Once, a resident of Bangladesh (then East Bengal), who was a very wealthy landlord, scholar, and brahmana, and reputed to be a great devotee of the Lord, came with a friend to see Srila Gaura-Kishora dasa Babaji Maharaja. The land-owner appeared to be so deeply absorbed in devotional ecstacy that his friend had to support him as he walked, lest he fell down due to excessive trembling of the body.
When the pair arrived before Srila Babaji Maharaja, two other persons in the assembly, recognising the famous landlord, immediately received him as an advanced devotee of the Lord. They carefully offered their obeisances to him and arranged a sitting place.
At that time, Srila Gaura-Kishora dasa Babaji Maharaja, in his pastime of blindness, inquired "Who has come?" The friend of the land-owner introduced his companion by glowingly describing his erudition and devotion, and his being disinterested in material sense gratification, despite possessing unlimited wealth. He then described how, only a fortnight earlier, a thief had come and stolen forty-five thousand rupees from the landlord's house. Despite suffering such a setback, the land-owner, knowing devotion to be much more significant, had come to obtain Srila Babaji Maharaja's transcendental darsana (audience).
The friend added, "I am his friend. He has left all material sense gratification and keeps only my association. You will be able to realize his greatness by conversing with him. He once asked me a question about a confidential exchange between Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Ramananda Raya found in the Caitanya-caritamrta. I told him that only Gaura-Kishora dasa Babaji could properly answer his question, and certainly no-one else. We have already been to see many learned persons in this area, and yet we cannot come to an agreement about the meaning of this conversation. We think that only you are able to explain it properly."
After the introduction was complete, Srila Babaji Maharaja replied, "I will tell you a process by which you can understand the conclusion of this conversation. But before trying to understand these confidential topics between Lord Caitanya and Srila Ramananda Raya, you should renounce the association of this rascal imposter (the land-owner) and take shelter of a pure devotee of the Lord. You should hear the Caitanya-caritamrta one-hundred times in the association of authentic devotees of the Lord. In this way, being absorbed in devotional ecstasy, you will be able to realize the purport of these conversations. At the present moment all the devotees here want to perform congregational chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord. We don't have time to discuss any other topics."
Having spoken thus, Srila Gaura-Kishora dasa Babaji Maharaja very loudly requested everyone to perform Harinama sankirtana. Everyone then began to congregationally chant the Lord's Holy Names. After hearing the statement of Srila Babaji Maharaja, the proud landlord and his friend immediately left that place.
Later that evening, when almost everyone had left, some members of the assembly commented to Srila babaji Maharaja, "That very learned land-owner was absorbed in devotional ecstasy. We could not see any manifestation of material consciousness in him. He was devoid of worldly consciousness." Another person sitting nearby, who had always heard that Srila Gaura-Kishora dasa Babaji Maharaja was very straightforward with everyone, inquired, "That person was so immersed in various loving devotional ecstasies that he could not even walk by his own efforts. How is it that you can say he was not on the highest platform of bhakti?"
Srila Gaura-Kishora dasa Babaji Maharaja replied, saying, "After speaking with him for a few moments, I could understand that he had no good intentions in his performance of devotional service. One cannot measure a person's devotion by the approval of the general mass. If a person is not serious in his devotional practice, then even if he exhibits the symptoms of renunciation, non-attachment, and various ecstasies, still he should not be considered to have real renunciation or detachment. As soon as a difficult test comes, his false renunciation will cease. Detachment seeks out those who are actually fixed in their intention to perform devotional service. When performing practical devotional service, we should never exhibit our devotional ecstasies.
One should perform devotional service in such a way that his deep attachment to the Lord increases within his heart. Even if one displays hundreds and hundreds of exhibitions of external attachment, he will not be blessed by the Lord if he does not develop an internal loving attachment to Him. If one genuinely possesses a deep loving attitude, then Krsna Himself will approach and claim such an advanced devotee. Whoever is not enticed by the fragrance of unflinching devotional service, and whose heart is filled with material desires will wear different types of external bodily dress. Krsna is proportionately aloof or available according to the degree of one's surrender.
If one is deeply immersed in devotional attachment to Lord Hari, then even while suffering distressing disease or other material miseries, he will still remain absorbed in transcendental loving service to the Lord. If you can fast and chant Hare Krsna both day and night, and when you can always cry out with desire for the service of Vrsabhanu's Radharani, without revealing it to others, then Sri Krsna, who is very dear to Srimati Radharani, will call you to take His shelter."