Devotee's life

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Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 1

For the devotees there is no need for performance of prescribed sacrifices because the very life of the devotee is a symbol of sacrifice.
SB 1.16.20, Purport: The materialistic men want to work hard and enjoy fruitive results for sense enjoyment. Thus they are committing many types of sins at every step of life. Those, however, who are consciously engaged in the devotional service of the Lord are transcendental to all varieties of sin and virtue. Their activities are free from the contamination of the three modes of material nature. For the devotees there is no need for performance of prescribed sacrifices because the very life of the devotee is a symbol of sacrifice. But persons who are engaged in fruitive activities for sense enjoyment must perform the prescribed sacrifices because that is the only means to get free from the reaction of all sins committed by fruitive workers. Sacrifice is the means for counteracting such accumulated sins. The demigods are pleased when such sacrifices are performed, just as prison officers are satisfied when the prisoners are turned into obedient subjects. Lord Caitanya, however, has recommended only one yajña, or sacrifice, called the saṅkīrtana-yajña, the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa, in which everyone can take part. Thus both devotees and fruitive workers can derive equal benefit from the performances of saṅkīrtana-yajña.

SB Canto 2

The antiseptic potency of devotional service to the Lord is so great that it can neutralize the material infection even in the present life of a devotee.
SB 2.7.3, Purport: Even in the nonliberated stage, a living entity can be directly engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Personality of Godhead Lord Kṛṣṇa or His plenary expansions like Rāma and Narasiṁha. Thus, with the proportionate improvement of such transcendental devotional service, the devotee makes definite progress toward brahma-gatim or ātma-gatim, and ultimately attains kapilasya gatim, or the abode of the Lord, without difficulty. The antiseptic potency of devotional service to the Lord is so great that it can neutralize the material infection even in the present life of a devotee. A devotee does not need to wait for his next birth for complete liberation.

SB Canto 3

The time factor cannot affect the span of life of the devotees. In Bhagavad-gītā it is stated that a little execution of devotional service saves one from the greatest danger.
SB 3.21.18, Purport: The time factor cannot affect the span of life of the devotees. In Bhagavad-gītā it is stated that a little execution of devotional service saves one from the greatest danger. The greatest danger is transmigration of the soul from one body to another, and only devotional service to the Lord can stop this process. It is stated in the Vedic literatures, hariṁ vinā na mṛtim taranti: without the mercy of the Lord, one cannot stop the cycle of birth and death. In Bhagavad-gītā it is stated that only by understanding the transcendental nature of the Lord and His activities, His appearance and disappearance, can one stop the cycle of death and go back to Him.

SB Canto 5

A person who is too attached to materialistic family life—home, family, wife, children and so on—cannot develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness. These apparent contradictions are resolved in the life of a devotee by the grace of the Supreme Lord.
SB 5.1.5, Purport: The fact is, however, that one becomes a devotee when he is completely freed from all reactions to sinful life. As Kṛṣṇa states in Bhagavad-gītā (7.28):
yeṣāṁ tv anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ
janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām
te dvanda-moha-nirmuktā
bhajante māṁ dṛḍha-vratāḥ

"Persons who have acted piously in previous lives and in this life, whose sinful actions are completely eradicated and who are freed from the duality of illusion, engage themselves in My service with determination." On the other hand, as Prahlāda Mahārāja said:

matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā
mitho 'bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām

A person who is too attached to materialistic family life—home, family, wife, children and so on—cannot develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

These apparent contradictions are resolved in the life of a devotee by the grace of the Supreme Lord, and therefore a devotee is never bereft of his position on the path of liberation, which is described in this verse as śivatamāṁ padavīm.
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 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. A devotee has no other ambition than to serve Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement was started to engage people twenty-four hours daily in the service of the Lord and in His glorification. The students in this institution engage in the cultivation of Kṛṣṇa consciousness from five in the morning to ten at night. They actually have no opportunity to waste their time unnecessarily by discussing politics, sociology and current events. These will go their own way. A devotee is concerned only with serving Kṛṣṇa positively and seriously.

SB Canto 7

A devotee's life and duty are very well explained herein. As soon as a devotee can chant the holy name and glories of the Supreme Lord, he certainly comes to the liberated position.
SB 7.9.18, Purport: A devotee's life and duty are very well explained herein. As soon as a devotee can chant the holy name and glories of the Supreme Lord, he certainly comes to the liberated position. Attachment for glorifying the Lord by hearing and chanting the holy name and activities of the Lord (śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ [SB 7.5.23]) certainly brings one to the position where material contamination is absent. One should chant the bona fide songs received from the disciplic succession. In Bhagavad-gītā it is said that the chanting is powerful when one follows the disciplic succession (evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]). Manufacturing many ways of chanting will never be effective. However, chanting the song or the narration left by the previous ācāryas (mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.186]) is extremely effective, and this process is very easy.

