boda wrote: ↑Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:44 pm
TharpaChodron wrote: ↑Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:37 am
...practitioners have a broader view than merely believing gurus are always above reproach.
So devotion to a guru may include a guru being reproached by their student?
The keypoint of the Varjayana path is pure perception to one's lama, if one can't hope at having pure perception of one's lama then it's highly unlikely that ones pure perception would extend to anyone else either.
For example, if a lama is to ask you about something that they appear to not be knowledgeable in, the approach is not to assume therefore that the lama is unenlightened and that's why they are asking, but rather, that it's a teaching, that the lama is giving one an opportunity to accumulate merit etc, actually perceiving a lama one has received ripening empowerment from as being deluded, is not permitted.
Does that mean one instantly has to, or will even be able to have that level of perception? I would think not, as it depends on practicing, and accumulating merit, and for most students, we are not blessed to have a pure perception initially. (Rare exceptions) however it's helpful to keep in mind our aim as practitioners. A Skillful, and realized lama, will guide the student accordingly with their level. This is why it's said the Sravaka vows are like a clay pot, once broken, it's finished, however the Tantric samayas are like a golden vase, easily dented, yet easily bent back into shape through means of confession and restoration. (Dorje sempa, Tsoks, Etc)
Mileage will vary, if you want to see examples of pure perception, the older generation of lamas tend to be quite exceptional in their pure perception of their teachers. For example, One of my teachers who is nearing 100 years old, Says clearly that one is to perceive the lama as the yidam of the particular empowerment one has received. It's quite simple really, and yet, people don't seem to like this instruction, so there are infinite amounts of conceptual elaboration, which do not stem from the Tantras or oral instructions of the lineage.
However, keep in mind, that the Lama is not merely some external perfect entity. 'out there'. When one lacks merit Buddha nature appears as phenomenal existence, when one has merit, Buddha nature appears as the 'external guru' who guides one to the 'inner guru'. However the outer and inner guru are inseparable. Having pure view has a lot to do with our own phenomena, and purifying our own mind and perceptions, of which the guru is a reflection. When you perceive the lama as having flaws, the lama at that point stops being the 'guru' and is at that point ' projection of mind'.
Of course, there have been lama's who from a certain perspective were pretty terrible, however when one purifies their mind, suddenly it seems, the understanding of that lama's secret qualities are also revealed.
There was a Great Terton by the name of Drikung Terton osel dorje, Externally he seemed to be a drunk, and tell lies quite often, however, he was in fact a sublime being, A teacher of Jamyang khyentse wangpo, and authenticated by him.
One of his students said something which became a bit of a popular expression, H.E Garchen rinpoche mentioned it once, The student said " There is no one worse in all of tibet then My guru, There is no one better in all of tibet than my guru", When he was an immature disciple corresponding to his own mental projections, and lack of wisdom, he perceived his teacher as being full of fault. When he practiced the dharma his teacher taught him, his own perception became totally purified.
This isn't just a game of Semantics, It's not unknown for cultivated yogis to walk into their teachers room for example, and perceive Vajadhara, Some yogis even perceive all beings as Vajradhara.
Sometimes i'm really not sure how beneficial discussing the Secret mantra is online, Even with good intentions, things can be taken the wrong way, twisted, and so forth. However, better than asking people online about devotion and it's implications in a Vajrayana context, would be to study the root texts, and if you ever do receive an empowerment from a qualified vajaryana master, ask them and go on what they say.
Hope it's helpful, Just a drop of Namtok in the ocean.