Jeff H wrote: ↑
Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:33 pm
In Lam Rim Chenmo, v.1, p.86, Tsongkhapa wrote:
Question: We must practice in accordance with the guru’s words. Then what if we rely on the gurus and they lead us to an incorrect path or employ us in activities that are contrary to the three vows? Should we do what they say?
Reply: With respect to this, Gunaprabha’s Sutra on the Discipline states, “If the abbot instructs you to do what is not in accord with the teachings, refuse.” Also, the Cloud of Jewels Sutra says, “With respect to virtue act in accord with the gurus’ words, but do not act in accord with the gurus’ words with respect to non-virtue.” Therefore, you must not listen to non-virtuous instructions. The twelfth birth story clearly gives the meaning of not engaging in what is improper.*
However, it is improper to take the gurus’ wrong actions as a reason for subsequent misbehavior such as disrespecting, reproaching, or despising the gurus. Rather, excuse yourself politely, and do not engage in what you were instructed to do. The Fifty Verses on the Guru, “If you cannot reasonably do as the guru has instructed, / Excuse yourself with soothing words.”
*The twelfth birth story tells of when the Buddha had been a brahmin and his teacher tested the students by telling them he had financial difficulties and that when that happens to a brahmin it is virtuous to steal because all of creation is Brahma’s. All the students went and stole except the Buddha’s former self who said this teaching just didn’t seem right in view of all the general teachings. The teacher was very pleased with him.
But there are some statements in mahanana sutra which may be a factor to people could act in such manner.
The Vimalakirti Sutra:
Then the Licchavi Vimalakirti said to the patriarch Mahakasyapa, "Reverend Mahakasyapa, the Maras who play the devil in the innumerable universes of the ten directions are all bodhisattvas dwelling in the inconceivable liberation, who are playing the devil in order to develop living beings through their skill in liberative technique. Reverend Mahakasyapa, all the miserable beggars who come to the bodhisattvas of the innumerable universes of the ten directions to ask for a hand, a foot, an ear, a nose, some blood, muscles, bones, marrow, an eye, a torso, a head, a limb, a member, a throne, a kingdom, a country, a wife, a son, a daughter, a slave, a slave-girl, a horse, an elephant, a chariot, a cart, gold, silver, jewels, pearls, conches, crystal, coral, beryl, treasures, food, drink, elixirs, and clothes - these demanding beggars are usually bodhisattvas living in the inconceivable liberation who, through their skill in liberative technique, wish to test and thus demonstrate the firmness of the high resolve of the bodhisattvas. Why? Reverend Mahakasyapa, the bodhisattvas demonstrate that firmness by means of terrible austerities. Ordinary persons have no power to be thus demanding of bodhisattvas, unless they are granted the opportunity. They are not capable of killing and depriving in that manner without being freely given the chance.