The Three Vehicles and Guru.
A lecture delivered by Master Asahara
March 31, 1990 at Fuji center
The basic training system inherent in Yoga
Today's speech may be a little bit difficult for you, however please try to understand it. I will explain about the Three Vehicles (Yanas) in Buddhism: Hinayana, Mahayana, Tantra-Vajrayana, and the three yogas: Raja Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and Mahamudra.
I often say that in Tibetan Buddhism the processes of Raja Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and Mahamudra are included in each practice of Hinayana, Mahayana, and Tantra-Vajrayana. I would like to explain this statement in detail. As well, I am going to talk about the three types of Guru.
First, the principle of Raja Yoga is to renounce everything; that of Hinayana is the same. That is to say, the main teaching of Hinayana is Kaja Yoga, I may say.
Secondly, the principle of Mahayana is neither renunciation nor involvement in worldly desires; that, of Kundalini Yoga is also the same. It is not too much to say that those who have the potential of attaining Kundalini Yoga also have the essence of Mahayana.
Lastly, during the practice of Mahamudra, the practitioner creates sufferings or involves himself in worldly desires. He then advances his practice by making those suffering or worldly desires the focus of his meditation. In Tantra, the practitioner furthers his practice by mainly using the worldly desires and pleasures which we usually have in our mind. The essence of Vajrayana, on the contrary, is to meditate on suffering and to further the practice by that method. Consequently, there can be no doubt that the basic training system of Hinayana, Mahayana, and Tantra Vajrayana is inherent within the systems of Raja Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and Mahamudra respectively.
The point is the Four Immeasurables
Why do Raja Yoga, Kundalini Yoga and Mahamudra belong in the category of Hinayana? Because the mind of Four Immeasurables (Benevolence, Divine Compassion, Divine Praise, and Divine Detachment) is abscent in the practice of those three Yogas, although Kundalini yoga and Mahamudra are each adopted in the practice of Mahayana and Tantra Vajra-yana. What is important is whether the Four Immeasurables - Mahayanic backgrounds or the notion as a savior - are rooted in practitioners' mind or not.
The process of each Yoga in practice
Let me explain in detail. In the case of Raja Yoga, we have to renounce all things, even worldly desires and worldly life. We can advance within our practice by means of the concentration that develops out of this renunciation.
Next, in the practice of Kundalini Yoga, we do not care about the various forms of mental activity which arise during the process of the raising of the Kundalini from its awakening until it reaches the Sahasrara Chakra.
Hence, we can practice this Yoga while involved in worldly life. But our energy will naturally become stuck at a particular Chakra so that we will regress if we cannot meet a Guru in our next life. At any rate, I must say that there is much in common between Mahayanic practice - which can take a thousand, two thousand or three thousand lifetimes to attain the goal - and the process of Kundalini Yoga.
Lastly, I will talk about Mahamudra and Jnana Yoga. As for Jnana Yoga, we go on meditating on objects which are sometimes worldly desires, sufferings or pleasure, some of which we have never experienced or some we have already experienced in the past. Consequently we can experience the way our mind works through these meditations, even if we have never had those experiences.
On the other hand, in Mahamudra, the guru gives each disciple a subject - always the things you are most attached to - as the main theme of your meditation, and then makes you overcome it. As a matter of course, you will be able to advance rapidly when you resolve your subject since it has been your principal obstacle.
The goal and limit of practice
Of course, Hinayana has a limit in its attainable level like Raja Yoga has. In Kundalini Yoga, we can have many experiences during its process, but we have to go a long, long way to the goal.
In Mahayana as well, it takes eons of time to attain the final Mahayana Buddha. Then what about Vajrayana? In VaJrayana, the Guru sees through the potential evil passions (woridly desires) of a disciple, though the disciple may be unconscious of them, or his own thinking process. Then the Guru confronts the disciple by using those woridly desires as a subject of meditation.
The disciple will naturally suffer since he has to face his own consciousness. The suffering may be equal to that of one or two hundred lifetimes, but when the disciple overcomes this suffering his stage can advance in equal measure.
Or the Guru may confront the disciple with the joy of worldty desires. The Tsandali meditation is one example of this. When the disciple can experience its joy In the Astral World or during meditation, he will be in an ecstasy of joy greater than that of sexual intercourse.
It seems that, by actually experiencing joy during meditation by transforming woridly desires, by experiencing the Joy equal to that of an entire lifetime, five lives, or ten lives, the disciple sublimates it. As a result, those experiences naturally accelerate the speed of our attainment.
