Is there an equivalent to Tantra in Theravada Buddhism?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Grigoris
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Re: Is there an equivalent to Tantra in Theravada Buddhism?

Post by Grigoris » Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:49 pm

SarathW wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:03 pm
This is the right view. With that, you had the wrong thoughts instead of right thought (renunciation)
Can someone explain how the wrong thought comes with the right view?
Perhaps not fully comprehending the Dukkha.
:thinking:
How can you have wrong thoughts based on right view? It is not possible.

Perhaps you should not be so judgmental?
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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Grigoris
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Re: Is there an equivalent to Tantra in Theravada Buddhism?

Post by Grigoris » Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:52 pm

SarathW wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:46 pm
So ESSENTIALLY there is no difference between:

desire/compassion
hatred/love
greed/generosity
jealousy/sympathetic joy
ignorance/wisdom
I think this is the wrong view according to Theravada.
This does not fitting to Noble Eightfold Path.
So each of these phenomena has an essential nature? Have you seen it? Care to describe it's shape, colour, sound, texture, smell, etc...

Thank you.
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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Grigoris
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Re: Is there an equivalent to Tantra in Theravada Buddhism?

Post by Grigoris » Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:02 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:48 pm
From my limited understanding of the Buddha's teachings, the training is generally conservative in the sense that it encourages the practitioner of seeing danger is tiniest faults, it acknowledges that we have tendencies and encourage us to go against the grain, it warns us from thinking "it will not happen to me" ...etc
Yes. When one is engaged on the path of renunciation, this is the case. But you asked me to define the tantric path.
The way you introduced the lack of essential nature makes your statement (a phenomena) lacking essential nature hence we are back to square one: There are good Kamma and bad Kamma.
According to the path of renunciation. But you asked me to define the tantric path.
Also what you described as selfless attitude is open to many interpretation. For example, you might encounter a human being or an animal suffering, and you decide to end their lives out of compassion or selflessness. However, this would be against the first precept.
According to the path of renunciation, yes. But not according to the Bodhisattva path. On the Bodhisattva path one does not consider the kamma one will accrue but puts the salving the suffering of all sentient beings first.
Following the precepts is more selfless in my opinion as you adhere to rules or a code of conduct that is external to you. It also leaves less room for "personal opinion" because a rule is a rule.
The rules are not so cut-and -dry. Consider the precept against intoxicants, for example: some include tobacco, others don't.
...and certain actions even if we call them exceptions, can easily turn into a habits (Kamma/slippery slope)
This is very true, that is why on the Bodhisattva path the emphasis is on developing wisdom and compassion.
I can relate to your description of "ignorant fools" because for a long time i tried to justify my indulgence in sensuality by using the three marks of existence and this led me no where except to more entanglement. At least now when/if i break the precepts i don't try to justify my actions but acknowledge my foolishness. The Buddha described the mind as subtle and always getting what it wants.
I am glad that works for you. Generally, it works for me as well. ;) Like I said: The tantric practitioner is bound by all three sets of vows.
Personally, knowing the tendencies of my mind and the vast majority of human beings, i would be careful not to recommend or suggest dangerous practices as a part of Buddhism.
Realisation and enlightenment is only dangerous to ignorance. :)
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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Bundokji
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Re: Is there an equivalent to Tantra in Theravada Buddhism?

Post by Bundokji » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:32 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:02 pm
The way you introduced the lack of essential nature makes your statement (a phenomena) lacking essential nature hence we are back to square one: There are good Kamma and bad Kamma.
According to the path of renunciation. But you asked me to define the tantric path.
My statement referred to simple logic. Your answer reiterated that this is how tantric path is defined without solving the logical dilemma that i raised.

Of course, i don't expect you to defend trantra, but as you understand it better than me, would you explain the above contradiction?
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

SarathW
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Re: Is there an equivalent to Tantra in Theravada Buddhism?

Post by SarathW » Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:22 pm

Perhaps you should not be so judgmental?
Sorry. I am not judgemental but I am trying to help the people going down the wrong path.
I think Thantra is the holding of the snake in its tail.
Tantra is against the Theravada teaching.
Good luck to you anyway.

===========

Then those monks, wishing to dissuade Ari.t.tha from that pernicious view, urged, admonished, questioned and exhorted him thus: "Do not say so, friend Ari.t.tha, do not say so! Do not misrepresent the Blessed One! It is not right to misrepresent him. Never would the Blessed One speak like that. For in many ways, indeed, has the Blessed One said of those obstructive things that they are obstructions, indeed, and that they necessarily obstruct him who pursues them. Sense desires, so he has said, bring little enjoyment and much suffering and disappointment. The perils in them are greater. Sense desires are like bare bones, has the Blessed One said; they are like a lump of flesh, like a torch of straw, like a pit of burning coals, like a dream, like borrowed goods, like a fruit-bearing tree, like a slaughter house, like a stake of swords, like a snake's head, are sense desires, has the Blessed One said.[2] They bring little enjoyment, and much suffering and disappointment. The perils in them are greater."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... el048.html
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Grigoris
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Re: Is there an equivalent to Tantra in Theravada Buddhism?

