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Nepalese Gurus Sculptures

The Importance Of The Guru In Nepalese Buddhism

In Buddhism, the guru (Sanskrit for 'teacher') is the most exalted individual. In accompaniment to a meditational deity and a dakini, one who has set off on the challenging path to enlightenment requires a guru to complete the process. More than a teacher, the guru in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition is a kalyana-mittata, or a well-wishing friend. Without his guidance and philosophy, the experiences and insights along this path become ridden with even more challenges. He is the root of the devotee's spiritual realisation; to him, the Buddha Himself. The guru is actually a bodhisattva, and his blessing is integral to the four foundation pillars of Vajrayana Buddhism (punarjanm, mrityu, karma, and samsara).

While the guru may not be a buddha, He is a treasure-trove of knowledge. The Dalai Lama ('lama' is the Tibetan word for 'guru') speaks thus of the importance of the guru, "Rely on the teachings to evaluate a guru: do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism". Tantra teaches the devotee to practise guru yoga - visualising and making offerings to the vajra (diamond or thunderbolt) that is a personification of the guru. The plateaux and valleys of North India have been abound with gurus that have initiated swarms of devotees. They are worshipped to this day in Nepal; their forms captured in gorgeous, high-skill sculptures such as the ones in this section. That Nepalese artisans have a way with copper (repoussé, inlaid, gilded, et al) could be gleaned from the handpicked pieces that make up this exclusive Nepalese Buddhist gurus collection.