Lama Zopa on Guru Devotion

One of the main themes of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s teaching during the 2014 Light of the Path retreat was the importance of guru devotion. Here are a few quotes (these are from my notes, it’s not a transcription):

“You can’t cross a river in a boat without oars. Likewise, you can’t cross the river of samsara without a guru.”  ~ First Panchen Lama

“Even if you know the five great treatises thoroughly and practice the generation and completion stages of Highest Yoga Tantra, without a guru you will not attain Enlightenment.”

“In the Lama Chopa puja, why does the Guru come in line 1 and the Buddha in line 2 of the verse:

Namo Gurubhya

Nama Buddhaya….etc.

because the Guru is even kinder than the Buddha.”

“Develop the strong conviction that the Buddhas cherish you and work continuously for your benefit.”

“Out of deep compassion for us, the Buddhas who are completely pure, manifest in an ordinary form like that of a guru so that we can relate to him/her; thus they appear to experience the sufferings of old age, sickness and death.”

“The lama embodies the Buddha’s four kayas like a snow covered mountain. If the sun of your devotion to the lama does not rise and melt the snow on the mountain, then the lama’s blessings will not flow. Thus, guru devotion is the cause for receiving the lama’s blessings so that we realize the path.”

“When your guru devotion disappears, your mind becomes like a hot desert, or a rock buried out of reach deep under the ocean.”

“Even though the sun’s rays are extremely hot, you can’t start a fire without a magnifying glass; like that, the Buddha’s blessings can not be received without a guru. Therefore, by pleasing the guru, all the Buddhas will be happy with you.”  ~ Sakya Pandita


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