Becoming a Vaishnava Devotee of Krsna
2. The Supreme process for developing such Krsna consciousness is the chanting of the Holy Name.
3. Becoming a pure devotee is not a cheap thing. We must guard against imitation and strictly follow in the footsteps of Srila Prabhupada.
4. The qualities of a pure devotee like Srila Prabhupada are far beyond our present grasp. However, in their compassion, Sri Krsna and the Vaisnavas have made both the principle and the process very clear and simple.
5. Sri Krsna in BG. 12.13-20 tells us quite plainly which qualities are dear to Him: (a) One who is not envious but is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor and is free from false ego, who is equal in both happiness and distress, who is tolerant, always satisfied, self-controlled, and engaged in devotional service with determination, his mind and intelligence fixed on Me-such a devotee of Mine is very dear to Me. (b) He for whom no one is put into difficulty and who is not disturbed by anyone, who is equipoised in happiness and distress, fear and anxiety, is very dear to Me. (c) My devotee who is not dependent on the ordinary course of activities, who is pure, expert, without cares, free from all pains, and not striving for some result, is very dear to Me. (d) One who neither rejoices nor grieves, who neither laments nor desires, and who renounces both auspicious and inauspicious things-such a devotee is very dear to Me. (e) One who is equal to friends and enemies, who is equipoised in honor and dishonor, heat and cold, happiness and distress, fame and infamy, who is always free from contaminating association, always silent and satisfied with anything, who doesn't care for any residence, who is fixed in knowledge and who is engaged in devotional service-such a person is very dear to Me. (f) Those who follow this imperishable path of devotional service and who completely engage themselves with faith, making Me the supreme goal, are very, very dear to Me.
6. How can we develop these qualities? Srila Rupa Gosvami explains- (a) be enthusiastic (b) endeavor with confidence (c) be patient (d) act according to regulative principles (such as sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam-hearing, chanting and remembering Krsna) (e) abandon the association of nondevotees (f) follow in the footsteps of the previous acaryas (Nectar of Instruction Text 3).
7. He also elucidates those practices which will hinder our Krsna conscious development: (a) eating more than necessary or collecting more funds than required (b) overendeavouring for mundane things that are very difficult to obtain (c) talking unnecessary about mundane subject matters (d) practicing the scriptural rules and regulations only for the sake of following them and not for the sake of spiritual advancement, or rejecting the rules and regulations of the scriptures and working independently or whimsically (e) associating with worldly-minded persons who are not interested in Krsna consciousness (f) being greedy for mundane achievements.
8. Srila Prabhupada, being as practical as he is compassionate, has provided a very clear and simple check list by which we can assess our progress in Krsna consciousness. Please read Bhagavad-gita Chapter 13, Verses 8-12.
9. The process for developing our Krsna consciousness is profoundly simple and straight forward. If we sincerely take shelter of the lotus feet of the Vaisnavas, and intensely desire to achieve the goal, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu will undoubtedly shower His mercy upon us.