Hmmmmmm... Look, for Ngondro, for example, there is no doubt in my mind that it produces the conditions necessary for your karma to ripen in such a way as to be able to access "higher" teachings. But again, all that is at play here is the "correct" causes and conditions coming together. I am sure that you have been at "closed" empowerments and teachings where seemingly irrelevant people turn up and... "Oh! A Hevajra empowerment! Can I please join in Mr Lama-guru-teacher, type person?" Asks the newb that hasn't even taken refuge.Dechen Norbu wrote:There are empowerments that won't be given to you unless you meet certain requirements. For instance, many teachers won't give you certain empowerments unless you have finished ngondro. Just an example.
Some empowerments require that you have already some degree of maturity in your practice and commitment. They are not to be taken lightly, especially when they deal with certain protectors, for instance.
I'm just naming some situations where you're expected to meet certain conditions, for your own sake, before you receive a certain empowerment. This is not difficult to understand and has nothing elitist about it. Before you run you need to learn how to walk, that's all. In some cases it's the same when it comes to empowerments.
"Of course you can!" Replies the (broadly smiling) lama that you have been leaning on for 10 years straight to give you the Buddha damned practice and he made you jump through 15 flaming hoops before finally giving it to you!!!
As for the "run before you walk" deal. That was kind of shattered for me after reading the book "Masters of Mahamudra". Of course I can see the point in it, but... How do you know what the other person has been up to during their last 1500 lifetimes? How can you truly know if they already know how to walk or not? You can't! That' why, to err on the side caution, a lama will normally make you do ngondro. Just to be sure! But...