Garab Dorje was the first human teacher of Dzogchen in this epoch.[/quote]
Thank you. Could you clarify what is the definition of "epoch"?[/quote]
Good question. We can say during the śāsana of Sakyamuni Buddha. However, the cycles of manifestations of Dzogchen teachers do not really match up with the principles of so called supreme Nirmanakāyas.
Also, it does not seem that Tonpa Shenrab taught all the Dzogchen tantras as Garab Dorje did. In fact Shakyamuni is considered to be a Teacher of Dzogchen, but he did not teach even one Dzogchen text. But he is so considered because he predicted his emanation of Garab Dorje.
N[/quote]Yes, before Padmasambhava. It seems Tibetan Bön also has Madhyamaka, Cittamatra... so on and so forth. I wonder if before Nagarjuna and Asanga too?[/quote]Tashi delek,
If Garab Dorje would be the "first" "human teacher" who did teach Dzogchen here on our planet called world, that is a very one sided vision, imo. If the first then also the last one? In Bon we have also Dzogchen and a Buddha who did teached Dzogchen, when i may add this here of course.
By the way where isdit predicted by Buddha Shakyamuni that his reincarnation would be Garab Dorje?
Bon has its own Prajnaparamita bum and that is very extended, more than in Dorje Thekpa.
Madyamika a must which was pushed by Gelug, but that does count also for the other Tibetan Traditions.....
Geshes must be experienced with Madyamika.
Then all Buddhas are able to teach Dzogchen but some do and others don' t. This is due to our karma to meet Dzogchen teachings derived from Kuntu Zangpo or not. We have the link to it or not, very simple.
But i see here also that Dzogchen interpretations are done without the 8 (other) vehicles or with them as the Path.
Most visions here done are seen without the monastic Tradition, so missing are the Ngondros on the Path.
These visions are done by persons like Namdrol and he has right according his level of understanding and practice.
But that would never count for some others here aboard, they must follow a more gradual Path like Namdrol also did follow, when i am right informed.
If we let dry concrete too quick, it is getting weak .....
It is a big mistake to advocate here the start with Dzogchen without the foregoing 8 Paths or without the Base of Sutra and Tantra to follow. Here it is important to not get stucked too long, in the web of some confusing philosophies like Madyamika with its emptiness interpretation. But also not to get stucked in Mahamudra because that will cost time........
So i understood that some things in Sutra and Tantra can be very misleading because the right ultimate is not shown through the line of Teachings (Sutra and Tantra). But i must say that in Bon, Sutra and Tantra is always pointed out in Dzogchen as the top experience. This because Bon is a Dzogchen Lineage and Sutra and Tantra are secondary seen. But sure there are also in Bon persons who due to their Karma do practice only Sutra or Tantra and have no notion about Dzogchen.
So it is realy the level of understanding / Karma that persons can explain that Dzogchen can be without preliminaries, Sutra and Tantra but that is never a general logic.
So a very useful Dzogchen Lineage would consist of a Buddha who did teached the whole:
Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen. like in Bon. But if we must call this all Buddhism ?
See here allready that Buddhism and Dzogchen would "differ". I guess that the Adi Buddha differs here so the Paths but it is IMO all Buddhism even Bon. So Dzogchen is no doubt Buddhism or it is Buddhism and (her) Dzogchen.