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People who say that ordination is no longer relevant in the modern world misunderstand its purpose. This method was taught by both Buddha and Jesus to protect us from delusions, to prevent us from harming ourselves or others. As a result of the karma of not harming others, we receive the immediate benefit of not being harmed by them, and experience great happiness and peace.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

The First Talk

Around the time of the fifth Kopan meditation course, in November 1973, 10 Western Dharma students had asked Lama Yeshe’s permission to get ordained. Lama suggested that they take their ordinations the following January, in Bodhgaya, after His Holiness the Dalai Lama had given the Kalachakra initiation. In December 1973, Lama gathered into his room these 10 prospective monks and nuns, together with five or six of his students who had already been ordained, and offered the following advice. This was the first talk Lama ever gave to his Sangha community.

First Talk

Advantages of Monastic Life
In 1982, Lama Yeshe organized the first Enlightened Experience Celebration, a five-month series of teachings, initiations and retreats held in Bodhgaya and Dharamsala, India. About 100 International Mahayana Institute monks and nuns attended. During the Dharamsala part of the program, Lama Yeshe called the monks and nuns into the gompa at Tushita Retreat Centre and, over two successive evenings (April 17 and 18), gave the following talks.

Part 1 (April 17, 1982)
Advantages—Part 1

Part 2 (April 18, 1982)
Advantages—Part 2

Benefits of Being Ordained
Lama Zopa Rinpoche speaks on the benefits of being ordained. This article was published in Mandala Magazine in 1996.

Benefits of Being Ordained

A Life Well Lived
During the Most Secret Hayagriva retreat at Vajrapani Institute, September/October, 1997, Lama Zopa Rinpoche offered the students the following advice. It came during Rinpoche’s reading of a long commentary to the Most Secret Hayagriva sadhana, where it elaborates on the refuge section.

Life Well Lived

Advice for Monks and Nuns was published by Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive ( For further advice offered by our teachers, please visit our section Publications.