Author Topic: Differences between schools...  (Read 2543 times)

Offline ChangYuan

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Differences between schools...
« on: March 31, 2010, 02:07:14 pm »
So, in laymen terms, could someone explain the difference between the different Tibetan schools?
地藏菩萨灭定业真言
OM BA LA MO LING TO NING SVAHA

Yeshe

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Re: Differences between schools...
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2010, 02:15:40 pm »
So, in laymen terms, could someone explain the difference between the different Tibetan schools?


Wiki isn;t a bad start:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibetan_Buddhism

Also check out the Berzin Archives for a  superb online resource for all connected with TB:

http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/

Yeshe

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Re: Differences between schools...
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2010, 02:15:55 pm »
So, in laymen terms, could someone explain the difference between the different Tibetan schools?


Wiki isn;t a bad start:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibetan_Buddhism

Also check out the Berzin Archives for a  superb online resource for all connected with TB:

http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/

Offline santamonicacj

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Re: Differences between schools...
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2010, 09:35:56 am »
So, in laymen terms, could someone explain the difference between the different Tibetan schools?
The Gelugpas put the most emphasis on moral discipline and intellectual foundation before the practice of tantra. The Nyingmapas put the least emphasis on moral discipline and intellectual foundation before tantra--meaning very little. The Kagyupas are closer the Nyinmapas in these respects and the Sakyapas are closer the the Gelugpas. But they all practice tantra, a.k.a. Vajrayana.

The other distinction is that the Nyingma lineage came over the Himalayas earlier than the other traditions. Then there was a time when there was political persecution and the Nyingmas were almost wiped out. After that a second wave of translators and siddhis brought the newer form of the teachings over the Himalayas from India.

Anyway that's the Reader's Digest version.
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

Offline zerwe

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Re: Differences between schools...
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2010, 08:24:57 pm »
Zhentong vs. Rangdong. Start of a new Thread?

Yes, the four main schools share many similarities. This is something I have been investigating too. And, I think I might have found a philosophical point that would seem to separate them in a somewhat profound manner. However, this could just be my novice state of ignorance, and I think I need some help to clarify. There appear to be differing views on the perception of the ultimate nature of reality, mind, and emptiness. The two views are that of “other-emptiness” --Zhentong (gzahn stong or shendong) and “self-emptiness”—Rangdong. Three sources I have checked seem to describe a difference based on the aforementioned views occurring between Gelug (Rangdong/self-emptiness) with some of the other schools adherent to the (Zhentong/other-emptiness) viewpoint. I may be misinterpreting something here, but isn’t “correct view/perception of emptiness” critical to realizing the “Stages to the Path of Enlightenment?”
   
1) In John Powers “A Concise Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism”

Other- Emptiness

‘As we have seen, the doctrine of emptiness figures prominently in Indian and Tibetan Buddhist thought. Questions regarding how emptiness should be interpreted have been a major source of debate between various orders of Tibetan Buddhism, and they continue to generate controversy today.
   The Two most influential factions advocate, respectively, the doctrines of “other-emptiness” (gzhan stong)  and “self-emptiness” (rand stong). The latter position is held by the Gelukpa order, which follows the interpretation of Madhyamaka developed by Tsong Khapa… The Gelukpas deny that there is any enduring substance and hold that all phenomena are collections of parts that are constantly changing due to the influence of causes and conditions.
   According to the other emptiness interpretation, emptiness is the ultimate truth and is conceived as a self-existent, unchanging reality that pervades all phenomena. It is empty of what is other than itself, that is, the mistaken perceptions attributed to it by deluded beings. But it is not void of itself, since it is the final nature of all phenomena…Proponents of other-emptiness claim that it is in fact the repository of all qualities of buddhahood and is inherent in all beings.’

2) Berzin, also points out this difference, but suggests that it is merely a difference in usage of technical terms.
http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/study/comparison_buddhist_traditions/tibetan_traditions/intro_compar_5_traditions_buddhism_bon.html

3) And, Wiki, look especially at the “Criticisms and Controversies.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhentong

So, to restate my main question, “isn’t “correct view/perception of emptiness” critical to realizing the ‘Stages to the Path of Enlightenment?’”

