Buddhist role models

Buddhist role models

Those who are familiar with Buddhism, you know this very well. We have our model people, you know model to whom we can sort of look up to. We have different models. And in Buddhism, if I choose two we will be totally confused. There is someone like Kashyapa or Shariputra who generally we can consider very pure, monks, serene, begging bowl, humble, all of that. Then we have someone like Tilopa on the other side who is eating raw fish, drinking wine, roaming around with the prostitutes. Completely different. So who is the real role model? Both. This crazy Tilopa is not even one, in fact for some people he is even higher than the Shariputra. Like the great Saraha, one of the greatest Buddhist saints. His guru is a prostitute. All these stories, all these accounts should tell us that this is a system that is trying to realize the truth, not the perfection of morality. In fact, some of these people like Naropa for instance, he was an abbot of a great Buddhist monastery, university, Nalanda university. Many years. And suddenly, one day, he disrobed, sort of, he became, you know like, unconventional. And when asked, he said: “Until yesterday I was not a monk. From today onwards I am a monk.” So the truth, quest for the truth is what sort of triggers the path of Buddhism.

Fundamental View of Buddhism, Moscow 2010