The Nine Attitudes of Devotion to the Guru

The Heart of the Path

The Nine Attitudes of Devotion to the Guru

My compassionate Root Guru, most outstanding, even superior to all Buddhas! This disciple is supplicating to You; please bless me so that in all my lives I will take refuge with great reverence in Your Meritorious Holiness!

Fully understanding that abiding, in accordance with the Dharma, under the patronage of my compassionate Guru who is the root of all merits is the foundation of pure happiness, this disciple takes refuge in You with sincere reverence, and will not withdraw even at the cost of my life!

Contemplating over the importance of my meritorious Guru so as to yield complete control of myself over to my Guru’s guidance.

The nine attitudes of devotion to the Guru:

1. That of a filial child. Like a filial child, one thoroughly carries out the instructions of the Guru without the slightest deviation.

2. That of a Vajra. Like a Vajra that cannot be split apart, even when facing division created by devils or bad associates, one will never split away from the Guru.

3. That of the Earth. Like the Earth carrying everything in the world, one shoulders all assignments ordered by the Guru.

4. That of the Iron Circle of Mountains. Like everlasting mountains, while abiding under the patronage of the Guru one endures hardships and sufferings without ever swaying in one’s determination.

5. That of a servant. Like an obedient servant, even when one is obliged to carry out very difficult assignments one holds no grudges in one’s heart.

6. That of a sweeper. Like a humble sweeper, one renounces self-pride and regards oneself as inferior to the Guru.

7. That of a rope. Like a continuous rope, one rejoices in carrying on the Dharma activities of the Guru, regardless of its degree of difficulty and heaviness of load.

8. That of a domestic dog. Like a loyal dog, even when the Guru ridicules, irritates or ignores one, one never responds with anger.

9. That of a boat. Like a ferry one goes back and forth on the Guru’s assignments without any discontent.

My virtuous and precious Root Guru, please bless this disciple to be able to practise as described above! From this moment onward, throughout endless future lives, may this disciple be able to take refuge in Your Holiness in this way!

Through recitation of these words and inner reflection over their meanings, in all future times one will be fortunate enough to abide, in accordance with the Dharma, under the patronage of the precious Guru from life to life.

If one can, based on these nine attitudes, serve, venerate and make offerings to the precious Guru, then even without deliberate cultivation many virtuous merits will be developed, huge amounts of spiritual stocks will be accumulated, and even up to one’s speedy attainment of perfect Buddhahood will be realised.