Dalai Lama Quote from Snow Lion Publications

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Dalai Lama Quote of the Week

Tsongkhapa pays homage to the “foremost holy lamas,” for it is in dependence upon a qualified lama that the three principal aspects of the path are realized.

The high title “lama” alone does not qualify someone as a lama; the good qualities associated with the title must also be present. The three words–foremost, holy, and lama–set forth the three qualities of a lama.

“Foremost” describes a person who has diminished emphasis on this lifetime and is primarily concerned with future lifetimes and deeper topics. Such a person has a longer perspective than the shortsighted one of those who mainly look to the affairs of this life and thus, in relation to common beings whose emphasis is mainly on this life, is the foremost, or a leader.

“Holy” refers to one who, as a result of developing renunciation for all forms of cyclic existence, is not attached to any of its marvels and is seeking liberation. A holy person has turned his or her mind away from attachment outside to the better things of cyclic existence and focused it within.

In the word “lama”, “la” means high, and “ma” is a negative, which indicates that there is none higher; this is a person who has turned away from self-cherishing to cherishing others, has turned away from the lower concern for personal benefit in order to achieve the higher purpose of attaining benefit for others.

–from Kindness, Clarity, and Insight 25th Anniversary Edition by The Fourteenth Dalai Lama, His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, edited and translated by Jeffrey Hopkins, co-edited by Elizabeth Napper, published by Snow Lion Publications

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(Good through November 26th).

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