Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga (Audio and Unedited Transcripts)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Penang, Malaysia 2009 (Archive #1769)

Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave these teaching at Chokyi Gyaltsen Center, Penang, Malaysia, from February 2-4, 2009. The teachings include oral transmission of Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga and the Three Principal Aspects of the Path.

Read Lama Zopa Rinpoche's teachings on Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga, an edited transcript of teachings given in Dharamsala, 1986. See also the root text Three Principal Aspects of the Path and a commentary by Pabongka Rinpoche.

Lama Tsongkhapa. Photo courtesy of FPMT.
Motivation, Oral Transmission and Prayers

Sang gyä chö dang tsog kyi chog nam la… [3x]

Yeah, then, the purpose of my life is to benefit for sentient beings, therefore, I must achieve enlighten-, to free them from all the sufferings, to bring them, therefore I must achieve enlightenment, okay, therefore I’m going to take the oral transmission Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga and the Three Principal Aspects of the Path to Enlightenment which is the heart, the very heart of the Buddhadharma.

Not hard, h-a-r-d, not that one , not that one. If you’re thinking that, that’s wrong. H-e-a-r-t, okay.

[Rinpoche gives the oral transmission of Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga.]

This is the nine round.

[Rinpoche recites nine-round migtsema.]

This is four-round.

[Rinpoche recites four-round migtsema].

Three, four, five, no, five round. I said four, but it’s five. Okay, the migtsema.

It is said that migtsema is the heart of 84,000, this mig me tsa wäi…jam päi yang, so even the four, gang chän…söl wa deb, however, this is the heart, the very heart of the 84,000 teachings of Buddha. And it is said, and this is said, much more profound even the very profound tantra, it is said by Kyabje Chöden Rinpoche. It’s something very, very important, okay.

The _____ Rendawa offered to Lama Tsongkhapa, Lama Tsongkhapa offered to Rendawa, then, Rendawa change, “This is much more, very much suitable for you. Then, who is, the Learned One in the Land of Snow,” in Snow Land, this means Tibet, so fits very much to you, so Rendawa offered back to Lama Tsongkhapa by changing name, okay.

So, yeah, then…. [talking to someone]. Yeah, OK, maybe I finish the ?lung.

So now the, the requesting prayer.

[Rinpoche continues the oral transmission.]

So then, now the Three Principal Aspects of the Path to Enlightenment, okay, so very important to pay attention to this, so it creates, plants seed for us to have realization sooner or later, okay, then achieve enlightenment, cease all the defilements, achieve enlightenment, okay, then liberate numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering and bring them to enlightenment, okay.

[Rinpoche gives oral transmission of Three Principal Aspects of the Path to Enlightenment].

Pal dan tza wai la ma rin po che
Da gi nying kar pa moi teng zhug la
Ka drin chen poi go na je zung te
Ku sung tug kyi ngo drub tsal du sol

So here guru entering the heart, His Holiness Zong Rinpoche, one guru, incredible great scholar, like ancient pandits, Rinpoche used to say, there are some people recite, first sit here, then next time sit at throat, next time sit in the heart, that sounds like, don’t come straight in the heart, first sit here. It’s like saying to Lama Tsongkhapa, the guru, don’t come straight in my heart, first sit here, then sit here, kind of, Rinpoche’s saying, putting in negative way. So Rinpoche’s saying that is no good; immediately ask, from the very first ask to come and, to come in the heart, Rinpoche’s advice. So,

Pal dan tza wai la ma rin po che
Dag gi nying kar pa moi teng zhug la
Ka drin chen poi go na je zung te
Ku sung tug kyi ngo drub tzal du sol.

Pal dan tza wai la ma rin po che
Dag gi nying kar pa moi teng zhug la
Ka drin chen poi go na je zung te
Chog dang thun mong ngo drub tsal du sol.

Pal dan tza wai la ma rin po che
Dag gi nying kar pa moi teng zhug la
Ka drin chen poi go na je zung te
Jang chub nying poi bar du tan par zhug.

Due to all the three-time merits collected by me, three-time merits collected by others, may I, one’s, your family members, anybody who has connection to you, and then, and all sentient beings, can say that, okay, all the students, all the, everybody here, all the students here, and all the students in all the FPMT, okay, all the staffs, and then, so many people in different parts of the world, East, West, who offer service to the organization, okay, bear so much hardships, and then those who rely upon, whom I promised to pray, whose name is given to me, then may all of us, all sentient beings, okay, be guided by Lama Tsongkhapa, being Mahayana guru, directly, okay, and then never be separated away from the pure path that’s admired by buddhas.

