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Thread: Nirakara and Shentong Buddhism, Tara, Sadhanas, Sanskrit culture

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    Default Re: Nirakara and Shentong Buddhism, Tara, Sadhanas, Sanskrit culture

    Vajra Rosary Tantra (Vajramala); Ramapala on Four Seals








    Almost everything after Vajradaka is a Heruka Yoga. I believe one of the remote exceptions is Vajramala or Vajra Rosary Tantra, which is more like Vajrasattva and Vajradhara. The Vajra Rosary however has practically no background. Only a Tibetan version has survived. It was mostly re-constructed from a commentary. It was noted that Taranatha thinks that Nagabodhi composed the texts attributed to Nagarjuna and Aryadeva. The translator guesses that one of the Vajra Rosary translators, Sujana Srijnana, might possibly be Atisa. Its limited re-applications include:


    ...brief quotations in Aryadeva's Caryamelapakapradipa.

    Mantrakalasa is also the translator of Sri Laksmi's Pañcakrama-tika-kramarthaprak
    sika, which, according to Alex Wayman, was the only commentary he could find
    other than the PU that quotes the famous forty verses from the Vajra Rosary’s chapter
    fifty-nine.

    The intertextuality among the VR, PU, PK and Sri Laksmi’s PK commentary referenced here and, in
    part, by Yukei Matsunaga, see below, merits a full philological study.

    Chandrakīrti's Illuminating Lamp (Pradīpoddyotana [PU])


    The only Indian commentary on the Pradipoddyotana translated into Tibetan that generously treats these verses with comments is Bhavyakirti's Prakasika.

    In the Kagyu Explanation of the Hidden Vajra Body, Vajra Rosary is mis-attributed for a quote that is actually from Non-dual Victory Tantra. Either the Vajra Rosary, or Kalachakra, is seen to be the source for Vishnu's incarnations compared to embryonic stages, and these are different. Nevertheless, some common ground is found:


    The same branch channels that Yang dgon pa lists here can
    be found Sampuṭa Tantra (Sde dge Bka' 'gyur), 156-57, and Kittay, “Interpreting the Vajra
    Rosary,” 599-600.

    ...the five winds presented in the Vajramālā accord with those found in the Visuddhimagga 11: 37.


    Later, Mkhas grub je uses its Completion Stage knowledge as a guide for Generation Stage practice.



    Matsunaga had speculated that Guhyasamaja Chapter Eighteen and Vajra Rosary Chapter Sixty-eight were "plants" or retro-injections from the Arya lineage to give it their air of authenticity. I think that might be pushing it. The "pre-incarnation lineages" and those of Sutra Nagarjuna and so forth are perhaps fabrications. Something did go on putting RGV to obscurity, and blotting out Ratnakarasanti, the last person to be attributed their own "Guhyasamaja tradition".

    The pro-and-con argument above is that VR 68 is a close re-enactment of PK. However, it does have portions and synonymous parallels in prior areas. The chapter also has a proper closure, which otherwise the tantra would be gaping wide open without.

    Tson kha pa uses language that Nagarjuna "follows" Vajra Rosary. The translated text was acquired on the same trip as Paramadya Tantra, but, on an individual adventure to Oddiyana, or "Urgyan", depending on what that is.


    Wayman thinks Nagarjuna's Pindikrita and PK are quoting Vajra Rosary. He happens on a couple more connections in his Yoga of the Guhyasamaja; from Candrakirti:


    Transcending the contemplation of all portions (i.e. color and shape), free from both imagination and lack of imagination, transcending the upper sign and its bindu ', that is the supreme mandala.

    Tsoh-kha-pa in his Mchan hgrel (p. 41) mentions that an almost identical verse is found in the Candraguhyatilaka (another quotation from this work in the Pradipoddyotana is reproduced in the initiation remarks in the section 'The two stages, initiations, and the clear light'; and Aryadeva appeals to this Tantra for the expression '100 lineages').

    and, referring back to the text accidentally mentioned in Kagyu:


    ...it so happens that this same verse is cited by Indrabhuti in his Jnana-siddhi...On the preceding page he has cited the Advayasamatavijaya [Non-dual Victory].



    To this day, Vajramala is sometimes conflated with Vajravali. But from his conclusions about the quotes and over-zealous historical revision:


    What I do maintain is that the Vajramala has the earmarks of having been composed centuries before the tantric Nagarjuna quoted it in his Pancakrama, and I tentatively place it in the fifth century...


    But, of course, he thinks Asanga is even earlier than that.

    We found that Bhavyakirti, the rector of Vikramasila right after Bhavabhadra, "restores" Yogacara into PU's dearth of it..."pursuant to the indications of Nagarjuna's works". In Japan and Tibet, this commentary is partially or falsely attributed to Aryadeva. Cf. Bhavya or Bhavaviveka, and "according to the Tohoku catalog; PTT catalog incorrectly gives author's name as Aryadeva".


    But the tantric Nagarjuna, Sri Laksmi, Bhavyakirti, and some other Tanjur commentators, employ a Yogacara-type vocabulary...


    And in fact it is done to the Three Voids/Three Lights. Bhavya takes the three natures of Yogacara and:


    ...states these vijnanas to have the characteristic (laksana), i.e. the prakrtis of (covering) the three lights; and so those lights appear when those vijnanas cease. Then Bhavyakirti quotes two texts without naming their sources [Samdhinirmocana and Vijnaptimatratasiddhi].



    When Bu ton or Tson kha pa run into this, they ignore it.

    Aryadeva, from what I recall, follows it, also using another Guhyasamaja explanatory tantra:



    Compendium on the Indestructible Pristine Awareness Tantra (Toh. 447)

    vajrajñānasamuccayatantra (unpublished)




    Tomabechi presented Bhavya's position; he is also known for:


    Pañcakramapañjikā

    Śricakrasamvarapañjikā-śūramanojñā

    Prajnapradipa is however an MMK commentary by a much earlier Bhavya or Bhavaviveka (ca. 500s). Nagarjuna, Asanga, Gunamati, and Sthiramati also commented it:


    The existence of such commentaries on the MMK by leading
    authorities of the Vijnanavada clearly indicates that Nagarjuna's work was
    not considered to be the exclusive property of the Madhyamikas in the narrow
    sense of a particular school, and that it was regarded as fundamental by
    Mahayanist thinkers of more than one tendency.


    That was the early Sutra period; and yet Ruegg also places the later Bhavya in the Arya Guhyasamaja school. Nevertheless, he perhaps is or was understood as "Aryadeva" by some.

    So far, the studies indicate that Candrakirti's PU mostly purged Yogacara from Nagarjuna and/or Aryadeva or Guhyasamaja, and Bhavyakirti deposits it back.

    In fact the abstract details tell us:


    As a follower of the so-called Ārya School of the Guhyasamājatantra,
    Bhavyakīrti tries to demonstrate that each stage of the niṣpannakrama system
    expounded in the Pañcakrama can be ascertained as valid practice through
    pramāṇa. After presenting a pūrvapakṣa that the validity of tantric meditation
    cannot be established by either direct perception (pratyakṣa), inference
    (anumāna) or any other means of cognition, Bhavyakīrti argues that the five step
    meditation of the Ārya School is indeed ascertained as valid by means of
    two types of direct perception, i.e. svasaṃvedana and yogipratyakṣa.



    It happened to be followed by a presentation on Ratnakarasanti along the same lines on Luminosity and Svasamvedana.


    Here is a translation from his Chakrasamvara commentary:

    ...the early tenth century commentator bhavyakIrti interprets it in terms of the pramANa and yogAchAra schools of Buddhist philosophy, which constituted the dominant schools of Indian Buddhist thought at this time. He comments as follows:

    Regarding [the verse quoted above] – whatever is explained as referring to all the realms of the world without exception. That which is of the path of the sense powers s analyzed with wisdom by means of both direct perception (pratyakSha) and inference (anumAna). Whatever is realized comes naturally. Through the yoga of ultimate equipoise in this sort of reality or nature, that is, through the application of expedience and wisdom, everything should be experienced as being composed of buddhas, meaning that all things should be regarded as the reality of the buddhas. This is because, as was said by the scion of the Victor, ‘These three worlds are mind only’. That is, everything exists as mind only.



    The much more famous Lilavajra was next after Bhavyakirti.


    So if we narrow this down, two generations at Vikramasila commandeered the apparent Arya or Madhyamaka doctrines and overhauled them:


    Aryadeva's Caturpitha

    Candrakirti's Guhyasamaja PU, which extensively quotes Vajra Rosary



    The Caturpitha already has a phenomenal tie to Jnanapada Guhyasamaja, and, it shows next to nothing to suggest it was part of a "different" centrist school. But then, knowing there was to an extent such a thing, it went through Candrakirti.

    Minus, possibly, that factor, since Aryadeva also had Vajra Rosary, then it is likely he was going around with Caturpitha = Generation Stage, and Vajra Rosary = Completion Stage. That is assuming the same person had both. Both attributions seem to show up at Vikramasila around the mid-ninth century. There had already been a south Indian acharya, so, there may have been various avenues for bringing in those tantras. If Nagarjuna does not quote them, that does not mean he was not using them. All we can say is the earliest evidence is at Vikramasila.


    Lilavajra is probably another cycled name, first being the precursor of:


    Buddhaguhya commenting Mahavairocana Tantra, 760

    Buddhasrijnana, that is, Jnanapada, obtaining tantras in Oddiyana


    And so this is probably after Jnanapada, "Vajrabhairava Lilavajra":


    Lalitavajra brought these teachings back to India from Ugyen and gave them to Lilavajra, his disciple at Vikramashila Monastery.

    When the Turuskas attacked Vikramashila, Lila Vajra used his Yamari Siddhi to petrify them...


    After him was Durjayachandra ("late tenth century"), and then there are four generations, supposedly twelve years each, until Atisa and the Gatekeepers. But these are also "late tenth century".


    Vajra Hermeneutics is a study on PU that tells us that Aryadeva dealt with the practices, and Candrakirti was in...hermeneutics and:

    neither the CMP nor the
    PU ever cite the text of the PK.

    In fact his own "Seven Ornaments system" is suggested as a dissident movement.

    The study mentions Bhavyakirti, and does not seem to be aware of the discrepancy.

    It characterizes a lot of what is "in" Arya Guhyasamaja, which is not a lot more helpful on the background, because there is nothing much additional.


    The practices are not in the Guhyasamaja, they are in the Explanatory tantras, most importantly Vajra Rosary and Catur Devi Pariprccha. It is not quite clear to me whether PK inspires Vajra Rosary, or vice versa. Now of course I am personally a fan of CMP, and so far there has never been anything calling me to look in PU, so I don't know what is in it. We are told:


    The claims of the mangala at the beginning of the PU invite its
    readers to identify the author with that of the Madhyamakavatara and its Bhasya...


    that the author is i. e. Sutra Candrakirti, and the view being shaped which will later be called Prasangika:


    I have characterized this as a fairly
    marginal reading of Nagarjuna in India and Tibet prior to the twelfth-century...


    The strange thing about Sutra Nagarjuna is actually:


    In his careful text-critical work on the Hevajra Tantra works
    of the eleventh-century Ratnakarasanti, Harunaga Isaacson has noted an important and
    striking parallel between an early, or perhaps the earliest, mention of the two stages in
    Appendix Tantra [Chapter Eighteen] of the Esoteric Community Tantra (Samajottara Tantra), xviii.84, and
    Nagarjuna's Fundamental Verses Called Wisdom (Mulamadhyamakakarika), xxiv.8.

    The two verses are unmistakably intended to resemble each another, with the GST verse
    (presumably) having been crafted to correspond to the (presumably) earlier
    Mulamadhyamakakarika. Isaacson writes, "[t]his echo is in fact an indication of a basic
    point that I suggest underlies the original conception of the division into two kramas and
    remained an important factor in the thought of most readers. If I were myself to offer a
    single generalization, it would be that the utpattikrama [Creation Stage] is in a way
    analogous to samvrtisat(ya) and the utpannakrama [Perfection Stage] to
    paramarthasat(ya)".

    Wedemeyer agrees that "the parallelism is evidently deliberate..."
    and "also functions to affiliate the Esoteric Community Tantra with the Centrists."


    Ratnakarasanti however uses it to affiliate Sutra Nagarjuna with Yogacara, and then through Guhyasamaja Nagarjuna. "Appendix" is also a term also used by Candrakirti, meaning, to him, GST 18 was an independent text. But that is a Mahayana argument, the Relative and Ultimate Truths. And so, yes, that is important for our Sutra-to-Tantra belief. That is Yogacara. In fact I think it is this Sutra Nagarjuna that Ratnakarasanti is calling a first-stage Bodhisattva, with Asanga and Maitreya more powerfully.



    In a few other memories:


    A long time after master Nagarjuna and
    the host of his disciples had passed into nirvana, a volume
    containing the text of the Clarifying Lamp [PU] was discovered
    by Raksitapada of Konkana. And then Matangipa met the
    body of the pristine cognition of Aryadeva in a vision.

    According to Taranatha, it was at this same time that Lilavajra was establishing his
    transmission lineage of Esoteric Community Tantra that Matangipa had his vision of
    Aryadeva that re-established the Noble tradition of exegesis.


    Campbell believes the Arya and Jnanapada traditions were originally entirely unaware of one another. But apparently until it became developed, the origin of Arya is quite thin. Thin enough that Bhavyakirti decides to overturn some of what he sees in PU. Yet he is considered part of this school. Odd given the location. But I suppose you can be both.


    He also makes a broader argument than me about how extensive these practices probably were before they were written. Now, even on its own testimony, the idea is really that the Guhyasamaja Tantra is an excuse to do what is in the Vajra Rosary, to which something like CMP is a valuable assistant. Ideally you would also have personal teaching from a guru. The scripture is, in a certain sense, worth less than the community.

    Allright. So this is meant to interface with the normal Akshobhya mandala. This does have the crucial meaning of Bodhicitta and a hypostasis of Vajrasattva. And so we do think of it as a type of Pancakara and the basic symbolism of Vajra and so on. We have put a lot of study into Manjuvajra mandala and things like Yamari and Caturpitha, because they are weighted to Generation Stage, which I suppose we are giving a bigger and more extensive view than usual.



    If Hevajra probably is, Vajra Mala outspokenly is, starting in Completion Stage:


    ...the energy associated with sexual union and tapas or
    tummo, to produce experiential states for a Buddhist soteriological purpose, which, we
    will see in detail in Chapter Three is the subject of much of the Vajra Rosary.

    In his commentary on chapter three, Alamka
    explains that this state of the four ecstasies is what is referred to in the Mahayoga Tantras
    as manifest enlightenment [Abhisambodhi] and the state of integration [Yughanaddha], the fourth and fifth of the five
    stages [of PK].


    If not persuaded by the contents of the Upayakausalya Sutra, we should consider
    Asanga’s...Mahayanasutralamkara or Universal Discourse Literature.
    There, in the course of advocating the “transmutation” of the five sense faculties, Asanga
    says, “In the transmutation of (sensation, even in) sexual union, highest mastery is
    attained in the station of the buddhas’ bliss, while in the unaddicted vision of the
    consort."


    The commentary used is Indian, 1100s. Zhi ba od procured his copy of the tantra around the 1000s. Lakshmi is probably around this era. As to the exact age of Aryadeva it is difficult to say. And I am not sure there is much other testimony of it. Generally, it is considered Vyakhyana, explanatory, to Guhyasamaja. Of course that theoretically implies "Arya lineage", except-no matter what that actually is--it is still the same as Kagyu Guhyasamaja. Moreover most of its tantric sources that I have looked into contain Yogacara. For the most part, it looks like Aryadeva added massively more detail to Nagarjuna's more compact material, a bit like how Jalandhara has enhanced Saroruha's basic Hevajra commentary, or Bhavabhadra to Jayabhadra's Chakrasamvara.


    However the Vajra Rosary is so advanced that it strongly suggests CMP Aryadeva could not have been anywhere near as early as a Nagarjuna who was among the first handful of Mahasiddhas. So far, nothing shows it having much before a tenth-century existence, similar to most of the advanced tantras, other than the implied age of Aryadeva. Over its large number of chapters, we are told they are a mix of "loopy" and linear:


    For example, while chapter sixty-two states that ejaculation is a “fault” in the practice and that the
    guru “should…control the vajra, delighting the deities in whatever way,” i.e. control
    release and not reach orgasm, chapter fifty-four refers to “conventional enlightenment
    spirit falling into the yogini.” Chapter six exclusively employs the mantra Hum Hoh
    for vajra repetition, while chapters fifteen and twenty-two use Om Ah Hum. Chapter
    fourteen is a discussion of the various meanings of “vajra” and “lotus,” while chapter
    forty-two discusses the meaning of “vajra.” Chapter sixty-two returns to a description,
    that we saw in chapter forty-four, of the five types of yoginis from the five Buddha clans,
    how they look, and what the proper signals and responses are.


    The following groupings of chapters make thematic sense: chapters 9 and 10 relating to the
    vow and the commitment; 17 and 18 relating to the chakras and the channels; 19 and 20
    on the instants and the ecstasies; 21-25 concentrating on vajra repetition practice,
    including the crucial connection with emptiness in 25; 26-41 relating to the chakras, the
    channels and cutting off conceptuality; 42-48 explaining terms; 49 and 50 relating to
    emptiness; 51-53 describing the luminances; 54 and 55 detailing the twenty rituals and
    their meaning; 56 and 57 on the role of yogic bliss; 58 and 59 deriving the meaning of the
    entire perfection stage from the syllables evam and evam maya and so forth; 60 and 61 on
    the inner offering; 62 and 63 relating to the ganacakra; and 66 and 67 on mundane
    siddhis.

    On the other hand, the placing of some material seems rather random: the naming
    of the energy-winds and conceptualities in chapter 3; the discussion of emptiness in 5; the
    hermeneutical exposition of vajra and lotus in 14.


    It says it is for Mahayoga tantras and Yoginitantras. It uses Yogacara such as "alayavijnana" and "klistamanas" while also using the "Arya" expressions for Three Lights and Sixteen Voidnesses similar to Candrakirti's.


    “Opening the Secret Heart of All Tantras: The Great Yoga Tantra,
    the Clear Expression of the Glorious Vajra Rosary.” This is followed by homage to Mañjusri, Vairocana,
    Vajradakini and the Three Jewels.

    The opening sentence of this first chapter is nearly identical to that of the Secret
    Community Root Tantra, with Buddha “dwelling in the vaginas of the Vajra Queens, the
    essence of the body, speech and mind of all the Tathagatas,” with the additional language
    “with clear realization through the immeasurable Great Seal,” meaning, according to
    Alamka, “the formless nature of clear light speech,” which is realized through vajra
    repetition.


    Although there is a great crowd, what is noticeable are the thirty-two main deities of Akshobhya Guhyasamaja. Buddha ejaculates vajra rosaries which enter everyone's crown cakra, and then he ejaculates his consort. Vajrapani is again the querent here. And as we see, it is not unusual for Vajradakini to be invoked liberally in many tantras. This has also lifted Mahamudra into the introduction, calling it something other than a "gesture".

    But then you could say the Jnanadakini use of it eventually makes the kind that Alamka is looking for, and that the whole tantra has not much other subject, or rather a deepening of this one.

    Circumspectively, it does sound like Hevajra, if it mentions Four Blisses, and Four Cakras, and "Lotus" is "Padmadhara" or "the consort" in Hevajra's sex rites, which appears here, rather than for example "Vajra Ghanta" like Caturpitha said.


    Bhavabhadra was able to comment Four Cakras onto Catuspitha as something of a "bonus", because he had already gotten it from Vajradaka and Hevajra. So it would not really be strange if there was a Vajra Rosary at this time. If it must have existed prior to Bhavyakirti, and this is only a few years before, and it appears that Bhavabhadra is trying to "force" a Four Initiation commentarial system wherever it might go, Vajra Rosary is probably similar to this. Attempts to extricate the Guhyasamaja lineage from the Hevajra probably will not work. At a certain level, they are just different mandalas, and slightly different samadhis. The "operations" are the commentarial tradition, which is more or less accurate and powerful depending on the comment.


    One may also notice that although there are only "two surviving" branches of Guhyasamaja, they still appear to be the oldest:


    Arya, Jnanapada, Santipa, Lalitavajra, Smrti[jnanakirti], a hybrid Kalacakra/Guhyasamaja, and Anandagarbha.



    A lot of what Taranatha says is not very precise; but in the case of Vikramasila, it is probably the best way to frame the medieval era. Gopala defeated a Naga with a Club from Cunda, so, this goddess has a background prior to her showing up in Manjuvajra's mandala. The first two acharyas, Jnanapada and Dipamkarabhadra, were in Dharmapala's era. So here is where we intersect objectivity in general Wiki information:


    Taranatha states that Gopala was a staunch Buddhist, who had built the famous monastery at Odantapuri. Dharmapala made the Buddhist philosopher Haribhadra his spiritual preceptor. He established the Vikramashila monastery and the Somapura Mahavihara.

    Gopala I 750–770

    Dharmapala 770–810

    Devapala 810–c. 850




    So, because the second acharya must have served from the early 800s for an unspecified term, followed by the ones who serve twelve years:


    ...the third in the early to mid portion of the 9th century, Jayabadhra was the first prominent commentator on the Cakrasamvara Tantra.

    Śrīdhara was the next preceptor, followed by Bhavabhaṭṭa. The latter, also a prominent commentator on Cakrasamvara, may have been the Mahāsiddha Bhadrapāda.

    He in turn was succeed by three more prominent Cakrasamvara commentators, Bhavyakīrti, [...Lilavajra...], Durjayacandra, and Tathāgatarakṣita. Durjayacandra collaborated with the renowned Tibetan translator Rinchen Zangpo (958-1055).



    If Jayabhadra could have hardly started before 820, or Durjayachandra before 980, there has to be considerably more than a hundred years between them, whereas we only have enough people for about six twelve-years terms here. And then the ones that come after him would push the Six Gatekeepers too late. Durjayachandra should be very close to them, so, he might be out of sequence here. The list should cover 144 years. In total, that sounds close to the right amount.


    Drokmi, who met Ratnakarasanti, sounds a generation away from Durjayachandra:

    Then having gone to the eastern part of India, he encountered Bhikṣu Vīravajra, who was the greatest direct disciple of Durjayachandra, who himself had held the lineage of Āchārya Virūpa's own disciple, Ḍombiheruka. From that point, Durjayachandra is said to have his own Hevajra tradition, i. e. other than that of Saroruha, whereas Ratnakarasanti, Naro, and Maitri are seen as "blends".






    Ramapala comments "Sahaja third" back *into* the Five Stages of PK:


    Profound Generation Stage...Vajrajapa

    Completion...Svadhisthana, Karmamudra

    Perfect Completion...Abhisambodhi, Dharmamudra

    Sahaja or Essential Nature...Yughanaddha, Mahamudra


    Finally, the "outer phase of creation", or visualized image, is Samaya Mudra. It sounds backwards, like a serpent biting its tail. The main difference is the beginner version was terrible and with-effort, and eventually it is supposed to re-launch itself as Self-arisen Perfect Image.

    Each Mudra or Seal has Four Joys, viz. Samaya Mudra:


    Ananda...rising of male and female figures together

    Paramananda...the jewel city

    Sahajananda...merging of the deities in sun and moon and melting through passion

    Viramananda...arising in Sambhogakaya after being urged by songs from Pukkasi and others, the joy of separation from attachment


    So that is like a "generic samayamudra", a pledge mandala done first, except this first thing is no longer dignified with a name other than outer or brief creation phase, and now it is mirrored into something beyond what was thought of as the last Mudra, it evidently is beyond Yughanaddha. It is talking about getting into Prabhasvara flawlessly, and perfectly re-arising.

    Simple enough, this Samaya Mudra definition matches the fourfold sadhana design we are looking at. Itself says it also matches the Aryan terms. It is a "level of practice", which matches the whole Sahaja Hevajra sadhana. At a lower level, even Mahamudra, the Four Joys do not necessarily have to mean the same thing, or the sadhana be as full.


    Mathes's Caturmudranvaya with Karopa's commentary. Karopa (or also Bhitakarman) was a disciple of Vajrapāni, who in turn was one of Maitrīpa’s heart disciples. They attribute this to Nagarjuna, which is contested by Vibhuticandra (1170-1230), a Kalachakra follower, Disciple of Śākyaśrībhadra. He claims to receive revelation from the same Savari as Maitri does. We do not expect Kalachakra to support our view. Karopa relies on Ramapala. So this commentary is actually last, and yes, it does give a "causal samayamudra" in Generation Stage.


    Kongtrul elsewhere briefly mentions Four Seals as an ancillary, saying they have many definitions. Here, as an example:


    On this subject of the four seals, the lordly Maitripa and his lineage
    base their explanation on Nagarjuna[garbha]’s Ascertainment of the Four
    Seals, which they consider to express the view of the Hevajra tantra. The
    action seal is posited as both the actual action seal (the principal one) and
    the pristine awareness seal, an imaginary seal (an auxiliary). The doctrine
    seal comprises the yogas of the winds, the vital essences, and the inner heat,
    and the [yoga practiced] by persons of superior faculties, that of the indestructible [state], the focus of which is solely mind’s bliss. Accordingly, Sahajavajra’s Compendium of Tenets says:

    The doctrine seal is cultivated
    By the less capable at the level of channels and letters;
    By the middling as the distinctive inner heat;
    And by the best as the indestructible state.
    It is said to be the awareness that comprises
    Vital essences and subtle yogas.
    The great seal is natural, authentic pristine awareness, free from all conceptual constructs. The pledge seal is the deity’s form which manifests without
    being mentally projected. This last has as its cause the enhancement and
    sealing practice in the generation phase, which is a concordant [seal].






    This -garbha spelling traces to the
    Vidyadharas, which again are somewhat historically precise, ca. 750:


    Vidyadhara Nagarjuna-garbha came from Bengal and was proficient in the secret practice of the wrathful Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, called Hayagriva.


    Nagarjunagarbha:


    According the transmission lineage of Semde (sems sde), Nagarjuna Garbha, the son of a brahmin householder, was foretold in numerous sutras and tantras. He accomplished the Great Peacock dharani mantra and the alchemy of transforming base metal into gold through which he was able to benefit others. This bodhisattva who had attained the seventh level also composed the scripture on the Great Perfection known as (byang chub kyi sems kun bsdus). He in turn taught Samanta.

    Samanta, the daughter of the courtesan Sucharya, was a woman tireless in helping beings by means of the ten spiritual activities and the virtuous actions. She was a disciple of Nagarjuna Garbha (klu sgrub snying po) and attained a vision of Tara Devi and became the teacher of Kukkuraja the second dog king -- Kukkuraja the Younger (khyi'i rgyal po phyi ma): alias Dhahuna -- at the ocean in the northwestern part of Uddiyana.


    "Semder" is as in Dzogchen:


    Parani (Metsongma Parani, Arali the Courtesan): a sudra prostitute (metsongma, smad ‘tshong ma), daughter of Bhahuta (father) and Gaden Dhari (mother), student of No¨djyinmo Changchubma, 6th holder of the Dzogchen Semde Lineage (the lineage leading up to Shri Simha [19th], teacher of 8th c. Vairocana), and a teacher in her own right. She is also called Arali the Courtesan and with that name is listed as a Dzogchen lineage holder in Wellsprings, p. 361, wrote a scripture on the Great Perfection called Luminosity of Awakened Mind, was the teacher of Nagarjuna Garbha.

    Princess Gomadevi: Oddiyana, main transmission of Mahayoga Karmamudra, 9th holder of the Dzogchen Semde


    Why would Hayagriva Nagarjuna be bracketed in to Hevajra Nagarjuna, who is not known to exist? How does Arya Nagarjuna of Guhyasamaja fit into that?? I do not think the "Four Seals" addresses the view of a tantra, it is its own view which is compatible with various tantras. This has always been said to be part of Mahamudra, which itself has a few various meanings, and is used differently in some tantras that the technique is not intended for.

    To his credit, Aryadeva has Charyapada 31 along with Saraha and the other known greats. There is no Nagarjuna or Chandrakirti in it.


    Kongtrul ties them back together with:


    ...the many synonyms for ultimate truth in
    [Aryadeva’s] [Lamp] Summary of Tantric Practice,
    “luminous clarity,” “indestructible pristine awareness,” and so on. Many expressions such as
    “suchness” and “perfect end” are found in [Buddhashrijnana’s] Oral Teachings of Manjushri. 32


    32. Buddhashrijnana’s Meditation on the Reality of the Two Stages (Toh. 1853) is referred
    to by this name. It is known as the Oral Teachings of Manjushri because Darika (Ban de
    mchung ma can), Buddhashrijnana’s master, was considered to be a manifestation of
    Manjushri.



    If so, he is in the early Chakrasamvara lineage, Luipa-->Darikapa-->Ghantapa:

    Slave-King of the Temple Whore


    He is associated with in Kagyu:


    Dakini Sukhadhari


    I don't know how he got that, but, Darika probably is about the right era to be connected to Jnanapada. However, he is not known for anything to do with Guhyasamaja.


    Lopez published:

    Darikapa's Tantric Sadhana on the Heart Sutra


    He is also in Mahamudra:

    Accomplishment of the Great Secret Thatness written by Darikapa


    From a Japanese abstract, it is Mahaguhyatattvopadesa. One cannot tell much other than they think the Mahamudra books are about Guhyasamaja and Hevajra together. "Thatness" or "Suchness" is Tathata, this is a book of Tattva, or reality, and "upadesa" is more like "how to accomplish".

    Bhattacharya has conflicting information on him, and adds a Kalachakra work to his overall panel of Chakrasamvara and Vajrayogini (probably from a Darika II).

    Of course, there is a Dombi among these writers, which would make it difficult for Dombi to know Durjayachandra. It is entirely possible to get a false attribution for Kalachakra due to a person copying his name. In fact these people are lucky if someone *doesn't* copy them. Darika and Dombi both appear repeated ca. 1000.

    Kongtrul's note right there is quite revelatory, there is nothing else like it, and no way to confirm. However, it seems quite possible.


    In Bu ston's account, Luipa was son of King Lalitacandra of 0ddiyana. When the prince encountered Savaripa, Saraha's disciple, he was immensely impressed by this siddha and begged him for instruction. He received initiation into the Samvara-tantra. The initial part of his sadhana was completed when he joined a circle of twenty-four Dakas and Dakinis in a rite of offering in a cremation ground which climaxed in consumption of the corpse of a sage.

    After living on fish guts:


    His subsequent encounter with the king and minister who became Darikapa and Dengipa portray Luipa as an outrageously honest and fearless exploiter of personal power, and also an adept wielder of the apt phrase bearing tantric truth.

    Consistent with this facility with words, the Sakya school's account of Luipa's life asserts that he was a scribe (kayastha) at the court of the Maharaja of Bharendra, Dharmapala. Begging alms at Dharmapala's palace Savaripa recognized the scribe Luipa as a suitable recipient of his Samvara lineage.

    Kambala, Ghantapa, Indrabhuti, Jalandhara, Krsnacarya, Tilopa and Naropa were all initiates into the Samvara-tantra according to the method of Luipa.

    Robert Beer says:


    Other historical accounts relate that the young prince was initiated into the Chakrasamvara Tantra by Shavaripa, who in turn was a disciple of the great Mahasiddha Saraha. This places Luipa's date to the late 8th and early 9th century, with both Saraha and Luipa being instigators of Chakrasamvara Tantra lineages that were then transmitted to mahasiddhas such as Ghantapa, Tilopa, Naropa, and Marpa Lotsawa who then transmitted this practice into the Kagyu tradition of Tibet.


    Kagyu means four ways of looking at four kinds of teachings and one of them is:


    Mahamudra, yuganaddha (& Chakrasamvara tantra)...Nagarjuna, Ratnamati & Matangipa

    Illusory body, Dream yoga (& Mahamaya tantra)...Mayakaya, svapna and mahamaya...Caryapa

    Clear light, (Hevajratantra) & Heat yoga...prabhasvara, hevajra & candali...Vajrapani, Dombi Heruka & Lavapa

    "4 Seats" and Transference...Catuhpitha & samkranti...Vajapani, Saraha, Luipa, Darikapa, Dengipa


    Well, this Dombi, is using Vasantatilaka, the Chakrasamvara commentary, to inspire his way of doing Hevajra. What makes this noticeable is the only mention of Caturpitha. Usually, Nagarjuna is credited with Guhyasamaja and Svadhisthana...but this set does not have Guhyasamaja in it.

    You see the trick. Transference, the power, would ultimately be after Prabhasvara as the chart shows. But the Caturpitha is the more basic tantra and would be done first, and, if so then traditionally it is followed by Mahamaya. Then it would be Buddhakapala (which is Chakrasamvara). So that is one of the better uses of Sanskrit by a Tibetan.

    Transference is not in each table, and its other example does not refer to the tantra. That is the one based from Naro, and if you got his book, you might notice Jnanadakini. When we see it here, we would say, Kagyu is Luipa Chakrasamvara, this can't possibly be right. But if that is passed to Nagarjuna, and, it is due to Mahamudra, which, is explained by Four Seals of Maitri and Ramapala, and attributed to him...that works.

    In another version, Saraha has Mahamudra and Nagarjuna has "Father Tantra", i. e. Guhyasamaja, as he does in the rest. This particular version lacks both, as Caturpitha seems to have replaced it.


    That is exactly how this works and from internal evidence I can see why.


    It appears that although Vajra Rosary is a Mahamudra text, it gives Four Joys and Four Seals in the common order with Sahaja and Mahamudra last.


    If Nagarjuna followed it that closely, it is hard to imagine he would write "Four Seals" as a re-analysis which resembles Hevajra Tantra.


    So, it does not match our preferred explanation, but I won't say it is "wrong", I would say it is "transitional", in exactly this way. It really only describes the Joys in a sexual manner. It has the normal sexual initiations. It repeatedly claims itself and the Guhyasamaja to be sexual yoga. And as a consequence from that, it explains Four Joys in a rising manner which lead to melting, and then four descending of melted bodhicitta.


    That is not our system, we don't have any names for that first set, it begins on the second set here and then rises as Mercury. So although it is mostly the same picture as Vasantatilaka, it is actually only half the tantra.

    It is not a Heruka yoga, by performing these instructions, one becomes Vajrasattva.

    It also has no solution, not even Tson kha pa could figure out all 108 winds, and, the modern Vajracharya's advice is "good luck".

    For a moment, we shall overlook most of its details, since those work specifically in Akshobhya Guhyasamaja. If we grab the generic or universal parts of the commentary, then, yes, it is an excellent workhorse about cakras and pranayama and so forth, but I believe it will confess its own "placement" and relation to other things. In one case it says "Eight Moods", which seems odd if the much older Dakini Jala already has nine.

    And so when we go through this, it is mostly quite extraordinary and very useful, and we are trying to say that what it says about Mahamudra is quite close to what we mean, but then that itself is only Third or rather the condition from which the final Fourth State is emerged. This tantra may not support and may even deny that view. Our point is that Subtle Yoga is not even sexual yoga. This whole book is a structured sexual experience for someone who probably took a vow of celibacy. It might be a little different for someone in a normal relationship, or, as Tson kha pa, says they can already do it in a fully visualized manner.



    It very nearly begins on Abhisambodhi and Sahajananda:


    “Vajra Rosary” also refers to the “thirteenth stage,
    the genuine state of the fourth ecstasy, the ecstasy of universal emptiness.” This
    thirteenth stage is presumably that referred to in the second chapter as corresponding with
    the third empowerment, the wisdom-knowledge empowerment, referred to there as “true
    union.” Alamka explains that this state of the four ecstasies is what is referred to in the
    Mahayoga Tantras as manifest enlightenment and the state of integration and in the
    Yogini Tantras as innate or orgasmic ecstasy, reflecting the status of the Vajra Rosary as
    common to both branches of Tantra.



    Guhyasamaja:


    It is called “Community” because it involves mingling or mixing (‘dres pa) during sexual
    yoga “when the two secret channels perfectly join and touch,” which results in the
    blazing of tummo, which awakens the channels and fills them with enlightenment spirit
    from the crown chakra.

    In his commentary on chapter four, Alamka states that “Community” also refers to the vajra
    repetition mantric practice of placing Sanskrit syllables on the petals of each chakra,
    and, in addition, to the stage of Tantra, i.e. sexual yoga.



    Nirvikalpa is one of its primary teachings, attached closely to Melting:


    Non-conceptuality is deployed as a synonym
    for emptiness and it is used to describe the fourth ecstasy, innate ecstasy occurring
    when the enlightenment spirit dissolves in the navel chakra and “is born in the Great
    Bliss Wheel [crown chakra].” When one engages in sexual yogic practices, it is done
    not in a state of ordinary sexual conceptual fantasy and the like, but in a “non-conceptual
    state,” the yogi having consumed all of the conceptual energy-winds.

    The text describes as “true yoga” the part of the practice of vajra repetition
    where the yogi counts the one hundred eight conceptual energy-winds in the
    “supreme practice of non-conceptuality".

    Non-conceptuality is the one
    characteristic of self-consecration or illusory body, the third of the five stages.

    The Great Seal itself, the object of Tantric practice, is non-conceptuality.



    Better put, Pranayama leads to Nirvikalpa, which strengthens or becomes full in Svadhisthana, which is akin to Mahamudra.


    The tantra does not seem to comprehend terms such as Extreme, Complete, or Sublime Perfection such as you could find in Dzogchen--at least not as a stage of practice. Something like that would be the name for the "new fourth", if we were trying to persuade someone about whatever is after Mahamudra:




    In chapter two, Buddha describes the four empowerments required for perfection
    stage practice.

    Chapter eight describes the increasingly blissful states of ecstasy as being born in
    the crown chakra and dissolving in the navel chakra, although the Tantra subsequently
    describes in much greater detail this “reverse” generation of the ecstasies, as well as the
    “forward” method. Sexual yoga, “the equal union of vajra and lotus,” while causing the
    reality of energy-wind “to be held in the central channel,” through the placing of mantras
    at the tips of the sexual organs, “bestows all bliss".


    Chapter nine concerns itself
    with the various levels of meaning of the vows necessary to protect the practice. The first
    aspect of the Tantric vow, which Alamka denotes as conventional, is not emitting semen.



    That is why it is transitional, because it is like Kalachakra. As we have seen, other sources have a similar subject, but with no other recourse than it is about a man ejaculating. This one is pretty strenuous about Retention or Dharana.




    Chapter forty-four, the last full chapter Alamka’s commented upon, discusses in
    detail the various types of “seals,” categorized in the Tantra as reality, action,
    commitment and “Great Seal".

    The “commitment seal” is that of inseparable wisdom and compassion of the bodhisattvas,
    which benefits others, “spontaneously manifested by the power of prayer,” purifying
    the Buddha field. Finally, the “great seal” is “the nature of that which lacks inherent
    existence".


    So, it may mean Prajnopaya in that section for "commitment" or Samaya Mudra. Most of the time, samaya means "commitment", "pledge", etc., but it is also correct that it means Time as in Time spent in the Actual Manifestation of the Deity, which is how we mean it in the fourth way.


    The “great seal” of
    secret meaning is the non-conceptual state of great bliss emptiness wisdom attained by
    the yogi as a result of practicing yoga with the Tantric consort.

    The Tantra also specifies here that without the wisdom empowerment, “not
    knowing the personal instruction in this, the meditation on the creation stage, rejecting
    this knowledge, you won’t become enlightened by other methods".


    The locus for most if not all of the sexual yogic practices is the ganacakra,
    described in detail in chapter sixty-two.

    While all these activities should be done by the Vajra Master, if the Vajra Master
    isn’t present, the Vajra Assistant will do, and if there is no Vajra Assistant, anyone can
    preside, acting as Vajrasattva. The presiding one “should summon again and again
    yoginis of various types,” and he might commit the fault of ejaculating. At this point, if
    you wish to offer your “mother, sister or daughter,” you should do so, at which time the
    guru “should…control the vajra, delighting the deities in whatever way,” reiterating
    that he is to control release and not reach orgasm.


    In chapter forty-one of the Vajra Rosary, Vajradhara defines and discusses the
    “reality realm,” the dharmadhatu. This is defined as the unseen element pervading all
    things, “just as sesame oil is in a sesame seed, and just as fire is in wood.” It is not
    even seen by intelligent ordinary people “because it is covered by adventitious stains.”
    The reality realm is only seen by the meditator on the two stages who practices the yoga
    of emptiness wisdom, meaning “emptiness wisdom characterized by body isolation
    which serves as the antidote to subject and object.” Seen in this way “all things are
    explained as a bhaga,” and the “sphere” of reality as enlightenment spirit.
    And in chapter forty-two, the Vajra Rosary again explains the term “vajra.” With
    the nature of the five Buddha wisdoms, “it dissolves into the five [main] channels”.


    In chapter sixty, the completion stage teachings of the Vajra Rosary are
    analogized to the traditional Vedic puja, or fire offering.718 It is the “inner nature” that
    “is the supreme fire offering:” “a fire of the seed of instinctual consciousness, the
    kindling of the five aggregates and great yogic wisdom.” In order to make the
    offering, the two sexual organs unite, fanning the fire in the center of the navel chakra.
    This “fills up with butter” i.e. enlightenment spirit melting from the crown chakra, with
    HAM as the “small ladle” of the puja, the penis as the “large ladle,” and “the vagina…as
    the hearth.” Completing the analogy, “the aggregates become the sacrificial firewood;
    the butter is explained as enlightenment spirit.” This internal offering satisfies the
    deities of the body, constituting “the unexcelled divine commitment.”


    718 See generally Y. Bentor 2000, for an excellent discussion of the interiorization of the fire offering in
    India and Tibet. There, however, the focus is on the Sri-Vajradaka Tantra and commentarial works, and
    the Vajra Rosary is not mentioned. Bentor subdivides interior fire rituals into five categories: (1) based on
    inner heat and the subtle body; (2) offerings of great bliss performed with a consort; (3) food ritual; (4)
    mental; and (5) offerings of wisdom which destroy ignorance, noting that “no single Tibetan work I have
    consulted recounts all five of these categories in a straightforward manner.”



    It has the Moments in their usual order:


    Chapter nineteen is a very short summary of the four “instants” of
    sexual yoga: Variety; Ripening; Triumph; and Beyond Characteristics.

    Ripening is when the bliss in the channels
    reaches the throat; Triumph is “innate” or “orgasmic” wisdom, with “the character of a
    vajra rosary, the formless instant, complete manifest enlightenment;” and Beyond
    Characteristics is “the formless instant, complete manifest enlightenment, surpassing the
    semen that emerges from the channels.”

    Ecstasy is located in the navel chakra; Supreme Ecstasy in the heart; Transcendent
    Ecstasy in the throat; and Innate or Orgasmic Ecstasy in the crown chakra. Alamka
    explains that this starts with the support of the letter A in the navel chakra, and ends with
    the innate in the crown chakra “because in it there is the indestructible shape of the
    syllable HA.” In the forward method, these are the other way round, with Ecstasy
    starting in the crown chakra with the melting of the enlightenment spirit there by the
    wisdom fire, and the more intense ecstasies experienced in the throat, heart and navel
    chakras, respectively.

    Then the four instants are described in somewhat greater detail and correlated
    with the four ecstasies, all in the context of the “reverse” method. Variety is the
    experience of “looking, attracting…and kissing on the mouth,” and causes Ecstasy.
    “Ripening” is (all in the context of sexual yoga) when the two organs meet and cause the
    fire in the navel chakra (tummo) to melt the enlightenment spirit in the crown chakra,
    overcoming conceptuality and giving rise to Supreme Ecstasy and being the cause a
    little later of Innate or Orgasmic Ecstasy. It is centered in the heart chakra. The
    instant of Overcoming is identified with the throat chakra and Transcendent Ecstasy,
    where the entire central channel is experienced as undifferentiated, as the enlightenment
    spirit falls straight down from the crown, unimpeded. The instant Free From or
    Beyond Characteristics, associated with Innate Ecstasy, is the “peaceful state of great
    bliss,” explained by Alamka as “Free from the characteristics of the three other
    [ecstasies], abandoning passion and dispassion.”

    The Tantra then explains the “forward” method, stating that after the practices of
    the energy-winds explained in chapter twelve, the rising stream up the chakras, from the
    navel to the crown chakra, is the cause of achievement of the yogi. In this method,
    Ecstasy and Variety are associated with the navel chakra; Supreme Ecstasy and Ripening
    with the heart chakra, which is also stated to be “the supreme basis of all emptiness
    accomplished by the yogi;” Transcendent Ecstasy and Overcoming with the throat
    chakra; and Innate Ecstasy and the instant Free From Characteristics with the crown
    chakra.


    As explained in more detail in the CMP, meditation on the energy-winds is the
    preparatory stage of the first of Nagarjuna’s five stages, vajra repetition. In accordance
    with the well-known notion that the subtle body energy-winds are the mounts of the
    subtle-mind conceptualities, chapter three concludes with the naming of the one hundred
    eight conceptualities.


    The Vajra Rosary is regarded by many in the tradition as being the urtext
    on this subject. The subject of the sixth chapter is the yoga of energy-wind and
    mantra, specifically the opening of the three-fold knot in the center of the heart chakra...

    Alamka notes, quoting the Sri-Herukabhyudaya-nama, that the practice of mantra (e.g.
    as briefly discussed in chapter eleven) must be mastered before taking on the reality of
    the energy-winds, consisting mainly of “meditat[ing] on the five or ten kinds of energywinds
    and … causing [them] to be identified precisely.


    Alamka explains that, “You should
    know the five types of energy-wind as manifest enlightenment in five aspects through the
    purification of the five wisdoms.”


    Alamka says:

    “’Gathering the dakinis’ is causing the gathering of the seeds of the five Buddhas in the
    place of the heart, which are made to be invisible, [and] therefore are expressed as
    dakinis who gather, expressed in order to know that.”


    As a result of completion stage practices, the enlightenment spirit from the crown
    chakra flows through all the channels. At the moment of the holding of the flowing
    energy-wind at the tip of the penis and vagina, that is, at the substance drop, the yogi
    meditates the mantra KSHMI at the tip of the penis, which at this point is in contact
    with the palate, explained by Alamka to mean the “lower” palate, “the very long channel
    in the middle of the vagina.” This “causes the attainment of supreme yoga, the
    supreme basis of all bliss.”

    Tsong kha pa, and that, in general, the Secret Community “is taught for the sake of the person
    who has lust for the union of the two organs….”

    “Inconceivable time,” the “fourth moment” discussed in chapters nineteen and
    twenty, that of “beyond characteristics,” is expressed in the Tantra as “one time,” as in
    its beginning words, “One time I heard.” In this moment time is unitary, all the elements,
    and you abandon great bliss as well as “wisdom consciousness,” explained by Alamka
    as both kinds of the spirit of enlightenment. This fourth moment of inconceivable time is
    “free from expressed and expression” because it is “free from the conceptuality of the
    [third ecstasy] free from ecstasy.” You are “definitively liberated from passion and
    dispassion” “because you are free from emptiness and extreme emptiness;” you “abandon
    the state of great bliss” because you “are free from great emptiness.” The fourth moment
    is “the genuine basis of the Great Seal,” “because it has the nature of universal
    emptiness


    The channels arise when the sense powers are joined with the sense objects, “produced by the union
    of mental engagement and energy-wind.” This gives rise to the instinctual natures
    and the one-hundred eight channels and causes conceptuality and the constant return to
    the cycle of birth, old age, sickness and death. The way to break the cycle is by de-reifying
    the sense powers and their objects through the wisdom that purifies them of their
    “thing-ness.” This is accomplished by understanding that things are “devoid of any
    ultimate nature” through the standard techniques of meditating on emptiness...
    When you do this, the channels disappear.


    On Fruit, Abhisambodhi, Three Luminances, Mahamudra, Mahasukha in Chapter Forty:


    Although this state is “the epitome of Mahayoga,” “you learn the wonderful supreme essence from the Yogini
    Tantras, causing the taste of great wisdom to descend.”1274


    1274 Alamka explains: “Because it is realized from the Wisdom Dakini Tantra” (ye shes kyi mkha’ ‘gro
    ma’i rgyud las rtogs par bya ba nyid kyi phyir). Alamka 208B. I have not been able to locate a Tantra by
    that name, Jñanadakinitantra...


    There. They just said so.

    In other words, Mahayoga--meaning Guhyasamaja, Yamari, and all "lower tantras" and so on, as summed up by Perfection Stage in these vyakhyas and commentaries, is, again, actually distilled to Jnanadakini.

    If it were possible for "Manjughosha" to have made something other than a Guhyasamaja mandala, which appears to be the Bell with Jnanadakini, then, perhaps they have a common source, Darika.

    The actual or main tantric practice, Melting, "comes from there".


    Sex is actually irrelevant to this happening, so, I would think, instead of a "secret of sexual yoga", it is just yoga that very plainly may include sex. Darika at one time had fourteen thousand disciples. Not hard to imagine it being a common practice. And then Maitri and Abhiseka Nirukti "trample" sex. That is pretty much what happens. Vasantatilaka is said to mainly handle the inner processes without these additional attachments such as Vajra Rosary having "preliminary" Four Joys.



    It once had a system going to:


    ...the fourth empowerment, which follows the three signs of
    luminance, radiance and imminence, at which time the intelligent yogi sees reality.
    The three luminances cause the five clairvoyances...



    But one notices a large leap from Pranayama, because it associates Dharana:


    ...retention with clear light; and recollection and concentration with integration.


    which really encapsulates all the yoga. We want to make an important distinction between Melting and Prabhasvara. Yet these are natural phenomena which do not require Buddhism to experience. The commentaries are saying that this ability to experience it should be merged into the yogic sadhana appropriately. So, if one could experience this, then you would actually be "prepared" for the Fourth Initiation. However the Dharana stage really does intend a replete mastery. And so we see how it is a lot like grounding you in an ability which, itself, is the basis for the Fifth and Sixth Yogas.


    Mostly this text talks about Six Cakras, although a couple of times it does refer to four, similar to the ones in Vajradaka. It also says "know this from yoginitantras" more than once. And for the Four Joys, the commentary relies on one of the lines used to argue that the "fourth joy", i. e. Sahaja, is "before the last moment".



    Alamka quotes the Hevajra Tantra:

    “Slight bliss is Ecstasy/ Supreme Ecstasy is more than that/ Transcendent Ecstasy is free from passion/ The
    fourth is free from these.”



    Theoretically, that is anachronistic, i. e. you can use Guhyasamaja to support Hevajra, but not vice versa. Once this appears, the argument of Abhiseka Nirukti, and, Maitri's Nagarjuna if we are forced to put it that way, are present. That makes four in a row, the Nirukti, Maitri, Ramapala, and Karopa give most of these details the same way.

    In actual yoga practice, the distinction being made is slight and not exactly a pressing issue for beginners, it is just very easy to express the same Four Mudras in a different order and match it up to the Heruka sadhanas. The Vajramala even says it is mainly so Vajrasattva takes dominion over the rulers of the ten directions. And so yes when we put Samayamudra fourth, it means Nirmanakaya like this. It means a self-arisen one from the state of Prabhasvara. That definitely does not automatically happen in a natural process or non-Buddhist yoga. I suppose it is possible to "experience Prabhasvara" by Dharana indefinitely, without quite having this "risen Heruka", since it must be the rebirth of something that died, which is i. e. why you have bindu yoga, bija syllables, hand symbols, etc. as inputs associated with a deity.


    Vajramala is weird, and, probably on its own on several avenues, but it definitely supports the importance of the Hum syllable in the Heart. Although correct, in my view it is a bit too direct, is a bit too close to having the Bull's Hoof as a visualization. Part of our practical view is that seeing something is less important than feeling and knowing it, and so we want to achieve this Melting because that is what is actually needed to do it. Alamka just said Jnanadakini is informative towards "descent" and Hevajra is a whole suksma yoga cycle.

    That being said, if you can actually "live" it, if it feels like that is where "you" live, this is also the intent. Instead of feeling like you are stuck in your eyes or brain, with a body as an apparatus or extension, you feel like you live in the heart, and the eyes and brain are just attachments.

    It is possible to crush all the Winds, without identifying any of them, and this tantra addresses that issue. Having done this yoga, I would admit to this curiosity, only having sensed "wind" categorically, nothing resembling Families.

    That mainly means Quintessence, and, Quintessence of Quintessences. Ultimately, a hundred and eight conceptual winds versus the sole non-conceptual wind. This, and most Yogacara, relishes Nirvikalpa or "non-conceptual", which however has basically the same meaning in Advaita. The Nectar itself is similar to Shakti Pancatattva:


    Tārā Dravamayī


    Winds as a basic pattern come from Ayurveda, and Vishuddhimagga, the ca. 500s south Indian Buddhist yoga.




    From the transmission of Eight Wrathful Ones of Kagye':


    The receiver of the transmission of Amrita Medicine (bdud rtsi sman) was Vimalamitra (dri med bshes gnyen), the vidyadhara of Qualities.

    ...the secret practice of the wrathful Bodhisattva Samantabhadra, called Vajramrita.


    also having composed:

    The Extensive Commentary to the Heart Sūtra (shes rab snying po’i rgya cher 'grel pa)

    Vimalamitra is reported to have composed several commentaries on the Guhyagarbha Tantra under the tutelage of Buddhaguhya (c. 8th century), one of the most important Indian Mahāyoga exegetes.


    He gets Four Initiations:


    Following these four empowerments, Vimalamitra is then given even more profound Nyingtik instructions...Vimalamitra spends the next several decades living with several kings throughout India and Kaśmir, including well-known figures such as Dharmapāla and Indrabhūti.


    In time, Vimalamitra copied down the esoteric teachings he had learned, placing one in a golden lake in western Oḍḍiyāna. Another was concealed in a rock formation in a golden park where ḍākinīs met at the outskirts of Kaśmir. And for good measure, a third copy was kept in the burial ground to the north of King Dharmapāla’s temple so that ḍākinīs, gods, nāgas, and the residents could worship the scriptures.


    So, that sounds reasonable, the Eight were instructors of Padmasambhava, who went to Tibet in 749. Vimalamitra could have met King Dharmapala after 770. But otherwise, sometimes the chief is said to be Manjushrimitra as a disciple of Garab Dorje; sometimes Prabhahasti is Padmasambhava. Or from Drikung:


    Of the eight Vidyadharas whom Lord Padmasambhava studied under in the Sitavana grove, it should be noted that initially the chief guru was Vajra Humkara, the guru of his teacher and abbot Prabhahasti. We have already described how Humkara met with Sri Simha in a forest and received from the latter the fundamental instructions for the Sadhana of the Lord, Vajrasattva. It was after practicing for six months with his yogini-wife in the cave of Lang-le-sho in Nepal that Humkara gained the final Great Seal of Buddhahood and beheld the Divine Being (Vajrasattva) face to face.


    Sri Simha was most likely from Kinnaur = Cina, and his Five-peaked Mountain was in Suvarnadvipa, the women's kingdom which soon meets strife and becomes Guge. After training basics there, Sri Simha met the master Manjusrimitra [in Sitavana] and was initiated into the teachings of Dzogchen.

    On a typical Refuge Tree, there is:


    Garab Dorje, who appears to the left of Vajrasattva. To the right of Vajrasattva is Shri Simha, and at the centre of the second row is Vimalamitra...

    Pramodavajra (Tib: Garab Dorje), to Manjusrimitra (Tib: Jampel She-nyen), to Sri Simha (Tib: Pel gi Sengge), and then to Sri Simha's two disciples, Jnanasutra and Vimalamitra. The latter introduced the tradition into Tibet in the time of the Sage-King Tri-srong Detsen, who reigned from circa 755 to 797 AD.


    Humkara or Vaidyapada (Vitapada):


    Humkara was ordained at Nalanda and studied with the masters Buddhajnanapada and Dipamkarabhadra (Skt. Dīpaṃkarabhadra) or Rahulabhadra (Skt. Rāhulabhadra). By practising it together with an ‘untouchable’ (Skt. caṇḍāla) consort, Humkara gained the accomplishment of the mahamudra vidyadhara.

    Dudjom Rinpoche states that Humkara studied with Buddhajnanapada and Rahulabhadra. Taranatha states that he studied with Buddhajnanapada and Dipamkarabhadra.

    Humkara is said to have been the teacher of Avadhuti (Skt.) of Kamaru (Skt. Kāmarū), Vajrasana (Skt. Vajrāsana), Kusali and Buddhashrishanti (Skt. Buddhaśrīśānti) of Uddiyana. These are said to have taught in turn Sauripada (Skt. Sauripāda) and Abhayakaragupta.

    In the Nyingma tradition Humkara is also listed as one of the teachers of Dhanasamskrita. If Humkara taught his students the practice of Shri Heruka, then the students mentioned above constitute the Indian tradition of Shri Heruka.


    On Humkara's writings, all of them are classified as ritual manuals of the Sarvabuddhasamayoga (D 1674-78) and three of them are dedicated to a deity referred to as Shri Heruka.

    Namkhe Nyingpo translated these plus a Heruka tantra for King Trisong Detsen.

    The text verifies a transmission. Obviously it would be difficult for Padmasambhava to have gotten a Heruka by 749 unless the Sitavana event could be viewed as somehow happening before this person trained with the much-later Dipamkarabhadra.

    Just as weirdly, he edited it out of the catalogue he personally made of the First Transmission.


    If we also consider Taranatha’s identification of Humkara with Vaidyapada then there is a further commentary on Guhyasamaja preserved in the Tengyur that could be attributed to Humkara, namely the Samyakvidyakara (D 1850, Skt. Samyakvidyākara, Tib. Yang dag rig byed).

    The Tibetan name of his Heruka tantra is inscrutable. As the simpler "Heruka Galpo":



    One of the Eighteen Mahayoga Tantras; focused on Vishuddha Mind [Yangdak Heruka].

    Kongtrul calls it "Essence of Sri Heruka":

    Śrīherukāvaśyaka

    ...which gives a list of ‘secret terms’ (gsang ba’i ming) that are used within the Nyingma tradition to refer to the gaṇacakra offering articles.



    The instructions related to Yangdak are based on the so-called "eight syllables of the rulu mantra". In the Longchen Nyingtik, the Yangdak practice related to Palchen Düpa is called "Union Of The Buddhas" (Wyl. yang dag sangs rgyas mnyam sbyor).

    Bouquet of Udumbura Flowers quotes it multiple times as a standard on Five Meats and Nectars, using Gauris and others.


    Quoted in Vehicle of Secret Mantra:


    Through the causal vehicle of dialectics
    Mind-as-such is perceived as the cause of buddhahood.
    Through the resultant vehicle of mantras
    Mind-as-such is meditated upon as buddhahood.
    So, too, one should know well the tendency
    Of any cause or result.

    One abides on the level of Vajradhara
    Endowed with the four enlightened families.

    The pitaka in which these [Ubhayatantra] are revealed, includes the
    Awakening of Great Vairocana and the Empowerment of Vajrapani
    (Vajrapanyabhisekamahatantra, T 496).


    In Deity, Mantra, and Wisdom:


    ...visualizing the supported deity, linking the manner in which the vajra
    body comes into existence with the development stage. This process purifies the object of purification. The Heruka Galpo Tantra explains:

    First, emptiness and the awakened mind,
    Second, the occurrence of the seed,
    Third, the complete form,
    Fourth, setting out the syllable . . .

    As implied in this passage, death and the intermediate state are purified by emptiness and the awakened mind.

    According to Jigme Lingpa, the four manifestations of enlightenment
    comprise an approach to development stage meditation unique to the
    Heruka Galpo Tantra.



    Wrathful figures should be visualized as having the nine expressions of
    the dance. As stated in the Heruka Galpo Tantra:

    Captivating, heroic, and terrifying;
    Laughing, ferocious, and fearful;
    Compassionate, confident, and tranquil;
    Assume these nine expressions of dance.



    Path of skillful means...To be
    more specific, one practices by relying upon the six cakras to enact a
    process of blazing and melting. This, in turn, generates the wisdom of
    bliss. Patrul Rinpoche singles out the Tantra of the Perfect Secret and the Heruka Galpo Tantra as sources
    for these practices in the Nyingma School.



    So that is what appears to be a royally-suppressed secret, and certainly was not original to Tibet. Disregarding exactly which way the true date of Humkara may slip, this is a Mahayoga text or same class as Guhyagarbha and Guhyasamaja. The Path of Skillful Means is of course associated with all tantras from Guhyasamaja to Kalachakra.

    But it is Nine Moods, Six Cakras, and Melting, as commented in to Dakini Jala Heruka. Or, into its basket with Vairocana and Vajrapani Abhiseka.



    It appears that Vajra Rosary kind of grabbed "yoginitantras" and made them explanatory to Guhyasamaja. But Guhyasamaja in turn is explanatory to Dakini Jala. The commentary above was either given to Padmasambhava or transmitted during his era, at which time, it was commenting something which had been practiced for fifty years, probably more. So it is unlikely that Humkara made it up just in time to fulfill the King's request, or, order, if that part is to be believed.


    1800s Heruka Galpo Vairocana from private quarters of the Dalai Lama:






    It seems that if the advanced teaching, which is in the Vajra Rosary, appears to be too developed for an early date such as ca. 800, it might not matter. More than likely, it is in Dakini Jala, not the written tantra, but the commentarial system, which is at least slightly, and possibly considerably, older than this. In India, this appears to be recorded as Anandagarbha's Vajrajvalodaya and Heruka sadhana, or at least the mandala is.

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    Default Re: Nirakara and Shentong Buddhism, Tara, Sadhanas, Sanskrit culture

    Lineages vs. textual evidence




    This is extremely unexpected. Something is emerging slowly, like a whale, hard to see all at once. In the previous post, we found that the secret doctrine of yoga was a specific teaching from Humkara, which, in written form, actually did enter Tibet during the First Transmission, apparently by royal order followed by a cover-up. Back in India, we are going to get a different story entirely. A lot of that concerns the Arya school--which we are unable to find. There is a lot involved, but, we want to show you the pieces of it and come to your own decision.


    So far, some of the most famous Buddhist lineages, such as the Chan Patriarchs or Nalanda Masters, have turned out to be unverifiable piles of nothing. Even smaller tantric lineages are extremely difficult. We will try to do what we can on a historical basis, but, the plainest answers are found in the original texts. In other words, we can trace a teaching, and then find places where it is refuted or progressed. We can follow the words and subjects. A too-hasty grab at the personalities involved becomes quite misleading.

    It is easily possible that half of this post will still be wrong in some way like that.

    There is the marker, Tilo and forward, from ca. 1,000, which is adequate. If you want to learn twenty-five Tibetans, you could probably figure out an actual lineage from Tilo to yourself. But we would like to have something to back him up besides anecdotes. This works better by looking at the Sanskrit originals, than by what Tibetans said about it. Most of them had incomplete, if not wrong, information to start with.



    We found a great deal of tantric commentary preceding Luipa, who most likely functioned in the capacity of a scribe for King Dharmapala. Although Kagyu considers him the "head" of Chakrasamvara, he must have gotten something from Saraha. Luipa has something beyond "consecrations" or "sacraments", i. e. Generation Stage, but we are told he does not fully give Completion Stage, at least in writing. "Two Stages" seems to have come about with Jnanapada; however, he most likely got this from Darika of Luipa's Chakrasamvara tradition. Darika simply appears to have been called Manjushri or Manjughosha, at least according to Jamgon Kongtrul. We should hold open the possibility, without swearing to it. These two, Darika and Jnanapada, were massively if not single-handedly responsible for what is called "Buddhism".


    MMK appears to have several tantric commentaries. It is like an atlas and encyclopedia, with some presence of Bodhisattvas and deities, so if you take the whole 1,400 or so pages, it is staggering, but must have some basic amount of esoterism, which it seems to call Mantratantra. Evidently, several of the earliest authors found these rites of Manjushri worthy of attention. Usually, Nagarjuna praises Manjushri, who is frequently shown as the start of his lineage.


    Manjushri is obviously also the namesake of Garab Dorje's disciple Manjusrimitra, who gave the following to Sri Simha:


    O Noble One, should you wish to experience the Continuum of Awareness (vidya-santana) in all its unveiled nakedness, then:

    (1) focus on absolute Awareness as the object [of Meditation];

    (2) press the points of the body with the mudra;

    (3) retain the coming and going of the breath;

    (4) aim [the arrow] at the target [of the crown bindu];

    (5) rely on the immovability (acala) of body, eyes, consciousness;

    (6) and grasp the Vast Openness [of absolute Awareness].


    Manjusrimitra's six steps are remarkably similar to a passage in the Mundaka Upanishad (ii, 3, 4).

    For further reference to the mudra, see in particular the description given in the Sri Hevajra-dakini-jalasamvara-tantra, vol: ii, ch. 5, line 69: svasavyetarapanes tu vrddha vanamika ca ya/ tabhyam prapidayed yogi sambhoge laharidvayam//.



    As the beginning of what we call Nyingma, this was transmitted to Vimalamitra and Humkara, who are contemporaneous with Trisong Detsen and Dharmapala and Jnanapada (and in reverse from him, Darika must be of a similar era as Sri Simha). If Humkara already has a subtle body meditation mixed into Dakini Jala, and, this tantra is also a foundational text of Vikramasila with Jnanapada, then, early appearances of things like Caturpitha, Chakrasamvara, or Vajra Rosary around ca. 800 may seem less surprising. If you just look at the "complexity" of Vishuddhimagga, and more or less change its generic objects to deities, and, this is the Path of Visuddhi, which. i. e. is the main thing by deifying the body and Skandhas, it stretches the imagination less. This seems more accurate than presuming no complex practices could have happened before the tenth century and so on. For instance, Vajra Rosary has no manuscripts of any significant age, but, most of its contents are very similar to Humkara x Vishuddhimagga x Guhyasamaja Tantra.



    I would easily take the above quote as Pith or Sutra Mahamudra, possibly the first. Could it have been in reference to very many tantras? It is not accurate to say Amoghavajra "translated" Guhyasamaja:

    Amoghavajra who visited Śri Lanka and South India by ship from China between 744 and 746CE. During his travels, he received extensive teachings on the Tattvasaṃgraha sutra and produced an outline of it in eighteen sections (Takakusu & Watanabe 1924, sec.T869). Section fifteen describes a "Guhyasamāja-yoga", with some similar features to the extant Tantra, but with many notable items not mentioned. Most of what is described corresponds to the present chapter five.


    From an article exploring Samaya and its likely evolution into the Second Initiation first clearly mentioned by Jnanapada:


    ...the sattvavajrī pāramitā goddess who performs the consecration in a ritual setting. Thus, Amoghavajra’s ritual manual for the worship of Uṣṇīṣavijayā...

    So, yes, I think that is exactly the connection, if one looks at ca. 750, an established system largely based in STTS and what I would call difficult kriya rituals, which is in the process of becoming the mythos for Guhyasamaja, which at the time is incomplete. It is in Nalanda and south India, whereas Sitabani, even though active at this time, can only begin to be shown having external influence. The written Dakini Jala may be older, but, like STTS, is mostly "sacramental" without any subtle yoga. This newer Heruka Yoga from Sitabani comes with Vairocana Abhisambodhi Tantra and Vajrapani Abhiseka, is the same as the base kriya tantra of Nepal. So it is fairly easy to show a written system from the 600s. From Manjushrimitra in the 700s we can add the main subtle yoga commentary and initiation by Guhyajnana Dakini and multiple practices, Kila, etc., which may have been oblivious to the spread of STTS. Or, I should say, Humkara wrote the subtle yoga, derived out of the Pith of Manjushrimitra.


    Manjushrimitra and Sri Simha must be among the top parts of anything that is recorded whatsoever, and subsequently influenced the very famous Vimalamitra, as well as the, what should we say, smuggled (?) Humkara. Here we might think for a moment that maybe Vimalamitra's Five Peaked Mountain was also in Cina, i. e. the origin of soft cloth (later known as Kashmir), which was north of Kinnaur in the women's queendom Suvarnadvipa. Maybe he covered the eight hundred gazillion miles all the way up to Mongolia, but, he might have just crossed the border near ancient Hindu holy sites.

    One would guess that almost certainly, they must have had spoken commentary, which is then found with Humkara's Heruka Gyalpo and conjoined with the Dakini Jala Tantra.

    It has nothing to do with Luipa or Chakrasamvara, and is coming out of Sitabani, Bihar.


    At first, written Heruka tantras were sent to Tibet, and then Humkara was said to still be living in the time of King Senalek (from 804 to 814 or 817) to serve as his chaplain.


    Of course, he represents something that he had got in India, and already spread there:


    Humkara is said to have been the teacher of Avadhuti (Skt.) of Kamaru (Skt. Kāmarū) [Ratnasila], Vajrasana (Skt. Vajrāsana), Kusali and Buddhashrishanti (Skt. Buddhaśrīśānti) of Uddiyana. These are said to have taught in turn Sauripada (Skt. Sauripāda) and Abhayakaragupta. If Humkara taught his students the practice of Shri Heruka, then the students mentioned above constitute the Indian tradition of Shri Heruka.

    Buddhasrisanti is credited with taking Samaja scriptures into Tibet.

    Elder Kusali is in Drikung Nagarjuna lineage (Profound View). Then see how Nagarjuna vanishes from Kusali's Yogacara ( or "Method") heritage:


    Maitreya, Asanga, Vasubhandu, Arya vimuktisena, Battara Vimuktisena, Pramasena, Vinayasena, Santiraksita, Simhabhadra, Kusali (Ratna Bhadra), Kusali the younger (Ratnasena) and Suvarnadvipa to Atisa.





    Taranatha says of Jnanapada:

    He learned Mahayana and Hinayana Pitakas, texts and commentaries with acarya Sinhabhadra...


    ...which is more than suggestive of Sri Simha, and then Humkara or Vaidyapada, a disciple of Sagaracandra, is twisted by Taranatha to appear co-temporaneous with Jnanapada. That sounds likely correct.

    However we might think Humkara's "Avadhuti" lineage is not identical to the similarly-named authors in ca. 1000s, especially since there is only one person we can even guess who is, following Humkara:


    Acarya Avadhuti got instruction from him; from him Ratnakara Santi, from him Vajrasana the senior. Further, from him Kusali and thus it is said was a succession.

    Vajrasana is not a proper name, it is a title usually given to the abbots of Bodhgaya temple/monastery in Bihar, India.

    Kamaru is in a Kukkuripa Charyagiti, or is in Hevajra, meaning Assam.

    Acarya Vaidyapada taught Avadhuti Yogi Ratnasila of Kamaru. The Kayastha-Vrddha or the 'old-writer' of Dharmapala learnt from him too [Luipa].


    So this Ratnasila is recorded as a disciple of both Humkara and Vaidyapada, which might have made someone guess those are the same person. Boord says Ratnasila, an assistant of Padmasambhava, used a Kila to drive heretics away from Rajgrha. Lopez reports:


    ...Pratisthavidhi, rites of consecration and so on; incomplete. This contains
    many notations in Tibetan like, "the Ten Principles and the Rites
    of Burnt-Offering composed by master RatnaSila,".


    Ratnasila does not "have" to be Luipa because he is in Assam, but:


    Luipa was a writer of the king of Udayana in the west named Samanta Subha. Once he met Mahasiddha Savari who together with him sang a song, and received Abhiseka and Tantras from the latter.


    Taranatha says:


    ...he [the Old Writer?] became the Guru of king Mahipala. This acarya built many temple-cloisters for the Guhya-Tantrikas. It was he who wrote the Hevajra-commentary Suvicadasamputa about which, it is said that Tankadasa had written it.

    Tankadas is an official designation given by King Dharmapala, followed in the next sentence by Luipa having a similar position.

    Suvisadasamputa appears after a Ratnakarasanti criticism of Kalachakra and a note that Vajrapani does not refer to the tradition (such as Shambala). It is in the resources for Niguma, along with Caturpitha, Dakarnava, and Aksayamati.


    Yoga Nidra in looking at Bengal mentions Candragomin and Kambala, as well as:


    Kumaracandra

    Described as an Avadhuta of
    Vikramapur Vihara of Bengal.

    Stated to have written three Tantric Panjikas or commentaries.

    followed by the apparent "old writer" of the commentary:


    Santideva...Perhaps different from Santideva,

    author of the Bodhicaryavatara

    and Siksasamuccaya. Stated to be

    a resident of Zahor which according

    to H.P. Sastri, was identical with

    Sabhar in the district of Dacca,

    Bangladesh.

    Tankadasa or Dangadasa Commentary, called

    Suvisadasamputa, on Hevajra-tantra.

    Described as Vrddha Kayastha and a contemporary of Dharmapala.


    That could possibly all mean Luipa, who could easily serve Dharmapala without needing Vikramasila.


    The text, not having "Hevajra" in the title, we nevertheless find a commentary in Dharmapala's time, which is "important" enough to still be translated from Kashmir 1300s, Suvisadasamputa.

    Taranatha is a bit muddy of a writer, but, either directly or by a close parallel, Luipa appears to be receiving more of what was sent to Tibet by Humkara.


    Humkara evidently gives a comprehensive subtle body practice to go with Dakini Jala, which is the initiatic yoga intended to go with Vairocana Abhisambodhi Tantra since ca. 640. It is not possible to show that Humkara's meaning is wholly equivalent to the root of VAT in the 600s. Chances are, he may have added a few words to something that was given to him. And, even the Nyingma view is that of only one lineage Guru, i. e. Manjushrimitra and/or Garab Dorje/Pramodavajra, at which there could have possibly been other branches, or other heart sons of Guhyajnana Dakini, which are lost to history. Humkara was actually of predominant influence in Tibet, and, this same subject, Heruka Yoga, is the same as the vast majority of Sarma tantras.

    It appears that he is two generations back from Padmasambhava, and must have lived at least until ca. 810. The guru stories are very difficult, yet once we can align texts to kings, we can see what is and isn't there. The Tibetan king has been outright cloak-and-dagger about the secret doctrine of Dakini Jala, and due to the non-matching titles it is obscure. Presumably, the same thing was simply undisturbed around Bihar, and that by this time, there probably were Chakrasamvara and Hevajra tantras, whereas the ca. 750 record of Guhyasamaja is still not actually about the whole tantra. The "system of Humkara" appears to be draped over Bodhgaya and Vikramasila. Whereas the Guhyasamaja is not really that early and Chakrasamvara and Hevajra are not that late. It may be more accurate to assume roughly simultaneous, from different areas, Saraha gathers them one way or another.


    Having said moments ago that "an avadhut yogin" of Assam is generic, this is how it later works from Kusali, the identifiable figure in that list. That is because in fact it later does go to the later Siddha Avadhutipa influential to Hevajra and other lineages. And so if we just said, ok, Humkara entered Nyingma about as directly as he could, was this also in Sarma, yes. This is the main way I understand Nagarjuna as talking about "inner yoga", the Profound View which has been transmitted via Kadampa to Drikung:


    Bodhisattva Mañjuśri
    |
    |_ Nagarjuna
    |
    |_ Chandrakirti
    |
    |_ Rigpe Khuchuk
    |
    |_ Kusali Chewa (Vidyakokila the Elder)
    |
    |_ Kusali Chungwa (Vidyakokila the Younger)
    |
    |_ (Avadhutipa)
    |
    |_ Atisha Dipamkara Srijñana


    So we are thinking Elder Kusali has the lineages of both Humkara and Nagarjuna (and Maitreya).

    Kusali is said to have taught "Sauripada", most likely a Saora or Sabara, and Avadhutipa is well-known as Atisa's master and why he would have a background affiliated with Candrakirti.

    Vidyakokila (Skt. Vidyākokila or Vidyākaukila; Tib. རིགས་པའི་ཁུ་བྱུག, rikpé khujuk, Wyl. rigs pa’i khu byug) was a disciple of Chandrakirti and a teacher of Atisha.

    According to Lama Yeshe, the same Kusali:

    Rigpa’i Khuchug (Vidyakokila the younger, or Avadhutipa).


    This later Avadhutipa is in Virupa-->Kanha-->Damarupa's Hevajra lineage, given to Gayadhara and Sakya. Marpa is his next famous student. So it heavily looks like a hundred and fifty years missing between the two Kusalis.

    As we have them, following their transmissions, Humkara x Nagarjuna x Hevajra = Avadhutipa --> 1000s Vikramasila and significant lineage heads of Sakya, Kadam, and Kagyu.




    The preceding list does of course imply a massive gap from Kusali, student of Humkara, ca. 800, to "his disciple" Kusali the younger or, Avadhutipa, ca. 1000. This is perhaps filled by the Hevajra lineage. That kind of timeline is about as good as Uddiyana of the West.






    Asanga was of course trained in Hinayana, but, as far as I know, the Visuddhimagga practice never really spread from south India; as far as I can tell, he is ignorant of it. It does seem influential to Vajra Rosary and southern lineages closer to Nagarjuna. The cakras and nadis, more related to dakinis, can be traced to Dakini Jala in Bihar, and this is influential to Vajramala or just about any Mahayana system, which owes mainly to Asanga, even if the Arya system's own texts quote pre-Asanga Mahayana Yogacara about the Three Lights, or, the main feature of their school according to Wayman and others.

    I take this to mean that the early "discoverers" of the Three Natures were in fact having the experiences as described for tantric Completion Stage, and were at a loss as to how to describe it as a yoga teaching. Not in a way that would be much different from the Upanishads. Vajramala believes it will easily find people who can handle a forty-nine point Generation Stage in six months. That might not be so terribly strange if Humkara's inner yoga had been around for decades, maybe longer.


    It would be entirely possible that "Manjushri" is Darika. And then you would say, Darikapa-->Nagarjuna-->Candrakirti-->Kusali the Elder makes Nagarjuna approximately simultaneous to Jnanapada, just in another location. Such a Kusali in turn could probably also be a disciple of Humkara, also approximately simultaneous to Nagarjuna and, more closely, if not personally, related. One would then realize there would have to be two tantric Candrakirtis, again ca. 800 and ca. 1000.


    Now, realizing how crafty this is. Generally, in the sense that among Vasubandhu's disciples, Sthiramati is attributed with mastery of Abhidharma, Vimuktisena is attributed with mastery of Prajnaparamita. And it is this which would be recognized as textbook "Maitreya lineage". And if you look in every book, Asanga is almost always omitted, such as this being an actual Kadampa lineage prayer:


    I make requests to you lineage gurus who have passed on the teachings of vast
    bodhichitta:

    To you Maitreya, Vasubandhu, Vimuktisena...



    There is nothing fuzzy or unclear about this, there is no such thing as a Maitreya to Vasubandhu transmission, everybody knows that.

    Next this will be coupled with a one-dimensional view of Nagarjuna.

    In a rare, possibly unredacted, view of the two lineages, Method or Upaya adds Asanga, and passes through Vairocana, Haribhadra, Kusali, which would be ca. 800. Profound View, or Prajna, has "Vidyakokila" in the sense of the tantric lineage passed through Avadhutipa. So we have to figure in the equivalency of "Kusali" and the lineages are already combined in the younger Avadhutipa, not by Atisa. And then one can see how easily the selection allows what Candrakirti said to appear to be supported by everyone else.


    This, comparatively, is the origin of Ngor Thirty-seven Point Avalokiteshvara:


    Arya Avalokiteshvara, Arya Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Chandrakirti, Vidyakokila, Avadhutipa, Kusali the Greater Ratna Bhadra, Ratna Prabha, Palden Atisha, Dromton...


    We can find a transmission from Candrakirti to Vidyakokila or Kusali the Elder--who? still leaving a large gap to his namesake.

    Usually, it says Kusali the younger, a conqueror's son, but instead from another example:


    Manjushri and Nagarjuna, the destroyer of the extremes of existence and non-existence,
    Chandrakirti, Vidyakokila the Elder,
    Aryadeva and his son who upheld Buddha's thought,
    I make requests to the lineage masters of the profound view.


    Kusali, Aryadeva's son?


    Kadam thinks of Elder Kusali as receiving multiple Guhyasamajas, and three Mahamudra traditions, those of Nagarjuna, Jnanapada, and Indrabhuti. His teacher, Haribhadra, is unfortunately described as under King Mahipala, the successor of Gopala, founder of Nalanda, which is almost nonsense. In another case, a Purnavadhana is interjected, which is even more difficult since this was an existing bio on a saint from the first century.

    From Tson kha pa:


    The hundredth mahasiddhi wrote a slightly different praise, which became a supplementary prayer to Gang-lo-ma called Sheja-kha-yingpa. This is very, very famous and was recited by the pandit Vidyakokila the Younger. The text is now almost lost; it is extremely rare and it is something many people are searching for, because it is a very, very important praise to Manjushri.

    Tson kha pa appears very mixed up about Sutra Nagarjuna; from Candrakirti, he counts Vidyakokila and Saraha. It would work if you meant Sutra Candrakirti. He honestly does not know what he means.


    From Tson kha pa's disciple Namkha Pel:


    Maitreya and his (spiritual followers) Asanga, Vasubhandu and Vidyakokila;
    Manjushri and (his followers) Nagarjuna and the supreme wise saint Shantideva...

    Here, Vidyakokila is in the "other" lineage. Shantideva in this case is almost certainly not Luipa, but the Sutra master, which will make sense further along.


    So this is terribly difficult to figure out. When we "reach out" to Nagarjuna, we get all these frayed ends, whereas the superior way of looking at it is probably the other way around, from the beginning:


    Luipa was a pupil of Saraha. Or Saraha to Savari to Luipa.


    Saraha is in the Guhyasamaja lineage, and, he revealed Chakrasamvara and Hevajra, and transmitted all three of these to Nagarjuna. Or, the tantras are all from Visukalpa from the dakinis of Uddiyana to Saraha. Or, Manjughosa, Avalokitesvara, Saraha, Nagarjuna and Savari. Some centuries later, the first two emanated as masters Ratnamati and Sukhanatha, respectively. Saraha received these mahamudra teachings from them and in turn transmitted them to his great disciples Nagarjuna and Savari.


    Saraha and Luipa can at least claim their names are not repeated anywhere. There is nothing to even suggest they had two or three hundred year lifespans. And we can probably say that Luipa was getting started around the end of Saraha's lifetime. This is not Taranatha or an Eighty-four Mahasiddhas list, it is a synthetic view from Rahul Sankrityayan, who tried to compare those lists to other material that could be found. The majority of indications turn out to be that Saraha was the first Mahasiddha, and that tantric Nagarjuna was mainly trained by him.


    The titles of some of Saraha's songs certainly read like chapters of tantric commentaries:


    Kāyavākcittāmanasikāra

    Dohakoṣa nāma mahāmudropadeśa

    Svādhiṣṭhānakrama

    Tattvopadeśaśikharadohagīti

    Vasantatilakadohakoṣagītikā

    Mahāmudropadeśavajraguhyagīti


    His three descending lineages almost look like Kagyu Chakrasamvara, Gelug Guhyasamaja, and Sakya Hevajra. He does not account for prior Guhyasamaja or 600s Dakini Jala. Also called Rahulabhadra, he probably passed away by ca. 780. The songs were apparently to justify his life with Arrow Dakini to Bengalese society. She was the, or a, jnanadakini.

    There, Sankrityayana thinks Luipa simply was Dharmapala's clerk. That sounds consistent with Humkara = Vaidyapada. Virupa is placed in Gopala's era, 750-770.

    Behind these, Jnanadakini and Caturpitha. Jnanadakini in a mandala of four Akshobhya Guhyasamaja lineages. Jnanadakini and Matsyendranath going from Assam to Nepal.


    Jnanadakini in Densatil Guhyasamaja.


    The Ngor Guhyasamaja has Red Jnanadakini with the lineage passing Nagarjuna with serpents and reaching Krishnacharya in the upper right. Indrabhuti, Jnana Dakini, Raja Visukalpa, Brahmin Saraha...







    They say it has five branches, including Atisa and Marpa, those cannot be much different.

    From modern Sakya practices:


    By this virtue, having quickly attained the stage of the Jnanadakini, may all migrating beings altogether also be placed upon her stage.

    Followed by Parasol's Khasama mantra where she is also Devi Vajradhari.


    Again for Niguma, taking "Sosa" as Sitavana:


    Her real name was Srijnana.

    Naropa said [to Marpa], “On the shores of the poison lake in the South, in the charnel ground of Sosadvipa, is Jnanadakini Adorned with Bone Ornaments. Whoever encounters her is liberated. Go before her and request the Catuhpitha."

    Niguma was known by several names both during her lifetime and afterwards. She was called Yogini Vimalashri, or Vajradhara Niguma, or Jñana (wisdom) Dakini Adorned with Bone (ornaments).


    Which is in half jest Marpa Dakini:


    The Dakini from Uddiyana, endowed with Human Bone Ornaments, holding the
    Hevajra Tummo lineage, transmitting the mother lineage, passing it down to the
    Kagyu lineage. Of the four streams (bka’ babs bzhi), the fourth was transmitted from
    Dakini Kalpabhadrī (mkha gro bskal pa bzang mo) and includes the tantra known as
    Hevajra and the practice called Tummo.

    [i. e. in the four baskets of teachings previously mentioned; Caturpitha is from Luipa, who may have been Tankadas, author of the Hevajra commentary that Niguma most likely had. Or as Bhagabhadri in Padmavajra's lineage.]


    ‘Cluster of Banana Trees’ (chu shing gi nye ma can) or ‘Endowed with Bone Ornaments’ (rus pa’i rgyan
    can), or ‘Endowed with Human Bone Ornaments’ (mi rus pa’i rgyan can). ‘Endowed
    with Human Bone Ornaments’ is also sometimes considered “Nāropa’s wife Niguma”,
    or as “Nāropa’s sister”, or manifesting as Mandarava for Padmasambhava, ‘Endowed
    with Human Bone Ornaments’ for Marpa, Niguma for Khyung po rnal ’byor and Queen
    of Siddhis (grub pa’i rgyal mo) for Rechung pa.


    Unsung Heroines found:


    ...a commentary by the 3rd Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje. In that text (which Schaeffer translates) there is clear mention of Saraha meeting four ‘girls’ [again this is a questionable translation as their age is not mentioned and so ‘women’ might be more suitable] holding a tantric feast at which he drank four different kinds of mead that they offered him which led to the four joys arising and them revealing themselves as Ḍākinīs and bestowing on him the four empowerments. This is also quite different to Tāranātha’s tale and of Shaw’s re-telling of that.

    This was prior to Arrow Dakini, who, according to a different source, may have been Hayagriva Ratnacharya emanated as female (which would be similar to Guhyajnana Dakini).

