On the auspicious Treldha Tsechu, Phakchok Rinpoche shares with us four profound verses from the 5th chapter of introspection of Shantideva’s Bodhisattvacharyavattara to recall the kindness of the Buddha, of Guru Rinpoche and of the lineage masters who have transmitted the sacred Dharma to us.
For this Guru Rinpoche day, I would like to share with you Khandro Yeshé Tsogyel’s supplication to the Great Guru, or Mahā Guru, Padmasambhava. Yeshé Tsogyel made this prayer of aspiration, her heart filled with devotion, as the Mahā Guru was about to leave Tibet for Cāmara, the land of rākśasa demons.
There seems to be a lot of talk in Buddhist blogs, magazines and in real-time lectures about what it means for a guru to be infallible, if, in fact, it’s even possible. As I mentioned at the top of this post, it partially inspired me to write this.
In modern culture, we seem to have lost the traditional regard for our mentors. In the old days, you apprenticed to a trade. Your master was not necessarily the easiest person to get along with. But they did teach you a trade, a way to eat, and you felt sincere gratitude, even love. This gratitude for mentors was a part of every human civilization.
What is devotion? Is there something about the guru/disciple relationship that makes it unsuited to the modern world? If this relationship is truly essential to swiftly making progress along the path, how can we do so safely, especially in light of some of the stories we have recently had to hear about?