Avatars & Saints
This page is full of facts, tips and quotes about
the Saints, guru's and Master's (male and female)
that have graced our planet with their presence, compassion & wisdom.
Yogis Of Tibet - Rare Documentary
Rare documentary about the endangered Tibetan wisdom tradition.
Tibetan Buddhism - Yogis Of Tibet
For the first time, the reclusive and secretive Tibetan monks agree to discuss aspects of their philosophy and allow themselves to be filmed while performing their ancient practices.
Tibetan Buddhism (sometimes called Lamaism) is the form of Mahayana Buddhism that developed in Tibet and the surrounding Himalayan region beginning in the 7th century CE.
Tibetan Buddhism incorporates Madhyamika and Yogacara philosophy, Tantric symbolic rituals, Theravadin monastic discipline and the shamanistic features of the indigenous religion, Bön. Among its most unique characteristics are its system of reincarnating lamas and the vast number of deities in its pantheon.
Tibetan Buddhism is most well-known to the world through the office of the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual and political leader of Tibet and the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.
Support the movie-makers and buy a copy of their DVD
When you have explored the great mystical traditions, choose one master and follow him or her. Its one thing to set out on the spiritual journey; its quite another to find the patience and endurance, the wisdom, courage, and humility to follow it to the end. You may have the karma to find a teacher, but you must then create the karma to follow your teacher. For very few of us know how truly to follow a master, which is an art in itself. So however great the teaching or master may be, what is essential is that you find in yourself the insight and skill to learn how to love and follow the master and the teaching.
The master is like a great ship for beings to cross the perilous ocean of existence, an unerring captain who guides them to the dry land of liberation, a rain that extinguishes the fire of the passions, a bright sun and moon that dispel the darkness of ignorance, a firm ground that can bear the weight of both good and bad, a wish-fulfilling tree that bestows temporal happiness and ultimate bliss, a treasury of vast and deep instructions, a wish-fulfilling jewel granting all the qualities of realization, a father and a mother giving their love equally to all sentient beings, a great river of compassion, a mountain rising above worldly concerns unshaken by the winds of emotions, and a great cloud filled with rain to soothe the torments of the passions.
In brief, he is the equal of all the buddhas. To make any connection with him, whether through seeing him, hearing his voice, remembering him, or being touched by his hand, will lead us toward liberation. To have full confidence in him is the sure way to progress toward enlightenment. The warmth of his wisdom and compassion will melt the core of our being and release the gold of the buddha-nature within.
DILGO KHYENTSE RINPOCHE
In my tradition we revere the masters for being even kinder than the buddhas themselves. Although the compassion and power of the buddhas are always present, our obscurations prevent us from meeting the buddhas face to face. But we can meet the masters; they are here, living, breathing, speaking, and acting before us to show us, in all the ways possible, the path of the buddhas: the way to liberation.
For me, my masters have been the embodiment of living truth, undeniable signs that enlightenment is possible in a body, in this life, in this world, even here and even now, the supreme inspirations in my practice, in my work, in my life, and in my journey toward liberation. My masters are for me the embodiments of my sacred commitment to keep enlightenment foremost in my mind until I actually achieve it. I know enough to know that only when I reach enlightenment will I have a complete understanding of who they really are and of their infinite generosity, love, and wisdom.
It cannot be stressed too often that it is the truth of the teaching that is all-important, and never the personality of the teacher. This is why Buddha reminded us in the Four Reliances:
Rely on the message of the teacher, not on his personality;
Rely on the meaning, not just on the words;
Rely on the real meaning, not on the provisional one;
Rely on your wisdom mind, not on your ordinary, judgmental mind.
It is important to remember that the true teacher is the spokesman of the truth: its compassionate wisdom display. All the buddhas, masters, and prophets are the emanations of this truth, appearing in countless skillful, compassionate guises in order to guide us, through their teachings, back to our true nature.
At first, more important than finding the teacher is finding and following the truth of the teaching, for it is through making a connection with the truth of the teaching that you will discover your living connection with a master.
The extraordinary qualities of great beings who hide their nature escapes ordinary people like us, despite our best efforts in examining them. On the other hand, even ordinary charlatans are expert at deceiving others by behaving like saints.
There is no swifter, more moving, or more powerful practice for invoking the help of the enlightened beings, for arousing devotion and realizing the nature of mind, than the practice of Guru Yoga. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche wrote: The words Guru Yoga mean union with the nature of the guru, and in this practice we are given methods by which we can blend our own minds with the enlightened mind of the master.
The masterthe guruembodies the crystallization of the blessings of all buddhas, masters, and enlightened beings. So to invoke him or her is to invoke them all; and to merge your mind and heart with your masters wisdom mind is to merge your mind with the truth and very embodiment of enlightenment.
