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SB 1.1 - The power of the pure devotees

The great sages who have taken shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord can at once sanctify those who come in touch with them, whereas the waters of the Ganges can sanctify only after prolonged use. Thus the mercy of the pure devotee is more potent than the waters of the Ganges, which emanates from the lotus feet of the Lord. Seeing and touching the Ganges can purify one, but by simply remembering a devotee, one becomes sanctified. To take shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord means to take shelter of the pure devotees. The pure devotees whose only business is serving are honored by the names Prabhupāda and Viṣṇupāda, which indicates such devotees to be representatives of the lotus feet of the Lord. Such devotees are honored equally with the Lord, for they are engaged in the confidential service of the Lord, by delivering the fallen souls out of the material world. The sincere disciple considers the spiritual master equal to the Lord, but always considers himself to be a humble servant of the servant of the Lord.