To put it simply, from the moment you enter the sacred Dharma and become a Dharma practitioner, your inner attitude and outer conduct should far surpass those of an ordinary mundane person. As the saying goes:
The sign of true learning is a peaceful temperament,
And the sign of having meditated is fewer afflictions.
If, on the contrary, your attitude and conduct are not even slightly better than an average person caught up in worldly affairs, you might consider yourself a scholar simply because you have some intellectual understanding of a few texts. Or you might think you are a perfect monk simply because you maintain celibacy. Or just because you know how to chant a few ritual texts, you might start thinking of yourself as a ngakpa. These are all just instances of blatant arrogance, and only go to show that even with the Dharma one can stumble in the direction of the unwholesome. As the incomparable Dakpo Lharje [Gampopa] said:
When it is not practised properly, even the Dharma can catapult one into the lower realms.
translated by Adam Pearcey
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