One cannot be a pure devotee

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Bhagavad-gita As It Is

BG Chapters 7 - 12

Without good qualifications, one cannot be a pure devotee.
BG 12.18-19, Purport: We may find some repetition in the descriptions of the qualifications of a devotee, but this is just to emphasize the fact that a devotee must acquire all these qualifications. Without good qualifications, one cannot be a pure devotee. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇāḥ: one who is not a devotee has no good qualification. One who wants to be recognized as a devotee should develop the good qualifications. Of course he does not extraneously endeavor to acquire these qualifications, but engagement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and devotional service automatically helps him develop them.

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 1

One must be very faithful, learned and renounced, otherwise one cannot be a pure devotee.
SB 1.13.40, Purport: Unless one has become a sufficiently learned philosopher by hearing the Vedānta philosophy from a bona fide spiritual master, one cannot be a learned philosopher devotee. One must be very faithful, learned and renounced, otherwise one cannot be a pure devotee. A pure devotee of the Lord can give us direction towards the other end of nescience. Devarṣi Nārada used to visit the palace of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira because the Pāṇḍavas were all pure devotees of the Lord, and the Devarṣi was always ready to give them good counsel whenever needed.

SB Canto 7

However, although a pious man may receive some material benefit, one who is concerned with material benefits cannot be a pure devotee.
SB 7.10.4, Purport: Unless one is pious, one cannot approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead. However, although a pious man may receive some material benefit, one who is concerned with material benefits cannot be a pure devotee. When a pure devotee receives material opulences, this is not because of his pious activity but for the service of the Lord. When one engages in devotional service, one is automatically pious. Therefore, a pure devotee is anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam [Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.11]. He has no desire for material profit, nor does the Lord induce him to try to profit materially. When a devotee needs something, the Supreme Personality of Godhead supplies it (yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham [Bg. 9.22]).
One cannot be a pure devotee without following the śruti and smṛti, and the śruti and smṛti without devotional service cannot lead one to the perfection of life.
SB 7.11.7, Purport: One should learn human behavior from śruti, the Vedas, and from smṛti, the scriptures following the Vedic principles. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī in his Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu says:
śruti-smṛti-purāṇādi-
pañcarātra-vidhiṁ vinā
aikāntikī harer bhaktir
utpātāyaiva kalpate

[Brs. 1.2.101]

The purport is that to become a devotee one must follow the principles laid down in śruti and smṛti. One must follow the codes of the purāṇas and the pāñcarātrikī-vidhi. One cannot be a pure devotee without following the śruti and smṛti, and the śruti and smṛti without devotional service cannot lead one to the perfection of life.

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Nectar of Devotion

One who has not washed off all reactions of sinful activities cannot be a pure devotee.
Nectar of Devotion 9: It is confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, "One who has not washed off all reactions of sinful activities cannot be a pure devotee. A pure devotee has no more doubts about the supremacy of the Personality of Godhead, and thus he engages himself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and devotional service." A similar statement is in the Agastya-saṁhitā: just to purify the impurities of our nostrils, we should try to smell the remnants of flowers offered to Kṛṣṇa in the temple.
Compiled bySyamananda + and Visnu Murti +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entryJanuary 1, 0008 JL +
Date of last entryDecember 15, 0008 JL +
Total quotes5 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 1 +, SB: 3 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 1 +, Lec: 0 +, Conv: 0 + and Let: 0 +