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Who is an actual Vaisnava?

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SB 1.2.19-TRANSLATION

As soon as irrevocable loving service is established in the heart, the effects of nature's modes of passion and ignorance, such as lust, desire and hankering, disappear from the heart. Then the devotee is established in goodness, and he becomes completely happy.

PURPORT

A living being in his normal constitutional position is fully satisfied in spiritual bliss. This state of existence is called brahma-bhūta [SB 4.30.20] or ātmā-nandī, or the state of self-satisfaction. This self-satisfaction is not like the satisfaction of the inactive fool. The inactive fool is in the state of foolish ignorance, whereas the self-satisfied ātmānandī is transcendental to the material state of existence. This stage of perfection is attained as soon as one is fixed in irrevocable devotional service. Devotional service is not inactivity, but the unalloyed activity of the soul.

The soul's activity becomes adulterated in contact with matter, and as such the diseased activities are expressed in the form of lust, desire, hankering, inactivity, foolishness and sleep. The effect of devotional service becomes manifest by complete elimination of these effects of passion and ignorance. The devotee is fixed at once in the mode of goodness, and he makes further progress to rise to the position of Vāsudeva, or the state of unmixed sattva, or śuddha-sattva. Only in this śuddha-sattva state can one always see Kṛṣṇa eye to eye by dint of pure affection for the Lord.

A devotee is always in the mode of unalloyed goodness; therefore he harms no one. But the nondevotee, however educated he may be, is always harmful. A devotee is neither foolish nor passionate. The harmful, foolish and passionate cannot be devotees of the Lord, however they may advertise themselves as devotees by outward dress. A devotee is always qualified with all the good qualities of God. Quantitatively such qualifications may be different, but qualitatively both the Lord and His devotee are one and the same.


SB1.2.20-TRANSLATION

Thus established in the mode of unalloyed goodness, the man whose mind has been enlivened by contact with devotional service to the Lord gains positive scientific knowledge of the Personality of Godhead in the stage of liberation from all material association.

PURPORT

In the Bhagavad-gītā (7.3) it is said that out of many thousands of ordinary men, one fortunate man endeavors for perfection in life. Mostly men are conducted by the modes of passion and ignorance, and thus they are engaged always in lust, desire, hankerings, ignorance and sleep. Out of many such manlike animals, there is actually a man who knows the responsibility of human life and thus tries to make life perfect by following the prescribed duties. And out of many thousands of such persons who have thus attained success in human life, one may know scientifically about the Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa. In the same Bhagavad-gītā (18.55) it is also said that scientific knowledge of Śrī Kṛṣṇa is understood only by the process of devotional service (bhakti-yoga).

The very same thing is confirmed herein in the above words. No ordinary man, or even one who has attained success in human life, can know scientifically or perfectly the Personality of Godhead. Perfection of human life is attained when one can understand that he is not the product of matter but is in fact spirit. And as soon as one understands that he has nothing to do with matter, he at once ceases his material hankerings and becomes enlivened as a spiritual being. This attainment of success is possible when one is above the modes of passion and ignorance, or, in other words, when one is actually a brāhmaṇa by qualification. A brāhmaṇa is the symbol of sattva-guṇa, or the mode of goodness. And others, who are not in the mode of goodness, are either kṣatriyas, vaiśyas, śūdras or less than the śūdras. The brahminical stage is the highest stage of human life because of its good qualities. So one cannot be a devotee unless one at least qualifies as a brāhmaṇa. The devotee is already a brāhmaṇa by action. But that is not the end of it. As referred to above, such a brāhmaṇa has to become a Vaiṣṇava in fact to be actually in the transcendental stage. A pure Vaiṣṇava is a liberated soul and is transcendental even to the position of a brāhmaṇa. In the material stage even a brāhmaṇa is also a conditioned soul because although in the brahminical stage the conception of Brahman or transcendence is realized, scientific knowledge of the Supreme Lord is lacking. One has to surpass the brahminical stage and reach the vasudeva stage to understand the Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa. The science of the Personality of Godhead is the subject matter for study by the postgraduate students in the spiritual line. Foolish men, or men with a poor fund of knowledge, do not understand the Supreme Lord, and they interpret Kṛṣṇa according to their respective whims. The fact is, however, that one cannot understand the science of the Personality of Godhead unless one is freed from the contamination of the material modes, even up to the stage of a brāhmaṇa. When a qualified brāhmaṇa factually becomes a Vaiṣṇava, in the enlivened state of liberation he can know what is actually the Personality of Godhead.



Feb 14 1977 Mayapur-Varnashrama system must be introduced

Prabhupāda: Kaniṣṭha-adhikārī means he must be a brāhmaṇa. That is kaniṣṭha-adhikārī. The spiritual life, kaniṣṭha-adhikārī, means he must be a qualified brāhmaṇa. That is kaniṣṭha. What is esteemed as very high position in the material world, brāhmaṇa, that is kaniṣṭha-adhikārī. 

arcāyām eva haraye pūjāṁ yaḥ śraddhayehate na tad-bhakteṣu cānyeṣu sa bhaktaḥ prākṛtaḥ smṛtaḥ

 

The brāhmaṇa means from the material stage gradually he is elevated to the spiritual stage. And below the brāhmaṇa there is no question of Vaiṣṇava.


Some conclusions- From the above two verses and one conversation we can see the process of becoming pure. 

First thing is to become established in irrevocable devotional service, which means it does not stop at any time, is constantly being applied 100% in our lives, and cant be stopped by anything material. From that stage we hopefully and eventually attain perfection symptomized  initially,by the absence of the material modes of passion and ignorance.But this is not the end of it, only the beginning. From there we must transcend even the lifestyle and thinking of a bona fide brahmana. Prabhupada tells us that the "harmful foolish and passionate" cannot be devotees of the Lord. for we must first manifest  the good qualities of the Lord.

One of the first qualities is that a devotee/brahmana must cease all material hankerings because he knows he has nothing to do with matter. But that is not the end of it, for knowing I am not matter, or this body, but spirit soul, is only a neutral position. The soul itself must know the activity of the soul in relation to the Supersoul or Supreme Person, Krsna. At that stage of understanding, one becomes perfect. To become a qualified brahmana is not an easy thing to do, and to become transcendental to the brahminical stage is even more difficult. One becomes a devotee or Vaisnava when one attains the stage of qualified brahmana, and one becomes a pure devotee when we transcend  that stage of brahminical mode of goodness.And none of these things can be done without the blessings of Srila Prabhupada, a bona fide spiritual master.

Hare Krsna

Damaghosa das


 

 

 

 


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