Author Topic: Courting danger with Vajra Master the samurai?  (Read 11934 times)

DS Star

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Courting danger with Vajra Master the samurai?
« on: November 22, 2012, 07:31:57 PM »

"Vajra is a Sanskrit word meaning “indestructible.” The idea of vajra mind is that it is completely well put-together. It does not have any cracks; it cannot be criticized. You cannot bring any confusion into it because it is so well guarded, not out of paranoia, but out of its own existence. It is self-guarded.

The closest analogy for the vajra master is the samurai. Such a teacher is ferocious, but at the same time he has the qualities of a father, an elder, and a friend. He could be very passionate, warm, and sympathetic, but he doesn’t buy any bullshit, if we could speak American at this point. Studying with such a person is dangerous, and it is a very advanced thing to do. You might actually progress much faster on the path. But if you start with the expectation of going faster, you might actually go slower.

Of course, there is always room to chicken out. But once you accept the invitation, if you chicken out, you could go through a lot of problems. The more you are a coward, that much more the vajra master might try to terrify you, if that is what you need. I don’t want to paint a black picture of the vajra master, but that is the simple truth. The more you try to escape, the more you will be chased and cornered. However, the more you work with the vajra master, the more you will be invited to join that fantastic celebration and mutual dance
."

http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=3862&Itemid=0&limit=1&limitstart=2


Much have been said about how in Vajrayana, students have to totally submit or surrender to one's teacher, the Spiritual Guide or the Vajra Master. Many established and highly respected Dharma teachers swear by it and had set the 'Guru Devotion' way as the requirement for one's progress in spiritual path.

Nevertheless, with times, many modern people have doubts if this method still works especially in a society full of frauds and con artists...

Are you ready to totally submit yourself? Are you ready to willingly "sacrifice your wife, children and even your life", as well as your 'fleeting wealth' like in stanza 17 of the 50 Stanzas of Guru Devotion?

Link of the full 50 Stanzas of Guru Devotion http://www.bodhicitta.net/FIFTY%20STANZAS%20OF%20GURU%20DEVOTION.htm] [url]http://www.bodhicitta.net/FIFTY%20STANZAS%20OF%20GURU%20DEVOTION.htm[/url]

DS Star

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Re: Courting danger with Vajra Master the samurai?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2012, 02:02:42 PM »
In another post: Tantric in layman's language

Tantra is Tibet's greatest gift to the world. The High Lama's ability to determine their subsequent rebirths and all the great enlightened work that they do in every lifetime to benefit others is due to the attainments of having practiced Tantra for many lifetimes. The great Lamas like the Dalai Lamas, Panchen Lamas, Dromo Geshe Rinpoches, Trijang Rinpoches, Zong Rinpoches and many others who practiced Tantra to achieved their state.

The main practice of Tantra is not the exotic deities, breathing, sexual practices or complicated visualisations. The actual practice of Tantra is relying upon a Guru and developing pure view based upon devotion to a Guru that is extended to all areas of our lives. Hence, we become awakened through devoting to a Guru and the Tantric meditations just quicken the awakening process. Hence, we are very fortunate to have living Tantric lineages that can be easily received from a Lama. Due to our delusions and merit, Tantra becomes increasingly efficacious over time.

Big Uncle's post is the best description on this unique relationship between a student and the Vajra Master. One really have to surrender everything in order to get onto this 'swift path' to enlightenment.

It is actually our own EGO that playing tricks onto our minds... if we can accept that our Spiritual Guide or the Vajra Master only thinks of benefiting us, then it is not difficult for us to surrender our attachment to 'face' or 'pride', or our 'laziness' that is the manifestations of our selfish mind, etc.

DS Star

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Re: Courting danger with Vajra Master the samurai?
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2012, 03:44:06 PM »
"Vajra relationship is not about abdicating responsibility for decisions in our lives; rather it concerns remaining always open to the activities and indications of the lama, and the directions in which these may take us. Transmission can occur through a look, a gesture, the lacerating shrapnel blast of raw horseradish when you were expecting the stodgy reassurance of mashed potatoes, some seemingly whimsical comment from one's teacher - anything. The more we let go of our cramped habitual concepts about ourselves and our world, the more we become accessible to the possibility of transmission in every moment.

