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?:
- Controlled by circumstances
- Celebrity Gurus
- Dharma without devotion
- The Worst Forms of Abuse Award
- No one can please everyone
- Experience is like a mist in the morning
- You and only you will decide
- Abundance and variety in the teachings is so important
- Look beyond titles and hats
- The path is practical
- Dismantling the puzzle of dualism
- Seeing a student’s potential
- The whole purpose of the outer guru
- A different interpretation of austerity
- The quest for a guru
- Advice on selecting a guru
- Your decision is now taking the lead
- Guru devotion and pure perception