108

Srila Prabhupada Quotes

On the Importance of Having the Association of Pure Devotees

“Only a pure devotee of the Lord can show one the right way of progressive life”

“Only in the association of such devotees are the transcendental glories of Lord Krsna properly discussed”

“Only one who is fortunate can have the opportunity to hear Srimad-Bhagavatam in the association of pure devotees of the Lord”

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“There are many societies and associations of pure devotees, and if someone with just a little faith begins to associate with such societies, his advancement to pure devotionalservice is rapid.”

_____________________

Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the great preacher of the principles of Srimad-Bhagavatam, has stressed the importance of association with sadhus, pure devotees ofthe Lord. He said that even by a moments association with a pure devotee, one can achieve all perfection. We are not ashamed to admit that this fact was experienced in our practical life. Were we not favored by His Divine Grace Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, by our first meeting for a few minutes only, it would have been impossible for us to accept this mighty task of describing Srimad-Bhagavatam in English.Without seeing him at that opportune moment, we could have become a very great business magnate, but never would we have been able to walk the path of liberation and be engaged in the factual service of the Lord under instructions of His Divine Grace.
SB 1.13.29 P Dhrtarastra Quits Home


Dedication

May we all receive Srila Prabhupada’s mercy

And work together to spread Krishna Consciouness

Compiled by this insignificant aspiring servant of the Vaisnavas

And offered to

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Srila Prabhupada

On His Appearance Celebration

September 1, 2002

In the Brahma-samhita it is said that the Lord is never to be found by becoming agreat scholar of the Vedic literatures, but He is very easily approachable through His pure devotee. In Vrndavana all the pure devotees pray for the mercy of Srimati Radharani, the pleasure potency of Lord Krsna. Srimati Radharani is a tenderhearted feminine counterpart of the supreme whole, resembling the perfectional stage of the worldly feminine nature. Therefore, the mercy of Radharani is available very readily to the sincere devotees, and once She recommends such a devotee to Lord Krsna, the Lord at once accepts the devotee's admittance into His association. The conclusion is, therefore, that one should be more serious about seeking the mercy of the devotee than that of the Lord directly, and by one's doing so (by the good will of the devotee) the natural attraction for the service of the Lord will be revived.
Srila Prabhupada


Preface

Simply by associating with a pure devotee, one becomes wonderfully advanced in Krsna consciousness. Sadhu-sanga, or association with a devotee, means always engaging in Krsna consciousness by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra... but he whose heart is contaminated sees things differently. Therefore by sat-sanga, or association with devotees, one becomes perfectly pure in heart.
SB 4.24.59 P Chanting the Song Sung by Lord Siva

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has repeatedly said:'sadhu-sanga', 'sadhu-sanga'----sarva-sastre kayalava-matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya

The summary is that one has to, first of all, seek the association of pure devotees who not only are learned in the Vedanta but are self-realized souls and unalloyed devotees of Lord Sri Krsna, the Personality of Godhead. In that association, the neophyte devotees must render loving service physically and mentally without reservation. This service attitude will induce the great souls to be more favorable in bestowing their mercy, which injects the neophyte with all the transcendental qualities of the pure devotees. Gradually this is developed into a strong attachment to hearing the transcendental pastimes of the Lord, which makes him able to catch up the constitutional position of the gross and subtle bodies and beyond them the knowledge of pure soul and his eternal relation with the Supreme Soul, the Personality of Godhead. After the relation is ascertained by establishment of the eternal relation, pure devotional service to the Lord begins gradually developing into perfect knowledge of the Personality of Godhead beyond the purview of impersonal Brahman and localized Paramatma. By such purusottama-yoga, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, one is made perfect even during the present corporeal existence, and one exhibits all the good qualities of the Lord to the highest percentage. Such is the gradual development by association of pure devotees.
SB 1.5.34 P Narada' s Instructions on Srimad-Bhagavatam for Vyasadeva

Pure devotion is as much infectious, in a good sense, as infectious diseases. A pure devotee is cleared from all kinds of sins. The Personality of Godhead is the purest entity, and unless one isequally pure from the infection of material qualities, one cannot become a pure devotee of theLord. The bhakti-vedantas as above mentioned were pure devotees, and the boy became infected with their qualities of purity by their association and by eating once the remnants of the foodstuff taken by them. Such remnants may be taken even without permission of the pure devotees. There are sometimes pseudodevotees, and one should be very much cautious about them. There are many things which hinder one from entering devotional service. But by the association of pure devotees all these obstacles are removed. The neophyte devotee becomes practically enriched with the transcendental qualities of the pure devotee, which means attraction for the Personality of Godhead's name, fame, quality, pastimes, etc. Infection of the qualities of the pure devotee means to imbibe the taste of pure devotion always in the transcendental activities of the Personality of Godhead. This transcendental taste at once makes all material things distasteful. Therefore a pure devotee is not at all attracted by material activities. After the elimination of all sins or obstacles on the path of devotional service, one can become attracted, one can have steadiness, one can have perfect taste, one can have transcendental emotions, and at last one can be situated on the plane of loving service of the Lord. All these stages develop by the association of pure devotees, and that is the purport of this stanza.
SB 1.5.25 P Narada' s Instructions on Srimad-Bhagavatam for Vyasadeva

“In the last stage of the spiritual master's life, the devotees of the spiritual master should take preaching activities into their own hands. In this way the spiritual master can sit down in a solitary place and render nirjana-bhajana.”
SB 4.28.33 P

“Every one of my disciples must have the flag & marks of tilak on forehead.”
Srila Prabhupada
Letter to: Damodara Calcutta 13 October, 1967

If one is infested with the ten offenses in the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, despite his endeavor to chant the holy name for many births, he will not get the love of Godhead that is the ultimate goal of this chanting.
Adi Lila 8.16

The second-class devotee, even though he cannot support his position with sastric reference, can gradually become a first-class devotee by studying the sastras and associating with a first-class devotee. However, if the second-class devotee does not advance himself by associating with a first-class devotee, he makes no progress.
Madhya Lila 22.71

"The root cause of devotional service to Lord Krsna is association with advanced devotees. Even when one's dormant love for Krsna awakens, association with devotees is still most essential.
Madhya Lila 22.83

Srila Prabhupada:
In our conditional stage, we cannot worship Radha-Krsna. Radha-Krsna-seva is for them who has developed spontaneous love for God.

The Principle

“So the principle is that whatever you are instructed by the Caitya Guru internally may be confirmed by the instructor or initiator externally.”
Letter to: Sivananda-New Vrindaban 21 May, 1969

“A pure devotee under the guidance of another experienced devotee can obtain all theresults, even at present.”
SB 1.10.27 P Departure of Lord Krsna for Dvaraka

“... If one thinks that he is above consulting anyone else, including a spiritual master, he isat once an offender”
Adi 1.35 The Spiritual Masters (Siksa and Diksa Guru)

The Paramatma is always the caitya-guru, the spiritual master within, and He comes before one externally as the instructor and initiator (Siksa and Diksa Guru)
SB 4.28.52 P Puranjana Becomes a Woman in the Next Life

... in the science of Krsna he can become a spiritual master as vartma-pradarsaka-guru, diksaguruor siksa-guru. The spiritual master who first gives information about spiritual life is called the vartma-pradarsaka-guru, the spiritual master who initiates according to the regulations of the sastras is called the diksa-guru, and the spiritual master who gives instructions for elevation iscalled the siksa-guru.
Madhya 8.128 Talks Between Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya

A gosvami must be free from all these vices before he can dare sit on the vyasasana. No one should be allowed to sit on the vyasasana who is not spotless in character.
SB 1.1.6 Questions by the Sages

Therefore, for a neophyte, simply by consulting scriptures, he will not be able to reach tothe absolute goal.
690425LE.BOS Lectures

The Goal

Srila Prabhupada: Thus there is no limit to the glory of Sri Radha-kunda. By serving Radha-kunda, one can get an opportunity to become an assistant of Srimati Radharani under the eternal guidance of the gopis.

... one should place himself under the direct guidance of a particular associate of Krsna and should follow in his footsteps
NoI 8

“Narottama dasa Thakura states that one has to ascertain the right path for his activities by following in the footsteps of great saintly persons and books of knowledge under the guidance ofa spiritual master (sadhu-sastra-guru-vakya).”

“There are many societies and associations of pure devotees, and if someone with just a little faith begins to associate with such societies, his advancement to pure devotional service is rapid.”

“Only the most fortunate persons can achieve such success in life. Those who are simply academic students of the Vedic scriptures cannot appreciate how such a development takes place.”
NoD 19 Devotional Service in Pure Love of God

“The more progress is made in devotional service under the guidance of the Bhagavatas, the more one becomes fixed in the transcendental loving service of the Lord… The messages of the book Bhagavata, therefore, have to be received from the devotee Bhagavata,and the combination of these two Bhagavatas will help the neophyte devotee to make progress on and on."
SB 1.2.18 P Divinity and Divine Service

This transcendental bliss is experienced even in the stage of devotional practice (sadhanaavastha), if properly undertaken under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master. And in the mature stage the developed transcendental feeling culminates in realization of the particular relationship with the Lord by which a living entity is originally constituted (up to the relationship of conjugal love with the Lord, which is estimated to be the highest transcendental bliss).
SB 2.3.12 P Pure Devotional Service: The Change in Heart

The Personality of Godhead may not be present before one's eyes, but if one is sincere in wanting such guidance the Lord will send a bona fide person who can guide one properly back home, back to Godhead.
SB 2.7.46 P Scheduled Incarnations with Specific Functions

One should not, however, think himself on the level of Brahma to be initiated directly by the Lord from inside because in the present age no one can be accepted to be as pure asBrahma.
SB 2.9.7 P Answers by Citing the Lord' s Version

Introduction

BG Ch 9 TEXT 13 P
The mahatma does not divert his attention to anything outside Krsna because he knows perfectly well that Krsna is the original Supreme Person, the cause of all causes. There is no doubt aboutit. Such a mahatma, or great soul, develops through association with other mahatmas, pure devotees. Pure devotees are not even attracted by Krsna's other features, such as the four-armed Maha-Visnu. They are simply attracted by the two-armed form of Krsna.

Bg 11.54 P The Universal Form
One who has unflinching devotion for the Supreme Lord and is directed by the spiritual master, can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead by revelation. For one who does not take personal training under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, it is impossible to even begin to understand Krsna. The word tu is specifically used here to indicate that no other process can be used, can be recommended, or can be successful in understanding Krsna.

Bg 18.57 P Conclusion--The Perfection of Renunciation
One should, however, note that after doing something whimsically he should not offer the result to the Supreme Lord. That sort of duty is not in the devotional service of Krsna consciousness.

1.
Real meaning of going to a sacred place--to find out some intelligent scholar in spiritual knowledge. They are living there. To make association with them, to take knowledge from them--that is the purpose of going to pilgrimage. Because in pilgrimage, holy places... Just like I, my residence is at Vrndavana. So at Vrndavana there are many great scholars and saintly persons living. So one should go to such holy places not simply to take bath in the water, but he must be intelligent enough to find out some spiritually advanced man living there and take instruction from him and (be) benefited by that.

