Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Shiwa Okar, Shenlha Okar and Akar Werma

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Email....okarresearch@gmail.com

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SHIWA OKAR......."Texts that we commonly call the Shambhala teachings stem from the visions that the Druk Sakyong, the Vidyadhara Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, had from an early age in Tibet......These visions came from the Rigden and from Shiwa Okar.....Shiwa Okar is referred to as the lha of lha.....the divine of the divine.....the ultimate principle of dharmadhatu, the most primordial reality, which we often call primordial Ashe, or the confidence of all......."..the Vidyadhara often said that he was merely writing them down...." Sakyong Mipham......Public Letter....January 23, 2005

Shiwa Okar Thangka by Greg Smith......(http://www.thangka-painter-gregsmith.com/)

Shiwa Okar, Shiwa'i odkar (Wylie: zhi ba 'od dkar)....Shenlha Okar, (alt. Shenla Odker, Shenla Odkar, Shenla Wökar, Wylie: gShen lHa 'od dkar)

VENERATE.......ven·er·ate......Veneration (Latin veneratio, Greek δουλεία, douleia), is a special act of honoring.... Philologically, to venerate derives from the Latin verb, venerare, meaning to regard with reverence and respect. Veneration of saints is practiced, formally or informally, by adherents of some branches of all major religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism........to regard or treat with reverence; revere.....(Latin venerātus, past participle of venerārī to solicit the goodwill of (a god), worship, revere, verbal derivative of vener-, stem of venus, presumably in its original sense “desire”; see Venus)

OFFERINGS.....In some traditions, two different types of offerings are identified:
Material or hospitality offerings (Pali: amisa-puja or sakkara-puja)... material offerings are considered external offerings of "words and deeds."
Practice offerings (Pali: patipatti-puja)....practice offerings may be manifested by practicing:
giving (Pali: dāna)
moral conduct (sīla)
meditation (samādhi)
wisdom (pañña)
In the Pali Canon, the Buddha declared practice offerings as "the best way of honoring the Buddha" and as the "supreme" offering.

"Shiwa Okar is the ninth cosmic deity described in Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche's epic The Golden Dot: The Epic of the Lha, the Annals of the Kingdom of Shambhala and is a prominent figure in his Shambhala terma."..... (http://labelingthoughts.org/wiki/Shiwa_Okar)

Shiwa Okar, Primordial Lha embodying dynamic basic goodness, is particularly relevant as a visual aid to the Werma sadhana – a meditation practice within the graduated training of Shambhala Buddhist meditation. (http://www.cmoku.com/content/shiwaOkar.htm)

'odkar...white, light, bright, sharp light, virtuous, wholesome, very white

'od ......radiance, light, splendor, luminosity, shine, brilliance, brightness, radiancy
'od - colorless, light, shine, brightness, glow, beam
'od - light; luminosity; isc. illumination/ illuminating
'od - radiance, light, splendor
'od - radiance, light, splendor, luminosity, shine, brilliance, brightness

'od dkar can - having white light...the moon, camphor
sgra 'od zer - sounds, lights, and rays
dkar cha - white essence
dkar lam - whiteness experience
dkar 'jam rtsa'i sgron-ma - the lamp of the smooth white nerve

Shenla Odker, shenla odkar, shenla wökar, wylie : gshen lha 'od dkar) or shiwa okar (wylie: zhi ba 'od dkar is the most important deity in the Bon Tradition.....Shenrab pledged to Shenla Odkar (tibetan: gshen lha 'od dkar), the god of compassion, that he would guide the peoples of this world to liberation.

Shenlha Okar is said to have created the world with the help of nine brother gods or nine cosmic gods (shrid pa 'i lha) who appear as war gods or drala (dgra bla). (See Golden Dot Text)....He is also considered a god of compassion with many parallels to Avalokiteshvara and also with Amitabha.

"Kungtuzangpo gave the teachings to Shenlha Okar who passed them to Shenrab Miwo who taught them in Zhang Zhung. (Wangyal:1993 pg 210)...

