Attributes Of A Qualified Guru

QualifiedGuru_GNIn general, the requirements for a spiritual guide at different stages of our practice and learning path is different. A Vajrayana Vajra-master must at least have the following attributes:

Firstly, the Pratimoksha precepts, Bodhisattva precepts and the Vajrayana samayas should be pure and unblemished. Secondly, he should have listened to the dharma extensively, because the Guru must teach according to the dispositions of sentient beings; he must give teachings which is beneficial to sentient beings and which caters to their ability. By being conversant with the entire range of Buddhadharma, his knowledge can completely encapsulate and condense the dharma teachings. He will be able to distinguish between the definitive meanings and provisional meanings.

Thirdly, he has the great compassion that is willing to accept sentient beings. Fourth, he is well versed in the exoteric (sutric) and secret mantra methods of accomplishment and teachings. Fifth, he has practised himself and attained the wisdom of realisation through that. However, such realisation need not have been perfected or fully completed, and it also need not have completely ended all delusions or mental afflictions. Sixth, he knows the methods for benefitting sentient beings.

The “Tantra of Great Adornment” stated that a Vajra-master of the secret-mantra vehicle should fulfill the following requirements: “Possessing wisdom, leaving behind extraneous affairs, with penetrating insight into the secret meaning of the nature of phenomenon, not being deluded with respect to the meaning sought, such are the features of the Vajrayana’s Guru.”

“Possessing wisdom” , Generally speaking, is a thorough acquaintance with the taught meanings of the various schools and traditions and being able to distinguish between them. Specifically, it is to master the meaning of the Vajrayana and thereby realise the secret meaning of the tantras. It is to master the principles behind the experiential signs and signs of warmth in order to attain a very high state of realisation.

“Leaving behind extraneous affairs” , Because his mind is not scattered and distracted by the eight worldly dharmas and by the appearance of different situations, dwelling in solitude in a quiet place, the body, speech and mind is rendered pliant and gentle, the heart and mind is vast and open, dualities of subject and object and the busy mind seldom occurs.

“With penetrating insight into the secret meaning of the nature of phenomenon” , Thorough mastery of the ultimate truth of dharmata through practice, he has attained sublime states corresponding to signs of warmth. He is no longer confused with respect to the true meaning to be sought. He is able to give a clear and definite answer to any sort of question posed by the disciple. With respect to the four kinds of activities in the generation stage, he possesses the pith instructions from the lineage gurus. In terms of the view, meditation and conduct of the completion stage, he has ever-increasing signs of realisations through actual practice, he is not deluded with respect to the key points of practice in relying upon wind, channels and drops of the vajra body.

The external appearance of the Gurus may seem to be similar to ordinary beings, but in their secret level of mind, they are always resting in the state of the Buddhas. Thus, it is worthwhile for followers to devotedly supplicate him like a Buddha. A Guru who genuinely possesses wisdom will definitely not give rise to arrogance or pride in their inner mind because of the respect of disciples. Through his wisdom, the Guru will give rise to vast love and compassion with equanimity as well as humility that is free from fixation. This can also be one criterion for examining if a Guru is qualified.

But in reality, it is difficult to meet such a Guru who possesses perfect qualities. Therefore, we should constantly supplicate for the blessings of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and at the same time, we should often make aspirations that, in this and future lives, we are able to meet directly a pure Guru, because cause-and-effect will never fail and the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas’ blessings are inconceivable.

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