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Kashmir Shaivism and Dzogchen

Kashmir Shaivism and Dzogchen

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Published by Vishnu Arya
interestingly, here this guy talks about Bhagwad-Gita in tibet around 900 ad, and that copy of bhagwadgita was thrown by a Lama...
interestingly, here this guy talks about Bhagwad-Gita in tibet around 900 ad, and that copy of bhagwadgita was thrown by a Lama...

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Published by: Vishnu Arya on Mar 02, 2013
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By Sri Kamakoti Mandali on Feb 18, 2013 | In Darshana 
- John Myrdhin Reynolds The title of the Tantra, the Sanskrit original for
 Byang-chub kyi sems kun-byed rgyal-po
, is given as
.Bodhichitta, as we have repeatedly said, in the context of Dzogchen means the Primordial State, and this is the usualdesignation found in all of the
rDzogschen Sems-sde
Tantras.But the term
is otherwise unknown in Sanskrit.Dargyay would link it to the form
found in certaintexts of the Kashmiri Shaiva tradition.
has a wide range of meaning in this system, including reference to themanifestations of the Absolute. The term is also found inanother related system particularly connected with Kali worship. The latter is known as Kaula and its practice asKaulachara. The Kaulas of Bengal have a ninefold system of classification of their levels of teaching that is reminiscent of the nine vehicles (
theg-pa dgu
) of the Nyingmapas and theBonpos. It is possible that
was adopted from a Shaivitecontext, but this is not a sufficient reason to assume that theterm has the same meaning in the Buddhist system that it doesin a theistic Shaiva text. The appellation
is applied both to the Buddha in the Buddhist system and to Krishna and Vishnu in the Vaishnava system, but this does not mean that itsmeaning is understood in the same way in Buddhism and in Vaishnavism. The Bhagavad Gita was once translated intoTibetan, and from this we learn that
, as a title of Krishna, is translated as
, whereas when it is appliedto Buddha, it is translated as
. It is said that when the famous translator Rinchen Zangpo (958-1055) foundthis Tibetan translation of the Bhagavad Gita in Western Tibetand read its opening chapters, he was so horrified that he threw the entire text into the river. So now, except for a few sample verses which have been preserved, the rest of the translationhas been lost. Such was the new puritanism of the eleventhcentury!
In the canonical
will be found translations of otherShaiva texts relating to dreams, omens, and so forth, and alarge Shaiva text dealing with astrology, the Svarodaya Tantra(
dByangs’ char
), but these are considered to be texts dealing with secular sciences, rather than the innermost science of spiritual liberation. Whether the Tantra we have here can beshown to have any relationship to Kashmiri Shaivism otherthan this mysterious term
must await a comprehensivestudy of the entire text.Shaivism is indeed an ancient religious movement in India. Of unknown, but of undoubtedly pre Indo-European origin, thegod Shiva came in later times to be identified with the Vedicdeity Rudra. One of the principal early Upanishads, theShvetopanishad, with its notion of Ishvara or the Lord, appearsto have links with Shaiva tradition. The oldest sectarian Shaivatexts, known as the Shaivagamas, deal with the cult practices of the god Shiva. The earliest systematic philosophical statementof the Shaiva system is represented by the Pashupata Sutras,associated with the name of the sage Lakulisha. The mostpopular and widespread system of Shaiva philosophy, theShaiva Siddhanta, came to South India in the sixth or seventhcentury CE, where it became the major rival of the earlierBuddhism and Jainism. North Indian texts summarizing themore unsystematic Agamas were translated into the Tamillanguage, like the famous Tirumanthiram of Tirumular. All of these forms of Shaiva philosophy were pluralistic, postulatingthe ultimate reality of three principles: pati, pashu and pasha,that is, God, individual souls and bondage to the cycle of deathand rebirth. Where as these earlier forms of Agamic Shaivism, likePashupata and Siddhanta, are distinctly dualistic and theistic incharacter, Kashmiri Shaivism has a thoroughgoing monistic oradvaita view. This monistic standpoint is shared with the Advaita Vedanta of Shankaracharya and with the Shakta systemof Bengal. However, a key difference does exist here. The view adhered to by the Advaita Vedanta is known as Mayavada, thatis to say, the appearance of diversity in the world is merely an

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