Steps to Progress in Devotional Service

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

The following is a verse from Sri Brahma Samhita which gives the preliminary process for attaining the highest devotion, which is the ultimate well-being for all the living entities.

BS 5.59
pramāṇais tat-sad-ācārais tad-abhyāsair nirantaram
bodhayan ātmanātmānaṁ bhaktim apy uttamāṁ labhet

The highest devotion is attained by slow degrees by the method of constant endeavor for self-realization with the help of scriptural evidence, theistic conduct and perseverance in practice.

1. pramāṇaiḥ- We should have the scriptural evidence in the form of Srimad Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam as the basis of our bhakti and we should study them with faith repeatedly.

2. sad-ācāraiḥ - After going through the scriptural evidence which convinces us, we should put them into practice. This can be effective only if we associate with the pure devotees who are all 'acharyas', who follow all the principles of devotional service. We have to imbibe the good qualities from such exalted devotees and improve our behaviour.

3. abhyāsaiḥ nirantaram - This practice has to go on constantly, in other words we have to habituate ourselves with them through constant endeavor with perseverance.

4. bodhayan ātmanātmānaṁ - In this way, we have to awaken our dormant love of Godhead, by instructing our mind with our intelligence. We have to force our inattentive mind with scriptural evidence, theistic conduct and  constant endeavor.

If we do the above, which are all conducive to the realization of loving devotion, then by slow degrees, "bhaktim api uttamāṁ labhet"- The highest devotion which is the fruit of the above endeavors is attained.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vaijayantimala devi dasi.
Abu Dhabi.