Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Five Elements in Shamanism, Tantra & Dzogchen


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The Five Elements In Tibetan Shamanism and Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche.......October 1998......"In many indigenous traditions, we relate with the raw elements. Fire Pujas, Earth Ceremonies, rituals near springs, Sky and Space rituals.....Basically we are relating with the raw elements and their related spiit realms.....If you do not have a reference place when we talk about spirits, do a little dzogchen practive and feel spacious......Inviting the four guests......The shrine is basically the house of the enlightened first guest....such as Shen Lha Okar.,.....not really for the 2nd (Gods) , 3rd (Karmic Guests), or 4th (Guests of Compassion) Guests......"

Generally, there are three requirements before a student may begin a practice:
1. the empowerment (Tibetan: wang)
2. a reading of the text by an authorized holder of the practice (Tibetan: lung)
3. instruction on how to perform the practice or rituals (Tibetan: tri).
An individual is not allowed to engage in a deity practice without the empowerment for that practice. The details of an empowerment ritual are often kept secret as are the specific rituals involved in the deity practice.

The Five Pure Lights (Tibetan: 'od lnga) is an essential teaching in the Dzogchen tradition of Bön and Tibetan Buddhism. For the deluded, matter seems to appear. This is due to non-recognition of the five lights. Matter includes the mahābhūta or classical elements, namely: space, air, water, fire, earth. Knowledge (rigpa) is the absence of delusion regarding the display of the five lights. This level of realization is called rainbow body....The Five Pure Lights are essentially the Five Wisdoms (Sanskrit: pañca-jñāna).[1] Tenzin Wangyal holds that the Five Pure Lights become the Five Poisons if we remain deluded, or the Five Wisdoms and the Five Buddha Families if we recognize their purity. In the Bonpo Dzochen tradition, the Five Pure Lights are discussed in the Zhang Zhung Nyan Gyud and within this auspice two texts in particular go into detail on them as The Six Lamps (Tibetan: སྒྲོན་མ་དྲུག་, Wylie: sgron ma drug) and The Mirror of the Luminous Mind (Tibetan: འོད་གསལ་སེམས་ཀྱི་མེ་ལོང་, Wylie: 'od gsal sems kyi me long).

"A great deal of the ceremonial of both the branches of the Aryan race goes back to a very remote antiquity, as also some of the social and other customs. The religious ceremonies depended upon the yearly change of seasons. Hence the yearly Gahambars, six in number, which the Iranians celebrated in the ancient days and which are even to-day observed by the Parsis. These corresponded pretty closely to the annual sacrificial cycle observed in the Veda. The chief objects of popular worship among these two nations were the Elements-Fire, Water, Earth and Air-and the Lights of Heaven-the Sun, the Moon and the Stars. These were invoked as Heavenly Beings."..

'Ashoo Pezeshk' (Health Physician)......"Ashoo" meant cleanliness and health. It referred to both cleanliness of the body and the environment, as well as intrinsic health (that of the mind and soul)...... for keeping the four divine elements (water, wind, earth and fire) free from pollution.....

Avesta....The Vendidad, the priestly code of the Parsees, contains in 22 chapters (fargard) a kind of dualistic account of the creation (chap. 1), the legend of Yima and the golden age (chap. 2), and in the bulk of the remaining chapters the precepts of religion with regard to the cultivation of the earth, the care of useful animals, the protection of the sacred elements, such as earth, fire and water, the keeping of a man's body from defilement, together with the requisite measures of precaution, elaborate ceremonies of purification, atonements, ecclesiastical expiations ,and so forth.

Avesta....each of the four elements has its separate guardian, from the Nuristan (region of light),

"Iranians also refrained from contaminating the four elements. They would not bathe nor wash dirty objects in flowing water, and urinating or spitting into water was considered a great sin. Materials that were foul smelling or that generated smoke were never thrown into the fire, and the fire-holder was always kept clean. The earth and the soil were kept free from pollution and for this reason, the dead were placed on high ground and became food for birds and carnivores. Wild rue and frankincense were always burned inside houses and around the neighborhood so the air would smell good, and insects and bacteria would die. These customs are still practiced by Iranians and other nations, with some people also burning wild rue to repel envy and to cure the sick."

"Chak Chak (Persian: چك چك‎ – “Drip-Drip”, also Romanized as Chek Chek; also known as Chāhak-e Ardakān and Pir-e Sabz (Persian: پیر سبز‎) “The Green Pir”) is a village in Rabatat Rural District, Kharanaq District, Ardakan County, Yazd Province, Iran.... It is the most sacred of the mountain shrines of Zoroastrianism. Located near the city of Ardakan in Yazd Province, Chak Chak serves as a pilgrimage point for pious Zoroastrians. Each year from June 14–18 many thousands of Zoroastrians from Iran, India and other countries flock to the fire temple at Pir-e Sabz."....

Specific rituals and sacrifices of the Vedic religion include, among others:
The Soma rituals, which involved the extraction, utility and consumption of Soma: The Agnistoma or Soma sacrifice
Fire rituals involving oblations (havir): The Agnihotra or oblation to Agni, a sun charm, The Agnicayana, the sophisticated ritual of piling the fire altar.

"Iranians and Indians share the same ancestors identified as proto-Indo-Iranians. Their society was divided into three main groups: priests, warriors and herdsman. From the fourth to the third millennium BC the Proto-Indo-Iranians forged a significant religious tradition that has influenced their descendants, the Brahmans of India and the Zoroastrians of Iran. The two groups were very likely separated around the third millennium BC and linguistically became two distinct groups, the Indians and Iranians. ....Pre-Zoroastrian religion of the ancient ancestors centered on natural/nature cults mostly belonging to the Stone Age, such as the cults of water and fire. Many elements of these ancient cults have survived in Zoroastrian and Indian Vedic literature. Elements such as water and fire were personified. Water itself became a goddess the ‘Apas’ (modern Persian Aab) with specific prayers and libations made to her. The elders of each household regularly made offerings (from the plant and animal world) to the nearest pool or spring and there were communal ceremonies involving the priestly rites. Fire, named Atar (modern Persian Azar / Atash) was also worshipped with offerings consisting of clean dry fuel, incense and animal fat if available."

