The severity of breaks in Guru Devotion (according to some)

Moderator: Tibetan Buddhism moderators

The severity of breaks in Guru Devotion (according to some)

Postby tamdrin » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:34 pm

Occasionaly I read the advice given out by Lama Zopa Rinpoche on this website http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect=author&id=11

There are many topics here but some of the ideas about Guru Devotion I have questions about. For example it seems that (maybe this is more gelukpa view but..) take this for example. There are many such teachings here...

"It is said in the tantric teachings, “If one thinks one’s own guru is bad-tempered, one will be reborn in the hell realms for 60 eons.” If one does not cultivate devotion after one has made a Dharma connection—which means having received teachings with the recognition of guru and disciple—then it is said in the teachings that one will be reborn as a dog one hundred times, and then be reborn in a lower caste—or, as His Holiness Song Rinpoche mentioned, as a scorpion. This applies even if there are no negative thoughts arising toward the guru, such as heresy or anger, but one still does not develop devotion and follow the teacher after listening to even just one stanza, even if one no longer regards that teacher as one’s guru or forgets one ’s guru-disciple relation."

What do you guys think? You are really not going to be born in the lower realms for thousands or millions of eons just because you read the right Sutra? Or you are just because you forgot to devote to a guru that you took one initiation from. It seems a little unrealistic to me...
tamdrin
 
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:01 pm

Re: The severity of breaks in Guru Devotion (according to some)

Postby ronnewmexico » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:11 pm

There are no replies so I just a uneducated layperson will venture one.

It is my experience that the words of advanced spiritual teachers must be interpreted rather than just taken in literal fashion. Many of the sutras themselves I find of this same type.

It is said in one for instance....pure land quick transmission is the lowest path
....in another it is said anyone can reach a pure land and become enlightened by simply stateing the name of the Buddha.

As example not to discuss the issue of pure land. There are things found that may seem contradictory and conflicting to things as we know them.

So I always keep in mind spoken things intended for auidences are not necessarily when written down and repeated in print or internet found by audiences to which they are inteneded.

Secondarily the way of speaking may be subject to interpretation. Particularly in some Tibetan Root texts one may find references in a particular manner. I attribute it to perhaps a cultural or linguistic gap.
Perhaps also a philosophical or way of thinking gap. A person in the west is brought up in a aristotal or greek way of logically based thought a asian person is not....so this reflects.

I personally find HHDL way of thinking on complex issues backward to me. It is certainly not that it is backward but that it is different.... asian based as opposed to european based. So I consider it backward when it is just different. I was first introduced to this phenomena when years and years ago I read Krishnamurti....who expressed a asian way of thinking and expressing.

On the specific.....I read that to be as a worst case senario. If one is endeavoring tantra and forsakes a guru for personal gain and ego enhancement and continues to practice tantra and conequently with the powers found upon such utilization harms people.....as perhaps a bad magician may cause the deaths of others that have harmed them.... then suffers those consequences.

Tantra is very powerful and misused it can be the source of things that replicate black magic and such spiritual abberations....So such abberations start most commonly with loss of faith in a guru or dharmic teachings....

So that is the potential consequences. It is all about ego though however not specific actions one may endeavor. Abandoning dharma which in this case is equated with abandoning ones guru.....can cause such rebirths.

That is my uneducated view on that. I wouldn't worry if ones heart is pure and intention is compassion...such things will not happen regardless of any one specific action, is my experience.

Specific rebirths to my feeling are not generally from one specific action. One may for instance find it stated that if one kills ones mother or father one is instantly rebirthed in the worst of the hell realms. Well yes in a sense. But in the sense that killing a mother or a father would have begun years and years before the actual act. One had developed the habitual inclination of years and years of hating to make such a action possible. So it is not the actual act but the habit that precipitated the act which puts on in the place of hell. A killing ones mother or father as in perhaps a accidental car wreck; well no habitual inclination for a hell realm is developed at all. It is a karmic result as are all results, but not of the sort that causes immediate unfortunate rebirth. So we must qualify things.

