Prolonging the Life of the Guru

(Advice from Lama Rinpoche in answer to requests by students wanting to know how best prolong the life of the Guru and avoid obstacles that can cause sickness and the Guru's life to be shortened.)

Most important is to remember with feeling the Guru's kindness, to follow his advice then remember one's mistakes and confess.

Long-life pujas purify negative karma .and accumulate merit - generally speaking life can be lengthened by accumulating merit - but the best kind of long-life puja is not just the ritual but to cherish the advice with the thought of correctly devoting to the virtuous friend. The Guru should be viewed from one's own side as the Buddha and his kindness remembered. One should feel regret for not practising properly in the past and make a decision to practice better in the future even in the ordinary sense of being a better person.

The heaviest effect on the Guru's life is degenerating or breaking the first root tantric vow to belittle the Guru which means giving up the Guru as an object of respect. It also involves having anger or especially heresy arising in the mind towards the Guru. When there is heresy, the mind is barren like a desert having no faith and where nothing can grow. This can cause the holy mind to be disturbed, like with sadness.

Sometimes students who request secret tantric teachings and not having devotion, can cause the Guru (in the context of the secret teachings) to break samaya as the teacher has difficulty saying no. But if the student has the sincere thought to try to develop and keep the vows etc., then it is good. Although it may be difficult to keep all the vows because the student's mind hasn't even the realisation of impermanence and death.

Harmonious sincerity in obtaining advice can inspire the Guru. This can give him the interest to have the intention to pray in an attempt to have a long-life even if from the Guru's side there isn't the complete capability to control the elements.

It's also important to be aware that the breaking of root tantric vows, samaya and so forth is also a danger to the student's life resulting in sickness and even in their own life being shortened, not to mention suffering in future lives. But of course, as explained in the teachings, any degeneration or breaking of the three levels of vow can be purified through confession etc.

So these things can cause the Guru to take disease and pass away early. It's a dependent arising. This can happen because of the karma of the group. For example, with my Gurus, they don't have karma but they show the appearance.


A great deal depends on how well the students practice Dharma. How much self-cherishing thought there is that causes harm to oneself and others. I don't think the problem is so much to do with the fact that the students don't know what's the cause of the Guru taking disease and passing away early. For some students the cause is not being thoughtful and not taking the opportunity to change the life for the better. That is, not putting the teachings into practice.


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