File Name: tibetan magic and mysticism .zip
This translation from the French originally published by the Maha Bodhi Society in Calcutta in has been reviewed by the authorforthis first City Lights ei:lition. FOREWORD by Alan Watts For several years I have referred to this, hitherto, rare and inaccessible work as the "1-told-you-so-book," because it has often been implied that I have invented my explanations of Buddhism out of thin air, thus falsifying its authentic teachings.
Alexandra David-Neel is a Frenchwoman now in one hundred years old who has travelled and studied extensively in Tibet, who adopted the lately deceased Lama Yongden as her son, and who has recorded her experiences in such romantically entitled works as Initiations and Initiates.
The present volume has a similarly "esoteric" title, reminiscent of the fantasies of H. Blavatsky, Talbot Mundy, James Hilton, and "Lobsang Rampa," whowith a very superficial knowledge of Tibetan Buddhismhave given us an image of Tibet as the secret stronghold. Yet, despite the occultist flavor of its title, The.
Secret Oral Teachings in the Tibetan Buddhist Sects is the most direct, no-nonsense, and down-to-earth explanation of Mahayana Buddhism which has thus far been written. Specifically, it is a wonderfully lucid account of the Madhyamika or "middle-way" School of Buddhism, a method of meditation and enlightenment which was worked out sometime between and A.
David-Neel, however, writes for the non-academic student who wants simply to practice. It is especially important for Westerners to understand that high lamas, Zen masters, and Hindu gurus in the discipline of yoga are human beings, not supermen.
We must not put them, as we have put Jesus Christ, on pedestals of reverence so high that we automatically exclude ourselves from their states of consciousness. Man may have potentialities of all kinds for the psychotechnology of clairvoyance, telekinesis, precognition, and telepathy not to mention epipathy, catapathy, apopathy, and peripathy.
Power-games of this kind are not, however, the main concern of Tibetan Buddhism. On the contrary, the point is to realize that by virtue of what you always are, have been, and will be, there is no need whatsoever to defend yourself or prove yourself.
Sausalito, California August The way in which we should understand the adjective "Secret" applied to these Teachings is explained in the following pages, as well as the manner in which thev are transmitted.
It is open to each of my readers to form his own opinion of the theories he will find in this book. He can reflect and meditate on them if he so wishes. In every sphere the task of the investigator consists solely in offering to his hearers a number of facts likely to widen their knowledge. It is a long time since the idea of writing this book occurred to me. One fine summer afternoon I had explained my plan to a learned Tibetan who led a life of contemplation in a little house on the rocky side of a mountain.
He was not encouraging. I have no doubt that the people of your countrY. They wish the doctrines preached to them, whether religious, philosophic, or social, to be agreeable, to be consistent with their conceptions, to satisfy their inclinations, in fact that they find themselves in them, and that they feel themselves approved by them. Hundreds of times, in the West, I had heard. I thought then of the devotees who intoxicate themselves with incense and the stirring sonorousness of the organ in the half shadows of our cathedrals, believing themselves to be on the way to spiritual heights.
I thought of all those; whatever might be the religion or secular faith to which they belong, who thrill at the sound of certain names, of certain words which are but empty noises devoid of reality. A Master can only be he who opens the door : it is for the disciple to be capable of seeing what lies beyond. Teachers exist who are able to discern the degree of intellectual acuteness of those who desire their Teaching, and they reserve the detailed explanation of certain doctrines for those whom they judge able to understand them.
It is thus that the deep Teachings, transmitted orally from Master to disciple for many generations, have been passed on and preserved from oblivion. You have heard them. Do with them as you think fit. They are very simple, but, like a powerful batteringram, they run counter to the wall of false ideas rooted in the mind of man and the emotions which delight him casting him into suffering.
Then, I remembered what the ancient Buddhist Texts tell us about the hesitation of the Buddha before beginning His Mission : "I have discovered a profound Truth, difficult to perceive, difficult to understand, accessible only to the wise. Why should I do so? If I proclaim it and men are unable to understand it, the only result will be fatigue and annoyance for me.