    At the moment when Saraha fully realized the state of mahāmudrā, he exclaimed “da.” This is a play on the sound of this word, which can mean either “arrow” or “symbol.” He said, “You are not an arrow maker. You are a symbol maker.” From that point onward Saraha changed his lifestyle from that of a monk to that of a siddha.”

    Interestingly, Guenther (1968: 6: fn 6) notes that: “There is here a word-play between Da Khenma (mda’-mkhan-ma: female arrowsmith) and Da Khenma (brda-mkhan-ma: a woman well versed in symbols), the pronunciation of the two words being the same. “


    The article is terse, is feminized in the sense that it appears to blame Buddhism for allowing women to participate and write, unlike ninth-century Catholicism which was where the women's kingdom went. It is more correct to remark those like Saraha were initiated by "unknown women", and, as Miranda Shaw noted, these practices allowed them to command respect instead of being used, put them more as hostesses of ganacakras, which males were always trying to get in to. Surely this is somewhat of a change to male-based India for thousands of years.

    Such dakinis do not usually seem to initiate into a tantra or deity, but, Mahamudra itself. As to an actual difference between Jnanadakini and Guhyajnana Dakini, it is only slight. The first has more to do with written tantras, Prajnaparamita, and the Sixth Element. Guhyajnana is perhaps more immanent as an aspect of Avalokiteshvara, a bit more on the cusp of experience than a far goal.


    From Tales of the Great Brahmin:


    The Diamond dakini said, This is your master, and in the sky appeared the divine son Sukhanatha or Matiratna and Glorious Hayagriva.

    The two Bodhisattvas are, in some readings, Vajradhara and Vajrapani; in others, Manjughosha and Hayagriva, neither way being earthly. In some places, the Four Dakinis are merged into one dakini, and may or may not be told as a separate episode. These bios are tricky, since one does not know if the intervening centuries consist of gathering more information, or, of fabrication. We cannot prove that a tenth-century Saraha did not compose advanced material. More likely, the original was in the eighth century and probably survived into the first few years of Vikramasila.


    So far, I have not seen Saraha specifically use the name "Jnanadakini". Yet she is still current, and a reasonable description is that Jnanadakini Samantabhadri is Dharmakaya, Guhyajnanadakini is Sambhogakaya, and then Nirmanakaya is Gomadevi, Mandarava, Niguma, etc., and so who is this first one. In one description, almost entirely abstract:


    ...disciple of Maharaja the scholar of Uddiyana; teacher of Aloke the Atsantra...

    which is from a 1600s terma, being a long list that I am not sure is chronological.


    In the following, we notice that Humkara is not particularly involved. Most of the ethos of Padmasambhava appears to be framed within the lifetimes of King Ja and Kukkuraja. In The Ruby Rosary, King Ja of Sahor (middle Indrabhuti) caused the appearance of eighteen Mahayoga tantras, from Dakini Jala to Guhyagarbha, from which he especially relied on "Vision of Vajrasattva". He transmitted these to Acharya Uparaja, who did not get it, and to Kukkuraja, who practiced Vajrasattva and did.

    Kukkuraja spread it to untold masses, from whom, that which becomes Dzogchen goes to:


    Sakraputra (younger Indrabhuti, associated with Lavapa or Kambala)

    Simharaja

    Sakrabhuti, also called Uparaja

    Princess Gomadevi (daughter of King Ja)

    Gomadevi gave the teachings of karmamudra to King Ja and Kukkuraja, who in turn gave it to Vilasavajra (the follower of Asanga and Namasangiti, and likely origin of Vajrabhairava) and to Buddhaguhya (who saw Bhrkuti on Mount Potalaka, and wrote Encounter with Peaceful and Wrathful Deities, a commentary on Vairocana Abhisambodhi, and numerous other things).

    King Ja and Kukkuraja also taught Zombie Sukhasiddhi Garab Dorje, who, in turn, to Vajrahasya and Rsi Bhasita, both of whom to King Prabhahasti of Sahor. Padmasambhava received teachings from King Prabhahasti and King Ja. He was ordained by Prabhahasti, and empowered by Guhyajnanadakini as the nun Ananda. After that, he trained with Buddhaguhya, Sri Simha, and the Vidyadharas. Then he met Mandarava, daughter of King Arsadhara of Sahor. Then follow the many adventures, and the belief he manifests as Saroruha, Saraha, and so on.


    This works differently if you took it as Kashmir, Orissa, or Bengal, and how many Jahs or Indrabhutis there were, or kings of Sahor at once. What it does say is that shortly after Buddha's passing, Secret Mantra was entrusted to the Vidyadhara Vimalakirti Licchavi. There are no ancient records of this person, who first appears in the Mahayana Sutras. What we notice here is that Manjushri is the only one who dares to speak to him. Then he teaches a lot of "non-conceptuality" such as Chapter Six has Water Moon and then a Goddess who flummoxes Sariputra with her almost-mahamudra type instruction.

    Vajrapani instructs Kukkuraja to meditate on the words of this Vimalakirti. That is how the Eighteen Mahayoga tantras got arranged in their sections.


    Well, Kukkuraja is a historical identity, whereas the legend I grew up with is that Garab Dorje is semi-mythical and received the tantras from the celestial realm. The reason that now Garab Dorje is said to be a disciple of Kukkuraja is from this analysis:

    Germano (1992: p.4) cited "Vajraprahe" in the "Direct Consequence of Sound Tantra" within the Nyingma Gyubum (NGB1 24,1) and goes on to state in the same work that Reynolds (1989, 2000 revised) reverses the two words in the contraction in his translation and analysis of a section of the Bardo Thodol...


    But we are not sure why a person found in a single minor tantra might be considered the owner of the basket.

    As to whether King Jah got books from the atmosphere, according to Shechen Gyaltsab:

    The scriptural lineage he received from the human vidyadhara Vimalakirti.


    Manjushrimitra:


    ...having become the most eminent among five hundred panditas, he received many teachings and empowerments from Garab Dorje & Lalitavajra.


    What Bhattacharya did was to bounce Sadhanamala authors off of the Tibetan canon, and come to a ridiculous conclusion about Asanga. Kukkuraja's catalog there is replicated in Japan 1966 where they thought it was the Eighteen Vajrasekhara sections being discussed. That of course is what they were looking for in:


    Jnanamitra's aryaprajnaparamita-naya-satapancadasa-tika



    That says it is a hundred and fifty verse commentary--not Prajnaparamita in 150 Lines (Adhyardhaśatikā).


    This is the same commentator for Heart Sutra:


    Jnanamitra says, "Regarding hridaya, there is nothing profound or sublime in the Perfection of Wisdom in One Hundred Thousand Lines that is not contained in this small sutra" (Donald
    Lopez, Elaborations on Emptiness, p. 142).


    The Heart Sutra is an "abbreviation", and for SBS, there is:


    ...a shorter version found only in the rNying-ma rgyud 'bum.


    There is the argument that Heart Sutra is a Chinese forgery, but for example Lotsawa House has a translated Sri Simha commentary that was sent with Vairocana to King Trisong Detsen.


    About Jnanamitra's tantric origin myth, Rigpa Wiki calls it:

    One of the earliest...


    whereas what Davidson really said was:


    ...earliest surviving version

    Jnanamitra’s commentary finding a place in the imperial catalogue of the Denkar Library of c. 810.


    He goes on to a reasonable translation of some of it. And, it is completely unclear, because it just says "eighteen texts, SBS etc.", and he thinks the Vajrasekhara does not have the correct Dakini Jala title and so therefor probably not the full tantra. Nothing much else can be told about "the canon", until he calls STTS the "Father of All Buddhas". Davidson's details crumble, where the Japanese study has them. They think they are tracking Vajrasekhara, but, all we know for sure is Dakini Jala and STTS. Whatever it is:


    Among this description an acarya who named Kukuraja plays a very
    important role.

    No one can tell since SBS is in either Vajrasekhara or Mahayoga:


    Thus, by them, all of the neanings of the texts such as Sarvabuddhasamayoga and others were made clear. After that, this teacher (or Acarya Kukuraja) went to Zahor district...

    He was given a promise of Vajradhatumandala by Vajrasattva.
    (4) Further this dharma was transmitted by the Acarya to the prince
    Sakrabhuti.

    ...the Acarya had not seen the 18 assemblies of the Vajrasekhara-sutra, so he borrowed the texts to read it,...

    Princess Govadevi
    was not adult enough to receive this dharma, so, for her sake, the Prince
    Sakrabhuti abbreviated it into 150 slokas.


    So far, there is nothing that specifies the Nyingma or Shingon version. It is, however, a tale of Kukkuraja written ca. 800-810.

    His bundle of sadhanas appears to be the individual Family mandalas for Dakini Jala, with Vajrasattva, Heruka, and Mahamaya. Allright. We have walked up and down the Mahamaya Tantra, and, it is not a Heruka yoga. This version is.

    No. 240 of Sadhanamala.
    It's title is "Mahamaya-sadhana-upayika which tenets are very alike with
    those of Tibetan No. 9.

    It invokes the owner of the--forthcoming tantra?

    I salute to Vajradaka.


    including a giti:

    hale sahi viasia kamalu pobohiU vajjem, ALLLLHi mahasuhena arohiU
    nrtyem, ravikiranena paphulliA kamalu mahasuhena, (ALLLLHi mahasuhena) arohiU nrtyam, vajradakinl-nrtyena vajrasattvam nivesayet'


    and an unusual epithet:


    Karuna-acala-vajra (Heruka)


    And so that source does have a fairly thorough description of Heruka Mahamaya. The practice includes Emptiness Mantra, prana with four cakras:


    wind from his head, mind,
    navel (nabha) and pubes (guhya)


    followed by vajrajapa for this kind of magic:

    napumsaka

    in Kubjika's meaning:

    Napuṃsaka (नपुंसक) refers to “neuter” (i.e., the divine liṅga within which the Goddess resides)


    Devas cannot be hermaphroditic, humans can, which is suggestive of Vajrasattva Yoga, since he is not a Deva, but an emanated magical body. The Japanese study takes the following from Taranatha about Kukkuraja:

    He is also called as Saroruha(mtsho skyes), Vrapa and Khyihi rgyal
    po or the dog king.


    Vimalakirti Sutra is from ca. year 100, like Prajnaparamita Sutra, which says:


    “the Buddhas praise these Bodhisattvas. Who are they? They are, for example, Wen-chou-che-li (Mañjuśrī), P’i-mo-lo-kie (Vimalakīrti), Kouan-che-yin (Avalokiteśvara), Ta-che-tche (Mahāsthāmaprāpta), Pien-ki (Samantabhadra). These leaders among the Bodhisattvas appear in the threefold world ( traidhātuka ), create for themselves innumerable bodies by transformation, enter into saṃsāra and convert beings. From such exploits ( adbhuta ) comes the entire very profound prajñāpāramitā ”.


    The Sutra character then represents an incarnated Bodhisattva (who is a layman), interested in teaching a Buddha or Gnosis Body. A 2015 Silpakorn study says he is teaching Tathagatagarbha. There is definitely a prototype, but, if a later Vimalakirti provided the collection that Kukkuraja studied:

    Vimalamitra received the transmission of Dzogchen from Shri Singha and Jnanasutra. He was also a student of Buddhaguhya.

    Vimalamitra, according to The Nyingma Tradition, was a pupil of Buddhaguhya and Lilavajra.

    Vimalamitra also translated, together with Ma Rinchen Chok, important Nyingmapa texts such as the Guhyasamaja Tantra and the Guhyagarbha Tantra...thirteen Mind Series texts, the Mayajala-Tantra.

    Jnanasutra gave him the Fourth Initiation and:

    ...the verses called "Four Profound Methods" (Zhakthab Zhi) and through this he accomplished the Heart of the matter.

    Sri Simha retrieved texts that Manjushrimitra hid around Bodhgaya.




    Here is perhaps a good idea of "layering" with respect to Mahayoga:


    The Mahayoga tantras appeared in this world when revealed by Vajrasattva and the Lord of Secrets to King Jah, the ruler of Zahor.

    Some of the contemporary lineage holders were Uparaja, Kukuraja, Vimalakirti, and Jnanamitra.

    Subsequent masters were Shakputri, the regent and son of King Jah, King Jah’s daughter Gomadevi, Singaraja, Lilavajra, Buddhaguhya and Vajrahasya.

    The following generation of lineage holders were Bha****a, Prabhahasti, and Padmasambhava, the latter of whom also received the tantras directly from King Jah.






    We noticed a Bengali Kumaracandra who happened to be listed beside what looks like Luipa, and then was grossly understated. He was not really given a time or lineage, but he does have an Avadhuti title; what we can find associated with him is:


    Krsnayamari tantra, with Ratnavali Panjika by Kumara Candra (as used in Apabrahmsa study)

    Herukabhyudayapanjika (Katipayaksara) of Kumaracandra

    (Panjika) on Vajrabhairava-tantra

    Śrī-Anāvila-Nāma-Tantrapañjikā

    Saṃpuṭa Mahātantra; Saṃpūṭa-Nāma-Mahātantra; Samputodbhava (Hodgson manuscript)...what this actually means is that the Anavila Panjika is a commentary on Samputa. This Tibetan record is not linked to the Krsnayamari or Heruka commentaries. Here to be conservative, we might guess that the later Avadhutipa has gotten mixed up.


    But not quite according to A mes zhabs, in Drokmi's Hevajra transmission:


    (11) the common bshad rgyud (vyakhyatantra), dPal kha sbyor gyi rgyud (#003#),50
    (12) the rDo rje a ra Ii (To 426, P 65?: Vajrarali),
    (13) the sNyog (=rNyog?) pa med pa 'I a ra Ii (P 58: Anavila), and
    (14) the Rigs kyi a ra Ii (To 427, P 66: Rigi-arali), all four of which arose from the
    "Samputa of136.000(?!) [slokas]."


    Yogini's Eye says the three Aralis are Body Mandala.


    Elizabeth English found it necessary to turn to him, meaning it was necessary to use Krsnayamari to figure out GSS:


    ...described by Kumaracandra, a three-faced Vajravarahi also appears in which the central face is again that of the hog.

    Vajravarahi also appears in the Aksobhya family in the long sadhana by Kumaracandra, while Vairocana (the usual seal for Vajravarahi in our texts) presides over Vajracarcika (Ratnavalipanjikam KYT p. 127). Another white form of Vajravarahi is described in the sadhana as the consort to a manifestation of Krsnayamari called Dvesayamari/Vajrasattva {ibid: p. 124). She is like her consort, namely, white with three faces and six arms.


    In Bengal:

    vikramapurI vihAra housed such teachers as avadhUtAcArya kumAracandra and lIlAvajra, student of lakSmIGkara.


    Ok. So the little-known Herukabhyudaya is called by Kongtrul a "different system", but, we do not know what is in it. Surviving copies are in Tibetan, which call Heruka "krag thun", which we do not. The main use of this tantra has been in arguing the "mula tantra", which to me is not useful either. It cannot be a mistake or late entry, because the Herukabhudhya Panjika is in proto-Bengali script. In turn, the tantra itself refers to Chakrasamvara and Khasama.


    As an "explanatory tantra of Chakrasamvara", there are various ideas involved about the group of these; in Sasvatavajra's work, Herukabhyudaya appears along with Khasama, GST 18, Rigi Arali. That is just an attempt to prove there is such a thing as Rigi Arali.

    Ngog and Durjayachandra share the same six explanatory tantras. Commenting Samputa, Ngog says it explains Hevajra and Chakrasamvara; in Section I.3, he adds Vajramrita and Dakini Jala.

    Kumaracandra apparently did not understand Kubjika's code for "mixed ejaculates". Kumaracandra's commentary seems to have remained in Sanskrit. There are a few quotes of it.

    It does not help us with dates or lineages, although we can be pretty sure that proto-Bengali does not refer to the 1100s elegantly illuminated manuscripts.


    The best guess is that "Zahor" is in the direction of Bengal, possibly including the site of Vikramasila, almost certainly meaning Pala influence or possibly even the capital. Dowman's graphics of these lineage trees. In that view, Guhyasamaja goes through Humkara. That may be if Taranatha is right, that the same person is Vaidyapada, whose Guhyasamaja text is recorded in Tibetan as Yang dag rig byed (overtly similar to Yangdak Heruka). That one is in five Tanjurs:


    yang dag rig byed ces bya ba phyi ma'i rgyud kyi rnam par bshad pa

    samyagvidyākara-nāma-uttaratantra-vyākhyāna

    An Explanation of the Guhyasamājottara Tantra called “Bestowing Correct Knowledge”

    [A] vidyApada (or Vitapada)

    Vaidyapada, disciple of Dīpamkarabhadra. Vaidyapada also studied under Buddhaśrījñāna.

    Vaidyapada, Caturanga-Sadhanopayika-samantabhadra-nama-tika


    If I took the title literally, that would mean a commentary on GST 18, but we just have the catalog, no contents.

    This Heruka is not "krag thun". In fact, if you feminized the Tibetan, you get rig byed ma, Kurukulla. So this one is "Mind Yangdak".



    He also personally gets the title Avadhutipa and taught to Ratnakarasanti, which seems repeated later. Moreover, he not only divulged the main subtle body exercises for Dakini Jala, but, also:


    Vaidyapāda (वैद्यपाद) is the author of the Yogasapta.—(Cf. Yogasapta).—The “seven yogas”, mentioned in Buddhajñānapāda’s Muktitilaka and elaborated in Vaidyapāda’s Yogasapta, are seven aspects of the resultant state of awakening. It seems that in this system it was in terms of these seven yogas that suchness was communicated by the Guru to the disciple. The seven yogas are mentioned by Buddhajñānapāda in the Muktitilaka, where they are described as the “perfection stage of the perfection stage,” (Muktitilaka, D 52a.2), and are also said to be realized instantaneously by a Yogin engaged in post-initiatory practice (cārya) (Muktitilaka, D 51b). These seven yogas, which are mentioned but not listed in the Muktitilaka, thus seem to refer in Buddhajñānapāda’s work to practices that are to be carried out by the Yogin subsequent to initiation. In Vaidyapāda’s Yogasapta, however, the seven yogas are explained in much greater detail as seven states or experiences that the student is meant to undergo in the context of initiation—specifically during what is called “the fourth”.


    So he has commentary that is the instructions of the Fourth Initiation. In most respects, we do not have any higher teaching than this.

    One might contemplate how close those are to the Seven Jewels of Enlightenment, added by Durjayacandra to Seven Syllable Heruka.


    Since that was Vikramasila, quite obviously Bhavabhadra received a package he tried to "push" into more tantras than are being used here, even as the Vajradaka already seems to have started this, and possibly Vajra Rosary somewhat differently. If Taranatha is wrong, and they are not the same individual, the proximity is still so close that the textual collision is inevitable. The Heruka aspect was specifically revealed by Humkara or Vaidyapada, perhaps from Manjushrimitra, whereas the Initiations are of other origin, probably Darika, unless those two turn out to be the same (i. e., relative to Manjushri). Or, rather, not Heruka, but the subtle body, as a more intricate teaching than "states of being" and other vague ways in which people were doing yoga. The part which is arguably missing from Jnanapada Guhyasamaja. These divergent sources are then perhaps conjoined into the Vajra Rosary presentation and Arya Guhyasamaja.

    In that sense, you could call Vaidyapada the "first commentator" on Generation and Completion Stages and the Four Initiations, and, if, becoming Humkara, on the cakras and subtle body. It uses "perfection of perfection", similar to Dzogchen and the sadhana of using Samaya Mudra Fourth. He should have had Jnanapada's Bindu Yoga matching this. As a knowledge base, it began coalescing in India ca. 780, apparently around the time Saraha had expired. Bhavabhadra attempted to use it to wash out basic interpretations around perhaps ca. 830. Then there is an era of disagreements on several of these details.


    Because Humkara's commentary was "published" either in Vasantatilaka or Vajradaka Tantra, the best details seem to be given by the sequence:


    Jalandhara was the main teacher of Krishnacharya.


    Jalandhara's Nath associations are not historically date-able, among which it is said he served King Gopichand of Gaur:


    ...about his father, it is told that he was the king of Bengal Raja Manikchandra, the brother of Dharmapala.


    So, we expect him about a generation after Dharmapala, and, in Buddhism:


    ...[Jalandhara's] guru was ācārya Kambala. Kambala or Lavapa was a student of Anangavajra and a teacher of Indrabhuti. Kambala was at least contemporary to Lilavajra (Lalitavajra, Vilasavajra), another guru of Darika. In other words, Darika apparently has Gomadevi and Kukkuraja's Dzogchen, Lilavajra's transmission, Luipa Chakrasamvara, and is himself establishing Manjuvajra and Jnanapada Guhyasamaja. From Jnanapada, Humkara or Vaidyapada creates the extensive commentary basically as we know it. Bhavabhadra is at the receiving end of multiple waves of this, and has already attached Samputa Vajrasattva to Vajradaka Tantra.


    Once Jalandhari listened a voice from heaven, which told him to go to Udayāna and meditate there; there only he would get desired siddhis (perfection). Therefore, he went to Udayāna, got lessons from the king Indrabhuti, the godly-woman Lakṣmikarā and from ācārya Kackapāda instructions in Tantras.

    ...it is said that he was
    buried in a hole underground by the order of the King
    Gopicandra of Catigaon.





    Rather than a "string", it seems more accurate to look at these lineages as "layers". For example, Savari was a disciple of Saraha, but also a guru of Luipa, who was also a disciple of Saraha. Bhattacharya believes he also became Samantasubha the scribe of Uddiyana. Subsequently, Luipa has a different sphere of influence than the foregoing. Something like:


    Maha Brahmin Saraha, Acharya Nagarjuna, The Protector Shavari (Vidyadhara and Kagye' times)

    Luipa, Darikapa (Dharmapala, early Vikramasila era)

    Vajra Ghantapa (initiated by Darikapa; Ghantapa refused to honour Devapala)

    Jalandharapa, Krishnapa


    Jalandhara might just be "associated", because he has Luipa Chakrasamvara from Kambala. Not yet sure he is connected to Ghantapa. If we look at Luipa's's lineage, Chakrasamvara Krishnacharya mysteriously vanishes. It should be "Dengipa", i. e. Darika's minister, who is not said to have initiated Ghantapa:


    Jnana Dakini, Acharya Luipa, Acharya Tengipa, Vajra Ghantapa, Jalandharapa, Anupama Shri...



    That, of course, is a Sakya view of it. Interestingly, from their own work, they throw back what we would call the "main or primary Hevajra system" back to Vilasavajra, saying that it:


    ” originated with Vilasyavajra and was passed on to Yenlag Mepa and
    Tsokye Dorje (i.e. Saroruha, who is treated in the Sakyapa tradition as being the same as
    Padmavajra)


    That is from their Six Chariots of Hevajra, although they do not really have that many since two of them are categorized as:


    “not transmitted within the Sakya tradition” (Shantipa, i.e.
    Ratnakarasanti) or as “no longer existing in Tibet” (Advayavajra/Maitrîpa/Avadhûtipa).



    Kagyu at least retains Ratnakarasanti's Sahaja Hevajra. And most of his details passed through Maitri, whose disciple, as far as we can tell, was:


    Ramapala (reigned 1077–1130 AD)



    which is Abhayakaragupta's era. Subsequently, the First Karmapa, Düsum Khyenpa (1110–1193), met Gampo when he was about thirty, i. e. ca. 1140.


    Ramapala appears to have commented our system quite closely, and it is from his kingdom we find the high quality Bengalese illuminated Prajnaparamita manuscripts. In this case we are using the king for the scribe. He repeats the Seals argument, regardless of whatever else he said, which I have no idea about. Ratnakarasanti did not really add anything; he harmonized and streamlined diverse material. Maitri and Ramapala are simply further evidence of it.



    The Namasangiti commentators Manjushrimitra and Vilasavajra have been positioned at the head of Dzogchen and Sakya Hevajra. Otherwise I am not aware that Vilasavajra is attributed anything more than:


    Though Vilasavajra, in his Namasamgiti commentary, written in the
    late eighth century, enumerates just three categories of tantras, Kriya,
    Carya, and Yoga, he cites a number of works, such as the
    Guhyasamaja and Vajrabhairava Tantras, subsequently classed as
    Mahayoga tantras.


    Bhattacharya says:

    Bhagavati Laksmi or Laksminkara’s direct disciple was Lilavajra...


    and adds for Lilavajra:

    Sri Sahajasiddhi

    Dakinivajrapanjara-pancadakinisadhana

    Mahatilakakrama


    So, yes, if he has the Panjara, that is Hevajra, except it could be by a later namesake (of which there is one). Bhattcharya lists no other texts on it until Durjayachandra's Panjara Pancadaka. We cannot say "Hevajra Tantra", but, its explanatory commentarial mode. It is said that Saroruha intentionally sanitized commentary out of his sadhanas, which Jalandhara and others later replaced. Hevajraprakasa is a later text that admires and heavily quotes Jalandhara, and cuts out the Eight Awakenings from Prajnaparamita that he used. As commentary evolves, of the changes to older texts:


    Most significant among them is the concept of the 'deep states of mind' from the Ārya-school
    of the Guhyasamāja that is found in the teachings of both the [Jalandhara's] VaPra [Vajrapradipa]
    and HePra, in particular the set of the first three emptinesses, i.e. sunya, atisunya, and
    mahasunya.



    Jalandhara rips the guts from PK:


    When there are grasped, grasper and grasping with
    the pure nature of the triad of cognitions, Bhūcarī, Khecarī and Nairātmikā are in
    their natural forms which are taught with the terms 'anyatraloka', 'alokabhasa' and
    'alokopalabdhi'. Nairātmādevī, taking two places, is gone into the vijnana of the
    Vajraholder, precisely as before.



    HePra or Hevajraprakasa freely quotes Aryadeva and says it is doing a Pancakrama. The author Rahulagupta cannot be identified, only placed about two generations after Jalandhara.

    PU is referred to, somehow, but Candrakirti is mainly quoted from his Vajrasattva sadhana and its mantra extraction.


    In the Saroruha research:


    The lineage for karmamudrā passed from Vajradhara
    to Indrabhūti, Sukhalalitā, Padmavajra, Saukarika, Saroruhapāda, Indrabhūti the Younger, Jalandharipa, Kāṇhapa, Pariṇāyaka, Amṛtavajra, Kusālipa (or, alternatively, from Indrabhūti to
    Padmākara, Kusāli the Elder and Younger, Jñānamitra), and Śāntigupta."



    Because "samaja" mostly means "karmamudra", then, that makes sense as derived from Guhyasamaja Indrabhuti. Hevajra Tantra then massively draws from Saraha's Dohas, and his or Luipa's Chakrasamvara would merge here into Indrabhuti II and Jalandhara. One can readily see that Jalandhara has combined multiple tantras with Aryadeva. He just is not part of Vikramasila.

    Well, let us say he has a major subject of PK and Arya Guhyasamaja. He wrote about Hevajra, with, as far as we know, concurrent Guhyasamaja and Chakrasamvara training.

    So far we cannot say much other than Krishnacharya was a Tantipa or weaver. He is not attached to Vikramasila:


    Krsnapada wrote at Somapuri Vihara. The Tantric writer of this name was pupil of Jalandharapada.

    As a sign of his attainments he is most often depicted with seven parasols and seven drums floating in the sky above. As a mount he is commonly portrayed atop an animated corpse or zombie...Jalandara was the main teacher of Krishnacharya and their principal practices were the Chakrasamvara, Hevajra and Mahamaya Tantras.


    His major work, Vasantatilaka, is still a close subject to Kubjika Tantra:


    She was made haughty by the enjoyment of passion (kāmabhoga-kṛta-āṭopā) and burnt with (the fire of) the Lord of Love (vasantatilaka). (Herself) melting with desire (icchayā), she caused the three worlds to melt (with that same desire)”.




    He composed several Dohas and:

    Guhyatattvaprakasha (Krishnacharya). See Illumination of Secret Reality Guide to the Meaning of Tantra (Buddhaguhya).


    And then maintained by H. H. III Karmapa Rangjung Dorje:


    Sixty-two Deities of Glorious Chakrasamvara Visualisation Guide Composed by Krishnacharya

    Complete Elucidation of the Practical Instructions for the Mandala Ritual Composed by the Glorious Krishnacharya


    Lama Zopa Rinpoche gives him as a teacher of (a) Kusali.


    Luipa, in written form, does not have a Completion Stage; according to Kongtrul, there is:


    ...Chakrasamvara four-stage yoga in the Krishnacharya tradition, consisting of the foundation stage of tantra (rtsa ba rgyud kyi rim pa) (the root yoga which is the basis of all practices, for which the essential instructions deal exclusively with the foundation content of the tantra); the stage known as mantra (sngags kyi rim pa) (the practice of the inner heat yoga, for which the secret instructions relate equally to the channels, winds, and vital essences); the stage of arising of pristine awareness (ye shes kyi rim pa) (the yoga of the descent of the vital essences); and the secret stage (gsang ba’i rim pa) of the result (training in entering and arising from luminous clarity through mastery over the descent and reversal of the vital essence).



    Chances are, it is something originating from Darika. Jalandhara has embossed practically the same thing into Hevajra that Krishnacharya does to Chakrasamvara. Before, it was "intentionally withheld" from writing, or, smuggled by the king of Tibet.


    According to the Chinese, there was a Nagarjuna and Nagabodhi of the early 700s, who taught Vajrasekhara, not Guhyasamaja. The word and small pieces of it appear. But this tantra never spread. It is possible he could have composed PK and the rest of the tantra is based on that, except Aryadeva and Candrakirti do not quote it. Based on actual manuscripts, we can tell, to the extent possible, that the Vajrayana commentary as a whole erupted volcanically ca. 770-850. From that point there is nothing much to add other than technical consideration of the Four Moments/Mudras. More tantras are released, but the yoga mechanics are well in place.


    It apparently scared some people that Naro trained Ratnakarasanti in tantra in Vikramasila courtyard with skulls and things like that. Kagyu does not really claim "lineages" prior to Tilo and Naro, but, "traditions". The nominal origin of Kagyu, Tilo, superficially resembles Saraha:


    The 3rd Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje, in his biography of Tilopa, states that Tilopa was born to the east of Bodhgaya in Zahor.

    He first became a monk at the temple of Somapuri in Bengal. It is said that one day a dakini (female embodiment of wisdom) came to him in a vision and offered him her knowledge. Tilopa requested her teachings and received the initiation into the Chakrasamvara Tantra. He practiced this teaching at Somapuri, but when the monastery saw him take a female consort for the practice of union yoga, he was forced to quit the community.


    This first one is called Karpo Sangmo. And he also has an important quote of Jnanadakini:

    Tilopa then asked: “How is the yoga of clear luminosity of death and the clear luminosity of present moment mixed?” The Ḍākinī answered:

    “The present moment clear luminosity is when the mind is looking at mind, the beholder and that which is beheld, those two, like gazing into the centre of space, like space free from clouds.

    At the time of death, at the time when the outer and inner breath has ceased, the death clear luminosity arrives like space without clouds. By the power of pure looking, that which is called ‘bardo’ will be completely absent.


    It is not really known where he went or what he did, 988–1069 (or 928-1009 C.E.). Aside from once-again difficult legends about his background, I would think it is better to just think of his "human gurus" as the major tantras themselves:


    Guhyasamaja teachings on illusory body from Mātaṅgī (i. e., lineage of Nagarjuna)

    Mahamudra and Chakrasamvara teachings on clear light from Lavapa, Chakrasamvara teachings from Nagpopa (Charyapada, Krishnacharya)

    Hevajra teachings on tummo from Dakini Samantabhadri (Sukhasiddhi, Kalpabhadrī, skal pa bzang mo)

    or:

    the transference of consciousness ('pho-ba, samkranti) and the intermediate state (bar-do, antarabhava) from the lineage of the Mahasiddha Luipa; via Dengipa, Darikapa, and Sukhasiddhi.

    ...the Luipa lineage from the dakini Subhagini (sKal-ba-bzang-mo)

    ...from the woman saint Subhagini, and from her partner Guru Vijaya, he received the complete Candalini-yoga practice according to the system of the Hevajra-dakini-tantra


    It is almost like a fool's cage, because you can change the people and lineages and it is still true, since most of them were in most of the lineages.

    It is similar to Candrakirti saying, "I have the personal teaching of Nagarjuna"; we would retain this in writing as Nagarjunopadesa. That does not mean "I had a personal connection to". Any of them can say it is the "instructions from", and Tilo only said they were human, not that they were currently alive. People got miffed because he would go around saying "Vajradhara is my guru", and, I guess they did not understand Kagyu Guru Yoga. Tilo was not that much in any business of trying to do sociology for concrete proofs of apostleism.


    He heads the lineage of Taranatha's Tara Samaya Yogini:

    Jaya Vajradhara, Bhagavani Arya Tara, mahasiddha Tailo Prajnabhadra, mahasiddha Lilavajra, Rahulagupta, Lord Dipamkara...


    Most Indian historians would get excited about something like a revelation of Tara, and all they really cared about was metaphysical history like this. Tilo's own thoughts were similar. He might have been interested how Vajradhara worked with someone else, regardless of who.


    Tibetans believe he resided in Uddiyana; his ordination name, Prajnabhadra, places him at Pandit Vihar, Chittagong:


    Many of Buddhist mystic songs and Charyapada (Charyacharya Binischoy) the first book in Bengal Language were written in this Pandit Vihar.

    Prajnabhadra or Tilopa the world reputed Scholar wrote many books on Tantric Buddhism in this monastery.

    Sree Shahaj Sambaradhisthan, Acinta Mahamudranama, Catta-Chaturopadesha Prasanna Paradip, Mohamudropadesh, Dohakosa and Saro dharmopadesh.



    As we know:

    The buddhist writings are difficult both to date and place; with the universities in bengal, people arrived from all around to work here. Even when the tibetan sources give place names like j(/s)Ahora or uDDIYAna, it is not clear what they refer to. To add to that, some personal names are repeated so often, that identities remain in doubt.


    Darikapa (disciple of Naro) adds the Caturyoginisamputa (No, 24) and Dakarnava to these enumerated by Durjayacandra...

    So, Dakarnava is probably not before, but, not long after Naro. Comparatively, if this is in Luipa lineage and Samvarodaya is another evolved tantra, Luipa also wrote something called Yoginisamcara, which Bu ton refers to--centuries after Ratnakarasanti--saying in the Samvarodaya study:


    That which has been mentioned (here in the Yoginisamcarya) as the Khasama-tantra...

    The Khasama-tantra is referred to in chapter 9 of the Yoginisamcarya (Vol, 2, 239-1-1) and chapter 41 of the Herukabhyudaya...


    The systems of the Herukabhyudaya and the Caturyoginisamputa are obviously different from the system of Abhidhanottara, the Samvarodaya and the Yoginisamcarya, which are considered to reflect the same system...


    [Samvarodaya] defines itself in the final remark of the last chapter as the Sahajodaya-kalpa (cf. Ratnaraksita's Panjika).



    That is pretty close to Khasama --> Luipa --> Chakrasamvara --> Samvarodaya --> Dakarnava as "same system", most likely meaning its pantheon of mantras and deities. The meaning of the commentary or yoga should still be about the *same* as other equivalents. The more I study this, the more I would almost suggest to disavow the Chakrasamvara Tantra itself. Go to its numerous Vyakhyanas, subsidiary sadhanas, and this chain of commentary. It is not Dzogchen, Guhyasamaja, Hevajra, or Kalachakra, but can show how those are also related to it.


    To rewind into Yogacara, from Literary History of Sanskrit Buddhism:


    Candragomi was a disciple of Sthiramati who flourished at the close of the sixth century.


    That is a point of contact, since RGV and Maitreya must have gone where he went, and it is this "Asraya Pravrtti" which Naro uses to explain tantric yoga, i. e., in practice terms that were not available in the 500s. His student Ratnakarasanti then reflects it all to Maitreya stronger than anything. Correspondingly, Mahayana is not a belief, philosophy, attitude, prayer, etc., it is this Yogacara meditation, which is the same as the tantras.

    Candragomin's Eight Fears Tara uses Four Activities and Enlightened Activities. However, Vairocana Abhisambodhi is not long after him--by 674 according to Kano. Shingon gives it the same Nagarjuna lineage as for Vajrasekhara; both of these are Sutras.


    However the class of Charya Tantras are from Sitavana:

    The Ch'an monk Wu-hsing remarked around 680 C.E. that the popularity of the esoteric path was a new and exceptional event in India, observable even while he was in residence.


    That is much more comparable to Bhrkuti (mid-600s) and Nepal. Shingon does not have the Five Stages or Humkara's subtle body. Although there was possibly a Nagarjuna, Shantikar Acharya, in Amsuwarman's time (early 600s), there is no mention of scriptures or tantras being spread. Closest is:


    ...the Tyagal inscription of Amshuvarma, which mentions
    the deities like Amitabha, Akshobhya, Shakyamuni, Samantakusum
    and Manjushri. In this inscription, homage is paid to the above Buddhas
    and Bodhisattvas, with iconographic details. The image of Padma¬
    pani Bodhisattva of the early sixth century, found near Srighavihara in
    Kathmandu, testifies to the above statement.


    Bhrkuti traveled to Tibet with icons of Akshobhya, Maitreya, and Eight Fears Tara. But most everything about her is a later re-telling; there is little original evidence. That brings flaws like saying an earlier king followed Vajrayogini and the Five Buddhas. Putting words in their mouth. Here we can only say that in the 600s, you should know what Akshobhya looks like and that he grants deliverance. But he probably is not "Akshobhyavajra" in the tantric sense. From the relatively permanent record of her building temples, she ordered images of:


    Eleven-face Avalokiteshvara, Bhrikuti, Arya Tara, Marici, Sarasvati,
    Hayagriva, and Amritakundalin.


    Bhrkuti does not have a name; this was given to her because she is Bhrkuti. She has not taught us much other than Marici and Hayagriva are already known in her time. She simply is a Nirmanakaya. She is Bhrkuti around the same time Buhddhaguhya sees her on Mount Potalaka. This deity is strangely important from an early time. But that would be easy to see in MMK.



    Charya Tantra has Vajra and Bell initiations like Caturpitha Tantra.


    Having the earliest known Heruka:


    Subahupariprccha-tantra (translated into Chinese in 726 c . e .)


    which, I suppose, is because we cannot show an older Dakini Jala. There is however a Subahu Pariprccha Sutra, and even if it means the same benefit, at least we have the advantage of two levels of teaching from different times, instead of the "guilt by association" of one day turning in to the same thing.


    Before anyone invented "Charya Tantra", there was this system, and Davidson shows how Buddhaguhya arranged his sources:



    In his Vairocanabhisambodhitantrapindartha, To. 2662:

    Sarvatathagatatattvasamgraha (ref. fols. 3b3, ^ 3 - 6 , i6b2, 34b5-6),

    Mahavairocanabhisambodhitantra (ref. fols. i0ai, 23a5, 36ai, 36a7),

    *Trisamayaraja (ref. fol. 3b4),

    Vajrapany-abhiseka-mahatantra (ref. fol. 3b4),

    Paramadya (ref. fol. 3b3),

    *Samayoga (fol. 20b7),

    *Guhyamandalopade'sa (fol. 23a2),

    *Vajrasamayasamodaya (fol. 26b4),

    Trailokyavijaya (fol. 26b7-27ai),

    *Acalamantra (fol. 27ai), Subahupariprccha (fol. 28a7).



    In the Dhyanottara-patala-tika, To. 2670:

    *Vajrosnisatantra (fols. 3a4, ^ 4 7),

    Susiddhikara (fol. 9a4),

    Subahupariprccha (fol. 9a4-7),

    Mahavairocanabhisambodhitantra (fols. 9a5-b3, ijbi),

    Vajrapany-abhiseka-mahatantra (fol. 9a5-b4),

    Vidyadharapitaka (fol. 9a6),

    Sarvatathagatatattvasamgraha (fol. 30b4),

    Vajra'sekhara (fol. 30b4-5).


    It kind of has the same floor as Shingon, but moves somewhere else. STTS is present due to its Mahesvara subjugation, which I do not think is in Guhyasamaja, Dakini Jala, etc., but then as we know, it is another gigantic ritualized practice. The "instructions", so to speak, are in Vajrosnisa/Dhyanottara. But the STTS is not part of Nyingma, whereas Humkara's Dakini Jala commentary is. Those two things are a lot closer to what should be "combined" in order to perform this yoga, Vajrosnisa and Dakini Jala. Buddhaguhya is perhaps in the more difficult position of how this massive institutional system works in to Generation/Completion Stages as are being applied for example in Yamari tantras. The Chakrasamvara itself refers to STTS, which is not a difficulty for it coming into existence ca. 780, although one can see it would have faced tremendous competition. No one in Japan was saying, oh, and by the way, do you happen to have Chakrasamvara? But now, several of the most important translators are Japanese.


    They may not have been quite satisfied with what might have been available locally, similarly to what we originally got from Tibet was not satisfactory. We aren't looking for hundreds of hand mudras and a big outer ritual. The main idea of the Chakrasamvara is that what we mean by "yoga" is mostly visualizations and mental input, and actually about all it cares for Generation Stage is "whatever is necessary". We find commentary which keeps lapsing in to inner heat and Nectar Offering, which is why we are more interested in this as an arena of practice.

    Before Vasantatilaka, it was first written by Humkara and/or Vaidyapada. With this, we are adding Four Seals as given by several of the last Indian Buddhist authors--they say it comes from Nagarjuna.


    Another thing about Mahayoga tantras is that usually, they were taught by Buddha in Akanistha. All of our meditations are trying to take us there, and, if it happened once, it is basically permanent or timeless. He could be said to be teaching them all simultaneously, and if you are sharp you will catch one. That is the main rationale in most of the sadhanas, once you can train them in Sambhogakaya, this means that it does not decay. The same Tara or Maitreya as mentioned by Bhrkuti is still there.

    And so it is observation of the Three Lights which is supposed to be the qualification for the Fourth Initiation. And I lost the link where this is quoted, but it will come back.

    Yes, if you took the Third, and followed the instructions, you would go right into it.

    What is strange is that even though I have had the experience, and I understand the instructions, I am still not much of a Mahayana Buddhist because, for example, I did not re-arise as purified deities, because I also did not understand much about sacrificing the impure forms. I can only do it in a "total" sense of "all the winds", rather than "identifying" the winds as was suggested.

    So that definitely is physiologically yogic, as well as supposed to be portrayed mentally in the sadhana.


    The commentarial tradition seems to be impervious to any tantric system it is applied to. It has to use Vajrasattva and the Buddha Families in some appropriate way. However we do not understand how you take a Maitreya lineage and it is not Yogacara.


    According to Mori, the Vajravali is largely based on Guhyasamaja from Nagabodhi and Atisha, which cannot be sorted from Yogacara:


    We cannot conclude whether Abhaya ... utilised the commentaries of Dipankarabhadra [Atisa]
    ... [even though] in seven out of eight cases in which [Abhaya]
    comments on verses originating from Dipankarabhadra's Mandalavidhi,
    Abhaya's comments on those verses are exactly the same as comments made
    by Ratnakarasanti.



    Elizabeth English found:


    Ratnakarasanti then goes on to refine the meditations involved in the perfection stage, pinpointing both "ordinary" and "extremely profound" (paramagambhira-utpannakrama) stages and stating that the latter is itself "of many kinds".


    Mahayoga is "four yogas", attempting to have such an "extreme perfection" fourth, which is something like a nosecone over systems that only refer to Completion Stage broadly:


    ,,,the term nispannakrama may have been used by some, such as Candrakirti and Ratnakarasanti, to point to the term nispannayoga. This usage would have suggested to other scholars of the day a deliberate correspondence between the generation and perfection stages, and a different system of classification as found in the Mayajalatantra, namely, a series of yogas called nispanna-, kalpita-, and adhisthana-yoga. Other authors clearly knew of the categories of the Mayajalatantra and preserved them in their writings, but without attempting to equate them with other systems around at the time. Abhayakaragupta, for example, opens his Nispannayogavali (Cycle of Completion Practices) with a direct reference to the Mayajalatantra's "completion yoga".


    Because the main enhancing vehicle is:


    ...a category of inner yogic practices called the "self-consecration," or svadhisthana.


    which has ultimate bearing on her work as Vajrayogini sadhanas, which are part of the Chakrasamvara explanatory tantras such as Samvarodaya. Unfortunately due to spelling I did not correctly record the author of its sole commentary:


    Padmini nama Samvarodayatantratika, a commentary on the Samvarodayatantra by Ratnaraksita.



    Ratnaraksita, the author of the PSamvUTT, who was
    a contemporary of Sakyasribhadra [Naudou 1980: 245], the last head of
    the Vikramasla monastery, follows Abhayakaragupta...We do not know the date of the SamvUT.


    Wayman says:

    For example, the correspondences of Buddhas to winds and bodily locations is found in
    Ratnaraksita’s commentary called the Padmini (Tohoku Catalog No. 1420), Derge
    Tanjur, Rgyud, Wa, fol. 26.



    The Padmini attempts to convert outer ceremony to inner yoga:


    ...concerning the
    pratistha ceremony (devatapratisthapatala), in which the word dasakarma
    (ten rites) is found. The Padmini (PSamvUTT), a commentary on the
    SamvUT, claims that these ten rites are ten kinds of empowerment
    beginning with water empowerment and the relevant part in the SamvUT
    states that a pratistha ceremony should be performed in the same way as
    the empowerment ritual of disciples (abhiseka). In fact, the number of
    abhiseka prescribed in the following part is nine.


    However, that is mainly what we are talking about, by Vase and Crown initiations, and the cycle of "lower tantra" summarized by Dhyanottara or Vajrosnisa. You do this as inner yoga and with persistence it takes on the character of Guhya Abhiseka or Second Initiation. Then Varuni comes up in this tantra, and there we are. Scroll back and this is the same subject from Ratnasila.



    Ratnaraksita quotes the Hevajra Tantra [I.viii.50]: The Blessed One is the form of semen, and the Lustful Lady is the Bliss thereof.

    There is a late-era Ratnaraksita, guru of Vibhuticandra, and a much earlier one, who has not personal details, but a ream of literary evidence. Lamotte says that Shurangama Sutra:


    ...was later translated into Tibetan by Sakyaprabha and Ratnaraksita at the beginning of the 9th century.


    Akashagarbha Sutra:


    ...was translated into Tibetan by the Indian abbot Shakyaprabha and the monk Ratnaraksita.



    He also has his hands in a Sanskrit fragment of a text which dates back to at least the first Chinese transmission ca. 100s. Here it is found in a bundle with a particular traveling companion:


    Ajätasatru-kaukrtya-vinodanä-sütra (AjKV)


    ...revised by Manjusrigarbha and Ratnaraksita at the
    beginning of the 9th Century.

    The colophons of the Tabo and Newark versions give the
    revisers' names as Säkyaprabha (instead of Manjusrigarbha) and Ratnaraksita.

    Until now, most
    of the approximately 25 surviving folios and fragments of this manuscript could
    be attributed to the Srimälä-devi-simhanäda-sütra, the Sarva-dharma-apravrttisütra (Peking No. 847)—both identified by Kazunobu MATSUDA—and to the AjKV.



    His collaborator, Sakyaprabha, transmitted the Pancharaksha to Tibet during the reign of King Ralpachen (817-836).


    And he is going to get caught in a grid:


    1. According to one way of counting the Six Ornaments and Two Supreme Ones, this refers to

    Gunaprabha and
    Shakyaprabha.

    2. According to another tradition, this refers to

    Nagarjuna, the founder of the tradition of Profound View and
    Asanga, the founder of the tradition of Vast Conduct.


    After Srimaladevi, here comes another important Buddha Nature text with Sakyaprabha:



    He worked with the prolific Tibetan translator Yeshe De (ye shes sde) on the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra (D258).

    He also collaborated on translations of dozens of texts in the Tengyur, including Madhyamaka works by Nāgārjuna and Aśvaghoṣa, works in the Cittamatra section by Ratnākaraśānti, and works in the tantric and pramāna sections by his own master, Śāntarakṣita.


    Sakyamitra...wrote a commentary on the STTS. He lived during the reign of the Indian king
    Devapala, and was a disciple of the acarya Sakyaprabha. According to Taranatha,
    since Sakyamitra composed his commentary on the STTS in Kosala, he called it
    Kosalalamkara.


    So, there is also a much older Ratnakarasanti, and we find a way of perhaps understanding "Kosali" or "Kusali" as a tangible person, Sakyamitra.

    According to Boord in Vajrakila, only three of the eight Nyingma Herukas or Vidyadharas held surviving lineages in India:


    Yamantaka, Hayagriva and Cakrasamvara, the sadhanas of Body, Speech and Mind


    Except Chakrasamvara was not the right name of "Mind" for the then-current Galpo or Samyak Heruka.


    Through this difficulty with names and so forth, perhaps one of the most useful resolutions is from the office of H. H. Gyalwang Karmapa:


    Tibetan historians declare that Prabhahasti and Sakyaprabha were one and the same person. They state that when the great Vinaya teacher Sakyaprabha, born in Western India, went from Kashmir to Bodh Gaya, he became a tantric practitioner and henceforth was known as Prabhahasti. This view is not feasible for a number of rea­sons. Sakyaprabha lived during the reign of King Gopala. Born in Western India, he became a famous Vinaya teacher in Kashmir. His preceptor was Punyakirti and his three chief students were called Sakyamitra, Sakyaprabha II, and Sakyasimha. Prabhahasti was born in Zahor, his preceptor was called Santiprabha, and his chief student was Sakyasimha (i.e., later known as Padmasambhava).


    That Humkara was the chief influence on Padmasambhava during this period is based not on what is said in the biographies, but in the fact that Padmasambhava's chief spiritual practice, following his stay in Sitavana, consisted of the Sri Samyak Heruka sadhana. Afterwards he augmented this sadhana with the Vajrakilaya practices that he received from Prabhahasti. It should be noted that Prabhahasti was himself a disciple of Humkara.




    What did he say? The stories don't matter much. What does he refer to? The main spiritual practice.


    As was told to H. H. Orgyen Kusum Lingpa:


    You are a person who should uphold the lifestyle of a lay tantrika. When you have reached the age of twenty-seven, you will come into your inheritance—the mind-to-mind transmission of Vajrapani. The doorway to the treasury of flawless hidden treasures will burst open: the guru sadhana that is the practice of the enlightened mind of the three buddha families; the sadhana practices of the chosen deities of the nine expanses of timeless awareness; the enormous cycle of Vajrapani that is connected with Samyak Heruka; the Wheel of Red Fire cycle of Manjushri Yamantaka; the cycle of teachings on Hayagriva and Vajravarahi entitled Equal Union of All Buddhas; the three cycles of sadhana practice focusing on the venerable goddesses Varahi, Krodhikali, and Simhamukha; the cycles concerning wealth practice, such as that of Orgyen Norlha.



    They just said that Samayoga, or Dakini Jala, concerns Hayagriva and Varahi; and I believe in rare instances maybe they are consorts, like Hayagriva and Ekajati. Samyak Heruka is not necessarily a single sadhana, but, an "enormous cycle", starting from Dakini Jala. It may be that they have a Hayagriva Samayoga, or something like that, or maybe it means Padmajala. If it directly meant Dakini Jala, we would think it would use Padmanarttesvara; I am not sure what they mean by this one.



    The entire Kongtrul transmission including Samyak is currently ongoing by Khyentse Rinpoche in Himachal Pradesh.


    Of all possible names, samyak is the only thing that can claim to be part of Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi or the goal of Complete Manifest Buddha. In terms of a sadhana, it would mean complete, perfect Heruka. As we can see, this largely concerns itself with Citta Visuddhi.

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    Default Re: Nirakara and Shentong Buddhism, Tara, Sadhanas, Sanskrit culture

    Lineages compared to texts--continued






    It turns out that Ratnaraksita does not have the sole Samvarodaya material in existence. He also must have had:


    (Luhipadabhisamaya-vrtti-samvarodaya), vol. 52, #2224: 58.2.1.-
    63.1.7.
    Composed by Tathagatavajra.
    Translated by Vibhuticandra.


    I do not see a place that it could be argued that the first Ratnaraksita had this, and so any attempt of placing Samvarodaya at an early date flies away. However, it also turns out not to be the only commentary, as we recently discover one that has similarities to Caturpitha Tantra, because again someone likes the subject:


    Chapter Nineteen, Utkranti



    The most verses on Death Signs are in:


    ...Vagisvarakirti’s Mṛtyuvañcana
    chapter one. As for the technique of conscious death (utkrānti),
    the Catuṣpīṭhatantra and the Vajraḍākatantra can be regarded
    as the close associated earlier scriptural sources to this chapter,
    since the many verses of the Saṃvarodaya seem to have been
    apparently transmitted and redacted through them.



    Common ground is found in:


    ...paralleled verses found not only in the Saṃvarodayatantra
    but also in the Caṇḍamahāroṣaṇatantra, Ḍākārṇavatantra, Kālavalī*,
    Yogaśāstra. Also, the later development of the idea of death-signs
    from the Saṃvarodayatantra to Vajraḍākatantra, Ḍākārṇavatantra, Vajravārāhīkalpa...


    As studied before in Kuranishi 2012, there is another commentary on the Saṃvarodaya, titled as the Sadāmnāyānusāriṇī. Its
    explanation on chapter 19, seems to be almost identical with the Padminī, but the detailed account of utkrānti practice. The procedure of the practice is mentioned as the teaching of Nāropāda.


    Considering the fact that Bhavabhaṭṭa’s exposition is earlier than the two commentaries on
    the Saṃvarodaya, the Sadāmnāyānusāriṇī’s account could be
    regarded to sustain an archaic idea than the Padminī’s one.


    So Utkranti as given by Naro still resembles Bhavabhadra's Chaturpitha commentary. That is what first appears to go into Samvarodaya. This would not necessarily move the tantric text to an early date, either, but does show what it is first based on.




    Now, we are going to do the weirdest thing, ever.

    Samyak Heruka is also the right name for the beginning of the Khon system (pre-Sakya) along with Vajrakilaya. But otherwise it is unfamiliar from the tantras.

    There is, however, an understanding that from Guhyasamaja, Akshobhyavajra, may also be known as Herukavajra. And this is much more replete, such as in Luipa's version of skandhas, having Vajrasattva = Vijnana, and Herukavajra as "state of all Tathagatas". Identical in Luipa's Vajrayogini GSS2.


    So that is normal, however we also find it feminized in Four Chapters on Four Chakrasamvara Mantras:


    Herukī, alias Herukavajrā


    And for some reason, that appears to match the beginning of "additional folios" in Krishnacharya's Dohakosa:



    namaḥ *(17r2)śrīherukavajrāya ||



    having one of the rare uses of "Samyak":


    samyaksahajayogo ’yaṃ prajñārakṣitabhāvitaḥ ||



    So, that circles us back to Mahamudra and so forth, and would continue to make sense as "Samyak Heruka" being a form of "Sahaja Yoga", or the Third and Fourth Mudras.

    The masculine name is also in Sanskrit Vajravali mandalas, as well as in Szanto's "how to" Ganacakra. And that is funny because it is a mix of Bhavabhadra's commentary and the Padmini with Dakini Jala and Caturpitha and this same narrow tantric focus we are looking in. It is actually a handout, as if he is giving a lecture so that people will go out and start these Ganacakras. Maybe they did?



    That is brilliant because it is the point of Yogacara. It means you can attain Samyak Sambodhi, you can experience what Buddha does, or "state of a Buddha", just not as powerfully or not Anuttara. It is done by Samadhi, which is part of Citta Visuddhi, i. e. the deity of this meditation. The tantra is therefor "how to" what the Sutra "declares". So that sounds like exactly the correct meaning for "self-arisen Heruka" of Completion Stage. It just happened to be the original and the others revolve around it.



    In most of the Tibetan material, Vaidyapada is spelled "Vitapada".

    Kongtrul refers to Vitapada's Four Branches of Samantabhadri.


    Wayman briefly interprets colors from Vitapada's Mukhagamavrtti.


    Tomabechi recently wrote:


    Vitapada, Śakyamitra, and Āryadeva: on a Transitional Stage in the History of the Guhyasamāja Exegesis


    Concerning the unusual transit:


    The four stages of śūnya and āloka described in the second chapter of the Pañcakrama would be a suitable example to answer this question. This second chapter is described as a work of Śākyamitra, and the text itself was also separately translated into Tibetan under the title of the Anuttarasandhi. This text teaches the step of purification of mind through four stages; śūnya, atiśūnya, mahāśūnya, and sarvaśūnya.


    It is Japanese and can get only five notes in before using Ratnakarasanti's Sahaja Hevajra. But that is exactly why Nagarjuna's Panca Krama Citta Visuddhi has such a weird name:


    kṛtiriyaṃ śākyamitrapādānām|


    Nagarjuna's own book says Sakymitra wrote this part.

    We have just found Sakyamitra in the lineage possibly above "Kusali the Elder", and as the student of Sakyaprabha, an associate of Ratnaraksita. And so it would seem extremely unlikely that Sakyamitra would intend anything other than Samyak Heruka as Citta Vishuddhi.


    Someone else must have noticed this. C. Dalton:


    Vaidyapāda knows several texts that Buddhajñānapāda does not, most crucially the Samājottara, the so-called
    eighteenth chapter of the Guhyasamāja-tantra, and Śākyamitra’s Anuttarasandhi.


    (or text scan of Enabling Perfection)


    Matsunaga's criticism of this second chapter in PK:


    ...which should have cited from the Vajrajnanasamuccaya-tantra as its authority has no such quotations.


    PU changes the chapter's title to "mind objective".

    If I thought of a deity called "Samyak", and, its practice was "Anuttara", I might think I was in the right place. Obviously, Sakyamitra is teaching a generic commentary, which must almost certainly be about a deity he got from Humkara.

    In his STTS commentary, he says:


    At Bhadranagara, with great faith I first pleased the highest Guru, Buddhasena...

    At Konkana, DramiNa, iswarasrisamaja, I happily served Dharmasena, and DharmAkara.


    But from others we find:

    The seven spiritual sons of Nagarjuna. 1) {shA kya mi tra}. Sakyamitra. 2) {nA ga bo dhi}. Nagabodhi 3) 'phags pa lha}. Aryadeva 4) {ma tang ki}. Matangi 5) {sangs rgyas bskyangs}. Buddhapalita 6) {legs ldan 'byed}. Bhavaviveka 7) {slob dpon dpa' bo}. Ashvagosha.



    There probably is nothing wrong with saying Sakyamitra "is" Kosali, except we are still unsure the connection. He didn't mention Nagarjuna. Among these "sons", we find the two opposing views, Buddhapalita and Bhavaviveka, clearly from the older Sutra era, along with tantrists who were still living in the eleventh century.



    Dalton on the other hand, gives various examples of how Sakyamitra is very nearly an "emulator" of Jnanapada, such as a similar biographical account--of which, Jnanapada was the first like this. In several instances their writings are similar. When Jnanapada describes a "kamali" in Dvityakrama:


    These two lines have strong parallels with the first two lines of the Sarvabuddhasamāyoga-tantra 1.4, which read, in Sanskrit, sarvāsām eva māyānāṃ strīmāyā praviṣiṣyate |


    The Sarvabuddhasamāyoga also mentions the woman as a mudrā in the last two lines of the immediately preceding verse: sarvastrīmāya mudreyam advayaṃ yānam uttamam |

    The two lines from the Dvitīyakrama are also paralleled in Śākyamitra’s Anuttarasandhi, included as the second stage in Nāgārjuna’s Pañcakrama, which reads: sarvāsām eva māyānāṃ strī māyaiva viśiṣyate/



    Or, rather, the two lines of Dakini Jala are applied to a kamali and to Citta Visuddhi. That is the "main teaching" of the Arya school. When referring to this material, Vaidyapada shows no awareness of any kind of separate school. He has this, plus the "missing" GST 18, and the important seven things he gives are not those of Candrakirti, because they are the Fourth Initiation.

    In that case, it might be difficult to say Vaidyapada "is" Humkara, but they are fairly close and working together. It appears that Vaidyapada was in India when Humkara is said to have gone to Tibet.


    These lines are about the Three Voids, and then you almost immediately get Vajrapadma and Vajrabja, so a Lotus is not far away. Moreover, the "lotus woman" is Vajra Dakini.


    I guess you could say there was GST 5 ca. 750 with Amoghavajra, most of the tantra by Jnanapada's time, and then GST 18 or "Appendix" for Sakyamitra and Candrakirti. At that point, it is still not a single, whole unit. Then its most important commentary is that of Samyak Heruka, which comes from Dakini Jala. Again we would think the whole Guhyasamaja is an explanation of the older tantra. Forgetting when Nagarjuna lived seems to be the only reason to believe Guhyasamaja is particularly ancient.


    Compared to these "incoming" tantras:


    The earliest known yogini tantra is the Yoga of the
    Equality of all Buddhas, which is included in Amoghavajra’s summary of the
    Vajrasekhara Yoga cycle and so dates, at least in an early stage of its development, to the
    middle of the eighth century (and probably earlier). Furthermore, in the latter half of
    the eighth century Vilasavajra quotes from the Laghusamvara...

    Gray says:


    Actually, the majority of cases that Davidson notes as citations from the Laghusamvara Tantra (an alternate name for the CST), the Sarvabuddhasama- yoga-dakinijalasamvara (To. 366) is actually cited.




    Vajrasekhara is practically an error, which should be called Vajra Usnisa or Vajrosnisa. In Esoteric Buddhism, the first mantric system mixed with a form of initiation was:


    Ekāksara-usṇīsa-cakravartin

    Universal Emperor from the Buddha’s Usṇīsa [assuming the aspect of] a Single ̣Syllable

    The most important works are those
    dedicated to or at least included the emerging Usṇīsa system, espe- ̣
    cially his Dhāraṇīsaṃgraha (ca. 654), which was constructed by Atikūta working with his colleagues ̣
    Kāśyapa, *Saṃghānandavimoksa, and others, most of whom were said ̣
    to be from a monastery of Bodhgayā.


    The Usṇīsa system was to be the most important tantric system for ̣
    the next several decades, eventually eclipsed by and subsumed into the
    scriptures included in a Vajra-usṇīsa.



    Sure, "vajra" is the same thing, at a more subtle and profound level. Atikuta has essentially concretized Asanga and Vasubandhu's techniques, not very long after them. Subsequently, it cannot be too long before Vairocana Abhisambodhi Tantra.




    Sounding like Humkara, Lha Rinpoche — an important translator who was active during the first dissemination of Buddhism to Tibet, from the end of the 8th till the beginning of the 9th century, does it this way:


    All the Kangyur and Tengyur works attributed to him, 12 in total, are texts of the Sarvabuddhasamayoga cycle.

    For 9 of the 12 translations, Lha Rinpoche worked together in a team with the Indian Pandita Vidyakarasimha.

    It is interesting to note that Lha Rinpoche translated seven (not D 1670) of the eight ritual manuals (D 1664 – 1671) attributed to Kukuraja. In the Tengyur, eight works in total are attributed to Kukuraja. All of them are ritual manuals for the Sarvabuddhasamayoga.


    Kukuraja was a contemporary of King Indrabhuti, who also heavily relies on it in Jnanasiddhi. In one view, Kukuraja is positioned as a precedent to Garab Dorje. He "got" Vajrasattva yoga, in a way worth heavily relying on Dakini Jala, which must be the root of Humkara's Heruka Galpo. He does have more texts, but yes, a bunch of SBS.


    Dalton's work is more thorough than Taranatha's remark by a thousand pages, and heavily focuses Vaidyapada. Her view is that he was "next generation", ca. 800-850, and possibly met others such as Humkara who were old when he was very young. Here, tackling the problem of initiation, there is a lot to show that "the fourth" was a type of practice, although not really its own separate, new ritual. It probably was only an extension of the third, which allows for the view that there is not really a "fourth initiation":


    Vaidyapāda’s Yogasapta, which I examine in Chapter Seven, shows that “the fourth,” though not yet identified as a separate initiation was indeed part of early Jñānapāda School practice.


    They do not mention the Sitavana grove by name, but, they were at least in the same neighborhood and ethos:



    Buddhajñānapāda reports setting up residence with his students in the Parvata cave not far from Bodhgaya. The details that Vaidyapāda gives regarding the location of this residence, which he further specifies as the practice place of “great practitioners of former times,” enable us to identify it as being in the region of the Rajgir hills.


    He is also said there to have been a practitioner of the wrathful deity Hūṃkāra, who receives mention in several of Buddhajñānapāda’s short tantric writings.



    She puts at least a whole chapter into Vaidyapada's initiations:



    In the dedicatory verses of his Yogasapta (in the colophon of which his name, incidentally, is given as Vitapāda), this master writes [I] Vaidyapāda (Sman pa’i zhabs) have received This supreme nectar of the seven yogas Accomplished through practice in the presence of the gurus Of the ocean of the Glorious Samāja. Having drunk this nectar May the fatal illness of Mistaken conceptuality Be completely dispelled! Freed from that, may all beings Perfectly unfold the genuine aggregates And attain the suchness that is the result: The supreme nature of the seven yogas!


    A glance at the full titles of Vaidyapāda’s works listed in the previous note may appear alarming to some, specifically given the presence of the Yogasapta-nāma-caturabhiṣekaprakaraṇa, The Seven Yogas: An Explanation of the Four Initiations. Certainly this is unexpected, given that the early Jñānapāda tradition as found in Dīpaṃkarabhadra’s Guhyasamājamaṇḍalavidhi, and even up until the 11th-century commentary on that text by Ratnākaraśānti, is well known in modern scholarship to preserve a tradition of just three initiations, rather than four.


    He refers to a lost text:


    ...a work of Buddhajñānapāda’s called The Method for Engaging in the Fourth.


    He received something from multiple gurus, so, undoubtedly he did not make this up, just that no prior written version is known.

    Corresponding to fourth-is-third:


    the four joys (dga’ bzhi). Buddhajñānapāda and even Vaidyapāda only spoke of three.





    And to Heruka Yoga-via-Guhyasamaja:



    Śākyamitra writes that he will, in this text, explain with clear words and without rhetoric or philosophy the profound meaning of the sādhana of Buddhajñānapāda

    The Śrīherukasādhana (Tōh. 1857) is a short work which is, as its name suggests, focused on the figure of the wrathful Heruka. The general structure of the sādhana, albeit in an extremely condensed form, is the same as that of Buddhajñanapāda’s Caturaṅga/Samantabhadra-sādhana, and the causal deity (described here in the Śrīherukasādhana as the vajrasattva and in the Samantabhadra as Vajrabhadra), is identical in terms of form, color, and implements, to the causal deity as described in the Caturaṅga/Samantabhadra.

    The short commentary (Tōh. 1858) that follows this sādhana in the Tengyur clearly associates this work with the Guhyasamāja-tantra, and, as seen in the 9th-century Guhyasiddhi (a text that is probably slightly later than Buddhajñānapāda) that aesthetic was already associated with Guhyasamāja practitioners engaging in vrata practices, even if it was not represented in the aesthetic of the primary deities of the Guhyasamājamaṇḍala itself. What is more, the idea of and the term heruka were certainly in use in Buddhajñānapāda’s time, even in conjunction with the Guhyasamāja cycle, as both Vaidyapāda and Samantabhadra’s commentaries specify the herukas among the “others” in whose accumulations of merit Buddhajñānapāda rejoices...


    But since Heruka Yoga originates from Dakini Jala:


    ...the term ātman occurs in multiple places in the Sarvabuddhasamāyoga-tantra, including its first verse, where, like in Buddhajñānapāda’s writings, it is used to describe a universal or all-pervasive self.



    In Jnanapada's work:


    In the sexual act itself the yogin is instructed to control the inner winds to bring about “blazing” and “dripping” in what seems to be a very early instance of what later comes to be described as the caṇḍālī yoga, and is found commonly in the later Yoginī tantras. The culmination of the third initiation, which involves the practitioner(s) observing suchness directly while in sexual union, results in emission of sexual fluids...

    Parallel verses from this section of the Dvitīyakrama appear in a number of later sources including the Samājottara, the Caṇḍamahāroṣaṇa-tantra, Vaidyapāda’s Guhyasamājamaṇḍalopāyikāṭīkā, Dīpaṃkarabhadra’s Guhyasamājamaṇḍalavidhi, Nāgabodhi’s Maṇimālā, Advayavajra’s Saṃkṣiptābhiṣekaprakriyā, Kṛṣṇācārya’s Śrīguhyasamājamaṇḍalopāyikā, Prajñāgupta’s Abhiṣekaratnāloka, Prajñāśrī’s Abhiṣekavidhi, Vagīśvarakīrti’s Saṃkṣiptābhiṣekavidhi, Kṣitigarbha’s Daśatattvasaṃgraha, Ratnākaraśānti’s Ratnāvalī, Abhayākaragupta’s Vajrāvalī, and Kuladatta’s Kriyāsamgraha.

    The instructions on utkrānti are found in Dvitīyakrama, verses 327-359.


    Samajottara, GST 18, follows Jnanapada, as does Sakyamitra. That is how you get the primary feature of the Arya Guhyasamaja lineage, Chapter Two of PK. Even at that, we think it is a tantric re-telling of Samdhinirmocana Sutra. Even in the normal filing system, we see something given to Ratnakarasanti that he did not write but followed, since Kumaracandra composed it; or maybe it is something that came through the hands of Avadhuti and Ratnakarasanti ca. 800.




    Roughly put, the Third Initiation is for Suchness, and the Fourth, a seven-part reality to be maintained post-meditation. One would hesitate to say they are the Seven Ornaments of PU, but they are also found in:


    Vāgīśvavarakīrti’s later Saptāṅga and his Tattvaratnāvaloka and its autocommentary, where they are called the seven aṅgas of mahāmudrā

    ...a citation from the Saptāṅga in Rāmapāla’s Sekanirdeśapañjikā. The seven aṅgas are listed in Vāgīśvarakīrti’s work as sambhoga, sampuṭa, mahāsukha, niḥsvabhāva, kāruṇyanirbhara, nirantara, anirodhaḥ.



    Well, that shows us where the practice definitely is, and otherwise we don't know.

    They are heavily relying on Buddha's Enlightenment narrative to dispel "nihilistic emptiness" beliefs, but, they call themselves Yogacara Madhyamakas; so rather than being aimed at a "deviant Mahayana":

    Vaidyapāda’s interpretation of it as a critique of the śrāvaka view...


    That is the Triyana doctrine. The Liberation attained by a Sravaka is not Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi. This type of tantra is therefor an elucidation of Asanga's view.


    Based on Buddha's Enlightenment, they also describe "three gurus":


    ...the causal ācārya as the master who gives vows and commitments and who purifies one’s mind through the stages of initiation, beginning with the water initiation; the conditional ācārya as the “great goddess” with whom one engages in play and who purifies the field of one’s mind by means of the “sixteenth part;” and the sahaja ācārya as the one from whom one receives that (bindu?) and by means of whom and through whose blessing one realizes innate joy.


    The enlightenment myth was well-known in a tantra he otherwise does not use much:


    Buddhajñānapāda was familiar with the narrative from the Sarvatathāgatatattvasaṃgraha-tantra because he cites a passage from precisely this section of the tantra in his Ātmasādhanāvatāra.



    and so he was probably trying to give better details on Completion or Perfection, because:


    While this term itself does not occur in the Sarvatathāgatatattvasaṃgraha-tantra, the practices that it describes do.

    ...while the tantra’s emphasis is on Śākyamuni’s being taught and following the method of the five manifestations of awakening [Pancakara Abhisambodhi] associated with the deity yoga of the generation stage, the emphasis in the Muktitilaka’s narrative is on the sugatas directly showing Śākyamuni the “nondual profundity and luminosity” so that he is then able to train in it.


    The Anuttarasandhi composed by Buddhajñānapāda’s disciple Śākyamitra and included as the second chapter of Nāgārjuna’s Pañcakrama, includes its own such account— apparently modeled on Buddhajñānapāda’s—which describes Śākyamuni’s awakening in terms of the prabhāsvara doctrine.


    Well, that is a little odd, because she just said that Full Buddhahood is a "training mode". Here, I think you could be a little more affirmative: know, use, teach...after all, this is the primary argument in all Buddhism. First is a "how to", i. e. Mahayana meditation, leading to this enlightenment in a non-abiding nirvana. If we do not hold on to this, one is a Hindu or Sravaka. If we look at the above, the "sixteenth" is Dharana, and so from successful Dharana practice, one attains Sahaja.



    Sandhi is a term for union generically, whether in grammar, a vagina, a peace treaty, or almost anything...out of the many possible thousands, "anuttara" means it is the best, most reliable, unsurpassable. Once, it was a floating text, Anuttarasandhi. We saw in Dependent Origination, Nagarjuna quotes Maitreya without attribution, which is standard, because you are supposed to learn to recognize it happening. Here, Mind Isolation is taken from Sakyamitra in whole cloth, where he was doing nothing other than Jnanapada's instructions and Heruka yoga.


    Vajrapani makes his own "bookmark" about this. Older Vajrapani images do not have a dainty hand symbol, they have a vajra that ranges from substantial, to large and weapon-like:













    Heruka only partially has to do with Guhyasamaja, in the sense of not originating from it; and so rather than saying Heruka Yoga is in PK, it may be more likely that PK was made by elaborating the additional stages that are affixed to Heruka Yoga, in other words took Anuttarasandhi as an original work, and accreted more material onto it.

    As to what that says about GST 18/"The Appendix", suggests the early Guhyasamaja Tantra did not have it either.

    These Guhyasamaja commentators appear to use STTS only to the extent necessary, and then are using Guhyasamaja to truncate/reduce Generation Stage, so, i. e. Jnanapada and others are ambitious you could do Completion Stage after about six months of practice. But actually, this is rooted in Dakini Jala, and much more vivid in the "Chakrasamvara genre", which then is like a de-coupling from the necessity of "lower tantras". The Samvarodaya Tantra shows you the pattern of all these kriya rituals, and starts to shift them inwardly, and this should really begin with the commentarial instructions of Dhyanottara/Vajrosnisa.


    It seems they are forced to respond to STTS/Guhyasamaja in the same way later commentators respond to Kalachakra.



    Dalton refers to Szanto's unpublished Dakini Jala, which means we can probably get the whole tantra in the near future, or maybe some chapters at least. Comparatively, it looks like Samputa Tantra was in the works by 2016, and published around 2020. We already know most of what Dakini Jala says, but without mantras or mandalas. It is unlikely to contain its own commentarial aspect; if the quality of recent work is any guide, chances are they will discuss all and include at least some of the satellite texts. This is usually amazing; as we have seen, there are translations being done (such as Mahamaya) which lack the Sanskrit references and commentaries, which renders them shallow.

    Tantric Nagarjuna is repeating Maitreya and Sakyamitra; leaving us to wonder if he really contributed anything?


    Again, this simply helps clarify what might be called opinions or tendencies. The actual Heruka Yoga really is compatible with Buddha Nature as in Tathagatagarbha and Queen Srimaladevi Sutras, which are comparable to the Atma of Dakini Jala. Maitreya is supposed to be heavily connected.



    But our knowledge has been shaped pursuant to this view:


    The Prasannapadā is an important but sometimes frustrating text. Nāgārjuna’s Mūlamadhyamakakārikā is available to us today in the original Sanskrit only as embedded in this commentary by Candrakirti, which is the only commentary on Nagarjuna’s text known to have survived in the original Sanskrit.

    The first chapter of the Prasannapadā has become a locus classicus, in particular, for what Tibetan traditions emphasized as the split between the “Svātantrika” and “Prāsaṅgika” schools of Madhyamaka.

    The author of Pras, is categorized into Prasangika in Madhyamaika school. The beginning of Pras is dedicated to the refutation of the other school of Madhyamika, i.e., Svatantrika. The opponent was Bhaviveka.

    Chandrakirti defended Buddhapalita against Bhavaviveka.



    That is not tantric Candrakirti, follower of CMP Aryadeva, but Sutra Candrakirti, who was defeated by Candragomin in the 600s. The author of the PU apparently wishes to be "identified" with his previous namesake. However, Campbell tells us:


    Everything we know about Indian and Tibetan Madhyamaka up
    to the twelfth century suggests that the Yogacara-Madhyamaka reading of Nagarjuna
    based on Bhavaviveka (sixth century C.E.) and systematized by Santaraksita (eighth
    century C.E.) was far more well-known and accepted.


    So Indian Buddhism more or less was Yogacara, and Tibetan mostly is not.

    This older system, with no regard for Hevajra, uses a Mahadevi or "conditional guru" who:


    ...purifies the field of one’s mind by means of the “sixteenth part;”.


    which remains a little weird to me personally. That means that you have to use the physical force of Retention. This does not happen until you feel Wind trying to move semen. In this case, ejaculation is a "habit", and I cannot emphasize enough how most Winds are really Karmic Winds, relatively mindless impulses due to habits. So this Retention is a massive severance of Karmic Winds. And once you basically "forget" this, then, physically, you will get something like Candali in the general abdominal area. The texts, however, assert that it is reversed into something like a slingshot--rapidly and accurately reflecting the ejaculation to the skewering of the Bindu. I can imagine it, since that is about the same as learning how to do Breath Yoga quickly. Except it is not Breath Yoga, and must work a little different physically.




    The issues of Candrakirti, and the right way to name and classify beliefs and practices, becomes a whole new disaster in Tibet.

    Half of the problem is that Shentong is Yogacara, except for one significant doctrinal dispute as found in Mahamudra and the Middle Way:



    The difference between these two models is that the Yogācāra system distinguishes
    three natures, whereas the Jo nang Tathāgatagarbha model only discerns the perfect and the
    imagined nature. On this view, since the dependent nature is included in the object of
    refutation (dgag bya), there is in the final analysis no difference between the imagined and
    dependent natures.144

    144 Interestingly, this is similar to Candrakīrti’s view on the three natures in Madhyamakāvarabhāṣya on MA
    VI.96.


    This is considered to be the flaw in Dol po pa’s thesis that the perfect nature is empty
    of the imagined and dependent natures.



    It was one of Ratnakarasanti's "heresies" to say that the Dependent or Paratantra nature was permanent, even for Buddha. This is a significant Yogacara argument, which Candrakirti does not appear to follow. So, it might be one thing to study them comparatively and work it out on your own. But this is a bit more representative of what was actually happening:


    It is significant, for example, that in the spring of 1442,
    Shākya mchog ldan was required to go to the Dge lugs monastery of Se ra monastery to attend
    extensive teachings on Candrakīrti’s Prasannapadā according to decrees issued from Ne’u
    sdong that made the attendance of Sa skya and Dge lugs pa monks mandatory.

    ...he devoted considerable attention to the
    Niḥsvabhāvavāda or *Prāsaṅgika-Madhyamaka system until approximately 1470 (age fortythree), the year following his Hevajra retreat. From this time onward, his view shifted more
    and more to what he called Alīkākāravāda Madhyamaka, Great Madhyamaka (dbu ma chen
    po) or Gzhan stong...


    In other words, being trained in Prasangika so heavily, inspired a career of mostly refuting it. And then he steps right into a honeypot of equating Alikakara (Yogacara) with Shentong. They are much closer, but technically different. Dolpopa started this from the level of Dharana when he decided you could annihilate Paratantra.


    A similar meltdown in classifications is done by another famous exegete:



    Padma dkar po had, on the one
    hand, criticized the Jo nang Gzhan stong adherents for adopting an eternalist stance regarding
    the ultimate and nihilistic stance regarding the conventional and, on the other hand,
    criticized the Dge lugs Rang stong proponents for adopting an eternalist view of the
    conventional and nihilistic view of the ultimate. This assessment helps us to understand
    Padma dkar po’s rather unexpected admission that “my tradition is Rang stong” (bdag gi lugs
    ni rang stong) in contraposition to the views of “those who have fallen into a one-sided
    position known as Gzhan stong”. These he equates with opponents criticized by Candrakīrti
    in his Prasannapadā who falsely imagine conditioned things to be empty—i.e., nonexistent—
    while “falsely imagin[ing] an intrinsic essence (svabhāva) of things for the purpose of
    [establishing] a basis of that [emptiness].” Given that Padma dkar po had moreover identified Gzhan stong with Cittamātra, specifically the Alīkākāravāda strand, and that Cittamātra
    schools were said to be repudiated root and branch by the Apratiṣṭhāna-Mādhyamikas, his
    endorsement of a Rang stong view begins to appear all but inevitable.


    That may have been said, yet, we are not sure that Apratisthana is anything other than semantics, or still is a type of Yogacara or Cittamatra, although unlike other branches of it.

    And so this book is mainly about a guy in the 1400s trying to sift Yogacara out of a total mess:


    ...the first targets of his criticism are those
    who think emptiness as the object of the Mahāmudrā view should be taken as a nonaffirming
    negation in line with the Rang stong tradition and that such realization should be preceded by
    logical analysis according to Niḥsvabhāvavāda Madhyamaka canons of reasoning. This, he
    argues, is completely at odds with Saraha’s dohās which far from emphatically negating self-aware wisdom after the fashion of Bhāviveka and Candrakīrti, emphatically affirm it...

    ...in this Rang stong system, even
    coemergent wisdom when analyzed by reasoning about one and many turns out to
    be nonexistent, along with [its] aspects of mere bliss and clarity, whereas in the
    [dohās], “mind as such alone” is not negated and a statement [stanza 20ab] from
    [Saraha’s] Dohā in Forty [Stanzas] outlined the grave drawbacks of ascertaining
    self-luminous self-awareness in terms of self-emptiness:

    By analyzing mind in terms of one and many,
    Abandoning luminosity, one goes into worldly existence.


    It is said that the object of view in the main practice of Mahāmudrā is that which was
    explained by the glorious Candrakīrti. [Yet] the object of view in the Mahāmudrā of the noble
    Saraha is explained as coemergent primordial wisdom itself.


    From there, he somehow realizes Ratnakarasanti's basic point:


    Of these two, the Yogācāra-Madhyamaka explains the intent of Prajñāpāramitā
    according to the third dharmacakra and emphasizes Maitreya’s works and Nāgārjuna’s
    hymnic corpus.


    As a more historically-accurate name:


    Summarizing the Niḥsvabhāvavāda Madhyamaka tradition, he again stresses its
    espousal of the view of emptiness as a nonaffirming negation ascertained through reasoning
    and its rejection of personally-realized wisdom. The type of knowledge which this tradition
    does attribute to buddhas is an omniscience which possesses the power to predict future events
    and other supernatural faculties. The tradition’s goal of sheer emptiness is realized through
    studying, thinking and a type of “familiarization through dedicated mental engagement”
    which Shākya mchog ldan refrains from calling “meditation”.

    One of Candrakīrti’s interpreters, Jayānanda, evidently found it difficult to
    defend the former’s view that the Buddha has no cognition at all against the criticism that this
    renders standard accounts of the Buddha’s three kāyas and his activities for the sake of
    sentient beings untenable. Kevin Vose has shown the extent to which Jayānanda, despite his
    Candrakīrtian Madhyamaka pedigree, ends up resorting to the Yogācāra model of fundamental transformation (āśraya-parāvṛtti) of the eight ordinary modes of consciousness into the five wisdoms of buddhahood in order to account for the buddha’s extraordinary realization and capacities.

    As Vose explains, “[w]hile Candrakīrti was consigned to arguing (to largely deaf ears)
    against a vibrant Yogācāra movement, Jayānanda could more freely adopt features from Yogācāra into a
    Prāsaṅgika context.

    Ratnākaraśanti interpreted Nāgārjuna’s Madhyamaka in an idealist vein and
    his circle generally did not favour Candrakīrti’s interpretation.


    Isn't that strange? The Khons had the original Yogacara since around the 800s, and then we see their subjects sent to indoctrination camps. But as we know, it was a "political issue", and the Gelugs were able to use mundane power, unlike the Indian debating system, which had let Candrakirti slide as an item of interest. You had the freedom to choose something like that, or Sakara Yogacara, or whatever, however it seems that the main commentarial system is in Asanga's Yogacara and Heruka. The 1400s criticism of The Great Perfection is that it is "too ritualized".


    Campbell did not come up with any kind of personal evidence for tantric Candrakirti. Perhaps it is a nom-de-plume for someone who really expects you to believe they are Sutra Candrakirti. I am not sure if we have seen that blatant of a pose. Apparently nothing has been found other than copies of his books. He hails Nagarjuna as supreme, and neglects to quote Panchakrama, which would be a good idea if you were trying to conceal Sakyamitra. If you hid the fact that all of the inspiration was from Jnanapada, and, you authoritatively install a radical doctrine, you start a school.


    And yet, as Thurman has observed, the Prasannapada and the PU are
    typically known in the scholastic Tibetan tradition as "the sun and the moon, lighting up
    the worlds of Sutra and Tantra, respectively."


    This is not to say that traditional authorities such as the Indian sub-commentators
    on the PU or later Tibetan exegetes were indifferent to the question of whether there was
    one or more Candraklrti; no doubt they did usually consider it unproblematic to assert
    they were one and the same.

    Contemporary, traditionally trained Tibetan specialists of the Esoteric Communion Tantra such as His
    Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and Gelek Rinpoche do not consider this question one terribly worth
    asking.


    Independently included:


    Why does Heruka stomp on Bhairava and Kalaratri? Because they are not standing on
    something other than themselves, in the form of their own personally held belief system,
    carried from childhood.


    Vajra Hermeneutics can offer nothing conclusive about the PU writer either. I get the impression that Candrakirti did not like Apabrahmsa culture. He uses a minority of ulterior texts, such as Candraguhyatilaka. In the Guhyasamaja cycle, there is one sounding a bit like Anuttarasandhi:


    Sandh[i/ya]vyakarana-nama-Tantra

    Sandhi Vyakarana, Tantra That Prophesies Realization


    This has "Seven Ornaments", so, at least he did not make it out of nowhere.

    The name Samantabhadra also appears in Sandhivyakarana explanatory tantra:

    Immaculately pure by nature,
    the mind is Samantabhadra.


    It probably "explains yoga", while using a term from Jnanapada.


    Candrakirti dwells in this non-sequitur:


    The text's colophon in both Peking and Derge editions state that the PU was composed
    by Master Candraklrti relying on the personal instruction of Master Nagarjuna.

    The PU cites very few shastric texts, although there is the presumption (perhaps
    unwarranted) that the text presumes the PK of Nagarjuna, which it nonetheless does not
    cite. He does clearly cite the works of *Nagabodhi/Nagabuddhi.


    It is thought to be "famous" or have a "crowd"...of six sub-commentaries, half of which are very minor/by unknowns, and also by:


    Bhavaviveka...considered a forgery by Tsong kha pa.

