An authentic lineage
is the uninterrupted transmission of the Buddha's Dharma
from teacher to disciple.The transmission itself can be for example oral, scriptural, through signs, or directly from one mind to another.Several branches of Buddhism, including Zen and Tibetan Buddhism
maintain records of their historical teachers. These records serve as a validation for the living exponents of the tradition.
In the lineage of the vinaya
, the requirements for ordination as a monk
or a nun
include the presence of at least five other monks, one of whom must be a fully ordained preceptor, and another an acharya (teacher). This lineage for ordaining nuns became extinct in many Buddhist countries. When Ani Tenzin Palmo
wanted full ordination for example, she had to travel to Hong Kong to receive it. Lineages in the Mahasiddha tradition do not necessarily originate from the historical Gautama Buddha
, but are ultimately grounded, like all Buddhist lineages, in the primordial Dharmakaya Buddha.Wallace
, et al.
(Chagmé et al.
, 1998: p. 22) render into English a citation of Chagmé
(Wylie: karma-chags-med, fl. 17th century) that contains an embedded quotation attributed to Nāropā
(956-1041<small> CE</small>), thus:<blockquote>The crucial, primary qualification of a spiritual mentor is stated by Naropa, "The qualification of a spiritual mentor is that he possesses the lineage." The Single Meaning of the Vajra Speech
states, "There is... Read More