What are the symptoms of pure devotional service?
Offering the result of one’s karma to the Lord is superior to following the principles of vanidsrama. Accepting the renounced order of life after giving up one’s occupational duties is superior to offering the fruits of one’s karma to the Lord. Executing devotional service mixed with impersonal knowledge is superior to accepting sannyasa. Although the above processes can be considered devotional service, they are all external, because pure devotional service, which is the ultimate goal of life, is not found in the conclusion of these processes. Devotional service with material designation can never be called pure devotional service; pure devotional service is a totally separate truth. It is eternally independent of karma, sannyasa, and jiiana. The symptoms of pure devotional service are freedom from the desire for sense gratification. Neither fruilive activities nor mental speculation can cover it. Pure devotion is always executed favorably for Krsna’s pleasure. Pure devotional service is the ultimate goal of life. What is glimpsed at the sadhaka’s stage is clearly visible when one attains the sadhya.
(Commentary on Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 8.68)
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