Sri Pillai Lokacarya (1217-1323) was a great teacher in the Sri Sampradaya who authored several works important to his Vaishnava bhakti lineage including the eighteen rahasya granthas known together as Ashtadasa Rahasya and Gadyatraya Vyakhyanam. In his Srivachana Bhushan (308-310), Pillai Lokacharya, points out three reprehensible delusions which must be avoided by the guru at all costs. Sobering words for one who would accept the role or title of guru and useful also for one who seeks a genuine guru.
- The delusions of ‘preceptorship’ – thinking of oneself as the preceptor – a guru should think of himself as simply a conduit of the Lord’s Grace and not as a teacher of sacred lore, this awareness prevents the guru from developing the egotistical notion of being a great and learned person and having custodianship of spiritual knowledge.
- The delusions about the role of the disciple – thinking of the disciple as one’s own personal adherent – the disciple should rather be thought of as a co-disciple of the same acharya. Thus the guru avoids the potential for exploitation inherent in the relationship.
- The delusions arising from the process of instruction of a sisya (student or disciple) – these are of four categories-
a. seeking to gain financially from the disciple, either by tuition fees or dakshina.
b. the delusion that one is actually facilitating the liberation of the disciple.
c. the delusion that one is assisting the Lord in his salvific agenda.
d. seeking or expecting social companionship or service from disciples.