Guru Rinpoche Day Teachings

The Four Dharmas of Gampopa

Dear friends near and far

As always, I hope this message finds you well, healthy and happy. On today’s Guru Rinpoche day, I would like to share with you some short advice from Lord Gampopa:

The Four Dharmas of Gampopa
by Gampopa

Namo Guru

May the Dharma become the Dharma.
May the Dharma become the path.
May the path dispel confusion.
May confusion dawn as wisdom.

Dharma means faith in karmic cause and effect. For it to become the Dharma means that any good deed accomplished is untarnished by thoughts of this life.

For it to become the path means that whatever good deed impelled by loving kindness, compassion, and bodhicitta is accomplished, it is dedicated to others’ well-being.

The path dispelling confusion means that, by habituating oneself to loving-kindness, compassion, and bodhicitta, the realization that all things are illusory will dawn, and one will release grasping onto substantive reality.

Confusion dawning as wisdom means that by cultivating this thought, one will realize the nature of mind, genuine reality, and thus realize that all phenomena are in essence unborn and non-arising.

Please contemplate these profound words of advice.

With all my love and best wishes for your health and happiness.

Sarva Mangalam,

Phakchok Rinpoche

Image courtesy of Himalayan Arts Resources

***This verse of advice comes from the sungbum, or collected teachings, of Lord Gampopa. We may also be familiar with another version of the first line which reads, “May my mind become the Dharma”.

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Suggested Reading

Dudjom Rinpoche, The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, trans. and ed. by Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1991), vol. 1, pages 468–474.

Ngawang Zangpo, Guru Rinpoche: His Life and Times, Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2002.

Nyoshul Khenpo, A Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems: Biographies of Masters of Awareness in the Dzogchen Lineage, trans. Richard Barron (Junction City: Padma Publishing, 2005), pages 41–48.

Padmasambhava, Legend of the Great Stupa, Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1973

Padmasambhava & Jamgön Kongtrul, The Light of Wisdom, trans. by Erik Pema Kunsang (Boudhanath: Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 1986-1999), pages 43-47 & Appendix 5.

Taranatha, The Life of Padmasambhava, Shang Shung Edizioni, 2005

Tulku Thondup, Masters of Meditation and Miracles, Shambhala, 1996.

Yeshe Tsogyal, Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava, translated by Kenneth Douglas and Gwendolyn Bays (Emeryville: Dharma Publishing, 1978, republished 2008).

Yeshe Tsogyal, Lotus Born: The Life Story of Padmasambhava, Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 2004.

‘The Life of Guru Padmasambhava’ in A Great Treasure of Blessings, The Tertön Sogyal Trust, 2004.