Only a pure devotee can convert others to pure DS. It is therefore important for all the preachers in our KC movement to first become pure devotees & follow the regulative principles, refraining from illicit sex, meat-eating, gambling & intoxication
“"The intelligent, who have understood the Supreme Lord in the association of pure devotees and have become free from bad, materialistic association, can never avoid hearing the glories of the Lord, even though they have heard them only once."
This is a verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.10.11). All the members of the Kuru dynasty offered respects when Kṛṣṇa was leaving Hastināpura after the Battle of Kurukṣetra. Kṛṣṇa was going to His own kingdom, and all the members of the Kuru dynasty were overwhelmed by His departure. This verse was spoken in that connection by Sūta Gosvāmī.
A pure devotee becomes attached to Kṛṣṇa by hearing the Lord's glories. The Lord's glories and the Lord Himself are identical. One has to be qualified to understand this absolute truth; therefore one should be given a chance to associate with a pure devotee. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is meant for this purpose. We want to create pure devotees so that other people will benefit by their association. In this way the number of pure devotees increases. Professional preachers cannot create pure devotees. There are many professional preachers of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam who read this work to earn their livelihood. However, they cannot convert materialistic people to devotional service. Only a pure devotee can convert others to pure devotional service. It is therefore important for all the preachers in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement to first become pure devotees and follow the regulative principles, refraining from illicit sex, meat-eating, gambling and intoxication. They should regularly chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra on their beads, follow the devotional process, rise early in the morning, attend maṅgala-ārati and recite Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and the Bhagavad-gītā regularly. In this way, one can become purified and free from all material contamination.
- sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam
- hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate
- (CC Madhya 19.170)
“Bhakti, or devotional service, means engaging all one's senses in the service of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all the senses. When the spirit soul renders service unto the Supreme, there are two side effects. One is freed from all material designations, and one's senses are purified simply by being employed in the service of the Lord.” (Nārada Pañcarātra)
To make a show of devotional service will not help one. One must be a pure devotee following the devotional process; then one can convert others to devotional service. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu practiced devotional service and preached (āpani ācari' bhakti karila pracāra). If a preacher behaves properly in devotional service, he will be able to convert others. Otherwise, his preaching will have no effect.