Qualities of a Genuine Vaishnava
The most basic definition of a Vaishnava is that he/she is “Para-duhkha-duhkhi”, a person who cannot tolerate seeing others suffer. Never judge a person by the clothing or name or position, judge by how he/she behaves, treats others, and what he/she is doing for the benefit of others. If one follows Sanatan-Dharma sincerely, he/she will not become self-centered but a center for everyone.
“One who has taken his birth as a human being in the land of Bharata [India] should make his life successful and work for the benefit of all other people. It is the duty of every living being to perform welfare activities for the benefit of others with his life, wealth, intelligence and words.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-Lila 9.41-42)
A genuine vaishnava/vaishnavi will exhibit the below qualities to a high degree.
- Always truthful and thus will not break vows or agreements.
- Full of compassion for all living beings and thus will not give pain to any living being.
- Will be charitable according to his capacity.
- Will be clean and keep places he visits clean.
- Will live a simple life.
- Will be humble, kind, tolerant, reliable, caring, grateful, and forgiving.
- Will be expert in many fields.
- Straight forward in all dealings, never two faced and will never take advantage of people.
- Will never be self-centered and thus will always consider the well being of others and not himself.
- Will not care for his own liberation, he wants all others liberated first.
- Will always work for the well being of others using his time, energy, resources, and money.
- Will always preach the glories of God and His teachings. So that people will engage in thought of God and engage in serving and following His instructions.
- Will follow the Vedic scriptural injunctions.
- Will be a servant to everyone.
- Will serve cows.
- Will be punctual and discipled.
- Will be responsive by responding to queries from others in a timely manner.
- Will be willing to live in any place, because he realizes that God is everywhere.
- Will set good examples for others to follow.
“He will be a virtuously qualified reservoir of all good qualities; he will be jolly and happy in others’ happiness, distressed in others’ distress, and will have no enemies. He will be a destroyer of the lamentation of all the universes, like the pleasant moon after the summer sun.” (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.14.49)
“My dear Lord, let me suffer perpetually in a hellish condition, accepting all the sinful reactions of all living entities. Please finish their diseased material life. My dear Lord, let me suffer perpetually in a hellish condition, accepting all the sinful reactions of all living entities. Please finish their diseased material life.” (Caitanya- caritamrta Madhya 15.162-163)
“Those who are beyond the dualities that arise from doubts, whose minds are engaged within, who are always busy working for the welfare of all living beings and who are free from all sins achieve liberation in the Supreme.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 5.25)
“He is a perfect yogī who, by comparison to his own self, sees the true equality of all beings, in both their happiness and their distress, O Arjuna!” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 6.32)