Why are our human gurus so apparently fallible? Why can’t they be perfect like the Buddha? A human guru will often exhibit some of the inherent flaws and imperfections that we also struggle with, but as a result he or she will be a far more effective teacher than a “perfect” guru. Ironically, it’s human fallibility itself that provides the guru with the most effective tools. If a guru manifested as a completely perfect being, you might not be able to communicate with him or her because you are not perfect.
Gurus who go strictly by the book, who present themselves as perfectly well-behaved manifestations, could quickly become predictable. Students will learn how to hide from them and will know exactly what to expect. There would be no surprises. The Vajrayana is the path of the rug being pulled out from under your feet, so you need someone who knows how to do that. There has to be interaction for rug pulling to take place, so the guru must reside on some human level, which naturally includes flaws.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book The Guru Drinks Bourbon?
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Further quotes from the book The Guru Drinks Bourbon?:
- The authentic guru lineage is indispensable
- Peeling of our patches of samsara
- Experience is like a mist in the morning
- Modern Buddhadharma
- Sooner or later, you will have to check
- Never opt for the easy way out
- Guru devotion and pure perception
- Hearing the Dharma
- Teachings don’t just rain down
- Examining the Guru
- Controlled by circumstances
- The guru is like the horizon
- Celebrity Gurus
- Vajra hell
- Famous unintentionally
- Dharma without devotion
- Look beyond titles and hats
- The path is practical