    Bhavyakirti...PU-abhisandhiprakasika-nama vyakhya-tlka...this is the most extensive sub-commentary.

    The greater part of the introduction to the Prakasika is devoted to
    an explanation of the yogic practice taught in the PK.

    Aryadeva...also rejected by Tsong kha pa on the basis that such a
    commentary would presuppose the existence of the PU, which would not have been
    known to Aryadeva in traditional accounts... the PU does itself cite the CMP.

    Based on the fact that neither the CMP nor the
    PU ever cite the text of the PK, Tomabechi asserts that Nagarjuna's text came after the
    others.


    So, yes, the largest and most thorough reaction to PU is to undermine all of its individuality and reverse its teaching. Bhavyakirti essentially refutes Candrakirti, but this escaped attention. These books do not get the nice "mix-up" such as allowed for two or more Indrabhutis and so on; they are rejected as forgeries. That also seems to happen to Ratnakarasanti, in his case, as an opportunity for conflicting information to be presented. Without knowing the motives on the ones that happened here, we can still say the main commentary on the PU is to over-write its philosophy with Yogacara, no false attribution is necessary.

    PU has no response from Naro or anyone else visible in the Arya lineage. Well, maybe they quote it, but, it still has to be mostly true, minus the Candrakirti-isms.

    Kern 1903 says Aryadeva comments PU, except he gives it the pre-title Nayapradipa, which is a Hindu text. It is rGyud XXXI at the beginning; nothing more of this in a hundred and twenty years.


    Wayman uses PU for "sandhya bhasa" in Twilight Language.


    Resurrecting Candrakirti says he was mostly overlooked until Prajnakaramati. Part of the problem is that this view says "consciousness cannot experience the ultimate"; if one says "mundane consciousness", fair enough, but otherwise that is a failing like Sakara saying it cannot release the Object. There is no quote or connection from Santideva to Candrakirti. If, in some cases, a few people like some of his quotes, that does not mean they endorse everything he did. Besides, this is almost entirely confined to Sutra Candrakirti.

    Vose essentially calls Prajnakaramati the "first Prasangika", i.e. commented Shantideva and attached it to Chandrakirti. He was a Vikramasila Gatekeeper, ca. 950-1030.



    Matsunaga wrinkles it again:


    According to Jnanamitra, Sutra Candrakirti quotes Prajnaparamita in 150 Lines in the Prasanna, on Nihsvabhava; he also quotes something called, in Tibetan, Dpal dam pa, thought to be a shortened Sri Paramadya. From Kukuraja, Indrabhuti got Agama and Upadesa, and extracted these from Dpal dam pa for Gomadevi in Nayasatapancasatika. She "developed" the traditions and secret instructions, and created the current "Sriparamadi" or Dpal dam pa, if that is the right name, for what is likely a Prajnaparamita text. This short version seems to have been in use in Amoghavajra's time, and was later expanded.

    Sandhivyakarana, one of the earliest of the related corpus, comments only twelve chapters of GST. It has nothing resembling "two schools".

    Pradipoddyotana recognizes Indrabhuti's Guhyasamaja, from Jnanasiddhi, with thirteen deities, from the first chapter of Guhyasamaja. Then it has the different Manjuvajra and Akshobhya versions. Manjuvajra has another six wrathfuls from the back half of GST. The Arya mandala is not in GST (it may be strewn throughout the whole book).

    PK I.16-24 quotes Vajra Rosary or vice-versa; CMP only comments on 19-23 of these. The same verses are in the Samvarodaya. CMP does not even deal with the following two quotes in PK from Arya Vyakarana tantras.

    PU does not quote Vajrajnanasamuccaya, probably because it was being developed at the same time.

    A ca. 650 text shows Tara with the bija Trum.


    Garfield supports Candrakirti, in that Paratantra is expendable or removable.


    A small sample of Prajnakaramati is not all that impressive. He wants to mash out Svasamvedana.

    But that is one of the most crucial teachings in Samputa Tantra. And again, the Yogacara ideal is to force you into this experience. It is less about mincing words and exegesis. It wants you to start asking the right questions, which will suck you in to that which these others are saying is not real or does not exist, as an intellectual conclusion based from some teachings. As someone who has experienced a high degree of this Yoga, I would nevertheless accept that, at most, it was only in the stage of Dharana, which can at least physiologically propel you into Luminosity and the Wisdoms. This aspect is little different from Nath. Even from this slightly foreign background, the taste of Gnosis is enough to establish that neither the Prasangika or Sakara views hold out as well as Nirakara, in attempts to find the right language to portray the experience.

    It is not possible to record a direct lineage from Asanga to Ratnakarasanti, but the chain of custody of the subject is impeccable.

    It might take a poster-size graphic to "layer" the relevant commentarial traditions into a single place, but, it is actually a limited amount. This stuff about how Jnanapada and Sakyamitra actually "are" the Arya lineage, and that Bhavyakirti devoured Candrakirti, is pretty deep. Even this Guhyasamaja is being run by Samyak Heruka, which is the same as Padmasambhava did; he seems to be the driver of these important wandering chapters, GST 18 and PK 2.

    Whether we should decide that Candrakirti launched a wave of subversion, including the erasure of facts and installation of opinion, which became a kind of state policy, at the expense of the authentic Maitreya, to release something that is possibly dangerous, I am not sure.

    If we only look at the Sanskrit system, he barely scratches it.

    We would tend to say this Yogacara argument is really important. The idea of Four Seals of Ramapala and others probably is the most accurate, at a very profound level, and it is not too hard to admit various reasons why there might be Three Joys, or Four Seals of a different kind, at least provisionally. However this base level of Yogacara or Mahayana is of immediate significance. We say it is better to do one pushup correctly than twenty the wrong way.

    The art of debate is just about a daily practice for monks. This is actually fun because someone gets to be devil's advocate, or it is like acting lessons, like how can I slip into the character of Nero and win. And if you have that type of interest, or, like seeing all sides of the argument, then "different schools" could have somewhat of a purpose. That has far less value to the lay person who just wants to meditate. And that is why it might be useful to assert Yogacara in a somewhat authoritative manner. Buddhist ecclesiastical institutions bury the mention of it in third year studies.

    Turned around, if just given from the more significant parts of Maitreya and Asanga, and what we might call select commentaries, for one thing, you would simply not hear from Tibet. It is somewhat limited, and structured in a way that I did not see when I started this thread, or that is what I would have used. I was reading symbolism, and learning what works as synonyms and so forth, trying perhaps like Asanga to find the language that expresses what I want to say. As it starts to come together, it turns out that I am too late, as for example Naro says that Asraya Paravrtti means Melting the Bindu. Bhavyakirti says that the Three Natures of Yogacara are the Three Lights of Guhyasamaja. There is no need of me subjectively meandering and making these suggestions because it sounds like what it means--that is exactly what it means.


    The Three Lights expression comes from Sakyamitra and Dakini Jala Heruka.

    Ratnakarasanti uses the phrase "Paramagambhira" for "Extreme Perfection", which should be the equivalent of Risen Heruka, or, from him, Sahaja Hevajra.


    Just those few sentences are like a complete orientation to Buddhism that has not happened before. In fact, they are the ultimate subjects in both theory and practice. Moreover, the fact that they are two distinct phases is very useful to someone who might otherwise flounder in pranic energies unleashed by other yogas. Melting and Prabhasvara. Since the Prabhasvara is concealed by the Three Lights, Citta Visuddhi is like a management of the three.

    To be excessively symbolic, one might say there is no such thing as a direct Nagarjuna lineage, because they use Sabara, who is not a human being, but, the crown center of the oldest Dohas. He was a vision to Maitri and others. Aryadeva was a vision that "revived" his own lineage in some accounts. But if I was a Doha follower, I would not expect Sabara to be a person at all, just the inhabitant of the Mountains of Vajrayogini, which is in Citta Visuddhi.

    That is what it means, but I cannot say it is biological truth.


    I was edgy that Kongtrul may have confounded "Darika" with "Pundarika" the author of Vimalaprabha. But there is not much question of an early Darika:


    Ghantapa had two Chakrasamvara initiations: one from Darika, the other from Sahajayoginicinta, or Yogini Vilasyavajra. She was trained by Dombi and Vinapa. Dombi, Cinta, and Darika all have core Mahamudra texts, along with Nagarjuna's Caturmudranvaya.


    So instead, this first Vilasavajra is probably this woman. And Kongtrul was just paraphrasing Blue Annals. This literally says that Semde and the Jnanapada tradition have one source:


    Further, (the teachings) which were known by tne
    name of the “Mental” Class (Sems-sde) of the “Great
    Achievement ”(rDzogs-chen) : Ban-de Chuh-ma-can(<Darika),
    the teacher of the acarya Sangs-rgyas ye-ses-zabs (Buddha-
    jnanapada), was a manifestation of ManjusrI.


    So that must have been a rapid turning point in the time of Dharmapala: Luipa --> Darika --> Jnanapada and Ghanta.

    Luipa, Darika, and Ghanta were all renunciates of nobility.


    The difference between the latter two is that Ghantapa endured a famous rivalry with King Devapala. And then the very unusual thing is that for such a famous master, no students are known. It is still in transmission; if you take Lama Zopa Rinpoche's empowerment, you cannot practice Shugden. Ouch!


    Compared to Luipa, some say:

    ...the most profound points are in the tradition of Drilbupa [i. e. Ghantapa].


    In one Sakya Chakrasamvara lineage, we find:

    Vajra Ghantapa, Kumarapada, Jalandharapa...


    in no place do they say that Jalandhara was a disciple of Kambala, and in no place have we found Ghantapa to have any students. Missing link? No such person. Could it mean Kumaracandra? In most cases, -pada represents Vikramasila, just by altering your original or known name, kind of like saying rishi, rinpoche, acharya, etc., and so the intended person is "Kumara", with who knows what may have been originally attached. The one given here is of course not in anything else on the page, or, anywhere else. Because Kumaracandra was not at Vikramasila, that seems an unlikely conclusion--but it still may be the case.

    Kumarapada is a place in Puri, Orissa. That would be similar to a name like Sauripada (Ratnakaragupta, middle Vajrasana).


    or:


    There are kumarpada or Palpada in many a village of Bengal. Both the term kumar and pal denote people who are potters by profession and pada denotes a locality.

    or when I need furniture:

    Kumarpada, Guwahati, Dist. Kamrup


    No Buddhist teacher seems to have this name, which most likely designates a potter from one of those three places, which are all likely candidates. And what they call Vajramala has the sequence:

    Vajra Ghantapa, Jalandharapa, Anupama Shri...


    where we could say, it might be possible but unknown for Jalandhara to have anything to do with Ghantapa, and then it jumps about a hundred and fifty years like the "two Kusalis".


    Because we have found that subtle yoga goes back at least to Humkara, it is no longer necessary to construe Krsnacharya as a source of inspiration for Vajradaka Tantra or anything else like that.


    Principles of Buddhist Tantra says that the Fourth Stage--called by Ghanta, Acintya or Inconceivable--is not even accessible at the beginning of Completion Stage. It equivalently works with the Four Stages of Jalandhara or Krishnacharya. This is a nice, compact commentary on how all Heruka Yoga ought to be similar and compatible, despite differing terminology and classification. Cleverly, they slip Nagarjuna to the beginning, and instead of Mahamudra, it is tied to Kalachakra.

    Even from Jnanapada, these Four Stages are related to the Four Joys. But then it says, scholars have looked at the system of Naro as structured by Bardo and Transference and lost track of the Four Joys. But that certainly was in his Hevajra commentary. So Kalachakra has skewed the previous system somewhat. Those mostly-mental portions are of course important, but the practice almost entirely consists of Four Joys. It is all about accessing them and how to use them and obviously Transference is way at the back of the Fourth Stage.

    In return, everything that is being called "stages" in that multi-commentary is equivalent to the Four Mudras in Ramapala's system ascribed to Nagarjuna, Caturmudranvaya. That fails as soon as you use any other Mudra system, which then has to be assessed as "provisional instructions" towards this. Roughly, they are "stages" of intensity of Joy or Ananda in subtle yoga, which is what you are "doing", along with the sadhana patterned on the Mudras.

    Sa pan misquotes this very argument from Caturmudranvaya, into a way not found in any Sanskrit or Tibetan editions. He argues against Sutra Mahamudra, interpreting the passage to mean there is no such thing as Mahamudra without a specific empowerment. This "mistake" was noticed "already" in the 1500s. The Kagyu version, following Saraha that there is Sutra Mahamudra, is a straightforward way of explaining the limitations of Karmamudra, and that Mahamudra comes from nowhere other than Dharmamudra. The ability to detect "Sahaja third" is the mark of a "good empowerment", which is why this is about Initiation. Prior empowerments are, like Sutra Mahamudra, a way of building to this point. Then there is really just this one important empowerment, which does give instructions, but is actually an examination to see if you can do the yoga.

    These gurus mainly do two things, check to see if you "get" Mahamudra which concerns Melting, and then to see if you "get" the Three Lights, when they would grant you "the fourth is again thus".


    Even with Mathes, we have to watch something. He says:


    Mahamudra thus became equated with
    the recently introduced Indian doxographical category ApratisthanaMadhyamaka-
    a strongly anti-foundationalist strain of Madhyamaka
    having certain obvious affinities with the so-called *Prasangika-Madhyamaka
    tradition that Tibetans associated with Nagarjuna, Candrakirti
    and others.


    leading to Hookham's remark on RGV:


    ...it is not considered a Yogacara text these days.


    There is another Mathes on Apratisthana; and what should become quickly obvious, is that in Tibet, they use RGV to argue Rangtong (Prasangika) vs. Shentong, neither one of which is Yogacara.

    So, yes, the vocabulary terms Amanasikara and Apratisthana are in vogue with Prasangika, and so it can easily look like they have resolved the issue. But it was never an issue. The Fourth Initiation has Nihsvabhava. But we might not say it was the sole concern, or even the most important thing here. If we inflated our name to Yogacara Madhyamaka Apratisthana Nihsvabhava, it would still be appropriate, and it would not affect anything.

    One of the main sources that has been used to, perhaps, flatten the vocabulary on that side, is Jnanalokalamkara. Offhand, it sounds like a tantric commentary, and so Maitri must be quoting Nagarjuna in order to support Candrakirti's position, is basically the logic they use.

    Let us review what we recently learned, and put it together with a modern video:


    In 1999 a team of Japanese scholars retrieved a number of Sanskrit texts from the Potala Palace in Lhasa among which the Vimalakirtinirdesha and the Jnanalokalamkara, both believed to have been lost, were the prominent ones.


    The translator adds:


    The script of both MSS can be categorized as the "Proto-Bengali-cum-ProtoMaithili...

    ...the same year, the 12th regnal year of the King Gopala.


    Those are like Dzogchen original Bibles. It is hard to get anything like that intact. So now we can easily get a GRETIL copy. The translator presumes it meant Gopala III and has no idea why these two would be found together.


    Curiously, the VKN is not properly titled, in fact the cover uses the title of Chapter Eleven, which concerns:

    Vimalakirti expounds 'how to see' the tathagata and
    miraculously shows the Abhirati universe of the Tathagata Aksobhya, from which
    he descended...



    This thing is not a tantric commentary. Considering the state it was discovered, here is the actual background according to David Reigle:


    The Jñānālokālaṃkāra-sūtra (more fully Sarva-buddha-viṣayāvatāra-jñānālokālaṃkāra-sūtra) is given in some lists as one of the ten tathāgata-garbha sūtras...

    It is the source of the nine examples used to illustrate buddha-action in chapter 4 the Ratna-gotra-vibhāga, listed in verse 4.13...

    Three such verses occurring in the Pañcakrama...


    ...a Chinese version since the year 501.

    This sutra describes the qualities and modes of action of the Tathagata and, in addition to negative statements, also contains positive Yogacara terms such as `Suchness (tathata), the natural lightness of the mind and the beginningless perfect purity of all phenomena .


    Tantric Nagarjuna used it, as does Maitreya. It is part and parcel of Tathagatagarbha and Yogachara. It is not in a Rangtong and Shentong dispute. It is not in an argument of any kind. We can just look and see what Maitreya and Asanga actually said. They really buried "Sutra Mahamudra" for centuries didn't they??

    The typical narrative frame is that Maitri discovered RGV, and it conveniently fits what Candrakirti was trying to say. The actual truth is that it is a Buddhist adaptation of the philosophy that is in the Bhagavad Gita, and the main difference is Asanga's meditation technique. The tantras are accumulations of details about the technique. The main thrust of it, even from the Sutras, is to raise Luminosity and Suchness, which is Dharmamudra leading to Mahamudra.

    We might agree this is Sutra Mahamudra, from Saraha, ca. 720-780, who probably spread it in Bengal --> Luipa, and in Orissa --> Nagarjuna.


    It is around the same era that Samyak Heruka from Sitabani was spread by Humkara, to four Indian disciples, to Vikramasila, and to Tibet. Ironically it contains the "Arya school". Compared to Saraha, it contains Tantric Samayamudra. We found Luipa --> Darika --> Jnanapada, who was certainly close to Sitabani.


    Those two sources can hardly be traced to anything prior, and the actual subjects seem to be negligible in the ca. 750 Vajrasekhara, excluding them from any evident awareness at the time. Yet they are quite fused in the commentaries of Jalandhara and Krishnacarya, most likely early to mid-800s, which is then industrialized at Vikramasila by Bhavabhadra and Bhavyakirti, still around the mid-800s.

    Although more tantras are produced, there is not really any more new yogic commentary that applies. One could say that Kankala Yoga goes into far greater detail on the Pithas, but this is like an advanced view of Melting. The line we have shown flows into the Hevajra commentaries of Naro and Ratnakarasanti, whose Caturmudranvaya argument is detailed by no less than four followers, in Abhiseka Nirukti, and Maitri, King Ramapala, and Karopa.

    Ratnakarasanti gave the most amazing Mahamaya commentary, and we see where that comes from, and there is no reason to assume he did not receive it as a complete unit since its inception. And even though we would like to grant Saraha a lot of Sutra freedom, he does Buddhakapala, said to be very advanced.

    Subhasita Samgraha is a Sutra Mahamudra, i. e. its final sections are Prajnopaya and then Jnanamudra --> Mahamudra. It quotes most of the Mahamudra authors, others such as Kambala, and one of the few Buddhakapala comments.

    Jnanasiddhi and Anangavajra's Prajnopaya

    Advayasiddhi which ends on an argument of Suchness vs. No Essence.


    Buddhakapala is a Heruka yoga, who arises from Vajrahumkara:


    paścād bhāvanāparayuktasya śrīherukapade sthitaḥ|

    kṛṣṇaraktamahāghoraṃ vajrahūṃkārasambhavam|



    with:


    pañca yoginī buddhasya lakṣmīmahāmudrāpradāyikā|

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    Default Re: Nirakara and Shentong Buddhism, Tara, Sadhanas, Sanskrit culture

    Maitreya and Saraha





    Buddhism is already well-known for a couple of controversial topics, such as the principle of "original books" having 100,000 or more verses, now lost, but represented by extractions. Another is that the close disciples of Buddha were actually fully versed in these, and they keep reincarnating to try to spread the teaching into the human world.


    I am not trying to press either of those points too literally. We are going for tangible evidence, and what has come out in the past few years actually is a lot different than "known to scholars", or, at all.

    For at least the first five hundred years of its existence, Buddhism lacked any explanation of the life of a Bodhisattva, and it is really this which we are trying to spread in Mahayana. Although this is "defined" in the very early Prajnaparamita Sutra, ca. year 75, our attention is really drawn to Asanga or Maitreya's revamp ca. 550. Even though there were Sutras and trainings in his time, we can get a pretty close picture of what this meant, and what was missing that he added in. And then the main thing about this is that the significant tweak is the practice of Yogacara meditation.


    This has less to do with any emotional attachment to Maitreya "the teacher", whom we could summarily dismiss as a figment, but it has everything to do with Maitreya "the teaching" which is Dharma. And then almost like a computer, we just pass/fail filter whatever either belongs to this or does not. So far, Maitreya's Yogacara seems to have had an experience like Darth Vader, or it may be even closer to what the Catholics did by hoarding Gnostic texts and so on. The Buddhist Tantras are Yogacara. We are just re-assembling this in context, because whatever happened is thoroughly baffling.


    The Prajnaparamita Sutra mentions a Bodhisattva named Vimalakirti, and, this character has his own Sutra, which can likewise be proven to have an extremely early written format. After Asanga, this Sutra (Vimalakirtinirdesa or VKN) is similarly used to "re-codify" or explain tantric literature, right at the Indian Mahayoga sources of what is known in Tibet as Dzogchen or Nyingma school. And you might call this "more details about Yogacara practices". This includes "tantric Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra"; the Chinese "alteration" to which, appears to be the title, which was originally Prajnaparamita Dharani.


    In the sociological context, one sees that Maitreya's Yogacara was actually swept into the corners by "rival sects", and there is really no longer any such thing, other than, I think you could call it a "tolerated view" in Kagyu.


    H. H. Gyalwang Karmapa refuses to try to give a tight version of exactly what teachers and trends "were" the origin of Yogacara in medieval India. He does admit that Nagarjuna's Root Verses only refer to Madhyamaka, but in other areas he accepts Cittamatra. He quotes Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra:


    Because their mind is afflicted, sentient beings are afflicted.
    Purifying their minds will purify sentient beings.


    This Sutra was massively influential to China and Japan from a very early time, ca. 100s. And it persists. We do not find a "Srimala Devi" as a later character, or a "Tathagatagarbha" as a kind of flagship, but then we do find this exact Sutra as the organizational basis of Mahayoga Tantras around the 700s. It firstly shows Manjushri as the one wise enough to speak to Vimalakirti, and in the last chapter, Buddha basically tells Maitreya that he will be the next Buddha. So then it would not be much surprise to see a "Maitreya cult" in Gandahar from ca. 300s, which Asanga was exposed to.


    Since the point is that Asanga went through the tribulations of inadequate trainings and a difficult journey in order to communicate with Maitreya, and, thereby, transmit the Sastra which makes everything work better, if VKN means anything, then you would want to employ this process. This gives you the groundwork for everything that is in the tantras, such as a dharani system, samadhi visualizations, inner heat, "Mind Only", and so forth. This is established in Ratnagotra Vibhaga and Aksayamati Nirdesa Sutra, and some of Asanga's comments on the prior Sutras and Sastras. It is really not all that much. It is a narrow enough focus that it could probably be studied by persons of average intelligence in a semester. This is really the "catharsis", to which, all one needs to really start it, is enough background to be able to understand it. Like a basic understanding of the Bodhisattva Path, and maybe the Samdhinirmocana Sutra, so you're not walking into it cold.

    The first instructions are to read these Mahayana Sutras, process them internally, and apply that to the Yogacara meditation system. Once you can do Mahayana Yogacara, then you might as well be aware you are doing Sutra Mahamudra. This means you will discover and use two Siddhis or Yoga powers which are not available from the Nath or other systems of yoga. These two Siddhis are in fact the only thing that defines or distinguishes a Buddhist or is different from Hinduism. If you do not have these things, your view and practice is equivalent to any kind of disciple and can be explained away, and you are not in the Bodhisattva Gotra or Family. In fact, you are a mundane being, almost indistinguishable from an animal, because you do not have what Maitreya calls the Mind.


    So we have provided the vast majority of the necessary Sutra and Sastra information, and anyone can do it. There is nothing that says you have to be any special kind of person. All you have to do is take it seriously and try it.


    According to the VKN study, the excoriation of the "body" in Buddhism is not a shove into mortification and asceticism, it is a symbol for the Skandhas, similar to the tantric Lump:


    This body is a combination
    of aggregates [Skandha], elements [Dhatu], and sense-media [Ayatana], which are comparable to murderers,
    poisonous snakes, and an empty town, respectively. Therefore, you should be
    revulsed by such a body. You should despair of it and should arouse your admiration
    for the body of the Tathāgata.


    Then it explains a Buddha body as a gnosis body born from things such as the Four Immeasurables and Thirty-seven Point Enlightenment and so forth. So this does have a "tantric formula" much as we use, although it has more categories, possibly resembling Dharma Samgraha. The point does appear to be to fry the Skandhas and manifest the Tri-kaya, which would not be noteworthy in later texts, but this is among the first internationally-distributed major sources. As soon as you put this idea beside retinues such as Mayuri or MMK, you would more or less have tantra. There is no evidence of this being done, just multiple centuries of opportunity for someone to perhaps independently tried it, and, unlike Saraha, not gotten recorded. Asanga says that people see variously-colored transcendental lords, which is about the extent of details we get from him. In VKN, it is easy to see why Kukkuraja would be asked to meditate on these words in order to better organize and explain the tantras.



    Chakrasamvara is primarily traced to having Saraha as its origin. He was in Bengal, which of course is not terribly far from Sitabani, but "spheres of influence" were limited and slow in those days. Most likely, he became influential in the period ca. 750-780, basically at the same time that Mahayoga came out of Sitabani, to just a few people at first. What we can be mostly sure was personally authored by Saraha is a Buddhakapala Sadhana. It may have also been all three of the major Sarma tantra divisions, but again we should check a legend/claim against what can actually be verified. In this case, Saraha's influence can be felt centuries later; from Maitri:


    Marpa received teachings on the root and explanatory Hevajra tantras, the Buddhakapala tantra, and the Instruction on the Four Seals (Phyag rgya bzhi’i gdams ngag) (Toh. 2295).


    Concerning the forthcoming edition for us:


    A special characteristic of this tantra is the prominence of gāruḍa...No edition of the Buddhakapālatantra has been published, and to date little research has been done on it.



    Well, we can get articles that doll it up as "vampire Buddha" as if Marpa had transmitted Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, but those are for entertainment purposes. And what we are doing says, yes, you should train yourself into dedicated yoga sessions on a regular basis, and then that is far from the only thing you should do. In fact it is basically required to become secular and participate in a business or other regular parts of society in general. If you want to study other subjects, you should do that as well. It's not for us to have a runoff between Jack Kerouac and Norman Rockwell, or pointilism or tone rows. I saw that if something purifies the three worlds and provides benefits to beings, that we are not supposed to interfere, no matter what it is. On the other hand, if it is dangerous or harmful, we would destroy it at will. So, I, for example, do not really care what anyone likes or not, I protect the weak and small helpless ones and that's it.


    Many people, of course, feel that "transgressive behavior" lacking a victim is sinful and so forth. Saraha composed a bunch of songs intended to mitigate this attitude. In a Doha, Saraha says of not making waves on Parameshwara:


    Avai jAi Na chChaDDai tAvahu |
    kahiM apuvvA vilAsiNi pAvahu ||

    If you do not renounce the coming and going how can you attain the incomparable vilAsinI ?


    and:


    He himself was initiated into this kaula practice by the siddha karuNAnandanAtha.


    We just don't know what that is, because of course the written Vajravilasini sadhanas came later. Obviously, Saraha had some kind of training with at least a tantric edge to it, such as also:


    Dhanyakataka monastery of Srisaila

    Saraha is said to have the realisation of
    Mahamudra from the Siddha-Dakini at Sambhasa Caitya of Dharmaganja in Uddiyana.


    Nalanda and Valabhi indicates "Dharmaganja" as Nalanda library; "sambhasa" is a conversation.

    And as it often seems, this Mahamudra is not "of a deity", or "in Buddha Family", it just sounds like a state, like what is usually called the Fourth Joy, which with more extensive training is actually Third.

    It turns out he says something about this himself.

    The statement above is in Saraha's Svadhisthana Krama:


    'Krama' suggests 'Sequence' in practice (carya Tib. Spyod
    pa) towards the unification (Samatvam) of the mind of an individual
    practitioner with Thatness (Tathata) or the intrinsicness of That pervading the universe and infinitum.


    Mahamudra is the unifying force between Svadhisthana (ran
    byin gyi rJabs) and Prabhasvara (rab gsal).


    Svadhisthana is distinct from Prajnadhisthana (ses rab kyi byin gyi
    rJabs) the state of attaining holiness by Wisdom since prajna is
    regarded as karmanga. Svadhisthana refers to Samvrtti bodhicitta
    when it moves through an unfailing condition...Mahamudra practice is therefore a direct
    application of Wisdom-energy to the cessation of suffering.



    Well, nothing much could have more directly called Mahamudra the Third Seal, since the final, or "Extreme Perfection", or fourth state, Prabhasvara, is now shown to have Mahamudra as an active ingredient. Svadhisthana is...a mix of a type of sadhana practice, with an inner yoga experience. Saraha has not given a "consecrational" view of the holiness of self-blessing, he has uttered a formula that may not have been publicly-known before. Describing a successful practitioner:


    ...he is praised for being gracious with Vajramrta of illusory self-nature
    befitting to addilalitarasa in the joyful state of Sri Silvajra.


    ...flowing from the sky in which Srilalitavajra (devis) having their
    Prajnaparamita nature (become) joyous in the superior state.


    ...he achieves Pranayama...


    The "sequence" of Svadhisthana Krama is probably not these sixteen verses, but, in his non-denominated texts on Mahamudropadesa, Kayavakcitta, and so forth. There is more than a small hint here that Buddhist Pranayama is not a verbal/physical exercise that you can simply "do" like in Hatha yoga, it has to be "achieved" through some amount of successful training and practice.


    Why, exactly, Saraha and Nagarjuna are not in the "Mahamudra texts" is beyond me, but they are not easily accessible.

    He is heavily used in Subhasita Samgraha, which fortunately is available, and unfortunately does not search/copy. So is Nagarjuna, but he definitely does not look like the "Arya lineage" in this case.

    It is a "personal text" from an unknown author, who was well-versed enough in Mahamudra to put together something which appears, at least superficially, to have integrity. It was chosen to copy in 1899 out of about four similar texts in the Durbar Library.

    Bendall wrote it up as a warning about how unholy all this is. At every chance, he refers to PK, or suggests we should find the comparisons; but only its individual chapters are quoted. This is a Hevajra Vajradaka text on Mahamudra, towards the end of which he informs us:


    p. 263, sahaja "...which has not as yet been explained."


    Thank you, Cecil, I have experienced a would-be Buddhist Sahaja through a mystical overload of Nath and Paramahamsa Yogananda and others, which I will credit with enucleating my previous pursuit of "ceremonial magic", and I just want to hear it from the guy who did the same thing put together in a Buddhist sadhana.


    Having not much more than Taranatha's history, they decided that Anangavajra was:


    Matsyendra and his disciple Gorakṣa...



    which sounds extremely unlikely. What is more likely is that there is not a "new" (nutana) Anangavajra, but, that his book copies the title of one from Padmavajra, and so I would guess it means "new book by". The one with this title:


    Anangavajra, Prajnopayaviniscaya siddhi, V. 25, quoted in Yuganaddha, p. 106. A similar statement is found in the Guhyasamaja Tantra.


    In other words, Nagarjuna's PK quotes this book just like Subhasita Samgraha is doing. The Samgraha has nothing of its own I don't think; everything that is in it is clearly attributed, and it is made of a lot of stuff. Near the beginning, we find Indrabhuti's:


    Jaganath guru


    which, upon investigation, seemed almost certainly to be intended as Vajrasattva. I don't see anything that says to reject or deny Jaganath, only inferior views. You can have a philosophy or belief, provided it isn't false. As an example, we don't think Buddha was the ninth avatar of Vishnu. However the proper title is Vibuddha, he has trained in Agni Vaisvanara, so in fact they *do* have a lot in common, despite "not being born as such".


    Going through Subhasita Samgraha, as persons, works, and a few subjects mentioned, we encounter:


    Svadhisthana Krama by Nagarjuna...see the Pancakrama (PK), which is never cited here...

    Saraha

    Mahalakshmi

    Candrakirti--Madhyamavaktara (Sutra commentary)


    Vajradaka Tantra

    Anuttarasandhi by Sakyamitra

    Vijnanamatra

    Paratantra at XXIII.20



    Bodhicittavivarana

    Santideva

    Lankavatara


    Part II--Prajnopaya

    83. "Perfection", Jnanamudra, Mahamudra, Unmatta Vrata


    Padmavajra, Prajnopaya (incl. samyak prajnopaya)


    (Krsna) Samayavajra

    Dakini Vajrapanjara

    Aryadeva (Citta Visuddhi)

    Kambalambara

    Guhyasamaja

    Padmavajra, Guhyasiddhi

    Indrabhuti, Jnanasiddhi

    Dombi, Sahajasiddhi

    Kanha, Dohakosa

    Darika, Mahaguhyatattva (probably)

    Kerali

    Vilasavajra

    Sarvadevasamagama Tantra

    Kuddali, Advayasiddhi

    Bhadrapada

    Paramascovina--Paramasva? with respect to Indrabhuti

    Dharmapada

    Ghanta--Pancakramopadesa

    Guhyavalya Daudi


    Those two parts appear to give Four Seals in the standard order, and an attempt to segregate Sahaja from the other three Joys.



    Yamantaka Tantra

    Devendrapariprccha Tantra (passages also used in Maitri's Caturmudranvaya)

    Aryadeva on Svadhisthana Vajrasattva (karmamudra)

    Sarvadevamayama Tantra (jnanamudra)

    Sarvarahasya Tantra

    Mahamaya Tantra

    Buddhakapala Tantra

    Death signs, marici, etc., probably from Sakyamitra

    Asraya Paravrtti

    Padmavajra--Prajnopaya (manuscript received, p. 266, contains a portion of Anangavajra's version; first part of the title is Advayavivarana)


    Asanga calls advaya "the supreme goal". As for this last manuscript, a Durbar catalogue says:


    The manuscript marked III 878 C in page 61 of this
    work, contains five works by five great writers. The first-
    is Yogavatara by Arya Nagarjuna, the second, Svadhisthana-
    prabheda by Arya Deva, the third, Advayavivarana Prajn-
    opayaviniscayasiddhi by Acarya Pad ma Vajra, the fourth,
    is a work by Dinnaga, and the fifth Prajnopayaviniscasiddhi
    is by Ananga Vajra. The first, the second and the fourth
    are works of the Mahayana School. The third and the fifth
    belong to the Vajrayana.


    meaning this compiler is confused about the first two authors as usual; and the work in question is actually a commentary on Anangavajra's book. We are given a brief extract:


    Prajnopaya, the means with knowledge, i.e. the means
    produced by knowledge. What does Upaya or means signify'?
    It signifies universal compassion, as the asset of Vajrasattva
    with a strong and stable form. Upaya signifies this form.
    Upaya is Vajrasattva, who is identified with the five elements
    and the five Tathagatas, and who is endowed with the attributes
    of expansion and contraction. It is embraced by knowledge
    (Prajna) — the thunderbolt entering the lotus. A devotee
    should think of knowledge as non-dual, this is Prajnopaya.
    What is the relation between the two ? The five senses with
    five presiding deities pertain to the nature of the five elements,
    and they are all reduced to the form of void. The Upaya is
    also Vajrasattva, he stands for all entities strong and stable, he
    also is reduced to the form of void. The two letters Om and
    Hum represent non-duality. Vajrasattva is never two, but he
    has assumed the form of duality simply to illustrate the
    union of Prajnopaya. If he were really two, then void would
    be joined to void (which is absurd).


    That is a step short of explaining "which" Padmavajra wrote it, while it is still possible for a teacher to comment his student's work (e. g., Ratnakarasanti --> Atisa), as well as the more typical other way around. Here we do not observe "nutana" Anangavajra, although as far as we know it still means exactly the same text, so, that weird note is far from conclusive about a later Anangavajra II. Obviously my first guess is wrong since Anangavajra has the first version, which Padmavajra is commenting.



    The Subhasita Samgraha certainly includes the song criticizing "Voidness without Mercy".

    So, it *might* be an attempt to create Prasangika out of things that essentially refute it, but, it clearly lists PK 2 as from Sakyamitra. It does not have PU or CMP. On the other hand, it uses multiple Chakrasamvara sources and Guhyasamaja, Heruka syllables, and a PK from Ghantapa.

    The point seems to be just how many things actually deal with Mahamudra. Yet there is no Naro, and, like Paramartha Parasol, none of its sources appear later than the early ninth century, if we are able to suggest tantric Aryadeva may have been older than is usually asserted.

    The top of p. 42 with the Heruka syllables is a description of Sri Hevajra, not a quote from Hevajra Tantra. Bendall thinks it is like Abhidhanottara Tantra. Also it is basically this:


    śrīkāramadvayajñānaṃ he iti hetuśūnyam |

    ru itiapagatavyūhaṃ ka iti na kvacit sthitamiti


    from Chakrasambara Abhisamayavyakhya by Sasvatavajra. On SS p. 42, it seems to be followed by yogas which it resembles or is part of, which refers to Paramadya Tantra without actually quoting it.





    I do not understand the "Paramasva" suggestion, and the original term is also inscrutable, the closest I find is:

    Acovina (अचोविन).—(?) Probably a special messenger to report among other things, impending attacks from enemies



    This compilation is a bit like someone's "eclectic svadhisthana krama". It seems to know that it is using the "first Chandrakirti", or, at least does not select the second one, to which one could try to argue they had no access. This person "obviously" did not know about Nagarjuna's PK, or, they surely would have presented the Arya school in its normal package, instead of the original components that went into it. Right? Except it definitely has tantric Aryadeva. Are you sure that is not who the lineage is named for?



    Noticing Bhadrapada as one of the SS authors, Taranatha gives a Kalachakra lineage according to Go Lotsawa:

    ‘after Ghantapada
    (came) Kurmapada, he (transmitted it) to Jalandharapada ;
    the latter to Krsnapada, the latter to Bhadrapada ; the latter
    to Vijayapada ; the latter to Tilli-pa ; the latter to Naro-pa.


    which could well be "Kalachakrayana", rather than "Kalachakra Tantra".

    Similar, of course, to Dowman's Masters, which does not seem aware of Yangdak Heruka:


    It is significant that Saraha's Dzokchen contemporaries in the North-west did not take a Samvara-tantra to Tibet, although Mahamudra was part of their vocabularies. Whatever the Samvaratantra's origin, Saraha's famous lineage- Savaripa, Luipa, Dengipa, Vajraghanta, Kambala, Jalandhara, Krsnacarya, Vijayapada, Tilopa, Naropa- provided the tradition that Marpa the Translator took to Tibet...


    and better, in Sanderson's Genesis referring to Vikramasila Chakrasamvara commentators:

    Jayabhadra, Bhavabhadra/Bhavabhatta, Bhavyakırti, Durjayacandra, and Tathagataraksita...


    and in our Sanskrit Chakrasamvara:


    paṇḍitācārya bhava bhaṭṭakṛtā śrīcakrasaṃvarapañjikā samāpteti |



    or for Hevajra:

    Srihevajra - vyakhya-Vivarana (nama). [Bhavabhadra(D), Bapabhata shabs, Bhavabhattapada (P)], D. No.1182, P. No.2312





    So we want to point out the likely correct identity, since, for example, Bhadrapada is suggested as a name of Dipamkarabhadra in a review of a similar manuscript composed in Kashmir in the range 1028-1063, containing twenty-seven texts, filed in Tibet House as:

    "Sutra written on birch-bark".


    which as of 2002...no one had been allowed to read. It is an Arya Tara Bhattarika Mayajala Krama, including:

    Caturthasadbhavopadesa (Toh. No. 2475) and deals with
    the fourth initiation (abhiseka). Its author, Ratnavajra, was the one of the "six
    sages of the Vikramasila monastery" and followed the Jnanapada school.


    (not quite: the author identifies himself as a Kashmiri master called Ratnavajra, also known as Sūkṣmāvartaśrī...he was actually the Central, the most likely transmitter of RGV, and grandfather of Sajjana. Later he is described as basically swept aside by Somanatha transmitting Kalachakra.)


    Note there the relative lack of interest probably because...it is heavily weighted in Jnanapada's system? Mixed with Tara, Panjara, and Chakrasamvara. Near the end of it is:


    srisamajatantroktabhadrapadiya sriratnakarasantiviracitat

    No. 25 can be considered a commentary, to a text by
    Bhadrapada about "Srisamajatantra" (i. e. the Guhyasamaja-tantra) , written by Ratnakarasanti.

    Ratnakarasanti is known as a great scholar who, as
    one of the "six sages of the Vikramasila", lived in the East gate of this monastery.
    Dipamkarabhadra wrote the Guhyasamajamandalavidhi (Toh. No. 1865), while Ratnakarasanti wrote a commentary to it, the Guhyasamajamandalavidhi-trka (Toh.
    No. 1871). No. 25 corresponds, most probably, to this commentary.



    Brunnholzl says that the line of Ratnavajra --> Parahitabhadra --> Ngok and Marpa results in a Tibetan commentary (CMW) which is "strongly and exclusively" Yogacara. Marpa also translated Ratnavajra's Chakrasamvara Song and Mandala texts. If we go any further into that, all we get is multiple lineages and the questions of errors in texts, and arguments of theoretical schools which do not really even apply to it.

    We can tell that Indian RGV was in the hands of someone also having the tantric Fourth Initiation, standing in the same spot where it was two hundred years previously.




    From Brunnholzl, we find...not necessarily a doubt of Sutra Chandrakirti, but the tantric one, in the colophon of Ratnakarasanti's Madhyamakalamkara-Upadesa (D 23 l a2_4, P 266b3_5):


    "[Ratnakarasanti] was the greatest among the four gate-keepers
    [of Vikramasila] during his time, because he had faultlessly realized the true intent of
    Arya Asanga and Nagarjunagarbha and clarified [their] teachings in a most excellent
    way. The monk Candrakirti and others had deviated from Nagarjuna's intent, and have
    abandoned nihilism and composed commentaries on the profound tantras later in their
    life."


    That is what a copyist decided to add.

    And that may be true, that perhaps Naro does not so elegantly show why Asanga and Nagarjuna mesh. Now that I think about it, I do not think I have ever heard of "Sutra Naro", I just know him for Pith and tantric works. Alex Wayman came to the same conclusion about Ratnakarasanti, even if he did not agree with it. Like Berzhin, he "follows the Arya school", and I just don't get it. I temporarily did, I went through the normative "evolutions" of Buddhism through Sarvastivada and other such recorded tenets, and, I would say, it is pretty difficult. I think it would be easier to just have Yogacara as it is, because you really don't need those other things in order to "build" it. However this barely happens unless I make it, and it took me this long to even understand that Shentong is a different position.


    That is a lot of hoops to jump through, since for example Bendall gives "authority" to Europeans such as Wassiliev, who mostly were drawing from Taranatha and the "Arya school", and even at best, the pile would be thick enough since names and identities are so shifty to begin with. Here, we are trying to focus Yogacara which, the Nath and Ekadandins for example can give you enough of a push to "achieve yoga", and then, they kind of leave you to wander in the valley. The Buddhist Tantras, on the other hand, divinize and provide complete activity and keep going.



    Inasmuch as Yogacara has been walked all over, so has the very ethos in which it began. "Nalanda and Vallabhi" referred to above is a type of apologetics on one side discussing India's need for reform ca. 1990, due to its large, unorganized, uneducated population. Author seems to feel that something went missing, and delves into "traditional education":


    This existed from Vedic India to IVC/Harappan India of Mahabharatha period and down to Budhist and Mughal India as a continuous stream of thought. All teachers of Budhist sangha were scholars of Sanskrit who taught to regional people in regional languages and conducted discussions with other scholars in Sanskrit. To love wisdom/knowledge for wisdom’s sake is the ultimate sign of a wise person. We find continuity of this trait from veda to historical Budhist and Mughal and Vijayanagara India and beyond to British India (when Sanskrit scholars taught Europeans who wanted to learn about India by Sanskrit translations). But after that we find a drastic change in our national outlook...

    Hien Tsang’s accounts are important to us in that sense since it shows our educational pursuits for wisdom and social welfare. Intellectual, spiritual, ethical and dharmic lifestyle made the wise teachers respectable and this is described by this Budhist traveler without any partiality to other sects. Simple life, limited needs, satisfied life, happiness, wisdom, knowledge and thoughts about dharma were the people’s hallmark and these developed due to their compassion, love and nonviolence to all living and nonliving things as a oneness (union/advaitha) of cosmic and mundane was cognized by a foreigner like him because he had come not for commerce and trade and exploitation, but as a seeker of wisdom, as a student.

    These Daridra Narayana Brahmasabha which existed in 7th century India when he came, existed during Mughal period too. Only when the European administrators in Madras, (when a famine occurred ) decided that they are a burden to the administration and are the greatest obstacles for political supremacy (due to their intellectual acumen) their traditions and their language was uprooted by reforms. We need not bring back the Sanskrit language as a common educational language, but certainly those who have intellectual acumen should read it and make it available to entire world through universal global language (English) so that the intangible heritage of India should not be lost forever.


    In Ceylon:

    Huen Tsang says they do not know yogasasthra as Seelabhadra of Nalanda.

    The cosmopolitan nature of Nalanda and Valabhi was mistaken by Huen Tsang who thought that all people who follow Ahimsa as dharma are Budhists. What IChing and Fahien understood, Huen Tsang did not, apparently.


    China, Mangolia, Korea, Thokkara and Tibetan students used to come to Nalanda during the time of Iching. We must compare this with Valabhi in west coast. The students from Greece, Rome and Arab countries were allowed in a sequence and finally when Europe came through Vas Co da Gama, the entire system was commercialized and destroyed.



    Yes, of course, the Mughals only chopped up the northern half violently. They never broke very far into south India, and so it was colonialism that finished off classical civilization, which needs no new description from us. I certainly do not exalt the English language, I would think it would be better reversed and dismantled into, for example, Sanskrit. We can easily show it currently as a lingua franca from Indonesia to Buryatia. All Buddhists respect this language, even though it is usually for a few mantras that they do not understand well.


    Things like the Subhasita Samgraha and the "birch-bark manuscript" show that there is not, strictly speaking, a "canon", and there never was. The "scriptures" are fitted onto a "commentarial system", which has the option to be Yogacara as given by Asanga and upheld by Ratnakarasanti, or, some other way. Ironically, this simple and very publicly-accessible approach can be shown to have been "buried" such as the VKN at Potala Palace, or, this "Sutra" that you can't read. If you ever ask, you will get Vasubandhu, who I would say is far less powerful and not really all that helpful as a writer.



    However, if Ratnakarasanti attributes Maitreya with the highest authority in Mahayana, and, he has basically been called the "next Buddha" for centuries, then right within Ratnagotravibhaga, he does similarly revolve within a similar compilation of what would actually appear to be widely-known texts of his time.

    Maitreya's RGV is an exposition of Seven Vajra topics that he got from a Sutra as seen in a 2020 Peking report on a Sanskrit manuscript of Tathāgatamahākaruṇānirdeśa or Dhāraṇīśvararāja.


    In turn, Lamotte 1970s found in the commentary of Prajnaparamita Sutra, quoted but not always attributed:


    3. Śūraṃgamasamādhisūtra

    7. Vimalakīrtinirdeśasūtra

    15. Tathāgatamahākaruṇānirdeśa

    19. Akṣayamati[nirdeśa]sūtra


    There are over thirty, some are familiar like Gandhavyuha and Amitayus, and so even if a handful of these distinctly sculpt the Mahayana Yogacara argument, there are none of Nagarjuna or anything that particularly showcases Madhyamaka. In reference to the piece that was used by Maitreya, looking at a "dharani system":


    ... to identify the sources of a list of twelve dharanis included in Rubric 748 of the Mahavyutpatti.

    The exposition of the Tathagatamahakarunanirdesa is particularly valuable since it preserves one of the earliest and most detailed discussions of dharani practice in Mahayana sutras.


    Oh. So it was already the extensive commentary of a relatively large, well-known system, and yet it must have mysteries which are not divulged in the above sequence of texts. So Maitreya goes on. When he does this in RGV, he directly draws from Srimaladevi, Tathagatagarbha, and Jnanalokalamkara Sutras. In the case of the last, we found several wrong attributions of its verses to Nagarjuna in a song entitled Niralamba and:


    ...the source for the one from the Amanasikārādhāra is named: ārya-sarva-[buddha-]viṣayāvatāra-jñānālokālaṃkāra-mahāyāna-sūtre, i.e., the Jñānālokālaṃkāra-sūtra. So Advaya-vajra, also known as Maitrīpa, was fully aware of the source of this verse, and that source was not Nāgārjuna.


    Interestingly, by maintaining that false ideas about Nagarjuna are false, he turns out to be true.


    And in at least one Anu Yoga tradition of how King Jah obtained the tantras:


    The scriptural lineage he received from the human vidyadhara Vimalakirti.

    If so then we understand his namesake-ishness for Licchavi Vimalakirti of Buddha's time. Moreover, these tantras are then "arranged and understood" by Kukkuraja based on what is in the Vimalakirtinirdesa Sutra. This in turn is a companion of Jnanalokalamkara, which is already a source reference with Maitreya, but sometime after this point it is going to be "hidden" and start looking as if it had come from Nagarjuna. When this happens, it takes terms that are an ordinary part of Yogacara such as "amanasikara" and distorts it.


    Nagarjuna's PK is actually one of the least-verifiable source texts in terms of authenticity, and then his Caturmudranvaya is exactly what is used by Maitri. I have never particularly heard of this one as "foundational" for the Arya school. The PK says that it has Yangdak Heruka or Samyak Heruka from Sakyamitra to this day. Yet this is part of Mahayoga and so it should work with the "Four Yogas" or "Four Bindus" of Jnanapada, which in turn are about the same as Four Seals in Caturmudranvaya. Then it is paralleled by Jalandhara Hevajra and Krsnacharya Chakrasamvara. That seems to me to be the primordial stamp which elucidates the Two Stages, i. e. Generation and Completion, or the Siddhis that arise in consequence of doing Maitreya's Yoga.


    The way we always learned it was something like the Six Yogas of Kalachakra, the Five Stages of Nagarjuna, and the Six Dharmas of Naro. The first two are inaccurate since they are based on statements in Guhyasamaja Tantra, and then Naro is really just explaining a personal basket of transmissions and just says that these are subjects from different traditions. So these are kind of makeshift. It is still all basically true, in terms of the contents, although these would all slip into place if understood through the Four Seals, for example.

    Ratnavajra was an upasaka who lived long enough to retire from Vikramasila, and eventually work in Guge with Rinchen Zangpo, such as evidently Guhyavajratantra and Saroruha's Gititattva. This minor tantra also has a Vrtti by Dombi Heruka. Extracted from it is a Vidhisvari sadhana by what appears to be a form of Vajradakini.

    His disciple translated Dharmakirti's Pramana work; the name and time of this person:


    Parahitabhadra (gzhan la phan pa bzang po), and (rngog) blo ldan shes rab, trans. 1076.


    Parahitabhadra and Sajjana revised Maitreya's Mahayanasutralamkara Karika which is not published yet.

    Here is a handmade Paramasiddhi Parasol (591 in the sDe-dge edition and 203 in the Peking) that he also translated, marked as unsold:






    Arya- tathagatosnisa -sitatapatra -aprajita -mahapratyangira -paramasiddhi -nama -dharani

    Said to be dull, but not damaged with all text intact.


    Nevertheless, still in use by Drikung:


    This translation was finalized on the basis of comparisons with an old manuscript from the Amṛtabhavana monastery in Kashmir by the paṇḍita Parahitabhadra and the lotsāwa Zu Gador. Translated by Lhasey Lotsawa (Stefan Mang, Lowell Cook and Peter Woods), 2020.

    They have used someone else's composition and only "compared" it to the first.

    We already have a Mahamudra Parasol.



    So we can see there was an RGV and Fourth Initiation in Kashmir, neither of which ever happened, according to some. Then, it sort of wrapped like an octopus into some of the strands of Tibetan transmissions. The branch from Parahitabhadra to Marpa is called "strongly and exclusively Yogacara", and this is after he studied Madhyamaka with Ratnavajra.


    All of the basics that Ratnavajra was using were the Pramana or Valid Cognition books of Dignaga and Dharmakirti, and the Maitreya books. It was that and the tantras.

    Now of course we are going to find out that Pramana is one of the main things in Yogacara but something happened.

    From a brief article on whether the Gatekeepers were probably historically accurate, yes:

    Ratnākaraśānti, Vāgīśvarakīrti, Prajñākaramati, Nāropa, Ratnavajra, and Jñānaśrīmitra


    At the time, four of them were fairly like-minded; Jnanasrimitra was a Sakara Vadin, and Prajnakaramati happened to like Tantra Candrakirti. Ratnakarasanti disputes both of these views. He commented or taught Pramana in at least eight places. Atisa originally followed him, but then believed he discovered Nagarjuna in the vein of Prajnakaramati. All this is drawn out fairly completely in Atisa v. Ratnakarasanti:



    ...the philosophical differences in the textual sources concern a difference in view or vision (Skt.
    darśana, Tib. lta ba) to perceive reality rather than doctrinal tenets or siddhānta (grub mtha’).


    One of the main sources they interpret differently is also used by Jnanasrimitra to support his view:


    ...their interpretation of Nāgārjuna’s Yuktiṣaṣṭikā (verse 34),
    where Atiśa interprets the verse in terms of dependently arisen mere appearances (snang ba
    tsam≈ *pratibhāsamātra) that are conjunctions of form and emptiness while Ratnākaraśānti
    framed the ultimate nature of mental qualities as their “mere luminosity of non-duality”
    (advayaprakāśamātra).



    Yogacara is not really even in the Tibetan Rangtong or Shentong:


    The philosophical position of Ratnākaraśānti was quite complex and does not easily
    fit into the traditional categories of Buddhist thought represented in Tibetan doxographical
    literature (grub mtha’, siddhānta).

    In brief, Ratnākaraśānti articulated a Middle Way based
    on Yogācāra principles that incorporated the theory of the three natures (trisvabhāva) with an
    emphasis on self-awareness (svasaṃvedana) as equivalent to luminosity (prakāśa, gsal ba). For
    Ratnākaraśānti, self-awareness as luminosity constituted the intrinsic nature of all dharmas
    and was the highest form of valid cognition (pramāṇa).

    Ratnākaraśānti also refuted Candrakīrti’s “what
    is renown in the world position” for conventional reality and advocated the means of valid
    cognition (pramāṇa) for realizing ultimate reality while Atiśa strongly opposed the means of
    valid cognition for realizing ultimate reality.


    Ratnakarasanti is always supporting Suchness, and he says that is how you get it, directly and validly, and this corresponds to Mahamudra. So we already have the expectation that this is really a platform onto which a much more elusive Samaya Mudra is performed in Extreme Perfection Stage. And on the other side there is a chorus saying to rebuke or deny it. How could it possibly work then?? Luminous Suchness is obviously the basis for Prabhasvara in the final or fourth state. My reaction is that someone like Atisa is trying to follow the words, whereas the words are trying to arrange themselves around the slight distinction of tantric Melting and Prabhasvara. Unless you actually train this as a controlled process, then it is probably really easy to misunderstand. I would guess that the four similar Gatekeepers could do this, and the others could not. Naro is the one who made it obvious to me, although the older tantric commentaries are doing the same thing.


    The Pramana treatises are really intricate and dry, but here and there, Dharmakirti adds a gem:


    The nature of mind is clear light,
    Defilements are only adventitious.

    Dharmakīrti, Commentary on Valid Cognition, chapter II


    And the way this works is that each of Vasubandhu's four disciples excelled him in one area:


    Dignaga was more learned than Vasubandhu in pramana. Among his disciples was Ishvarasena, who later became the teacher of Dharmakirti.



    Kamakoti discusses this in terms of Nyaya (logic or philosophy):


    The greatest contribution of asa~Nga is his bauddha nyAya or pramANa-shAstra, which is available to us today in the seventh and sixteenth chapters of mahAyAnAbhidharma-saMyukta-sa~NgitishAstra. His thoughts on nyAya however do not contradict those of maitreya.

    asa~Nga accepts four pramANas: pratyakSha, anumAna, upamAna and Agama. As an a~Nga of anumAna, he also accepts pratij~nA and other avayavas. Thus, the influence of prAchIna gautamIya nyAya on asa~Nga is distinctly evident.

    The concepts of nyAya popularized by maitreya, asanga and vasubandhu were not only based on vijnAnavAda but borrowed heavily from vaibhAShika siddhAnta as well. The credit of establishing bauddha nyAya on the canvas of pure vijnAnavAda goes undoubtedly to di~NnAga. His key contribution was to separate nyAya from darshana and dharma and establish it as an independent branch of knowledge.

    Owing to several disagreements with his guru, he migrated to Magadha for instruction. Those were the times when vasubandhu was known throughout India as pratibuddha.

    Di~NnAga rejects the panchAvayava-s of gautamIya naiyAyikas and accepts only three – pratijnA, hetu and udAharaNa.

    His disciple and commentator dharmakIrti is critical of his guru at places as well.


    Vasubandhu was already the "Second Buddha", as if he had swiped Maitreya's role, I am not sure why this kind of title gets re-used on many personages. But it does. These Pramanas are kind of hard to figure out, but when Asanga says "Agama", it means scripture, Sutras and tantras.


    Sthiramati can even be found reverting Vasubandhu back to the original terms. From Consciousness Related to Wisdom


    Sthiramati drew a similar distinction between ālayavijñāna and the supramundane
    jñāna (lokottarajñāna : jigs rten las ’das pa’i ye shes) which overturns or replaces
    it (parāvṛtti) in his commentary on Triṃśikā 29‒30.23 Building on the Third Karma
    pa Rang byung rdo rje’s distinction between pure and impure minds, the Karma pa’s
    commentator Dwags ram pa Chos rgyal bstan pa (1449‒1524) had reaffirmed that
    the so-called pure mind (dag pa’i sems) which is identified as the causal continuum
    (rgyu rgyud) of tantrism and pure all-ground wisdom (dag pa kun gzhi ye shes) is
    to be differentiated from the ālayavijñāna, which constitutes impure mind (sems ma
    dag pa’i kun gzhi rnam shes).


    That is where most of the Chinese systems are different, since they count alayavijnana as going into various meta-states. This first view that is retained in Kagyu says that once you quit "storing seeds" then nothing is left. You have not gained an additional consciousness, you have become able to totally purify. Had they been more scrutinous, a text that has only survived in China (unknown in Tibet) matches the way Maitreya quoted its original Sanskrit. From Shentong Buddha Within:


    The r g v v [1.1] explains the fourth Vajra-Base, Element (Dhatu), from the Anunatvapurnatvanirdesa.


    The central message of the AAN focuses upon the non-increase and non-decrease
    nature of the dharmadhatu.


    So, that happens to be the crux of Mahayana both from Maitreya and Ratnakarasanti. It is the Ratna Gotra, it is the Bodhisattva Path, we had better not miss it and the source text nearly got wiped out. In this case there is already a large AAN argument examined in a 2006 Toronto thesis:


    The precise relationship between the tathagatagarbha and the two Mahayana traditions,
    Madhyamaka and Yogacara, is also worth investigating in detail. The thesis will argue
    that the tathagatagarbha is not a separate school in Indian Buddhism.


    and it is also available in Silk's translation.


    Sthiramati and AAN are invoked heavily to study Mahayanasamgraha Chapter Ten.


    The meeting ground of AAN in RGV definitely gives the main tenets:


    Sariputra, Absolute Reality (Paramartha, don dam par) is to be realized through faith. Sariputra, that which is called Absolute Reality is a synonym for the Element (Dhatu, khams) of beings. Sariputra, the Element of Beings is a synonym for Tathagatagarbha. Sariputra, Tathagatagarbha is a synonym for Dharmakaya.

    Thus, the “ sphere” that Buddhas realize, that is, the Dharmakaya, although not accessible through the wisdom (prajna) of Sravakas and Pratyeka Buddhas, is accessible to ordinary beings through “ faith.” Indeed, it seems to be the only means. However, concerning the Dharmakaya r g v [1.7] says: Because it is what is to be realized through self-originated wisdom (svayambhujnana, rang byung ye shes), it is not something to be realized through other conditions.



    cf. Silk p. 94, AAN:


    2.11–13: b) paramārtha iti śāriputra sattvadhātor etad adhivacanam | c)
    sattvadhātur iti śāriputra tathāgatagarbhasyaitad adhivacanam | d) tathāgatagarbha iti śāriputra dharmakāyasyaitad adhivacanam |
    56.2–3: d) tathāgatagarbha iti śāriputra dharmakāyasyaitad adhivacanam iti |

    “The extremely profound purport, Śāriputra, is precisely the supreme
    truth. b) The supreme truth is precisely the quintessence of beings. c) The
    quintessence of beings is precisely the embryo of the tathāgatas. d) The
    embryo of the tathāgatas is precisely the dharma-body.


    ...the key word dhātu here shifts its locus from the semantic
    domain of ‘realm’ to that of ‘essential core,’ ‘quintessence,’


    This moves towards Svasamvedana:


    Thus this Buddha that is the wondrous and inconceivable (bsam du med pa) sphere (yut) perfectly awakens to its inexpressible/undemonstrable nature by self-originated wisdom (svayambhujnana, rang byung ye shes), and this it does itself, without a teacher (slob dbon med pa) or hearing through others.


    Ratnakarasanti thought it was a bad idea to dwell on "Inconceivable"; again this is a type of property, that which is to be realized is not to be found by conceiving ideas about it. The extraction above is perhaps his main point. It is Maitreya's Yogacara, but it is really not original to Maitreya, just clarified and codified with the practice of Asraya Paravrtti which is what does the Transformation to the Ultimate or Lokottara Citta, Paramartha, etc., and then the Alayavijnana is like the Pink Panther's vacuum cleaner eating itself.

    It is possible that Maitreya is not even saying anything original. He may have just helped people learn to focus the important parts of thousands of Sutra pages. Ratnakarasanti is just re-applying it to other venues, such as Guhyasamaja Tantra. He probably made up four or five pet words, but I don't think he invented or declared anything, he was just really good at what he put together.


    The Chinese already had the underlying Dhatu principle which they then twisted around a bit.

    Maitreya, on the other hand, quotes Bhagavad Gita and simply replaces the word "Atma" with "Dhatu".

    This would have been plainly obvious to Asanga and everybody else in the whole system.

    I suppose it might be a Maitreya-ism that was not exactly in any Buddhist Sutra at the time.

    That may be closer to how they wanted it to work, in the same way of freely taking Jaganath and Parameshwar in some of the biggest grandfather roots in Buddhist literature.


    Saraha's Svadhisthana article has texts that Bhattacharya placed at the end, and recorded Saraha's works starting as:


    1. Sri Vajrayogini sadhana.
    2. Kayakosa-amrtavajratika.


    No one has said anything about the first; could it perhaps be similar to that of his pupil Luipa?

    The problem with Elizabeth English is that she always spelled Sabara like the desert, Sahara, or else it is the bad scan. Most of what is in her book is related to Sabara --> Maitri, i. e. later authors, if so where may this Vajrayogini cycle have come from?


    Some would like to say "Indrabhuti III", but, the thing is, we also find Luipa here. We are pretty sure there was only one of him, and, we cannot deny Indrabhuti the opportunity to have a complex-looking sadhana, just because, the Chakrasamvara Tantra, was not yet printed, that we know of.

    If we clean up the contents of Guhyasamajasadhanamala, we get:


    GSS 1 Vajrayoginimukhagama (Oral Transmission of Vajrayogini) by Indrabhuti; The only commentarial text in the collection (GSS40) is a loose collection of glosses upon Indrabhuti's text.

    Pradipahutividhi (GSS14) (Indrabhuti)

    GSS2 Vajravarahisadhana by Luyipada; The text is nearly identical to GSS 1 (adds Bali)



    Two authors in the GSS refer to Luyipada: (1) Sakyaraksita in the Abhisamayamanjari (GSS5 ); and (2) Dhyayipada, who refers three times to Luyipada as the source of the teaching (GSS34). GSS 34 is the comprehensive Skeleton Arch.

    Sakyaraksita states that his guru was Abhayakaragupta.

    She has no idea who the seond author is, sometimes spelled Dhayipada.

    The exercises make regular use of Luipa's Smasana Vidhi (Cemeteries), Armor, his Heruka Abhisamaya, and Chakrasamvara mandala.

    So, we could just eject Luipa Chakrasamvara, insist that he couldn't possibly have been born before 1200, or, suggest that most of the GSS was built on the main Chakrasamvara tradition, which is older than the tantra anyway, because it comes from Dakinijala.

    As it builds along, Abhayakaragupta was aware of the method [Vasantatilaka subtle yoga], and refers to it in his commentary to the Buddhakapala-tantra. Full circle of this highest development loops back to Saraha's practice. Not terribly surprising.

    Here, she means "Ghona":


    The first two sadhanas in the collection deal primarily with the hog-headed ardhaparyanka-pose Vajravarahi, and are attributed to the prestigious figures Indrabhuti and Luyipada.


    i. e., the form is the dancing Indra Dakini.

    As to her initial use:




    The sadhana begins with a benedictory s'loka and proceeds with the preparations upon rising, including a mantra bath (mantrasnanam). The emptiness mantras follow, and the sudden self-generation of ardhaparyanka-pose Vajravarahi at the navel. Her mantra is visualized whirling and blazing in her sex and is supplied in a mantra extraction (mantroddharah). This is followed by an external worship (parvapuja) and ten traditional frame verses on the topics of secrecy, transgressive discipline, Yogacara metaphysics, the success of the practice, and the guru. The bulk of this text (up to and including the mantra extraction, but excepting the concluding worship and frame-verses) is the same as the Vajravarahisadhana (GSS2) by Luyipada.


    GSS40 opens with commentary upon the namaskara verse (GSS1: namah srivajrayoginyai sunyatakarunatmane. . .), which it interprets as an internal yogic meditation with drops based on the four consecrations in the Hevajra system.


    Well, they might have been revealing the Hevajra Tantra at the same time.

    If we take some of the few available excerpts, it would appear that Vasantatilaka partially copies them:



    Cf. GSS5 (Sed p. 152, K37r3); Vasantatilaka ch.

    9. GSS1 (K28on)«GSS2 (K4V6-0): tatah svadeham traidhatukavisuddha-

    kutagaram ity akalayya jhatiti tato nabhimandale dvibhujam kartrika-

    paladharinim muktasiroruham nagnam trinetram — navayauvanaldvanyam

    pancamudravibhusitam I pancabrahmamahamukutim ardhaparyankatandavam

    1 1 I somasuryagnimadhyasthamjavasindurasannibham I idrgrapadharam devim

    bhavayed yogavit sada I 2 I kolasyam daksinam tasyah krodhasyam vamatas tatha

    I samvrtiparamarthena vaktradvayam pragiyate I 3 I gurupadesamargena

    jnatavyah kramavistarah I tasyah kusesayantahstham cakram sarvarthasiddhidam

    1 4 I trigunalamkrtam cihnam raktavarnam mahadyuti I mantraksarasusampurnarn

    kulalacakravad bhramet I 5 I raksasasyam samakuncya samujjvalya vibhavasum I

    kolasyasannidhau drstva nandyavarte bhramed vapuh I 6 I mudradvayaprayogena

    trailokyam api sadhayet I jhatitakarayogatma yogi sidhyati nanyatha I 7 I


    GSS1 (K280V1) « GSS2 (Kov6) (verse numbers added): atah param pravaksyami mantroddharavidhim param I trikonamandalam ramyam vajrarallivinihsrtam I 8 I dharmodayeti vikhyatam yositam bhagam ity api I tatralikalibbedena vargan astau krama likhet I 9 I rupagnibanamunayo randhresau kama eva ca I kramat kosthasya vinyasah kartavya upadesatah I 10 I akaradikam drabhya hakaraksarasamantatah I daksinavartayogena yathoktam samvardrnave I 11 I thordhvam trigunitam kuryad bindunadavibhusitam I. . .etc. • atah]

    For its correlation with the female sex organ, see GSS1«2 (K280VI-2): dharmodayeti vikhyatam yositam bhagam ity api; also cited Vasantatilaka ch. 9, v. 2, p. 71.


    The sadhanas are tied to Arali as shown above, and:


    The mantra element vajraralli or aralli is obscure. There is no dictionary entry in Sanskrit for the word. Sanderson (1998: personal communication) has noted that aralli may be derived from Tamil and Malayalam arali meaning "oleander"...


    The word appears in compound in GSS1«GSS2, cited in full in chapter 2 (p. 53) (K28ov/ov): trikonamandalam ramyam vajrarallivinihsrtam. Here it may be equivalent to padma, and hence the term would mean: "produced from [the union of] vajra (penis) and padma (vagina)." Isaacson (1996) has shown other instances of the term, including a possibly similar usage in Mahasukhavajrapada's commentary to the Candamaharosanatantra, in which the lord of the mandala is said to have "arisen from the vajrarali" (ms. NAK 3-402 NGMPP B 31/7 f. 6v2). Here its function seems to be that of the dharmodaya, as in the Samputatantra ch. 1 (p. 238): ekarakrtimadhye rasasyaivam yatha bhavati I trikone mandale ramye vajraralivinismrtam I dharmodayeti vikhyatam yositam bhaga ityapiltasya madhye gatam padmam astapatram sakarnikam; cf. Vasantatilaka ch. 9, v. 6 (p. 73): vajrarallau padmagatani pratidaladiksuvidiksu vinirgatani, in which the commentator does not gloss the word and the Tibetan translation transliterates.



    Saraha is barely credited with anything here. The Svadhisthana Krama in GSS 33:


    ...quotes Saraha in an apabhrams'a verse, part of which appears also in the HT2.4.67.


    and in GSS 34:


    ...ascribes a bhavana to Luyipada [Asta vijnana/Cemeteries]

    Caturmudranvaya

    ...he refers three times to Luyipada as the source of the teaching


    invoking the goddess:

    Vyadhamasriyogini


    spawned as:

    VyadhamayoginI (from sri-)


    Vyādhāma (व्याधाम).—Indra's thunderbolt (vajra)

    I am not sure if anyone talked about an Indrabhuti to Luipa Vajravarahi transmission. I do not know how else you would explain a complete copy.


    He Dances, She Shakes has a large write-up of Vanaratna's Vajravilasini, starting:


    In accord with the wish of the great Indian yogi Savaripa,
    Just like the excellent secret oral instruction is in accord with the Mañjughosha (Mañjusri) consecration...


    which implies Jnanapada's initiatory system. That was in the 1400s, well after the collapse of Vikramasila, one of the last Tibetan transmissions.


    Great Bliss continues this and goes into some amount of detail, although it is a bit authoritative. It says:

    The great Indian master Saraha (c. late 700s) taught sexual yoga as the foundation of all other Tantric practices, learned by his
    beginning students. Yet another Indian master, Jayabhadra (c. 800s), regarded it as the highest of
    Tantric practices and taught it as the final step. The most common method was to teach it as the
    third of the Four Yogas, after students attained some proficiency in deity yoga and subtle energy
    yoga, with nondual yoga saved for last.


    calling his wife:


    ...an arrow-making yoginī named Hedharmā.


    So this deals with Sabara, in a way, which, in one sentence, says he has students in the 800s, and in the 1100s. We should be a bit careful on how it expresses itself. However, it has multiple references to Saraha.


    The traditional Mahāyāna
    belief is that a bodhisattva, out of great compassion, skillfully avoids both the peace of nirvāṇa
    and the sufferings of worldly existence. Saraha, however, overturns this idea completely and
    expresses a point that can be found nowhere in the sūtras: “The fortunate toss away neither
    existence nor nirvāṇa,” because both are good.


    While the position of the Innate on ultimate reality matches the philosophy of Buddha Essence,
    its position on appearances is dramatically different. The Innate steps well beyond the teachings
    on Buddha Essence to declare that not only is ultimate reality real and pure, but appearances and
    desire are real and pure as well. The Innate perceives ultimate reality as an all-good creative
    power, a view completely foreign to the sūtras.

    Saraha decisively criticizes the Buddha Essence philosophy as incomplete, as mere attachment to
    nirvāṇa, and says that the true understanding of reality is impossible without understanding the
    Innate: “Without realizing the Innate, those who familiarize themselves with nirvāṇa will not
    accomplish the single ultimate by anything whatsoever.”


    I am not sure why it is so counter to all Sutras. But this book is more of quote summaries than solid analysis. For instance, is this supposed to be Parameshwara:


    Snellgrove adds that the Buddhist Tantras
    “display no inhibitions in using the term Self (Ātman) for the Absolute,” and Saraha follows in
    the same vein, revealing, “A single God is seen in the many scriptures.”

    On Four Blisses or Catur Ananda:

    Saraha refers to the practice with strong praise in his set of poems called The Queen’s Song.


    Just like the Four Yogas:

    Saraha, the greatest master of Mahāmudrā, defines it as
    the direct perception of reality through four progressive stages, his Four Levels (Catur Krama):

    1) emptiness, 2) mind only, 3) the Clear Light, and 4) the union of the Clear Light and pure appearance.


    Through the Four Levels (Catur Krama), you progressively perceive: 1) emptiness, 2) mind only, 3) Essence,
    and 4) the Innate.


    Which is similar to my shorthand, which is more like 3-->from the point of Melting to discovery of Prabhasvara, then 4-->conscious use of Prabhasvara to Re-arise perfectly. That part is about the same. This book of course uses the common Four Joys/Four Seals, whereas Saraha is speaking about discovering Sahaja.


    Even so, they notice Karma Mudra might have different roles:

    Saraha teaching sexual yoga as the first of the Four Yogas...

    Jayabhadra teaching sexual yoga as the last of the Four Yogas...


    And then we might say, well, does he talk about Transference? Have we been trained to withstand the Bardo Consciousness? Which means that we might want something from, e. g., Catur Pitha, or Samyak Heruka. Is that why Luipa has Cemeteries, by this combination?

    Luipa's system apparently was about like Jnanapada's, and if Samyak Heruka is the "special Arya school teaching", that would cover both main Guhyasamajas. Or, it is Vajravarahi-and-Chakrasamvara from independent origins. Just saying, Saraha might not be giving every detail like that or may not have a very good "how to" Four Stages. Indrabhuti also is said to lack a "finishing touch" in his writings; and then it is Darika who is supposed to be more elaborate and probably was Manjughosha.

    The cumulative snowballing of Guhyasamajasadhanamala winds up using Caturmudranvaya, so, it is compatible with this argument about Four Seals.

    It may be that the Tathagatagarbha Sutras deliver from the transcendental side, and are not particularly bold about how perfected consciousness saturates the yogin in the post-meditative experience, which definitely is a prominent idea in the Mahamudra systems. But that cannot really happen until "stage four". And so you will get a wide variety depending on whether, for example, stage one means "you have a profound realization of emptiness", or, "you have instructions and training which is about this realization".

    So then to the extent there may be a tantric Nagarjuna, his contribution would probably be Caturmudranvaya, not PK. The PK is a clever way of adding Samyak Heruka; the argument on Four Seals is very subtle and profound, not agreed, understood, or accepted by all, even though Maitri distinctly patronizes it.

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    Default Re: Nirakara and Shentong Buddhism, Tara, Sadhanas, Sanskrit culture

    Maitreya, Parasu Rama, and Apri Hymns, the Chohan




    In learning about Maitreya's Yogacara, we found that Brunnholzl is a pretty good resource, although he might lean into it a bit too far. He seems to rely on a work attributed to Ratnakarasanti, which others dispute the attribution. That is because the book contains other elements which appear to contradict his system. Even critics are forced to admit that you can read Ratnakarasanti in five or six places, and, he is completely consistent. The type of "forgery" that seems to have happened here seems less to be an attempt to discount him, but, rather, to use his credit to promote this new text.

    The promotion was "Ekayana", which is the interpretation "all sentient beings have Tathagatagarbha". The doctrine of Yogacara is called "Triyana": beings in the Bodhisattva Gotra have Tathagatagarbha. However, this same phrase, "ekayana", may still be applicable in other meanings such as "Refuge of One". The mis-attributed book in question therefor ascribes Ratnakarasanti with a doctrine that he specifically refuted in several places. Then, we just look and see that yes, the Gotra is the fundamental aspect of Maitreya's teaching. It says something along the lines of "all beings are invited to join the Gotra", along with "there are practices of Liberation which are not in the Gotra".

    That is closer to the meaning of the Triyana doctrine.


    Anyway, we tend to put together a few things that scholars usually don't. So if what we are pursuing is Yogacara, then, we see that Ratnakarasanti is the paramount upholder around five hundred years after Asanga/Maitreya, and, this is only possibly carried on a very narrow ribbon into Tibet.


    It appears that Maitreya's Ratna Gotra Vibhaga may simply have been pushed away from Nalanda, and wound up in Gujarat, west India. Maitreya had already been prominent in Gandhara for centuries, and, we have been able to uncover that yes, there was a Sanskrit original RGV present in Kashmir before Maitri was born. I am not sure if we can say it re-appears in Nalanda, because it goes to Vikramasila.


    Ratnavajra was the Central Pillar of Vikramasila. From him, the transmission line of RGV to Kagyu goes through Parahitabhadra, whose main Indian student was Mahasumati, also having Tibetan followers of diverse lineages from Jnanasrimitra and Atisa.


    If we were relegated to phrases like "associated with" or "linked to", then we would jam everyone together as if it were one solid thing. But what they are saying is quite different. From this point onwards, you would get three different experiences either according to the system of Ratnakarasanti, who clearly gives Maitreya the highest credence, Jnanasrimitra, who is probably more like Chinese Chan systems, and Atisa, who is a bit like an artificial reconstruction.


    Candrakirti is always involved in a way that does not even consider whether the original, or another ca. 10th century. And this source does indeed get a lot of "scholarly attention". And so we can easily glance at Four Hundred Stanzas, and see the sculptor at work:


    After his return to Tibet, Ba-tsap revised all three translations with Kanakavarman when the pandit visited Tibet at Ba-tsap's invitation. Ge-shay Sha-ra-wa (dge bshes sha ra ba), one of the great Gadam-ba (bka' gdams pa) masters, sent many of his students to Batsap to study Madhyamika. Ba-tsap and his four closest students, known as the "Four Sons of Ba-tsap," did much to establish the Prasangika-Madhyamika system in Tibet. Ba-tsap also taught the Guhyasamaja Tantra extensively and revised Rin-chen-sang-bo's (rin chen bzang po, 954-1055) translation of an important commentary on it by Nagabodhi with which he felt dissatisfied.


    We see this, and, we are curious about Mahasumati, because that might be Sanskrit.


    Jeffrey Hopkins extensively studied the development of Tibetan Prasangika. And to show the confusion that still goes on today, he defended himself against de Jong, and actually does make a good point about linguistics with Mahasumati:


    Referring to my translation of the controversy between Bhavaviveka and
    Candrakirti from the first chapter of the Prasannapada, he says:

    "In part five of his book, Hopkins translates and explains the
    controversies between on the one hand, Buddhapalita, and on the
    other, Candrakirti.. . . For instance, Hopkins translates badha (Tib.
    gnod-pa) by 'damage, harm' (cf. pp. 502, 526 and note 395),
    whereas the technical meaning of the Sanskrit term 'refutation,
    annulment' is well-known from Sanskrit philosophical texts, both
    Buddhist and non-Buddhist."

    First, the controversy is not "between on the one hand, Buddhapalita,
    and on the other, Candrakirti", but between Bhavaviveka
    and Candrakirti, who is defending Buddhapalita.

    Since I chose this particular translation-equivalent, despite
    its obvious awkwardness, after much reflection, the term provides
    a good instance of what, at least on the surface, appears to be a
    clash of translation-paradigms. Simply put, I often find that the
    re-rendering of Sanskrit and Tibetan philosophical terminology
    into what some contemporary translators have identified as its
    philosophical meaning loses much of the psychological punch.
    De Jong does not consider the fact that the eleventh century
    Indian and Tibetan translators—Mahasumati and Pa tshab nyi
    ma grags—and revisors—Kanakavarman and, again, Pa tshab
    nyi ma grags—who were well aware of Sanskrit technical terminology,
    undoubtedly consciously chose to translate the term
    badha as gnod, "damage" or "harm". The interpretation of Buddhist
    technical terminology by such Indian and Tibetan scholars
    strikes me as important and valuable because it provides a fascinating
    source for the understanding of Sanskrit terminology nine
    hundred years ago. Specifically, the psychological dimension of
    the Tibetan gnod, "damage" or "injure", as can be gained from
    contact with the oral tradition, is that the adherence that a person
    has to a wrong view needs to be counteracted, to be harmed, to
    be damaged. The martial imagery is not by chance; the aim of
    the battle is to be so affected by a good argument that one's own
    position is damaged. This does indeed mean to be "refuted", but
    such a translation does not convey the implications of the term.

    As is obvious, oral traditions are often wrong and thus cannot
    simply be accepted at face value. However, in this case, we have
    the evidence that nine hundred years ago Indian and Tibetan
    scholars (not just those who translated this text but many other
    translators, too) avoided the many possible Tibetan equivalents
    for "refute" and chose to stick with "damage, injure", which we
    know to be one of many meanings of the Sanskrit. Thus, given
    the obvious connection with "refute" but in an earthier way,
    "damage" or "injure" is a better translation, for it at least has a
    chance of conveying (or contributing to conveying) the cultural
    background of the term. I am not putting forward a general
    theory that we should return to older, non-technical meanings
    of technical terms; I am asserting that it is helpful to check these
    supposedly non-technical meanings in order to overcome prejudiced
    adherence to translation-equivalents that, no matter how
    much we have become used to them, are actually sanitized versions
    that fail to communicate cultural dimensions. Thoroughgoing
    philology needs to take account of cultural context.


    Of course, Ratnavajra actually already is in Candrakirti's lineage, and Pa tshab comes along after him. There, Ruegg follows some Tibetan explaining how Atisa's system is "the same" as something, and, I can barely follow whatever they are talking about, I am not sure this is even the same subject. But they find it conclusive about something. From what we have seen, Ratnavajra taught Madhyamaka, not Prasangika.

    Indian Pandits shows the same lineage, adding that Mahasumati also translated one of the Dharmakirti Pramana works. This is what Ratnavajra was using.

    And, even from the critical edition of Candrakirti's Prasannapada, which he was not using, we find another Indian student of Parahitabhadra, Bhavyaraja. And we are told that Ratnavajra's family is called the Jana Panditas (i. e. Sajjana, Suksmajana). This is not someone who happens to be related, or, a misleading namesake between persons who are not even related, it is almost a dynasty, in the intellectual sense.



    Well, from a critical look at a Tibetan translation, we see that a form of "prasanga" does appear in the 600s. What happens is, the translator then makes the presumption that the later "prasangas" as developed in Candrakirti's system--must have been included in that solitary original use. To introduce a medium-size review of this subject by Yoshimizu:


    ..."I will consider the historical significance of his inventive interpretation".


    Right. It blots up a ton of "scholarly attention" from that very moment to today, when even its adherents can hardly get it sorted out. I am not sure what they are doing. It is kind of like something we became aware of, and dismissed relatively quickly.


    It is almost all about Logic, which, I am not sure is even necessary. Instead, Ratnakarasanti describes Pramana, the Valid Means of Cognition, as the way to attain Luminous Suchness, or Mahamudra. So if that is the first Yoga Siddhi, then, that is the subject we are talking about and the way to do it.



    And so, even if Pa tshab worked with Mahasumati on one particular text, we do not know what prompted the Tibetan to make "improvements" on various things, which seems to be different enough to require a new name.





    Brian Hodgson was perhaps in some sense followed by Alice Getty. Her book Gods of Northern Buddhism veers more into Nepal, and sort of uses Tibet and the Orient as supplements. Here for example is a manuscript she found.

    Nepalese Vasudhara and Bhrkuti:








    This is someone the Gettys personally knew:


    The goddess Cunda has two representations — one with four arms and another with sixteen. She may even have eighteen, for there is a statue of Cunda in the courtyard of the house of the Mahant of Bodh-Gaya with eighteen arms.



    I am not sure if she is aware that Cunda launched the Pala Dynasty, which is more or less the impulse behind Luipa likely receiving the "systems" of Saraha and Humkara or Samantabhadra. This, as far as I can tell, is the underlying primordial fusion which does not quite know "different schools".



    And so if Maitreya probably doesn't have that much to do with Tibetan Prasangika formulations, he probably does have something to do with what is generally called "classical civilizations". Knowing the type of art he began in, then, his environment is also found on Wiki about a Gandharan frieze:


    Vajrapani is depicted in a more classically Grecian style than the surrounding figures, indicative of his cross-cultural status. Vajrapani is usually syncretized with Hercules...



    This actually has got a great amount of attention, such as Galinsky:


    His appearance there as companion of Buddha is well attested by a remarkable number of reliefs and while the name of the companion is Vajrapani rather than Herakles, the iconography is clearly that of the Greek hero, with varying degrees of hybridization. The basic premise, shared by all scholars on this subject, is that more is involved than a purely formal transfer of Herakles’ iconography. There must be some meaning, but given the multiplicity of Herakles’ meanings, what is it and how does it relate to Vajrapani and the Buddhist context in the empire of the Kushans, who succeeded the Greco-Bactrian kings?


    Or in Flood's Perpetual Acolyte.


    Why does Buddhist Vajrapani appear as Greek Hercules? Well, mostly, Greek Mythology is a cognate of Sanskrit. And in this case, the more archaic spelling, Herakles, is thought to mean Vishnu Family, Hari Kula. Vajrapani is in the family of Akshobhya, who is Vishnu.


    Classical Vishnu is complicated. He takes incarnations, and, his first true human form is Parasu Rama. This incarnation is literally Immortal, the body has not perished. Nevertheless, Vishnu incarnated again as Rama Chandra, whose brother, Lakshman, is also considered to be Hercules. The "brother" is really the manifestation of Sesha, and, his next incarnation is called Bala Rama, a "mighty Rama", or, again, the character of Hercules.

    Both Hercules/Sesha and Parasurama are responsible for destruction of the world at the end of Time.

    In Theosophy, the Central Spiritual Sun, which is the energy used by them to end the world, resides in the constellation Hercules.

    In Buddhism, Kalachakra Tantra says that the future Buddha Maitreya is the Kalki Avatar, or i. e. the tenth and final avatar of Vishnu before the end of the world.

    Although this is a late tantra, it is drawing from a late Purana.










    In Buddhism, the current Age is Amitabha, which is why Avalokiteshvara is a national Protector and incarnates in the Dalai and Panchen Lamas. The future age is Amoghasiddhi. On this, Alice Getty says:



    The stupa in the crown of Maitreya is thought to refer to the belief that a stupa on Mount Kukkutapada near Bodh-Gaya covers a spot where Kasyapa Buddha is lying. When Maitreya leaves the Tusita heaven, he will go to the mountain, which will open by magic, and Kasyapa will give him the garments of a Buddha.

