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Buddhism Comes to the Rugged Land of Tibet

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Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche



KING SONGTSEN GAMPO INTRODUCES BUDDHISM INTO TIBET


In the history of the kingdom of Tibet, the fifth king was known by the name of Songtsen Gampo, who was regarded as a very spiritual and positive leader. During his reign, King Songtsen Gampo introduced the basic spiritual practices of Buddhism. While the tradition was not strongly developed at that time, the basic discipline of the ten virtuous actions were practiced. Therefore, King Songtsen Gampo was known as a very compassionate king, who emphasized the practice of compassion and manifested the activity of Avalokiteshvara with a pure heart.

The ten virtuous actions are the three virtuous actions of the body, the four virtuous actions of speech and the three virtuous actions of the mind. The three virtuous actions of body are not killing, not stealing and not engaging in sexual misconduct. The four virtuous actions of speech are not lying, not using harsh words, not causing any schisms—that is, not engaging in the words of schism, of splitting people or friends apart—and not engaging in unnecessary gossip. The three virtuous actions of mind are not being envious, not being aggressive in our thoughts or having the quality of hatred and not having the wrong view.

In addition to introducing this practice to the land of Tibet, King Songtsen Gampo had some Buddhist scriptures, and many, many images of Buddha, which came to Tibet during his reign. The number of scriptures was quite limited however. There were only a few volumes available. Of those, one that was introduced to the Tibetan people as a practice was the sutra of Avalokiteshvara, or the sadhana of Chenrezig, that is often practiced in the West as well.

King Songtsen Gampo married two princesses from different countries, one from Nepal and the other from China. The king invited the father of the Nepali princess, the king of Nepal, to send with the princess an image of Shakyamuni Buddha. This is an ancient Asian tradition, which continues today. When your daughter marries, it is customary to give a very important gift. Therefore, the Shakyamuni Buddha image came with the princess to Tibet. This statue is one of three that were built during the time of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni himself, and it was consecrated by Shakyamuni Buddha.

When the Buddha looked at these three images, he said, “They all look like me, except for three qualities.” The three qualities indicated by the Buddha that the statues lacked were, firstly, his ushnisha. The ushnisha is the topknot of the Buddha. According to the sutras, if you are a sixfoot-tall person standing with the Buddha, then you will see the Buddha’s ushnisha as being about six inches taller than you. Moreover, if you are very short, the height of a dwarf perhaps, you will still see the same thing. Buddha’s ushnisha will be six inches taller than you. One of the physical signs of an enlightened being is that you cannot ascertain his or her height—which is measured by the ushnisha. Buddha said that, with the statue, of course, you can measure the height of the ushnisha. Therefore, that feature does not resemble Buddha Shakyamuni.

There is a story in the sutras where Maudgalyaputra, one of the two closest disciples of Buddha, actually thought, “This is impossible. There must be an end to the height of the Buddha.” He thought it was nonsense. Therefore, as he was an arhat, he tried to measure the height of the Buddha through his miraculous powers. He flew up, higher and higher and higher, attempting to measure the ushnisha of Buddha, but he could never fly high enough to measure it. Thus, that is one of the nirmanakaya Buddha’s enlightened physical qualities.

The second dissimilarity between the statues and the Buddha is that when a nirmanakaya buddha wears robes, it is said that they do not touch his body. Of course, this characteristic does not apply to a statue. The third difference relates to the speech of the Buddha. It is said that when you are in front of a nirmanakaya Buddha, you can hear him turning the wheel of the three-yana dharma; whereas, from a statue you cannot really hear anything.

This very valuable image of the Buddha came to Tibet with the princess of Nepal. King Songtsen Gampo’s second wife, a princess from China, brought with her to Tibet another statue of the same kind. Today in Lhasa, it is still possible to visit these two statues, which are housed in the Jokhang and Ramochey Temples. Thus, King Songtsen Gampo was the first to introduce the spiritual tradition of Buddhism to the land of Tibet. Years later, one of the heirs of his family line, King Trisong Detsen, was born. It was during the reign of this King that the buddhadharma was fully transplanted in Tibet.