Also, I have spent so much time concentrating on the Gelukpa view on emptiness that I find the “other-emptiness” view hard to understand. Could someone explain this?

Offline catmoon

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Re: Differences between schools...
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2010, 10:46:21 pm »
Sure, but I can't explain it according to fixed doctrines.

Look at a watch.

There is a watch: it is real

However, when you percieve the watch you percieve a great deal more than what is there. For one thing a watch is a collection of little bits of matter, but you perceive it as a single thing. You also tend to percieve as its function, a timekeepeing device. On the emotional side, you may like or dislike the design, wish to own it or wish it would go away, it may remind you of someone you dislike and therefore become stained with that dislike and so on.

All of this stuff is mind created. One style of emptiness is to simply negate the mind generated stuff as unreal. That only leaves the sense perceptions.. some black here, some grey there, perhaps a soft ticking sound and a smoothish feel.

But it goes further. You are isolated from the source of the sense perceptions. Basically there is a relay mechanism in each of your senses that isolates your mind from the source of the sense perceptions - which raises significant doubt if there is really a watch at all, or just something that generates sights and sounds in your mind that correspond to the watch concept.

Nonetheless the watch is real, surely, because if it was totally unreal how could you perceive it? And besides, if it was totally unreal it would contradict the Middle Path principle, and we'd be squarely in the middle of nihilism instead of the path.

It's bit rough around the edges, but it's my current view and probably conflicts with every standard position there is!
Sergeant Schultz was onto something.

Offline DJ Rheus

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Re: Differences between schools...
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2010, 10:50:28 pm »
Jamgon Mipham wrote this excellent piece which describes the differences between all four schools, their flaws and their strong points:
Quote from: Jamgon Mipham
Through the enlightened activity of the victorious buddhas,
And the skilful means of their bodhisattva heirs,
May the four schools of buddhist teachings, old and new,
Successfully transmit their perfect methods of awakening!

The authoritative transmission of sutras, the Gendenpa,
The authoritative transmission of mantra, the Nyingmapa,
The authoritative transmission of exposition, the Sakyapa,
And the authoritative transmission of practice, the Kagyüpa.

The Sakyapas are the masters of learning,
The Gendenpas are the masters of discourse,
The Kagyüpas are the masters of realization,
And the Nyingmapas are the masters of spiritual power.

These are the four marvellous transmissions of the teachings:
The Nyingmapas whose view is beyond all extremes,
The Kagyüpas who persevere in meditation,
The Gendenpas with their perfect conduct,
And the Sakyapas with their regular practice of approach and accomplishment.

Although they all possess infinite qualities,
Each one emphasizes a particular practice.

Nyingmapas chant through their noses,
Sakyapas chant with their lips,
Gendenpas create the melodies mainly in their throats,
And Kagyüpas chant strongly from deep down inside.

The Gendenpas maintain the complete path of scriptural study, so they are like the body of the teachings.
The Sakyapas bring together sutra and mantra approaches, so they are like the eyes of the teachings.
The Kagyüpas bring everything together into the single practice of devotion, so they are like the heart of the teachings.
The Nyingmapas possess the profound key instructions of the tantras and sadhanas, so they are like the life-force of the teachings.

Now for a few words in jest:

The Nyingmapas claim they have a path for accomplishing the level of Vajradhara through the practice of clear light Dzogpachenpo, without the need to rely upon an external consort and so on, and yet the lamas say they must take a wife in order to increase their longevity, improve the clarity of their vision, maintain good health, assist in the revelation of termas and accomplish the welfare of beings. They don’t say that in order to benefit the teachings they should teach and practise! That taking a wife could be a way to benefit the teachings and beings, and a substitute for teaching and practice, and at the same time improve clarity of vision and so on, is, I think, incredible!

The Gendenpas claim the antidote to all the pains of existence is the wisdom which realizes selflessness, and yet when they approach the realization of no-self they are so afraid to let go of this sense of identity that they can not sit still upon their cushions. In the past it was said that the attainment of the path of seeing and the clear experience of selflessness that precedes it are marked by special feelings of joy, so I think this must be a symptom of the current degenerate age!