Tse rab kun tu gyal wa tsong kha pa
Theg chog she nyen ngo su dza pai thu
Gyal wan gag pai lam zang de nyi la
Kay chig tsam yang dog par ma gyur chig

Tsul trim tsang zhing mang du tho pa dang
Jang sem jong dang ta cho tsang pa sog
Lo zang gyal wa nyi pai tan pa la
Se le mey wai nam thar khyong par shog

Pal dan la mai nam par tha pa la
Kay chig tsam yang log ta mi kye zhing
Chi dza leg par thong wa mo gu kyi
La may jin lab sem la jug par shog

So, the second one is, “Due to all the three-time merits collected by me, collected by others, may I, then, I mean, also means others, family members, others, you can include, students, in the organization, anyway, to be able to keep in pure morality, have extensive listening Dharma, train the mind in bodhicitta, and pure conduct, pure conduct and view, and develop, the Lama Tsongkhapa teachings, preserve and spread without corruption, so that.”

Then now, last one, third one is, “May I never arise heresy, even for one second in the actions of the guru, and whatever action done, may I be able to see only pure. And then with this devotion, may the blessings of the guru be entered in my heart.”

So that prayer is extremely, most important, so, to not, having guru, but then, to not create the heaviest obstacle, heaviest obstacle to achieve enlightenment, to achieve all the happiness, okay, especially liberation, enlightenment, so, the very important prayer, that, okay, to achieve all the happiness, then especially liberation, then especially enlightenment, then liberate numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsara and bring them to enlightenment, okay, so that.

So in our life, in our life, something like this, Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga, or, if you’re unable to do this, then, if you have received a Highest Tantra initiation, you do Six-Session Guru Yoga, or either with that, if you don’t have time, then, either with the Six-Session Yoga, or, before the guru absorb, you do the lamrim, lamrim prayer, either Foundation of Good Quality, or there are different, Calling the Guru From Afar, the Pabongka, so that’s, but if you can do with the Lama Tsongkhapa, the extensive Guru Yoga, Lama Chöpa, that might be difficult, so, of course, if you’re somebody who has time, who is able to do that, of course, unbelievable, but at least Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga, or, then, if you can’t do that, even Six-Session Yoga, or if you haven’t taken initiation, then you can do the Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga, then you do the lamrim prayer, so the holy object that whom we pray, the guru yoga, the guru yoga practice. On the basis of guru yoga practice, then you do lamrim, do the direct meditation on lamrim, go through, and then, as much as possible, mindfully. But if your mind is not mindful, then, then even difficult to leave positive imprint on the mind, so as much as possible to ?effort mindful. So even you don’t understand, it doesn’t matter, but still leaves positive imprint, even you don’t understand.

So anyway, then after this, if you can do like that, it’s extremely good, so, the lamrim meditation, the expanded lamrim meditation. Either you can do with this prayer, or you finish this prayer, plant seed of the whole path, then at the end you do that.

So first one is the guru yoga, the meditation how to devote to the virtuous friend, so, there’s outline in the lamrim, so you follow the outline, so, on that. Then the other one is the from perfect human rebirth, from perfect human rebirth. So, I mentioned also there, Losang Drakpa Center, I think Losang Drakpa Center or, don’t remember, or maybe Singapore, I’m not sure. Anyway, so, if you haven’t studied lamrim, you must read the lamrim from beginning to the end, read, then, anything that you don’t understand, you buy a notebook, write down, then later, with the elder students or the, when Geshe Tenzin Zopa comes here, okay, so can, when there’s discussion, however, then can go through that, so you can learn like that. So, so first it’s good to read the whole thing, if possible two or three times, then, at least even one time read well, not trying to finish quickly but it’s just to understand, okay.

Then, basically, one year, for one year, from perfect human rebirth up to karma, try to meditate on those. When you reach karma, go back again, so that, within one year, try to have renunciation, try to have, try to achieve the first Dharma, renunciation to this life.

Then, next one, the graduate path of the middle capable being: the general suffering of samsara, particular suffering of the deva, human realms, all those parts, and then evolution of samsara, the twelve links, all that, the shortcomings of delusion, so, another year for that, train the mind, meditate on that, every day, whatever, so, fifteen minutes, I mean, ten minutes, fifteen minutes, half hour, one hour, whatever, so, there’s nothing fixed.