See below for a detailed explanation. The Sannyasins Hindu ascetics use it among them-. At this point the Texts, with Oriental imagination, tell of the intervention of a God, Brahma Sahampati, who put into words the thoughts springing up in the mind of the Buddha. Brahma Sahampati exhorts the Buddha to conquer His hesitation : "May the Venerable One preach the Doctrine I There are beings whose spiritual eyes are hardly darkened by light dust, these will understand the Doctrine.
In the land of Magadha4 a false doctrine has prevailed up to the present, elaborated by men whose minds were contaminated by ignorance. Now open to them the gate of Immortality literally, of the deathless. Travel throughout the world, 0 Chief of Pilgrims beings who wander in the round of successive births and deaths. There are some who will understand Thee. This title is also given to certain Gods. Bhagavan means: glorious, illustrious, revered, etc. English writers have, in most cases, translated this word by "Blessed One".
French writers have given an identical translation with "Le Bienheureux" which does not correspond to the real meaning of Bhagavan. He saw some beings whose spiritual eyes were hardly covered by thin dust. He saw some whose minds were keen and others whose minds were dull.
Let him who has ears to hear, hear! Nevertheless, I have ventured to apply to myself the advice which he once gave to the Great Sage of India, and depending also on the permission which was given me on the threshold of a Tibetan hermitage, I shall attempt to summarise this collection of theories and precepts named "sangwa", the secret mystical doctrine, closely.
The teachings of all the lYlasters who left nothing written and even those of the numerous Masters whose authentic works we possess have always given rise to interpretation, to developments which, in some cases, have added to and brought out the significance of the original doctrine, and in others have falsified the initial meamng.
I have said elsewhere6 that an account of the Buddhist Doctrine can be given on two pages, and I have, in fact, given in tabular form covering two pages, the fundamental Teaching of Buddhism. All schools of Buddhism, without exception, accept them and take them as the basis of what they consider legitimate developments and interpretations of them.
To discuss this legitimacy is not always easy. The Buddha insisted strongly on the necessity of examining the propositions put forward by Him, and of understanding them personally before accepting them as true. French edition 'Collection du Rocher-Pion, Paris. German edition Brockhaus, Wiesbaden. Believe nothing which depends only on the authority of your masters or of priests. After investigation. During the centuries subtle Indian and Chinese philosophers have largely availed themselves of the freedom of thought and interpretation which was 'KaUima Sutta.
They have used it with skill and we have profited by the stories of astonishing contests of polemics. The Tibetans did not fail to imitate them, and one can recognize in their guarded oral teachings an interesting conjunction of Indian philosophy and the special mentality of the Yellow races. On the other hand, the best informed contemporary adepts of the Sect of Meditation Dhyana called Ts'an in China and Zen in Japan, readily agree that their doctrine is Buddhism understood by the minds of the Yellow race.
It is evident that the great majority of those who call themselves Buddhists have not been able to rise to the mental level of the Teaching of the Buddha. Most of them have built up for their own use various kinds of Buddhism which are anything but Buddhist and, in their ignorance, they uphold, often with bitterness, their belief and their absurd practices as the expression of the purest orthodoxy. The more intelligent see clearly the illogicality of.
A very learned Japanese who shows a very special indulgence-may I say a tenderness-towards these degenerate forms of Buddhism, express himself thus: "We may sometimes ignore the claims of reason and rest satisfied, though usually unconsciously, with assertions which are conflicting when critically examined, but we cannot disregard by any means those of the religious sentiment which finds satisfaction only in the very fact of things.
If it ever harboured some flagrant contradiction in the name of. Suzuki in "Outlines of Mahayana Buddhism", pp. That is possible, that is probably true of most of those about us, but who compels these weak-minded people to call themselves Buddhists? The Tibetan Masters who pass on the traditional oral teachings repeat insistently the fact that these teachings are for the use of individuals in the rab category, that is to say endowed with superior and excellent intelligence, the "lotus whose flowers grow above the level of the water" accordinig to the picturesque comparison quoted above.
The object of these teachings is not to amuse the simple-minded, those charitably called in the Tibetan Scriptures the "children", it is meant for the strong to make them stronger,, for the intelligent to make them more intelligent, for the shrewd to develop their shrewdness and to lead them to the possession of transcendent insight lhag thong which constitutes the real enlightenment. It is for such reasons that the explanation of the doctrines and methods which make up this corpus of. This Buddhism of a Tibetan elite is genuinely of Buddhist inspiration and dates from the most brilliant period of Buddhist philosophy.
