Quote Archives: Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

The authentic guru lineage is indispensable ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

One quality that is indispensable is the authentic guru lineage. As the great Sakyapa master Drakpa Gyaltsen said, a guru without lineage has no blessing. Lineage establishes a pedigree of sorts and is an absolutely necessary component of the path. Lineage is a history; it provides authentication. Where there is a lineage, there is a […]

Check how the guru handles criticism ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Many gurus claim they are straight shooters: they say what they think without inhibition or filters. But if they dish it out, they should be able to take it. They should embody tolerance. But most of the time, critical gurus don’t tolerate criticism very well. One way to check is to watch how the guru […]

Look beyond titles and hats ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Though essentially unnecessary, the rank of a lama does serve a purpose. Institutions and titles can provide a measure of safety. Just like it might be safer to go to a popular restaurant because it has been written up in guidebooks, popular lamas come with many personal endorsements. Then again, the system is not foolproof; […]

Sign of a mature practitioner ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

A mature practitioner will usually have a far purer perception of others than a beginner. The more enlightened qualities a practitioner acquires, the humbler he will become; the more time he spends with his guru, the greater his devotion; and the more he hears and contemplates the dharma, the quicker his pride and arrogance will […]

The clarity aspect ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

You could say that when Nagarjuna explains the Prajnaparamita, he concentrates more on its empty aspect, whereas when Maitreya explains the same thing he concentrates more on the “-ness” aspect. This “-ness” is buddhanature. You might wonder why the Buddha taught in the sutras that all phenomena are like clouds—unstable, naturally illusory, and empty. Why […]

Humble Gurus ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

It’s usually safer to go with a guru who is not interested in fame. There is a chance that some gurus might be madly designing and printing pamphlets and buttons for the sake of all sentient beings. Not all lamas who are zealously promoting themselves and sitting on the highest thrones have an ulterior motive; […]

Primordially pure ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Buddhanature is pure and free from all kinds of compounded phenomena, right from the beginning. The ultimate true nature is always devoid of anything compounded, so it is said that defilements, karma, and their full ripening are like a cloud, etc. (Uttaratantra Shastra, Stanza 158) Therefore, buddhanature is free from the three kinds of emotions: […]