Chögyam Trungpa was the brilliant, charismatic Buddhist teacher who founded Shambala and Naropa University. According to the Shambala website he, “was the 11th descendent in the line of Trungpa tulkus, important teachers of the Kagyü lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.” He was also an alcoholic who died from complications from alcoholism. He had sex with many of his female students including. He was partially paralyzed when he drove his expensive sports car into a joke shop, possibly while drunk. He may have also been addicted to cocaine. The list goes on and on. His followers sometimes excuse his behavior as a kind of “crazy wisdom.” And of course they follow his example when it comes to drinking and sex rather than following the Buddha’s precepts. Here’s what the Buddha had to say:
[The Buddha is talking with the Brahmin Sonadanda and a group of his followers.]
Sonadanda said, “Look there at my nephew Angaka! He is fair and good looking. He looks like Brahma himself. Nobody here is better looking, except of course Gotama [the Buddha]. He is a scholar; he knows the mantras and the 3 vedas; he knows the rules, rituals, and traditions. I should know! I was his teacher!
“He has an excellent lineage. His parents were brahmins on both sides going back 7 generations at least. I know his parents!
“But what if Angaka were to commit murder? What if he were to have an affair? What if he told lies or drank? Would good would his looks, his mantras, his parents do then? Only if one is virtuous and wise can one truly say, ‘I am a Brahmin.’”
The Buddha asked Sonadanda, “What if one of those two qualities was missing. Could you then truly say, “I am a Brahmin”?
“No, Gotama” replied Sonadanda. “Just as one hand washes the other, wisdom perfects virtue and virtue perfects wisdom. One is not possible without the other. The combination of wisdom and morality is best in the world.”
“Yes,” affirmed the Buddha, “this is right.”
-Digha Nikaya, 4: 20-22