In our conditional stage, we cannot worship Radha-Krsna. Radha-Krsna-seva is for them who has developed spontaneous love for God.

Krsna can, however, be known as such by the causeless mercy of the pure devotee and by no other way.

2.
SB 4.30.34 P
A pure devotee considers a moment's association with another pure devotee to be far superior to residing in a heavenly planet or merging in the Brahman effulgence. The topmost benediction for those who are living in this material world and are subjected to the repetition of birth and death (transmigration) is association with pure devotees. One should search out such pure devotees and remain with them. That will make one completely happy, even though living within the material world. This Krsna consciousness movement is started for that purpose.

3.
721018SB.VRN Lectures
You cannot become a pure, perfect devotee unless you are directed by another pure, unadulterated devotee. Evam parampara-praptam. So therefore Rupa Gosvami has mentioned in his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, adau gurvasrayam. You have to find out, you have to take shelter, not find out. You have to take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master.When we are further advanced, we do not see only Krsna, but we see His devotees also. We can recognize,"Here is a pure devotee of Krsna." But in the lower stage, a, the devotee's concerned with the Deity worship, but he does not take much care of the devotees. But when one is advanced further, he can see Krsna and His devotees also. Isvara tad-adhina. Tad-adhina means devotees.Devotees are always under the service of Krsna. So anyone who is giving service to Krsna, we should take care of them also. We should offer our respect in... You'll find in Bhakti-rasamrta sindhu, it is stated somewhere, that if, if a devotee is coming, then another devotee who is engaged in worship of the Deity may stop Deity worship for the time being and should go immediately to receive the devotee. So Krsna also says, mad-bhakta-puja abhyadhika. Krsna is satisfied more when a devotee worships His devotee. Krsna says, "If one is worshiping Me and one is worshiping My devotee, then the person who is worshiping the devotee, he's more important than the person who is worshiping Krsna." So it is not the aim of human life, to becomea tiger. It is, the aim of human life is to become a devotee of Visnu, Vaisnava. That is perfection of life. So we are, this movement, we are giving the highest benediction to the human society.They are becoming Vaisnava. There is great necessity of Vaisnava at the present moment because everyone has become sudras. Kalau sudra sambhava. And because it is, everywhere the sudras are there, how there can be peace? They do not know. They have no brain how tomake the society peaceful and prosperous. They are sudras. They have no intelligence. There is necessity of creating brahmanas and Vaisnava. This movement is meant for that purpose. So becareful. Don't be turned again to sudra and mlecchas. Go on making progress to become pure Vaisnava. Then your life is successful and you'll give the best service to the human society.

4.
TEXT 17 P
tesam jnani nitya-yukta
So by association with pure devotees, the inquisitive, the distressed, the seeker after material amelioration and the man in knowledge all become themselves pure.

5.
Bg 8.28 P Attaining the Supreme
One should try to understand the Seventh and Eighth Chapters of the Gita not by scholarship ormental speculation, but by hearing them in association with pure devotees. Chapters Seven through Twelve are the essence of Gita, if one is fortunate to understand the Gita--especially these middle six chapters--in the association of devotees, then his life at once becomes glorified beyond all penances, sacrifices, charities, speculations, etc. One should hear the Gita from the devotee because at the beginning of the Fourth Chapter it is stated that the Gita can only be perfectly understood by devotees. Hearing the Gita from devotees, not from mental speculators, is called faith. Through association of devotees, one is placed in devotional service, and by this service Krsna's activities, form, pastimes, name, etc., become clear, and all misgivings are dispelled. Then once doubts are removed, the study of the Gita becomes extremely pleasurable,and one develops a taste and feeling for Krsna consciousness. In the advanced stage, one falls completely in love with Krsna, and that is the beginning of the highest perfectional stage of life which prepares the devotee's transferal to Krsna's abode in the spiritual sky, Goloka Vrndavana, where the devotee enters into eternal happiness.

6.
SB 1.18.13 P Maharaja Pariksit Cursed by a Brahmana Boy
One cannot compare the association of a pure devotee to anything material… Such association is always desirable; it is worshipable, it is praiseworthy,

7.
SB 2.10.32 P Bhagavatam Is the Answer to All Questions
The intelligent person, therefore, can attain salvation from the illusion of material existence by proper use of intelligence. An intelligent person can detect the awkward position of material existence and thus begin to inquire as to what he is, why he is subjected to different kinds of miseries, and how to get rid of all miseries, and thus, by good association, an advanced intelligent person can turn towards the better life of self-realization. It is advised, therefore, that an intelligent person associate with the great sages and saints who are on the path of salvation. By such association, one can receive instructions which are able to slacken the conditioned soul's attachment for matter, and thus the intelligent man gradually gets rid ofthe illusion of matter and false ego and is promoted to the real life of eternity, knowledge and bliss.

8.
SB 3.23.54 P Devahuti' s Lamentation
... Association with a great personality is most important. In Caitanya-caritamrta Lord Caitanya says that sadhu-sanga, the association of a great saintly person, is very important, because even if one is not advanced in knowledge, simply by association with a great saintly person one can immediately make considerable advancement in spiritual life.

9.
SB 3.25.25 The Glories of Devotional Service
TRANSLATION

In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of theSupreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart.By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, andthereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin.

PURPORT

The process of advancing in Krsna consciousness and devotional service is described here.The first point is that one must seek the association of persons who are Krsna consciousand who engage in devotional service. Without such association one cannot make advancement. Simply by theoretical knowledge or study one cannot make any appreciable advancement. One must give up the association of materialistic persons and seek the association of devotees because without the association of devotees one cannot understand the activities of the Lord. Generally, people are convinced of the impersonal feature of the Absolute Truth. Because they do not associate with devotees, they cannot understand that the Absolute Truthcan be a person and have personal activities. This is a very difficult subject matter, and unless one has personal understanding of the Absolute Truth, there is no meaning to devotion. Service or devotion cannot be offered to anything impersonal. Service must be offered to a person. Non devotees cannot appreciate Krsna consciousness by reading the Srimad-Bhagavatam or anyother Vedic literature wherein the activities of the Lord are described; they think that these activities are fictional, manufactured stories because spiritual life is not explained to them in the proper mood. To understand the personal activities of the Lord, one has to seek the association of devotees, and by such association, when one contemplates and tries to understand the transcendental activities of the Lord, the path to liberation is open, and heis freed. One who has firm faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead becomes fixed, and his attraction for association with the Lord and the devotees increases. Association with devotees means association with the Lord. The devotee who makes this association develops the consciousness for rendering service to the Lord, and then, being situated in the transcendental position of devotional service, he gradually becomes perfect.

10.
SB 4.9.12 P Dhruva Maharaja Returns Home
... a devotee searches out a pure devotee and simply by his association becomes moreadvanced in spiritual consciousness than any yogi.

11.
SB 4.9.11 P
Only in the association of pure devotees can the words of Lord Krsna be fully potent andrelishable to the heart and ear. Dhruva Maharaja explicitly wanted the association of devotees.That association in devotional activities is just like the waves of an incessantly flowing river.

12.
SB 4.21.35 P Instructions by Maharaja Prthu
... A human being is therefore advised to associate with spiritually advanced personalities.The Vedas (Mundaka Upanisad 1.2.12) give the direction tad-vijnanartham sa gurum ... is not optional. It is imperative that one approach the spiritual master, for by such association one proportionately develops his consciousness toward the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

13.
SB 4.24.59 P Chanting the Song Sung by Lord Siva
Simply by associating with a pure devotee, one becomes wonderfully advanced in Krsna consciousness. Sadhu-sanga, or association with a devotee, means always engaging in Krsna consciousness by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra... but he whose heart is contaminated sees things differently. Therefore by sat-sanga, or association with devotees, one becomes perfectly pure in heart.

14.
As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.25.25):

satam prasangan mama virya-samvido
bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah
taj-josanad asv apavarga-vartmani
sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramisyati

Simply by the association of pure devotees one can understand the transcendentalname, fame, quality and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has repeatedly said:

'sadhu-sanga', 'sadhu-sanga'----sarva-sastre kaya
lava-matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya
(Cc. Madhya 22.54)

Simply by associating with a pure devotee, one becomes wonderfully advanced in Krsna consciousness. Sadhu-sanga, or association with a devotee, means always engaging in Krsna consciousness by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra and by acting for Krsna. Specifically, chanting the Hare Krsna mantra purifies one, and this chanting is therefore recommended by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Ceto-darpana-marjanam: by chanting the names of Krsna, the mirror of the heart is cleansed, and the devotee loses interest in everything external. When one is influenced by the external energy of the Lord, his heart is impure. When one's heart is not pure, he cannot see how things are related to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Idam hi visvam bhagavan ivetarah(Bhag. 1.5.20). He whose heart is purified can see that the whole cosmic manifestation is but the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but he whose heart is contaminated sees things differently.Therefore by sat-sanga, or association with devotees, one becomes perfectly pure in heart.

15.
SB 4.29.39-40 P Talks Between Narada and King Pracinabarhi
"In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of theSupreme Personality of Godhead ...are satisfying to the ear and to the heart. By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he isfreed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin." (Bhag.3.25.25) In the association of pure devotees, one becomes attached to hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord. In this way one can cultivate Krsna consciousness, and as soon as this cultivation is advanced, one can become faithful to the Lord, devoted to the Lord...

16.
TEXTS 39-40

TEXT

yatra bhagavata rajan
sadhavo visadasayah
bhagavad-gunanukathana-
sravana-vyagra-cetasah

tasmin mahan-mukharita madhubhic-caritra-
piyusa-sesa-saritah paritah sravanti
ta ye pibanty avitrso nrpa gadha-karnais
tan na sprsanty asana-trd-bhaya-soka-mohah

TRANSLATION

My dear King, in the place where pure devotees live, following the rules and regulations andthus purely conscious and engaged with great eagerness in hearing and chanting the glories o fthe Supreme Personality of Godhead, in that place if one gets a chance to hear their constant flow of nectar, which is exactly like the waves of a river, one will forget the necessities of life--namely hunger and thirst--and become immune to all kinds of fear, lamentation and illusion.

