Who is a devotee?

My devotee should abstain from all desire and should conduct himself in conformity with the rules prescribed for his class and family order. With a purified mind he will be able to observe how the actions of the person who pursues pleasure produce diametrically opposite results, namely, misery. My devotee should therefore abstain from actions prompted by desire but perform the duties as taught by Me. He alone is exempt from duties whose mind is fully engaged on the enquiry into the Self. My seeker should devoutly attend on his guru, who must be of serene mind and has realized Me and whom he should regard as identical with Myself.

Only a Self Realized Master has the capacity to guide a genuine seeker: Just as fire assumes the shapes of pieces of wood consumes, so does the Self assume the qualities (gunas) of the bodies it pervades, the bodies being in effect nothing but qualities and the Self the Substance that supports them. Identifying the one with the other leads to transmigration and separating the one from the other by investigation to Supreme Knowledge. The perfect wisdom which is imparted by the perfect guru promptly destroys not only the illusion of the qualities but the qualities themselves.

Even the pleasures of heaven are fleeting and transitory: As for the enjoyment of heaven, it is also subject to impermanence, frustration and failure. The sacrifices that propitiate the gods entitle the sacrificer to the same heavenly pleasures as the gods themselves enjoy, but only for so long as the fruits of his merits last: thereafter he takes birth in the lower regions, according to his past actions and associations. So long as they are propelled by the gunas, the senses are active, they perceive diversity in the Atman and impel action, the fruits of action and bondage for the individual.

All actions result in misery and cause new actions in new bodies, so that in this world there is little peace for the individual soul.

He is considered pious who is compassionate toward all beings, forbearing, truthful, clean in mind, well-balanced, self-controlled, gentle, of unclouded judgment, effortless, sparing in eating, free from passion and excitement, loyal, depending wholly upon Me, contemplative alert, capable of imparting knowledge, does not seek respect for himself but bestows it on others. He is the most pious who completely abandons all the prescribed duties, though he is fully aware of the sin of neglecting them and directs his worship solely to Me.

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