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Ramana Quote does not belong in CN Norbu's latest book

Dzogchen Ramana Malcolm

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#1 Tibetan_Ice

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 09:42 PM

It seems that CN Norbu's latest book called "The Marvelous Primordial State" contains a quote from Ramana Maharashi, and the Dzogchen community over at VajraCackra are objecting, especially Malcolm, who runs that forum.

 

http://www.vajracakr...t=1086&start=20

 

Here is the quote:

 

"The ego or seperate soul-self is a concept.
God, the world, the mind, desires, action, sorrow,
and all other things are all concepts.......
There is nothing whatsoever except concepts.......
The mind is unreal, a magic show, absolutely non-existent....
Abiding without concepts is the undifferentiated state.....
the Reality of the Supreme Absolute Being."

Sri Ramana Maharshi

 

 

And here is what Malcolm is saying:

 

 

Definitely not Dzogchen.

...

Clemente is a huge fan of Ramana Maharshi. He went visited Ramana's place maybe two years ago.

 

...

No, it seems that Adriano is inclined towards eternalism.

Terms like "supreme absolute being" have no place in Dzogchen language. It is an unfortunate choice that Clemente chose to use that. It will contribute to people's misunderstandings, such as yours, for decades.

 

...

 

A quote of Ramana Maharshi is inappropriate on a book of Dzogchen. No matter how apropos it might have seemed to the translators and editors.

 

...

 

No, there is no room for Ramana Maharshi in Dzogchen thought. Ramana Maharshi is not a Dzogchen master.

It is an error to put that citation there.

 

...

 

 

Then Malcolm claims that there is no "abiding" in Dzogchen and proceeds to pick apart the subtlest distinctions in the term "abiding" despite the fact that many Buddhist writings use the terminology "abiding in Rigpa".   See for yourself:

 

https://www.google.c...ZGMHTqgH8tIHgBw

 

Anyway, I find some truth with "FlyBoy216's comment on page 8 of the thread:

 

 

And, ya know, the interpretations of some of ChNN's most senior students. In any case my point was that it's easy but foolish for *us* to pick apart the realization of another (RM no less!) based on a few words. Especially words that we ourselves sometimes use.

If I didn't know any better I'd come in here and think our gurus have told us "clutch onto words as hard as you can and use them to judge the realizations of heathens!" If the Sakyamuni himself appeared we'd find a way to discredit his words.

 

 

 

In a way, it is ludicrous that Malcolm claims that Ramana Maharshi was not a Dzogchen master, because, unless a person is themselves at the level of Ramana Maharshi, he has no basis with which to pass judgment, and I seriously doubt that Malcolm has realized half of what Ramana realized (see- I can play that game too, who am I to assess Malcolm's realization?).  And who says that in order to be a Dzogchen Master you have to write Dzogchen books or teach Dzogchen practices? Scholars judging practitioners and realized beings always leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

 

If CN Norbu can publish books containing material which is not pure Dzogchen, and Malcolm blames the editors and translators for this faux pas, doesn't the book lose some credibility? I mean, didn't Norbu approve all the was written in the book? Didn't Norbu have final say? Didn't Norbu see the final copy?  What else is there in that book that was not approved by Norbu?

 

 

:)

TI


Edited by Tibetan_Ice, 28 September 2013 - 09:43 PM.

At first it will come out of your eyes,
Like a stream of water in slow motion.
This water is crystal clear, brighter than the surrounding air.
The water fills all.
It is silent, filled with love, joy and light.
It comes from the heart on the wings of love.
You are everything, everything is you.
All is Love.

#2 Aetherous

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 09:52 PM

People are getting stuck on words, and apparently (to me) didn't grasp the meaning of the quote.


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#3 shredem

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 10:55 PM

What he says abides with the Shurangama Sutra. where's the problem?