PURPORT

The cultivation of Krsna consciousness is possible where great devotees live together and constantly engage in hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord. In a holy place like Vrndavana, there are many devotees constantly engaged in chanting and hearing the glories of the Lord. If one gets the chance to hear from pure devotees in such a place, allowing the constant flow of the river of nectar to come from the mouths of pure devotees, then the cultivation of Krsna consciousness becomes very easy. When one is engaged in constantly hearing the glories of the Lord, he certainly rises above the bodily conception. When one is in the bodily conception, he feels the pangs of hunger and thirst, fear, lamentation and illusion. But when one is engaged in hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord, he transcends the bodily conception.The word bhagavad-gunanukathana-sravana-vyagra-cetasah, meaning "always eager to find the place where the glories of the Lord are being heard and chanted," is significant in this verse. A businessman is always very eager to go to a place where business is transacted. Similarly, adevotee is very eager to hear from the lips of liberated devotees. As soon as one hears the glories of the Lord from the liberated devotees, he immediately becomes impregnated with Krsna consciousness. This is also confirmed in another verse:

satam prasangan mama virya-samvido
bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah
taj-josanad asv apavarga-vartmani
sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramisyati

"In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and to the heart. By cultivatingsuch knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin." (Bhag.3.25.25) In the association of pure devotees, one becomes attached to hearing and chanting theglories of the Lord. In this way one can cultivate Krsna consciousness, and as soon as this cultivation is advanced, one can become faithful to the Lord, devoted to the Lord and attached tothe Lord, and thus one can very quickly attain full Krsna consciousness. The secret of success in the cultivation of Krsna consciousness is hearing from the right person. A Krsna consciousperson is never disturbed by the bodily necessities--namely eating, sleeping, mating and defending.

17.
TEXT 2
TEXT

mahat-sevam dvaram ahur vimuktes
tamo-dvaram yositam sangi-sangam
mahantas te sama-cittah prasanta
vimanyavah suhrdah sadhavo ye

TRANSLATION

One can attain the path of liberation from material bondage only by rendering service to highly advanced spiritual personalities. These personalities are impersonalists and devotees. Whether one wants to merge into the Lord's existence or wants to associate with the Personalityof Godhead, one should render service to the mahatmas. For those who are not interested in such activities, who associate with people fond of women and sex, the path to hell is wide open. The mahatmas are equipoised. They do not see any difference between one living entity and another. They are very peaceful and are fully engaged in devotional service. They are devoid of anger, and they work for the benefit of everyone. They do not behave in any abominable way. Such people are known as mahatmas.

18.
SB 5.13.17 Further Talks Between King Rahugana and Jada Bharata
... a living entity in the forest of the material world tries to give up the association of these so called yogis, svamis and incarnations and come to the association of real devotees, but due to misfortune he cannot follow the instructions of the spiritual master or advanced devotees;therefore he gives up their company and again returns to the association of monkeys who are simply interested in sense gratification and women.

19.
SB 6.15.18-19 P The Saints Narada and Angira Instruct King Citraketu
A devotee should always aspire to engage in the service of advanced devotees. As Srila Narottama dasa Thakura has sung:

tandera carana sevi bhakta-sane vasa
janame janame haya, ei abhilasa

A devotee should always aspire to live in the association of advanced devotees and engage in the service of the Lord through the parampara system. One should serve the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu through the instructions of the great Gosvamis of Vrndavana. This is called tandera carana sevi. While serving the lotus feet of the Gosvamis, one should live in the association of devotees (bhakta-sane vasa).

20.
The human life is meant for composing an association where devotees may take part, sadhu-sanga. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said, mahat-sevam dvaram ahur vimuktes. Mahatseva. Mahat means whose mind has been broadened, not crippled. Cripple-minded man thinks interms of personal interest or society's interest or community's interest, nation's interest, or international interest. Even international interest is cripple-minded, because there are many planets. If we expand ourself from self-interest to family interest, from family interest to community interest, similarly, even you expand to the international interest, it is imperfect unless your interest is expanded up to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the Vedic injunctionin the Rg Veda, om tad visnoh paramam padam sada pasyanti surayah. Those who are advanced in knowledge, their aim is, their interest is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Visnu.The easiest process for understanding the subject matter of self, however, is to accept the statements of the Bhagavad-gita spoken by the greatest authority, Lord Krsna, without being deviated by other theories. But it also requires a great deal of penance and sacrifice, either in this life or in the previous ones, before one is able to accept Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krsna can, however, be known as such by the causeless mercy of the pure devotee and by no other way.

21.
Bg 3.9 P Karma-yoga
... and in the beginning this process requires very expert guidance. One should therefore actvery diligently, under the expert guidance of a devotee of Lord Krsna, or under the direct instruction of Lord Krsna Himself (under whom Arjuna had the opportunity to work). Nothing should be performed for sense gratification.

22.
Bg 3.19 P Karma-yoga
... A person, therefore, acting for Krsna, or in Krsna consciousness, under proper guidance and without attachment to the result of the work, is certainly making progress

23.
Bg 4.10 P Transcendental Knowledge
In the next stage one becomes initiated by an elevated spiritual master, and under his instruction the neophyte devotee begins the process of devotional service. By execution of devotional service under the guidance of the spiritual master, one becomes free from all material attachment, ... the transcendental loving service of the Lord. So, by the slow process of devotional service, under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, one can attain the highest stage

24.
Bg 9.4 P The Most Confidential Knowledge
... Only to one who is engaged in pure devotional service under proper guidance is He revealed.

25.
Bg 18.55 P Conclusion--The Perfection of Renunciation
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, and His plenary portions cannot be understood by mental speculation nor by the nondevotees. If anyone wants to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he has to take to pure devotional service under the guidance of a pure devotee. Otherwise, the truth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead will always be hidden. It is already stated in Bhagavad-gita (7.25), naham prakasah sarvasya: He is not revealed to everyone. No one can understand God simply by erudite scholarship or mental speculation. Only one who is actually engaged in Krsna consciousness and devotional service can understand what Krsna is. University degrees are not helpful.

26.
Bg 18.57 P Conclusion--The Perfection of Renunciation

TRANSLATION

In all activities just depend upon Me and work always under My protection. In such devotional service, be fully conscious of Me.

PURPORT

When one acts in Krsna consciousness, he does not act as the master of the world. Just like aservant, one should act fully under the direction of the Supreme Lord. A servant has no individual independence. He acts only on the order of the master. A servant acting on behalf of the supreme master has no affection for profit and loss. He simply discharges his duty faithfully in terms of the order of the Lord. Now, one may argue that Arjuna was acting under the personal direction of Krsna, but, when Krsna is not present, how should one act? If one acts according to the directionof Krsna in this book, as well as under the guidance of the representative of Krsna, then the result will be the same. The Sanskrit word mat-parah is very important in this verse. It indicates that one has no goal in life save and except acting in Krsna consciousness just to satisfy Krsna. And, while working in that way, one should think of Krsna only: "I have been appointed to discharge this particular duty by Krsna." While acting in such a way, one naturally has to think of Krsna. This is perfect Krsna consciousness. One should, however, note that after doing something whimsically he should not offer the result to the Supreme Lord. That sort of duty is not in the devotional service of Krsna consciousness. One should act according to the order of Krsna. This is a very important point. That order of Krsna comes through disciplic succession from the bona fide spiritual master. Therefore the spiritual master's order should be taken as the prime duty of life. If one gets a bona fide spiritual master and acts according to his direction, then his's perfection of life in Krsna consciousness is guaranteed.

27.
SB 1.1.6 Questions by the Sages

TRANSLATION

The sages said: Respected Suta Gosvami, you are completely free from all vice. You are well versed in all the scriptures famous for religious life, and in the Puranas and the histories as well,for you have gone through them under proper guidance and have also explained them.

PURPORT

A gosvami, or the bona fide representative of Sri Vyasadeva, must be free from all kinds ofvices. The four major vices of Kali-yuga are (1) illicit connection with women, (2) animal slaughter, (3) intoxication, (4) speculative gambling of all sorts. A gosvami must be free from all these vices before he can dare sit on the vyasasana. No one should be allowed to sit on the vyasasana who is not spotless in character and who is not freed from the above-mentioned vices. Henot only should be freed from all such vices, but must also be well versed in all revealed scriptures or in the Vedas. The Puranas are also parts of the Vedas. And histories like the Mahabharata or Ramayana are also parts of the Vedas. The acarya or the gosvami must be well acquainted with all these literatures. To hear and explain them is more important than reading them. One can assimilate the knowledge of the revealed scriptures only by hearing and explaining. Hearing is called sravana, and explaining is called kirtana. The two processes of sravana and kirtana are of primary importance to progressive spiritual life. Only one who has properly grasped the transcendental knowledge from the right source by submissive hearing can properly explain the subject.

28.
SB 1.2.18 P Divinity and Divine Service
So by pleasing the devotee Bhagavata one can receive the benefit of the book Bhagavata.Human reason fails to understand how by serving the devotee Bhagavata or the book Bhagavata one gets gradual promotion on the path of devotion. But actually these are facts explained by Srila Naradadeva, who happened to be a maidservant's son in his previous life. The maidservant was engaged in the menial service of the sages, and thus he also came into contact with them. And simply by associating with them and accepting the remnants of foodstuff left by the sages, the son of the maidservant got the chance to become the great devotee and personality Srila Naradadeva. These are the miraculous effects of the association of Bhagavatas. And to understand these effects practically, it should be noted that by such sincere association of the Bhagavatas one is sure to receive transcendental knowledge very easily, with the result that he becomes fixed in the devotional service of the Lord. The more progress is made in devotional service under the guidance of the Bhagavatas, the more one becomes fixed in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. The messages of the book Bhagavata, therefore, have to be received from the devotee Bhagavata, and the combination of these two Bhagavatas will help the neophyte devotee to make progress on and on.

29.
SB 1.5.36 P Narada' s Instructions on Srimad-Bhagavatam for Vyasadeva
...the only condition for successfully executing such spiritual activities is that they must be conducted under the guidance of a pure devotee who is completely free from all mundane desires

30.
SB 1.9.43 P The Passing Away of Bhismadeva in the Presence of Lord Krsna

TRANSLATION

Suta Gosvami said: Thus Bhismadeva merged himself in the Supersoul, Lord Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, with his mind, speech, sight and actions, and thus he became silent, and his breathing stopped.

PURPORT

The stage attained by Bhismadeva while quitting his material body is called nirvikalpa-samadhi because he merged his self into thinking of the Lord and his mind into remembering His different activities. He chanted the glories of the Lord, and by his sight he began to see the Lord personally present before him, and thus all his activities became concentrated upon the Lord without deviation. This is the highest stage of perfection, and it is possible for everyone to attain this stage by practice of devotional service. The devotional service of the Lord consists of nine principles of service activities, and they are (1) hearing, (2) chanting, (3) remembering, (4) serving the lotus feet, (5) worshiping, (6) praying, (7) executing the orders, (8) fraternizing, and (9) fully surrendering. Any one of them or all of them are equally competent to award the desired result,but they require to be practiced persistently under the guidance of an expert devotee of the Lord. The first item, hearing, is the most important item of all, and therefore hearing of the Bhagavad-gita and, later on, Srimad-Bhagavatam is essential for the serious candidate who wants to attain the stage of Bhismadeva at the end.

31.
SB 1.10.27 P Departure of Lord Krsna for Dvaraka
Any person engaged in the devotional service of the Lord is recommended to live in one of the above-mentioned three places, namely Dvaraka, Mathura or Vrndavana. Because devotional service in these three places is magnified, those who go there to follow the principles in terms of instructions imparted in the revealed scriptures surely achieve the same result as obtained during the presence of Lord Sri Krsna. His abode and He Himself are identical, and a pure devotee under the guidance of another experienced devotee can obtain all the results, even at present.

