Is taking diksha from a rich family man wearing gold and living posh life effective?
A girl devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:
“Radhe Radhe Prabhuji thnq for clearing all my doubts. I have a question related to Guru. I wanted to take deeksha from …………………. from Shri 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. Many times I have seen blessing me in my dream also. 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 says and is mentioned also 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.”
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?
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 vedas or Kshatriya rules and skills too were allowed to remain grahasthas.
The Vedic gurus and Kshatriya gurus, rishis, munis, etc preach for achieving something in life like war skills, being happy and peaceful, mystic skills, etc. They are not much concerned with liberating a disciple.
The gurus who preach devotion to Krishna 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 gurus of 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 popular and age old 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.
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 a fully 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 nee not be discouraged. And, a guru should always be surrounded by brahmachari/ grahastha disciples. So, he will 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 for 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 buildings 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 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.
The person you mentioned seem to be a preacher or speaker leading a grahastha life. So, you need not take risk by accepting him. 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 and have sense control. You can consider any other renounced guru in bonafide sampradhayas who is authorized to offer initiation.
Hope this helps.