Six Yogas

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Six Yogas (lit. Six Unions), (Skt. ṣaḍañga-yoga) - sbyor drug (NOT chos drug!) Also known as "Six-limbed Vajra Yoga" and "Six Vajra Yogas". The main upholders and practitioners of this lineage of perfection process practices according to the Kālacakra system are presently the followers of the Jonang tradition. Even H.H. the Dalai Lama considered some aspects of his own transmission of these Yogas damaged, if not broken. For this reason, in 2004, he invited one of the leading experts and lineage holders of this transmission from the Jonang tradition, Khenpo Kunga Sherab Rinpoche, from Amdo to India to transmit the instructions on the Six Vajra Yogas of the Jonangpas to the geshes and monks at Namgyal Monastery in Dharamsala.

The Six Yogas are:

1. so sor sdud pa – withdrawal (Skt. pratyāhara)
2. bsam gtan - mental focus (Skt. dhyāna)
3. srog rtsol - wind control (Skt. prāṇāyāma)
4. 'dzin pa – retention (Skt. dharāṇā)
5. rjes dran – consummation (Skt. anusmṛiti)
6. ting nge ‘dzin – absorption (Skt. samādhi)

The characteristics of the Six Yogas:

The essence of Pratyāhara is non-conceptualisation through petrifying the mind.
The essence of Dhyāna is focussing the mind on the appearances of empty-form.
The essence of Prāṇāyāma is to prevent the action-winds from moving outside the central channel.
The essence of Dharāṇā is to reduce the winds to nothing.
The essence of Anusmṛiti is the great passion of the blazing Tummo.
The essence of Samādhi is the unchanging bliss of the seeds.

Pratyāhara and Dhyāna are yogas of the channels, as they are the best for purifying the paths of the channels.
Prāṇāyāma and Dharāṇā reduce the movements of the winds of sun and moon.
Anusmṛiti and Samādhi are yogas of the seeds.

The other systems, such as "na ro chos drug" and "ni gu chos drug", must be referred to as "Six Doctrines" or "Six Dharmas". The Six Doctrines are:

1. The practice of inner heat (gtum mo).
2. The illusory body (sgyu lus).
3. The dream state (rmi lam).
4. The clear light or luminosity ('od gsal).
5. The ejection of consciousness ('pho ba).
6. The intermediate states (bar do).

Combined with the meditations of deities such as Vajrayoginī/Vajravārahī or Cakrasaṃvara, and the system of Māhamudrā they are the most important meditational practices of the various Kagyu schools (TSD)

External Links

  • Introduction to the Six Yogas on Edward Henning's Kalacakra Website:[1]
  • Another description of the Six Yogas on the Jonang Foundation Website:[2]