On Seeing the Guru as a Buddha

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Dodrupchen Jigme Tenpe Nyima

The Third Dodrupchen

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On Seeing the Guru as a Buddha

by Dodrupchen Jigme Tenpe Nyima

There are many ways of seeing the guru as a buddha, but the most important point is as follows. Whenever the guru explains the meaning of the Buddha’s words, his or her wisdom mind is infused by the Buddha. After all, it is impossible to explain the Buddha’s teachings without being inspired by the Buddha’s blessings. Thus, irrespective of whether the guru is actually enlightened, the imparting of instructions is certainly buddha activity. In this respect, the guru is comparable to a medium and the Buddha to an oracle-deity who is channelled. It suffices to understand the principle in this way.

In addition however, on account of our negative temperament and ill fortune, we have been left behind by thousands upon thousands of buddhas in the past. Yet the guru, by explaining the Dharma and imparting instructions to us with great kindness, is like someone who brings in a dog from the wild to live among human beings.

A perfectly enlightened buddha is truly a friend to all the world, even if those with impure karma are incapable of perceiving him as such. Hence the famous expression, “the Teacher, an excellent friend.” Yet gurus are exceptionally kind, because, just like someone who offers us food when we are hungry, they act as spiritual guides during the degenerate age.

Moreover, it is said: “For some who have this aim, I myself abide in their physical form.” There are many such statements, which indicate that all the buddhas enter the body of the vajra master in order to receive offerings and so on. It is thus reasonable to treat the guru as a yidam deity in devotional guru yoga practice.

By the one called Jigme.

| Translated by Adam Pearcey, 2018.


Tibetan Edition

'jigs med bstan pa'i nyi ma. "bla ma la sangs rgyas su blta lugs/" in rDo grub chen ’jigs med bstan pa’i nyi ma’i gsung ’bum. 7 vols. Chengdu: Si khron mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 2003. TBRC: W25007, vol. 1: 442–443

Version: 1.2-20231110

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