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Do you think people should beware (of false gurus)?

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Expressions researched:
"do you think people should beware"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1971 Conversations and Morning Walks

They should be serious.
Temple Press Conference -- August 5, 1971, London:

Woman Interviewer: Thank you. So presumably you would encourage this movement of more people to find a spiritual life. You...

Prabhupāda: Yes, unless you take to this movement, you cannot be happy. That's a fact. Therefore we invite everyone to study, to understand this great movement.

Woman Interviewer: What worries me slightly is that since the arrival in Britain some while ago of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a lot of... He was the first guru that most people ever heard of, and since then there have been a lot of people and a lot of gurus that have suddenly appeared out of nowhere. And one gets the feeling that sometimes they're not all as genuine as they ought to be, and I wondered whether you feel that it's right that you could perhaps issue a warning to people who are seeking some new spiritual life that they should take care to make sure they have a genuine guru to teach them.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Woman Interviewer: Do you feel there's a danger?

Prabhupāda: Of course, to search out guru is very nice. But if you want a cheap guru or if you want to be cheated, then there will be many cheater gurus. But if you are sincere, then you'll have sincere guru. People want to be cheated because they want everything very cheap. But just like we are asking people no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no gambling, no intoxication. So people think it is very difficult, it is botheration. And if somebody says, "No, you do. Whatever nonsense you like do. You simply take my mantra," they will like it. So the thing is that they want to be cheated; therefore cheaters come. They don't want to undergo some austerity. Human life is meant for austerity. But they are not prepared to undergo austerity. Suppose some cheaters come. They say, "Oh, no austerity. Whatever you like you do. You simply pay me and I'll give you some particular mantra, and you become God within six months." (Laughter) And that is going on. So you want to be, if people want to be cheated like that, the cheaters will come.

Woman Interviewer: So do you think people should beware?

Prabhupāda: They should be serious.

Woman Interviewer: I mean if someone in all seriousness wishes to find the spiritual life and happens to finish up with the wrong guru, I mean should they beware?

Prabhupāda: Yes. But... When ordinary education, to take ordinary education one has to devote so much time, labor, and understand, and if one is going to take spiritual life they must be serious. And how is that, they think that simply by some wonderful mantra within six months they become God? Why they want like that? That is... That means they want to be cheated.

Woman Interviewer: And how would one tell that one had a genuine guru because one would be told to give up certain parts of...?

Prabhupāda: That of course depends on the person who is really anxious for guru. Just like when you go to the market to purchase some thing, you test it whether it is genuine or not. Similarly, you have to test who is genuine.

Woman Interviewer: How can you tell if you don't...?

Prabhupāda: That requires little education, a little knowledge. Therefore we are opening so many centers, giving people opportunity to know what is genuine, what is not genuine.

Mangalavati +  and Rishab +
May 14, 0011 JL +
May 24, 0012 JL +
BG: 0 +, SB: 0 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 0 +, Conv: 1 +  and Let: 0 +