So, so one can, then third year on bodhicitta, fourth year on emptiness. But, I’m talking about here main focus, it doesn’t mean you can’t meditate on others.

So, then, put, then whichever realization you didn’t have, go back and do again, so always do that. So, I said, I made it one year, just general, but it doesn’t have to be. When you have realization of that, then you go to the next one, it doesn’t mean you have to follow exactly each year, it doesn’t mean that.

So, have some lamrim meditation a day is so good, that, that is the real, that is the real thing in the life, real, the real thing in the life, really protecting you, bring yourself to enlightenment, liberating you from oceans of samsara, bring yourself in enlightenment. So some meditation, even it’s a short time is, still it’s so good, than nothing. So if one do nothing, then the whole life goes like this. I mean, if you have, I don’t know, thirty years, forty years, how much one has, or twenty years, I mean, one year, I mean, anyway, not long, short, few months, few weeks, whatever, life is very short. So then, then the whole life goes like this, then one day, suddenly death came [snaps fingers], suddenly death came [snaps fingers], nothing get done, no practice get done, no realization, not even close, not even didn’t make closer to have, achieve realization, training, didn’t do that. So finished, life is gone, finished. This one time opportunity we have is gone, just about one time. Also, like that. So, then, how much sad, you have no time, so, like that. So therefore, then, very, very good to do some meditation this.

Then, if you have received Highest Tantra initiation, then you can do some tantric practice, but main, put main effort lamrim. Then, this way, when you achieve bodhicitta realization, then, then you can put more, your more time in tantra, so that. So, so this way, then life become extremely fruitful, successful. So then achieve tantric realization of the generation stage, after that, completion stage. I mean, you can practice, or you practice both, more generation stage, less completion stage, okay. Then after you actualize, you have realization of generation stage, gross, subtle, then you have completion stage, you put your time most in the completion stage, so like that.

So lamrim, try to have this realization, three principles of the path, so that’s so, that’s most important thing in the life, for you, for the benefit of you, for the benefit of all sentient beings, to liberate them, to bring them to enlightenment, most important.

So little bit on the guru devotion until you have stable, stable realization of guru devotion, so no matter how long it takes time, how many years, so until you see one buddha is all the guru, one guru is all the buddha, from bottom of your heart, no question, that understanding, that realization, stable, not just a few days, not just a few hours, but stable, very stable, so until you have that experience, effortless experience, without need to think of the reasons, you just discover, you just, this experience there, very deep, strong, like that.

So that is the greatest success, I think that is the greatest success. Once you have that, then everything works [snaps fingers], everything works [snaps fingers], so much merit, blessing of the guru, then, then everything works, like that.

So, then the, then in the daily life, with bodhicitta, not only, here, one part’s the meditation, okay. The other part is working life, I mean the busy life, so with bodhicitta, as much as possible, okay, the, try to, as much as possible, doing many hours of job doing, however, many hours of sleep, whatever, everything with the, as much as possible with bodhicitta, so everything becomes Dharma. Whatever you are doing becomes Dharma. Not only Dharma, but with bodhicitta, with bodhicitta, it becomes cause of enlightenment, okay. Whatever you do, many hours sleep or many hours doing job, become cause of enlightenment, the highest success in your life.

Then that means, by the way, liberation from samsara comes by the way. And by the way, then higher rebirth, also comes by the way, you achieve all these by the way, all those other happiness, okay.

So, like that, then, then before going to bed, umm, uh, first thing in the morning you feel happiness that you didn’t die, life, up to now, and didn’t last night. So many people in this world died, even in Malaysia, last night, people died, so many people in this world died. But I’m able to have a human body, human rebirth, to practice Dharma, every second this body, having this human body is like numberless wish-granting jewels, like wish-granting jewel, okay, think like that.

However, then, remember how this is so meaningful, and then, that this can be [snaps fingers], then think this is nature of impermanence, [snaps fingers] it can be stopped any time, okay. And definite you have to experience death [snaps finger] but it can happen any time [snaps fingers], any day, any moment [snaps fingers].

Then, that’s what you should do, is then always practice bodhicitta. What you should do with the life is like this, impermanence, can happen any time you die, so what should I do? Always practice bodhicitta, so that’s one answer. So live life with bodhicitta, okay.