    Maitreya is found in a triad with Gautama Buddha and Avalokitesvara, and also with the goddesses, Kurukula and Bhrikuti.

    Maitreya will appear as Manushi-Buddha in the fifth world, which will be created by VisVapani (fifth Dhyani-Bodhisattva), who dwells in the Rupadhatu heaven waiting for the fifth cycle, when he will receive active power of creation and evolve the fifth world.


    So that is Karma Family, and in Namasangiti, Dharani goddesses are in Karma Family, and a future wife of Parasurama is Dharani (Bhu Devi).

    If there were any way that Maitreya can simultaneously function as the Kalkin, then we would find in Kalki Purana:


    Lord Kalki will reign on earth for 1,000 years as the king of Shambhala.

    Yajnavalkya will be the spiritual guru of Kalki and Parashurama will be the military guru, teaching him all forms of martial arts and weaponry.

    or:



    According to Kalki Purana, Parasurama will teach Vedas to Lord Kalki who is upcoming Avatar of Lord Vishnu during transition times of Kali Yuga and Satya Yuga.

    suta uvdca tato vastum gurukule yantam kalkim ninksya sah mahendradn sthito ramah samaniya asramam prabhuh

    Suta Gosvami said: Thereafter, Lord Kalki went to live at the gurukula. Upon seeing Him approach, the greatly powerful Parasurama, who lives at Mount Mahendra, took Him to His asrama.

    praha warn pdthayisyami gurum mam viddhi dharmatah bhrguvamsa samutpannam jamadagnyam mahdprabhum

    Lord Parasurama said: My dear child, I will act as Your teacher and so You may treat me as Your acarya. I am the son of the greatly powerful sage, Jamadagni, and thus I belong to the Bhrgu dynasty.

    veda vedanga tattavajnam dhanurveda visdradam krtva mhksatnyam prthx im dattva viprdya daksindm mahendradrau tapastaptum agato'ham dvydtmaja warn pathatra пцат vedam yaccanyacchastram uttamam

    I am well-versed in the four Vedas, the literature dealing with grammar, and the six branches of the Vedas. I am very expert in the art of shooting arrows. Previously, I made the entire earth devoid of ksatrnas and then gave the southern portion of the country to the brahmanas Thereafter, I went to Mount Mahendra to perform austerities О son of a brahmana, you may stay here and study whatever scriptures you like.

    iti tadvaca trprasrutya samprahrsta tanuruhah kalkih puro namaskrtya vedadhm tato'bhavat

    Suta GosvamI said: Upon hearing these words of Parasurama, Kalki became very pleased and immediately offered His respectful obesiances to Him Thereafter, He began to study the Vedas under the direction of his spiritual master.

    Apart from this, Lord Parsurama will teach Rukmini Vrata to Ramaa Devi. Kalki will have two wives Padmavati and Ramaa.



    But there is really much more to Parasurama. And Maitreya has basically imported Bhagavad Gita from the Mahabharata or a story about Vishnu as Krishna, and simply changed its important meaning to that of the Bodhisattva Gotra. So it is the same basis, for a slightly different meditation method.


    Parasu's Mahabarata chapter begins: rAjA ShADguNyavaktA vai rAjA mantrArthatattvavit.


    The Adi Shakti concept was received by Parasu Rama from Dattatreya, son of Atreya, a Rishi of the Great Bear.




    Parasu got the mysteries of Divine Mother from Dattatreya, whose fierce form is Chamunda. Datta Pitha is at the feet of the Chamunda mountains, and he is seen as a fusion of Chamunda and Narasimha. Datta also produces the Om sound like Ganesh.

    Parasu placed the deity Ayyappa at Sabarimala. He also gave the earth to Kasyapa. This very ancient system is that of Matangi, Ganesha's consort, prime minister of Sundari--meaning the latter is completely un-worldly, using Matangi and others as go-betweens. It also reconsiders the ninth avatar, possibly Vishnu as female (Mohini), or her son with Shiva, Ayyappa (much later, 1100s).

    With Agasthya, Parasu started the kalari payattu or martial arts system, and, with Dattatreya, the guru system. So Parasu starts this, Rama chandra picks it up via Sabari and Sastha Ayyappa (Makara Vilakku), and later the Mohini Ayyappa uses a non-Hindu mudra, and there is chanting of Saranam Ayyappa, basically the same as Refuge Vow. So the current Sabari milieu has those Buddhist leanings. So that is something like 8,000 (Parasu) then 6,000 years ago (Rama) and ca. 1100.


    In Balarama Dasa, Vasishtha and Rama are terrified of Parasu, however it turns out that Rama is able to string and load Parasu's Bow, which was supposed to kill him. Rama thus acquires his power and goes off to get coronated and Parasu goes to penance. In this lifetime, Rama's brother is named Lakshman, and these reincarnate in the next epic/incarnation story. Bala rama is Adi Sesha and Hercules and ultimately ends the world with Parasu.

    In Mahabarata, Sanskrit original translated for Krishna and Bala Rama to meet Parasu Rama, now he is a sage who is Yellow on Mahendra Mountain, preparing to milk the Kamadhenu or magic cow.

    Parasu Rama is credited with lifting South India from the sea, and to the credit of the Tamils--which they deserve, because, like the Sri Lankans, they are highly averse to whitewashing their history--a random strand of their principal tenets includes "Seven Stars (Saptarishi), Six Stars (Pleiades= Skanda), Pole Star (Druva), Arundhati (Alcor), Amrita (ambrosia)". Here again, same basic formula--Six Stars being surrogate mothers of Mars, son of Maya, brother of Ganesh. Pole star and ambrosia being the methods or Path, which, studied in a Buddhist manner, very forcefully showed the same procedure, Mars and Ganesh as occult forms in Namasangiti.

    I am not sure if we can see a translation of the actual Sundari Khand from the Sakti Sangama Tantra, which also has Kali and Chinnamasta Khand. Its own Sundari Philosophy again ties it to Parasu Rama and the author of the Khand estimates it to be 8-9000 years old.

    The school is rare, however it still has temples all over Himachal Pradesh for Tripura Sundari, Vajreshvari, Jwala Mukhi, Chamunda, and others. This culture is the same as Nepal in that many people participate in both Hindu and Buddhist activities without really questioning any difference.


    The oldest Orissan temple is Parasurameswar, i. e. Parasu or Axe Rama, who is behind all this. It is a Shiva temple, but one of the first to show the Sapta Matrika with him and Ganesh.


    An age of Amoghasiddhi of course also has Karma Family Tara as the Wisdom or Sophia of it.


    Linguistically, there also is a Hindu Mahattari, which is a name we have thought of as a double entendre, one meaning similar to Mahat Tattva, and the other as matron of a harem.

    In Sat Sahasra Samhita is where we find Mahattari as the superior of a Quintessence--i. e., not the center of it, but beyond it. In this text, the first component of the Astavimsatikrama (a process or initiation) is the series of Four. It consists of the four Mahapithas Odiyana, Jalandhara, Purnagiri, and Kamarupa--this is non-Buddhist, but same components there.

    Next, Astavimsatikrama has a set of Five Syllables and Five Goddesses including Matangi and Sabari, who collectively make the continuous stream of Kulakula, which is Kula and Akula, or Shakti and Bhairava, unidentified place of Mahattari.

    Next, the Six of Kriya are in the "Place of the Jar" or Throat, including Sundari, who have an opposite Wrathful Six.

    Next, the Four of the Heart, Mitranatha, Oddanatha (or Jyotisa), Sasthanatha, and Caryanatha. So this includes the Natha or Lords Uddiyana Natha and Sastha Natha, Sastha again being Root Guru of Ayyapa. It goes on with further classifications of chakras and deities, less strongly related to our theme, but this 4-5-6 is certainly an esoteric progression that starts in Uddiyana, and goes through Matangi to Mahattari and Sundari. What they call Nathas of the Heart are not very different from Bodhisattvas.

    The Mahattari is in the transcendent position above the Five Goddesses, and is the place or residence of the stream. This suggested addition to the standard group of five is barely hinted at, not mentioned until halfway through, so it is still semi-esoteric where it is mentioned at all.

    Kubjika in this entourage is child (Nine, Sabari or Kumari), young (Sixteen, Bala Sundari) and old (Bhairavi), and another Newari secret. Pulindi is an obscure bandevi forest goddess. Campaka, related to flowers, was a mahasiddha or a vidyadhara. Once he visited the banks of river Yamuna with his wife Madalasa when they got from the forest nearby a child. The child in later years became famous as Ekavira, founder of the Hehaya dynasty, which was slaughtered by Parasu.

    Here are nuts and bolts of Kubjika Tantra which equates Matangi to Candali. Kubjika's technical relation to Seven Shaktis is given by Kamakoti who also found that Tara is Arundhati.

    Mahattari is significant for being in the Sixth slot like Vajrasattva, tied to the oldest earthly lineage, and of Amoghasiddhi.


    The Kubjika Tantra is itself used for its Pithas in Buddhism.


    Having said that Parasu is a fan of the Kamadhenu, we will actually get that back when we compare our Sahaja Bharati goddess to Vedic Bharati:


    "Bharati is also called Mahi, the Large, Great or Vast. The three, Ila, Mahi or Bharati and Saraswati are associated together in a constant formula in those hymns of invocation in which the gods are called by Agni to the Sacrifice.

    Iḷā sarasvatī mahī, tisro devīr mayobhuvaḥ; barhiḥ sīdantvasridhaḥ.

    “May Ila, Saraswati and Mahi, three goddesses who give birth to the bliss, take their place on the sacrificial seat, they who stumble not...”

    ...The formula is expanded in Hymn 110 of the tenth [Rg Veda] Mandala:

    ā no yajñaṁ bhāratī tῡyam etu, iḷā manuṣvad iha cet ayantī; tisro devīr barhir edaṁ syonaṁ, sarasvatī svapasaḥ sadantu.


    “May Bharati come speeding to our sacrifice and Ila hither awakening our consciousness ... in human wise, and Saraswati, — three goddesses sit on this blissful seat, doing well the Work.” "

    Hymn X.110 would generally be understood as Parasu's lineage.


    And this is the most synthetic or thorough one. Most of the hymns from various Sages lack or change a few things in the ancient genre called Apri Sukta:

    Ultimately the hymn addresses the Lord of the Forest, Majestic Tree, or Lord of Trees, Vanaspati. They end with Svaha. Agni is at the beginning, then a few others, the Doors Dvarah and Durah (increasers of Rta), Night and Dawn (naktosasa, usasanakta, usasa; Mothers of Rta), two Divine Hotras--daivya hotara--who remain unknown, then Ila--Sarasvati--Bharati, then Tvastir (Architect) and Vanaspati and Indra.


    This also peculiarly invokes Tvastr, and since we have invoked Vairocani, we think she is the Tapasi of Durga Suktam increasing to Tvastr Shakti. According to the commentary, this is tantric Mirror Wisdom.



    Legends of the cow herself are many, and one of the most explanatory is that when she was stolen, Parasu Rama went berserk and killed almost everyone.

    Ila is food, a milch cow, mother of a herd, dripping with clarified butter. The devas made her the teacher of man. Agni is at her feet or is her son. His third birth place is in the waters apsu, he dwells in secret, gives three times seven secret names, reveals treasures to those who serve Rta. Ila shows the way.

    The goddess iḍā- or iḷā- is daughter of manu- or of man thinking on and worshipping the gods; she is the wife of budha- and mother of purū-ravas-;in another aspect she is called maitrāvaruṇi- as daughter of mitra-- varuṇa-, two gods who were objects of the highest and most spiritual devotion. According to Aurobindo, "She also is connected with Surya, the Sun, as when Agni, the Will, is invoked to labour by the rays of the Sun, Lord of the true Light, being of one mind with Ila, iḷayā sajoṣā yatamāno raśmibhiḥ sūryasya. She is the mother of the Rays, the herds of the Sun. Her name means she who seeks and attains and it contains the same association of ideas as the words ŗtam and Rishi. Ila is the vision of the seer which attains the truth."

    "manuṣvad iha cetayantī" is one of her most common phrases, the last term referring to sentience and animation. "May Ila, Saraswati and Mahi, three goddesses who give birth to the bliss, take their place on the sacrificial seat, they who stumble not", in whom there is no false movement with its evil consequences, duritam, no stumbling into pitfalls of sin and error. Saraswati is the Word, the inspiration that comes from the ŗtam, the Truth-Consciousness. Bharati and Ila are different forms of the same Word or knowledge, in Aurobindo's understanding. He gets it as Bliss, by which we would mean Sambhogakaya.

    Bharati is drink, sometimes called Hotra Bharati. She is the vastness of luminosity. According to Aurobindo, this relates to Brihad and Brihaspati--Jupiter., and she is "for the sacrificer, a branch covered with ripe fruit". She is also described as varūtrī dhiṣaṇā, a widely covering or embracing Thought-power. So, he has just vividly described Cintamani, even to the seed syllable. She indicates the universal well, and so we can see the purpose of the meditation if starting with that basic Yellow form and then separating her into Ila and Bharati, and so on from there. Her name is an early term for the whole Jewel Family.

    Sarasvati can even be mimicking and buffoonery. All three are understood as communitaction between mortal and divine according to Yajur Veda:

    adityair no bharati vastu yajnam
    sarasvati saha rudrair na avit
    idopahuta vasubhih sajosa
    yajnam no devir amrtesu dhatta

    May Bharati with the Adityas love our sacrifice
    Sarasvati with the Rudras [Maruts] (helps us?)
    Ida invoked with vasus in union
    Our sacrifice, oh goddesses, place with the immortals.


    Sarasvati is strongly associated with dhi, which has everything to do with her becoming Voice or Vach Devi in a role no other deity approaches. These three goddesses are consistently found in the eighth verse of all ten gotra lineages of Apri Hymns.

    Those all start with a particular sage's perception of pure consciousness of Agni and all are similar. Arrangement of the Rig Veda shows organization where the Bhrigu-Angiras lines are separated. The hymns vary by whether they invoke Tanunapat or Narasamsa or both. It is the very last section around the last Apri which refers heavily to such things as Pitris, Mrtyu, seven ancient Rishis, Angiras, and others, giving it a distinct atmosphere, referring to X.85 and forward.

    The first main group of Rishis centers on Atreya, referring to the Moon as the parent of Budha-Mercury, Atri is the source of Soma-Moon. The candelabra style balance of gotras:

    Bhrigu--Gritsamada
    Viswamitra
    Angiras--Gautama
    Atri
    Angiras--Bharadvaja
    Vasishtha
    Pragata

    That leaves out the mythological rishis of IX and X. Regardless of what changes around, all rely on the same trinity of Sarasvati with Ila and Bharati.

    She also has a blackened form from once stopping Shiva's Badavagni, fire from his third eye unleashed at a wicked world. She used her watery or river power to hold the fire to the ocean and make the "Mare's Mouth". In another version, the fire was from Aurva, Parasu's great grandfather.


    The Dream of Ravan ( U. of Dublin, 1854) most likely took inspiration from the highly esoteric Dnyaneshwari of the 1200s near Bombay.

    The relatively modern equivalent of Dnyaneshwari would be Parasurama Kalpa Sutra. This is quite unique for instance, being a Shakta text, has Shiva talking and repeats his tattva system. It explains how the left hand path is one thing for those of low realization, and transmutes into another meaning for initiates. It attempts to tie Dattatreya at the head of a historical truncation of spiritual teachings resulting in Tripura Sundari. The whole thing and commentary are much larger than those verses.

    Another look at Parasu explains coconut as the Wish-fulfilling Tree and so in South India it is sacred like the cow. Its fruit is Water Vase. This follows the view that South India was a powerful source of Mantrayana (Shurungama Sutra, etc.), and it was mantra (mind protection) which grew to tantra (tattva or element of reality plus mantra). So "Water Vase" is a completely different thing in Kerala than in Nepal, nevertheless, functionally, they are the same. Consequently, if it does not literally have to be a coconut or a pitcher, it could be completely mental, i. e. Varuni. And if anything, she unfolds as crocodile deities.




    I am not sure what to make of the suggestion that Maitreya might be the avatar, since he is actually Shiva. And, of course, an avatar is essentially "born perfect", whereas a Buddha is a Bodhisattva who becomes Fully Expanded.

    As a verb, "Buddha" or Vibuddha simply means about the same thing as Vishnu.


    The origin is from:

    In the Mahabharata, according to Hiltebeitel, Kalki is an extension of the Parashurama incarnation legend, where a Brahmin warrior destroys Kshatriyas who were abusing their power to spread chaos, evil, and the persecution of the powerless. The epic character of Kalki restores dharma, restores justice in the world, but does not end the cycle of existence. The Kalkin section in the Mahabharata is present in the Markandeya section. There, states Luis Reimann, can "hardly be any doubt that the Markandeya section is a late addition to the epic".


    The idea is only semi-developed in the Maha Puranas. The elaborate Kalki Purana is practically modern, so, i. e., you see Shambala involved.

    Then by the nineteenth century, Hinduism commonly shows the last two avatars as Buddha and Kalki:






    That's kind of tricky, some of them say he became Buddha in order to tempt man with false doctrines, others say it was to promulgate teachings which could not be refuted.

    Buddha and Maitreya are both vishnu the verb. Maybe that makes them a Logos or Word Incarnate or something in some theologies. If we dispute that Maitreya will be a direct incarnation, or, so to speak, reincarnation of Krishna, it is still entirely possible he could be a person having Parasurama as a guru. Presuming he does succeed in that initiation which is Buddha's Enlightenment, then he would effectively be Shiva. And of course if it has anything to do with Dattatreya, then fusing Vishnu and Shiva sounds like a part of it.


    Since the event is in the remote future, it is not an issue. Maitreya is not eschatological. We just need to apply the teachings as we are now. Since his teaching is not in any of those religions, the fact of there being a close proximity may be a token of friendship, rather that total identity. Obviously we have found only a minor thread of continuity due to varying Buddhist sects.

    From the Puranas, if we think of Red and Blue Shiva, and the Pitrs (Time) and Agni being the only constants in multiple world-systems, then we are onto something. I at least never thought of Shiva as anything other than the most rarefied transcendental consciousness, similar to Maitreya's Lokottara Citta, but I never understood Asraya Paravrtti. Yes, it would still be more or less the same Shiva, just having the Mahayana teaching applied.


    That is why it easily makes sense to me for Saraha to say Parameswar.

    Amoghasiddhi means Not Ignorant about Siddhis, so, naturally, if one were to attain the first siddhi or i. e. Generation Stage, it must be within the Wisdom of Amoghasiddhi, or Tara.


    In the present tense, there is not really such a thing as Maitreya in Karma Family.


    Tuṣita (तुषित) is the name of a Heaven, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta (a collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras).—Accordingly, “What then, son of good family, is the recollection of gods (devānusmṛti), which is authorized by the Lord for Bodhisattvas? It is the recollection of two assemblies of gods. What are these two? The gods of the Pure Abode, and the Bodhisattvas hindered by only one birth, who dwell in the Tuṣita Heaven (tuṣita-bhavanastha). In that the Bodhisattva recollects the gods of the Pure Abode. Further, the Bodhisattvas who are hindered by only one birth, and who dwell in the Tuṣita Heaven recollect ten qualities as the summit.



    Maitreya's environment was already well-known in this way.

    If Asanga had to go through an ordeal in order to get there, why should it be so difficult?


    Tusita - The fourth of the six deva worlds


    He is above Yama.

    Now we had better be careful because according to Prajnaparamita, the operative principle is an axis:


    The six classes of gods of the desire realm (kāmadhātu), attached to the five desirable objects, will fall into the hells (niraya) and be subjected to all the sufferings.



    Well, it's Heaven, at least at first, which means the higher you go, the more tempting the chance for attachment. And then if you have Grasping, the scene changes.

    This can also be called Grasping for Truly-established Existence in the Bardo.

    So you have the slopes of Mt. Meru with some paradises such as Alakavati, and then there is the Heaven of the Four Kings, then Indra's Heaven of Thirty-three, then Yama's Heaven, and finally Tusita or Heaven of Santusita, generally considered the most beautiful.


    Between it and the Pure Lands or Akanistha are magical creations.

    Then if we open the Mirror Wisdom, there is a likelihood that Bardo Consciousness will dawn, or Antarabhava, or the Gandharvasattva, which gets this name because it is "sensitive".


    At that point you are left with whatever Dhatu your consciousness has joined. And of course it is hard to think that you just get beyond the Four Kings. These are supposed to be similar to "Watchtower Guardians", Lipikas or karmic scribes, etc., mentioned in various religions. That is why Vajrapani has practices that successively interface these layers.

    Hercules is most likely patterned on Bala Rama, and Vajrapani is absorbing that, along with the "weapon of Indra".

    Varuni is Sesha--Bala Rama's consort.

    She is a bit like the secret essence that is used in Mrtyuvacana.

    That seems to be something that appears in more than one place. The rite of Nectar Tasting is the Explanation of Death.

    We might say, "direct experience of death consciousness", which as one of its effects has protection of one's life force and countering untimely death.

    In terms of Yogacara, this can be said to take place already in the Third Yoga, Pranayama, which is why that definitely does not mean preliminary breathing exercises. Prana Ayama, restraint of life force, i. e. tantric Mirror Wisdom or Melting, and potentially the Bardo.

    Vajrapani is a bit like Maitreya, i. e. he is a master of vast revelation, although that does not mean you have to seek him, personally, for it all.





    In Kerala, this still draws literally millions of pilgrims. It has some similar terminology as ours, and, an excuse for Buddha not to have been the ninth avatar. From some Bhajans:

    Ayyappa, the son of Mohini and Shiva, to Lord who lives in the mountain Shabari

    son of Harihara (Vishnu in the form of Mohini, and Shiva)




    Concerning the environment:


    As per tradition, the Shasta temple at Sabarimala is one of the five Shasta temples founded by Lord Parasurama.



    To the yogini who trained with Matanga:


    Lord Ram also said that the entire mountain would be known in her name as Shabari mala.



    So the Sabarimala tradition is at least as old as Ramayana. The standard chant is:


    ‘Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa’, meaning ‘Lord Ayyappa – the only refuge’.

    His temple and tradition inspired Hindu yogi mercenaries who protected the trade routes in South India from criminals and looters, restoring Dharmic trading practices.

    The journey to the temple is to be taken through difficult paths in the forest as the vehicles can go only up to Pampa.



    Obviously he is hypostatical in an unusual way, and Sasta is Sramana like Jain and Buddhism:


    The Tamil song Shasta Varavu states that there are eight important incarnations and forms of Shasta. This is also present in the agamic work Dyana Ratnavali. The Ashta-Shasta (eight Shastas) are Aadhi Maha Shasta, Dharma Shasta (Ayyappan), Gnana Shasta, Kalyana Varadha Shasta, Sammohana Shasta, Santhana Prapti Shasta, Veda Shasta and Veera Shasta. Brahma Shasta is another term associated with Kartikeya.

    A Sanskrit work dated prior to the 7th century known as the Brahmanda Purana mentions Shasta as Harihara suta, or the son of Shiva and Narayana (Vishnu), the oppressor of the asuras. There are references in the Puranas that narrate as to how Shasta during his tenure on earth long ago conducted discourses on Vedas and Vedantas to a galaxy of gods and sages.




    And also in Kubjika Tantra:


    As the first of these Siddhas presides over Oḍḍiyāṇa this may be taken to mean that Uḍapīṭha is a separate place. But the texts imply that the first of these three Siddhas remained where the original transmission took place, whereas Ṣaṣṭhanātha went to Pūrṇagiri and Mitranātha to Kāmarūpa, where they founded separate seats. Again, we find that the first sacred seat, which is normally said to be Oḍḍiyāna or the ‘seat of OṂ’ (oṃkārapīṭha), is also called Uḍu [Uḍupīṭha] or Oḍī [Oḍīpīṭha].


    Saṣṭhā (सष्ठा):—Name of one of the six deities which together form the third of the six groups of the aṣṭāviṃśatikrama (one of the main components in the worship of Kubjikā). This group of six deities is also referred to as ‘the auspicious six’ (anugraha-ṣaṭka) and is located in the Ghaṭasthāna. Their names are referred to in the kubjikāmata-tantra but actually described in the Ṣaṭsāhasra-saṃhitā.

    108 Saranam Gosham

    Myoksha Travel informs us that the temple is closed to females ages 10-55 and that:


    The Sabarimala Temple is also a fine example of the integration of the Buddhist religious beliefs with the Hindu system of worship. Historically, it is believed that a Buddhist shrine existed in the vicinity where the present temple is situated. The temple was dedicated to the Buddhist God Avalokitesvara, an avatar of Bodhisattva.

    A small shrine dedicated to Devi Mallikappurathamma is situated at the foot of the hill along with the shrines of Nagaraja and Nagayakshi (God and Goddess of Snakes).

    Manikandan shot an arrow which fell at Sabari, the hill where aeons ago an old woman named Sabari had performed penance and was visited by Lord Rama.



    So, the ca. tenth-century temple simply has a geographic association, whereas it appears that Avalokiteshvara was most likely the deity at Sabari Hill. That is not hard to believe, since an MMK was found even further south at a now-Hindu temple, all the way at Kanya Kumari.




    According to Wiki:

    Maalikapurathamma is this concept of the family of the goddess Madurai Meenakshi, the goddess of the Pandalam royal family.



    Sometimes:


    ...she is Demoness Mahishi who was annihilated by Ayyappa.

    With Ayyappa killing Mahishi, she attained reprieve from curse.


    or:


    Another belief is that the daughter of Sri Ayyappa’s guru become a Sanyasini and want to remain with Sri Ayyappa, As per thantric view, pilgrims has to worship Malikappuram as “Adiparasakthi”.


    Generally:


    She asked Ayappa to marry her but he refused. However, Ayappa promised her that he will marry her when kanni-swamis (first time pilgrims) stop coming to Sabarimala. She now sits and waits for him at a neighbouring shrine near the main temple and is worshipped as Malikapurathamma. With hundreds of thousands of new devotees pouring in every year, her wait goes on.

    The legend goes further saying that in honour of Malikapurathamma, Lord Ayyappa does not receive menstruating woman. Also, the women chose not to visit Lord Ayyappa for it would be an insult to Malikapurathamma's love and sacrifice.


    But:


    S. Chandrika, former Devaswom Commissioner, Travancore Devaswom Board, had in the same case told the court that the restriction regarding the entry of women in the age group 10 to 50 is there only during Mandalam, Makaravilakku and Vishu. The court was also told that even while the old customs prevailed, women used to visit the temple though very rarely. The Maharaja of Travancore accompanied by the Maharani and the Divan had visited the temple in 1940.


    Just from Buddhist relics in Kerala, everything is a little mashed up:


    ...a widespread Sramana tradition of co-existence between Vedic Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and ancient Dravidian folk religion.

    ...[a temple of] Goddess Karthyayani (Bhagavathy) but containing an actual sculpture of Buddha, within a shrine devoted to Krishna. The Krishna idol resembles a Yogic Avalokitesvara in Padmasana.

    The Paliyam copper plates (or Sreemoolavasam Cheppedukal from Sri Mulavasam) of the Ay King, Vikramaditya Varagunan (885–925 AD) in the fifteenth year of his rule, indicates that Buddhists enjoyed royal patronage and privileges until the 10th century CE, at least in South Kerala.

    According to the inscription, a huge number of land holdings were donated to the Sri Mulavasam.

    Some of the traditions of the Sabarimala pilgrimage bear resemblance to Buddhist traditions, an obvious example being the "Sharanam" chants "Swami Sharanam Ayyappa" similar to the Buddhist chants "Buddham Sharanam Gachami". Some Buddhists even consider Ayyappa as the incarnation of Buddha. In 2018 Government of Kerala submitted before the Kerala High Court that there is a school of thought which believes that Sabarimala was a Buddhist center of worship and word 'Saranam' used to worship the deity derived from Buddhism.

    Temples devoted to Bhadrakali or Durga (often simply called Devi or Bhagavathy in Malayalam) and Sree Krishna at former places of Buddhist influence. Several Bhadrakali temples have their main Bharani festival during the month of Kumbham (Feb–March). This devotion to Bhadrakali is most likely a living testament of the importance Buddhism gives to Mahākāla, similar to Hinduism.

    [There is much more to Bhadrakali.]

    Pooram Padayani, a festival at Neelamperoor Palli Bhagavathi Temple in praise of Goddess Vanadurga, which is considered similar to the Buddhist festival seen by Fahian at Patna, Bihar. The main feature is the display of exquisitely decorated effigies named Kettukazhcha. Claimed to be 1700 years old.


    The discovery of an idol of bodhisattva Halahala Lokeswara by M. Foucher in Gandhara region with Sanskrit inscription "Dakshina Pathe Mulavasa Lokanatha" proves that Sri Mulavasam was a famous Buddhist pilgrim centre in ancient days.



    Kerala and Tamil Nadu are like Bengal: they cannot really give their own history prior to the tenth century. To the extent it can be found, it is as much or more from Buddhist sources than anything else.

    One thing it does say however is that there continue to be divine incarnations, such as Ayyappa and Charchika.

    It seems obvious that Adi Shankara did not "overthrow" Buddhism.

    The Devi at Malikappuram holds a Sankh, Chakram and Varada Abhya Mudra.


    A modern Sastha study refers to:


    Manimandapam near Malikappuram where Lord Sri Ayyappa resides along with Adiparasakthi Devi Mahamaya.


    The, so to speak, more specific practice that they do there is:


    To alleviate the Influence of Sani these`Velans' drum and chant 'Kesadipadam'.

    Even to get ride of Naga Dosham, Naga Pattu is performed in front of Naga Raja at Malikapuram Temple.


    Malefic Saturn and Naga Poison are what they are working on.

    From what we have been doing, Adi Parashakti Mahamaya is taken as Kolhapur Mahalakshmi, who is at the head of Vanadurga and similar embodiments. With India, it is also said that there are "Pithas" wherever Devi took birth or entered the world, aside from what was made by dismembered pieces of Sati.


    Strangely, in one of his last projects, 1996, Alex Wayman offered a Defense of Yogacara. He says it was "misrepresented", and this was copied, leading to endless confusion. The first page says that Madhyamaka was "good natured", or that there was a type of doctrinal disagreement, but not really a suppression. That would be fine. Around Vikramasila, you could have taken three different paths, which are different, a subject of debate, but certainly not at each others' throats.


    From a more recent 2014 Vienna conference:


    Now how do the Yogācāras, being closely associated with both groups, treat this issue? Are they taking the side of Sarvāstivāda or Sautrāntika? Recently some scholars claim that as early as in the Yogācārabhūmi, it already propounds the view that “the mental faculties of manas and manovijñāna do not have direct access to rūpa, to physical objects.” But I will argue that the early Yogācāras mainly follow the Sarvāstivādins on this issue of the objects of mental consciousness; only some late Yogācāras, e.g., Dharmapāla, accept the Sautrāntika idea, probably through the influence of Dignāga.


    and:


    The main purpose of this paper is to examine the Chinese materials concerning Dignāga's theory of mental perception (mānasaṃ pratyakṣam). Quite different from the interpretation of Dharmakīrti, in Xuanzang's Chen wei shi lun and Kuiji's commentary thereof, Dignāga is interpreted, along with Sthiramati, as holding the opinion that mental awareness arises simultaneously with sensory awareness as its companion (°sahānucara/°anucara). This kind of mental awareness is often referred to briefly as “mental awareness accompanying the five [groups of sensory awareness]” (Wu ju yi shi, 五俱意識).

    This interpretation has its background in the Yogācāra thesis of mental awareness accompanying sensory awareness derived from the doctrine of the simultaneous arising of multiple kinds of awareness, which can be traced back to the early sources of the Yogācāra system such as the Yogācārabhūmi and the Saṃdhinirmocanasūtra.

    Sthiramati holds that this kind of mental awareness accompanying sensory awareness has the nature of being mental construction (vikalpaka) and has the clearness (spaṣṭa) in its content.


    Holding in abeyance the Chinese take that Dharmakirti is very different, Moriyama on Ratnakarasanti's Pramana says:


    Ratnākaraśānti's epistemological theory that mental images in a cognition are false (*alīkākāravāda) in comparison with Śāntarakṣita's criticism of the Yogācāra position.

    Through the above procedure, we can see how Yogācāra philosophy survived in the late period of Indian Buddhism by blending the Madhyamaka opponent's argument with its own thought.


    From Shiga 2011, we are told that perhaps Dharmakirti was not undermining Dignaga:


    Previous studies have claimed that the term ‘all-inclusive pervasion’ (sarvopasaṃhāravyāpti) appeared for the first time in the Hetubindu, and that it was Dharmakīrti who created this theory. This article attempts to modify this view and to show that the prototype of this theory can already be found in Dignāga’s system of logic. Dignāga states in the third chapter of the Pramāṇasamuccayavṛtti that the co-existence of a logical reason with what is to be proved is understood by means of two types of exemplification that sum up external items (bāhyārthopasaṃhṛta). Furthermore, with respect to where the pervasion is indicated, he states in the second chapter of the same work that the non-deviation of a logical mark from what is to be proved is indicated elsewhere (anyatra). He also implies that anyatra means in the substratum in general (ādhārasāmānya) and that the subject is implicitly included in other substrata, i.e., in the substratum in general. Building upon Dignāga’s awareness of the issue, the conflict between the universality of pervasion and the particularity of actual inference, Dharmakīrti reinforced Dignāga’s system of logic by demonstrating that a property to be proved as the universal is not particularised by the subject by the use of the idea of ‘the exclusion of nonconnection’ (ayogavyavaccheda) and by adopting the concept of ‘all’ in place of ‘external items’.



    From a more complete article at Stanford:


    He, and his predecessor Dignāga (c. 480–c. 540 C.E.), were responsible for a school of Buddhist thought that actually had no name in Sanskrit, although in Tibetan it was known as “those who follow reasoning” (rigs pa rjes su ‘brang ba); in modern literature it is sometimes known by the convenient Sanskrit misnomer pramāṇavāda, or more simply, “the Epistemological School.” In any case, it is the Buddhist school that provoked the most sophisticated and most important philosophical debates with non-Buddhist rivals. It represented Buddhism in the pan-Indian debates on problems of universals, philosophies of logic and language, and issues of justification, and had an enormous influence on Mahāyāna Buddhism in Central Asia...


    Indeed in Dharmakīrti’s case, most of his philosophy is presented from a point of view in which external objects (bāhyārtha) are (provisionally at least) accepted as real. Idealism only enters the picture after verse 194 of the third chapter of Pramāṇavārttika. He certainly does have sophisticated arguments to prove idealism, that is, the view for him that there are no external objects, that “everything cognizable is internal” (antarjñeyavāda), “only mere data” (vijñaptimātra), and that subject (grāhaka) and object (grāhya) are not two distinct entities. Nonetheless, it is striking that the main thrust of Dharmakīrti’s metaphysics—his nominalism, his proofs of impermanence and his causal theories of properties—is largely unaffected by the choice of external realism or idealism.



    At the level of "debate", this must be very engrossing. And I suppose there was a legitimate need for this. That is how most of these issues were dealt with, rather than by, say, Crusaders. In looking at early Christianity, all views of the Logos or Trinity was a "heresy" to someone, and you were excluded or worse for having a certain view. At Vikramasila, we have three different schools that don't even work together. Most of the Christians formed majorities, that were very black-and-white, and you better live with whatever prevailed in you area.

    At the very worst, with any Prasangika I would say, well, I fundamentally disagree with something in your meditations. But otherwise, if you can be found in the external sense to be trying your best at they way of Bodhisattva, then, it's fine if you want to overly-focus on something which, to me, is not very eventful.

    Ratnakarasanti's forte' is in saying, well, with three or four slight adjustments, then you are doing Yogacara.

    And so I don't see much here other than an attempt to continue Asanga and Maitreya close to the original sense. It was not said that Dignaga or Santaraksita were so important that you need to learn everything they said and try to figure out if you agree with it. If he says something like Pramana is a general view of something that is true in Yogacara or Mahamudra, he wants us to find that state of realization, Luminous Suchness, or Tathagatagarbha.

    Anyone can validly cognize the "supernatural" realities of Yoga. It doesn't mean that a guru is utterly useless, but if you meditate well even according to the Sutras, then you can move into the Bodhisattva Gotra. I am pretty sure this is the intent of "Mahayana", i. e. a "greater vehicle" because it is interested in spreading to more beings. It is not simply an ideal, because it is a particular line of instruction and practice.

    And so it seems to me, with Dolpopa and certain others, they did indeed get this One Taste, and then became a bit of over-zealous fanatics, as if Mahamudra was Fourth and that's it. And I think a lot of the modern Mahamudra books and probably even Dzogchen are like this. Easy, of course, because I think something similar happened to me. The point we are making is that, yes, of course this is excellent, but it is only the first of two Siddhis, because we do not understand Samadhi.

    There are six "Hindu gods", which, in order of their "occult-ness", would be something like Vishnu, Shiva, Shakti, Surya, Ganesh, Karttikeya. Buddha was trained in a Ganesh temple, and, to his masters, he did not give Right View, but told them "You do not understand Samadhi". As if he were willing to admit they had done something close enough to Generation Stage. But they would never get what he was trying to explain, without serious consideration.

    Everything from Tapas to Transference and Liberation occurs in Hindu Yoga, and it may be difficult to explain Samadhi until Maitreya.

    Since the ensuing tantras are "more detailed practices" using Samadhi as the Sixth Yoga, Ratnakarasanti re-capitulates all of these except Kalachakra, in the way having Mahamudra third, which, in Maitri's explanation, is the real system of Nagarjuna. Again, yes, there is reason enough one can say other "systems of Mudras" are provisionally true, but, at the point where we have this much information, I think we are better off just giving the "final" version, and a practitioner can become aware that they actually can operate on the level of Catuspitha Tantra, or something similar to the Second Initiation or Guhya Abhiseka, or second Mudra (Dharma or Jnana being basically equivalents for this).

    It is unlikely that you can just "do" it, but it is not that hard to train in to.


    I think we could accept that there is such a thing as "Arya school" in the sense of tantric Aryadeva, having CMP and Vajra Rosary as its main works. It does not really seem to have anything special from Nagarjuna. It seems likely that it was transmitted through Candrakirti in order to get to Vikramasila, even to Ratnavajra. This Central Pillar taught Madhyamaka. But he also used the Maitreya books. In the way that Candrakirti may have said something which did not necessarily come from Nagarjuna or Aryadeva, at least one of the Six Gatekeepers found it important. I don't know if it is Mahamudra or what it is. Buddhapalita and Candrakirti were both immediately refuted when someone picked up on what they were saying. For some reason, it heavily impressed Atisa, and then he took it somewhere that nobody really knew anything about this, so they specialized in it.


    Vajra Rosary is notable not just for the complexity, but because it explains the induced experiences as a blend of death consciousness and sexual bliss.

    I, personally, was curious about death, and thought that was what magic in general was addressing. I was not asking it anything about sex. I was able to get Melting and Prabhasvara relatively easily, but only with the intent of gnosis regarding death. It was at least six months or maybe a year before something told me, well, there are good/ecstatic states to be had from this. And then it worked too. This makes it obvious to me that with a better tantric commentary and Inverted Stupa, it would have gone better to begin with.

    It may have been the right awareness of tantric Tara--Air--Prana and how this is like the "final strike" which causes Melting, that was really almost mechanical, there is nothing inherently blissful or even truly Mahayana about it. But again, so powerful, I had to forcibly remove it from my being, and it took over a year to fade. I purposefully locked myself back in to "ordinary waking consciousness" for the mundane sake of working. Then only recently I find out that the whole meditative process is intended to be combined with working and other worldly affairs. This is different with Asanga than in the old Sramana faiths. It may have been put that way, prior to him, but we do not know of an example, whereas his was major.

    What brought me to Theosophy was The Mahatma Letters, since by that time, I was able to understand their authors fairly well. Then I figured all Theosophy was derived from this, which is terribly mistaken, and can easily be shown the "original" is in ULT, not elsewhere. We independently found that the Panchen Lama sent an agent to the Maharaja of Benares in 1773. The motto of the Theosophical Society is the motto of the Maharaja of Benares. Also, if Dayanand Saraswati/Arya Samaj was a "failed initiate", we were able to find out who he was initiated by, which means that his "successful spiritual brother" entered the ancient office of Advisor to the Maharaja of Benares, and was well-enough known to have been met by Mark Twain and Alexandra David-Neel. HPB was also an agent of the Panchen Lama, although in a rather different way from one of his natives who had been sent out.


    Her Mahatmas were Ngakpas, and, what they spelled "Chohan" is as in the following, using the Tibetan for "Dharma Protector":


    Nechung Choskyong






    In this case, yes, it is currently a Gelug apparatus, but, not at all originally:


    According to Bell, "the cult of Pehar at Nechung Monastery experienced a meteoric rise in popularity in the seventeenth century primarily through the deliberate efforts of the Fifth Dalai Lama and his regent Sangyé Gyatso.

    The Nechung was formerly a Nyingma tradition.

    When Padmasambhava consecrated Samye Monastery with the Vajrakilaya dance, he tamed the local spirit protector, Pehar Gyalp, and bound him by oath to become the head of the entire hierarchy of Buddhist protective spirits. Pehar, later known as Dorje Drakden, became the principal protector of the Dalai Lamas, manifesting through the Nechung Oracle.

    The rite of the Oracle possessing the kuten is ancient, entering the tradition from the Bonpo and Ngagpa...


    They are called upon as protectors and sometimes used as healers. However, their primary function is to protect the Buddha Dharma and its practitioners.




    So, he is oath-bound, and, "chief of the class of ghost kings". But he is actually a fifth king at the center of the Four Kings, the Catur Maharajahs of the first plane in Kama Loka. Koothoomi said "the Chohan is as stern as death", and H. H. D. L. says:



    Dealing with Nechung is by no means easy. It takes time and patience during each encounter before he will open up. He is very reserved and austere, just as you would imagine a grand old man of ancient times to be. Nor does he bother with minor matters: his interest is only in the larger issues, so it pays to frame questions accordingly. He also has definite likes and dislikes, but he does not show them very readily.


    HPB makes it clear that she was involved with the "private retreat" of the Panchen Lama, not the "public school". And if we look at some of the Panchens and even Tson kha pa, we can find they are "crypto-Nyingmas" in a way that sounds like they would be confessing as Yogacarins. IWS was commissioned by the Panchens also starting around the late 1700s. That is probably what they were being "cautious" about how to translate into western terms, such as Victorian England. The difficulty seems obvious and probably in the category of "larger issues".

    Koothomi did, at times, probably lead the Chohan's ceremony. After the T. S., the new information was to the effect that the Chinese Pehar was *not* oath-bound, so the conflict was foretold, and Ngakpas are said to have vanished in the 1930s.

    Gelugs are in the difficult position of knowing everything that they "have" is made of Nyingma "stuff".

    My closest guess at a "1975 Theosophy II" would simply consist of David Reigle trying to take seriously that the Stanzas of Dzyan, etc., might actually have something to do with Buddhism. And he started finding things. No, HPB is not infallible about Buddhism, but at least the Stanzas start with trying to use the Three Natures of Yogacara. It is a bit overly-mystified by adding Chinese, but, this was also representative of her era, that there were similar Sino-Tibetan commentaries sort of being handmade and passed around. It is in her magazine articles where she says that she is a follower of "Cinnamasta tantrikas". This is easy to find in IWS. It is more doctrinally-complete in Sadhanamala.

    It is not popular in Tibet.

    It is, however, automatically set up by studying the Chakrasamvara mantras and principles. She may be similar to "decapitated goddess" such as Renuka, but, she is much more the verb, "the rite of decapitation done by Vajrayogini". And in this sense it must almost certainly be traced to Laksminkara. Perhaps even as her merging with Lankesvari.

    I am not sure that Cinnamasta even "is" a tantra; she is a few "tantric sadhanas".



    Nagarjuna's Citta Visuddhi is the one from Sakyamitra. If Aryadeva was following this, how would it work? He has recently been published in a larger work called a Discourse:



    Aryadeva's Cittavisuddhi-prakarana is very specific in saying that the conception of sunyata is complete only with a proper understanding of the inessentialness of the phenomenal world and possible only by the deconstruction of the notion of a self that eternally exists as the basis of human experience.

    Madhyamika envisages that the conception of sunyata can be interpreted as the proper understanding of the insubstantial nature of object of the world (dharma-nairatmya) and the insubstantial nature of the subjective self which perceives such objects of the world (dharma-nairatmya) and the insubstantial nature of the subjective self which perceives such objects of the world (pudgala-nairatmya).

    The dialectics advanced by the Madhyamika is efficient in deconstructing the substantiality of the phenomenal world of objects, but that is effectively possible only after reconstructing the notion of a substantive self using Tantric spiritual practices. The sunyata as the conception of dharma-nairatmya is achieved through reconstructing the substantive notion of the phenomenal world using dialectics, while it as the conception of pudgala-nairatmya is achieved using Tantric spiritual practices.



    They have inserted a "substantive self", by, apparently, stealing it from "phenomena". It, obviously, is not the "subjective self". Tantric practices lead to Dissolution. However, until you add a few more Maitreya-isms, you have not said anything much I would not get from Nath or other sources. I am going to guess that Aryadeva goes on about Citta pretty closely to the way Maitreya does.



    Asanga and Maitreya added something to the more basic Sapta Visuddhi:


    It should be noted that the seven stages of purification form the basis of the book called the “Path of Purification” or “Visuddhimagga” written by the Indian Buddhist scholar and commentator Venerable Buddhaghosa. It was written in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) during the 5th century AD and has been described as the most important text of the Theravada Buddhism other than the Pali canon (tripitaka).


    Sevenfold Purification is a selective mining of Pali sources, and it is likely that in Ceylon, Mahavihara was trying to improve its status versus Abhayagiri, and so this selection and method became the focus. It does not stand out in similar views, such as the Vimuttimagga. That one extends to nine, up to the purification of liberation. So it is evident those seven are incomplete. The paper indicates it would simply remain on what he would call the Sravaka or Hinayana Path:


    Asaṅga (ca. 300-350)in his Yogācārabhūmi-śāstra (瑜伽師地論) also discusses the seven kinds of purification (七種清淨) to be gradually practiced for the procurement of the uncreated ultimate nirvāṇa (為得無造究竟涅槃).

    In these sources the seventh purification is described as 行斷知 [智] 見淨, which literally means "the purification by knowledge and vision for elimination or cessation".

    It may be interesting to know that the seventh purification by knowledge and vision is supposed to mean for the elimination or cessation (行斷), perhaps, of all forms of defilement that become hindrances for the attainment of nirvāṇa.



    Asanga was keenly sensitive to the shiftiness of language. Part of his reasoning is that language could be compressed or expanded, such as there could be two to ten truths, depending on the amount of explanation needed. And then we would find language, per se, as only a tool in the Two Truths:


    Such strings of synonyms for paramārtha are common occurrences in Asaṅga’s texts, perhaps the best known example
    being the synonyms (paryāya) for śūnyatā in Madhyānta-vibhāga 1:15:


    tathatā bhūtakotiśca-animittam paramārthatā | dharmadhātuśca paryāyaśūnyatāḥ samāsataḥ

    (“In sum, the synonyms for emptiness are tathatā, the limits of reality [bhūtakoṭi], animitta, paramārthatā, and dharmadhātu.”)

    Pre-figuring Dignāga’s defnition of perception as thoroughly excluding all forms of language and conceptualization (kalpanāpoḍha), Asaṅga here offers the same exclusions to define paramārtha-sat, adding prapañca, prajñapti, and language as a whole to the list of exclusions.


    Asanga has accepted Hinayana as valid, but recommended certain advancements, and then the major basis of his explanations becomes Dignaga's Pramana. If so, we would tend to think that Dignaga is reinforcing Yogacara, and not necessarily refuting it by an eleventh-century claim about certain words. Obviously no process of language is the goal, neither is:


    Prajñapti (प्रज्ञप्ति) refers to “thought construction” or “mental images”, according to the The Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra chapter 3.—“the triple world is no more than thought-construction (prajñapti), there is no reality in its self-nature; by means of this thought-constructed reality, logicians go on discriminating. Individual form, reality, thought-construction, — these are [only] a mental disturbance; transcending all this, my sons will walk where there is no discrimination”.

    It is told by the Blessed One, again, that [true] knowledge is gained independent of any object supporting it, and whatever statements one makes about it are no more than thought-construction, and that as this thought-construction is not to be seized as real, the seizing act of the seizer itself ceases, and when there is thus no seizing, knowledge which is known as discrimination no more evolves.



    For a quick recap, there is the view of Candrakirti et. seq. as upheld by Pa tsa lotsawa (ca. 1055-1145):


    ...his translation of the two major works of CANDRAKĪRTI, the PRASANNAPADĀ and the MADHYAMAKĀVATĀRA, as well as ĀRYADEVA's CATUḤsATAKA and Candrakīrti's commentary on it.

    Basing himself at the RA MO CHE temple in LHA SA, he taught Madhyamaka and revised earlier translations of Madhyamaka texts. He thus played a major role in introducing what came to be known as *PRĀSAnGIKA into Tibet and providing the texts upon which the distinction between Prāsangika and *SVĀTANTRIKA could be made. Those terms were not names of branches of Madhyamaka school in India; rather, those designations were coined in Tibet, and Spa tshab may have been the first to use the term *Prāsangika (thal 'gyur pa). He is credited by Tibetan historians as making the *Prāsangika perspective, that is, the perspective of Candrakīrti, the prevailing interpretation of the works of Nāgārjuna and Āryadeva in Tibet.

    Comparatively, among the Jana Panditas, Mahajana worked on Heart Sutra, Maitreya's DDV, Jambhala, Chakrasamvara, and even Arya Tara Bhattarika Mayajala.


    The reason we doubt Aryadeva is as represented is because, from another resource, Aryadeva was very prolific. Atisa translated a whole single one of his works, and Candrakirti commented perhaps two. Vanaratna and Rinchen Zangpo and Gayadhara did more. Overall he has maybe two pieces on Guhyasamaja, but he also has a couple on Catuspitha Tantra, and other works such as:


    nairAtmApaJcadazadevIstotra

    nirvikalpaprakaraNa

    pradIpoddyotana-nAma-TIkA

    jJAnezvarIsAdhana


    The last (Jnanesvari) obviously reflects to Catuspitha, but Nairatma does not come from the older tantras just mentioned. He is saying "Pancha Dasa devi", i. e. fifteen goddess mandala.


    That is from the Peking archive, a little confusing as to even who wrote Pradipoddyotana (PU). No mention of Aryadeva or the fact that Bhavya essentially refutes Candrakirti on a page with related titles:


    Candrakirti’s ‘Brightening Lamp’ (Pradipoddyotana) commentary and the extensive sub-commentary by Bhavyakirti.

    Bhavyakirti. Pradipoddyotanabhisamdhi-prakasika-nama-vyakhya-tika.


    But as in Genesis, we also find the title:


    ‘Guhyasamajatantrapradipoddyotanatika Satkotivyakhya of Acarya Candrakirti



    David Reigle on Sat Koti:


    These are found in the Jnana-vajra-samuccaya, one of the so-called expanatory tantras to the Guhyasamajatantra, and are explained in Candrakirti's Pradipoddyotana commentary on the Guhyasamaja-tantra. The Jnanavajra-samuccaya has not yet been recovered in Sanskrit, and is available only in its Tibetan translation. The
    Pradipoddyotana has been published in Sanskrit as edited by Chintaharan Chakravarti in 1984 in the Tibetan
    Sanskrit Works Series, no. 25 (Patna: Kashi Prasad Jayaswal Research Institute). However, as everyone who has
    used this edition knows, it is quite faulty, because it was not checked with the Tibetan translation during editing.


    His "Seven Ornaments" and "Six Kinds" are from explanatory tantras we have never seen. And, of course, he personally is the main subject in Vajra Hermeneutics, where they apparently need a second tantric Aryadeva for PU. Michael Broido has suggested this speculative chronological order for the sub-commentators: Aryadeva>Bhavyakirti>Kumara>Karunasnpada.

    Kumara cites the CMP on nayatharutasabda "but the same observation is made in [Aryadeva's] Pradipoddyotana-nama-tika".

    Aryadeva does not seem to know the Dhvanyaloka, while Bhavyakirti certainly knows it, and so should be the latter....

    While interesting, this is almost certainly wrong since the PU does itself cite the CMP, whose author Aryadeva could not be the same as the author of the sub-commentary on the PU.

    *Madhyamakaprajnavatara was authored and translated by one Candrakirti and 'Gos Khug-pa-lHas btsas, the reviser of the PU, in the eleventh century. Clearly, 'Gos did not think he was working with the alchemically preserved Candrakirti, author of the Prasannapada or the Pradipoddyotana.



    Oh, two tantric Candrakirtis as well? I am not sure. Here is a bundle of Ruegg on Madhyamaka texts ending on Ratnakarasanti.



    Some sources claim that Dignaga did not accept Svasamvedana, but further looks show that he did, such as Chan 2001:


    Chapter three establishes the framework of thematizing svasaṃvedana through the efforts of Dignāga. The definitions of self-cognition found by Dignāga become the central theme of later Vijn͂ānavāda Buddhism.


    And, he got this from the Three Natures and Two Truths in Yogacara:


    Sthiramati’s Commentary on the Thirty Verses (Triṃśikābhāṣya [TriṃB], Sems tsam shi 146b–171b), explains “ultimate” (paramārtha) here as referring to “’ world-transcending knowledge’ (lokottara-nirvikalpa-jñāna) in that there is nothing that surpasses it. Since it is the object of [the transcendent knowledge], it is the ultimate. It is even like the space in having the same taste everywhere. It is the perfect nature, which is stainless and unchangeable. Therefore, it is known as the ‘ultimate.’”

    So, the perfect nature—nondual mind, i.e., emptiness (śūnyatā) of the subject-object duality—is the ultimate reality of the Yogācāra conception.



    While that is true, we would simply loop back to Asanga; "emptiness" may be Ultimate, like a static condition, such as gravity. Its synonyms, such as Tathata and Dharmadhatu, are much more like the "how to" enter the Third or Ultimate Nature. It is only "empty" of duality and the other things it is not, such as false imagination. If it was not anything, it would not be other than the highest Dhyanas, such as "infinite nothingness of nothingness", which would not be Mahayana, and can theoretically at least be realized by animals.

    The basic steady state of Sunyata is not really different than the Atma of Raja Yoga. Maitreya says so. What is different about the Bodhisattva is the motive and intent, and the meditations of Dissolution into Emptiness, and Perfect Re-arising, continued through Unmatta Vrata into post-meditation.


    The philosophies and their technical terms are pretty difficult, and never did much for me in terms of changing the mundane state. Mahayana should actually be very directly about demolishing mundane consciousness. It does not only mean that you might experience blank, unformed Akash, although that would be part of it.



    Maitreya very significantly drew from Srimala Devi Sutra, the principles:


    This Dharmakāya, when viewed as intrinsically free from spiritual ignorance, is said to constitute eternity, bliss, the self, and purity in their perfect state.

    The scripture, which was extremely influential by way of clarification of the Tathagātagarbha view of Śūnyatā, insists that the ultimately correct understanding of emptiness is that the Tathāgatagarbha is empty of all knowledge that is not liberation, whereas, in contrast, the qualities which characterise a Buddha are not empty of inconceivable virtues. An alternative title offered by the Buddha for this sutra expresses this idea of an ultimate meaning to the emptiness doctrine: "The True Revelation of the Buddha's Intention when Teaching Emptiness."

    Most likely:


    ...the Mahāsāṃghikas of the Āndhra region were responsible for the inception of the Buddha-nature doctrine. In the 6th century CE, Paramārtha wrote that the Mahāsāṃghikas revere the sūtras that teach the Buddha-nature doctrine.


    Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, and Candrakirti therefor appear in a description of the Caitikas:


    The Caitikas proliferated throughout the mountains of South India, from which they derived their name. In Pali writings, members of this sect and its offshoots were generally referred to as the Andhakas, meaning "of Coastal Andhra".

    For the Mahāsāṃghika branch of Buddhism, the ultimate meaning of the Buddha's teachings was "beyond words", and words were merely a conventional exposition of the Dharma. The Theravāda Mahāviharavasins, in contrast, argued that literal interpretations of the Buddha's teachings were best.


    Well, yes, languages are only a conventional referent. The way in which there can be seemingly-new Sutras, and tantric revelations and so forth, is because these are acceptable if they are Buddha Vacana or "Buddha words". That does not mean they have to be direct quotes from Gautama, which, even for the Theravadins, would be argued that nothing was written during his lifetime. So any type of "gospel" is arguably conjecture, in fact most of it is probably removed from his personal existence by 2-300 years. But the personal Buddha Vacana means determining what statements have the "quality of Buddha speech". And people could utter it by accident. So when we get to philosophies and those views which are going to shape reality in meditation, then if it is based on what Maitreya said, that means that for his time, he had the highest quality explanation about Samadhi. He does not quote Buddha at all, or Manjushri, etc., I do not think he really appeals to authority. Especially in RGV he just says what is important.

    Future authors would be entitled to use synonyms, metaphors, and extensive commentaries, as long as they pass the bar of parameters, then you can add things like "and this mantra of Tara helps", and so on. But if it becomes clouded with theories, such as a person cannot perceive Ultimate Reality, or, this reality is only a negation, or a tiny sample is practically Complete Enlightenment, those things just do not seem qualified to participate.



    Asanga definitely dealt with a kind of "heat yoga", which simply was not as advanced in vocabulary and details as what would become called tantric Generation Stage. From Gethin's comprehensive study of Satipatthanas, Seven Sets of Mindfulness or Awakening in Pali and Sanskrit, concerning "Endeavor or Abandonment":


    This explanation occurs within the context of a
    discussion of the four summa-ppadhanas as constituents of the transcendent
    mind (lokuttara-citta). The point seems to be that in this context samma-ppadhina is to be understood as in some sense the strength or application of the
    mind that forms the basis which actually enables the mind to give up the
    kilesas.

    The treatises of the northern tradition generally understand the samyak-prahanus as characterizing a stage on the path somewhat prior to the arising of the
    transcendent path, namely the stage of usma-gata, or 'sparks'. Asanga states
    that the fruit of the development (bhavana-phala) of the samyak-prahanas/-pradhanas is the complete abandoning of dharmas opposed (vipaksa) to skilful
    dharmas, and the obtaining and growth of dharmas that counteract (pratipaksa) unskilful dharmas. The stage of usma-gata is the first of the four states
    partaking of penetration (nirvedha-bhagiya) and signals the entrance into the
    path of application (prayoga-marga). Clearly it is seen as marking a significant
    shift in level for the practitioner. The characterization of this stage as abandoning-though not in the absolute sense of the transcendent path-the grosser
    obstacles and impediments to the development of full wisdom is not entirely
    inappropriate.



    Yes, roughly correct, if you do basic heat yoga, it will get rid of gross impediments, but this is universal to any yoga, not just Buddhist. One has to "expand" Asanga's stages, and then it works.

    Curiously, even Vasubandhu made a scheme showing the Jewels of Enlightenment last, whereas:

    sGam.po.pa preserves a slightly
    different tradition for which I have been unable to find an Indian source that
    gives full details, though the Madhyantavibhaga-bhasya all but does so.

    (It omits the beginning, but shows the Jewels of Enlightenment as producing the Noble Eightfold Path).




    From the Vietnamese Dictionary on Prayoga Marga:


    ...the meditator is preparing for the first
    supramundane path, the “path of seeing” (darsanamarga), which begins with direct perception of
    emptiness (sunyata). There are four levels of the
    path of preparation: Heat (usma-gata); in the first
    stage the meditator has a direct, non-conceptual
    awareness of suchness (Tathata), which said to
    burn away false conceptuality. The second stage
    is the peak (murdhan). "Peak” marks a point at
    which the “virtuous roots” (kusala-mula) that one
    previously cultivated will not decrease or be lost,
    and one progresses in understanding of suchness.
    The third stage is Patience (ksanti). “At the level
    of “patience” the meditator becomes increasingly
    familiar with the concept of emptiness and
    overcomes fear with respect to it. From this point
    onward one will never again be reborn in the
    lower destinies (gati) of hell beings, hungry
    ghosts, or animals due to the force of afflicted
    actions and attitudes. The last stage is the supreme
    mundane qualities (laukikagra-dharma). Supreme
    mundane qualities refer to the fact that the
    meditator actualizes the highest qualities that are
    possible within cyclic existence, and at the same
    time prepares for direct realization of emptiness,
    which is a supramundane attainment.


    So, again, you do get something of Tathata, even in this area which is more like Generation Stage. It covers only the first few Bodhisattva Stages.



    Vasubandhu did something weird which seems to be more popular, but, Gampo's "strange" reference is simply Maitreya on Madhyamaka:


    Distinguishing the Middle from Extremes (Madhyantavibhaga) is one of five great treatises ascribed to Maitreya, Shakyamuni Buddha’s Regent and the next Buddha to appear in this Fortunate Eon. Maitreya, it is said, transmitted these teachings to the great Bodhisattva Asanga in the heavenly realm of Tusita. Distinguishing the Middle from Extremes applies the principles of the three natures (trisvabhava, ngo bo nyid gsum) to explain things both as they seem to be, and as they actually are. Unraveling the nature of the ground, the path and the fruition as discovered by means of the Buddhist vehicles for spiritual transformation, Distinguishing the Middle from Extremes is cherished as an inexhaustible treasure of profound and vast Dharma.


    Having two Tibetan commentaries, in the first of which:


    ...all annotations are from the commentary by the 4th century master, Vasubandhu.



    A perhaps improved version clarifies the commentarial layering as a Sastra:


    Madhyanta-vibhaga-sastra contains the Karika-s of Maitreya, Bhasya of Vasubandhu and Tika of Sthirmati.

    In the introduction the editor has discussed some very interesting textual problems and the full text of the karika-s is separately given in an appendix.


    Not terribly surprised about that. And we can probably get an improvement to this from an Australian thesis, Stanley 1988:

    It includes the verses (karika) of Maitreya/Asanga, commentary
    (bhasya) of Vasubandhu and sub-commentary (tika) of Sthiramati.


    Even the contents show the Eightfold Path as subsequent to the Jewels of Enlightenment.

    Scrolling back up, we see that this work is Maitreya's original explanation of Emptiness--Sunyata. Vasubandhu was converted into this, and his writings, to me at least, are nowhere near as good. Each of his main disciples excelled him at something, such as Sthiramati:

    mastery of abhidharma.


    I think Vasubandhu may have been helpful in a few places, by recording some aspects of the developing sadhana system. As a commentator on the subjects, he does not seem to do that great, so Sthiramati in that sense is more important. So is Dignaga. Maitreya also gives his take on Prajnaparamita in Abhisamayalankara, which at that link is shown to have stacks of commentaries. Ruegg's Arya and Bhadanta Vimuktisena starts right off with the Gotra, from Vasubandhu's disciple who excelled at Prajnaparamita. After them, the "public system" was mainly crafted by Haribhadra, and then if we keep going, Ratnakarasanti attempts to refute this, twice. First thought is that it is just a fresh look at Maitreya and the two Vimuktisenas.


    After Vasubandhu's disciples, things get slippery if not changed, and by the time there is Haribhadra, then the developments are elsewhere, in tantric lines. If Candrakirti also alters this at an early stage, then, likewise, he is soon countered by Bhavyakirti:


    A is Bhagavan Akshobhya; O is Bhagavan Amitabha and Ma is Mahavairocana.


    Wayman found another piece of his commentary on wrathfuls and Kila as the nature of Hayagriva.



    Also, Laksmi, Bhavyakirti, and Naro include Body Isolation in Pranayama, i. e. Generation Stage, a view that is not shared by all.


    If we think of Arya lineage as meaning Aryadeva, having Vajra Rosary and CMP as major sources, that seems fine because they are Yogacara works. His lineage, perhaps, was only transmitted to Candrakirti, but it or its materials were received by, for example, Bhavyakirti, Naro, and Ratnavajra. And of course they are all teaching Valid Cognition of Luminous Suchness. This is like Mahamudra at a Sutra level. It should be straightforward and almost superficial. Similarly to how Candragomin defeated "a" Candrakirti in the 600s, i. e. the upholder of Buddhapalita's view, who did, evidently, come up with "a" prasanga. The original rival, Bhavaviveka, seems to use some of the first "Lamp" titles:


    The Wisdom Lamp: A Commentary on the Root Verses on the Wisdom of the Middle Way (Skt. Prajñā-pradīpa-mūla-madhyamaka-vṛtti)


    Another one of his works is actually quoted by Atisa, which would seem to water down the fact they are on different sides of the fence.

    This 2017 Grant report shows us a massive number of articles which are built into a Vikramasila database. It does not give anything except new stuff to look for. Upon looking, we can find the abstract:


    Sajjana and Mahajana, Yogacara exegetes


    and a few supporting pages in a 2021 article.


    Then speaking of Sajjana, we can find his RGV Upadesa, called Pith:

    One of only two extant Sanskrit texts that comment on the Uttaratantra...

    This is the essential source text for all lineages of Uttaratantra commentary in Tibet.

    He says that, in general, those who gradually purify the tathāgata heart progress through the paths of accumulation, preparation, seeing, and familiarization (verse 6). However, the actual path in terms of the unfolding of the naturally abiding disposition begins only with the path of seeing (verse 10), when the tathāgata heart is directly seen for the first time.


    That can be compared to Asanga, and then we are told the second Sanskrit commentary is:


    Vairocanarakṣita's Mahāyanottaratantraṭippaṇī


    Of course there is also Asanga's Vyakhya.


    Due to the odd nature of his titles, the 600 page thesis with multiple versions and transmissions and so forth is Kano 2006:


    rNgog Blo-ldan-shes-rab's Summary of the Ratnagotravibhāga: The First Tibetan Commentary on a Crucial Source for the Buddha-Nature Doctrine


    At first sight, you would think it is about Ngok, but that is by way of including both Indian commentaries, part of the Dharani Isvara Raja Sutra, six Tibetan RGVs, and so on. Vairocanaraksita is thought not to be the early Lotsawa Vairocana, nor the transmitter of Dohas to H. H. First Karmapa, but:


    an 11th century scholar from Vikramaśīla.


    This less-famous one however got to Ngor monastery Four Maitreya Yogacara books.

    There is a recent examination of him commenting Vasubandhu, and Maitreya's DDV.


    The Vikramasila database is actually up in a Beta, slightly awkward and incomplete. You can at least link to something about Sajjana, Bhavyakirti, etc., and some of Kano's recent findings are in there. Despite the unfortunate guess that Maitreya is not the author of RGV, we also find him in a tantric commentary:


    A very brief description of Maitreya can be found in the Vajrāmṛtamahātantrarājaṭīkā by Śrībhānu...


    So far it is very pedantic, like it can tell us VKN is a Sutra. We want to be more didactic, as in how VKN more or less continues Visuddhimagga's abhidharma, or why one of the Bhavyakirtis is pivotal even if there were two by that name. In other words, it would be better to prioritize by subject. David Reigle does something like this. Ironically, what got him started--one of the Mahatmas apparently quoting RGV--did not bear out to be the necessary explanation. But he added a lot of legwork into what is being discussed.

    84000 has lackluster translations, often no originals; SBDRC has no translations; Himalayan Art Resources half works as I am trying to describe, but tends to overly-quote Tibetanisms and thereby provides questionable ideas in some cases. Buddha Nature is an attempt at translation, and may have Sanskrit mistakes. They don't just let me combine all these websites and re-arrange Kano's titles. But they are the ones who can access microfilms, etc., and so we have to rely on their total bombardment of whatever they happened to call it.

    What I have that they do not is several years' experience in actually doing this Yoga which leads to Melting and Prabhasvara, just without the superior versions of teachings and commentaries from India. When narrowed to Maitreya and those who closely represent him, Mahayana Buddhism truncates into a limited range of accurate sources.

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    Default Re: Nirakara and Shentong Buddhism, Tara, Sadhanas, Sanskrit culture

    Sutra Nagarjuna and the Sutras







    More fallout. This makes it all a little stranger.

    We are usually told that as a "branch" of Mahayana, Tathagatagarbha or Sugatagarbha is a genre, which may have different sets of representatives (not a firm canon). RGV comments many of them simultaneously; Dharani Isvara Raja is there, and even Angulimaliya. The genre is from Andhra, Nagarjuna's territory.


    Such Sutras have anything from a mention of, to an extended teaching on, Tathagatagarbha, which is not seen in all, or even most, Mahayana Sutras. Even if we look at Zen, they will stumble in to the Tri-yana doctrine with what they feel a need to capitalize. Otherwise this outlook is similar to what we find:





    Quote The virtue-replete “Tathagatagarbha” is in fact no less than the Buddha-generating Potency itself – the state of spiritual Awake-ness or Knowing-ness (“Bodhi” or “Buddha-jnana”) concealed within the deeps of each person’s and each creature’s profoundest mind. A similar teaching can be found in the Tibetan Buddhist ‘Dzogchen’ scriptures.

    It is vital to understand from the outset that the doctrine of the Buddha Nature is overwhelmingly presented by the Buddha in the core Tathagatagarbha sutras as definitive and absolute truth (not as an elementary, provisional or “relatively true” teaching).

    The Tathagatagarbha is viewed by these sutras as supreme, virtue-filled, totally pure and immutable spiritual Reality. Contrary to a mass of disinformation circulating on the Internet and elsewhere on this subject, the Tathagatagarbha is NOT simply Emptiness (devoid of all positive qualities), or merely a more attractive way of speaking about Emptiness (again construed in a purely negative sense), or just conditioned chains of onward-flowing “dependent origination”.

    The key Tathagatagarbha sutras make it abundantly clear that in its ultimate nature the Buddha Matrix is an unconditioned, changeless, virtuous, eternal, ineffable, spiritual Essence unshackled by the confines of time, place and process. And when it is termed “the Self” (as in the “Mahaparinirvana Sutra”), that does NOT refer to the mutable, conditioned, worldly ego (as some Tathagatagarbha commentators, who author essays on the “significance” of the Tathagatagarbha doctrine, misleadingly imply), but equates with the eternal, changeless Self of Buddha (found in all beings), which is one with Great Nirvana (according to the Buddha himself in the “Mahaparinirvana Sutra”).

    The Tathagatagarbha is nowhere taught by the Buddha to be a mere ruse without genuine truth behind it, or to be merely some form of fictitious, purely metaphorical, concessionary phantasm or doctrinal crutch for spiritually retarded or immature students, or “for the masses at a given time” – as certain writers on Buddhism, out of whatever motive, are happy to have people erroneously believe. The very opposite of this is the case.

    This Buddha-Garbha (Buddha Matrix or Essence) is revealed by the Buddha to his ADVANCED students as the unchanging and peaceful Buddhic Quintessence within each being (the “svabhava” or “atman” – the infinite, ego-less, unitary “Soul” of the Buddha), but which also actively functions as the seed of all positive spiritual qualities and underlies the thirst for Nirvana, and which indeed makes the obtention of Nirvana possible (since Nirvana, through the Tathagatagarbha, is already present within us).


    So again, that is their choice, to say self, nature, essence, etc., where it would be more accurate to cite "Atma" as used in certain spots, or what is a Garbha, or the many synonyms of Dhatu, which is a bit more like the meditative process which reveals Bodhi. Only those beings which purify and transform the Dhatu are going to get Bodhi, and so if one had to concede a technical meaning that anyone *could* do it, the Gotra is those beings who *actually* do it, and therefor are the only ones who "have" Dhatu or Tathagatagarbha.

    There is no need to doubt the potency, if even at the most basic level, we would say love is accessible in infinitely increasing supply, that still only happens if you turn to it and ask it. Does little for someone who is depleted or resistant, but still true.




    Samdhinirmocana Sutra has usually been called the "first Yogacara Sutra", ca. 150, but it is also a Tathagatagarbha Sutra.

    A link describing the contents also says:


    Āryasaṃdhi­nirmocanabhāṣya (Wyl. dgongs pa nges par ’grel pa’i rnam par bshad pa) by Asanga (more of a synopsis)

    The first four chapters on the five characteristics of the ultimate as defined in the Prajñaparamita sutras represent a teaching on the ground, namely, true reality (tathatā) as it is.

    In addition to the various Kangyur editions, the sutra is also quoted in full in the Vinishcaya­sam­grahani [by Asanga] of the Yogacarabhumi.


    Even the Wiki synopsis is not bad, showing that in Maitreya's meditation chapter:


    ...vipaśyanā is the understanding of the true nature of things, which refers to the suchness (Tathātā).


    on Nirakara:


    The Buddha is then asked by Maitreya how one cultivates meditation by abandoning various mental images (or 'signs'). The Buddha explains that when one reflects on "true suchness", one abandons "imagines of doctrine and images of meaning," since true suchness has no image.


    Yet you do use an Object or Image, and remove it by a process. This is furthered in the second Indian commentary, by Jnanagarbha (which is only on the Maitreya chapter), along the lines of Yogacara, Bhavaviveka, and Dharmakirti, who:


    ...defends the role of conceptual thinking and reasoning against those who would eliminate all conceptual thinking and theorizing (i.e. Candrakīrti). However, like other Madhyamikas, the goal of his project is a form of awareness which is free from all concepts, though one which, according to Jñānagarbha, is reachable through conceptual thought. Jñānagarbha held that even though language and reasoning is based on a cause and effect ontology which is ultimately empty and unreal, it can still lead towards the ultimate truth, through a logical analysis which realizes the untenable assumptions of reason and causality itself.


    So on the one hand, the teaching admits language and thought, etc., as something to be regulated and adjusted. It does not really say "stop all thinking from this moment going forward and you are a Buddha". It has explained a meditation that is not done by Sravakas. Then it is already used by Asanga in his own name, in more systemic or exoteric works, so there is less need for it to feature in RGV.


    From a page with the different Tibetan and Chinese understandings of Garbha:


    In East Asia, the Sanskrit word was translated as the more neutral Foxing (Fo-hsing), which gave us the English “Buddha-nature.”

    In China, where reality was already apprehended as phenomenal, rather than substantial, no such anxiety was present, and the Tathagata-garbha “often came to be seen as a pre-existent reality waiting to be uncovered” (Harvey).


    That is contra- the Indo-Tibetan "seed = potential". In the far East, it does metamorphose to "all beings" and "all beings are" and then this includes the non-sentient environmental phenomena. So yes that is extrapolated and externalized in a way that does not match the original.

    Worse still:

    Asanga and Vasubandhu, who founded the Yogacara school, were born and lived in Gandhara in the 4th century. Though geographically apart from each other, the Yogacara school in Gandhara, and the Tathagata-garbha school in Andhra appear to have developed in dialogue with each other, to further strengthen the Madhyamakas’ doctrine of sunyata (emptiness). In both cases, the concept of a deeper luminous layer of consciousness was called upon to provide a better ground for emptiness...


    Except Yogacara = Tathagatagarbha from Samdhinirmocana, and Asanga went to Ayodhya, probably ca. 500. There was a pre-standing dialogue between the provinces for centuries anyway. He physically went much closer and evaluated what appear to be mostly Andhra scriptures. The value of China is that they do have good records about when things were translated, which for so-called Mahayana Sutras, begins with Lokasema ca. 180 bringing 8,000 Line Prajnaparamita from Gandhara. By the time of Kumarajiva, ca. 400, the basket is much larger, having the larger Prajnaparamita recensions, but even he does not have Samdhinirmocana, etc.


    By way of explanation, even Lamotte in Nagarjuna's Prajnaparamita uses:


    Cf. Samdhinirmocana, p. 28: paramartha, tathata, dharmata,
    dharmadhatu, bhutakoti, vijnaptimntra, visuddhilambana, svabhavanihsvabhavata, dharmanairatmya, sunyata...


    and of Nagarjuna:


    Long chon 'dragon tree'...from the south, the country of Andhra, his influence extended as far as the north-west
    of India. L. de La Vallee Poussin has long believed that this school is nihilistic and
    denies the absolute; on the other hand, Th. Stcherbatsaky was of the opinion that Nagarjuna denied
    appearance only in order to affirm Being.


    as the Zen site says:


    The Tathagatagarbha is on occasion called by the Buddha the True Self (“satya-atman”) or the Buddha-Principle (“Buddha-dhatu”), and it is indestructible. It knows no death, only life eternal. Indeed, it is the “life-principle” (“jivaka”) itself, according to the Tibetan version of the “Mahaparinirvana Sutra”.


    With this last, Wiki notes multiple versions such as:


    Faxian's states some will never attain Buddhahood.


    and, knowing the importance of Stupa especially as relevant to Yaksas:


    ...the origins of Mahayana Buddhism and the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra are entwined.

    ...these texts were first circulated in South India and they then gradually propagated up to the northwest, with Kashmir being the other major center. The Aṅgulimālīya Sūtra gives a more detailed account by mentioning the points of distribution as including South India, the Vindhya Range, Bharuch, and Kashmir.

    The Śātavāhana rulers gave rich patronage to Buddhism, and were involved with the development of the cave temples at Karla and Ajaṇṭā, and also with the Great Amarāvati Stupa.


    Karla cave stupa, Maharastra:







    They, of course, are not recognizing that Mahamayuri Sutra, and Lankesvari and Ekajati, also migrated from south India to Kashmir, perhaps not in the very earliest Sutras, but by the 400s. But this is a dharani system as is used in Yogacara--this is the kind of thing that Vasubandhu explains, and I had to dig really deep for that, since it is not in the more common Thirty Verses.

    Examining the distribution, we might think that Asanga moved Yogacara to Bihar/Nalanda, and then it mainly seems to stick with Bhavaviveka, Dignaga, Dharmakirti, and Candragomin.

    At that point, does one need Haribhadra or Santaraksita or anyone else to re-work it? Probably not; instead, there are the yogic/tantric sadhanas as given by Saraha and Humkara, which most likely converge in Luipa. After Krishnacharya, there is nothing really left to add to this either. We might say Ratnakarasanti and Maitri, etc., were "reversionists" or "preservationists". I don't think they have any "new interpretation" and have tried to un-change Yogacara. But in their relatively late time, they are able to explain why it is the same in Sarma Tantras.


    The origins of Mahayana, Yogacara, and Tathagatagarbha are practically identical. It is not from a person or certain people, because Sutras do not have authors. We cannot identity the author(s) of Samdhinirmocana and take them to task. We can only decide for ourselves if that Sutra has the quality of Buddha Speech. Once we do, then we realize Maitreya comments the whole genre, and only a few others really do justice to him. It may be done similarly in Sutrasamuccaya, a compendium of quotations attributed to Nagarjuna by Candrakirti, but unlikely to be made by him. It contains all the sizes of Prajnaparamita, as well as:


    Aksayamati-nirdesa-sutra

    Dharani-svararaja-pariprccha

    Lankavatara-sutra

    Srimalasimhanada-sutra



    So that would appear to be Asanga, plus a few Tathagatagarbha Sutras used by Maitreya.

    Comparatively, the oldest known piece of a Prajnaparamita manuscript, is carbon-dated to ca. year 75, in Karosthi--Arapacana. Prajnaparamita is a genre, the fragment being supposed to derive from something more primordial, later followed by texts like Vajraccedika, up to 25,000 lines, which:


    ...there are numerous Indian commentaries on this text, including commentaries by Vimuktisena, Haribhadra, Smṛtijñānakīrti, and Ratnakarashanti. The sutra also survives in the original Sanskrit, which was found in Gilgit.


    When in 260 AD, the Chinese monk Zhu Shixing chose to go to Khotan in an attempt to find original Sanskrit sūtras, he succeeded in locating the Sanskrit Prajñāpāramitā in 25,000 verses, and tried to send it to China. In Khotan, however, there were numerous Hīnayānists who attempted to prevent it because they regarded the text as heterodox.

    probably based from the earlier:


    ...the first Chinese translation of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā by Lokakṣema (ca. 179 CE) whose source text is assumed to be in the Gāndhārī language.


    As an instance of "genre, loose canon":


    An Indian commentary on the Mahāyānasaṃgraha, entitled Vivṛtaguhyārthapiṇḍavyākhyā (A Condensed Explanation of the Revealed Secret Meaning, Derge No. 4052), lists eight Prajñāpāramitā sūtras which were "taught to bodhisattvas" and are seen as superior (from the Sravakayana sutras) because they are superior "in eliminating conceptually imaged forms".


    Well, that is kind of what we just said on forms/objects/images.



    Among the many, we note the following commentaries:


    Abhisamayālaṅkāra (Ornament of clear realization), the central Prajñāpāramitā shastra in the Tibetan tradition. It is traditionally attributed as a revelation from the Bodhisattva Maitreya to the scholar Asanga...There is also another Indian commentary to the AA by Vimuktisena.

    Dignāga's Prajnaparamitarthasamgraha-karika.

    Ratnākaraśānti's Prajñāpāramitopadeśa.



    So far, however, the relation to Nagarjuna is only found ca. 400 from the colophon of Kumarajiva's 25,000 Lines, which might be a little weird for the southern Nagarjuna since:


    ...the Abhidharma and Vinaya material found in this text coincides with that of the north Indian Sarvāstivāda tradition. This is a widely accepted view among modern scholars.

    ...the Treatise cites, at length or in extracts, about a hundred sūtras of the Lesser Vehicle; the majority are borrowed from the Āgama collections. It also cites various Mahayana sutras, such as the Lotus Sutra and the Vimalakirti Sutra, the Dasabhumika Sutra, Gandavyuha Sutra, as well as various Jataka stories and Avadana literature.

    The sutra also survives in the original Sanskrit, which was found in Gilgit.

    However, if we take it that 8,000 Lines was composed before 25,000, prior to the fragment's discovery:


    They believe that the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra originated amongst the southern Mahāsāṃghika schools of the Āndhra region, along the Kṛṣṇa River. These Mahāsāṃghikas had two famous monasteries near Amarāvati Stupa and Dhānyakataka, which gave their names to the Pūrvaśaila and Aparaśaila schools. Each of these schools had a copy of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra in Prakrit. Guang Xing also assesses the view of the Buddha given in the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra as being that of the Mahāsāṃghikas.

    Comparison with the standard Sanskrit text shows that it is also likely to be a translation from Gāndhāri as it expands on many phrases and provides glosses for words that are not present in the Gāndhārī. This points to the text being composed in Gāndhārī...


    And the next two surviving 8,000 Lines mentioned are:


    c. 140 CE — Kharoṣṭhī manuscript from the Bajaur Collection. This manuscript is also in the Gāndhārī language and was composed in Gandhāra.

    c. 200 CE — Fragments in late Kuṣāṇa Brāhmī...This manuscript is in Sanskrit but was probably also composed in Gandhāra.



    One might be able to say the "southern 8,000 Lines" represents Nagarjuna "retrieving" it from elsewhere. So far it does not show any manuscripts that could allow it to be the source. The "Nagarjuna origin" is mostly just believed in the east; Taranatha contrastingly says:


    One such legend is that Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva came to the house of King Candragupta (321–297 BCE), preached, and left the Aṣṭasāhasrikā there.

    Chandragupta Maurya cleaned up the mess made by Alexander the Great; his grandson was Asoka. Of course, Asoka was converted to Buddhism by a lone monk, which does not seem to represent a household with a Mahayana scripture long before any other evidence of it.



    So, we hadn't quite found Tantra Nagarjuna, since maybe some of his pieces were reverse-engineered by descendants, and the most important part was really written by Sakyamitra. Then if Sutra Nagarjuna did not personally summon the whole Prajnaparamita from other-worldly Nagas, who was he?



    The earliest surviving accounts were written in Chinese and Tibetan centuries after his death and are mostly hagiographical accounts that are historically unverifiable.

    According to Walser, "the earliest extant legends about Nāgārjuna are compiled into Kumārajīva’s biography of Nāgārjuna, which he translated into Chinese in about 405 c.e."

    Tibetan hagiographies also state that Nāgārjuna studied at Nālanda University. However, according to Walser, this university was not a strong monastic center until about 425. Also, as Walser notes, "Xuanzang and Yijing both spent considerable time at Nālanda and studied Nāgārjuna’s texts there. It is strange that they would have spent so much time there and yet chose not to report any local tales of a man whose works played such an important part in the curriculum."

    The archaeological finds at Nāgārjunakoṇḍa have not resulted in any evidence that the site was associated with Nagarjuna. The name "Nāgārjunakoṇḍa" dates from the medieval period, and the 3rd-4th century inscriptions found at the site make it clear that it was known as "Vijayapuri" in the ancient period.


    Out of an unreasonable number of texts attributed to him, the most significant is his Root Verses. There are about five to eight texts generally held to be older and more likely authentic, some that are questionable, and Lindtner's list of outright wrong attributions is:

    Mahāprajñāpāramitopadeśa (Dà zhìdù lùn)...


    So in fact Nagarjuna is least likely to have anything directly to do with Prajnaparamita. If instead we turn to the Mulamadhyamika Karika, its oldest commentary is:

    The Indian Akutobhayā, whose authorship is unknown, though is attributed to Nagarjuna in the tradition, is held by Ames to be the earliest commentary.

    The next being:

    ...translated by Kumarajiva in 409. The author of this commentary is given as either "Blue Eyes" (青目; back translated as *Vimalākṣa) or *Piṅgala (賓伽羅).

    Other surviving and influential Indian commentaries on the MMK include Buddhapālita's (c. 470–550) "Madhyamakvr̩tti" and Bhāviveka's (c. 500–578) "Prajñāpradīpa" (Lamp of Wisdom). The most influential commentary in later Indian and Tibetan Buddhism is Candrakirti's (c. 7th century) Prasannapadā (Clear Words), which survives in Sanskrit and Tibetan translation. An MMK commentary by the Indian Yogacara philosopher Sthiramati also survives in Chinese.


    So we could almost say the "main authentic part", the Root Verses, is also the main division in schools. Nagarjuna's verses are like quips and snippets, nearly impossible to follow, intended to be filled with commentary:


    As a kārikā-style text, the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā presents only aphoristic, often enigmatic and extremely short verses, much like the sūtra works of the various Hindu philosophical schools. Since they served primarily as pedagogical or mnemonic aids for teachers, commentaries were required to make the meaning of this type of text more explicit to the uninitiated reader.


    The verses are aphoristic, often enigmatic, and extremely short. The text's arguments are presented in a highly compressed and concise form. This is because the text is a karika-style work. Such texts were meant to be memorized as an aid to learning by students. The text's arguments would be filled out through the oral commentary of a master. As such, the karikas are like a verse outline of the major philosophical arguments of an oral tradition.

    ...his philosophy is also often termed Niḥsvabhāvavāda (the no svabhāva doctrine).

