Teachings from the Thousand-Arm Chenrezig Retreat (Audio and Unedited Transcripts)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Chin-liang, Taichung County, Taiwan (Archive #1344)

These recordings are from teachings given during the Thousand-Arm Chenrezig Retreat in Taiwan in February-March 2001.

Click on the links above to listen to each section and read along with the unedited transcript.

Meaning of Guru and Lama

The first part of fifth verse, five/

[Taping stops abruptly]

/to be able to complete the Dharma practice. The next part of the requesting.


The definition of the root virtuous friend that is, for example, Lama Atisha has 157 gurus and the Lama Atisha generated bodhicitta and completed in that and by devoting Lama Serlingpa, by meeting Lama Serlingpa and, so, which means, who most, who benefited the most to your mind that is regarded as the root virtuous friend and also who directed your mind, your mind which is not Dharma then transformed into Dharma, directed your life to Dharma. So Lama Serlingpa is one for Lama Atisha. Then another one is Lama Dharmarakshita, that’s another lama. So these two are the main ones, I think Lama Serlingpa the most, the main, then Dharmarakshita, among the 157 gurus that Lama Atisha has. So, like this, so that’s the definition.

[Rinpoche chants abbreviated Calling the Lama from Afar, then Päl dän la mäi nam par thar pa la….sem la jug par shog, then Päl dän la ma khye ku chi dra dang….dag sog gyur war shog]

May, with the devotion seeing, may the blessings of the guru be entered in my heart, [pause] by not rising heresy even for one second in the actions of the virtuous friend, in the actions of the glorified guru, and seeing, and with the devotion seeing positive whatever action is done. [pause] So that’s the translation of the first verse, first stanza.

Now last stanza that, May I become only like you, only like you. Like your holy body, surrounding, your life and pure field and like your holy name.

So, it is same down below, during the dedication there it’s related with Chenrezig, the same prayer like this. So however, when you do this prayer, with the guru devotion that looking at the guru oneness with the Buddha. So with that oneness with Buddha. So this is the, this human form, the ordinary form is for, manifestation according to my mind by the dharmakaya of all the buddhas, dharmakaya of all the buddhas, that which is all the buddhas’ holy mind, the absolute guru. So the ordinary form, that which is for my mind, the mind is dharmakaya of all the buddhas. This is, so that’s what, that’s what we should, so that kind of devotion, recognition, is what we should have in our heart in the daily life, not only during the prayers, and that’s what we need to, that realization, need to achieve that realization. So that becomes the root of path to enlightenment, which means then, makes to/

/that causes to receive the realizations of the path to enlightenment. So when we do these prayers, such like these prayers, anyway, so with that kind of guru devotion. So specific, like that, looking at it buddha, the holy mind dharmakaya. Then you do this prayer, then it fits very well. Otherwise the prayer might look very strange, would look very strange according to our ordinary mind that, praying to ordinary person who is separate from Buddha. So the prayer doesn’t, the prayer won’t be comfortable, one won’t find comfortable that ?prayer.

In here glorified, to not rise heresy even for one second the glorified guru, this glorified, meaning of the glorified is, it has very deep meaning. So glorified, here the meaning of glorified is, in Tibetan päl dän, that means, the relationship ?dharma-, the meaning of that is dharmakaya. Having dharmakaya, the highest of quality, highest quality that is the, [pause] anyway, dharmakaya, that which is free, totally free from not only gross but even the subtle defilements. No slightest mistakes. So the omniscient mind, [pause] the omniscient mind or the [pause], this term could be very secret, maybe cannot be mentioned without Highest Tantra initiations. The [pause], transcendental wisdom of [pause], anyway, the omniscient mind, that which is free from not only gross defilements, but even from the subtle defilements, the dharmakaya, that’s dharmakaya, the transcendental wisdom.

Then another dharmakaya, in English translated truth body, however, the holy body of the essence, the holy body of the very nature, the holy body that which is very, holy body of the very nature of the wisdom, the omniscient mind. So dharmakaya, within dharmakaya there are two like that. That which is free, that which is not obscured, that which is devoid of obscuration, the very nature of the omniscient mind that which is free from temporary defilements. [pause]

The transcendental wisdom of nondual bliss and voidness, that which is free from all the defilements, gross and subtle. So this is the highest quality, so glorified means by having this quality, how to say, so glorified of the dharmakaya. So that’s what it means, glorified guru, the meaning is that.

