Author Topic: Tantric Ethics  (Read 4518 times)

Yeshe

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Re: Tantric Ethics
« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2010, 02:47:11 am »
Once we are self-generated as the deity, we are no longer the monk or lay practitioner to whom the vows applied.  So if as the deity we drink alcohol and have sex with a consort, presumably we are permitted to do so.  Is that the 'getout clause' in the vows which the unscrupulous may exploit?

Deluded actions are deluded no matter how one visualizes or considers oneself. If someone is unscrupulous, their motivations and view will be unscrupulous, so their actions will be unscrupulous, and the fruit will resemble the cause. But to answer your question more specifically, no, that is not a valid loophole. Celibate practitioners are to be celibate, Vajrayana or not. The text I mainly follow for the three levels of vows, "Ascertaining the Three Vows" by Ngari Panchen, with contemporary commentary by the late Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, spells out very specifically the level of realization and accomplishment necessary for sex to no longer be considered "sex" by a monk. Let's just say it's quite an extraordinary level. However, Tibetan custom is typically that despite having the requisite realization, a monastic lama who feels it would be beneficial for him to practice in a non-celibate way would respectfully offer back his monastic vows and become a ngakpa. I know this custom has not universally been followed, but it is the general custom nonetheless.

Yes, the tantric vows and monasitc vows are clear. I was wondering about the status of the deity (which of course is not restricted by such vows). Thanks for confirming that it is not a valid.  Of course, unless a person has an appropriate level of realisation, they should not be using a consort in any case.

Offline Tsongkhapafan

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Re: Tantric Ethics
« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2010, 10:58:52 am »
It is not necessary to rely on a consort unless someone wants to attain enlightenment in this life.  When a certain level of tantric completion stage realization has been attained (isolated speech) through solitary meditation, the practitioner can wait until death when the clear light of death manifests and by transforming it through meditation, they will naturally attain the illusory body and enlightenment in the intermediate state. 

Je Tsongkhapa showed this example to his monks because he feared that without the appropriate level of realization they would engage in union with a consort and break their vows.

Offline kirtu

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Re: Tantric Ethics
« Reply #32 on: January 17, 2010, 08:32:34 am »
I actually wasn't made aware of the Root and Branch vows until well after my first couple empowerments, simply had no idea, and I really wish that i had been, and I often wonder how common this is.

Unfortunately the root and branch vows are not frequently addressed in depth.  For most empowerments they are not addressed except in passing.  However in the Sakya tradition they are always explained during the detailed teaching after HYT empowerments.  This is handled differently in different traditions.  During HH Dalai Lama's and HH Sakya Trizen's Kalachakra empowerments the vows are always at least mentioned and gone into at a basic level with instruction to see your lama for the whole teaching.  In the Palyul tradition they are mentioned but explained generally through the lama or perhaps on retreat (and practically all the empowerments are at least Mahayoga empowerments).

For most empowerment the basic samaya instruction given is to not abandon Bodhicitta, to always raise Bodhicitta and to not frivolously talk about secret mantra.

More recently we have the translation of HE Jamgon Kongtrul's "Buddhist Ethics" and Tsongkhapa's "Tantric Ethics".

Kirt
« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 09:00:42 am by kirtu, Reason: needed to add HYT context »

Offline kirtu

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Re: Tantric Ethics
« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2010, 08:56:11 am »
Once we are self-generated as the deity, we are no longer the monk or lay practitioner to whom the vows applied.  So if as the deity we drink alcohol and have sex with a consort, some may assume that of course we are permitted to do so.  Is that the 'getout clause' in the vows which the unscrupulous may exploit?

Self-generation is a training to bring all experiences onto the path.  The path itself is the path of taking the result as the path - in short seeing oneself, all beings and the environment as the deity, palace of the deity, all sounds as mantra and thought/mind as Dharmakaya or enlightened wisdom mind.  So this is not a getout clause to permit unethical behavior.  All our behavior is the expression of wisdom mind so if any of our behavior is unethical then we aren't practicing correctly.

Having said that, the practice only slowly transforms our habitual patterns.  In the stories of the mahasiddhas, it takes some time for enlightenment usually somewhere between 6-12 years and these are the very best cases. 

As Guru Rinpoche said, he had the highest view yet in his actions he was meticulous and outwardly followed the personal liberation vows scrupulously.

Kirt

Yeshe

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Re: Tantric Ethics
« Reply #34 on: January 31, 2010, 04:57:27 am »
On re-reading some of the responses, I should make it clear that I am not advocating bad behaviour here, but that some may seek to do so (and indeed have done so):

''Once we are self-generated as the deity, we are no longer the monk or lay practitioner to whom the vows applied.  So if as the deity we drink alcohol and have sex with a consort, some may assume that of course we are permitted to do so.  Is that the 'getout clause' in the vows which the unscrupulous may exploit?

In all the published sadhanas I possess on HYT practice, and in published commentaries, there are clear details of theBodhisattva and Tantric root and branch vows, commitments and downfalls appended to the scripture. ;)


 


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