32.
SB 2.3.12 P Pure Devotional Service: The Change in Heart

TRANSLATION

Transcendental knowledge in relation with the Supreme Lord Hari is knowledge resulting in the complete suspension of the waves and whirlpools of the material modes. Such knowledge is self satisfying due to its being free from material attachment, and being transcendental it is approvedby authorities. Who could fail to be attracted?

PURPORT

According to Bhagavad-gita (10.9) the characteristics of pure devotees are wonderful. The complete functional activities of a pure devotee are always engaged in the service of the Lord, and thus the pure devotees exchange feelings of ecstasy between themselves and relish transcendental bliss. This transcendental bliss is experienced even in the stage of devotional practice (sadhana-avastha), if properly undertaken under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master. And in the mature stage the developed transcendental feeling culminates in realization of the particular relationship with the Lord by which a living entity is originally constituted (up to the relationship of conjugal love with the Lord, which is estimated to be the highest transcendental bliss). Thus bhakti-yoga, being the only means of God realization, iscalled kaivalya. Srila Jiva Gosvami quotes the Vedic version (eko narayano devah, paravaran amparama aste kaivalya-samjnitah) in this connection and establishes that Narayana, the Personality of Godhead, is known as kaivalya, and the means which enables one to approach the Lord is called the kaivalya-pantha, or the only means of attainment of Godhead. This kaivalyapantha begins from sravana, or hearing those topics that relate to the Personality of Godhead, and the natural consequence of hearing such hari-katha is attainment of transcendental knowledge, which causes detachment from all mundane topics, for which a devotee has no taste at all. For a devotee, all mundane activities, social and political, become unattractive, and in the mature state such a devotee becomes uninterested even in his own body, and what to speak of bodily relatives. In such a state of affairs one is not agitated by the waves of the material modes.There are different modes of material nature, and all mundane functions in which a common manis very much interested or in which he takes part become unattractive for the devotee. This state of affairs is described herein as pratinivrtta-gunormi, and it is possible by atma-prasada, or complete self-satisfaction without any material connection. The first-class devotee of the Lord attains this stage by devotional service, but despite his loftiness, for the Lord's satisfaction he may play the voluntary part of a preacher of the Lord's glory and dovetail all into devotional service, even mundane interest, just to give the neophytes a chance to transform mundane interest into transcendental bliss. Srila Rupa Gosvami has described this action of a pure devoteeas nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe yuktam vairagyam ucyate. Even mundane activities dovetailed with service to the Lord are also calculated to be transcendental or approved kaivalya affairs.

33.
SB 2.7.46 P Scheduled Incarnations with Specific Functions
The Personality of Godhead may not be present before one's eyes, but if one is sincere in wanting such guidance the Lord will send a bona fide person who can guide one properly back home, back to Godhead.

34.
SB 2.9.7 P Answers by Citing the Lord' s Version

TRANSLATION

When he heard the sound, he tried to find the speaker, searching on all sides. But when he was unable to find anyone besides himself, he thought it wise to sit down on his lotus seat firmly andgive his attention to the execution of penance, as he was instructed.

PURPORT

To achieve success in life, one should follow the example of Lord Brahma, the first living creature in the beginning of creation. After being initiated by the Supreme Lord to execute tapasya, he was fixed in his determination to do it, and although he could not find anyone besides himself, he could rightly understand that the sound was transmitted by the Lord Himself. Brahma was the only living being at that time because there was no other creation and none could befound there except himself. In the beginning of the First Canto, in the First Chapter, first verse, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, it has already been mentioned that Brahma was initiated by the Lord from within. The Lord is within every living entity as the Supersoul, and He initiated Brahma because Brahma was willing to receive the initiation. The Lord can similarly initiate everyone who is inclined to have it.

As already stated, Brahma is the original spiritual master for the universe, and since he was initiated by the Lord Himself, the message of Srimad-Bhagavatam is coming down by disciplic succession, and in order to receive the real message of Srimad-Bhagavatam one should approach the current link, or spiritual master, in the chain of disciplic succession. After being initiated by the proper spiritual master in that chain of succession, one should engage himself in the discharge of tapasya in the execution of devotional service. One should not, however, think himself on the level of Brahma to be initiated directly by the Lord from inside because in the present age no one can be accepted to be as pure as Brahma.

35.
TEXT 18

TRANSLATION

A devotee should always try to hear about spiritual matters and should always utilize his time in chanting the holy name of the Lord. His behavior should always be straightforward and simple, and although he is not envious but friendly to everyone, he should avoid the company of persons who are not spiritually advanced.

PURPORT

In order to advance in spiritual understanding, one has to hear from authentic sources about spiritual knowledge. One can understand the reality of spiritual life by following strict regulative principles and by controlling the senses. To have control it is necessary that one be nonviolent and truthful, refrain from stealing, abstain from sex life and possess only that which is absolutely necessary for keeping the body and soul together. One should not eat more than necessary, he should not collect more paraphernalia than necessary, he should not talk unnecessarily with common men, and he should not follow the rules and regulations without purpose. He should follow the rules and regulations so that he may actually make advancement.
There are eighteen qualifications mentioned in Bhagavad-gita, among which is simplicity. One should be without pride; one should not demand unnecessary respect from others, and one should be nonviolent. Amanitvam adambhitvam ahimsa. One should be very tolerant and simple, one should accept the spiritual master, and one should control the senses. These are mentioned here and in Bhagavad-gita as well. One should hear from authentic sources how to advance in spiritual life; such instructions should be taken from the acarya and should be assimilated.
It is especially mentioned here, nama-sankirtanac ca: one should chant the holy names of the Lord -- Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare--either individually or with others. Lord Caitanya has given special stress to chanting of these holy names of the Lord as the basic principle of spiritual advancement. Another word used here is arjavena, meaning "without diplomacy." A devotee should not make plans out of self interest.Of course, preachers sometimes have to make some plan to execute the mission of the Lord under proper guidance, but regarding personal self-interest, a devotee should always be without diplomacy, and he should avoid the company of persons who are not advancing in spiritual life. Another word is arya. Aryans are persons who are advancing in knowledge of Krsna consciousness as well as in material prosperity. The difference between the Aryan and non-Aryan, the sura and asura, is in their standards of spiritual advancement. Association with persons who are not spiritually advanced is forbidden. Lord Caitanya advised, asat-sanga-tyaga: one should avoid persons who are attached to the temporary. Asat is one who is too materially attached, who is not a devotee of the Lord and who is too attached to women or enjoyable material things. Such a person, according to Vaisnava philosophy, is a persona non grata.
A devotee should not be proud of his acquisitions. The symptoms of a devotee are meekness and humility. Although spiritually very advanced, he will always remain meek and humble, as Kaviraja Gosvami and all the other Vaisnavas have taught us by personal example. Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught that one should be humbler than the grass on the street and more tolerant than the tree. One should not be proud or falsely puffed up. In this way one will surely advance in spiritual life.

36.
SB 4.28.33 P Puranjana Becomes a Woman in the Next Life
... Thus Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura advocated that every devotee, under the guidance of an expert spiritual master, preach the bhakti cult, Krsna consciousness, all over the world....

37.
SB 7.12.11 P The Perfect Society: Four Spiritual Classes
In spiritual life, one must conduct one's whole life under the guidance of the guru. Only one who executes his spiritual life under the direction of the spiritual master can achieve the mercy of Krsna. Yasya prasadad bhagavat-.

38.
SB 9.4.18-20 P Ambarisa Maharaja Offended by Durvasa Muni
... manah partha yogam yunjan mad-asrayah. This indicates that one must execute devotional service under the guidance of a devotee or directly under the guidance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is not possible, however, to train oneself without guidance from the spiritual master.

39.
SB 10.3.15-17 P The Birth of Lord Krsna
... Only to one who is engaged in pure devotional service under proper guidance is He revealed.

40.
Adi 5.22 The Glories of Lord Nityananda Balarama
... Only under superior guidance can one practice such yoga in his life without changing his social position.

41.
TLC 17 Lord Caitanya, the Original Personality of Godhead
... When shall I be eager to accept the six Gosvamis as my prime guidance? And when will I be able to understand the conjugal love of Krsna?" No one should be eager to understand the conjugal love of Krsna without undergoing disciplinary training under the six Gosvamis of Vrndavana.

42.
Thus a Vaisnava automatically becomes a brahmana. This idea is also supported by Sanatana Gosvami in his book Hari-bhakti-vilasa, which is the Vaisnava guide. Therein he has clearly stated that any person who is properly initiated into the Vaisnava cult certainly becomes a brahmana, as much as the metal known as kamsa (bell metal) is turned into gold by the mixture of mercury. A bona fide spiritual master, under the guidance of authorities, can turn anyone to the Vaisnava cult so that naturally he may come to the topmost position of a brahmana.Srila Rupa Gosvami warns, however, that if a person is properly initiated by a bona fide spiritual master, he should not think that simply by the acceptance of such initiation his business is then finished. One still has to follow the rules and regulations very carefully. If after accepting the spiritual master and being initiated one does not follow the rules and regulations of devotional service, then he is again fallen. One must be very vigilant to remember that he is the part and parcel of the transcendental body of Krsna, and that it is his duty as part and parcel to give service to the whole, or Krsna. If we do not render service to Krsna then again we falldown. In other words, simply becoming initiated does not elevate one to the position of a high-class brahmana. One also has to discharge the duties and follow the regulative principles very rigidly.
Sri Rupa Gosvami also says that if one is regularly discharging devotional service, there will be no question of a falldown. But even if circumstantially there is some falldown, the Vaisnava need have nothing to do with the prayascitta, the ritualistic ceremony for purification. If someone falls down from the principles of devotional service, he need not take to the prayascitta performances for reformation. He simply has to execute the rules and regulations for discharging devotional service, and this is sufficient for his reinstatement. This is the mystery of the Vaisnava (devotional) cult.
Practically there are three processes for elevating one to the platform of spiritual consciousness. These processes are called karma, jnana and bhakti. Ritualistic performances are in the field of karma. Speculative processes are in the field of jnana. One who has taken to bhakti, the devotional service of the Lord, need have nothing to do with karma or jnana. It has been already explained that pure devotional service is without any tinge of karma or jnana.Bhakti should have no tinge of philosophical speculation or ritualistic performances.

