Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was an ideal ācārya. An ācārya is an ideal teacher who knows the purport of the revealed scriptures, behaves exactly according to their injunctions and teaches his students to adopt these principles also. As an ideal ācārya, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu devised ways to capture all kinds of atheists and materialists. Every ācārya has a specific means of propagating his spiritual movement with the aim of bringing men to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore, the method of one ācārya may be different from that of another, but the ultimate goal is never neglected. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī recommends:
- tasmāt kenāpy upāyena manaḥ kṛṣṇe niveśayet
- sarve vidhi-niṣedhā syur etayor eva kiṅkarāḥ
An ācārya should devise a means by which people may somehow or other come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. First they should become Kṛṣṇa conscious, and all the prescribed rules and regulations may later gradually be introduced. In our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we follow this policy of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. For example, since boys and girls in the Western countries freely intermingle, special concessions regarding their customs and habits are necessary to bring them to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The ācārya must devise a means to bring them to devotional service. Therefore, although I am a sannyāsī I sometimes take part in getting boys and girls married, although in the history of sannyāsa no sannyāsī has personally taken part in marrying his disciples.