Tibetan text from Karma Chakme’s The Quintessence of the Union of Mahamudra and Dzokchen
“The sutra and tantra scriptures and the writings of scholars and siddhas of India and Tibet
Have great blessing, but it is difficult for ordinary beings to understand them.”
English translation Yeshe Gyamtso
“The Buddha’s teaching bear great blessing and the commentaries on them written by great masters of India and Tibet, such as the eighty-four Mahasiddhas, embody great blessings because they are authentic presentations of the definitive meaning of the Buddha’s teachings. Of course they are worthwhile and valuable, but it is difficult for most people to understand them. It is also not necessary. We can see many historical examples of people who emphasized the practice of the specific instructions of their teachers and attained complete liberation. One example is Jetsun Milarepa’s intense use of the instructions he received from his guru. There is no story that Milarepa went into a monastic college to study Buddhist philosophy.”
From Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche’s commentary on the above noted text published by KTD Publications
According to China’s 17th Karmapa narrative His Holiness is in India to retrieve his Black Crown from Rumtek monastery in Sikkim and return it to Tsurphu Monastery in occupied Tibet. Apparently the Chinese authorities have a letter in which the 17th Karmapa said this was his purpose in leaving Tsurphu in the first place.
To that end the 17th Karmapa’s monks in Sikkim in July of this year went on a 90 day hunger strike to force the Indian Government to allow the 17th Karmapa to visit Sikkim. They took turns not eating between meals for 90 days and called it a hunger strike. India’s government wasn’t impressed.
The government of India will no doubt someday negotiate an agreement with China in which India gets to keep Sikkim and the 17th Karmapa returns the Black Crown to Tsurphu Monastery in occupied Tibet but the Indian Government isn’t there yet. All of which brings us to today’s discussion, that of monks and what monks in Tibetan Buddhism become monks as children to do, which is to memorize and study scriptures, the sutras, and the tantras if they excel in their studies.
Obviously the 17th Karmapa has no such monks in Sikkim if these knuckleheads thought the Indian Government, the people whom invented the hunger strike, would be pressured into allowing the 17th Karmapa to visit Rumtek monastery in Sikkim by their publicity stunt of a hunger strike, but ideally at least in Tibetan Buddhism you have to be a monk since childhood to study these scriptures, and here’s the rub in this discussion, the study of said scriptures is not a path to liberation. As Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche notes in his above cited commentary there are no stories which have Milarepa being a monk and studying Tibetan Buddhist scriptures.