Post by Grigoris » Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:40 am

Bundokji wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:32 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:02 pm
The way you introduced the lack of essential nature makes your statement (a phenomena) lacking essential nature hence we are back to square one: There are good Kamma and bad Kamma.
According to the path of renunciation. But you asked me to define the tantric path.
My statement referred to simple logic. Your answer reiterated that this is how tantric path is defined without solving the logical dilemma that i raised.

Of course, i don't expect you to defend trantra, but as you understand it better than me, would you explain the above contradiction?
I see your point now.

The explanation is twofold:

1. The logic is that ALL phenomena are ultimately empty.

This includes kamma.

Kamma, as phenomena, have no essential properties. If I asked you to identify the good and bad, in good and bad kamma, would you be able to find and show them to me?

2. In the Mahayana (common and uncommon) the key factor that will determine the outcome of an action (kamma) is motivation. That means that an action based on the correct motivation (selfless, motivated by compassion and wisdom) will not lead to suffering.

Jigten Drukpa of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage has a slightly different view: he believes that specific kamma produce specific outcomes (as per the Pali Canon) but that the vipaka and phala is modified by motivation to the point where the outcome may be insignificant.

In Tantra we believe that the accumulation of merit through wholesome actions is completely necessary, as it provides one with the causes and conditions to truly practice Tantra. Especially in the case of individuals who's mind is not ready for non-dual view 24/7, because if one is not in non-dual view, then the action will DEFINITELY accrue negative outcomes.
Last edited by Grigoris on Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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Grigoris
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Re: Is there an equivalent to Tantra in Theravada Buddhism?

Post by Grigoris » Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:03 am

SarathW wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:22 pm
Sorry. I am not judgemental but I am trying to help the people going down the wrong path.
I think Thantra is the holding of the snake in its tail.
Tantra is against the Theravada teaching.
Good luck to you anyway.
Yes you are.

Firstly you judge Tantra as the "wrong" path.
Secondly you judge Tantra as being against Theravada teachings.
Thirdly you judge me, by considering that for some reason I need "good luck". Like my decision is not rational and predicated on choice (kamma), but based on some non-existent force called "luck".
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

SarathW
Posts: 10371
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Is there an equivalent to Tantra in Theravada Buddhism?

Post by SarathW » Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:19 am

Yes you are.
Ok.
Considering the fact my knowledge in Tantra is much inferior to yours I will keep an open mind in this.
:group:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Is there an equivalent to Tantra in Theravada Buddhism?

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:33 am

Greetings Grigoris,
Grigoris wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:03 am
Secondly you judge Tantra as being against Theravada teachings.
You've provided nothing that suggests it is otherwise.
Grigoris wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:03 am
Thirdly you judge me, by considering that for some reason I need "good luck". Like my decision is not rational and predicated on choice (kamma), but based on some non-existent force called "luck".
Now, now... isn't that a slightly picky way to respond to another's well wishes?

:focus:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Is there an equivalent to Tantra in Theravada Buddhism?

Post by Grigoris » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:02 am

SarathW wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:38 am
I had my first lesson in Tantra.
I hope I got the right Guru.
:jumping:
Are you here to have an intelligent discussion or are you here merely to judge and mock?

I practice Buddhist Tantra, if you want to follow hot New Age babes, then maybe you should check your desire?
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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Bundokji
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Re: Is there an equivalent to Tantra in Theravada Buddhism?

Post by Bundokji » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:15 am

Grigoris wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:40 am
The explanation is twofold:

1. The logic is that ALL phenomena are ultimately empty.

This includes kamma.

Kamma, as phenomena, have no essential properties. If I asked you to identify the good and bad, in good and bad kamma, would you be able to find and show them to me?

2. In the Mahayana (common and uncommon) the key factor that will determine the outcome of an action (kamma) is motivation. That means that an action based on the correct motivation (selfless, motivated by compassion and wisdom) will not lead to suffering.

Jigten Drukpa of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage has a slightly different view: he believes that specific kamma produce specific outcomes (as per the Pali Canon) but that the vipaka and phala is modified by motivation to the point where the outcome may be insignificant.

In Tantra we believe that the accumulation of merit through wholesome actions is completely necessary, as it provides one with the causes and conditions to truly practice Tantra. Especially in the case of individuals who's mind is not ready for non-dual view 24/7, because if one is not in non-dual view, then the action will DEFINITELY accrue negative outcomes.
Thanks Grigoris for the explanation.

The first point, in theory, is not different from Theravada as i understand it, and yet, Theravada would never draw the same conclusions as per your previous post, that is:
So ESSENTIALLY there is no difference between:

desire/compassion
hatred/love
greed/generosity
jealousy/sympathetic joy
ignorance/wisdom
The only way to solve this contradiction is to see the three marks of existence as "descriptive" not "prescriptive". What is "prescriptive" is the training in morality.

