PURITY or LOVE – WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT FOR DEVOTIONAL GROWTH?
A devotee had asked:
“Prabhuji, humble request. plz.. xplain me in Krishna Consciousness (in devotional service to krishna), what is more important – Purity or love ?”
Many say that only love is important. But, love without purity will fall down soon. So, even the love should be pure, ie, should be kept on Krishna without expecting anything from Him.
Why the human love fails in many cases?
Because human love is packed with expectations.
For example, a girl thinks: “If I love and marry him, I can settle in life because he is a rich guy”
A boy thinks: “If I love and marry this girl, I can increase my status in the society as she is very beautiful”
(Why Purity is important in devotion while Krishna Himself gave genitals to all? READ HERE!)
The Parents do everything in an expectation that their sons or daughters will take care of them in their old age.
So, Pure love is rare in the material life as we are contaminated with attachments and expectations.
So, let us now discuss which is important for devotional growth out of Purity or Love.
No doubt, If we compare whether Purity or love, which is the most important, though Both are equally important TO FOLLOW DEVOTION, Purity is the must TO GROW IN DEVOTION AND TO GET KRISHNA.
Because, KRISHNA IS 100% PURE. Love may get contaminated by maya’s intervention. Whereas there is no chance of contamination in purity since if contaminated it is not the purity. Purity is the ultimate level to be achieved by everyone.
(Why should we hear about Krishna and get Hari Nam ONLY from a Pure Vaishnava? READ HERE! )
“Purity is the Force” for the devotees to carry on his devotional service. Purity is attained by sustained practice that makes us love Krishna unconditionally. Without loving Krishna , we will not take efforts to purify ourselves. So, both are related to each other. Inseparable.
Now a days, many unqualified materialistic persons too say that they are doing Devotional Service to the Lord for the fame and wealth. If a person hears from an impure person, the devotee himself is dragged down to the low level of the preacher.
Let me give you wonderful excerpts from scriptures and the writings of A.C. Bakthi Vedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, the founder of ISKCON in which he has insisted that PURITY is the Driving Force in Devotional Service:
(1) Here Srila Prabhupada says that Loving Devotional service comes through PURITY, in letter to to Karandhar 22 Dec 1972:
“This spontaneous loving devotional service is not so easy matter, but if one simply sticks to the rules and regulations, like rising early, chanting 16 rounds, chanting gayatri, keeping always clean – this enthusiasm will grow more and more, and if there’s also patience and determination, one day he will come to the platform of spontaneous devotion, then his life will be perfect.”
(Is it possible to get Krishna as our friend? How? READ HERE!)
(2) Here ,Srila Prabhupada says that the services of a yogi without PURITY will have no value, in Bhagavad Gita As It Is 3.6 Purport:
But he who makes a show of being a yogi, while actually searching for the objects of sense gratification, must be called the greatest cheater, even though he sometimes speaks of philosophy. His knowledge has no value because the effects of such a sinful man’s knowledge are taken away by the illusory energy of the Lord. Such a pretenders mind is always impure, and therefore his show of yogic meditation has no value whatsoever.”
(3) The Nectar of Devotion starts with this point only. It says the nature of PURE Devotional service:
“There are five kinds of liberation, namely to become one with the Lord, to live with the Supreme Lord on the same planet, to have the same features as the Lord, to enjoy the same opulences as the Lord and to live as a companion of the Lord. A devotee, what to speak of rejecting material sense gratification, does not even want any of the five kinds of liberation. He is satisfied simply by discharging loving service to the Lord. That is the characteristic of pure devotion.”
(Why should we do just the rituals with impure heart? Why can’t we follow purity of heart instead of rituals? READ HERE!)
Therefore, Discharging LOVING SERVICE TO THE LORD is the characteristic of PURE DEVOTION. Thus, Love is the product of Purity. Isn’t it?
That is why, I say , If we consider whether PURITY or LOVE is important, BOTH are the essential qualities for devotional service.
4 NECTAR OF DEVOTION says: In the above statement by Kapiladeva from Srimad-Bhagavatam, the actual position of a pure devotee is described, and the primary characteristics of devotional service are also defined. Further characteristics of devotional service are described by Rupa Gosvami with evidences from different scriptures. He states that there are six characteristics of pure devotional service, which are as follows:
(1) Pure devotional service brings immediate relief from all kinds of material distress.
