Q. When one thinks he has found a bona fide spiritual master and later it proves to be wrong, would it be appropriate to say that initially, or in the first place, the judgment of the disciple was wrong and thus he never got a bonafide spiritual master?
A. That may be a possibility. There are some instances when one does accept a bona fide spiritual master but later on that spiritual master may fall away from the strict standards. Narahari Sarkar, one very saintly follower of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, has written one text which describes the latter of these two situations. In either case, the aspiring devotee should just go forward on his spiritual journey, with greater wisdom and accept the shelter of one who is a bona fide spiritual master. When one is fully sincere to attain spiritual perfection, then Krishna will bring the devotee to His bona fide representative.