Pure Devotee

Hare Krishna to all devotees.

Dandavat pranam.

How to identify that a person is a pure devotee of Lord so that we can surrender ourself fully to his lotus feet and take diksha ? Only a person(Pure devotee) who has Krishna can give Krishna. but how to identify him. 

It is a general question not directed to any institution. RITWIKS are not welcome here.


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  • This isa very very important questions. Here are some practical tips

    1. The Guru does not engage in any other talk other than that of the Lord

    2.There is no idle gossip.

    3. The Guru is ever in the service of Guru and Gauranga

    4. The Guru is least interested in making disciples.

    There are many more...

    Read More..

  • Dear Rahul Prabhuji, humility is one thing and identification of a true Sadhu by an intelligent discrimination is another thing. Surrendering unto a pure devotee does not mean that you are disrespecting other devotees. This is called as 'Vivek' in sanskrit. It's not a Vaishnava aparadh.

  • At the time of His departure from this world, Krishna gave instructions to Uddhava. Uddhava had asked "What are the symptoms of pure devotees? How can we become pure devotees? How can we achieve uttama-bhakti (pure devotional service)?" In this connection, Krishna mentioned him about above 30 qualities. A devotee can be called as pure devotee only if he possess above 30 qualities. If this is not the case, he can not be called 100% pure devotee. Only by surrendering unto a 100% pure devotee, we can become 100% pure because a disciple develops qualities of his Guru. If his Guru is 98% pure devotee, the disciple will become 98% pure.

    A grocer can not be called a grocer if he keeps just 1or 2 items. To be called a grocer, he needs to keep all necessary groceries. Similarly, a devotee can not be called as a pure devotee if he does not possess all the above mentioned qualities.  

    Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, said in his Sri Chaitanya Shikshamrita 3.2., there are two categories of Vaishnavas, namely 1. Ordinary Vaishnavas and 2. Transcendentally Situated Vaishnava (also quoted in Pancharatra-pradipa. section on Serving the Vaishnavas - Vaishnava seva).

    The ordinary Vaishnavas are of three categories (1) those who believe in the philosophy of Krishna consciousness but do not practice strictly, (2) those who accept the markings of a Vaishnava and respect the Vaishnavas but do not practice strictly themselves, (3) and those who are from Vaishnava families and wear the marks of a Vaishnava but do not practice strictly. 

    The transcendentally Situated Vaishnava have been described above. They are not many but few. In fact, very rare. If all devotees were same in Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur's eye than he would not have made a partisan among the classes of devotees. Hence, all devotee's can not be said to be 100% pure. Only the one having above mentioned 30 qualities can be said to be 100% pure.

    If the Guru to whom you have surrendered is having only 90% qualities, you can get balance 10% qualities by associating with other Sadhu who possess rest 10% qualities. Then only you will become 100% pure. This option is the last resort when a 100% pure devotee is not visible. If you find such a true Sadhu then you should definitely take refuge of  such a Sadhu. In fact, the previous Guru should become happy by your decision. 

    • Volunteer

      Dear Rahul Hare Krsna,    You can judge by the external symptoms given in shastra.

      Krsna Mukergee has given a list from Bhagavatam but the translations are not so good.

      Better to use the good translations and explanations given in Prabhupada's books

      There is also a nice description given in 11th canto and Nectar of instruction describing kanistha madhyama and uttama devotees..

      I looked for Gaur gadhadhara prabhus quote that ,   rascal you should see everyone as pure devotee,          in the veda base but could not find this "famous" quote.

      I would appreciate some reference from him please for this Prabhupada said.

      Example is given that a gold smith can test gold with acid on a testing stone.

      The gold smith possesses some small piece of gold he knows is pure  22 carrot.

      With this he can test another piece of gold by marking the stone with his gold and the other gold he wishes to test. 

      Then with acids he can make tests to see if they are the same purity.

      In this way he can test a very large chunk of gold.

      So it requires that you must know and posses some pure devotion to see someone who has a larger quantity  of that purity of devotion to Krsna.

      When you can see it then you must show appropriate respect as given in shastra.

      This is real vaisnava etiquette as taught by Caitanya Mahaprabhu to the residents of Kulinagram in CC.

      This teaching is important and is followed by the madyam vaisnavas.

      The kanistha will not offer proper respect because of ignorance and pride.

      Madyamas and uttamas are both pure devotees.

      The uttama has complete knowledge and realization and can teach it

      While the madyamas are not so learned and may speculate  on shastra.

      So both study and personal training is required to learn this testing process.

      Without this training you will not advance because you will commit offenses to advanced devotees and accept association with materialistic kanisthas who are not any help to your pure devotion.

      • Haribol!

        Yes, this is a great answer!

        Thanks for putting this in perspective.

        ys,  rf

      • Volunteer

        Hare Krishna Prabhuji, Dandvat Pranam. Jai Srila Prabhupada.

        It was so wonderful to hear your explanation, it's very practical too.

        Regarding "Pure Devotee", i heard this statement from the lotus mouth of H.H. Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaja ji several times and had never question about it and truly accepted but as you asked, i had forward your query to senior disciple of His Holiness to reply.

        Hare Krishna.

        your servant,

        Gaur-gadadhar das

  • The 30 qualities of a true Sadhu are mentioned in the Srimad Bhagwatam 11.11.29 :


  • Volunteer

    Durvasa muni learnt that a little too late. But we should avoid what he had done. We should see and glorify every Vaishnava. When Prabhupada was asked who is a pure devotee, famously he said, "Rascal, except for you, everyone else is a pure devotee." So we may not have the great maturity but we must pray to Krishna to serve the Vaishnavas. Let us not forget that every Vaishnava seated next to us is a gem of a devotee. We always have this tendency to think that the person who speaks is a great devotee. He may be a great devotee. For us everyone is great, but do not forget that person sitting next to us is also great. Do not forget that person who cooks prasadam, who cleans up after everybody is gone, that person is also a great devotee. That way we really become servant of the servant of the servants and Prabhupada writes in this purport that is the secret of spiritual success. At the end of the narration it is said that, "Anyone who chants this narration or even thinks of this narration about the activities of Maharaja Ambarisha certainly becomes a pure devotee of the Lord." This is the verdict of Srimad Bhagavatam. The point is we become purified. That is the way of Srimad Bhagavatam. 

    • Srimad Bhagwatam lays down clearly who is a true Sant or a bonafide devotee. A spiritual aspirant should make only such a bonafide devotee his Guru/Acharya. If all are bonafide devotees and we surrender unto any kind of Bhakta then we would surely end up spoiling our moksha. 

      • Volunteer

        Once when Srila Prabhupada was asked how to define a pure devotee to whom we must be submissive, Srila Prabhupada said, "except for you, everyone else is a pure devotee." The mood Srila Prabhupada was trying to cultivate in us is that we should not see the faults in the devotees. A gentle disciple is submissive not only to his guru, but he sees all other devotees to be more advanced than him genuinely. He feels that he can learn from every devotee at least one aspect of Krishna consciousness. He believes sincerely that every devotee is a gem and when he sees the goodness in other devotees, he extracts the best in the other devotees and he learns.

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