The actual acts are surely to occur if one has the habit formation to make that happen.
So perhaps rebirth may be interpreted this way as opposed to that. Some take it literally...I don't.
Last edited by ronnewmexico on Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
User avatar
ronnewmexico
 
Posts: 1601
Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:17 pm

Re: The severity of breaks in Guru Devotion (according to some)

Postby Individual » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:12 pm

Ask your guru and tell us what he says.
Individual
 
Posts: 407
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:20 am

Re: The severity of breaks in Guru Devotion (according to some)

Postby catmoon » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:32 am

The OP raises an interesting issue. If the consequences are as dire as that, and knowing how fallible most students are, then taking on a guru looks extremely risky.
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
User avatar
catmoon
Former staff member
 
Posts: 3006
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: British Columbia

Re: The severity of breaks in Guru Devotion (according to some)

Postby conebeckham » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:17 am

Snake, meet bamboo tube!

Decide which way you're going, up or down....because once you're in the tube, you can't turn around! :quoteunquote:
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2754
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: The severity of breaks in Guru Devotion (according to some)

Postby conebeckham » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:19 am

I think it needs to be kept in mind, though, that the kind of commitment, and the kind of practice we're talking about, is exceedingly rare. Taking teachings, or a Jenang, from a teacher, doesn't constitute this kind of bond.......but there are (very rarely) these kinds of relationships forged. You will know, if you are entering into one.....
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2754
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: The severity of breaks in Guru Devotion (according to some)

Postby heart » Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:31 am

I agree with Cone. Still it is a good idea to don't badmouth anyone you received teachings/empowerment's from. Contrary to the idea that either something is good or it is bad it is a good thing to leave these kind of failed relationships in a kind of gray area and back off. This feels very strange for us. I once was very badly treated by a teacher that I considered important to me. I was incredible unhappy, go between angry and depressed. When I met my root Guru his only advice was "don't think good, don't think bad". This is actually, I realized almost 20 years after the fact, a very profound advice. You got problems with a teacher, just step away.

From a more "political" point of view I must say that Vajrayana is full of these kinds of statements. If they feel horrible then maybe Vajrayana ain't right for you.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
User avatar
heart
 
Posts: 3122
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: The severity of breaks in Guru Devotion (according to some)

Postby Heruka » Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:35 am

samaya is like a gold vase, can be gentley worked to smooth out bumps, dings, dents and scrapes!


no problem.
Heruka
 
Posts: 1069
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:34 am

Re: The severity of breaks in Guru Devotion (according to some)

Postby Blue Garuda » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:05 am

conebeckham wrote:I think it needs to be kept in mind, though, that the kind of commitment, and the kind of practice we're talking about, is exceedingly rare. Taking teachings, or a Jenang, from a teacher, doesn't constitute this kind of bond.......but there are (very rarely) these kinds of relationships forged. You will know, if you are entering into one.....


Sadly I believe that this is no longer always the case, as thousands at a time turn up for Highest Yoga Tantra empowerments, including Tantric Vows and practice commitments - and of course the samaya that entails. The last time I went to such an occasion I spoke to many who were beginners with less than 6 months attendance at classes. Few had any idea of the commitment they were making, other than perhaps deciding on the commitment of how many mantras to chant daily.

I am not referring here to HHDL, as I am unsure if the Kalachakra empowerments given by HHDL also entail samaya entered into when amongst a large crowd. I understand that with Kalachakra the situation is different from, say, Vajrayogini empowerments, but I've never entered into Kalachakra practice so I can't say for sure.

In any case, great care should be taken in choosing a guru, in forming a relationship with them and in entering into actions leading to samaya with them. It is sad to see people being drawn to a guru because of their charisma, or through being persuaded by the adulation they receive, or the number of disciples they have. The relationship with the guru should be personal - not an anonymous process whereby the guru is only seen over a crowd of thousands.

Perhaps I should also mention the obvious - that the guru is also entering into a commitment to support the disciple, and that the guru may also break samaya and behave badly.

Devotion should never mean blind obedience, nor supporting wrongful actions by a guru. However, I do believe that in such circumstances the best course of action is to walk away without recrimination, wrong speech or negative thoughts such as anger or revenge.

If there is one guiding principle to follow when guru devotion or samaya breaks down, it is that of Compassion, for all affected, as the motivation for what we do and say.
Left
Blue Garuda
 
Posts: 2000
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:23 pm

Re: The severity of breaks in Guru Devotion (according to some)

Postby Mr. G » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:33 pm

tamdrin wrote:Occasionaly I read the advice given out by Lama Zopa Rinpoche on this website http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect=author&id=11

There are many topics here but some of the ideas about Guru Devotion I have questions about. For example it seems that (maybe this is more gelukpa view but..) take this for example. There are many such teachings here...