43.
A devotee who is actually advanced in Krsna consciousness, who is constantly engaged in devotional service, should not manifest himself, even though he has attained perfection. The idea is that he should always continue to act as a neophyte devotee as long as his material body is there. Activities in devotional service under regulative principles must be followed even by the pure devotee. But when he realizes his actual position in relationship with the Lord, he can, along with the discharging of regulative service, think within himself of the Lord, under the guidance of a particular associate of the Lord, and develop his transcendental sentiments in following that associate

44.
NoD 19 Devotional Service in Pure Love of God
Although many different processes for developing love of Godhead have been explained so far, Srila Rupa Gosvami now gives us a general description of how one can best achieve such a high position. The beginning of ecstatic love of Godhead is basically faith. There are many societies and associations of pure devotees, and if someone with just a little faith begins to associate with such societies, his advancement to pure devotional service is rapid. The influence of a pure devotee is such that if someone comes to associate with him with a little faith, one gets the chance of hearing about the Lord from authoritative scriptures like Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. Thus, by the mercy of the Lord, who is situated in everyone's heart, one gradually develops his faith in the descriptions of such authoritative scriptures. This is the first stage of association with pure devotees. In the second stage, after one becomes a little advanced and mature, he automatically offers to follow the principles of devotional service under the guidance of the pure devotee and accepts him as the spiritual master. In the next stage, under the guidance of the spiritual master, the devotee executes regulative devotional service, and as a result of such activities, he becomes freed from all unwanted occupations. When he is freed from unwanted occupations, his faith becomes steadily fixed, and he develops a transcendental taste for devotional service, then attachment, then ecstasies, and in the last stage there is pure love of Godhead. These are the different stages ofthe development of pure love.
Only the most fortunate persons can achieve such success in life. Those who are simply academic students of the Vedic scriptures cannot appreciate how such a development takesplace.

45.
NoI 5
In this verse Srila Rupa Gosvami advises the devotee to be intelligent enough to distinguish between the kanistha-adhikari, madhyama-adhikari and uttama-adhikari. The devotee should also know his own position and should not try to imitate a devotee situated on a higher platform. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has given some practical hints to the effect that anuttama-adhikari Vaisnava can be recognized by his ability to convert many fallen souls to Vaisnavism. One should not become a spiritual master unless he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikari. A neophyte Vaisnava or a Vaisnava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance. Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikari as a spiritual master.

46.
NoI 8
... In this way one should reside in Vraja [Goloka Vrndavana dhama] and serve Krsna under the guidance of devotees. One should follow in the footsteps of the Lord's beloved devotees

47.
NoI 8
... His beloved associates. By following in the footsteps of such associates and by entering under their eternal guidance, one can acquire an intense desire to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

48.
NoI 8
... one should place himself under the direct guidance of a particular associate of Krsna and should follow in his footsteps

49.
KB 82 Lord Krsna and Balarama Meet the Inhabitants of Vrndavana
... One has to follow the rules and regulations prescribed by the acaryas, and thus, under superior guidance, Krsna-realization is fully possible, even in this material existence.

50.
KB 87 Prayers by the Personified Vedas
... this constant engagement in devotional service can be performed only when one is working under the direction of a bona fide spiritual master. The Vedic injunction is that no one can have full knowledge without being under the guidance of an acarya.

51.
OWK 5 Steering Toward the Supreme
... if one comes into contact with Krsna consciousness and executes the process under the guidance of a bona fide guide, he is sure to go back to Godhead

52.
MM 4 P Mukunda-mala-stotra
A pure devotee is neither a needy man, a man fallen into difficulty, nor an empiric philosopher who tries to approach the Divinity on the strength his own imperfect knowledge. A pure devotee receives knowledge of the Divinity from the right source -- the disciplic succession of realized souls who have followed strictly the disciplinary method of devotional service under the guidance of bona fide spiritual masters. It is not possible to know the transcendental nature of the Divinity by dint of one's imperfect sense perception, but the Divinity reveals Himself to a pure devotee in proportion to the transcendental service rendered unto Him.

53.
LON 1 God and The Law of Karma
... But if you read Vedic scriptures like the Isopanisad and Bhagavad-gita under superior guidance and follow the rules and regulations, eventually God will be revealed to you

54.
Prabhupada: So our principle should be not to disassociate ourself from the devotees. Narottamadasa Thakura therefore sings, tandera carana-sebi-bhakta-sane bas, janame janame hoy eiabhilas: "I desire birth after birth to serve the acaryas and to live with devotees." So our this association, society's is giving these two opportunity: you serve the purpose or the orders of the acaryas and live with devotees. Then you will be secure in devotional service. Tandera caranasebi-bhakta-sane bas. Bhakta-sane bas is very important thing. Even there is little inconvenience, still we should stick to live with the devotees. Then we shall be profited. Go on. Pradyumna: "...with the result that he becomes fixed in the devotional service of the Lord. The more progress is made in devotional service under the guidance of the Bhagavatas, the more one becomes fixed in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. The messages of the book Bhagavata, therefore, have to be received from the devotee Bhagavata, and the combination of these two Bhagavatas will help the neophyte devotee to make progress on and on." (end)

55.
To understand all this one has to associate with authorities in Krsna consciousness and learn the secret from them; this is as good as learning from the Lord directly.

56.
Such confidential knowledge is entrusted, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gita only to pure devotees like Uddhava and Arjuna, and one has to learn the mystery through them, and not otherwise.One cannot understand Bhagavad-gita or Srimad-Bhagavatam without the help of such confidential devotees of the Lord.

57.
The disciples also know that they have to learn about the eternal relationship between Godand the living entity from a self-realized soul.

58.
Consultation with the Supersoul seated within everyone's heart is possible only when one is completely free from the contamination of material attachment. One who is sincere and pure gets an opportunity to consult with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His Paramatma feature sitting within everyone's heart. The Paramatma is always the caitya-guru, the spiritual master within, and He comes before one externally as the instructor and initiator spiritual master.The Lord can reside within the heart, and He can also come out before a person and give him instructions. Thus the spiritual master is not different from the Supersoul sitting within the heart. An uncontaminated soul or living entity can get a chance to meet the Paramatma face to face. Just as one gets a chance to consult with the Paramatma within his heart, one also gets a chance to see Him actually situated before him. Then one can take instructions from the Supersoul directly. This is the duty of the pure devotee: to see the bona fide spiritual master and consult with the Supersoul within the heart.

59.
SB 4.28.52 P Puranjana Becomes a Woman in the Next Life
The Paramatma is always the caitya-guru, the spiritual master within, and He comes before one externally as the instructor and initiator

60.
TEXT 58

jive saksat nahi tate guru caittya-rupe
siksa-guru haya krsna-mahanta-svarupe

TRANSLATION

Since one cannot visually experience the presence of the Supersoul, He appears before us as a liberated devotee. Such a spiritual master is none other than Krsna Himself.

PURPORT

It is not possible for a conditioned soul to directly meet Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but if one becomes a sincere devotee and seriously engages in devotional service, Lord Krsna sends an instructing spiritual master to show him favor and invoke his dormant propensity for serving the Supreme. The preceptor appears before the external senses of the fortunate conditioned soul, and at the same time the devotee is guided from within by the caittya guru, Krsna, who is seated as the spiritual master within the heart of the living entity.

61.
sadhu means who speaks on the basis of sastra. Guru means who speaks on the basis of sastra. They're sadhu guru sastra. And sastra means the statement of authorities. That is sastra. Just like Bhagavad-gita. It is sastra because it is spoken by the supreme guru, Krsna. So who is guru?At the present moment so many unauthorized persons are presenting themselves as guru.But you should be very careful. Guru, Caitanya Mahaprabhu has said, amara ajnaya guru hanatara' ei desa. He says that "I order you that you become guru. And your business is to deliver this country." "This country" means wherever you are living, you can become guru and deliverthem.

62.
Adi Lila Ch 8 TEXT 16

TEXT

bahu janma kare yadi sravana, kirtana
tabu ta' na paya krsna-pade prema-dhana

SYNONYMS

bahu--many; janma--births; kare--does; yadi--if; sravana--hearing; kirtana--chanting; tabu--still;ta'--in spite of; na--does not; paya--get; krsna-pade--unto the lotus feet of Krsna; prema-dhana--love of Godhead.

TRANSLATION

If one is infested with the ten offenses in the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, despite his endeavor to chant the holy name for many births, he will not get the love of Godhead that is the ultimate goal of this chanting.

PURPORT

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura says in this connection that unless one accepts SriCaitanya Mahaprabhu, although one goes on chanting the Hare Krsna mantra for many, many years, there is no possibility of his attaining the platform of devotional service. One must follow strictly the instruction of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu given in the Siksastaka (3):

trnad api sunicena
taror iva sahisnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harih

"One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and should be ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly." One who follows this direction, being freed from the ten kinds of offenses, becomes successful in Krsna consciousness and ultimately reaches the platform of loving service to the Personality of Godhead.
One must come to the understanding that the holy name of the Lord and the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself are identical. One cannot reach this conclusion unless one is offenseless in chanting the holy name. By our material calculation we see a difference between the name and the substance, but in the spiritual world the Absolute is always absolute; the name, form, quality and pastimes of the Absolute are all as good as the Absolute Himself. As such, one is understood to be an eternal servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead if he considers himself an eternal servant of the holy name and in this spirit distributes the holy name to the world. One who chants in that spirit, without offenses, is certainly elevated to the platform of understanding that the holy name and the Personality of Godhead are identical. To associate with the holy name and chant the holy name is to associate with the Personality of Godhead directly. In Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu it is clearly said: sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayameva sphuraty adah. The holy name becomes manifest when one engages in the service of the holy name. This service in a submissive attitude begins with one's tongue. Sevonmukhe hijihvadau: One must engage his tongue in the service of the holy name. Our Krsna consciousness movement is based on this principle. We try to engage all the members of the Krsna consciousness movement in the service of the holy name. Since the holy name and Krsna are nondifferent, the members of the Krsna consciousness movement not only chant the holy name of the Lord offenselessly, but also do not allow their tongues to eat anything that is not first offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Supreme Lord declares:

patram puspam phalam toyam
yo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam
asnami prayatatmanah

"If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water, I will accept it." (Bg.9.26) Therefore the International Society for Krishna Consciousness has many temples all over the world, and in each and every temple the Lord is offered these foods. On the basis of His demands, the devotees chant the holy name of the Lord offenselessly and never eat anything that is not first offered to the Lord. The functions of the tongue in devotional service are to chant theHare Krsna maha-mantra and eat prasada that is offered to the Lord.

63.
Madhya Lila 22 TEXT 71

TEXT

rati-prema-taratamye bhakta----tara-tama
ekadasa skandhe tara kariyache laksana

SYNONYMS

rati--of attachment; prema--and love; taratamye--by comparison; bhakta--devotee; tara-tama--superior and superlative; ekadasa skandhe--in the Eleventh Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam; tara--of him; kariyache--has made; laksana--symptoms.

TRANSLATION

"A devotee is considered superlative and superior according to his attachment and love.In the Eleventh Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, the following symptoms have been ascertained.

