Footsteps of the pure devotees
- 1 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 2 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 3 Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
- 4 Lectures
SB Canto 2
Surrendered souls can become liberated from the clutches of the illusory energy by surrendering unto the pure devotees of the Lord and by following in their footsteps in devotional service
SB 2.7.46, Translation: Surrendered souls, even from groups leading sinful lives, such as women, the laborer class, the mountaineers and the Siberians, or even the birds and beasts, can also know about the science of Godhead and become liberated from the clutches of the illusory energy by surrendering unto the pure devotees of the Lord and by following in their footsteps in devotional service.
SB Cantos 10.14 to 12 (Translations Only)
I always follow the footsteps of My pure devotees, who are free from all personal desire, rapt in thought of My pastimes, peaceful, without any feelings of enmity, and of equal disposition everywhere
SB 11.14.16, Translation: With the dust of My devotees' lotus feet I desire to purify the material worlds, which are situated within Me. Thus, I always follow the footsteps of My pure devotees, who are free from all personal desire, rapt in thought of My pastimes, peaceful, without any feelings of enmity, and of equal disposition everywhere.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu describes the symptoms of devotees who are already situated in spontaneous love of God. He also describes the devotees who are trying to follow in the footsteps of the pure devotees
CC Madhya 22, Purport: The six symptoms of fully surrendered souls are also described in this chapter. Devotional service has been divided into two categories-regulative devotional service and spontaneous love. There are sixty-four items listed in regulative devotional service, and out of these sixty-four the last five are considered very important. By practicing even one of the nine processes of devotional service, one can become successful. Speculative knowledge and mystic yoga can never help one in devotional service. Pious activity, nonviolence, sense control and regulation are not separate from devotional service in its pure form. If one engages in devotional service, all good qualities follow. One does not have to cultivate them separately. Spontaneous devotional service arises when one follows a pure devotee who is awakened to spontaneous love of God. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu describes the symptoms of devotees who are already situated in spontaneous love of God. He also describes the devotees who are trying to follow in the footsteps of the pure devotees.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
By following in the footsteps of pure devotees, we can know that Kṛṣṇa, the Raṇacoraji, left the battlefield not because He was afraid but because He had some other purpose
Krsna Book, Chapter 52: A demon always tries to measure the opulence of Kṛṣṇa, whereas a devotee never tries to measure His strength and opulence but always surrenders unto Him and worships Him. By following in the footsteps of pure devotees, we can know that Kṛṣṇa, the Raṇacoraji, left the battlefield not because He was afraid but because He had some other purpose. The purpose, as it will be revealed, was to attend to a confidential letter sent by Rukmiṇī, His future first wife. Kṛṣṇa’s leaving the battlefield is a display of one of His six opulences. Kṛṣṇa is the supreme powerful, the supreme wealthy, the supreme famous, the supreme wise and the supreme beautiful; similarly, He is the supreme renouncer. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam clearly states that He left the battlefield in spite of having ample military strength. Even without His militia, He alone would have been sufficient to defeat the army of Jarāsandha, as He had done seventeen times before. Therefore, His leaving the battlefield is an example of His supermost opulence, renunciation.
The instructions of a pure devotee to his disciple are also very simple. No one feels any difficulty in following in the footsteps of a pure devotee of the Lord
Krsna Book, Chapter 87: The instructions of a pure devotee to his disciple are also very simple. No one feels any difficulty in following in the footsteps of a pure devotee of the Lord. Anyone who follows in the footsteps of recognized devotees, such as Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva, the Kumāras, Manu, Kapila, King Prahlāda, King Janaka, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, Yamarāja and their followers in disciplic succession, very easily finds the door of liberation open. On the other hand, those who are not devotees but are engaged in uncertain processes of self-realization, such as jñāna, yoga and karma, are understood to be still contaminated. Such contaminated persons, although apparently advanced in self-realization, cannot even liberate themselves, what to speak of those who follow them. Such nondevotees are compared to chained animals, for they are not able to go beyond the jurisdiction of the formalities of a certain type of faith. In the Bhagavad-gītā they are condemned as veda-vāda-rata. They cannot understand that the Vedas deal with activities of the material modes of nature—goodness, passion and ignorance. But as Lord Kṛṣṇa advised Arjuna, one has to go beyond the jurisdiction of the duties prescribed in the Vedas and take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, devotional service. The Lord says in the Bhagavad-gītā, nistrai-guṇyo bhavārjuna: “My dear Arjuna, just try to become transcendental to the Vedic rituals.” This transcendental position beyond the Vedic ritualistic performances is devotional service. In the Bhagavad-gītā the Lord clearly says that persons who are engaged in His devotional service without adulteration are situated in Brahman. Actual Brahman realization means Kṛṣṇa consciousness and engagement in devotional service. The devotees are therefore real brahmacārīs because their activities are always in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, devotional service.
