A well - educated man said to ShriMaharaj, "These days, everywhere, but particularly in the Hindu society, fake saints are rampant. While it is true that there can be no attainment of God without a guru, if one comes upon an impostor in trying to choose a guru, both worldly life and attainment of God are ruined. So can one do without choosing a guru ?" In reply to this question ShriMaharaj said, "Some women die after marriage in their very first confinement. But has anyone given up marrying ? Or, because some women die from getting burnt while cooking, has anyone stopped cooking ? Likewise, because one came upon an impostor on one occa-sion, one should not entertain the thought of not at all having a guru. Primarily, one should find out whether one has a need for God in one's worldly life. If one decides that there is no such need, one should conduct one's worldly life as best as one can. Then one should not at all think about the spiritual path. But if one is convinced that lasting happiness cannot be obtained without God, one should place before oneself a picture of one's favourite deity and set about practicing chanting its nama. Later one will feel a deep yearning that one should encounter God. When that happens the sadguru* will himself come to him, and one's mission will be accomplished. In the meantime, if someone tells one that some place is first -rate, one should go there and minutely observe the so -called guru there. One should observe whether or not detachment from money and women prevails. Besides, if one's mental attitude undergoes a change for the better in the company of that person, one should presume that there is something uncommon there. If someone performs im unusual trick or works a miracle but speaks against nama, one should definitely conclude that he has not encountered God. It is to a person who passes all such tests that one should decide whether or not to assign the position of a guru. After having taken so much care, there is no fear of coming across an impostor."
Sadguru ( a spiritual instructor and director)