Author Topic: Merits arise from following Guru's instructions.  (Read 9237 times)

kurava

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Merits arise from following Guru's instructions.
« on: February 03, 2012, 10:12:25 AM »
A high Lama once taught - merits come from following a Guru's instruction, NOT the action.

What do you understand from this?

What is the difference between doing a good deed :
(1) on our own initiative , and
(2)on the Guru's instruction ?

Will we collect merits from (1)?
Please give reasons for "Yes" and "No".

Klein

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Re: Merits arise from following Guru's instructions.
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2012, 11:45:24 AM »
I think in this instance where the person has a Guru and is given instructions by the Guru, following the instructions would generate merit and not following would be demerits. The Guru's main motivation is to guide his or her student towards Enlightenment.  So every instruction given by the Guru would be for this purpose.

If the student follows his or her own thoughts on doing things without contradicting or neglecting the Guru's instructions and benefits others, merits will still be generated. However, if the student follows his or her own thoughts and neglects the Guru's instructions, then no merits will be generated. Breaking the Guru's instructions would mean broken samaya. This creates lots of demerits that will neutralise or negate all other virtuous actions done on the student's own initiative.

Following one's Guru's instructions is therefore top priority.

Poonlarp

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Re: Merits arise from following Guru's instructions.
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2012, 12:55:07 PM »
Agreed with Klein.

The moment we taken refuge with a Guru, we had made sure he is the one who bring us to enlightenment and one surrender oneself completely to the Guru, if we couldn't think this way, we should not take refuge under the Guru.

Yes, as human beings, we do have doubts. Every times we have doubts, we should recall all the good qualities a Guru posses, these including the great compassion, wisdom, the loves and cares, etc. He has all these good qualities since long time ago, remain unchanged from life to life.

Therefore, we generate full faith towards our Guru. He is not doing things for us for his own preferences, but for us personally, to customize an enlighten path for us. This is how compassion a Buddha is, yes, a Guru is our Buddha.

So by following any instructions from the Guru, no matter what action it is, it generate merits.

I do not think a Guru will ask the student to do something that against their refuge vows, as Guru is the one that gave us the vows.

I saw a debate before on Guru Devotion asking question about, "If a Guru asks u to jump over a bridge, will you do that?" For me, the answer is definitely yes. The next question from the debater was "But you will loss your life?"

I wasn't in the debate, but personally I compare my life and my Guru's instructions, certainly Guru's instructions are more important as this Guru who I have full faith with, knows my life better than me, so he definitely have better decision towards my life instead of my own decision which arise from selfish reasons.   

There's a very fantastic book on Guru Devotion is  the 50 Stanzas of Guru Devotion by Ashvagosha, also known as Aryasura and others names. I think it answers all my questions in Guru Devotion. There's a verse saying:

"It has been taught that for the Guru to whom you have pledged your word of honor (to visualize as one with your meditational deity), you should willingly sacrifice your wife, children and even your life, although these are not (easy) to give away. Is there need to mention your fleeting wealth? "

 

negra orquida

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Re: Merits arise from following Guru's instructions.
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2012, 05:22:36 PM »
Quote
merits come from following a Guru's instruction, NOT the action

isn't following the instruction an action?

I think it should be as long as you follow the Guru's instruction, you will collect merit regardless of what the action relating to following the instruction is? E.g. you will collect merit from following the Guru's instruction to clean the toilet or build a 33 ft Buddha statue.  Hence i agree with Poonlarp that
Quote
by following any instructions from the Guru, no matter what action it is, it generate merits.

Agree with Klein on
Quote
If the student follows his or her own thoughts on doing things without contradicting or neglecting the Guru's instructions and benefits others, merits will still be generated.
I guess if the student does something from his/her own initiative which is consistent with what the Guru has been teaching, this is also following the Guru's instructions.  E.g. the Guru teaches his students in general to be kind to animals, and a student takes upon himself to leave food out for strays --> the student is following the Guru's instructions to be kind to animals and will thus collect merit, even though it is not a direct instruction specific to that particular student.

Why do we collect merit from following the Guru's instructions?  I believe it is because the Guru will use every means to benefit as many sentient beings as possible.  So by us carrying out the Guru's instructions, we are the "SPV" of the Guru to fulfil his Boddhisattva works, and along the way we develop virtuous qualities and skills required to benefit others purely.  Like how a fire passes on from one candle to another candle...

hope rainbow

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Re: Merits arise from following Guru's instructions.
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2012, 05:56:05 PM »
Thank you Kurava for this post.
I have a question:

Why do we create merit when we follow our Guru's instruction (regardless of the action)?

The same question asked differently:

Why is it that it is by following our Guru's instructions that we create merit?
What is the logic of that?

vajratruth

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Re: Merits arise from following Guru's instructions.
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2012, 08:10:06 PM »


The same question asked differently:

Why is it that it is by following our Guru's instructions that we create merit?
What is the logic of that?
[/quote]

At our stage we do not have the attainments to see and hear the Buddhas.  But we have the merits to see and hear the Guru.

In truth the Guru is the emanation of all Buddhas and so when we receive instructions from the Guru, it is equivalent to receiving instructions from the Buddhas.

And what could create more merits that directly carrying out the instructions of the Buddhas? I can only thinkm carrying out the instructions of the Guru well and to completion.

Amitabha

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Re: Merits arise from following Guru's instructions.
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2012, 02:21:24 PM »
merit is different from blessing. the above are blessing. blessing cant leads you to enlightenment. however, if blessing is given unconditionally and heartfelt kindness, it is merits. blessing can be in form or formless regardless of wealth. 

hope rainbow

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Re: Merits arise from following Guru's instructions.
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2012, 02:28:15 PM »
Why is it that it is by following our Guru's instructions that we create merit?
What is the logic of that?

