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?:
- Devotion is supreme
- Abundance and variety in the teachings is so important
- Open-minded guru
- Outer display of guru devotion
- The very essence of the Spiritual journey
- Seeing a student’s potential
- Check how the guru handles criticism
- Cultivating trust in simplicity
- Practicing Dharma requires sacrifice
- Gurus Don’t Fish for Devotion
- Advice on selecting a guru
- Humble Gurus
- A proper guru-student communication
- Skillful Guru
- Going beyond Rational and Irrational Devotion
- Why can’t the Guru be perfect?
- The authentic guru lineage is indispensable
- Peeling of our patches of samsara
- Experience is like a mist in the morning
- Modern Buddhadharma