Chapter 12: Devotional Service
Bg 12.18, Bg 12.19, Bg 12.18-19
samah satrau ca mitre ca
santusto yena kenacit
bhaktiman me priyo narah
samah—equal; satrau—to the enemy; ca—also; mitre—to friends; ca—also; tatha—so; mana—honor; apamanayoh—dishonor; sita—cold; usna—heat; sukha—happiness; duhkhesu—distress; samah—equiposed; sanga-vivarjitah—free from all association; tulya—equal; ninda—defamation; stutih—repute; mauni—silent; santustah—satisfied; yena—somehow; kena—or other; cit—if; aniketah—having no residence; sthira—fixed; matih—determination; bhaktiman—engaged in devotion; me—My; priyah—dear; narah—a man.
One who is equal to friends and enemies, who is equiposed in honor and dishonor, heat and cold, happiness and distress, fame and infamy, who is always free from contamination, always silent and satisfied with anything, who doesn't care for any residence, who is fixed in knowledge and engaged in devotional service, is very dear to Me.
A devotee is always free from all bad association. Sometimes one is praised and sometimes one is defamed; that is the nature of human society. But a devotee is always transcendental to artificial fame and infamy, distress or happiness. He is very patient. He does not speak of anything but the topics about Krsna; therefore he is called silent. Silent does not mean that one should not speak; silent means that one should not speak nonsense. One should speak only of essentials, and the most essential speech for the devotee is to speak of the Supreme Lord. He is happy in all conditions; sometimes he may get very palatable foodstuffs, sometimes not, but he is satisfied. Nor does he care for any residential facility. He may sometimes live underneath a tree, and he may sometimes live in a very palatial building; he is attracted to neither. He is called fixed because he is fixed in his determination and knowledge. We may find some repetition in the descriptions of the qualifications of a devotee, but this is just to give an illustration of the fact that a devotee must acquire all these qualifications. Without good qualifications, one cannot be a pure devotee. One who is not a devotee has no good qualification. One who wants to be recognized as a devotee should develop the good qualifications. Of course he does not extraneously endeavor to acquire these qualifications, but engagement in Krsna consciousness and devotional service automatically helps him develop them.