26 Qualities of a Devotee

A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA – People are thinking in a different way: “Why shall I love God only? Why shall I love God? I shall love my family. I shall love my country. I shall love my…” But no, you cannot love all of these things. It is not possible, because you are missing the central point. These are facts. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna. However materially or academically qualified he may be, one who does not love God cannot have any good qualifications. Why? Manorathenasati dhavato bahih—because he’ll simply speculate on the mental plane and fall under the spell of the material energy.

But it is clearly stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, yasyasti bhaktih bhagavaty akincana—as a person becomes advanced in devotional service, automatically he develops all good qualities.



The Caitanya Caritamrita gives a list of twenty-six qualities of a devotee as follows:


1. He is very kind to everyone.
2. He does not make anyone his enemy.
3. He is truthful.
4. He is equal to everyone.
5. No one can find any fault in him.
6. He is magnanimous.
7. He is mild.
8. He is always clean.
9. He is without possessions.
10. He works for everyone’s benefit.
11. He is very peaceful.
12. He is always surrendered to Krishna.
13. He has no material desires.
14. He is very meek.
15. He is steady.
16.He controls his senses.
17. He does not eat more than required.
18. He is not influenced by the Lord’s illusory energy.
19. He offers respect to everyone.
20. He does not desire any respect for himself.
21. He is very grave.
22. He is merciful.
23. He is friendly.
24. He is poetic.
25. He is expert.
26. He is silent.

After all, what is the meaning of Krishna consciousness? Is it just some kind of sentiment or fanaticism? No. It is a science. If you follow the rules and regulations, then automatically all these good qualities develop. You can actually see. And as soon as these qualities are there, then you actually become a lover of your country; you become a lover of your fellow man. You become a friend to everyone, a lover of God—everything. So just imagine if each and every person became like that….

Of course, it is not expected that each and every person will become like that. However, if only ten percent of the world’s population becomes Krishna conscious, then it is guaranteed that we will have peace in the world. Why? Because ekas candrah—we do not require many moons in the sky. One moon is sufficient to drive away the darkness. Varam eko guni putro nirgunena satena kim. Canakya Pandita says that it is better to have one qualified son than to have hundreds of fools. The modern civilization is going on in that way—godless civilization. But if some percentage of the civilized human beings become Krishna conscious, that will bring world peace. Otherwise it is not possible. Krishna consciousness is therefore a necessity.

Transcendental Sound

One of the most powerful practices of bhakti-yoga is the hearing of transcendental sound, which means to hear about Krishna’s qualities and activities as described in Srimad-Bhagavatam, or to hear Krishna’s practical instructions on how to achieve the transcendental state as given in Bhagavad-gita As It Is, or to chant the Hare Krishna mantra. (A mantra is a sound that frees one from illusion.) The Hare Krishna mantra consists of three names of Krishna in a special arrangement:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

The name Krishna means the all-attractive person. This name is perfectly appropriate since Krishna attracts everyone by His superexcellent qualities. Even those who are not aware of their relationship with Krishna are attracted to His qualities as they appear in various people and natural phenomena in the physical world. (Everything attractive in this world is a reflection of Krishna’s qualities.) The name Rama means ever-increasing transcendental ecstasy. One can immediately experience transcendental ecstasy if one chants this mantra sincerely. Hare is an address to the internal potency of Krishna that helps us to achieve pure love for Him. This hearing process is extremely powerful and has the potency to elevate anyone to the position of self-realization, which is the ultimate perfection of existence.

Meditation and the Self Within

Every being has a soul

Can meditation solve our everyday problems? Is there life after death? Can drugs help us achieve self-realization? During a visit to South Africa in 1976, Srila Prabhupada answered these and other questions for interviewer Bill Faill of the Durban Natal Mercury.

Srila Prabhupada: Krishna is a name for God that means “all-attractive.” Unless one is all-attractive he cannot be God. So Krishna consciousness means God consciousness. All of us are small particles of God, equal in quality with Him. Our position as living entities is like that of a small particle of gold in relation to a large quantity of gold.

Mr. Faill: Are we something like sparks in a fire?