    Nāgārjuna's main contention with svabhāva theories was that they contradicted the fundamental Buddhist doctrine of dependent origination (pratītyasamutpāda). Furthermore, essence theories are not in agreement with the Mahāyāna sutras Nāgārjuna would have been familiar with. These sutras, particularly the Prajñāpāramitā sūtras, teach a kind of comprehensive illusionist ontology that sees all dharmas, even nirvana and Buddhahood, as being empty and like an illusion.


    ...Most scholars agree that Nāgārjuna was a Mahāyāna Buddhist who believed all things (dharmas) to be empty, or without an intrinsic existence and nature (svabhāva). Beyond that, little can be said about him with certainty.




    In the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, "[A]ll experienced phenomena are empty (sunya). This did not mean that they are not experienced and, therefore, non-existent; only that they are devoid of a permanent and eternal substance (svabhava) because, like a dream, they are mere projections of human consciousness. Since these imaginary fictions are experienced, they are not mere names (prajnapti)."


    Well, if we cannot quite date or place him, how does this relate to Prajnaparamita or any Mahayana Sutra?


    The Mūlamadhyamakakārikā is Nāgārjuna's best-known work. It is "not only a grand commentary on the Buddha's discourse to Kaccayana, the only discourse cited by name, but also a detailed and careful analysis of most of the important discourses included in the Nikayas and the Agamas, especially those of the Atthakavagga of the Sutta-nipata.


    It is a grand commentary on a one page Pali Sutta.

    This illusionism was not totally new, since similar ideas about emptiness can be found in the early Buddhist texts (see: Samyutta Nikaya 22:95, as well as Samyukta Āgama 335 and 297).

    ...the explanation of "right-view" as being a middle way between saying that "everything exists" (referring to the view of permanent existence: Pali: atthitā, Skt. astitva) and saying that "everything does not exist" (non-existence; Pali: n'atthitā, Skt nāstitva). This middle way is then defined as the 12 principles (dvādaśāṅga) of dependent origination.



    Most of his writings do not appear concerned with Mahayana. One that perhaps sounds that way is published by Lindtner, the Bodhicittavivarana:


    The Bodhicittavivarana is never mentioned or cited by Buddhapalita
    or Candrakirti.

    ...the most significant feature of this text is its extensive critique
    of Vijnanavada; i.e. Buddhist idealism as testified in the
    Lankavatarasutra.

    None of Nagarjuna's other works exhibit such a well-balanced and
    coherent structure as the Bodhicittavivarana.


    But:

    David F. Burton notes that Christian Lindtner is "rather liberal" with his list of works and that other scholars have called some of these into question. He notes how Paul Williams argued convincingly that the Bodhicittavivaraṇa must be a later text.


    Probably, if Nagarjuna was pre-Lankavatara Sutra, and this is a well-rounded refutation of it, then it may be of another school, maybe even after Candrakirti. So most likely this is not original Sutra Nagarjuna, who probably had nothing to do with Prajnaparamita or Mahayana.

    Yuktisastika was relied on by Candrakirti and Prajnakaramati, but is also quoted in Subhasita Samgraha. At the beginning it invokes, and later parallels, Nagarjuna's:


    Pratityasamutpadahrdayakarika


    and its theme is more or less:


    ...established in the Middle Way, which denies equally
    existence and non-existence and affirms only "voidness," which is neither
    something nor nothing.


    Well, here again the main writer/follower is Candrakirti, who can be historically placed in the 600s. If Sutra Nagarjuna was a direct teacher or anywhere close to him, there would have been a great deal of Mahayana Sutras available to him. But so far, the three main influential texts show almost no Mahayana whatsoever, in fact if we called these Hinayana works, it might be closer to the truth. This one does not even refer to a Bodhisattva, only to a Mahatma, which arguably is an Arhat.

    These are a "logical reduction to voidness", without even any reflection to Prajnaparamita Sutra and "synonyms". And so it is considerably less advanced than, say, Samdhinirmocana Sutra, which is considerably older than Candrakirti, if ignored by him.

    There must have been some reason that "Nagarjuna" was affixed to a ca. 400 commentary which is not known in India or Tibet. Is that because he had already composed a few handfuls of what may be Hinayana verses, which someone wanted to transfer to Prajnaparamita? Are his verses necessarily derived from that work?


    Candrakirti gives his take on several Mahayana Sutras, including:


    Akṣayamatinirdeśa

    Daśabhūmika

    Dhāraṇīśvararāja

    Laṅkāvatāra

    Vimalakirtinirdesa



    In Madhyamakasastrastuti, he cites eight Nagarjuna works (including Sutrasamuccaya), but it does not even include all such works that Candrakirti has himself cited in his writings.


    Even in Aksayamati, you get the imperishability of Bodhicitta and Thirty-seven Point Enlightenment, but:


    ...the Akṣayamatinirdeśa states that the definitive sūtras are those which teach emptiness (śūnyatā), the absence of distinguishing marks (ānimitta), and the absence of anything to long for (apraṇidhāna)‍. According to the influential Tibetan author Tsongkhapa, the main hermeneutical principle of the madhyamaka school is based on the Akṣayamatinirdeśa, which states that the sutras that teach emptiness are those which are definitive.


    It is something that is partly true, but, an unnecessary super-compression. The Samdhinirmocana actually calls Emptiness "the second turning" and explains itself as "the third turning" of the Wheel of Dharma. That does not say "it does not teach Emptiness", but, rather, attaches the synonyms which are yogic and mental processes, imperishable, definitive by being more complete.


    The likely mis-attributed Sutrasamuccaya would at least give us a few things like:


    (8) The rareness of really serious Dharma-practice on the part of householders

    (a) The Dharma-practice of householder-bodhisattvas

    (d) Spiritual friends as prerequisites for really serious Dharma-practice


    At best, we perhaps are left with two Sutra Nagarjunas, one pre-400, and another closer to Candrakirti.

    It is interesting how oblivious this is to Asanga. Nagarjuna is misty and nebulous, and at best actually does not give that much. Asanga was a revolution, an entirely new system, who is just one person who happens to be more verifiably placed ca. 500s, than the earlier dates proposed by hagiographies.

    Adi Shankara was influenced by Nagarjuna, since "sunyata" can hardly be distinguished from "neti, neti" of the Upanishads. Unless you know the distinguishing Mahayana components, it is hard to say that you have anything other than a version of Advaita, and of course the Triyana doctrine admits this is a path, and teaches the distinction.



    Candrakirti's Wiki page is like a piece of pollution, omitting the fact he was defeated by Candragomin. Although he worked his way into an influential position:


    Chandrakirti does not seem to have been very influential during the 7th to 10 centuries, and his works were never translated into Chinese.


    He sounds wrong at the outset:


    Thus, for Chandrakirti, yogācāra fails to appreciate how everything, including consciousness, is conditioned and empty.

    Chandrakirti also examines and refutes the basic theories of yogācāra, including the theory of the three natures and the theory of the storehouse consciousness. Chandrakirti cites the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra in order to argue that the storehouse consciousness is a provisional teaching of indirect meaning (neyartha). He also critiques the yogācāra denial of an external object (bāhyārtha, bahirartha) of knowledge and the yogācāra theory of ‘self-awareness’ (svasamvedana, svasamvitti).


    Chandrakirti critiqued Bhāviveka on this point and argued that madhyamaka thinkers should instead only rely on prāsaṅga arguments (literally "consequence"), which mainly refers to reductio arguments that seek to show how an opponents views lead to absurd or unwanted consequences. Furthermore, these reductio arguments only refute the opponents position on the opponent's own terms. They do not put forth a counter-position in return nor do they commit the madhyamika to the principles and conclusions used in the course of the argument. In this sense, the madhyamikas merely point out the absurdity of their opponents views without stating a position of their own, and merely indicate the truth indirectly.


    While I am not sure that is very helpful, in terms of his master, he gives:


    (5) a unique interpretation of Nagarjuna's statement about his having no thesis


    Chandrakirti is seen by many Tibetan Buddhists as offering "the most thorough and accurate vision of Nāgārjuna's emptiness, which, in turn, most fully represents the final truth of the Buddha's teaching." He is considered by Tibetans to be the main exponent of what they term the "Prāsaṅgika" sub-school of madhyamaka. However, this doxographical categorization only arose in Tibet during the 12th century.


    Most of Tibet is defending itself against the "different" Chinese view. Neither one of them is Indian Yogacara, which more or less means Mahayana as given by Asanga and Maitreya, who didn't really say anything new, but systematized the Sutras of their time.

    Again this is like a prasanga or "consequence" of the Gelug order coming into power, which as we have seen, included the forced immersion of Sakyas into this doctrine. But Sakya is not a post-1200 invention! It is a formalization of a much older family connection which is about as old as Nyingma. The only real difference is that Nyingma is based on a few Indians who went to Tibet, and Sakya was a few Tibetans who went to India. Even at that time, there was a Vidyadhara Nagarjuna well-versed in Hayagriva, which is the Kilaya practice fundamental to both of those. This one is at least more verifiable and may be Tantra Nagarjuna, because these Vidyadharas would of course sponge off Sakyamitra, which is what Nagarjuna's PK does.

    That era would be appropriate for Khadiravani Tara and other sadhanas attributed to him, and Mahamudra such as in the crucial Caturmudranvaya. For me personally, it has always been Tara Nagarjuna that I was interested in, since something about this was available back when I first started asking "ok...anything else besides Eight Fears?"


    We wound up with her song as a parallel to Maitreya's Twenty-one Qualities of Dharmakaya, saying that Tara loosens the knots in the subtle body which block it. That makes it a yoga. It is a combined Raja and Hatha Yoga. The song is like facets on a crystal. You can take any particular Tara and go further with her particular trait. This exactly matches "dharani system" of Vasubandhu, that each dharani is helpful on some particular aspect of enlightenment, having a principle resembling:


    Vajrasattva is a dharani for establishment of the Vajra Ground, not for opening the eyes.


    So, no, you can't make up Taras or make her do anything you want, she is mantra baddha. Different ones just do her certain thing. And so for example, whatever Sutra Nagarjuna might be getting at, I can appeal to Mrtyuvacana Tara. We could just say she focuses Emptiness Mantra and start from there. Perhaps it could convert a Prasangika if I said they were a Sravaka or even an Adwaitee. Moreover, the Three Lights and Greatly Void of the Arya school are really from Sakyamitra, and this is still the same as Nath. Mrtyuvacana Tara actually uses Parasunya, i. e. equivalent to the fourth void or Prabhasvara from this. So she is actually like a handshake to Hindu Yoga to the degree ours are the same. But then what...her "explanation" is Nectar Taste as portrayed in several Sarma Tantras.


    That is from looking at her historical context, as would have been known by Vagisvarakirti. It has less to do with her "future context", if this meant over-writing her with the sort of one-pointed Candrakiti-ism.


    We cannot say she is "White Tara" of all kinds.

    Long Life Trinity uses Usnisa Vijaya and Atisa's White Tara, and this is used in Gelug Lama Chopa Guru Yoga. So they are trying to do yoga practices, based out of fundamentally denying yogacara, which is a bit puzzling.




    Another source of contention stems from:


    Nagarjuna's Vigrahavyāvartanī in which he states "I have no thesis"

    Chandrakirti also critiques the view of the non-madhyamika epistemologists like Dignāga for having failed to provide a sufficiently indisputable foundation for their premises and for having failed to respond to Nagarjuna's criticism of the foundations of pramana in the Vigrahavyāvartanī.


    Towards the partial/provisional/incomplete benefits of Yogacara:


    Chandrakirti argues that it is a mistake to take this literally as an ontological statement and to conclude that only consciousness exists.


    If Pramana is like a "how to" of yoga, I am not sure it has to be indisputable? Why would we be trying to dispute it anyway?? These kinds of things suggest to me that he is not able to do it or does not get it. If we turn to Vajra Rosary, it will tell us that "what exists" is a Bindu of Mind and Wind. He also seems to suffer the impression that with Vijnanavada saying "objects are unreal" never said that means you don't experience them. I don't think he gets that at all. It says Paratantra is real even for Buddha. So of course Dependent Origination is highly visible.

    What doubles down on the whole thing is that Yogacara already contains Madhyamaka and Emptiness, etc., in almost the same way because Nagarjuna influences it. But an intelligent person can get the point Candrakirti is making in a few minutes. Yoga and the Bodhisattva Bhumis are something else.


    This never even amounted to "a school" in India, and Yogacara is mostly the same as Mahayana. The first Nagarjuna has not said anything which is not from Hinayana, yet; maybe he does, but even Hinayana says there are Bodhisattvas. And that is about all.


    Mahayana is a broad argument that anyone can become a Bodhisattva by generating Bodhicitta.


    In Pali Buddhism, this is only for a rare individual; but they do enumerate the Paramitas. Then there is "paramitayana", i. e. more or less Prajnaparamita genre, which goes into more detail about the Paramitas. They still seem a bit like lofty, hard-to-reach stages, difficult to understand. This is amended by "bodhisattvayana" or something more like current Mahayana, which wants to make this accessible for anyone:




    According to Peter Skilling, the Mahayana movement began when "at an uncertain point, let us say in the first century BCE, groups of monks, nuns, and lay-followers began to devote themselves exclusively to the Bodhisatva vehicle." These Mahayanists universalized the bodhisattvayana as a path which was open to everyone and which was taught for all beings to follow. This was in contrast to the Nikaya schools, which held that the bodhisattva path was only for a rare set of individuals.

    According to the Nikāyasaṅgraha (a Theravādin text), the Ratnakūṭa Sūtra was composed by the "Andhakas", meaning the Mahāsāṃghika Caitika schools of the Āndhra region.

    The collection may have developed from a "Bodhisattva pitaka" attributed to some of the early Mahayana schools.

    This Ratnakuta collection includes the Śrīmālādevī Siṃhanāda Sūtra, the Longer Sukhāvatī-vyūha Sutra, the Akṣobhya-vyūha Sūtra, a long text called the Bodhisattvapiṭaka, and others.


    The main difficulty was that Pali texts seem to require that you are able to contact a living Buddha. In answer to this, from Encyclopedia:


    Crucial here was the development of the notion that buddhas are still around and still active on behalf of sentient beings. One can verify this, it was argued, because it is possible to see them in visions and receive new teachings from them (Williams, 1989, 29–31; Williams and Tribe, 2000, pp. 108–111). If buddhas are still around even after their apparent deaths, everything changes.

    In any relatively comprehensive discussion of a Mahāyāna bodhisattva path the root source has to be the Daśabhūmika Sūtra (Ten stage scripture).


    Regarding the Dasabhumi, Kumarajiva already has it:

    Daśabhūmikā Sūtra (T 286) in collaboration with Buddhayaśas

    and it is in the Sutrasamuccaya.


    ...the sutra also describes Buddha-nature.


    84000 Ten Stages from Buddhavatamsaka Sutra.


    If this qualifies as original:


    Perhaps the earliest commentarial witness to the influence of The Ten Bhūmis is the Ratnāvalī of Nāgārjuna.


    Or in China from Kumarajiva, Dasabhumikavibhasa, attributed to Nagarjuna, is a "doubtful" work; i. e. recommends chanting Amitayus compared to "traditional practice".


    For Ratnavali:

    Consulting three Sanskrit editions, the Indian professor Kanakavarman and the Tibetan monastic Ba-tsap Nyi-ma-drak corrected translations and other points that did not accord with the unique thought of the Superior [Nagarjuna] and his spiritual son [Aryadeva].


    Again, we find they cannot let sleeping dogs lie. What did these guys do but edit to conform to their ideas? If we wish, 1960 transcript Ratnavali, un-Tibetanized.


    Ratnavali outline itself is humongous, probably from Tibetan.

    He probably did compose Ratnavali in Andhra; his name is mentioned prior to 300; Bhaviveka takes him as its author; it uses Kasyapa Pariprccha as a source. So far this is the closest thing to saying there was a southern Mahayana Nagarjuna at a quite early stage.

    Because of the influences, it is not immediately clear how this is a response to, or commentary on, Dasabhumika, but at least it has the subject involved. Presumably then, it is not by, and pre-dates him.



    The Ten Bhūmis first existed as an independent sūtra. Dharmarakṣa from Dunhuang translated this and other sūtras that are chapters in A Multitude of Buddhas into Chinese in the third century ᴄᴇ. The first commentary on it in Chinese had already been composed by 394 ᴄᴇ.

    The Sanskrit version of The Ten Bhūmis is written with numerous nonclassical Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit (BHS) features and vocabulary. In particular, the verses are written in a form of Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit that has stronger Prakrit features.


    So The Ten Bhumis becomes a chapter in Avatamsaka Sutra, and also in Asanga's Yogacarabhumi. It is easy to see how this functions just like the "Guhyasamaja canon", or Vajrasekhara, etc., never quite set fast, but having general similarities everywhere.


    Paramārtha (499–569) was an Indian monk who came to China in the sixth century and translated Buddhist texts into Chinese. In his writings he states that A Multitude of Buddhas [Avatamsaka] was also called the Bodhisattva­piṭaka. Copies of this sūtra in the Dunhuang caves do indeed bear the title Bodhisattva­piṭaka Buddhāvataṃsaka.


    Thomas Cleary, translating into English from the Chinese Huayan, calls it Flower Ornament. However, in Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit, avataṃsaka means “a great number,” “a multitude,” or “a collection.”


    There were two systems of Paramitas; Asanga deals with them both:


    The Laṅkāvatāra­sūtra, for example, only mentions seven bhūmis. Similarly, in the commentarial tradition, one finds that in the Bodhisattva­bhūmi, which is the fifteenth section of the Yogācārabhūmi, only the seven bhūmis and the thirteen vihāras are taught. In contrast, in the Mahāyāna­sūtrālaṃkāra, which is also attributed to Maitreya­nātha, the ten bhūmis are specifically presented.



    In the 4th century Mahāyāna abhidharma work Abhidharmasamuccaya, Asaṅga refers to the collection which contains the āgamas as the Śrāvakapiṭaka, and associates it with the śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas. Asaṅga classifies the Mahāyāna sūtras as belonging to the Bodhisattvapiṭaka, which is designated as the collection of teachings for bodhisattvas.

    Bodhisattvapitaka may be Bodhisattvabhumi, or, refer to another collection (Ratnakuta or Avatamsaka), or even be Mahayana overall, or be its own independent text. Pagel took this as the one in Ratnakuta.


    For Bodhisattva Pitaka:

    According to Pagel, the basic outline of the bodhisattva practice in the Bodhisattvapiṭaka is outlined in a passage which states "the path to enlightenment comprises benevolence towards all sentient beings, striving after the perfections and compliance with the means of conversion." This path begins with contemplating the failures of samsara, developing faith in the Buddha, giving rise to bodhicitta and practicing the four immesurables. It then proceeds through all six perfections and finally discusses the four means of converting sentient beings (saṃgrahavastu). The path is presented through prose exposition, mnemonic lists (matrka) and also through Jataka narratives. Using this general framework, the Bodhisattvapiṭaka incorporates discussions related to other practices including super knowledge (abhijñā), learning, 'skill' (kauśalya), accumulation of merit (puṇyasaṃbhāra), the thirty-seven factors of awakening (bodhipakṣadharmas), perfect mental quietude (śamatha) and insight (vipaśyanā).


    Part of it was translated in 1976, the Dhyana Chapter.



    In his thesis, Pagel 1992:


    Curiously, Hsuan-tsang who carried out the earliest
    translation of the Bodhisattvapitakasutra (Rkt 12) does not mention it in his discussion of the
    classification of Buddhist scriptures current in Mahasanghika circles.



    He found the expression, bodhisattvapitaka, used by Lokasema in an indefinite way. The phrase seems to be common, either for "Mahayana sutras", or certain collections of them. Interestingly, in RGV:


    ...the Bodhisattvapitaka is commended because it contains an exposition of the doctrine of absolute
    truth (paramarthasatya). To my knowledge, this is the only instance in which a classification
    involving the term Bodhisattvapitaka is explicitly based on doctrino-philosophical issues.


    Asanga refers to "it" in at least four books, generally unclear if meaning a text or the whole subject in some way.

    The individual text is however related to Aksayamati Nirdesa such that:


    In a number of instances, whole passages correspond word by word...


    From linguistic analysis, he thinks that Aksayamati is the "borrower". His thesis translates only one chapter, but analyzes the whole work. That means that Ratnakuta text Twelve may be among the oldest Mahayana Sutras, if it was an influence to ANS. The fact of them "sharing" is simply because they share Abhidharma, or categories of principles, which of course is not much different from the Pali Sutras. While everyone gawks at these large lists, do not neglect Hrdaya Vastu, which may not have "come from" them, but, was discovered through the Clairvoyance that the practice induces.


    There is one more text that has been referred to in the past as Bodhisattvapitaka. It is the
    seventeenth work in the Ratnakuta collection and presently called Purnapariprccha or
    Purnaparivarta. Its alternative title as Bodhisattvapitakasutra is attested in a number of
    sources. Bodhiruci’s translation of the Ratnakuta, for instance, gives Bodhisattvapitaka as its
    secondary title. Also Kumarajiva who rendered the Prn into Chinese between AD 402 and
    409 referred to it under the title of Bodhisattvapitakasutra.

    In the Prn, a Ratnakuta sutra that
    itself discusses the bodhisattva training in some detail we find the following definition of the
    term Bodhisattvapitaka:


    “Further, O Purna, bodhisattvas who do not hear appropriate bodhisattva
    sutras—which means the sutras of the Bodhisattvapitaka, sutras that generate
    the bodhicitta, sutras that attract to matters of bodhisattvas, sutras that are
    linked to the six paramita,—because they do not listen to these, they do not
    practice as instructed; since they are not instructed correctly, they will renounce
    the Doctrine.”



    It is correct that Dasabhumika Sutra gives a lot of room to Emptiness right from the beginning. However:


    Whether the tathāgatas appear or not, this continues to be the true nature of phenomena, which is the emptiness of all phenomena, the inconceivability of all phenomena. This is not something that is revealed solely by the tathāgatas. All śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas also attain this nonconceptual true nature.


    For Emptiness and the Bodhisattva, it seems to be mostly relevant to the Seventh Bhumi:


    They go to all worlds and accomplish conduct that is difficult to comprehend.
    Without self, without action, free of existence and nonexistence,
    The twelve aspects of the nature of emptiness arise,
    And with subtle and sharp minds they ascend to the seventh.


    This does not seem to be clearly "a Tathagatabarbha Sutra", although it uses Dharmakaya a few times. If it has Triyana sort of implied above, then it paradoxically has a single use of Buddhakaya as a fourth yana:


    “To those beings with inferior minds who are focused on unhappiness,
    A wise great being gives the teachings of the śrāvaka conduct.
    To those beings who have sharp minds and are intent on the nature of causes,
    The stainless ones teach the wisdom of the Pratyeka­buddha­yāna.
    1.­702
    “To those beings who have loving minds that wish to benefit others
    They teach conduct of the bodhisattvas.
    To those beings who are intent upon the highest supreme knowledge
    They teach the unequaled buddhakāya.


    With inter-textual curiosity, we see "buddhakaya" is in one more Sutra, let us call for brevity Guna Jnana Acintya, another Pagel translation:


    The sūtra also incorporates, near its beginning, a passage describing the qualities of the Buddha that is also found in the Saṃdhi­nirmocana­sūtra.

    Further on, there is a list of various states of samādhi, or meditative absorption, ascribed here to bodhisattvas. Similar lists also appear in the Akṣaya­mati­nirdeśa (Toh 175), the Bodhi­sattva­piṭaka (Toh 56)...

    This sūtra seems to have been well known to Buddhist scholars in India. The text is quoted both in Nāgarjūna’s Sūtrasamuccaya (Toh 3934) and in the Ratna­gotra­vibhāga­vyākhyā (Toh 4025).


    Peter Skilling has recently noted the sūtra’s connection with a vast family of Buddhāvataṃsaka texts that once circulated in India, and that were only later identified as a unitary collection in Tibet and China.


    We could almost say, Avatamsaka = Kashmiri library, Ratnakuta = Andhra library, and the Sastras of Asanga/Maitreya are the systemization of a similar library. This was because the collections of Sutras, as they stood, were not readily teaching a satisfactory meditation practice, at least in Peshawar. Or wherever he went until he actually got to Maitreya. He wasn't questioning the meanings, or even saying they were all that difficult to understand. At the very least, we can say the Samadhis so frequently employed, are blended with dharanis and heat. Considering the possible number of available scriptures was "vast", we can see they focus on the sequence Samdhinirmocana --> Srimala Devi, the ones which are unquestioningly called Yogacara and Tathagatagarbha.


    Haribhadra may have tried to incorporate Madhyamaka and Yogacara, and is still the "main system" of today. Ratnakarasanti refutes him on a few points, but, a big one is that he still is pushing Prajnaparamita into a difficult, receded area, and it is supposed to be very immanent.


    That is why Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra is almost good enough, some say it is tantric, but most concretely it emphasizes formless meditation or Anupalambha, which certainly was not new, although perhaps little understood.

    At the Dharma Centers I went to, it was not quite mantrified/recited, maybe three mantras like in the recording. However it is supposed to be a dharani. If so, it is much like the "Gata" which should conjoin "Tathata". And then it is a matter of, how distant is that other shore/other side from you?

    It is not, once you are even a first-stage Bodhisattva, then at least in the height of your meditation, you experience the same as a Buddha or Tathagata. This is the point of "immanent". You might not "get it" today, but, it is not really all that hard. And then why would we turn around and be snide to somebody because you are not on the tenth stage? That sounds like a spiritual arrogance. If someone is even on the ninth stage, it means you can explain all this to us perfectly. As soon as you get into something like "my high stage is better than your low or non-stage", you have defeated the purpose.


    For the moment, I will have to reserve judgment, since Ratnavali appears to be the first accurate credit to a "Mahayana Nagarjuna". It is in the format, conversation with a king, probably a Satvahana, although no specific person is mentioned. I might be able to crunch the Anglicized Tibetan vs. the transcribed Sanskrit, but, unless we are looking at a specific point, I am not sure. We do not expect much from it, other than a conversational expansion of the Bhumis and so forth. This is also the difficulty of his "argumentative" texts--it will come out differently, depending on who you think he is arguing *with*, because he does not really say.


    I am a bit blown out of the water by someone outright claiming to revise Nagarjuna, Sabara, and whatever else they did. Our whole point here is simply getting to the original Maitreya/Asanga, and what they actually said, translated as accurately as possible. That is why I resist the phrase "Buddha Nature", and just use it because it is kind of colloquial. That is what has come from "Tathagata Garbha", and the Tathagatas are the Dhyani Buddhas, not Manushis or human incarnations.


    Thrangu Rinpoche: Uttaratantra as taught at Shambhala

    The Sanskrit word garbha can mean a variety of things, “womb” or “a germ” (of a seed) where something is created or grows out of. This was translated by Takasaki as “matrix” because matrix in Latin means “womb,” and is “something within which something else originates or develops ” (Merriam-Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary). The word garbha also means the “essence” or the “essential nature” which gives us the phrase “Buddha-essence” or essence of the Buddha.


    Or i. e. "embryo" comparable to "Bodhisattva in the womb" as in Pancha Raksa, whereas physically don't we think it is a baby in a womb? So this must be metaphorical or metaphysical.

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    Default Re: Nirakara and Shentong Buddhism, Tara, Sadhanas, Sanskrit culture

    Sutra Nagarjuna, Tathagatagarbha, Asanga, and Lokanuvartana Sutra




    So far, it seems unlikely that in medieval times, anyone thought there was more than one Nagarjuna. Maitri seems to blend them. His source for No Thesis:


    In verse nine of the Vigrahavyavartani, Nagarjuna gives a defense of his skepticism by insisting that he makes no proposition (pratijna) concerning the nature of reality.

    In the famous twenty-ninth verse, Nagarjuna, addressing the objection, writes:

    If I had any proposition, this defect would be mine.
    I have, however, no proposition (nasti ca mama pratijna).
    Therefore, there is no defect that is mine (tasman naivasti me dosah).




    However, what was far more influential from the outset, was Catuskoti.

    Nagarjuna did not start it. I have always found it useful for the elimination of discursive thought and entering quiescence. In yoga practice, the Gatekeepers are Catuskoti. One remains centered, because they sever the pulls of the directions, which would be equivalent to Grasping, Duality, re-ification, inherent meaning, and so forth.

    Catuskoti is the major theme of Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka Root Verses, although not quite original to it.



    The Catuṣkoṭi was employed particularly by Nagarjuna who developed it and engaged it as a 'learning, investigative, meditative' portal to realize the 'openness' (Sanskrit: Śūnyatā), of Shakyamuni's Second Turning of the Dharmacakra, as categorized by the Sandhinirmocana Sutra.



    Some prior background from Westerhoff 2006:


    In the Kandaraka Sutta the four alternatives are employed as a classificatory tool for distinguishing four classes of ascetics, those which torment themselves, which torment others, which torment both and which torment neither. In this case the fourth alternative is explicitly recommended by the Buddha as the ideal to be emulated.

    A case of the rejection of the four alternatives concerning the question whether the Tathàgata exists after death by the Buddha can be found in the Aggivacchagotta Sutta and the Cülamálunkya Sutta.


    That is picked up by Nagarjuna, as shown in Deconstruction:


    ...in the 17th verse
    of the MMK XXV it states: “It is not assumed that Bagavan exists
    after death. Neither is it assumed that he does not exist, or both, or
    neither.”


    And we are introduced to "three kinds" of Catuskoti. The third is really difficult; however, the second is an inverse of negation:


    Sarvam tathyam na va tathyam tathyam catathyam eva ca,
    navivatathyam naiva tathyam etad buddhanuwasanam

    (MMK XVIII.8)

    Everything is real, not real, both real and not real, and
    neither real nor unreal. This is the Buddha’s admonition.


    Also as mentioned by Wayman:


    All (sarva) is genuine (tathyam), or is not genuine, or is both genuine and
    not genuine, or is neither genuine nor not-genuine. That is the ranked instruction (anusaisana) of the Buddha.

    According to Candrakirti's commentary "all" means the personality aggregates
    (skandha), the realms (dhatu), and the sense bases (ayatana).


    We are going to accept that mostly, Candakirti's commentary is in line with Bhavaviveka and others.


    So in the Pali Samyutta-Nikaya (II, 19-21),
    the Buddha, replying to questions by Kassapa (Kasyapa), denied that suffering
    is caused by oneself, by another, by both oneself and another, or neither by
    oneself nor by another. Then, in answer to further questions, the Buddha
    stated that he knows suffering and sees it. Then Kassapa asked the Buddha
    to explain suffering to him, and was told that claiming the suffering was done
    by oneself amounts to believing that one is the same person as before, which
    is the eternalistic view; while claiming that the experiencer of the suffering is
    different from the one who caused it, amounts to the nihilistic view. Thereupon
    the Buddha taught the Dharma by a mean, namely, the series of twelve members
    which begin with the statement 'having nescience as condition the motivations
    arise' and continue with similar statements through the rest of dependent
    origination (pratltya-samutpada). The Buddha proceeded to teach that by the
    cessation of nescience, the motivations cease, and so on, with the cessation of
    this entire mass of suffering. In agreement, Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka-karika,
    I, 1 states:

    There is no entity anywhere that arises from itself, from another, from both
    (itself and another), or by chance.

    In this case the given element is called the 'entity' (bhava)...


    He cannot help but compare it to a later work:


    The failure of reasoning is clearly expressed
    in the Mahayana work Ratnagotravibhaga (chap. I, verse 9) when denying the
    four alternatives about the Dharma-sun as the ultimate nature:

    I bow to that Dharma-sun which is not existence and not non-existence, not
    both existence and non-existence, neither different from existence nor from
    non-existence; which cannot be reasoned (asakyas tarkayitum), is free from
    definition (nirukty-apagatah), revealed by introspection, and quiescent; and
    which, pervasively shining with immaculate vision, removes the attachment,
    antipathy, and (eye-) cauls toward all objects.


    And he believes the negation reveals something:


    While I have insisted that the ultimate nature is affirmed by the four denials...

    Candrakirti explains the svabhava of MK XV, 1-2, as the "true
    nature" [dharmata] of the scriptures, and in a manner equivalent to the dharma-sun of
    the Ratnagotravibhaga passage.


    So this "Nihsvabhava school" is forced to have a Svabhava? In this case, it seems to bear on the "positive presence" indicated by the "second kind" of Catuskoti.


    Indeed, study of the two main traditions of the Madhyamika,
    Candrakirti's Prasangika and Bhavaviveka's Svatantrika, will show that both
    of them insist on adding qualifications, especially in terms of the two truths
    (samvrti and paramartha), their disagreement stemming from how such qualifications are made.


    Note again that Prasangika simply re-writes it:


    Garfield offers a different interpretation based on the dGe lu interpolation procedure already discussed above. Here the conflict between the four alternatives is dissolved not by relativizing the different perspectives, as Candraklrti does, but by adding the modifiers 'ultimately' and 'conventionally.' The passage is thus interpreted as saying that

    1. Everything is conventionally real.

    2. Nothing is ultimately real.

    3. Everything is both conventionally real and ultimately unreal.

    4. Nothing is either conventionally unreal nor ultimately real.


    Maybe it is somewhat accurate, but, obviously is not the original statement. Sanskrit is sensitive to negation of nouns and verbs. There, you only see negation of a noun, and application of two adjectives.

    Comparing translations of two commentaries:


    This method of interpretation does not only appear in Pingala’s
    commentary. The same principle of interpretation also appears in two
    other famous commentaries, Bhāvaviveka’s Prajnapradipa and
    Candrakirti’s Prasannapada, although the details in them are
    different. Regarding the 8th verse of the MMK XVIII, Bhavaviveka’s
    explains:

    In addition, in regard to those inner sources and outer objects
    such as form and so on, from the concept of conventional
    reality, all are real. From the perspective of ultimate reality,
    those inner sources and outer sources arise in terms of
    interdependent arising. They are like an illusion and cannot
    be perceived because they are not like what is to be seen
    Hence, all are unreal. From the perspective of the relative
    relation between the two realities, all are both real and unreal.
    When a practitioner attains enlightenment, because one has
    gained the reality of all dharmas and does not calculate,
    he/she does not see the real and the unreal. Hence, [Buddhas
    proclaimed that] all are neither real nor unreal.

    Candrakirti offers an
    explanation of the same verse:

    First, the Buddha speaks of phenomena as if they were real,
    in order to lead beings to venerate his omniscience. Next, he
    teaches that phenomena are unreal, because they undergo
    modifications, and what is real does not undergo
    modifications. Thirdly, he teaches some hearers that
    phenomena are both real and unreal ― real from the point of
    view of worldlings, but unreal from the viewpoint of the
    saints. To those who are practically free from passions and
    wrong views, he declares that phenomena are neither real nor
    unreal, in the same way that one denies that the son of a
    barren woman is white or that he is black.


    So those are "graded explanations" of reality, or to different audiences. Plain translations like "admonition" lose the sense of "ranked instruction" (anusaisana).


    There are gazillions of studies on Catuskoti from a logician's point of view. Not going to do that here. More interestingly, if one of Nagarjuna's hymns can still be rightly considered his, there is some speculation about what he was doing, perhaps even related to Tathagatagarbha:


    This article examines several verses from the Niraupamyastava, where Na¯ga¯rjuna
    makes explicit references to the non-empty aspects of the doctrine of emptiness—a
    topic systematized and crystallized in the doctrine of Tatha¯gatagarbha, thought to
    have appeared later than his date and to have been unknown to him.



    The Niraupamyastava, a hymn ascribed to Na¯ga¯rjuna by traditional and contemporary scholars, contains some very unusual statements:

    Since the dharmadhatu cannot be differentiated, there can be no different vehicles,
    o Lord. [But] the three vehicles have been preached by you for the sake of ushering
    the beings into [the path].

    Your body made out of dharma is eternal, imperishable, auspicious, victorious.
    But, for the sake of the people who need to be trained, [entering into the final]
    cessation (nirvrti ° ) has been shown by you.


    So, we can see he promoted Madhyamaka, but it is not really accurate to call him Mahayana:


    There are hundreds of inscriptions from the second- to fifth-century recording gifts to monastic orders of land, money, slaves, villages, relics etc., but not a single reference exists of a gift or patronage to the Maha¯ya¯na as a group
    until the end of the fifth or the beginning of the sixth century.


    Root Verses, Ratnavali, and this hymn may have had different targets in mind:


    Most Western
    scholarship on Na¯ga¯rjuna assumes that his intended audience is either his
    Maha¯ya¯nist supporters or his philosophical opponents (i.e., the Sarvastivadins,
    the Samkhyas and others). However, Walser says, “What is elided by such
    arguments is a third and functionally more important audience — those monks
    and laypeople in control of the resources that the Maha¯ya¯nists needed.”


    Of course. He, or anyone like him, was in someone else's house, under their rules. Until we can really say there was Mahayana, everything was a sravaka institution or Hinayana. If Ratnavali was tacitly to gain the approval of a king, context strongly suggests:


    ...the time of composition as during the reign of Yajña S´rı¯ (175–204).


    A similar, nearly parallel source for this hymn is:


    Loka¯nuvartanasu¯tra


    In the second half we find the teaching of emptiness, “the merely conventional
    validity of verbal distinctions as opposed to the true undifferentiated nature of
    the dharmadhatu, and so on.”


    Candrakı¯rti
    who, as can be learned through Harisson’s critical analysis, quoted eight verses
    that closely resemble the sutra, on one occasion naming the source as the
    Loka¯nuvartanasu¯tra and ascribing it to the Pu¯rvas´aila.


    Another Nagarjunakond inscription mentions Purva-sela, which possibly refers to the mountain on which the Pūrva-śaila monastery mentioned in the Dharaṇikoṭa Dharmacakra Pillar inscription was situated.



    Lamotte, in calling it fiction, says:


    ...the doctrine of the multiple teaching of the master, in conformity with current ideas ( lokanuvartana)
    is already proposed by the Purvasaila Hinayanists (Madh. avatara, p. 134); the Purvasilas had the
    Prajnaparamitasutra written in Prakrit, and the Mahavastu, of Hinayana origin, already taught the stages in the career
    of the bodhisattva and the practice of the paramitas (Grub mthah of Manjughosa in Wassilieff, Buddhismus, p. 264):
    the theory of the Alayavijnana, the central piece of the Idealist school, was already proposed in the Ekottaragama,
    the agamas of the Mahasamghika and the Mahisasaka, and in the sutras of the Ceylon school of the Tamraparniya
    (Samgraha, p. 26-28; Karmasiddhiprakarana, p. 106; Siddhi, p. 178-182).

    Hiuen Tsiang further relates that to the east of the capital on a mountain there stood a convent called PurvaSila and on a mountain to the west was another, called Avarasila.


    Lokanuvartana Sutra translation says it was in the first Chinese transmission. It "is" a Mahasamghika text--one of three, the only Sutra (the others being Mahavastu and their Vinaya)--and yet it travelled with the Gandharan 8,000 Line Prajnaparamita. We will get back to this.



    The weakness of this Nagarjuna/Tathagatagarbha study is in not thinking of Mahaparinirvana or other Sutras. But, here again using a "future text", the rationale is that the language and conversation was already known, prior to the written format:


    ...there is a very close resemblance both in terminology
    and in logic behind some doctrinal claims between the Niraupamyastava
    and the S´rı¯ma¯lasimhana¯da-su¯tra, that is, between Na¯ga¯rjuna’s doctrine of
    dharmadhatu and S´rı¯ma¯lasimhana¯da-su¯tra’s doctrine of tatha¯gatagarbha.

    ...the S´rı¯ma¯lasimhana¯da-su¯tra could be concurrent with the Avatamsaka ° but definitely predates the Lankavatara ¯ ¯ su¯tra since the latter quotes it.


    Srimala Devi was written, perhaps, in honor of the actual state of affairs:


    ...a very interesting feature of Buddhism in Andhra is that to a very
    large extent it progressed independent of the patronage of kings, but almost all
    Buddhist monuments restored or constructed during the third century were the
    result of donations made by royal ladies and pious private citizens.

    Especially during the reign of S´rı¯ V rapu ı ı ¯ r sa ¯ datta, the son of S´rı¯ Cha¯ntamu¯la,
    royal ladies “vied with one another in making donations to the Buddhist
    Church.” The king himself does not seem to have had an active part in obtaining
    religious merit by founding the religious monuments of Nagarjunakonda -- but all
    the highest-ranking ladies from the royal court, including his mother, his aunt
    and his wife, obviously had a very active role. From Vogel’s and especially from
    the Rao’s et al. edition and translation of the text of the inscriptions one finds
    these ladies’ names, ranks, and relationships to kings. Practically each pillar of
    the monument of Nagarjunakonda is erected by their devoted patronage.
    The flourishing of Buddhism under the lavish support of these royal ladies at
    the time when all kings were supporters of the Brahmanical tradition is a
    unique occurrence among Buddhist centres. In comparison, on the inscriptions
    from Mathura¯ in the Kusana ¯ period, one finds names of merchants, nuns, sons
    and daughters of ordinary people, but nothing that brings the attention to the
    queens and ladies from the court. The situation is similar in other centres.



    Aside from the fact it was called "Vijayapuri" during his lifetime, Nagarjuna has other unexpected things here. The content of verse 23 of the Niraupamyastava is also not easy to grasp:


    But in the countless worlds you are seen anew by your devotees eagerly longing [for]
    your descent, birth, perfect enlightenment, teaching and [entering into the final]
    cessation.

    The words bhakti (devotion) or bhakta (devotees) are not used in the
    Mu¯lamadhyamakaka¯rika¯ or the Ratna¯valı¯. Here, not only is bhakta used, but it
    also stands in the same sentence with seeing the Buddha.

    Perhaps the S´rı¯ma¯lasimhana¯da-su¯tra can provide insight: bhakti is exactly the
    relationship that the queen has with the Buddha.

    It is also possible that seeing the Buddha refers to the
    practice of evoking the Buddha (buddhanusmrti ¯ ) similar to the one described in
    the S´rı¯ma¯lasimhana¯da-su¯tra. At the beginning of the first chapter one reads that
    the queen evokes the Buddha (buddhanusmrti ¯ ), who approaches in his inconceivable body.

    The casual manner in which the practice is introduced suggests
    that it was well known. Buddhanusmrti ¯ may not have been Na¯ga¯rjuna’s own
    practice or maybe not his chief practice — he may have been primarily
    concerned with reasoning into emptiness, even though in the Ratna¯valı¯ he pays
    attention to generating merit more than to anything else. Nonetheless, it is
    certain that he makes clear allusions in the Niraupamyastava to using it.



    If we do not think Madhyamaka is any different from buddhanusmrti, Yogacara, etc., this reads a little differently:


    ...Na¯ga¯rjuna’s very clever attempt to address a difficult
    topic, pleasing his audience by using stock phrases they would understand
    and accept, while not compromising his own Madhyamaka position. In other
    words, if that is the case, then Na¯ga¯rjuna conveniently endorses the noncontroversial doctrine of dharmadha¯tu, describes it in tatha¯gatagarbha terms to which his audience is accustomed (presuming that would bring him their
    acceptance), but never actually endorses the new doctrine. Perhaps, between
    the lines one should read caution for the new doctrine and attempt to illustrate
    how all the positive content of the doctrine can be retained (through
    dharmadhatu) without endorsing something with such a close resemblance to
    atman.

    Even the most basic examination of the form of the Niraupamyastava will show that most of
    the verses make direct reference to the Buddha as if he were personally present and Na¯ga¯rjuna
    spoke directly to him. Out of twenty-five verses, the first being salutation and the last dedication
    of merit, twenty-two address the Buddha directly. Furthermore, the majority of the verses evoke
    qualities of the Buddha (one section dedicated to the qualities of his mind, the other to the qualities
    of his body) — one of the most commonly used ways of practising anusmrti.


    Na¯ga¯rjuna chooses the genre of devotional poetry to
    introduce for the first time an important, possibly controversial, topic, the
    dharmadhatu, in terms so very close to the new doctrine. In doing so, he
    travels a very narrow line in this hymn and enters into a cataphatic description
    of reality, contrary to his apophatic practice in the Mu¯lamadhyamakaka¯rika¯.
    Perhaps this is the testimony to the importance he gives to the real audience.
    So great was that importance that he almost went too far by endangering his
    Madhyamaka doctrinal position.



    ...what is the significance of the
    positive description of reality for Na¯ga¯rjuna (found in verse 22 of the Niraupamyastava)? In the S´rı¯ma¯lasimhana¯da-su¯tra, that language is connected to a
    very significant complement to the doctrine of emptiness involving the as´u¯nya
    and s´u¯nya aspect of the garbha: the tatha¯gatagarbha is s´u¯nya because it is
    empty of kles´as, but it is as´u¯nya because it is endowed with buddhadharmas
    that are inseparable from the dharmaka¯ya.

    The Ratnagotravibha¯ga does not declare that the
    Prajña¯pa¯ramita¯ su¯tras are incorrect in their assertion that everything is empty
    (sunyam ´¯ ° sarvam) but offers the correction that the word sarvam means sarvakles´a, which excludes the Buddha Qualities. Therefore, the word s´u¯nya implies
    as´u¯nya — not empty of the qualities of Buddhahood and of the garbha.

    In what sense is Na¯ga¯rjuna using the positive assertions? At present, I cannot
    find any other plausible answer but that Na¯ga¯rjuna is also suggesting the
    as´u¯nya aspect of the doctrine of emptiness.


    RGV says sarvam = sarva klesas, similar to Candrakirti calling it the Skandhas and so on. Those are Empty. Even Asanga says it must be something in order to be empty of something else. And so in this hymn, yes, you definitely do see the basic tenets which acquire refined vocabulary in Mahayana and Tathagatagarbha Sutras, of which it would still be apparent that Nagarjuna knew relatively few. And then in RGV, Dhatu is Atman by way of copying Bhagavad Gita.

    Nagarjuna's Emptiness writings may be like a refinement of the way they are basically the same in Pali texts. He would become more relevant to Mahayana because:


    Ratnavali either comments or is similar to Ten Bhumis Sutra

    At least one hymn portends or is communicative with doctrines on the Dhatu, in a way likely from everyday conversations.




    These hymns were probably originally separate, and later bundled as "Catuhstava".

    Catuḥstava (Four Hymns): Lokātīta-stava (Hymn to transcendence), Niraupamya-stava (to the Peerless), Acintya-stava (to the Inconceivable), and Paramārtha-stava (to Ultimate Truth).



    Here is M. B. Sakya's brief translation of two hymns.

    There is a Sanskrit Niraupamyastava and Paramarthastava, the originals he translated.

    Then, a larger project collecting English and Sanskrit Four Hymns.


    Reconsideration finds Niraupamya quoted in PK and CMP.

    So yes, it is "questionable" since it does not seem to match his other writings. The Niraupamya is accepted by Candrakirti, Prajnakaramati, and Maitri, though perhaps for various reasons in different ways. In one of these hymns, he appears to endorse Tri-yana.


    Nagarjuna might have lived on a "trajectory". His first, Pali-themed works seem to have been done in Mathura, and then Madhyamaka in Andhra. Later, in Andhra, he perhaps was exposed to "new" Tathagatabarbha doctrines. He is just responding.


    A thesis by Harris 1985 examines continuity, that Madhyamaka and Yogacara were not necessarily ever separate:


    In the history of Buddhist scholarship it has been the convention
    to treat the Madhyamaka and Yogacara strands of the Mahayana as
    separate and fundamentally opposed schools of thought. This thesis
    represents an attempt to explore the relationship between the two
    in some detail and comes to the conclusion that earlier assessments
    are not justified by either textual evidence, or by underlying trends
    in the history of the development of Buddhist thought as such.


    Nagarjuna himself does not seem to ever refer to any guru, lineage, school, etc., and he may not have even "founded" anything, although he was influential.

    Compared to the hundreds of articles on Catuskoti, the Niraupamya is essentially ignored.


    Nirupamā (निरुपमा, “incomparable”) is not exactly a technical or Abhidharma term of any kind, or scripturally significant to anyone. At a presumably later date, it may be used for the Twelfth Bhumi.


    That is interesting that this "Prajnaparamita philosopher" probably never commented Prajnaparamita Sutra, but, he did compose hymns accepted as authentic from the earliest records; and yet these are submerged far underneath the importance of logic.



    The obvious would be that if Madhyamaka was entrenched, very different from Yogacara, that Asanga would have spent his life refuting it. In fact, there is no example of this. More difficultly, he does not seem to be aware that Nagarjuna ever existed. In this case, again owing to China, we find that he actually believed Nagarjuna was giving Prajnaparamita philosophy, and that he dealt with this, probably before meeting Maitreya, in Shung chung lun:


    ...there does exist a commentary
    by Asanga which interprets the Mahaprajnaparamitasutra through
    Nagarjuna's Madhyamakakarika.


    Unfortunately no Sanskrit version is extant and
    apparently no Tibetan translation was made. The sole source
    for our consideration then is the Chinese translation made in
    543 by Gautama-Prajnaruci, a translation which was characterized
    by Ui Hakuju as "rude" or "immature."

    The Hsun-chung-lun focuses from beginning to end on the
    dedicatory stanzas of Nagarjuna's Madhyamakakarika and their
    themes of prapanca and the eight negations.


    I bow before universal wisdom—

    "Not passing away and not arising,
    Not annihilated and not eternal,
    Not one and not many,
    Not coming and not going,
    Buddha taught dependent co-arising
    To sever all prapanca—
    Thus I bow my head in reverence
    Before the best of all Dharma teachers



    Asanga agrees that
    the Tathagata preached the doctrine of the two truths, but points
    out that in so doing in fact he was preaching the suchness of
    things and it is incorrect to understand the two truths as two
    disparate levels of truth:

    [Nagarjuna] neither rejected [the truth of ultimate meaning] nor
    bifurcated [it from the truth of worldly convention]. If in the
    two truths one regarded ultimate meaning as disparate, then the
    suchness of beings would be separate from things true in the
    world.


    And so a term like "prapanca" becomes Parikalpita in his later Yogacara books. This piece may have been translated during his lifetime, or at any rate not long after. It does not have the atmosphere of trackless centuries and ambitious mis-attribution. It is much closer to "continuity of Madhyamaka and Yogacara". The poor quality of the translation stems from the difficulty of Sanskrit to Chinese; for instance, what they did to "Gotra" is very different.


    Or using a scan:


    The text is clearly Indian, delving into the intricacies of formal logic and argumentation in a way few early Chinese attempted.

    Asanga's interpretation of Nagarjuna's stanzas should amply convince the scholar of later Tibetan and Chinese disputes between Madhyamika and Yogacara that Asanga himself, at this stage at least, fully accepted and affirmed the basic Madhyamika notions, and, inasmuch as he never is recorded to have repudiated Madhyamika in any later text, that he maintained his commitment to Madhyamika throughout his entire career.

    The anonymous author of the brief introductory note explains:

    Nagarjuna Bodhisattva was a master of the basic teaching and, relying on the Mahnprajnaparamita, composed the full text of the Mndhyamika-sastra. But he did not exhaust its ramifications. The Mahayana sastra master Asariga understood points not yet clarified and composed this article in a discerning manner.

    Frauwallner:


    Asanga himself wrote a commentary to Nagarjuna s Madhyamakakarika, the Madhyamakanusara (T 1565)


    Or, as probably scanned poorly in Indian Historical Quarterly:


    He also translated a well-known work called Madhyanta nuga mamstra ,
    (Nanjio 1246), composed by Nagarjuna and Asanga, the latter having
    explained the text of the former.


    Frauwallner has another puzzle about an "early Vasubandhu" translated by Kumarajiva, who is supposed to be a Madhyamaka:


    Concerning the Bodhicittotpadanasastra, Peri (Op. cit. pp = 30-34) has shown that in the early Chinese catalogues this work is either listed as anonymous, or attributed to Vasubandhu. Only one catalogue, the K ai yiian shih chiao mu lu (T 2154, ch. 12, p. 609 c, 1-4) speaks of an uncertainty in the tradition; it says: Some say that the Bodhisattva Vasubandhu composed it. But some say also that the Bodhisattva Maitreya expounded it.

    The traditional attribution of / the commentary on the Satasastra to Vasubandhu appears also from this point of view to be unimpeachable, and we have therefore no ground for rejecting it. It is noteworthy that this work too was translated not by one of the great followers of the YogScara school, but by Gautama Prajnaruci.

    Kumarajlva contributes towards the determination of the date of Vasubandhu this element, that he knew Vasubandhu's Mahayana works, i. e. works of his later period, and that he learnt of them already in his youth about 360 A. D. from his teacher Stiryasoma.


    Traditionally, Fo Hsing Lun (The Buddha Nature Treatise) is attributed to Vasubandha and translated into Chinese by 'Paramartha'. Some Buddhologists, for example, Takasaki, suspect that it was actually written by 'Paramartha'. However, this is still an unresolved issue.


    As used by Sthiramati, Mahayana Dharma Realm without Distinction, we are given in a footnote:

    The Chinese reads literally 'Tathaagata-store', but garbha means 'embryo, germ, womb'. The expression is a philosophical concept for the innate potentiality that is carried in all sentient beings to be born a Buddha. There is also a well-developed obstetric theory of spiritual transformation in Maahaayana Buddhism which takes the common sentient being as a dormant germ and the bodhisattva as an embryonic Buddha. It is from this Indian notion that the Chinese concept of Buddha-nature comes, the term being translated as fo-hsing ('Buddha-nature') in some translations of Indian texts found in the Chinese canon, especially those of the Nirvana Sutra. While 'Buddha-nature' is more a gloss than a translation of tathaagata-garbha and loses the obstetric connotations of garbha, it does not significantly deviant from what tathaagata-garbha is meant to signify: namely that sentient beings possess an innate nature from which Buddhas are born.

    From HPB, the more common:


    Hsin (Chinese) Mind, heart; philosophic term of the school of Ch’i (4th and 3rd centuries BC), which called its doctrine hsin shu (the art of mind). By mind is meant not the brain or the heart, but a “mind within the mind” that bears to the human constitution the same relation as the sun bears to its system.

    Hsing (Chinese) Used in the I Ching for an individual’s character or the soul’s qualities. Zhing [hsing], which is translated correctly enough ‘essence,’ is the more subtle and pure part of matter...


    I do not know why Chinese cannot translate "womb, embryo", especially since in this context, Dhatu has more to do with Mind and/or hidden potential of mind.

    Garbha and Gotra connote the arising of Bodhicitta, moreover, due to something from outside the psyche, particularly from Mahayana Sutras. At that point, it sheds the common ground of Prajna or Enlightenment as taught in the "lesser vehicles".




    So we found a brief, early Sutra in the hands of Lokasema, called "Lokanuvartana", meaning "conformity with the ways of the world", every verse here having the refrain:


    It is in conformity with the ways of the world that he makes such a show.


    The "show" is living, or anything he does:


    The Bodhisattva was not born from the sexual union of father and mother. His body is magically produced, like illusion.


    Then we are told that Prajnaparamita must have been a really old accomplishment as a disciple:


    Since many thousand myriad kotis of asamkheyakalpas ago the Buddha has accomplished prajnaparamita.



    The Sutra does contain the statement that the Skandhas, Dhatus, and Ayatanas are Empty, however this is quite brief, not drawn out like in Ratnavali. Instead, if I thought the Sutra was getting at something "beyond Prajnaparamita", it would be:



    The Buddha abides in suchness (tathata) l So he does not come and does not go.


    ...the suchness (tathata) of the Dharma pervades everywhere.


    The suchness of the Dharma cannot be surpassed because the past, present and future are empty.


    The suchness of (the Dharma) is without birth and extinction (nirodha), but pervades everywhere.


    If it would have said "sunya", it would sound like Ratnavali, but it does not, instead we see Tathata, concerning the Buddha, but not quite Tathagatagarbha, of the Bodhisattva. But even this right here is the base level teaching of Mahamudra--it is all about entering Luminous Suchness.


    Scholars picked off this from "Mahayana Sutras" or do not agree with:


    The editors of the Taishō Tripiṭaka attribute twelve texts to Lokakṣema.


    who also has a few lost texts, including:


    Guangming sanmei jing "Sutra on the Samadhi of Luminosity"


    One would have to look at the Mahasamghika page and do some sifting to figure that, it still appears to be their only Sutra. They don't have "Ten Tathagata Sutras" or any other "Mahayana Sutras", just this.

    This thing is about as obscure as the Nagarjuna hymn. There is hardly any reference to it, except Harrison 1992 considers it the likely origin of the Mahayana view of the Dharmakaya.


    Guang Xing 2006 did not question the Sutra's authenticity, and published in Sri Lanka. The basis of it is Manjushri's inquiry about how a Bodhisattva knows the Buddha Dharma? And the reply also includes Tri-yana because:

    The arhats and the pratyekabuddhas cannot know, how much less so the worldly people...


    It does so without the term "mahasattva", which seems to be used in later texts to differentiate a Mahayana Bodhisattva from one pursuing paramitayana or older Sutra doctrines. But that is actually a very strong position. No punches pulled. Arhat training does not convey what is intended here. That perhaps is a little "rude" to some ears, but Buddha was Enlightened by the Tathagatas snapping their fingers at him and telling him those things were inadequate.

    One may contend this is spurious, or just plain wrong, but it certainly appears to have the foundation of RGV and Mahamudra.

    It possibly is mis-titled on Wiki's "Mahayana Sutras" as:

    T458. Mañjuśrī's Inquiry Concerning the Bodhisattva Career (文殊師利問菩薩署經)


    Lokasema possibly had, but did not finish, Dasabhumika Sutra:


    During the Eastern Han dynasty (25-220CE), the Yuezhi
    月氏 monk Lokasema translated Daśabhūmika in Luoyang 洛陽. He began the
    translation of the Sanskrit-Chinese part of the sutra. Similar translations have been
    made by the Yuezhi monk Zhiqian 支謙91, Dharmaraksa and Nie Daozhen 聶道真
    (around 270-340CE) in the Western Jin dynasty (265-316CE) and people in the
    Northern and Southern Dynasties, the Sui dynasty and the Tang dynasty. Over 30
    translations of The Flower Adornment Sutra have been listed as separate versions in
    the 1st volume of Fazang’s Huayanjing Zhuanji 華嚴經傳記.


    Usually it is considered completed by Dharmaraksa, ca. 297--without the Gatha (verses).

    Also there is a remark that the Satvahanas were noted for profuse trade with the Mediterranean and a great deal of Roman coins. As we found in Bhutadamara Tantra, "Denarius" was widely-known then (early, ca. 5th-6th century), whereas versions that are not much later, ca. 8th century, are oblivious to this and lose the meaning.



    So we can see the under-reported Anulokavartana Sutra is fairly straightforward, among the earliest, and is also quite close to Yogacara doctrine. But we would get a much different picture if we just took early "Mahayana Sutras" collectively, particularly with respect to Nagarjuna. It has been determined unlikely that he commented Prajnaparamita, and unlikely he was involved with:


    T418. Pratyutpanna Samādhi Sūtra (般舟三昧經)


    which, ideally, is a sixty-day visualization of Amitabha. Otherwise, if you just do it for a few days, you still require a Dharmapala, another person to attend you.

    It is also disputed he did this Vibhasa, concerning a different message in Ugrapariprccha Sutra:


    It was also widely known in India, being one of the most quoted texts in both the Daśabhūmikā Vibhāṣā (The Great Commentary on the "Ten Stages Sutra" attributed to Nagarjuna) and Shantideva's Śikṣāsamuccaya (8th century).



    The sutra promotes the bodhisattva ideal as a difficult, strictly monastic path, taking thousands of lifetimes to complete and suited only for the few. It also does not mention any other central Mahayana doctrines or place its teachings in opposition to what would later be classified as "Śrāvakayāna" teachings.

    The position of householder is seen as highly disadvantageous to religious practice in comparison to the life of a pravrajita and householders are urged to ordain as soon as they are able. In the Ugraparipṛcchā Sūtra, the practice of living as a forest (āraṇyaka) bodhisattva is seen as preferable to being a village monk.

    It also emphasises solitary spiritual practices instead of community-based ones much like the very early Rhinoceros Sutra.



    Here is a small glimpse of how Nagarjuna probably did support visualization in Ratnavali. In the received version, it seems good that Sukhavati is viewed as relevant to earthly life, and then it is just kind of a visualized worldly happiness. Rather basic. This author thinks any mention of "sukha" must be about Sukhavati, although "the sun" is not, even though Amitabha means Infinite Light, and, of course, must have something to do with our host star:


    For the attainment of welfare and happiness in both the worlds (ubhaya-loka-hita-sukha) and of Nirvana has erected this stone pillar (skambha), in the sixth year of (the reign of) King Siri-Virapurisadata, and the sixth fortnight of the rainy season, the 10th day. From the inscriptions of Nagarjunakonda Sites 1, 5, and 43.

    This noted the gift of a stone pillar by the Mahadevi (Queen) Rudradharabhatarika, King Siri-Virapurisadata’s daughter from Ujjeni (Skt. Ujjayini), while the Mahachetiya (great stupa) was raised by the ladies, the Mahatalavaris, Chamtisitinika of (the family of) the Pukiyas.

    In addition, the emergence of the “xumoti” area was closely associated with the occurrence of Amitabha Buddha. In contrast, the Zoroastrian religion was established through the impact of the worship of the sun god because the Pure Land has been described as a “paradise of infinite light” in the Zoroastrian scripture “Avesta”.


    In addition, Nagarjuna, who probably lived in the Purvasaila, Aparasaila, and Caityaka monasteries during the time he wrote the Ratnavali (Walser 2005, pp. 87–88), indicated that we could obtain the “welfare and happiness of all beings” and become great men through a new devotion toward Buddhist images, stupas, and shrines.


    Nagarjuna wrote, “through proper honoring of stupas, you will become a Universal Monarch. Your glorious hands and feet marked with (a design of) wheels. Through the practices there are fame and happiness here, there is no fear now or at the point of death, in the next life happiness flourishes, therefore always observe the practices.”



    Lokasema’s translated texts in the second-century state the Buddha of the Ten Directions, “if one’s heart is focused on Amitabha one will be reborn in sukhavati, the Western Pure Land presided over by Amitabha.”


    This last remark is compatible with the Zoroastrian Sun and the Dharma as expressed in Lokanuvartana Sutra, which does resemble the start of Nagarjuna's Root Verses, as well as the somewhat famous quote from RGV.




    There are a lot of different messages there, depending on what you are exposed to. It seems that what was accepted in China, visualization of a blessed environment, may be as far as it goes. However, most Hindu yoga will give you something about Formlessness, which is also the intent of Prajnaparamita Sutra. This is "compressible" into Heart Sutra or Prajnaparamita Dharani, which was given to China, but also became a standard way to open meditation sessions at Vikramasila.


    That is carved in stone, literally. A female in Ujjain was interested in promoting Andhra Buddhism.

    But that is pretty far from a random statistic:


    According to the Sinhalese Buddhist tradition, their [Asoka and Devi's] children Mahendra and Sanghamitra, who preached Buddhism in modern Sri Lanka, were born in Ujjain.

    ...ivory seals with Brahmi text have been excavated at Ujjain.

    Ujjain emerged as an important commercial centre, partially because it lay on the trade route connecting north India to the Deccan, starting from Mathura. It also emerged as an important center for intellectual learning among Jain, Buddhist and Hindu traditions. After the Mauryans, Ujjain was controlled by a number of empires and dynasties, including local dynasties, the Shungas, the Western Satraps, the Satavahanas, and the Guptas.

    In the 6th century CE the Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang visited India. He describes the ruler of Avanti as a king who was generous to the poor and presented them with gifts.


    Not only was it wrecked by the Mughals:


    Ujjain was sacked several times by the Arabs of the Umayyad Caliphate in the 8th century CE.


    So far, the oldest inscription we have found for a tantric goddess is in this same Satavahana era, ca. 300, a woman donates gold to Parnasabari. Here we can put that together with the Queen of Avanti or Ujjain, and it is easy to see the background to Queen Srimala Devi Sutra, which is probably the most heavily-relied source for RGV.

    And then, Mahamayuri Sutra must pre-date Kumarajiva ca. 400 by some unknown figure. This is quite different from what has been mentioned, and Wiki does not consider it "main" enough to mention it as a "Mahayana Sutra". To say it was "important" in China is an understatement. It definitely has a "dharani system" which is not particularly apparent from those Sutra lists.


    If we ask it about Maitreya, it will give us a definite picture of the Seven Buddhas and then Maitreya:



    Namo Buddhaya. Namo Dharmaya. Namo Sanghaya.

    Homage to the Seven Buddhas, the perfect enlightened ones. Homage to Maitreya and all bodhisattva mahasattvas. Homage to pratyekabuddhas and sravakas, disciples who are on the path of the four accesses and four fruitions...


    namah sarva buddhanam svaha / pratyeka buddhanam svaha / arhatanam svaha / maitreya bodhisatvasya svaha / sarva bodhisatvanam svaha / anagaminam svaha / sakrdagaminam svaha / srotapannanam svaha / samyaggatanam svaha /


    Ananda, Maitreya also rejoiced in expounding this Mahamayuri Vidyarajni Dharani, saying:

    tadyatha / siri siri siri / bhadre / jyoti jyoti jyoti / bhadre / hare hare hare / harini harini / danti sabari sive sulapanini / bodhi bodhi bodhi bodhi bodhi bodhi / bodhisatve / bodhiparipacaniye svaha


    With either colored paint or five-colored powder, you should illustrate an eight-petalled lotus in the center of the inner court. Above the lotus womb you should draw the image of Bodhisattva Mahamayuri Vidyarajni, whose head in white faces east, and is clothed in white garment. She is adorned with various adornments such as a crown, a necklace made of jade and pearls, ear pendants and bracelets, and sits in the full lotus position on a white or blue lotus throne which rests on a golden peacock. Her countenance displays a compassionate disposition, and she has four arms. Her first right hand holds a fully opened lotus flower, in the second, a fingered citron [matulunga]. Her left hand, raised to the level of her breast, holds a pomegranate, and in the other hand are three to five stems of peacock’s feather.

    “Beginning from Mahamayuri’s right in a clockwise direction, upon the eight-petalled lotus that surrounds Mahamayuri, you should illustrate the seven buddhas of the past beginning with Vipasyin Buddha to Sakyamuni Buddha, followed by Maitreya, with their heads facing outward and seated in meditative absorption posture. When drawing Maitreya, who is positioned on the eighth petal at the northwest corner, he should be holding a water vase in his left hand, while his right hand extends his palm out in the bestowing of fearlessness gesture or abhaya mudra.

    “Beyond the lotus petals, and within the inner court, you should illustrate the four pratyekabuddhas in the four directions, depicting them in the buddha form with a ushnisha or protrusion on top of the head, sitting in meditative absorption posture.


    He has called her Sabari, and also Sulapani, which as we have found is used for Ekajati in Guhyasamaja Tantra; Ekajati is in this, and when considered with Lankesvari as found elsewhere in the Gandharan manuscripts, then yes it is not too hard to understand southeastern devis conveyed to the northwest at an early point. The royal patronage is combined with the tribal Shakti, immediately, from the view of available evidence. And then we find that proficiency in Mahamudra comes from Arrow Dakini, Guhyajnana Dakini, and Siddharajni or Jnanadakini.

    Paripācana (परिपाचन) refers to the “ripening (of beings)”, according to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter 41).—Accordingly, “[Digression on a case brought against the Buddha; B. The defense].—[9. Simultaneous Teaching of Existence and Non-existence].—[...] The Prajñāpāramitā is the emptiness of non-existence (anupalambha-śūnyatā). If the Buddha sometimes speaks of non-existent dharmas, it is in order to ripen beings (sattva-paripācana-artha) who, long afterwards, will all enter into the treasure of the Dharma of non-existence. [...]”.

    hariṇī (हरिणी).—f (S) A doe. 2 An individual of one of the four classes of womankind. See citriṇī



    The Buddhist Gateway to China was part of the Kushan Empire and Silk Road.

    From the Pali view, Kaniska probably became interested in Buddhism in his old age, and was not really a patriarch of Mahayana, and most of what is said about him is an embellishment. Like a redux of Asoka. In actuality he was syncretic.

    The estimate of his reign is 127–150 AD, having Peshawar as main capital and Mathura as a secondary.

    However, as to durable physical relics from the time of Kaniska, these coins are rare:


    ΜΕΤΡΑΓΟ ΒΟΔΔΟ (metrago boddo, the bodhisattava Maitreya)

    The Bodhisattva Maitreya (with the legend "Metrago Boudo") cross-legged on a throne, holding a water pot, and also forming the Abhaya mudra. These coins are only known in copper and are quite worn out . On the clearest coins, Maitreya seems to be wearing the armbands of an Indian prince, a feature often seen on the statuary of Maitreya. The throne is decorated with small columns, suggesting that the coin representation of Maitreya was directly copied from pre-existing statuary with such well-known features.


    The presence of Buddhist art there goes to:


    ...a few other from Gandhara are inscribed with a date in an era which is now thought to be the Yavana era, starting in 186 to 175 BCE.




    "Naga and two Nagis", year eight of Kaniska:







    That does seem a bit Kashmiri and Janguli. This style is relatively common, extending into west India.

    It is held that Kaniska, one way or another, was involved with Asvaghosha. Some say Nagarjuna was a contemporary.


    In this case, Asvaghosha is rather concretely known. Considering that the Kaniska Mahayana stories usually involve Sarvastivada, his page also seems to sense that "Mahayana" cannot be shown as the historically-accurate name, and Asvaghosha is a different kind of practitioner:


    c. 80 – c. 150 CE was a Sarvāstivāda or Mahasanghika Buddhist philosopher, dramatist, poet and orator from India. He was born in Saketa in northern India which is also known as Ayodhya. He is believed to have been the first Sanskrit dramatist, and is considered the greatest Indian poet prior to Kālidāsa. It seems probable that he was the contemporary and spiritual adviser of Kanishka in the first century of our era.

    It is now believed that Aśvaghoṣa was not from the Mahayanist period, and seems to have been ordained into a subsect of the Mahasanghikas. Some recent research into his kavya poems have revealed that he may have used the Yogacarabhumi as a textual reference, particularly for the Saundarananda, which opens up the possibility he was affiliated with either the Yogacara or the Sautrantika school.


    Easy to see Kaniska attempted to use Asvaghosha to bind a great number of texts, to which, Lokasema is the visible output. Might not have happened during either one of their actual lifetimes.


    In Tibet, Mahayana is said to have Six Ornaments, which is really the beginnings of "two lineages", as if Nagarjuna and Asanga are different, and ignores Asvaghosha:


    Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Asanga, Vasubandu, Dignaga and Dharmakirti.


    Yet Asvaghosha is crucial for Zen Patriarchs:



    14. Bashumitsu (Vasumitra, ca. 2nd century CE, linked with Kanishka)
    15. Butsudanandai (Buddhanandi)
    16. Fudamitta (Buddhamitra)
    17. Barishiba (Parshva, ca. 2nd century CE, linked with Kanishka)
    18. Funayasha (Punyayashas)
    19. Anabotei (Ashvaghosha, ca. 80-150 CE, linked with Kanishka)
    20. Kabimora (Kapimala)
    21. Nagyaharajuna (Nagarjuna, ca. 150-250 CE)
    22. Kanadaiba (Kanadeva)
    23. Ragarata (Rahulata)
    24. Sogyanandai (Sanghanandi)
    25. Kayashata (Gayashata)
    26. Kumorata (Kumarata)
    27. Shayata (Jayata)
    28. Bashubanzu (Vasubandhu, 4th century CE)


    He usually is mentioned as the first or most important, such as for Manjushri:

    His image has not been found in the Gandhara and Mathura schools of sculpture. The noted Buddhist scholars Ashvaghosha, Nagarjuna and Aryadeva have also not mentioned his name in their works.


    But in the Nepalese Vajrasuci:

    The first line of the Hodgson translation mentioned "Ashu Ghosa" and invoked "Manju Ghosa" as the Guru of the World.


    It is believed that Vajrasuci may be old enough to have been composed by Asvaghosha.


    Currently this is filed as a Pramana work:


    jagadguruṃ mañjughoṣaṃ natvā vākkāyacetasā|

    aśvaghoṣo vajrasūcīṃ sūtrayāmi yathāmatam||1||


    It is actually a Hindu text, and the point is less anti-caste in a socio-revolutionary manner, than it is to say that Brahman is attainable to whoever practices well, and favorably invokes Yudhisthira several times.


    If I look where Asvaghosha is supposed to be a Mahasamghika, instead we find a rollback to the above:


    Thus, at Mbh XII.188.1 Bhisma informs Yudhisthira that he will teach
    him the ‘fourfold discipline of meditation’...

    This passage seems
    to have borrowed Buddhist ideas, and not vice versa, because the corresponding ideas
    ( dhyanayogam, caturvidham, vicitra, vitarka and viveka, etc.) form part of a well-executed
    idea in the Buddhist scheme of four jhana-s,
    whereas in Mbh XII.188 an attempt is made
    to describe only the first dhyana, after which the similarities disappear...

    It is actually on p. 22:

    ...a Bahusrutika...

    Bud XII.85

    Johnston (1935–36, Part II:xxxv), Ashvaghosha's Buddhacarita


    He appears less Sarvastivada, more Yogacara, in Affiliation:


    Traditionally it was understood that Sarvastivada, Sautrantika, and Yogacara were three distinct traditions, but this framework has been seriously questioned in recent years.


    Author contends that Yogacara was a development "within", not "apart from". Asvaghosha's kavya poem has the fore-and-aft format like Nagarjuna's hymn:


    ...the methods of meditation practice described in the latter portion of the Saundarananda are closely related to those in the Sravakabhumi section of the Yogacarabhumi. Second, as we might expect from the foregoing discussion, most of the Sautrantika-like elements found in Asvaghosa’s works are also found in the Yogacarabhumi.



    The latter half of the Saundarananda consists of the Buddha’s exposition of the way of practice (Cantos 12-16), a description of Nanda’s actual process of practice (Canto 17), and the approval of his achievement by the Buddha (Canto 18).


    He was not just a Chinese phenomenon:


    ...the pictorial representation of Nanda legend in Ajanta Cave 16 is based on the Saundarananda.



    So far, he sounds like an informal, nascent Yogacara.


    Johnston's Buddhacarita follows the same train of thought, in the direction of Mahasanghika:


    ...for at their headquarters,
    Nagarjunikonda, a series of bas-reliefs have been recently
    discovered, which give the fullest sculptural representation
    extant of the story of Nanda and which, seem to be based on
    the Saundarananda, though in view of the following this might
    be accounted for by the presence of Bahusrutikas at that spot,
    as shown by the inscriptions.

    "Tattvasiddhi" or:

    Professor Demioville has however lately discovered
    fragments of Paramartha's lost commentary on Vasumitra's
    treatise on the Buddhist sects, in which the Satyasiddhi is said
    to be a work of the Bahasrutika section of the Mahasanghikas.



    If this means anything, it has a distinct beginning. It is a One Sutra school. The Pali canon technically does not exist at this time, either, probably fourth century. Even before we can be positive there is this Sutra, it is evident that Asvaghosha most likely migrated Mahasanghika Yogacara from south India to Peshawar, and this circuit must have a lot of momentum, if it attracts the attention of the Queen of Ujjain.

    It is not quite sheer conjecture to say there must have been many women following what we might call an "evolving conversation" which just as easily involves the Tathagatagarbha Sutras as anything else. The Ajanta project was hundreds of years after this. If Buddhism is what relieves Suffering, then of course it involves these women. Then of course some of that is going to be sexual yoga. Inevitably, without the advanced teachings in the Six Yogas and so forth, there must have been practitioners who started entering these states, and then yes, it would be hard to describe how to teach it to someone else.

    It seems to make more sense to take Asvaghosha and Nagarjuna as Yogacara, to which Asanga becomes an advanced systemization. The importance of Maitreya goes back at least to Kaniska. Evidently the same source. And so if there is, so to speak, an "Asvaghosha tradition" in Peshawar, where Asanga is from, it seems really difficult to think of him as a "different lineage", especially since he wasn't disputing doctrine, he was wanting a more powerful meditation training.

    Haribhadra says:

    According to tradition,
    although he knew the meaning of all of scripture and had obtained experience of it, Asanga was unable to understand
    the meaning of the Prajnaparamita due to the large number of repetitions and, there where there are no repetitions,
    because he did not see how to separate the various members [of the compounds]. He was very sad about it. Then the
    bhagavat Maitreya commented on the Prajnaparamita for him and gave him the treatise called Abhisamayalamkara...


    He was also incredibly academic, and we have already uncovered the main gist of Asanga, the individual, as summarized by King on Yogacara and Madhyamaka:


    The term seems to have derived its later doctrinal and scholastic
    specificity from the title of Asanga's major work, the voluminous Stages in
    the Path of Yoga (Yogacarabhumi). This work, however, far from being a
    sectarian exposition of Yogacara ideas, is a large-scale compendium of the
    stages of the Buddhist path, of which only a small part is devoted to the
    specific interests of the Yogacara school. This is a feature of much of
    Asanga's literary output, the other great example being his Compendium of
    the Mahayana (Mahayanasamgraha).


    So, yes, it is those "small parts" plus the Maitreya material. Particularly Mahayanasamgraha and RGV. That is where we are explained how Mahayana Yogacara works differently from Sravaka and Hindu practices, commenting a by-now much more comprehensive array of Sutras.




    The suggestion that Bodhidharma's guru was a woman owes to the fact that Chinese does not explicitly state gender, while Korean and Japanese refer to a female. This is combined with what is called oral tradition from Kerala:


    According to the story of Prajnatara from Kerala, originally she was a homeless waif who wandered western India and called herself Keyura, which means “necklace” or “bracelet.” One day she met Master Punyamitra, and they felt a great dharma connection between them from past lives.

    She became Punyamitra’s student and was re-named Prajnatara. She is remembered as an accomplished yogini and also as a powerful Siddhi who could see into the past, present and future.

    When Huns swept through northern India in the 5th century, Prajnatara went further south to escape the chaos. The Pallava king of south India, Simhavarman, invited her to teach in his capital, Kanchipuram. King Simhavarman’s youngest son, Bodhitara, became her student and was ordained a monk with the name Bodhidharma.


    Such a king occurs in the fifth or sixth century:


    Simhavarman II was a Buddhist unlike most other Pallava Kings who were predominantly orthodox Hindus.

    Reign 436 - 477 AD

    Simhavarman III

    Reign c. 525-555 CE



    Punyamitra identified Prajñātārā as an incarnation of the Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta.

    The Denkoroku [1300] by Keizan Jokin Zenji relates the following kōan, a legendary exchange between Prajñātārā and Bodhidharma.

    The Venerable Prajnatara asks Bodhidharma, "What is it that is formless amongst things?"
    Bodhidharma says, "Formlessness is unborn."
    Prajnatara asks, "What is the highest amongst things?"
    Bodhidharma says, "The Actual Nature is the highest."


    Bodhidharma left at a young age when she passed away. That could have been her only influence. Otherwise for example Punyamitra does not seem to be known to Indian Buddhism. And we have not been told about what was found in Kerala. Might just be a pillar verifying there was such a person as Prajnatara. We are left in the position that it is nearly impossible to assert anything about Bodhidharma.

    Could just be symbolic for the Mind as meant in Mahayana Sutras.


    One claim is that he was born as early as 440, which would mean that he met Prajnatara in the 460s. And he went a lot of places before Shaolin, which would have been in his 80s and the final ten years of his life. That is not terribly outrageous.

    His father, the king, was a devoted Buddhist and managed state affairs according to the Buddha's teachings. He showed his devotion to Buddhism by pious acts such as building Buddhist temples, printing Buddhist sutras, and encouraging his people to practice the Buddhist teachings. The king's wife constantly donated food and clothes to the poor. All of their efforts helped bring peace and harmony to the state. This environment helped nurture compassion in young Bodhidharma's heart.






    The real original "split" in the opinions of Buddhists was those who, similar to the Dzogchen of today, held that Buddha was "supernatural":


    The Mahāvastu is the Vinaya of the Lokuttaravāda school. Lokuttaravāda (Lokottaravāda) is a branch of Mahāsaṅghika.


    By this view of supernormality, it is easy to admit new scriptures, Sutras, etc., which was terribly offensive to the Elders or Theras.


    Nagarjuna is called "Mahayana" although that is an anachronism. Misunderstanding, perhaps, Manjushrimulakalpa, the early response to the pillars says:


    To attribute mastery of the Mayuri Tantra to
    the expounder of Madhyamika philosophy looks absurd
    on the face of it...



    It actually called him a "vidyadhara", not a "tantrika", and our question would be if Mayuri Vidyarajni could be as old as he is.

    Tantric Nagarjuna is not known to have anything to do with it. It is a Sutra, which doesn't really have transmission lineages. It certainly looks southern and transported to the northwest early on. And so far there seems no reason to question the commerce; we are just looking for evidences of Yogacara and so forth.




    There is a 2nd-3rd century Tamil story:


    The protagonist Manimekhalai, who is a Buddhist nun, quenches the hunger of countless beings with
    Amuda Surabhi (The Vase of Nectar) during the famine in Kanchi.

    In the epic Manimekhalai, the protagonist was sent by her Guru Aravana Adikal to Vanchi to
    learn other Darsanas (philosophies) like Vedavadi, Mimamsa, Śaivavadi, Vaishnavavadi, Brahmavadi, Samkhya,
    Vaiśeshika, Ājivika, Nirgrantha and Bhūtavadi (which includes Lokayata).

    In Manimekhalai, Vidyadharas from Himalayas travel to Potiyil and take rest there. With these evidences the
    Japanese scholar Shu Hikosaka (1989) identified Potiyil [Pothigai] as the mountain Potalaka of Avalokitesvara.



    If it is not supposed to be literally true, then if considered that it would be written in terms that a popular audience would understand, we see what is involved.


    The Satavahanas are thought to have come from central or west India, it is not quite certain, although they seem to have existed before and rose to prominence after the end of the Mauryas. In this case, royal history is the same as Buddhist, despite none of these kings themselves being Buddhists that we are aware of.



    The oldest Satavahana inscription is the one found on a slab of the upper drum (medhi) of the Kanaganahalli Great Stupa mentioning year 16 of Vasisthiputra Sri Chimuka Satavahana's reign, which can be dated from ca. 110 BCE.


    In circa the 1st century BC the stupa at Kanganahalli was constructed, as per the inscriptions referred to as Hama Chaitya and it was patronized by the Hinayana and Mahayana divisions of Buddhism during the 3rd and 4th centuries AD.

    The Kanaganahalli Maha Stupa is the veritable gallery of eminent rulers like King Ashoka and the Satavahana rulers (Simuka, Pulumavi) are immortalized by depicting their portraits at Kanaganahalli.

    Kanaganahalli in Karnataka is the site with an inscription in Brahmi script reading "Ranyo Ashoka" (King Ashoka) and a sculpture of King Ashoka.













    On another stone slab at Kanaganahalli, the king is possibly shown together with a Nagaraja, and the inscription reads:

    Lord King Simuka the Satavahana, Nagaraja Sakhadhābho


    No one would try to call Asoka "Mahayana", but at some point, the Satavahanas do become hosts of Mahasanghika.

    At a Jaganath temple:

    Pillar with Naga Mucalinda protecting the throne of the Buddha. Railing pillar from Jagannath Tekri. Pauni (Bhandara District). 1st century, the earliest reference to this deity in India.






    However, Sanchi:

    ...was originally commissioned by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century BCE.

    ...the ancestor of the didactic forms of Buddhist art that would follow, such as the art of Gandhara. It is also, with Bharhut, the oldest.

    As didactic Buddhist reliefs were adopted by Gandhara, the content evolved somewhat together with the emergence of Mahayana Buddhism


    So the Satavahanas continued upgrading it.


    Yakshini:








    Lakshmi:








    Sanchi is in Madhya Pradesh, not far from Bhopal, and can claim to be among the largest, oldest structures in India:


    The original construction work of this stupa was overseen by Ashoka, whose wife Devi was the daughter of a merchant of nearby Vidisha. Sanchi was also her birthplace as well as the venue of her and Ashoka's wedding.

    The composite flourished until the 11th century.



    Amaravati, or the third school of art, may not have been started by Asoka or the Satavahanas, and compared to finding the same story:


    The subject matter of many detailed narrative reliefs is still unidentified...


    Asoka started Sanchi and Bodh Gaya. That is what those reliefs are about. He is sad because the area was neglected.

    Sanchi was in continuous operation for well over a thousand years. Therefor, Gandahar and Andhra are probably offshoots of this. If anything, it is closest to Maharastra. There is a kind of common "masonic language" which appears to use Nanda's story from Asvaghosha.

    The site is highly eclectic, representing Kharosthi, Greek, etc., which says nothing as to it being the cradle of Lokottara views. It just means that they could easily be spread to any audience, and so the Satavahana work is supposed to show this, in a Mahayana context.

    Quite possibly:


    Pulumavi IV, the last king of the main line, ruled until c. 225 CE. During his reign, several Buddhist monuments were constructed at sites including Nagarjunakonda and Amaravati.

    It indicates "tolerance", since most of the funding was done by "everyone", although in a few instances there is a concentration of women.


    Then they are reduced to a northern fragment for about another hundred years, and the Pallava dynasty is the southeastern fragment of the former kingdom.

    Pompeii ivory Lakshmi from Satavahana origin:







    By ca. year 150, we are able to find the combination of Maitreya and Lokanuvartana Sutra in Peshawar. Most likely, these had originated from Andhra at some indeterminate time. The template of this Sutra appears inspirational to Asvaghosha's poem and Nagarjuna's hymn, and the poetized aspect is distributed across most, if not all, of the major Indian stoneworks for multiple centuries.

    Nagarjuna's more-influential Catuskoti perhaps is a similar template for RGV.

    Takasaki's RGV Study tells us Ratnamati first translated it ca. 511, and Bodhiruci may have done another version, and those two are competing schools.

    Xiejie currently promotes it more or less as an Atma doctrine. Chinese translations are not that good or authentic, especially with "Gotra" and "Fohsing".

    That was still true in 1961, C. A. Muses' text has a lot of almost embarrassing slip ups, even though in some places it also sinks some teeth into "crypto-Nyingma" Tson kha pa. And yet Tibet can claim six versions of RGV. It is hard for me to see much reason to deviate from Johnston's 1950 Sanskrit with Asanga's commentary. From what we have seen, as soon as it was published, an Indian was able to easily see the inter-textual Atma.