PURPORT

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has stated that if one has developed faith in Krsna consciousness, he is to be considered an eligible candidate for further advancement in Krsna consciousness.Those who have faith are divided into three categories -- uttama, madhyama and kanistha (first-class, second-class and neophyte). A first-class devotee has firm conviction in the revealed scriptures and is expert in arguing according to the sastras. He is firmly convinced of the scienceof Krsna consciousness. The madhyama-adhikari, or second-class devotee, has firm conviction in Krsna consciousness, but he cannot support his conviction by citing sastric references. The neophyte devotee does not yet have firm faith. In this way the devotees are typed.The standard of devotion is also categorized in the same way. A neophyte believes that only love of Krsna or Krsna consciousness is very good, but he may not know the basis of pure Krsna consciousness or how one can become a perfect devotee. Sometimes in the heart of a neophyte there is attraction for karma, jnana or yoga. When he is free and transcendental to mixed devotional activity, he becomes a second-class devotee. When he becomes expert in logic and can refer to the sastras, he becomes a first-class devotee. The devotees are also described as positive, comparative and superlative, in terms of their love and attachment for Krsna. It should be understood that a madhyama-adhikari, a second-class devotee, is fully convinced of Krsna consciousness but cannot support his convictions with sastric reference. A neophyte may fall down by associating with nondevotees because he is not firmly convinced and strongly situated. The second-class devotee, even though he cannot support his position with sastric reference, can gradually become a first-class devotee by studying the sastras and associating with a first-class devotee. However, if the second-class devotee does not advance himselfby associating with a first-class devotee, he makes no progress. There is no possibility that a first-class devotee will fall down, even though he may mix with nondevotees to preach.Conviction and faith gradually increase to make one an uttama-adhikari, a first-class devotee.

63.
Madhya Lila Ch 22 TEXT 83
TEXT

krsna-bhakti-janma-mula haya 'sadhu-sanga'
krsna-prema janme, tenho punah mukhya anga

SYNONYMS

krsna-bhakti--of devotional service to Krsna; janma-mula--the root cause; haya--is; sadhusanga--association with advanced devotees; krsna-prema--love of Krsna; janme--awakens;tenho--that same association with devotees; punah--again; mukhya anga--the chief principle.

TRANSLATION

"The root cause of devotional service to Lord Krsna is association with advanced devotees. Even when one's dormant love for Krsna awakens, association with devotees is still most essential."

Antya 14.53 Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu' s Feelings of Separation from Krsna
When Uddhava returned to Mathura after visiting Vrndavana, Lord Krsna inquired from him about Radharani and Visakha. Uddhava replied as follows: "Consider the condition of the gopis! Srimati Radharani especially is in a very painful condition because of separation from You. She has grown ... gone. Her heart is immersed in pain, and because She has given up eating, Her breast has become black, as if diseased. Because of separation from You, all the gopis, especially Radharani, appear like dried-up water holes under the scorching heat of the sun."

64.
Bhagavad-gita (14.26) confirms this as follows:

mam ca yo 'vyabhicarena
bhakti-yogena sevate
sa gunan samatityaitan
brahma-bhuyaya kalpate

So the science of bhakti-yoga, of worshiping the Lord, glorifying the Lord, hearing the Srimad-Bhagavatam from the right sources (not from the professional man but from a person who is Bhagavatam in life) and being always in the association of pure devotees, should be adopted in earnestness.

65.
Bg 7.17 P Knowledge of the Absolute

Free from all contaminations of material desires, the distressed, the inquisitive, the penniless, and the seeker after supreme knowledge can all become pure devotees. But out of them, he who is in knowledge of the Absolute Truth and free from all material desires becomes a really pure devotee of the Lord. And of the four orders, the devotee who is in full knowledge and is at the same ... is different from his material body, and when further advanced he comes tothe knowledge of impersonal Brahman and Paramatma. When one is fully purified, he realizes that his constitutional position is to be the eternal servant of God. So by association with pure devotees, the inquisitive, the distressed, the seeker after material amelioration and the man in knowledge all become themselves pure. But in the preparatory stage, the man who is in full knowledge of the Supreme Lord and is at the same time executing devotional service is very dear to the Lord. He who is situated in pure knowledge of the transcendence of the Supreme Personality of God is so protected in devotional service that material contamination cannot touch him.

66.
Bg 7.28 P Knowledge of the Absolute

... Only those who have passed their lives in practicing the regulative principles of religion, who have acted piously and who have conquered sinful reactions can accept devotional service and gradually rise to the pure knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then, gradually, they can meditate in trance on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the process of being situated on the spiritual platform. This elevation is possible in Krsna consciousness in the association of pure devotees who can deliver one from delusion.

67.
Bg 8.28 P Attaining the Supreme

One should try to understand the Seventh and Eighth Chapters of the Gita not by scholarship or mental speculation, but by hearing them in association with pure devotees.Chapters Seven through Twelve are the essence of Gita, if one is fortunate to understand the Gita --especially these middle six chapters--in the association of devotees, then his life at once becomes glorified beyond all penances, sacrifices, charities, speculations, etc. One should hear the Gita from the devotee because at the beginning of the Fourth Chapter it is stated that the Gita can only be perfectly understood by devotees. Hearing the Gita from devotees, not from mental speculators, is called faith. Through association of devotees, one is placed in devotional service, and by this service Krsna's activities, form, pastimes,... etc., become clear, and all misgivings are dispelled. Then once doubts are removed, the study of the Gita becomes extremely pleasurable, and one develops a taste and feeling for Krsna consciousness.... the advanced stage, one falls completely in love with Krsna, and that is the beginning of the highest perfectional stage of life which prepares the devotee's transferral to Krsna's abode in the spiritual sky, ... the devote eenters into eternal happiness.

68.
Bg 9.13 P The Most Confidential Knowledge

... because he knows perfectly well that Krsna is the original Supreme Person, the cause of all causes. There is no doubt about it. Such a mahatma, or great soul, develops through association with other mahatmas, pure devotees. Pure devotees are not even attracted by Krsna's other features, such as the four-armed Maha-Visnu. They are simply attracted by the two armed form of Krsna. Since they are not attracted to other features of Krsna (what to speak of the demigods), they are not concerned with any form of a demigod or of a human being. They only meditate upon Krsna in Krsna consciousness. They are always engaging in the unswerving service of the Lord in Krsna consciousness.

69.
Bg 15.20 P The Yoga of the Supreme Person

While performing devotional service in the association of pure devotees in full Krsna consciousness, there are certain things which require to be vanquished altogether. The most important thing one has to surmount is weakness of the heart. The first falldown is causedby the desire to lord it over material nature. Thus one gives up the transcendental loving service of the Supreme Lord. The second weakness of the heart is that as one increases the propensity of lording it over material nature, he becomes attached to matter and the possession of matter. The problems of material existence are due to these weaknesses of the heart.

70.
Bg 17.28 P The Divisions of Faith

... The mode of goodness is better than the modes of passion and ignorance, but one who takes directly to Krsna consciousness is transcendental to all three modes of material nature. Although there is a process of gradual elevation, if one, by the association of pure devotees, takes directly to Krsna consciousness, that is the best way.

71.
SB Introduction "Creation"

It was further suggested by Raya that attainment of spiritual realization freed from the material conception of life is the topmost achievement for a living being. The Lord rejected this suggestion also because on the plea of such spiritual realization much havoc has been wrought by unscrupulous persons; therefore all of a sudden this is not possible. The Raya then suggested sincere association of self-realized souls and hearing submissively the transcendental message of the pastimes of the Personality of Godhead. This suggestion was welcomed by the Lord. This suggestion was made following in the footsteps of Brahmaji, who said that the Personality of Godhead is known as ajita, or the one who cannot be conquered or approached by anyone. But such ajita also becomes jita (conquered) by one method, which is very simple and easy. The simple method is that one has to give up the arrogant attitude of declaring oneself to be God Himself. One must be very meek and submissive and try to live peacefully by lending the ear to the speeches of the transcendentally self-realized soul who speaks on the message of Bhagavata-dharma, or the religion of glorifying the Supreme Lord and His devotees.

72.

Peace and friendship are impossible for a society detached from the association of God and His devotees. It is imperative, therefore, that one sincerely seek the association of pure devotees and hear them patiently and submissively from any position of life. The position of a person in the higher or lower status of life does not hamper one in the path of self-realization.The only thing one has to do is to hear from a self-... program. The teacher may also deliver lectures from the Vedic literatures, following in the footsteps of the bygone acaryas who realized the Absolute Truth. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu recommended this simple method of self realization generally known as Bhagavata-dharma.
HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

73.
SB 1.5.25 P Narada' s Instructions on Srimad-Bhagavatam for Vyasadeva

Pure devotion is as much infectious, in a good sense, as infectious diseases. A pure devotee iscleared from all kinds of sins. The Personality of Godhead is the purest entity, and unless one is equally pure from the infection of material qualities, one cannot become a pure devotee of the Lord. The bhakti-vedantas as above mentioned were pure devotees, and the boy became infected with their qualities of purity by their association and by eating once the remnantsof the foodstuff taken by them. Such remnants may be taken even without permission of the pure devotees. There are sometimes pseudodevotees, and one should be very much cautious about them. There are many things which hinder one from entering devotional service. But by the association of pure devotees all these obstacles are removed. The neophyte devotee becomes practically enriched with the transcendental qualities of the pure devotee, which means attraction for the Personality of Godhead's name, fame, quality, pastimes, etc. Infection of the qualities of the pure devotee means to imbibe the taste of pure devotion always in the transcendental activities of the Personality of Godhead. This transcendental taste at once makes all material things distasteful. Therefore a pure devotee is not at all attracted by material activities. After the elimination of all sins or obstacles on the path of devotional service, one can become attracted, one can have steadiness, one can have perfect taste, one can have transcendental emotions, and at last one can be situated on the plane of loving service of the Lord. All these stages develop by the association of pure devotees, and that is the purport of this stanza.

74.
SB 1.5.28 P Narada' s Instructions on Srimad-Bhagavatam for Vyasadeva

Transcendental loving service for the Supreme Lord is the natural inclination of every living being. The instinct is dormant in everyone, but due to the association of material nature the modes of passion and ignorance cover this from time immemorial. If, by the grace of the Lordand the great-souled devotees of the Lord, a living being becomes fortunate enough to associate with the unadulterated devotees of the Lord and gets a chance to hear the unadulterated glories of the Lord, certainly the flow of devotional service takes place like the flow of a river. As the river flows on till she reaches the sea, similarly pure devotional service flows by the association of pure devotees till it reaches the ultimate goal, namely, transcendental love of God. Such a flow of devotional service cannot stop. On the contrary, it increases more and more without limitation. The flow of devotional service is so potent that any onlooker also becomes liberated from the influence of the modes of passion and ignorance.

75.
SB 1.10.11-12 Departure of Lord Krsna for Dvaraka

TRANSLATION

The intelligent, who have understood the Supreme Lord in association with pure devotees and have become freed from bad materialistic association, can never avoid hearing the glories of the Lord, even though they have heard them only once. How, then, could the Pandavas tolerate His separation, for they had been intimately associated with His person, seeing Him face to face, touching Him, conversing with Him, and sleeping, sitting and dining with Him?