SB Canto 8

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is worshipable for the devotee throughout the devotee's life, for He never breaks His promises.
SB 8.17.8, Purport: The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the master of those who observe vows and austerities, and it is He who bestows benedictions upon them. He is worshipable for the devotee throughout the devotee's life, for He never breaks His promises. As He says in Bhagavad-gītā (9.31), kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati: "O son of Kuntī, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes." The Lord is addressed here as acyuta, the infallible, because He takes care of His devotees. Anyone inimical to the devotees is certainly vanquished by the mercy of the Lord.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Adi-lila

There is always a difference between the life of a devotee and the life of a demon, and their realizations are as different as heaven and hell.
CC Adi 5.36, Purport: In his Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī has explained that the attainment of salvation by merging into the Brahman effulgence of the Lord cannot be accepted as the highest success in life, because demons like Kaṁsa, who were famous for killing brāhmaṇas and cows, attained that salvation. For devotees such salvation is abominable. Devotees are actually in a transcendental position, whereas nondevotees are candidates for hellish conditions of life. There is always a difference between the life of a devotee and the life of a demon, and their realizations are as different as heaven and hell. Demons are always accustomed to being malicious toward devotees and to killing brāhmaṇas and cows. For demons, merging into the Brahman effulgence may be very glorious, but for devotees it is hellish. A devotee’s aim in life is to attain perfection in loving the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Those who aspire to merge into the Brahman effulgence are as abominable as demons. Devotees who aspire to associate with the Supreme Lord to render Him transcendental loving service are far superior.
One who has attained love of Godhead chants and dances by his nature, not caring for the public.” This stage of life is known as bhāgavata-jīvana, or the life of a devotee.
CC Adi 7.95-96, Purport: “By chanting the holy name,” Lord Caitanya continued, “I became almost mad. However, after inquiring from My spiritual master I have come to the conclusion that instead of striving for achievement in the four principles of religiosity [dharma], economic development [artha], sense gratification [kāma] and liberation [mokṣa], it is better if somehow or other one develops transcendental love of Godhead. That is the greatest success in life. One who has attained love of Godhead chants and dances by his nature, not caring for the public.” This stage of life is known as bhāgavata-jīvana, or the life of a devotee.

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Teachings of Lord Caitanya

Hari means that He takes away all inauspicious things from the devotee's life and that He attracts the mind of the devotee by awarding him transcendental love of Godhead.
Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 15: The word hari has different meanings, of which two are foremost. Hari means that He takes away all inauspicious things from the devotee's life and that He attracts the mind of the devotee by awarding him transcendental love of Godhead. Kṛṣṇa is so attractive that anyone who can remember Him in some way or another becomes freed from the four kinds of material miseries. The Lord gives special attention to His devotee and banishes the devotee's various sinful activities, which are stumbling blocks for the advancement of devotional service. This is called routing the influence of ignorance. Simply by hearing about Him, one develops love for Him. That is the gift of the Lord. On one side He takes away inauspicious things, and on the other side He awards the most auspicious things. That is the meaning of hari.

Narada-bhakti-sutra (sutras 1 to 8 only)

In the material world everyone is very active in earning more and more money and in increasing eating and sleeping and gratifying the senses; such is the mission of most people's lives. But these activities should be absent from the life of a devotee.
Narada Bhakti Sutra 5, Purport: The Bhagavad-gītā and the great ācāryas, or spiritual masters, have prescribed certain foods for human beings, and one who eats these foods eats in the mode of goodness. These foods include grains, fruits, vegetables, milk products, and sugar—and nothing more. A devotee does not eat extravagantly; he simply eats what he offers to the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa. He is interested in kṛṣṇa-prasādam (food offered to the Lord) and not in satisfying his tongue. Therefore he does not desire anything extraordinary to eat. Similarly, a devotee does not wish to accumulate a large bank balance: he simply earns as much as he requires. This is called yāvad-artha or yuktāhāra. In the material world everyone is very active in earning more and more money and in increasing eating and sleeping and gratifying the senses; such is the mission of most people's lives. But these activities should be absent from the life of a devotee.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Because a devotee's life is dedicated to the Supreme, so he also thinks that "This money can be utilized for the service of the Lord."
Lecture on BG 5.3-7 -- New York, August 26, 1966: So a person who has renounced everything for service of the Lord. Sannyāsī. Sannyāsī means sat-nyāsī. Sat means the supreme eternal, and nyāsī means renounced. So sannyāsī... He is a sannyāsī who has renounced everything for the sake of the Lord. He's called sannyāsī. And he has no hatred for anything because in his vision everything is meant for the service of the Lord. So therefore he cannot hate anything. Sometimes it (is) advertised that "Such and such saint, he does not touch money. He does not touch money. When money is offered to him, his hand becomes turned." But a Bhagavad-gītā does not say that. Bhagavad-gītā does not say that "Because money is offered to you, therefore you shall turn your hand." Yes. Because a devotee's life is dedicated to the Supreme, so he also thinks that "This money can be utilized for the service of the Lord." Just like there are many instances in India.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

