Blue Garuda wrote:
If we follow our ordinary lower practices of HYT and Mahamudra then one day we may end up meeting a Guru who will give us direct introduction to Dzogchen?
No, I said bodhisattvas on the verge of buddhahood, through having practiced sutra or tantra to their culminations, will be directly introduced by all the buddhas and realized ones. This is less akin to Great Perfection being a path than it is to Great Perfection being the perfection of their realization.
Blue Garuda wrote:Meanwhile the especially fortunate ones receive it directly because it depends on 'how direct a path an individual can handle'.
Yes, those who can handle a completely direct path have one at their disposal. Who can handle such a path? People who learn of it and say to themselves "hey, that's for me. I have the freedom to go that route and I want to." Not very elitist. Some people feel they need more intellectual elaboration. Nothing wrong with that, as it will lead in the same direction, even more gradually, so there are paths for such people. So it's about options and what resonates with one. Some people happen to resonate with a less contrived, more direct route. Those people are particularly fortunate because the path they're attracted to more closely resembles the ground of their nature and fruit they're after.
Blue Garuda wrote:You don't seem to be saying that HYT or Mahamudra are equally effective paths, but that they are useful if they lead to a Guru who will give them direct introduction to Dzogchen.
No, I'm saying that sutra, tantra, HYT, Mahamudra, and Dzogchen are all Buddhism. It's important not to look at them each as "schools" or organizations to which one might have allegiance and instead see them as the complete toolkit of all fully enlightened beings for leading others to enlightenment. All these ways of practicing are part of the same continuum of practice leading to enlightenment. But, we're used to seeing domination and subordination, privilege and status and the lack thereof in our societies, so we almost can't help framing a multifaceted path to enlightenment--Buddhism as a whole--in the same way. But that is a delusion and an ego trip both for people who feel superior about their "path" and those who feel their "path" is being belittled as not measuring up.
Blue Garuda wrote:If Dzogchen is the best means then as we are all of the same nature, why should anyone bother with the rest or be less suited to Dzogchen?
Dzogchen is the best means for people who feel a proclivity toward that way of pursuing enlightenment. For people who feel Theravada is their style, Theravada is the best path. If an individual were to feel equally inclined toward both, Dzogchen would be the best path because for a person to whom Dzogchen appeals, it is completely direct, faster and more explicitly explains the ground, path, and fruit. People are suited to different ways of practicing because people are individuals with differing preferences, opinions, abilities, and ways of perceiving the their inner world and the world around them. People convinced that sutra or tantra is more suited to them are not "bothering with inferior paths," they are pursuing enlightenment in the way they feel is best. No problem. That'll work just fine.
Blue Garuda wrote:Having a fast track which only a few may be suited whilst the rest will have to make to with lesser 'means' sounds pretty elitist to me.
Is recognizing that different beings have differing needs and proclivities elitist? Do you not recognize that no matter what sphere we look at, either mundane or spiritual, beings have differing needs and proclivities? Whose fault is it that not all beings are xerox copies of each other? And is there even something wrong with the fact that they're not? Are some better or possessive of greater worth than others because of their differences?
There is no hegemony in Buddhism steering otherwise qualified people away from some Dzogchen fast track only the privileged few can access. People are as free to pursue the direct way of Dzogchen as they feel they are. Wanna practice according to Dzogchen, go meet a Dzogchen guru. Can't find one near you or can't afford to travel to meet one? Can't afford some large, fixed donation for teachings that are available in your area? Can't find a teacher who will teach you Dzogchen straight away without first completing ngondro or some other preliminary? ChNN is a fully qualified master who gives it away for free to literally anyone with an internet connection and the interest and attention span to participate. Not very elitist at all.
Blue Garuda wrote:It's like saying that when you reach the top of the mountain you will be ready to climb the one which REALLY matters.
Maybe I should have made a similar argument when I tested into a pre-collegiate level of math in college, when the Math I needed to get into the Nursing program was intermediate collegiate algebra and I was unable to go directly there. Or maybe I should have felt discouraged and given up on my goal rather than going stage by stage until I'd made it to and completed the level of math I needed. Some people just have more difficulties and need more help than others--that's just life. I never found those who were more talented in math than me, and thus able to go directly to the math I needed, to be elitist. I might have been a little jealous, though, that they didn't have to do the extra work I needed to, and go through the extra stages I needed to, in order to realize the same accomplishment. Was that elitism at work?