PURPORT

The living being's constitutional position is one of serving a superior. He is obliged to serve by force the dictates of illusory material energy in different phases of sense gratification. And in serving the senses he is never tired. Even though he may be tired, the illusory energy perpetually forces him to do so without being satisfied. There is no end to such sense gratificatory business,and the conditioned soul becomes entangled in such servitude without hope of release. The release is only effected by association with pure devotees. By such association one is gradually promoted to his transcendental consciousness. Thus he can know that his eternal position is to render service unto the Lord and not to the perverted senses in the capacity of lust, anger, desire to lord it over, etc. Material society, friendship and love are all different phases of lust. Home, country, family, society, wealth and all sorts of corollaries are all causes of bondage in the material world, where the threefold miseries of life are concomitant factors. By associating with pure devotees and by hearing them submissively, attachment for material enjoyment becomes slackened, and attraction for hearing about the transcendental activities of the Lord becomes prominent. Once they are, they will go on progressively without stoppage, like fire in gunpowder. It is said that Hari, the Personality of Godhead, is so transcendentally attractive that even those who are self-satisfied by self-realization and are factually liberated from all material bondage also become devotees of the Lord. Under the circumstances it is easily understood what must have been the position of the Pandavas, who were constant companions of the Lord. They could not even think of separation from Sri Krsna, since the attraction was more intense for them because of continuous personal contact. His remembrance by His form, quality, name, fame, pastimes, etc., is also attractive for the pure devotee, so much so that he forgets all forms, quality, name, fame and activities of the mundane world, and due to his mature association with pure devotees he is not out of contact with the Lord for a moment.

76.
SB 1.13.26 P Dhrtarastra Quits Home

Narottama dasa Thakura, a great devotee and acarya of the Gaudiya Vaisnava sect, has sung:"My Lord, I have simply wasted my life. Having ... willingly drunk poison." In other words, the human body is especially meant for cultivating knowledge of devotional service to the Lord, without which life becomes full of anxieties and miserable conditions. Therefore, one who has spoiled his life without such cultural activities is advised to leave home without knowledge of friends and relatives and, being thus freed from all obligations of family, society, country, etc., give up the body at some unknown destination so that others ... forget such a relation, he is called undisturbed, or dhira. This is, however, the path of renunciation based on a frustrated life, but stabilization of such renunciation is possible only by association with bona fide saints and self-realized souls by which one can be engaged in the loving devotional service of the Lord. Sincere surrender unto the lotus feet of the Lord is possible by awakening the transcendental sense of service. This is made possible by association with pure devotees of the Lord. Dhrtarastra was lucky enough to have a brother whose very association was a source of liberation for his frustrated life.

77.
SB 1.18.18 P Maharaja Pariksit Cursed by a Brahmana Boy

Such is the power of pure devotees of the Lord. The Ganges water is accepted as pure, and one can become purified after taking a bath in the waters of the Ganges. But as far as the great devotees of the Lord are concerned, they can purify a degraded soul even by being seen by the lowborn, and what to speak of association. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted topurify the whole atmosphere of the polluted world by sending qualified preachers all over the world, and it remains with the Indians to take up this task scientifically and thus do the best kind of humanitarian work

78.
SB 2.1.6 P The First Step in God Realization

Narayana is the transcendental Personality of Godhead beyond the material creation.Everything that is created, sustained, and at the end annihilated is within the compass of the mahat-tattva (material principle) and is known as the material world. The existence of Narayana, or the Personality of Godhead, is not within the jurisdiction of this mahat-tattva, and as such, the name, form, attributes, etc. of Narayana are beyond the jurisdiction of the material world. By the speculation of empiric philosophy, which discerns matter from spirit, or by cultivation of mystic powers, which ultimately helps the performer to reach any planet of the universe or beyond the universe, or by discharge of religious duties, one can achieve the highest perfection, provided one is able to reach the stage of narayana-smrti, or constant remembrance of the Personality of Godhead. This is possible only by the association of a pure devotee, who can give a finishing touch to the transcendental activities of all jnanis, yogis, or karmis, in terms of prescribed duties defined in the scriptures.

79.
SB 2.3.11 P Pure Devotional Service: The Change in Heart

Therefore unless the gross materialists or the worshipers of the temporary demigods come in contact with a transcendentalist like the pure devotee of the Lord, their attempts are simply a waste of energy. Only by the grace of the divine personalities, the pure devotees of the Lord, can one achieve pure devotion, which is the highest perfection of human life. Only a pure devotee of the Lord can show one the right way of progressive life. Otherwise both the materialistic way of life, without any information of God or the demigods, and the life engaged in the worship of demigods, in pursuit of temporary material enjoyments, are different phases of phantasmagoria.They are nicely explained in the Bhagavad-gita also, but the Bhagavad-gita can be understood in the association of pure devotees only, and not by the interpretations of politicians or dry philosophical speculators.

80.
SB 2.3.16 P Pure Devotional Service: The Change in Heart

The word satam is very important in this verse. Satam means the pure devotees, who have no other desire than to serve the Lord. Only in the association of such devotees are the transcendental glories of Lord Krsna properly discussed. It is said by the Lord that His topics are all full of spiritual significance, and once one properly hears about Him in the association of the satam, certainly one senses the great potency and so automatically attains to the devotional stage of life.

81.
SB 2.3.17 P Pure Devotional Service: The Change in Heart

This verse indirectly confirms the greater importance of utilizing the human form of life to realize our lost relationship with the Supreme Lord by acceleration of devotional service. Time and tide wait for no man. So the time indicated by the ... sunset will be uselessly wasted if such time is not properly utilized for realizing identification of spiritual values. Even a fraction of the duration of life wasted cannot be compensated by any amount of gold. Human life is simply awarded to a living entity (jiva) so that he can realize his spiritual identity and his permanent source of happiness. A living being, especially the human being, is seeking happiness because happiness is the natural situation of the living entity. But he is vainly seeking happiness in the material atmosphere. A living being is constitutionally a spiritual spark of the complete whole, and his happiness can be perfectly perceived in spiritual activities. The Lord ... personality are all identical with Him. Once a person comes into contact with any one of the above-mentioned energies of the Lord through the proper channel of devotional service, the door to perfection is immediately opened. In the Bhagavad-gita (2.... words: "Endeavors in devotional service are never baffled. Nor is there failure. A slight beginning of such activities is sufficient even to deliver a person from the great ocean of material fears." As a highly potent drug injected intravenously acts at once on the whole body, the transcendental topics of the Lord injected through the ear of the pure devotee of the Lord can act very efficiently. Aural realization of the transcendental messages implies total realization, just as fructification of one part of a tree implies fructification of all other parts. This realization for a moment in the association of pure devotees like Sukadeva Gosvami prepares one's complete life for eternity. And thus the sun fails to rob the pure devotee of his duration of life, in as much as he is constantly busy in the devotional service of the Lord, purifying his existence. Death is a symptom of the material infection of the eternal living being; only due to material infection is the eternal living entity subjected to the law of birth, death, old age and disease.

82.
SB 2.3.23 P Pure Devotional Service: The Change in Heart

In other words, Lord Sri Krsna is the property of His pure unconditional devotees, and assuch only the devotees can deliver Krsna to another devotee; Krsna is never obtainable directly. Lord Caitanya therefore designated Himself as gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasadasanudasah, or "the most obedient servant of the servants of the Lord, who maintains the gopi damsels at Vrndavana." A pure devotee therefore never approaches the Lord directly, but tries to please the servant of the Lord's servants, and thus the Lord becomes pleased, and only then can the devotee relish the taste of the tulasi leaves stuck to His lotus feet. In the Brahma-samhita it is said that the Lord is never to be found by becoming a great scholar of the Vedicliteratures, but He is very easily approachable through His pure devotee. In Vrndavana all the pure devotees pray for the mercy of Srimati Radharani, the pleasure potency of Lord Krsna. Srimati Radharani is a tender hearted feminine counterpart of the supreme whole, resembling the perfectional stage of the worldly feminine nature. Therefore, the mercy of Radharani is available very readily to the sincere devotees, and once She recommends such a devotee to Lord Krsna, the Lord at once accepts the devotee's admittance into His association. The conclusion is, therefore, that one should be more serious about seeking the mercy of the devotee than that of the Lord directly, and by one's doing so (by the goodwill of the devotee) the natural attraction for the service of the Lord will be revived.

83.
SB 2.4.15 P The Process of Creation

The devotees need not be disappointed in the physical absence of the Lord, though they may think of not being associated with Him. The devotional process of chanting, hearing, remembering, etc., (either all or some of them, or even one of them) can give us the desired result of associating with the Lord by discharging the transcendental loving service of the Lord in the above manner. Even the very sound of the holy name of Lord Krsna or Rama can at once surcharge the atmosphere spiritually. We must know definitely that the Lord is present wherever such pure transcendental service is performed, and thus the performer of offenseless kirtanam has positive association with the Lord. Similarly, remembrance and prayers also can give us the desired result if they are properly done under expert guidance. One should not concoct forms of devotional service. One may worship the form of the Lord in a temple, or one may impersonally offer the Lord devotional prayers in a mosque or a church. One is sure to get free from the reactions of sins provided one is very careful about not committing sins willingly in expectation of getting free from the reactions of sins by worshiping in the temple or by offering prayers in the church. This mentality of committing sins willfully on the strength of devotional service is called namno balad yasya hi papa-buddhih, and it is the greatest offense in the discharge of devotional service. Hearing, therefore, is essential in order to keep oneself strictly onguard against such pitfalls of sins. And in order to give special stress to the hearing process,

84.
SB 2.6.28 P Purusa-sukta Confirmed

"The karma-yogis know that the Supreme Lord is the factual enjoyer and maintainer of all sacrifices and of the austere life. They also know that the Lord is the ultimate proprietor of all the planets and is the factual friend of all living entities. Such knowledge gradually converts the karma-yogis into pure devotees of the Lord through the association of unalloyed devotees, and thus they are able to be liberated from material bondage."

85.
SB 2.10.41 P Bhagavatam Is the Answer to All Questions

The living entities individually are being conducted by a particular mode of nature, but at thesame time there is every chance of their being influenced by the other two. Generally, all conditioned souls in the material encagement are influenced by the mode of passion because every one of them is trying to lord it over the material nature to fulfill his individual desire. But inspite of the individual mode of passion, there is always the chance of being influenced by the other modes of nature by association. If one is in good association he can develop the mode of goodness, and if in bad association he may develop the mode of darkness or ignorance.Nothing is stereotyped. One can change his habit by good or bad association, and one has to become intelligent enough to discriminate between good and bad. The best association is the service of the devotees of the Lord, and by that association one can become the highest qualified man by the grace of the Lord's pure devotees. As we have already seen in the life of Srila Narada Muni, he became the topmost devotee of the Lord simply by the association of pure devotees of the Lord. By birth he was the son of a maidservant and had no knowledge of his father and no academic education, even of the lowest status. But simply by associating with the devotees and by eating the remnants of their foodstuff, he gradually developed the transcendental qualities of the devotees. By such association, his taste for chanting and hearing the transcendental glories of the Lord became prominent, and because the glories of the Lord are nondifferent from the Lord, he got direct association with the Lord by means of sound representation. Similarly, there is the life of Ajamila (Sixth Canto), who was the son of a brahmana and was educated and trained properly in the discharge of the duties of a brahmana, but who in spite of all this, because he contacted the bad association of a prostitute, was put into the path of the lowest quality of candala, or the last position for a human being. Therefore the Bhagavatam always recommends the association of the mahat, or the great soul, for opening the gate of salvation. To associate with persons engaged in lording it over the material world means to enter into the darkest region of hell. One should try to raise himself by the association of the great soul. That is the way of the perfection of life.

