What is the Correct Way to Relate to a Buddhist Guru?

B-Guru-2-1It is very important to behave correctly when we meet a Buddhist Guru. First of all, we should dress well, don’t wear too much make-up. It is best to be natural. We should show Guru our real self. Regardless of male of female, our hairdo should be neat and clean. The body should be washed and clean. If one’s body has an odour then do spray some perfume sparingly. When entering a temple or shrine-room, we should remove our shoes and cap.

Before we go to see the Guru, dressing properly is very important. Do not expose too much flesh. Exposing the breasts or waist area is disrespectful to the Guru. Before we do anything for the Guru or Buddha Dharma, we should wash our hands first. When we clean the shrine-room, we should use a facemask, because the Buddha is the object of our refuge and the direction of our liberation, so we should have the highest respect!

In Tibet, places with the Guru Triple Gems, such as the shrine-room or in the presence of our Gurus, we do not even dare to emit a sound. Everyone’s speech is very respectful. This is because the Guru Triple Gems is the most precious thing in everyone’s heart.

When we meet the Guru, we must definitely maintain a pure mind, don’t have any thought of greed or greedy love. Don’t get too excited and lose control of our behaviour when we see the Guru. We should not rush towards the Guru immediately. One should walk slowly towards the Guru and bend the body forwards.

When we talk to Guru, our speech should be articulated with a joyful heart and with respect. We should not talk heedlessly in front of the Guru. We should not give rise to negative states that might disturb the Guru’s mind. We should always purify our body, speech and mind in the presence of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas. What differs from normal meeting, is that our body, speech and mind are all regarded as offerings to the Guru Triple Gems. This merit surpasses all the other merits.

Gyalwai Nyugu once said, “Some people get so excited when they meet me and they say anything and everything, and some people get so tense that they can’t think of anything to say. Their face becomes red and they just stare at me dumbly. They did not dare to say anything. I am not a butcher or a murderer or a thief, so what are you nervous about? If there is any question or problem, you can directly speak to me about it. Whether it is good or bad, about suffering or happiness, I will like to know your viewpoints. I wish I can help you in solving your problems.”

B-Guru-2-2If you wish to please the Guru and make the Guru delighted, you should make an offering of Dharma (practice or realisation) in the presence of the Guru. Many people bring red envelopes (containing money) to make offerings to the Guru, but the best offering is to meet Guru with your body, speech and mind purified, with greatest respect, joy, pleasure and eagerness. Human life is most precious. We should make use of our human body to make offerings to the Guru Triple Gems. We can use this body as well to carry out acts of generosity to sentient beings.

We should always remember why we come to see a Buddhist Guru. We should not consider him as one of our normal friends. We seek help from our Guru for releasing the pain from life and for liberation. We rely on the Guru because we need his pith instructions and lineage for practice. Therefore, we should always try to sustain a pure mind. We should control our speech and avoid talking heedlessly, or gossiping in front of Guru, because this will create heavy speech karma and our mind will become even more chaotic, making it more difficult to find direction in our practice. When we come to meet the Guru, we should confess all those negativities of body, speech and mind that you have committed in the past and resolve not to repeat these mistakes in future. We should take his teachings and put them in practice. Practice the Dharma properly as an offering to the Guru. Pray that the Guru will be able to propagate the Dharma perfectly, live long and turn the wheel of Dharma (teach). Pray to never be apart from the Guru in all of our lives because only our Guru can help us to attain enlightenment.

Everyone’s motivation for learning Dharma is to seek liberation and attain Buddhahood, so we should all maintain joy, happiness, and a rejoicing attitude when we go and perform the activities entrusted to us by the Guru Triple Gems. This will also be beneficial to those around us. In this way, our meeting with the Guru will become very meaningful! This is also how our merit can become greater, truly vast!

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