NAMO RATNA TRAYAYA / NAMO ARYA JNANA SAGARA, VAIROCHANA / BYUHARA JARA TATHAGATAYA / ARAHATE SAMYAKSAM BUDDHAYA / NAMO SARWA TATHAGATE BHYAY ARHATA BHYAH / SAMVAKSAM BUDDHE BHVAH / NAMO AVALOKITE / SHORAYA BODHISATTVAYA / MAHA SATTVAYA / MAHA KARUNIKAYA / TADYATA / OM DARA DARA / DIRI DIRI / DURU DURU / ITTE WE / ITTE CHALE CHALE / PURACHALE PURACHALE KUSUME KUSUMA WA RE / ILI MILLI CHITI JVALAM / APANAVE SHOHA


#4 Jetsun

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 03:09 AM

Ramana discovered the same thing as the Dzogchen masters, but using words to describe the ineffable is always going to cause problem and Ramana has his own framework when trying to communicate it, usually when people asked him questions he would just remain in silence as words can just confuse things.

The internet Dzogchen Buddhists just don't like to admit that Vedanta and Zen are talking about the same thing because they want to feel special and unique, so its their own ego problem.
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#5 Jetsun

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 04:26 AM

People are getting stuck on words, and apparently (to me) didn't grasp the meaning of the quote.


This seems to happen all the time with these guys, they get obsessed with the words rather than what the words are pointing at.

Basically there is a state which isn't defined by being or non-being, but in order to try communicate that state you have to use words which means you end up having to assert a position. The Buddha often came out more in negation saying that there is no self, yet Ramana sometimes asserts the supreme absolute being, but they are both sides of the same coin when attempting to communicate what is beyond words. Ramana even negates his last affirmative sentence with those before him by saying any position is a mind concept, which is why it is such a good quote as he doesn't come out of it on either side, yet those guys are so fixated on the last sentence with tunnel vision they miss the whole point.
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#6 celibacyandsexualenergy

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 06:25 AM

the book "Measuring meditation" by bodri and Nan (mahayana buddhism) says that Ramana Maharshi didn't really understand the full practice - hence his body got sick and he had to be taken care of by the lower castes or whatever.

 

But then Nan died of pneumonia - sure he was old - 95 - but it went against his own teachings also.

 

I think the issue is more the modern world is evil in general and so real teachers get sucked into all the bad karma.

 

Anyone trying to build up their energy immediately gets it sucked away by all the black holes of death.

 

the internet is basically a big black hole of death - hence all these arguments that are a waste of time away from real practice.

 

A book like "Taoist Yoga" is all teachings of practice - there's absolutely no arguments about philosophy - it's all about body-mind transformation practice.


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#7 RongzomFan

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 07:09 AM

Jetsun, your lack of understanding is the problem.


Everyone, including Malcolm, admits that Vedantins and Zen people can recognize unfabricated presence. 

 

Recognizing unfabricated presence, doesn't make a system the same as Dzogchen. 

 

For us, recognizing unfabricated presence is only day 1.  That's only the wisdom of kadag. 

 

Then we do practices that relate to the lhun grub wisdom of rigpa, such as dark retreat etc. 

 

 

If CN Norbu can publish books containing material which is not pure Dzogchen, and Malcolm blames the editors and translators for this faux pas, doesn't the book lose some credibility? I mean, didn't Norbu approve all the was written in the book? Didn't Norbu have final say? Didn't Norbu see the final copy?  What else is there in that book that was not approved by Norbu?

 

I've been saying for a long time, the translations of ChNN are screwed up. 

 

This seems to happen all the time with these guys, they get obsessed with the words rather than what the words are pointing at.

Basically there is a state which isn't defined by being or non-being, but in order to try communicate that state you have to use words which means you end up having to assert a position. The Buddha often came out more in negation saying that there is no self, yet Ramana sometimes asserts the supreme absolute being, but they are both sides of the same coin when attempting to communicate what is beyond words. Ramana even negates his last affirmative sentence with those before him by saying any position is a mind concept, which is why it is such a good quote as he doesn't come out of it on either side, yet those guys are so fixated on the last sentence with tunnel vision they miss the whole point.

 

 

Ramana's self-inquiry is basically a confusing version of Candrakīrti's chariot analysis. 

 

Candrakīrti, in ''Madhyamakāvatāra'' VI.151., comments:

 

"It is not asserted that a chariot is something other than its parts.

It is not something that is not other, nor does it possess them.

It does not exist in the parts, nor do the parts exist in it.

It is neither their mere collection nor the shape—thus is the analogy."


Edited by alwayson, 29 September 2013 - 07:10 AM.

Stick to Rongzom.  Say No to Tsongkhapa.

#8 Jetsun

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 07:28 AM

Ramana's self-inquiry is basically a confusing version of Candrakīrti's chariot analysis. 

