Krishna.com Spring Fundraising Drive: Krishna.com is a non-profit organization that depends on your donations to operate. It takes (only) $6,500 each month to run Krishna.com's web department, with a dedicated staff of 5 people and dozens of volunteers, reaching more than 7 million households in 194 countries. Please join our family of supporters and give a donation to support this important project.

SB 1.2 - What happens when a devotee achieves steadiness?

As soon as loving service is established in the heart of a devotee, the effects of nature’s modes of passion and ignorance, such as lust, desire and hankering, disappear from the heart. Then the devotee is established in goodness, and he becomes completely happy. Although the modes of nature may to some extent still be acting, they are unable to actually influence such a devotee, whose heart is now qualified to receive the Lord’s direct audience. A living being is fully satisfied in spiritual bliss in the state of brahma-bhūta. This self satisfaction is not like the satisfaction of the inactive fool, who is simply in foolish ignorance. The stage of perfection is achieved when one is situated in devotional service, which is not inactivity, but the unalloyed activity of the soul. The effect of devotional service becomes manifest by complete elimination of lust, desire, inactivity, foolishness and sleep. Being fixed in goodness, the devotee makes further progress to rise to the position of vasudeva, or the state of śuddha-sattva. Only in this state can one always see Kṛṣṇa eye to eye by dint of pure love for the Lord. A devotee is always qualified with all the good qualities of the Lord, but quantitatively he is different from the Lord.

Verse 19 indicates two stages in the progression of bhakti. (9) ruci – taste. Since the heart is not pierced by sense objects (ceta etair anāviddham), one develops distaste for them. Thus one arrives at actual spiritual taste, ruci. Even though the word ruci was also mentioned in SB 1.2.16, Viśvanātha Cakravarti treated it only as a remote result of gurupādāśraya and bhajaneṣu-spṛhā. (10) āsakti – firm attachment. This is derived from sthitaṁ sattve prasīdati – sthitam means fixed or āsaktam (firmly attached). Even in the stage of ruci, one’s mind may wander. But we can control the mind by the strength of our intelligence. But in āsakti, if the mind wanders, the strength of our attraction to Kṛṣṇa automatically pulls it back. When the effects of passion and ignorance – lust, greed etc – no longer affect us we will become situated in goodness and feel fully happy.