Exercising Prudence In Choosing A Guru

ChooseGuru_GNThe Guru is the spiritual master who explains the theory of what to adopt and reject; He is the ship who ferries us across the ocean of samsara; He is our refuge for all our lives, without his guidance, it would not be possible for us to find a way of liberation and our fate would be to forever wander without any protector amongst the sufferings of samsara. The Guru’s direct guidance is critical to our accomplishment or liberation, so before we rely on any Guru, we should certainly observe with our wisdom and skilful means, making a careful choice. Otherwise, if one blindly believes without going through any conscientious check and blindly follows him, then it is likely that one will sever and cast away the life of one’s own dharmakaya wisdom. This is very risky. Just as when we want to board a car to go somewhere, if the chauffeur’s driving techniques are poor, the journey would be fraught with danger, the car could overturn and take your life. Only if the driver’s skills are adequate, can he guarantee your safety.

The Teacher Lord Buddha has told us, if you want to accept my Dharma, you should not believe in it blindly, but instead analyse it with your wisdom just as one who buys gold should first examine the gold. When we check whether a teacher is conforming to dharma and reason or not, we should approach it with the same amount of thoroughness as when we examine the gold. Guru Padmasambhava also said, “Relying on a Guru casually without prior careful scrutiny is as dangerous as swallowing poison.”

When observing the Guru, one should first check if his dharma lineage is pure. Then, check if the Guru’s qualities, activities and comportment are that befitting a qualified Guru. Thus, before selecting a Guru, we should already have done some listening and contemplation of the dharma. We should have some understanding of the liberating path in Dharma and know what attributes should be present in a spiritual guide who leads us to liberation. Then we can search for a qualified master who has some karmic connection with us. In this way, we can avoid the pitfall of relying on a teacher who is not in accord with the Dharma.

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