The Role of a Guru
A guru is revered not only for their greatness but also for their role as a teacher. According to the śāstras, a guru who fails to speak or follow the scriptures must be rejected. Even Bhagavān, if not adhering to the śāstras, is subject to rejection, underscoring the eternal and uncreated nature of the Vedas and śāstras.
Upholding Scriptural Authority
The Vedas, like Bhagavān, are timeless and ungenerated. Demigods and even Lord Krishna perform pastimes that reinforce Vedic teachings. Bhagavān exemplifies adherence to scriptural commandments, never challenging the śāstras but serving as a model for others.
Grounds for Rejection
A guru may be rejected under specific circumstances:
1.Bad Habits (avaliptasya):If a guru indulges in detrimental habits such as smoking, alcohol consumption, or singing non-devotional songs.
2.Lack of Discernment (kāryakāryamajānantaḥ):If a guru cannot distinguish between right and wrong.
3.Deviation from Bhakti (utpatha-pratipannasya):If a guru strays from the path of devotion.
Narahari Sarkar Thakur advises not only abandoning such a guru but also correcting them, as referenced in the Mahabharata, Śāṅti Parva.
Additional Reasons for Rejection
4.Misinterpretation of Siddhānta:A guru who misinterprets śāstra to create their own doctrine must be rejected. Discerning this requires a deep understanding of śāstra.
5.Māyāvādi or Vaiṣṇava Dveśī:A guru who turns from Vaiṣhṇavism to Māyāvāda or harbors envy towards Vaiṣṇavas should be rejected.
Ref Śrīla Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur in Jaiva Dharma Chapter 27
Recognizing and rejecting a guru who exhibits any of these five issues is crucial. Failure to do so is considered a significant offense. True spiritual progress requires a guru who embodies and imparts the principles of devotion in accordance with the śāstras.