Sri Ramakrishna would say that the capacity of a teacher to inspire his students or disciples would depend upon the strength and power of his life.
In this connection Sri Ramakrishna would narrate how he had observed an acharya of one of the sects of his time, who had married several times and had several children, would venture to teach others. When such teachers say that God is real and all else is illusory, who would believe them? He would also say that such teachers would also get disciples of such nature. Both the teacher and disciple would suffer endlessly. He would add that even if a monk renounces lust and gold mentally but lives with them outwardly, such a person cannot be a teacher of men.
People would say that such a person indulges in enjoyment secretly. Referring to his own life he would say that Sarada Devi (his divine consort) used to live in the same campus at that time when he was staying at Dakshineswar temple premises. Her place was at quite a distance from his room.
One night he got up intending to go to the pine grove nearby to answer the call of nature. His disciple Yogen also woke up and wanted to find out where Sri Ramarksihna was going at the dead of night. Was he visiting his wife secretly? Assailed by this doubt he wanted to find out the truth. He hid himself at a spot on the way and was waiting for Sri Ramakrishna. But when the latter returned from the pine grove, he proceeded straight towards his room.
He saw Yogen standing and smiled appreciatively saying that a sadhu should be tested during the day as well as at night and only then should one draw a conclusion.
Thus Sri Ramakrishna would say that a teacher has to set exceptional standards of purity and renunciation if he has to inspire his disciples to lead a great spiritual life.
-by Swami Shantatmananda, Sunday Guardian, 1st Mar 2014