Recently online in the United States, I learnt of a certain tulku (reincarnated lama) who is embroiled in a controversy with her critics. It got so serious that she had threatened to sue a certain publication for reportedly framing her. Both parties, between the said tulku and her followers and their detractors, are currently in a mudslinging exchange. I do not know the whole story, and do not choose to find out more, truth or untruth.
I quote my guru, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, "The presence of Sangha preserves the lineage of the Buddha's teaching and establishes the cause for others to have a precious human rebirth in the future. This is a great responsibility for the Sangha. By living in the vow you not only take responsibility for your ultimate happiness, liberation, enlightenment. By living in the vow you also gain so much day-to-day happiness and inner peace of mind. The foundation of our practice is not to harm others or ourselves and to help benefit others as much as we can."
|Lama Zopa Rinpoche with HH Dalai Lama|
Observe and check your teachers again and again if the guru-teacher is an authentic master, whose own practice serves as a reminder to us to practice and to gain liberation, and not to dwell in worldly pursuits.
The Buddha says, "The man who wears the yellow-dyed robe but is not free from stains himself, without self-restraint and integrity, is unworthy of the robe."
I leave you with a story by Ajahn Brahm, adapted from his book "Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung? : Inspiring Stories for Welcoming Life's Difficulties"...
"I had helped a Thai man with a personal problem. Out of gratitude, he said to me: "Sir, I would like to give you something for your personal use. What can I get you for the amount of 500 baht?" It was usual to quote the amount when making such an offering, to avoid any misunderstanding. Since I wouldn't think what I wanted straight away and he was in a hurry, we agreed that I could tell him the next day when he returned.
Before this occurred, I was a happy little monk. Now I started to contemplate what I wanted. I made a list. The list grew. Soon, 500 baht wasn't enough. But it was so difficult to take anything off the list. Wants had appeared out of nowhere and solidified into absolute necessities. And the list kept growing. Now, 5000 baht wasn't sufficient!
Seeing what was happening, I threw my wish list away. The next day, I told my benefactor to give 500 baht to the monastery building fund or to some other good cause. I didn't want it. What I wanted most of all was to regain the rare contentment I had had the day before. When I had no money, nor the means to get anything, that was the time when all my wishes were fulfilled. Wanting has no end to it. Even one billion baht isn't enough, nor a billion dollars. But freedom from wanting has an end. It is when you want nothing. Contentment is the only time you have enough."