ZOOM wrote:Yes, and the only way to know if someone is approaching or attaining enlightenment are visible signs as those I was already talking about.
Certainly, feel free to blindly believe in anything you want.
I am sure if there is one thing that would cause Budda to be turning in his grave then it's "Buddhists" who don't think critically and for themselves but instead blindly believe the words in books or from some gurus!
Before getting all gung-ho about the rainbow body and siddhis, you should probably read some introductory books on Tibetan Buddhism.
You know... I was thinking something while reading the responses in this thread. Not sure if this is taking the discussion off topic, but seeing how it's getting a bit heated, hey, why not?
On one hand I see those individuals who like to follow [Tibetan Buddhist] teachings to the letter and aim for perfection in their practices. This is quite amazing and admirable, obviously. If a text says, "You must recite this mantra 100,000 times," people do it without hesitation. But why? What is so magical about all of these numbers and timelines and such? Is it really because of the number that's assigned to it, or is it meant to help instill some confidence and faith in our practice by repetition? Or is it really a matter of following exactly what the texts say? Many would claim if a guru has received instruction from [x,y,z], then we surely must trust what was instructed and follow the practice perfectly. Otherwise, if we don't, what is the point of the guru receiving this information and passing it onto us? There needs to be structure and a formula on our path. Otherwise, it would just be chaos, right? Teachers/gurus need to possess a vast amount of knowledge because there are a vast amount of people on the path. It makes sense for those more "senior students" to be well-read and versed in the studies. It is, after all, how we keep the lineage and tradition alive. So, yes, gurus and books are extremely important, and those who dedicate their lives to studying and passing on the knowledge are invaluable.
But then, I see, those individuals who are not too keen on all of the numbers and reading volumes and volumes of texts, and memorizing details to the point of obsession. But they are good practitioners in the sense that they know how to be present, and they are the epitome of compassion and have unshakable faith in their guru. And when the guru tells them, "This practice is good, you should do it," they will obediently do it, with not a single doubt or hesitation in their devotion. And it is not blind devotion, either, but rather a willingness to help as best as they can. Sure, they may not recite the mantra 100,000 times, and they may have only read about 5 Dzogchen text books and know the names of only about 10 teachers, but when they practice, they do it from the heart. Will they achieve rainbow body this way? Who knows? The more learned senior students would assume not, considering that is not the "outline" and they are missing important practices. We cannot jump from "beginner to expert" by just having incredible faith and confidence, right? I mean, we cannot go from learning addition and subtraction to suddenly understanding and applying advanced calculus, right? But maybe... just maybe... there are those few individuals where the rules do not apply for whatever reason. Maybe it has to do with past lives. Maybe they were scholars before and in this life they are working on that "faith" aspect-- who knows?!
Anyway, the point I think I'm trying to make here is that I understand where ZOOM is coming from, but I also agree with the other posters like Malcolm in the sense that we do need to treat the teachings of the guru/books as sacred. They are specific for a reason. We are all on different paths and on different stages of the path. Therefore that doesn't mean anyone is right or wrong in their thinking. The important fact is that we are all on
the path. Right? Right. And I think we can all agree that with a path like Dzogchen, without the guru and subsequent books, there is no path. It is pointless. We require the teachings and transmissions from qualified lineage holders in order to place us on the path. What comes after that is totally up to us. And like ChNNR always says, the most important practice-- the most essential practice-- we can do, is Ati Guru Yoga and being present. Anything after that? Extra awesome bonuses that lead us even further along the path. Right? Right.