Invoking one’s Guru’s blessings

Exerpt of a teaching given by Lama Norbu Repa


“Pal-den Tsa-wa’i Lama Rinpoche

Dag-gi Chi-wor Päd-me Dän-Zhug-la

Ka-drin Chenpö Go-nay Je-zung-te

Ku-Sung-Thug-kyi Nö-drub Tsal-du-sol”

What we are doing when we recite this prayer in the beginning of every teaching or puja is to address our Root-Guru in the form of Dorje Chang and request Initiation.

As we recite this short prayer, we visualize all sentient beings seated around ourselves. This might take a little time especially if you do not have great clarity about all these beings, which we encompass in our mind.

To improve our meditation, we need to develop accurate knowledge from hearing and reflecting on the presence of these beings around us.

The hell beings suffer great heat or cold produced by hatred. Anger is the cause of being reborn in the hells. There are 8 hot and cold hells and also neighbouring hells. Hell beings endure great heat or great cold. This is a general idea. So we think of all beings in the hells we think of beings suffering great cold or heat, in progressive levels. In the hot hells some beings suffer extreme heat, like they are plunged into melted iron until they lose consciousness from the burning intensely. As soon as they regain consciousness they are revived and plunged again to die again fro suffering, for many, many years.

The duration of life in the hells vary but are evaluated in terms of several million years. So when thinking of hell beings we must think of beings who must have suffered a lot of anger. And we must think of beings who suffer great hardship from cold or heat.

When a being in the hell is about to end its karma as a hell being, it will see open doors to go out of the hells and then there will be in every corner neighbouring hells, which they must go through to reach the way out. And there they will suffer as consequence of the negative act caused by the anger.

This is a different kind of suffering; it is like walking through a meadow where the blades of grass are made of razor blades. Or there are mountains in the shape of animals that they have killed under anger (e.g. a sheep shaped mountain). We should think of hell beings, and there are actually a lot of hell beings. Gods and hell are the most populated realms. There are much more of these than humans or animals. There are in fact a lot of people who suffer anger and go through hell.

Our lifetime as a human, reaches nowadays hardly a hundred years but these beings’ lifespan can be lasting many trillions of years. There are suffering from before we are born and after we die. They need a lot of help that is why we visualize them when we going to practice. Also, because doing so we get a cause not to get reborn there ourselves.

A little anger can be diminished and countered by the benefit we provide to the hell beings. Positive karma diminishes negative past karma. We must never think that we are out of the condition to be born in the hell realms. Then we will be able to accumulate a lot of merit by making so many offering to the 3 jewels, much more than taking care of a beloved one for so many lifetimes. If you visualize the presence and visual the presence of all enlighten beings, we will accumulate a LOT of merit.

Then we have the preta beings, suffering great hunger and thirst, this is the root of needs. You might go on in life with doing with very little, like ascetic person with only a hut and humble conditions, yet, eating and drinking without them we will have heavy duty suffering, and this is pretas main suffering. Plus they perceive everything as food, which worsens their hunger.

When they come close to the food, then perception will turn (oh it’s a bike) and they have no proper mouths to eats. Spirit realm. Then we should not think that this is crazy. This reality was taught by the Buddha and all the wisdom beings who have gained clear vision can see these beings suffering. This is not fantasy, although it may seem so to us because we cannot see. Preta suffering comes from greed and miserliness (never give enough, in terms of effort or matter). They will grasp everything for them (greed).

And there are numerous animals. You all know these teachings, I am just remind you what we think when we say Palden Tsawai lama Rinpoche. There is not a single enlightened being who you address to with an egocentric purpose. I want you to use your mind in a more realistic way that means realistic you are part of a universe which has millions of beings in all these conditions and suffering, and you must be aware of their existence.

Understand that you are not alone, and if you want genuine and LASTING happiness which will be enlightenment, then you have to start by thinking of all beings and send love to all the so many beings that are there, not the beings that you think are there. Then there are humans ageing, sickness, death, meeting with the unwanted sufferings, separated from what you like. Basically suffering impermanence.