KING TRISONG DETSEN AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF SAMYE


At the age of thirteen, Trisong Detsen, whose ancestors included the great King Songtsen Gampo, lost his father; he became king at the age of fifteen. By the age of seventeen, he had reflected on the history of his ancestors, the former kings of Tibet. Some of these rulers had accomplished a great deal of spiritual practice, especially the practices of Bön, the native shaman religion. They had very strong spiritual lives and had promoted the growth of spirituality, as well as the growth of the mundane sciences. Reflecting on this past, King Trisong Detsen aspired to bring back the strength of spirituality and education in Tibet for his people, following the example of some of his ancestors. He made efforts to bring many masters from different places to Tibet. He invited educators from China to teach astrology, sciences, and other mundane wisdoms. At the same time, he invited China and India to send many images of Shakyamuni Buddha to Tibet.

At that time, King Trisong Detsen wanted to construct a huge Buddhist institution. However, most of the ministers and the subjects of Tibet were strong practitioners of the shamanistic Bön tradition. Therefore, many of the ministers were against the king’s idea to build a strong institution of Buddhism in Tibet. They refused the king’s request to do this. Instead, they asked the king, “Could you give us something easier, something else to do, rather than building this

institution?” In response, the king gave them three options. One option, which might be easier to do now, but not in those times, was to put the whole Yarlung River into a large pipeline. The king said, “If you can do that, then you don’t have to build the institution.” The second option allowed by the king was to build a huge crystal stupa in Tibet, starting near Samye at Hepo Ri, or Hepo Mountain, and going all the way to southern Tibet. For the third option, the king said, “If you can fill that huge gorge with gold, then you don’t have to build this institution. Otherwise, if you can’t do any one of these three, then you will have no other option but to build this institution.” Such were the demands of these ancient kings, especially the barbarian kings—savages!

That was the beginning of Buddhism in Tibet, which occurred sometime in the seventh century. Since the king’s ministers could not accomplish any of the three options proposed by the king, they began plans for the building of the institution, which was to be named Samye. Before constructing Samye in the southern part of Tibet, they had to decide on the land and check the feng shui, or geomancy. At last, when they were ready to begin building the temple there, at the same time, the king sent two delegations to India to discover who were the greatest and most well known masters of Buddhism. The delegations were sent to two different places. One group traveled to the kingdom of Sahor, and the other traveled to India. The delegation to Sahor was led by a messenger called Jinamati, and the one to India was led by Siddha Raja. King Trisong Detsen was determined to invite a great master to initiate the building of this institution.

When Jinamati arrived in Sahor, he discovered that there were two kings, or “rajas,” in Sahor, a dharma raja and a political raja. The son of the dharma raja was the abbot Shantarakshita. Jinamati returned to Tibet and reported his findings to the king, who then sent another delegation to invite the great abbot formally, with all of the proper protocols involved in making such a request. The great bodhisattva, the abbot of Sahor, Shantarakshita, accepted the King’s invitation to come to Tibet. When the abbot first met the king, he paid homage to him, properly showing his respect. That is traditional conduct in the ancient culture. The teachers, the spiritual masters, pay homage to the king.

Together, Shantarakshita and King Trisong Detsen laid the foundation of Samye. Nevertheless, Samye still could not be built; whenever they attempted to build it, there were many obstacles and natural disasters. Whatever they built was destroyed. Finally, King Trisong Detsen said to the abbot Shantarakshita, “Either we don’t have the karmic seed to host such a pure and genuine dharma in this kingdom, or perhaps you don’t have enough power to subjugate this natural negative energy.” Shantarakshita answered the king, “I am a practitioner of the bodhisattva path, and I train my mind in the two bodhichittas, ultimate and relative.” He told the king that he was simply engaged in the practice of

compassion and loving-kindness. Furthermore, he said, “The savage energy of Tibet cannot be subdued by peaceful bodhichitta. These energies need to be tamed by a great vajra master’s power of the four karmas, activities of tantric practice. You must invite the great vajra master, Padmasambhava, who lives in India somewhere near Bodhgaya in a cemetery. He can subjugate these outer, inner and secret obstacles. You must invite Padmasambhava to pacify the rugged energy of the land of Tibet.” Bodhi Vol 8 no. 4 Feature article 4 4

However Trisong Detsen, said, “No, I am not going to invite any more masters.” He did not know Padmasambhava; he did not know whether he had any connection to the land of Tibet or whether he would be able to be able to help or not. Therefore, the king insisted that he would not invite Padmasambhava.

