To Follow a Teacher Is to Follow His Teaching
In Buddhism, to follow and rely on a guru is very important. Khenpo Sodargye had been relying on H. H. Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche for 19 years and because of all those years of listening and reflection, he can say that he does not harbor any suspicion or doubt about the Dharma.
In Buddhism, we begin with relying on gurus. Gurus can clarify your doubts and solve your questions. I had been relying on H.H. Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche for 19 years. He was a marvelous guru. We wouldn’t bother him with every single question that we had, but after debates and discussions, if there were still some unsolved questions, we would go and consult him.
It was intended that I become a teacher after graduation, but later, I became a monk instead. Since I was ordained, I no longer live a worldly life and have plenty of time for studying. Sometimes questions and doubts arise, but during the past several decades, I have studied the general Buddhist philosophy and have come to satisfactory answers to most of the questions. Sometimes if new questions or hesitancies arise, I can consult not only my guru’s commentaries and teachings, but also with the commentaries of many other gurus and teachers.
In Tibetan Buddhism, we start with listening, then after reflection, we question and debate. Next is the meditation stage. Although my practice is not very good, I don’t have any suspicions or doubts about the Dharma because of my many years of listening and reflection. This never worries me.