"It is said in the tantric teachings, “If one thinks one’s own guru is bad-tempered, one will be reborn in the hell realms for 60 eons.” If one does not cultivate devotion after one has made a Dharma connection—which means having received teachings with the recognition of guru and disciple—then it is said in the teachings that one will be reborn as a dog one hundred times, and then be reborn in a lower caste—or, as His Holiness Song Rinpoche mentioned, as a scorpion. This applies even if there are no negative thoughts arising toward the guru, such as heresy or anger, but one still does not develop devotion and follow the teacher after listening to even just one stanza, even if one no longer regards that teacher as one’s guru or forgets one ’s guru-disciple relation."

What do you guys think? You are really not going to be born in the lower realms for thousands or millions of eons just because you read the right Sutra? Or you are just because you forgot to devote to a guru that you took one initiation from. It seems a little unrealistic to me...

I think another interpretation to think about is that if one decides not just to take tantric vows, but primarily study Buddhism, why wouldn’t one give respect and fatherly/motherly devotion to the one who gives you teachings? If one decides to make the concerted effort to become a bodhisattva and you can’t even show respect and devotion to one’s teacher, how could you even begin to show respect for your fellow human beings? How could one even attempt to practice tantra to acquire pure vision?
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
User avatar
Mr. G
 
Posts: 4098
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:36 am
Location: Spaceship Earth

Re: The severity of breaks in Guru Devotion (according to some)

Postby tamdrin » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:57 pm

While its too late for Vajrayana not to be for me as I have been involved with it for some time. Heart, according to the quote I posted, according to Lama Zopa it is even leaving the relationship in the "gray area" that will lead one to rebirth in the lower realms. THat is what made me think about this quote. Usually they will say in the teachings oh if you make a samaya promise with a guru and break it by generating negative thoughts toward this Guru and so forth then that can lead to a rebirth in the lower realms or something like that. But Lama Zopa's saying everyone who you made a dharma connection with is a guru and you must be devoted to them or else (now this kind of seems funny because if you have to hear the teachings from a person to decide what they teach to decide if you want to follow them or not then that necessarily involves making a dharma connection but I personally wouldn't consider someone a guru because i had heard their teachings or read their book... In general I have had very good luck with the initiations I have taken as most of them have come from one lineage and I few teachers who I feel very good about in general so I havn't had to think or worry about the nightmare and headache that I know can come from issues with the Guru and issues with the samaya. It really can be a headache for some from what i hear. But recently, about two years ago I don't know why I attended a semi random intiitation while in Nepal. I honestly don't think there was any samaya commitments given but I don't even remember. Maybe I was there "just for a blessing" as some say you can take initations for that reason. Everyone seems to have some different ideas about it (the ones I have read of Lama Zopa seem to be the most severe). Anyway, in general I have been pretty lucky with gurus and samayas. I never went to an initiation where it was said you have to do this practice everyday or something like that. But for some reason I just don't feel like considereding this guy my guru. It feels like a burden and I'm wondering why I even went to that initiation as it feels like all the points it has brought up has just been a cause of obstacles and neurosis. So that is the jist of it and why I brought this up..
tamdrin
 
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:01 pm

Re: The severity of breaks in Guru Devotion (according to some)

Postby Luke » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:51 pm

I can't find the quotes now, but there seems to be one school of thought which says that samayas are only there to inspire the student to take things seriously and to work hard, and that samayas should never be followed out of fear.

I'm pretty sure I read this somewhere...

At the end of the day, Buddhism should make one feel happy, calm, and inspired, and not frightened and depressed. One lama once told the audience that our homework was to be happy all the time. We have human bodies and the possibility to practice Dharma; therefore, we should be happy all the time during our present lifetime. :smile:
User avatar
Luke
 
Posts: 1679
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:04 pm

Re: The severity of breaks in Guru Devotion (according to some)