Shantarakshita replied, “No, you should invite Padmasambhava, because he has a karmic connection with Tibet and the king of Tibet.” He then explained the following story to the king: Many aeons ago, the bodhisattva mahasattva Avalokiteshvara was fully engaged in benefiting sentient beings. For many aeons, he dedicated all his activity for the benefit and liberation of sentient beings. Then, at a certain point, the bodhisattva mahasattva Avalokiteshvara looked back at samsara to see how much he had benefited sentient beings and how many had been liberated. He saw an infinite number of beings still struggling and fighting in the samsaric realm. At that point, he became very upset and totally discouraged. He shed tears, weeping for all the suffering and pain of sentient beings.

It is said that Avalokiteshvara flicked a teardrop, which produced three emanations. Out of that symbolic gesture, Avalokiteshvara emanated as two daughters of King Indra, the king of the heavenly realm. Subsequently, one of his emanations took birth in Nepal as the daughter of a very poor woman, who looked after a chicken farm and sold eggs. This daughter gave birth to four sons, all with different fathers from untouchable or outcaste families. The mother, a very spiritual person, put all of her savings and efforts into building a stupa in Nepal, although this region was not known as Nepal at that time. Nevertheless, she began to build a stupa, which is now known as the Boudhanath Stupa. When

the stupa reached the level of the vase, at which point the round bumpa of the stupa is to be added, the mother died. However, the four sons did their best to put the bumpa on top of the stupa base. While engaged in this activity, they made aspirations. The eldest son made his aspiration by saying, “By the virtue of building this stupa, may I become a ruler, the king of a country.” The second son aspired, “By putting forth such efforts, may I achieve the spiritual power to overcome all obscurations.” The third son made his aspiration, saying, “Through the effort of building this stupa, may I have the power to represent the pure sangha of the Buddha and manifest the continuity of the enlightened heart. “ Finally, the fourth son made his aspiration, saying, “Since all three of you have made all the major aspirations, then may I have the ability to help all of you in those activities.”

Shantarakshita then explained to King Trisong Detsen that the king himself was the rebirth of the eldest son. Furthermore, Guru Padmasambhava was the rebirth of the second son; he, Shantarakshita, was the rebirth of the third son; and Ba Mi Trisher, who would become the minister of the king, was the rebirth of the fourth son.

“Therefore,” Shantarakshita said, “it will be beneficial to invite Padmasambhava to Tibet. We have a karmic connection. Furthermore, he is the greatest vajra master living in India today.” At that point, the king was nearly convinced that he should bring Padmasambhava to Tibet. About this same time, his other messenger, Siddha Raja, and his group returned from India and reported to the king that the most well known and most respected master and pandita in India at that time was Padmasambhava. Consequently, the king said, “Then we must invite him. We must invite Padmasambhava.”


PADMASAMBHAVA COMES TO TIBET


King Trisong Detsen then sent a delegation, headed by the fourth son, Ba Mi Trisher, to invite Guru Padmasambhava to Tibet. They met Padmasambhava in India and offered him gold and other precious materials sent by the king. They supplicated Padmasambhava to come to Tibet to illuminate the darkness of ignorance by turning the wheel of dharma, to pacify all the negative obstacles, and to bring the genuine heart of enlightenment to that land. When they had offered everything they had and made their invitation, Padmasambhava said, “Give me more offerings.” He was not happy with their offerings. They said, “We have nothing more to offer. We have offered all the things sent by the Tibetan king,” yet

Padmasambhava insisted, saying, “Give me more offerings.” When they offered all their personal belongings, still Padmasambhava said, “Offer me more.” At that point, they offered him all their clothing, everything that they had. Regardless, Padmasambhava said, “Still, more offerings.” They then circumambulated Padmasambhava three times,

prostrated to him, and received his blessings. They invited him once again, their hearts full of devotion and trust. At that point, Padmasambhava said, “I am just testing the devotion of you savage Tibetans.” Pointing at the material offerings, Padmasambhava said, “In fact, I don’t want any of this.” He gave them back all of their personal belongings and threw all of the gold towards the mountain as an offering to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. The three leaders of the delegation felt some attachment towards the gold and thought, “This gold is very precious to us, but he is just wasting it by throwing it on this mountain.”

Padmasambhava then asked them to open their pockets. Tibetan style clothes have very large pockets. When they opened their pockets, Padmasambhava grabbed some earth, filled their pockets with it, and told them to go home. He said, “Because the land of Tibet is very rugged and raw, with so much disturbing energy to be pacified, you should go back first. I will come later, gradually.” Thus, they returned home. On their way, they opened their pockets and discovered that Padmasambhava had actually filled their pockets with gold and precious stones.