(10 REASONS WHY ISKCON IS ABLE TO CREATE PURE DEVOTEES MORE? READ HERE!)
(2) Pure devotional service is the beginning of all auspiciousness.
(3) Pure devotional service automatically puts one in transcendental pleasure.
(4) Pure devotional service is rarely achieved.
(5) Those in pure devotional service deride even the conception of liberation.
(6) Pure devotional service is the only means to attract Krishna.
Krishna is all-attractive, but pure devotional service attracts even Him. This means that pure devotional service is even transcendentally stronger than Krishna Himself, because it is Krishna’s internal potency.
(Read this also : HOW TO KNOW THAT WE ARE GETTING PURIFIED FROM KARMA? )
Thus, Pure devotional service is otherwise meant RADHARANI HERSELF.
5 MY COMMENT: When will you love someone in this world? Only when there is an exclusivity and dedication to that particular person only. If a husband loves his wife alone (or) Vice versa, it is called LOVE. If there is multiplicity, it is called something else. Pure love can not exist there. Therefore, Love comes only when there is dedication to the single person that is called purity. Similarly, if we are dedicated ONLY TO KRISHNA, we can love Krishna and it is called purity. For a Pure Devotee, EVERYTHING IS KRISHNA. He sees Krishna everywhere.
If He loves material opulences also along with Krishna it is IMPURITY, and hence how can he love Krishna wholeheartedly?
6 In NECTAR OF DEVOTION, it is further said: “A pure devotee does not lack any kind of happiness derived from any source. He does not want anything but service to Krishna, but even if he should have another desire, the Lord fulfills this without the devotee’s asking.”
So, when a devotee is that much of pure, he will automatically love Krishna, and Krishna alone – not any material things.
(Also Read HERE : WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF OFFENSIVE CHANTING AND WHY PURE CHANTING IS REQUIRED?)
Purity means thinking only of Krishna and a detached state from material contamination. This can not be expected from every one in the beginning. So, it needs sustained practice.
7. What happens if a devotee loses Purity and gets associated with materialistic things?
Srila Prabhupada says: “When sense gratification enters the mind of a devotee, he is contaminated. The materialistic person who aspires after sense gratification cannot properly think of Krishna.”
8. This shows how important PURITY is for a devotee to prevent fall downs:
In Bhagavad Gita Ch-18, Text – 65, Krishna advises ‘man-mana-bhava’, ie, absorb your mind and heart in Me and in this way ‘mad-bhakto’, ie, become My devotee and then ‘mad-yaji ‘ offer propitiation to Me and then ‘mam namaskuru’ just give humble obeisance to Me always remembering that we are not our physical bodies but effulgent and pure spiritual beings eternally.
(How to become a pure devotee and attach with Krishna? READ HERE!)
9. NECTAR OF DEVOTION further says:
“There was a great devotee of Lord Caitanya known as Kholaveca Sridhara, who was a very poor man. He was doing a small business selling cups made from the leaves of plantain trees, and his income was almost nothing. Still, he was spending fifty percent of his small income on the worship of the Ganges, and with the other fifty percent he was somehow living. Lord Caitanya once revealed Himself to this confidential devotee, Kholaveca Sridhara, and offered him any opulence he liked. But Sridhara informed the Lord that he did not want any material opulence. He was quite happy in his present position and wanted only to gain unflinching faith and devotion unto the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya. That is the position of pure devotees. If they can be engaged twenty-four hours each day in devotional service they do not want anything else, not even the happiness of liberation or of becoming one with the Supreme.”
Anyone can love Krishna. But, unless he takes efforts to purify himself as said by Krishna, he can not be purified. Therefore, Purity must be the our first target to associate with Krishna as a servant.
Only because of the lack of Purity, we have seen a small section of devotees falling from devotional service in the middle
So, the Verdict is: Purity is important if we consider whether PURITY or LOVE.
(QUALITIES OF A PURE DEVOTEE OF KRISHNA! READ HERE!)