In the Bhakti world , the Shastras are often the most misinterpreted elements of knowledge. The intention of the writer of the Shastra , his mood and his ideas are communicated in words. Sanskrit was the original language of all spiritual literature. Depending on the sadhana , the spiritual practices one is undertaking and the most important ,the Guru, the same Shastra will highlight different spiritual connotations in the minds of the spiritual aspirant. In Vedic times, when there was less “consciousness pollution” , lesser amount of material contamination ; the Shastras would vibrate the same meanings in the hearts of all the aspirants who studied under “perfect” masters. However Kaliyuga is most unsuitable for study of scripture, usually without any guidance; even if the Shastra has been composed by a “perfect” master. The “actual” mood conveyed as well as the “contamination” already present in the reader will only import sections of what is given in the shastra with a totally different dimension ; which “will” not be the actual mood intended. Hence sometimes spiritual “gurus” communicate “hard” rules which are direct through their works and achieve certain spiritual ends based on a larger plan of the Lord ; however even this is debilitating and will not convey the true import of the Highest Consciousness that is the mood of Krishna.
The single-most proponent of Bhakti ; Sriman Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has given a worthwhile plan to solve this problem. He says that one should strike a tripod balance between “Guru”, “Sadhu” and “Shastra”. If these three are in perfect congruence in the heart of the devotee ; then it can be emphatically concluded that the devotee is on the “perfect” path to God-realization. However if 2 aspects are in congruence that is Shastra and Sadhu in one’s heart ; then the devotee should wait for some time and serve Guru in the same mood of surrender because Shastra says so ; then the Supreme Lord provides the necessary conditions for the devotee to move away from the Guru. One should not “consciously” forsake the Guru under any condition ; one should only let the Lord decide the next course. Depending on the sincerity of the devotee; the Lord makes perfect arrangement for a new Guru. If Shastra and Guru are in congruence ; then the devotee can immediately forsake the Sadhu and then associate with other Sadhus who speak the same language. If Guru and Sadhu are in congruence; then the Shastra should be forsaken. The Shastra recommended by Guru should be taken up and one should only take direct guidance from Guru to understand Shastra. This is an empirical way to embrace the right candidates in the field of Bhakti. At some point in time; one has to be so much congruent with Gurudeva ; that one becomes the recipient of the entire mood of Srila Gurudeva. If this happens ; the aspirant will later on never face the problem of any concoction and interpretation because one will be the possessor of the mood of Srila Gurudeva .There will be a stage where the aspirant will be able to fathom the depths of the Shastras ; even those which he has not read; provided the Shastras are in line with the parampara or disciplic line.