Padmasambhava prepared for his journey to Tibet and then traveled slowly from India to Nepal. He spent three months in Nepal, teaching his disciples and building many stupas and institutions. After accomplishing these activities, Padmasambhava began preparations to leave for Tibet. At this time, all of his disciples in Nepal and many dakinis saw the signs that the great master was preparing to leave for the rugged country of Tibet. They approached Padmasambhava with eyes filled with tears and prostrating to him they said, “Vajra master, great vajra guru, we saw all the signs that you are leaving for Tibet and leaving us behind here.” They requested Padmasambhava never to leave the Indian subcontinent and supplicated him to remain in that particular place. In response, Padmasambhava gave the dakinis and his

disciples a lengthy teaching, in which he prophesied how the buddhadharma would grow throughout the centuries in the land of Nepal. He gave them assurance of his blessing continuing there and in India. Then he left his heart disciple, his consort Mandarava, to carry on his teaching activity in Nepal and India.

Padmasambhava was not rushing his journey to Tibet at the command of the savage Tibetan king. Rather, he was taking it easy, so to speak. He spent three months here and three months there, doing a little business of subjugating obstacles on the way. During that time, the king of Tibet thought, “We have to send another delegation.” He sent another group of translators to invite the vajra master again. Once more, Padmasambhava threw the gold onto the mountain and said, “You should go first and I will come later.”

A few months passed, and Padmasambhava still had not arrived in Tibet. The king began to have doubts and thought that his delegates had just taken his gold; perhaps they had never reached Padmasambhava, and the vajra master was never coming to the land of Tibet. He became worried. At that point, he sent an especially trustworthy messenger for a third time. Again, Padmasambhava responded the same way. This crazy guru did not rush to Tibet. However, he subjugated many different parts of Tibet on his journey towards Lhasa, and finally he arrived near that city. The king of Tibet and his retinue began preparing for their meeting— the historic meeting of King Trisong Detsen with the renowned and long-awaited Guru Padmasambhava.

The king arrived just outside Lhasa to greet Padmasambhava. With him were his two queens and the full retinue of his royal court, including his ministers and soldiers. Padmasambhava, traveling alone, wearing his full emperor’s outfit, was having certain thoughts, “I am the prince of Uddiyana. I was born on a lotus, and I have attained the great accomplishments of a mahasiddha. I have fully realized the enlightened nature of mind, and I come from the great kingdom of Uddiyana, which is a source of genuine dharma and the palace of dakinis.” He said to himself, “I should not pay homage to the savage king of Tibet, who is an evil ruler and a barbarous meat eater. This is a country where there is no light of wisdom.” Padmasambhava thought that he should not pay homage or prostrate to this ruler. At the same time, he realized that if he did not pay homage and prostrate to the king, then the king would be very upset. That would not be very good tendrel, or auspicious coincidence. These were Padmasambhava’s thoughts as he was approaching the king.

At the same time, the king was approaching Padmasambhava with great ego and pride, thinking, “I am the king of the whole country of Tibet. I previously invited the greatest master of India, the abbot Shantarakshita, to Tibet, and now this master must pay homage to me.” Therefore, the king was thinking that he should not pay homage to Padmasambhava, but in fact, that Padmasambhava should pay homage to him. You can see from this attitude how savage, uncultured and unprepared to receive dharma Tibet was at that time. As the two were approaching closer and closer, the tension was building up.

When they met face to face, Padmasambhava said out loud all the things he had been thinking to himself; not only that, he declared to the king, “I am the great vajra master Padmasambhava. I am a great scholar, the pandita Padmasambhava. I am a great geshe, the spiritual teacher Padmasambhava,” and so forth. Then he said, “You are the king of a savage, evil country. You are surrounded by all of these meat-eating, demonlike Tibetans, and I don’t find this very enlightening. You are also surrounded by queens, who are ornamented in gold, silver and precious jewelry, but they look like rakshasas—demons—they are ugly looking and they are called queens!” He further remarked, “I am not going to pay homage to you. Nevertheless, I came here because of the ripening of our aspiration together in previous lives. I came here to Tibet with compassion and love. Therefore, I will pay my homage to you because of our relationship and our aspirations in the past.”

