Hari-katha Articles WHO'S A DEVOTEE? WHO'S A FAKE?


Do not think someone is Sri Krsna’s supremely dear and beloved devotee, if all the qualities of Bhagavan are not entering within that person. You should realize this person is not a devotee of Bhagavan. If you can see bad qualities in someone it is because they have gone far away from the Lord. They are called dur-guna. Dur-guna means bad qualities, and dur means to be far away. If you have developed bad qualities then that means, by nature, you are far away from God.

Why do the devotees always glorify the Lord so sweetly? Because when they embrace the Lord in their hearts, then all of the Lord’s qualities naturally come within them. When they are remembering the Lord and praising Him, then all those qualities enter within them.
If someone is displaying their devotion only for show, and they are not sincere in their Bhakti, then it will only last for a short amount of time. Someone can speak like a crazy person as long as they are intoxicated, and have their drugs. Similarly, there are people who can speak so eloquently and with different poetic meters and styles. They can also memorize and express so many things, and show that are so respectful and know so much tattva, but in reality, this is not natural, and it is only for show.

However, when you simply endeavor, with all sincerity to embrace the Lord in your heart, then automatically all anarthas and bad qualities will flee, and all your wicked tendencies will naturally be pacified. If from your childhood, you have had the habit of eating impure foods, living with tamasik qualities and tendencies, then naturally you will have difficulty collecting the teachings of the scriptures, going to the Holy places, and having respect for sadhus. On the other-hand if you are always in the association of sadhus, going to the holy tirthas, then naturally their qualities and tendencies will come within you.

What is paricaya – good qualities? You will be able to see them naturally manifest within a sincere devotee. Such devotees will never have to bow down before any materialistic person in this world. When you embrace Sri Krsna in your heart or make a place for His lotus feet there, then what will occur at that time? All varieties of good qualities will enter within you. All kinds of spiritual potency from the Lord’s divine pleasure potency will enter.

When you take shelter of Bhagavan then His transcendental potency, para-sakti, will first of all give you spiritual knowledge or cit-jnana. Then He will give you cit-bala or so much spiritual strength. But how can these be properly used?  What happens when the Lord gives someone potency but they misuse it? They don’t use it for the proper activities.

Some people have knowledge but what do they do with that knowledge? They only use that, not to help others, but to fight with others. Anarthas – such as wanting various kinds of wealth becomes an impediment in their progress. What is the natural qualities you develop during sadhana-bhakti? You will get jnana, bala and kriya, that is you will get spiritual knowledge, spiritual strength and then you will know how to properly engage in these things. This is by the mercy of kriya-shakti whose presiding Deity is Srimati Radhika. Kriya-shakti is that potency by which we can act, and that comes from Srimati Radhika. You will also develop the tendency to naturally engage in pious actions and the service of the Lord. The Gopis embraced Sri Krsna in their hearts, then naturally all kinds of transcendental qualities and happiness appeared within them.

Worldly people are naturally depressed, sad and contaminated. Why? Because they have lower desires in their hearts, which are always afflicting them and causing so much disturbance. How many materialistic people have we brought into our hearts? We bring them in our hearts and then we are always disturbed. A person is fortunate if he does not keep anything of this world in his heart. When they give no place for anything like that, then they are liberated. Their heart will be only for Bhagavan.

One kind of person for his own service, or for the satisfaction of his beloved, will do anything and everything, but still on doing that they are not happy. Another person leaves everything and engages everything they possess in Krsna’s service. They are happy and whatever they do they will get pure realization and experience. They alone get the power for spiritual experience and progress easily.


Just as within clouds there is electricity or lightning bolts, similarly in the hearts of devotees, the power of God is manifest. Occasionally it is seen or manifests before the vision of others. They naturally become very expert in all kinds of arts and skills. They get all kinds of knowledge and they manifest these things in this world for the benefit of worldly people and in this way they attract people.

Sri Krsna appeared in many different murtis like the megh-cakra– an unbroken disk or a disk of fire. He was very effulgent like a bolt of lightning. The devotees who had pure bhava brought the Lord within their hearts and with great joy they were immersed in ananda-rasa – the ocean of transcendental bliss.

It is described here by Srila Jiva Goswami Prabhu that the Vraja-devis were very –subhaya mana -very effulgent from embracing Krsna within their hearts. But Krsna was even more effulgent. Why is that? The Vraja-devis kept Krsna in their hearts, but who was Krsna keeping in His heart? The millions of Gopis, and they were all so effulgent that by thinking of them, the Lord became even more effulgent.


santa hrdaya navanita samana -The hearts of the sadhus are very pure and soft like butter. They are beautifully decorated with all good qualities. Krsna embraces His devotees in His heart and is pleased when someone comes to His temple, His tirtha, or establishes such a place. He is also pleased when people come there and light lamps, give flowers, garlands and sandal paste. Or they come and do Hari katha and kirtan.

If you will ask them why they come, they will reply; “Oh I find peace here.” Gradually the relationship with the Lord becomes fixed, and through their service to Him, they begin to offer Him love and respect. If in due course they do not meet with or see the devotees, they become very restless and feel distress. In this way the devotees gradually progress on the devotional path, and they always think of how to please the Lord. In this way, Krsna also becomes restless thinking of His devotees.

For example, the devotees have this very strong and loving relationship with Giriraja-Govardhana. If you do parikrama once, it isn’t enough. Again and again you want to go on Giriraja parikrama. The devotees have a strong desire to give abhisekha to Giriraja, to offer him bhoga, and to serve him in all varieties of ways and the fruit of that is that both of them will always be extremely happy. This happiness is not for a short period, it is not temporary, it is ongoing and ever increasing.

Excerpted from the up and coming Bhakta Bandhav publication, “Rasa-pancadhyayi”

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