 

It's not that confusing, you ask the question "Who am I?"



#9 steve

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 07:52 AM

I recently finished reading The Mirror: Advice on Presence and Awareness by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the topic. It lays bare the practice and enlightens discussion and understanding of the path.


I like this quote -
"On the other hand, if our mind does not get distracted and oblivious but instead manages to gain self-control and maintain presence of its true State without being conditioned by illusion it becomes the essence of all the teachings and the root of all the paths. In fact, all of the phenomena of dualistic vision - nirvana and samsara, happiness and suffering, good and bad - arise solely from the mind and have no other origin. That is why it is said that a mind free of distraction is the basis of all paths and the deepest point of the practice."

 

If this one wants to complain about this quote and that one wants to attach himself to that image, fine. I will continue to try and let go of distraction. I suspect that Ramana Maharshi had managed to let go of distraction to a very thorough degree. I doubt those challenging his words or Chogyal Namkhai Norbu's choice of using them, have equalled either of their depths of inquiry. And I could be wrong. And it really doesn't matter.



And for anyone who does read the book, I'd recommend doing so as a stimulus to actually practice.

Continue to come back and read, then sit and let it work on you.

It is not nearly as valuable otherwise...


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#10 Simple_Jack

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 10:03 AM

People are getting stuck on words, and apparently (to me) didn't grasp the meaning of the quote.

 

The issue we should be asking is why Malcolm said this quote will lead to further confusion about Dzogchen. There are a lot of nuances with Dzogchen view and practice that is not openly available to the public or has simply not been translated into English, yet. So, on the part of the reader who has not received direct introduction and training on Dzogchen practice, there's already the issue of not understanding these nuances. On top of that, we are dealing with the first wave of newly translated material on Dzogchen (and Buddhist texts in general) which is something that's still new to the West. As a consequence of this, we are also dealing with many inaccurate translations and glosses in these texts that are not precisely portraying terms as they are understood in the original language (e.g. rigpa). This is only natural though and as time goes on, people will find better ways to translate Sanskrit and Tibetan terminology. Which means, that in the next 40-60 years, many of the current crop of translations will become obsolete and improved translations will be available to the next generation. 

 

What he says abides with the Shurangama Sutra. where's the problem?

 

The dead give away is when he says "Reality of the Supreme Absolute Being". Buddhism does not posit an ontological absolute. Dzogchen does not posit any reality or the 2 truths model, since these dichotomies are irrelevant to Dzogchen; Dzogchen is also buddhadharma. When it comes to sutrayana, the basic teachings of the Buddha make this clear:

 

http://www.accesstoi...5.023.than.html

 

"The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. [1] Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."

 

http://www.accesstoi...4.174.than.html

 

"Then Ven. Maha Kotthita went to Ven. Sariputta and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to Ven. Sariputta, "With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media [vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, & intellection] is it the case that there is anything else?"

[Sariputta:] "Don't say that, my friend.

[Maha Kotthita:] "With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media, is it the case that there is not anything else?"

[Sariputta:] "Don't say that, my friend."

[Maha Kotthita:] "...is it the case that there both is & is not anything else?"

[Sariputta:] "Don't say that, my friend."

[Maha Kotthita:] "...is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?"

[Sariputta:] "Don't say that, my friend."

 

In Buddhism, the inability to distinguish the difference between views is not a good thing. :mellow:

 

 

 

the internet is basically a big black hole of death - hence all these arguments that are a waste of time away from real practice.

 

Lol, that is a very accurate assessment of the internet.

 

A book like "Taoist Yoga" is all teachings of practice - there's absolutely no arguments about philosophy - it's all about body-mind transformation practice.

 

Having read "Taoist Yoga", I would have to say that this book is highly impractical to the person seeking a clear set of guidelines towards this endeavor. Due to the lack of any real systematic means for progression and its use of vague and archaic language: I think the set of manuals that have been translated from Hinduism and Buddhism (e.g. Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Vissudhimagga, etc.) are many times more practical to the individual seeking a means to achieve mind-body transformation. Charles Luk's other book on cultivation techniques is a lot more helpful than "Taoist Yoga". I'm sure there are untranslated works of Daojia that are actually helpful, but after reading this book I have to agree with Nan Huaijin's assessment when he states this in "Tao & Longevity": 

 

"It is unfortunate that those who learn Taoism have confused the different traditions. Some students thought that all they had to do was find a good master who would teach them a different a hidden secret, and they could become an immortal instantly. They therefore ignored the study of the principles of the Taoist methods. Taoist methods were not organized into a science of immortality with principles, rules, systematic sequences, and methods. As a consequence , these practices lend to calamity rather than to the achievement of immortality."


