When the Guru Shows the Aspect of Sickness

When the Guru Shows the Aspect of Sickness

Date Posted:
July 2013

Rinpoche wrote the following letter to a student on February 24, 1984. Lama Yeshe was manifesting serious illness at this time. See also A Tribute to the Life and Work of Lama Yeshe.

My dear Chris,
I received all your letters. I got a few, but maybe you have sent millions. I always have great rejoicing that you are dedicated completely to fulfilling the wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Lama Yeshe, Guru Vajradhara, as well as the teachings for sentient beings.

You are giving others the opportunity to study to become enlightened by giving up oneself. This is excellent example of the practice of the bodhisattva, exchanging self for others, taking the loss for oneself and giving the profit for others.

While there is no sponsor for __, even though you are working for a center, it does not seem so practical. I think it is incredibly important even if you cannot sponsor more, to continue to support those you have sponsored. If they have other sponsors, then it is OK to make change, but don’t be so worried the center is not being actualized today.

Of course you should do what Lama advised, however, it is most important, as much as possible, to work with a pure attitude and with much prayer to the Guru Triple Gem. You should pray to benefit all sentient beings by revealing all the teachings through the centers, but you shouldn’t be worried if that is not actualized today. You shouldn’t be squeezed if that is not actualized today.

I think in some ways it may be good to make the centers that are already established, better, instead of starting new ones, which is so difficult and may not have much results.

Lama ‘s recent paralyzing aspect has been getting better day by day. It has been quite amazing. I think the manifesting of all the different sicknesses—vomiting, etc—is another form of teaching for us to be aware of our own karmas and to make sure that from now on, to be careful and to purify what has been accumulated in the past. It is a teaching of how thick the obscurations are that we have. They are like facial defects reflected in the mirror.

As you know, even Guru Shakyamuni Buddha showed the aspect of headaches, as well as Lama Atisha, who was in the aspect of making pipi and kaka in the bed. As well as His Holiness taking the aspect of colds and His Holiness Ling Rinpoche, who is really Yamantaka, taking the aspect of being paralyzed, His Holiness Serkong Dorje Chang, the great yogi, showed the aspect of epilepsy.

If you know what Lama is showing this last year, I think it has been a great teaching for us. It is very inspiring for me, as I am very lazy to accumulate merit to practice Dharma. It is very inspiring when at the same time that Lama is taking the aspect of heavy sickness, he does things an ordinary person like myself cannot do, such as being able to frequently do Heruka self-initiation and single-pointed meditation in clear light. An ordinary person such as me cannot even do OM MANI PADME HUM.