Dza Patrul Rinpoche in “Words of my perfect teacher”:
The Great Master of Oddiyana warns:
Not to examine the teacher
Is like drinking poison;
Not to examine the disciple
Is like leaping from a precipice.
You place your trust in your spiritual teacher for all your future lives. It is he who will teach you what to do and what not to do. If you encounter a false spiritual friend without examining him properly, you will be throwing away the possibility a person with faith has to accumulate merits for a whole lifetime, and the freedoms and advantages of the human existence, you have now obtained will be wasted. It is like being killed by a venomous serpent coiled beneath a tree that you approached, thinking what you saw was just the tree’s cool shadow.
By not examining a teacher with great care
The faithful waste their gathered merit.
Like taking for the shadow of a tree a vicious snake,
Beguiled, they lose the freedom they at last had found.
Prayers of Je Tsongkhapa (The Splendor of an Autumn Moon : The
Devotional Verse of Tsongkhapa):
May I be cared for by true spiritual friends,
filled with knowledge and insight,
sense stilled, minds controlled, loving, compassionate,
and with courage untiring in working for others.
May I never fall under sway
of false teachers and misleading friends
their flawed views of existence and nonexistence
well outside the Buddhas intention.
I pray that I listen insatiably
to countless teachings at the feet of a master,
single-handedly with logic unflawed,
prizing open scriptures’ meanings.
I pray that in no way I be misled
by unwholesome friends and deceiving Mara
but in care of true spiritual friends,
complete the enlightened way.
May I bring to the path praised by the Buddha
those lost and fallen onto wrong paths,
swayed by deluded teachers and misleading friends.
The head turned by dark forces
hinders experience of the joyful festival
that is the community of the Dharma life.
May I never encounter misleading friends,
in reality the cohorts of Mara.
Buddhist Ethics (Treasury of Knowledge) by Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye
Avoiding Contrary, Harmful Companions
8.1 Obstructions of a harmful friend
“The harmful teacher is one of bad temperament, of little pure vision, great in dogmatism; he holds [his own view] as highest, praises himself, and denigrates others.”
In general, the nonspiritual teacher (mi-dge-ba’i bshes-gnyen) is a lama, teacher (mkhan-slob), dharma brother [or sister] (grogs-mched), and so forth—all those who are attached to the phenomena (snang) of this life, and who get involved in unvirtuous activity. Therefore, one must abandon the nonspiritual friend. In particular, although they have the manner of goodness in appearance, they cause you to be obstructed in your liberation.
The nonspiritual teacher has a bad temperament, little pure vision (dag-snang), is very dogmatic (phyogs-ris), holds as highest his view (lta-ba) as the only dharma, praises himself, slanders others, implicitly denigrates and rejects others’ systems (lugs) of dharma, and slanders the lama—the true wisdom teacher—who bears the burden of benefiting others. If you associate with those who are of this type, then, because one follows and gets accustomed to the nonspiritual teacher and his approach, his faults stain you by extension, and your mindstream (rgyud) gradually becomes negative. Illustrating this point, it has been said in the Vinaya Scripture:
“A fish in front of a person is rotting and is tightly wrapped with kusha grass. If that [package] is not moved for a long time, the kusha itself also becomes like that. Like that [kusha grass], by following the sinful teacher, you will always become like him.”
Therefore, as it has been said in The Sutra of the True Dharma of Clear Recollection (mDo dran-pa nyer-bzhag; Saddharmanusmriti-upasthana):
“As the chief among the obstructors (bar-du gcod-pa) of all virtuous qualities is the sinful teacher, one should abandon being associated with him, speaking with him, or even being touched by his shadow.”
In every aspect one should be diligent in rejecting the sinful teacher.