The Sakyapas make the supreme assertion that one should not place too much emphasis on conduct because inner wisdom is the most important thing, and yet when they recite the Lamdü Hevajra sadhana, they maintain the discipline of never leaving their seats, because to do so would transgress their vow. If they ever did need to get up and do something, they would have to drag their seats behind them, such are their rites of purification and liberation based on time and the physical body. I wonder what would happen to them if they did leave their seats!

The Kagyüpas assert that the Great Mudra is the wisdom which pervades all samsara and nirvana, and yet they think of the word ‘mudra’ as referring to one’s hands. I wonder what such an enormous hand would look like!

Ha ha ha! That was all said in jest.
The teachings of the great masters are rich in meaning,
And each school has its own unique vision and key instructions.

Most followers of the Nyingma school shun the taking of life but think that there is no need to give up women. If they are a genuine yogins, I take refuge in them! But in general this ordinary sexual desire is harmful to the Nyingma teachings, so take care, I pray!

Most followers of the Kagyü school dislike classical exposition and logic, preferring the approach that is based purely on mind and meditation. If they are those in whom realization and liberation are simultaneous, I take refuge! But in general this closed-minded attitude is harmful to the Kagyü teachings and must be abandoned!

Most followers of the Genden school do not see any fault in taking life, but their aggression is harmful to the Genden teachings, so take care, I pray!

Most followers of the Sakya school regard as supreme only those empowerments and instructions they themselves have received and the particular branch to which they belong—be it Sakya, Ngor or Tsar—but this strong prejudice and dogmatism is harmful to the Sakya teachings, so it needs to be abandoned!

Generally, even if one has attachment to one’s own tradition it is important to avoid any antipathy towards other traditions. If we consider just our own tradition, since we are all followers of the Buddha, we can consider that we are all closely related. The different systems of teachings began at the time of Khenpo Shantarakshita, Guru Rinpoche and King Trisong Detsen, and, following the noble traditions of the past, all the schools in Tibet accept the four seals which are the hallmark of the buddhist teachings. We are all equal in this respect, and what is more we all assert the great shunyata free from conceptual elaboration. Not only that, we all accept the mantrayana with its inseparable unity of bliss and emptiness. This means that we are exceptionally close in terms of our view and our tenets.

Other traditions, non-buddhist outsiders and philosophical extremists, who differ even in terms of outer signs and dress, are as numerous as the stars in the night sky, and by comparison we buddhists are as rare as stars in broad daylight. Now, when the buddhist teachings are on the verge of extinction, all who seek to ensure their survival must view one another as the closest of allies. Any feelings of hostility will bring only ruin, so instead we must regard each other with joy, like a mother seeing her only child, or a beggar discovering a priceless treasure.

Having become followers of the same teacher,
May all who are students of these same teachings,
Abandon any hostility and prejudiced views,
And work together with a sense of joy!

Whoever practises in accordance with the true meaning of the teachings,
Be they from one’s own or another tradition, may they gain accomplishment,
So that the four great buddhist schools here within the Land of Snows,
Come to blaze in dazzling splendour with a wealth of Dharma teachings,
And gain complete success and universal victory!

Offline zerwe

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Re: Differences between schools...
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2010, 11:00:18 am »
I think I have found a better explanation. Zhentong doctrine seems to come from Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen Ocean of Definitive Meaning.

The following I have gathered from the section on Experiential Philosophy on the wiki article on Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen.

It is suggested that at one time Gelug=self-emptiness and that some within the three remaining schools adhered to some aspect of "other-emptiness."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolpopa

My conclusions, I think?:

Self—emptiness (rangdong) isn’t a nihilist point of view. The Gelug adhere to Prasangika Madhymaka and this is the middle path that avoids the two extremes. They posit that everything is subject to causes and conditions.

Zehntong posits two views of emptuness and categorizes them Self-emptiness (Gelug view) as “relative truth” and other emptiness “ultimate truth.”

So, Self-emptiness is that all phenomena are impermanent whilst being subject to causes and conditions.
While, other-emptiness believes that there is a type of eternal/unchaneging element in sentient beings in the form of The Buddha within. Dolpopa,, suggests some notion of eternal soul.

It is also mentioned that there are proponents today across many schools who adhere to the zhentong notion of eternal self.

