Some qualificat​ions of a bona fide spiritual master

December 19, 2012 in Articles, Damaghosa Dasa by Nityananda Rama dasa


Hare Krsna to all


All glories to Srila Prabhupada


Because it is Kali yuga, the age of quarrel and  hypocrisy, it is very very easy for one

who desires spiritual life to become cheated. He or she  will be cheated by practically

everyone who poses as a spiritualist. This is not my  opinion, but the words of

Srila Prabhupada, the Acarya or Guru for the worldwide  Hare Krsna Movement.


He often would tell us that if  you don’t know what gold looks like and someone offers you

pyrite (imitation gold)  and wants to sell it to you, then because you don’t actually know  what

real gold is, you will be  cheated. Therefore it is incumbent upon every aspiring spiritualist, to

make him or herself familiar with  the terms of “real gold”. That very valuable information is to follow.


This article is a follow up to the previous one I just  sent out yesterday, entitled “The process of accepting a bona fide  guru”.


Hare Krsna

Damaghosa das



A First class person wants to make his life spiritually  perfect.

A Second class person wants great riches by political or  business means

A Third class person wants riches by industry or  mercantile work

A Fourth class person wants only to fill the  belly.


Some Qualifications of bona fide guru






1)      Above the 4 defects-mistakes, illusion, imperfect senses,  cheating.

2)      When a devotee is perfectly qualified in chanting the Transcendental  vibration of the Holy Names, he is quite fit to become  SM and deliver all the people of the  world. (TLC)

3)      The guru must be situated on the top most platform of devotional service.  There are 3 classes of devotees and the guru must be accepted from the top most  class. When one has attained the top most position of maha bhagavata, he is to  be accepted as a guru and worshipped exactly like Hari, the Personality of  Godhead. ONLY such a person is eligible to occupy the post of guru. CC  Mad24.330

4)      Since one cannot visually experience the presence of the supersoul, He  appears before us as a liberated devotee. Such a SM is none other that Krsna  Himself. CC Ant 5.171

5)      When a pure devotee speaks, he speaks perfectly. How is this? His speech  is managed by Krsna Himself within the heart.”

6)      Help can only be given by a SM like Krsna. Therefore the conclusion is  that a SM who is 100% Krsna Conscious is the bona fide SM for he can solve the  problems of life. (BG purport).

7)      The guru is the most confidential servitor of Radha Krsna., The sum total  of all the demigods, and the object of worship for Lord Brahma and Lord  Siva.

8)      Astottara sata (108 gopis) is added to the name of the SM to indicate one  situated in the suddha sattva or the transcendental state of Vasudeva. Only in  the suddha sattva state can one always see Krsna eye to eye by dint of pure  affection for the Lord. (SB 4.3.23)




►69-06-10.Muk              Letter: Mukunda

Unless one is a resident of Krishna Loka,  one cannot be a Spiritual Master. That

is the first proposition. A layman  cannot be … then he will simply

create disturbance. And who is a liberated person? One  who knows

Krishna. It is stated in BG, fourth chapter, anyone who  knows Krishna

in truth is immediately liberated, and after quitting the  present

body, he immediately goes to Krishna. That means he  becomes a resident

of Krishna Loka. As soon as one is liberated he is  immediately a

resident of Krishna Loka, and anyone who knows the truth  of Krishna

can become Spiritual Master. That is the  version of Lord Caitanya. So

to summarize the whole thing, it is to be  understood that a bonafide

Spiritual Master is a resident of Krishna  Loka.


SB 4.22.26. Unless one takes shelter of a  bona

fide spiritual master and advances one’s  attraction for Krsna by the

spiritual master’s instructions, the five  coverings of the living

entity cannot be uncovered from the  material heart. The living entity

is centered within the heart, and to take him away from  the heart is

to liberate  him. This is the process. One must take shelter of a bona

fide spiritual master and by his instruction increase  one’s knowledge

in devotional service, become detached from the material  world and

thus become liberated. An advanced devotee, therefore,  does not live

within the material body but within his spiritual  body, just as a dry

coconut lives detached from the coconut husk, even though  within the

husk. The pure devotee’s body is therefore called  cin-maya-sarira

(“spiritualized body”). In other words, a devotee’s body  is not

connected with material activities…


751009BG.DUR                   Lectures                 

uvaca: “The Supreme Personality…” Bhagavan means He  does not cheat

you. Others, they will give you instruction  and cheat you, because

anyone who is not liberated, he has got four  defects of his life: he

commits mistake, he is illusioned, he cheats  and his senses are

imperfect. This is called conditioned  soul, everyone. Even big, big

men, big, big leaders, they commit so many mistakes. And  so far) Madhya 24.330  

…. When one has attained the topmost position  ofmaha-bhagavata, he is to be accepted as  a guru and worshiped exactlylike Hari, the Personality of Godhead.  Only such a person is eligibleto occupy the post of a guru.

Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila, Chapter Six, verse  279): lohake yavat sparsi’ hema nahi kare/ tavat sparsa-mani keha cinite na  pare

“One cannot understand the value of touchstone until it turns iron into  gold.” One should judge by action, not by promises. A MAHA-BHAGAVATA CAN TURN A  LIVING ENTITY FROM ABOMINABLE MATERIAL LIFE TO THE LORD’S SERVICE. THIS IS THE  TEST OF A MAHA-BHAGAVATA

“If one is expert in Vedic literature and has full faith in the Supreme  Lord, then he is AN UTTAMA-ADHIKARI, A FIRST-CLASS VAISNAVA, A  TOPMOST VAISNAVA WHO CAN DELIVER THE WHOLE WORLD AND TURN EVERYONE TO KRSNA  CONSCIOUSNESS.” (Cc. Madhya 22.65)

Devotee on the Bhava stage is not  disturbed by Maya. “…ALTHOUGH  MAYA MAY BE PRESENT, IT CANNOT DISTURB A DEVOTEE ONCE HE ATTAINS THE BHAVA  STAGE. This is because the devotee can see the real position of maya. Maya means  forgetfulness of Krsna, and forgetfulness of Krsna and Krsna consciousness stand  side by side like light and shadow. If one remains in shadow, he cannot enjoy  the facilities offered by light, and if one remains in light, he cannot be  disturbed by the darkness of shadow…” Nectar of Instruction  7.

The form of Krsna is visible to that eye in proportion to  its purification by the practice of devotion. WHEN THE DEVOTION OF THE NEOPHYTE  REACHES THE STAGE OF BHAVA-BHAKTI THE PURE EYE OF THAT DEVOTEE IS TINGED WITH  THE SALVE OF LOVE BY THE GRACE OF KRSNA, WHICH ENABLES HIM TO SEE KRSNA FACE TO  FACE. The phrase “in their hearts” means Krsna is visible in proportion as their  hearts are purified by the practice of devotion. The sum and substance of this  sloka is that the form of Krsna, who is Syamasundara, Natavara (Best Dancer),  Muralidhara (Holder of the Flute) and Tribhanga (Triple-bending), is not a  mental concoction but is transcendental, and is visible with the eye of the soul  of the devotee under trance…”  Brahma-Samhita 5.38
“You are correct when you say that when the Spiritual  Master speaks it should be taken that Krishna is speaking.. That is a fact. A  Spiritual Master must be liberated.”    Srila  Prabhupada

“… There are three classes of devotees according to the degree of  conviction. The first-class devotee is conversant with all kinds of Vedic  literature and at the same time has the firm conviction mentioned above. He can  deliver all others from the pangs of material miseries. The second-class  devotee is firmly convinced and has strong faith, but he has no power to cite  evidence from revealed scriptures. The third-class devotee is one whose faith is  not very strong, but, by the gradual cultivation of devotional service, he will  eventually be eligible for promotion to the second or first-class position. It is said in Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.45-47) that the first class devotee  always sees the Supreme Lord as the soul of all living entities. Thus in seeing  all living entities, he sees Krsna and nothing but Krsna. The second-class  devotee places his full faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, makes  friends with the pure devotees, favors innocent persons and avoids those who are  atheistic or opposed to devotional service. The third-class devotee engages in  devotional service according to the directions of the spiritual master, or  engages out of family tradition, and worships the Deity of the Lord, but he is  not cultivated in knowledge of devotional service, and he does not know a  devotee from a nondevotee. SUCH A THIRD-CLASS DEVOTEE CANNOT  ACTUALLY BE CONSIDERED A PURE DEVOTEE; HE IS ALMOST IN THE DEVOTIONAL LINE, BUT  HIS POSITION IS NOT VERY SECURE…” Teachings of Lord  Caitanya

“…So in  order to know that science, one has to APPROACH A PERFECT TEACHER.  Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet. Here also it is said, gurau hamsa.  Hamse gurau mayi. The mayi is also significant. That means, PARAMAHAMSA GURU  MEANS, HE’S AS GOOD AS THE SUPREME PERSONALITY OF GODHEAD. BECAUSE HE DOES NOT  DEVIATE from the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the  symptom of guru.GURU DOES  NOT DEVIATE FROM THE INSTRUCTION OF THE SUPREME PERSONALITY OF  GODHEAD…” Srimad  Bhagavatam 761102 SB.VRN Lectures

Bona  fide spiritual master does not deviate “…A BONA  FIDE SPIRITUAL MASTER IS IN THE DISCIPLIC SUCCESSION FROM TIME ETERNAL, AND HE  DOES NOT DEVIATE AT ALL from the instructions of the Supreme Lord as they were  imparted millions of years ago to the sun-god, from whom the instructions of  Bhagavad-gita have come down to the earthly kingdom. One should, therefore,  follow the path of Bhagavad-gita as it is expressed in the Gita itself and  BEWARE OF SELF-INTERESTED PEOPLE AFTER PERSONAL AGGRANDIZEMENT WHO DEVIATE  OTHERS FROM THE ACTUAL PATH…”Bhagavad- Gita  4.42  purport

Spiritual master is always situated in spiritual  status. “….A person  acting in the service of Krsna with his body, mind and words IS A LIBERATED  PERSON, EVEN WITHIN THE MATERIAL WORLD.” (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.187)  Therefore, one is forbidden to regard the guru as an ordinary human being  (gurusu nara-matir. .. naraki sah). THE SPIRITUAL MASTER, OR ACARYA, IS ALWAYS  SITUATED IN THE SPIRITUAL STATUS OF LIFE…”   Srimad-Bhagavatam  10.4.20

Spiritual master is never a conditioned  soul. “… Your next  question, whether the Spiritual Master was formerly a conditioned soul, ACTUALLY  A BONAFIDE SPIRITUAL MASTER IS NEVER A CONDITIONED SOUL.   69-06-10.  Srila Prabhupada letter to Mukunda

Spiritual master must be  liberated. “… You are  correct when you say that when the Spiritual Master speaks it should be taken  that Krishna is speaking. That is a fact. A SPIRITUAL MASTER MUST BE  LIBERATED…”   69-06-10. Srila Prabhupada letter to  Mukunda