Postby Dhondrub » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:00 pm

28. On Vajra Commitments (Samaya)
There is another issue connected with empowerments that is of great concern to many people, which is samaya. Many people wonder whether it is good to receive empowerments at all, because each empowerment seems to come with commitments (Tib. samaya); and are these not a source of great danger to those who are unable to keep them? The presentation of the commitments connected with empowerments as very, very strict and presented as very dangerous for a reason. It is presented that way in order to encourage practitioners to engage in virtue. To understand why this is done, you must remember, the primary responsibility of a guru is to, one way or another, get you to do the right thing. In order to do that, they will sometimes say, “Having received this empowerment you are bound by such and such samaya, and should you transgress it you will be in great peril.” Presenting it this way is done in order to get you to do the right thing. But you should not think that having received empowerments places you in peril. Rather receiving empowerments is always a source of benefit.
Now, if someone receiving an empowerment were to utterly repudiate the entire thing and generate intense antipathy for the whole process and tradition, that is to consciously engage in a complete reversal of virtue and wrong-doing and do everything they could wrong, well obviously, under those circumstances, that person might fall to a lower rebirth. But you are not going to fall to a lower rebirth simply because you receive an empowerment and thereafter can’t fulfill all your commitments.
To understand this, it may help to consider the word for “commitment” which in Sanskrit was translated as “samaya” and was translated into Tibetan as dam tshig, which means, “words of promise” or “words of bond.” Now, the idea of “words of promise” is not that if you transgress against these rules or regulations, you will fall fast into vajra hell after your death. Rather the point is that having received empowerment and instruction, you should practice it. If you don’t actually practice, simply receiving empowerment is insufficient. As we have seen, one of the things that keeps practice going is the momentum of commitment. So, if you make a commitment when you receive empowerment to practice, the momentum of that commitment will enable you to carry it through. In other words, the commitment or promise that you make during the empowerment is actually a source of great help or assistance to you. Having received the empowerment and then not doing the practice is not going to cause you to fall to lower states; it’s simply that the promise didn’t really fulfill its function, because it didn’t produce the momentum of commitment and, therefore, practice. So samaya should be regarded more as a useful tool than a threat. The purpose of it is to give you the means to establish a momentum of diligent practice, and this is established because you approach the empowerment with that attitude of enthusiastic commitment. If you ask, “Well do I need to keep samaya?” You do need to keep samaya, because you need to keep your promises. But you should not keep them out of fear.
-Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche
Dhondrub
 
Posts: 206
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:05 pm
Location: Germany

Re: The severity of breaks in Guru Devotion (according to some)

Postby Blue Garuda » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:37 pm

Dhondrub wrote:28. On Vajra Commitments (Samaya)
There is another issue connected with empowerments that is of great concern to many people, which is samaya. Many people wonder whether it is good to receive empowerments at all, because each empowerment seems to come with commitments (Tib. samaya); and are these not a source of great danger to those who are unable to keep them? The presentation of the commitments connected with empowerments as very, very strict and presented as very dangerous for a reason. It is presented that way in order to encourage practitioners to engage in virtue. To understand why this is done, you must remember, the primary responsibility of a guru is to, one way or another, get you to do the right thing. In order to do that, they will sometimes say, “Having received this empowerment you are bound by such and such samaya, and should you transgress it you will be in great peril.” Presenting it this way is done in order to get you to do the right thing. But you should not think that having received empowerments places you in peril. Rather receiving empowerments is always a source of benefit.
Now, if someone receiving an empowerment were to utterly repudiate the entire thing and generate intense antipathy for the whole process and tradition, that is to consciously engage in a complete reversal of virtue and wrong-doing and do everything they could wrong, well obviously, under those circumstances, that person might fall to a lower rebirth. But you are not going to fall to a lower rebirth simply because you receive an empowerment and thereafter can’t fulfill all your commitments.
To understand this, it may help to consider the word for “commitment” which in Sanskrit was translated as “samaya” and was translated into Tibetan as dam tshig, which means, “words of promise” or “words of bond.” Now, the idea of “words of promise” is not that if you transgress against these rules or regulations, you will fall fast into vajra hell after your death. Rather the point is that having received empowerment and instruction, you should practice it. If you don’t actually practice, simply receiving empowerment is insufficient. As we have seen, one of the things that keeps practice going is the momentum of commitment. So, if you make a commitment when you receive empowerment to practice, the momentum of that commitment will enable you to carry it through. In other words, the commitment or promise that you make during the empowerment is actually a source of great help or assistance to you. Having received the empowerment and then not doing the practice is not going to cause you to fall to lower states; it’s simply that the promise didn’t really fulfill its function, because it didn’t produce the momentum of commitment and, therefore, practice. So samaya should be regarded more as a useful tool than a threat. The purpose of it is to give you the means to establish a momentum of diligent practice, and this is established because you approach the empowerment with that attitude of enthusiastic commitment. If you ask, “Well do I need to keep samaya?” You do need to keep samaya, because you need to keep your promises. But you should not keep them out of fear.
-Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche



I would add slightly to that excellent advice.