Offline rabten

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Re: Differences between schools...
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2010, 09:16:21 pm »
Jamgon Mipham wrote this excellent piece which describes the differences between all four schools, their flaws and their strong points:
Quote from: Jamgon Mipham
Through the enlightened activity of the victorious buddhas,
And the skilful means of their bodhisattva heirs,
May the four schools of buddhist teachings, old and new,
Successfully transmit their perfect methods of awakening!

The authoritative transmission of sutras, the Gendenpa,
The authoritative transmission of mantra, the Nyingmapa,
The authoritative transmission of exposition, the Sakyapa,
And the authoritative transmission of practice, the Kagyüpa.

The Sakyapas are the masters of learning,
The Gendenpas are the masters of discourse,
The Kagyüpas are the masters of realization,
And the Nyingmapas are the masters of spiritual power.

These are the four marvellous transmissions of the teachings:
The Nyingmapas whose view is beyond all extremes,
The Kagyüpas who persevere in meditation,
The Gendenpas with their perfect conduct,
And the Sakyapas with their regular practice of approach and accomplishment.

Although they all possess infinite qualities,
Each one emphasizes a particular practice.

Nyingmapas chant through their noses,
Sakyapas chant with their lips,
Gendenpas create the melodies mainly in their throats,
And Kagyüpas chant strongly from deep down inside.

The Gendenpas maintain the complete path of scriptural study, so they are like the body of the teachings.
The Sakyapas bring together sutra and mantra approaches, so they are like the eyes of the teachings.
The Kagyüpas bring everything together into the single practice of devotion, so they are like the heart of the teachings.
The Nyingmapas possess the profound key instructions of the tantras and sadhanas, so they are like the life-force of the teachings.

Now for a few words in jest:

The Nyingmapas claim they have a path for accomplishing the level of Vajradhara through the practice of clear light Dzogpachenpo, without the need to rely upon an external consort and so on, and yet the lamas say they must take a wife in order to increase their longevity, improve the clarity of their vision, maintain good health, assist in the revelation of termas and accomplish the welfare of beings. They don’t say that in order to benefit the teachings they should teach and practise! That taking a wife could be a way to benefit the teachings and beings, and a substitute for teaching and practice, and at the same time improve clarity of vision and so on, is, I think, incredible!

The Gendenpas claim the antidote to all the pains of existence is the wisdom which realizes selflessness, and yet when they approach the realization of no-self they are so afraid to let go of this sense of identity that they can not sit still upon their cushions. In the past it was said that the attainment of the path of seeing and the clear experience of selflessness that precedes it are marked by special feelings of joy, so I think this must be a symptom of the current degenerate age!

The Sakyapas make the supreme assertion that one should not place too much emphasis on conduct because inner wisdom is the most important thing, and yet when they recite the Lamdü Hevajra sadhana, they maintain the discipline of never leaving their seats, because to do so would transgress their vow. If they ever did need to get up and do something, they would have to drag their seats behind them, such are their rites of purification and liberation based on time and the physical body. I wonder what would happen to them if they did leave their seats!

The Kagyüpas assert that the Great Mudra is the wisdom which pervades all samsara and nirvana, and yet they think of the word ‘mudra’ as referring to one’s hands. I wonder what such an enormous hand would look like!

Ha ha ha! That was all said in jest.
The teachings of the great masters are rich in meaning,
And each school has its own unique vision and key instructions.

Most followers of the Nyingma school shun the taking of life but think that there is no need to give up women. If they are a genuine yogins, I take refuge in them! But in general this ordinary sexual desire is harmful to the Nyingma teachings, so take care, I pray!

Most followers of the Kagyü school dislike classical exposition and logic, preferring the approach that is based purely on mind and meditation. If they are those in whom realization and liberation are simultaneous, I take refuge! But in general this closed-minded attitude is harmful to the Kagyü teachings and must be abandoned!

Most followers of the Genden school do not see any fault in taking life, but their aggression is harmful to the Genden teachings, so take care, I pray!

Most followers of the Sakya school regard as supreme only those empowerments and instructions they themselves have received and the particular branch to which they belong—be it Sakya, Ngor or Tsar—but this strong prejudice and dogmatism is harmful to the Sakya teachings, so it needs to be abandoned!

