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Lions Roar : March 2016
the Buddha’s disciples. It was apparently deadly to those trying to maintain some solidity or reference point in their practice or livelihood. In the Madhyamika, a well-known scholarly tradition of Maha- yana that proclams the wisdom of the middle way, there is another meaning to the Lion’s Roar. When a student’s intuition and the truth of the dharma come together through practice and study, this is described as the proclamation of the Lion’s Roar in all directions. The idea is that the student’s own reasoning and the truth, or substance, of dharma that he or she connects with are like two lions standing back to back. The sound of their roaring extends in all directions and leaves no hidden corners where ego can hide. In the Vajrayana, the tantric path of indestructible wakefulness, in which great sanity and great devotion are joined together, the Lion’s Roar is referred to as resounding thunder. This is the sound of indestructible proclamation that is the complete embodiment of fearlessness. Such a bold statement makes the Vajrayana teachings self-secret: the roar of the lion deafens some, who are fearful, and is wakeful for others, who are willing to rouse themselves from the sleep of basic ignorance. When the Lion’s Roar of Vajrayana is heard properly, the kleshas and other neuroses are shaken and turned into amrita, a nectar that intoxicates extreme beliefs and turns the poison of the kleshas into the medicine of wisdom. This is the notion of transmutation: through the discipline and devotion of Vajrayana practice, the poison of ego is trans- muted into vajra nature—ultimate sanity and ultimate compassion. In general, throughout the Buddhist teachings, the idea of the Lion’s Roar is twofold: on the one hand, it is the Buddha’s presenta- tion of the basic teachings of dharma. On the other, it is based on students’ own practice and proclamation of the dharma, having rec- ognized its truth from their own experience. In this way, the Lion’s Roar continues to be heard, and the teachings can spread in order to wake all sentient beings. ♦ CHÖGYAM TRUNGPA RINPOCHE (1939-1987) was a seminal figure in the transmission of Buddhism to the West and the author of such classics as Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism and Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior. He was the founder of this magazine. © 2004 by Diana J. Mukpo. Edited by Carolyn Rose Gimian. Photo by Desmond Lobo. LION’S ROAR | MARCH 2016 47