Class Notes (836,148)
Canada (509,657)
RELG 1681 (13)
Lecture

Quest for Enlightenment 13.docx

3 Pages
106 Views
Unlock Document

Department
Religious Studies
Course
RELG 1681
Professor
Sam Borsman
Semester
Fall

Description
Vajrayana Buddhism  the "vajra" vehicle- like a diamond, cuts through anything, particularly delusions  often called "Tibetan Buddhism" in the West (however, present in many Himalayan regions- Bhutan, Mongolia, Nepal...)  doesn't replace Mahayana texts, beliefs, and practices, but claims to add practices that enable one to become a Buddha in a relatively short period of time o teachings found in the Tantras, claimed to be the highest teachings of the Buddha  Tantric texts appear in India c. 7th century CE o associated with spiritual adepts (siddha) who lived on the margins in society o the siddhas often practiced in cremation grounds and engaged in practices shocking to Brahmanical norms  ritual use of alcohol and sex, ingesting of "forbidden" substances  regarded as skillful means (upaya) to enable people to realize the emptiness of ordinary concepts o influenced by Shaiva tantra, borrows a lot of its imagery and ritual practice- ie mantra, mandala, mudra o differ from sutras primarily in method:  symbols, practices, and teachings thought to be more powerful than Mahayana o underlying philosophy of tantras:  all human emotions (even negative ones) are to be used in order to achieve Awakening  by using the energy of these emotions, they are transformed and purified (ie. one uses desire in order to transcend desire)  various tantric practices purify and transform body, speech, and mind into the body, speech, and mind of a Buddha o from the Hevajra Tantra: The Buddha said: "You should kill all living beings, speak lying words, take things that are not given, and have sex with many women." -the Buddha explains that this is symbolic of severing attachment to concepts, not to be taken literally o Buddha as the deity Hevajra in sexual union with Vajrayogini  Imagery o often depicts Buddhas and bodhisattvas in a way influenced by Hindu Tantra and by the Shamanic, pre-Buddhist traditions of the Himalayas o "Peaceful" deities symbolic of compassion, wisdom, etc o "Wrathful" deities symbolic of negative emotions that have been purified and transformed through tantric practice o Buddhas in sexual union (yab-yum) with a consort, symbolizing union of wisdom and compassion o Green Tara, a compassionate manifestation of Avalokiteshvara bodhisattva o Tibetan wrathful deity Mahakala o in some Tantras, the wrathful form of Vajrayogini is called the "essence of all Buddhas" o many of the wrathful deities have their roots in Himalayan shamanism and Hinduism o Mandala (Skt, meaning "circle")- is a circular diagram that often depicts a Buddha or Bodhisattva in the center, surrounded by other symbols or deities o symbolic of the true nature of reality, and of the awakened mind o often visualized in order to transform ordinary, deluded consciousness into the awakened consciousness that the mandala represents  Practices o many tantric teachings are secret ("esoteric") and in coded, symbolic language  a teacher (Skt.guru, Tbt. lama) is needed and one must first receive initiation from the guru/lama o before higher tantric teachings are practiced, the guru often assigns preliminary practices to the student, each of which is done 100,000 times  1. taking refuge (in Dharma, Buddha, Sangha)  2. prostration (full body bow to a religious symbol)  3. visualization and mantra recitation of Vajrasattva Buddha  4. mandala-offering (offering a real or visualized mandala to the Buddha, bodhisattvas)  5. guru-yoga (visualizing one's guru as the Buddha) o Deity Yoga (seen by some as central to Vajrayana)
More Less

Related notes for RELG 1681

Log In


OR

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


OR

By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.


Submit