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Schools of Buddhism => Vajrayana => The Tibetan Connection (General) => Topic started by: Melodious Conch on September 07, 2016, 07:11:09 pm

Title: A Glance at the View of Purity in Mantrayana
Post by: Melodious Conch on September 07, 2016, 07:11:09 pm
 :r4wheel:Khenpo Tamgrin Rinpoche:


The Buddha has turned the wheel of the Dharma three times. The second turning of the wheel is called the Dharma-wheel of Signlessness. “Signlessness” refers to the Great Emptiness. The second Dharma-wheel turning talked about the Great Emptiness, determining all phenomena as the Great Emptiness which is beyond the Four Extremes and the Eight Conceptual Elaborations, which is also the essence of Mahayana (Great Vehicle).

The third turning of the wheel of the Dharma is called the Dharma-wheel of Extensive Distinguishment, which also falls under Mahayana. Different from the second one, the third turning mainly talked about the brilliance of TathāGata-garbha. Why is it called “the Dharma-wheel of Extensive Distinguishment”? From the perspective of emptiness, all phenomena from both samsara and nirvana are empty. The emptiness here is the Great Emptiness, not beyond the appearance. Rather than the emptiness only, it is the great emptiness of the union of both appearance and emptiness, and not away from appearance.

As exoteric Buddhism put it, all appearance is illusory and untrue. Appearance can be divided into two types, the appearance of purity and the appearance of impurity. The brilliance of TathāGata-garbha in the Buddha’s third turning of the Dharma-wheel refers to the appearance of purity. From the aspect of the ultimate truth, the appearance of purity does exist. The appearance of impurity, i.e. what we see, hear, sense and know, are all illusory and untrue, and not existing.

The Bodhisattvas above the eighth bodhisattva ground, including the eighth-stage, ninth-stage and tenth-stage Bodhisattva, are all Bodhisattvas of the three pure realms, and their realization is similar to that of the Buddha. Although they have not yet become Buddha, the realization is very close to Buddha’s. What they see is all pure manifestation, the same as what the Buddha sees. From the perspective of appearance, all these pure manifestation do exist; but from the perspective of emptiness, all of these still do not exist. 

The brilliance of TathāGata-garbha in the Buddha’s third turning of Dharma-wheel was mentioned to some extent, but not extensively preached and propagated. From the perspective of emptiness, there is no difference between exotoric and esoteric Buddhism: the views of both are the same. However, from the perspective of appearance, there are pure appearance and impure appearance. Exoteric Buddhism mainly emphasizes that all the impure appearances do not exist and are illusory. In the Buddha’s third turning of the Dharma-wheel, he talked about the brilliance of TathāGata-garbha, which refers to the pure appearance. Mantrayana mainly talks about the pure appearance, i.e. luminosity.

From the perspective of manifestation, all the impure appearances are illusory, untrue and not existing; however, there is also pure appearance, that is what the Bodhisattvas and Buddhas of the three pure realms can see, which also exists in the ultimate meaning. The one the Secret Mantra extensively preaches and propagates is this luminosity.

The Secret Mantra can be divided into inner mantra and outer mantra. Mantrayana emphasizes on purity, but not from the perspective of essence, nor the perspective of emptiness, but from the perspective of manifestation. All the impurities are the manifestation of our mind, and are untrue, but indeed they are pure. Therefore, one who wants to practice Mantra must view all as pure. Those places are pure, those people are pure, and all are pure. The person who can view all as pure can practice Mantra, which is also the realm of Mantrayana.


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