana Buddhism is the use of rituals, which are Skillful Means (Upaya). They are being used as a substitute or alternative for the earlier abstract meditations.

Karmapa on ‘Definite Emergence’

KARMAPA

SOURCE – After the initial introduction, His Holiness turned to the topic of renunciation, or “definite emergence”—the clear understanding that all samsara, or cyclic existence, is suffering in nature, and the wish to definitely emerge from that. The Gyalwang Karmapa cautioned against assuming samsara is something external and separate from us. Samsara includes not only the world around us, but also exists within us and is produced by our own troubled emotional state. Addressing the largely Western audience, His Holiness noted that there is a tendency to confuse subtle forms of suffering with pleasure. As a result, we end up exerting ourselves greatly, chasing more suffering. Quoting the 8th Gyalwang Karmapa, His Holiness stated that all authentic independence is happiness, while all lack of freedom is suffering. He went on to explain that this authentic independence is something to be cultivated and an attitude that can be developed, focusing on freedom from karmic cause and effect and emotional disturbances.

Gyalwang Karmapa’s Teaching on “Three Primary Elements of the Path”

Karmapa 17

Compiled from { kagyumonlam.org }

Day 1

December 21, 2012

Introductory remarks

The grand Monlam Pavilion, with seating for about 10,000 monks and laypeople, is ablaze with colour in the darkness of early morning. Metal beams spanning the great height of the ceiling are draped with red and gold pleated banners giving an impression of sun rays beaming from Mount Kailash at the back of the stage.

It creates an eloquent statement about both the Buddhist tradition and the Kagyu lineage which the Karmapa uses to great effect in making his opening remarks. The theme that weaves throughout the talk is the essential unity of Buddhist schools and the destructiveness of schisms. Mount Kailash – sacred to 3 Eastern religions- towers above all.

The main teaching of the Monlam is Je Tsong Khapa’s Three Primary Elements of the Path. This particular text was chosen for the Monlam because the commentary is by the first Jamgon Kongtrul, Lodro Thaye, and the 30th Monlam is dedicated to the Kongtrul lineage. Lodro Thaye set a precedent as the Rime [non-sectarian] master who broke through the barriers of Tibetan sectarianism in the nineteenth century.

To introduce the teaching, the Karmapa explained the connection between the Karmapas and Je Tsong Khapa, “the king of dharma”. In an historic meeting on his way to China (or on the way back) the 4th Karmapa, Rolpe Dorje met a child whom he recognised. He predicted “this boy will become like a second Buddha”, gave him the Upasaka vows and a name, Kunga Chenpo. The child was Tsong Khapa.

Through the blessing of Manjushri, Tsong Khapa had a special experience and realised the Madhyamika view coming from Nagarjuna. He also held the lineage of Atisha and practised the Vinaya to such perfection that no one could dispute his conduct; although some people disputed his view of Madhyamika. “He was a great master,” said the Karmapa. The three primary elements of the path are renunciation, bodhicitta and right view. These three elements are the foundation for even crossing the threshold of either sutra or mantra.

“The most important way of honouring the great masters is to understand their experiences and try to practice what they have taught. There is no better way to honour the teacher. Jamgon Kongtrul wrote countless books and out of them all, this one is very useful.”

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The Three Primary Elements of the Path

Chenrezig

PDF } By the Great Lord Tsongkhapa, King of Dharma // Translation from Tibetan by Ivonne Prieto Rose 

I prostrate to the venerable masters, the lamas!

1. As far as I am able, I shall explain
The essential meaning of all the excellent teachings of the Buddha,
The path acclaimed by genuine bodhisattvas,
The route for the fortunate who yearn for freedom!

2. Those unattached to the pleasures of existence,
Who strive to make the freedoms and assets meaningful,
Fortunate ones with confidence in the path that delights the Buddha—
Listen with sincere faith!

3. Other than pure renunciation, there is no way to pacify
The quest for happy results in the ocean of samsaric existence.
Because lust for existence completely shackles all creatures,
From the very start, pursue renunciation.

4. Habituating the mind to the rarity of the freedoms and assets and that in life there is no time to waste
Reverses preoccupation with this life.
Repeatedly contemplating the unerring process of action and result and the sufferings of samsara
Reverses preoccupation with future lives.

5. Accordingly, when, due to habituation, the prosperity of samsara
Does not elicit even a moment’s longing,
And the mindset that strives for freedom at all times, day and night, emerges,
At that point, renunciation has indeed arisen.

6. Nevertheless, if renunciation is not embraced by bodhicitta,
It will not serve as the cause
For the bliss of perfect and complete unsurpassed enlightenment.
Therefore, the wise generate the supreme mind of awakening.

7. Carried off by the raging currents of the four rivers,
Bound by the tight fetters of karma, so hard to undo,
Enmeshed in the iron net of self-clinging,
Completely shrouded in the pitch-black darkness of ignorance, 8. Tormented by the three sufferings without respite
Through birth after birth in the infinite round of existence—
Such is the condition of your mothers!
Contemplating their plight, rouse the supreme motivation!

9. Lacking the prajna that realizes the basic nature,
Even if habituated to renunciation and bodhicitta,
One is powerless to sever the roots of cyclic existence.
Therefore, exert yourself in the methods for realizing interdependence.

10. Whoever sees that cause and result never errs
In the context of all the phenomena of samsara and nirvana
Vanquishes all conceptual reference points whatsoever.
Such a one engages the path that delights the buddhas.

11. The unerring interdependent arising of appearances
And emptiness free of assertions—
As long as you experience these two understandings independently,
You have not yet realized the intent of the Buddha.

