By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda
Tad-vijnānārtham sa gurum evābhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. That is the Vedic injunction. “If you want to learn that transcendental science, you must approach a guru (spiritual master).”
Guru principle is the same, not that your guru and my guru will be different. If he is actually a guru, then there is no difference between my guru and your guru. Just like a medical man. You consult one medical man; I consult another. That does not mean the medical man is different. They are depending on the same medical science.
So guru means following the same principles. Evam paramparā-prāptam [Bg. 4.2]. The first guru is Krishna, the Supreme Guru. He is the Guru of Brahmā even. Brahmā is the first creature of this universe.
tene brahma hrdā ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yatra sürayah [SB 1.1.1]. So Krishna is the original guru.
Then Krishna spoke to the sun-god. [imam vivasvate yogam proktavān aham]
So anyone, if he follows Krishna, then he is actually guru. And if you do not follow Krishna and want to become Krishna, then you are rascal. This is the test.
If you want to have a perfect guru, then you have to see whether he is speaking on behalf of Krishna or on his own behalf. One who speaks on his own behalf – (he) manufactures – he is not guru. He’s a rascal. One who speaks on behalf of Krishna – he is guru. Therefore guru is so worshiped.
Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gītā,tad viddhi pranipātena paripraśnena sevayā upadeksyanti te jnānam jnāninas tattva-darśinah [Bg. 4.34]
Jnāni means tattva-darśī. Tattva means Krishna, the Absolute Truth (param tattva).
What is that tattva? The tattva is described in three phases: Vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam [SB 1.2.11] Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate.
So Bhagavān is Krishna. Krishnas tu svayam bhagavān.
So guru, according to the capacity of the student, he teaches first about Brahman, then Paramātmā, then Bhagavān, Krishna. So Krishna is the ultimate knowledge of tattva-jnāna. And one who teaches this tattva-jnāna, he is guru. Otherwise he’s a rascal.
So therefore the first indication is that if you want to become a real human being, then you must approach a real guru and learn from him. Mould your life in that way. This is human civilization.
[An excerpt from a lecture delivered on the Srimad Bhagavatam 7.12.2 on April 13, 1976 in Bombay, India]ALSO READ: I CAN KICK OUT ALL STUMBLING BLOCKS AN UNCONTROLLED MIND IS LIKE AN UNCHASTE WIFE KRISHNA’S SERVANTS NO LONGER REMAIN IN THE LOWER CASTES