Guru or Spiritual Master: Qualifications of a Guru

                                                                  Q. 1. How to recognize a self-realized spiritual master and how to approach for spiritual initiation? It is said in Baghavad-gita that we must approach a bonafide spiritual master who has seen the truth. Now how is it possible for a candidate to identify the person who has seen the truth?

                                                                  One of the primary characteristics of a bona fide spiritual master is that such a guru himself belongs to a bona fide disciplic succession, beginning from the Supreme Lord Himself, and is authorized to perform the service of a spiritual master.

                                                                  Q. Let us assume hypothetically that someone accepts the Bhagavad Gita of Srila Prabhupada, and decides to follow and accept that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then he realizes his inability to choose a guru who is a pure devotee. If he then resorts to simply following Prabhupada, but accepting that he is not a diksha disciple of Prabhupada but a siksha disciple, can he go back to Godhead by following the instructions of Prabhupada and chanting?

                                                                  Q. I am coming to realize that a ship without a captain can have no direction and could get lost; in the same way I'm constantly thinking of choosing a Guru to help me understand and lead my life in the proper guided direction. How to make this difficult choice with so many great learned spiritual teachers (Gurus) out there?

                                                                  Q. I have heard that while killing Putana, Krishna closed His eyes. On this, various spotless Vaishnava Acharyas have written commentaries which differ from each other. One Acharya writes that Krishna closed His eyes so as not to see the heinous face of the infant-killer. Some other Acharya writes that because He was killing a female, He closed His eyes...  and so on. (Krishna Book, Ch 6) So, how to understand this phenomenon?