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Lama (Skt. guru; Tib. བླ་མ་, Wyl. bla ma as the contraction of བླ་ན་མེད་པ་, bla na med pa) — a spiritual teacher.


There exists several categorizations, such as the four kinds of teacher:

  1. the individual teacher who is the holder of the lineage (Tib. གང་ཟག་བརྒྱུད་པའི་བླ་མ་, gangzak gyüpé lama, Wyl. gang zag brgyud pa'i bla ma)
  2. the teacher which is the word of the buddhas (Tib. རྒྱལ་བ་བཀའ་ཡི་བླ་མ་, gyalwa ka yi lama, Wyl. rgyal ba bka' yi bla ma)
  3. the symbolic teacher of all appearances (Tib. སྣང་བ་བརྡ་ཡི་བླ་མ་, nangwa da yi lama, Wyl. snang ba brda yi bla ma)
  4. the absolute teacher, which is rigpa, the true nature of mind (Tib. རིག་པ་དོན་གྱི་བླ་མ་, rigpa dön gyi lama, Wyl. rig pa don gyi bla ma)

Or the six categories of teacher:

  1. the teacher who is a guide
  2. the mind-liberating teacher
  3. the teacher who grants pith instructions
  4. vow-restoring teacher
  5. teacher who gives empowerments and samayas
  6. general teacher

Alternative Translations

  • spiritual mentor (Wallace)

Teachings Given to the Rigpa Sangha

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