Devotion is the ground that makes vajra relationship possible. Without devotion there can be no vajra relationship, because vajra commitment requires letting go of one's rationale and entering a relationship of complete reliance on the enlightened nature of the vajra master. If we have confidence in the lama - if we developed devotion - we will find "vajra commands" easy to to accept...
"

from 'Dangerous Friend - The Teacher-Student Relationship in Vajrayana Buddhism' by Rig'dzin Dorje

DS Star

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Re: Courting danger with Vajra Master the samurai?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2013, 03:35:43 PM »
The benefits we shall receive by relying upon our Spiritual Guide a.k.a. our Vajra Master:

1. He or she will lead us along the spiritual path, which is the only way to solve all our problems and make our life meaningful.

2. His or her blessings will gradually draw us closer to the attainment of full enlightenment.

3. All the Buddhas will be delighted with us.

4. We shall be protected from harm caused by humans or non-humans.

5. We shall find it easy to abandon our delusions and non-virtuous actions.

6. Our practical experience of the spiritual path will increase.

7. We shall never be born in lower realms.

8. In all our future lives, we shall meet well-qualified Spiritual Guides.

9. All our wishes for beneficial conditions within samsara, as well as for liberation and enlightenment, will be fulfilled.

DS Star

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Re: Courting danger with Vajra Master the samurai?
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2013, 03:40:21 PM »
"According to Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the student must have complete trust in the teacher (the "dangerous friend") if he or she is to achieve any understanding. It is the teacher's responsibility to uphold the integrity of the tradition, the basis of which is compassion for all beings, by transmitting it properly to an appropriate student. Likewise, it is the student's responsibility to meet the challenge of carrying on the lineage of teachings. By entering such a relationship, both teacher and student accept the burden of protecting those teachings by understanding them completely and correctly, by practicing them fully and faultlessly, and by transmitting them without omission. " Dangerous Friend

diablo1974

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Re: Courting danger with Vajra Master the samurai?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2013, 10:10:30 AM »
Its indeed "A dangerous friend"and i think its quite applicable. Whether its courting danger or not depends very much on individual and you can decide if you want to be safe from danger or going into danger. Even if we break the samaya with your dangerous friend. We do have the opportunity to mend and seek for forgiveness.  We are still human afterall.  But do not take your guru compasssion for granted.

Big Uncle

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Re: Courting danger with Vajra Master the samurai?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2013, 10:42:15 AM »
Well, a Guru can be friend to you, a father to another, a disciplinarian for another and scholar for another. The Guru is not a static person but one that changes according to what is needed at the time and what suits the disposition of the student and what is needed to push to the next level.

Everybody's got buttons and the Guru picks the time to press them and they are timed so that when its time to overcome our vulnerability to to be pressed. That's the real purpose of the Guru, to cajol, push and ensure that we overcome all vulnerabilities. A wrathful Guru and a peaceful Guru is just two sides of the same compassionate mind. With the intention honed to benefit others, whatever emotion and expression is expressed becomes a teaching and a blessing. Knowing this, if the Dalai Lama's intention was truly to benefit others, his massively damaging action of imposing the ban on Dorje Shugden is not actually contrary to teaching and spreading Dorje Shugden.

DS Star

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Re: Courting danger with Vajra Master the samurai?
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2013, 12:35:37 AM »
Yes Big Uncle, this 'pressing buttons' is the Guru's way to help the students. Only highly attained guru/ lama has this skillful means i.e. upaya-kaushalya (roughly translated as "skill in means").

" 'Skill in means' is the ability to bring out the spiritual potentialities of different people by statements or actions which are adjusted to their needs and adapted to their capacity for comprehension." Edward Conze, in A Short History Of Buddhism.

The guru's act is guided by his wisdom and compassion, to impart a specific lesson needed by the particular student at that particular instances.

pgdharma

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Re: Courting danger with Vajra Master the samurai?
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2013, 07:27:56 AM »
‘All schools of Buddhism agree that the practice of Guru Yoga, or relying upon a Spiritual Guide, is the root of the spiritual path and the foundation of all spiritual attainments. - Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.