Generally, even if one has attachment to one’s own tradition it is important to avoid any antipathy towards other traditions. If we consider just our own tradition, since we are all followers of the Buddha, we can consider that we are all closely related. The different systems of teachings began at the time of Khenpo Shantarakshita, Guru Rinpoche and King Trisong Detsen, and, following the noble traditions of the past, all the schools in Tibet accept the four seals which are the hallmark of the buddhist teachings. We are all equal in this respect, and what is more we all assert the great shunyata free from conceptual elaboration. Not only that, we all accept the mantrayana with its inseparable unity of bliss and emptiness. This means that we are exceptionally close in terms of our view and our tenets.

Other traditions, non-buddhist outsiders and philosophical extremists, who differ even in terms of outer signs and dress, are as numerous as the stars in the night sky, and by comparison we buddhists are as rare as stars in broad daylight. Now, when the buddhist teachings are on the verge of extinction, all who seek to ensure their survival must view one another as the closest of allies. Any feelings of hostility will bring only ruin, so instead we must regard each other with joy, like a mother seeing her only child, or a beggar discovering a priceless treasure.

Having become followers of the same teacher,
May all who are students of these same teachings,
Abandon any hostility and prejudiced views,
And work together with a sense of joy!

Whoever practises in accordance with the true meaning of the teachings,
Be they from one’s own or another tradition, may they gain accomplishment,
So that the four great buddhist schools here within the Land of Snows,
Come to blaze in dazzling splendour with a wealth of Dharma teachings,
And gain complete success and universal victory!


This is really great.  :namaste:

Thanks for sharing it DJ Rheus

Offline santamonicacj

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Re: Differences between schools...
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2010, 09:31:46 pm »

So, to restate my main question, “isn’t “correct view/perception of emptiness” critical to realizing the ‘Stages to the Path of Enlightenment?’”


If you are doing Sutrayana Mahamudra, yes. Then you are investigating and discovering for yourself the self-emptiness of phenomena.

If you are doing Mahamudra as the completion stage of deity yoga, no. The deity already knows the correct view of emptiness and you get to share.


Also, I have spent so much time concentrating on the Gelukpa view on emptiness that I find the “other-emptiness” view hard to understand. Could someone explain this?


That happened to me too. But I like "other-emptiness" because it seems simpler. There is a valid Ultimate Reality. It is empty of anything other than that Ultimate Truth. That is oversimplifying, but like I said, it is good enough to do deity yoga.
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

Offline humanitas

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Re: Differences between schools...
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2010, 08:26:36 pm »
:bigrofl:

I chant through my nose!!
This post was made with 100% recycled karma

Offline catmoon

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Re: Differences between schools...
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2010, 09:05:31 pm »
:bigrofl:

I chant through my nose!!

How you do dat? I tried Om mane padme hum and all I got was "Hyom Hami Hyami Hyum".
Sergeant Schultz was onto something.

Offline zerwe

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Re: Differences between schools...
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2010, 11:00:17 pm »
:bigrofl:

I chant through my nose!!

How you do dat? I tried Om mane padme hum and all I got was "Hyom Hami Hyami Hyum".
HHHhhyyohhmmm??????????? :lmfao:

Offline humanitas

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Re: Differences between schools...
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2010, 08:47:28 pm »
I have no idea!! Jamgon Mipham says Nyingmapas chant through their noses (I've also heard this about how they breathe in meditation... and I'd also heard about someone wanting to know about right/left nostril breathing -- strange stuff if you ask me)... so I guess I chant through my nose!!!

 :lmfao:
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Yeshe Zopa

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Re: Differences between schools...
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2010, 09:15:42 am »
I have no idea!! Jamgon Mipham says Nyingmapas chant through their noses (I've also heard this about how they breathe in meditation... and I'd also heard about someone wanting to know about right/left nostril breathing -- strange stuff if you ask me)... so I guess I chant through my nose!!!

 :lmfao:


Try this:

http://www.holisticonline.com/Yoga/hol_yoga_breathing-ex-nadisodh.htm

but not this  (LOL :)  ):





 


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