Aug 03

Kalu Rinpoche | Niguma’s “Amulet Mahamudra” (Afternoon session) | Previous Kalu Rinpoche Mahamudra teaching 7

དེ་ལྟར་གདམས་ངག་ཐམས་ཅད་དང་། ཁྱད་པར་རང་སེམས་སངས་རྒྱས་ཀྱི་རང་ཞལ་ངོ་སྤྲོད་པའི་བླ་མ་དམ་པ་དེ།
གེགས་ཐམས་ཅད་སེལ། བོགས་ཐམས་ཅད་འདོན་བྱིན་རློབས་དངོས་གྲུབ་ཉམས་དང་རྟོགས་པ་ཐམས་ཅད་དབྱར་གྱི་རྩི་ཐོག་ལྟར་ངམ་ངམ་ཤུགས་ཤུགས་ཀྱིས་འབྱུང་སྟེ།

dé tar dam ngak tam ché dang khyé par rang sem sang gyé kyi rang zhel ngo trö pé la ma dam pa dé
yön ten gyi ngö né tsa sum rap jam gya tso dü pé chi pel drel min yön ten jewé dak nyi
ka drin gyi ngö né dü sum gyel dang gyel sé kün lé khyé par pak pé dak nyi du shé shing
nangwa chi shar la mé nam röl
dé duk chi jung la mé ka drin
ré sa la ma lé mé pé kho tak ding né ché dé chi dzé khyé shé lo té ling gyur gyi mö gü chi ma truk pa dang ma drelwa jé chin
gek tam ché sel bok tam ché dön jin lop ngö drup nyam dang tok pa tam ché yar gyi tsi tok tar ngam ngam shuk shuk kyi jung té

[It is the genuine guru who gives all these instructions, and especially who introduces your own mind as the very face of the buddha.
In terms of qualities, the guru is the crowning glory, the confluence of the abundant ocean of the three roots, the embodiment of a million freeing and ripening qualities.
In terms of kindness, the guru is the embodiment of greater beneficence than all the buddhas and bodhisattvas of the three times.
Knowing this, then view whatever appearance arises as the guru’s display, whatever happiness and sadness occurs as the guru’s kindness, and be utterly convinced that other than your guru, there is no hope.
With the attitude that “you know all that occurs”, always cultivate completely surrendered devotion to the point of tears.
Then all impediments will clear away, all benefits accrue, and all blessings, spiritual powers, meditative experiences and realizations spring up lush and strong like the grasses of summer.]

So therefore having this sort of a gratitude to the Dharma instructor, to the Gurus for all these great teachings and instructions about the nature of the mind and we must have a devotion, genuinely from the heart. So, I think, I have to explain, I’ve been explaining this so many times, to the extent that I feel a kind of burnt out with that topic, but still I have to explain a little bit.

So devotion. Devotion is not blind faith, okay? That’s number one. Having a teary eye is not a devotion either. That can be, you know, you can be also mentally crazy. You know? So that’s not a devotion. Devotion is simply witnessing the reality of the samsara, benefit and the blessings of the Dharma, gratitude to the Guru, awareness and blissful experience along with all this moment and then meditating and making a prayer, meditating. That beautiful moment is devotion. Okay? Being ignorant and self-righteousness is not devotion. You know? So that’s that.

Because if you’re self-righteousness and then … Like an example, in India history, you have this Angulimāla. Angulimāla is the one who killed 999 people. Because his Guru, is not a Buddhist Guru, but his Guru told him that if you got 999, if you got 1000 of something, you’ll be enlightened, not enlightened, you will get the magical power. He believed that with his blind faith and then eventually Buddha helped him to turn away from that direction. Even if he committed lot of crimes and then he became a great Arhat, Bodhisattva let’s put it like this, over the time. So therefore, the self-righteousness, that sort of attitude, is not really helpful. Having teary eyes, it’s not really, it’s not really a devotion.

