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Tantra and Invocation

To: alt.magick,alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan
From: drm3p@darwin.clas.Virginia.EDU (drm-a student)
Subject: Re: Tantra and Invocation
Date: Sat, 28 Oct 1995 00:53:52 GMT

mbd3r@Virginia.EDU (Marcus Bughman Dovey) writes:

> I am currently searching for literature with detailed analyses of ritual 
> invocation in an attempt to find specific similarities with the Tibetan 
> Tantric practice of Diety Yoga.

	Marcus, like me, is probably proud that our University boasts
just about the best Tibetan Studies dept. in the West here,
over in Cocke Hall.  Including lots of lamas.  Please let us
know what they have to say about the issue of Tibetan Tantra
and ritual magic.

As I understand it:

  Deity Yoga by definition requires empowerment and initiation
from a guru in an authentic lineage.  Such empowerments entail
binding commitments to your guru and lineage: effectively, you
are a vessel of the tantric teachings, and your samaya, or bond,
ensures that they don't turn to poison (some of those poisons
can be quite intoxicating for a long time) by stealing them,
perverting them, or even contaminating them by wrong
associations.  Especially in the case of practices like magic--
which even an innovative teacher like Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
said was prohibited to anyone on the Bodhisattva path (see
*The Myth Of Freedom*)--it's best to check with the guru who
gave you your empowerment, as you have a permanent commitment
to him and his lineage.

	It's a matter between teacher and student, and they can
be quite forgiving of screwups, however embarassing.

> I am planning on getting Crowley's 8 Lectures on Yoga, even
> though I would guess that it deals with Indian Yoga. 

	In some works, such as Book Four, Crowley espouses an
understanding that shows he understood his own personal
experiences in terms of a structure beholden to a great
number of traditions.  It looked to me to be bereft of any
understanding of the dharma.  Check the sections on Dhyani and Samadhi,
which do not reflect any understanding of the Buddhist
transvaluation of these terms.

	Effectively, Crowley confounded Buddhism with
Yoga--failing to "see the space around yoga practice"--
(CTR's description of what the Buddha discovered).

	Power-oriented practices have to be abandoned in
many Buddhist traditions (see David Oller's thread on
*Zen and Wicca* in alt.religion.wicca); the tantric
practices within the Vajrayana--which is part of the
Mahayana, as Namdrol points out--are all founded on
the intention to benefit all sentient beings, and are
only ultimately effective within the structure laid
down by the guru.

> Crowley's book about the Tibetan Book of the Dead has also been suggetsed
> to me.

> So it would be extremely helpful if anyone could tell be about any 
> literature that may even deal directly with these two practices.

	Rituals, to be effective, require your guru's blessing,
in the Tibetan Deity Yoga tradition, as I understand it.  I've
seen practical confirmation of this, when there was a misprint
in a text, and a quite legitimate ritual--which our Rinpoche
hadn't intended we do at that point--was given to us to
practice.  Independently, and without informing each other, we
found that section didn't have any effect.


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