Swami Vivikenanda on Being Controlled by Another
While less prevalent, there are still many charlatans masquerading as gurus out there. Some teachers probably knowingly prey upon consumerism that prevails in certain spiritual circles.
But the dangers of false teachers aren’t new. This early 20th century piece from Swami Vivikenanda still contains a great set of simple guidelines. From the Nov/Dec 1976 issue of the Yoga Journal:
… use your own minds, control body and mind yourselves, no extraneous will can work upon you; avoid everyone, however great and good he may be, who asks you to believe blindly. … beware of everything that takes away your freedom. Know that it is dangerous and avoid it by all the means in your power.
… When you hear a man say ‘I am inspired’ then talk irrationally, reject it. Real inspiration never contradicts reason, but fulfills it.