Apr 30, 2020

Posted by in BUDDHISM IN OTHER LANGUAGES | 14 Comments

FIFTY VERSES OF GURU DEVOTION ( Năm mươi kệ tụng sùng kính Đạo sư)

FIFTY VERSES OF GURU DEVOTION ( Năm mươi kệ tụng sùng kính Đạo sư)

By Ashvagosha
1. Bowing in the proper way to the lotus feet of my Guru, who is the cause for me to attain the state of a glorious Vajrasattva, I shall condense and explain in brief what has been said in many stainless tantric texts about Guru-devotion. (Therefore) listen with respect.
2. All the Buddhas of the past, present and future, residing in every land in the ten directions, have paid homage to the Tantric Masters from whom they have received the highest initiations.
3. Three times each day, with supreme faith, you must show your respect to your Guru who teaches you (the tantric path), by pressing your palms together, offering a mandala as well as flowers and prostrating (touching) your head to his feet.


4. Those who hold ordination vows, if (your Guru) is a layman or your junior, prostrate (in public) while facing such things as his scriptural texts in order to avoid worldly scorn. But in your mind (prostrate to your Guru).
5. As for serving (your Guru) and showing him respect, such as obeying what he says, standing up (when he comes) and showing him to his seat — these should be done even by those with ordination vows (whose Gurus are laymen or their juniors). But (in public), avoid prostrating and unorthodox actions (such as washing his feet).
6. In order for the words of honour of neither the Guru nor the disciple to degenerate, there must be a mutual examination beforehand (to determine if each can) brave a Guru-disciple relationship.

Tsogyal Yeshe

7. A disciple with sense should not accept as his Guru someone who lacks compassion or who is angersome, vicious or arrogant, possessive, undisciplined or boasts of his knowledge.
8. (A Guru should be) stable (in his actions), cultivated (in his speech), wise, patient and honest. He should neither conceal his shortcomings, nor pretend to possess qualities he lacks. He should be an expert in the meanings (of tantra) and in its ritual procedures (of medicine and turning back obstacles). Also he should have loving compassion and a complete knowledge of the scriptures.
9. He should have full experience in all ten fields, skill in the drawing of mandalas, full knowledge of how to explain the tantras, supreme faith and his senses fully under control.

10. Having become the disciple of such a protecting (Guru), should you then despise him from your heart, you will reap continual suffering as if you had disparaged all the Buddhas.
11. If you are so foolish as to despise your Guru, you will contract contagious diseases and those caused by harmful spirits. You will die (a horrible death) caused by demons, plagues or poison.

12. You will be killed by (wicked) kings or fire, by poisonous snakes, water, witches or bandits, by harmful spirits or savages, and then be reborn in a hell.
13. Never disturb you Guru’s mind. Should you be foolish and happen to do this, you will surely boil in hell.


14. Whatever fearful hells have been taught, such as Avici, the Hell of Uninterrupted pain, it is clearly explained that those who disparage their Gurus will have to remain there (a very long time).
15. Therefore, exert yourself wholeheartedly never to belittle your Tantric Master who makes no display of his great wisdom and virtues.

Tilopa and Naropa

16. (If from a lack of awareness you have shown disrespect) to your Guru, reverently present an offering to him and seek his forgiveness. Then in the future such harms and plagues will not befall you.
17. It has been taught that for the Guru to whom you have pledged your word of honour (to visualize as one with your meditational deity), you should willingly sacrifice your wife, children and even your life, although these are not (easy) to give away. Is there need to mention your fleeting weath?


18. (Such practice of offering) can confer even Buddhahood on a zealous (disciple) in his very lifetime, which otherwise might be difficult to attain even in countless millions of eons.
19. Always keep your word of honour. Always make offerings to the Enlightened Ones. Always make offerings also to your Guru, for he is the same as all the Buddhas.


