Aug 16, 2019

Posted by in Giáo điển | 9 Comments



In Part 7, I have emphasized the essentiality of the practice of Eight Dharmas of Taking Refuge in transforming the practice of Right view into one-pointedness (samadhi). Just like the frame of a self-made roof, Eight Dharmas of Taking Refuge provides eight pillars that create a shelter for the practitioner to rely on the power of Guru, Yidam and Dakini. Notably, the important role of Guru is stressed in the 8th Dharma of Taking Refuge: “The Guru represents the Three Jewels. Guru devotion is the foundation of enlightenment.”

Milarepa bows down before Master Marpa

In Vajrayana tradition, the first among 14 root Tantric vows is of the most importance: “Show respect and do not criticize the Guru.” A Tibetan tantric master once said:” If your Guru wants to kill all the people in the world, you should not be upset or have a negative thought of him”. These words do not mean that the Guru transgresses the precept of killing but rather highlight the 1st among 24 general Tantric vows. This is true because any Guru understands clearly about the principle of causality, plus their virtues and merits are beyond comprehension and measurement of the disciples. Therefore, in the “A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life” (Bodhicaryavatara), Shatideva says: “Whoever bears an evil thought against such a son of the victors, a benefactor, will remain in hell for as many aeons as the number of his evil thoughts”.

Master Tilopa gives challenges to Naropa

Here the sage implies every sentient being, irrespective of humans, heathens, Buddhist followers, or his disciples. A story goes that a man descended into the realm of demons for giving a hateful look at a Bodhisattva. In that realm, he met the Bodhisattva again and continued to give a hateful look to him, then he fell straight to hell. This deadly price is a lesson for anyone who keeps wrong view and spiritual attachment. Obviously, unintentional act will be subject to negligence (unintentional fault) while intentional act caused by egoism (of clinging to “me” and “mine”) will bear heavier consequences. On the other hand, we practice the “Samyagdrsti-prabha samadhi” but miss the right view of respect, then it’s like we are sailing on two boats. This comes from the fact that even a person who is permitted to practice or receives a true transmission of dharma, he or she remain stagnant due to lacking one of four aspects of right view. He will accordingly become a person with wrong view, which breaches the 8thamong 18 root Bodhicitta vows – “wrong view”. He is seen to have wrong view once he shows disrespectful attitude towards his Guru (raises evil thought or criticizes the spiritual Guru after being accepted as his disciple). The transgression of Tantric vows, Bodhicitta vows together with the performance of five behaviors of people with wrong view (among which is the fourth one: “Disregard sagacious advice”) is likened to a castle of right view with foundation damage. So how to avoid this serious mistake? Simply as follows:

Thanh Tri Master – Thinley Nguyen Thanh

1/ Reading and commenting articles as an action to show Guru devotion

2/ Understanding that the Guru’s vajra criticism uniquely aims to wash away evil mind, evil view and fallacy of the disciple because a true master is not afraid of scolding his disciples if they did wrong. Vajra criticism is considered the bitter taste of a drug than helps cure the disease. Therefore, instead of seeing it as an outrage or face-losing behavior, the disciple should take it as a good opportunity to build his own castle of “brilliant light of right view samadhi”. That’s why among seven treasures in Buddhism, the treasure of “moral shame” (hiri) is higher than the treasure of “moral fear” (ottappa).

3/ Doing regular self-reflection on whether belong to six cases that are pointed out in Part 4: “Gain from Right View, Lose of Wrong View”:

Specific consequences left on Buddhist practitioners without right view are

(1) Cultivate diligently but gain little result 

(2) Neither secular life nor spiritual practice is successful

(3) Increasingly clinging to self (self-attachment) and clinging to Dharma (Dharma attachment)

(4) Gloomy or joyless face caused by negative feelings and emotions accumulated inside body and mind

(5) Facing unexpected risks

(6) Have rare opportunity to be reborn in the Buddha’s realm

4/ Making timely repentance to Guru in the simplest form as phoning Guru or emailing him or more seriously, coming to his place to directly make offerings, as taught in the “Fifty verses of Guru devotion” by Avagosha. There’s a saying that there’s no need to fear for making mistake but rather fear for failing to do repentance.

