Broadly speaking there are five qualifications:

(1) Devotion to God. One cannot be thus devoted, unless one is free from servility to all save Him.

(2) Capacity to receive truths direct from God without any intermediary. One cannot unfold this capacity without completely getting rid of the lower human nature.

(3) Nearness to God. One cannot approach God unless one is equipped with the Divine character, and one’s Spirit reflects the light of the Divine attri­butes.

(4) Acquisition of knowledge from God without any intermediary. For this the heart should be cleansed of all impressions, sensual and intellectual.

(5) Being an Elect of the Heart Doctrine, which relates to the knowledge of the Divine Essence, the Divine Qualities, and the Divine Works. One can­not attain to this stage without a second birth. “One born of the mother’s womb sees this world; one born of the Self (i.e., quitting the lower human nature) sees the supersensuous world.”

Nevertheless it is said that the qualifications of a Teacher are indescribable and innumerable. A Teacher is not the body, the head, or the beard, visible to man. He is in reality the inner being by the side of God, in the region of Truth, clothed in Divine mercy and glory … Here is a query: How can a begin­ner find out such a Teacher and Guide, know and follow Him? It is not meet for a beginner to weigh Divine Men with the balance of his little intellect and to look at Them with his limited vision. Nor is it meet to follow another on his mere assertion. Then how to know if such a one is a genuine Teacher or a mere pretender?

Answer: Each seeker is furnished with materi­als appropriate to his lot. He cannot transcend them, … nor can anything hinder him from using them.

Query: Is there any sign whereby to distin­guish a pretender from a true Teacher, the worthy from the unworthy?

Answer: There are many signs, but it is impossible to describe and fix them. For all that, there is no sign or mood, the presence or absence of which alone would mark a Teacher or a pre­tender. In short, one blessed with the Divine Grace should set his feet on the Path, turn away from sensual pleasures and passional gratifications, and fix his attention on God. Then the glance of some Perfect Teacher will shine in the mirror of the heart … When a true disciple catches such a glance, he instantly contracts a love for the Beauty of His Godly Strength, becomes restless and uneasy, and comes to the Path. This uneasi­ness forbodes fortune and success. Perfect discipleship consists in perfect love for the Beauty of the Teacher’s Godly Strength. A disciple should follow the wishes of his Teacher, and not his own wishes … In each locality there is a Teacher who protects men living in that area. The King of the time is only one, but there is an ordinary teacher in each town. According to tradition there are always 365 Friends of God, who are the props of the world and the channels of the transmission of blessing and mercy from heaven to earth … O brother, know for certain that this work has been before thee and me (i.e., in bygone ages), and that each man has already reached a certain stage. No one has begun this work for the first time. Every­thing is according to Divine dispensation. Do you suppose 100,024 prophets to have ushered any new work into the world? By no means. They stirred up what lay already in the bosom, and led man to what was ordained for him by God … —Letter 6.