“My dear King, I am very captivated by your elevated qualities and excellent behavior, and thus I am very favorably inclined toward you. You may therefore ask from Me any benediction you like. One who does not possess elevated qualities and behavior cannot possibly achieve My favor simply by performance of sacrifices, severe austerities or mystic yoga. But I always remain equipoised in the heart of one who is also equipoised in all circumstances.


“Lord Visnu was very pleased with Maharaja Prthu’s good character and behavior and offered him a benediction. The Lord openly says that performing great sacrifices or undergoing the austerities of mystic yoga practice cannot satisfy Him. He is pleased only by elevated character and behavior. But these cannot develop unless one becomes a pure devotee of the Lord. Anyone who has developed unalloyed, unflinching devotional service unto the Lord develops his original good qualities as spirit soul. The spirit soul, as part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, has all the good qualities of the Lord. When the spirit soul is contaminated by the material modes of nature, one is considered good or bad with reference to the material qualities. But when one is transcendental to all material qualities, all the good qualities come out. These qualities of a devotee, twenty-six in number, are listed as follows:

“(1) kind to everyone,
(2) does not quarrel with anyone,
(3) fixed in the Absolute Truth,
(4) equal to everyone,
(5) faultless,
(6) charitable,
(7) mild,
(8) clean,
(9) simple,
(10) benevolent,
(11) peaceful,
(12) completely attached to Krsna,
(13) has no material hankering,
(14) meek,
(15) steady,
(16) self-controlled,
(17) does not eat more than required,
(18) sane,
(19) respectful,
(20) humble,
(21) grave,
(22) compassionate,
(23) friendly,
(24) poetic,
(25) expert,
(26) silent.

“The Lord is satisfied by development of the transcendental qualities of the living entity and not by artificial performance of sacrifices and mystic yoga. In other words, unless one is fully qualified to become a pure devotee of the Lord, one cannot expect to be liberated from material entanglement.”

SB 4.20.16

I note there are no membership requirements based on level of sadhana.

Wearing a dhoti, attending mangala arotik, getting initiated, emulating Indian culture, and walking around with one’s hand in a bead bag are not mentioned. These are not qualities of a devotee — they are tools used to develop the qualities of being a devotee.

It seems like there is always a lot of discussion based on cultural issues about who is a devotee and not much about the 26 qualities so I thought I would mention them.