The Secret
"Freedom from māyā's influence is possible when one engages in the service of the great devotees (mahac-caraṇa-sevā). Without worshiping the lotus feet of a great devotee, one cannot be freed from māyā's influence. Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura therefore says, chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava-sevā nistāra pāyeche kebā: 'Who has been freed from māyā's clutches without serving the lotus feet of a Vaiṣṇava?'"

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 5.3.14, Purport)

"Chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava-sevā nistāra pāyeche kebā: no one has ever gone back to Godhead without being favored by a Vaiṣṇava. In this verse, therefore, we find the words manasvināṁ pāda-rajaḥ prapatsye: 'I shall receive the dust of the lotus feet of great devotees.' The word manasvinām refers to great devotees who always think of Kṛṣṇa. They are always peaceful, thinking of Kṛṣṇa, and therefore they are called dhīra. The best example of such a devotee is Nārada Muni. If one receives the dust of the lotus feet of a manasvī, a great devotee, he certainly returns home, back to Godhead."

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 6.11.18, Purport)

"It is very difficult to understand the secret of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but one who advances by the instruction of the previous ācāryas and follows in the footsteps of his predecessors in the line of disciplic succession will have success. Others will not. Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says in this connection, chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava-sevā nistāra peyeche kebā: 'Unless one serves the spiritual master and ācāryas, one cannot be liberated.' Elsewhere he says:

    ei chaya gosāñi yāṅra—mui tāṅra dāsa
    tāṅ-sabāra pada-reṇu mora pañca-grāsa

'I simply accept a person who follows in the footsteps of the Six Gosvāmīs, and the dust of such a person's lotus feet is my food.'"

(Caitanya-caritāmṛta Adi 8.7, Purport)

"One has to approach a pure devotee. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura sings, chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava-sevā nistāra pāyeche kebā: 'Who has been elevated without rendering service to a pure Vaiṣṇava?' It is the statement of Prahlāda Mahārāja that unless one is able to accept the dust from the lotus feet of a pure Vaiṣṇava there is no possibility of achieving the platform of devotional service. That is the secret."

(Caitanya-caritāmṛta Adi 8.17, Purport)

"I have no credit. It is all the blessings of guru and Vaiṣṇava, that's all. I have no credit. I do not know how things are happening, because I am not at all bona fide position. But it is truly chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava-sevā nistāra pāyeche kebā."

(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Mayapur, March 17, 1973)

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