The Blessings of the Guru The Blessings of the Guru
Guru devotion and clean samaya with one’s Guru are commonly recognised and emphasised as the foundation of Dharma study and practice in all schools... The Blessings of the Guru

Guru devotion and clean samaya with one’s Guru are commonly recognised and emphasised as the foundation of Dharma study and practice in all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. From the legendary Padmasambhava of the Nyingma lineage to the revered mahasiddhas Milarepa and Naropa of the Kagyu tradition, to the great Pabongka Rinpoche of the Gelugpa lineage of practitioners; Guru devotion is undisputedly the common and fundamental element for any Dharma realisation, attainment and ultimately Enlightenment.

Similar to these great masters, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama rose to become one of the greatest Dharma teachers and icons of wisdom and compassion due to his practice. This is reflected in the photo of the Dalai Lama bowing his head in humility to receive the blessings of his junior tutor, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang.

H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche gives an initiation to H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama

H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche gives an initiation to H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama

Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche was the junior tutor to the 14th Dalai Lama for over 30 years. It was from Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche that the Dalai Lama received countless teachings, commentaries, initiations, oral transmissions, explanations and advice. In fact, many of the teachings the Dalai Lama disseminates today come from Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. Therefore we can safely say that the Dalai Lama is the great teacher and world leader that he is today due to the kindness of his Guru, who stood by him through the turmoil of Tibet’s fall and the rebuilding of a Tibetan government in exile.

Another factor that is essential to the growth of the Buddha’s teachings is its traceability. However famous or “successful” a Dharma teacher is, he or she always traces the teachings given through successive lineage masters all the way back to Lord Buddha himself.

H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama (centre) with his two tutors, H.H. Kyabje Ling Rinpoche (left) and H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche (right)

H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama with his tutors

It is a great blessing for us to witness the manifestation of the precious Guru-disciple relationship between two holy beings in this rare image of the 14th Dalai Lama and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. This is an image to share with many friends in the Dharma world because it is a powerful reminder for each of us to practise Guru devotion for our own spiritual growth and development.

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  • William Chua

    Posted on August 3, 2016 #1 Author

    It is because of the blessings of the guru that we are able to achieve attainments or realisation. Therefore, when we have clean samaya with our guru, we will be able to advance in our Dharma journey faster and more effective. Not just in Tibetan Buddhism that Guru devotion is important, all religion too practices it. It is because the guru who teaches and guides us. So, we should accord the respect to our guru.


  • KarenC

    Posted on August 3, 2016 #2 Author

    As we know, in Tibetan Buddhism, the guru-disciple relationship is the most important relationship we could have in our spiritual practice. Our guru is the direct source of wisdom combined with skilful means to train the students until the students get attained and until enlightenment. Among so many inspiring stories of guru-disciple relationship, I love the Milarepa & Marpa, as well as Naropa & Tilopa the most. Both Milarepa and Naropa had to go through a series of extremely tough apprenticeship before their gurus recognized them and gave them higher practice. The main purpose of the apprenticeship was to break through their ego before they could absorb the Dharma teachings in it. With Milarepa and Naropa’s examples, one of the main conditions to achieve enlightenment is to have full faith and devotion in our guru.


  • jerry_sito

    Posted on August 3, 2016 #3 Author



    Jerry Sito


    • Elin Tan

      Posted on June 20, 2023 #4 Author

      Om Benza Guru Pema Siddhi Hung


  • Wylfred Ng

    Posted on August 3, 2016 #5 Author

    在佛教里我们任何的成就都是源自于上师。 无论是哪位高僧大德都是有上师教导、给予灌顶等等的才会成为大师。

    文章里的例子就是第十四世达赖喇嘛及赤江仁波切。 第十四世达赖喇嘛也是有经过与上师学习的过程, 更何况是凡夫俗子的我们, 我们更是需要上师的指导。 如果已经有上师就要虚心向上师学习。

    很多经典比如“上师五十颂” 、“事师九心” 都是关于上师依止必修的。



  • Carmen

    Posted on August 5, 2016 #6 Author

    Why is our guru important? Because, our teachers are here with us, patiently guiding us, teaching us, advising us, helping us, correcting us, and continuing to preserve and propagate the Dharma. The guru is our Buddha on Earth, and therefore, is the root of all our attainments, practice, and realisations.
    The guru also carries with him/her, the blessings of the entire lineage, that traces all the way back to Buddha Shakyamuni. So the teachings, are carried forth, from Buddha Shakyamuni, to another teacher to another to another till our own gurus today therefore the lineage is unbroken, pure and highly blessed with the energies of attainments and enlightenment.

    It is lovely to see His Holiness with both his junior and senior teachers here, and many of the teachings we receive today from our teacher comes from His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang.

    I myself am blessed to have met my own guru, His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche and be blessed by him and the Dharma because of his kindness and compassion. My guru has guide and advised me in more ways than I could ever imagine, and moulded me into a better person. His transmission and teachings of the Dharma is the only permanent benefit I am lucky to have received in this life.


  • Sofi

    Posted on September 17, 2016 #7 Author

    The Guru disciple relationship is very important to Tibetan Buddhism because the disciple receives the Dharma teachings, practices and guidance from the compassionate Guru. Nobody is kinder than our Gurus as it is from them that we receive their care to bring us to enlightenment, the way out of sufferings. It is important on the part of the disciple to maintain a good samaya with one’s Guru as it means that the disciple has complete trust in the Guru and fully surrenders one’s mind to be trained by the Guru. When we are able to view our Guru as the Buddha, we will receive the blessing of the Buddhas and all the lineage Gurus that the precious Dharma had been transmitted through, all the way to Buddha Shakyamuni. An enlightened Guru has the full clairvoyance to know if our minds are prepared for the higher training and will prepare us accordingly. The Guru fully invest himself to teach us selflessly and the only “payment” he wishes for is our attainments. So we should always remember his compassion and be grateful which will help us to view the Guru purely.


  • Fong

    Posted on September 21, 2016 #8 Author

    How do we choose a school for our children? We look into the qualifications of the teachers and the people running the school. Qualifications means where these teachers were trained and where were they teaching before and the results of their work which is the students themselves. Did they do well in their exams, are they good people?

    So, if we are satisfied with what we see, we make plans to send our children to that school. Then, we place our trust in the teachers to teach the kids the right way and the right stuff.

    Similarly, we need to be sure of our Guru, so we look at the lineage and tradition and the teachings and the many students that passed through the doors of this Guru. So, if we are happy with what we see, we trust the Guru all the way.

    As the Buddha is not here physically to teach us, the Guru represents the Buddha. And, since we can trace the teachings all the way to the Buddha, we can trust the Guru. From here, if we generate faith and devotion in the Guru, we will receive blessings from the Guru and have hope of obtaining attainments from the practices given by the Guru.


  • yin ping

    Posted on December 13, 2017 #9 Author

    Guru devotion is the fundamental practice to achieve attainment and ultimately enlightenment. Ones rely on the Guru to ripen the minds and bring the mind to realization. Pabongka Rinpoche of the Gelugpa lineage was the perfect example of Guru Devotion.

    H.H Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang was devoted to Pabongka Rinpoche. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche was junior tutor to H.H the 14th Dalai Lama for over 30 years. The 14th Dalai Lama received countless teachings, commentaries, initiations, oral transmissions, explanations and advice from Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. The 14th Dalai Lama became a great lama and a world leader today is due to the kindness of his guru.

    We should always remember it is our Guru who is so skillfully helping us to slash away our illusion and delusion and bring out our inner Buddha. Because of our Guru, we are a better person today.