87.
SB 3.1.17 P Questions by Vidura

Persons who are sinful asuras like Kamsa and Jarasandha cannot think of Lord Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth. Only those who are pure devotees, those who follow the regulative principles of religious life as prescribed in the scriptures, are able to engage themselves in karma-yoga and then jnana-yoga and thereafter, by pure meditation, can understand pure consciousness. When God consciousness is developed, one can take advantage of the association of pure devotees. Syan mahat-sevaya viprahpunya-tirtha-nisevanat: one is able to associate with the Lord even during the existence of this life.

88.
SB 3.2.20 P Remembrance of Lord Krsna

This love of God is awakened by the association of pure devotees of the Lord.

89.
SB 3.5.3 P Vidura' s Talks with Maitreya

O my lord, great philanthropic souls travel on the earth on behalf of the Supreme Personality of Godhead to show compassion to the fallen souls who are averse to the sense of subordination to the Lord.

PURPORT

To be obedient to the wishes of the Supreme Lord is the natural position of every living entity. But due only to past misdeeds, a living being becomes averse to the sense of subordination to the Lord and suffers all the miseries of material existence. No one has anything to do but render devotional service to the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna. Therefore any activity other than transcendental loving service to the Lord is more or less a rebellious action against the supreme will. All fruitive activity, empirical philosophy and mysticism are more or less against the sense of subordination to the Lord, and any living entity engaged in such rebellious activity is more or less condemned by the laws of material nature, which work under the subordination of the Lord. Great unalloyed devotees of the Lord are compassionate towards the fallen, and therefore they travel all over the world with the mission of bringing souls back to Godhead, back to home. Such pure devotees of the Lord carry the message of Godhead in order to deliver the fallen souls, and therefore the common man who is bewildered by the influence of the external energy of the Lord should avail himself of their association.

90.
3.7.12 P Further Inquires by Vidura

The quivering quality of material existence, which comes from identification with matter or from thinking oneself, under the material influence of philosophical speculation, to be God, can be eradicated by devotional service to the Lord, by the mercy of the Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva. As discussed in the First Canto, because the application of devotional service to Lord Vasudeva invites pure knowledge, it quickly detaches one from the material conception of life and thus revives one's normal condition of spiritual existence, even in this life, and frees one from the material winds which cause one to quiver. Only knowledge in devotional service can elevate one towards the path of liberation. The development of knowledge for the purpose of knowing everything, without rendering devotional service, is considered fruitless labor, and one cannot get the desired result by such labor of love. Lord Vasudeva is pleased by devotional service only, and thus His mercy is realized by association with pure devotees of the Lord. Pure devotees of the Lord are transcendental to all material desires, including the desire for the results of fruitive activities and philosophical speculation. If one wants to acquire the mercy of the Lord, he has to associate with pure devotees. Such association alone can, by degrees, release one from the quivering elements.

91.
SB 3.7.20 P Further Inquires by Vidura

The path of liberation, as recommended by all authorities, is to serve the mahatma transcendentalists. As far as Bhagavad-gita is concerned, the mahatmas are the pure devotees who are on the path to Vaikuntha, the kingdom of God, and who always chant and hear the glories of the Lord rather than talk of dry, profitless philosophy. This system of association has been recommended since time immemorial, but in this age of quarrel and hypocrisy it is especially recommended by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Even if one has no assets of favorable austerity, if he nevertheless takes shelter of the mahatmas, who are engaged in chanting and hearing the glories of the Lord, he is sure to make progress on the path back home, back to ..

92.

The sage Maitreya proposed to speak on Srimad-Bhagavatam because it was especially compiled, and traditionally comes down in the disciplic succession, for the solution of all the problems of human society. Only one who is fortunate can have the opportunity to hear Srimad-Bhagavatam in the association of pure devotees of the Lord. Under the spell of material energy, the living entities are entrapped in the bondage of many difficulties simply for the sake of a little bit of material happiness. They engage in fruitive activities, not knowing the implications. Under the false impression that the body is the self, the living entities foolishly relate to so many false attachments. They think that they can engage with materialistic paraphernalia forever. This gross misconception of life is so strong that a person suffers continually, life after life, under the external energy of the Lord. If one comes in contact with the book Bhagavatam as well as with the devotee bhagavata, who knows what the Bhagavatam is, then such a fortunate man gets out of the material entanglement. Therefore Sri Maitreya Muni, out of compassion for the suffering men in the world, proposes to speak on the Srimad-Bhagavatam

93.
SB 3.8.26 P Manifestation of Brahma from Garbhodakasayi Visnu

The Lord fulfills the desires of everyone just as one desires. Pure devotees are interested in achieving the transcendental service of the Lord, which is nondifferent from Him.Therefore, the Lord is the only desire of the pure devotees, and devotional service is the only spotless process for achieving His favor. Srila Rupa Gosvami says in his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu(1.1.11) that pure devotional service is jnana-karmady-anavrtam: pure devotional service is without any tinge of speculative knowledge and fruitive activities. Such devotional service is able to award the pure devotee the highest result, namely direct association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krsna. According to the Gopala-tapani Upanisad, the Lord showed one of the many thousands of petals of His lotus feet. It is said: brahmano'sav anavaratam medhyatah stutah parardhante so 'budhyata gopa-veso me purastat avirbabhuva. After penetrating for millions of years, Lord Brahma could understand the transcendental form of the Lordas Sri Krsna, in the dress of a cowherd boy, and thus he recorded his experience in theBrahma-samhita

94.
SB 3.15.48 P Description of the Kingdom of God

The transcendental bliss enjoyed by the devotees of the Lord is completely different from the material happiness enjoyed by less intelligent persons. The less intelligent persons in the material world are engaged by the four principles of benediction called dharma, artha, kama and moksa. Generally they prefer to take to religious life to achieve some material benediction, the purpose of which is to satisfy the senses. When, by that process, they become confused or frustrated in fulfilling the maximum amount of sense enjoyment, they try to become one with the Supreme, which is, according to their conception, mukti, or liberation. There are five kinds of liberation, the least important of which is called sayujya, to become one with the Supreme. Devotees don't care for such liberation because they are actually intelligent. Nor are they inclined to accept any of the other four kinds of liberation, namely to live on the same planet as the Lord, to live with Him ...bodily features. They are concerned only with glorifying the Supreme Lord and His auspicious activities. Pure devotional service is sravanam kirtanam. Pure devotees, who take transcendental pleasure in hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord, do not care forany kind of liberation; even if they are offered the five liberations, they refuse to accept them, as stated in the Bhagavatam in the Third Canto. Materialistic persons aspire for the sense enjoyment of heavenly pleasure in the heavenly kingdom, but devotees reject such material pleasure at once. The devotee does not even care for the post of Indra. A devotee knows that any pleasurable material position is subject to be annihilated at a certain point. Even if one reaches the post of Indra, Candra, or any other demigod, he must be dissolved at a certain stage. A ... that sometimes even Brahma and Indra fall down, but a devotee in the transcendental abode of the Lord never falls. This transcendental stage of life, in which one feels transcendental pleasure in hearing the Lord's pastimes, is also recommended by Lord Caitanya. When Lord Caitanya was talking with Ramananda Raya, there were varieties of suggestions offered by Ramananda regarding spiritual realization, but Lord Caitanya rejected all but one -- that one should hear the glories of the Lord in association with pure devotees. That is acceptable for everyone, especially in this age. One should engage himself in hearing from pure devotees about the activities of the Lord. That is considered the supreme benediction for mankind.

95.
Madhya-lila: Chapter Twenty-two
The Process of Devotional Service

A pure devotee is the supreme transcendentalist, and one has to receive his mercy for one's dormant Krsna consciousness to be awakened. One has to associate with pure devotees. If one has firm faith in the words of a great soul, pure devotional service will awaken.

96.
Madhya-lila: Chapter Twenty-two, Text 52

"O son of Prtha, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible." (Bg. 9.13)
One also has to associate with such a mahatma who has accepted Krsna as the supreme source of the entire creation. Without being a mahatma, one cannot understand Krsna's absolute position. A mahatma is rare and transcendental, and he is a pure devotee of Lord Krsna.

97.
Madhya-lila: Chapter Twenty-two, Text 83

krsna-bhakti-janma-mula haya 'sadhu-sanga'
krsna-prema janme, tenho punah mukhya anga

TRANSLATION

"The root cause of devotional service to Lord Krsna is association with advanced devotees.Even when one's dormant love for Krsna awakens, association with devotees is still most essential."

98.
Madhya-lila: Chapter Twenty-two, Text 86 75221/173814

ata atyantikam ksemam
prcchamo bhavato'naghah
samsare'smin ksanardho'pi
sat-sangah sevadhir nrnam

TRANSLATION

" 'O devotees! O you who are free from all sins! Let me inquire from you about that which is supremely auspicious for all living entities. Association with a pure devotee for even half a moment in this material world is the greatest treasure for human society.'

PURPORT

This is a quotation from Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.30).
Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 3: Chapter Twenty-five, Text 25

satam prasangan mama virya-samvido
bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah
taj josanad asv apavarga-vartmani
sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramisyati

TRANSLATION

In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart. By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin.

PURPORT

The process of advancing in Krsna consciousness and devotional service is described here. The first point is that one must seek the association of persons who are Krsna conscious and who engage in devotional service. Without such association one cannot make advancement. Simply by theoretical knowledgeor study one cannot make any appreciable advancement. One must give up the association of materialistic persons and seek the association of devotees because without the association of devotees one cannot understand the activities of the Lord.

99.
Antya-lila:Chapter Sixteen, Text 60

bhakta-pada-dhuli ara bhakta-pada-jala
bhakta-bhukta-avasesa,--tina maha-bala

TRANSLATION

The dust of the feet of a devotee, the water that has washed the feet ofa devotee, and the remnants of food left by a devotee are three very powerful substances.

100.
TEXT 61

ei tina-seva haite krsna-prema haya
punah punah sarva-sastre phukariya kaya

TRANSLATION

By rendering service to these three, one attains the supreme goal of ecstatic love for Krsna. In all the revealed scriptures this is loudly declared again and again.

(The other 8 quotes are part of the introduction in case you are wondering.)

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Compiled by the insignificant aspiring servant of the Vaisnavas Isa das.


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