One should only enter HYT and samaya commitments having already generated Bodhichitta and attained some measure of Tranquil Abiding.

That motivation alone, for the benefit of all sentient beings, should be the solid foundation upon which Tantra is built.

Because of this, your promise is not just made to yourself, with consequences only for yourself. With such a motivation underpinning them, it is much harder to break these promises IMHO.

That positive altruism should be a stronger reason to adhere to commitments than the threat of a rapid descent into the hell realms. Fear has no place in Tantra, whereas it is impossible to develop and hold negative thoughts if in an abiding state of Compassion.

If we are already motivated by universal compassion we would already seek to do all in our power to avoid the hell realms - not for our own good, but for the benefit of other beings.

P.S. I really like the teachings of Lamas Yeshe and Zopa.


maitri

Yeshe Zopa :namaste:
Left
Blue Garuda
 
Posts: 2000
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:23 pm

Re: The severity of breaks in Guru Devotion (according to some)

Postby heart » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:40 pm

tamdrin wrote:While its too late for Vajrayana not to be for me as I have been involved with it for some time. Heart, according to the quote I posted, according to Lama Zopa it is even leaving the relationship in the "gray area" that will lead one to rebirth in the lower realms. THat is what made me think about this quote. Usually they will say in the teachings oh if you make a samaya promise with a guru and break it by generating negative thoughts toward this Guru and so forth then that can lead to a rebirth in the lower realms or something like that. But Lama Zopa's saying everyone who you made a dharma connection with is a guru and you must be devoted to them or else (now this kind of seems funny because if you have to hear the teachings from a person to decide what they teach to decide if you want to follow them or not then that necessarily involves making a dharma connection but I personally wouldn't consider someone a guru because i had heard their teachings or read their book... In general I have had very good luck with the initiations I have taken as most of them have come from one lineage and I few teachers who I feel very good about in general so I havn't had to think or worry about the nightmare and headache that I know can come from issues with the Guru and issues with the samaya. It really can be a headache for some from what i hear. But recently, about two years ago I don't know why I attended a semi random intiitation while in Nepal. I honestly don't think there was any samaya commitments given but I don't even remember. Maybe I was there "just for a blessing" as some say you can take initations for that reason. Everyone seems to have some different ideas about it (the ones I have read of Lama Zopa seem to be the most severe). Anyway, in general I have been pretty lucky with gurus and samayas. I never went to an initiation where it was said you have to do this practice everyday or something like that. But for some reason I just don't feel like considereding this guy my guru. It feels like a burden and I'm wondering why I even went to that initiation as it feels like all the points it has brought up has just been a cause of obstacles and neurosis. So that is the jist of it and why I brought this up..


Dear Tamdrin,

I do understand what you say. I also heard that just receiving a teaching you should consider that person your Guru. But I think that without a personal commitment on both yours and the Gurus side the gray area is quite safe. If not I would say that almost all Vajrayana practitioners would end up reborn as dogs. Not much of a blessing in Vajrayana then, right? I think we have to use our common sense. As long as we have faith in the Buddhas teachings how could there be a breach of samaya?
My Guru once scolded a whole big seminar for considering themselves his disciples and putting his photo on their altars. People he just gave the pointing-out instruction. Food for thought.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
User avatar
heart
 
Posts: 3122
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: The severity of breaks in Guru Devotion (according to some)

Postby ronnewmexico » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:17 pm

A bit aside the topic...but born as a dog a flea a scorpion all this to my opinion would only be perceived as a lesser if one knew one was a greater.

Without such knowledge....what matter. It all passes like a flash of lightning in the dark as they say.
Human life most important they say for spiritual progress. I don't disagree but if one is a production of circumstance one born as not human is then not in circumstance of spiritual advancement so why would I be concerned? When I am I will then advance. When not I will not advance.