And the other one is, then practicing, if you have taken initiation, like that, then there’s pratimoksha vow, bodhisattva, tantric vow, the practicing Dharma. Then, renunciation, bodhicitta, like that, renunciation, bodhicitta, right view, yeah, the pure mind and pure appearance, tantra. So things like that. Anyway, however, the main thing is bodhicitta, so that, okay.

Then the, then one can think of the shortcomings of self-cherishing thought, benefits of cherishing others, okay, then you think of tong-len, exchanging oneself for others. With this meditation, you can chant OM MANI PADME HUM, then you get done your commitments with this meditation of tong-len, with the special bodhicitta practice, brave heart, taking other sentient beings’ suffering and causes, giving your, all the merits, happiness, to other sentient beings, everything, so can do that.

Then after that, then think this is a mere visualization, okay, so the, actually sentient beings didn’t achieve enlightenment, didn’t become free from samsara, so, I must free them from all the suffering and causes, and bring them to enlightenment by myself alone, therefore I must achieve enlightenment, okay. Therefore, then, therefore I must achieve enlightenment, therefore, then, I’m going to dedicate all my activities for sentient beings: eating, walking, sitting, sleeping, whatever, I dedicate everything for sentient beings, okay, and the traditional practice like prayers, the prostrations, or the preliminary practices, whatever, then everything for sentient beings, doing work, doing job, eating, walking, sleeping, all activities, whatever you do, you do for sentient beings, okay. And then, the traditional practices also for sentient beings, so like that.

Then, then you do, then you can do the prayer, what I mentioned before, as Nagarjuna explained, I’m going to dedicate my life, prayer: May I become like a wish-granting jewel, , may I become, may my life, my life. So, every sentient being is wish fulfilling for you. Every sentient being, every insect, every human being, everybody: enemy, friend, enemy, stranger, everybody wish-fulfilling, I mean, greater, more precious then wish fulfilling jewel. Numberless wish-fulfilling jewels is nothing. This one is far more greater, you achieve higher rebirth, liberation from samsara, enlightenment, okay. So it’s much more precious. So, you see, every sentient being is wish fulfilling to you. But now, you going to become, you make your, now here praying, “May I become a wish fulfilling jewel to all sentient beings,” okay, all sentient beings, like wish-granting tree, okay. So this is how, this is, thinking in the morning, how you’re going to live your life, rest of your life, so like that.

So this stops all the problems. When we live the life with this attitude, what Nagarjuna said, oh, then stops all the problems, because self-cherishing thought is not there, so all the problems come from self-cherishing thought, connected with the selfish mind, okay. That means then all the problems connected with the attachment, anger, so the life becomes so great peace, and happiness, fulfilling, okay, so like that, so everything become Dharma, okay, so this is something to try. It doesn’t mean, practicing like this all the time, but it’s to try, okay.

So I think that’s all. Thank you so much, okay. Thank you very much.

So for the center here, just, the Guru Shakyamuni Buddha thangka, for, to collect merits and for purification, for making offerings. And then that Medicine Buddha, is there Medicine Buddha, what’s that? The white one? What statue is that?

Student: Medicine Buddha.

Rinpoche: Medicine Buddha, it’s a very nice one to make, to collect merits by making offerings, so forth, okay. So I think... [someone talks with Rinpoche in Tibetan]

Okay. Thank you very much. Okay, oh, become Muslim. I’m joking, joking.

Student: So we do the thanksgiving mandala offering.

[Students chant short mandala offering.]

Gang ri ra wäi khor wä zhing kham dir…. Tong nyi nying je zung du jug päi lam….

Lamrim dedication, so, to complete path within us, and spread to the sentient beings.

[The group chants Final Lam-Rim Prayer in Tibetan.]

Chhö kyi gyäl pa tsong kha päi…. Dag dang zhän gyi dü sum dang….

[Ven. Jinpa: Page 32, long-life prayer, long-life prayer for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, then the long-life prayer for Lama Zopa Rinpoche.]

Gang ri ra wäi khor wä zhing kham dir…. Thub tshül chhang zhing jam gön gyäl wäi tän….

[Ven. Jinpa: Dedication prayers, page 33.]

Ge wa di yi nyur du dag….. Jang chhub sem chhog rin po chhe…. Mig me tse wäi ter chhen chän rä zig…. [3x]


Next Chapter:

Offerings to the Guru »