Can One take Diksha from Rich family man Guru who is selling Scriptures?
A girl devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:
“Radhe Radhe Prabhuji thnq for clearing all our doubts. I have a question related to Guru. I wanted to take deeksha from …………………. from ……… Sampraday. But have read your counselling that if a Guru have rich bunglows think before taking initiation. What should I do? He wears gold ornaments too. I really want to go back to my Goloka. But what should I do? I need Guru. I had a dream in which I was given one mantra by some saint also. Does this mean am already initiated? Whenever I hear his katha, I feel more attached to Krishna and remember him during my day and night even. But, many devotees and shasthras say and the one who takes money for Katha should never be accepted as a Guru. He takes sewa. I shared with my mother. she said he is grahasta. If he will not take how will he sustain? But now am confused. Pls guide me pls pls pls. Radhe Radhe.”
(INITIATION (DIKSHA) VOWS & CHALLENGES IN FOLLOWING THEM! READ HERE!)
Taking Diksha from Rich family man Guru who is selling Scriptures is not advisable.
First of all, he is not a sanyasi.
He is a family man. A Grahastha himself will have many pressures. How can he deliver you?
Only a liberated (renounced) person can liberate / Purify others. Only a Pure person can purify others.
Only a Spiritually Powerful person can ignite others to become spiritually powerful.
(Why don’t you recommend to us which Diksha Guru to choose in ISKCON? READ HERE!)
GENERAL TYPES OF GURUS
In general, by practice, a person gives diksha only after renouncing his family life and becoming a sanyasi. It is the custom in all sampradhayas.
In SRI Sampradhaya, every guru leads family life till 50+ age and then take sanyasa and become a JEER (Guru). Sri Ramanujacharya too married and then renounced the family life. Sri Yamunacharya was a king and he renounced his family and became an Acharya. In that sampradhaya, those dedicated devotee disciples who were leading family life or brahmachari life were called NAMBI. When they accepted sanyasa and the consent of their guru, they give diksha by establishing mutts or as a resident gurus leading a very simple and renounced life.
In Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradhaya too, the gurus should give diksha only after renouncing their family. A family person can remain a siksha guru. Giving diksha means the guru guaranteeing the elevation of the disciple to the Vaikunta/ Goloka/ spiritual planets. If he has family, he can’t dedicate himself for the disciples completely.
Munis, rishis were allowed to remain as Grahasthas. The persons who preach the Vedas or Kshatriya Skills too were allowed to remain grahasthas. In fact, marriage is their one of the qualifications.
(Courses and Exams for initiations (Diksha) in ISKCON for different levels! READ HERE!)
The Vedic gurus and Kshatriya gurus, rishis, munis, etc., preach for achieving something in the material life like war skills, being happy and peaceful, mystic skills, etc. They are not worried about liberating a disciple from the material clutches.
The Vaishnava Gurus who preach Krishna to others are different from Vedic and Kshatriya gurus because they preach for liberation from material clutches and getting the mercy of Krishna.
So, the eligibility for the Vaishnava gurus preaching the devotional path is stricter than vedic and Kshatriya gurus.
If a guru is in the Grahastha life, he may have to care his own family. So, he can’t fully dedicate for uplifting the disciples.
And such gurus will not have sufficient material detachment that is required to liberate the disciples.
That is why, almost all sampradhayas such as SRI Sampradhaya, Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradhaya, and even Advaita Sankara sampradhaya of Sri Adhi Sankara have fixed sanyasa ashram as the prime eligibility to be a diksha guru.
(RITVIK INITIATION (DIKSHA) AND LIVING GURU INITIATION – DIFFERENCES! READ HERE!)
CAN A GURU HAVE ALL MATERIAL COMFORTS?
We have to think in a practical angle. Though a guru is expected to be simple, he too needs something to run his service. If he is a sitting guru who is not that much mobile, he may not need many materials and facilities to live. So, he can lead the simplest life.
However, the gurus in devotional path usually travel all over the world. So, they have to travel by plane, car, train. Since the religion is becoming a target of attack, now a days, the government gives police protection also to the gurus. Considering the threats for their life, such security need to be accepted. And, a guru should always be surrounded by brahmachari/ grahastha disciples and he should not be alone. So, seeing a guru with many followers around him need not be taken as a posh life.
If a guru is not attached with the materials and is using some essential materials in the service of Krishna, we need not take it as attachment. Gurus preaching Krishna’s Holy names and messages need some extra facilities. So, we need not compare them with Vedic gurus. Since they are always under threat, they need some secured premises to live. This too is understandable. Usually, such buildings/ houses will not be in the name of gurus, but those facilities are given by the mutts or spiritual organizations.
The Sanyasa gurus should not own any properties or comforts, but, they can use some facilities that will help in preaching for the Lord more effectively.
If a guru is owning many properties in his name, he can be rejected.
And selling the scriptures is not a disqualification. A guru’s mutt needs money to run it. So, by selling books, the guru can meet the needs of the mutt. It is not like selling the scripture. He does not sell intoxicants. He is selling the scriptures only. Even ISKCON is selling the books and accepts donations. Can we say that ISKCON is selling Krishna Katha?
(QUALIFICATIONS TO BE A GURU AND A DISICPLE – FROM THE SCRIPTURES! READ HERE!)
Only leading a Posh life is wrong for sanyasis. Selling the books is a great activity because it is also the verbal way of Preaching.
Selling Krishna is not wrong until the guru is leading a simple life using the money only for the use of the mutt and his disciples.
However, The person you mentioned seem to be a preacher or speaker leading a Posh Grahastha life wearing plenty of gold ornaments. A guru does not require Neckful of Gold ornaments. Gold ornaments will never be helpful to preach or guide or liberate any disciple. So, you need not take risk by accepting him. He can not deliver you. A good and attractive speaker need not be a good guru.
A guru should come from bonafide disciplic succession and follow all the disciplinary rules, detachment and have sense control. You can consider any other truly renounced guru in bonafide sampradhayas who is authorized to offer initiation.
Hope this helps to decide taking Diksha from Rich family man Guru.
(Is Brahmana Diksha (Second Initiation) Compulsory for all? READ HERE!)