When I had asked if moderator's position towards new age gurus has evolved then one of the moderators replied all Hindu Gurus and Acharyas are allowed given they don't go against very core ideas of Hinduism.

In my mind this statement is a bit broad. How do we define what is a core or peripheral?

Secondly does the new age guru/popular personality ceases to be considered as a valid source on HSE if his views on a given topic are opposite to that of scripture. For instance lets take the following case

enter image description here

Now we know from this answer that homosexuality is a sin as per dharmashastras. (Not delving into his second statement on Harihara as first one is sufficient)

So can we now say in HSE that Sri Sri Ravishankar's works are not valid sources in HSE ? It cannot be that we cite him on subject matter X but reject him on subject matter Y.

In my mind a person's word can no longer be considered authoritative/gospel truth the moment his words/views on any subject can rejected on basis of scriptures.

Edit 1

What about personalities who admit that they've never read scriptures ?


  • 1
    I think we should not consider Twitter as a reliable source. If the same thing can be found in the book written by same author then it can be considered as an authentic source and in such case the correctness of answer would be handled by voting.
    – Pandya Mod
    Feb 24 at 14:26
  • @Pandya - It is there in his verified twitter account timeline. And there are news reports corroborating the same from 2013 Feb 24 at 14:37
  • However my question is more general. Once we know that a said Guru etc is a wrong on a certain topic then does he still remain a valid authority figure. Feb 24 at 14:38
  • @Carmensandiego yes, no guru can perfectly align with all the things mentioned in the scriptures. That is the speciality and reason for the existence of a guru.
    – Mr_Green
    Feb 25 at 3:53
  • 1
    @Mr_Green - I think we differ in our expectations from Gurus. If someone is supporting a path that cannot be justified by scriptures (in fact is at complete odds with scriptures )then surely they are not the right guides as per Hinduism. Sure they can be Gurus (in modern sense of the word) but not of Hinduism Feb 25 at 10:20
  • @Carmensandiego yes we differ :). I believe, one should either follow Guru blindly or the Religion. If one follows a Guru following a Religion then it is better to follow the religion and leave the Guru (as they don't require one). Knowing all scriptures will label one as Scholar but not a Guru.
    – Mr_Green
    Feb 25 at 11:28
  • 1
    @Mr_Green - IMO it need not be either/or. Surely there are gurus whose teachings are not at odds with scriptures. Feb 25 at 13:07
  • @Carmensandiego true. Maybe they are not trying to be odd but trying to evolve with modern society. BTW, that edited youtube link is so lame excuse.
    – Mr_Green
    Feb 25 at 14:30
  • @Mr_Green - Indeed. The comments underneath the Youtube video pretty much nail it. Feb 26 at 4:01
  • 1
    @Carmensandiego Every Guru has their own understanding. There are many illiterate gurus from Hinduism backgrounds and have been considered respectful by many Hindus (for example, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa). Definitely, their understanding didn't align completely with the scriptures. Even Swami Vivekananda said eating beef is fine if one doesn't want to be a devotee. Finding it very odd or little odd or none depends on an individual's understanding. Even the Gurus now who going well could do controversial statements in the future. We just can't consider them as not authoritative at that time.
    – Mr_Green
    Feb 26 at 5:15
  • 1
    @Mr_Green - Vivekananda's position had evolved with passage of time. And I am not sure if Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was diametrically opposite to what's stated in scriptures. Feb 26 at 5:19
  • 2
    i think you're getting downvoted by the 'everything is accepted in muh version of hinduism' brigade.. Ayyappa was born of Hara & Mohini (even then, there are no PHYSICAL union, it was a spiritual Jyoti maya srushti). Not born of Hara & Hari. If X says Hari & Mohini are the same because Mohini is an avatar of Hari, then that X's wife might have been a man in her previous birth, so that makes X a homosexual too.
    – mar
    Mar 1 at 0:13
  • 1
    @mar - Agreed. In the quest to contrast Hinduism from Abrahamic religions everything is up for distortion. Mar 1 at 3:16
  • 2
    @mar I thought this was a new user but no LOL
    – Rickross
    Mar 1 at 6:35

Hindu Gurus of all Sampradayas are allowed. As said in this answer, these Acharyas might interpret some social norms differently but they all adhere to core beliefs, like Apaurusheya of Vedas. Some of core beliefs can be seen from this answer. Although list of core beliefs changes with different acharyas, many common beliefs like believing in Vedas, reincarnation can be observed. For instance, Sri Sri says,

Every sound has a certain effect on the consciousness. For example, when we hear some pleasant music, it calms us. Other types of music make us get up and dance - even without knowing the meaning of the lyrics! In the same way, the ancient sages, called Rishis, going deep in meditation, researched the effect of different vibrations on consciousness. Assimilating these different sounds, perceived in deep meditation, the Rishis came up with mantras, which have a specific impact on consciousness. During Navaratri, various homas are performed and mantras are chanted which have a harmonizing impact on the consciousness, as the Rishis described in the Vedas.

These seer-scientists were called 'seers,' because they 'saw' the knowledge. They did this by going into deep meditation and quieting the mind. In such a state, the Rishis could understand the characteristics of the forces of nature. Their calculations and mathematical methods are accurate even today. Thousands of years ago these seer-scientists had already described many things, which Western science has discovered only in the last few centuries – an example being the description of molecules and atoms. Observing nature, the Rishis could describe the energy or consciousness that is pervading this whole creation. After passing on their knowledge orally for generations, it was finally written down in four main scriptures of the Vedas.

His views on core scriptures Vedas are in accordance with tradition. Swami Vivekanada here gives different list but we can see many common things like belief in Vedas as truths, existence of an entity which is eternal and all pervading.

Obviously different acharyas or Gurus have different opinions on topics like Varna Dharma, homsexuality and they do propose their views only after interpreting scriptures.

So, in short we can allow Hindu acharyas and even Scholars or Indologists if they don't (list is not exhaustive),

  • ridicule Vedas as mere imaginations of some "poets"
  • dismiss law of karma
  • reject existence of one all pervading entity (can be called by different names like Purusha, Soul, Atman, Brahman, Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti based on sampradaya).
  • I believe scriptures make it a point to specify what social norms are acceptable in Hinduism. To say social norms are not core but xyz beliefs are core does not seem objective to me. I don't see why we should be dismissive of someone who does not believe in karma but give weightage to words of someone whose views on homosexuality are at odds with scriptures. Feb 24 at 18:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .