That is Pure Devotee


To serve Krsna, not for my benefit but Krsna’s satisfaction. that is pure devotee.

Guest: Swami, do you see a difference or a conflict between being a devotee of Jesus and a devotee of Kṛṣṇa? May one be both?

Prabhupāda: …”A devotee means, real devotee means, he has no purpose for material gain. That is real devotee. Now we have to see what kind of devotee he is. There are two kinds of devotees: with purpose and without purpose. The “without purpose” devotee is pure devotee, and “with purpose” devotee, they are material devotee. That is distinguished in Bhagavad-gītā,

ārto arthārthī jijñāsur
jñānī ca bharatarṣabha
catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ
(janāḥ) sukṛtinaḥ arjuna
[Bg. 7.16]

There are pious men and sinful men. Sinful men cannot become devotee. Pious men can become devotee.

yeṣāṁ tv anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ
janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām
te dvandva-moha-nirmuktā
bhajante māṁ dṛḍha-vratāḥ
[Bg. 7.28]

These are the definitions. One who is completely free from all sinful activities, they can become pure devotee. So even after becoming free from sinful activities, if one has got some motive, then he is also not pure devotee. Pure devotee means without any material motive: “God is great. I am His subordinate. I must love God. I must render service to God.” This is pure devotee.

And if I go to God, “Please give me my bread,” that is not pure devotee, because he has got some purpose. As soon as his purpose is fulfilled, he may turn nondevotee. Therefore the devotee who has no motive is pure devotee. “In any condition, it is my duty to love God and to serve Him, not for my benefit but God’s satisfaction.” That is pure devotee.

This is the definition of pure devotee. “If God satisfies me in my sense gratification, then I love God. Otherwise I have no connection with Him.” That is not devotion; that is business. So business-type devotion is not devotion. It is devotion—it may be accepted as a pious activity, not devotion. Devotion is transcendental to pious and impious activity.”

(Srila Prabhupada – Room Conversation with three Trappist Monks, Psychologists from the University of Georgia, and Atlanta Lawyer, Michael Green— March 1, 1975, Atlanta)

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