Saint Ved Vyas relating the Bhagwatam to Shukdeo (3100 B.C.)

The Encyclopedia of Authentic Hinduism by H.D. Swami Prakashanand Saraswati (the most important site on Hinduism, the Upanishads, modern Physics, Bhartiya, Sanatan Dharm and more)

(69) The recognition of a true devotee of God (gyani or bhakt), be he a sanyasi or a family man.

       It is explained earlier that God is realized through bhakti, whether nirakar brahm (the nirakar aspect of God) or a personal form of God. Shree Chaitanya Mahaprabhuji has clearly stated that,

In the age of kaliyug the remembrance of the Divine name of Hari (Krishn) is the only way to receive God realization; and the promoter of advait vad (absolute monism), Jagadguru Shankaracharya himself declares,

Without the bhakti of Krishn, the heart of a spiritual practitioner can never be purified. In that case there seems no reason as to why a seeker of God should follow the extremely difficult path of gyan instead of bhakti. However, for any of his intellectual reasons, if a sanyasi (who has renounced his family) or even a family man is trying to follow the path of gyan, he should know that these are the indications of a true follower of that path: (a) He should be away from all kinds of social and religious functions and activities; (b) he should be resorting to his practices of samadhi, according to the instructions of the Yog Darshan, for a major part of the day and night; (c) he should not have any attachment to his property and his physical comforts, he should not desire for his name and fame in the society and he must be truly humble and forgiving (not having any arrogance or a show of pride in his behavior); and (d) he must be having a true regard for all the forms of God with a feeling of self-surrender to a particular form of God (Vishnu, Shiv, Durga, Ram or Krishn).

The indications of a true devotee (bhakt) of God are: (a) He should be humble, forgiving and having no arrogance in his behavior; (b) he should be fully dedicated to a personal form of God and, regarding Him to be the true beloved of his soul, he should be yearning for His Divine vision and love; (c) while lovingly remembering his beloved God all the time, he should be doing his regular devotions and should be away from the attachments of the world; and (d) he should have a regard for all the acharyas.


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