The Importance Of A Guru

ImptOfGuru_GNThe Vajrayana form of refuge is contained in these lines, “I take refuge in the Vajra Master, I take refuge in the Buddha, I take refuge in the Dharma, I take refuge in the Sangha,” the Guru is put in the first place because the Guru is the embodiment of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. This is because a qualified Guru is someone who can, in his present life, freely transform the five mental afflictions of desire, anger, ignorance, pride and doubt into the five wisdoms. He can remain in (the meditative equipoise) of the pristine self-nature and has the ability to tame all sentient beings. The qualities and conduct of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are found in him. His body, speech and mind are the natural displays of the dharma. Thus, it is said, a genuine qualified Guru is, in himself, the embodiment of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

Patrul Rinpoche said in the “Butcher’s Aphorisms” that “All Gurus are Buddhas, their secret intent never wavering from the Dharmakaya.” Because the Guru has realised the secret intent that is inseparable from the Dharmakaya Buddha, endowed with the qualities of the three Kayas, so it is said that the Guru is the combined emanation of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and that his qualities are no different from those of all the Buddhas.

In terms of the graduated stages to enlightenment, regard one’s contact with the Guru’s teachings as entering the door to the path to enlightenment. If one wishes to rely on the Guru in accordance with the Dharma, then it is imperative to recognise the kindness of the Guru. The more deeply etched and profound the recognition of the kindness of the Guru, the more one is able to yield a heart-felt respect, trust and devotion for the Guru. This sort of sincere confidence and devotion will remove all the obstacles on the practice path. Such a sincere devotion will also engender a realisation of the Guru’s Dharmakaya secret intent, unfolding into a recognition of the basic condition of mind. Through the meeting of the causes and conditions of one’s faith and the Guru’s blessings, realisation arises in one’s own mind continuum.

Khenpo_NgakchungOur lineage master Khenpo Ngakchung Rinpoche (also known as Khenpo Ngawang Palzang) taught his disciples, “The root of all supreme and ordinary attainments is none other than the respect and faith that comes from decisively recognising the Guru as the Buddha, so one should pray to the Guru with utmost sincerity and receive the four empowerments which matures the cause empowerment and purifies the defilements and downfalls, following which, the mind of the Guru and disciple merges inseparably and so forth. It is vitally important that this should be practised during every practice session.” He also said, “If one has yet to give rise to the devotion that the Guru is the Buddha, one is unable to realise the ultimate truth. So to have devotion to the Guru is crucial! Do not view the Buddha (or Guru) in the form of a Sambhogakaya or Nirmanakaya Buddha but consider him as a Dharmakaya Buddha and give rise to devotion. The reason being that Dzogchen teaches the viewpoint of the definitive meaning of the Dharmakaya, thus view and attend to this with great care.”

 

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