Five types (families) of practitioners

  1. Ratna family (the Yellow Buddha and Tara family)

Representatives of the Ratna family are more prone to creativity. It is sufficient for them to obtain common principles of the Teaching and let the very creative process supplement and remake it in their own way. “Ratnas” preserve the basics of the Teaching but bring in their originality. If “ratnas” would be demanded to follow instructions precisely – then their creative potential diminish, because such an approach leads to a conflict with their nature of mind. So, while teaching the ratna family, it would be the wisest to teach them the principles of the Teaching and to leave it to their personal inclinations to shape them into their own way.

  1. Vajra family (the Black (Dark-blue) Buddha and Tara family)

Representatives of this family have inclination for rationalization; the outline of ideas which support integrity is important for them. Their creative potential is not that easily disclosed. But they are inclined to deep reflection and analysis and are able to pick out the essence of practices and of the Teaching. They become good teachers, instructors; they have a skill to explain, to transmit ideas to their students.

  1. Karma family (the green Buddha and Tara family)

Representatives of this family are focused on proper action and on proper state of consciousness while acting. Their power is in their ability to act on the ordinary level while in a state of mind which is close to perfect. Thought-constructing is not that much in their nature, but they are prone to insight and wisdom originating from the proper state of mind.

  1. Lotus family (the red Buddha and Tara family)

Representatives of this family have the highest capacity to follow the path of Guru-yoga.

A “lotus”- disciple is like a perfect vessel, so a Guru is just to pour knowledge from one vessel to another. Such disciple is able to perceive the Teaching exactly the way Guru transmits it, as well as to transmit it further on without any distortion.

Representatives of this family are able to gain perfection in realization of the essence of direct transmission.

  1. Buddha family (the white Buddha and Tara family)

Representatives of Buddha family are looking for some deep uniting experience fusing their different experiences into a single whole. They are tuned to fusion of their experiences in the purified consciousness.  To some extent they have qualities of other families, though the main quality for them is an ability to fuse bases and to attain inner silence and wholeness of the nature of mind.


It is a common occurrence when a practitioner possessing qualities of one family believes that qualities of the other families are more valuable. This common delusion may cause a practitioner to ignore his natural inclinations and peculiarities of his path and to dissipate his energies by trying to get perfection in qualities alien to him. Sometimes in such situation a practitioner even encounters euphoria, when it seems to him that everything is going right, but as he is not able to bring these qualities to perfection, the final result is disappointment.

So the best decision is, while developing qualities of all the families, to remember that the recognition of the own nature of mind and of the own path are inseparable from the qualities of the family to which a disciple belongs.

Marina Sherman
Translation: Ilona Erkin