Is evaluating guru before accepting possible as we get two views?

Is evaluating guru before accepting possible as we get two views?

A Girl devotee (Name hidden) asked about evaluating guru like this:

Hare Krishna prabhuji. I need your help. One year back , coincidentally I came across one iskcon video about gajendra moksha and that one class of one Prabhu, changed my whole life. I started chanting, following regulative principles and all. There is no iskcon temple in my place, so what ever I learn I learn through videos. This one year, I have drastically changed following disciplined life and I have fixed my mind to dedicate my life to Krishna and accept guru. Can’t imagine life without this.

One day I came across some videos and even some comments badly against ISKCON.  I am getting scared about accepting guru , how can we know who is real in such a big society of ISKCON, everyone seems like giving good lectures, look simple, quoting shastras, but we can’t know what’s their real identity as we can’t read their thoughts. And I can’t just waste my human life without surrendering to a real guru. I am really sorry, if my question is wrong , I am also committing aparad thinking bad about vaishnavas. Prabhuji, if you feel it’s a valid question , please help me to calm my mind.


Actually, in any successful organization, where there are thousands of servants, such negative opinions will always exist.

See, everyone has different views about a single person or product.

I may use a brand of Soap because of its highest Total Fatty Matter (TFM). But, there are still many people who do not like that soap.  There are many people who use only the soaps advertised by any actress or cricket player. They do not think of what is inside and how alkaline it is, how oily it is, what is their pH level,  etc.

(Why our problems continue even after initiation if guru accepts our karma? READ HERE!)

Thus, even the best products have different opinions from the people.

There are people who like the policies of Gandhiji and there are many others who like the policies of Patel, Netaji, etc.

The Prime Ministers in India are warmly supported in many Indian states but are rejected in some states.


Simple. The views are created by the media.  The created views may either be true or not.

So, how do the people decide about a prime minister? Seeing his intentions and the way of functioning.

Thus, we should see only the intentions in every project/ service.

Just compare this with spiritual sathsanghas in evaluating guru also.

(How to regain my faith in ISKCON as I left ISKCON after Prabhupada left? READ HERE!)

I do not totally deny that there are some flaws in many spiritual organizations.  There are so many spiritual personalities and organizations that are coming in news now and then.

No bogus guy can survive with good image for long in this ‘media dominated world’ now a days.  They will be exposed in a few months or years.

One can’t keep on committing a serious crime in the name of God for long period.

When a group or forum selects 100 persons, 2 or 3 may violate the rules.

This is natural in any forum like political parties, NGOs, even within families, spiritual organizations, etc.

In every political party, there are a few persons who switch their loyalty to another political party if his existing political party loses in elections or if he is not given a seat to contest.  Because of these defections, no political party stops functioning.

Take a small village. Out of 1000 persons living there, atleast 10 persons may go against the system or  become anti social.

In a company where 100 employees work, majority of the employees may be  sincere in their duties, but, some may be unproductive.

Similarly, As far as ISKCON is concerned, there may be some issues or politics in many centers in administration. A few gurus might have fallen in the past during the initial stage of the development of sathsangha.  I do not deny them.  But, as a matured thinker, I see these things as the stage of evolution and experience for the future generation.

(Courses and Exams for initiations (Diksha) in ISKCON for different levels! READ HERE!)

When Srila Prabhupada left,  ISKCON was still a child, and all the admins were young people with less experience. So, there were some issues here and there. Some violations were also there that they themselves agreed and later corrected.

During the growth phase, such issues are natural. If you run a set up, you too will feel that.

The people are prone to commit offenses as said by the scriptures.  ISKCON is not directly managed by Krishna but by the people.  So, some people may fall or violate.

A devotee should be wise to take and use only good from a group and make use of it. Take what you need for your spiritual advancement and reject unwanted things. For example, We need a group of devotees to get association, good learning opportunity, good kirtans, good opportunities to follow guru-disciple succession, etc.  They are trying their best to give the same.  Take them and do not go into administrative issues that is not our requirement.

For example, we need a guru to increase our dedication in devotion. We can get many siksha gurus to teach us about Krishna.  But, all of them will not dare to become diksha gurus because, giving diksha means taking the responsibility for the elevation of that disciple. And, the guru is expected to purify his disciples by bearing the heat of their karma. Unless they do this purification, the disciples will face many hurdles through their past sanskars. So, a diksha guru gives his disciples suspension from the karma until they are following the disciplinary rules.


Because of this, the guru faces pains. While purifying others, he gets affected.

Here, as mentioned by you, though a guru happens to be not up to the standard, the disciples are protected because that guru can still purify him by accepting his karma.

So, a disciple is always spiritually protected and safe.

So, just go with the system that appoints the gurus and are monitoring them.  If you find a guru good, and if you have natural affinity for him, accept him and follow the devotional rules recommended for the disciples.

Do not care some issues existing here and there.  Your purpose is to get a proper system to follow devotion.

(How to take Diksha (Initiation) and become a disciple of a guru (spiritual master) in ISKCON? READ HERE!)

Though you accept after evaluating guru, unless you do not chant and follow regulative principles and develop material detachment, you can’t go back to Krishna.

So, accepting a guru is the formal as well as first stage in our devotional advancement. It is not the last stage. And, just accepting a guru is not enough because further processes are also very important.

You can’t get out of this material world if you have some trace of attachments with anyone or anything here.

So, going back to Krishna is conditional.  Not like getting a ticket and going from Mumbai to Delhi by train.

When we travel in a plane, we get detached from the soil and fly on air.

Similarly, if you like to travel in the plane of Vishnu to Vaikunta/ Goloka, you will be expected to detach not only from this soil, but from the whole material nature.

Also keep in mind, Krishna Himself has advised us to surrender to a guru in Bhagavad Gita.

Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita (4-34):

“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.”

So, do not waste this short life time in evaluating guru deeply for long period to connect to the formal system of diksha.  Let us use the best available sources.  Just take diksha and proceed seriously with devotional practices.  Your devotional practices are very important after accepting a guru.  But, after getting diksha, your devotional growth will be faster.

Hope this has cleared your mind about the possibility of evaluating guru.


Author: RAJAN

RAJAN from Tamil Nadu, India, a Life Patron and an Initiated Devotee being in ISKCON for nearly three decades, serves anonymously to avoid Prominence and crowd as an insignificant, Humble and Neutral Servant for all the devotees of Krishna! He promotes Social media forums and this blog-website as e-satsangha (e-forums) blessed with Lakhs of followers, to give Spiritual Solutions for all the Material Problems of the devotees since 2011! He writes friendly and practical tips to practice devotion (i) without hurting the followers of other paths, (ii) without affecting the personal and career life, and (iii) without the blind, superstitious and ritualistic approach! He dedicates all the glories and credits to his Guru and Krishna.

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