"Guru, or mahātmā, they are very merciful, merciful in this way that they know how a person can be elevated to the topmost platform of knowledge, and they can give him. And this is not very difficult. It is said here that yat tat sākṣād bhagavatoditam. This is mercifulness. A guru's business is to deliver the same message as Kṛṣṇa said. Then he's dīna-vatsala. Otherwise, if he says something else, he's a cheater. He's not guru. He must be, to the suffering humanity, being kind upon them. Dīna-vatsala. Dīna means very poor, poor in knowledge. At the present moment, the... Not only at the present moment, always. Those who are in the material world, they are very, very poor. Very, very poor. Gṛhiṇāṁ dīna-cetasām. Because their mind is very crippled. They are thinking that this duration of life—say, fifty years or twenty years or utmost seventy, or hundred years—this is everything. That's all. Therefore they are very poor. Their expansion of knowledge is very, very meager. And it is the business of the saintly persons to be kind upon them, that 'This is not the life. You are thinking, making adjustment to live for fifty years or hundred years very comfortably, or even next life...' Karmīs, they also take consideration of the next life, to be promoted in the heavenly planet or other higher planetary system. But still, they are poor. Poor. Because they are lacking in the knowledge of eternal life, full of knowledge and blissfulness. That they do not know. Sac-cid-ānanda life. So it is the business of the mahātmā to enlighten them to the real platform of life."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Vrindavan, August 11, 1974)