Tantra

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible in order to double-check alignment to Theravāda orthodoxy.
Individual
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Re: Tantra

Post by Individual » Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:56 pm

Rui Sousa wrote:
Individual wrote:At worst, (left-handed) tantra is outright evil and demonic. If you read some of the tantras, some of them seem to expound wrong views, especially eternalism. In the Kulayarāja Tantra, Samantabhadra essentially makes the same ridiculous utterance of being a creator god, which was previously stated by a Maha-Brahma and refuted, in the Brahmajala Sutta.
:shock: The text excerpts at wikipedia remind of how Brahman is described in the Upanishads.
Tantric Buddhism and Hinduism aren't really very distinct. Both involve an unhealthy, misguided focus on guru devotion, magic, and deity worship, largely the same deities too, although with slightly different names.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra

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Ngawang Drolma.
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Re: Tantra

Post by Ngawang Drolma. » Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:07 pm

Drolma wrote:
Dan74 wrote:Again I wish an experienced Vajrayana practitioner comes and replies properly. But to my (very) limited knowledge, the "need" is in the speed. Tantra is meant to be the quick way because it employs quite radical methods of overcoming the dualistic mind, the deluded clinging mind and realising the Buddha-nature. There is a huge array of techniques - from yogic kind of energy exercises, visuali sations, guru worship, etc etc. They are often risky practices and should be done only under the direction of a competent and reliable Lama.
Dear Dan,

I am a practitioner, but I feel no urge to rush to the defense of tantra. I have so much confidence in this particular path that I feel it needs no defense.

I finally spoke up to correct one little thing ;) Guru Yoga isn't guru worship. In vajrayana nothing is worshipped as in any other school of Buddhism. The guru is seen as a means to access the teachings and pure view, just like everything else is a matter of method. You're quite right though, that it's all about method and pulled out of a substantial context, certain aspects make less sense.

:namaste:
To add, some comments are so outrageous that I wouldn't even know where to begin! Image

Yeshe
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Re: Tantra

Post by Yeshe » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:01 pm

It would be interesting to know if Hindu Tantra did actually precede Buddhist Tantra.

I remember reading somewhere that, for example, Vajrayogini was not derived from Hindu Kalias some suppose, because Vajrayogini appears in texts some 200 years before Kali (as the black Ma Kali emanation of Durga).

Is it not possible that, as both are based in the same culture, both grew together rather than one feeding the other in a linear way?

The NIkayas are not evidence that Buddha taught nothing else. In fact, there is no written record of exactly what he did teach, other than that memorised and later recorded, translated into Pali etc etc. The Pali canon and the Theravada 'elders' were not far ahead in time of the Mahayana 'elders' or Sanskrit texts.

In the end, Tantra is simply a method of training the mind to accept that 'reality' is illusory; and that the use of a Yidam enables us to focus on desirable qualities such as universal compassion . As such it differs hugely from Hindu Tantra as the worship of aspects of God through the pantheon of deities.

I am delighted that there are so many paths which suit those who wish to follow a Buddhist path.
It is fine for someone to claim that a teaching is not in the Nikayas. It is not fine for them to claim: 'Buddha did not teach that'. The foundation of all of the paths is the same, the objective is the same and the fact that they criss-cross and adapt to culture should not result in anyone claiming superiority or pre-eminence;)

Snowmelt
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Re: Tantra

Post by Snowmelt » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:02 pm

Drolma wrote:To add, some comments are so outrageous that I wouldn't even know where to begin! Image
I would rather drop the whole matter now than risk upsetting Drolma. Hmm ... I guess that means that community is sometimes more important to me than "truth". How terrible. :wink:

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clw_uk
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Re: Tantra

Post by clw_uk » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:17 pm

I guess that means that community is sometimes more important to me than "truth". How terrible.

Why is that terrible?




:anjali:
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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gavesako
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Re: Tantra

Post by gavesako » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:19 pm

"Na hi bhikkhave hinena aggassa patti hoti" (Nidana-samyutta)

Monks, there is no attainment of the highest through that which is low.


