My point was not to denigrate any of the other gates of dharma practice. This posting is in the Dzogchen forum and deals specifically with a Dzogchen topic. What I meant to say is that I have met many sincere practitioners that talk of not being "ready" for practicing properly because of a feeling that one can't possibly realize anything without having completed ngondro, a three-year retreat, etc. though they have already received pointing-out instructions. This to me seems to be a cultural relic of our own education system here where one is expected to climb the ladder of post-graduate studies.smcj wrote: I can't remember where I heard it, but I believe that I've heard of people (tulkus mostly, but others as well) getting the pointing out instructions, becoming enlightened, and then going off to do retreat on Vajrayana practices. Why? Not to become more enlightened, they've already done that. But because having mastered Vajrayana practice they have capabilities to help others that a Dzogchenpa would not. So it is not as if Dzogchen has the entire value of, say HYT.
Plus there are other people, like Theravadans, that have karmic scenarios where Dzogchen would not be the appropriate medicine for their illness. So it depends on the situation. If Dzogchen was the only practice that was necessary for everyone, it would have been the only practice that was ever taught. As they say there are 84,000 different teachings for 84,000 different scenarios, but I'd be surprised if anybody ever really counted them all.
The only capabilities to help others that practicing Vajrayana would give would be to give transmission of Vajrayana practices, no? There is nothing missing in the three kayas of a buddha, however arrived at. Am I missing something?