Religious Studies 27 (4):511-521 (1991)

The Dalai Lama is fond of quoting a statement in which the Buddha is said to have asserted that no one should accept his word out of respect for the Buddha himself, but only after testing it, analysing it ‘ as a goldsmith analyses gold, through cutting, melting, scraping and rubbing it’. The Dalai Lama is often referred to as the temporal and spiritual leader of Tibet, but in truth as a spiritual figure His Holiness, while respected, indeed revered by almost all Tibetans, usually speaks from within the perspective of one particular tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, that of the dGe lugs . Founded in the late fourteenth century by Tsong kha pa, the dGe lugs has always stressed the importance of reasoning, analytic rationality, on the spiritual path. This dGe lugs perspective is by no means shared by all Buddhists, at least not in the form it there takes. Nevertheless it does represent an important direction in Buddhist thinking on reasoning and the spiritual path which can be traced back in Indian Buddhism a very long way indeed, and it is in the light of dGe lugs thought that I want to contemplate two points which seem to be crucial in Raimundo Panikkar's approach to interreligious dialogue and understanding: first, that Reality, Being, transcends the intelligible, the range of consciousness, and second, that understanding this is the only basis for tolerance, not seeking in one way or another to overcome the other
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DOI 10.1017/S0034412500021223
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