Download Approaching the Great Perfection: Simultaneous and Gradual by Sam Van Schaik PDF

By Sam Van Schaik

From Wisdom's acclaimed stories in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism sequence, researcher and pupil Sam van Schaik introduces the Nyingma culture of Tibetan Buddhism, taking a look heavily at its perform of Dzogchen—and one among Dzogchen's seminal figures, Jigme Lingpa—to make an in depth research of a center pressure inside of Buddhism: does enlightenment improve progressively, or does it come all of sudden?

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Extra info for Approaching the Great Perfection: Simultaneous and Gradual Methods of Dzogchen Practice in the Longchen Nyingtig (Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism)

Sample text

He then emphasized the liberating effect on him of his full insight into and appropriate responses to these realities, such that he was now a Buddha. As a result of this instruction, one member of Gotama’s audience, Kondañña (Skt Kaundinya), gained experiential insight into the four ˙ ˙ Realities, so that˙ ˙Gotama joyfully affirmed his understanding. This True insight is described as the gaining of the stainless ‘Dhamma-eye’, by which Kondañña ‘sees’, ‘attains’ and ‘plunges into’ the Dhamma, free from all ˙ ˙ in the Buddha’s teachings.

The details of these are in general agreement, but while they must clearly be based around historical facts, they also contain legendary and mythological embellishments, and it is often not possible to sort out one from the other. While the bare historical basis of the traditional biography will never be known, as it stands it gives a great insight into Buddhism by enabling us to see what the meaning of the Buddha’s life is to Buddhists: what lessons it is held to contain. The traditional biography does not begin with Gotama’s birth, but with what went before it, in his many lives as a Bodhisatta, a being (Pali satta) who is dedicated to attaining bodhi: ‘enlightenment’, ‘awakening’, buddhahood.

The free-will of the Jīva is emphasized, though even actions such as unintentionally killing an insect are held to generate karma. 3 A group of Samanas that rivalled the Buddhists and Jains in their early centuries was that ˙of the Ājīvikas (Basham, 1981). Their founder was Makkhali Gosāla (Skt Maskarin Gośāla), but according to the Pali tradition they also drew on ideas from Pūrana Kassapa (Skt Purna Kāśyapa) and ˙ ˙ doctrine was Pakuddha Kaccāyana (Skt Kakuda Kātyāyana). Gosāla’s key that niyati, or impersonal ‘destiny’, governed all, such that humans had no ability to affect their future lives by their karma: actions were not freely done, but were determined by niyati.

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