And what could create more merits that directly carrying out the instructions of the Buddhas?
I can only think carrying out the instructions of the Guru well and to completion.

Why does it create merit when we follow the instructions of a Buddha?

pgdharma

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Re: Merits arise from following Guru's instructions.
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2012, 07:19:46 AM »
The reason why we have a Guru is that we have strong faith and trust in him and we rely on him to guide us in our spiritual path. Our Guru's purpose and motivation is to guide us towards Enlightenment. Thus we should surrender to him and trust him all the way as not following his instructions is breaking samaya with him. So how can we collect merits if we do not follow his instructions and have broken samaya?

Midakpa

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Re: Merits arise from following Guru's instructions.
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2012, 01:10:50 PM »
When Milarepa was asked by his guru Marpa to build and rebuild the nine-storey tower of "Shekhar Guthok", I'm sure he didn't know why but he carried out his guru's instructions. It was part of his preliminary training. If he had disobeyed his guru, he would not have achieved the supreme goal.

So, the bottom line is: whatever the action, carry it out. This way we will collect merits to support our practice. If the action or good deed is performed on our own initiative, there will be merits because it is a meritorious deed. But it is not the same as doing what the guru wants us to do.

Why is it important to follow instructions? Because the guru knows what we need in order to progress in our spiritual practice and will give instructions according to our needs. He knows we need to perform certain types of actions to remove obstacles, to purify our negative karma and to collect the merits necessary for our practice.

vajrastorm

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Re: Merits arise from following Guru's instructions.
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2012, 07:44:38 AM »
Yes, the moment we accept and take refuge in our Guru, he becomes the Guide to lead us to Enlightenment and total liberation from suffering. As the Lamrim says, proper reliance on our Guru, that is, viewing him as a Buddha and following his instructions, is the foundation or root of the Path. He becomes the supreme merit field and, following his instructions, we will accumulate huge amounts of merit.

Tammy

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Re: Merits arise from following Guru's instructions.
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2012, 08:09:10 AM »
A high Lama once taught - merits come from following a Guru's instruction, NOT the action.

What do you understand from this?

What is the difference between doing a good deed :
(1) on our own initiative , and
(2)on the Guru's instruction ?

Will we collect merits from (1)?
Please give reasons for "Yes" and "No".

Here's what I think :
Yes - we will collect merits from (1) BUT the merits collected (assuming (1) & (2) entails the SAME good deed) will NOT be as much as in (2)
Reason - in (1) good deed was done - hence merits collects, in (2) good deed was done AND Guru's instruction were followed - hence merits will be 'rewarded' for both !
Down with the BAN!!!

triesa

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Re: Merits arise from following Guru's instructions.
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2012, 11:23:35 AM »
A high Lama once taught - merits come from following a Guru's instruction, NOT the action.

What do you understand from this?

What is the difference between doing a good deed :
(1) on our own initiative , and
(2)on the Guru's instruction ?

Will we collect merits from (1)?
Please give reasons for "Yes" and "No".

Doing good deed on our own initiative will generate good karma, in my opinion, whereas doing good deed on the Guru's instruction will generate merits.

I can explain like this, when a baby is born, a baby cannot kill, so the baby will only generate good karma as long as he does not kill. But when he grows up, he has the choice to kill or not to kill, so when he takes refuge vows (from his Guru) and hold it well and refrain from killing even at situation he can, he then generate "merits" from not killing.

Here, holding vows is exactly like following what your Guru tells you to do or not to do, it generate "merits"

To answer HopeRainbow's question, why do we generate "merits" by following Guru's instrutions?

If we view our Guru as the emanation of all buddhas, a guru's instruction is like the buddha's words, when we carry out instructions from our guru, it is like carrying instructions from the buddha whereby great merits fields is generated.

I am in line with the thought that merits are created by following an instruction from one's guru and not so much the results. Sometimes one's guru will give a very difficult task to his disciple so that during the course when the disciple follows the instruction, he gets lots of obstacles and sufferings, and in the process the disciple gets  to purify certain negative karma there and then, sooner rather than later.

jeremyg

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Re: Merits arise from following Guru's instructions.
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2012, 04:29:08 PM »
I personally feel that any instruction from your Guru should be considered dharma work, and does earn you merits. If your Guru asks you to perform any action wether it relates to dharma or not, when the action is performed you will earn great merits, and the equivalent merit to normal dharma work, not from your Guru's instruction.

However if you do not do what your Guru instructs you to do, then you will break your samaya with your Guru, and this collect negative Karma.

The main point I am trying to make here is that if you receive and instruction from your Guru, no matter what it is, or how ridiculous is it, and even if it does not relate to the dharma, you will receive merits. So always follow your Guru's instruction. After all anything our Guru will tell us to do is to guide us towards enlightenment, so why wouldn't you follow your Guru's instruction?

hope rainbow

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Re: Merits arise from following Guru's instructions.
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2012, 05:28:38 PM »
To answer HopeRainbow's question, why do we generate "merits" by following Guru's instrutions?

If we view our Guru as the emanation of all buddhas, a guru's instruction is like the buddha's words, when we carry out instructions from our guru, it is like carrying instructions from the buddha whereby great merits fields is generated.

If I may add, I say this:

By ourselves we are incapable to create merits, because in order for a karmic result to be merits it requires pure intentions that only Buddhas have achieved.

We do not have pure intentions, even if we do Dharma.

When we follow the instruction from our Guru, we can tap from the pure intentions behind the instructions and we can create merit.

We can imagine it like we have a field in which nothing much grows because it is polluted and we use someone else's field that is pure, a field that we have been offered to use until ours stops to be polluted.

This is why we call our Guru a merit's field.
This is why we call the Guru tree our merit's field.