Then Padmasambhava prepared to prostrate, offering this gesture of homage to the king. However, when he started to perform the gesture, a miraculous fire leapt out from his hands and began to burn the king’s clothes. His prostration was too powerful. King Trisong Detsen immediately stopped his own ego trip. There was no other choice. The king paid his homage right away. He quickly prostrated to the vajra master before Padmasambhava could prostrate to him, which is a beautiful image of complete surrender.

Padmasambhava was invited to the palace of the king, and the three eminent figures, the dharma king Trisong Detsen, the vajra master Padmasambhava and the great abbot Shantarakshita, all traveled there together. At this historic meeting, they discussed the building of the great institution of Samye. Thus, Padmasambhava came to bless the land of Samye and the actual construction began without any problems.

With Padmasambhava’s help, they completed the building of Samye, which was originally quite an impressive temple. At the inauguration ceremony, Shantarakshita blessed the temple with Sutrayana style Mahayana practices and Padmasambhava consecrated the temple by opening the mandala of a Vajrayana tantric deity. After completing their work on Samye, they also began the construction of many other small temples throughout Tibet.


TRANSPLANTING THE PURE DHARMA: TRANSLATING THE SCRIPTURES


One day, after finishing their mission, so to speak, the abbot Shantarakshita and the vajra master Padmasambhava spoke to the king and said, “Now it’s time for us to go back to our country. We have fulfilled your request and completed the building of Samye, as well as building temples in many other places in Tibet.” Then the Tibetan king prostrated to the vajra master Padmasambhava and the abbot Shantarakshita, saying, “Now you have finished the outer building of the temple, but the inner teachings have not yet been transplanted in this country.” The king requested them to stay as long as he lived and to bring the pure dharma to Tibet by translating the scriptures into the Tibetan language.


Shantarakshita and Padmasambhava discussed this and agreed to remain in Tibet. The king then gathered the brightest and sharpest Tibetan boys to train in the study of the Sanskrit language and dharma; these boys would then be able to translate the dharma into the language of its new country. Shantarakshita trained the first boy they picked and taught him the basic Sanskrit alphabet and tried teaching him to recite phrases like “Namo Buddhaya, Namo Dharmaya, Namo Sanghaya,” which mean, “I prostrate to Buddha, I prostrate to Dharma, I prostrate to Sangha.” However, the boy could not pronounce these words and instead was saying something very strange that sounded like “blah blah blah.” Shantarakshita could not stop laughing. Next, Padmasambhava tried to teach him, but the boy totally twisted up his pronunciation. Both the abbot and the vajra master were laughing aloud, but the king was actually crying. He told Padmasambhava and Shantarakshita, “This is the brightest boy, whom we hand picked. There is no hope for us to bring dharma to Tibet and transplant it in our own culture and language.” Thus, the king was in a state of great sorrow and suffering. Padmasambhava said, “Don’t worry.” However, Padmasambhava and the abbot could not stop laughing.

Then Padmasambhava said to the king that there was another way to select Tibetan boys to study dharma and Sanskrit. Padmasambhava, resting in the samadhi of meditation, saw that many great Indian masters had taken rebirth in the land of Tibet. He gave the names of these boys and the regions of their birth to the king. The king gathered these children and began to train them. This second group of young translators had a natural tendency to speak Sanskrit.

From this point on, the main emphasis of the king was on transplanting the pure dharma from Sanskrit into the Tibetan language. The transplantation of the dharma, of pure spirituality, from one language and culture into another language and culture begins with the hard work of studying the language. The study of language itself involves not only the study of alphabets and words; rather, it is also connected to the culture and to the psychological background of a particular country. Thus, the study of language involves

the study of many different aspects. For that reason, these young Tibetan boys were taken to Shantarakshita and Padmasambhava, who raised them in a traditional Indian atmosphere. For example, they became vegetarian. Through skillful means, they raised these young Tibetans, providing them with a pure form of training in the language and psychology of Sanskrit. Under the guidance of Padmasambhava and Shantarakshita, they became the great translators of Tibet, and later translated all the sutras and tantras from the Indian language into the Tibetan language.

The first three translators trained by Padmasambhava and the great abbot Shantarakshita eventually became the translators of the sutras and tantras existing in Tibet at that time. The fourth translator became a very important figure in the history and lineage of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism, and especially for the Nyingma lineage. This person was Vairochana. These four pioneer translators became not only great translators, but also great masters of practice and scholars of the Buddhist scriptures. They also began to translate and train another group of translators, under the guidance of Padmasambhava and the abbot Shantarakshita.