I mentioned just before, the aspect ordinary human form, that which is ?melted to one’s own mind, but the mind of all the buddhas, holy mind dharmakaya. So glorified means that.

Also, meaning of lama, same thing meaning of lama, in Sanskrit guru. Guru is Sanskrit, not Tibetan term. In Tibetan term it’s lama. So there are many different ways use the meaning of lama. But here, when we do prayer, in this context the lama is…. [pause]

Normally, the common one is the incarnate lamas, so the title lama is used, then also the leader of the monastery also they me by, also they may be called lama of the monastery. But in the prayers, this lama, in the guru devotion subject, lama, that means from whom you have received Dharma connection with the recognition of guru and disciple. Oneself disciple and that one as the guru, with that recognition then received, whether a few syllable mantra oral transmission or one verse or one stanza of teaching that you received. So this lama refers to that, your own guru.

Now the meaning of lama here, more specific, it means, lama means, meaning of lama is heavy, heavy, heavy not like heavy, heavy normally by weight, so here the weight is the quality, the weight is the quality. So heavy, lama means that heavy, so here the heavy is heavy by the quality. So expression of having so much quality. So now the ultimate quality is dharmakaya, by having the dharmakaya. So heavy, because having ultimate quality, dharmakaya, so that’s what it means, meaning of, what it means, lama, lama, in this context in the guru devotion practice. So maybe just here that much, then there are very important things to explain maybe later.

It’s not saying I am Buddha, but, I guess, it’s not saying I am Buddha but this just, the main thing this, meaning of the prayer and the meditation, we have to understand how to meditate. The guru devotion subject, if one explains to the disciple with compassion, there’s no mistake in that. With the guru devotion subject, because it says buddha, so if it is explained with compassion to the disciple, that there’s no problem. That to protect the disciple from the heaviest suffering of the hell realms by rising heresy, anger, thought of mistakes towards the guru, from those very heaviest negative karma, from the heaviest obstacles to achieve realization of the path to enlightenment. And to protect the disciple, delaying, by creating, by rising of heresy, anger, delaying the realizations of the path to enlightenment. So from all those dangers, from all those obstacles, the greatest obstacles, the greatest dangers, to protect the disciple from that, then with that kind of motivation, however, with compassion, to benefit, to help the disciple, if it’s explained there’s no problem with that.

Then it is extremely essential this practice, because, to know at the beginning, because the lam-rim, that is divided, comes in three, the graduated path of the lower capable being, the middle capable being and the higher capable being. It starts from perfect human rebirth, the beginning of the path, perfect human rebirth, up to enlightenment, all that success, whether that will happen or not and how long it will take time to happen, how difficult and how long it will take time, or how easy that will be achieved, so all depends on the root of the path to enlightenment, the guru devotion. So therefore, this becomes extremely unbelievable, extremely important subject to be known and to practice, to practice as a foundation, to pay, everyday life to pay most attention to this. Most attention to this. Like a business person always pays attention to profit. Whichever way you can make profit, many billions of ways how to make profit, always to make profit, how to make profit. So like that to protect yourself from loss and always to have profit. However, like that. [pause]

So that’s why Lama Tsongkhapa, in the lam-rim, he introduced this first, introduced this meditation very first, so that is the most skillful, it’s the most wise way of guiding the sentient beings, guiding disciples, like that./

/It’s not that that I have compassion to others, but maybe there’s very slight, maybe there’s a very tiny, slight thought of benefiting others. So I think, so maybe that might be okay. I don’t think I have compassion for others, but maybe there’s a very slight, tiny, very slight thought of benefiting to others. So hopefully, that might be okay to talk on this subject.

[Rinpoche chants Requests to the Lineage Gurus in Tibetan, then Instantaneous Generation, Blessing the Offerings, Refuge and Bodhicitta, Invocation of the Merit Field.]

So normally this part is also done with the prostrations. [pause] Can maybe next time do the prostrations, this time like I explained last night, by doing visualization of doing prostration, numberless of one’s own body in the form of Chenrezig, then covered the whole ground, directions and corners, doing prostrations to the merit field. Then put palms together like this now.