20. Those who wish (to attain) the inexhaustible (state of a Buddha’s Wisdom Body) should give to their Guru whatever they themselves find pleasing, from the most trifling objects to those of best quality.
21. Giving (to your Guru) is the same as making continual offerings to all the Buddhas. From such giving, much merit is gathered. From such collection comes the supreme powerful attainment (of Buddhahood).


22. Therefore, a disciple with the good qualities of compassion, generosity, moral self-control and patience should never regard his Guru and the Buddha Vajradhara as different.
23. If you should never tread even on (your Guru’s) shadow, because the fearsome consequences are the same as destroying a stupa, is there need to mention never stepping on or over his shoes or seat, (sitting in his place or riding) his mount?

Machig Labbron

24. (A disciple) having great sense should obey the words of his Guru joyfully and with enthusiasm. If you lack the knowledge or ability (to do what he says), explain in (polite) words why you cannot (comply).
25. It is from your Guru that powerful attainments, higher rebirth and happiness come. Therefore, make a wholehearted effort never to transgress your Guru’s advice.

Thogme Zangpo

26. (Guard) your Guru’s belongings as you would your own life. Treat even your Guru’s beloved (family) with the same (respect you show for him). (Have affectionate regard for) those closely around him as if they were your own dearest kin. Single-mindedly think (in this way) at all times.
27. Never sit on the (same) bed or seat (as your Guru), nor walk ahead of him. (At teachings do not) wear your hair in a top-knot, (a hat, shoes or any weapons). Never touch a seat (before he sits down), or if he happens to sits on the ground. Do not place your hands (proudly) on your hips or wring them (before him).

Tangtong Gyalpo

28. Never sit or recline while your Guru is standing (nor lie while he is sitting). Always be ready to stand up and serve him skillfully in an excellent manner.
29. In the presence of your Guru, never do such things as spit, (cough or sneeze without covering your mouth). Never stretch out your legs when at your seat, nor walk back and forth (without reason before him), and never argue.

Patrul Rinpoche

30. Never massage or rub your limbs. Do not sing, dance or play musical instruments (for other than religious purposes). And never chatter idly or speak in excess (or too loudly) within the range of (your Guru’s) hearing.
31. (When your Guru enters the room) get up from your seat and bow your head slightly. Sit (in his presence) respectfully. At night, at rivers or on dangerous paths, with (your Guru’s) permission, you may walk before him.

Dudjom Rinpoche

32. In the direct sight of his Guru, (a disciple) with sense should not (sit) with his body twisted around, nor lean (casually) against pillars and such. Never crack your knuckles, (play with your fingers or clean your nails).
33. When washing (your Guru’s) feet or his body, drying, massaging (or shaving) him, precede such actions with (three) prostrations and at their conclusion do the same. Then attend (to yourself) as much as you like.

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

34. Should you need to address (your Guru) by his name, add the title “Your Presence” after it. To generate respect for him in others, further honorifics may also be used.
35. When asking for your Guru’s advice, first announce why you have come. With palms pressed together at your heart, listen to what he tells you, without (letting your mind) wander about. Then (when he has spoken), you should reply, “I shall do exactly as you have said.”

Chagdud Tulku

36. After doing (what your Guru has told you), report (what has happened) in polite, gentle words. Should you yawn or cough, (clear your throat or laugh in his presence), cover your mouth with your hand.
37. If you wish to receive a certain teaching, request three times with your palms pressed together, while before him on your (right) knee. (Then at his discourse), sit humbly and with respect, wearing appropriate clothing that is neat (and clean, without ornaments, jewelry or cosmetics).

Kusum Lingpa

38. Whatever you do to serve (your Guru) or show him respect, should never be done with an arrogant mind. Instead you should be like a newlywed bride, timid, bashful and very subdued.
39. In the presence of (the Guru) who teaches you (the Path), stop acting in a conceited, coquettish manner. As for boasting to others what you have done (for your Guru), examine (your conscience) and discard all such acts.