Three types of Gurus
There' is a different type of Guru for each of the three ways of practice.
First of all, the Guru of Raja Yoga renounces the woridly life, stresses only practice, and can relate his spiritual experiences to others. Accordingly his disciples follow his ways of practice, hear the experiences of the Guru and advance their practice while asking him and confirming their level of attainment.
The second is the Guru of Mahayana. The Guru of this type is familiar with both worldly life and renunciation (living apart from worldly life) and he understands many spiritual teachings. He can also answer any questions. But he cannot understand the essence of others' worldly desires yet, only he understands the condition of others' Karma when it is manifested.
And as for the third type, there are two kinds of Guru. Type A is the Guru of Tantrayana. This Guru can see at a glance what sort of desires a disciple has and then the Guru guides him to the enlightenment (Nirvana) by giving him desires.
The other kind of Guru, type B, perceives the suffering of a disciple and he confronts the disciple with it. Then the Guru guides his disciple to enlightenment by helping him get overcome that suffering.
This third type of Guru must be able to perceive completely the condition of others' worldly desires and the essence of those desires. The Guru of this third type, of course, can be type A, or type B, or the both A and B.
The Guru - He is the determining factors for practice
You have to distinguish the three different kinds of Guru (of Hinayana, Mahayana and Tantra-Vajrayana) and three kinds of the practice. Moreover, the way of practice you choose or the kind of Guru you follow becomes the determining factors for your practice. To be more precise, it is a matter of whether or not you can enter the world of higher dimension after your death.
For instance, a person may follow the Guru within the Hinayana although he aims to be free in the true sense and thinks of great salvation. The Guru of the Hinayana is very pure because he lives apart from this world of desires. Hence, he does not think of others' happiness and freedom, but think of his own inner perfection.
By the way, let's suppose there is a man who wants to attain a desired effect and to attain enlightenment as soon as possible. In case he follows the Guru who gives chiefly teachings and explains by checking with Dharmas what it is like when worldly desires of a man arise in his mind while practice, what will be the result?
We have to spend thousands of lifetimes for the evolution of man (the soul) since we begin our practice, but it takes more than thousands of lifetimes - ten thousand, a hundred thousand, or millions of lifetimes - if we fail (commit a evil) on the way. Many descriptions in Buddhist Scriptures say that five hundred of life times waste by only one mistake.
Therefore, we waste much time if we follow the Guru of Mahayana although we wish to attain enlightenment or to attain a desired effect as soon as possible.
Nevertheless this Guru of Mahayana is superior in character. It is because he has much virtue. In addition to that, he is spiritually rich as he is practicing the Four Immeasurable Minds, and he gives you calm and peaceful atmosphere.
The third is the Guru of Vajrayana. This Guru, needless to say, has to master completely Hinayana and Mahayana both. Besides, he can perceive throughly disciples' worldly desires and confront disciples with their desires as manifesting them. Furthermore, this Guru urge disciple to meditate or to live a life so as to extinguish completely their worldly desires. And so, he sometimes is hated by his disciples.
I must say that this Guru among the three - Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana - does the most laborious work. And only this Guru can make good use of even the reverse fate; to guide a disciple, who was the reverse fate with the Guru in previous life, to the enlightenment and self-realization.
To find out true Self
Aum Shinrikyo (Aum Supreme Truth) has passed through Hinayana and Mahayana, and is now enterring the realm of Tantra-Vajrayana. But it originally is a serious match between a Guru and a disciple or rather between a Guru and all his disciples.
Whether or not we can practice it depends on the Guru's love for disciples and as well disciples' refuge (or faith) in the Guru.
Among disciples, there are also included both Hinayanic and Mahayanic type disciples. In case a disciple of either type chooses Tantra-Vajrayana although he is not qualified, he must suffer.
I want you to understand what I have said so far today. And be sure that you cannot get happiness, freedom, and bliss in a true sense until you find out your true Self in this filthy World of Desires.
All but Self are illusion and worthless since this world is based on impermanence: everything in the world arises, changes, and perishes. And when you conquer and overcome the impermanence of mind, of deed, and of speech, you can be completely free from these three rooted poison.
In the end, I expect all of you to challenge Mahamudra - Great Emptiness - for yourselves and overcome yourselves. For it, please advance your practice with three things: strong will, deep understanding of teachings, and great virtue to accelerate your practices.