"There are many devotees, they're illiterate practically. They do not know what is Vedānta-sūtra. But still, by their sincere devotional service they're very much elevated. What to speak of others, Gaura-kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja. Gaura-kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, he was illiterate. He could not sign even his name. But he was so spiritually elevated that my spiritual master, who was the topmost scholar of his time, he accepted him as spiritual master.
What is the reason? The reason is that this transcendental science does not depend on academic qualification. It is..., it is not that because one is very..., academically very qualified, he'll become a devotee. No. The secret is... That is given in the Vedic literature (SB 5.18.12) yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā. No.
yasya deve parā bhaktir
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
The transcendental knowledge becomes revealed. To whom it becomes revealed? It becomes revealed to such person who has got unflinching love for Kṛṣṇa and for the spiritual master. Caitanya-caritāmṛta also says, guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja (CC Madhya 19.151). One can come to the spiritual perfectional stage, or come to the spiritual platform, by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master.
The... This is Vedic version: yasya deve parā bhaktiḥ. One who has got unflinching faith... Deve. Deve means the Supreme Lord. Parā bhakti: transcendental devotional service to the Supreme Lord. Yathā deve tathā gurau: and as he has got unflinching faith in Kṛṣṇa, similarly he has got unflinching faith to the spiritual master. Tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ: all these Vedic literature and their purport and their meaning will be revealed to him. Tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante. It becomes revealed. Prakāśante mahātmanaḥ.
So that is the secret, so not that erudite scholarship. One must be very much sincere. Then Kṛṣṇa will give you dictation. He is within. Guru-kṛṣṇa... First of all, if I am sincere and if I want to serve the Supreme Lord... The Supreme Lord is within you. He'll give you direction: 'All right. You do this. You do this. You just go to this man, and he'll give you good counsel.' He'll give you direction. Therefore first mercy is of Kṛṣṇa, and then the spiritual master is considered as the mercy-representation of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa helps us from within and without. From within He's helping us as the Supersoul, and from without, He's helping us as the spiritual master.
So Kṛṣṇa is ready to help us in all..., always, in all perfectional stage, if we are simply sincere. Parā bhakti. Yasya deve parā bhaktiḥ (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.38). If you have got transcendental devotional mood, then everything will come. It does not depend on this linguistic, I mean to say, advancement or academically... Simply we have to develop our transcendental love and devotional service to the Supreme Lord, and then gradually He'll give me direction. He'll give me right direction. Everything will be all right."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, New Vrindavan, June 10, 1969)