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Characteristic of a pure devotee
- 1 Bhagavad-gita As It Is
- 2 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 3 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 4 Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
- 5 Lectures
- 6 Correspondence
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
BG Chapters 1 - 6
Such symptoms in Arjuna were not due to weakness but to his softheartedness, a characteristic of a pure devotee of the Lord
BG 1.28, Purport: Although it is not mentioned here, still one can easily imagine that not only were Arjuna's bodily limbs quivering and his mouth drying up, but he was also crying out of compassion. Such symptoms in Arjuna were not due to weakness but to his softheartedness, a characteristic of a pure devotee of the Lord.
BG Chapters 7 - 12
Asking for material benefit, however, is not a sign of a pure devotee
BG 7.22, Purport: The less intelligent living entity does not know this, and therefore he foolishly goes to the demigods for some benefit. But the pure devotee, when in need of something, prays only to the Supreme Lord. Asking for material benefit, however, is not a sign of a pure devotee. A living entity goes to the demigods usually because he is mad to fulfill his lust. This happens when something undue is desired by the living entity and the Lord Himself does not fulfill the desire.
The symptoms of the pure devotees are described in this verse specifically
BG 10.9, Purport: Pure devotees, whose characteristics are mentioned here, engage themselves fully in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Their minds cannot be diverted from the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. Their talks are solely on the transcendental subjects. The symptoms of the pure devotees are described in this verse specifically. Devotees of the Supreme Lord are twenty-four hours daily engaged in glorifying the qualities and pastimes of the Supreme Lord. Their hearts and souls are constantly submerged in Kṛṣṇa, and they take pleasure in discussing Him with other devotees.
SB Canto 1
The bhakti cult, being the supermost occupation of the living being, leads him out of material sense enjoyment. That is the sign of a pure devotee
SB 1.2.7, Purport: Therefore, with the development of the bhakti cult, with the application of positive service to the positive form, one naturally becomes detached from inferior things, and he becomes attached to superior things. Similarly, the bhakti cult, being the supermost occupation of the living being, leads him out of material sense enjoyment. That is the sign of a pure devotee.
Such devotees are never unkind to others
SB 1.7.43, Purport: But in spite of all this, Draupadī desired that Aśvatthāmā be at once released, and it was all the same a good sentiment for her. This means that a devotee of the Lord can tolerate all sorts of tribulation personally, but still such devotees are never unkind to others, even to the enemy. These are the characteristics of one who is a pure devotee of the Lord.
None of the devotees who have ever contacted the Lord by direct communion or otherwise can leave Him for a moment. That is the attitude of the pure devotee
SB 1.10.9-10, Purport: After His separation from Vṛndāvana and the innocent rural cowherd boys, girls, ladies and others, they all felt shock throughout their lives, and the separation of Rādhārāṇī, the most beloved cowherd girl, is beyond expression. Once they met at Kurukṣetra during a solar eclipse, and the feeling which was expressed by them is heartrending. There is, of course, a difference in the qualities of the transcendental devotees of the Lord, but none of them who have ever contacted the Lord by direct communion or otherwise can leave Him for a moment. That is the attitude of the pure devotee.
The pure devotees are of one type only because they have no other object for service but the Lord
SB 1.11.21, Purport: The Supreme Lord Personality of Godhead is neither impersonal nor an inert object unable to reciprocate the feelings of His devotees. Here the word yathā-vidhi, or "just as it behooves" is significant. He reciprocates "just as it behooves" with His different types of admirers and devotees. Of course, the pure devotees are of one type only because they have no other object for service but the Lord, and therefore the Lord also reciprocates with such pure devotees just as it behooves, namely, He is always attentive to all the matters of His pure devotees.
