A Checklist For Bad Gurus (Spiritual Teachers)

Good students appreciate 
being corrected of their mistakes
as they are good students.

Good teachers appreciate
being corrected of their mistakes
as they are also good students.

– Shilashanti

If a fresh banana leaf is wrapped around a piece of old fish, the leaf will acquire that fishy smell. Likewise, if you follow a nonvirtuous friend, you will acquire nonvirtuous tendencies. Negative habits are contagious. Here are some warning signs to watch out for. A guru who…

[01] lacks knowledge [of the Dharma]
[02] has no devotion to the Dharma [in learning and practice], his or her own guru, or the Sangha
[03] does not have a living [Dharma] tradition [while concocting a false, extinct or new one]
[04] takes you away from virtuous surroundings [or discourages going to them; such as Pure Lands]
[05] has an untamed body, speech and mind [unless before benefactors]

[06] is proud and hypocritical, [thus positioning oneself to be supreme or near supreme]
[07] is quite nasty and vicious to others [who are non-benefactors or ‘competitors’]
[08] has no pure perception [e.g. of others’ Buddha-nature’s potential]
[09] is judgmental [without enough information]
[10] is fussy about food, drinks, possessions and hotel rooms [e.g. is purposely not Maha-Vegan]

[11] does not abide by the Buddha’s rules of Vinaya [for monastics], Bodhisattvayana and Vajrayana
[12] praises oneself in speech though using words of ‘humility’
[13] subtly denigrates others [unfoundedly]
[14] does not fear wrongdoing [due to lack of faith in the law of karma, thus breaking precepts]
[15] has [weak or] no power of forgiveness

[16] has a very weak sense of shame [thus being very morally shameless in secret]
[17] gives teachings that provide no antidote [for the three poisons of greed, hatred and delusion]
[18] has a self-cherishing [i.e. self-centred or selfish] agenda
[19] is annoyed by your disciplined Dharma practice [which is better]
[20] [does not answer important questions on his or her questionable conduct and teachings]

The Guru Drinks Bourbon?
Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse
[with additional bracketed notes]

Please Be Mindful Of Your Speech, Namo Amituofo!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.