    It says that unless you do the Mahayana training, you will get the Nirvana of the Hindus anyway.

    Lokanuvartana probably really is the first written description of Dharmakaya the way we intend it, and then there is Samdhinirmocana Sutra where Maitreya is on the subject of meditation, and then there is RGV ca. 500, a Sastra using, probably, to him, a melange of the most important Sutras. If Bodhiruci is reliable, Asanga agrees with Nagarjuna.


    Maitreya and Nagarjuna I seem to be a bit of a different era than we have been apprised of, in about the same way that Nagarjuna II is actually using the esoteric doctrine of Sakyamitra.



    The Chinese varieties were a source of concern of Faxian and the formation of Weishi:


    ...first with the Northern and Southern Dilun schools, which followed, respectively, the opposing interpretations by Bodhiruci and Ratnamati of the Dilun (Vasubandhu's commentary on the Shidi jing; Sanskrit, Daśabhūmika-sūtra). Thereafter, a different brand of Yogacara was introduced by the translator ParamĀrtha (499–569) in the mid-sixth century.

    Disputes between these three schools, as well as various hybrids of Yogācāra and tathĀgatagarbha, had become so pervasive by the time of Xuanzang (ca. 600–664) that he traveled to India in 629 believing that texts as yet unavailable in China would settle the discrepancies. Instead he found that the Indian understanding of Yogācāra differed in many fundamentals—doctrinally and methodologically—from what had developed in China, and on his return to China in 645 he attempted to narrow the differences by translating over seventy texts and introducing Buddhist logic.

    The two doctrines that drew the most attacks were the Faxiang rejection of tathāgatagarbha ideology for being too metaphysically substantialistic and the Faxiang doctrine of five seed-families (Sanskrit, pañcagotras; Chinese, wu xing), which held that one's potential for awakening was determined by the good seeds already in one's consciousness stream.

    A fifth seed-family, icchantika, being devoid of the requisite seeds, can never and would never desire to achieve awakening. Since the other East Asian Buddhist schools held that all beings possess buddha-nature incipiently as tathāgatagarbha, and thus all have the potential for awakening, they found the icchantika doctrine unacceptable.


    So, around the 600s, the notions of Candrakirti had pushed Yogacara away from Nalanda into Gujarat. That is probably behind "too substantialistic". Lusthaus improves the accuracy towards the subject:


    ...garbha means embryo, womb or matrix, and was translated into Chinese as zang, meaning ‘repository’.


    Bodhiruci’s reading followed a relatively orthodox Yogācāra line, while Ratnamati’s interpretation leaned heavily toward a Buddhist ideology only beginning to receive attention in China, tathāgatagarbha thought.

    ...enlightenment entailed bringing the ālaya-vijñāna to an end, while it meant actualizing the tathāgatagarbha.

    Since, like a stream, the ālaya-vijñāna is reconfigured each moment in response to constantly changing conditions, it is not a permanent self, although, being nothing more than a sequential chain of causes and effects, it provides sufficient stability for an individual to maintain a sense of continuity. According to classical Yogācāra texts, the mind (that is, ālaya-vijñāna and the mental events associated with it) is the problem, and enlightenment results from bringing this consciousness to an end, replacing it with the Great Mirror Cognition (ādarśa-jñāna); instead of discriminating consciousness, one has direct immediate cognition of things just as they are, as impartially and comprehensively as a mirror. This type of enlightenment occurs during the eighth stage according to the Dilun and other texts.


    Yes, that is the main technique of Mahayana meditation, Asraya Paravrtti, which in the detailed tantric practices, is Melting the Bindu. And we have collated the information about how this is the core of "four stages" commentarial system from Jnanapada through Naro. This simple synopsis does not require a library of thirty or fifty Sutras like they made, in fact, it is easier to avoid Vasubandhu.


    Li Zhi cave at the Longmen Grottoes near Luoyang in Henan Province, China is the ancestor-worshipping cave, and the largest of all caves carved on the west hill. It was built between 672 and 676 for Empress Wu Zhao. It features a large Vairocana Buddha.

    She was on the receiving end of Xuanzang's redaction, revised by Fazang, considered now to be Avatamsaka or Hua Yuan school; but also, Empress Wu is thought to have inherited a mix of Buddhism, Manichaeism, and rebellion:


    The Old Tang Shu (《旧唐书》)states that Xue Huaiyi, Fa Ming and others edited the Great Cloud Sutra (Mahamegha-Sutra) in which it mentioned Zetian as the incarnation of Maitreya and the King of Heaven would be married to Empress Tang.

    Monk Fa Ming of East Wei State Temple edited four volumes of the Great Cloud Sutra which depicted the Empress as the reincarnation of Maitreya and was assigned to succeed the Emperor of Tang Dynasty Who would issue order to the people.


    At the most benign:


    She stood up from her seat with her bare right arm and knelt down before Buddha while saying, “The only Bhagavat, when I am 60,000 years old and become the real incarnation of Maitreya, may I enlighten the Heaven and the Land as the present Buddha?”

    An Shigao(安世高), a high monk from the Western regions (now Central Asia) translated Mahavapulyamahasannipapasutra into Chinese a work indicative of the first arrival of the belief of Maitreya coming into China.


    On the difficulty of explaining anything, let alone the original meaning of Maitreya, Fazang did something like the following:


    When Fazang first lectured on the Flower Garland Sutra, the principles he expounded upon were so abstruse that the listeners were utterly dumbstruck. Therefore, to render the sutra comprehensible to his imperial patrons and to the masses of Buddhist faithful, he used metaphors such as Indra’s Net of Jewels and the Golden Lion. In the former, “In each of the jewels, the images of all the other jewels are reflected…the images multiply infinitely, and all these multiple images are bright and clear within a single jewel.” This concatenation, this mutual linking and inter-penetration, illustrates harmonious interconnectedness of everything. Here, causal sky net objects can not be conceived of independently: the nature of each object is defined by its place with relation to all other objects. He also devised a Hall of Mirrors to illustrate the workings of Indra’s Net and the power of the Buddha by arranging ten mirrors (corresponding with the Ten Mysterious Gates), eight in an octagon, one above and one below, with a statue of the Buddha set in the middle, the focal point of origin and return. When he lit a torch to illumine the centerpiece, an endless web of reflected light crisscrossed, creating an infinite series of images within images, each containing the entire Buddha. This demonstration made manifest the meaning of the inexhaustible interconnectedness of the universe, hence the infinite power of the Buddha.

    or:


    He built a hall of mirrors in order to illustrate for the Empress Wu-Zetian the doctrine of mutual interpenetration of all things; in the room of mirrors the shrine and Buddha statue reflected infinitely. (Incidentally, in Hua-yen Buddhism the alaya-vijnana is called the great ocean mirror.)


    Fazang’s emphasis on the omniversal generative power of the tathagatagarbha, the “womb of Buddhahood,” while not unique...


    According to Hubbard:


    Interesting in any discussion of pratityasamutpādai and tathāgatagarbhat is that Fa-tsang put
    “causation by tathāgatagarbha” as the third of four causation theories, his own dharmadhātu-pratītyasamutpāda being
    the fourth and highest. This form of absolute unity within difference...


    In more detail from Gregory:


    Fa-tsang divides the Buddha's teachings into five categories.
    The first and most elementary of these is the Teaching of
    the Lesser Vehicle (hsiao-sheng chiao >h % & ). The second is the
    Elementary Teaching of the Great Vehicle (ta-sheng shihchiao
    A^$n& ), which Fa-tsang subdivides into two categories,
    corresponding to the particular brand of Yogacara introduced
    to China by Hsiian-tsang and the Madhyamika teaching
    of emptiness. Fa-tsang refers to the third category in his classification
    scheme as the Advanced Teaching of the Great Vehicle
    (ta-sheng chung-chiao A ^ l £& ), which is exemplified by the
    Tathagatagarbha doctrine, especially as it was elaborated in the
    Awakening of Faith (Ta-sheng ch'i-hsin lun ~k $i £2 it tm). The fourth
    category is the Sudden Teaching (tun-chiao $&& ). The fifth
    and highest category of Buddhist teaching is the Perfect Teaching
    {yiian-chiao Ifl] & ), as represented by the totalistic vision of
    the unobstructed interrelation of all things, taught in the Huayen
    {Avatamsaka) Sutra.


    He may have called it a "school" but the older T'ien T'ai has the doctrine:


    But they did not simply parrot the Indian teaching
    on Buddha Nature; what makes the Chinese doctrine of
    tathagatagarbha or Buddha Nature outstanding and
    unique is that Chinese Buddhists developed and
    reinterpreted it creatively.

    Fa-tsang, the most important patriarch of the
    Hua-yen school, was the first to identify the
    `Tathagatagarbha` as an independent school.


    They get confused due to saying the Garbha has "inherent evil", and then the translation "storehouse" sounds like "Alaya Vijnana", which is then confused into "Buddha Nature". This is only slightly mitigated by "impurity":


    Hui-ssu did not use the term "inherent evil"
    (hsing-er) which is used by Chih-i. Rather, he used
    the term "inherent impurity" (hsing-jan). Following
    the `tathagaragarbha` tradition, the Ta-ch'eng
    chih-kuan fa-men takes the `tathagatagarbha` as
    possessing two aspects, the "empty tathagatagarbha"
    and the "non-empty `tathagatagarbha`." However, the
    meaning of the latter term in the Ta-ch'eng chih-
    kuan fa-men is different from the traditional
    definition found in `tathagatagarbha` texts such as
    the Lion's Roar of Queen `Srimala`; the Awakening of
    Faith in `Mahayana`, and so forth. In the latter
    text the "non-empty `tathagatagarbha`" refers to
    immeasurably undefiled and pure virtues, i.e., the
    garbha empty of all defilements. By contrast, the
    "non-empty `tathagatagarbha`" in the Ta-ch'eng
    chih-kuan fa-men includes both purity and impurity.


    What Yogacara says is that even a Buddha has Paratantra, which is neither inherently evil or particularly impure. In fact, it is more like "conformity with the ways of the world", an acceptance of the limitations of form in order to cummunicate with those beings who perceive it.

    At the most superficial, Empress Wu got in the face of the tradition of Confucian male dominance. Correspondingly to Tathagatagarbha and the validity of women, Diana Paul got into the Srimala Devi Sutra in 1974, telling us Gunabhadra translated it to Chinese, and:


    The Ch'eng wei-shih lun (Vijñaptimātratāsiddhi) by Hsüan-tsang also quotes from the Śrīmālādevī sūtra but does not identify the sūtra by name.


    Seeing as a woman is not much further from the context of monastic superiority than a layman, Srimala Devi and Vimalakirti are published together.


    She sort of found that Ekayana must have two different meanings:


    The Śrīmālā, although it affirms that all beings share the same buddha-nature and emphatically embraces the idea of a Single Vehicle, nevertheless asserts that śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas cannot comprehend the needed steps to shed adventitious stains and reveal the intrinsic purity of mind; only bodhisattvas can.

    Her work is mostly in Oriental commentaries. And we can hardly find continuity of the meaning, whether by innovation or simple mistakes. If it is in RGV which may be obscure, it is also in Mahāyāna sūtrālaṁkāra which is not. There are allusions in Lankavatara Sutra, and it is again in Santideva's Śikṣāsamuccaya.

    Bodhiruci used a Sanskrit text of the Śrīmālādevī sūtra for reference in translating the text into Chinese. This means Bodhiruci II in the 700s, forty-eighth in Ratnakuta Sutra.


    She found that Embryo and Womb are passive and active meanings of Garbha. Srimala Devi deals more with purity, i. e. Prabhasvara, whereas Lankavatara gives the addition of Asraya Paravrtti.



    Curiously, Maitreya appears to have swiped half a title, Sutralamkara, from Asvaghosha. In that case, it is a collection of avadana or jataka tales. These at least are thought to show Mahayana creeping in. As to Asvaghosha:


    An example of real Mahayanist is Buddha bhakti is also furnished by No. 68, where Gautami, the foster mother of the Buddha, attains to Nirvana through the grace of the Buddha.


    However, he probably cycled a collection from Kumaralata:


    The formula sarvamasti proves a liking for metaphysical subtlety that is foreign to primitive Buddhism. Likewise the refinement in the way of thinking and in the style of Asvaghosa's writing is very far from the origins. However, we must not forget that some works, ascribed at a late date to Asvaghosa, may have been composed long before his time.


    So according to Hahn, it is:


    Kumaralata's Kalpanamanditika Drstantapankti (alias Asvaghosa's Sutralamkara)


    The idea is that "Drsti" is being replaced by "Sruti", from Ananda, evam maya srutam, so i. e. Bahusruti = having heard many Sutras. So the previous authorship was diminished, and it is maybe a bit of an over-write, except Asvaghosha was not at liberty to make up a bunch of these to suit his needs, so this perhaps has a prior basis.

    Maitreya is obviously referring to the same design, but with respect to Mahayana Sutras as a genre which was not really around in Asvaghosha's time.


    For his other major work, Lamotte found two Nepalese Saundaranandas, and nothing in Tibet. Here is the Oslo transcript and translation.


    It is very well-written, however, it is like Nagarjuna; seems to reflect Pali Buddhism, and almost nothing of Mahayana. For instance, his goal is Liberation, Moksha or Vimukti. It is Arhat or Mahatma training, not Bodhisattva. It is mostly a coaching on meditation at the level of subduing gross impediments or Kleshas. The saving grace is that although it does heavily rely on Sunya, this is just a means to realize Dharma and Svasamvedana, which does not appear in that specific term, but does with phrases using "smrti" and other older synonyms.

    One time it does mention Lokottara as the Path.

    That battles the Kleshas, and manifests the Bodhyanga or Jewels of Enlightenment.

    There at least is also mention of Karuna as the motive. So it begins with Buddha's Enlightenment, and, if this book has a "flavor" at all, that is because Karuna motivates him to teach Nectar:


    avabudhya caiva paramārtham ajaram anukampayā vibhuḥ |
    nityam amṛtam upadarśyituṃ sa varāñasīparikarām ayāt purīm ||

    3.10 Awake to the one great ageless purpose, and universal in his compassion,
    He proceeded, in order to display the eternal deathless nectar, to the city sustained by the waters of the Varaṇā and the Asī – to Vārāṇasī.


    It has multiple appearances, such as:


    phalam amṛtadharmasiddhayoḥ |


    or, with respect to Svasamvedana:


    The nectar exists in the hands of him for whom awareness pervades the body.


    There are no Paramitas, although Prajna is included:


    tataḥ pītvā prajñārasam amṛtavat tṛptahṛdayo viviktaḥ saṃsaktaṃ viṣayakṛpaṇaṃ śocati jagat ||

    Then he drinks the essence of wisdom as if it were the deathless nectar and his heart is filled.


    And towards the end, it is the whole point of the imparted practice:


    The 17th Canto of the epic poem Handsome Nanda, titled “Obtaining the Deathless Nectar.”


    I believe you could call it "Lokottaravada"; although this term only appears once, the Buddha is "supernatural", emitting Golden Light. He takes Nanda to Vajradhara = Indra Heaven, where he is amazed by the nymphs. Then he is shown that even this realm is perishable.


    Asvaghosha was certainly purposeful and clever:


    It is wrought out of the figurative expression of kāvya poetry in order to capture an audience whose minds are on other things...


    So, yes, he has gathered Abhidharma similar to Prajnaparamita Sutra, which is about the same as Pali. It is not just a list or statement, but an extended Avadana in eighteen large chapters. It exhausts the first Four Dhyanas. Its critique of sex is due to attachment, mental disturbances, and impermanence, which is the same for Strength = Egotism, and everything else. So there could still be sex, exercise, worldly things and so on, which is more or less "without sin" if done from the proper mental state. He doesn't really say that. But this seems to be a very outer, exoteric type of training, which after study, one could understand Asanga thinking, well, it is about yoga, except it is mostly "setting the scene", and there is no apparent motion from me starting this, to the state of that potent magical being called Buddha.

    And it certainly is "a yogacara", which is a term Asvaghosha uses generically for "a practice", such as:

    yogācāras tathāhāraṃ śarirāya payacchati |
    kevalaṃ kṣudvighātārthaṃ na rāgeṇa na bhaktaye ||

    14.19 So the devotee of practice tenders food to his body
    Solely to stave off hunger, neither with passion nor as devotion.



    It matches the "surface" of Buddhist metaphysics, since it talks about crossing Kamadhatu to enter the state of Anangamin, and then the Four Form Dhyanas to become an Arhat, at which point he has to add "Viraja" to describe the realized state:


    śānte ’smin virajasi vijvare viśoke saddharme vitamasi naiṣṭhike vimuktaḥ ||

    To be released into this quieted, dustless, feverless, sorrowless, ultimate true reality, which is free from darkness.


    Then basically it stops.

    The Skandhas are mentioned one time, but, you would have to do a lot of outside work to figure out what this means. Then once you can understand them as Nama Rupa:



    yadaiva yaḥ paśyati nāmarūpaṃ kṣayīti taddarśanam asya samyak |

    When a man sees psycho-physicality as subject to dissolution, that insight of his is accurate


    yathāsvabhāvena hi nāmarūpaṃ tad dhetum evāstagamaṃ ca tasya |
    vijānataḥ paśyata eva cāhaṃ bravīmi samyak kṣayam āsravāṇām ||

    16.46 For in him who sees psycho-physicality as it is, and who sees its origin and passing away,
    From the very fact of his knowing and seeing, I predict the complete eradication of the pollutants.



    So there is not exactly a Transformation into Nirmana and Sambhoga Kaya, but again something closer to what we could get in the Pali. In the ending section, the Arhat displays Bodhisattva-like behaviors, without any kind of vow or other details, for example:


    avāptakāryo ’si parāṃ gatiṃ gato na te ’sti kiṃ cit karaṇīyam aṇv api |
    ataḥparaṃ saumya carānukampayā vimokṣayan kṛcchragatān parān api ||

    18.54 Walking the transcendent walk, you have done the work that needed to be done: in you, there is not the slightest thing left to work on.
    From now on, my friend, go with compassion, freeing up others who are pulled down into their troubles.


    From the Hindu view, I would probably just think I was reading a Sramana Sage, whose fault is by using only meditation and apparently rejecting orthodox practices and deities. He probably would not sound "wrong" so much as he just lacks any faith in Vishnu, etc., and may not be much different from Samkhya.


    In the Buddhist view, there is a Lokottaravada ordination lineage passing through disparate individuals such as Atisa and Zenji Acharya. So firstly, from the Indian origins, it is not quite a distinct doctrine of its own because:



    Despite bearing this name, all sub-sects of the Mahāsāṃghikas seem to have accepted forms of supramundane or transcendent teachings.

    While the Mahāsāṃghikas initially flourished in the region around Magadha, the Lokottaravādins are known to have flourished in the Northwest...It is likely that the Lokottaravādins had no major doctrinal distinctions to distinguish them as different from Mahāsāṃghika, but that the difference was instead a geographic one.

    The Sanskrit text of the Mahāvastu was preserved in the libraries of the Mahayana Buddhists of Nepal.


    And we found differences are shaped in "Transcendentalism", which has the Maitreya version, and then usually two main digressions, as represented by the views of...Atisa and Zenji Acharya. Comparatively, Xuanzang visited a Lokottaravāda vihara in the 7th century CE at Bamiyan, which has been discovered to have the following:


    Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra

    Śrīmālādevī Siṃhanāda Sūtra


    So, one could say Asvaghosha was a Lokattaravadin, based on a small set of circumstances, which might be taken in different directions by different commentarial traditions. Centuries later, Maitreya boils this down into a particular direction, using for example the same Sutras just mentioned. Like anyone else, it is still in the "tradition of Nagarjuna". However, he says certain things which again seem to get twisted around and changed. These days, by removing the geography and editorial revisions, we are able to determine what that is.

    Nancy Schuster found an evolution in Mahasanghika Ratnakuta Sutras about Changing the Female Body:


    ...there are many Mahayana scriptures which insist that only
    the ignorant make distinctions between the religious aspirations and
    intellectual and spiritual capacities of men and women. This position
    is the only one which is consistent with the Mahayana doctrine of the
    emptiness of all phenomena. This is the doctrine which lies at the
    heart of many Mahayana scriptures, beginning with the Perfection of
    Understanding Sutras (Prajnaparamitasutras). It is the position of the
    Maharatnakuta texts discussed in this essay.


    Being written based on a male Buddha, all doctrines were based on having a male body, and several Sutras including Lotus Sutra show someone changing from woman to man. The slightly later exceptions are Srimala Devi and Gangottara. Again, it is more or less breaking the mold:


    In ancient India, a woman's duty was far more rigidly defined
    than a man's; it was limited to her sexual functions so that if a woman
    performed a truth act it would affirm the fulfillment of her duty as
    devoted wife, or as successful prostitute.

    Gangottara Sutra is miniature, one page; a bit unlike Asvaghosha, it includes a denial of seeking Nirvana, and she must succeed with a different Mahayana Nirvana:


    ...in the past, a thousand Tathagatas also taught this Dharma here, and each of those assemblies was also led by a laywoman named Gangottara. After hearing this Dharma preached, the laywoman and all the assembly left the household life. [In time,] they entered the nirvana without residue.


    Finally the devas of Kama Loka recognize her equality:

    Rare indeed is this laywoman, who can converse fearlessly with the Tathagata on equal terms.


    Chinese Tang era female polo player:


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    Default Re: Nirakara and Shentong Buddhism, Tara, Sadhanas, Sanskrit culture

    Asvaghosha and problematic transmissions




    This is weirder than even only ten years ago, when a considerable volume of Buddhist material was already online. People started finding the limitations of "old scholarship", and the quality and inter-knit-ness of a lot of newer work using further discoveries of manuscripts brings a noticeable change.


    In Physics, we call it "diminishing returns", because as the hoard reveals items from a finite collection, there becomes less to find, and our questions have to be satisfied by what comes forth.


    This is a type of comeback from what numerous Jihads did to India, which is why most of our original materials are missing. What we find in China and Tibet amounts to a record that "there was something like this". Unfortunately, in most cases, there are anything from small mistakes to intentional revisions of the originals. When we find a comparable item in Nepal, it is usually more complete and accurate.


    In China, we have mostly overlooked the first translator, An Shigao, since he is not a Mahayana source. This is how he is described in what is properly named Han Buddhism:

    Shigao’s corpus does not contain any Mahayana sutras, however Shigao himself is referred to in early Chinese writings as a Mahayana Bodhisattva...


    Luoyang, the early translation center, was the Han capital. As to the Persian, An Shigao:

    Before long, he mastered Chinese [?] and...

    ...translated more than twenty Theravada
    sutras, including the Sutra on the Eight Awakenings of a Great Person, the
    Eightfold Path Sutra, and Sutras on Dhyana.


    He has anywhere from twelve to two hundred works, depending on what may be authentic. And even a short Dhyana Sutras list includes "Mahayana texts probably not by him".


    Probably such as the Agama:

    Dharmacakrapravartana Sūtra An Shigao (T 109)


    He was not said to have anything to do with Kaniska, and entered China on his own, ca. 150, most likely emphasizing:

    Ānāpānasmṛti-sūtra, or the “Mindfulness of Breathing discourse”. During the Eastern Han period the foremost meditation technique taught by An Shigao and his school was a form of anapanasati (annabanna 安那般那) which remained influential for centuries afterwards.


    He is "associated with" Kashmiri Sarvastivada and Yogacara, but it is next to physically impossible for him to have "Mahayana". And yet, even from this humble beginning, he appears to be piled on with false attributions, usually along the lines of first and elder being more authentic and reliable.


    In other cases, the reply is ad hoc, such as from Berzhin, in the difficult position of reconciling Tibetan Prasangika with Chinese Buddha Nature, at least is willing to admit:


    Nagarjuna did not directly quote any of the scriptural sources for his teachings, he explained the general meaning that came from sources. Nagarjuna is called the spiritual father of his disciple Aryadeva, and neither of them quoted actual scriptural sources.


    Asvaghosha and Nagarjuna more or less stated their own opinions, neither one of them quite conforming to "Mahayana" except as rudiments.


    Harrison on Manjushri tells us that he appears in Lokaksema's Pajnaparamita Sutras and probably half of his works, while Avalokiteshvara is nearly invisible. But this does separate the two texts:


    Wenshushili wen pusa shu jing (WWP), or the Sūtra
    of Mañjuśrī’s Questions Concerning the Bodhisattva Career, Mañjuśrī is referred to
    only twice, and plays no active part. Lokakṣema’s translation (T.458) is the only
    version in existence, and is bedevilled by obscurities...


    Lokānuvartanā-sūtra (LAn; T.807)

    is a question from Manjushri, who:


    ...in the Tibetan translation in v. 2 as mkhas pa ’Jam dbyangs, i.e., Mañjughoṣa the Wise.


    What is intriguing, however, is that the parallel verses in the Mahāvastu are spoken
    not by the Buddha but form part of an extended eulogy delivered by the Venerable
    (āyuṣmant) Vāgīsa (see Jones 1949: 129, n. 5).The same figure, this time spelled
    Vāṇgīśa, re-appears later (ibid., 222-224) to recall a past life in which he was the
    disciple of the future Śākyamuni. Now, although it is perfectly possible that this is the
    same person as the Thera Vaṇgīsa, reputed author of numerous verses of praise and
    renowned for his gift for inspired eloquence or pratibhāna (see Malalasekera 1937,
    s.v.), what is curious is that Vāgīśvara (Lord of Speech) is also one of the names of
    Mañjuśrī.


    Compared to older scholarship with multiple sects and derived works, he agrees with some others that:


    ...we might cite the ideas that Mahāyāna Buddhism was lay-centred, that it was predominantly
    devotional in orientation, that it sprang from a revolt against monastic privilege and
    self-absorption, that it was organizationally distinct from the Mainstream Nikāyas,
    that it was one single movement, and that right from the start in India it carried all
    before it.


    Not seeming to know what he says, he observes that:


    ...there is often no Chinese equivalent where the Sanskrit has mahāsattva or the Tibetan
    reads sems dpa’ chen po.


    which we thought came from using "Mahayana Sutras" instead of a meager "Bhumis list".


    Lokaksema seemed to carry an evolving apparatus, i. e. Ugra Pariprccha still sounds like a Sravaka, a few things are more flexible, and the Lokanuvartana certainly has the beginning of Dharmakaya as meant by Maitreya.

    That study is somewhat contra- "celestial Bodhisattvas", which may be appropriate in some literary excavation, but is futile and meaningless from the tantric point.

    Outside of China, we see Manjughosha attached to Lokanuvartana and to Asvaghosha's Vajrasuci. We cannot be sure if Lokaksema stripped it, or did not have the final Sutra.


    The available Lokanuvartana version is the above-mentioned 807, and, if it is supposed to go with Prajna Paramita, it is an Upaya text. Manjushri says:


    [How do the Bodhisattvas see] the suchness without any differentiation between knowledge (jñāna) and skillful means (upāyakauśalya) as sealed with the seal of the Tathāgata?



    As in the later Srimala Devi, there is no Sambhogakaya, but:


    The Buddha can manifest himself in numerous bodies (nirmanakaya)...


    Matching this:

    This is probably the first sutra in which the Buddhas of the ten directions of the world are spoken of.


    What about "sealing"?

    One Tibetan translation was used, and some Sanskrit fragments as well, along with the Chinese. The Tibetan is in verse, the Chinese being "suggestive" of verse due to the repeated refrain. In cases like this, where something early and Chinese resembles something later and Tibetan, it is understood that it was "something" in India, not a fabrication of either. As we have seen, not all works have this benefit.

    The teaching that was being countered was that Sarvastivada said that Buddha performed austerities due to karma; Lokottaravada rejects this, substituting "a show". Also, we have found that being offered food was the trigger that made him reconsider austerities and think there might be something else to Enlightenment. For "anuvartana":



    ...according to the Lokottaravādin school, this conformity to worldly life on the part of the Buddha is a mere ‘imitation’ or ‘reflection’, as in a mirror, bimbe kanakabimbābhe eṣā °tanā Mahāvastu i.168.15; this passage is a locus classicus for this doctrine; in 168.8—9 lokānuvar- tanāṃ buddhā anuvartanti laukikīṃ, prajñaptim anu- vartanti yathā lokottarām api; in what follows, Buddhas are said to imitate worldly actions (the care of the body, etc.), tho they have no need to, since everything about them is lokottara, transcending the world.




    Ruegg says for verses in Nagarjuna's Dharmadhatustava and four Candrakirti works:


    The source appears to be the *Lokanuvartanasutra.


    So, he is in the old discussion that Nagarjuna could not have affirmed anything, but adhered to twelfth-century Prasangas, so the hymns must be self-contradictory. This is not one of the "Four Hymns". From those, we already found that the hymns were accepted by everyone, which is no guarantee, but yes they increasingly don't sound like Prasangika. So again if we don't think Madhyamaka and Yogacara are different, except maybe geographically, their inner meaning is the same, we don't have those conflicts, and instead shear off the Two Extremes, which are like Prasangika and Sakaravada.


    For Dharmadhatustava:


    According to ‘Jam dbyans bzad pa, the author of the Grub mtha’ chen mo, this last Promulgation main theme is the existence of the spiritual Element (khams=dhâtu) of the buddha in all animated beings. ‘Jam dbyans bzad pa considers the Dharmadhâtustava doctrine in conformity with the teachings of the Dhâranisvararâjasûtra and the Ratnagotravibhâga.


    Most of the Nagarjuna works were accepted by the early commentator Bhavaviveka, although he was of course about 300 years later.

    From Brunnholzl:


    ...the Dharmadhatustava is quoted and explicitly attributed to Nagarjuna in Bhavaviveka’s Madhyamakaratnapradipa and Naropa’s (988–1069) Sekoddesatika.

    It is also cited in Ratnākaraśānti’s (early eleventh century) Sūtrasamucchayabhāṣya and Dharmendra’s Tattvasārasaṃgraha.

    Kunkhyen Rangjung Dorje, the Third Karmapa of the Kagyü lineage, and Panchen Sakya Chogden of the Sakya tradition.

    It is regarded as one of Nagarjuna’s most important texts because of its use of many examples to clearly explain the theory and nature of tathagatagarbha.

    PDF format of the above.


    Possibly ignoring other hymns while having links to more versions, Tsadra says:


    It is notable as perhaps the only work of Nāgārjuna that takes a positivistic view of emptiness and the existence of wisdom, in this case represented by the dharmadhātu.



    At one go, it quickly becomes a four-hundred page book, whereas Niraupamya Stava and Lokanuvartana Sutra are quite small.

    Evolution looks backwards? In this case, the Ratnakarasanti attachment appears spurious because:

    Ratnākaraśānti's sūtrasamucchayabhāṣya quotes verse 27 in the context of there being just a single yāna, since all beings possess the Tathāgata heart...


    which, at that level of detail, we know that he and original Yogacara pronounce the Tri-yana doctrine. That is a bit different than Nagarjuna simply not mentioning Dhatu in some of his first writings, since we cannot be sure he was averse to it, and there were not many scriptural sources in his time. And so it looks to us, still, like major websites are a hodge podge of Anglicized Chinese "anything" mixed with arbitrary Tibetan designs, which had been irrelevant in India. The women's "changing" Sutras are almost more explanatory. At first they are about little girls! One of them defeats all of the Bodhisattvas. And then two of them quit turning into men. This is like saying it takes Buddha Vacana eight or nine centuries to actually speak on female equality. Hard to change the subject! And this is what Maitreya relies on. I don't think you can say there are Sutras after him. It is not so much that he is supposed to be a higher authority, but, if Nagarjuna was really getting at the same thing, and Maitreya has a bigger vocabulary and knowledge base to work with, most likely his explanation will be better.


    The quoted verse does not even refer to the Ekayana argument, it is simply the eighth of nine examples of Garbha from Tathāgatagarbhasūtra (D258, fols. 253b.1–254a.5) and the Uttaratantra (I.121–23), ultimately from Jnanalokalamkara. This same book will also list multiple Ratnakarasanti works involving "Luminous Mind", starting with the one that should make it obvious that Tri-yana is his meaning:


    Triyānavyavasthāna,
    Madhyamakālaṃkāravṛtti-Madhyamapratipadāsiddhi, Prajñāpāramitopadeśa,
    Madhyamakālaṃkāropadeśa, and his commentary on the Khasamatantra.


    Forced to contend with Tibetanisms, H. H. III Karmapa:


    Thus, if one wants to use the categories of rangtong and
    shentong at all, one could say that Rangjung Dorje’s view takes them to be
    anything but mutually exclusive and represents a creative synthesis of them.

    As for quotations from Indian texts in Rangjung Dorje’s commentary,
    given the nature of the subject of the Dharmadhātustava, it is not surprising that by far the most citations (forty-two verses) and references come from the Uttaratantra. However, Rangjung Dorje’s equal emphasis on both
    the Madhyamaka and the Yogācāra tradition is perfectly mirrored by him
    quoting and referring to a wide variety of sūtras, tantras, and treatises, in
    particular the Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra (twenty verses), Madhyāntavibhāga
    (seventeen), Yuktiṣaṣṭikā (eight), Madhyamakāvatāra (seven; implying
    another twenty-nine), Abhisamayālaṃkāra (seven), Bodhicittavivaraṇa
    (seven), Mūlamadhyamakakārikā (six), and Dharmadharmatāvibhāga (eighteen lines). Also quoted at length are Asaṅga’s Ratnagotravibhāgavyākhyā and Mahāyānasaṃgraha (both four times). The Śūnyatāsaptati, Acintyastava, and
    Satyadvayavibhāga are each represented with two verses.


    Among all available commentaries on the Dharmadhātustava, the Third
    Karmapa’s is both the earliest and the longest. The fact is that there is no preserved
    Indian commentary on it, nor any reports that one ever existed.

    Translated to Chinese by Amoghavajra, ca. 765, longer than the eleventh-century Tibetan by over twenty verses.

    Homage to Manjushri added by Tibetan translator.


    Of course, even the English comes out differently. The beginning from Brunnholzl:

    I bow to you, the dharmadhātu,
    Who resides in every sentient being.
    But if they aren’t aware of you,
    They circle through this triple being.



    The page from Scott and Breaux:


    There is something, left unknown,
    that results in life’s three realms of vicious circling
    though beyond all doubt, it dwells in every being.
    To the ultimate realm I devoutly bow.


    "Realm" is an entirely different thing, even in Tibetan, whereas Dhatu is the crux of the teaching.

    Liu Zhen 2013 found that the Potala Sanskrit manuscript, brought from Zhalu, has no title, and that Amoghavajra's was called Ksitigarbha enquiring about Dharmakaya from the Mahasannipata Sutra. The later, shorter Chinese is called Dharmadhatustava.

    Interestingly, Amoghavajra's Marici Dharani was recently translated to Tibetan by H. H. XVII Karmapa.

    The Sanskrit was hidden in a Pancha Raksha, and is in Nepali script estimated as eleventh-century. It includes "Sambhogakaya". Stanzas 1-50 are generally matching; the Sambhogakaya insertion is an anomaly. Amoghavajra's additional verses are described as tantric. So in the critical analysis, there probably was a hymn known to Bhavaviveka, which went through numerous accretions in different directions.


    The oldest use of Dharmadhatustava is from Bhavaviveka:


    Verses 91–96 appear in the context of bodhisattvas passing from
    the tenth bhūmi to buddhahood.

    In the context of outlining the three kāyas, Bhāvaviveka’s text quotes verse
    101 and comments...


    So in this case, "sambhogakaya" seems to be his comment, not the original text.



    2015 Critical Edition is not scanned online yet.



    This kind of review is tedious, but, more satisfying than "sects", especially since most of these people did not paint themselves as belonging to one. Most of the introductory material in these articles, or Brunnholzl's book, are crammed with a considers b to be a yz, but c says b is xyz, and d says b is xz. It just is not helpful. If we roll back to Asvaghosha's Saundarananda and put together a couple of uniquely-stated terms, we get Lokottara Yogacara, which he calls Amrta. Then with Lokaksema, we can find one Sutra, Lokanuvartana. This foundation tracks through Samdhinirmocana, to Srimala Devi, to RGV, meaning the attention it calls to Dharmakaya and Tathata.

    Shortly after that is Prajnaparamita in 150 Lines and Sri Paramadya Tantra, so i. e. the yoga of Mahayana as laid out in those Sutras converts to something very immediate, Dharmadhatu Suvisuddha or Parisuddha, which is not a verbal discussion on Abhidharma, but an experience of Purifying by Deities. That is part of what is meant by "tantric".

    This is rapidly intensified by Khasama and Dakini Jala, and on into the advanced tantras, where I am still not sure there was an "Arya school", least of all as a doctrinal difference. Possibly as meaning the local origin of Vajra Rosary Tantra. But as soon as we negate the geographical difference by migrating these works, to Vikramasila, we see that Candrakirti is again refuted by Bhavyakirti as he was by Candragomin.

    They didn't ban CMP, but this actually is a Yogacara text.


    In modern coursework, RGV and Dharmadhatustava are back-to-back advanced studies, whose required texts are those of Brunnholzl, and recent Tibetans no further back than Jamgon Kongtrul. How is it so "advanced" if they give it the title "Uttaratantra" and still do not understand this correctly?

    Ratnagotravibhaga Mahayanottaratantrasastra.


    From Takasaki 1966, the only Nagarjuna used to even support RGV (by way of elucidation) was Root Verses; the text itself has no awareness of Nagarjuna's hymns, is almost entirely drawn from Sutras, and:


    One remarkable point is that all scriptures or parts of scriptures mentioned above are unknown to Nāgārjuna or, at least, not used in the works of Nāgārjuna.


    No, Nagarjuna certainly could not have dealt with any of that stuff. He possibly could have heard of Dharmakaya as in the Lokanuvartana, and, if so, it would be possible to write some hymns based on it.

    Nakamura 1961 Sanskrit RGV

    English RGV

    Embedded in Four Languages by Takasaki.



    More famously:

    nāpaneyam ataḥ kiṃcid upaneyaṃ na kiṃcana |
    draṣṭavyaṃ bhūtato bhūtaṃ bhūtadarśī vimucyate || 154 ||

    Here there is nothing to be removed
    And absolutely nothing to be added;
    The Truth should be perceived as it is,
    And he who sees the Truth becomes liberated

    // 154 //


    This is one of the most famous verses in Mahāyanistic literature. Besides this
    occurrence in the Ratna., there are 9 occurrences of this verse...


    4) Saundaranandakāvya of Aśvaghosa, XIII, 44

    nāpaneyaṃ bhūtato bhūtaṃ śaśvad indiyagocare |
    draṣṭavyaṃ bhūtato bhūtaṃ yādṛṣaṃ ca yathā ca yat ||

    13.44 Nothing, then, is to be taken away and nothing is to be added:
    The reality is to be investigated as it really is, whatever and however it is.


    So, perhaps not strictly being letter-for-letter quotes, considering that Asvaghosha was well-known ancient literature by this time, like the Mahabharata which is handled the same way, it seems that he is an RGV "source".


    From Gokhale 1955:


    Bhagavad-gītā 13.32:

    yathā sarva-gataṃ saukṣmyād ākāśaṃ nôpalipyate |
    sarvatrâvasthito dehe tathâtmā nôpalipyate || 13.32 ||

    Just as all-pervading space, due to its subtlety, is not tainted, so the ātman, everywhere established in the body, is not tainted.

    Ratna-gotra-vibhāga 1.52:

    yathā sarva-gataṃ saukṣmyād ākāśaṃ nôpalipyate |
    sarvatrâvasthitaḥ sattve tathâyaṃ nôpalipyate || 1.52 ||

    Just as all-pervading space, due to its subtlety, is not tainted, so this [the dhātu], everywhere established in the living being, is not tainted.


    RGV uses basically nothing of Nagarjuna, who uses basically nothing from its sources. Bhavaviveka only deals with Nagarjuna, which makes it appear that Yogacara was shooed away from Nalanda. On the other hand, RGV appears to take from two of Asvaghosha's most famous works.





    Is this kind of conflation known well in martial arts? Part of the legends of Bodhidharma involve rebuking the Chinese Emperor for sponsoring temples and translations only for his personal good karma. The origin of Shaolin Temple:


    In 495 AD, the Indian monk Ba Tuo, or Buddhabhadra, came to China teaching a form of Buddhism known as Xiao Sheng Buddhism. He was given land at the foot of Shaoshi mountain by Emperor Shao Wen and founded the Shaolin Temple on this land.

    In 527 AD, 32 years after Ba Tuo’s founding of the Shaolin temple, Bodhidharma crossed through Guangdong province into China. In China, he was known as Da Mo. Da Mo arrived in China practicing Da Sheng (Mahayana) Buddhism.


    According to stories, as a result of all the Emperor's karma being fixed by other people, there was a lack of Exercise:


    Translating text was painstaking work as it all had to be done by hand. As a result, what Bodhidharma would have saw on his arrival was the Shaolin monks spending long hours hunched over desks, which would have negatively affected their physical and mental wellbeing. To combat this, he taught them exercises that were designed to improve internal and external strength that he derived from the hatha and raja yoga practices from his native India. His teachings were based on the movement of eighteen animals including the tiger, deer, snake and leopard.


    From the Zen Patriarchs, I believe Kanadeva is equivalent to Sutra Aryadeva, and there is no kind of Candrakirti. Vasubandhu probably should be contemporaneous to, if not after, Bodhidharma or i. e. the end of the list. Although the Indians do not have any records of Bodhidharma as a prince of Kanci, there is, at least in Buddhism, something to the effect that his guru was a Woman:


    Prajanatara was an emanation of the Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta (Chinese painting). There is evidence that Prajnatara was a woman. Prajnatara was the 27th “patriarch” of Indian Buddhism.


    Prajñātārā, also known as Keyura, Prajnadhara, or Hannyatara, was the twenty-seventh patriarch of Indian Buddhism according to Chan Buddhism — and the teacher of Bodhidharma. Prajnatara according to evidence was a woman.


    The legend of him as the "founder of martial arts" first appears in the Ming Empire 1600s, and was almost immediately studied as a forgery by the Qing:



    Chan Buddhism is an indigenous creation which reflects then current trends and debates within China’s social environment, not India’s. It would not even arise as a religious movement until more than a century after the “first patriarch’s” death, though there are some who have argued that his teachings may have been important to the eventual emergence of Chan.

    ...none of the earliest records of the temple mention his presence. It is not until after the advent of Chan Buddhism that he begins to make an appearance in retrospectively produced historical accounts of the region.


    There was a Shaolin Temple, and, most if not all of the Indian forebears are taken from accounts of actual people. Any of them being a "patriarch" does not seem to be meaningful.


    One of his stories at least matches the four graded meanings:


    One day, Bodhidharma said to his four main students, "I can sense my days are numbered and there is not much more I can teach you. So, I want you to tell me what you have gleaned from your studies after all these years."

    Tao Fu, the last one to become Bodhidharma's student, replied first. "I believe people should not understand Buddhism through words only, because words are simply a means of propagating Buddhism."

    Bodhidharma smiled and said to him, "Tao Fu, you have understood the surface of Buddhism."

    The second student, Tsung Chih, said to Bodhidharma, "My understanding of Buddhism is like Venerable Ananda seeing the Pure Land of the Buddha: you can only see it once, because once is enough to bring enlightenment."

    Bodhidharma nodded his head and said to Tsung Chih, "You have understood the flesh of Buddhism."

    Another student named Tao Yu then said, "The four major elements of the world and we ourselves are always impermanent. Thus, I see no Buddhist teachings."

    Bodhidharma said to Tao Yu, "You have grasped the bone of Buddhism."

    Then, Hui Ko simply stood up, prostrated himself before Bodhidharma, stood up and returned to his seat without uttering a word. Bodhidharma smiled and said to them, "Hui Ko has understood the essence of Buddhism." Thus, Bodhidharma named Hui Ko the second Chan patriarch of China.



    Again it is entirely possible there was such a person, if the Keralite evidence is any good, but we can hardly be sure what he wrote, said, or did. Yet there is almost no one in the Shaolin umbrella who takes the name Bodhidharma lightly.


    It is unlikely to ever find more primordial writings than those of Asvaghosha and Lokaksema, and they are not fully "Mahayana" and never had that name, but they are probably the earliest possible evidence for that Yogacara which becomes Asanga's Mahayana. Unlike with Buddha, Asanga records Maitreya's teachings in real time.

    Asanga and Nagarjuna are both re-written, mis-attributed, and simply flooded by later works. With great effort, we can find that:


    Dharmadhatustava = ?

    RGV = fairly certain authorship at genius-level fluency with Indian classical civilization.


    It is the same as in Theosophy, "stick to the original". RGV, at the latest, uses Lankavatara Sutra, such as "Asraya Paravrtti". On the basic level, this describes Mahayana meditation as distinguished from others--and, later, in a different, non-Sutra subject--equates to tantric Melting of the Bindu. From there, you only need to know it is Mahamudra, and that there is a fourth and final state of Prabhasvara and Risen Heruka, the Samayamudra.


    RGV seems to accept two major Asvaghosha works, but of course when we follow his name, it gets messy. Taranatha says Asvaghosha was converted by Aryadeva in a magical duel, but Kumarajiva says it was Parsva by debate.

    He was possibly originally named Durdharṣakāla, Bhavideva (bha bi lha), or Mātṛceta.


    The conjectural works include:

    Satapancasatikastotra...I-tsing is of the view that it is the work of another poet called Matrceta (Asvaghosha's disciple).


    Mahayana-sraddhotpada-sastra

    This one is closest to Fazang:


    Mahayana sraddhotpada Sastra is an apocryphal text, written in China, according to some.

    ...no Sanskrit version of it exists.

    The term Mahayana points not to the Mahayana school, but to tathatā "suchness" or "the Absolute".

    Suzuki thought it was authentic, and that he might have even been the guru of Nagarjuna, but again we might suspect Fa tsang had motives to authenticate his own new school.


    More likely his:


    Gurupancasika was taken to Tibet by Padmakaravarma.

    ...a fragment of his Śāriputraprakaraṇa has survived in Sanskrit.

    Compared to fragments and assertions:


    The monk I-tsing (Yijing) mentioned that in his time Buddhacarita was "...extensively read in all the five parts of India and in the countries of the South Sea (Sumātra, Jāva and the neighbouring islands).



    One can readily see an imbalance by a comparison of Canons, such as Pramana:


    ...not fully translated in the Chinese Canon and cannot compare favorably with the works of Dignaga and Dharmakirti collected in the Tibetan Canon.

    Yogacara Section (Volumes 30-31): 49 texts—contains a very complete collection of this system of thought. (more extensive than Tibet)

    The Madhyamaka texts of the Chinese Canon are considerably different from the Tibetan renditions of the same system of thought. The Chinese collection consists mostly of earlier works. The Chinese Canon does not contain as many works or as many schools of this system as the Tibetan Canon.


    (In China) Non-Buddhist Doctrines (Volume 54): 8 texts on Hinduism, Manichean, and Nestorian Christian writings


    They have over twice as many Mahayana Sutras.


    I suppose, for academics, it is a "real Yogacara school" when you mix Samdhinirmocana Sutra with Lankavatara Sutra. This is because Lankavatara gives the doctrine of "eight consciousnesses" or Asta Vijnana, which includes Alaya Vijnana, which is confused by everyone. Asanga does this and he is not confusing.

    First we can find an idea about it in Sanskrit fragments of Asanga's Viniscayasamgrahani, which is part of Yogacarabhumi:


    The first is in a bundle of Nepalese manuscripts sent by H. H. XIII Dalai Lama to Tsar Nicholas II.

    Nirvikalpa Pravesa Dharani (complete)

    Viniscayasamgrahani (fragment, folios 13-24)

    Buddhavatamsaka Sutra (fragment, Samantabhadracharyanirdesa)

    Third Bhavanakrama (complete)


    The remainder of it was found by Rahul Sankrityayan:


    Potala Palace (folios 25-122)


    Hu Jintao ordered a survey of Sanskrit manuscripts in Tibet, which was completed in 2011 and essentially sealed, even to Chinese scholars.

    Matsuda 1995 published a Viniscayasamgrahani from "Bendall's" Nepalese collection, which also has the fourth section of Yogacarabhumi, the Paryayasamgrahani (Synonyms).


    The I --Basic section and II -- Viniscayasamgrahani constitute almost the entire Yogacarabhumi.


    The first chapter of Viniscayasamgrahani discusses Alaya Vijnana, in the first twelve folios not sent to St. Petersburg. He got some Abhidharma and a section on Skandhas. In its fifth chapter, Boddhisattvabhumi-viniscaya:


    ...the full text of the Samdhinirmocana-sutra is quoted except some introductory sentences at the beginning of each chapter.


    So, he has the old, relatively basic "Yogacara Sutra", to which he is in the difficult position of explaining how Asta Vijnana lines up with it.

    Vasubandhu'sTwenty Verses and Thirty Verses do not deal with it, which started the idea of "two Vasubandhus". Mahasanghika is said to be accepting of Asta Vijnana.

    Candrakirti refutes it.



    From Wayman's Defense, the first chapter of Viniscayasamgrahani concerns:

    ...the abode of seeds (alaya-vijnanam bijasrayah). Asanga claims that this is a secret teaching of the Bhagavat, citing a well-known verse from the Samdhinirmocana-sutra about the adana vijnana, the consciousness that 'takes' [seeds].


    "Alaya vijnana" is said to have that and other synonyms back into Pali Buddhism. Or at least the "seeds" are. Asanga is found to start using the term "klista":


    About the 'defiled mind', Asanga's Paramartha-gatha, 9-41, contains these points: "The defiled mind (klista manas) always arises and ceases together with defilements (klesa)"; "On another occasion it is born pure"; and "That which was defiled, here in the end is purified, with its intrinsic light (prakrtibhasvara).

    also, using Nagarjuna's Acintyastava:


    Convention, with dependence on other(s) (paratantra), rises from a cause and from conditions. This dependence on other(s) has been announced (by Thee). The Absolute is not fabricated. (44)

    It (the Absolute) is termed self existence (svabhava), primary nature (prakrti), reality (tattva), substance (dravya), abiding essence (vastu), the really existent (sat). An entity (bhava) when imagined does not exist, but (exists) when its dependence on other(s) is found.(45)


    From today's retrospection, Klista manas:


    It is focused inwards upon the ground of all, or alaya, mistaking it for a substantial self, with the result that all experience is subsequently divided into wanted and unwanted. It is always present, underlying all ordinary mental states, whether virtuous, non-virtuous or neutral, and only ceases when the noble path is actualized, during the absorption of cessation or at the state of buddhahood.

    The seventh consciousness refers to the most basic level of mental afflictions, or klesha. It refers not to the coarse kleshas, but to the root of the kleshas. Specifically, the afflicted consciousness is the most subtle level of fixation on a self. [...] It is unfluctuatingly present even when one is asleep. When sometimes you have a sense of self, and you think “I”, that is an operation not of the seventh consciousness but of the sixth. [...] Although it is not itself directly observable, the afflicted consciousness is the basis for all coarse fixation on a self and therefore for all coarse kleshas.



    Note 21 is similar, adding ignorance about Paratantra.



    So the Klista manas is temporarily suppressible by Nirodha Sampatti. In this way, the Alaya stores the seeds in the sub-conscious, which is why there is continuity through quiescent meditation, deep sleep, and death. If we do not burn out the seeds, then Klista manas resumes activity.


    The bijas stored in alaya have many older synonyms. However, "seventh consciousness" does not--Asanga may have given it the term "Klista". Vasubandhu either only deals with "six consciousnesses", as from older texts, or does not have this clear term. The muddle is seen by Takasaki on manas in Lankavatara:


    ...sometimes it is held that there is no reference in the LAS to klista-manas
    which is generally regarded as its fundamental character.


    It is easier to "see", and require by its absence, from the easier categories:

    citta (=alayavijnana) and vijnana (=6 vijnanas)

    whereas it also speaks of:

    8 vijnanas, 7 pravrttivijnanas



    The LAS uses the three kinds of terms on the mind, i. e. citta, manas and
    vijnana as showing different functions distinguished from each other as observed in the works of the Vijnanavada. This is especially clear from a compound, citta-mano-manovijnana-. Here manovijnana represents the 6 vijnanas, or manovijnana accompanied by the pancavijnanakayah...


    And so it most generally uses "manas", which is being clarified as "Klista manas":

    Manas is one of the 7 pravrttivijnanas (acting consciousness) which are the
    wave-like parinama on the ocean-like alayavijnana, the citta, and are avidyavasabhumija and perishable.

    And then one must find "Citta" as subject to the operation "Asraya Paravrtti", making Alaya Vijnana and Tathagatagarbha two sides of a coin:

    The alayavijnana is, on the contrary, not
    perishable as being the tathagatagarbha which represents the prakrtiprabhasvara-citta. In other cases, however, when referred to by citta-manomanovijnana, the citta is said to be surpassed or changed its basis (paravrtti)
    in the nirvana, or in the completion of practice.



    Ratnakarasanti follows this in Sutra to Tantra:


    Ratnakarasanti in his Prajnaparamitopadesa does link the fourfold meditation described in the Lankavatarasutra with that of the Guhyasamajatantra. He also links these with the Avikalpapravesadharani.

    In a number of his works, Ratnakarasanti describes a gradual meditation in four stages of yoga (rnal ‘byor gyi sa, yogabhumi). These works include the Prajnaparamitopadesa, the Prajnaparamitabhavanopadesa and the Madhyamakalankapratipadasiddhi. The four stages of yoga are:


    1. Apprehending things to the extent they exist.

    2. Apprehending mind-only or mental-process-only (sems tsam la dmigs pa).

    3. Apprehending suchness (de bzhin nyid la dmigs pa).

    4. Non-apprehending or non-objectifying (dmigs su med pa).


    Ratnakarasanti links this fourth stage with the yoga of the realization of non-conceptualisation in the Avikalpapravesadharani. This is in contrast to his predecessor Kamalasila, who – as Gomez points out – commented on the four levels of meditation of the Lankavatarasutra in his Bhavanakrama and composed a commentary on the Avikalpapravesadharani without suggesting any relationship between them.

    The following is a translation of Ratnakarasanti’s citation of the Lankavatara Sutra.


    Having relied on mental-processes-only (sems tsam, cittamatra), [the yogis] would not conceptualise external objects.

    Having apprehended suchness, they would pass beyond even mental-processes-only.

    Having passed beyond mental-processes-only, they would pass beyond non-appearances.

    The yogi abiding in non-appearances sees the Mahayana.


    Their interpretation of the third stage is similar, yet while Kamalasila emphasises non-duality – the yogis abide in a non-dual knowledge of the absence of dual appearances, Ratnakarasanti underscores non-apeparance of the false marks of phenomena. With regards to the fourth stage, Kamalasila stresses that even the knowledge of non-duality is untrue; hence the yogis abide in the knowledge of the non-appearance of the knowledge of duality. Then they enter non-conceptual concentration where they see without seeing that all phenomena are devoid of own essence and attain the realisation of suchness. Ratnakarasanti emphasises here a direct perception that is beyond the marks of both phenomena (dharma, chos) and of the nature of phenomena (dharamata, chos nyid). This is the terminology that appears in the Guhyasamajatantra.



    Maitreya's Dharmadharmatavibhaga outlines the four aspects of engagement in the perfect practice.



    1. Dmig pa’i sbyor ba, upalambhaprayoga,

    2. Mi dmigs pa yi sbyor ba, anupalambhaprayoga,

    3. Dmigs pa med dmigs sbyor ba, upalambhanupalambhaprayoga,

    4. mi dmigs dmigs pa’I sbyor ba, nopalambhopalambhaprayoga.


    Again, those are of course "graded realizations".


    As far as I can tell, the "system of Asanga" is adhered to by Ratnakarasanti and H. H. III Karmapa. It takes a modern scholar mountains of data-mining to get anywhere close to this, because Vasubandhu and almost all other influential scholars either misunderstood it, or changed it. At the worst, we have tried to tidy up the mass of synonyms from here and there, until we are left with:

    Manas = Manovijnana of Lankavatara Sutra = Mind and five senses

    Klista manas = addicted subtle mind

    Citta = Alayavijnana, or, Lokottara Citta or Tathagatagarbha or Bodhi when transformed. Although the Alaya is not really what is transformed, it is removed by not having any more seeds, so it is effectively Manas which becomes Transcendental Consciousness.


    It specifically states that Klista manas re-ifies the Alaya into self/entity/existence, and this is the hardest thing to cure. So Klista manas acts/knows/etc., and if there are no seeds then it cannot re-ify something false, so its behavior is affected.

    Some of the Chinese systems decided there is only one Alaya Vijnana, which, itself, is real, which would be almost the total opposite.

    The tantras however say their practices of heat, the winds, and bliss are the quick and effective way to break the addictions and burn out the seeds.

    That is why the real Asraya Paravrtti is the tantric Melting.


    Tantra is difficult because you combine many things at once. The Asta Vijnana is Cemetery Yoga and the Gauris. It is an array of senses, and three degrees of mind. It is along the lines of inner/outer and self/other. Skandhas are like a mental circle or cycle, similar to Fourfold Om, from rudiments to manifestation. The senses and brain are summed up by Rupa Skandha. And then consciousness is just represented by Vijnana Skandha. But again this is quite old terminology, Asta Vijnana is new. But if we suppose Vijnana Skandha ought to be subjected to the same threefold gradation, we will find it matches older terminology.

    Pali just gives it in a steady state, using the same name before and after mundane and transcendental consciousness. It uses Seven Universal Cetasikas:


    phassa
    vedana
    sanna
    cetana
    ekaggata
    jivitindriyaAt
    manasikara

    These 7 cetasikas namely phassa or contact, vedana or feeling, sanna or perception, cetana or volition, ekaggata or one pointedness, jivitindriya or mental life, manasikara or attention always arise with each arising citta. They can arise with all kinds of citta, kusala or akusala or abyakata, lokiya or lokuttara, kama or jhana and any citta possible arises along with these 7 cetasikas. So these 7 cetasikas are called sabbacittasadharana cetasikas.


    The difference in tantra is that Skandhas transform to Dhyani Buddhas.

    That implies that the Sixth Sense of Mind and Klista Manas must also be Skandhas, which we have not exactly been told.

    For sixth, Sakkaya ditthi is like a Catuskoti of the Skandhas:

    (1-5) the belief to be identical with corporeality, feeling, perception, mental formations or consciousness;
    (6-10) to be contained in them;
    (11-15) to be independent of them;
    (16-20) to be the owner of them (M.44; S.XXII.1).


    And finally View:


    Atma Drsti

    Or Atma Graha, similar to Ahamkara, which has Vasanas of self-attachment (Sanskrit: atma-graha-vasana; Chinese: wo-chih hsi-ch'i) denoting the false attachment to the seeds of 'me' and 'mine'.

    It is more like addiction to the tendency, a subtle root of the thoughts of "me" which mostly occur in the sixth manas or manovijnana.


    These are also sins against the Four Noble Truths.

    "Suffering can be stopped" is refuted by Sakkaya Ditthi thinking "The Path is irrelevant or does not apply to me" (because Skandhas do).

    "Suffering has been stopped" is refuted by Drsti saying "The Path is wrong" (because I'm not stopping).

    Both "suffering" and "body" are often interpreted as Skandhas (as is "all"). So the Four Truths are mostly about stopping the Skandhas. These two extra ones don't really have names, but again are simply more like inner layers of Vijnana Skandha, or describe the complexity of it.

    If Akshobhya is Vijnana, then Vajrasattva and Vajradhara as hypostases makes sense.




    As a reprise on weird timing of authors, Kumarajiva translated some authentic, and some likely spurious, Nagarjuna works. If he had two texts "traditionally ascribed to Vasubandhu", this may be doubted due to:


    Three Sastra School: Mahayana Buddhism—5th c. Foundational text: Madhyamika Sastra, Dvadasanikaya Sastra by Nagarjuna and the Sata Sastra by Aryadeva.

    or from Yogi Chen:

    In China, the San-Lun School which was based upon the Three Shastras (the Madhyamika Shastra and Dvadasa Dvara both by Nagarjuna and the Sata Shastra of Aryadeva)

    or:

    ...consisting of a commentary by a certain master Vasu on some verses by Āryadeva.

    Mukherji says of Bodhicittotpadana Sastra:


    (Nanjio, 1218) (T.1659) alleged to have been composed by
    Vasubandhu. But we presume that its author was Vrddha.


    If Dharmaraksa had a "portion" of Yogacarabhumi, that would be easy since Kumarajiva had:


    Daśabhūmikā Sūtra


    Concerning Satya Siddhi or Tattvasiddhi:


    Harivarman was unhappy with the Abhidharma teachings and spent years studying the sutras to find the source of the disputes of the different Abhidharma schools and after engaged in many debates with various Abhidharma teachers, becoming unpopular among them. Xuanchang says he later took up living among the Mahāsāṅghikas and wrote the Tattvasiddhi while living in Pataliputra. The goal of this work was to “eliminate confusion and abandon the later developments, with the hope of returning to the origin”.

    Without complete clarification, we don't know if things refer to commentaries blended in source texts, or if for example an older "Vasu" would necessarily be "Vasubandhu". We can be sure that "traditionally ascribed to" is next to meaningless. So far, Kumarajiva does not seem to prove Vasubandhu lived before him, even though this is widely accepted. Or, if he did, there could have been two, one who liked Sarvastivadin Abhidharma unlike Harivarman, and the other, Yogacara.


    As has been pretty firmly established:


    Mahamayuri's dharani was translated into Chinese by Kumārajīva between 402 and 412 CE. It contains the only mention of the Rig Veda in the entire Chinese Buddhist canon.

    But just as Empress Wu was probably influenced by Manichaeism:


    In the west a peculiar phenomenon is observed – fragments of the MVR [Mayuri] were absorbed within the syncretic Abrahamistic-Iranian framework of a strain of Manichaeism promulgated by the mAr ammO, the student of mani. Here the yakSha-s of the MVR are invoked in an amusingly eclectic company with deities such as mani, the Messiah yEsu and a farrago of other Abrahamistic angels that would certainly impress a modern Hindu moron svAmI. Not surprisingly, in this tradition mani himself was considered the bodhisattva maitreya.


    How relentless are these devotees? The whole point is that Maitreya is not incarnating! Otherwise Asanga would be a necromancer. That is the job of the Chohans.

    Buddhism is syncretic like that, just the other way around, subjugating and converting whoever. Some of it is only a show. Our Sutras say that Lakshmi and Mayuri had already reached an advanced Bodhisattva stage in previous existences; in our age, perhaps they began as Hindus for a show.


    As to rolling back Mayuri to Nagarjuna:

    Nanjio speaks of six Mahamayuri-Vidyarajnis (nos.
    306-311). The earliest translation, dated 317-420
    A.D., is attributed to Poh Srimitra...

    Those were catalogued in 1883. All about the same, resembling the Tibetan.

    Same person is credited with Mahabhiseka Rddhidharani Sutra.

    For Seven Healing Buddhas (167), his activity range is given as 317-322. I don't think we can allow him 103 years to work on translations. But we just chopped eighty years off its origin, which was guesswork this morning. Could it have been around eighty or a hundred years before this guy? Not being with Lokaksema or Dharmaraksa does not exclude the possibility.

    Compared to anything which may have been written there in Kashmir, one would tend to estimate a longer period for it to be composed in the south, gain enough acceptance to be considered worthy of transport, and again risen to notoriety in its new environment. It lacks any kind of technical terms like "sambhogakaya" that would seem to preclude its availability in Nagarjuna's era. The extended date range is that of the Tsin dynasty. The unsourced Wiki stub says:


    Po-Śrīmitra (Chinese 帛尸梨蜜多羅) was a Kuchean prince and Buddhist monk who travelled to south China from 307–312, translating three Buddhist texts.


    That means we already know everything he did.

    Actually the Chinese catalogue is so complete, his biography is thirty-sixth in the list of translators.

    The first, Kasyapa Matanga, came to Luoyang in year 67, and worked at the already-existing White Horse Monastery.

    Lokaksema is third, and was basically simultaneous with An Shigao, who has a Ratnakuta.


    By 220-250, Kun min 18 has Prajnaparamita and Anantamukhi Dharani.


    We don't know of most of these, since about two thirds of the translations were lost. What we can see is that a lot of the workers were An (Persian) or Yuezhi (western Chinese). Kumarajiva wrote three biographies: Asvaghosha, Nagarjuna, Aryadeva. That seems to be the first indication they were important. Otherwise there doesn't seem to be anything telling or important in the other Sutras extant or missing.

    There does seem to be significance in "conversion to Mahayana", even to the extent of disciples converting teachers. Buddhacarita shows up ca. 420, so, evidently, sometimes there is a delay involved. Nagarjuna's Suhrilekha was ca. 430.


    Gunabhadra 81, 435-443, has a package of Srimala Devi, Samdhinirmocana, and Lankavatara. Then he personally was nicknamed "the Mahayana".


    With Paramartha 105, we find:

    Mahāyānasaṃparigrahaśāstra (महायानसंपरिग्रहशास्त्र) is an anthology of Mahāyāna essays, ascribed to Asaṅga. The text is also the main scripture of the Shelun school in China.—The text presents most of the important doctrines of the Yogācāra system, such as the eighth consciousness (Ālayavijñāna), consciousnessonly, the three natures (trisvabhāva), defilement, two hindrances, Buddha-bodies (trikāya), meditative practices that lead to enlightenment and so on.

    The Buddhaśānta’s translation, namely Shedashenglun (T31n1592) is the earliest translation (531), the language of which is considered to be the most difficult to understand. It also lacks the chapter and section divisions contained in the later works.


    As mentioned in Lankavatara Tathagatagarbha.

    Buddhasanta 115 only has Asanga's version; Paramartha also has Vasubandhu's commentary and a biography of him. Also attributed to Asvaghosha:

    Mahayanabhumiguhyavakamula Sastra


    That seems less solid than:


    Dharmaraksa 67, Buddhacarita.


    The odd title is not found elsewhere, perhaps intending the same as the disputable:


    This integration has found its most perfect expression in the famous work of pseudo - Asvaghosa "Mahayana sraddhotpada sastra" (it is existed only in Chinese).




    and then of course:

    Ratnamati 113 has RGV, 508.


    There is Marici Dharani, ca. 500-550, translator unknown.



    These are not strictly chronological because they are organized by dynasties.

    That reflects that the underlying Sutras were a group by ca. 400, and that Asanga/Maitreya must have done their Sastras by around 500. That was already the estimate. The catalog is reinforcing and doesn't seem to hold surprises, other than you really do not see Nagarjuna as anything important in this early phase.


    Paramartha is not a Chinese pilgrim; it says he was from Ujjain and went to Nanking in 548. He was repeatedly depressed, and thwarted from suicide. He invented his own doctrine, "Amala Vijnana", for which Wiki says:


    An important source for Paramārtha's doctrine of the immaculate consciousness is the Jueding zang lun (決定藏論, the beginning of the Viniścayasaṃgrahaṇī portion of the Yogācārabhūmi, T. 1584).


    He is also seen as the source of the doctrine of “original awakening” (benjue [本覺]).

    Paramārtha is also associated with various works on Buddha-nature that became extremely influential in Chinese Buddhism. These include the Treatise on Buddha Nature (Foxing lun 佛性論) [spurious Vasubandhu] and the Mahayana Awakening of Faith (Dasheng qi xin lun 大乘起信論), a key work for Huayan and Chan Buddhism.

    Regarding the famous Mahayana Awakening of Faith (Dasheng qi xin lun 大乘起信論, T. 1666), it is cited as "dubious" in one of the Chinese catalogs, hence the current scholarly debate as to its provenance.

    (i. e. the "Asvaghosha" work above)


    It was only due to the efforts of Tanqian (曇遷; 542–607) that Paramārtha's teachings flourished and became popular in the north. In spite of the fact that Tanqian had neither met Paramārtha, nor studied with any of Paramārtha’s students, it was Tanqian who really popularized Paramārtha's teachings, especially the Mahāyānasaṃgrahabhāṣya, which he taught together with the Awakening of Faith. Tanqian is also seen as a key figure of the Shelun School (攝論宗) and he possibly was the main force behind the promotion of the Awakening of Faith as Paramārtha's work.


    What a ruse! You don't do that. He is just trying too hard:


    Paramārtha's concept of the amalavijñāna is a pure and permanent (nitya) consciousness that is unaffected by suffering or mental afflictions. This immaculate consciousness is not a basis for the defilements (unlike the ālayavijñāna), but rather is a basis for the noble path (āryamārga). It is thus a purified vijñāna skandha (consciousness aggregate).

    The term amalavijñāna was not a new term and had been used by Vasubandhu in his Abhidharmakośa (at 5.29). In this text, the term refers to a “consciousness without outflows” (anăsravavijñăna). This is a consciousness that has been purified of all defilement through insight into the four noble truths and which brings freedom from rebirth


    At best, you have to do a whole lot of extra work to sort out what they are saying. But Asanga had just compiled everything in history and made a subject on "synonyms". Already done. And then they immediately try to re-invent this, with the extra twist of unsubstantiated texts. If we just glance at it, then it is a bit much of a postulate of what "is", instead of focusing on the techniques involved:


    According to Paramārtha, Buddhahood is achieved when, after practicing the noble path, the mind experiences the “revolutionary transformation of the basis” (āśrayaparāvṛtti) during which the storehouse consciousness (ālayavijñāna) ceases to exist, leaving only the immaculate consciousness free of all evil (dauṣṭhulya), suffering and all outflows (asrava). Thus, according to Michael Radich "Paramărtha understood *amalavijñăna to be the counteragent to ălayavijñăna, and the two to be in a temporal relationship to one another, whereby ălayavijñăna existed only until liberation, and was then succeeded by fully realised *amalavijñăna."

    Some texts attributed to Paramārtha also identify the Yogacara idea of the perfected nature (pariniṣpannasvabhāva) with the amalavijñāna. Some of these texts also see the teaching of the immaculate consciousness as a superior or higher version of the Yogacara doctrine of vijñaptimātra (weishi), which posits not just the unreality of non-mental phenomena, but also the unreality of the defiled consciousness itself.

    Some modern scholars also consider the "Treatise on Buddha Nature" (Foxing lun 佛性論, T. 1610) to be an original work of Paramārtha, based on his reading of the Ratnagotravibhāga (both texts share many similarities). Because of this, Paramārtha is seen as an important figure in the development of the Yogacara-tathagatagarbha synthesis.


    But there is no synthesis developing, since those "schools" were not any different. As we have seen, "Nature" overlooks the point of "Gotra". That is why we do not want to "interpret" RGV but to understand it directly.


    A counter-example would be Sthiramati. He, perhaps, has been "stirred" a little bit; Takasaki is "certain" that it is him whose comments are in the Sanskrit RGV. We should reserve judgment. He has some surviving Sanskrit according to Kano:


    Sthiramati's works available in Sanskrit: Tattvārthā Abhidharmakośaṭīkā, Madhyāntavibhāgaṭīkā, and Abhidharmasamuccaya.


    He may have met Vasubandhu, but, for the most part:


    He was a student of the Valābhi Yogacara scholar Gunamati.


    At least the major portion of works attributed to him are consistent, as in Encyclopedia:


    His most significant contribution is in the field of Yogācāra philosophy. In his commentaries Sthiramati appears as a thinker who was mainly concerned with clarifying and systematizing Yogācāra philosophy, and, although he did have his preferences, he was not particularly interested in sectarian controversy. Sthiramati's commentaries on major Yogācāra texts, including the Mahāyānasūtrālamkāra and the Madhyāntavibhāga, show that one of his main intentions was to elucidate the Mahāyāna concept of enlightenment (bodhi) or buddhahood, expressed by the term dharmadhātu...

    ...based on the transformation of consciousness (vijñānapariṇāma) or cognition-only (vijnaptimātra), which is of a dependent nature (paratantrasvabhāva).

    Chinese Buddhists' interpretations of Sthiramati's views on Yogācāra tend to be fragmentary and at times unfounded, and his more important contributions went unknown.


    Tibet, however, credits him with seven tantric texts, which obviously would be a difficulty. These seem to have been bypassed by Jowita Kramer:


    The *Kāśyapaparivartaṭīkā is a commentary (the only Indian commentary) on the Kāśyapaparivartasūtra, a very famous Mahāyāna sūtra dealing with the qualities of the bodhisattva and with important Mahāyāna concepts as for instance ‘emptiness’ (śūnyatā), ‘the middle and the extremes’ (madhyānta), etc. The *Kāśyapaparivartaṭīkā, which is available only in its Tibetan and Chinese translations, is attributed to the author Sthiramati in its Tibetan colophon. The commentary’s obvious Yogācāra perspective and its structural similarity with the Viniścayasaṅgrahaṇī may be counted in favour of Sthiramati’s authorship. However, the fact that comments on the Kāśyapaparivartasūtra which are found in Sthiramati’s Madhyāntavibhāgaṭīkā differ substantially from parallel explanations in the *Kāśyapaparivarta­ṭīkā as well as the *Kāśyapaparivartaṭīkā’s rather early translation into Chinese (between 508 and 535 by Bodhiruci) make the scenario of a single Sthiramati as the common author of both texts appear doubtful.

    ...focused on concepts such as the “store mind” (ālayavijñāna), the afflicted notion [of “I am”] (kliṣṭamanas) and the three natures (svabhāva).



    Let's see. He was approximately contemporaneous to Paramartha, ca. 500-550. No one said he has any "independent" texts. He just comments Asanga and Vasubandhu. If someone imitated him or used his name to fluff up tantric commentaries or otherwise, that is not his fault. He tried to start nothing and was oblivious to schism. He comes up a few times with Hong Luo on:

    Observing the Link between Self-awareness and Buddha Nature in Ratnākaraśānti’s Prajñāpāramitopadeśa.


    His discussion may be a bit too broad, since he also uses Dolpopa who could not possibly figure in, as well as the likely-spurious Asvaghosha text. Three Sthiramatis, plus Dignaga's Pramana and Nagarjuna's Yuktisastika are more likely valid references.


    So it would be most precise to say that Gunabhadra had the raw materials that went into RGV, and Sthiramati probably stuck pretty close to this. The main way we can call it a "school" is that Mahayana appears to have been regaled above and beyond Sravaka; but, once the geographical difficulties of medieval paperwork are accounted for, then, as long as you "stick to the original", this is the only school of it. Most of Tibet and China does not really seem to get this. Chances are, India may have had some number of innovators, e. g. Paramartha might have gotten the Asvaghosha thing from someone else. Certainly it had philosophers who disagreed with it, and Hinayana systems as a whole were of course resistant. Some just want to conclude that Buddha was a normal man who spoke about nirvana. Mahayana is rather the outgrowth of "lokottaravada", or the view that it is magic.


    It surprises me to see that Melting is considered the Eighth Bhumi; once you have experienced this, it does not go back in the box. You just have to understand you are not "on" the Bhumi, because it is temporary. It is not easy to carry sensitive subtle states into worldly affairs! You are still more or less just a meditator.

    On a closer review, there is actually Ku fa lan 2 who translates Buddhacarita in 68-70. He also has something called Dasabhumi Klesacchedika, although this is otherwise unknown.
    Last edited by shaberon; 2nd December 2022 at 13:22.

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    Default Re: Nirakara and Shentong Buddhism, Tara, Sadhanas, Sanskrit culture

    Towards a clearer outline of Mahayana Yogacara by understanding textual layers




    Reading is a major part of "the teaching":


    In the Mahāyāna shraddhā plays an even more important role, being regarded as the virtue out of which all the others develop and which opens the door of liberation to even those who do not have the self-discipline to tread the path of meditation. In Buddhism, however, faith in the sense of “pure faith” of Christianity is out of place. Shraddhā consists rather in the conviction that grows in students through their own direct experience with the teaching; blind faith in the words of the Buddha and the master goes against the spirit of Buddhism, and the Buddha himself warned his followers against it.


    "And this means that someone like me can do this".



    I did not find anything to support the unspecified An Shigao translation of Mahasamnipata Sutra in the Empress Wu article.


    However, the whole Catalogue of Chinese Translations is uploaded on Wiki, a bit easier to use than the highlight.


    Instead, this is how it works.

    First, we notice the somewhat ambiguous:




    Tathagata-mahakarunika-nirdesa.

    This is an earlier translation of part i, chapters 1, 2 of No. 61.

    Translated by Ku Fa-hu (Dharmaraksha), of the Western Tsin dynasty, 265-316.



    which is part one of:


    61. Mahavaipulya-mahasannipata-sutra.

    Translated by Dharmaraksha, of the Northern Lian dynasty, 397-439.


    Except the preferred name for the second one is Dharmaksema.


    Mahasamnipata is a "class", i. e. it is like Ratnakuta and Prajnaparamita, a Sutra of multiple Sutras.

    The earlier, independent text can be traced somewhat in a poorly-scanned article on Dharmaraksa:


    At that time, during the era of Jin emperor Wu (265–290), monasteries, temples, illustrations, and images were admired in the capital (Luoyang), yet the profound vaipulya (Mahayana) sutras were confined to the Western regions.


    This article says that Mahakarunika was translated to Chinese in:

    291


    Dharmaraksa, who is reported to have been born at Dunhuang in ca. 233, is our earliest surviving mention of Buddhism from this oasis town on the periphery of the Chinese empire and at the juncture of the northern and southern trade routes. The absence of any mention of Buddhism at this strategic outpost prior to Dharmaraksa is, if anything, more conspicuous.


    There is some strange hole between China and the "west", which is perhaps due to the Dunhuang area being newly settled. However, the native in question is credited with nothing less than:


    154 translations over a forty-year period, many of which are as sophisticated as they are sizeable.


    Normally, we might not expect anything unusual here, since, at a glance, Mahakarunika sounds like Avalokiteshvara. Yet this name is not in use yet, and, even Amitabha or Sukhavati is relatively minor compared to Manjushri. And so if we go to the contents of the later Mahasamnipata Sutra, it includes:


    2. The Dhāraṇiśvararāja Bodhisattva Sūtra


    which means it must be part of Mahakarunika, the first two parts here. Randomly at a glance at Mahasamnipata Contents, we then are given a link to 84000:


    Tathāgata­mahā­karuṇā­nirdeśa


    In the Chinese Tripiṭaka, it appears as Taishō 398, an independent sūtra translated by Dharmarakṣa in 291 ᴄᴇ, and also as a subsection of Taishō 397, the Chinese translation by Dharmakṣema (385–433)...


    Same story. Good enough. What is going on here that is not Avalokiteshvara?


    One notable characteristic of the text of the sūtra is its highly structured presentation of topics, which are set out, despite the format of dialog and discourse, in a systematic fashion almost like that of the later Indian treatises. In particular, the teaching that the Buddha delivers to Dhāraṇīśvara­rāja follows a sequential order based on the evolution of awakening from the state of ordinary being, through the gradual development of the features of a bodhisattva’s realization on the path, to the qualities and activities of buddhahood.



    Oh. Ok. That sounds Mahayana-esque. And we have been informed of how Maitreya worked. He is not really attempting to give a line-by-line commentary, or complete explanation of this Sutra as a whole. He really just uses seven terms as the basis for what he wants to describe. And, at least the modern introduction recognizes this:


    It seems to be that sequentially structured nature of this text that singled it out as the explicit source text for the similar structure on which the Ratnagotra­vibhāga, the most important and influential Indian treatise on buddha nature, is based. The Ratnagotra­vibhāga explains how the influence of (1) the Buddha, (2) the Dharma, and (3) the Saṅgha act on (4) the buddha nature or “element” (Skt. dhātu, Tib. khams) ever present within all sentient beings to purify it of the adventitious stains that obscure it, revealing (5) the awakened state (bodhi) and (6) its buddha qualities (guṇa), which then manifest (7) the buddha activity (samudācāra) that continues the sequence anew. In explaining its own sequential structure in these terms, the treatise calls them the “seven vajra topics” (vajrapāda), and explicitly cites this sūtra as the scriptural source of these topics as a complete, interlinked set (while other scriptures are cited as sources for each individual topic).



    If the Sutra was adequate on its own, he would not have composed a Sastra which kind of just takes it for inspiration. That seems to be represented by the lacuna:



    Despite the treatise [Sastra] borrowing this thematic structure from the sūtra, it is important to note that the ways in which the actual content for each topic is presented in the treatise and the sūtra are very different. This is a complex subject that has received some scholarly attention but merits further research.


    The sūtra is therefore closely associated with the Ratnagotra­vibhāga, but that does not mean that it contains any direct discussion of buddha nature itself; indeed it does not contain even the standard terms for buddha nature at all.


    ...the text explicitly identifies itself as belonging to the “irreversible turning,” a term that the Tibetan commentarial tradition associates with the third turning.


    This sūtra has received little attention in modern scholarship, the notable exception being its treatment in Ulrich Pagel’s in-depth research on historical and doctrinal interrelationships among a group of early Great Vehicle sūtras dedicated to the bodhisattva ideal, in which he has compared the text with the Bodhisattva­piṭaka (Toh 56), the Akṣayamati­nirdeśa (Toh 175), and the Jñānālokālaṃkāra (Toh 100). In his study of the sources for the dhāraṇīs listed in the Mahāvyutpatti (entry no. 748), Pagel was able to confirm that the set of eight dhāraṇīs in this sūtra appear as the first eight of the twelve dhāraṇīs mentioned in the Mahāvyutpatti, and concluded that their presentation in this sūtra is one of the earliest and most detailed discussions of dhāraṇī practice in the Great Vehicle sūtras as a whole.


    They do mention how various Tibetans also follow this, but, we are not quite trying to re-derive from Tibetan. We have found that Ananta Mukhi Dharani was among the earliest Chinese translations, which is significant to Yogacara, and this Sutra of course has a few more.

    We were more interested in a simple way to find the source of RGV's Seven Mysteries, and, it does not have any terms for "Buddha Nature" because that is a Chinese interpretation, of what is actually "Bodhisattva Gotra" in the texts. This piece of vocabulary immediately defines the doctrine, whereas the other is a bit dreamy and is prone to variations.


    When tracing the name of the odd, probably accreted, Nagarjuna hymn "Dhamadhatustava", the contents were said to be that of Amoghavajra's 1457, called Ksitigarbha enquiring about Dharmakaya from the Mahasannipata Sutra. The later, shorter Chinese is called Dharmadhatustava.


    Satasahasragatha-mahasannipata-sutra (No. 61)-ksitigarbhabodhisattva-pariprccha-dharmakaya-stotra.

    Pdf p. 211 as an individual listing; 273 for Amoghavajra's whole roster, where his personal name is translated as "not hollow"...



    The Sanskrit version of the hymn has no author; the Chinese does not either, it has no relation to the Dharmadhatu, and, comparatively, stanzas are moved around. This is not quite even a "chapter" of Mahasannipata, but, an "appendix". The versions are so variable, it is hard to understand how this is a "thing", until somewhere in the eighth century it gets the familiar title and Nagarjuna attribution. It could be that, like RGV, it is a mnemonic for extended topics throughout the Mahasamnipata. However, it is retro-fitted and tweaked, to the point where it may become an imitation doing the same thing.

    We see that Asvaghosha was exported to China instantly in the year 68, and was perpetually disseminated everywhere at least through the 600s, when we stopped counting (Amoghavajra does it again). Nagarjuna was basically unknown until a letter to a Satavahana king was copied in the 400s. That is a significant blow to "importance". He did not refer to any scriptures in his known works. "Sutra Nagarjuna" is therefor a mis-appelation. That does not make him bad or stupid, it just means that "Four Hymns" was seen as viable by Bhavaviveka. He may be lucky to be remembered at all.


    I personally spent at least twenty years dwelling on "traditions" of Bodhidharma and Nagarjuna, but, in actuality, we have turned these inside-out, because at the same time, Maitreya appears mis-represented and confused. So, if we kind of overlook the more well-known Mahaparinirvana and Tathagatagarbha Sutras, I think we would get a more definitive outlook at his background, and then some followers which also become refutations of Candrakirti, it would be:


    68 Asvaghosha (Saundarananda)

    180 Lokaksema (Lokanuvartana Sutra)

    291 Dharmaraksa (Dharanisvararaja Sutra)

    440 Gunabhadra (Srimala Devi Sutra)

    500 Maitreya (RGV)

    560 Sthiramati

    650 Candragomin (Pratyangira, Hayagriva, Namasangiti)

    900 Bhavyakirti

    1000 Ratnavajra

    1050 Ratnakarasanti


    This is a lot closer to "one system" or "Nirakara" than the normal presentation using Haribhadra, Santaraksita, and the various double and triple combinations of philosophies and designated exclusions in typical scholasticism, which is mostly supporting something else anyway. That is what I started with, and it is difficult and just seems to go somewhere else. Here, we have a somewhat minor, direct Sutra study, which easily attaches to "Sutra Mahamudra" and the tantras. In turn, we found that "one commentarial system" sub-stands those, in pretty much the same way, such as by the refutation of tantric Candrakirti. With some devotion and study, a person can do a fair amount of it. After all, it is just a development of "dharani and samadhi" with more details about internal energy than found in the Sutras themselves.



    Again, as a checking measure, we found that Dignaga and Dharmakirti maintain a form of self-awareness or Svasamvedana. They were thinking there must be a positive presence implied by Nagarjuna's negations. However, all they seem to be concerned with is Nagarjuna, and:


    As noted by Hayes, the difficulty in studying the highly terse works of Dignāga is considerable, because none of them have survived in the original Sanskrit and the Tibetan and Chinese translations which do survive show signs of having been done by translators who were not completely certain of the meaning of the work.

    They were carried forward by Bhaviveka, who again leads to conflicting information:


    Bhāviveka was a 6th-century scholar from south India (Andhra Pradesh) who traveled north in an attempt to engage in debate with the Yogacara master Dharmapāla (who refused to meet him).

    Dharmapāla (traditional Chinese: 護法, pinyin: Hùfǎ) (530–561 CE). A Buddhist scholar, he was one of the main teachers of the Yogacara school in India. He was a contemporary of Bhavaviveka (清辯, c. 490-570 CE.), with whom he debated.

    He studied in Nalanda as a student of Dignāga. Later he succeeded him as abbot of the University.

    Through the teachings of his disciple Silabhadra to Xuanzang, Dharmapāla’s tenets expanded greatly in China.


    Dharmapala at least comments Vasubandhu, but we can only distinguish our point of amassed Sutras with:


    According to the Indian translator Divākara, Śīlabhadra (529-645) divided the Buddhist teachings into three turnings of the Dharma Wheel, following the divisions given in the Saṃdhinirmocana Sūtra.


