Author Topic: What is the purpose of a Lama?  (Read 24961 times)

dorjedakini

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Re: What is the purpose of a Lama?
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2011, 07:45:48 PM »

The first step we could learn to cultivate a most beneficial relationship with having a lama is by reading the 50 stanzas of Guru Devotion by Ashvagosha http://viewonbuddhism.org/resources/50_verses_guru_devotion.html It's not something we can immediately apply to our lives, but something to work on each day.



Some of the verses people might find it quite difficult to follow, but it is not about the action but more on the attitude which we need to develop in our mind. Even if not for spiritual purpose, if we carry this kind of attitude to learn, to be aware, we will be successful in worldly affair too.

Follow our Lama wholeheartedly, there is nothing to lose. Sorry to say ,even if we feels that found a "unqualified Lama", there is nothing to lose as we experience the training all the way, and next time when we found the Guru which we think is more "qualified" then we will be more appreciative and progress even further. Either way is good. But I would say it is not about the Lama, it is us whether we have the merit to see the good qualities of the Lama.

Barzin

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Re: What is the purpose of a Lama?
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2011, 09:15:51 PM »
A Lama is someone we take refuge in because he encompasses the quality of a Buddha's teachings, and methods to help liberate us out of samsara.  However, in our tradition many misunderstood the purpose of a Lama.  A lot of them relate a Lama is to give blessing and had the powerful to bring us "luck" and everything will be okay.

True lama will teach us the dharma, wanting us to transform.  Yes, no doubt they do have the power to bless due to upholding their vows and practices but we are still subject to our own karma after all.  So it's up to us to really understand the purpose of having a lama.  There is no short cut.

I sincerely hope everyone would have the fortune to meet powerful lama, a powerful dharma teacher who can guide us and liberate us from samsara.

vajrastorm

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Re: What is the purpose of a Lama?
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2011, 07:04:30 AM »
We need a Lama, especially one who is qualified and accomplished, to guide us surely and swiftly on the Path to Full Enlightenment.This is because he knows us, knows how to push our buttons and gives us direct and personal instructions and practices( that are tailored to suit our individual propensities and needs).

When we develop unwavering faith and total respect in him, when we see him as a Buddha, then proper devotion to him  will mean that we use up our throwing karma that would take us to the lower realms( when he 'purifies'  this throwing karma) even by a scolding from him! This is what is stated in the Lamrim. (Of course if we react negatively to a scolding or to any difficult task that our Lama assigns us, no purification would have taken place).

thor

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Re: What is the purpose of a Lama?
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2011, 08:23:49 PM »
Ultimately the purpose of the Lama is to bring Buddha's teachings to the student and guide him on the path until Enlightenment. To correct the student when he goes off the path, to clarify his doubts, to answer his questions, to skilfully train the student to develop the 6 paramitas, to be a living breathing example of the BuddhaDharma in action. Essentially, it is to actualize Buddha's teachings and relate it to today's generation of degenerate people.

pgdharma

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Re: What is the purpose of a Lama?
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2011, 02:40:56 PM »
The purpose of a Lama is to guide us in our spiritual path until we reach Enlightenment.
He imparts Buddha's teachings to us using skilful method, He is a living Buddha.
The best way to repay the kindness of our Lama is mind transformation.

Tenzin K

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Re: What is the purpose of a Lama?
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2011, 03:07:45 PM »
The purpose of a Lama is to spread the Buddha's teaching to everyone and ultimately to reach enlightenment.
The Lama is very skillful to plant seed, create the condition for us to gain merits and purify our karma in order for us to be able to receive, understand & practice the great teaching.

The Lama is very kind and compassion to all the people. They always think of the best for our practice to quicken us to transform our mind. By transforming our mind that shows that we appreciate the effort and teaching of our Lama.

Just like my Guru, introducing Lord Shugden practice to me to help me to pacify my negative karma and at the same time to collect more merit not only for this life time and future too.


biggyboy

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Re: What is the purpose of a Lama?
« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2011, 03:40:10 PM »
Having a Lama with us is like a guardian yet a dangerous friend to us.  He's there to drag us out of our own created wrath and to guide us towards ultimate enlightenment.  To gain enlightenment one has to go through a long and treacherous grounds that we have created umpteen times for ourselves to experience the suffering and pain. Hence, having a Lama to guide us is a much quicker path to weed us out of our delusions.

Midakpa

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Re: What is the purpose of a Lama?
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2011, 04:05:34 PM »
The purpose of a lama is to take us out of samsara or to enlightenment. This is why enlightened beings take rebirth in a nirmanakaya form, so that we can see them and receive teachings from them. If you have found a lama in this life, you are indeed very fortunate as it is the result of merits accumulated in previous lives. The lama is a Buddha but due to our delusions we do not perceive him as such. It is said in Pabongka Rinpoche's "Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand" that Vajradhara is at present among us, taking the form of gurus. "Hevajra's Royal Tantra" says:

In future times, my physical form
Will be that of masters...

And:

Also, in the last five centuries,
I will take the form of masters.
Think that they are me
And develop respect for them.

bambi

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Re: What is the purpose of a Lama?
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2011, 04:56:09 PM »
Wow! All that needs to be said about the purposes are already mentioned!
For me, the purpose of a Lama is to teach and guide us to the correct path.  He is here to water the seed in us to awake our inner Buddha mind so that we can understand and do more Dharma.  When we trust our Lama, we surrender and do the best we can in helping Him to help and benefit other people.  Taking refuge in 1 of the 3 Jewels will definitely protect and bless us all the way to do more. 