Through sincere reliance upon our guru, he will draw us closer to enlightenment through his blessings and his compassion for us may manifest in wrathful form to push us to the next level.  Our mind is weak and full of bad habits and we need the blessings of our Guru to help us make progress and nourish our spiritual life. All we have to do is to develop faith in him and put his instructions into practice to the best of our ability.

psylotripitaka

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Re: Courting danger with Vajra Master the samurai?
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2013, 08:48:18 PM »
Whether we are in close proximity to a living Guru or not, having established the bond, we understand that there are many degrees to this relationship based on our own capacity and self-awareness. Whether you are close or not, the Guru is ever present with the aim of destroying your samsara, your self-grasping and selfish concern. We often become too fixated on the element of Guru Devotion that is an interaction between two human people (not that the Guru is really human of course) but this is a very limited approach. There is a great deal more going on than we comprehend and we will surrender in many different ways along the journey according to our capacity and individual circumstances. I believe it is very important not to intellectually measure our Guru Devotion on the basis of what is said to be the "most ideal" or "perfect" Guru devotion. The most critical task in Guru Devotion is to destroy the excessive dialogue of the 'I' by resting our conceptual minds in mahamudra, for that is the real union of Guru and Disciple; that is the ultimate devotion.

Of course, there are many aspects our devotion takes, but we must realize that this destruction of our self-grasping will be done by the Guru whether we are his personal attendant, living alone in retreat, or engaged in a "worldly life". The more we quit the dialogue and measurements of success, the more quickly we will realize what Guru Devotion is really about. We talk of Jetsun Milarepa's servitude to Marpa as a perfect example of surrender, and this was the Jetsun's aspect - outward display of inner attributes. But, we must remember that his true service to the Guru was to stop thinking and destroy his 'I' by resting in Mahamudra. That was his Guru's principle command.

So do whatever you want, but don't forget this essential point of devotion, to cultivate mahamudra right now realizing it is not separate from the Guru.

As Tilopa said to Naropa:

Don't recall.
Don't imagine.
Don't think.
Don't examine.
Don't control.
Rest.

Rihanna

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Re: Courting danger with Vajra Master the samurai?
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2013, 12:20:18 PM »
For me, i will not think my Guru will be a 'dangerous friend' as accounted by diablo1974. I will term it as a 'sincere friend' or a 'true friend' as all actions done by the Guru upon us are based on a sincere and good motivation.

Whatever the actions might be, sometimes harsh, sometimes it might seems complicated to understand. Then we ask ourselves again how trained are we to criticise the Guru's action. Sometimes our minds are just so deluded to understand why a harsh action been taken upon a particular person while the other person might get different treatments from the same Guru. Before we even think about engaging this Guru as our Guru, one should check the Guru's work and personality to see for themselves whether the Guru is a sincere or true friend or he/she is just trying to take advantage of anyone who comes to seek his advice.

One should only request to be the Guru's student once he/she is firm enough to know the Guru's 'true colours'. The Guru can be your friend or a father figure for you to guide you through your weakness and shortcomings without having the motivation to bring you further down in your spiritual journey towards ultimate enlightenment without ever expecting else in return. Through one's total faith and submission to your Guru, then he/she can go through the process of unlearning and relearning and gain attainments in the spiritual journey.



DS Star

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Re: Courting danger with Vajra Master the samurai?
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2013, 05:27:03 AM »
A short but good explanation by Master Sheng-Yen regarding the title of "Vajra Master" and the qualifications of guru given such titles.

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yontenjamyang

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Re: Courting danger with Vajra Master the samurai?
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2013, 08:40:52 AM »
Excellent topic DS Star. Kudos to you.

It is without doubt that the motivation of the Vajra Master is to lead us to Ultimate Enlightenment.  He uses wisdom and skillful means to do this and depending on the student the method may differ. To other students depending on their closeness to the Guru, their level of intelligence, their knowledge, understanding, faith and experience, may have vastly differing opinions to these methods. They have a perception of how things should be, which is exactly what the Guru if trying to teach us not to have. Hence, a lesson directly to one disciple often is a lesson to ALL disciples. This in turn is also a way for the Guru to check the readiness of the disciples for higher practice.
So sometimes the situation will look chaotic and many have doubts. As students, if we have faith in the Guru, anything is acceptable because we know the Guru will not harm us. If we find that we have doubt, then we can ask senior students and the Guru himself to clear this doubt and strengthen our faith. This should be done consistently until we have no more doubt. Then we are qualified...but we cannot judge ourselves to be qualified. Only the Guru can.

Faith is not blind. It is develop through Wisdom. We built faith with the Guru through study, knowledge, practice and realizations. Then our faith is the "Vajra". Our Vajra nature manifested through the Guru. Once polished it will be a shining light to all sentient beings.