    At that point, he specifically says that Nagarjuna is only discussing the Second Turning. Consequently, Bhavaviveka and Dignaga are as well, even though they have framed it in a non-prasangika fashion.


    To an extent, Xuanzang is reflective of this.



    At the age of 33, the Chinese Buddhist monk Xuanzang (602-664) made a dangerous journey to India in order to study Buddhism there and to procure Buddhist texts for translation into Chinese. Xuanzang spent over ten years in India traveling and studying under various Buddhist masters. These masters included Śīlabhadra, the abbot of Nālandā monastery, who was then 106 years old.

    ...his journey to India in 629–645 CE...

    602 + 33 = 635, must have taken him six years to get there.

    The date when Xuanzang's pilgrimage started is not resolved in any of the texts that Xuanzang himself wrote. Further, he did not write his own biography or travelogue, rather he recited it to his fellow monks after his return from India. Three of his immediate collaborators wrote his biography, and thus leaving three versions and with variant details.


    At first in Central Asia, he only finds Hinayana establishments, until:


    Heading east and crossing the Black range, Xuanzang describes the country of Kapishi (near Bamiyan), where the Mahayana tradition of Buddhism had come in vogue. To its east are the "City of Svetavat temple" and the Aruna Mountain known for its frequent avalanches. He mentions four stupas built in this area by king Ashoka.


    The citizens of this country, adds Xuanzang, fondly recall "King Kanishka of Gandhara".


    Xuanzang describes Lampaka (modern Laghman, near the source of Kabul river) as the territory of north India, one whose circuit is more than 1000 li and where all monasteries studied Mahayana Buddhism.

    The travelogue states that Xuanzang went into a dark cave here where dangerous beings lived, recited Srimaladevi Simhanadasutra, and they became Buddhists.

    Xuanzang also recites the implausible tale of meeting a Brahmin who was 700 years old and had two associates, each over a 100 year old, who had mastered all of the Hindu Vedas and the Buddhist Madhyamika sastra. He calls them heretics (non-Buddhists).

    According to Grousset, the founders of Mahayana idealism, Asanga and Vasubandhu trained Dignaga, who trained Dharmapala and whose student was Silabhadra. Thus Xuanzang had reached his teacher Silabhadra, who made available to Xuanzang and through him to the Sino-Japanese world the entire heritage of Buddhist Mahayana thought, and the Cheng Weishi Lun, Xuanzang's great philosophical treatise, is none other than the Summa of this doctrine, "the fruit of seven centuries of Indian Buddhist thought." In this scripture, Xuanzang appears to a certain extent as the continuator of both Asanga and Vasubandhu.


    He must have gotten a Srimala Devi Sutra in Afghanistan. Evidently, Madhyamaka on its own is not particularly distinguishable from Hinduism, such as Adi Shankara also absorbed it. Dignaga is legitimized as a branch of Yogacara, even though his contributions are on a minor aspect. We still agree with "Madhyamaka intent" and are just saying it is incomplete. Usually, terms like "founder" and "idealism" are gross over-simplifications, but this gives us an example of what reached Xuanzang. He could not really have spent ten years at the feet of Silabhadra, but, at least he was there.


    In the catalogue, he has the obscure listing 133, Shih Hhuen-Kwan (Hiouen thsang).



    He did not innovate, composed only two things, such as 1646, which is twelve verses on Asta Vijnana. In another instance, he comments Vasubandhu (on Thirty Verses, the summum bonum just mentioned). Only his seventy-five existing works are given, not the whole 657 he supposedly had.

    And yes, again when we look at most Yogacara-derived lineages, they are almost always based around Vasubandhu's Twenty and Thirty Verses. Like something easily-attractive, such as Tathagarbha Sutra which is only a collection of examples, those are not really the bull's eye. Asvaghosha started off talking about Amrita right away. He has nothing to say about a structured organization of the Bodhisattva Path, but he just has given us the key to all of the Chakrasamvara tantras. And so we take "Mahayana" as the intermediary. This is not quite an original name for any of this, but, Gunabhadra was personally named "the Mahayana" based around most everything which is also given the name "Yogacara school", because he has added the relatively-late Lankavatara Sutra, if incomplete. Asanga basically takes all of this and with Maitreya's communion and gives us everything in a manner that is still preserved.

    The most historically-concrete lineage seems to be:


    Asanga, Vasubandhu, Dignaga, Dharmapala, Silabhadra, Xuanzang.


    Sthiramati was a disciple of Vasubandhu "and of" Gunamati.


    Xuanzang's compilation on Vasubandhu's Thirty Verses includes commentaries from:


    1. Dharmapala; 2. Gunamati; 3. Sthiramati




    The knot of "multiple Vasubandhus" ties into "two Gunamati and Sthiramatis" in a mess also claiming:


    The orthodox position is that held by Vasubandhu's direct disciple Sthiramati, who advocated what is called nirakara-vijnana-vada (the doctrine of non-substantive consciousness) based on asserting the emptiness (sunyata) of both external objects and consciousness. This view was eventually transmitted by Paramartha (499-590 AD) to China, and is the same as that held by Tilopa, the founder of the Kagyu school of Tibet...

    The popular or exoteric position, which appears to deviate from Vasubandhu's original exposition of Yogacara theory, is that of Acarya Dharmapala (see above). Dharmapala systematized a line of Yogacara thought known as sakara-vijnana-vada (the doctrine of substantive consciousness) that claims, although external objects do not independently exist, the mind itself (cittamatra) does exist as such. This view, which we know as Mind-only, presents Mind as ultimate reality. Dharmapala's line of thought was transmitted to China by Hiuen Tsang...


    Tilo did not start Tibetan Kagyu. "Emptiness" of the mind does not equal "non-existence" either. More accurately, Cittamatra or Vijnaptimatra has to do with a mental image in meditation, which ultimately yields or dissipates into the non-productive or image-free state; to assert either one as "this is reality" is not accurate, because they are steps in a process. So, for example, there is a huge reason to have such an image to start with, because you are doing some work, otherwise we are back to the sense that "quit thinking and you are a Buddha".

    Tāranātha described Dignāga, Sthiramati, Dharmapāla, Candragomi, Vinītadeva, and Asvabhāva as if they probably were Mind Only, but it seems that deep down, he believed they were Shentong Great Middle Way. The Karmapa said that this was another thing that needed to be examined.

    Expressed otherwise:


    The refutation of the satkāryavāda (Sāṅkhya) as well as of the asatkāryavāda (Vaiśeṣika) forms one of the chief contents of the dogmatical works of Mahāyāna Buddhism. It can be found in the Mahāprajñāpāramitā-Śāstra of Nāgārjuna, in the Śataśāstra of Āryadeva, in the Buddhagotraśāstra attributed to Vasubandhu etc. Nor shall we forget that Vasubandhu and Diṅnāga refuted at length the Sāṅkhya theories in their Paramārthasaptati and Pramāṇasamuccaya respectively.




    Corresponding to another timing mess:

    There is evidence that the Maitraka rulers had switched to Shaivism, but when Chinese traveller Hieun-Tsang visited Vallabhi (modern Vala, Gujarat) during second quarter of the 7th Century, he found its ruler to be a Buddhist follower. When I-Tsing, another Chinese traveller visited Vallabhi in the last quarter of 7th Century, he found Vallabhi as a great center of learning, including Buddhism.

    Gunamati and Sthiramati were two famous Buddhist scholars of Vallabhi at the middle of the 7th Century.

    The Maitrakas ruled from their capital at Vallabhi, coming under the rule of Harsha in the mid-7th Century, but they retained local autonomy, regaining their independence after Harsha's death.

    Maitraka rule ended with the sacking of Vallabhi by the barbarians in 524 A.D. (According to Wiki, In 775 CE, the patron kings succumbed to an attack by the Arabs. This gave the university a temporary set-back.)

    or:


    It continued as capital until about 780, when it suddenly and unaccountably disappeared from history. It apparently survived the Arab invasions of Saurastra about 725–735.



    Comments on Nagarjuna's Root Verses by:


    Gunamati (fifth to sixth centuries, Tib. fragment); Sthiramati (c. 510-570)



    Nguyen 1990 concludes that Yogacara Sthiramati was a contemporary of Dharmapala. He comments Maitreya:


    Madhyāntavibhāgaṭīkā

    Sūtrālaṃkāravṛttibhāṣya



    But nothing seems to associate him with RGV. It was complete, possibly with his comments, before he was born. So it is certainly possible there were multiple authors of this name, or close variants such as "Sthitamati" or "Saramati" causing confusion.



    In the catalog, Ratnamati does not list an author for RGV 1236. Out of around two thousand books, it is an undetectable speck of dust. This one has eleven chapters, and commentary four times the size of the text.


    Through the 500s we do find more Nagarjuna coming through; in the case of Xuanzang, he uses a lot of Vasubandhu. His first translation was Bodhisattva Pitaka in 645. His translations of Asanga (Wu sin) and Maitreya:


    Bodhisattva Pratimoksha (Maitreya; fifth part of Bodhisattva Bhumi 1170)

    Yogacarabhumi

    Mahayanasamparigraha Sastra

    Prakaranaryavaka Sastra

    Mahayanabhidharma Sangiti Sastra

    Ragadharma Nyaya Sastra (Maitreya, second part of Bodhisattva Bhumi or Yogacarabhumi)

    Madhyantavibhaga Sastra Grantha (Maitreya)



    Xuanzang cannot really tell us much, other than the focus had already shifted to Vasubandhu. He has a lot to say, if our subject is anthropology, but Maitreya's Yogacara is not talking abut later peoples' opinions of it. Mostly he uses a Sutra basket like the one Gunabhadra has in the 400s.



    Elsewhere attributed to Asanga:


    Shadvaropadishta Dhyanavyavahara Sastra

    Vajracchedika Sutra Sastra

    Vinirnita Pisaka Sastra (Maitreya, tr. Paramartha, also called second part of Bodhisattva Bhumi)


    Just for a few other things I noticed:


    648 is an An Shigao text on seven ayatanas.

    54 is An Shigao's Maitreya Pariprccha Sastra, called a Mahayana Vaipaulya subject.

    208 by Dhamaraksa is described as a meditation on Maitreya entering the world (rather than you going to him).

    1070 is Nagarjuna's Dharmadhatu Stotra.

    1085 & 1086, Bodhisattva Charya Sutra, is spoken by Maitreya, which becomes the fifteenth part of Bodhisattva Bhumi.

    1315 is a late (ca. 1000) Maitreya tantric text, Sarashiksa Sthita Namartha Sastra.

    1393 is on how to see Maitreya in the "Indra cave", which we have heard of before.


    Now I see I am being redundant, since Appendix I lists the Indian authors spurious or otherwise, Maitreya, Asvaghosha, Nagarjuna, Aryadeva (Nilanetra or Candrakirti), Asanga, Vasubandhu, Sthiramati, and so on. This at least makes it visually clear that Nagarjuna did not show up in China until the 400s, again with a disputed Prajnaparamita commentary.

    Xuanzang has maybe one or two of those pieces.




    Johnston says that Ratnamati is close, but not verbatim RGV, omitting around I.36-37 the nature of atman. He does not think Asanga had anything to do with it, due to lack of some technical terms and the necessary opinion of "different schools". It does not directly use Samdhinirmocana or Lankavatara, but it does use Mahāyānâbhidharmasūtra and Mahayānasūtrâlañkāra along "tathagatagarbha" lines.


    Yet from a weird multi-script collation:

    The case for the involvement of Maitreya-nātha is also strengthened by the discovery of a Sanskrit fragment of the Ratnagotravibhāga in Saka script which mentions Maitreya-nātha as the author of the 'root' (mūla) verses.


    The first omission was from:


    Because the [dharmakāya] is naturally pure
    And free from latent tendencies, it is pure.
    It is the supreme self because the reference points
    Of self and no-self are at peace.



    Even Takasaki refers to pseudo-Asvaghosha's "Awakening" and seems to believe Asanga must have been ancient, before Lankavatara Sutra. But Asanga begins his Viniscaya explaining how Alaya Vijnana is synonymous to "adana vijnana" and other Pali terms, etc., and in RGV, it is like Maitreya quoting Maitreya on Bodhi via Mahayanasutralamkara:


    ...all of the three verses of this Śāstra quoted in the Ratna. are found in Chapter IX,
    the chapter on 'bodhi'. This chapter, treating the subject of buddhatva
    has a doctrine quite similar to the Ratna. In this chapter we come across
    such terms and subjects as ' buddhatvasya śaranatva ',
    āśrayaparāvrtti ', ' āśrayaparivrtti ', ' anābhogâpraśrabdhakriyā' with the simile of the Divine drum,
    anāsravadhātu ', dharmadhātuviśuddhi ', tathatā ', tathāgatagarbha', and the
    trikāya'-theory of svābhāvika\ *sāmbhogya\ and * nairmānika with all of which we are acquainted in the Ratna.



    The idea of icchantikas who have killed their Gotra for this life are those:


    ...who abuse the Mahāyāna
    doctrine. Such an opinion is often found in the works belonging to the
    Vijñānavāda. The Sûtrâlañkāra, and the Lañkāvatāra, while exposing
    the doctrine of tathāgatagarbha on one hand, have on the other the same
    opinion on this problem as the Vijñānavāda. It is one of key points for
    distinguishing the pure tathāgatagarbha theory from the Vijñānavāda.


    I am not quite sure what he means by that distinguishing, because what is expressed is all possible Gotras. The Hinayana and Hindu ones are Liberation into Nirvana. Then it just says there are gotras of people who don't do any spiritual practice. The "embryonic potential" in them is not being used. The "germ or seed" aspect in the Bodhisattva Gotra is activated by the meditation that is being taught.


    Even the title, Gotra, bridges the two then-modern texts, while upgrading the older base Sutra:


    suvarṇa- gotra-vat Asaṅga (Mahāyāna-sūtrālaṃkāra) iii.9 and suratna-gotra-vat 10

    Asaṅga (Mahāyāna-sūtrālaṃkāra) iii.1, note, is briefly treated in Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra 65.2 f., aniyata-gotrakaḥ punar…triṣv apy eteṣu deśya- māneṣu yatrānunīyate tatrānuyojyaḥ syāt; apparently this is the class of people who may be drawn to whichever of the three yānas happens to be presented.

    In Kāśyapa Parivarta 102.9; 103.1, 8 āryāṇāṃ gotraṃ is described as a state in which all normal conditions and activities are at an end, and in 104.1—2 (continuation of the same) it is said, anulomaṃ tad gotraṃ nirvāṇasya. The relation of this to the three or five gotras is not quite clear.



    Nguyen's dissertation is not online, although there is a bit more of the Introduction that we can see. We can find a few things; Sthiramati incorporated Brahmanical deities into the Nirmanakaya, and around this same time, the Puranas began to list Buddha as an avatar of Vishnu.

    Asanga's RGV commentary severely reproaches Hinayana focus on impermanence, anatma, and so on, failing to do anything with Buddha-hood.

    Sthiramati does use Nagarjuna's Root Verses, but the most important article selected for translation was the ninth chapter of his commentary on Mahayanasutralamkara on Buddha-hood.

    Silabhadra's Buddha Bhumi Vyakhyana is parallel to this.

    When he did this in 1990, essentially nothing was known of Yogacara, and he is still a little stuck with an early date for Asanga, and Madhyamaka as a "different school". Dharmapala is mostly known through Xuanzang's interpretation. Around that time, I, personally, knew the Evans-Wentz books, and then had a long period of "normal" Buddhist study, which certainly had nothing to do with Yogacara. I do not think it was physically possible for anyone to "get it" until quite recently.



    Thurman's translation of Mahayanasutralamkara of course only has Vasubandhu's commentary, and typically pale translations; but it is easy to find the subject, Chapter IX, Enlightenment. It probably ought to be "Bodhi", with Buddhatva = "Buddha-hood".

    He does put Sthiramati in footnotes, such as what a Buddha "has":

    Sarväkärajnata is the unmistaken knowledge of all phenomena as suffering, impermanent, empty, and selfless.


    i.e., empty, unborn, undying, etc., are not different from the dharmakäya
    of a buddha. In this connection he cites the following two pädas from the Sarvabuddhavisayävatärajnänälokälamkärasütra:

    mi skye chos ni rtag tu de bzhin gshegs / thams cadchos
    kyang bde bar gshegs dang dra I

    "Unborn phenomena are always the Tathägata, all phenomena
    are also like the Sugata."




    ...the transcendences and so forth are not absolutely established as
    transcendences by any intrinsic reality.

    That is, the perfections do not inherently exist as perfections.


    Following mostly the Sthiramati notes:


    äsraya is here the group of five psychophysical systems. [skandhas]


    ...two types of path; an utterly pure path of
    transcendent intuition, and a path of an aftermath intuition whose scope is the infinity of objects.

    That is, Transcendent and Mundane Consciousness, which can be Pure or Impure, which is exactly what Ratnakarasanti teaches, much as here, where if I understand correctly "knowables" is what the Three Natures of Yogacara are determined by:


    ...the intuition whose object siddhi is the infinity of knowables is
    mundane. Compare RGV p. 88.13-14: dvividham jnänam lokottaram avikalpam tatprsthalabdham (laukikam, after the Tibetan) ca I laukikalokottarajnänam äsrayaparivrttir hetum.

    "Intuition is of two kinds, transmundane, which is non-differentiative, and mundane, which
    is acquired after it. The mundane and transmundane intuitions are the cause of the foundational transmutation."


    (Vasubandhu): ... shows the superiority of such foundational transmutation
    over other (transmutations).

    So he is saying that Asraya Paravrtti excels other methods which grant Liberation. When this is done, "Transmundane Intuition" is accessing the Knowable in its Paramartha Nature or Lokottara. So by defining Mahayana meditation in this manner is the explanation of a generic curiosity in the first Buddhist Schism or Lokottaravada. And so if Saundarananda was that popular, this would make sense easily.


    Sthiramati (P Mi 130b8) equates the foundational transmutation here with the dharmadhätu, and buddhahood as the ultimate reality of all things.




    Suchness is accepted as buddhahood, neither pure nor
    impure.


    The body of truth, that is, Thusness, is empty and luminous by nature at both times. As there is
    nothing in itself to be purified it is "not pure"; but since its adventitious defilements have
    been purified at the time of buddhahood it is not "impure."



    23. In pure voidness buddhas achieve the supreme self of selflessness, and realize the spiritual greatness of the self by discovering the pure self.

    According to Ui, p. 607, this verse is quoted in the Chinese version of the RGV.

    Buddhänäm paramätmä (LI, p. 39.1). Here we see in unmistakable terms the Upanisadic
    formula applied to the buddha, preceding by centuries the Vedantic renaissance led by Sankaräcärya and his followers, whose philosophical and soteriological debt to the Buddhist experientialists cannot be appreciated without a thorough knowledge of the Maitreyanätha corpus and its attendant literature.




    Supreme selflessness is completely pure suchness, and that is a buddha's "self," in the sense of "intrinsic reality."
    When this is completely pure, buddhas attain superior selflessness, a pure self.
    Therefore, by attaining a pure self buddhas realize the spiritual greatness of self.
    Thus it is with this intention that buddhas are declared to have a supreme self in
    the uncontaminated realm.

    Compare RGV p. 31.10-16.


    24. That is why buddhahood is said neither to exist nor not to
    exist. When such inquiries are made about a buddha, the way of
    impredicability is preferred.

    This verse is quoted in prose in the commentary to vs. 23 in the Chinese version of the
    RGV (Ui, p. 607).



    37. Although suchness is in all beings without distinction, when
    it has become pure it is transcendent buddhahood: therefore all beings have its embryonic essence.

    Quoted in the commentary to RGV I.28; compare also RGV1.27


    Tathägatagarbhä (Ui, p. 40.16). Sthiramati (P Mi 139b 1-4): identical to tathatä and nairatmya. As there is no difference in nairatmya between ordinary beings and saints, except that
    for the latter it has been purified of adventitious defilements, in which case it is called
    "Tathägata" all beings are Tathägata in embryo.




    42. Highest mastery is attained in the transmutation of the (addicted) mentality,
    and in the perfectly immaculate, nonconceptual intuition
    which accompanies such mastery.

    Sthiramati (P Mi l42a2-4): here manas stands for the klistamanas. See also XI.45 on the
    transmutation of the manas.

    Sthiramati (P Mi I42b3): this intuition is either the transformed älayavijnäna or (I42b7)
    the transformed klistamanas which is the samatäjnäna. The reasons for its being the former
    are obscure, since its transmutation is described in verse 45 below.


    45. In the transmutation of the foundation,
    highest mastery is attained, which is the unlocated Nirvana in the immaculate state of
    buddhas.


    "Foundation":

    Pratisthä (LI, p. 41.19). Sthiramati (P Mi l43b5-7): the älayavijnäna. See also XI.44 on
    the transmutation of the älaya which is also called "seed" (bija).

    which leads to Apratistha Nirvana.




    46. In the transmutation of (sensation, even in) sexual union,
    highest mastery is attained in the station of the buddhas' bliss,
    while in the unaddicted vision of the consort.

    See also XIII. 11-13 for another possible allusion to tantric
    practice by Asañga, as well as AS p. 108. The tantric allusion here could not be clearer,
    replete with buddhasaukhyavihäre (Ui, p. 41.24).




    Äkäsasamjnä (LI, p. 42.2). Sthiramati (P Mi l44a7-8): the idea that wherever there is
    obstruction there is form, and wherever there is no obstruction there is space.



    According to the BBS, which provides the basis for the rest of the chapter, the stage of
    buddhahood consists of five dharmas: the pure dharmadhätu and the four intuitions; see
    Sthiramati (P Mi I49b8).


    That means the transformed Skandhas, or the Five Wisdoms.

    Sthiramati (P Mi 150a6-150bl):

    vastu = älayavijnäna, and vastujnäna = pure mundane intuition. This intuition represents the
    transmutation of the älaya as the support of "bad conditionings" (kausthulya). Tad= dharmadhätu. The dharmadhätu as the object of nonconceptual intuition represents the transmutation of the path (marga).


    It is to be understood that the Introduction up to the Enlightenment chapter correspond to the sections of the Bodhi(sattvabhümi).


    In other words, Asanga's Bodhisattvabhumi, a more exoteric and familiar work, is here given better detail by Maitreya, as something like an operating principle of Mahayana Sutras, which he then further concentrates in RGV. And then the next chapter is Faith:


    Sthiramati (P Mi 165a2-3), here adhimukti, sraddhä, and
    sampratyaya are equivalent.


    In giving this doctrine, Ratnakarasanti explains to us that Paramartha or Lokottara or Trascendental Consciousness is always the same, so if we meditate properly, a Bodhisattva experiences exactly the same thing that Buddha does. And this is also exactly how the tantras explain Prabhasvara. It is not a different natural fact than can be accessed in various ways. It is the particular practice, or, i. e. Method or Upaya which is what Maitreya's literature is supposed to be, having Prajna as its complement, Prajnaparamita Sutra and so on.


    This is semi-canonical because Gunabhadra is also the source of the most specific work known, the Angulimaliya Sutra 434:


    The Angulimaliya Sutra provides a detailed account by mentioning the points of distribution as including southern India, Bharukaccha, and Kashmir.

    This compilation was done in the Mahasamghika environment. Later in the 6th century CE, Paramartha mentioned that the Mahasamghikas deeply respect the Angulimaliya Sutra which teaches the Tathagatagarbha.

    ...the Angulimaliya Sutra shares with the Mahaparinirvana Mahasutra group Tathagatagarbha buddha nature preached as explicitly connected with Atma-dhatu and concealed by defilements, the eternity of the Tathagata, the secret teachings, the promotion of faith toward the teaching of tathagatagarbha, and concern with the worst sinners, including the icchantika.

    The sutra is most insistent that the Tathagatagarbha and the self, both are real. The sutra denies their existence is to lapse into a state of dangerous spiritual imbalance. Thus, to seek out the Tathagatagarbha is deemed of great value.



    To "seek" it is to do the meditation that is being taught.

    Here, Buddha is explaining this to Manjushri.

    It would appear that Gunabhadra wrote Srimala Devi immediately, followed by Samdhinirmocana, twice, and shortly gets to Lankavatara Sutra. Then there is:


    Bodhisattvacaritopayavishayarddhivikriya-sutra.

    And quite a few other minor things.

    Gunabhadra was born 393 in central India of the Brahman caste and was a Sramana. He arrived in China in 435 and translated these. He has a copy of something that has already described itself as a semi-canonical distribution called Mahayana. Paramartha is perfectly aware of its importance in India. Obviously it would have been continuous around Asanga. He of course refers to much more material, but none of it is any newer than this. The most important ones are the same.

    I would have a hard time understanding different schools or philosophies. It is a subject which is completely internal or exists only within its own self-description. Tantras change nothing about this because they are only increasing details within "practices" given here as a subject. Ratnavajra mostly just used Maitreya books as introductory and then tantras. From what we can tell, it would be superfluous, unnecessary, extraneous, diversionary, or time consuming to comb through multiple philosophies and so forth in order to be able to do this yoga meditation.

    Plus it is about as fair as you can be when Asanga says you can still participate in religions or other yogas, as long as you put twice as much into Mahayana.



    As another south Indian source migrating to Kashmir, it may be rare, but one can find an example of:


    Gandhāran statue of Avalokiteśvara, abhaya-mudrā. 3rd century CE.

    The original form Avalokitasvara appears in Sanskrit fragments of the fifth century.

    This earlier Sanskrit name was supplanted by the form containing the ending -īśvara "lord"; but Avalokiteśvara does not occur in Sanskrit before the seventh century.

    Tamil Buddhist tradition developed in Chola literature, such as in Buddamitra's Virasoliyam , states that the Vedic sage Agastya learnt Tamil from Avalokiteśvara. The earlier Chinese traveler Xuanzang recorded a temple dedicated to Avalokitesvara in the South Indian Mount Potalaka, a Sanskritzation of Pothigai, where Tamil Hindu tradition places Agastya having learnt the Tamil language from Shiva. Avalokitesvara worship gained popularity with the growth of the Abhayagiri vihāra's Tamraparniyan Mahayana sect.

    The local people, though, mainly remained followers of the Tamil Animist religion. The mixed Tamil-Buddhist cult culminated in the formation of the figure of Avalokiteśvara.


    For reasons that are unclear, it has been said on a manuscript there is:


    ...a replica painting of the famed statue of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Lokesvara / Lokanatha) at Sreemoolavasam Mahayana Buddhist Monastery in Kerala around a 1000 years back. Avalokitesvara is flanked by (green) Tara and (yellow) Bhrikuti on two sides.


    ...the southern part of Kerala was ruled by the Ay kings who had their capital first at Aykudi near Agastyakoodam (Potalaka/ Potikai – considered the abode of Avalokitesvara).

    Interview with current Karnataka Nyingmas.

    As said of Xuanzang in Buddhism in Kerala:


    Also it is possible that he or his informants
    must have transformed Agastya who is supposed to
    reside on Podigai into a Bodhisattva.


    In his time, it was declining there. Buddhism had already come with Asoka, but fades away by ca. 1,000.

    From the translation of Karandavyuha Sutra:


    The Karandavyuha does not mention Avalokitesvara’s abode in this world on the
    Potalaka Mountain, which was a later feature that first appeared in South Indian
    Buddhism. The origin of the popular four-armed version of Avalokitesvara appears
    within the sutra as the goddess who is the embodiment of the six-syllable mantra,
    referred to throughout as a vidya (which is a feminine noun) or often as the queen of
    mahavidyas.

    Avalokitesvara is noticeable by his absence in early sutras where ManjusrI figures
    prominently. In the Sukhavatlvyuha or The Display of the Pure Land of Sukhavati,
    which describes the realm of Amitayus, the buddha who later became known by the
    name Amitabha, Avalokitesvara has yet to appear. He makes his first prominent ap¬
    pearance in the longer Sukhavativyuha in which he stands beside Amitayus...


    There is an inter-textual segue' to Gandhavyuha Sutra, the experience of Sudhana Kumara:


    ...in the town of Dhanyākara in South India happens to meet the great Bodhisattva Manjusri and receives teaching from him.

    On the whole he meets 53 masters who belong to very diverse forms and backgrounds, which include both men and women, bhikshus and upasakas, ascetics and merchants, kings and craftsmen, queens and courtesans, humans and devas. This itself is a teaching that people of any background can give rise to the wisdom and compassion of the Bodhisattvas and turn their mundane activities into a way of bringing enormous benefit to beings who come in contact with them and lead them to awakening. It does not matter whether one is a monk or a king, an ascetic or a householder. As far as one is able to cultivate the view of non-abiding (aprathiṣṭāna) on Samsara and Nirvana, and give rise to the great compassionate mind of perfect and complete awakening (bodhicitta), one can be a Bodhisattva and bring benefit to countless beings.

    According to Gaṇḍavyūha, through the teaching received from these Bodhisattvas and through the merit of meeting them, Sudhana gains a glimpse into the nature of reality (dharmadhatu) and become firmly established in the way of the Bodhisattvas.

    In this Sutra, Avalokitesvara is the 27th Bodhisattva that he meets on the way. Avalokitesvara is staying in the Potalaka Mountain in the southern most part of India (In the Malaya-giri in the border between present day Kerala and Tamil Nadu ) .



    It is not really giving new doctrines, but, applying them in a way reflective of the spread of Mahayana and the principle of the Sangha overall.

    Curiously, Sanghavarman "became a disciple" of Gunabhadra when he got to China and translated from 506-520, the Bodhisattva Pitaka Sutra 1103, as well as Mayuri and Anantamukha Dharanis.

    With Amoghavajra, there is an immediate change because he has Multiple Sadhanamala goddesses and Mahasri Sutra. And then he also has Vajrasekhara which is not considered by them a "class", but it is also a Sutra of Sutras. It has pieces of Dakini Jala Tantra. And when we start to examine this one, when read in the light of inter-textual connections, then it is talking about the theatrical Nine Moods. What seems odd is that in non-Buddhist literature, Peace is not granted the status of a Mood until Abhinavagupta in the tenth century. However in this way, the basic status of Peaceful and Wrathful Deities becomes possible.

    Although he has these tantric materials, it is barely representative of the state of affairs. By the 700s there was Guhyajnana Dakini at Sitabani and a process of tantric yoga. It consists of Samyak Heruka which we have seen was smuggled into Tibet, and Sakyamitra, whose Citta or Mind Heruka is used as Nagarjuna's Chapter Two.


    If the origin is distorted less, that means that King Indrabhuti by relying on Dakini Jala and Jaganath (Vajrasattva) was probably an indication of what would be understandable in his society.

    From that point, Tibet did not take any more transmissions of Buddhism until the 1100s, and the Chinese records do not really continue with tantra in a way that keeps up at all. The broad difference is that those are mostly Kriya Tantras involving a lot of hand mudras, whereas the subtle yoga that goes into Chakrasamvara does not. We can think of it as possibly even being done completely still and quiet. Additions are optional. You can use visualized imagery and internal mantras. If we look at Sadaksari Mahavidya goddess, she will proceed with STTS Chapter Two, Guhyavajradhatu Mandala.


    Prajnaparamita Hrdaya Dharani and Vajrasattva Yoga already seem to be setup as the backbone of all Deity Yoga. This is still used in Kagyu. Now we have found they also appear to be the first tantric couple in sexual yoga from Catuspitha Tantra. Prajna and Method or Upaya or Prajnopaya is certainly the main explanatory theme entering the tantric domain.

    That means it has more to do with magic and clairvoyance.

    Then when we see that Naro uses Asraya Paravrtti as Mirror Wisdom involved with Melting the Bindu, we have got the Profound Meaning of what is roughly described in the Sutras and Sastras.

    The whole commentarial system of Four Seals not only attaches to the prelude, it requires it. This will align sadhanas to personal yoga experience. Consequently, I am able to understand that no, I have not quite got Samadhi as is done here. However, I can say that the subtle or Suksma Yoga works, and so it is very conclusive that after the experience of Melting, there is a type of riddle about what is "after" the Second Joy.

    I would agree with this, because the Prabhasvara and the bodily process that is akin to Hatha Yoga are not inherently Mahayana. And so there is a type of judgment or quest involved about the third or Mahamudra in Deity Yoga.

    By definition, this transits within the Fourth Yoga, Dharana.

    That is something like a glass ceiling. The tantric teaching then grants the Vijnana Skandha to Vajra Family, so the discussion on the layers of subtle minds remains relevant. This becomes Purification of the Dharmadhatu.

    Done properly, you remove the Alaya Vijnana and enter Lokottara Citta or Transcendental Consciousness, experience of the Object in its Paramartha or Absolute Nature. Spiritually, the Dharmakaya.

    The Second Joy is about Sambhogakaya, or, more specifically, emerging from Prabhasvara as the Families, as in Mahavajradhatu Mandala. The Dhyani Buddhas themselves.



    Elsewhere, according to Maitreya:

    "The three kayas of buddhahood are the dharmakaya, which is free from elaborate constructs and endowed with the twenty-one sets of enlightened qualities; the sambhogakaya which is of the nature of light and endowed with the perfect major and minor marks perceptible only to bodhisattvas; and the nirmanakaya which manifests in forms perceptible to both pure and impure beings".


    RGV plainly speaks to "tathagatagarbha sutras". Same Dharmakaya. Here it is in Abhisamayalamkara:


    It is a commentary on the hidden meaning of the Prajñaparamita Sutras, describing the entire journey of the bodhisattva, from the generation of bodhichitta to the attainment of full omniscience.



    Dharmakaya is the final Eighth Topic, the text having its first commentary by Vasubandhu's disciple Vimuktisena, and two by Ratnakarasanti, including the famous verse:


    In this, there is not a thing to be removed,
    Nor the slightest thing to be added.
    It is looking perfectly into reality itself,
    And when reality is seen, complete liberation.

    Maitreya, Ornament of Clear Realization, V, 21 and Sublime Continuum, I, 15


    By reading the symbolism, it seemed to me that the Twenty-one Qualities must have to do with Tara. I was only making a suggestion to see what would come out of it and that is how I posted it quite a while back. However that turns out to be exactly the teaching as given by what has been called Candragomin's Twenty-one Taras. Now I am sure Candragomin did not speak Tibetan and those are most likely Atisha's Taras shown there. At least the last four seem to be in common in several traditions. So those are familiar. When the song is parsed out for Tara's mandala, you get odd amounts. But, if the basic text of this teaching is correct, then yes Twenty-one Taras are the radiance of the Dharmakaya according to Maitreya.


    The Qualities are obscured by knots in the subtle body. The song is a dharani which deifies all of this. What we have found is something more like "a system of Tara and Vajrayogini". In this sense, Tara is most like the Akanistha, and Vajrayogini is most like tantric bliss which evaporates Klista Manas.

    Because there are three heart knots and they are difficult to open, that is part of what we would think is meant "after the Second Joy". You begin to use Nectar to accomplish this. The main practice in Subtle Yoga is Mrtyuvacana which involves Nectar Taste.


    So it would be a lot more informative to see Gunabhadra--Angulimaliya Sutra and Candragomin--Twenty-one Taras as to how that worked as pre- and post-Maitreya environment. This speaks to the fact of Yogacara and doesn't have any disagreements.

    With the right information, the system is self-organizing, in a way I still did not see when I started this thread. It is not really Shentong that represents it, either, moreso that there were four representatives of the Four Seals system, and then H. H. III Karmapa does a pretty good job for a Tibetan. Obviously, he was forced to contend with Dharmadhatu Stava and a few other influences which may be unnecessary.

    I have gotten this by asking Tara, "Anything besides Eight Fears?", and so if the answer is yes, and can be attached to Candragomin, this is a good fit. So I think we can make a more accurate index based on the Mahayana or Yogacara stages such as his, and subsequently a similar way of doing the tantric commentarial system, where again it appears to be the continuation of one subject until someone tinkers with it unnecessarily. Then I suppose it would really be a Table of Contents, probably starting with Asvaghosha, and he would be a link to his supporting material and arguments and so forth. The Mahayana part would not look like any book I have ever seen. The tantric commentaries would still resemble Jamgon Kongtrul's work, although it may have a different emphasis and does not quite need to deal with "everything", such as Kalachakra.

    It is the very late Puranas and Kalachakra which have the claim that Maitreya and the Kalkin Avatar are one.

    It is not the original Puranas or any Buddhist source that I am aware of that says that Buddha was the Ninth Avatar. I don't think they even bother with a personal name such as Gautama. If we would in general agree that it should probably be a few thousand years after Krishna, and, the legend of Mohini can be believed, why could we not think that Vishnu was born in relatively modern times?

    We already took Mahamaya Lakshmi and let her become male Mahamaya. The ability of changing form is expressed several times. In some cases it is fitting for Tara to say there is no reason to take birth as a man, in others a male emanates females or becomes one himself.

    The closest to eschatology seems to be that Maitreya would enter the world in the Age of Amoghasiddhi.

    Since the current Age is Amitabha, that is why Lotus Family is usually most accessible to greater numbers of people. Therefor Avalokiteshvara and Hayagriva are immanent as national protectors.


    However, we are using something which is Nepalese, which involves Karma Family Tara. Her song is already posted with the same concept of linking out to supporting information and so on. We will get back to her briefly and then find a way using interlocking links to combine everything by its own self-description.

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    Default Re: Nirakara and Shentong Buddhism, Tara, Sadhanas, Sanskrit culture

    Tara and Vajrayogini in continuity with the previous post




    A lot of my references I am copying from other threads include a person who has a self-realization of Mandarava. From what I could tell, it was only tangential to Buddhist sadhana practice, and more like a general yoga experience like I would say I had previously. However it had grown to include Mandarava and quite a few other details which had a close affinity to some of our tantric holdings. And to my analysis it was being done at a level resembling Dharana at a pretty advanced stage involving Kurukulla in almost exactly the same way we are teaching here.

    Spontaneously self-arising and accurate in almost every detail.

    I can recall the same thing in fleeting, momentary glimpses, not like pearlescent foamy bliss enthroned in an oyster shell, unaffected by earthly illusions. It was very profound. I do not know what happened afterwards. I would have to say that for months, the person was unable to be confined or constrained by lesser views or preliminaries. The energy, per se, of the yogic generation was no mystery to them. Over time I am persuaded that I observed the exact sequence from the initial Melting into the Second and Third Joys. I am convinced that is what they were doing, although a bit erratically and aberrantly, but that is what happened. It was much as if they slowly progressed into the technique, and slowly started developing it, although there were also "Prajna moments" where you "step up".

    Towards the end, about all I could say is that you really should look into the real Mandarava as actually having this role as Meditation Guru because that is really a part of it, even if it is not quite in my branch or has not come to me that I know of. The average person should not necessarily do this. But I suppose Mandarava could be said to be that present and that powerful that she can actually intercede with someone who has opened the appropriate gates.




    I never have had anything like that. From practicing a Deity as an aspect of Transcendentalism, about the closest thing I can say is that I am sensitive to at least the approach and boundary of Forest of Turquoise Leaves. A bit like being in the woods without any Taras. This is the main goal from Nagarjuna, from the Nepalese Mahattari system, and renewed in faith to us in the twentieth century by Delok Dawa Drolma. I can see that the adjustments and improvements I could do in yoga would excel any previous experience. From having put together a better and more complete guide, there is tremendous benefit.


    Turquoise Leaves is not at all like previous Akanistha realms such as Sukhavati and Abhirati, which are grand palaces, where most things are made of jewels. This has much to do with why we might call our system the Six Yogas of Tara.


    1925:


    “Those sentient beings who actually wish to see the pure realm of Tara in their minds will rejoice in the cooling rays of pure vision in the soothing shelter of the blooming lotus of faith.”



    According to the article:


    Surya Gupta and other great Yogis and Mahasiddhas inevitably attained realizations partially through Tara practice — usually in isolated caves in the wilderness. Why rely on Tara? Because the great Yogis practiced in nature — in isolation. Their only companions were nature, their own mind, and Tara — which you can argue are all three the same thing.
    So, if Tara has her own Pureland, just where is She? Of course, She is in all of the Purelands, and in all of everything, as explained by Venerable Zasep Rinpoche [in this feature on Cittamani Tara in Buddha Weekly>>].

    “Tara is everywhere. Tara is in the pure lands. Tara is here also. Why is Tara in the pure lands? Tara is in the pure lands to teach to the Bodhisattvas, the highly realized beings… Then, Tara comes down to us, many aspects of Tara — 21 Taras and so on — and there are other aspects of Tara, like Vajrayogini, Palden Lhamo, and so on and so on — so Tara is here, now.”




    For Tara, who in life represents chi and wind and life and activity, Her Pureland is visualized as the most verdant — forests, mountains, lakes, waterfalls, birds, wildlife everywhere.






    Something should be said about this turquoise-colored paradise. It resembles some sort of fantastic heavenly rock ‘n roll party. The deities there are filled with bliss, spending their time in dance and song, special enlightened dance and song, so that if ordinary beings even perceive it, even see it, they are filled with a sense of happiness and faith.

    When we’re visualizing Green Tara and the enlightened deities, this is the setting, the environment in which they arise, these enlightened beings in this land where all of the beings are so happy and are engaged in dancing and singing. We should understand of this paradise of Green Tara that if we were to go there, if we were born there, our experience would have not even a hint of any of the miseries we have on earth, certainly none of the miseries of birth, sickness, old-age, and death.

    As a matter of fact, all of the deities there (if we were to look at their appearance, we would say that they’re sixteen years old, never getting older, never getting younger) have bodies that are like a sixteen year old’s. They’re engaged in dancing and singing, but every sound made in the dances and the songs is a Dharma sound; in other words, it brings enlightenment to those who hear it. No other sounds are there. The music is played by what are called the “gandharvas”. A gandharva is a celestial or heavenly musician. So this is the nature of the pure land of turquoise color.



    Part of the actual Delok translation:



    “I came to a place where the entire country was verdant wherever I looked, beautiful and vividly clear, a marvelous environment with many extraordinary features.

    Pavilions of five-coloured rainbow light hovered in the sky. Many kinds of flowers and lotuses grew everywhere. Here there was no concept of summer or winter. The wish-granting trees were in full leaf, and form the words of Buddhadharma in the Sanskrit language, such as Namo arya tare mam.

    Birds that were emanations of the Noble Lady — sparrows, ducks, peacock, cranes, parrots, grouse, cuckoos, and swans — played everywhere. The land was filled with wealth and prosperity gems. Everywhere were pools of nectar endowed with eight fine qualities and elegantly appointed bathhouses made of precious jewels. In this realm, there was no concepts of birth, aging, illness or death.

    All of the inhabitants were born miraculously from the hearts of lotuses.
    In no future lifetimes would they hear unpleasant or discordant sound.
    Those dwelling there were bodhisattvas who had attained high levels of
    realization.

    This place surpassed the limits of imagination; its size could not be measured. It contained thousands of immeasurable mansions fashioned of the five precious substances. I arrived at the gateway of the central palace, a vast celestial mansion
    of magical and marvelous appearance, having the power to liberate beings in
    four ways.

    The very moment I entered it, I awoke from deep sleep of
    ordinary rational consciousness and was free of the veils of ignorance. The
    inner vision of my pristine awareness expanded, and I experienced a surge
    of love and compassion. I came to a courtyard in which many thousands of goddesses, dressed in green, chanted the praises to the twenty-one forms of Tara in the Sanskrit tongue. Occasionally, they played small finger cymbals, golden hand drums, and drums made of sandalwood, ebony, “serpents heart” wood, and four kinds of heart wood, as well as cymbals, gongs and flutes. They frequently punctuated their chant with music performed on this inconceivable variety
    of instruments.

    Upon hearing them, I felt an unimaginable sense of devotion; I made many offering praises with my mind. I proceed to the immeasurable central palace, the celestial mansion. I saw that the five layered walls were made of conch shell, gold, coral, emerald, and sapphire, all with friezes of ruby. The pillars and columns were made of red pearl, the main roof beams of quartz crystal, and the rafters were made of gems to illuminate the interior. Atop a cornice of gold was a pediment of coral, supporting a bluish green vault of tourquoise.

    Melodious music from chimes on the roof top resounded taking
    away the suffering of those in the lower realms. The fragrant scent of
    incense of the immeasurable attitudes wafted about. There were fine
    displays of unimaginably lovely offerings. In the center of the mansion, on a many-coloured lotus with a thousand petals and a moon disk seat, was the only refuge, the very embodiment of compassion, the sublime mother of all the victorious ones of the three times, the sister of the bodhisattvas, she whom both those in the human
    world and those in the heavens worship with the crowns of their heads
    touched to the soles of her feet.

    The goddess who born from the tears of the Exalted One, the noble Tara herself. Her body was bluish green, more intensely luminous than a mountains of turquoise lit by a thousand suns. Infinite rays of light shone from her form, which was adorned with major and minor marks of perfection. Her body was that of a youthful maiden sixteen years of age, clad in garments made from the silk of the gods adorned with immeasurably valuable ornaments of precious wish-fufilling gems. Her hair was shiny jet black, half of her tresses bound up in a topknot and with ribbons of blue green silk that fluttered in the breeze. With her left hand in the gesture symbolizing the Three Jewels, she held the stem of a blue lotus, the petals of which
    bloomed next to her ear. With her right hand she held the gesture of
    granting refuge.

    She, Tara, Mother of all Buddha’s sheltered all beings from the limitless fears of this confused world of cyclic existence. She held her two legs half-crossed in the posture of a feminine bodhisattva. Many noble feminine bodhisattvas were circumbambulating her and there were also many varied manifestations of Tara herself. All were distinctly visible but without the aggregates of flesh and blood. They appeared as illusory forms of pristine awareness, a magical display manifesting in
    myriad of ways. I saw them in all their scintillating brilliance, like stars and planets reflected in the vast ocean. At this point, my grasping at ordinary reality spontaneously ceased and I experienced for a time an unimaginable sense of cosmic order.

    By Delog Dawa Drolma, Tibet

    “She is a Heroine with a courageous mind”





    Tara is life — represented in her Green Colour; the colour of growth, life, forests, nature, mother Earth. Esoterically, Tara represents wind or chi. For this reason, it can be said she sustains our lives. She saves us. She is the activity of all the Buddhas. Since she is so active and vibrant in our lives, it seems intuitive that her Pureland would be equally vibrant and green. It likewise seems intuitive that those who loved and honoured her in life would aspire to continue receiving Dharma from Her after life, in her Turquoise Pure Land.

    Tara’s wind energy

    Tara is about activity — so active, millions call her name daily for help. She is also iconic of life, growth, verdant green, growing nature. Tara rules the “Wind element” which is vital energy. Wind or air is considered the most important element of life: “lung” or wind or chi energy or breath (Chinese) is what gives us life. When lung or chi fails, life fails. Wind is life. Air. Movement. The element that gives and sustains life.

    Other Pure Lands might be “lapis lazuli” and jewels — metaphors for richness and purity. Tara’s Pure Land is verdant forests and peaceful wildlife — a perfect place for mental retreat.



    The vision specifically said that Tara was Granting Refuge, which is a sign of Karma Family. They did not seem to indicate that while it is Green, it is Turquoise, according to Nagarjuna, who calls her Tara of the Khadira Grove, which translates to "acacia". This bushy tree has multiple phenotypes distinguishable in a blue-green color:











    Typically yellow flowers. And so while this does lead to Tara palaces, the practitioner typically lacks the clarity and power to get to Tara in her central place. You will probably approach and transition to her environment, which is characterized by the above shrubbery. Comparatively, a forest of Vajrayogini would show more red flowers. The theme here is silvered and mostly cool shades. And it is the easiest Pure Land to enter. It is extraordinarily arcane, even so, the easiest.

    It may be simplest to say that Tara teaches the Six Yogas, in which, Vajrayogini is the vajra kaya or aspects of the subtle body, primarily starting from Uddiyana Vajradhara as Garab Dorje said, meaning the Four Cakras.

    Tara as Air is a resultant Activity of the successful bond to Lotus Family. My guess is this is why the Chain is mainly used by Vajrasrnkhala and relates to the Sixth Yoga, because she is in these same two Families.

    Tara statistically perhaps is the main mode of dying taught in the world at all. I am not sure. But it would be almost literally true that her teaching of Samadhi is equal to Death due to this. Same. It is what I personally plan to use both ways.


    Karma Family has the wisdom of Amogha Siddhi, that is, Not Ignorant about Occult Powers. Much as if they are Mystery, until you get it, which causes Enlightened Activity by the powers.


    For me, Karma Tara is the closest thing to a realization, since I can fairly closely comprehend the frontiers of her territory with her running in the background somewhere. It is her answer as to whether there was anything more than she can help with Fear such as anxiety and neurosis and so on. Yes, there is an immanent branch of Yoga that she performs as described.


    I cannot portray her as any sort of human figure, since, to me, she is a legendary teaching of Nagarjuna and Delok Dawa Drolma. I can understand her as a veiled Sambhogakaya being, whose presence is introduced via twenty-one or more minor forms. These are:


    knots in the subtle channels

    obscurations of the Dharma Kaya


    Who have the nature of their healing and crossing-over. Tara's light suffuses one with Buddha Qualities of this nature.


    That is why Tara's Song is super potent, because it makes external references, such as it is just telling us to pick up Usnisa Vijaya and roll with her. It is oblivious as to whether that is Tinna Tinh or the Sarvadurgati Parishodhana men's choir, as long as it is authentic Mahayana practiced with the proper intent. You connect in whatever portion seems suitable, and start to dig for treasure.

    Several Taras cross-connect with the Karma Family Dharani Goddesses in Namasangiti. There are a couple of those that cannot be positively identified. Otherwise they start with Vasumati Mahalakshmi, and we can say well, do we have any information on this, and yes it appears to be a valid and in fact significant strand of Indian culture, and we easily have a good recording of this corresponding song, and so on. That is immaculate. Completely in tune with tantric Annapurna and a strand of multiple Vasudharas. Amoghasiddhi emanates all these devis who are not usually thought of as associated with him. In other words, Karma Family generally speaking is related to Dharani of the Bodhisattva Path. The challenge to us is to actually get on the First Bhumi at all. Intriguingly, our Mahalakshmi turns out to be an introduction even before the First Bhumi.

    That doubly-qualifies her as a known although perhaps minor exoteric practice of perhaps the most ultimate deity.

    Of course, aside from a few outstanding examples, we are not likely to ever be able to represent much of the complete package of dharanis with good music. But yes with Lakshmi and Usnisa, that is easy. And they are among the most important ones.


    Then we should say to ourselves. We have found that Akshobhya is Golden Drop Vishnu. And we have also found that Golden Drop Lakshmi is Tara who emanates Kurukulla. And Golden Light is the Completer of Wisdom according to Buddha.

    A Golden Mahalakshmi and also Golden Kamala Mahavidya are other correspondences.



    So Tara has that evocative, devotional purpose as a Yidam, however at the same time her name also refers to a Prajna, of Air, consort of Amoghasiddhi, the Dhyani Buddha. In Yoga, this Air is the force required to smash open the Bindu of Bodhicitta. This is why the first concentration on Four Cakras ends with her in an ascending process.



    Samputa says about Four Cakras:



    The syllable "e" is known as earth, karmamudra, and Locana.

    Possessing great compassion and great means, she ranges everywhere in her true form,
    She is located in the nirmana-cakra, at the navel, in a lotus of sixty-four {petals).


    The syllable "va " is known as water, dharma-mudra, and Mamaki.

    She has the characteristic nature of love and fervent aspiration and is the female deity raised in the Vajra Family.
    She is located in the dharma-cakra, at the heart, in a good lotus of eight petals.

    The syllable is called fire, maha-mudra, and Pandara.

    By the union of delight and power, she is the female deity raised in the Padma Family.
    She is located in the sambhoga-cakra, at the throat,
    in a lotus of sixteen petals.

    The syllable "E" has the nature of wind and is the destroyer of all defilements.
    It is the mahasamaya-mudra and the female deity raised in the Karma Family.
    By the union of equanimity and knowledge, she is Tara
    who carries one across the cyclical flow.

    She is located in the cakra at the head called maha­ sukha, in a lotus of thirty-two petals.




    Here follows a vision of the Vajra Yoshid or Vajra Ladies of the Heart which specifically opens the presence of Tathagatagarbha.




    The Four Dakinis are on the Heart petals with Umapatideva's Twelve Arm Varahi:


    om dakiniye hum hum phat. om lame hum hum phat. om khandarohe hum hum phat. om rupiniye hum hum phat.

    kayanusmrtyupasthanam dakini, vedananusmrtyupasthanam lama, dharmanusmrtyupasthanam khandaroha, cittanusmrtyupasthanam rupini.

    [The four bringers of awareness (anusmrtyupasthanas)]

    [The first] of these are the bringers of awareness (anusmrtyupasthanas) because they oppose the four inverted views (viparyasas) , [namely: that what is not pure, pleasurable, permanent, or possessing a self really is] pure, pleasurable, permanent, [and possessing] a self.

    They are four [in number and are embodied in the mandala] as follows: (i) bringing awareness of the body, as Dakini, (ii) bringing awareness of feelings, Lama, (iii) bringing awareness of reality, Khandaroha, and (iv) bringing awareness of mind, Rupini... [In compound], the bringers of awareness of body, [feeling, reality, and mind] indicate a genitive relationship, [namely] the bringing (upasthapaka) of that [awareness], i.e., recollection (anusmaranam) that (-tvena) those [four "qualities of oneself," body, etc.] are [all] like an illusion.


    The four goddesses Dakini, [Lama, Khandaroha, and Rupini] are in place (samsthitah) at the heart. Complete in this way, the supreme body mandala is to be visualized at all times.



    This is of course a generic, portable ring of Four Dakinis, multiple deities might use it. However in this way they are threaded through all of the tantras, straight into the core of the colossal Dakarnava Tantra.

    So when we take a "system of Tara and Vajrayogini" it means this.

    The basic principles expressed in Srimaladevi Sutra are still the main formula of Sarma Tantra.


    Tara and Vajrayogini correspond to Dharmakaya and Tathagatagarbha.


    Now, instead of an "index" format for search or data mining, we can get a "table of contents" in a more accurate chronology placing each of the primordial developments we have found, which will be links into a kind of intra-web. It will not resemble anything else in the world because it is resolving issues found in several individual places while attempting to clarify Mahayana and Yogacara.


    Most Mahayana is Sutras, and most Dharanis are Sutras. Then after Candragomin, we are able to set up tantric commentary which is not like Amoghavajra or the standard story of the Arya School, it is closer to Mahamudra which is continuous through Tilo into Kagyu.

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    Default Re: Nirakara and Shentong Buddhism, Tara, Sadhanas, Sanskrit culture

    Maitreya's Mahayana Yogacara and Vajrayana or Sahajayana Tantra Table of Contents



    I was inspired to do this because it will already work as intended with Tara (her Twenty-one Praises song), listed with Candragomin below.


    On page one of this thread, there is an ever-stacking index format of unorganized subjects, which becomes unwieldy. It almost has to be searched or data mined. I have found they self-organize by examining Mahayana according to Maitreya, not because he is an important "cult figure", but because of the importance of his teaching. I did not get this when starting the thread, or I would not have thought Shentong was informative to it. So now we will have "contents", somewhat in chronological order, and by subject complexity, with slightly more useful links than raw information as before.




    Like anyone else, I struggled for a long time with Nagarjuna and Asanga, as if they were different practices, with the first being considered more important and influential than he really is. Nagarjuna does not even use any Sutras, and is absent from Chinese translations until a much later time. The idea that he wrote or acquired Prajnaparamita Sutra is a much later attribution, and his ca. 400 commentary on it is most likely spurious.


    What we will attempt here is not revisionism, but "un-revisionism".

    Almost everything I have accessed has been described as "undiscovered" or "unstudied", which means it has not been physically possible for this to be done.


    Mahayana is the culmination of the Lokottaravada belief. This is the view that Buddha was a magical being. The wave of Sutras is an effort to explain how any person does the same thing. Buddha did not really "deny the Vedas", but sought to make an adjustment to:


    Yoga Saastra or Yoga is among the six Darsanas or the six schools of Indian philosophy. The Aim of Yoga is the attainment of Moksha or Salvation.

    The most famous-and most beloved-of all yoga texts, the Bhagavad Gita ("The Lord's Song") has its roots in the mystical, revelatory literature of the Upanishads. No one knows for sure how old this scripture is-it quite possibly dates from the third century B.C.E.-but we do know that it provides the most comprehensive description of yoga at that time. The Gita brought together moral teachings and mystical lore as Lord Krishna instructed his pupil Arjuna on the ways of the world.



    The way this Sutra basket works is "intertextuality". Frequently we see quotes of works that authors are responding to. Almost as frequently we find what might be called in the paranoid sense "plagiarism", which is backwards, because it means the author expects his audience to know whatever he is referring to. Maitreya does this with Bhagavad Gita. It is not plagiarism and it is not even mystery because it is perfectly plain and ordinary.


    Looking towards the origin, we can easily reach a point where there "was no Mahayana", by name, and if there ever would be, it has to do so like a pilgrimage through existing Buddhist institutions who were usually quite adamant on affixing to "words of the Buddha" in a limited, literal way, even though none of these words were written until 200 or more years after he had passed away.


    At the very least, we must credit older Buddhism with the conversion of King Asoka. In a favorable view, this area would be solid, but here is the area covered by Buddhist sites since that time, with interior political cavities designated as "tribal":








    And then we will understand our progression much better knowing the oldest continuously-operated site of the Stupa of Asoka:


    Stupa of Sanchi. The central stupa was built during the Mauryas, and enlarged during the Sungas, but the decorative gateway is dated to the later dynasty of the Satavahanas.




    Contents



    Mahayana Sutras section

    The reason for the selection of our first author is because he was immediately famous during his own lifetime, and continuously distributed internationally at least through the eighth century. And we can find he refers to "Lokottara" favorably. And then we are going to follow a principle of adding in those instances where something is significantly added. No language at this point exists that expresses what is trying to be said. There is a need for evolved vocabulary and refined descriptions which originally have no existence. Mahayana is internally self-defined; this is evidence of it developing without anything added or taken away, and our best knowledge as to when:


    I.

    150 Asvaghosha (Saundarananda, Amrita doctrine)

    180 Lokaksema (Lokanuvartana Sutra)

    Those are concise enough to be summarized in the next post.


    II.

    200 Nagarjuna (Niraupamya Stava, Madhyamaka Root Verses, Letter to a Satavahana King) following.



    III.

    291 Dharmaraksa (Dharanisvararaja Sutra)

    320 Po Srimitra (Mahamayuri Vidyarajni Sutra)

    440 Gunabhadra (Srimala Devi Sutra, Angulimaliya Sutra)


    Sutras briefly summarized.

    This is a refined view. Typically, Yogacara is characterized by Samdhinirmocana Sutra near the beginning of this, and Lankavatara Sutra that Gunabhadra has (minus the verses).



    IV.

    508 Maitreya (RGV, Ratnagotravibhaga Mahayanottaratantrasastra)


    RGV post


    Maitreya is mostly working in the same library that Gunabhadra has recently taken to China.

    The Sastra that Tara attaches to is his:

    Abhisamayālaṃkāra

    ...a commentary on the hidden meaning of the Prajñaparamita Sutras, describing the entire journey of the bodhisattva, from the generation of bodhichitta to the attainment of full omniscience.


    Vasubandhu does not comment this one; Vimuktisena does.


    His other material is Mahayana Sutra Alamkara, which is gigantic, comparable to previous texts on the Ten Bhumis and all Sutras categorically. Then he has small texts on Madhyanta (Middle Between Extremes) and Dharma Dharmata (Phenomena and Reality). If those things are rather general, then we see he focuses a class of Sutras (Prajnaparamita in AA), and then with RGV it is not a formal "class" but a suite of Tathagatagarbha Sutras. It must have coalesced ca. 400 in several former Asoka territories via the main Stupa.



    In modern coursework, RGV and Dharmadhatustava are back-to-back advanced studies, whose required texts are those of Brunnholzl, and recent Tibetans no further back than Jamgon Kongtrul. How is it so "advanced" if they give it the title "Uttaratantra" and still do not understand this correctly?


    Here, we have collected from the other Maitreya and Asanga texts:


    V. Yogacara Sastras


    VI. Dharanis, Meditation, and Mahayanasamgraha



    Concerning Maitreya's explanation, it is possible to give examples of fairly clean support of it. The most historically-concrete lineage from Maitreya seems to be:


    Asanga, Vasubandhu, Dignaga, Dharmapala, Silabhadra, Xuanzang.

    Dan Lusthaus finds that this conflates Sthiramati and elevates Dharmapala and is mostly revised by K'uei chi, so it is still not good as a lineage or as Sanskrit Yogacara. It was about twenty years into his translating period before doing the "important":


    The Ch'eng wei-shih lun (Vijñaptimātratāsiddhi) by Hsüan-tsang also quotes from the Śrīmālādevī sūtra but does not identify the sūtra by name [unlikely to be in the original].


    Post-Maitreya Yogacarins:


    560 Sthiramati was a disciple of Vasubandhu "and of" Gunamati.

    650 Candragomin, who is credited with numerous dharanis, such as Pratyangira, Hayagriva, Namasangiti, and

    Twenty-one Praises of Tara

    That post is an intermediary, it is a breakdown with Dharmakaya Qualities from Abhisamayālaṃkāra distributed into the verses. I started the Tara forms with Sitabani. The song itself is linked from there. The post is for contemplation of what it is about.


    900 Bhavyakirti (refutes Candrakirti II)


    VII. Candragomin and Bhavyakirti; Vajrasekhara and Khasama Vajrasattva



    1000 Ratnavajra (Central Pillar of Vikramasila who taught Five Maitreya Books and then tantra)

    1050 Ratnakarasanti, usually considered the "best writer" even by theoretical opponents such as Alex Wayman



    When we take "the Nirakara system of Ratnakarasanti", first he is going to deliver us straight back into the "Maitreya system" with Nagarjuna as simply another part of it, and then he is going to give tantra as a separate category or genre of literature, having explained how it is a more vivid practice of the Sutra explanation of Yogacara exactly.

    For example, his actual commentary on Mahamaya Tantra makes the English version on 84000 look disposable.


    VIII. Ratnakarasanti






    Buddhist Tantra


    Post-Maitreya only requires a minimum of Sutra commentaries just to keep the Sastra pristine.

    We then find Yogacara being applied in more complex and specific exercises than were known to Asanga.

    This first section could be called "lower tantras", or Kriya--Carya, but more specifically, it is the first two of the Six Yogas in Buddhism. Our system is very different from the Eight Limb Yoga of Patanjali, and it is somewhat different from the Six Limb Yoga of Maitrayana Upanishad. If we ask a Hindu yogi "What is the Dhyana?", he will probably refer to a deity image and mantra. Objectively, this is similar. However, the experience of this set is what we define as Divinity:


    550 Prajnaparamita in 150 Lines, Sri Paramadya Tantra, Subahu Pariprccha (Heruka)


    I. Prajnaparamita and Paramadya Vajrasattva


    II. Jnanalokalamkara, Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra, Subahu Paripriccha Tantra

    650 Vairocana Abhisambodhi Tantra

    700 Sarvabuddha Samayoga Dakinijala Tantra, Vajrosnisa or Dhyanottara


    III. Dhyanottara or Vajrosnisa


    That could be summarized as the system of Mahavairocana and Vajrapani Abhiseka, coming from Sitabani Charnel Ground in Bihar, near Bodh Gaya.

    You see an "origin" of Heruka, which is the deity in the most famous tantras, Chakrasamvara, Hevajra, and Kalachakra. So we can just summarize all that as Heruka Yoga. This does seem to have two geographical origins simultaneously:




    Sitabani (Guhyajnanadakini, Samyak Heruka, Citta Visuddha, Dzogchen)

    Saraha (Bengal, Arrow Dakini, Mahamudra, Chakrasamvara, Buddhakapala)



    Then it appears they become rapidly fused, and we are going to follow that, pick up a few things other than Heruka Yoga, and cannibalize the Arya Lineage:


    IV. Four Bindus and Four Seals summarized


    supported by a series of commentators:


    V. Jnanapada


    VI. The Ninth Century Vikramasila Pandits Dipamkarabhadra, Jayabhadra, and Sridhara, and some correspondences to Pithesvari Tara



    Nagarjuna II (Caturmudranvaya)--unsubstantiated through hard copy, but developed in the commentaries:


    VII. Saroruha

    VIII. Jalandhara

    IX. Krsnacarya (author of Vasanta Tilaka; study of a Tika on his Dohakosa is mainly used in the post.)

    X. The Tenth Century, Bhavabhadra (Vajradaka Tantra with Samputa Vajrasattva) and Durjayachandra (Seven Syllable Vajradaka)

    XI. Naro (Jnanadakini and tantric Asraya Paravrtti)

    XII. Ratnakarasanti (Vajra Tara, Mahamaya, Sahaja Hevajra)


    XIII. Caturmudranvaya, Abhiseka Nirukti, and Subhasita Samgraha

    XIV. Caturmudranvaya, Dakini Jala Rahasya, Vajrayogini, Nyan Lotsawa, Dharani Samgraha


    That strand is a cohesive argument.

    It appears consistent with the need for that many iterations to develop its vocabulary and meaning. If literally true, this would mean that in origin it is a teaching of Nagarjuna, and in this case he quotes Hevajra not Guhyasamaja. So it does not take that many centuries to learn and teach it, but it is subtle and profound.


    So, in that section, there is a chronological development of what is called "the most important part to get" by King Ramapala.


    From here we will begin adding practices, drawn from sources roughly in the order:


    700s Saraha, Kukkuripa, Laksminkara

    770 Luipa, Darika (Manjughosha), Jnanapada, Vikramasila

    800 Caturpitha Tantra, Jnanadakini, Mahamaya Tantra

    850 Vajramrita Tantra, Vajramala Tantra, Aryadeva (CMP)

    950 Samvarodaya Tantra (Varuni)

    1050 Vagisvarakirti (Mrtyuvacana Tara)

    1100 Abhayakaragupta, King Ramapala

    1200 Mitra Yogin



    This area is transitional and looks at some of the smaller tantras:


    I. Amsu Samvat and Vaidurya

    II. Mayuri, Mahamaya, Adbhuta Ramayana, the Zodiac; Mahamaya Vijayavahini

    III. Ratnakarasanti's Mahamaya; Mahalakshmi, Sri Devi, and Five Dakinis recordings

    IV. Jnanadakini and Caturpitha Tantra; Bhima and Shaktis




    The beginning of Yogacara practices:


    I. Guru Yoga, Vairocana Abhisambodhi Tantra

    II. Prajnaparamita Deity Yoga, Two Oddiyanas, Nine Nets (Samapattis)


    Everything else to be developed is simply a variation on that Guru and Deity Yoga.



    III. Inverted Stupa, Four-fold Om and Four Activities, Seven Paramitas, Puranic Vairocani


    The major explanation here is using the Inverted Stupa as a glyph in time to monitor one's progress:






    Varuni is deified Amrita, and is like a gateway in Pranayama, is the root source of "all the tantras" in the sense of actual performance. In several places, her activity is called "Mrtyuvacana", prevents death and promotes health. Most current practices do not name her and fly through her territory as if taken for granted, and it is exactly this we encourage taking much more slowly, thoroughly, and in high resolution.


    All tantra is based in Maheshvara Subjugation, but here we are deeply investing the the legend of the Ocean of Milk.


    IV. Mahalakshmi; Durga, Kirats, Lapis Lazuli, Kambala's Seven Syllable Deity; Devi Suktam, Durga Suktam, and Annapurna recordings


    Because this is intended as a gradual process, it is anticipated there will be a long time before a meditator actually does ignite the Inner Fire. Correspondingly, if one obtains "some effects" while understanding they are not of that intensity, one is working in or building that blue part of the symbol called:


    The Crescent

    We want to create a Nirmana Cakra and begin from learning to change the Prajnaparamita Deity example for different varieties of Pranayama such as:


    V. Pratisara Muttering and new Golden Light Sutra


    Suddenly this has become paralleled in the recent publication of a "proto-tantra":

    VI. Vimanas and Vajratunda


    Following is a considerable amount of background and sadhana material for goddess Vasudhara because she is an Adi Prajna in Nepal:


    VII. Nine Families, Mrtyuvacana Upadesha, Purana Samhita

    VIII. Vasudhara, Homa and Dharani Samgraha


    IX. Vasudhara and Grahamatrika

    X. Vasumati Mahalakshmi and Vedic History


    XI. Vasudhara and Jewel Family, Horse History and Ashwattha

    XII. Lakshmi--Tara and Rudra--Agni as the Year; Goddess Krtya; symbolism of Homa; internal structure of Sadhanamala; the Iron Age and Vartali

    XIII. Dharma and Artha; Mahacina and Vedic History: Flood and Drought, Solar and Lunar Dynasties

    XIV. Mandhata and Nahusa, Vedic Dynasties

    XV. Dharma and Ashoka versus Ashoka


    That section combines the Homa nature of Vasudhara, and Buddha in Angiras Gotra. In this way, Buddhism is concordant and conversational with the Vedas. Because this is of greater magnitude, the non-Buddhist Vedas are continued in a separate thread with Hindutva and 1882.

    In this thread, the remaining section will be for patterns of deities and sadhanas, along with the practices.



    The end of our list is an era where all this lost work was "establishment".

    It is closest to the lineages of Nepal and the Indian Trans-Himalaya.

    In fact Abhayakaragupta teaches that it is supposed to include Agni Homa. Varuni is a Puranic goddess. I personally see Lakshmi Tantra as quite effective. Manjushri says we can use anything good and useful in Hinduism, since he gave it originally. The vast majority of our authors were born into Brahmanism or else studied it. Jalandhara is also a Mahasiddha of the Nath.

    I cannot say any of the Hinduism defines Mahayana Yogacara but we do have it as a sub-subject, generally considered Kriya Tantra. My motivation is because I have experienced the Subtle Yoga which is really used in both systems. It is hard to learn the difference. Most modern Tibetan practitioners can't come up with one. It is simply that "Mahayana" is pretty specific, and then so are the two Yoga Siddhis. We are cultivating Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi for the purpose of Complete Manifest Buddha.


    I am in a position to say that this works exactly how it says it does.

    This is an attempt to bring out what it "is", without the extraneous additions of Haribhadra, or the many consequences of scholars accepting a too-early date for Asanga, or several mistakes Benyotosh Bhattacharya printed, etc., and I would still have to say that none of them speak from the view of practice. The guy who translated CMP is still not sure how it works.

    This may be of some assistance.


    It is unlikely that Nagarjuna personally wrote, but likely this is, textbook Prajnaparamita philosophy on The Four Foundations of Mindfulness (smṛtyupasthāna):


    Why? The worldly person (pṛthagjana), who has not yet entered into the Path, is deluded about these four things and produces four mistakes (viparyāsa): 1) the mistake that consists of taking what is impure to be pure (aśucau śucir iti viparyāsa); 2) the mistake that consists of taking what is suffering to be happy (duḥkhe sukham iti viparyāsa); 3) the mistake that consists of taking what is impermanent to be permanent (anitye nityam iti viparyāso); 4) the mistake that consists of taking what is not a “self” to be a “self” (anātmany ātmeti viparyāsa).

    In order to destroy these four mistakes...


    So that is his subject, clearing obstacles. But if we look at the tantric Four Dakinis, they are the exact same subject, however now they are actually manifesting Suchness or Tathagatagarbha:


    [The first] of these are the bringers of awareness (anusmrtyupasthanas) because they oppose the four inverted views (viparyasas) , [namely: that what is not pure, pleasurable, permanent, or possessing a self really is] pure, pleasurable, permanent, [and possessing] a self.



    Then, we have an easy way to match this with the simple fact that, oh, this is one of the main themes in Maitreya's teaching. Although he didn't make anything up. He's drawing our attention to this subject, out of a vast Sea of Sutras, most of which he does not refer to.

    Similarly to how Varuni starts any of these tantras, the Four Dakinis are infinite through them.

    You can go back and check and they will be the first four components of Tara's song, the very beginning of Thirty-seven Point Enlightenment.





    The recording of Tara's song is just an average home recital, which is good to learn to pronounce it. And then it is like a master songbook. I did not automatically change any of them just to be obtuse. The normal match of Tara Four works perfectly. Most Buddhist deities are not even unique or original. However, there is a "class" which is, the "Usnisa class", which more or less means "telepathy from Buddha himself". So these are emanations.

    The Yoga we have in mind can be completely mental and just done in a comfortable chair if you want. Anything else is optional. But it uses mantras. All of these practices are based in Sanskrit. All other countries use this. We can get a limited amount of recordings that reflect our sources.

    For example, I have used short Usnisa mantras with our animals. These Sutra dharanis are portable, you can use them any time, or as part of Pranayama. In particular, this one usually has Amrita or Nectar.

    Here is a high quality Usnisa Vijaya dharani in Sanskrit done by the Chinese Tinna Tinh during the Covid shutdown, four rounds of it I believe:








    The quickest way that I could describe deities are that some of them are generic, universal, internal, and then there are different, optional protectors and meditation deities and so on. The way our sessions work is started from Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra and Vajrasattva Guru Yoga.

    One can use any Sutra deity for visualization and praise. The format being emphasized resembles having a conversation, is an "outer view" whose technical term is "Yoga view".

    That means there are a lot of deities which are easily accessible, and so different things are possible, within certain parameters.



    We have found one of the closest things to a preservation of the Indian Taras that are in the Sadhanamala is in Bhutanese Kagyu. I put that in the first post of this thread.


    As a testimony that part of our subject has not totally vanished, Ratnakarasanti's sadhana is still transmitted in Drikung Kagyu by His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche:


    H.E. GARCHEN RINPOCHE, most auspiciously, will transfer a special 2 armed Hevajra Empowerment on the 23rd and 24th of January 2021: Co-Emergent HEVAJRA (Sahaja-Hevajra)...


    8th Garchen Rinpoche’s January 2021 teaching and empowerment is on the innate or ‘simultaneously present’ (khenkye/lhan skyes) form of the lineage of Shantipa (Śāntipa). It is the co-emergent, two armed, one head form of Hevajra (see image above).

    I received this empowerment for the first time when I was a very young child and I hardly remember it. Then again I received it from Lamchen Rinpoche...


    He is also the lineage transmitter for Achi Chokyi Drolma:






    Here we want to start taking a look at this color axis, turquoise or cyan versus orange.


    Achi Chokyi is Tibetan (ca. 1000s) but she is proficient enough in Sanskrit to respond to the name Dharma Tara. She is powerful enough that she composed herself into sadhanas. And these were so powerful that this was the experience of H. H. First Karmapa (called Druptop here):



    ...the sound of a damaru [resounded] from the sky and the melodious voice of a ḍākinī arose. Druptop asked the Lord of the Dharma (Chos rje) how this could be, [and] he replied, “The voice which arises is a Wisdom ḍākinī, my Grandmother.”

    Druptop insisted, “What is her sadhana like? How is [her] practice done?” ] Because of that [Jigten Sumgon] bestowed many extensive sadhana and the fifteen chapters [of] the Precious Diadem in the Sadhana Cycle (Sgrub skor rin chen cod pan le’u). Druptop said, “Having reviewed the oral transmission with earnest, the essence [of the] goddess (hri ma) rose up from the sphere of reality, [and I] perceived [her] with divine sight from the sphere of wisdom.

    Departing from the behavior of many of Tibet’s mundane, oath-bound protectors, however, Achi takes multiple roles, making her an interesting point of departure in this category. According to at least one sadhana, besides being taken as one’s dharma protector, she can be taken as one’s inner-most secret lama (gsang bla ma), one’s inner yidam (nang ltar yi dam), or one’s secret ḍākinī consort.


    She did not perish in a usual way:


    ...she flew into the air on the back of a blue horse, accompanied by a small dog, and departed for the Pure Lands.








    That is the immanence of Tara. So I am going to start adjusting the subjects here into a link system, and eventually relegate the Index to a mining capability. I think a somewhat linear, organized system will make this more workable or readable than a wall of deities and mantras storming away.

    Achi is not from a Sutra, so usually we discourage arbitrary use of someone like this without the transmission. You really don't want to go just take empowerments for Hevajra or Mahakala or something, because then you have a serious daily commitment to something incomprehensible. So this Yoga is mostly an "under-study" which then would build the ability to do a major sadhana effectively. A mantra is not quite "magic words" that you can just say and it does anything. One must cultivate Bhavana, an associated mentality and feeling, and so we are giving the material to go from a zero non-level up to a lot more than you would get if someone gave you a transmission and practice notes.


    Most of that is based from a letter and a color.

    For example, if we return to "Mahavairocana and Vajrapani Abhiseka", those would usually correspond to White Om and Blue Hum. The syllable Om is not a "real letter" because it is never combined to make any words. Everything else that looks like a syllable is some kind of blend.

    In the tantras, Dharmadhatu normally resides in Vairocana during normal waking consciousness, and, roughly speaking, you burn him away. Then, if you want to call it a state of altered consciousness, it goes into the hands of Vajrapani or Vajra Family.

    The point of the meditation is not the sheer fact this is possible, but how to control it. And if we look at forms of Tara, sometimes we can find the same Blue Hum in use, but sometimes it is White. Visualizations to an extent follow a formulaic standard, but these nuances are important. You wouldn't jitter around switching to Taras of different syllables just out of desperation or prayer, you would get the first one and observe some kind of distinction and just go to a different form when it was appropriate.

    That is the same reason for Sadhanamala and Dharani Samgraha, they are intended as resources for laypersons' use generally. There are practices that are very basic, and, Ratnakarasanti's Vajra Tara 110 is held to be the most comprehensive and complete of them. After him, Abhayakaragupta was on an atonement to Vajrayogini which primarily consisted of commenting Samputa Tantra. It is a late, synthetic work using multiple sources. If we respect Varuni and take a slow approach, it will cultivate everything that is in the Chakrasamvara mantras and so on. Either the scriptural pattern or Tara goes to Vajrayogini.

    It feels good to do this. It will change the whole aura. In my experience it induces clairvoyance. So it is a type of magic, and what we are talking about applies strictly to inner conditions. Nidhana or "treasure" is not quite about material wealth, it is "hidden treasure" obtainable by the gnostic wisdom experienced in the yoga.


    More specifically, if one does discover the bodily energies or life force, the two Yoga markers involved with the sadhanas are:


    Melting

    Prabhasvara (called "Clear Light" by Tibetans, which is only partially accurate)
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    Default Re: Nirakara and Shentong Buddhism, Tara, Sadhanas, Sanskrit culture

    Asvaghosha's Saundarananda and Lokanuvartana Sutra





    We are going to this point of origin for multiple reasons.

    The Chinese Zen Patriarchs lineage includes Asvaghosha, but, it is about Bodhidharma, not Maitreya; the Tibetan Mahayana lineage omits Asvaghosha, and has a tendency to sound like Nagarjuna and Maitreya are different systems. Upon examination, neither one of them seems to be completely accurate. Also, most studies on Yogacara have mostly been about Vasubandhu lensed through varieties of Chinese and Tibetan variations.

    The closest thing to an explanation for this is probably something like Nagarjuna and Maitreya were the Alpha and Omega for what we might call "new vocabulary", "new language", "previously unexpressed", something like that. Unlike others such as Buddha or Jesus, either one of which can be accused of not having a written gospel for years after their deaths, Maitreya has a given, finite amount of material that was transmitted in real time.


    This first article suggests that Nagarjuna was not literally "alpha", because it is the environment he became part of. His true, original writings bear a much stronger resemblance to what we find here.



    From Wiki on Asvaghosha:


    He is believed to have been the first Sanskrit dramatist, and is considered the greatest Indian poet prior to Kālidāsa.


    He was the most famous in a group of Buddhist court writers, whose epics rivalled the contemporary Ramayana. Whereas much of Buddhist literature prior to the time of Aśvaghoṣa had been composed in Pāli and Prakrit, Aśvaghoṣa wrote in Classical Sanskrit.



    He is subjected to the following tangle:


    It is now believed that Aśvaghoṣa was not from the Mahayanist period, and seems to have been ordained into a subsect of the Mahasanghikas. Some recent research into his kavya poems have revealed that he may have used the Yogacarabhumi as a textual reference, particularly for the Saundarananda, which opens up the possibility he was affiliated with either the Yogacara or the Sautrantika school.



    Well, he may have used the Bodhisattva Bhumi, which is incorporated into Asanga's Yogacarabhumi. Not even the wildest dreams of an "early Asanga" could catapult him back into Asvaghosha's era. None of that is exactly possible, but it is confusing. First of all, we would like to say that "Kavya" or "Power of a Poet" is considered important through several later sadhanas and tantras. If Agni Homa is a general, public Kriya Tantra, we might add that "posssession by Agni" is how the original Sages or Rishis revealed or wrote the Vedas. So then we are placing any individual in a similar condition. Chances are good that Asvaghosha was in a "sub-sect of Mahasanghika", for whom the main differences probably were not doctrinal, but geographic. Such as the following:



    The Mahāvastu is the Vinaya of the Lokuttaravāda school. Lokuttaravāda (Lokottaravāda) is a branch of Mahāsaṅghika.

    Despite bearing this name, all sub-sects of the Mahāsāṃghikas seem to have accepted forms of supramundane or transcendent teachings.

    While the Mahāsāṃghikas initially flourished in the region around Magadha, the Lokottaravādins are known to have flourished in the Northwest...It is likely that the Lokottaravādins had no major doctrinal distinctions to distinguish them as different from Mahāsāṃghika, but that the difference was instead a geographic one.

    The Sanskrit text of the Mahāvastu was preserved in the libraries of the Mahayana Buddhists of Nepal.


    It is not obvious, but if you scavenge the Mahasanghika page, the result is quite simple. It does have a canon. It has only one Sutra! And that is the Lokanuvartana Sutra.



    Scholars have attempted to trace about eight of these sub-sects. But one has little recourse to very much pre-1000 writing. So we do not expect that concrete discovery of another sub-sect can tell us much. We can probably agree that the somewhat unspecific "Lokottaravada" became more specifically defined by "Mahasamghika" in any of its appellations. The latter having the sense of "greater assembly" such as lay people.


    After suggesting Asvaghosha was a "Bahusrutika", Johnston's translation of Asvaghosha's Buddhacarita mentions Tattvasiddhi or:


    Professor Demioville has however lately discovered
    fragments of Paramartha's lost commentary on Vasumitra's
    treatise on the Buddhist sects, in which the Satyasiddhi is said
    to be a work of the Bahasrutika section of the Mahasanghikas.


    You can still get Mahasanghika or Mahavastu ordination, but, of course, the "school" based around it is subject to change. For example, Xuanzang visited a Lokottaravāda vihara in the 7th century CE at Bamiyan, having in its collection:

    Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra

    Śrīmālādevī Siṃhanāda Sūtra


    In other words, "Lokottara" by name was flourishing in the northwest, but, that is not enough on its own to tell us what it was. Those articles do.

    Usually, Kashmir or the northwest is called a Sarvastivadin area, so it has usually been presumed that Asvaghosha was in Sarvastivada, which would be different. Asanga and Vasubandhu were in it. They changed. As for Asvaghosha's Affiliation:


    Traditionally it was understood that Sarvastivada, Sautrantika, and Yogacara were three distinct traditions, but this framework has been seriously questioned in recent years.

    ...the methods of meditation practice described in the latter portion of the Saundarananda are closely related to those in the Sravakabhumi section of the Yogacarabhumi. Second, as we might expect from the foregoing discussion, most of the Sautrantika-like elements found in Asvaghosa’s works are also found in the Yogacarabhumi.



    Note the "second half" format:


    The latter half of the Saundarananda consists of the Buddha’s exposition of the way of practice (Cantos 12-16), a description of Nanda’s actual process of practice (Canto 17), and the approval of his achievement by the Buddha (Canto 18).



    And that this is in everything:


    ...the pictorial representation of Nanda legend in Ajanta Cave 16 is based on the Saundarananda.


    Again, they seem a bit forewards-casting: Bodhisattva Bhumi is more likely an older, more generic description of the Path than Asanga has in Yogacarabhumi. At no point is anyone saying it is radically different than in Pali texts. It is just saying that such an explanation, on its own, is a Sravaka vehicle.


    It is not positive he composed it, but Asvaghosha's Vajrasuci is actually a Hindu text, and the point is less anti-caste in a socio-revolutionary manner, than it is to say that Brahman is attainable to whoever practices well, and favorably invokes Yudhisthira several times. It is not disputable on the basis of any futuristic Mahayana terms.


    We are certain that he wrote Buddhacarita and Saundarananda.


    In trying to fix his era, I make mistakes sometimes. The extremely early (second) Chinese translation:


    Fo-pan-hhin-kin, or the Buddhakarita-sutra (?) (taken by Julien for a translation of the Lalita-vistara), 5 fasc. a. d. 68. (lost)


    is actually, later, this:

    1352 San-kie-lo-kha-su-tsi-fo-hhin-kin.

    Sutra on the practice of Buddha (or Buddha-karita-sutra), compiled by Sangharaksha.
    Translated by Sanghabhuti, A. d. 384.


    whereas Asvaghosha wrote:


    1351 Buddhakaritakavya

    Fo-su-hhin-tsan-kin (not found in Tibet)

    Translated by Dharmaksema along with Mahasamnipata and Mahaparinirvana Sutras.


    So then he is not really that early as the year 68. The basic difference is that he wrote Kavya, "poetry", which of course was probably based on a Sutra version of Buddha's lifetime.



    Asvaghosha is considered in some way involved with King Kaniska, who stamped Maitreya on coins ca. 150. Here it seems likely that most legends and traditions about Kaniska are embellishments and revisions inspired from Asoka. Chances are, that he took an interest in, and possibly converted to Buddhism, in the last part of his life. Context suggests that Kaniska was interested in Asvaghosha compiling a Sutra basket or at least some texts, which most likely are represented by what Lokaksema takes to China.

    It is possible that Asvaghosha is the author of Vajrasuci, but Sutralankara Sastra and Mahayanasraddhotpada Sastra almost certainly are not by him.




    We could say he could not have composed Mahayana texts because there was not that name, there was not most of that vocabulary, and his known writings do not easily reflect it. In fact, he would almost seem to deny it. What we would be looking for is, does this match a Lokottara view which, in time is where Mahayana could grow, and that would seem to be yes.

    Lamotte found two Nepalese Saundaranandas, and nothing in Tibet. Here is the Saundarananda transcript and translation.


    Before we get angry that this text is against women, it is really against worldly people:



    It is wrought out of the figurative expression of kāvya poetry in order to capture an audience whose minds are on other things...