Lawrence L

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Re: What is the purpose of a Lama?
« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2011, 07:01:40 AM »
When you have full faith towards a Guru, sure you'll benefited from a Guru's wisdom and compassion.
What we could see/feel is so limited and superficial. A guru is the person who point out the 'unknown-me'. Sometimes a Guru would use a wrathful way just to make us a better person, to show us the better path to live a better life, not only this lifetime but even our next life!

Guru is just like our lovely parents. We may think that Guru intends to turn us into His slave, but when we 'do the Guru a favour', we collect uncountable merits! A slave could gain merits and sometimes get paid at the same time? We can even transform ourselves to be a better person to have a better life when we 'do the Guru a favour' by following the Guru's instruction to perform something in our lives. Which slave could gain all this?

Positive Change

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Re: What is the purpose of a Lama?
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2011, 09:32:43 AM »
The purpose of our Lama is also to bring out our innermost fears, to push those buttons long hidden... in order that we may overcome the obscuration and fears we have built up through many many lifetimes. Sounds grim? Not at all... How do we really grow and transform if we still "hold on" to our inner most demons?

Our Lama creates the situations whereby we are "forced" to engage with our innermost fears in oder to overcome them. We need to trust our Lama and his methods for our benefit. Remember we took refuge in our Lama... he is our Guru. He has ONLY the best intentions!

Manjushri

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Re: What is the purpose of a Lama?
« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2011, 08:48:38 AM »
The purpose of having a Lama is to guide you on your spiritual path to eventually attaining enlightenment. The lama is your living Buddha, as he embodies the qualities that you aspire to gain. He is there to teach you, to scold you, to compliment you, to nurture you, to bring the Dharma to you, to train and guide you so that you are on the right track in your spiritual practise.

Your lama is not there to always praise you, or be nice to you, otherwise that would defeat the purpose of being trained and guided. Anyone can be nice to you, therefore your lama will manifest many different methods, as taught by Buddha himself, to help you in this life so that you can gain a better rebirth for the next life, and closer to enlightenment.

Klein

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Re: What is the purpose of a Lama?
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2011, 07:13:44 PM »
A Lama is someone we take refuge in because he encompasses the quality of a Buddha's teachings, and methods to help liberate us out of samsara.  However, in our tradition many misunderstood the purpose of a Lama.  A lot of them relate a Lama is to give blessing and had the powerful to bring us "luck" and everything will be okay.

True lama will teach us the dharma, wanting us to transform.  Yes, no doubt they do have the power to bless due to upholding their vows and practices but we are still subject to our own karma after all.  So it's up to us to really understand the purpose of having a lama.  There is no short cut.

I sincerely hope everyone would have the fortune to meet powerful lama, a powerful dharma teacher who can guide us and liberate us from samsara.

If we are serious about our spirituality it is important that we are geographically near to our Lama so that we can receive lots of teachings and guidance from him frequently. Our Lama will be able to spend more time with us to understand us better so that he knows what else we need to progress spiritually. 

Poonlarp

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Re: What is the purpose of a Lama?
« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2012, 09:06:21 AM »
There are different role of Lama in Vajrayana and other paths. In Vajrayana, having a Lama is very important and it's the core practice to follow and serve a Lama.

If you see happiness is the enlightenment and free from all sufferings, then you see a Lama is the foundation and source of all happiness.

In the process of following and serving a Lama, it might be tough, we feel discomfort and anger, these qualities that make us unhappy are exactly the blockages for our way enlightenment, by living out of comfort zone and do what the Lama want us to do, we will find more happiness and ultimately to enlightenment.

So what I would like to add to the list is "The foundation and source of happiness" =)

WisdomBeing

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Re: What is the purpose of a Lama?
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2012, 04:45:02 PM »
"As merit increases, the Buddha-nature begins very gradually to stir. Within the mind, a certain interest in spiritual values will begin to constellate, and at the same time, like an answering echo, signs of the doctrine will slowly start to appear in outer experience.

"Metaphorically speaking, these could be seen as the externalization or projection of the Buddha-nature manifesting from within. A person in whom such a process begins to unfold will imperceptibly gravitate toward spiritual teaching, finding herself in situations where instruction and the practice become possible.

"She will come into contact with teachers who can lead her on the path, and finally she will meet a master who is able to place her in the ultimate state of freedom, introducing her in a way that far exceeds a merely intellectual comprehension. . .to his own true and primordially perfect nature.

"This final encounter is the most crucial meeting in the person’s entire samsaric existence, for it is here that the interdependent process just described reaches its completion and fulfillment. It might be said that the appearance of such a master is the last manifestation of the person’s Buddha-nature on the dualistic level, that master's function being to bring the disciple to the direct experience of the nature of, and the discovery of, the so called inner Guru--the Guru within."

- Yeshe Tsogyal (777-837), disciple and consort of the renowned Buddhist master Padmasambhava (a.k.a. Guru Rinpoche--the 8th Century Indian tantric master mainly responsible for the establishment of Buddhism, including the teachings of the Vajrayana, in Tibet, revered by all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism), is the most widely-worshipped and well-known female saint in Tibetan history, as her nation's most famous enlightened woman (a.k.a. Chief of the Dakinis of Great Bliss).
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being