DZONGSAR KHYENTSE RINPOCHE :
We may be a minority, but there are some of us who have the merit, as well as the guts, confidence and courage to take the path of guru devotion as our utmost essential path. I was taught by my master that the core of this path is remembering the guru. Contrary to many people’s assumption that the guru is some kind of external entity that dictates your life, if I have understood correctly, in the Vajrayana the guru is the path.
Mindfulness is the heart of the practice of all of the Buddha’s vehicles, whether you are in the Shravakayana, the Mahayana or the Bodhisattvayana. There are millions of methods to enhance this mindfulness, remind us of this mindfulness, and invoke this mindfulness. In the Vajrayana, we have the guru as the reminder, and also what we remember. The great Jigme Lingpa said that when a yogi pursues the path of enlightenment, he could spend years and years accumulating merit through all kinds of methods, but meditation that lasts the duration of a cup of tea is more penetrating to this solid hard wrapping of ours. Spending years and years in meditation is excellent, but it is nothing compared to a single moment of remembering the guru. Even just remembering the guru’s name will dispel confusion and accumulate countless oceans of merit.
My own comments :
In my own path of Dharma practice, I can say definitely that it was my experiences and contact with the authentic Gurus and receiving their blessings that shaped almost the entire of my path and helped me to improve. Any understanding or shred of improvement comes through their kindness. And i am not just saying this by rote. When you have been through life experiences, up and down, for a certain amount of time, relying on Guru, receiving Guru’s blessings, remembering his teachings at timely moments, constantly redirecting your life into the dharma through his pith instructions and life-example, you will understand that really, every slightest positive quality that arises is due to the Guru.
Some people may think that it is overboard to simply attribute everything to the lineage and Guru’s blessings. But i think that is just our ego protesting. We all like to claim credit for having made progress. I have even seen some people drop Gurus after making a teeny bit of progress or after having received teachings or whatever it is they wanted from the Guru. Such kind of making use of Guru is the worst kind of ingratitude there is. Such a person can never progress in my opinion. There are others who consider themselves so great after having made some offerings of service or donation to the Guru, not even understanding that it is the Guru who gave them the chance to accumulate merits fast… these kind of people are really almost beyond hope.
In our life, if we are ungrateful people, we will only always consider how people owe us and not how we are endlessly indebted to countless beings. Not to mention our Guru who shows us the way out of our delusions and negative patterns. Anyway, I only know that from my experience, if we keep working with our Guru, keeping him in our hearts again and again, forever and ever… there will only be a progression from a good state to better state… and all the qualities of wisdom, compassion, renunciation, faith etc will arise without much effort. This is because the Guru’s qualities and ability to benefit beings is inconceivable and beyond anything in conventional reality.
I write this hoping that all of the readers of this blog will appreciate their Gurus and learn to work with them properly. Because the Gurus in the Vajrayana tradition are definitely the source of all realisations, good qualities and liberation. The Triple Gems, Three Roots, and Three Kayas of Buddhahood are complete in them and just by relying on the Supreme Lama, I am confident that we can reach the great goal of full enlightenment.