Lojong: The Heart of Madhyamaka

Another reason for studying the classic philosophical texts, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche said, is that they provide a firm criterion of doctrinal authenticity.

There is a story that once when Atisha was in Tibet, he received news of the death of the master Maitripa. He was deeply grieved, and on being questioned about the reasons for his sorrow, he replied that Buddhism was in decline in India and that everywhere there was syncretism and confusion.

Until then, Atisha continued, there had been only two masters in the whole of India, Maitripa and himself, capable of discerning the correct teaching from the doctrines and practices of the reviving Hindu schools.

The time is sure to come, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche commented, and perhaps it is here already, when there will be an analogous situation in the West. Only the correct establishment of the view will enable one to find one’s way through the religious confusion of the modern West and to distinguish authentic Buddhism from the New Age “self help” version that are already taking hold.

Furthermore, a correct understanding of Madhyamika provides an excellent foundation and brings into focus the entire range of Mahayana practice. The view is none other than the absolute aspect of bodhicitta, indissociable from compassion, its relative aspect.

The one cannot be perfected without the other. Compassion can never be mastered without the view of emptiness; wisdom can never be brought to completion without the perfection of compassion.

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche remarked significantly that just as the practice of guru yoga is said to be the life of the Vajrayana, lojong, the mind training, is the heart of Madhyamaka.

From “Introduction to the Middle Way by Wulstan Fletcher

(Posted by Friends who like DJKR, a living Buddha in Our Time, Facebook, 11 February 2024)

  • February 11, 2024