"Shenlha Wokar, the deity who is the source of the lineage of teachings of the Dzogchen (rDzogs chen), the Great Perfection, in the lands of Lha, Nyen, and Lu". (Thangka in Kvaerne: 1996..pg 63)

"The body of Shenlha Wokar is white...his ontological status is than of bonku, 'unconditioned being' or 'supreme being', corresponding to the Buddhist category of dharmakaya...His association with light suggests Manichaean influences....The colour of his body is like the essence of crystal...his ornaments, attire, and palace are adorned by crystal light..." (Paul:1982) (Hoffman:1979,pg 105) (Kvaerne:1996, pg 26)

Shiwa Okar featured in a work composed by the influential Tibetan Buddhist lama Chögyam Trungpa, particularly a long verse epic composed in Tibet called The Golden Dot: The Epic of the Lha, the Annals of the Kingdom of Shambhala, and in terma he revealed beginning in 1976. The Golden Dot was lost in Trungpa Rinpoche's flight from Tibet in 1959. As Robin Kornman, a Buddhist scholar and student of his, explained:
"Trungpa Rinpoche began to reconstruct the original text after escaping Tibet, and it is this later work to which we refer. The first chapter describes the creation of the world by nine cosmic gods (shrid pa 'i lha) who appear in the form of native Tibetan deities known as drala (dgra bla), or war gods. These gods represent primal or originary aspects of the phenomenal world. For example, one of these lha stood for all kinds of light. Glancing in many directions, this diety created all of the lights existing in the world, including the sun, the moon, the light of the planets and stars, and the inward luminosity of consciousness itself. Another represented space and the sense of direction ... In Trungpa Rinpoche's epic these were directed by a ninth lha called Shiwa Okar ... a sort of absolute principle behind creation and the nature of reality. After these nine cosmic deities have created the world, [Shiwa Okar] goes to the things they have created and invests each one with an animistic spirit, a drala"... "The Influence of the Epic of King Gesar of Ling on Chogyam Trungpa" by Robin Kornman. in Recalling Chogyam Trungpa, ed. Midal. Shambhala Publications, 2005. ISBN 1-59030-207-9 pg. 363-364

"Kornman notes that one of the "striking things" about the text is that it refers not to Indic sources but to the "creation myths found in the royal chronicles and in the Epic of Gesar of Ling" and "evoke the cosmology of native Tibetan religion, not Buddhism.". His Shambhala terma feature Shiwa Okar as a yidam, or meditational deity, with a tantric retinue of drala and werma (Wylie: wer ma)."... "The Influence of the Epic of King Gesar of Ling on Chogyam Trungpa" by Robin Kornman. in Recalling Chogyam Trungpa, ed. Midal. Shambhala Publications, 2005. ISBN 1-59030-207-9

Trungpa Rinpoche's work has antecedents in the edition of the Gesar epic prepared by Ju Mipham and ritual practices he composed in conjunction with that work. Kornman notes "Mipham made his edition of the Gesar Epic a hybrid of Buddhist and local ideas. He made sure it would be read in this manner by writing a parallel set of Gesar chants that mix religions in the same way. These ritual practices may be found in the Na chapter of his collected works. In the Bon tradition, King Gesar of Ling is sent to Tibet by Shenlha Okar, and Trungpa Rinpoche's blending of native traditions and Indian Buddhism appears to echo Mipham's."... "The Influence of the Epic of King Gesar of Ling on Chogyam Trungpa" by Robin Kornman. in Recalling Chogyam Trungpa, ed. Midal. Shambhala Publications, 2005. ISBN 1-59030-207-9

Steppe Warriors.....Mongol Tribal Chief....Naiman Warrior....Karakhitai Nobleman

Shenlha Okar ...Shenlha Odkar is translated as the "Shen deity of White Light".

Chogyam Trungpa.... Translation of the Name (1978): Shenrab Miwo
Shen = divine, heavenly,ally
Rab = Supreme One
Miwo = Great Man

light: འོད ('od)
bright: འོད་ཆེན་པོ ('od chen po)
luminous: འོད་གསལ ('od gsal)
od ma - superior, supreme, gentleman
od gsal - clear light

white: དཀར་པོ (dkar po)

god: ལྷ (lha)
goddess: ལྷ་མོ (lha mo)
Lhasa: ལྷ་ས (lha sa)