That says it quite clearly, I think.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

Access to Insight - Theravada texts
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
Dhammatalks.org - Sutta translations

Yeshe
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Re: Tantra

Post by Yeshe » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:25 pm

[/quote]
Tantric Buddhism and Hinduism aren't really very distinct. Both involve an unhealthy, misguided focus on guru devotion, magic, and deity worship, largely the same deities too, although with slightly different names.[/quote]

This post has been reported as sectarian and insulting. The assertion of 'worship' displays an awesome ignorance and intolerance which is not befitting a Buddhist.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Tantra

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:35 pm

I have unlocked this thread per a user's request.

Please be mindful of what you post, even if you strongly disagree with what is said or with a particular schools of Buddhism.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Dan74
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Re: Tantra

Post by Dan74 » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:24 am

Drolma wrote:
Drolma wrote:
I am a practitioner, but I feel no urge to rush to the defense of tantra. I have so much confidence in this particular path that I feel it needs no defense.

I finally spoke up to correct one little thing ;) Guru Yoga isn't guru worship. In vajrayana nothing is worshipped as in any other school of Buddhism. The guru is seen as a means to access the teachings and pure view, just like everything else is a matter of method. You're quite right though, that it's all about method and pulled out of a substantial context, certain aspects make less sense.

:namaste:
To add, some comments are so outrageous that I wouldn't even know where to begin! Image
Dear Drolma,

Thank you for your correction. :namaste:

The reason I posted in the first place is not so much for the sake of people making poorly informed disparaging comments, but for others whose minds are still open.

I restate what I said earlier that anyone who has immersed themselves even only a little into the Tibetan tradition with an open heart cannot fail to appreciate the depth and the subtlety of the teachings and their intimate accord with the Buddha's message.

Of course, there are deviant teachers (like anywhere) and there is plenty of scope for misunderstanding. But we should recognise the limitations where they are, rather than where we may like to project them. And if we are really interested in the truth we should perhaps approach a respected Tibetan teacher and ask them.

_/|\_
Last edited by Dan74 on Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:36 am, edited 2 times in total.
_/|\_

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Dan74
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Re: Tantra

Post by Dan74 » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:45 am

There is a wonderful bit in the autobiography of John Blofeld (a scholar and translator of Chinese Buddhist classics who lived most of his life in China and Thailand) called The Wheel of Life, where he asks a lama four questions concerning his doubts about Tibetan Buddhism (pp.44-48).

Here's a part (the conversation takes place in Canton in early 1930ies):
As for the great pantheon of peaceful and wrathful deities, what are they but emanations from your own minds, corresponding to the noble and evil propensities of your own being? Since Mind alone exists, and since all apparent differentiation between this and that, I and you, is contained within it, where else could the deities reside? The mind of every being is as broad and deep as the cosmos itself. It is the entire cosmos, not a part but the whole - call it what you will. If you cannot understand now, be patient until one day when these words will seem to you no more profound than what children are taught by their village teacher. In this world of the senses where I speak to you, good and evil differ as do sunshine and black night, but mind is above both. Good, evil, lovely, repulsive - all is Mind. The wrathful, blood-drinking deities with their skull-cups and horrid ornaments are as much a part of your mind as the Bodhisattva's Compassionate smile.
_/|\_
_/|\_

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Ngawang Drolma.
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Re: Tantra

Post by Ngawang Drolma. » Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:47 am

Snowmelt, that's really nice, thanks. You won't upset me.
I'm not upset, just concerned about where this discussion is leading. Image


Dan, I know what you're saying and I think it's cool. Thank you very much.
I appreciate your open mind and your respect for traditions outside of your own. :heart:


It would be improper for me to publicly address the points Dave has brought up regarding purification and so forth.
But Dave knows we can talk in private. (If I would just be attentive to emails for once in my life) :hug:


I can't discuss this because I'm not qualified to introduce people to tantra, and if it's discussed outside of a person being properly introduced by a legitimate teacher it can be harmful for a plethora of reasons. This has been evidenced even in this little thread by the comments about vajrayana being evil and demonic. I didn't request that this thread be closed, but I think it was mindful of Tilt to close it. And as far as the deep histories of these traditions I'm certainly not educated enough to compare and contrast! Maybe someone more scholarly than myself else will chime in.

Best wishes for all,
Drolma /\

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tiltbillings
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Re: Tantra

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:44 am

Per participant request I have closed this thread, again.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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