Thinley Norbu

40. If you are (requested) to perform a consecration, (an initiation into) a mandala, a fire puja or to gather disciples and deliver a discourse, you may not do so if your Guru resides in that area, unless you receive his prior permission.
41. Whatever offerings you receive from performing such rites as (the consecration known as) “Opening the Eyes”, you should present all these to your Guru. Once he has taken a token portion, you may use the rest for whatever you like.


42. In the presence of his Guru, a disciple should not act (as a Guru) to his own disciples and they should not act towards him as their Guru. Therefore (before your own Guru), stop (your disciples) from showing you respect such as rising (when you come) and making prostrations.
43. Whenever you make an offering to your Guru, or whenever your Guru presents you with something, a disciple with sense will (present and) receive this, using both hands and with his head slightly bent.
44. Be diligent in all your actions, (alert and) mindful never to forget (your word of honour). If fellow disciples transgress (what is proper) in their behaviour, correct each other in a friendly manner.
45. If because of sickness you are physically (unable) to bow to your Guru and must do what normally would be prohibited, even without (his explicit) permission, there will be no unfortunate consequences if you have a virtuous mind.
46. What need is there to say much more. Do whatever pleases your Guru and avoid doing anything he would not like. Be diligent in both of these.


47. “Powerful attainments follow from (doing what) your Guru (likes).” This has been said by (the Buddha) Vajradhara himself. Knowing this, try to please your Guru fully with all the actions (of your body, speech and mind).
48. After a disciple has taken refuge in the Triple Gem and developed a pure (Enlightened) motive, he should be given this (text) to take to his heart (how to abandon his own arrogant self-will and) follow in his Guru’s footsteps (along the Graded Path to Enlightenment).49. (By studying the prerequisite trainings of Guru-devotion and the Graded Path, common to both the Sutra and Tantra,) you will become a (suitable) vessel (to hold) the pure Dharma. You may then be given such teachings as Tantra. (After receiving the proper initiations,) recite out loud the fourteen root vows and take them sincerely to your heart.
50. As I have not made the mistake (of adding my personal interpretation) when writing this work, may this be of infinite benefit to all disciples who would follow their Guru. By the limitless merit I have gathered in this way, may all sentient beings quickly attain Buddhahood.


  1. Tantra Ashihata (Simon Michael) says:

    Dear holy Guru,

    my name is Tantra  Ashihata.

    I thank you for given this article, first let me apologies to you, if I have offended you in any way, have mercy on me and fill me with purity and compassion.

    May you give me the strength to carry out you devotion and practice that will bring blessings instead of curse.

    My dear holy Guru,

    I worship on your lotus feet I blessed your holy name because of your great name.

    May you live long for the seek of all sentient beings

    May your great blessings always be with us.

    May all sentient beings be happy and be free from suffering.

    May the end of corona virus come  soon.

    Om Mani padme hum.

  2. Tantra Mashita says:

    Dear holy, honorable and compassionate guru,

    I bow my head down for you!

    I devote myself to you!

    Thank you so much for sharing this verses with us. All of these verses are outstanding , fabulous and unique. I really liked them. And I think I will read them again and again.

    May you have good health and live long for the benefit of all sentient beings.

    May all sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha’s nature.

    May the pandemic caused by corona virus soon end

    Om Mani Padme Hum

  3. Mật Tuyết Hoa says:

    Dear Guru,

    I am delighted to read this article.

    I am thankful for your sharing this article. It is a guidance for us to know that how to respect to Guru and what we can do it by actions in body, speech and mind according to right way as well as avoid making mistakes which could impiety to Guru. Through this, I understand that when we follow all teachings of Ashvagosha saint, we will become the proper vessel for pure Dharma with the devotion towards Guru. I am grateful to Guru.

    May Guru and your consort live long for the sake of all sentient beings.

    May all sentient being achieve the happiness of Buddha’s nature.

    May the Covid 19 pandemic will end soon.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  4. Tantra Mitsharuma (Petra) says:

    Dear Holy Guru

    I thank you for sharing this so I can continue to learn

    May Guru feel blessed and free from harm and suffering so others can be blessed. May all sentient beings be free from suffering and harm.

