triangle symbol

triangle symbol

Not only in Buddhism we try to represent main teachings of the Buddha through like figures such as Buddha and Bodhisattvas paintings. But we also use different other symbols. Specially in the Vajrayana. For instance, the symbol of triangle, the triangle shape, this is a very important medium again in the tantric Buddhism. A triangle, it is just a triangle, a simple triangle. Sometimes there will be double triangle which is called dharmakara. But the basic triangle is a very important symbol in the Vajrayana. This is a very important medium if you like. And the triangle is again – in some of the tantric practice, this triangle also represents dungeon This is quite interesting isn’t it, the dungeon. Somewhere it is almost like a torture chamber. Sometimes this triangle also represents source of everything, source of everything. Where all the universe came from. Okay. So now we want to know, what is this triangle? Where is it? In fact, some of the outer tantric teachings say the triangle exist beneath us. This is as far as they go, beneath us, under this earth. This is the outer teaching. But then if you really want to know what is triangle, the triangle is actually representation of what they call three doors. One triangle, it doesn’t matter which order, one triangle represents that everything is emptiness. The ground is emptiness, everything is extremeless. The second point of the triangle represents path, path should not have any mark. Path should not have any characteristic. The third triangle represents enlightenment or the result should never be aspired for. So this is actually the triangle. Okay ground is emptiness, the ground.The path should not have any characteristic – no I should say path should not be bound by characteristics. Result, the enlightenment, should not be something to aspire for. If you go this way then we are talking a very big subject. Of course we are talking about the emptiness. But also the second tip of the triangle that path should not be bound by characteristic. And this is very important, at the same time something that many Buddhist keep on forgetting. For instance, I mean Buddhism in the West is still relatively new, but in the East like China, Japan, Tibet, as much as we should really not forget this second triangle, we are always bound by the characteristic of the triangle, such as Yellow Hat Sect, Red Hat Sect. This is the way to do. Meditation should be only doing sitting up. Not sleeping. Meditation actually in fact, you know, like meditation is the only thing that the Buddhist do. You know something like that. These are all bound by characteristics. And then the result, enlightenment, is something that everybody wants. Remember. Buddhism, journey to the happiness, path to the happiness. What are we looking for? We are looking for happiness. This is a fundamentally – actually going wrong. If you, trying to look for happiness, using Buddhism is really a self contradiction actually. Buddhism is actually not really made for – first of all, when you are looking for happiness you are already looking for something so you are aspiring for something. So you are breaking that rule so to speak. So anyway, this is the triangle. Now I was telling you, many times in the tantric Buddhism this triangle is also called dungeon. Why dungeon? This is interesting. What they do in the tantric practice, they try to chase and summon and catch and, I don’t know, bind the ego and then put it inside this triangle. So you put the ego as a prisoner of emptiness, characteristicless and non-aspiration. What happens to the ego then? It becomes meaningless.

Projecting the Dharma, Yale 2008

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