As Buddha himself was passing away, he prophesied that Padmasambhava would be born not long after his death in order to spread the teaching of the Tantras. It was Padmasambhava who established Buddhism in Tibet in the eighth century. For us Tibetans, Padmasambhava, Guru Rinpoche, embodies a cosmic, timeless principle; he is the universal master.
I have always turned to Padmasambhava in times of difficulty and crisis, and his blessing and power have never failed me. When I think of him, all my masters are embodied in him. To me he is completely alive at all moments, and the whole universe, at each moment, shines with his beauty, strength, and presence.
It may be surprising for the West to learn how very many incarnations there have been in Tibet, and how the majority have been great masters, scholars, authors, mystics, and saints who made an outstanding contribution both to the teaching of Buddhism and to society. They played a central role in the history of Tibet.
I believe that this process of incarnation is not limited to Tibet but can occur in all countries and at all times. Throughout history there have been people of artistic genius, spiritual strength, and humanitarian vision who have helped the human race to go forward. I think of Gandhi, Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa, of Shakespeare, of Saint Francis, of Beethoven and Michelangelo.
When Tibetans hear of such people, they immediately say they are bodhisattvas. And whenever I hear of them, of their work and vision, I am moved by the majesty of the vast evolutionary process of the buddhas and masters that emanate to liberate beings and better the world.
How does the Church choose saints?
Canonization, the process the Church uses to name a saint, has only been used since the tenth century. For hundreds of years, starting with the first martyrs of the early Church, saints were chosen by public acclaim. Though this was a more democratic way to recognize saints, some saints' stories were distorted by legend and some never existed. Gradually, the bishops and finally the Vatican took over authority for approving saints.
In 1983, Pope John Paul II made sweeping changes in the canonization procedure. The process begins after the death of a Catholic whom people regard as holy. Often, the process starts many years after death in order give perspective on the candidate. The local bishop investigates the candidate's life and writings for heroic virtue (or martyrdom) and orthodoxy of doctrine. Then a panel of theologians at the Vatican evaluates the candidate. After approval by the panel and cardinals of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the pope proclaims the candidate "venerable."
The next step, beatification, requires evidence of one miracle (except in the case of martyrs). Since miracles are considered proof that the person is in heaven and can intercede for us, the miracle must take place after the candidate's death and as a result of a specific petition to the candidate. When the pope proclaims the candidate beatified or "blessed," the person can be venerated by a particular region or group of people with whom the person holds special importance.
Only after one more miracle will the pope canonize the saint (this includes martyrs as well). The title of saint tells us that the person lived a holy life, is in heaven, and is to be honored by the universal Church. Canonization does not "make" a person a saint; it recognizes what God has already done.
Though canonization is
infallible and irrevocable, it takes a long time and a lot of effort. So while
every person who is canonized is a saint, not every holy person has been canonized.
You have probably known many "saints" in your life, and you are
called by God to be one yourself. (top of the page)
http://www.catholic.org/saints/faq.html - Full Article
POWERS OF THE SAINTS
Saints have been known to emit light and levitate while praying.
Taoist Masters, Yogi's, Avatars have been reported to be able to do the following
Tulku's & Rinpoches mastered the Death process and reincarnated for the benefit of all sentient beings
Buddha's are 'awakened' from the sleep of ignorance. Buddha's are 'en-lightened' - that is 'at-one with the light' or lightened up.
Two symptoms of Enlightened Beings, mentioned in the Vedanta philosophy, are:
Avatars are born God-realized. For example Sai Baba of Shirdi.
These are all powers available to us. Jesus said,'the lowest amongst you will do as I do and more' (paraphrased)
These gurus', Yogi's, Yoganini's, Spiritual beings are all self -realized or on that path. They are like our elder brothers who have travelled the path before us or travel it with us.
A true Buddha is the vehicle of all Guru's and Buddha's. They all speak the same voice - however some have different perspectives or misunderstandings. In an interesting way teachings have stayed the same - however they are adapted to the audience's level awareness or time in the cycles of life.
Buddha or Bodhi is our true nature. We are all Buddha naturally however it is obscured and cannot see it. We are like a piece of coal that has our true nature inside - the diamond.
The way, the Path of Self Realization is the Path of Self - towards source - we journey through our programming - negative ego, subconscious beliefs fears, desires etc.
This is why we are ultimately alone on this journey - who else is going to bother to learn everything about you.
You are the best person to observe you. And this is why Dharma/ The Truth / The Word is the only way - it is the way of learning about unlearning!
Also the written teachings can only go so far
This is because the Truth is beyond words - it is an expereince. It can be transmitted between Master to Disciple - through silence. In my opinion the Truth is in the Silence.
