Guru's?

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Guru's?

Postby Hunter » Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:53 pm

In theravada Buddhism are there Guru's or spiritual guides like there are in Hinduism or is Gautama Buddha the only teacher of this age. What I mean by Guru here is a person who has attained the supreme and is now teaching to students. This is seen in Hinduism, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. I just want to know if the Buddha talked about the imporance of a Guru or if he is the only teacher needed in this age.
the Buddha said :

"Intention, monks, is karma, I say. Having willed, one acts through body, speech and mind."
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Re: Guru's?

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:09 pm

Hunter wrote:In theravada Buddhism are there Guru's or spiritual guides like there are in Hinduism or is Gautama Buddha the only teacher of this age. What I mean by Guru here is a person who has attained the supreme and is now teaching to students. This is seen in Hinduism, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. I just want to know if the Buddha talked about the imporance of a Guru or if he is the only teacher needed in this age.


In Theravada Buddhism there is no real concept of a guru. There are teachers aand you should take the opportunity to learn from them but they are regarded as spiritual friends not gurus.

Some people stick with one teacher for a long time, others have a variety of teachers, there isn't the emphasis of transmission from the teacher that there is in Mahayana and Hinduism.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Guru's?

Postby Tex » Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:10 pm

There are many Theravada monks who serve as spiritual guides, via their Dhamma talks, essays, and translations. Whether they are "one who has attained the supreme and is now teaching to students" is difficult to say for certain, as the Vinaya prohibits monks from disclosing their attainments to the laity. But I don't think they need to be enlightened to be excellent teachers, anyway.
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi
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Re: Guru's?

Postby Aloka » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:34 am

In Vajrayana "Guru Yoga" is required as part of Ngondro practice ...but this is not a practice which is required in Theravada . :)
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Re: Guru's?

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:46 am

“Whatever Dhamma-Vinaya I have pointed out and formulated for you, that will be your Teacher when I am gone."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.16.1-6.vaji.html
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Guru's?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:12 am

:goodpost:
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Guru's?

Postby plwk » Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:10 am

Garava Sutta
I have heard that on one occasion, when the Blessed One was newly Self-awakened, he was staying at Uruvela on the bank of the Nerañjara River, at the foot of the Goatherd's Banyan Tree. Then, while he was alone and in seclusion, this line of thinking arose in his awareness:
"One suffers if dwelling without reverence or deference.
Now on what priest or contemplative can I dwell in dependence, honoring and respecting him?"

"What if I were to dwell in dependence on this very Dhamma to which I have fully awakened, honoring and respecting it?"

Then, having known with his own awareness the line of thinking in the Blessed One's awareness — just as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm — Brahma Sahampati disappeared from the Brahma-world and reappeared in front of the Blessed One.
Arranging his upper robe over one shoulder, he saluted the Blessed One with his hands before his heart and said to him:
"So it is, Blessed One! So it is, One-Well-Gone!
Those who were Arahants, Rightly Self-awakened Ones in the past — they, too, dwelled in dependence on the very Dhamma itself, honoring and respecting it. Those who will be Arahants, Rightly Self-awakened Ones in the future — they, too, will dwell in dependence on the very Dhamma itself, honoring and respecting it.
And let the Blessed One, who is at present the Arahant, the Rightly Self-awakened One, dwell in dependence on the very Dhamma itself, honoring and respecting it."

Past Buddhas,
future Buddhas, & he who is the Buddha now,
removing the sorrow of many
— all have dwelt, will dwell, he dwells,
revering the true Dhamma.

This, for Buddhas, is a natural law.

Therefore one who desires his own good,
aspiring for greatness,
should respect the true Dhamma,
recollecting the Buddhas' Teaching.


Vakkali Sutta
"He who sees Dhamma, Vakkali, sees me; he who sees me sees Dhamma.
Truly seeing Dhamma, one sees me; seeing me one sees Dhamma."


Some advice from:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... tml#parisa
Although you can learn a great deal about Dhamma on your own, your understanding will grow by leaps and bounds once you find a good teacher — someone whom you trust and respect, who keeps to the precepts, and who understands the Dhamma and can communicate it clearly.
Other aids to progress in understanding the Dhamma are these: deepening your understanding of the precepts; studying the suttas; getting to know monks or nuns (the Sangha) and becoming acquainted with their traditions; developing a keen, discerning ear that can recognize which of today's popular spiritual teachings actually ring true to what the Buddha taught; and learning meditation.
How you proceed is entirely up to you, but the bottom line is this: learn what the Buddha taught and put it into practice in your life as best you can.
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga
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Re: Guru's?

Postby Alexei » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:50 pm

Hunter wrote:I just want to know if the Buddha talked about the imporance of a Guru or if he is the only teacher needed in this age.

There is importance of admirable friendship (kalyāṇamittatā) : http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-subject.html#k
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Re: Guru's?

Postby PeterB » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:57 pm

He did indeed. An essential part of Dhamma.
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Re: Guru's?

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:58 pm

the whole of the holy life, so I've heard
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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