How Srila Prabhupada exhibited the 26 qualities of a Vaishnava
(As seen through the eyes of his disciples)
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, who successfully distributed the message of Lord Krishna throughout the world, was not an ordinary conditioned soul, governed by the harsh laws of material nature. Although he always felt himself to be most insignificant, it is evident through careful study of his life that Srila Prabhupada perfectly displayed the twenty-six qualities of a pure devotee of Krishna, as given in Sri Caitanya-caritamrita.
The Vedic literature states that only one who is free from material bondage can possess these qualities in full. Such a great soul is rarely found within this material realm, and owing to his unparalleled purity and exalted status as an intimate associate of the Supreme Lord Krishna, he is worshipable by the entire world.
On October 20, 1956, Srila Prabhupada described the qualities that he wished to invoke in the members of his new society, “The League of Devotees”:
“To evoke the qualities of ‘goodness’ particularly (Satwa-guna) in every member of the ‘League’ individually by the process of spiritual initiation (Diksha) by establishing him in the status of a qualified Brahmin (good and intellectual man) on the basis of truthfulness, forgiveness, equality, tolerance, education, purity, knowledge (specific and general) and faith in the transcendental service of Godhead.”
From the above description we can understand that Srila Prabhupada wanted to create a society of devotees who exhibited first-class character and behavior. He particularly mentioned the brahminical qualities of goodness as outlined in the Bhagavad-gita (18.42). These qualities are possessed by what Prabhupada called a “perfect gentleman.”
In his purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam (5.18.12), Srila Prabhupada listed the 26 qualities of a devotee in the following manner:
“Sri Krsnadasa Kaviraja, the author of Caitanya-caritamrta, says that all good qualities become manifest in the body of a Vaisnava and that only by the presence of these good qualities can one distinguish a Vaisnava form a non-Vaisnava. Krsnadasa Kaviraja lists the twenty-six good qualities of a Vaisnava:
(1) He is very kind to everyone.
(2) He does not make anyone his enemy.
(3) He is truthful.
(4) He is equal to everyone.
(5) No one can find any fault in him.
(6) He is magnanimous.
(7) He is mild.
(8) He is always clean.
(9) He is without possessions.
(10) He works for everyone’s benefit.
(11) He is very peaceful.
(12) He is always surrendered to Krsna.
(13) He has no material desires.
(14) He is very meek.
(15) He is steady.
(16) He controls his senses.
(17) He does not eat more than required.
(18) He is not influenced by the Lord’s illusory energy.
(19) He offers respect to everyone.
(20) He does not desire any respect for himself.
(21) He is very grave.
(22) He is merciful.
(23) He is friendly.
(24) He is poetic.
(25) He is expert.
(26) He is silent.”
Srila Prabhupada personally exhibited all these qualities as experienced by his disciples and followers
Here is an attempt by GBCSPT to portray these qualities of Srila Prabhupada.
Enrich every Ekadashi with the enchanting anecdotes of a perfect gentleman who perfectly exhibited the 26 qualities of a Vaishnava. Not to be missed: Stay tuned!!
Speaker – By Siddhanta Das
When – Every Ekadashi – One of the 26 qualities
Beginning January 13, 2022 – 9 AM EST/ 7:30 PM IST/ 2 PM UK