The sun's business is to take away a portion of your span of life. That is business. But he cannot take away the portion of the life of a devotee. Because a devotee is going to live.
Lecture on SB 2.3.17 -- Los Angeles, June 12, 1972: So āyur harati vai puṁsām. The sunshine, sunrise, and sunset means decreasing our life. It is very nice example. The sun's business is to take away a portion of your span of life. That is business. But he cannot take away the portion of the life of a devotee. Because a devotee is going to live. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to give a living entity a permanent span of life. Uttama-śloka-vārtayā. Uttama-śloka is Kṛṣṇa. Uttama-śloka. Bhaktir bhavati naiṣṭhikī bhagavaty uttama-śloke. In another place it is stated, tadā... naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu. Naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā [SB 1.2.18]. Nityam ... Just like we are holding class daily. Nityam, regularly. Nityam means regularly, daily, always. So nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā. The beginning... Just like when a man is infected with a disease, he is subjected to death. Crude example. So when a man falls diseased, the physician tries to get him relieved from that infection. So our material body is an infection.
The very primary features of a devotee's life. People put him into suffering in so many ways, but he does not give up his job. His job is to spread Kṛṣṇa.
Lecture on SB 3.25.23 -- Bombay, November 23, 1974: A devotee is educated to tolerate. Therefore, in the sādhu's symptoms, beginning, that titikṣavaḥ kāruṇikāḥ [SB 3.25.21], they, a devotee, suffers; at the same time, he is very kind to these conditioned soul, how to elevate them, how to make them Kṛṣṇa conscious. This is kāruṇikāḥ. These are the very primary features of a devotee's life. People put him into suffering in so many ways, but he does not give up his job. His job is to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness so that others may become happy.
The devotee's life should be yāvad artha-prayojanam. We require material necessities as much as it is required, no artificial life. That is spiritual life.
Lecture on SB 6.1.49 -- New Orleans Farm, August 1, 1975: Why should you go in the city, hundred miles in car and again hundred miles come back and take unnecessary trouble? Stick to this spot and grow your own food, your own cloth, and live peacefully, save time, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Very nice program. This is actual life. What is this nonsense life, big, big cities and always people busy? If he wants to see one friend, he has to go thirty miles. If he has to see a physician, he has to go fifty miles. If he has to go to work, another hundred miles. So what is this life? This is not life. Be satisfied. The devotee's life should be yāvad artha-prayojanam. We require material necessities as much as it is required, no artificial life. That is spiritual life. Simply increasing artificial life, even for shaving, a big machine is required. What is this? Simply wasting time. Devil's workshop. Make life very simple. And simple living, high thinking, and always conscious to go back to home, back to Kṛṣṇa. That is life.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures

A devotee is not bereft of material happiness. Automatically (it) comes to him. So that is not the ultimate goal of a devotee's life. A devotee's ultimate goal of life: how he becomes, I mean to say, a lover of the Supreme Lord.
Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.137-146 -- Bombay, February 24, 1971: Spiritual life means devotional service. That is real spiritual life. As Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, māṁ ca vyabhicāriṇi-bhakti-yogena yaḥ sevate. "One who is engaged in bhakti-yoga service," sa guṇan samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate [Bg. 14.26], "he's already in the Brahman stage." People cannot understand how bhakti is on the Brahman platform. But here the Lord Himself says, brahma-bhūyāya kalpate.
dāridrya-nāśa bhava-kṣaya-premera 'phala' nay
prema-sukha-bhoga-mukhya prayojana haya
So when one is elevated in the platform of devotional service, it is not that he gets some material happiness, that is the result. No. Material happiness automatically comes to him. Material happiness..., a devotee is not bereft of material happiness. Automatically (it) comes to him. So that is not the ultimate goal of a devotee's life. A devotee's ultimate goal of life: how he becomes, I mean to say, a lover of the Supreme Lord. The example are the gopīs, or the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana. They had no other desire. They simply wanted to love Kṛṣṇa. They wanted to see Kṛṣṇa very happy. That feeling of happiness, that thinking of Kṛṣṇa, that is the highest perfection of life. Always, constantly thinking of Kṛṣṇa. That was their happiness. They did not try to derive any material happiness by loving Kṛṣṇa. There was no such thing. That is pure love.