Bodhi Vol 8 no. 4 Feature article 9 9 As time went on, King Trisong Detsen continued to hear the names of different masters and scholars in India from Padmasambhava and Shantarakshita. At a certain point the king thought, “Now is the time that we should invite all these great masters of India to Tibet. We should bring all of the lineages and transmissions of those teachings to Tibet.” Along with Padmasambhava and Shantarakshita, the king began to develop the first monastic institution at Samye, with Shantarakshita as the abbot. Seven pioneer translators were ordained as a test to see whether Tibetans could maintain such a discipline or not. With the success of this group, other monastics began to enter this training.

King Trisong Detsen, over a period of years, sent several groups of translators to India to meet with the Indian masters and scholars and bring back the remaining lineage transmissions that were missing from the earlier translation work. The Tibetan translator, Vairochana, played a significant role in this process. Vairochana met and studied with the great master, Vimalamitra, who transmitted the complete Dzogchen tantra to him. Upon his return to Tibet, the king provided Vairochana with a special room and all of

the necessary facilities to work uninterruptedly on translating the dharma. The king also began receiving in secret the abhishekas and gradual instructions on the Dzogchen path from Vairochana. Eventually, Vairochana met with some obstacles and was temporarily expelled from central Tibet. During this time, the king, longing for further translations, sent another group of delegates to India. They returned with the great dharma raja of Kashmir, Vimalamitra himself.

The journey of Vimalamitra to Tibet was made difficult by obstacles. He was accused of being a black magician, intent on destroying the land of Tibet. However, upon reaching the seat of the Tibetan king, Vimalamitra was eventually recognized as a great master, and he performed the essential functions of checking the early translations as well as translating new Dzogchen tantras. The translations of Vairochana and Vimalamitra were compared to each other and compiled to create one complete translation. Between these two great translators, the complete translation of the Dzogchen tantras was accomplished.

The important point here, which is explicated in the historical account, is that there is always a certain need for refining the translations and the general development of dharma. There always seems to be a need for refining, rechecking and making the translations more true to the original teachings. In this way, we have access to the teachings

in a form that is more genuine and honest, and thus our practice becomes authentic. Vimalamitra’s main mission to Tibet was to check the earlier translations. At the same time, he continued to check on the practice and the transmission of the dharma. Vimalamitra played a very significant role in transplanting dharma to Tibet. In addition, Vimalamitra promised that, in every thirteenth generation, he would emanate back to check on what is happening.

The great Indian masters, along with the Tibetan translators, accomplished the translation of the complete Tripitaka, the three collections of teachings of the Buddha. They also translated all the tantras taught by Buddha, including the Dzogchen tantras taught by Lord Buddha and other great dharmakaya Buddhas. Together, this group of Indian and Tibetan translators, and their

sponsor, the dharma king, transplanted the complete dharma into the land of Tibet. Later, the commentaries of the Indian masters, such as Nagarjuna, Asanga, and other masters, were also translated.

A Model for Transplanting the Dharma From these historical records, it seems that the translation, the complete transmission, first took place at Samye and then gradually spread throughout the country and continued throughout the centuries. In some ways we might think, “Why should we be concerned about how things were done in seventh-century Tibet? We don’t care who the king was and what he did. We don’t care which panditas came or which did not come. That is something that happened in Tibet.” However, this is an

excellent model, from which we can learn much about how the dharma can be transplanted into our own language and country, and into other languages and cultures as well. There are great blessings and a quality of transmission associated with such a model, which was set by enlightened beings. This model was not set by a group of professional corporate

heads coming together or by some department of the government deciding on this and that, having made a budget and so forth. This whole process was decided by enlightened masters, like Padmasambhava, Shantarakshita, Vimalamitra, and Vairochana. There is great wisdom and compassion within this model that shows us how the dharma can be transplanted into a new country and language.


Buddhism Comes to the Rugged Land of Tibet,” by The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, is excerpted from The Life and Teachings of Guru Padmasambhava, published in serialized form in Bodhi issues 5 and 6 and Bodhi volume. 4, issues2 and 3. Collected and published by Nalandabodhi.

These teachings are based on a series of lectures presented in Hamburg, Germany, in December 1997. © 2002 T he Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche.



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