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FW: HPB, Dyzan, Dzog chen

Oct 29, 1999 02:02 PM
by Hazarapet

>From a Dr. Thomas Mether


Dear Grigor,

In answer to your questions, I do not recall exactly when the Dalai Lama said
the Stanzas of Dyzan were derived from the Kanjur but I know the occasion and
rough time period.  It may have been the early 90s but I recollect it was in
80s.  It was actually at a special tea held in his honor (sometime around the
Kalachakra intiations in Wisconsin) in Wheaton, Ill.  Professor James Robinson
would probably know exactly because he was a participant in those intiations.

The one who has done a lot of the real work of bringing Central Asian Buddhism
to light is not me.  I run into it because of the cultural mileau.  I am more
on Central Asian Zoroastrianism and Manichaeanism with their influence on
Buddhism being a side line.  I found evidence to suggest that the motherly
symbol that is found in the Dzog chen texts of the Old Tantras, for instance,
is derived from the Mother of Life symbol of Manichaeanism.  One must
remember that Manichaeanism worked with the religious material of the culture
it was in.  So, in the west, it took on a Christian disguise.  In Persian, it
took on a Zoroastrian disguise.  In Central Asia, it took on a Buddhist
disguise.  Heinrich Klimkeit is one who discusses the Central Asian
Manichaeanism in Buddhist clothing.  But it is Emmerich who is the real
expert.  He uncovered those Buddhist texts that have Persian or Aramaic names
or have unidentifiable names.  For example, if I remember correctly, the
Dhammapada is called the "Zambasta."  And it is certainly possible that
"dyzan" is a Persian way of saying the Tibetan "Dzog chen" but not that Dzog
chen reflects an earlier Persian "dyzan."  The classical high period for
Persian, Bactrian, Kushan, and Khotan, Buddhism is from the second century to
the Mongol invasions.  Tibet did not become buddhist until the ninth century.
 But it is not impossible that it reflects a secondary re-diffusion out from
Tibet of Dzog chen teachings among Persian tribes after the Mongol invasion.
So, "dyzan" might be a way later Persian tribes said "dzog chen."  I know for
certain that the Kalmucks, as
you know also, are Dzog chen as are the isolated group of Kafiristani's south
of Kashi.


Thomas Mether

Dr. Thomas Mether

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