Tsongkhapafan wrote: dzogchungpa wrote: Tsongkhapafan wrote:
But according to our understanding, all these horses have the same function - to take us to enlightenment and they all can, so why not just climb onto one and let it take you to the final goal?
Aren't they all thoroughbreds?
Unless... you really don't believe that one horse can do it for you. That's called 'hedging your bets'
I think people are concerned about the possibility of this kind of thing:
There's no need to worry if we are all following pure traditions with a lineage that can be traced back to Buddha.
Yes, but this depends very much on which accounts you believe, and who you put your trust in. All Tibetan Dharma, even Bon, claims to originated with Buddhas, enlightened ones. Various people have spent great amounts of energy to advance various positions about themselves, vis a vis other lineages, throughout the history of Tibetan Dharma. Some argue that Terma is not BuddhaDharma. Some argue Bon is not BuddhaDharma. Some argue that Kalachakra is not BuddhaDharma. some argue that Dzogchen is not BuddhaDharma. Some argue that all Tantra is not BuddhaDharma. Some take issue with various mundane, and in some cases allegedly supramundane, "protector" practices. There has been, and continues to be, contention regarding the "correct" interpretation of various Sutras and Shastras, and also some contention about Vinaya lineages, as well.
My own personal take on the issue of Sectarianism, and "Rimay" approach, is based on my own experience, which is informed by my teachers, as well as by my own education. With regard to the "philosophical content" of BuddhaDharma, I take it as a paramount truth that reality is beyond conceptual ken, but that, nonetheless, conceptual paths are necessary for the vast majority of students, at least as a foundation. All conceptual systems--Madhyamaka, Yogacara, Shentong Madhyamaka, etc., are partial. Tantra, as a method using Skillful means, uses concepts and formulations, as well as imagination and personal experience, and it stresses samaya, and, therefore, lineage. In that sense, "Lineage" is far more important for Vajrayana practitioners than for those who have not entered this path.
If we are talking about the four, five, or six institutional schools of Tibetan Dharma (including Bon and Jonang to make six), there has been, and there continues to be, much cross-fertilization, and sometimes even pure "innovation," over the course of history. All lineages have their origin stories, often with what we'd call "apocryphal elements," but in reality each of us receives our own lineage from our teachers, and these teachers have received their lineages from their teachers. In some sense, each is a unique lineage. I say that I am Karma Kagyu by affiliation, for instance, but my personal tantric practices come from Atisha, Gampopa, the Shangpa traditions and Lamas and their Indian Mahasiddha forefathers, and several "Nyingma" tertons, as well. There is no conflict I see in maintaining these various practices. I also respect the valid traditions of others, though I do not engage in them. Those I find invalid, I leave alone. I follow the traditions of my teachers, with an informed faith. This is the heart of "Rimay" attitude, I think.
It's funny, people go on and on about being nonsectarian, or belittling others for their "lack of nonsectarian-ness." Meanwhile, very few people who have taken empowerment actually bring practice to fruition, or even seek and receive the complete teachings of any given system. Very few of us here can honestly be said to hold any lineage whatsoever. Those that do practice seriously, and maintain a daily practice, or do retreats, are the exception rather than the common rule. Collecting a bunch of empowerments, and dabbling in a variety of practices without extensive effort, is not "Rimay." It's a waste of time-unless, of course, one has the pith instructions which allow one to incorporate various practices into one's path. This could be in reference to a Dzogchen approach, or a Mahamudra approach, or some other approach, based on one's teacher's advice.
I think it's fair to say that the "Rimay Movement" as we know it really does mean something like the above pith advice. Malcolm made the point, a while back, that the Rimay Movement was mainly just a movement to incorporate Dzogchen in the institutional lineages of the Kagyu and Sakya, and to legitimize Dzogchen. It was also, historically, inspired by a counter-sectarian tendency that stemmed from Phabongka and his innovations regarding the Geluk tradition and lay practice amongst Tibetans.