Thanh Tri Master – Thinley Nguyen Thanh

What I’ve been telling you aims to help you get a clear map of cultivation, not provoke a feeling of inferior. One more notice is that those who have yet taken refuge in the Three Jewels should follow Eight dharmas of taking refuge to pave the way for receving other spiritual practices taught by the Buddha. I am proud that a majority of followers and disciples of Song Nguyen Tantra House show good practice of Guru devotion with their profound understanding through the reading on Some, for tactful reason I don’t mention by name, remain making mistake. It should be better if they don’t do it again and quickly perform repentance to prevent exhaustion of merits.

May all sentient beings be mindful and have the sense of shame and fear for the sake of themselves and others.

A rainy afternoon on the peak of Phu Van Mountain, January 17, 2019

Thinley- Nguyen Thanh


  1. Tantra Mishataru says:
    Dear Guru,

    Thank you so much for this article. I understand now why its important to honor and respect your Guru no matter what he does or say we should not have wrong thoughts or views about it.

    Om Mani Padme Hum

  2. Mật Diệu Hằng says:
    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Mishataru sang tiếng Việt như sau:

    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con chân thành cảm tạ ơn Thầy vì đã viết bài viết này. Bây giờ con đã hiểu được tại sao tôn kính và trân quý vị Đạo sư là điều quan trọng dù ngài có làm điều gì hoặc nói gì thì chúng con cũng không nên khởi lên những tà niệm hay tà kiến về những hành động của ngài.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.


  3. Mật Diệu Hằng says:
    Dear holy Guru,

    I would like to show the deep gratitude to you for your wonderful article. I bear in mind that devotion to Guru is the foundation of enlightenment in every spiritual activity. Right view or pure perception towards Guru is the key to connect with the pure energy of Buddha’s realms. It is why Lama Zopa affirmed that seeing Guru as Buddha is the heart of the path in his book “the heart of the Path: seeing Guru as Buddha”. Lama Zopa wrote: “Without guru devotion, nothing happens—no realizations, no liberation, no enlightenment—just as without the root of a tree there can be no trunk, branches, leaves or fruit. Everything, up to enlightenment, depends on guru devotion.”

    In your article, you have made the clear explanation about the most important role of Guru on the path of enlightenment and you introduce the way to practice Guru devotion in every action in order that I can understand thoroughly and have an easy method to practice for the realization and enlightenment.

    Thank you so much for your noble teachings for our liberation.

    May you and your consort have a good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings.

    I also rejoice with the good deeds made by the translator who supports to spread your teachings all over the world to benefit all beings.

    May all beings achieve the happiness of  Buddha’s nature.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.



  4. Tantra Upatissa says:
    Dear Guru thanks for sharing this article.

    It explains the importance of having communication with Guru and desciples should have firm belief in Guru’s action. Desciples should consider criticism from Guru as Medicine which purifies their negative karma and help them improve their personalities.

    May Guru and his consort live long for sake of other beings and get enlightened.

    May all beings be free from suffering and get enlightened.

    Om Mani Padme Hum!!!

  5. Simon Michael says:
    Dear holy Guru, 

    I appreciate you for this wonderful article. This guide you have given to us in this article is very important to disciple which are shame and respect for guru we thank you we appreciate you. May  you juru fill us with your spirit to become your true disciple with quality of shame and respect which is stated above.  May Guru leave long for the seek of sentient being.

  6. Mật Diệu Hằng says:

    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Upatissa sang tiếng Việt như sau:

    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã viết bài viết này.

    Đọc bài viết của Thầy giúp con hiểu được tầm quan trọng của việc kết nối với vị Thầy và đệ tử cần giữ niềm tin kiên cố vào Thầy mình. Đệ tử nên xem chỉ trích kim cương của Thầy là liều thuốc quý để tịnh hóa nghiệp chướng và giúp đệ tử hoàn thiện nhân cách, vun bồi đạo hạnh.

    Con cầu nguyện Thầy Cô trụ thế lâu dài vì sự giác ngộ của tất cả chúng sanh.

    Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh đoạn trừ khổ đau và đạt được giác ngộ.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.


  7. Mật Diệu Hằng says:

    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con xin phép được dịch comment của bạn đọc Simon Michael sang tiếng Việt như sau:

    Kính bạch Thầy tôn quý!

    Con hoan hỷ tán thán công hạnh của Thầy đã viết bài viết tuyệt vời này. Sự chỉ dạy của Thầy trong bài viết này rất quan trọng với đệ tử. Đệ tử cần biết tàm quý và sùng kính vị Thầy.

