If someone becomes attached to the principles of salvation or to merging into the existence of the brahma-jyoti, his ecstasies gradually diminish into shadow and parā attachment or else transform into the principles of ahaṅgrahopāsanā. This ahaṅgrahopāsanā describes a living entity when he begins spiritual realization by identifying himself with the Supreme Lord. This state of self realization is technically known as monism. The monist thinks himself one with the Supreme Lord. Thus, without differentiating between himself and the Supreme Lord, it is his view that by worshiping himself he is worshiping the supreme whole.
Sometimes it is found that a neophyte is taking part in chanting and dancing very enthusiastically, but within himself he is under the impression that he has become one with the supreme whole. This conception of monism is completely different from pure transcendental devotional service. If, however, it is seen that a person has developed a high standard of devotion without having undergone even the regulative principles, it is to be understood that his status of devotional service was achieved in a former life. For some reason or another it had been temporarily stopped, most probably by committing an offense at the lotus feet of a devotee. Now, with a good second chance, it has again begun to develop. The conclusion is that steady progress in devotional service can be attained only in the association of pure devotees.
If one can gradually advance his status in devotional service, it is to be understood that it is due to the causeless mercy of Kṛṣṇa Himself. If a person is completely detached from material enjoyment and has developed pure ecstatic devotion, even if he is sometimes accidentally found not to be living up to the standard of devotional service, one should not be envious of him. It is confirmed also in the Bhagavad-gītā that a devotee who has unflinching faith in and devotion to the Lord, even if he is sometimes found to be accidentally deviated from pure devotional characteristics, should still be counted amongst the pure. Unflinching faith in devotional service, in Lord Kṛṣṇa and in the spiritual master makes one highly elevated in the activities of devotional service.
In the Nṛsiṁha Purāṇa it is stated: "If a person has completely engaged his mind, body and activities in the service of the Supreme Godhead, and externally he is found to be engaged in some abominable activities, these abominable activities will surely be very quickly vanquished by the influence of his staunch devotional force." The example is given that on the full moon there are some spots which may appear to be pockmarks. Still, the illumination spread by the full moon cannot be checked. Similarly, a little fault in the midst of volumes of devotional service is not at all to be counted as fault. Attachment for Kṛṣṇa is transcendental bliss. Amidst unlimited volumes of transcendental bliss, a spot of some material defect cannot act in any way.