Dzogchen Gars and Lings Are Not Just Dharma Centers

An Excerpt from a Talk given by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu at Dzamling Gar, February 22, 2015

We are starting Dzamling Gar and if you go around the Gar you can see how many things there are to do. For two years we have been doing retreats in this tent and still do not have a Gönpa, living a bit like gypsies. I very much hope that I will stay alive a little longer and that people in the Dzogchen Community everywhere who are interested can collaborate so that we will be successful in building this Gar.

Most importantly Dzamling Gar is not only a kind of organization. Dzamling Gar is the main point of the Dzogchen Teaching that we are preparing for future generations. We are living in time. When somebody does some good things in that moment of time everybody collaborates and everything seems wonderful and goes well. But our human condition is very much related to our dualistic condition. It does not go very much to the essence.

For example, when I was in Tibet I had no idea that I would come to Italy or even to India, but working with circumstances I arrived in India. And when I was in India, working with circumstances I arrived in Italy to work with professor Tucci, who was a famous Tibetologist. He went to Tibet seven times and had a collection of ancient Tibetan books that contained everything that existed. In particular there were many handwritten Bönpo pre-Buddhist texts. In Europe there was no Tibetan library that had such a rich collection as professor Tucci’s.

Once when I was in Russia people told me about a very big collection [of Tibetan texts] and when I went to see it, it was indeed very big. There were six or seven copies of just the Kangyur and Tengyur and many collections of books of different teachers, mainly Gelugpa. But in Tibet there is not only the Gelugpa tradition but also the Nyingmapa, Sakyapa, Kagyupa, Jonangpa, and Bönpo. There are many traditions. When I went to see this collection, they understood that I belonged to the Nyingmapa and tried to show me some Nyingmapa texts. But even though they went all around the library they couldn’t find any, only some volumes of Longchenpa. That is an example. It was a very famous library but compared with Prof. Tucci’s collection it was not so big.

Professor Tucci was very famous and when he was alive everybody collaborated with him at the time. When I arrived there was an Institute called ISMEO (The International Association for Mediterranean and Oriental Studies) with sections dedicated to Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Tibetan texts. It was highly developed. When professor Tucci passed away, one of his students, professor Gnoli, became director of the institute. Then another professor who worked with him, Professor Petech, who came to India to invite me to Italy, also passed away. Then Professor Gnoli passed away. After that even though Tucci was very important this ISMEO became an institute of Africa and Asia, a kind of mixture and there was no more interest in Prof. Tucci’s collection of books.

This is a good example of how the condition of our society is. I know that and I don’t want something similar to happen to the Dzogchen Community. We are on this globe, in the human condition, in the relative condition, and for this reason I am trying to make people understand that the Dzogchen Community is not just some kind of dharma center. It is a collection of people who are seriously applying and integrating Dzogchen Teaching. For that reason we are also trying to develop Santi Maha Sangha teachers, Santi Maha Sangha training, Yantra Yoga, Vajra Dance and so on, related to this principle.

Up to now, for almost forty years I have not only worked at the university but have also travelled around giving Dzogchen Teaching. You know how many places on this globe we have Dzogchen practitioners. These places where Dzogchen practitioners have organized to collaborate are called Gars and Lings. It is important that you know that the Gars and Lings are not just dharma centers. The main point of the Gars and Lings is collaboration between Dzogchen practitioners and the aim of Dzogchen practitioners is trying to go beyond limitations. This is our path and this is our way.


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