12. Eventually they are simultaneous rather than alternating,
Such that, at the mere glimpse of undeceiving interdependence,
Certainty subdues all conceptual perspectives regarding objects.
That is when you have indeed perfected the analysis of view.

13. In addition, when appearances eradicate the extreme of existence,
Emptiness eliminates the extreme of nonexistence,
And you know how emptiness manifests as cause and result,
You will not be captivated by extreme views.

14. When you have accurately realized the key points
Consisting of the three primary elements of the path in this way,
Take up solitude, my child, exerting yourself mightily
To swiftly accomplish the ultimate aim!

 

The extremely learned monk, the glorious Lobsang Drakpa, taught this to Ngawang Drakpa, a leader of the  Tsakpo region.  

 

Travelling the Path of Compassion (17)

Even if another were to cut off our head
Though we had not the slightest fault,
To take on their negativity
With compassion is the practice of a bodhisattva.

 Ngulchu Thogme Zangpo

Lama Zopa Rinpoche // “We are living life in a total hallucination”

Lama Zopa Rinpoche, with fading health, gives a mind blowing teaching on the nature of reality.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

“I, action, object, and all phenomenon, have enlightenment nirvana – the whole thing all phenomenon and materiality, comes from phenomenon. Showing what reality is comes in meditation.

“When you encounter problems in daily life, our minds should be aware … the entire thing we believe, action, going coming, sleeping, eating, money, the whole thing is a hallucination. It appears truly existent and it is believed, it appears real, though we are living life in a total hallucination.

“There is no real present or a real ‘I’, that is a hallucination. Illusion of money and food is an illusion. It’s really fascinating, fantastic, you really enjoy, this is the best TV or movie, the best scenery, everything is totally interesting.

“So in our busy life, meditation on emptiness is the very heart of Buddhism.

Jamgön Kongtrül on the view of Mahāmudrā

Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye

(Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thaye)

Since in the view of mahāmudrā
Analysis does not apply,
Cast mind-made knowledge far away.
Since in the meditation of mahāmudrā
There is no way of fixating upon a thought,
Abandon deliberate meditation.
Since in the action of mahāmudrā
There is no reference point for any action,
Be free from the intension to act or not.
Since in the fruition of mahāmudrā
There is no attainment to newly aquire,
Cast hopes, fears, and desires far away.

Homage to Mahamudra

The First Panchen Lama Lozang Chokyi Gyeltsen(SOURCE)The Main Road of the Triumphant Ones

The First Panchen Lama Lozang Chokyi Gyeltsen

Namo mahamudraya: Homage to mahamudra, the great seal of reality.

I respectfully bow at the feet of my peerless guru, lord of that which pervades everywhere, master of those with actual attainment, who expounds the all-pervasive nature of everything, the great seal of reality, mahamudra, inseparable from the diamond-strong sphere of mind that is beyond speech. Gathering together the essence of the sutras and tantras and condensing oceans of guideline instructions, I shall write some advice concerning mahamudra from the Gelug/Kagyü tradition, deriving from the pioneering fatherly Dharmavajra, a mahasiddha with supreme actual attainment, and his spiritual offspring. Continue reading

Everyday, think as you wake up…

20120926-002002.jpg(Dalai Lama)
Everyday, think as you wake up, ‘today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.’

The Four Yogas of Mahamudra

(SOURCE) – In the Profound Secret Letters of the Four Stages of Yoga it says:

The sport of lions is the samadhi of unwavering single pointedness, which is the quintessence of the clarity of consciousness and awakens one to the self-cognizing wisdom within. Second, the samadhi that is the simplicity of the great natural state dispels illusion. The arising of this inconceivable samadhi is an indication of having obtained the power of the stage of heat. Third, by the samadhi of one taste, the ten bodhisattva stages are achieved and one courageously liberates all beings. As a child of the Victorious Ones of the three times one benefits others. Having achieved this pinnacle, qualities constantly increase. Fourth, by exerting oneself in the vajra-like samadhi one implements the stage of non-meditation. With the non-conceptual primordial wisdom of a Buddha one sees the exalted realms of the buddha fields. One obtains the unsought, but spontaneously present, supreme qualities, the great sphere. So it is said.

The Magic Life of Milarepa

(SOURCE : Life of Milarepa)
Mila Sherab Gyaltsen, Milarepa’s father, married Nyangtsa Kargyen,the noble family of Nyang, when he was 21. The couple lived happily and prosperously in the village of Kya Ngatsa. Then some relatives of Mila’s grandfather – an uncle named Yungdrup Gyaltsen and an aunt named Khyung Tsha Pedon – moved to the area. By then, Mila’s family had been settled there a long time and had an impressive house, considerable land and a thriving business in trade.

While Nyangtsha Kargyen was pregnant with Milarepa, her husband went away on a long trading tour, and during his absence the child was born. A messenger was sent to find the father and inform him that he had a new son, asked him to give a name and to return for a festival. His father was filled of joy and named the boy as ‘ Töpa Ga’. ‘ Töpa’ means to hear, and ‘Ga’ means happy or joyous, so his name meant ‘ Milarepa, a Joy to Hear or Milarepa Good News.’ After a while, the father returned home and gave a big celebration in honour of their son.

At the age of four, his mother gave a birth to a girl who was named Peta Gonkyi. When Milarepa was seven years old, his father, Sherab Gyaltsen, became very sick. Realizing that he was not going to recover from his illness, he called together all the relatives for a meeting, including Yungdrung Gyaltsen and Khyung Tsha, the uncle and aunt.

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