Throughout the Vedic scriptures, the sincere seekers of God have been recommended to approach a bonafide spiritual master to advance further.
tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet
samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham
“To understand these things properly, one must humbly approach, with firewood in hand, a spiritual master who is learned in the Vedas and firmly devoted to the Absolute Truth.” (Munduka Upanishad 1.2.12)
Unfortunately, to seek out such a bonafide guru in this age is very difficult for everyone nowadays become guru by outward dressing or by twisting Vedic knowledge or by outwardly saintly talks.
However, one actually becomes guru only by the instructions of his guru.
This hence leads to an interesting chain of gurus or Guru Parampara. The word ‘bonafide’ above is very significant which points to, Lord Krishna, the original guru being the origin of all the Vedic knowledge. Lord Brahma was the first recipient of this transcendental knowledge which was transferred by Lord Krishna through sabda brahma or transcendental sound vibration. Just as a person on one end transmits the knowledge through a radio and the other person picks it up by tuning in to the same frequency similarly transcendental knowledge is passed. In this way Lord Brahma passed to his disciple Narada and Sri Narada to his disciple Srila Vyasadeva. Srila Vyasadeva then recorded this in written form (Vedas) for the welfare of forgetful conditioned souls of this Iron Age.
In this way knowledge must be accepted from a bonafide Guru Parampara only, else the knowledge becomes adulterated.
Nowadays, just as keeping dogs has become a fashion, so has keeping a guru. For this reason many bogus gurus have emerged to gather wealth, fame and women. It’s because the mass wants to become cheated, do we find cheating gurus. If a bogus guru offers some mantra in exchange of some money or some speculative knowledge in form of morality, people accept. However, if a bonafide guru offers regulative principles to observe on Vedic authority, one considers it to be too much of a devotion or fanaticism and foolishly rejects it. Hence the cheaters and the cheated.
People sometimes also consider approaching guru as an option despite appreciating scriptures. But such hypocritical class of men cannot simply understand that even Lord Krishna Himself 5000 years ago accepted a spiritual master despite being an original guru, just in order to guide such misdirected civilization. The Bhagavad Gita states:
tad viddhi praṇipātena
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.” (BG 4.34)
Yet despite posing as knowledgeable men or spiritualists such foolish persons reject some teachings. This is called half hen logic. Accepting some and rejecting some is a spiritual suicide. One cannot become a doctor by studying books at home, one needs to become recognized by the university. Similarly despite reading scriptures one cannot obtain its true revelations without approaching the bonafide spiritual master. By mental calculations, speculations, concocted theories and designations one cannot obtain transcendental revelations.
naiṣā tarkeṇa matir āpaneyā
proktānyenaiva su-jñānāya preṣṭha
“This realization, my dear boy, cannot be acquired by logic. It must be spoken by an exceptionally qualified spiritual master to a knowledgeable disciple.” (Katha Upanishad 2.9)
For the same reason Krishna spoke Bhagavad Gita not to a Vedantist, a sannyasi or a brahmana but to His surrendered devotee who was a ksatriya.
The spiritual master having received transcendental revelations from his guru can pass the same to sincere disciples being very expert in all scriptures not just by words and deeds but also by actions. He hence can easily impress any sincere soul of the transcendental knowledge and clarify seemingly Vedic contradictions and debates by logic and reference. Such a spiritual master is devoid of all material desires and only possesses spiritual desires to serve Krishna out of unconditional love at all time, places and circumstances. Never does a bonafide guru pose as God but as God’s infinitesimal servant.
Therefore one must humbly approach such a bonafide guru and make effective inquiries by rendering devotional service unto him, in order to become rid of material bondage and transcendentally situated.