By their actions the pure devotees of the Lord can render any place into a place of pilgrimage, and the holy places are worth the name only on their account
SB 1.13.10, Purport: One should also find representatives of Vidura who have no desire in life save and except to serve the Personality of Godhead. The Personality of Godhead is always with such pure devotees because of their unalloyed service, which is without any tinge of fruitive action or utopian speculation. They are in the actual service of the Lord, specifically by the process of hearing and chanting. The pure devotees hear from the authorities and chant, sing and write of the glories of the Lord. Mahāmuni Vyāsadeva heard from Nārada, and then he chanted in writing; Śukadeva Gosvāmī studied from his father, and he described it to Parīkṣit; that is the way of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So by their actions the pure devotees of the Lord can render any place into a place of pilgrimage, and the holy places are worth the name only on their account. Such pure devotees are able to rectify the polluted atmosphere of any place, and what to speak of a holy place rendered unholy by the questionable actions of interested persons who try to adopt a professional life at the cost of the reputation of a holy place.
The devotee never goes against the will of the Lord
SB 1.18.2, Purport: The devotee never goes against the will of the Lord; anything sent by God is a blessing for the devotee. Therefore Mahārāja Parīkṣit was neither afraid of nor bewildered by such things. That is the sign of a pure devotee of the Lord.
SB Canto 2
According to Bhagavad-gītā (10.9) the characteristics of pure devotees are wonderful
SB 2.3.12, Purport: According to Bhagavad-gītā (10.9) the characteristics of pure devotees are wonderful. The complete functional activities of a pure devotee are always engaged in the service of the Lord, and thus the pure devotees exchange feelings of ecstasy between themselves and relish transcendental bliss. This transcendental bliss is experienced even in the stage of devotional practice (sādhana-avasthā), if properly undertaken under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master.
It is usual for the devotees to become very enthusiastic whenever they are questioned concerning the Almighty Personality of Godhead
SB 2.5.9, Purport: Brahmājī, being so questioned by Nāradajī, congratulated him, for it is usual for the devotees to become very enthusiastic whenever they are questioned concerning the Almighty Personality of Godhead. That is the sign of a pure devotee of the Lord.
SB Canto 3
A pure devotee accepts everything in the sense of serving the Lord
SB 3.9.6, Purport: Thus the acquisition of wealth by a devotee is not a source of anxieties, as is the case for a worldly man. And because a pure devotee accepts everything in the sense of serving the Lord, the poisonous teeth of accumulation of wealth are extracted. If a snake has its poison removed and bites a man, there is no fatal effect. Similarly, wealth accumulated in the cause of the Lord has no poisonous teeth, and the effect is not fatal. A pure devotee is never entangled in material worldly affairs even though he may remain in the world like an ordinary man.
The most important characteristic of a pure devotee is that he is not lampaṭa, or licentious
SB 3.14.49, Purport: Prahlāda Mahārāja, the exemplary devotee of the Lord, had all the good qualities humanly possible. Although he was the emperor of this world, he was not profligate. Beginning from his childhood he was the reservoir of all good qualities. Without enumerating those qualities, it is said here summarily that he was endowed with all good qualities. That is the sign of a pure devotee. The most important characteristic of a pure devotee is that he is not lampaṭa, or licentious, and another quality is that he is always eager to mitigate the miseries of suffering humanity. The most obnoxious misery of a living entity is his forgetfulness of Kṛṣṇa. A pure devotee, therefore, always tries to evoke everyone's Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is the panacea for all miseries.
Because the Supreme Lord is present, however, a pure devotee accepts each body as the temple of the Lord
SB 3.29.34, Purport: Similarly, that the Supreme Lord has entered into each of the 8,400,000 particular types of material bodies does not mean that each of these bodies has become the Supreme Lord. Because the Supreme Lord is present, however, a pure devotee accepts each body as the temple of the Lord, and since the devotee offers respect to such temples in full knowledge, he gives respect to every living entity in relationship with the Lord.
SB Canto 5
The pure devotee is never interested in material topics
SB 5.12.13, Purport: The symptoms of pure devotees are described in this verse. The pure devotee is never interested in material topics. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has strictly prohibited His devotees to talk about worldly matters. Grāmya-vārtā nā kahibe: [Cc. Antya 6.236] one should not indulge in talking unnecessarily about news of the material world. One should not waste time in this way. This is a very important feature in the life of a devotee.
