The characteristic of a Vaiṣṇava and the characteristic of the Lord mentioned in this verse are very significant. In His Śikṣāṣṭaka (3) Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has taught the characteristics of a Vaiṣṇava:
- tṛṇād api su-nīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā
- amāninā māna-dena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
A Vaiṣṇava strictly follows this principle of being humbler than the grass and more tolerant than a tree, expecting no honor from others but offering honor to everyone. In this way, a Vaiṣṇava is simply interested in chanting about the Supreme Personality of Godhead and glorifying Him. Haridāsa Ṭhākura epitomized this foremost order of Vaiṣṇavism.
Kṛṣṇa, however, cannot tolerate any insults or blasphemy against a Vaiṣṇava. For example, Prahlāda Mahārāja was chastised by his father, Hiraṇyakaśipu, in so many ways, but although Prahlāda tolerated this, Kṛṣṇa did not. The Lord therefore came in the form of Nṛsiṁhadeva to kill Hiraṇyakaśipu. Similarly, although Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura tolerated the insult by Gopāla Cakravartī, Kṛṣṇa could not. The Lord immediately punished Gopāla Cakravartī by making him suffer from leprosy. While instructing Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī about the many restrictive rules and regulations for Vaiṣṇavas, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has very vividly described the effects of offenses at the lotus feet of a Vaiṣṇava. Yadi vaiṣṇava-aparādha uṭhe hātī mātā (CC Madhya 19.156). Offending or blaspheming a Vaiṣṇava has been described as the greatest offense, and it has been compared to a mad elephant. When a mad elephant enters a garden, it ruins all the creepers, flowers and trees. Similarly, if a devotee properly executing his devotional service becomes an offender at the lotus feet of his spiritual master or another Vaiṣṇava, his devotional service is spoiled.