(1) To advance in spiritual life, What basic qualities should I try to cultivate?
Before reading the QUALITIES OF A PURE DEVOTEE OF KRISHNA, let us read some basic qualities also. Srimad-Bhagavatam lists four qualities essential for spiritual growth (from First Canto, Chapter 17, Verse 24). Anyone who cultivates these qualities and sincerely chants Krishna’s names can make rapid spiritual progress.
(1) Mercy (2) Cleanliness (3) Self-discipline and (4) Truthfulness
(2) To advance in spiritual life, What ACTIVITIES should I AVOID?
The four activities that slow down a devotee’s spiritual progress:
(a) Meat Eating (destroys mercy);
(b) Illicit sex (destroys cleanliness);
(c) Intoxication (destroys self-discipline) and
(d) Gambling (destroys truthfulness)
(3) Qualities of a pure devotee of Krishna
Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita gives the QUALITIES OF A PURE DEVOTEE OF KRISHNA:
A pure devotee is:
(1) Merciful, Kind :
Kind to all the living beings, not only humans.
(2) Not defiant, Humble :
Respects all, does not expect honours.
(3) Truthful :
Acts only in the interests of Krishna, not in his own interests.
(4) Equal to everyone :
Sees Krishna in all the living beings and hence treats all as equal.
(5) Faultless :
Surrendered to Krishna in words, deeds, and mind
(6) Charitable :
He has a magnanimous mind to distribute love and wealth to the needy.
(7) Clean :
He is pure from material contaminations.
(8) Aware of the ownership of Krishna:
Sees everything as Krsna’s property.and engage everything in Krsna’s service.
(9) Cares the welfare of everyone :
Welfare work of a devotee for the benefit of all living entities.
(10) Peaceful :
Not materially, but, really peaceful realising his relationship with Krsna.
(11) Fully Surrendered to Krishna :
He is totally dependent on Krishna entrusting himself to Krishna.
(12) Desireless :
He does not have any material desire anymore and his only desire is to serve Krishna and the vaishnavas including guru.
(13) Indifferent to material acquisitions :
He engages everything he has including money and things in the service of Krishna.
(14) Fixed in Krishna consciousness :
He can not be diverted by any means, from his devotion to Krishna.
(15) Self Controlled:
He controls all the six bad qualities, such as lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness and envy by engaging in Krishna’s service.
(16) Moderate in eating :
He does not eat more than required as said by Krishna in Bhagavad Gita.
He is not obsessed with material things and he leads a simple life with basic needs only.
(18) Respectful :
He respects all as parts of Krishna and does not expeect respect from others.
(19) No false prestige :
He does not add materials to gain false prestige from others. He sees everything belongs to Krishna.
(20) Grave :
He is constantly thinking of Krishna and the real purpose of life, ie, serving the Lord and vaishnavas..
Compassionately distribute Krishna to everyone.
(22) Friendly :
He is the friend to all like Krishna considers all as friends.
(23) Poetic :
Because he always links everything with Krishna.
(24) Expert :
Since he gains strength from his guru and Krishna, he is expert in performing anything for Krishna.
(25) Silent :
He speaks only about Krishna and spiritual topics. Not mundane things.
Since he is satisfied in Krishna, he is always unagitated, peaceful and mild.
Let us aim to develop these qualities to make our life fully meaningful.