It seems to not matter. Not that I am nihilist nor consider compassion as not important, it is most important. But where and how one is born.....I can't see baseing a present life on a future potentiality.
What brings happiness to any sentient being is always compassion and compassionate effect.
So I be reborn not happy....so what?

A compassionate scorpion I will try to be. At least more compassionate then when first born as scorpion....So I will succeed at that thing and that life. I have not a bit of concern in that. In the end I will be more happy than in the begining. So it is exactly the same.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
User avatar
ronnewmexico
 
Posts: 1601
Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:17 pm

Re: The severity of breaks in Guru Devotion (according to some)

Postby Tilopa » Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:38 am

Yeshe wrote:I am not referring here to HHDL, as I am unsure if the Kalachakra empowerments given by HHDL also entail samaya entered into when amongst a large crowd. I understand that with Kalachakra the situation is different from, say, Vajrayogini empowerments, but I've never entered into Kalachakra practice so I can't say for sure.


Usually HH advises people who are new or uncertain to take the Kalacakra as a blessing which doesn't involve vows or samaya. He leaves it up to each person to make their own level of committment

In any case, great care should be taken in choosing a guru, in forming a relationship with them and in entering into actions leading to samaya with them. It is sad to see people being drawn to a guru because of their charisma, or through being persuaded by the adulation they receive, or the number of disciples they have. The relationship with the guru should be personal - not an anonymous process whereby the guru is only seen over a crowd of thousands.


Well said and quite right.
User avatar
Tilopa
 
Posts: 486
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:53 am

Re: The severity of breaks in Guru Devotion (according to some)

Postby Tilopa » Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:44 am

tamdrin wrote: But Lama Zopa's saying everyone who you made a dharma connection with is a guru and you must be devoted to them or else (now this kind of seems funny because if you have to hear the teachings from a person to decide what they teach to decide if you want to follow them or not then that necessarily involves making a dharma connection but I personally wouldn't consider someone a guru because i had heard their teachings or read their book...


Sometimes you need to know the context in which Lamas say things and the audience to whom they are speaking. Elsewhere on the same site Lama Zopa says this:

"Just being present with other people and hearing the teachings does not alone make a Dharma connection—a guru/disciple relationship. But if you take the teaching with a recognition of yourself as the disciple and the teacher as the guru then even if the teacher just says a few words, even just a verse of teachings or one mantra recitation, then that person is your guru from then on."

and this

"If you don’t recognize yourself as a disciple and that person as the teacher or guru, just being present in the teaching does not mean that you are making a guru-disciple connection, even if you listen to the teachings. Likewise, even if you are present at the initiation, if you don’t do the visualization and have no recognition that you are the disciple and that person is the guru, you are not taking the initiation and are not making the guru-disciple connection"

Both extracted from letters here: http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect ... &chid=1288

So clearly there has to be a determination from ones own side that the teacher is one's guru before the relationship can arise. :anjali:
User avatar
Tilopa
 
Posts: 486
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:53 am

Re: The severity of breaks in Guru Devotion (according to some)

Postby ground » Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:40 am

Thank you all.
I find these posts very helpful and elucidating. For me it is like a revelation of where to go and where not to go. Please do not misunderstand me, it is not that I want to say "This is generally so and so" or "This is generally not so and so" it is just my personal view based on my personal experiences.

"Connection" or "relationship" for me means that if a teachers has taught something that entailed directly or indirectly "new" insight(s) that really "changed something" then I feel "connected" to this teacher and he remains "in my heart". He may even become part of meditation sessions in the sense of somehow "being present". But that's it. I do not cultivate a desire to meet him again or to be accepted as his student or to get even more advantages through listening to him. He actually "is present in me" through the insight he was a condition for.
Instead of cultivating this a.m. desire I am more inclined to the opposite: To counter any attachment that could arise due to the advantage I received once. But to keep him "in my heart" and evoke "his presence" and being deeply grateful appears somehow "natural" to me.


Kind regards
User avatar
ground
 
Posts: 1782
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:31 am

Re: The severity of breaks in Guru Devotion (according to some)

Postby kirtu » Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:12 pm

catmoon wrote:The OP raises an interesting issue. If the consequences are as dire as that, and knowing how fallible most students are, then taking on a guru looks extremely risky.


That's one reason why Vajrayana was secret.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4570
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD


Return to Tibetan Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: heart, lelopa and 14 guests

>