Jeffrey Hopkins Tribute
"He showed what a difference a single person can make."
By Jeffrey Hopkins
Given the dictum of the first of the Four Reliances, 'Rely not on the person; rely on the doctrine,' it is appropriate that at this time of his passing (and of the passing of so many other great Tibetan and Mongolian teachers) we look to what made his greatness. His magnificence was the result, not of a special innate endowment, but of special hard work at embodying and expressing altruistic attitudes. Thus, our learning those teachings within working hard to embody and express them is, it seems to me, the most suitable form of memory of him.
Given the variety and complexity of the Tibetan teachings and the present crucial point in their history, it is important that we realize how much responsibility for the continued availability of this teaching even one person can assume. It is clear that Lama Yeshe did not wait for others to work at incorporating the doctrine; it is clear that he did not view the dharma as a spectator sport, watching someone else and then second-guessing. Instead, it is clear that he decided that he would do what he could do. He showed what a difference a single person with sincere motivation can make. Even those who, like myself, were not formal students of Lama Yeshe, still have much to learn from his activities of compassionate energy.