Like an example, like the feeling and experience of creating a goosebump, right? You can manufacture, you can manufacture that, you can create that. Like an example, you have a temple with a high ceiling, you have a bunch of people playing all sorts of instruments, I will do some sort of a great melodies and I will roll my eyes back and then, so that I look something very unnatural and then you will be like culturally in a traumatic shock. You know, and then you will like “What is going on? This is incredible experience”, then you start to have a goosebump and then you’ll say “He is my Guru.” You’ve been duped. So, so, that is good. That’s good experience. You listen to the nice music, you get a teary eyes, you get a goosebump, that is all manufactured, it can be manufactured. So the devotion is none of that.

It can be that for some people, like, that can be like the opening gate to experience something out of the ordinary. It can be. But that itself is not a devotion. You know? The devotion is about having the ultimate wisdom in one’s own mind. It’s not about having a lack of wisdom. It’s having a some sort of clarity in mind, understanding the importance of the Dharma, seeing the distinction between what is the samsara, what is the Dharma, and how fortunate you are and understanding all this. And then having the gratitude to your instructor and all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and being able to experience that and being able to live with that experience, with a sense of joy and awareness and mindful, that is devotion. Otherwise it’s just a crazy feeling, it’s not a devotion. Because you’re devoting to that person for what? because you want to liberate yourself from the sea of samsara. Not just because you have some sort of a connection. You have to remind yourself why you are Buddhist. Why you are Buddhist practitioner? You know? So that’s that. It’s very important.

And then the teary eyes can come afterwards. When I read the Milarepa biography, his one hundred thousand songs book, I cried a lot, I cried a lot. Even I received the teaching, I was crying like a baby who didn’t got milk. You know? I was crying a lot. I was even shocked at myself “Why even crying like that?” You know? But right after the session I was worse than before. Right after the teaching session, I was same as before or worse than before. I didn’t change much. You know? That really doesn’t help that much, still, even it can be a beautiful experience in how you reflect the reality of the suffering and how you reflect yourself and put the comparison of how great they are and so on. It can be great, but don’t overestimate yourself, and thinking “That is the devotion, I think I have devotion, I think I’ve discovered the devotion.” Don’t. Have a beautiful experience it, accept it, let it go. Maintain with your practice and then the genuine devotion tend to develop by itself.

Like an example, Previous Kalu Rinpoche, my predecessor, he was very kind and very supportive and very committed and, when it comes to the teachings or instruction or practice or empowerment. You can call it resourceful for Situ Rinpoche. When Situ Rinpoche, even he was in his twenties, and even when he was very young. And then after Previous Kalu Rinpoche passed away, the way Situ Rinpoche supported me is exactly the same, the way Previous Kalu Rinpoche supported Situ Rinpoche. So that is, that is devotion. You know? I’m nothing like Previous Kalu Rinpoche, you know, but the way he is devoted to Previous Kalu Rinpoche breaks all the protocol of monastic system. You understand? So that is devotion to his Guru, to his teacher. So that’s that.

He tells me “Rinpoche if you do good, I will support you. If you do bad, I will support you. But you know it’s going to be difficult but I support you.” So he is like that. That is the Guru that I have and I’m very fortunate. I don’t like to have a Guru who sits up there in the throne, and who talks about the Dharma. Anybody can do that. Anybody can pretend that. Right? You can memorize a book and say: “I have a name of the teacher, I’m the Guru.” Everybody can do that. You can memorize lot of things, you can pretend in a certain way and then you can tell other people that not to come into your personal property and you can say that’s my privacy. Nobody knows how you live your life and so on. So to pretend to be a teacher is very easy. To be really a teacher is never to consider themself as a teacher – is a true teacher. If you consider yourself as a teacher, you are lost before you even start.

So if you look at the Kyungpo Naljor, Marpa Lotsawa, they only bring the Dharma to Tibet from India. Because they want to help people, not because they want to claim themself a teacher. They want to help people. They see the people are suffering; people need a spirituality, a spiritual path, that’s the core desire. So that’s that. And that’s the definition of “teacher”.