When this exists, that exists;
with the arising of that, this arises.
When this does not exist, that does not exist;
with the cessation of that, this ceases.
~ Bodhi Sutta

He who sees dependent origination sees the Dhamma;
he who sees the Dhamma sees dependent origination.
~ Mahahatthipadopama Sutta

Dependent origination should be known as emptiness.
~Āryāṣṭadaśasahasrika-prajñāpāramitā-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

#11 shredem

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 10:41 AM


The dead give away is when he says "Reality of the Supreme Absolute Being". Buddhism does not posit an ontological absolute. Dzogchen does not posit any reality or the 2 truths model, since these dichotomies are irrelevant to Dzogchen; Dzogchen is also buddhadharma. When it comes to sutrayana, the basic teachings of the Buddha make this clear:

 

http://www.accesstoi...5.023.than.html

 

"The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. [1] Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."

 

http://www.accesstoi...4.174.than.html

 

"Then Ven. Maha Kotthita went to Ven. Sariputta and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to Ven. Sariputta, "With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media [vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, & intellection] is it the case that there is anything else?"

[Sariputta:] "Don't say that, my friend.

[Maha Kotthita:] "With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media, is it the case that there is not anything else?"

[Sariputta:] "Don't say that, my friend."

[Maha Kotthita:] "...is it the case that there both is & is not anything else?"

[Sariputta:] "Don't say that, my friend."

[Maha Kotthita:] "...is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?"

[Sariputta:] "Don't say that, my friend."

 

In Buddhism, the inability to distinguish the difference between views is not a good thing. :mellow:

I stand corrected. :)


NAMO RATNA TRAYAYA / NAMO ARYA JNANA SAGARA, VAIROCHANA / BYUHARA JARA TATHAGATAYA / ARAHATE SAMYAKSAM BUDDHAYA / NAMO SARWA TATHAGATE BHYAY ARHATA BHYAH / SAMVAKSAM BUDDHE BHVAH / NAMO AVALOKITE / SHORAYA BODHISATTVAYA / MAHA SATTVAYA / MAHA KARUNIKAYA / TADYATA / OM DARA DARA / DIRI DIRI / DURU DURU / ITTE WE / ITTE CHALE CHALE / PURACHALE PURACHALE KUSUME KUSUMA WA RE / ILI MILLI CHITI JVALAM / APANAVE SHOHA


#12 ralis

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 12:29 PM

Bodhidharma;

 

"Freeing oneself from words is liberation. "

Edited by ralis, 29 September 2013 - 12:30 PM.

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#13 steve

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 12:31 PM

It's pretty clear why the quote cannot be considered Dzogchen. To me that is not the issue. Anyone serious about exploring Vedanta methods or Dzogchen methods will do so and learn what matters. Anyone not serious about the practices will not get very far along anyway...

 

What's interesting to take note of for me is that this quote WAS selected to grace the book and one would assume that Chogyal Namkhai Norbu was aware of this and approved. If not, that would be an even more interesting situation.

I thought that Clemente did a very good job with The Mirror.



#14 RongzomFan

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 12:42 PM

------------


Edited by alwayson, 29 September 2013 - 04:32 PM.

Stick to Rongzom.  Say No to Tsongkhapa.

#15 Tibetan_Ice

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 01:46 PM

I will email ChNN about this whole matter, although I might wait since probably everyone else is emailing him too. 

 

Do you promise to let us know what he says?


At first it will come out of your eyes,
Like a stream of water in slow motion.
This water is crystal clear, brighter than the surrounding air.
The water fills all.
It is silent, filled with love, joy and light.
It comes from the heart on the wings of love.
You are everything, everything is you.
All is Love.

#16 RongzomFan

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 02:09 PM

-------------


Edited by alwayson, 29 September 2013 - 04:33 PM.

Stick to Rongzom.  Say No to Tsongkhapa.





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