"Good physician means a bona fide spiritual master. Then, by his advice, just like a patient is cured by following the instruction of a bona fide physician, similarly, this disease of being kicked up from one body to another, this could be stopped by the instruction of a bona fide sādhu, saintly person, or spiritual master or śāstra, scripture. So the scriptures and the saintly persons and the spiritual master, they are on the same level. Because a sādhu who is a saintly person, he would not place anything which is not sanctioned by the scripture. Similarly, a bona fide spiritual master means he is following the footprints of the previous ācāryas. Therefore he is bona fide. So scripture is the medium through which we have to get our experience and knowledge through the explanation of sādhu, saintly persons and spiritual master. "
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 22.14-20 -- New York, January 10, 1967