kripa-sindhubhya eva cha
vaishnavebhyo namo namaha
I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Vaishnava devotees of the Lord. They are just like desire trees and can fulfill the desires of everyone, and they are full of compassion for the fallen conditioned souls.
All glories to the devotees of the Lord, who are the personifications of mercy and are always eager to bestow the highest benediction of Krishna prema upon the living entities. The glories of the Vaishnavas and the importance of associating with them has been elaborately described through-out the vedic literatures and numerous historic pastimes depict the great potency of association with vaishnavas, in which even the most fallen living entities could rise up to the platform of pure love for the Lord just due to associating with them and following their instructions. The pastimes of Narad Muni, Valmiki Rishi and many others are great examples of the power of associating with devotees of the Lord. In the Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita it is stated:
bhakta pada-dhuli ara bhakta padajala;
bhakta bhukta avasesha – tin mahabala.
ei tina seva hoite krishna prema hoy;
punah punah sarva sastre phukariya koy
“The foot dust of a devotee, his footwater or the remnants of his food – these three are all very powerful. Service of these three yields love for Krishna; this is what all the scriptures loudly proclaim.”
The beautiful interactions between vaishnavas and the importance of their association can be seen through-out the Sri Chaitanya Chairtamrita, which is full of pastimes of Sachinandan Gaurahari and his devotees. He personally gave a lot of respect to Srila Haridas thakur and would go to visit him at Siddha Bhakul daily. He instructed Srila Rupa Goswami to take the blessings of all the vaishnavas in Puri so that he may be able to compose literatures describing the transcendental names, forms, qualities and pastimes of the Lord. Srila Raghunath Das goswami was similarly instructed by Nityananda Prabhu to serve the vaishnavas by arranging for the Panihati Chidadahi utsav. Considering the association of Srila Rupa goswami to be dearer to him than his very life air, Srila Raghunath das goswami lamented bitterly upon his disappearance and even likened Giri-govardhan to a python and Radhan kund to the gaping mouth of tigress. Such is the importance of the association of the Vaishnavas. Therefore the Vaishnavas identify themselves as Gopi–bhartur pada–kamalayor dasa–dasa-dasanudasah, meaning the servant of the servant of the servant of the beloved of the Gopis. These pure devotees of the Lord have been likened to the wish fulfilling desire trees, for they can bestow Krishna prem upon the sincere surrendered souls. Srila Bhakti Vinod thakur therefore says,kṛṣṇa se tomāra, kṛṣṇa dīte pāro, tomāra śakati āche; Krishna is yours and you have the power to give Krishna. They have further been described as being full of compassion for the conditioned living entities, for they personally come and give Krishna, even to the most undeserving people they freely bestow their mercy. They create Sukriti for the living entities by blessing them with their darshan, and being thus blessed the spiritual life of a jiva begins. Therefore, let us take shelter at the lotus feet of the exalted devotees of the Lord, as they are fully capable of bestowing Krishna upon those who take shelter of their cooling lotus like feet.