Teachers, Guru's, Master's
Living Now - Saints, H.H., Venerable, Eminence, Holiness
Modern Teachers / Influential Teachers / Masters
Recently Passed on (19 - 21 C)
Christian - Desert Fathers, Hermits, Mystics, Monks and Saints
Writers, Artists & Poets
A DIRECTORY OF BUDDHIST TEACHERS
Henepola Gunaratana Nayaka Thera - President of the Bhavana Society
Ven. P. A. Payutto
Daisaku Ikeda - President of Soka Gakkai International (SGI)
Thich Nhat Hanh - Founder of the Unified Buddhist Church http://www.plumvillage.org/
Suzuki Roshi - Founder of The San Francisco Zen Center
Rev. Eijun Bill Eidson
Rev. Seicho Asahi
Rev. Shoken Harada
Note that some Tibetan teachers may be lineage holders in more than one Tibetan school, though below, for the sake of simplicity, they will only be listed under the heading of one lineage.
H.H.Lobsang Nyima (Ganden Tripa Rinpoche) - Supreme Head of the Gelukpa Lineage
H.H. Dalai Lama - Head of the Tibetan Government in Exile
Thubten Yeshe - Founder of The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition
Sakya Trizin - Supreme Head of the Sakya Lineage
Karmapa - Supreme Head of the Kagyu Lineage
Lama Kalsang Rinpoche
Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche - Co-founder of the Karmapa International Buddhist Institute
Ringu Tulku Rinpoche - Founder of Bodhicharya
Tai Situ Rinpoche - Founder of the Maitreya Institute
Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche - Founder of the Marpa Institute for Translators
Penor Rinpoche - Supreme Head of the Nyingma Lineage [Passed away]
Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche - Spiritual Director, Chokling Tersar Foundation
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche - Director, Siddharthas Intent International
Kyabje Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
Rigdzin Shikpo - Dharma Director, Longchen Foundation
Thrangu Rinpoche - Oversees the Thrangu Tashi Choling Monasteries
Sogyal Rinpoche - Founder of Rigpa [Passed away]
Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche - President of Ligmincha Institute
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche - Founder of Naropa University and Shambhala International [Passed away] http://www.shambhala.org/teachers/vctr/index.html
- Holder of the Shambhala Buddhist Lineage
"Paramatman (God) alone is real; This world is unreal. The latter appears as real in man's vision, hearing and thoughts, but it lasts only as long as the things seen in a dream last."
"Faith, devotion, and the yoga of meditation. These are mentioned by the Vedas as the immediate factors of liberation in the case of a seeker; Whoever abides by these, gets liberation from the bondage of the body, which is the conjuring of ignorance."
"Those who take shelter under me in this world, meditating on me and repeating the mantra of my sacred name, will surely get my vision, even unasked, as I know they have no other refuge."
"As a result of the spiritual disciplines you have undergone, you are even now liberated from all worldly desires. After your death, you will attain union with me." "Just as, even people possessing eyes, cannot see things clearly in the night, but they can see their steps well when a light is brought, so also in those having devotion towards me, the self becomes self-effulgent."
"Those that have devotion towards me will get knowledge and renunciation and they will attain to liberation from the round of births and deaths."
"Know that the chanting of my name destroys all sins in this world, if the chanting is done with one pointed devotion and complete dependence upon me."
"Among things conducive to liberation, devotion alone holds the supreme place. The seeking after one's real nature is designated as devotion." Sri Sankara
"You should remember the heart of the devotee is the abode of God." SRI RAMAKRISHNA
Sri Sankara, also known as Sankaracharya, was a Hindu Avatar born in approximately 788 AD to a Brahmin family in South India. He was so precocious that by the age of 16 He had completed all His writings. At the age of ten he had memorized most of the Hindu scriptures.
In my (Dr J. Stone) intensive research of Eastern religion and culture there were, in my view, approximately ten spiritual Masters who were the greatest of them all. Sri Ramakrishna was most definitely one of these ten. He was born in 1936 in Kamarpukur, India.
On the first day that Ramakrishna practiced advaita spiritual practices He went into Nirvikalpa Samadhi (enlightenment experience) and remained in that state dead to the world for three days. Totapuri, His teacher, was amazed, for it had taken Him forty years of strenuous practice to achieve this state of consciousness. Totapuri remained with Ramakrishna for eleven months, and Ramakrishna became a jnani (knowledge yogi) as well as His previous training of being a Bhakta (devotional yogi).
When Totapuri left Ramakrishna had another experience of Samadhi that lasted for six full months. After six months the Divine Mother said to Him, "Remain on the threshold of relative consciousness for the sake of humanity." Because of this command, Ramakrishna came out of this enlightened state where he was merged with the Eternal Self. Ramakrishna then went through a period studying and realizing God through the Sufi and Islamic faith. After three days He realized God in this form and had a vision of the Prophet Mohammed. He even then delved into the Bible and Christianity and had a vision of Jesus Christ. Ramakrishna firmly believed that all forms of religion were valid pathways to God.
devotion, Bhakti Yoga, Guru Yoga
http://www.bahai.org/article-1-4-0-3.html - who are the prophets
Images & Portraits
Enlightened Mystic Osho
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