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Mantras

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You may disagree, but it was what I was taught. Perhaps your teachers are different. What I found striking was the agreement of teachers from two traditions: Shaiva tantra and Vajrayana. The most thorough explanation came from Shaiva tantra. In that tradition, the mantra is the sound body of a deity. Apparently, Abhinavagupta wrote that a mantra was not unlike a statute of a deity. If the statute is not properly consecrated and infused with prana, then the statute is not "living" so to speak. Similarly, a mantra needs to be infused by the power of some one who it has awakened for. Otherwise, the mantra is dead and is not, in fact, the sound body of the deity. Accordingly, it could not be transmitted via writing. I imagine the problem is compounded if one is trying to learn a mantra but is not familiar with the language of that mantra (e.g. Sankrit, Tibetan, etc.). 

 

It makes sense, because these things were oral traditions long before they were written down. I think there is a lot of resistance to the idea that we need to learn these things from other people. But people can do what they like. 

 

3 hours ago, Mandrake said:

 

For mantras and dharanis found in sutras, no;  for mantras in the Mantrayana, yes.

 

 

M

 

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16 hours ago, forestofemptiness said:

You may disagree, but it was what I was taught. Perhaps your teachers are different. What I found striking was the agreement of teachers from two traditions: Shaiva tantra and Vajrayana. The most thorough explanation came from Shaiva tantra. In that tradition, the mantra is the sound body of a deity. Apparently, Abhinavagupta wrote that a mantra was not unlike a statute of a deity. If the statute is not properly consecrated and infused with prana, then the statute is not "living" so to speak. Similarly, a mantra needs to be infused by the power of some one who it has awakened for. Otherwise, the mantra is dead and is not, in fact, the sound body of the deity. Accordingly, it could not be transmitted via writing. I imagine the problem is compounded if one is trying to learn a mantra but is not familiar with the language of that mantra (e.g. Sankrit, Tibetan, etc.). 

 

It makes sense, because these things were oral traditions long before they were written down. I think there is a lot of resistance to the idea that we need to learn these things from other people. But people can do what they like. 

 

 

 

Forestofemptiness,

 

The teacher comes first, so you follow your ones, and I'll follow what my Vajrayana and Buddhist teachers have mentioned on the topic. And on that matter, what Shaivist sources say have absolutely no bearing on my traditions, at all.

 

 

M

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Well, that's a strong statement. I'm not a Shaivite, but to say the sources have "absolutely no bearing" is a bit much. There is plenty of evidence of the overlap between the two Tantras, and even evidence that Shaiva Tantras and practices were often incorporated into Buddhism by merely changing the names. Not that I expect to change any minds. 

 

http://www.sutrajournal.com/the-tantric-age-a-comparison-of-shaiva-and-buddhist-tantra-by-christopher-wallis

 

https://www.academia.edu/3621440/The_Ňöaiva_Age_The_Rise_and_Dominance_of_Ňöaivism_during_the_Early_Medieval_Period._In_Genesis_and_Development_of_Tantrism_edited_by_Shingo_Einoo._Tokyo_Institute_of_Oriental_Culture_University_of_Tokyo_2009._Institute_of_Oriental_Culture_Special_Series_23_pp._41-350

 

https://www.academia.edu/24115448/_Converting_the_ŠłĆńĀkinńę_Goddess_Cults_and_Tantras_of_the_Yoginńęs_between_Buddhism_and_Ňöaivism_

 

3 hours ago, Mandrake said:

 

Forestofemptiness,

 

The teacher comes first, so you follow your ones, and I'll follow what my Vajrayana and Buddhist teachers have mentioned on the topic. And on that matter, what Shaivist sources say have absolutely no bearing on my traditions, at all.

 

 

M

 

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Forestofemptiness,

 

I'm a cultivator before else, not a scholar.
For Daoist cultivation, I got to Daoist masters. For Vajrayana, I go to those masters and the wisdom and experience they embody. And so on.

 

 

M

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I don't see the two as mutually exclusive--- there are plenty of scholar warriors and scholar yogis out there, not that I would rate myself among them. But plenty of religious people don't like to consider evidence outside of their particular tradition or a determined set of authorities, so that's cool too. I am something of a contrarian. 

 

 

7 hours ago, Mandrake said:

Forestofemptiness,

 

I'm a cultivator before else, not a scholar.
For Daoist cultivation, I got to Daoist masters. For Vajrayana, I go to those masters and the wisdom and experience they embody. And so on.

 

 

M

 

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On 21/05/2020 at 7:46 PM, forestofemptiness said:

I don't see the two as mutually exclusive--- there are plenty of scholar warriors and scholar yogis out there, not that I would rate myself among them. But plenty of religious people don't like to consider evidence outside of their particular tradition or a determined set of authorities, so that's cool too. I am something of a contrarian. 

 

 

 

 

Never have I said that they are mutually exclusive. Neither have I said that I'm not a scholar. Neither have I mentioned that I haven't studied Shaivist sources and those of other traditions. Cultivation isn't a trivial matter for me, and after two decades of learning and studying and practicing I definitely have heard and processed a large share of the viewpoints out there.
So if "plenty of religious people don't like to consider evidence outside of their particular tradition" then it's their issue; I don't consider myself one of them. These posts are a digression anyway as they touch on my own cultivation of which nobody here knows more than a fragment apart from their own projections.

 

My statement was that mantras do not necessarily require empowerment depending on their source. I base this on my experience, on my lineages,  and my previous studies including other margas. I can further state that I'm also of the opinion that the source of power of Buddhist mantras is different than that of the non-buddhist Indian lineages.

Lastly, I also stated that lamas/gurus don't necessarily know everything, as in my earlier post.

 

 

M

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