    May we see the end of covid-19 soon

    Om Mani Padme Hum

  5. Mật Khả Phúc says:

    Dear Holy Guru,

    Thank you so much for giving us “Fifty verses of Guru devotion” lesson.

    These verses show us how to distinguish the real Holy Guru, teach us the right way to devote toward Guru,  what should do to show respect to Guru and avoid what should never do. Furthermore, we also can see the good result as powerful attainment, higher rebirth and happiness if a disciple complies with his Guru’s advice and the worst consequence if a disciple ridicules his Guru through these verses. I would like to express my gratitude to Guru who saves us out of the suffering Samsara, and guide us on the path to the enlightenment. Thank you Guru for this beneficial article.

    May Guru and your consort have good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings.

    May Covid-19 pandemic will eliminate soon.

    May all sentient beings be free from suffering.

    Om Mani Padme Hum

  6. Tantra Mashinaga says:

    Dear Guru,

    Thank you for this article. This article describes the fifty verses of Guru devotion. I am devoted to learning from my Guru. I will take the steps to following the Guru one step and one day at a time. In America we value rugged individualism. Which means we take care of ourselves.  It is hard for me to follow anyone. But I know my Guru is wise and compassionate so I do my best to follow his teaching.

    May Guru and his consort live a long and happy life

    May all beings he free from suffering and attain happiness

    Om Mani Padme Hum

    Tantra Mashinaga (Mark Hamilton)

    • Nguyên Thành
      Nguyên Thành says:

      No, do your best is not important if you have not dovotion.

      • Nguyên Thành
        Nguyên Thành says:

        Remember: when in Roma, do as Romando! I see you “once a thief, always a thief!”

  7. Tantra Mashinaga says:

    Dear Guru,                                                                                                               I am devoted to you deeply. I am very happy to have found a Guru such as you. I could never repay the kindness and compassion you have showed me. I wish I was never born an American. We are a very stubborn country of people. I hope in my next life to be born Buddhist.

  8. Mật Nhất Nguyên says:

    Dear Holy Guru,

    I’m touched by the teaching of Master Ashvaghosha about Guru Devotion. Without the Guru, I will never walk on the Path towards Liberation and will suffer for countless lives.

    “Powerful attainments follow from doing what your Guru likes” — that is a very simple yet powerful message. I remember “the story of the cook” who is too busy to study but was still successful because of his Guru devotion.

    I’m grateful for the teaching. May the Guru and His Consort have good health for the benefit of all sentient beings. May all sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha’s nature. May the Corona pandemic will soon be over.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.


  9. Mật Nhị Khang says:

    Dear Holy Guru!

    I had read this “FIFTY VERSES OF GURU DEVOTION ” article. There were 50 advice for discriple to obey the Guru. This is so good for learner how to make controlable in doing and felling. I will encouge to remind and wish that I can do better.

    Thank you so much for sharing. May Guru and his consort live long for the human beings.

    May COVID 19 pannemic come to the end.

    Om Mani Padme Hum!

  10. Tantra Pramitdhita (Josh Hacker) says:

    Holy Guru,

    I bow my head before your lotus feet!! Thank you for sharing “FIFTY VERSUS OF GURU DEVOTION” written by the Indian poet Ashvagosha. This article outlines exactly how to have a good foundation through Guru devotion. As we know, a house or a building with a poor foundation will eventually fall and crumble to the ground. The same can be said about our spirituality. We could study and practice all day every day but without pure Guru devotion, we would only be doing ourselves more harm than good and inevitably we would “crumble” just as the house with the bad foundation did!
    May you have a blessed and peaceful day!!

    May Guru live a long and healthy life for the sake of all sentient beings

    May all sentient beings achieve the happiness of Buddha’s nature

    May the global pandemic caused by the corona virus soon end

    Om Mani Padme Hum

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