Its teachings are considered to be traditional having been handed down from Master to disciple in an uninterrupted line. Those initiated in the secret teachings declare that these latter do not spring from a supernatural revelation but are the fruit of intellectual and spiritual investigations made by men who also combined with them investigations on the material plane.
On this point the advantage given to us by the data supplied by modern science is worth noting; an advantage helping us to understand the theories put forward by the Secret Teachings. The men who thought of these latter must have been endowed with superior faculties of understanding ; they possessed transcendent insight: lhag thong. Although the mythical personage Dorji Ghang9 is often named at the head of the list of those who transmitted the teachings, he is there in a symbolic sense insomuch as he is the "bearer of the magic sceptre", the dorji representing the power conferred ' Tibetan spelling: rdor rdji htchang; his Sanskrit name is Vajradhara: "He holds the Thunderbolt sceptre", like Zeus among the Greeks.
Even if some people may be tempted to consider Dorji Chang as a real person, disseminator of special doctrines, none would venture to suggest that he was the author of such teachings. The attainment of transcendent insight is the real object of the training advocated in the traditional Oral Teachings, which do not consist, as so many imagine, in teaching certain things to the pupil, in revealing to him certain secrets, but rather in showing him the.
The Masters of the secret teachings say that the truth learned from another is of no value, and that the only truth which is living and effective, which is of value, is the truth which we ourselves discover. If this- were not the case, it would be enough for us to read the innumerable works in which philosophers, savants and doctors of the different religions have explained their views and to choose from among them one which agrees with our own ideas and to which we can cleave.
This is what is done by most of these individuals whom the Tibetans classify in the intermediate category of the average-minded. This stage should be surmounted. It is not enough to see with eyes which, according to the words used in Buddhist Texts, "are only covered with a thin film of dust", however thin this film may be; it is a. Literally, lhag thong, means to see "more", to see "beyond", to see "extremely", "supremely''.
Thus, not only to see more than that which is seen by the mass of mankind who are crassly ignorant, but to see beyond the bounds limiting the vision of cultivated minds, to bring into being the third eye of Knowledge which the adepts of tantric sects place in the centre of the forehead of their symbolic Gods.
Based on the advice given by the Buddha to His disciples, the primary recommendation that the Masters give to neophytes is : "Doubt I " Doubt is an incitement to research, and research is the Way which leads to Knowledge. It does not follow from the above that he who undertakes to follow the Path of the Secret Teachings is thrown wholly on his own resources.
By no means. Examine them attentively and at length, putting aside all preconceived ideas, empty your mind of all the opinions which it has harboured concerning these facts; doubt that which you have mechanically admitted up to the present, look as you would look at quite new things, those which form your physical.
To examine the people among whom we find ourselves, to investigate the manifold phenomena which continually arise and disappear around us, and then to reach the point at which we examine the spectator of this spectacle, whom we call "I", that is truly an interesting programme which promises unforeseen discoveries.
To whom should we address our questions to obtain information about the world? From whom have we received that knowledge which we already possess? The reply is : from our senses. We have seen, heard, tasted, smelt, touched various objects, either material or of a more tenuous nature.
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This translation from the French originally published by the Maha Bodhi Society in Calcutta in has been reviewed by the authorforthis first City Lights ei:lition. FOREWORD by Alan Watts For several years I have referred to this, hitherto, rare and inaccessible work as the "1-told-you-so-book," because it has often been implied that I have invented my explanations of Buddhism out of thin air, thus falsifying its authentic teachings. Alexandra David-Neel is a Frenchwoman now in one hundred years old who has travelled and studied extensively in Tibet, who adopted the lately deceased Lama Yongden as her son, and who has recorded her experiences in such romantically entitled works as Initiations and Initiates. The present volume has a similarly "esoteric" title, reminiscent of the fantasies of H. Blavatsky, Talbot Mundy, James Hilton, and "Lobsang Rampa," whowith a very superficial knowledge of Tibetan Buddhismhave given us an image of Tibet as the secret stronghold.
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