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What will be the first step of being devoted towards the lord? I mean what will be the symptoms?
From Vaishnavi Devi Dasi
Hare Krishna Mataji,
The initial symptons would be that one would be very peaceful & content from within. Not easily perturbed. Would not be interested in material/mundane talks/lifestyles. Would enjoy and seek out company of fellow dedicated vaishnavas. Would relish any activity concerned with the lord.
Basically a happy & humble countenance.
A person who is always absorbed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is called a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. The devotees of Kṛṣṇa can be classified into two groups: those who are cultivating devotional service in order to enter into the transcendental kingdom, and those who are already in the perfectional stage of devotional service.
First step of being devoted: A person who has attained the stage of attraction for Kṛṣṇa and who is not freed from the material impasse, but who has qualified himself to enter into the kingdom of God, is called sādhaka. Sādhaka means one who is cultivating devotion in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The description of such a devotee is found in the Eleventh Canto, 2nd Chapter, 45th verse, of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. It is said there that a person who has unflinching faith in and love for the Personality of Godhead, who is in friendship with devotees of Kṛṣṇa, and who is very merciful to the ignorant, raising them to the standard of devotional service, and who is uninterested in non devotees, is considered to be situated in the position of cultivating devotional service.
Symptoms: When one is found shedding tears by hearing of the pastimes of the Lord, it is to be understood that the blazing fire of material existence will be extinguished by such watering. When there is shivering of the body and the hair of the body stand up, it is to be understood that the devotee is nearing perfection. An example of a sādhaka cultivating devotional service is Bilvamaṅgala Thākur.
Devotion cannot be forcefully induced or ignited but comes naturally to whoever has the strong desire to achieve the highest perfectional stage of devotion i.e. Prema-bhakti towards the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Mathura Vasi Devi Dasi.
it gives immense joy,intoxication,like a lost soul...Beyond words..ECSTASY !!
IMHO, I feel that when someone is interested in spirituality and is moving towards Krsna, that is, he is sacrificing his time (of say going for a movie) to attend a lecture, or any spiritual program, that is the first step towards devotion. Adau shraddha is what is mentioned in the 9 stages of devotion. Gradually, more and more time will be spent in devotional activities and less and less time in other activities.