How to Test the Credibility of a Spiritual Master?

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How to Test the Credibility of a Spiritual Master?

Postby backtohome » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:14 pm

Question: How to Test the Credibility of a Spiritual Master?

I have gone through the answer you gave in reply to the question about Krishna and Jesus. You wrote there, "the spiritual master, i.e. that person who is purely teaching the science of God, is taken to be as good as God Himself because hearing from him has the same potency as hearing from God".

So how to test the credibility of a spiritual master? These days anyone can read two or three scriptures or any books written by some of these so-called spiritual masters and present their own version of the science of God.


Answer: He Must Follow and Present the Bhagavad-gita As It Is

Just as before we enroll in a university we make sure that it is a bona fide university so that we do not waste our time and tuition money with an institution which is not bona fide, in a similar we must make sure that the spiritual master is bona fide before we agree to take training from him and follow his instructions. If the guru is bogus, our following him will simply take us into the blind ditch of illusion. As it is said, "When the blind lead the blind, they will both end up in the ditch."

The standard for judging the authenticity of a spiritual master is the Bhagavad-gita, because this most sacred scripture is the direct instructions of the original spiritual master, Lord Sri Krishna. A bona fide guru is someone who strictly follows and repeats without addition or subtraction the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita. The bona fide guru is also expert in presenting this supreme science in such a way that it is fully comprehensible to his audience according to time, place, and circumstance.

Nowadays there is a plethora of so-called gurus in the world who will take a little knowledge from here and a little knowledge from there and present it in a flowery way according to their own speculative imagination. In this connection it is sometimes said that a little bit of knowledge is more dangerous than ignorance. The sad reality is that due to the ignorance of the general population such counterfeit gurus are very popular nowadays. By comparing what they are teaching with the original pure teachings of the Bhagavad-gita we can easily see that they are very far off the track. For example, while Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita that we should surrender unto Him, many of these so-called gurus say that we should not surrender to Krishna. In other words even though they are saying just the opposite of what Krishna says, they still have the impertinent audacity to present themselves as spiritual masters. This is why the material world is sometimes described as a fool's paradise.

So we must carefully avoid those who are not qualified to enlighten us with genuine spiritual realization and instead take instructions and shelter from those spiritual masters who are actually bona fide.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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