"At the first Kalapa Assembly in the fall of 1978, during one of our translation sessions with the Vidyadhara, Larry Mermelstein engaged him in an interesting discussion about the nature of the Shambhala texts he was presenting to us. When asked whether they were terma (“treasure teachings” hidden long ago to be discovered at an appropriate time in the future), he replied, “Yes, sort of.” When we asked whether we should include the terma mark to indicate terma in our translations, his response was, “Not yet; maybe later.” In fact, this did not come to pass until after his death, when Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche instructed us to include this in our future publications of these texts, and he confirmed with no hesitation that they were indeed authentic terma. When we asked the Vidyadhara whether these texts originated with Padmakara, the source of the vast majority of treasure teachings, at that time we didn’t know that other teachers also hid dharma as termas. So when Rinpoche replied that these texts were more likely from Gesar, we were understandably puzzled. But after a long pause Rinpoche added, “And of course Gesar was an emanation of Padmakara, so that should take care of things for you!” When we asked about what meaning Gesar had in terms of the Shambhala teachings, Rinpoche exclaimed: “Gesar is the vanguard of Shambhala.” (It should be noted that in other contexts, the Vidyadhara indicated that the Shambhala terma had originated with the Rigden kings, Shiwa Ökar, or Gesar of Ling.)"...http://nalandatranslation.org/projects/articles/gesar-supplication/

SHENLHA OKAR...Pictorial descriptions and information on the Tibetan deity Shenlha Okar appear in the book by Per Kvaerne, "The Bon Religion of Tibet" (Shambhala Publications, 1996)

"From the white pure light arises the deity Shenlha Okar at the center of the mandala."(Wangyal:1993 p147)...

"Kungtuzangpo gave the teachings to Shenlha Okar who passed them to Shenrab Miwo who taught them in Zhang Zhung. (Wangyal:1993 pg 210)...

"Shenlha Wokar, the deity who is the source of the lineage of teachings of the Dzogchen (rDzogs chen), the Great Perfection, in the lands of Lha, Nyen, and Lu". (Thangka in Kvaerne: 1996..pg 63)

"The body of Shenlha Wokar is white...his ontological status is than of bonku, 'unconditioned being' or 'supreme being', corresponding to the Buddhist category of dharmakaya...His association with light suggests Manichaean influences....The colour of his body is like the essence of crystal...his ornaments, attire, and palace are adorned by crystal light..." (Paul:1982) (Hoffman:1979,pg 105) (Kvaerne:1996, pg 26)

SHENRAB...."his origins are said to be in Iran-Elam and his name is given as Mithra. The Tibetan word Tsug-Pu (gtsug.phud) meaning 'crown of the head' approximates the actual word Mithra." Campbell, June...."Traveller in Space".....New York:1996...pg 37

Trungpa Rinpoche incorporated elements from numerous traditions into the Shambhala Path that he thought would be beneficial to practitioners. Similar elements in the Bön religion, Shenlha Okar, Nine Brothers Who Created Existence, Werma, Dralha and Lhasang are of interest. From Confucianism comes a framework of heaven, earth, and man for understanding the proper relationship between different elements of compositions of all kinds. From Taoism comes the use of feng shui and other incorporations. From the Shinto tradition comes the Sun Goddess and the Sacred Mirror, the Kami shrine at RMSC. From the Manichaeans, the vegetarian diet is of interest...Trungpa talked about Mithra. Was curious about Native American wisdom. Jack Niland, an early student of Chögyam Trungpa, relates the tale of Chögyam Trungpa and the I Ching - that he “used the I Ching for everything...there are hexagrams everywhere if you can see them.”

As Chögyam Trungpa says in Great Eastern Sun, The Wisdom of Shambhala, p 133: "Shambhala vision applies to people of any faith, not just people who believe in Buddhism… the Shambhala vision does not distinguish a Buddhist from a Catholic, a Protestant, a Jew, a Moslem, a Hindu. That’s why we call it the Shambhala kingdom. A kingdom should have lots of spiritual disciplines in it. That’s why we are here."

"That the Rinchen Terdzö empowerments in Orissa, India and at Yak Gompa in Tibet were bestowed by living tertöns is remarkable. It is not always the case that the recipients of the empowerments have had such good fortune. These circumstances added to the profundity of the ceremonies in India, and pointed toward other important connections between the Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Namkha Drimed Rinpoche. For example, the Vidyadhara and His Eminence shared visions of Akar Werma, the deity whom the Vidyadhara called Shiwa Ökar. Shiwa Ökar is an important figure in Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s Shambhala termas and in the New Treasures termas discovered by His Eminence."...(http://www.holybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Great-River-Of-Blessings.pdf)

