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?:
- Outer display of guru devotion
- The very essence of the Spiritual journey
- Seeing a student’s potential
- Check how the guru handles criticism
- Cultivating trust in simplicity
- Practicing Dharma requires sacrifice
- Gurus Don’t Fish for Devotion
- Advice on selecting a guru
- Humble Gurus
- A proper guru-student communication
- Skillful Guru
- Going beyond Rational and Irrational Devotion
- 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