MANICHAEISM........."According to Mani the First-Man now emanates sons as a man who puts on his armor for the combat. These five sons are the five elements opposed to the five aeons of darkness: Clear Air, Refreshing Wind, Bright Light, Life-Giving Waters, and Warming Fire. He put on first the aerial breeze, then threw over himself light as a flaming mantle, and over this light a covering of water; he surrounded himself with gusts of wind, took light as his lance and shield, and cast himself downward toward the line of danger."

Indigenous healing and spiritual traditions around the world are based on an understanding of the five elements. In the Tibetan tradition, these are known as space, air, fire, water and earth, and are understood as the underlying energies from which the physical world, our bodies, our emotions, and our minds arise. The elements are addressed in all nine levels of teachings of Bön, including shamanism, tantra and Dzogchen.

“The Healing Practice of the Five Elements Goddesses” was composed by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, and is explained in his latest book, “Healing with Form, Energy and Light: The Five Elements in Tibetan Shamanism, Tantra, and Dzogchen”. It is presented here in traditional Tibetan pecha format, as are our other practice books, printed on a series of individual cards. In addition to instruction on practicing with the individual elemental goddesses (of earth, water, fire, air and space) as is presented in the book, here there is also a detailed explanation on “The Combination Practice of the Five Elements Goddesses.”

Devs, in Hinduism, are celestial beings that control forces of nature such as fire, air, wind, etc.

"The identification of Thagi-Masada with the Greek god Poseidon by Herodotus was probably due to the fact that the Iranian god of wisdom is usually associated with the cosmic ocean ("heavens" regarded as "celestial waters") - thus the the Vedic equivalent of Ahura-Mazda was the god Varuṇa of the Asuras.".....Ardavarz comment on your post "Shamis en Balkh ...Asuras & Ahura Mazda":

"The five Platonic solids were assigned to elements by Plato in the Timaeus 56b, 55d— fire (tetrahedron), earth (cube), air (octahedron), water (icosahedron), ether (dodecahedron). "To earth, let us assign the cubic form, for earth is the most immovable of the four and the most stable of all bodies... the pyramid is the solid which is the original element and seed of fire, and let us assign the element which was next in the order of generation to air, and the third to water.""

"Apam Napat is an eminent figure of the Indo-Iranian pantheon. In Hinduism, Apām Napāt is the god of fresh water, such as in rivers and lakes. In Zoroastrianism, Apąm Napāt is also a divinity of water.....Apām Napāt in Sanskrit and Apąm Napāt in Avestan mean "grandson of waters" (see Ap (water)). Sanskrit and Avestan napāt ("grandson") are cognate to Latin nepōs and English nephew, but the name Apām Napāt has also been compared to Etruscan Nethuns and Celtic Nechtan and Roman Neptune......In Yasht 19 of the Avesta Apąm Napāt appears as the Creator of mankind. Here, there is an evident link between the glory of sovereignty (Khvarenah) and Apąm Napāt who protects Khvarenah as the royal glory of Iranian kings. Apām Napāt is sometimes, for example in Rigveda book 2 hymn 35 verse 3, described as a fire-god who originates in water (see: Agni)."....

Kalachakra cosmology, from Gyatso, Khendrup Norsang (2004) Ornament of Stainless Light: An Exposition of the Kalachakra Tantra.......As with other ancient and cultural cosmologies, the Tibetan universe is composed of the classic elements fire, earth, air, and water. These four elements exist and function through a fifth element, space

"In Tibetan astro science, two distinct flat-earth, stationary, geocentric cosmologies are recognized, both developed in India and later translated into Tibetan. The first is the Abhidharma system, expounded in the 4th or 5th century Indian text Abhidharmakosha (Treasury House of Knowledge) by Vasubandhu, and the Kalachakra system (Wheels of Time), whose root text was translated into Tibetan in 1027 A.D.. Both systems are mandala-like world systems made of concentric oceans and mountain ranges centered around an axis, Mount Meru. The known world exists on one of the four major continents (with other minor accompanying continents), the southern continent, called Jambudvipa. Mount Meru is lapis-blue on our side, which explains why it cannot be seen, but instead blends in with the sky's color.The heavenly bodies orbit around Mount Meru. The cosmic mandala pictured in the header above shows a bird's-eye view of Mount Meru and the orbits of the planets (including sun and moon).The world system, with its complex layered base, floats in space, and is only one of an immense number of such world systems, termed the trichilicosm (a number usually considered to be over a billion). The most obvious differences between the two cosmological systems are geographic and geometric, such as the shape of Mount Meru. Compare the pictures below for more details. To the Tibetans, the existence of two seemingly conflicting cosmological systems is not a problem, as neither is meant to be a complete representation of the universe as it is actually observed by scientists. As with all constructions such as mandalas and meditational deities, they serve different purposes and different audiences. For example, the Kalachakra cosmology is used philosophically to draw connections between cycles in the universe and those of human existence, and in an astronomical sense to develop a complex lunar calendar. Another central idea in Tibetan Buddhism is the concept that the Buddha taught many different kinds of texts and meditational systems because there is no "one size fits all" when it comes to the road to enlightenment. Different practitioners have different intellectual and emotional capacities, and therefore different teachings are required to reach all possible students."......


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


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