Jetsun Tāranātha on having ‘Confidence in a Teacher’
In his Introduction of the major text on the Kālacakra Six Yogas, One Hundred Blazing Lights, a Supplementary Commentary on Seeing the Meaningful, Tāranātha states one must have ‘three confidences’ on the path. These are ‘confidence in the tantras’; ‘confidence in the teacher’ and ‘confidence in oneself’. So why is confidence in the teacher important?
The second point is confidence in the teacher. [The teacher] must be from a lineage, whose direct source begins with the Shakyamuni Buddha, that has been transmitted directly from one teacher to another up until one’s own root lama. Also it must be [a teacher] in which the blessings have not deteriorated and the
experiential realisations are continual without interruption. There are [[[teachers]]] who are ‘words-only’, have degenerated vows and samaya commitments, and carry, or are mixed, with bad spirits and demons. If someone is an actual lineage lama, yet has entered into the obstacles of a demon or is carrying a negative
spirit, even though one practises all the Dharma from this lineage, a large amount of obstacles will arise. If the source is a famous lineage lama who has broken samayas, even if one practices the Dharma of that lineage, no excellent qualities will arrive. Afflictive emotions will rise up and overflow. Everything
connected to [the teacher and the practise] will be inauspicious, bad luck and misfortune. Not only that but if the [[[teacher]]] has also lost even the ‘words-only’ transmission, after requesting and meditating on [their teachings], experiential realizations will never arise at any time. Whether one meditates or not, it will be the same [result].
So the message is clear! Make sure you follow an authentic lama whose samaya with their lineage and root lamas is not broken and who does not have degenerated vows. Even though they may act and look like a lineage lama, with a big or small following, you will be wasting your time.
My English translation of this magnificent text (up to the five common preliminaries) is almost finished. I will update here when it is published.