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Both the fire and the spark are fire, but one is big, and the other is very small. Unlike the relationship between the spark and the fire, however, our relationship with God is eternal, although at the present moment we have forgotten that relationship due to contact with the material energy. We are facing so many problems only because of this forgetfulness. If we can revive our original God consciousness, then we shall become happy. This is the sum and substance of Krishna consciousness. It is the best process by which to revive our original God consciousness. There are different processes of self-realization, but in the present age of Kali, people are very fallen, and they require the simple process of Krishna consciousness. Now they are thinking that so-called material advancement is the solution to their problems, but this is not a fact. The real solution is to get out of the material condition entirely by becoming Krishna conscious. Because God is eternal, we are also eternal, but in the material condition we are thinking, “I am this body,” and therefore we must repeatedly change from body to body. This is due to ignorance. Actually we are not our bodies but spiritual sparks, parts and parcels of God.

Mr. Faill: Then the body is just like a vehicle for the soul?

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The First Step

Transmigration of the soul

Transmigration of the soul


A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA – Krishna consciousness is not a question of belief; it is a science. The first step is to know the difference between a living body and a dead body. What is the difference? The difference is that when someone dies, the spirit soul, or the living force, leaves the body. And therefore the body is called “dead”. So, there are two things: one, this body; and the other, the living force within the body.

We speak of the living force within the body. That is the difference between the science of Krishna consciousness, which is spiritual, and ordinary material science. As such, in the beginning it is very, very difficult for an ordinary man to understand the importance of our movement. One must first understand that he is a soul, or something other than his body. For example, as a child grows, he becomes a boy, the boy becomes a young man, the young man becomes an adult, and the adult becomes an old man. Throughout all this time, although his body is changing from a child to an old man, he still feels himself to be the same person, with the same identity. The body is changing, but the occupier of the body, the soul, is remaining the same. So we should logically conclude that when our present body dies, we get another body. This is called transmigration of the soul.


Krishna and Vishnu

Srimad-Bhagavatam and Brahma-samhita provide us with further information that the origin of Lord Vishnu is Krishna. Krishna is actually the original source of everything, even of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu and other Vishnu-like forms such as Narayana, Vasudeva, Sankarshana, Aniruddha and Pradyumna, are forms of Krishna for accepting worship in awe and reverence. (Krishna has more intimate relationships with His devotees, as explained below.) These forms have slightly different bodily features and qualities from Krishna. Each of these forms presides over a particular Vaikuntha planet in the transcendental world. On each of these planets there are self-realized persons with superhuman, transcendental bodies who are constantly overwhelmed with ever-increasing ecstasy by glorifying and worshiping these Vishnu forms in a mood of awe and reverence. All activities in the transcendental world are performed out of ecstatic love and affection. There are no necessities or requirements, and so there is no need for any boring or unpleasant work. In the transcendental world, every step is a dance and every word is a song.

The activities performed in the transcendental world are described in detail in Srimad-Bhagavatam, Brahma-samhita, The Nectar of Devotion, and Caitanya Caritamrta. These texts also describe the transcendental bodily features of Krishna and His various Vishnu forms in great detail. They describe how Krishna and His forms create the physical world, interact with it, and perform pleasurable pastimes with Their devotees in this world. Krishna and His forms regularly visit the earth and other planets and perform activities that are full of exceptional power, compassion and love. The Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam consists of hundreds of pages describing some of the pastimes Krishna performed in His most recent appearance on earth five thousand years ago. Krishna appears on earth in a form visible to everyone once every 8.6 billion years.

The devotees on the Vaikuntha planets relate to the Vishnu forms in a mood of awe and reverence. But the devotees on Krishna’s planet Goloka Vrindavana relate to him in more intimate ways. On Goloka Vrindavana, Krishna’s special energyyogamaya makes the devotees forget Krishna’s omnipotent position. Thus, Krishna’s cowherd boy friends wrestle with Him and sometimes defeat Him, and He enjoys this. After being defeated, He also enjoys it when one of His friends says to Him “You are not such a big man, I can defeat you easily.” The Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam contains detailed descriptions of the various kinds of intimate relationships the devotees have with Krishna in Vrindavana.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare  ॐ हरे कृष्णा हरे कृष्णा कृष्णा कृष्णा हरे हरे। हरे रामा हरे रामा रामा रामा हरे हरे॥ ॐ