Furthermore there are 2 billion humans on this planet! SO that’s quite a number, already out of our little mind., but if we just think that those beings are close to us, so we are no longer alone in a room, we are in the centre of the universe with all these hell, preta, animal, human, asura and god beings.

Then we have asura beings, semi gods who are higher beings already who have constant fighting going all. Even the upper realms, beings who have accumulated a lot of merit, but not enough wisdom, they can only enjoy. The gods have so many of what you can ever wish for, the problem is that suffering is still there. They suffer the suffering of change, then when nearing death, one week ahead, which corresponds to 50 years of our life, every thing falls down, entourage leaves, then they early feel suffering of change and they know that being in the peak of cyclic existence, they can only come down. And when you know this change is for worse, then it is pretty bad.

SO they enjoy as long as it lasts, but then they go back into the washing machine. There are lots of gods, desire, form, formless realm. Formless realm, 20-40-60-80 kalpas duration of life. And they have no body and no perception; it's like a totally lethargic state. Come from high meditation, Samadhi. So not to frighten or despair you, bring your attention to the fact that those being do exist.

As long as you don’t see them, you have to have faith in the teachings. I have no doubt whatsoever about these. If you are sceptical you have a lack of faith. There are meditations to remedy lack of faith. If you are in that situation talk to guru with humility and willingness and eagerness (don't talk to fight). It is an obstacle, not a permanent state.

This is because we have accumulated both good and bad karma, so sometimes are in tune, and sometimes we have obstacles. Understand that this is impermanent and there are means to remedy it. This is a type of suffering.

Then as we visualize all beings around ourselves (for guru doesn’t exist without disciples), which takes a few seconds to do, we visualise on top of our heads a lotus sun and moon disc on Dorje Chang. This takes time to do. This is the difference between and talking and practicing meditation.

While we recite this prayer, before addressing guru, guru doesn’t’ exist if there are no beings in samsara to benefit. So before we address, we think that guru is there to help us to benefit other, so we first visualize others (all the six realms). For this perception to be stable we need training. After training we never lose this perception of all beings.

We invoke, with the responsibility of the leader of the universe that we perceive, (we are responsible for benefiting them), and then we invoke our guru. Your job is to visualize the guru as clear as you can. (Consult notes for full details). Why? Because the details of the sambhogakaya represent enlightened qualities of Vajradhara, the more clearly you visualize, the more clearly the picture will come. The real perception of Vajradhara will ensue. These are marks to drive you in the right direction. You must train your mind and make effort to develop this with precision.

With earnest faith and devotion (as much as tears fall down from your eyes) ask to get out of samsara, and to have clarity of mind, to reach enlightenment. It is the hardest thing to get and the only one long lasting happiness. So you must request from the bottom of your heart to receive initiation of body, speech mind. You request this for yourself and for all sentient beings.

Then visualize the syllables OM AH HUNG radiating lots of light that enter your forehead, throat and heart. This is the first step of the initiation process. Then feel that you are receiving this initiation. Feel that you are becoming one with the qualities of Dorje Chang, feel that your body is purified. The beginning is only a thinking process. Thinking becomes a tool to identify. Further perceive that you receive this initiation, and you become one with Dorje Chang. This is a process of identification. It is important to take the time to perceive it. Think its there. This simple practice would be so beneficial. We come to a higher level of practice. All high Lamas do this. 

This morning when we went through the teaching on Guru Rinpoche, I wanted to give you a glimpse of things. It is for you to realise the depth of the teachings of Dharma. I wanted you to grasp that this is not just mere talk. The text on Guru Rinpoche is very succinct, and I did let you recite it as such, without any translation to make a connection, hinting at the inner meaning of the text but later today I will provide you the translation with also a brief explanation on the inner meaning, not that profound or extensive but sufficient for the time being.

Also, I will go through the subtler aspects of the 3 bodies of Guru Rinpoche.

3 bodies, because of 3 levels of practice, outer, inner, secret and three levels of attainment: emptiness, clarity and unbearable compassion.





3 levels of practice








3 levels of functioning

The mind that’s behind any Buddha

Alive or dead can still function as guru

Incarnated Lama

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