Guru Devotion

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The Guru or Lama

For Vajrayana Buddhists, the Lama [guru, mentor, spiritual guide and teacher] is considered a representative of the Buddha.  In fact, he or she is a fourth object of refuge -- even the most important one of all -- for without the Lama, there would be no access to enlightenment or liberation. 

The Buddha (Shakyamuni) is the Lama of this age.  For Nyingmapas, Guru Rinpoche is considered the prototypical lama, but his consort Yeshe Tsogyal embodies the mentor to an even greater degree.  That is, according to Gyalwa Changchub and Namkhai Nyingpo, her student, as they have said in Lady of the Lotus-Born: The Life and Enlightenment of Yeshe Tsogyal.  

Here are three translations of prayers from different lineages that are said at the commencement of a practice or ritual worship [Skt. sadhana] and that are addressed to the person of the guru, both as an individual, and as an embodiment of the activity of the Ultimate Guru.

Calling the Lama from Afar 

Lama, think of me. 

Glorious Lama dispelling the darkness of ignorance; 
Glorious Lama revealing the path of liberation; 
Glorious Lama liberating from the waters of cyclic existence; 
Glorious Lama dispelling the diseases of the five poisons; 
Glorious Lama, wish-fulfilling gem. 

Glorious Lama, please bless me to recall death and impermanence sincerely. Glorious Lama, please bless me to generate contentment within myself. Glorious Lama, please bless me to dwell in isolation in one-pointed practice. Glorious Lama, please bless me to be free of any interruption to my practice. Glorious Lama, please bless me so that all bad conditions appear as helpers. Glorious Lama, please bless me to spontaneously achieve my own and other's welfare. 

Please bless me now quickly. 
Please bless me very quickly. 
Please bless me on this very cushion. 
Please bless me in this very session!

The Call to the Lama from Afar 

by The First Jamgon Kongtrul, Lodro Thaye (1813-1901)

Lama, remember us!  [4x]

Precious Lama, we pray to you; 
Lord of Dharma full of kindness, I  call to you devotedly. 

We unfortunate ones have no other hope but you. 

Please bless us so that your Mind and ours be united without differentiation.

 

Lama ch'enno, lama ch'enno, lama ch'enno, lama ch'enno 

Sol wa deb so lama rin po chay

Doong way bo do drin chen ch'o kyi jay 

Kal may dag la ray sa k'yo lay may 

T'oog yi yer may dray par jin gyi lob

 

A different, short supplication:

PRAYER SUPPLICATION TO THE ROOT GURU
LAMA KHYEN-NO
Guru please hear us
YIDAM KHYEN-NO
Personal Deities please hear us
CHO-KYONG KHYEN-NO
Dharma Protectors please hear us
SANG-GYAY KUN DU LAMA RINPOCHE
Precious Lama, who is inseparable from all the Buddhas,
DAK ZHEN SEM CHEN THAM CHAY DREN PAI PAL
Myself and all sentient beings are drawn to your splendour.
KA DRIN TSUNG ME TSA-WAI LAMA-LA
I pray to the Root Lama from the bottom of my heart.
NYING KHONG RU PAI TNG NE SOL WA DEP
Your kindness is incomparable.
JAM DANG NYING JE JANG CHUP SEM KYE NAY
Thinking of your loving kindness and compassion and great
bodhi mind,
TA GOM CHO SUM RANG GYU LHUN GYI DRUP
These three: View, Meditation, and Action, spontaneously
arise within my being.
DRO WA MA LU DREN PAI DE PON GYUR
You are the master who guides limitless sentient beings.
CHAK CHEN NE LUG TOK PAR JIN GYI LOP
Please bless me with the realization of Mahamudra.

 

"Anyone who recites this short prayer with great faith and devotion will bring incredible blessings to themselves and to all sentient beings.  It was requested by the students of Lama Choying Rinpoche, retreat master of Tsar Tsar Monastery, who wrote it in San Francisco at the Mahakala Drubchen, on June 30, 1999, with translation assistance from Ani Lodro Drolma."

 

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