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Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Missing Link In Buddhist Tantra: Swara Yoga
grandmasters such as Milerapa and Padmasambhava first obtained their
transmission directly from India; and later they preached the teachings in
Tibet. However due to over secrecy, many yoga techniques are lost in time. Hence,
current Buddhist Tantra teachings are not quite the same as the Indian counterparts
though the names remain the same.
condition is worsened when Buddhist Tantra texts are being translated to other
languages such as Chinese, English and others. For example in Tibetan Buddhist
Guru Yoga supplication, there is a pledge for the lineage gurus to bestow four
accomplishments. The sentence would sound something like:
“Please bestow the accomplishment of body,
speech, mind and activities!”
Kriya Yoga, the three terms: body, speech and mind are interpreted as mudra,
mantra and visualization; practitioners also attribute this to the ‘three
secrets’ (三密). It is said
that one can only achieve siddhi when all of the three aspects are in union.
of the Higher Buddhist Tantra practices continue to refer the ‘three secrets’
in their teachings; I have some doubts as I am more inclined to think the Buddhist
concept of body, speech and mind is in fact described by Swami Muktibodhadana in
interest is with the term ‘speech’ (语). Many people think the ‘speech’ refers to ‘mantra’ but according to
Swara Yoga, the speech refers to ‘swara’ or ‘voice of breathing’.
Yoga, there are three types of swara:
refers to mind that controls our sensory nerves and left channel
refers to life force that controls our 5 organs of actions and right channel
refers to spirit which is the overall controller and related to central channel
So as you
can see, the definitions given by Swara Yoga fit better in the context of Buddhist
Anuttara Yoga Tantra. It is apparent that we now need to turn to the study of
Hindu Tantric texts to understand the Buddhist Tantra teachings now days. Or further
supplications to gurus would not yield any benefits if we cannot understand the
meaning of true ‘speech’!