Jaya-gopāla: Prabhupāda? These days there are so many men who claim to have found the Absolute, who claim to be spiritual masters in their own way. How does one tell who is a bona fide spiritual master?
Prabhupāda: Yes. What is your idea of bona fide spiritual master?
Jaya-gopāla: One who can teach the Absolute.
Prabhupāda: So a spiritual master... Just like Kṛṣṇa is spiritual master, and Lord Caitanya is spiritual master. We are talking about Lord Caitanya's teaching to Sanātana Gosvāmī. That means Lord Caitanya is the spiritual master. Similarly, in the Bhagavad-gītā we find Arjuna is taught by Kṛṣṇa Bhagavad-gītā. So there is no difficulty to understand who is spiritual master. Is there any difficulty? Because we see that Lord Caitanya is teaching Sanātana Gosvāmī and Kṛṣṇa is teaching Arjuna. So both Lord Caitanya and Kṛṣṇa are spiritual master. Is there any difficulty to understand? So anyone who represents Lord Caitanya and Kṛṣṇa, he is spiritual master. That's all. Anyone who speaks exactly what Lord Caitanya said, exactly what Kṛṣṇa said, then he is spiritual master. Just like a teacher who says that "I have passed M.A." Now what is the proof? That means if he speaks exactly like persons who have passed M.A. examination, then he is M.A. A medical practitioner who is approved by other medical practitioners in the medical college, he is medical practitioner. Similarly, if you want to test who is spiritual master, you have to see the standard spiritual master, Kṛṣṇa and Lord Caitanya and similar. Even Lord Jesus Christ, there are..., Lord Buddha, they are also spiritual masters, but they spoke in different circumstances. That is different thing. But if you want to know who is a spiritual master, then you have to test him whether he is speaking exactly like the bona fide spiritual master. Śrī Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura has explained about this, who is spiritual master. What is that? He says, sādhu śāstra guru vākya tinete kariyā aikya. If you want to advance yourself in spiritual science, then you have to test these three things. What is that? Sādhu, saintly person. Sādhu, śāstra, scriptures, and spiritual master. Now suppose you want to know who is a spiritual master. Then you have to test whether he's speaking just like other saintly persons and whether he's following scriptures. Sādhu śāstra. So you have to test a spiritual master by corroborating whether he is speaking according to the scriptural injunction, whether he's speaking to other saintly persons. So in the world, anywhere you go, the standard spiritual master... Take it, Lord Jesus Christ or Buddha or Śaṅkara or Rāmānujācārya or Caitanya—nobody will say that you make adjustment here and live peacefully. Everyone will say that you have to extinguish this material existence. Lord Buddha says nirvāṇa, and Śaṅkara says brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā, and Kṛṣṇa says sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). Lord Jesus Christ says that "You have to go the kingdom of God. Just come with me." So nobody says that "Let us make United Nation organization and stick up to thousands of flags, and let there be peace and prosperity, and let the war go on in any part of the world." That is not spiritual master. Spiritual master means that he is interested with the other world beyond this material world. That is spiritual master. Yes?
Woman: What then is a master?
Prabhupāda: Master means who is master of the science. That's all. He must know everything of spiritual life. That is master.
Woman: Are there not many planes in mastership?
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Upendra: "Are there not many planes in mastership?"
Prabhupāda: Yes, there is. But you have to accept the standard platform by your advancement. Just like somebody accepts somebody as master, that is according to his own mentality. And somebody accepts somebody else as master, that is his mentality. But the highest, according to Vedic literature, Kṛṣṇa is the supreme master. Because all the ācāryas, all the spiritual masters of Vedic perfection, just like in the recent years Śaṅkarācārya, Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, and Viṣṇu Svāmī, Lord Caitanya, all of them, they have accepted Kṛṣṇa as the supreme spiritual master. All of them. Even Śaṅkarācārya, he's impersonalist, still he has accepted Kṛṣṇa. Sa bhagavān svayaṁ kṛṣṇa. He says that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is Kṛṣṇa. That is mentioned in his commentary of Bhagavad-gītā. And what to speak of Vaiṣṇava ācāryas, they accept. And Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he says, yāre dekha tāre kaha kṛṣṇa-upadeśa (CC Madhya 7.128). If you want to become a spiritual master, then try to disseminate the teachings of Lord Kṛṣṇa. So that is our, so far we are concerned, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, our ideal spiritual master is Kṛṣṇa. Yes?