The second point is also similar to Theravada as i understand it, but again, Theravada do not draw the same conclusions. In Theravada, when i break a precept regardless of my intention, the precept is broken and i bear the fruit of my own Kamma (which could be a good Kamma, but this is a different matter altogether). This point of emphasis in Theravada of a great importance in my opinion as it wisely distinct between the actions of the individual and the doctrine. This distinction is somehow blurred in Tantra if i understand your description of it correctly.

The distinctions made in Theravada in the above two points is what keeps a religion/doctrine safe from the whims of individuals, which brings us back to the original point of discussion between you and other members on this thread: can Tantra be considered Buddhism? I personally fail to see how it could be.

Thanks
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Re: Is there an equivalent to Tantra in Theravada Buddhism?

Post by Grigoris » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:17 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:33 am
You've provided nothing that suggests it is otherwise.
It is not the subject of the discussion. I have veered far enough off-topic by giving explanations of what Tantra is. I did not start this thread either, I just entered it (with good will) to provide some clarification. I am not interested in Tantra vs Theravada arguments, as I am not a sectarian. I fully recognise the place of renunciation in liberation. Nobody here is compelled to agree with, or follow, Tantra but there is no reason to act like asses either. People should (as the Pali Canon teaches) check their aversion/hatred. If people want to preach the supremacy of their path, then their actions should be in accord with it. Otherwise we are just being hypocrites (and there is too much of that going around without us having to add to it).
Now, now... isn't that a slightly picky way to respond to another's well wishes?
Is it really necessary to encourage sectarianism? Do you consider the sectarian attitude a positive attitude? To me it seems that sectarianism is based on the poisons of attachement (to our view) and aversion (to the other view) based mainly on ignorance (of both views). Hardly Right Action...
Last edited by Grigoris on Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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Re: Is there an equivalent to Tantra in Theravada Buddhism?

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:22 am

Greetings Grigoris,
Grigoris wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:17 am
I am not interested in Tantra vs Theravada arguments, as I am not a sectarian.
That's nice. Good also of you to admit that Tantra is not Theravada.
Grigoris wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:17 am
Nobody here is compelled to agree with, or follow, Tantra but there is no reason to act like asses either.
Once more, I agree with you...
Terms of Service wrote:3. Action

The following actions are not permitted at Dhamma Wheel:

i. Proselytizing or evangelizing other spiritual paths
Off-topic meta-discussion has been ignored.

:focus:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Is there an equivalent to Tantra in Theravada Buddhism?

Post by Grigoris » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:42 am

Bundokji wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:15 am
The second point is also similar to Theravada as i understand it, but again, Theravada do not draw the same conclusions. In Theravada, when i break a precept regardless of my intention, the precept is broken and i bear the fruit of my own Kamma (which could be a good Kamma, but this is a different matter altogether). This point of emphasis in Theravada of a great importance in my opinion as it wisely distinct between the actions of the individual and the doctrine. This distinction is somehow blurred in Tantra if i understand your description of it correctly.
It is not really blurred. The Bodhisattva Path takes countless kalpa to complete, exactly because the Bodhisattva (on their path to assuage the suffering of sentient beings) will engage in activities that may lead to them accruing the causes of rebirth.

On the Bodhisattva Path there are three types of motivation/aspiration:

King-like bodhicitta - to aspire to become a Buddha first in order to then help sentient beings.
Boatman-like bodhicitta - to aspire to become a Buddha at the same time as other sentient beings.
Shepherd-like bodhicitta - to aspire to become a Buddha only after all other sentient beings have done so.

The path of renunciation fits into the first category.

Now we have to be careful of another point here: positive kamma vipaka can also act as a cause for rebirth in samsara (under positive circumstances), if done with a self-centered attitude.

A tantric practitioner also views the samsara/Nibbana dichotomy as yet another instance of dualistic view. So by taking and maintaining a non-dual view, one can be liberated here and now rahter than accruing positive kamma vipaka for future liberation.
The distinctions made in Theravada in the above two points is what keeps a religion/doctrine safe from the whims of individuals...
Which is why the cultivation of wisdom and compassion are so important.
which brings us back to the original point of discussion between you and other members on this thread: can Tantra be considered Buddhism? I personally fail to see how it could be.
I don't think that is the point of the other members, I think their point is that only Theravada is Buddhism.

Of course Buddhist Tantra is Buddhist, as it does not contradict the Three Marks (or the Four Dharma Seals).
Last edited by Grigoris on Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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Grigoris
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Re: Is there an equivalent to Tantra in Theravada Buddhism?

Post by Grigoris » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:45 am

Terms of Service wrote:3. Action

The following actions are not permitted at Dhamma Wheel:

i. Proselytizing or evangelizing other spiritual paths
I am neither proselytising nor evangelising, I am discussing.

I am not interested in converting anybody to anything, I am interested in clearing up misconceptions.

If SarathW really believes that the video he posted is a valid definition of Buddhist Tantra, then he is seriously deluded.

If people want to make decisions and form opinions based on mistaken ideas, that is their problem, not mine. I am just clarifying the reality of what Buddhist Tantra is.
Last edited by Grigoris on Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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