“In July and August of 1958, I attended the Rinchen Terdzö empowerments that Trungpa Rinpoche was giving at Yak monastery in Tsawa Gang. That was the first time I met Trungpa Rinpoche. I already had a very personal connection with Gesar. I had received some Gesar terma teachings, but they were not complete. Realizing that Trungpa Rinpoche was a great master and also had a very special connection to Gesar, I asked him to write something for me. He immediately wrote down the Gesar supplication, The Ocean of the Play of Buddha Activity. After the text was copied, he sealed the original and presented it to me. ......During the empowerments, we were occasionally able to talk about our Drala, Werma, and Gesar visions. Since I was young, I have been guided by visions of Gesar in various forms. Whenever I received prophecies, Gesar was in the form of a young boy dressed in white. I knew that this boy was an aspect of Gesar, but did not know his name. As soon as I mentioned this to Trungpa Rinpoche, he identified the boy as Akar Werma. Today, whenever I perform a Gesar arrow divination, I base it on the Akar Werma sadhana. "...(https://www.ripaladrang.org/index.php/teachings/written-teachings)

From the Bon perspective, then, Shiwa Okar would not be recognizable. Nonetheless, I wonder to what degree Chogyam Trungpa would have intended a connection. We could only speculate here, of course. Are there any other 'Od-dkar-s to your knowledge?
Namkha Drimed Rinpoche equates Shiwa Okar with an "Akar Werma" - have you ever heard that name? ....
I also don't know or find anything about an Akar Werma (a dkar wer-ma), but in the Phenomenal Shen Vehicle (snang gshen theg-pa), the 2nd of the 9 Vehicles, you do have the expression Thukar Werma — in Wylie transliteration: Thugs-kar (or Thugs-dkar, or Thug-dkar) Wer-ma.
Thug-dkar by itself is a name for a class of human-friendly 'genies,' helpful for long life, prosperity and the like. And they do belong to the bigger general class of the 'enemy gods' (dgra lha / sgra bla). Which at least means that your Akar Werma and this Thukar Werma are located in the same general level of Bon teachings. More I can't tell you. But if you want to look into this more I can recommend D. Snellgrove's "The Nine Ways of Bon" p. 63 ff.
(TIBETO-LOGIC MORE-OR-LESS MONTHLY MUSINGS ON MAINLY ANTIQUARIAN TOPICS OF TIBET-RELATED INTEREST)

7.Way of Primordial Sound (Adkar theg-pa) charts the integration of an exalted practitioner into the mandala of highest enlightenment;......Akar thegpa (A-dkar theg-pa), the Way of the White A, explains the practices and rituals of the higher Tantras.....WHITE 'A'..."O great White Light of (the letter) A of the womb of space"(Nalanda Translation Committee: Lopez:1997..pg 403)....The seventh level in the Nine Ways of Bon is the Way of the White Letter A (A-dkar theg-pa). (Snellgrove:1967)....."A' represents the unconditioned primordial state, the natural state of mind; it is white to represent the innate purity of mind." (Wangyal: 1993..pg 41)..."The Seventh Vehicle is 'The White A'. The sacred A is the symbol of the 'Pure Sound'...the origin of all earthly sounds and of all effects in the phenomenal world." (Hoffman: 1975...pg 110)...

Shiwa Okar is described as....."...... the very best lha of warriors, Peaceful White Light........He wore great silver armor, Shielding from a Thousand Thunderbolts, fastened together with lacing of divine white silk. On his head he wore a white helmet, Divine Fierce White Forehead, adorned with many inlaid jewels and with flourishes. On the top of that was an inconceivable white pennant with gold designs. It fluttered showing the radiance of the warrior drala and the shining light dots of the werma. It moved with the wind in the space of the sky. On his feet he wore Shangshug boots, Array of Nine Braveries, embroidered with beautiful rainbow designs, drawn designs of impressive armor, and bound by hard, solid meteoric iron nails. His face was like a full moon and his two eyes twinkled like inlaid great stars. His eyebrows were beautiful like the outstretched wings of a grey vulture. The shape of his nose was beautiful and well-defined, expressing the white lineage of the father lha. His lips were in the style of a lotus and, like the outstretched wings of a wild rave, he had a beautiful black moustache. His glorious warrior-sote was impressive like the quality of phapong longbu. His smiling face was enjoyable to see; his bright radiant face transformed one's perception. His torso had a great pose, projecting masculinity. His shoulders were great and broad. The lower part of his body was steady and agile."

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Email....okarresearch@gmail.com

John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….November 2012

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