Sri Brahma-samhita Lectures

Even if we find some discrepancies in the life of a devotee... Just like these European, Americans. They're devotees. They are pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa. How? They have no other desire. They simply want to satisfy their spiritual master and Kṛṣṇa.
Lecture on Brahma-samhita, Lecture -- Bombay, January 3, 1973: Sādhu means who is a devotee—not these street beggars. Sādhu. Sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ samyag vyavasito hi... [Bg. 9.30]. Who are they? Sādhur
eva sa mantavyaḥ.
api cet su-durācāro
bhajate mām ananya-bhāk
sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ...
[Bg. 9.30]
He's sādhu. Even if we find some discrepancies in the life of a devotee... Just like these European, Americans. They're devotees. They are pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa. How? They have no other desire. They simply want to satisfy their spiritual master and Kṛṣṇa. Therefore they are pure devotees. They have no other business.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

For devotees there is test. We see from the devotee's life, Prahlāda Mahārāja, how much severe test he had to pass through.
Morning Walk -- August 11, 1976, Tehran:

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Is it true, Śrīla Prabhupāda, that Kṛṣṇa is testing us every day? We're having tests, opportunities...

Prabhupāda: No, just like if you want responsible post, then there is question of test. If you want to become a vagabond, remain vagabond. Where is question of test?

Ātreya Ṛṣi: No, for devotees.

Prabhupāda: Ah, for devotees, there is test. For devotees there is test. We see from the devotee's life, Prahlāda Mahārāja, how much severe test he had to pass through. Bali Mahārāja, Nārada Muni.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: And the most advanced the devotee is, the more severe the test is, the more chance.

Prabhupāda: No, after you pass the examination, there is no more test. But before coming to the post of recognized devotee, Kṛṣṇa tests very severely. That one has to pass.

Correspondence

1968 Correspondence

Spiritual life doesn't depend on material conditions. We have got many instances from the history of devotee's life as Prahlada Maharaja.
Letter to Robert Pekala -- Los Angeles 13 February, 1968: If you are inquisitive to learn this science personally from me, I have no objection if you come here and stay with me for some days. A school life isn't an impediment for becoming full time devotee, it is the question of devoting oneself sincerely to Krishna Consciousness. To prosecute Krishna Consciousness there is no limitation, no material impediment can stop progress of Krishna Consciousness. That is the symtom of spiritual life. Spiritual life doesn't depend on material conditions. We have got many instances from the history of devotee's life as Prahlada Maharaja. He was a small school boy, his father and teachers were all against God Consciousness. Still he flourished and converted all his class fellows to be Krishna Conscious in spite of severe trials experimented on his personal body. So it is only the question of understanding the process how to execute Krishna Consciousness. If you can therefore spare some time to live with me, it will be better. You appear to be a very intelligent boy and I hope you will learn the art quickly.

1970 Correspondence

You must all become expert preachers and show the exemplary life of a devotee you must keep yourself spiritually fit by observing the regulative principles strictly.
Letter to Jananivasa -- Los Angeles 7 July, 1970: Yes, you are right to say that as our devotees become more devotional, the nondevotees also come to hear. To become advanced in spiritual life of devotional service to Krsna means to acquire spiritual strength, and this spiritual strength is for impressing devotional service into the hearts of the fallen souls. Also you must all become expert preachers and show the exemplary life of a devotee you must keep yourself spiritually fit by observing the regulative principles strictly.

1972 Correspondence

We are not tourists, but if a trip to Vrndavana will enhance spiritual life of the devotees without interfering with our Bombay program then it will be all right to go there for a short time, hold nice sankirtana widely throughout the city, and return altogether.
Letter to Giriraja -- Los Angeles 28 May, 1972: Regarding a pilgrimage to Vrndavana yes, that is a good proposal, everyone can go in a group to Vrandavan for a few days and then altogether return. But the program in Bombay should not be hampered by everyone leaving. So you can plan accordingly, but the program in Bombay is the important thing, never mind vacations or pilgrimages if they will interfere with our work there. We are not tourists, but if a trip to Vrndavana will enhance spiritual life of the devotees without interfering with our Bombay program then it will be all right to go there for a short time, hold nice sankirtana widely throughout the city, and return altogether.
Facts about "Devotee's life"
Compiled byVisnu Murti +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entryOctober 14, 0008 JL +
Date of last entryOctober 14, 0008 JL +
Total quotes21 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 0 +, SB: 7 +, CC: 2 +, OB: 2 +, Lec: 6 +, Conv: 1 + and Let: 3 +