How To Identify A Fake Spiritual Teacher (Or Path)
You want to give your life a deeper meaning and find a spiritual guide. But then you face yourself with a fact that so many people who are presenting themselves as spiritually evolved are false. Nothing new in this story as there has always been fake spiritual teachers, since the beginning of civilization and its quest to find the meaning of life.
Why it is important to know if spiritual teachers are fake
Well, it is simple. If you don’t want to be deceived or used, you will want to put your trust in a trustworthy person. Luckily, there are great methods to spot what kind of a person you are dealing with. My advice is to give yourself at least 6 months of time to deeply get to know a person presented as spiritual teacher so that you can give them your full trust and accept them as your teacher.
How to spot a fake spiritual teacher
Two simple questions should be always asked when you meet someone who presents themselves as a spiritual teacher / master. These are essential questions that have to a part of your spiritual search for higher truth.
Is there a lot of materialism involved?
It would be stupid to expect spiritual teachers not to have any money or material possessions. However, there is a big difference between having basic needs fulfilled and having a lot more than a spiritual person needs. Is it a person who promotes simple living, yet drives expensive cars or lives in a luxurious home? Whatever they preach, they should be living. Simply observe the person who is claiming to be highly spiritual person; who they are and how they live their lives.
Note: You will often hear from spiritual people that money is not evil but the addiction to it is. It is absolutely true, however spiritually evolved person won’t need materialism above what is absolutely necessary. The more spiritually developed, the less materialism will be needed.
Is there a lot of ego involved?
“I know everything. Others know nothing and they should be asking me and listen to me.”
I’ve often met spiritual “teachers” or “masters” who’s between-the-lines messages involved these two sentences. Not only did they not have any modesty in them but there was a lot more pride involved than in an average person.
If you hear someone claiming they know more than others, it is not a spiritually evolved person and whatever they are teaching should be highly questioned.
Some of the signs ego instead of spiritual truth is involved:
- They are “chosen” by higher power
- They are enlightened and know everything (obviously enlightened person will never ever claim they are enlightened)
- They demand to be worshiped in some way
True spiritual teachers and how to know they are true
Today we are blessed with a great opportunity to question what we hear and not blindly accept whatever is thrown at us. I encourage everyone to question everything they hear, to the last letter. If you are serious in doing a proper spiritual practice, you must be sure your teacher / master is the right one. Always remember that a genuine teacher has the following qualities:
- Their path is a path of love, equanimity and equality
- They live modestly
- Their teachings are pleasant
- They don’t threat that something bad will happen if you don’t fulfill certain rules
- They might display supernatural powers but only as a spontaneous result of practice, not to brag or ask for admiration
I recommend to follow these guidelines not only for persons but for the whole movements and religions. Remember, if many people believe something to be true, it does not necessarily mean it is true.