Namaste. I recently posed this question to someone who I know and love in the Dharma community. He has been a devotee and practitioner since before I was putting words together…
How are Dzodgchen, Mahamudra, and Moksha of Hinduism different? Is there a chance I will understand if you explain it to me?
The answer that he gave me helped on many levels:
Dzogchen is a transmission which goes beyond the teachings of buddhism but is so resonant with Buddhadharma that it is considered the highest among the nine yanas or vehicles of practice in the Nyingma lineage. Long ago in Tibet, there were many Gelugpa fundamentalists who did not recognize Dzogchen as a valid path. Sectarian bullshit. This has changed and there is general acceptance of the Dzogchen teachings by all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Dzogchen (or Great Perfection) teachings have been embraced and well-amplified by the current Dalai Lama. Dzogchen is closely associated with the Nyingma school and Guru Padmasambhava. There are three major divisions in Dzogchen (or Ati-yoga) known as Mind series, Space series and the Secret Instruction series. Of these three the latter is considered the innermost – the Mind Section emphasizes luminosity, the Space Section emphasizes emptiness, and the Instruction Section emphasizes their indivisibility.
Mahamudra is considered the highest teaching of the Kagyu and Gelugpa schools. In relation to Dzogchen it is usually identified with the Mind series of teachings. Both are organized around what are known as the four yogas. There is a progression in Mahamudra. Dzogchen realization is what it moves toward. From the perspective of Dzogchen, Mahamudra is a sublime preliminary, associated with the seventh and eighth yanas.
Moksha, as I understand it – is the highest Hindu expression of enlightenment. The difference between this and the Buddhist versions such as those approaches named above, is basically, the cultivation of bodhicitta. In practical terms, moksha represents an initial liberation from the drama of the ego-illusion, a radical awakening to non-dual truth, very similar to what is realized by sravakas who mature into arhats. According to the Nyingmas, this realization would be classified within the first two yanas. The short version of the Mahayana critique of the lower vehicles is that the wisdom element is emphasized at the expense of compassion.
I hope this is helpful. Don’t hesitate to ask if there’s anything i can help further clarify.
I am blessed to have someone that I can turn to when I need, and I feel like I am always in need…