Renunciation Through Wisdom
Those who follow in the footsteps of pure, loving devotees of the Lord linked to an authorized disciplic succession know that Śrī Aurobindo's words echo the annals of age—old wisdom
Renunciation Through Wisdom, 3.5: Śrī Aurobindo has accomplished something commendable by presenting today's learned circles with a "new" concept: instead of trying to deny the inherent qualities of consciousness, one should transform one's mundane consciousness into supramental consciousness by engaging in service of the Supreme Lord under the direction of His divine potency. Of course, those who prefer to emulate the modern philosophers rather than the realized souls of bygone ages will find Śrī Aurobindo's presentation novel. But those who follow in the footsteps of pure, loving devotees of the Lord linked to an authorized disciplic succession know that Śrī Aurobindo's words echo the annals of age—old wisdom. Indeed, they sound close to the essence of the Vedas.
Mukunda-mala-stotra (mantras 1 to 6 only)
This supernatural vision is bestowed upon devotees like Brahmā and upon those who follow the footsteps of pure devotees like him
Mukunda Mala Stotra mantra 2: The Brahma-saṁhitā confirms that the color the Lord's body is blackish, like that of a new cloud. But this blackish color is so beautiful that it surpasses the beauty of millions of Cupids. So this blackish color does not correspond to any blackish color in the material world. Such descriptions of the Lord's body are not imaginary; rather, they are the statements of those who have seen the Lord with their supernatural vision. This supernatural vision is bestowed upon devotees like Brahmā and upon those who follow the footsteps of pure devotees like him. But upstarts and unbelievers cannot have any access to this transcendental vision, for they lack the required submission to the will of the Lord.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
We have to follow the footprints of pure devotees. It is said that tarkaḥ apratiṣṭhaḥ. If you want to become pure by your arguments and logic, that is not possible
Lecture on BG 2.1-10 and Talk -- Los Angeles, November 25, 1968: So one has to follow. The same example, try to understand, that a perfect, expert technologist or technician or mechanic is working, and somebody is working under his instruction. So this somebody, because he is strictly working under the instruction of the expert, he's also expert. He may not be cent percent expert, but his work is expert. Is that clear? Because he is working under the expert. Do you follow? So if you follow pure devotee, then you are also pure devotee. It may not be one is cent percent pure. Because we are trying to raise ourself from the conditional life. But if we strictly follow the pure devotee, then we are also pure devotee. So far we do, that is pure. So pure devotee does not mean one has to become immediately cent percent pure. But if he sticks to the principle that "We'll follow a pure devotee," then his actions are... He is as good as a pure devotee. It is not I am explaining in my own way. It is the explanation of Bhāgavata. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. We have to follow the footprints of pure devotees. It is said that tarkaḥ apratiṣṭhaḥ. If you want to become pure by your arguments and logic, that is not possible. I may be defeated by another strong man who is stronger in argument than me, so this is not the way of becoming purified, tarka, simply arguing. Tarkaḥ apratiṣṭhaḥ smṛtayo vibhinnāḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.186] . Śrutayaḥ, scriptures. Suppose somebody sticks to the scriptures. So scriptures, there are different types of scripture. So they are vibhinna. Vibhinna means different types. So how we can become purified by, even by following the scriptures? Tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ smṛtayo vibhinnā na cāsāv ṛṣir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam. Muni means thoughtful, philosophers. If we follow a particular type of philosopher, that is also not perfect because I may be under the care of a philosopher, frog philosopher. So that is also not sure. Tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ smṛtayo vibhinnā na cāsāv ṛṣir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam, dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām. Therefore to become pure or to understand the essence of purity is very confidential. It is not to be acquired by our own efforts, by argument or by being expert in scripture or by becoming a philosopher or a similar way. It is very confidential. Then how? Mahäjano yena gataù sa panthäù [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. You have to follow a pure devotee, acknowledged devotee.