The Student Teacher Relationship

Respect for teachers and the importance of the student-teacher relationship is a common thread in all Buddhist traditions and cultures, as it is in all genuine educational traditions, Western and Eastern. In the three vehicles (yanas) of Tibetan Buddhism, the relationship between teacher and student evolves according to the level of commitment and sophistication of the student and the ability and power of the teacher. Teachings in this section address various levels of relationship between teacher and student and their connection to the level of dharma that is being taught. There is the respect given by a student of basic Buddhism to their elder, who serves as an example and guide to good conduct. There is the commitment of the student dedicated to serving others to his or her spiritual friend in the mahayana traditions. And, there is the devotion, deep trust, and loyalty of students to the vajrayana teacher guru or vajra master.

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