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By Tenzin Gyatso (His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)

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In some practices you find yourself arising first as a causal vajra-holder and then as the resultant vajraholder, in other cases, you find that you generate yourself into a deity through a process known as the 'five clarifications' and so forth. Although there are a lot of ways to visualize yourself as a deity in the practices of the generation stage which are very important, the most significant part of the meditation is the point at which you give special emphasis to meditation on the vast and the profound by cultivating the clarity of the visualization and divine pride.

But, just as the tantric master should possess certain qualifications, so should the disciples. The current tendency to attend any initiation given by any lama, without prior investigation, and having taken initiation, then to speak against the lama is not good. On the part of the gurus, it is also important to give teachings in accordance with the general structure of the Buddhist path, taking the general framework of the Buddhist path as the rule by which you determine the integrity of your teachings.

Since the guru plays such an important role in the practice of tantra, many tantric texts have outlined the qualifications of a tantric master. The person giving an initiation should be properly qualified. So before we take initiation, it is important to examine whether the guru has these qualifications. It is said that even if it takes twelve years to determine whether the master possesses the right qualifications, you should take the time to do it. A qualification vajra master is a person who guards his or her three doors of body, speech and mind from negative actions, a person who is gentle and well-versed in the three trainings of ethics, concentration and wisdom.

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