"Regardless of the particular level of teaching or practice that we are discussing in the Buddhist tradition, whether it be Hinayana, Mahayana or Vajrayana, the process of spiritual development is one of the student relying upon a teacher. We may call that teacher a lama, a guru, or whatever, but the essential point is that there is an oral transmission that takes place in which a teacher teaches the student: the student listens to the teachings, absorbs their meaning and puts them into practice. ...The teachings are something that the teacher passes on..... The essence of Guru Rinpoche is birthless and deathless. It is not something that we can limit to an entity that came into being at one point and passed out of existence at another point in time. Guru Rinpoche's body is not a body of flesh and blood. Guru Rinpoche's presence is not based upon any physical basis. It is ever present. It always has been and always will be..... The dakini Yeshe Tsogyal is famous for having been the Tibetan consort of Guru Rinpoche, but we should remember that her primary function as his consort was to gather and codify his teachings."
Translated by Chökyi Nyima (Richard Barron). Edited by Bill Speckart. © Copyright 1995-2003 by Palyul Ling.