A lot of things have been said about pure devotees in the Shastras and there is lot of guidance in Shastras based on which one can understand or experience such elevated beings. However from a practical standpoint, one is not guided enough to know or understand fully the platform on which the ones dearest to the Lord are situated. Hence listed below are some indicators based on which one can choose their association as part of Sadhu Sanga. In today’s world, Sadhu Sanga is taken very lightly. When one comments something adverse about some devotees, it is labelled as fault-finding. However this is neither Apradha nor fault-finding. The context of a particular situation has to be considered before labels like fault-finding or Apradha can be alleged. In that context it is important to “choose” Sadhus before one seriously associates for one’s own uplift.
Pure devotees do not necessarily preach. In fact they never preach. The mood of a pure devotee is always of gratitude and they never advice. Pure devotees however extend themselves to those who are “sincere seekers”. Pure devotees are able to discern between a seeker and a casual visitor. They never “try” to influence anyone or boast about their own accomplishments yet they do sometimes share their intense life experiences with people who seek direction for person growth. Pure devotees have the uncanny knack to “see through” situations, people and time. They are always introverted and never comment on aspects that they do not know about. Their approach is not about saying what is right or what is wrong but their approach is in becoming sensitive to the needs of the persons with whom they are conversing. The pure devotees although centred on the Lord they never talk about the Lord unnecessarily in front of others to show how “pure” they are and how much they love God. Pure devotees do not speak of dispassion, compassion and lot of flowery stuff related to God. They simply are sensitive to situations and demonstrate through personal example. Pure devotees usually talk or focus on how problems should be uprooted from the root and always recommend Sadhana and Guru Seva which is practical and realizational. Pure devotees never worry about their own image with anyone and are always in the mood of serving the ultimate good under any situation. They do not talk about Shastras and theory but always recommend practical ways by which one can flower within oneself by which one’s consciousness is fixed on Guru and Gauranga. They do not hesitate in calling “a spade, a spade” even if it means hurting their own image but works well for the welfare of the seekers of truth. Pure devotees never think of themselves as “Saints” or “Pure” ; they are all the time involved in intense Sadhana knowing well that it is only Sadhana and Guru’s love are the only saviours. They always consider themselves fallen and always in prayer internally. They drown themselves in Sadhana for most part of the day and at other times chant the names of the Lord and the mantras in their minds.