Indrajala wrote:My point really is that it is perhaps wiser to achieve liberation from suffering (particularly neurosis of all types, including emotional reactions) first and then think about buddhahood. The former does not require unconditional faith in a guru, and if you have achieved such liberation, then you'll be in a ready state to truly discern who is and is not a qualified guru.
This may be true for some but it certainly is not true in my case, and I am sure for many others as well. I certainly have not achieved liberation but I did managed to find a qualified guru. More importantly, if I had not managed to find a qualified guru, I most likely would have given up on my practice. I think there is a very good reason for the plethora of approaches in Buddhism and that is because people are so different that you cannot have just one approach to fit all of them. Certainly, Theravadin's approach would not have been suitable for me.
Indrajala wrote:I say this out of concern because, frankly, I've met a lot of people who strongly advocate Vajrayana on one hand yet display instability in their lives, particularly with respect to their emotions, relationships and life decisions. The numerous charlatan gurus don't help much.
There are lots of people who strongly advocate Christianity and yet display behaviour contradictory to their words. But can we or should we advise them that they should cease and desist? There are many people out there selling all sorts of things and it is our individual responsibility to decide whether to buy or not. You certainly don't want to throw out the baby with the bath water.
Indrajala wrote:We frequently hear Vajrayana teachers speak of "suitable vessels". Well, if general conduct and stability are any guide to suitable vessels, I don't see a lot of practitioners displaying the requisite qualities.
Unless one is a buddha, I don't think anyone is in the position to judge whether someone is a suitable vessel or not. In a Mahayana sutra, Bodhisattva Manjushri deliberately taught a teaching to a group of monks whom he knew would be unable to accept what he taught as as a result gave rise to certain evil thoughts that sent them to be reborn in hell. When the Buddha was asked why Manjushri did what he did, the Buddha replied that it was a skilfull means of Manjushri to lead them by the quickest path to enlightenment.
Indrajala wrote:I also wonder where all these realized beings are in organizations that display strong nepotism and coverups of scandals.
Realized beings, like the Buddha are not omnipotent and more importantly, they may not be in the position where they can do something about it. But this does not mean that those involved cannot do anything about it. They still have the ability to make choices that accord with the Dharma.
Indrajala wrote:Sexual abuse in Tibetan monasteries is a real concern, so if the enlightenment machine really works so well, where are the bodhisattvas and realized yogis addressing or better yet preventing these problems?
I would certainly like to hear more from you regarding sexual abuse in Tibetan monasteries, how many monasteries are involved, how widespread it is in those monasteries, and how you come upon such information.
Indrajala wrote:I sincerely think focusing on the basics and foundations before proceeding to lofty goals of buddhahood is needed. It eliminates the widespread need for gurus, which would curtail a lot of the abuse in my estimation. If turbulent passions are placated as the Buddha taught, then a clear mind and firm foundations will ensure people can make good decisions with respect to their relationships with others.
Again, it is necessary to recognize that a one size fit all approach is not necessarily the most effective or even the most efficient.