These days, Buddhist lamas and institutions are cultivating fame by blatantly branding themselves with logos and stickers and lapel pins. People have even hinted that in Kathmandu event coordinators hire people to wait in a crowd at the airport arrivals area to create a more impressive greeting when certain lamas are arriving.
In Bhutan and Nepal there is a trend of erecting big gates or archways festooned with banners to welcome lamas. Loyal disciples fastidiously calculate which lama has more gates and who has the largest convoy. It’s so pathetic because many of these displays are not even done elegantly. From a spiritual point of view, it’s odd to create a brand around a teacher. One justification is that publicity could be excused as a skillful means: making a louder noise provides more people with the opportunity to connect with and access the Dharma.
But fame shouldn’t have to be contrived. There are some teachers, like Milarepa, who became famous unintentionally because of who they were and how they taught. It’s almost certain that Milarepa didn’t invest time, energy, or resources in promoting himself.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book The Guru Drinks Bourbon?
Read a random quote or see all quotes by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche.
Further quotes from the book The Guru Drinks Bourbon?:
- Guru devotion and pure perception
- Devotion is supreme
- Open-minded guru
- Practicing Dharma requires sacrifice
- Skillful Guru
- The very essence of the Spiritual journey
- Check how the guru handles criticism
- Cultivating trust in simplicity
- Beginning to subdue and outshine appearance and existence
- Gurus Don’t Fish for Devotion
- The authentic guru lineage is indispensable
- A proper guru-student communication
- Good gurus are on the verge of extinction
- Going beyond Rational and Irrational Devotion
- Humble Gurus
- Peeling of our patches of samsara
- Outer display of guru devotion
- Modern Buddhadharma
- Never opt for the easy way out