In the spiritual life there is the authority, just like in this world there are authorities on nearly every subject.
If you want to know how to spell a word, you go to the authority (the dictionary) and you do not question the authenticy of the dictionary....do you.
Why do you accept the authority of the dictionary without question?.....because you have seen that it is correct every time in the past.
In the spiritual life you have to know who and what is the authority, or you may accept a false authority....which many people do.
In the spiritual life there are some basics that one should know, which will determine what is the authority....they are.
*The authority will be the original eternal teaching, and not a teaching that has just recently been fabricated.
The authority will ask you to refrain from anti spiritual behavior such as:
1, stop animal slaughter and meat eating.
2. stop drug use and intoxication.
3. stop gambling and speculation.
4. stop illicit sex.
5. stop cheating and lying.
6. stop associating with low class persons who are against the principles of religion.
7. stop worshiping mundane personalities.
8. stop reading mundane literature.
9. stop engaging in mundane activities.
and it will ask you to do certain things:
1. always think of and glorify, the names and activities of the Lord and past times.
2. always chant the transcendental names of the Lord ....instead of wasting your breath on the mundane.
3 always study and absorb the spiritual teachings of Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavad Gita and Vedanta Sutra, for raising the consciousness to the transcendental platform....for purification.
4. always think of the Lord in friendship and love.
5. seek out a pure devotee of the Lord,(a teacher) and take instruction from him/her, with a submissive attitude.
6 always associate with devotees of the Lord.
If the authority doesn not say all of theses things, then they are not the authority.
The Vedas say all of these things and more, so the Vedas are the authority........all ways where, and always will be.
There is no second authority.
God is one, religion is one, and the purpose of this human form of life is one.