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1.What is the nature of a pure devotee?
Simplicity, determination, and exclusiveness are the characteristics of a pure devotee. He never approves of any topic that is opposed to devotional service just to keep people happy; the pure devotees are always neutral. (Sajjana-tosanl 8/10)
2.What is the character of a Vaisnava? Who is qualified to be called a Vaisnava?
The character of a Vaisnava is sinless and no part of his character is fit for hiding. Simplicity is the life of a Vaisnava. He always teaches others by setting his own examples. Unless his character is pure, he is not fit to be called a Vaisnava.(Sajjana-tosanl 5/10)
3.Does a great personality, who worships Krsna in his spiritual body, give up the rules and regulations?
Do swanlike persons engage only in spiritual activities and neglect material activities? No. Swanlike persons worship Krsna in the mood of one who is enjoyed, and they boldly take care of the external body. Eating, sleeping, enjoying,traveling, exercising, protecting society, protecting the body, riding in vehicles, engaging in industrial enterprises, and walking in the open air are seen in the lives of swanlike persons. (Sri Krsna-samhitd Chapter 10/12)
4.During his life, can a swanlike Vaisnava work rather than worship Hari?
The swanlike Vaisnavas valiantly remain and work among men. They are the shelter of women and are respected by them. They take part in social activities and gain much experience. They teach their children artha-sdstra and thus become known as headmasters.
(Sri Krsna-samhitd Chapter 10/13)
5.Why is dry renunciation not pleasing to Krsna? How does Sri Hari bestow His mercy on one who favorably cultivates devotional service to Krsna, and who is devoid of material enjoyment, fruitive activities, and mental speculation?
The role of sannyasa is a sort of karma befitting an dsrama and is not pleasing to Krsna when it aims at liberation. Sannydsis receive the fruits of their karma and even if they are unmotivated, their karma ends in dtma-mamatd, self-pleasure. Pure devotees always serve Krsna by gratifying His senses. They forsake all attempts of karma and jhdna, being free from all desires except to serve Krsna. Krsna has fully destroyed the karma, its desires, and nescience of those devotees.(Sri Brahma-sarhhitd 5/54)
6.Who is best among those who follow the principles of varndsrama-dharmat Does an unalloyed devotee of Visnu accept the rules and regulations of karma-kanda?
It has been said that among those who follow varnasrama-dharma, a devotee of Lord Visnu is the best. A devotee gives up eternal and occasional activities that are in the mode of passion and ignorance, such as offering oblations to the forefathers and worshiping the demigods. On the other hand, if an unalloyed devotee's behavior and activities are like those of sudras and outcastes, still it is to be understood that he will give up all activities that cause his material bondage. (Sat-kriya-sara-dipika)
7.Can a pure Vaisnava born in any caste become a qualified brahmana?
It does not matter in which family one is born; if one becomes a pure Vaisnava, one automatically becomes a qualified brahmana.
(Jaiva Dharma Chapter 6)
8.Does a Vaisnava born from any family have a right to teach the Vedas?
A person who has developed unflinching devotion to Krsna is eligible to become a teacher of the Vedas, which reveal the truth.
(Jaiva Dharma Chapter 6)
9.Without the mercy of Krsna, can one attain liberation simply by cultivating knowledge? Does a pure devotee pray for liberation?
Despite following various methods, such as performing fruitive activities, cultivating knowledge, practicing yoga, and undergoing austerities, no one can attain liberation. That is why persons who are on the path of knowledge take shelter of the reflection of devotional service to Krsna. The authorities of pure devotional service do not pray for liberation, but liberation herself humbly tries to serve the pure devotees. (Sri Manah-siksd Verse 8)
10.Should a Vaisnava pray for worldly opulence or heavenly pleasures?
The kingdom on earth, the beauty of heaven, and the sovereignty over the material world are never the subject of Vaisnava prayer.
(The Bhagavat: Its Philosophy, Its Ethics & Its Theology)
11.How does a self-realized surrendered soul worship Hari? Does he have any pride for his material possessions?
A self-realized person, having no material assets, knows that attachment to Krsna is the essence of life. Therefore he gives up the desire for material enjoyment and liberation. He maintains his family in a simple way and constantly serves Hari through his eternal spiritual body. Such a person abandons pride of his beauty, high birth, and physical strength, and always engages in devotional service. (Kalyana-kalpataru Song 1)
12.Who are the highest type of practitioners?
The highest type of practitioners are those who believe that, of all the processes of sddhana-bhakti, taking shelter of the Lord's holy name awards one all perfection.(Hari-nama-cintamani)
13.Are the arguments or loving quarrels among the pure Vaisnavas comprehensible to mundane intelligence?
What the unalloyed devotee of the Supreme Lord says is all-true and is independent of any consideration of unwholesome pros and cons. There is, however, the element of mystery in their verbal controversies. Those, whose judgment is made of mundane stuff, being unable to enter into the spirit of the all loving controversies among pure devotees, due to their own want of unalloyed devotion, are apt to impute to the devotees their own defects of partisanship and opposing views. (Brahma-samhita 5/37)
14.Do the pure Vaisnavas ever endeavor to protect their independence? What kind of service to Krsna have they achieved?
A Vaisnava should always carefully remember that he is a servant of the servant of the lover of the gopis. He is always dependent and never independent. He cannot have independence, because he has sold his nature of independence in the form of being a servant of the Lord and in this way, he has obtained service to Krsna. (Sajjana-tosani 11/10)
15.Do pure devotees, who are intoxicated by drinking the honey from the lotus fee t of Krsna, feel the pangs of the threefold material miseries?
Pure devotees are immersed in an ocean of happiness by drinking the intoxicating beverage of service to Krsna. They do not know the pains of this world, nor do they have trouble of any want, because they are situated in their pure bodies and have pure desires. (Sri Navadvlpa-bhdva-tarahga 102)
16.What is the character of a Vaisnava?
A Vaisnava is always transcendental, faultless, and blissful. He is fond of chanting the Krsna's holy name, indifferent to material enjoyments, and very kind to all living entities. He is devoid of pride, expert in worshiping the Lord, and detached from material objects. He is always without duplicity and is attached to relishing the eternal pastimes of the Lord.
17.By whose appeal does Krsna bestow mercy?
By the appeal of the Vaisnavas, the most merciful Krsna becomes compassionate toward a sinful person like me. (Kalyana -kalpataru)
18. What does a pure Vaisnava pray to the Lord? Through which relationship does he appeal to the Lord to engage in His service?
The Vaisnava meekly and humbly says, "Father, Master, God, Friend and Husband of my soul! Hallowed be Thy name. I do not approach You for anything that You have already given me. I have sinned against You and I now repent and solicit Your pardon. Let Thy Holiness touch my soul and make me free from grossness. Let my spirit be devoted meekly to Your holy service in absolute love towards Thee. I have called You my God, and let my soul be wrapped up in admiration at Your Greatness! I have addressed You as my Master and let my soul be strongly devoted to Your service. I have called You my Friend and let my soul be in reverential love toward You and not in dread or fear! I have called You my Husband and let my spiritual nature be in eternal union with You, forever loving and never dreading, or feeling disgust. My love! Let me have strength enough to go up to You as the consort of my soul, so that we may be one in eternal love! Peace to the world!"
(The Bhagavat: Its Philosophy, Its Ethics & Its Theology)