"In the beginning you may commit some mistake, but when you study Bhagavad-gītā—who is sādhu, who is mahātmā, who is guru—then why shall we make, commit mistake again? If you have done mistake—you have gone to a rascal who is not Kṛṣṇa conscious— then when you read Bhagavad-gītā, you can understand. Why you are misled? Why you should be misled? If it is written on the road, 'Keep to the left,' why should you be misled and go to the right? Go to the left. Then you are not misled. So here it is said, mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ (BG 9.13). A mahātmā means who is always engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Why do you accept somebody as mahātmā who does not speak about Kṛṣṇa? Then you are misleading yourself. Sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ. Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti (Bg. 7.19). Everything, direction, is there. Why you create your own mahātmā? If you want to be cheated, who can check you? That is your fault. In Bhagavad-gītā, it is clearly said,
bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
That is mahātmā. Mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ, bhajanty ananya-manasaḥ (BG 9.13). Sādhur... Api cet sudurācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk (Bg. 9.30). He's mahātmā. He's sādhu. We shall go to him. Why shall we go to a rascal? Simple directions. So if you are misled, if you are cheated, whose fault it is? But if you want to be cheated, who can check?
Even though somebody by mistake has gone to a rascal, the book is there. As soon as you find out, 'Here is a rascal who does not know anything about Kṛṣṇa, and I have come to him,' reject him. That is stated in the śāstra. Gurur apy avaliptasya kāryākāryam ajānantaḥ parityāgo vidhīyate. Even by mistake you have come to a rascal who does not know how to become guru, you can reject him. Why should you stick to him? Reject him. And by mistake I have come to rascal. Why shall I continue to accept him as guru? Cāṇakya Paṇḍita said, tyaja durjana-saṁsargaṁ bhaja sādhu-samāgamam: 'Give up all rascals. Associate with sādhus.' If you do not do that, that is your fault. Tyaja durjana-saṁsargaṁ bhaja sādhu-samāgamam. We have to mix with sādhu. Sādhu means who are twenty-four-hours engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service. Things are there. Why should you mix with asādhu? Then how can you understand? Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgaḥ (CC Madhya 23.14-15). If you have got little faith, then next business is to associate with sādhus."
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Bhuvanesvara, January 31, 1977)