Which to Follow

Yutang Lin

One should follow Dharma instead of persons
Because Dharma is truth based on enlightened realization
Transcending personal limited experiences

And yet in Tantric biographies
There are many records indicating that
One should follow persons instead of Dharma
For examples
        Milarepa received teachings without Guru's permission
        And then his practice could not yield attainments
        Naropa made prostrations first to Yidam, ignoring the Guru beside
        Consequently his attainment was delayed for years
Because Dharma is tool that conveys ideas
While Guru is the Dharma stream that transmits fruits of realizations

Facing these, does one become perplexed
How should a Dharma practitioner follow and abide by

Genuine Dharma is truth beyond explanations through words
"Dharma" that can be grasped is only a heuristic device
           Contrived by awakened beings to help enlighten others
In the absence of virtuous Gurus who had attained enlightenment
One could only rely on reasoning to decide on how to practice
        So as to approach enlightenment
When one is fortunate enough to be near a virtuous Guru
        Do not be blindfolded by one's own views
        Into value "Dharma" over "person"

Indications from an enlightened one
Could point exactly at the blind spot of an unenlightened being
If received in good faith, it would be easy to attain breakthrough
Always expecting working through "reasoning"
Enlightenment could arrive thousands of years later


Written in Chinese and translated on January 19, 2011
El Cerrito, California


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