    Chúng con cảm tạ ơn Thầy. Chúng con hoan hỷ tán thán công hạnh của Thầy.

    Con cầu nguyện Thầy để tâm gia hộ cho chúng con được trở thành đệ tử chân chính của Thầy, có được phẩm tính tàm quý cũng như sùng kính Đạo sư mà Thầy đã luận giảng trong bài.

    Con cầu nguyện Thầy trụ thế lâu dài vì sự lợi lạc của tất cả chúng sanh.



  8. John Mruk says:
    Thank you for this wonderful article Guru. It has shown me even more that is is very important to respect and honor your Guru.
  9. Tantra Sutradaka says:
    Reverend Gurujee

    Om Mani Padme Hum

    I bow before your lotus feet

    There is a proverb “in a healthy body resides the healthy mind” . My friend sent me several articles shared by Guru, but my ill-health and weakened mind could not appreciate as I could not comprehend the deep meaning inherent in them. Even if I could understand  I was not in position to write the comments as the creative aspect of my mental faculty was not in mood to reflect on the article and decipher its meaning and import. My imagination was not helping or supporting me to reflect and comment because of my weak health. I reported it very honestly to my friend. Today I realized that perhaps I can red at least. I could not check my temptation of going through the articles. Since I have been reminded not to read more than one paper a day I read the last one first and became very happy from within as the meaning and import the content touched the core of my heart as well as my taste and temperament. It appeared full filling the gap of my earlier article on the eve of the Guru Day. The Buddhist theory of Dependent Origination says every event is preconditioned by its previous events; my reading of the article is the effect of several conditions positive and negative taken together. Among which my comparatively better health is also there along with my curiosity to read it. However, after reading it I shalltake a leave for lying down on the bed as I can’t sit further.

    In between I had to travel a lot with my ailing body and weak health for meeting with the family and student ends. On 30 eth of August I came back to Biharsharif travelling whole night on the train and bus, as my students were asking me to complete the course. On 31st August I came to Patna as my Daughter is alone with her 4 years old daughter and she has to observe fast without drinking a drop of water for 24 hours to worship God Ganesh for prosperity of the family. This hectic and painful journey got me exhausted and delayed the writing the comment. So sorry

    Today I gave a glance over the article again and tried to recapitulate the entire lesson and the message underling in it.  In fact we all have the the theoretic consciousness of the importance of Guru in one’s own life but we must know his actual and practical role in the life of a disciple. He is not only our preacher but also guide and guardian in this life. Where ever we forget the path he points the right one, whenever we quiver he makes us firm on the path, whatever the the vision to the truth becomes hazy and blurred to our eyes he makes it clear and when our legs start stumbling and we fall down he takes in his lap, gives a healing touch, makes us to stand erect and makes us move on the path of Dhamma.

    Now everything has two aspects. One cannot always stand on the receiving end. We have some duties towards our Guru also. And the first and foremost duty is to have unwavering confidence in the Guru. Buddha too has said that who does not have the faith in Buddha, Dhamma, Samgha and the Guru is destined to destroy. And who have firm will cross the ocean of the suffering. (SaddhayataratioghamDhammapada) Hence we must have Sadddha, or devotion. Without devotion towards the Guru we cannot move even one inch towards spiritual advancement. The reason is simple.Guru understands clearly about the principles of causality, and the virtues and merits are beyond comprehension and measurement of the disciple.Not only this being skeptical towards Gurumakes one fall from the grace and one from even the elevated spiritual position. This is the reason on must show respect to the Guruand never criticize him. Since Guru is a guide to the Bodhisatva way of life one must not think evil of him, or be skeptical towards him otherwise one will have to face the drastic consequences, or deadly price in this life and hereafter. Guru sites a very good example of such punishment from the legend wherein it is said that a descended in the realm of demons for giving a hateful look at a Bodhisattva. Not only this he had to go to hell for continuing the same thought and behaviour in the realm of the demon too. Finally it can be said that one must observe the Right view, abstain from theWrong View, and have unwavering confidence in the Guru and the Dhamma. This is the only way of to walk on the Buddhist way of life.

    Om Mani Padme Hum

    Long live our Guru along with his concert

    May all the sentient live in peace and prosparity


    Avinash Kumar Srivastava



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