SB Canto 7
When such a liberated person, the pure devotee, hears of the transcendental qualities and activities of the Lord's incarnations, he expresses his transcendental jubilation
SB 7.7.34, Translation: One who is situated in devotional service is certainly the controller of his senses, and thus he is a liberated person. When such a liberated person, the pure devotee, hears of the transcendental qualities and activities of the Lord's incarnations for the performance of various pastimes, his hair stands on end on his body, tears fall from his eyes, and in his spiritual realization his voice falters. Sometimes he very openly dances, sometimes he sings loudly, and sometimes he cries. Thus he expresses his transcendental jubilation.
SB Canto 9
Rantideva did not hanker to take material benefits from them
SB 9.21.16, Purport: Therefore, although Rantideva was personally able to see Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, he did not hanker to take material benefits from them. Rather, he fixed his mind upon Lord Vāsudeva and rendered devotional service unto Him. This is the sign of a pure devotee, whose heart is not adulterated by material desires.
CC Madhya 11.95, Purport: Such are the symptoms of pure devotees when they are chanting. All the pure devotees are as bright as sunshine, and their bodily luster is very effulgent. In addition, their performance of saṅkīrtana is unparalleled.
That is a characteristic of a pure devotee—he is transcendental to all fruitive activity, speculative philosophy and mystic yoga meditation
CC Madhya 13.140, Purport: For a pure devotee, there is no scope for indulgence in mystic yoga practice or the cultivation of speculative philosophy. It is indeed impossible for a pure devotee to engage his mind in such unwanted activities. Even if a pure devotee wanted to, his mind would not allow him to do so. That is a characteristic of a pure devotee—he is transcendental to all fruitive activity, speculative philosophy and mystic yoga meditation. The gopīs therefore expressed themselves as follows.
CC Antya 3.213, Translation: A characteristic of a pure devotee is that he excuses any offense by an ignorant rascal. A characteristic of Kṛṣṇa, however, is that He cannot tolerate blasphemy of His devotees.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Teachings of Lord Caitanya
A pure devotee accepts the transcendental loving service of the Lord but rejects all kinds of liberation
Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 1: A pure devotee accepts the transcendental loving service of the Lord but rejects all kinds of liberation for his personal sense gratification. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.29.11-13) Lord Kapila explains that as soon as a pure devotee hears the glories and transcendental qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is seated in everyone's heart, his mind immediately flows toward the Lord, just as the waters of the Ganges flow toward the sea.
You test whether he's truthful. "He's not truthful, sir." Then he's not pure devotee
Lecture on SB 1.16.26-30 -- Hawaii, January 23, 1974: Similarly, here is the characteristic of pure devotee. Characteristics. You test whether he's truthful. "He's not truthful, sir." Then he's not pure devotee. He's doing something... He promised before his spiritual master, before the Deity, before the fire, "No illicit sex," but he's having illicit sex. So how he is advanced? How he's advanced? He's not even truthful, the first qualification. He's unclean. Truthfulness. Śaucam, means very clean.
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures
So that is the characteristic of a pure devotee. Even in the greatest difficulty, even in the greatest danger, he is not shaken
Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.142 -- New York, November 30, 1966: So that is the characteristic of a pure devotee. Even in the greatest difficulty, even in the greatest danger, he is not shaken; he is steady. Yaṁ labdhvā. This is the perfection of yoga. When one is steady in every circumstances, that is the perfection of yoga. That can be achieved easily by this Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Letter to Upendra -- Los Angeles 4 August, 1970: Lord Jesus Christ is a saktyavesa Avatara., an empowered living entity or jiva. In order to attain such a position one must be pure, so in this sense Lord Jesus Christ was a pure devotee. Of course, humanitarianism is not a sign of the pure devotee, but unless he did like that no one would hear him. So Lord Jesus Christ was acting a part suitable for the particular circumstances.