Being Guru Rinpoche

Being Guru Rinpoche: A Commentary on Nuden Dorje’s Terma, Vidyadhara Guru Sadhana

Being Guru Rinpoche contains the tantric ritual practice called The Vidyadhara Guru Sadhana and my brief commentary on it. The commentary is the edited transcript of two talks and in no way claims to be a complete account of the text. Rather, it is offered as a way for western people to approach the engagement with tantric practice. The text itself is from the nyingmapa tradition of Tibetan buddhism and is a treasure text of Nuden Dorje. I first translated it with C R Lama (Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche) over twenty-five years ago and it has become the most frequently practised larger text amongst his students.

This ritual text is a very important one because of the depth of its content and the shortness of its lineage, in other words, its closeness to Padmasambhava, the root of all the Nyingma lineages. C R Lama gave the following account of the text:

When Padmasambhava was at the great cave of Samye Chimpu in Tibet he gave very important initiations to Yeshe  Tsogyal,  Nanam Dorje Dudjom, Khyeuchung Lotsawa, Achar Sale, and so forth, the twenty-five great disciples known as the Je Bang Nyer Nga. This present treasure dharma is part of the doctrines he  taught then. In this sadhana Padmasambhava himself is seen as the emanation of all the buddhas and the encompasser of all herukas  and dakinis. When the teachings were allotted this practice was  part of Khyeuchung Lotsawa’s share.

 Khyeuchung Lotsawa had seven important incarnations, the seven Nuden Dorjes, namely Terchen Dundul Dorje and so on. Nuden Dorje Drophan Lingpa Drolo Tsal was the seventh of the Nuden Dorjes and it was he who revealed this treasure dharma. After he had taken it out he kept it secret for twenty-five years during which time he did much practice and recited thirteen million of the benza guru mantra with this practice and also with Rigdzin Godem’s Rigdzin Dung Drub. This was his first treasure (gTer) and subsequent to it, he revealed and wrote down a further sixteen volumes.

According to the text Nuden Dorje Drophan Lingpa gave this practice first to the wife of Lhachen, the King of A-Kyong, Tamdrin Wangmo. When she did this practice light rays issued from her body, and when she died she resembled an eight-year-old girl. At her funeral many rainbows appeared. This happened at A-Kyong near Lake Ko Ko Nor. Then secondly, Drophan Lingpa’s own son, Gyalsae Padma Don Sal received the teachings from that queen.  The third person to receive it was Gonpo Wangyal, the nephew of Nuden Dorje Drophan Lingpa. He received it from Gyalsae Padma Don Sal. The fourth person was Tulku Tsorlo (Tsultrim Zangpo) who gained it from his father and root guru, Gonpo Wangyal, who was the incarnation of Achar Sale, one of the twenty-five great disciples. The fifth person is myself, and I received it from Tulku Tsorlo, the incarnation of Vimalamitra and Vairocana who received Padmasambhava’s mind blessing.

From Nuden Dorje until now this lineage has only five members. The first four of these five lineage holders gained great results and recited many or at least one hundred thousand benza guru mantras for each syllable of the mantra.

I myself have less opportunity, and for this practice and Byangter Rigdzin Dungdrub I have recited just two million six hundred thousand benza guru mantras. But anyway when I die, I will not be afraid, and am competent to go to some other place not in the six realms of beings. It may not be a very high place, but I am sure that it will not be a low place.

At this time and in accordance with some of my dreams and   the predictions of some former terchens (according to Drophan Lingpa’s prediction) I have decided to give this teaching to those  who will practise it.Perhaps this is right. Perhaps it is wrong. We do not know. But it is certain that whoever has faith and belief free from doubt in Padmasambhava and this terton (treasure-revealer) system, and the Nyingma kama and terma lineages, and who does practice, will get result. The lineage for this practice is not long. From Padmasambhava to my guru there are only five in the lineage. There is also another short lineage for when I did practice in Tsonae Nang in Kham, East  Tibet.  I  also  got  some  direct  lineage  from Drophan Lingpa, Khyeuchung Lotsawa and Padmasambhava, all not different in form. This occurred on the tsechu (tenth day of the waxing moon) when I received this initiation. Now I think that whoever does this practice and reads the seven-line prayer (Tsig Dun Sol Deb) one hundred thousand times, and the benza guru mantra one million three hundred thousand times, is sure to get some result

English. Being Guru Rinpoche: A Commentary on Nuden Dorje’s Terma, Vidyadhara Guru Sadhana. James Low (edition khordong, Trafford, 2006) Khordong Commentary Series III. ISBN 978 1412084079

French. Dans le mandala de Padmasambhava. Translated into French by Patrice Sammut and Nathalie
Koralnik. (Éditions Khordong France, 2010) ISBN 9782953189001

German. Eins mit Guru Rinpoche. Ein Kommentar zu Nuden Dorjes Terma, Die Vidyadhara Guru Sadhana. Translated into German by Sammy El-Samahi und Ilka Klapprott. (Wandel Verlag, 2007) Khordong Commentary Series III.dt ISBN 978 3942380010.

Polish. Być Guru Rinpocze. Kommentarz do Sadhany Guru Widjadhary z termy Nudena Dordże. Translated into Polish by Joanna Janiszewska Rain. (Wydawnictwo NORBU, 2006) ISBN 978 8361740285.

Spanish. Ser Guru Rimpoché: un comentario sobre la Sadhana Guru Vidydhara. Translated into Spanish by Marta Perez-Yarza. (Ediciones Dharma, 2013) ISBN 978 8496478787.