Offering Service When the Guru Manifests Illness

Offering Service When the Guru Manifests Illness

Date Posted:
June 2006

Rinpoche wrote the following letter to two Tibetan monks who had served as attendants to a Geshe. At the time of the letter, they were caring for the Geshe after an operation for cancer.

You, who are loving ones, I offer greetings.
Regarding your offering service to Geshe-la, day and night, all the time, Geshe Dromtonpa served Lama Atisha when he took the aspects of sickness and of losing control of his bowels. Dromtonpa cleaned up everything without thinking of it as dirty. He achieved so many realizations from that. Kadampa Geshe Chalwa, offering service to Chengawa, achieved so many realizations, (if you don’t know about these people, you should ask Geshe-la, then you’ll understand well).

Like that, for you, too, this has been the most powerful purification and a means to accumulate the most extensive merit. There is no difference between what you have done and performing Vajrasattva practice for many hundreds of thousands of years, meditating, doing deity retreat, preliminary offerings, and a hundred thousand or tens of millions of mandala offerings. What you have done is more than that. By offering this service now, you become closer to enlightenment.

Geshe-la took on these sicknesses in order to purify you two. He took your defilements. It is to purify you that Geshe-la has showed the aspect of taking on the sicknesses. You should think that way.

The purpose of becoming learned in Dharma in the monasteries is to tame the mind, to achieve enlightenment. Therefore, it happened this way, at this time, especially, to provide you the quickest way to achieve enlightenment.

So I, Thubten Zopa, who is named as an incarnation, offer this.