Tuesday, 22 November 2011

How to become a Pure Devotee

My spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, describes in his purport to the Srimad Bhagavatam 1.5.29 what are the qualifications for becoming a spotlessly pure devotee of the Lord:

"These are the necessary qualifications of a prospective candidate who can expect to be elevated to the position of a pure unadulterated devotee. Such a candidate must always seek the association of pure devotees. One should not be misled by a pseudo devotee. He himself must be plain and gentle to receive the instructions of such a pure devotee. A pure devotee is a completely surrendered soul unto the Personality of Godhead. He knows the Personality of Godhead as the supreme proprietor and all others as His servitors. And by the association of pure devotees only, one can get rid of all sins accumulated by mundane association. A neophyte devotee must faithfully serve the pure devotee, and he should be very much obedient and strictly follow the instructions. These are the signs of a devotee who is determined to achieve success even in the existing duration of life."

It is very encouraging to note in the above description that we can achieve the supreme spiritual success of pure unadulterated devotion even in the existing duration of life. We do not have to wait for the moment of death to fully realize God. In fact my spiritual master personally ordered me in a letter written on 18 December 1972 from Bombay, India: "Now you just apply yourself for becoming qualified to see Krishna face-to-face." So we are meant to practice Krishna consciousness in such a pure and sincere way that we can fully realize God as soon as possible.

Becoming a pure devotee is no doubt a slow and gradual process, but we should not make it any slower or more gradual than necessary. This is so because we still continue to suffer in material existence to the extent that we are not completely pure devotees.  So why should we prolong our suffering? We should become completely free from all suffering as soon as possible by becoming completely pure devotees. This is actual intelligence.

So how is this attained? The first step is that one has to take shelter of a pure devotee, a devotee who is purely practicing and teaching the bhakti science. This is absolutely essential because it is only by placing oneself under the guidance of such a bona fide spiritual master that one can become a pure devotee. And then under his expert guidance the disciple will advance steady on the pathway of devotional and gradually attain the stage of being a 100% pure devotee, the perfection of existence.

- HG Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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