The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Guru and the Path
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Been reading “The Heart of the Path” by Lama Zopa Rinpoche… I typed some short excerpts out… decided to just post it here for anyone’s reference. Highly recommend this book for Vajrayana students. Reason i decided to post this here because alot of people do not really appreciate deeply enough how the guru is the source of all realisations and how any act towards the guru bears very far-reaching consequences… If possible, next time i will type more and post… hope this benefits the minds of all practitioners… if you have committed any faults in relation to the guru, let this post create a sense of strong regret and repentance in you as you do your daily Vajrasattva or confession practice… then it can purify your mind and allow further progress… otherwise without purifying such heavy obstacles and karma, progressing on the path is impossible. I am speaking from experience here.
If you have been practising hard for long time but made little or no progress or even suffered setback after setback, then it is time to check and examine if your past behaviour with your gurus have incurred any negativities, best to go to them and confess if so… even negative mental attitudes are very detrimental. A thought of anger, giving up, looking down, pride, blaming, ignoring their advice or going against their advice etc… after you have confessed and mended all your mistakes with your gurus sufficiently, your practice will change drastically for the better.
Shortcomings of not devoting to a guru correctly
(1) If we criticize our guru, we criticize all the buddhas
(2) Each moment of anger toward our guru destroys merit for eons equal in number to the moments of our anger and will cause us to be reborn in the hells and suffer for the same number of eons
(3) Even though we practice tantra, we will not achieve the sublime realization
(4) Even if we practice tantra with great hardship, it will be like attaining hell and the like…
(5) We will not generate any fresh realisation or knowledge and our previous realisation/knowledge will degenerate
(6)We will be afflicted even in this life by illness and other undesirable things
(7)In future lives, we will wander endlessly in the lower realms
(8) In all our lives, we will lack gurus / virtuous friends
Any negative karma created in relation to the guru is the heaviest because the guru is the most powerful object, more powerful than numberless buddhas. If we do alot of dharma practice,… but continue to continuously make mistakes in our devotion and displease our guru, we create a big obstacle. If we don’t pay attention to fulfilling the holy wishes of our guru, we won’t accomplish much because we will have created an obstacle the size of this earth. There is no greater obstacle than this.
If we don’t practice guru devotion, our minds will become like a rock, it can’t be moved or easily changed. Nothing we meditate on affects our mind…
A tantric text states: “A vajra master is equal to all the buddhas, therefore, we should never belittle or disrespect the vajra master.”
The Essence of Nectar states:
“It is said that the actions of all the Victorious Ones
Appear in one’s own guru.
Disrespecting him is thus disrespecting all the Victorious Ones.
What could have a heavier ripened aspect result than that?”
Kalachakra Tantra states:
“One destroys the merit accumulated over eons equal to the number of moments one feels angry at the virtuous friend / guru and for the same number of eons one experiences intense suffering in the hells and so on…”
The Tantric Text Self-Arisen and Self-Manifested explains,
“One should not go against the good advice; if one does, one will fall into a hell state. Criticizing the virtuous friend/guru or fabricating his faults is like having killed a hundred thousand ordained beings. It is only the cause of the Inexhaustible Suffering hell. Even if one thinks that the vajra master is bad-tempered, one has to suffer for sixty eons in Inexhaustible Suffering”
Guhyasamaja Root Tantra states:
“Those who have committed heavy negative karma
Such as the five uninterrupted actions and so on,
Can achieve the great ocean of Vajrayana, the sublime vehicle.
But those who have scorned their guru from the heart
Will achieve no success in their practice.”
In the root tantra Ornament of the Vajra Essence
“For those who have criticized their master,
Even if they practice tantra for thousands of eons
By avoiding all sleep and distractions,
It will be like attaining hell.”
Lama TsongKhapa, the second buddha said,
“Without being careful at all in regard to despising your guru, if you then try very hard to do listening, reflecting and meditating, it will be like opening the door to the lower realms.”
The Essence of Nectar says,
“If one is devoid of devotion for the sublime object, the guru,
Qualities are not generated and those generated already will degenerate.”
In the Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion,
“The great fool who criticizes the vajra master will die from an epidemic, cold disease, a demon, a fever or poison. That person may be killed by a king, fire, poisonous snake, water, wrathful dakinis, thieves, spirits or malignant fiends. After being killed in one of these ways, he then goes to hell.”
The Vajrapani Empowerment Tantra states:
Vajrapani once asked Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, “Bhagavan, what is the ripened aspect result of despising the guru?” This refers to criticizing or renouncing the guru. Buddha replied, “Don’t ask me that Vajrapani. If i explained the shortcomings of having made mistakes in devotion to the virtuous friend/guru, all the devas and other worldly beings will be terrified. The bodhisattvas, who have great compassion for sentient beings, would vomit blood. But steel yourself, and i will tell you a little, O Lord of Secrets. The person who has made mistakes in devotion to the guru by having criticized him, renounced him and so forth will be born after this life in the hell realm that i have described for the person who has committed the five uninterrupted negative karmas. He will abide there for infinite eons. Therefore , one should never belittle, criticize or give up the vajra master.”
The thirteenth Dalai Lama explained,
“Even eating or drinking with someone who has broken samaya with one of your gurus causes you to go to the lower realms. The pollution degenerates your mind and causes you to be reborn in the lower realms.”
Serkong Dorje Chang said,
“Even drinking water from the same valley where there is a fellow disciple who has scorned your own guru causes you to be born in the hells.”
The result of disrespecting the virtuous teacher is that in all future lifetimes we will not find a virtuous teacher, so we will not hear the holy Dharma. Not meeting a virtuous friend in the future is experiencing the result similar to the cause of having disrespected or made mistakes in relation to the virtuous friend. In life after life, we will be born in places where there is no freedom to practice Dharma, where we will not meet a virtuous friend. As we don’t meet a virtuous friend, we don’t meet the Dharma.
– Lama Zopa Rinpoche