In the university, in a classroom, you get the title, you get the position, you get a degree, that’s a different thing. In the spirituality, in the Buddhist world, you don’t, title does not guarantee anything. You can obtain very easily. And how you look after your student and how you look after yourself, with the mindful attitude, that defines as a teacher. You know? So that’s that.

And I’m very happy to have Lama Yeshe, Lama Pema. Both of them being very humble and being very kind and the people they had with them, when they started the Center until now, all these people are still intact together. So that says something by itself. I’m sure they will not acknowledge it, but that shows the quality. If you’re just good with talking then people come and go. So that’s that.

So the devotion. Like Situ Rinpoche, I never hear him say to me that “Ah Kalu Rinpoche I require your devotion or you have to do something that I wish, that I desire.” I never heard of it. I just apologize to him, right away, I said: “Rinpoche I can’t fulfill that now, I’m sorry.” But there’s never as such feeling of that “Ah, he is telling me as a Guru and I’ve to listen.” There’s no sense of obligation. There’s only a general guidance and the teachings. Then you just try to do the best by yourself.

And His Holiness Dalai Lama, exactly the same. He says that he is one of the eight billion people in the world and he is a simple Buddhist monk. And that’s how he describes himself, the highest realized being that we have in this world. That’s how he describes himself.

So I think it’s very important for all of us, that one day if you become a lama, to do retreat in the future. It’s important to keep that in mind. You as a teacher you have a responsibility, you as a student, as a practitioner you also have a responsibility. So that’s that.

གེགས་ཐམས་ཅད་སེལ། བོགས་ཐམས་ཅད་འདོན་བྱིན་རློབས་དངོས་གྲུབ་ཉམས་དང་རྟོགས་པ་ཐམས་ཅད་དབྱར་གྱི་རྩི་ཐོག་ལྟར་ངམ་ངམ་ཤུགས་ཤུགས་ཀྱིས་འབྱུང་སྟེ།

gek tam ché sel bok tam ché dön jin lop ngö drup nyam dang tok pa tam ché yar gyi tsi tok tar ngam ngam shuk shuk kyi jung té
sa lam gyi yön ten tam ché dü chik la dzok né tsé dir drup pa chen pö gompang dé lak tu top pé
tap zap mo mé du mi rungwé lam zap mo la mé mö gü jawa lak pé

[Then all impediments will clear away, all benefits accrue, and all blessings, spiritual powers, meditative experiences and realizations spring up lush and strong like the grasses of summer.
This is the profound method for completing all the qualities of the levels and paths at once and easily gaining the citadel of the great accomplishment in this life.
Devotion to the guru is indeed the indispensable profound path.]

So there’s a difference between a pure devotion and respect.

Like an example, when you enter the temple, you try to be respectful to the shrine, you try to be respectful to the Lamas, you try to be respectful to the Rinpoche or the painting or religious objects and so on. And then there’s a devotion. Devotion is not just a prayer seeking for some sort of a blessing. But devotion “མོས་གུས།” “མོས་གུས”། “mö gü” means “a genuine devotion”. The genuine devotion comes down to, when you’re making a prayer.


ma nam kha dang nyam pé sem chen tam ché kyap kün gyi ngowo la ma rin po ché la kyap su chio lak so

All Sentient Beings, my mothers, who equal [the extent of] space,
go for refuge to the precious Lama who is the embodiment of all refuges]

When you take a refuge to the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha. You are taking a refuge from the body, speech and mind and then, at the same time, you have absolute full, complete faith. You have a complete faith, you have complete trust when you take the refuge, when you make a prayer. So that is called the devotion and yet absent from the blind faith. Knowing what you’re praying for.


mö gü jawa lak pé

[Devotion to the guru is indeed the indispensable profound path.]



Spiritual Advice Based on the Kindness of My Genuine Guru in Conjunction With My Own Experience.
Previous Kalu Rinpoche

Niguma’s “Amulet Mahamudra” by Kalu Rinpoche (2nd afternoon session – 1h 49′ 55”)
Kagyu Sukha Chöling – Friday March 11, 2022