Kelsang Gyatso - Emphasis On Lineage

Emphasis On Lineage

Kay says that NKT-IKBU practitioners practice their tradition exclusively, "eschewing eclecticism." Kelsang Gyatso's "conservative and traditional presentation of Buddhism" is appealing to Westerners who "wish for a meaningful alternative to spiritual pluralism." According to Kelsang Gyatso in Understanding the Mind:

Every Teacher and every tradition has a slightly different approach and employs different methods. The practices taught by one Teacher will differ from those taught by another, and if we try to combine them we shall become confused, develop doubts, and lose direction. If we try to create a synthesis of different traditions we shall destroy the special power of each and be left only with a mishmash of our own making that will be a source of confusion and doubt.

Therefore, Kelsang Gyatso has taught in Great Treasury of Merit that the most effective way to progress spiritually is by "following one tradition purely — relying upon one Teacher, practising only his teachings, and following his Dharma Protector. If we mix traditions many obstacles arise and it takes a long time for us to attain realizations."

The lineage Kelsang Gyatso follows is that taught to him by Trijang Rinpoche, his root Guru, and in turn by Pabongka Rinpoche, the root Guru of Trijang Rinpoche. One of Kelsang Gyatso's teachers, the highly respected Lharampa Geshe Zong Rinpoche, affirms Kelsang Gyatso's view on the importance of lineage:

Kyabje Phabongka passed all of his lineages to Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang. He often said this in discourses. The purpose of this detailed exposition is to affirm the power of the lineage. If we lose faith in the lineage, we are lost. We should remember the biographies of past and present teachers. We should never develop negative thoughts towards our root and lineage gurus. If we do not keep the commitments after having received teachings, this is a great downfall.

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