    It is very well-written, however, it is like Nagarjuna; seems to reflect Pali Buddhism, and almost nothing of Mahayana. For instance, his goal is Liberation, Moksha or Vimukti. It is Arhat or Mahatma training, not Bodhisattva. It is mostly a coaching on meditation at the level of subduing gross impediments or Kleshas. The saving grace is that although it does heavily rely on Sunya, this is just a means to realize Dharma and Svasamvedana, which does not appear in that specific term, but does with phrases using "smrti" and other older synonyms.

    One time it does mention Lokottara as the Path.

    That battles the Kleshas, and manifests the Bodhyanga or Jewels of Enlightenment.

    There at least is also mention of Karuna as the motive. So it begins with Buddha's Enlightenment, and, if this book has a "flavor" at all, that is because Karuna motivates him to teach Nectar:


    avabudhya caiva paramārtham ajaram anukampayā vibhuḥ |
    nityam amṛtam upadarśyituṃ sa varāñasīparikarām ayāt purīm ||


    3.10 Awake to the one great ageless purpose, and universal in his compassion,
    He proceeded, in order to display the eternal deathless nectar, to the city sustained by the waters of the Varaṇā and the Asī – to Vārāṇasī.


    It has multiple appearances, such as:


    phalam amṛtadharmasiddhayoḥ |


    or, with respect to Svasamvedana:


    The nectar exists in the hands of him for whom awareness pervades the body.


    There are no Paramitas, although Prajna is included:


    tataḥ pītvā prajñārasam amṛtavat tṛptahṛdayo viviktaḥ saṃsaktaṃ viṣayakṛpaṇaṃ śocati jagat ||


    Then he drinks the essence of wisdom as if it were the deathless nectar and his heart is filled.


    And towards the end, it is the whole point of the imparted practice:


    The 17th Canto of the epic poem Handsome Nanda, titled “Obtaining the Deathless Nectar.”


    I believe you could call it "Lokottaravada"; although this term only appears once, the Buddha is "supernatural", emitting Golden Light. He takes Nanda to Vajradhara = Indra Heaven, where he is amazed by the nymphs. Then he is shown that even this realm is perishable. Comparatively, meditation is to move you into the Seventh Heaven or Akanistha, and then to "seal" that by establishing the condition which does not decay.


    So Asvaghosha is completely correct but not particularly advanced. He does say "yogacara" in a general way. This is not obscure.

    It matches the "surface" of Buddhist metaphysics, since it talks about crossing Kamadhatu to enter the state of Anangamin, and then the Four Form Dhyanas to become an Arhat, at which point he has to add "Viraja" to describe the realized state:


    śānte ’smin virajasi vijvare viśoke saddharme vitamasi naiṣṭhike vimuktaḥ ||

    To be released into this quieted, dustless, feverless, sorrowless, ultimate true reality, which is free from darkness.


    Then basically it stops.

    The Skandhas are mentioned one time, but, you would have to do a lot of outside work to figure out what this means. Then once you can understand them as Nama Rupa:



    yadaiva yaḥ paśyati nāmarūpaṃ kṣayīti taddarśanam asya samyak |

    When a man sees psycho-physicality as subject to dissolution, that insight of his is accurate


    yathāsvabhāvena hi nāmarūpaṃ tad dhetum evāstagamaṃ ca tasya |
    vijānataḥ paśyata eva cāhaṃ bravīmi samyak kṣayam āsravāṇām ||

    16.46 For in him who sees psycho-physicality as it is, and who sees its origin and passing away,
    From the very fact of his knowing and seeing, I predict the complete eradication of the pollutants.



    So there is not exactly a Transformation into Nirmana and Sambhoga Kaya, but again something closer to what we could get in the Pali. In the ending section, the Arhat displays Bodhisattva-like behaviors, without any kind of vow or other details, for example:


    avāptakāryo ’si parāṃ gatiṃ gato na te ’sti kiṃ cit karaṇīyam aṇv api |
    ataḥparaṃ saumya carānukampayā vimokṣayan kṛcchragatān parān api ||

    18.54 Walking the transcendent walk, you have done the work that needed to be done: in you, there is not the slightest thing left to work on.

    From now on, my friend, go with compassion, freeing up others who are pulled down into their troubles.



    Anyone want to argue with him? I don't. When I look at Saundarananda, I understand that yes, this is still the main problem I have faced in my life today. Rather than a spiritual community of Bodhisattvas, we interface with worldly beings. Even if the text is miles away from any real explanation of Mahayana, all of the necessary intent appears present.








    Lokanuvartana Sutra



    From the study of Nagarjuna's Niraupamyastava and its relation to Tathagatagarbha:

    A similar, nearly parallel source for this hymn is:


    Loka¯nuvartanasu¯tra



    Part of that is the simple, "front and back" construction, such as also in Saundarananda.




    Lokanuvartana Sutra 807 translation says it was in the first (surviving) Chinese transmission. It "is" a Mahasamghika text--one of three, the only Sutra (the others being Mahavastu and their Vinaya)--and yet it travelled with the Gandharan 8,000 Line Prajnaparamita.


    Harrison 1992 considers it the likely origin of the Mahayana view of the Dharmakaya.


    Harrison on Manjushri tells us that he appears in Lokaksema's Prajnaparamita Sutras and probably half of his works, while Avalokiteshvara is nearly invisible.



    Guang Xing 2006 did not question the Sutra's authenticity, and published in Sri Lanka. The basis of it is Manjushri's inquiry about how a Bodhisattva knows the Buddha Dharma? And the reply also includes Tri-yana because:

    The arhats and the pratyekabuddhas cannot know, how much less so the worldly people...


    It does so without the term "mahasattva", which seems to be used in later texts to differentiate a Mahayana Bodhisattva from one pursuing paramitayana or older Sutra doctrines. But that is actually a very strong position. No punches pulled. Arhat training does not convey what is intended here. That perhaps is a little "rude" to some ears, but Buddha was Enlightened by the Tathagatas snapping their fingers at him and telling him those things were inadequate. As we can see, that means it has doctrinally departed from what Asvaghosha wrote, not by way of denial, but more like an extension.



    Lamotte says:


    ...the doctrine of the multiple teaching of the master, in conformity with current ideas ( lokanuvartana)
    is already proposed by the Purvasaila Hinayanists (Madh. avatara, p. 134); the Purvasilas had the
    Prajnaparamitasutra written in Prakrit, and the Mahavastu, of Hinayana origin, already taught the stages in the career
    of the bodhisattva and the practice of the paramitas (Grub mthah of Manjughosa in Wassilieff, Buddhismus, p. 264):
    the theory of the Alayavijnana, the central piece of the Idealist school, was already proposed in the Ekottaragama,
    the agamas of the Mahasamghika and the Mahisasaka, and in the sutras of the Ceylon school of the Tamraparniya
    (Samgraha, p. 26-28; Karmasiddhiprakarana, p. 106; Siddhi, p. 178-182).



    If it is supposed to go with Prajna Paramita, it is an Upaya text. Manjushri says:


    [How do the Bodhisattvas see] the suchness without any differentiation between knowledge (jñāna) and skillful means (upāyakauśalya) as sealed with the seal of the Tathāgata?



    As in the later Srimala Devi, there is no Sambhogakaya, but:


    The Buddha can manifest himself in numerous bodies (nirmanakaya)...


    Matching this:

    This is probably the first sutra in which the Buddhas of the ten directions of the world are spoken of.


    Lokasema’s translated texts in the second-century state the Buddha of the Ten Directions, “if one’s heart is focused on Amitabha one will be reborn in sukhavati, the Western Pure Land presided over by Amitabha.”

    One Tibetan translation was used, and some Sanskrit fragments as well, along with the Chinese. The Tibetan is in verse, the Chinese being "suggestive" of verse due to the repeated refrain. In cases like this, where something early and Chinese resembles something later and Tibetan, it is understood that it was "something" in India, not a fabrication of either. As we have seen, not all works have this benefit.

    The teaching that was being countered was that Sarvastivada said that Buddha performed austerities due to karma; Lokottaravada rejects this, substituting "a show". Also, we have found that being offered food was the trigger that made him reconsider austerities and think there might be something else to Enlightenment. For "anuvartana":



    ...according to the Lokottaravādin school, this conformity to worldly life on the part of the Buddha is a mere ‘imitation’ or ‘reflection’, as in a mirror, bimbe kanakabimbābhe eṣā °tanā Mahāvastu i.168.15; this passage is a locus classicus for this doctrine; in 168.8—9 lokānuvar- tanāṃ buddhā anuvartanti laukikīṃ, prajñaptim anu- vartanti yathā lokottarām api; in what follows, Buddhas are said to imitate worldly actions (the care of the body, etc.), tho they have no need to, since everything about them is lokottara, transcending the world.




    Ruegg says for verses in Nagarjuna's Dharmadhatustava and four Candrakirti works:


    The source appears to be the *Lokanuvartanasutra.




    Every verse here has the refrain:


    It is in conformity with the ways of the world that he makes such a show.


    The "show" is living, or anything he does:


    The Bodhisattva was not born from the sexual union of father and mother. His body is magically produced, like illusion.


    Then we are told that Prajnaparamita must have been a really old accomplishment as a disciple:


    Since many thousand myriad kotis of asamkheyakalpas ago the Buddha has accomplished prajnaparamita.



    The Sutra does contain the statement that the Skandhas, Dhatus, and Ayatanas are Empty, however this is quite brief, not drawn out like in Ratnavali. Instead, if I thought the Sutra was getting at something "beyond Prajnaparamita", it would be:



    The Buddha abides in suchness (tathata) l So he does not come and does not go.


    ...the suchness (tathata) of the Dharma pervades everywhere.


    The suchness of the Dharma cannot be surpassed because the past, present and future are empty.


    The suchness of (the Dharma) is without birth and extinction (nirodha), but pervades everywhere.


    If it would have said "sunya", it would sound like Nagarjuna's Ratnavali, but it does not, instead we see Tathata, concerning the Buddha, but not quite Tathagatagarbha, of the Bodhisattva. But even this right here is the base level teaching of Mahamudra--it is all about entering Luminous Suchness.


    Of course, it was physically with Prajnaparamita Sutra. It has a mark of Manjushri and Upaya, and Prajna Upaya or Prajnopaya is certainly one of the main themes throughout the tantric commentaries. I find it inescapable, since at first it is highly unlikely to confirm this doctrine in a written manner from any older source, and secondly in a "compressed" form it has already stated the solution to the mysteries.

    In that case, the use of more texts is for more detailed explanations and practices, not to change this basic idea.

    Just a few basic statements already provide topics on Karuna, Amrita, and Tathata, in a magical way. This focus remains in place for a thousand years of literary development.

    Asvaghosha was possibly the first published author, whereas Lokanuvartana Sutra had a singular, hand-made arc of evolution; so one cannot quite say its age by the time Lokaksema moved it to China.


    Nagarjuna is sometimes said to be contemporaneous with Asvaghosha or Kaniska, but I do not think there is a way to pin down his exact time. The tone of his writings is quite similar, as if mainly intended for a Hinayana audience. And it appears a similar strategy was used, that a few later texts with Mahayana-specific terminology were given his name.


    Here is how he enters Indian literature.

    First, Vasubandhu's disciple:

    Dignāga (a.k.a. Diṅnāga, c. 480 – c. 540 CE)


    is relied on by:

    Bhāvaviveka (c. 500 - c. 578)


    These two are usually considered Yogacara or Vijnaptimatrata. But if you look, they are silent on Samdhinirmocana or any Sutras. They really have nothing to do with what we are trying to trace. It does, in that Pramana generally is necessary for there to be tantric Svasamvedana, but they are not quite even discussing the same subject. So then if you consider the material that is missing, Bhavaviveka famously brings Nagarjuna into the fold.


    Eckel illustrates the differences in method between Bhavya [Bhavaviveka] and Buddhapalita as follows:

    The first substantive verse of Nagarjuna's MMK says: "Nothing arises from itself, from something else, from both, or from no cause at all." Buddhapalita explains the first part of this verse as follows: "Nothing arises from itself, because its arising would be useless, and because it would lead to an absurd conclusion. There would be no point for things that already exist in their own right to arise again, and, if something arises after it already exists, it would never cease to arise."


    Bhaviveka reformulates this argument as a positive assertion: "The internal sense media ultimately do not arise from themselves, because they already exist, like consciousness." By making this logical transformation, Bhaviveka takes an argument that reduces the opponent's assertion to an absurd conclusion (prasaṇga) and substitutes an independent (svatantra) inference, with a proper thesis (pratijñā), reason (hetu), and example (dṛṣṭānta).



    Bhavaviveka was quite argumentative and just does not seem to deal with yoga. In this case, we have the expectation that Buddhapalita had just come out with something weird that was being refuted by another Buddhist. However, Candrakirti favors Buddhapalita's argument and reinforces it; but then he never gained much traction in India.

    Bhavaviveka also accepts as authentic, Nagarjuna's Niraupamya Stava and other hymns. So does Candrakirti.

    We have to ask ourselves about that considering Nagarjuna was in south India, where the Lokanuvartana Sutra came from, and could it reasonably influence his creativity. Is it possible the meaning of those verses more along these lines, than the way it is split in that famous argument, which we might suggest is not even about the same subject.

    The Samdhinirmocana Sutra had long since classed Nagarjuna as the Second Turning of the Wheel. Even without precise timing, we can be sure it was a few centuries before Bhavaviveka. In Nagarjuna's time, there simply were not that many Sutras; but between the two there are. Dignaga and Bhavaviveka were irrelevant to the formulation of Mahayana.

    It is likely that Nagarjuna was influential to it, but perhaps in another way than has usually been presented.

    It is possible that Lokanuvartana Sutra was influential to Nagarjuna.

    Maitreya is already established as a type of devotional deity, but that Sutra asked by Manjushri seems to be the earliest match for the main point of his teaching. Some early material also includes things like Ugra Pariprccha Sutra which are almost an opposite teaching, is like a pratyekabuddha training. So we definitely don't expect to find this in there. And yet in the first surviving Chinese transmission, there is a Lokottaravada document from South India.


    An intervening hint is given in a refutation of Sarvastivada by a "Bahusrutika":


    H(arivarman ca. 250-350)'s analysis of
    the sarvastivada (doctrine of 'all exists') recorded in his T (attva) S (iddhi)
    (Ch'eng-Shih Lun, Taisho 1646, Vol. 32) 19-23

    The following final remark by H shows the trace of Nagarjuna's influence,
    and it seems to have produced a curious echo in AD (p. 270).
    DOCUMENT V In Buddhism it is taught as an expedient (upaya)-not as
    the ultimate (truth)-that all exists and that nothing exists. For the idea
    that something exists definitely will lead to Eternalism and the idea that
    nothing exists definitely will lead to Annihilationism. Avoidance of these
    two extremes is called the noble 'Middle Path). (TS 23, p. 256b1-3: cf.
    the Mulamadhyamakakarika, XV. 7-11 & the Prasannapada, p. 270).



    According to Oxford on Harivarman:


    Reputedly a native of Kashmir he studied under the Sautrāntika master Kumāralāta before becoming dissatisfied with the conflicting views of the schools and desiring to reconcile their positions in a manner consonant with the original teachings of the Buddha. To this end he composed a treatise called the Tattvasiddhi Śāstra (also known as the Satyasiddhi Śāstra)... He argues strongly for the recognition of the role played by the mind in the construction of reality through the medium of concepts and intellectual constructions (prajñapti). The present value of the treatise to scholars is as a compendium of proto-Mahāyāna teachings.


    Closely contemporaneous with the more famous An Shigao, for Lokaksema, the translator of Lokanuvartana Sutra:


    He was a Sramana of the country of Yueh-zi, who came to China in a. d. 147,
    or 164, and worked at translations till A.D. 186 in Lo-yan.


    As well as a Pratyutpanna Samadhi, he also has dhyana texts such as Akshobhyasya Vyuha and Amitayus or Long Sukhavati. It may be the earliest mention of Prajnaparamita Sutra. And yet at least parts of it had come from South India.

    The roughly-sketched subjects here, Prajnaparamita, the Ten Bhumis, and the Dharmakaya are in a certain sense still the major theme of Asanga and Maitreya. As a whole, with who knows how many additional Sutras in train, it is draped over existing Hinayana institutions, who record up to something like eighteen sects, and we find that "frustration" is the key to certain characters such as Asanga, Harivarman, and Xuanzang.

    The Lokanuvartana has told us there is a type of gnosis inaccessible to the pratyeka and arhat intents and practices.

    A relatively narrow focus in Sutras are adequate to develop the doctrines. The sense of abundance would apply to Dharani Sutras, that is, varieties of mantras for yoga practice. Asanga does figure out how to render this into a functional apparatus.

    We would have to be almost positive that Asvaghosha and Lokaksema's Sutra basket were part of Nagarjuna's background, and, nothing much additional is. There is no reason to think the question would come up is he refuting Samdhinirmocana Sutra. There are none of those reasons. The question would be if he is most like an early step based from this.

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    Default Re: Nirakara and Shentong Buddhism, Tara, Sadhanas, Sanskrit culture

    Nagarjuna




    It has been accepted by nearly everyone that there must have been an "early Nagarjuna", and then a "Nagarjuna II" ca. 800. If you ask H. H. D. L. or the Gelugs in general, they just shrug and have nothing to say.

    In each case, we think the actual historical personalities were endowed with ghost writings and implausible interpretations, such that the 11th century transmission to Tibet is almost a decoy. The same perhaps applies to Kumarajiva in fifth-century China.


    That is why we started our perspective with individuals who are about as historically-solid as someone could be. When we look for the original Indian Nagarjuna:



    The earliest surviving accounts were written in Chinese and Tibetan centuries after his death and are mostly hagiographical accounts that are historically unverifiable.

    According to Walser, "the earliest extant legends about Nāgārjuna are compiled into Kumārajīva’s biography of Nāgārjuna, which he translated into Chinese in about 405 c.e."

    Tibetan hagiographies also state that Nāgārjuna studied at Nālanda University. However, according to Walser, this university was not a strong monastic center until about 425. Also, as Walser notes, "Xuanzang and Yijing both spent considerable time at Nālanda and studied Nāgārjuna’s texts there. It is strange that they would have spent so much time there and yet chose not to report any local tales of a man whose works played such an important part in the curriculum."

    The archaeological finds at Nāgārjunakoṇḍa have not resulted in any evidence that the site was associated with Nagarjuna. The name "Nāgārjunakoṇḍa" dates from the medieval period, and the 3rd-4th century inscriptions found at the site make it clear that it was known as "Vijayapuri" in the ancient period.

    There are hundreds of inscriptions from the second- to fifth-century recording gifts to monastic orders of land, money, slaves, villages, relics etc., but not a single reference exists of a gift or patronage to the Mahayana as a group until the end of the fifth or the beginning of the sixth century.



    So if we quit thinking of him as doctrinally different, he was just in south India, under the non-Buddhist Satavahana dynasty. And yet it is correct to attribute them with most of India's major stoneworks that *do* begin to portray Mahayana, while keeping Asvaghosha's story intact.


    Drawing from the outlook he may have followed a primitive version of Tathagatagarbha, his Letter and the Ratnavali fall in to this with:


    ...the time of composition as during the reign of Yajña S´rı¯ (175–204).


    Most Western scholarship on Nagarjuna assumes that his intended audience is either his
    Mahayanist supporters or his philosophical opponents (i.e., the Sarvastivadins,
    the Samkhyas and others). However, Walser says, “What is elided by such
    arguments is a third and functionally more important audience — those monks
    and laypeople in control of the resources that the Mahayanists needed.”






    ...a very interesting feature of Buddhism in Andhra is that to a very
    large extent it progressed independent of the patronage of kings, but almost all
    Buddhist monuments restored or constructed during the third century were the
    result of donations made by royal ladies and pious private citizens.

    Especially during the reign of S´rı¯ Virapurisadatta, the son of S´rı¯ Chantamula,
    royal ladies “vied with one another in making donations to the Buddhist
    Church.” The king himself does not seem to have had an active part in obtaining
    religious merit by founding the religious monuments of Nagarjunakonda -- but all
    the highest-ranking ladies from the royal court, including his mother, his aunt
    and his wife, obviously had a very active role. From Vogel’s and especially from
    the Rao’s et al. edition and translation of the text of the inscriptions one finds
    these ladies’ names, ranks, and relationships to kings. Practically each pillar of
    the monument of Nagarjunakonda is erected by their devoted patronage.
    The flourishing of Buddhism under the lavish support of these royal ladies at
    the time when all kings were supporters of the Brahmanical tradition is a
    unique occurrence among Buddhist centres. In comparison, on the inscriptions
    from Mathura¯ in the Kusana ¯ period, one finds names of merchants, nuns, sons
    and daughters of ordinary people, but nothing that brings the attention to the
    queens and ladies from the court. The situation is similar in other centres.



    From the study on Ratnavali:



    For the attainment of welfare and happiness in both the worlds (ubhaya-loka-hita-sukha) and of Nirvana has erected this stone pillar (skambha), in the sixth year of (the reign of) King Siri-Virapurisadata, and the sixth fortnight of the rainy season, the 10th day. From the inscriptions of Nagarjunakonda Sites 1, 5, and 43.

    This noted the gift of a stone pillar by the Mahadevi (Queen) Rudradharabhatarika, King Siri-Virapurisadata’s daughter from Ujjeni (Skt. Ujjayini), while the Mahachetiya (great stupa) was raised by the ladies, the Mahatalavaris, Chamtisitinika of (the family of) the Pukiyas.


    Something about that was successful, in fact it was dominated by females, such as the Queen of Ujjain or Avanti. This is one of the main explanations in Ratnavali, i. e. the making of monuments and images, meditative contemplation on the like, and thought to be commentarial towards the Ten Bhumis or Dasabhumika Sutra.

    That follows a pattern; Ratnavali is large, relatively exoteric, and agrees with the idea that Prajnaparamita Sutra plus something about the Ten Bhumis is where the magical idea of "Lokanuvartana" is nested.




    Mulamadhyamaka Karika



    We also do not think Adi Shankara was a heavy reactionary against Buddhism, as he was influenced by Nagarjuna, particularly by the Catuskoti or tetralemma, which is a huge deal in philosophy and math. But it is not much different from the Upanishadic "neti, neti", although perhaps like an upgrade.


    Catuskoti is the major theme of Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka Root Verses (MMK below), although not quite original to it.



    The Catuṣkoṭi was employed particularly by Nagarjuna who developed it and engaged it as a 'learning, investigative, meditative' portal to realize the 'openness' (Sanskrit: Śūnyatā), of Shakyamuni's Second Turning of the Dharmacakra, as categorized by the Sandhinirmocana Sutra.



    Some prior background from Westerhoff 2006:

    In the Kandaraka Sutta the four alternatives are employed as a classificatory tool for distinguishing four classes of ascetics, those which torment themselves, which torment others, which torment both and which torment neither. In this case the fourth alternative is explicitly recommended by the Buddha as the ideal to be emulated.

    A case of the rejection of the four alternatives concerning the question whether the Tathàgata exists after death by the Buddha can be found in the Aggivacchagotta Sutta and the Cülamálunkya Sutta.


    That is picked up by Nagarjuna, as shown in Deconstruction:


    ...in the 17th verse
    of the MMK XXV it states: “It is not assumed that Bagavan exists
    after death. Neither is it assumed that he does not exist, or both, or
    neither.”


    And we are introduced to "three kinds" of Catuskoti. The third is really difficult; however, the second is an inverse of negation:


    Sarvam tathyam na va tathyam tathyam catathyam eva ca,
    navivatathyam naiva tathyam etad buddhanuwasanam

    (MMK XVIII.8)

    Everything is real, not real, both real and not real, and
    neither real nor unreal. This is the Buddha’s admonition.


    Also as mentioned by Wayman:


    All (sarva) is genuine (tathyam), or is not genuine, or is both genuine and
    not genuine, or is neither genuine nor not-genuine. That is the ranked instruction (anusaisana) of the Buddha.


    According to Candrakirti's commentary "all" means the personality aggregates
    (skandha), the realms (dhatu), and the sense bases (ayatana).


    We are going to accept that, mostly, Candakirti's commentary is in line with Bhavaviveka and others, in terms of basic information.


    So in the Pali Samyutta-Nikaya (II, 19-21),
    the Buddha, replying to questions by Kassapa (Kasyapa), denied that suffering
    is caused by oneself, by another, by both oneself and another, or neither by
    oneself nor by another. Then, in answer to further questions, the Buddha
    stated that he knows suffering and sees it. Then Kassapa asked the Buddha
    to explain suffering to him, and was told that claiming the suffering was done
    by oneself amounts to believing that one is the same person as before, which
    is the eternalistic view; while claiming that the experiencer of the suffering is
    different from the one who caused it, amounts to the nihilistic view. Thereupon
    the Buddha taught the Dharma by a mean, namely, the series of twelve members
    which begin with the statement 'having nescience as condition the motivations
    arise' and continue with similar statements through the rest of dependent
    origination (pratltya-samutpada). The Buddha proceeded to teach that by the
    cessation of nescience, the motivations cease, and so on, with the cessation of
    this entire mass of suffering. In agreement, Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka-karika,
    I, 1 states:

    There is no entity anywhere that arises from itself, from another, from both
    (itself and another), or by chance.

    In this case the given element is called the 'entity' (bhava)...

    And he believes the negation reveals something:


    While I have insisted that the ultimate nature is affirmed by the four denials...

    Candrakirti explains the svabhava of MK XV, 1-2, as the "true
    nature" [dharmata] of the scriptures, and in a manner equivalent to the dharma-sun of
    the Ratnagotravibhaga passage.


    So this "Nihsvabhava school" is forced to have a Svabhava? In this case, it seems to bear on the "positive presence" indicated by the "second kind" of Catuskoti.


    Indeed, study of the two main traditions of the Madhyamika,
    Candrakirti's Prasangika and Bhavaviveka's Svatantrika, will show that both
    of them insist on adding qualifications, especially in terms of the two truths
    (samvrti and paramartha), their disagreement stemming from how such qualifications are made.

    This method of interpretation does not only appear in Pingala’s
    commentary. The same principle of interpretation also appears in two
    other famous commentaries, Bhāvaviveka’s Prajnapradipa and
    Candrakirti’s Prasannapada, although the details in them are
    different. Regarding the 8th verse of the MMK XVIII, Bhavaviveka’s
    explains:

    In addition, in regard to those inner sources and outer objects
    such as form and so on, from the concept of conventional
    reality, all are real. From the perspective of ultimate reality,
    those inner sources and outer sources arise in terms of
    interdependent arising. They are like an illusion and cannot
    be perceived because they are not like what is to be seen
    Hence, all are unreal. From the perspective of the relative
    relation between the two realities, all are both real and unreal.
    When a practitioner attains enlightenment, because one has
    gained the reality of all dharmas and does not calculate,
    he/she does not see the real and the unreal. Hence, [Buddhas
    proclaimed that] all are neither real nor unreal.

    Candrakirti offers an
    explanation of the same verse:

    First, the Buddha speaks of phenomena as if they were real,
    in order to lead beings to venerate his omniscience. Next, he
    teaches that phenomena are unreal, because they undergo
    modifications, and what is real does not undergo
    modifications. Thirdly, he teaches some hearers that
    phenomena are both real and unreal ― real from the point of
    view of worldlings, but unreal from the viewpoint of the
    saints. To those who are practically free from passions and
    wrong views, he declares that phenomena are neither real nor
    unreal, in the same way that one denies that the son of a
    barren woman is white or that he is black.


    So those are "graded explanations" of reality, or to different audiences. Plain translations like "admonition" lose the sense of "ranked instruction" (anusaisana).





    So we could almost say the Root Verses, is also what becomes the main division in schools. Nagarjuna's verses are like quips and snippets, nearly impossible to follow, intended to be filled with commentary:


    As a kārikā-style text, the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā presents only aphoristic, often enigmatic and extremely short verses, much like the sūtra works of the various Hindu philosophical schools. Since they served primarily as pedagogical or mnemonic aids for teachers, commentaries were required to make the meaning of this type of text more explicit to the uninitiated reader.


    The verses are aphoristic, often enigmatic, and extremely short. The text's arguments are presented in a highly compressed and concise form. This is because the text is a karika-style work. Such texts were meant to be memorized as an aid to learning by students. The text's arguments would be filled out through the oral commentary of a master. As such, the karikas are like a verse outline of the major philosophical arguments of an oral tradition.

    ...his philosophy is also often termed Niḥsvabhāvavāda (the no svabhāva doctrine).

    Nāgārjuna's main contention with svabhāva theories was that they contradicted the fundamental Buddhist doctrine of dependent origination (pratītyasamutpāda). Furthermore, essence theories are not in agreement with the Mahāyāna sutras Nāgārjuna would have been familiar with. These sutras, particularly the Prajñāpāramitā sūtras, teach a kind of comprehensive illusionist ontology that sees all dharmas, even nirvana and Buddhahood, as being empty and like an illusion.


    ...Most scholars agree that Nāgārjuna was a Mahāyāna Buddhist who believed all things (dharmas) to be empty, or without an intrinsic existence and nature (svabhāva). Beyond that, little can be said about him with certainty.

    In the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, "[A]ll experienced phenomena are empty (sunya). This did not mean that they are not experienced and, therefore, non-existent; only that they are devoid of a permanent and eternal substance (svabhava) because, like a dream, they are mere projections of human consciousness. Since these imaginary fictions are experienced, they are not mere names (prajnapti)."





    The Mūlamadhyamakakārikā is Nāgārjuna's best-known work. It is "not only a grand commentary on the Buddha's discourse to Kaccayana, the only discourse cited by name, but also a detailed and careful analysis of most of the important discourses included in the Nikayas and the Agamas, especially those of the Atthakavagga of the Sutta-nipata.


    It is a grand commentary on a one page Pali Sutta.

    This illusionism was not totally new, since similar ideas about emptiness can be found in the early Buddhist texts (see: Samyutta Nikaya 22:95, as well as Samyukta Āgama 335 and 297).

    ...the explanation of "right-view" as being a middle way between saying that "everything exists" (referring to the view of permanent existence: Pali: atthitā, Skt. astitva) and saying that "everything does not exist" (non-existence; Pali: n'atthitā, Skt nāstitva). This middle way is then defined as the 12 principles (dvādaśāṅga) of dependent origination.



    Allright. If we reach the point where, let us say, the opening invocation of Root Verses may likely be important, and then we will immediately face the quality of different translations, such as the Hsun-chung-lun focuses from beginning to end on the
    dedicatory stanzas of Nagarjuna's Madhyamakakarika and their themes of prapanca and the eight negations:


    I bow before universal wisdom—

    "Not passing away and not arising,
    Not annihilated and not eternal,
    Not one and not many,
    Not coming and not going,
    Buddha taught dependent co-arising
    To sever all prapanca—
    Thus I bow my head in reverence
    Before the best of all Dharma teachers



    Or from a Tsadra translation of the whole work:


    "I bow down to the most sublime of speakers, the completely awakened one who taught contingency (no cessation, no birth, no annihilation, no permanence, no coming, no going, no difference, no identity) to ease fixations".



    Well, the first one told me "prapanca", and so I have a Sanskrit yogacara term which is more specific.


    In the GRETIL Sanskrit, this opening is not found.


    From the related Free full text:



    anirodhamanutpadamanucchedamasasvatam .
    anekarthamananarthamanagamamanirgamam ..
    yah pratityasamutpadam prapancopasamam sivam .
    desayamasa sambuddhastam vande vadatam varam ..


    And then here is a tidy version from the Nepalese recording project:


    anirodham anutpādam anucchedam aśāśvatam |
    anekārtham anānārtham anāgamam anirgamam ||

    yaḥ pratītyasamutpādaṃ prapañcopaśamaṃ śivam |
    deśayām āsa saṃbuddhas taṃ vande vadatāṃ varam ||

    Homage to the perfectly awakened one, the best of speakers,
    Who taught dependent arising, which is
    Without cessation, without arising,
    Without annihilation, not eternal,
    Without one thing, without separate things,
    Without coming, without going.
    It is the pacification of proliferation, [ultimate] peace.




    What is translated as the first line of homage is really the fourth line beginning with:


    Desaya (देसय) in the Prakrit language is related to the Sanskrit word: Deśaka.


    Deśaka (देशक) refers to “one who teaches (the dharma)”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta...

    Deśaka (देशक).—[diś-kartari ṇvul]

    1) A ruler, governor.


    followed by the title "sambuddha" as in Pali Sutras:


    On the difference between the Tathagata who is a fully enlightened one and a monk who is freed by insight. S.iii.65 f.

    Sammasambuddha:

    It is by knowledge of the Four Ariyan Truths that a Tathagata becomes a fully Awakened One. S.v.433.



    It gains the connotation "Fully Expanded", similar to "Vishnu". In Prajnaparamita Sutra:


    Why is the Buddha called Samyaksaṃbuddha < [Chapter IV - Explanation of the Word Bhagavat]


    and Cundi Dharani Sutra:


    If there are sentient beings with little merit, who lack good roots, natural ability, and the Factors of Bodhi, if they obtain hearing of this dhāraṇī method, they will quickly realize the attainment of Anuttarā Samyaksaṃbodhi.


    "Vada" is not necessarily just "a speaker", but, "an explanation", such as "Vijnanavada" as an "explanation" of Vijnana under meditative scrutiny.

    Interestingly enough, Desaka or "giver of the law" is much later allowed by Bu ton as a name for Vajradhara as the Seventh Buddha Family. Asvaghosha's reference to Indra is part of him, and then so is this Desaka.


    If you keep looking at Nagarjuna's text, soon there is a Comparison of multiple translations.



    The reaction of Kalupahana in composing his Root Verses book:


    My suspicion that Nagarjuna and Candrakirti were upholding two different
    philosophical standpoints compelled me to take a fresh look at
    Kumarajrva's Chung-lun, which is at least two centuries prior to Candrakirti. Translating the entire Chung-lun into English and comparing it with Nagarjuna's original Sanskrit text, I was pleasantly surprised by their
    similarities. I found no justification whatsoever in looking at Nagarjuna
    through Candrakirti's eyes when there was a more faithful and closer disciple of Nagarjuna in Kumarajiva.





    Niraupamyastava


    As we see in modern institutions, Nagarjuna's Dharmadhatustava is taught at an advanced level like RGV. But we are going to suggest it is an accreted text which has been continually revised to reach that point. Instead, he does have other hymns as given in the early reports, such as for Niraupamya Stava:


    Candrakirti who, as can be learned through Harisson’s critical analysis, quoted eight verses
    that closely resemble the sutra, on one occasion naming the source as the
    Lokanuvartanasutra and ascribing it to the Purvas´aila.


    These hymns were probably originally separate, and later bundled as "Catuhstava".

    Catuḥstava (Four Hymns): Lokātīta-stava (Hymn to transcendence), Niraupamya-stava (to the Peerless), Acintya-stava (to the Inconceivable), and Paramārtha-stava (to Ultimate Truth).



    Here is M. B. Sakya's brief translation of two hymns.

    Here are Sanskrit Paramarthastava and Niraupamyastava, the originals he translated.

    Then, a larger project collecting English and Sanskrit Four Hymns.


    Reconsideration finds Niraupamyastava quoted in tantric Nagarjuna's Pancha Krama and Aryadeva's CMP.


    We would suggest that CMP is a Yogacara text, thereby taking the hymn back from Candrakirti.


    Our attention is drawn to the obscure hymn by the study on Tathagatagarbha:




    This article examines several verses from the Niraupamyastava, where Nagarjuna
    makes explicit references to the non-empty aspects of the doctrine of emptiness—a
    topic systematized and crystallized in the doctrine of Tathagatagarbha, thought to
    have appeared later than his date and to have been unknown to him.



    The Niraupamyastava, a hymn ascribed to Nagarjuna by traditional and contemporary scholars, contains some very unusual statements:


    Since the dharmadhatu cannot be differentiated, there can be no different vehicles,
    o Lord. [But] the three vehicles have been preached by you for the sake of ushering
    the beings into [the path].

    Your body made out of dharma is eternal, imperishable, auspicious, victorious.
    But, for the sake of the people who need to be trained, [entering into the final]
    cessation (nirvrti ° ) has been shown by you.


    ...there is a very close resemblance both in terminology
    and in logic behind some doctrinal claims between the Niraupamyastava
    and the S´rı¯malasimhanada-sutra, that is, between Nagarjuna’s doctrine of
    dharmadhatu and S´rı¯malasimhanada-sutra’s doctrine of tathagatagarbha.

    ...the S´rı¯malasimhanada-sutra could be concurrent with the Avatamsaka ° but definitely predates the Lankavatara sutra since the latter quotes it.


    The content of verse 23 of the Niraupamyastava is also not easy to grasp:


    But in the countless worlds you are seen anew by your devotees eagerly longing [for]
    your descent, birth, perfect enlightenment, teaching and [entering into the final]
    cessation.

    The words bhakti (devotion) or bhakta (devotees) are not used in the
    Mulamadhyamakakarika or the Ratnavalı. Here, not only is bhakta used, but it
    also stands in the same sentence with seeing the Buddha.

    Perhaps the S´rı¯malasimhanada-sutra can provide insight: bhakti is exactly the
    relationship that the queen has with the Buddha.

    It is also possible that seeing the Buddha refers to the
    practice of evoking the Buddha (buddhanusmrti ¯ ) similar to the one described in
    the S´rı¯malasimhanada-sutra. At the beginning of the first chapter one reads that
    the queen evokes the Buddha (buddhanusmrti ¯ ), who approaches in his inconceivable body.

    The casual manner in which the practice is introduced suggests
    that it was well known. Buddhanusmrti ¯ may not have been Nagarjuna’s own
    practice or maybe not his chief practice — he may have been primarily
    concerned with reasoning into emptiness, even though in the Ratnavalı¯ he pays
    attention to generating merit more than to anything else. Nonetheless, it is
    certain that he makes clear allusions in the Niraupamyastava to using it.



    If we do not think Madhyamaka is any different from buddhanusmrti, Yogacara, etc., this reads a little differently:


    ...Nagarjuna’s very clever attempt to address a difficult
    topic, pleasing his audience by using stock phrases they would understand
    and accept, while not compromising his own Madhyamaka position. In other
    words, if that is the case, then Nagarjuna conveniently endorses the noncontroversial doctrine of dharmadhatu, describes it in tathagatagarbha terms to which his audience is accustomed (presuming that would bring him their
    acceptance), but never actually endorses the new doctrine. Perhaps, between
    the lines one should read caution for the new doctrine and attempt to illustrate
    how all the positive content of the doctrine can be retained (through
    dharmadhatu) without endorsing something with such a close resemblance to
    atman.

    Even the most basic examination of the form of the Niraupamyastava will show that most of
    the verses make direct reference to the Buddha as if he were personally present and Nagarjuna
    spoke directly to him. Out of twenty-five verses, the first being salutation and the last dedication
    of merit, twenty-two address the Buddha directly. Furthermore, the majority of the verses evoke
    qualities of the Buddha (one section dedicated to the qualities of his mind, the other to the qualities
    of his body) — one of the most commonly used ways of practising anusmrti.


    Nagarjuna chooses the genre of devotional poetry to
    introduce for the first time an important, possibly controversial, topic, the
    dharmadhatu, in terms so very close to the new doctrine. In doing so, he
    travels a very narrow line in this hymn and enters into a cataphatic description
    of reality, contrary to his apophatic practice in the Mulamadhyamakakarika.
    Perhaps this is the testimony to the importance he gives to the real audience.
    So great was that importance that he almost went too far by endangering his
    Madhyamaka doctrinal position.



    ...what is the significance of the
    positive description of reality for Nagarjuna (found in verse 22 of the Niraupamyastava)? In the S´rı¯malasimhanada-sutra, that language is connected to a
    very significant complement to the doctrine of emptiness involving the as´unya
    and s´unya aspect of the garbha: the tathagatagarbha is s´unya because it is
    empty of kles´as, but it is as´unya because it is endowed with buddhadharmas
    that are inseparable from the dharmakaya.

    The Ratnagotravibhaga does not declare that the
    Prajña¯paramita sutras are incorrect in their assertion that everything is empty
    (sunyam ´¯ ° sarvam) but offers the correction that the word sarvam means sarvakles´a, which excludes the Buddha Qualities. Therefore, the word s´unya implies
    as´unya — not empty of the qualities of Buddhahood and of the garbha.

    In what sense is Nagarjuna using the positive assertions? At present, I cannot
    find any other plausible answer but that Nagarjuna is also suggesting the
    as´unya aspect of the doctrine of emptiness.



    There actually is a serious difficulty with the older beliefs. Although the Pali works contain many of the underlying definitions and categories that are still in use, the problem is that they believe a person can only become a Bodhisattva by being graced by a living Buddha. The principle of Lokottara or Transcendence is required to claim that a Buddha is always accessible somehow or another. Even Candrakirti is basically saying that Dharmakaya comes from Lokanuvartana Sutra and Nagarjuna's Niraupamya Stava, which takes care of it. The two things are quite similar on this.


    The results are visible in Satavahana stonework, the spread of Buddhism into Kerala, and a Buddhist Pallava king. Not much more can be said about this period. The oldest mention of a tantric goddess is ca. 300, a woman offers gold to Parnasabari. There is actually some older, external evidence, which is a ca. 100 legal injunction in Kinnaur which penalizes Buddhists for having sex with Kinnari women. In Orissa there is certainly the origin of Shakti goddesses Stambha and Viraja.

    The principle of Catuskoti is effectively the tantric Gatekeepers. They shear off the limbs of the Four Extremes so one remains centered.


    Right after Nagarjuna is a large number of Sutras, and eventually there are two where it could be accurately described that the female heroines quit turning into men, Srimala Devi and Gangottara. Already we get the idea that written works are probably subsequent reflections of their ideas being part of conversation. The reality of an All-Pervasive Dharmakaya so that you could become a Bodhisattva, and that this was equal for women, was probably belief and practice before it was written down. But that does not match traditional conservative Nikaya Buddhism. You would think it might be more interested in gaining Hindu converts.


    The next few centuries are in these Sutras because they do not have authors and lineage transmissions. They have records of being received in China, which helps give an idea how it worked. In this sense, most reviews are going to say that Yogacara "begins" with Samdhinirmocana Sutra, and "ends" with Lankavatara Sutra ca. 400.

    If we go through that section with an eye to the fact that the expression of Root Verses and the meaning of Dharmakaya as a sort of magical Buddha who can grant you the Bodhisattva Path are going to continue, then the presence of Nagarjuna is justified.


    Comparatively, there are hundreds of studies on Catuskoti, and nothing on Niraupamya Stava. If we take a look at the first group of translations, it just casts Catuskoti onto Buddha:



    Paramartha stavah

    1. Lord! Since you are non-originated, residing in no place, transcending any worldly similes, indescribable through the path of words, how can I praise you?

    2. Although you cannot be praised thus, yet I with great devotion shall praise you in behavioral pattern concerning ultimate truth.

    3. Since you have the nature of non-originated, for you there is no-origin, no coming, no going,(In other words you have no coming and going in this samsara.) obeisance to you who unborn nature!

    4. You are neither existent nor non-existent, neither eternal nor non-eternal, neither permanent nor impermanent. Obeisance to you who are beyond any dualism!

    5. No color is found in you, neither green nor red nor scarlet, neither yellow nor black nor white. Obeisance to you who have the nature of colorlessness!

    6. You are neither big, nor small, neither long nor spherical. You have reached the stage of immesuarability. Obeisance to you who has the nature of immesuarability.

    7. You are neither far away nor near, neither in space nor on the earth, neither in Samsara nor in Nirvana. Obeisance to you who resides nowhere!

    8. You do not stay on any dharma but are gone into the stage of Dharmadhatu. You have reached the stage of supreme deepness. Obeisance to you who are the nature of unfathomableness!

    9. Thus praised let you be praised, or is He praised? When all dharmas are without essence, who is praised or by whom can He be praised?

    10. Who can praise you are devoid origination and decay and for you who there is neither end nor middle, neither perception nor perceived?

    11. Thus praising the Sugat who is neither gone nor come and is devoid of any going, through the merits thus acquired may this world practice the path of Sugata!



    Niraupamyastavah

    1. O incomparable One! Obeisance to you who knows the insubstantiality of all things. You make efforts for the benefit of this world is devoid of pure views.

    2. Through your enlightenment eye no thing is seen by you, Lord! sublime is your view which perceives ultimate reality!

    3. Ultimate there is neither knower nor thing to be known. Oh! You (Lord Buddha) know the dharmata which is very difficult to comprehend.

    4. You have neither created any dharma nor destroyed any, but you attained Great Enlightenment seeing them with equanimity.

    5. You did not desire for Nirvana seeing the faults of Samsara, O Lord! you attained Peace (Nirvana) without getting rid of Samsara.

    6. You have realized that affliction and since no discrimination is possible in (dharmadhatu of affliction and dharmadhatu of cessation) so you are completely pure.

    7. O Master! You have uttered not a syllable, yet you satisfied the trainees by raining down the nectar of profound teaching.

    8. You have no attachment in the Aggregates, Sense spheres and Elements of Existence, You whose mind is the nature of space do not dwell in any dharmas.

    9. O Lord! you have no notion of being at all, but you have infinite compassion towards miserable sentient beigs.

    10. O Lord! Your intellect mind does not adhere to various dualistic imagination as regards pleasure and pain, soul and no-soul, permanent and impermanent things.

    11. You held the view that there is no coming or going of the things neither are there anything deposited somewhere else ultimately.

    12. Although you prevail everywhere yet you are born nowhere. Although you manifested birth (in Lumbini) yet your body is the nature of dharmakaya. O Lord of the Stages! It is indeed inconceivable.

    13. You, the irreproachable one, preached that in this world there is neither creation nor destruction just as sound and echo are neither the same nor different, neither there is one nor many.

    14. O Lord! you have realized that this world is just like dream or magic play neither having eternal nor impermanent neither having Signs nor without Signs.

    15. You have gained complete victory over the river of afflictions from its roots. But you earned the nectar of (Nirvana) by knowing the very nature of afflictions.

    16. O Courageous one! you who are of the nature of sign less se from as ‘no-from’. But your dazzling body has appeared to us endowed with Thirty two Auspicious marks.

    17. Even if one sees the form it is not the “seeing”. If one sees the dharma dharma it is then well-seen but dharmata cannot be seen.

    18. Your body is neither hollow nor have any bone, flesh and blood (as mortal beings have) Still you have manifested a body just as the rainbow in the sky.

    19. It is not possible that you have hunger, thirst, impurity and disease in your body but you showed as worldly activities according to worldly convention.

    20. O Sinless one! you do not have even the slightest obstruction of Karma still out of great compassion you showed the world the law of cause and effect as infallible.

    21. O Lord! From the point of view of wisdom there is no difference between various yanas. Yet you showed the Triple vehicles in order to lead sentient beings to the right path.

    22. O peerless conqueror! Your dharma body is eternal, imperishable and auspicious yet you manifested the Great Pari Nirvana to the world for the sake of trainees.

    23. In the countless world systems the devotees will behalf you again descending upon earth, taking birth, attaining Enlightenment, preaching the dharmacakra, and entering into Nirvana.

    24. O Lord! you have neither thoughts, nor differentiation nor any intentions yet you are accomplishing in this world the duty of a Buddha (for the welfare of sentient being) without attachment.

     

    Thus by offering the above mentioned flowers of prayer to the Buddha endowed with inconceivable and boundless virtues. If any virtues are then by these merits may all then by these merits may all sentient beings be the vessels of the supreme and deep doctrines of Lord Buddha.


    Where the translation "Lord" is given, the corresponding original term is:

    nātha


    Natha Sutta

    Two suttas on the qualities which give protection to a monk: virtue, learning, good friends, affability, skill in performance of duties, fondness for truth, energy, contentment, mindfulness, wisdom. A.v.23f. 26f.

    Nātha (नाथ, “lord”) refers to a term to be used by women in love addressing their beloved during amorous union, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 24. Accordingly “he who maintains an intercourse with a woman by sweet words (sāma, lit. conciliation), gifts (dāna), providing enjoyment, caress and maintinance, is called ‘lord’ (nātha)”

    Nātha (नाथ).—The Siddhas and their sons are referred to as -nāthas (e.g. Macchandanātha, Guḍikānātha) and the consorts as -ambās (e.g. Koṅkaṇāmbā/Kuṅkaṇāmbā, Illāī-ambā).




    Nātha, (Ved. nātha, nāth, to which Goth. nipan (to support), Ohg. gināda (grace)) protector, refuge, help

    —anātha helpless, unprotected, poor


    As a conjecture towards spoken Pali, it has been suggested that the customary "Anatta" or "non-self" doctrine is actually this, Anatha. It means ordinary beings are ignorant and utterly helpless, especially in matters pertaining to rebirth. Buddha is Natha, or, utterly helpful especially in matters pertaining to rebirth.

    Those certainly sound as if Nagarjuna is doing Buddhanusmrti, visualizing a type of permanent Buddha which had lived and died on earth as a show.

    If this reflects common language of anyone interested, then it might just seem as if Buddhapalita and Candrakirti came up with a meaningless diversion.

    Concerning the hymns, they have no personal practice, aside from implied imitation. In Paramarthastava, the first one, the Catuskoti is explicit in line four, and, doubling this, we get:


    8. You do not stay on any dharma but are gone into the stage of Dharmadhatu. You have reached the stage of supreme deepness. Obeisance to you who are the nature of unfathomableness!


    asthitaḥ sarvadharmeṣu dharmadhātugatiṃ gataḥ |

    parāṃ gambhīratāṃ prāpto gambhīrāya namo'stu te || 8 ||



    The second line does not have any negations. It says Param Gambhiram, "infinitely profound". And we do not see a "stage" such as "Bhumi" or "Krama". We see the word for "Realm", "Gati", which is a conjugation of the same as in "Tathagata" and "Parasamgate". From Pali:


    (lit. 'going'): 'course of existence', destiny, destination.

    "There are 5 courses of existence: hell, animal kingdom, ghost realm, human world, heavenly world" (D. 33; A. XI, 68).

    Of these, the first 3 count as woeful courses (duggati, s. apāya), the latter 2 as happy courses (sugati).


    Same as in the later "Sarvadurgati Parishodhana" Tantra, "Prevention of All Evil Destinies".

    "Sugata" has an obvious meaning.


    Historically, around this time, you see Buddha and Prajnaparamita in an immaculate perfection, gone away from, and beyond us. Perhaps you can mystically commune with it. But they have not said much about actively infusing yourself.

    The idea that the realm or destiny of Bodhisattva practice would be the Dharmadhatu is, of course, agreeable.


    These hymns are like Vajrasuci. Neither one contains advanced vocabulary of a more modern text placed in a famous author's name. Vajrasuci, at least superficially, does sound like Asvaghosha. As to the nature of these hymns, no, they do not really sound like Nagarjuna, in fact they are overlooked because a larger, and more unlikely, attribution to him, Dharmadhatu Stava, is still buried in "advanced studies".


    Here again he would be making a new assertion, because Dharmadhatu is not considered a realm in the known scheme of things. Candrakirti becomes relatively pointless, to me at least, because I am not really trying to use language to "prove" something to a skeptic. After a brief introduction who cares? We agree to live in a way where nobody's particular liturgy is enforced or forbidden. If anything, that is the use of his Pramana opponents, who more or less logically validate Mind as Svasamvedana. And this dispute takes place after the whole trend of Nagarjuna to Maitreya. Everyone involved in it happens to say these hymns originally came from Nagarjuna.


    With respect to Nagarjuna, the Satyavahana Dynasty is helpful, but not all that big:


    Pulumavi IV, the last king of the main line, ruled until c. 225 CE. During his reign, several Buddhist monuments were constructed at sites including Nagarjunakonda and Amaravati. It indicates "tolerance", since most of the funding was done by "everyone", although in a few instances there is a concentration of women.


    Then they are reduced to a northern fragment for about another hundred years, and the Pallava dynasty is the southeastern fragment of the former kingdom.

    Simhavarman II was a Buddhist unlike most other Pallava Kings who were predominantly orthodox Hindus.

    Reign 436 - 477 AD


    We have been told that Kerala tradition suggests that Bodhidharma was the son of this Simhavarman.

    Around that point, Buddhism enters Kerala, which is the abode of Avalokiteshvara, Mt. Potalaka. Until then, it is quite unlikely he would have been influential to Nagarjuna. It would be easier to say there were earlier devotional practices, on Buddha, or Manjushri, Maitreya, Amitayus, Vajrapani, Akshobhya, Prajnaparamita. There are Dhyana images mixed with Upanishadic Breath Yoga. So there is not a good reason to suggest that Nagarjuna could or would not have been doing that.

    This is pivotal because it does require Transcendentalism to make sense to begin with. It lacks immanence, because there is nothing really on how "you" enter Suchness of the Dhatu. For the most part, this is the subject of Yogacara through the eleventh century.

    There is a lot to suggest that mantra is mainly south Indian, such as areas that say it uses Dravidian languages. Several songs are Oriya or Bengali. This is something not covered at any length around the time of Nagarjuna. Over time, it is like a modulating set of experiences framed into ever-increasing details on the practices involved but only implied here. Nagarjuna's main work already gives an "inverted" Catuskoti which may be "Asunya", or not empty of those qualities which it holds in perpetuity. Then he appears to meditate on a "You" that has this. Subsequently, more intense practices are more direct. The "You" becomes something more like "everyone in the Sangha", and a lot of it is in Sangiti form, i. e. "chanting together".


    That is how Nagarjuna is classed as "incomplete". At the same time, Madhyamaka Intent is definitely a part of Yogacara, and so is Sunya or Voidness. The Third Turning of the Wheel of Dharma takes place after him, so that will be next.

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    Default Re: Nirakara and Shentong Buddhism, Tara, Sadhanas, Sanskrit culture

    Vaipaulya and Mahayana Sutras Era





    First we will take a look at the Chinese translations a little more. I don't think we have any more mistakes, but there are clarifications. We do not have anything important that antedates the more general and exoteric format. The earliest known fragment of a Prajnaparamita manuscript was carbon dated to ca. year 75, which lines up with the second Chinese translation, now lost, of:


    Dasabhumi-klesa-kkedika(?)-sutra, 4 fasc. A.D. 70.



    Prajnaparamita and the Ten Bhumis are of course the "Mahayana source material", but even despite hundreds of Sutras being added in relation, the whole thing is often found "incomplete" and "frustrating". Understandable. The world's response to this is supposed to be Asanga.


    In China, Prajnaparamita is called a "class", as is Avatamsaka Sutra. Both of these collect Sutras which had circulated independently before.

    The "Maharatnakuta" and "Mahasamnipata" classes have no equivalents in India or Tibet. Several of the individual pieces do, but not the collections. There is an early mention of something which sounds like, but is not, Maharatnakuta:



    An Shigao 147-180

    251 Ratnakuta-sutra

    Pao - tsi - san - mei - wan - shu - sh'- li - phu- sa - wan - fa - shan - kin.

    Sutra on the Ratnakuta-samadhi and Dharmakaya, asked by
    the Bodhisattva Manjusri.

    An earlier translation of no. 51.


    51 Ratnakuta Sutra

    Zu-fa-kie-thi-sin-kin.

    ' Sutra on entering the substance and nature of the Dharmadhatu,' or ' Dharmadhatu-prakrity-avatara-sutra(?).'

    11 leaves, translated by Jnanagupta ca. 600



    The name, Ratnakuta, and its topic, are primordial. Obviously, the idea sounds like it matches Lokanuvartana Sutra and Nagarjuna's Niraupamya Stava. It is kind of small, so there is no way this is a compendium of multiple works. It is doubly close to Lokanuvartana because asked by Manjushri.


    According to Winternitz:


    Maitreyanatha quotes the Ratnakuta in his Mahayana-Sutralamkara XIX, 29.




    U. Pune, India Asanga Mahayana Sutralamkara for "hermeneutic" purposes.


    Rigpa Wiki's Sutralamkara outline is off probably by a redundant "Chapter One".


    19. The [thirty-seven] Harmonies with Enlightenment

    is really

    20. Enlightened Qualities


    which is better than Thurman's translation. From his Mahayanasutralamkara 2004:

    Ratnaküta (corresponds to Käsyapaparivarta) XIX.28-29



    28—29. The brave (bodhisattvas) show their authentic application
    in giving without expectation, in being moral without desire for
    good rebirth, in tolerance in all situations, in endeavor in the production of all virtue, in contemplation without (addiction to)
    formlessness, and in wisdom integrated with liberative art.

    As it is stated extensively in the Jewel Heap Scripture: "By giving without expectation of evolutionary benefit" and so on.



    That is what they refer to, and it is also similar to Kasyapa Parivarta Sutra, and it is replayed in Bodhisattvabhumi and in Abhisamayalamkara.

    If Maitreya's texts are "graded explanations", then AA is mostly on Prajnaparamita; this one is more generic and broad-based and covers a span from Prajnaparamita to Srimala Devi; and then RGV focuses the latter, supported mostly by Yogacara works.

    Obviously, in India, centuries after An Shigao, Ratnakuta Sutra must have been so in-stock that referring to it so casually would be meaningful.

    The translation "Qualities" is more informative towards the likelihood this is about the Dharmakaya.

    So, without even reading it, we might reasonably expect "this" Manjushri Sutra resembles Lokanuvartana Sutra, even if nothing else can claim to be the sole original Sutra of Mahasamghika.







    Around the beginning of more easily-recognizable titles, there is:


    Ku Khien 223-253

    147 Vimalakirti Nirdesa, 355 Ananta Mukha Dharani, 708 Sreshthi Manjughosha Sutra...







    Then we find the independent version of something which goes in the basket:


    291 Dharmaraksa (Dharanisvararaja Sutra)


    Eventually becoming part of Mahasamnipata Sutra, it is originally within:

    Tathāgata­mahā­karuṇā­nirdeśa


    In the Chinese Tripiṭaka, it appears as Taishō 398, an independent sūtra translated by Dharmarakṣa in 291 ᴄᴇ.

    This is an earlier translation of part i, chapters 1, 2 of No. 61.


    This is remarkable because it contains the subjects Maitreya attempts to explain in RGV. It is simply referred to as "Chapter Two" here. Nothing ushers us towards any particular significance of it.








    Then we soon find one of the earliest and most important dharanis:


    Po Srimitra, 320

    309 & 310 Mahamayuri Vidyarajni





    Then there is the first unusual basket:


    61. Mahavaipulya-mahasannipata-sutra.

    Translated by Dharmaksema, of the Northern Lian dynasty, 397-439.


    It has what becomes Nagarjuna's Dharmadhatustava:


    Amoghavajra's version was called Ksitigarbha enquiring about Dharmakaya from the Mahasannipata Sutra.


    Satasahasragatha-mahasannipata-sutra (No. 61)-ksitigarbhabodhisattva-pariprccha-dharmakaya-stotra.



    which again resembles Manjushri. This is a Stotra, or song, which changes contents to become Nagarjuna's. What becomes the Dharanisvara Raja Sutra only changes titles:


    79 Tathagata mahakarunika nirdesa, earlier translation of part I, chapters 1 & 2 of 61.

    Translated by Ku Fa-hu (Dharmaraksha), 291.


    Next in Mahasamnipata, there is:


    84 Ratnatara Dharani Sutra, later translation of no. 61, part 2.


    perhaps meaning:


    3. The Jewel Maiden Sūtra



    and also as a chapter in this appears:


    The Gaganacakṣus Sūtra / Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā


    Reciprocally in this Sutra:

    Accordingly as The Lord said: “O Śāriputra, the Bodhisattva, the great being, Gaganagañja is coming here to see, praise, serve me, and attain this exposition of the dharma (dharma-paryāya), A Chapter of the Great Collection (mahāsaṃnipāta-parivarta).

    Does that mean Gaganaganja was written specifically to go in this bundle? I am not sure how else to take that. This probably is the "anchor tenant" of Mahasamnipata.




    The closest match to Maitreya's explanatory sources is from:


    Gunabhadra, 435-443


    59 Srimala-devi-simhanada (S. M.).

    154 & 155 Sandhinirmocana-sutra.

    175 Lankavatara-sutra.

    434 Angulimaliya-sutra.

    Yan-khu-mo-lo-kin

    Angulimaliya-sutra.



    which should not be confused with the Mahasamnipata translator:


    Dharmaraksa 266-313

    621 ' Angulimalya-sutra.'

    Fo-shwo-yan-kue-mo-kin.

    Sutra spoken by Buddha on Angulimalya.

    Angulimala Sutta, a completely different work included in the Majjhima Nikaya of the Pali Canon. In the neighborhood of Śrāvastī, a stūpa marked the place where Aṅgulimāla was converted. This monument was mentioned by the Chinese pilgrims Fa hien and Hiuan-tsang.




    Maharatnakuta also has some good things, but is considerably later:


    23, Maharatnakuta, arr. Bodhiruci II in 713, 49 Sutras


    Bodhiruci translated some of the texts, and included others which had been previously translated.

    According to the Nikāyasaṅgraha (a Theravādin text), the Ratnakūṭa Sūtra was composed by the "Andhakas", meaning the Mahāsāṃghika Caitika schools of the Āndhra region.

    The collection may have developed from a "Bodhisattva pitaka" attributed to some of the early Mahayana schools. Pagel's Bodhisattva Pitaka thesis refers to Maharatnakuta quite heavily.


    Well, an old Theravadin text is not likely to refer to a post-700 Chinese collection. They are more likely talking about the similarly-named text with An Shigao. They did not say "Maha" which seems to mean the name of the extensive version.


    Nancy Schuster found an evolution in Mahasanghika Ratnakuta Sutras about Changing the Female Body. I would say yes, when you are somewhat familiar with the contents of these things, that appears as something noticeable here.


    This collection includes:

    12. Phu-sa-tsan-hwui.

    ' That (spoken at) an assembly on the Bodhisattva-pitaka.' Bodhisattva-pitaka.

    First translation by Xuanzang, 645, 12 chapters.

    48. Śrīmālā-devī-siṁhanāda



    1234 Maharatnakuta Sutra Sastra

    Commentary on the 43rd Sutra (Kasyapa Parivarta) of no. 23, tr. Bodhiruci.


    84000 partial Ratnakuta translation.

    Additional Lapis Lazuli translations, e. g. Gangottara Upasika.


    And so this does seem specifically crafted and arranged. It has various women's Sutras leading up to one of the most potent Tathagatagarbha Sutras. However it no longer represents anything new. Although it might be the only "class" that represents "Chinese intent". In the case of the first Bodhiruci, alterations are evident for this purpose, as with Dharmadhatustava. Our understanding is these maneuvers serve an "orthodox Yogacara" purpose against Ratnamati, who translated RGV. Then a hundred years after them, Xuanzang for example is not satisfied with the disarray of teachings in China.


    Allright. We won't dispute that everyone expects their Mahayana is coming through the same Nagarjuna. We are just going to presume that his main influence might have been these early Manjushri Sutras. Then I am not even sure that any individual is considered to be particularly influential during a time of authorless Sutras. Finally Asanga takes all these resources and even understands them, but laments the absence of a particularly powerful yoga training.



    If for the time being we remain oblivious to the major Sutras, then the identifying features get down to just:


    291 Dharmaraksa, Tathagata Mahakarunika Nirdesa or Dharanisvararaja Sutra, Maitreya's subjects

    320 Po Srimitra, Mahamayuri Vidyarajni Sutra

    440 Gunabhadra, Angulimaliya Sutra and Maitreya's explanations



    Gunabhadra is the only one who resembles those things he used. So again that would have the sense of consciously packed together for a reason. Many of these piles of material seem to be an assortment from Theravada and Sarvastivada up through I am not sure what. And, he is the only one with this very unique kind of Sutra; from the Zen site:


    ...the origins of Mahayana Buddhism and the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra are entwined.

    ...these texts were first circulated in South India and they then gradually propagated up to the northwest, with Kashmir being the other major center. The Aṅgulimālīya Sūtra gives a more detailed account by mentioning the points of distribution as including South India, the Vindhya Range, Bharuch, and Kashmir.


    From a Nepalese description of Angulimaliya Sutra:


    The Angulimaliya Sutra provides a detailed account by mentioning the points of distribution as including southern India, Bharukaccha, and Kashmir.

    This compilation was done in the Mahasamghika environment. Later in the 6th century CE, Paramartha mentioned that the Mahasamghikas deeply respect the Angulimaliya Sutra which teaches the Tathagatagarbha.

    ...the Angulimaliya Sutra shares with the Mahaparinirvana Mahasutra group Tathagatagarbha buddha nature preached as explicitly connected with Atma-dhatu and concealed by defilements, the eternity of the Tathagata, the secret teachings, the promotion of faith toward the teaching of tathagatagarbha, and concern with the worst sinners, including the icchantika.

    The sutra is most insistent that the Tathagatagarbha and the self, both are real. The sutra denies their existence is to lapse into a state of dangerous spiritual imbalance. Thus, to seek out the Tathagatagarbha is deemed of great value.



    To "seek" it is to do the meditation that is being taught.

    Here, Buddha is explaining this to Manjushri.


    ...people who discern the presence of the dhatu think to themselves that they shall become a Buddha. They, therefore, maintain the moral discipline and engage in the holy life. The Buddha further adds that if there were no dhatu, the holy life would have been pointless.

    He teaches the Dharma and for its doctrine that at heart of all beings are in one unifying principle- the buddha-dhatu or Tathagatagarbha.


    This text that went to China in a strategic package, was, so to speak, "verified" by a pilgrim a hundred years afterward.


    In the meantime, the same package was used by Maitreya to explain even older things.

    It claims to have painted a broad stripe across India, without Kerala or Bengal. That sounds reliable.


    If you were in China, would you have gotten a clue about this? Not hardly.


    They attribute ten works to Maitreya, none of which match what we know of, except Madhyantavibhaga in 661.

    However, they start around 414-431, e. g. Bodhisattvacharyanirdesa. We would question that, because it sounds too much like other things, which, I am not sure we should call them hoaxes, but, attempts to use trust in a tradition for one's own purposes.


    Some of those attributions turn out to be sections of Bodhisattva Bhumi. RGV does not have his name attached, and then there is a strange gap and the rest of his translations are done from 557 all the way up to 1000, and of course a few of those are probably not real either.

    They have a dozen Asanga works starting in a timely manner at 531.

    Suddenly there are three dozen Vasubandhu works, minus two "Vasu" titles from the 400s:

    Sata Sastra (commentary on Aryadeva), 404

    Bodhicittotpadana Sastra, 405


    Does this go round in a pattern of ghost writing?


    Asvaghosha -- Sutralankara Sastra, 405

    Nagarjuna, Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra Sastra, 402-405


    Some of that was with Kumarajiva, who was essentially released from imprisonment since 383 into translating around 401. He was a Mahayana convert, but nothing says he was especially trained in anything. This also makes it sound like he was given material to work on. He creates biographies of Asvaghosha, Nagarjuna, Aryadeva. This is an odd situation.

    In turn, he was probably the most influential factor for a while, and then if we asked about Yogacara, we would get twenty Vasubandhus. There is quite a bit over the late 500s.


    Sanghavarman III "became a disciple" of Gunabhadra when he got to China and translated from 506-520, the Bodhisattva Pitaka Sutra 1103, as well as Mayuri and Anantamukha Dharanis. Chaudhuri shows something similar to a lineage, placing Gunabhadra after Sanghavarman II (who started the Chinese nuns with a migration from Sri Lanka) and before a nobleman.


    Otherwise there is nothing resembling Five Maitreya Books in this catalog. He is said to speak a lot of parts that go in Bodhisattva Bhumi, but these do not come as a set. This of course is contradictory if he is the pre-eminent authority on Yogacara.

    The Gelug belief is that they take Aksayamati Nirdesa Sutra as the highest authority, and take the weird Candrakirtian thing because of that.

    What is more convincing is that Vimalakirti Nirdesa is used in the 700s as the portal for tantras. And they have been sitting on it in Potala as if to detach the fact.

    Maitreya is using something that is Dharani-based by explanations that were in its future. That sensibly represents the growth of language. Ananta Mukha is a significant example of this system.


    Part of the argument that seems to go on is right in language and words. This need not be any source of confusion. The difference is like this. We can say it is "knowledge" by putting into words that a hot stove burns, but, in Yogacara, the Knower and the Known is putting your hand on the stove.


    It appears that Dharani was a practice, not necessarily before visualization, but before mandalas.

    I believe it is the case that Amoghavajra's Mayuri has an extra fascicle because of the Mandala Vidhi which was not part of the original. If we ignore this and ask it about Maitreya, it will give us a definite picture of the Seven Buddhas and then Maitreya:



    Namo Buddhaya. Namo Dharmaya. Namo Sanghaya.

    Homage to the Seven Buddhas, the perfect enlightened ones. Homage to Maitreya and all bodhisattva mahasattvas. Homage to pratyekabuddhas and sravakas, disciples who are on the path of the four accesses and four fruitions...


    namah sarva buddhanam svaha / pratyeka buddhanam svaha / arhatanam svaha / maitreya bodhisatvasya svaha / sarva bodhisatvanam svaha / anagaminam svaha / sakrdagaminam svaha / srotapannanam svaha / samyaggatanam svaha /


    Ananda, Maitreya also rejoiced in expounding this Mahamayuri Vidyarajni Dharani, saying:

    tadyatha / siri siri siri / bhadre / jyoti jyoti jyoti / bhadre / hare hare hare / harini harini / danti sabari sive sulapanini / bodhi bodhi bodhi bodhi bodhi bodhi / bodhisatve / bodhiparipacaniye svaha


    At the end, he is invoking the Ripening of Bodhi.

    So, at a remarkably early date, this Mayuri also has come from south India, and has Ekajati in it. And she is in Guhyasamaja Tantra. All the books say that Ekajati is from Tibet because of the word "Bhotia" used by Nagarjuna II quite some time after this.

    Mayuri is probably from the Vindhya Range that Angulimaliya Sutra has claimed. Ekajati is described as "at the coast", probably similar to Lankesvari--who is also mentioned at the beginning of a Pancha Raksha found in the old Gandharan trove.

    Mayuri has her own practice, is an attendant of Tara, and is often the chief of the Pancha Raksha in Nepal.

    At the time of Maitreya, it had already been taught that he used her practice.

    As himself, he has numerous Inquiries and Sutra appearances. There is nothing in Yogacara that makes up the Maitreya character. However he does have the important Eighth Chapter of Samdhinirmocana Sutra. This has an Asanga commentary, and then Jnanagarbha comments only this Eighth Chapter.


    Maitreya is grotesquely mis-represented. There is not much we can do about the use of the title "Uttaratantra", which is a genre of literature, "continued explanation". What he calls a "continuum" is "sanatana", it is in the book. Mahayana Continued Explanation. That makes something like a series, Asanga--"Mahayana Basket", and Maitreya--"Mahayana Sutra Ornament" and "Mahayana Continued Explanation".

    The reason for not using the real title, Ratna Gotra Vibhaga? Is it too abrupt? It certainly does not say "all beings have Buddha Nature", in fact it does not use this phrase. Rather, it says some beings are effectively soulless. It is a persuasion to enter the Bodhisattva Gotra. Something is better than nothing. There are "84,000 teachings" due to various temperaments of beings, and various things might be effective in getting their attention. If it turns out to be a Hinayana path, that is better than nothing. Most of these Sutra baskets come with a considerable array of Hinayana as well as "Mahayana Sutras" that are a bit like Aesop's Fables, something that happened during the fifty years of Buddha's enlightened preaching, that generally do not teach much doctrine, but do have moral values. Each such basket narrows down or seems to focus on something a little more esoteric, up to the very deep and profound points.


    Srimala Devi appears to be the crux for Gunabhadra, it is mentioned in Mahayana Sutralamkara, it is the crux of RGV, and it probably is again the crux of Maharatnakuta. And it is nowhere near as complex as Prajnaparamita. It may not quite be original, since its view on Tathagatagarbha may well be borrowed from other Sutras. However, it is a slick message. This is a completely different teaching from "you must personally meet a living Buddha". It says even girls can do this! And you will get more mileage by reading and processing Mahayana Sutras than other ways. This is the context in which it is quoted a single time in MSA XI, Investigating the Dharma:


    Quote Because they delight in Nirvana, they both are considered slow to progress,
    since their perfect enlightenment is long delayed. Too frequently they indulge their
    habitual disciple's attitude, (always) associated with revulsion (for life).

    59. Not having accomplished her purpose, and born in a time
    without a buddha, she strives to achieve the contemplations, longing to become an emanation (buddha). Relying upon that, she attains supreme enlightenment.

    The non-dispassionate one who has seen the truth has not accomplished her
    purpose, having more to learn. Being born in a time when there is no buddha, she
    strives for the sake of contemplation, longing to become an emanation (buddha).

    Vasubandhu then quotes a passage which is not found in any known version of Srimala Devi. Notice his actual comment is not much more than a repetition of the verse. The passage is a criticism of Anangamins, those who have transcended Kama Loka. Again we see that the uninspired withdrawal to Nirvana is not considered equal to Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi.

    That is a guess because we don't know what they are translating.


    In this case at least the chapter number corresponds. Bagchi 1970 gives the Sanskrit MSA said to be "by Asanga with its Svavrtti". In 2000 he did it again with only the title "Mahayanasutralamkara", but that one also has Vasubandhu's commentary. In either one, the verse is the same:



    so 'kṛtārtho hyabuddhe ca jāto dhyānārthamudyataḥ|

    nirmāṇārthī tadāśritya parāṃ bodhimavāpnute||59||



    So I was a bit off, "Param" is probably best translated as "Supreme" as they have done, and then Bodhi. At this point in time, the term "Sambhogakaya" was not in use, so by saying "Nirmana" would again be closer to the meaning of Manifest Buddha than simply to Nirvana.

    Most historical calculations of early Buddhism are way off, since in several cases the presumed authors are too disputable.

    What is more accurate in the inter-textual sense is that Lokanuvartana Sutra <--> Mahasamghika corresponds to Angulimaliya Sutra <--> Gunabhadra/Maitreya and continued awareness of Mahasamgika for at least a century after that. The material in this domain is the "Continued Explanation" of MSA which is closer to Prajnaparamita, i. e. appears to begin with.

    I am not sure why anyone would really need a "teacher" for it, because it is just a Sastra based on Sutras. Yogacara terminology such as the Three Natures begins in Samdhinirmocana Sutra, which is probably not quite as old as Nagarjuna, and culminates in Lankavatara Sutra, which was new enough to Gunabhadra that he does not have its final form. So to study the RGV yes it has multiple sources, out of three hundred or who knows how many there might have been. In part, it relies on other Maitreya and Asanga texts. The sadhana system they had is not all that advanced, and will come out like the tantric Vajrosnisa or Dhyanottara. But the main subject, Suchness, comes from the earliest Sutras, through this, into Mahamudra. It is the translation of "Tathata", which is what a Tathagata is "gone to", gone to Suchness. Much as if someone may have had this experience, and been able to say it "is" something, but unable how to describe it to anyone else as a yoga process.


    Ratnamati translated RGV before any of the related Asanga material showed up. This was almost all he did. His rival, Bodhiruci, did thirty, which include a Ratnakuta Sutra Sastra, but evidently nothing starting from Asanga, or Tathagatagarbha Sutras. It mentions something from the Bodhisattva Deva using Lankavatara Sutra to refute Hinayana, but that could not really be original Aryadeva. The next translator after him, Buddhasanta, has Mahayana Samgraha, without Vasubandhu. Soon Paramartha gets versions that have this. We rarely know the manner of transmission or who had these texts where. But then there is someone like Paramartha with things he clearly "brought", including possible distortions on Asvaghosha and Vasubandhu.

    Asanga and Maitreya were almost certainly between Gunabhadra and Ratnamati, ca. 450-500.

    That is the reason for using RGV as a sub-system, it can be linked to many of its sources and meanings, without whatever has happened to it. That should be the next post.

    It seems to me that HPB probably relied on a Chinese system too much. Those can give you the idea that Alaya Vijnana is "Big Mind", which does not seem to be in the original. It may be "subconscious", but, nothing in Buddhism that I am aware of, re-ifies this into anything like "one subconscious for everybody". From what I have seen, the idea is simply to remove it, which is what meditation as described by Asanga and Maitreya attempts to do.


    What is probably uncomfortable to Buddhists is that the "next closest thing" in Yogacara would be the Puranas and similar Brahmanical sources. Asanga is like Asvaghosha, they should both be considered highly educated Sanskritists. India also was quite connected with Greece and Rome in Asanga's time. King Kaniska was much more eclectic than he was Buddhist, seen in another light you might think he was Zoroastrian or something. But he at least knew about Maitreya. And since there were Sutras and meditations on him for centuries, why would anyone believe that Asanga had gone to Heaven in order to access a certain explanation?

    Vasubandhu was highly resistant to the idea.

    It makes more sense as something magical or divine acquired gnosticly.

    Without giving any pre-conceived conclusion about the origin of Yogacara, by emphasizing its relevance to practice, H. H. Karmapa says:


    Next, two texts are included in the Tibetan canon, but not in the Chinese. The first is The Ornament of Clear Realization, studied while learning about Prajnaparamita. The second is Distinguishing the Family of the Jewels, also called The Sublime Continuum or Ratnagotravibhāga. The Karmapa mentioned that he would talk about this text after the teachings on the Mind Only, but it would take a few years before he was able to do this.



    However its presence arose in Theosophical circles for quite some time; David Reigle, drawing from Dolpopa, says that after Nagarjuna and Prajnaparamita philosophy removing the false:


    ...one must also address the error of refutation of real existence in regard to that which has real existence. This, say the Great Madhyamikas, is done primarily in the Tathagata-garbha sutras of the third promulgation and their synthesis in the Ratna-gotra-vibhaga of Maitreya, and also in the hymns of Nagarjuna. They do this by teaching the real though inconceivable existence of the dhatu or element, both when obscured as the Tathagata-garbha, and when unobscured as the dharma-kaya. They teach that the dhatu is not empty of svabhava, that its svabhava is threefold, consisting of:

    the dharma-kaya, "body of the law;" tathata, "suchness" or "true nature;" and gotra, "germ" or "lineage." This is its truly existent absolute svabhava established in reality.


    As "hymns", he probably means Dharmadhatustava as "more important" than the others, however it admits to their relevance. So i. e., Niraupamyastava was in existence at the time of Maitreya as itself. He describes Nagarjuna's treatises to be about cutting off Parikalpita or Imaginary Nature, whereas this "new class" of Sutras is revelatory:


    ...shunyata and svabhava are normally found
    together in Buddhist texts. Vasubandhu quotes in his commentary
    at the beginning of Maitreya's Madhyanta-vibhaga a classic
    definition of shunyata, as something that exists, and not just
    the emptiness of everything including itself:

    > Thus, 'where something does not exist, that [place] is empty
    > (shunya) of that [thing];' [seeing] in this way, one sees in
    > reality. Again, 'what remains here, that, being here, exists;'
    > [knowing] in this way, one knows in reality. In this way, the
    > unmistaken definition of shunyata arises.

    [Madhyanta-vibhaga-bhasya, 1.1 in G. Nagao ed.; or 1.2 in R.
    Pandeya ed.: evam yad yatra nasti tat tena shunyam iti
    yatha-bhutam samanupashyati yat punar atravashistam bhavati tat
    sad ihastiti yatha-bhutam prajanatity aviparitam
    shunyata-laksanam udbhavitam bhavati. This is also quoted in
    Asanga's Ratna-gotra-vibhaga-vyakhya on 1.155; in Asanga's
    Abhidharma-samuccaya; and in Asanga's Bodhisattva-bhumi.]


    As in Chart IV, Sunya and Nihsunya. This is a compelling shift in Asanga's writings. To be Empty of something, there must be something else which is Empty of it. He is not really arguing about the possible veracity of the subject, as much as it is a lynchpin of how his system works.



    More evidence towards a "late" Asanga is from Gupta history. In this era:

    It is known that from Chinese sources that the Simhala king Meghavarna sent rich presents to the Gupta king requesting his permission to build a Buddhist monastery at Bodh Gaya.

    Sanchi remained an important centre of Buddhism. Kumaragupta I (455 CE) is said to have founded Nalanda.

    Narasimhagupta Baladitya (c. 495–?), according to contemporary writer Paramartha, was brought up under the influence of the Mahayanist philosopher, Vasubandhu.

    The Indian numerals which were the first positional base 10 numeral systems in the world originated from Gupta India. The names of the seven days in a week appeared at the start of the Gupta period based on Hindu deities and planets corresponding to the Roman names.

    But around the 480s, Alchon Huns repetitively attacked the northwest and disrupted the Roman trade. These invasions, although only spanning a few decades, had long term effects on India, and in a sense brought an end to Classical Indian civilisation. Indian urban culture was left in decline, and Buddhism, gravely weakened by the destruction of monasteries and the killing of monks by the hand of the vehemently anti-Buddhist Shaivist Mihirakula, started to collapse. Great centres of learning were destroyed, such as the city of Taxila, bringing cultural regression.


    That has something to do with why the "system of Maitreya" remained somewhat localized; in a sense, it was being destroyed while it was being created. Dolpopa was somewhat of a revivalist. In the past, I have been heavily influenced by him and Taranatha, but neither one is necessarily more accurate than for example Paramartha or Kumarajiva. We probably need to be using "inter-textuality" as more of a guide than "personalities". It tells us much more to look at why Gunabhadra has very close to the same Yogacara materials and then Ratnamati shows up with RGV considerably earlier than any other Maitreya books, almost incognito, but clearly on an opposing side from Bodhiruci.


    With respect to the move Sthiramati seems to have made:


    The Maitrakas: Most probably the Maitrakas were Iranian in origin and ruled in Saurashtra region of Gujarat with Valabhi as capital. Valabhi became centre of learning, culture and trade and commerce under the guidance of Bhatarka. It survived the longest Arab attacks [ca. 750-780].


    And if Nagarjuna was influential to the Satavahanas:


    Vakatakas were successors of the Satavahanas in the Deccan and contemporary of the Guptas in northern India.

    The founder of the dynasty was Vindhyasakti (250AD-270AD), whose name is derived from the name of the goddess Vindhya after whom the mountains were named.


    V.V. Mirashi points out that the earliest mention of the name Vakataka occurs in an inscription found on a fragment of a pillar at Amravati which records the gift of a Grihapati (householder) Vakataka and his two wives.

    The rock-cut Buddhist viharas and chaityas of Ajanta Caves (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) were built under the patronage of Vakataka emperor, Harishena (ca. 475-500).
    .

    One or two generations later...no one is sure what happened to them.

    At first, we could say, for Buddhism, there was a Big Road across India, more or less from Amaravati to Kashmir. Then shortly after Asanga's time, a lot of that falls victim to something, and instead, east India is opened under the Palas, e. g. Bengal and Assam. Most Indian kings seem to have at least been tolerant towards Buddhism, but for example Hunnic and Arab conquest worked otherwise. After this it seems inseparable from the Pala Dynasty.


    Kimura at Calcutta 1927 on Preface p. X is willing to say that Mahasamghika is the basis for Nagarjuna, Maitreya, Asanga, the "Mahayana professors". It is ironic because he uses mostly works that we just called spurious, to trace this same concept, saying that "Vimala Citta Svabhava" of Mahasamghika is what became the "positive" aspect of Mahayana, and that Nagarjuna teaches the same.

    He has the Mahavastu quote with "lokanuvartana".

    Then it goes to more commonly-known things, Lotus Sutra, Avatamsaka, etc., so it is similar but less direct than what we are going to do. I am not sure if I will re-compile other posts or link to them, because as I have found these things out, it has usually come from some strange twist, and so there isn't order or organization in many of the posts. But we can make something like an RGV and Yogacara table with reference links where appropriate.


    There was a practice in the first Chinese Bikkhunis:


    ...at Song capital city and the bhikkhunis resided at Jing-Fu temple.

    During the eighteenth year of the reign of emperor Yuan-Jia [441], at age 34, once she meditated for several days. The Karmadana deliberately touched her and announced that she was dead. He was shocked and informed the temple administrators. They investigated her together. Ven. Guo’s body was cold but her muscles were still firm. However, her breath started to move slightly. As soon as they began to move her body she opened her eyes, smiled and talked as usual. Therefore, the people with little faith were surprised and became devoted to her. There is no record about her later life.


    With such an experience, or Gampo, or myself, without more information, we cannot tell if is really a Mahayana meditation, or the best or most effective way to do it. And that probably is the main point of Asanga and Maitreya. Not to invent it, but to retrieve a more efficient vision. The experience above is not in the major Song Dynasty, but in Liu Song:


    All six dynasties had their seats in Jiankang 建康 or Jianye 建業 (modern Nanjing 南京, Jiangsu), yet with an interruption between 280 and 316, when the Western Jin dynasty 西晉 (265-316) ruled over the whole of China from Luoyang 洛陽 (modern Luoyang, Henan).



    ...the Yungang Grottoes, in Shanxi...


    Part of the "Southern Six Dynasties", period of turmoil with many smaller petty states. But what does begin here is the use of Caves:

    Qixiashan caves, commonly known as the Qianfoya...by far the earliest...



    The Buddhist rock-cut cave temple is one of the major architectural forms developed by early Buddhist practitioners. Cave temples were intended for such functions as meditation and initiation, along with the display of images for veneration. Usually located in remote mountainous regions, cave sites offered practitioners peaceful environments suitable for spiritual endeavors. At the same time, such caves were also generally accessible to major trade routes, thus fostering access and patronage. Throughout history, these caves have served as focal points of Buddhist pilgrimage and have stood as vivid testimony to the flourishing of Dharma--Buddhist law and teachings.


    We might think the same of Bihar. Many of these early translators were from "Saketa", which is probably Ayodhya. We saw that Bodh Gaya was not continuously in use, and that Nalanda was relatively minor until, probably, Vasubandhu expanded it. However, it has several important cave sites, there is one near Sitabani, and Pratisara is Vipula Mountain Devi, and a few others not used just by Buddha, but also by Historic Buddhas. So there isn't much question if there was this yoga culture and a Mahayana scriptural basket, in the midst of internationally-organized classical Indian civilization. There is some kind of difficulty with why Maitreya's Sastras are so diffuse. In a reverse manner, by using RGV like a crystal seed, things efficiently fall into place.

    I do not think it says a person must be converted into a Hinayana order, study eighteen or more varieties of this and four other doctrines of Mahayana and a few further issues. By using the title "Ratna" it means "Jewel", but also something similar to "precious" like the Tibetan Rinpoche. This means "fitting candidates", i. e. those who have inner motive to participate in the Gotra. It is more for those who themselves are asking for it.

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