Those who are from the very beginning of their self realization attached to devotional service are called sevāniṣṭha. Sevāniṣṭha means simply attached to devotional service. The best examples of such devotees are Lord Śiva, King Indra, King Bahulāśva, King Ikṣvāku, Śrutadeva and Puṇḍarīka. One devotee says: "My dear Lord, Your transcendental qualities attract even the liberated souls and carry them to the assembly of devotees where Your glories are constantly chanted. Even great sages who are accustomed to live in solitary places are also attracted by the songs of Your glory. And, observing all Your transcendental qualities, I have also become attracted and have decided to dedicate my life to Your loving service."
In the city of Dvārakā the following devotees are known as Kṛṣṇa's close associates: Uddhava, Dāruka, Sātyaki, Śrutadeva, Śatrājit, Nanda, Upananda and Bhadra. All of these personalities remain with the Lord as His secretaries, but still they are sometimes engaged in His personal service. Among the Kuru dynasty, Bhīṣma, Mahārāj Parīkṣit and Vidura are also known as close associates of Lord Kṛṣṇa. It is said, "All the associates of Lord Kṛṣṇa have lustrous bodily features, and their eyes are just like lotus flowers. They have sufficient power to defeat the strength of the demigods, and the specific feature of their persons is that they are always decorated with valuable ornaments."
When Kṛṣṇa was in the capital of Indraprastha, someone addressed Him thus: "My dear Lord, Your personal associates, headed by Uddhava, are always awaiting Your order by standing at the entrance gate of Dvārakā. They are mostly looking on with tears in their eyes, and in the enthusiasm of their service they are not afraid even of the devastating fire generated by Lord Śiva. They are souls simply surrendered unto Your lotus feet."
Out of the many close associates of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Uddhava is considered the best. The following is a description of him: "His body is blackish like the color of the Yamunā River, and it is similarly as cool. He is always decorated with flower garlands first used by Lord Kṛṣṇa, and he is dressed with yellow silk clothing. His two arms are just like the bolts of a door, His eyes are just like lotus flowers, and he is the most important devotee amongst all the associates. Let us therefore offer our respectful obeisances unto Uddhava's lotus feet."
Uddhava has described the transcendental qualities of Śrī Kṛṣṇa as follows: "Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is our master and worshipable Deity, who is the controller of Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā, the controller of the whole universe as well, accepts the controlling orders of Ugrasena, His grandfather. He is the proprietor of millions of universes, but still He begged a little land from the ocean. And although He is just like an ocean of wisdom, still He sometimes consults me. He is so great and magnanimous, yet He is engaged in His different activities just like an ordinary person."
Those who are constantly engaged in the personal service of the Lord are called anugas, or followers. Examples of such followers are Sucandra, Maṇḍana, Stamba and Sutamba. They are all inhabitants of the city of Dvārakā, and they are dressed and ornamented like the other associates. The specific services entrusted to the anugas are varied. Maṇḍana always bears the umbrella over the head of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Sucandra is engaged in fanning the white cāmara bunch of hair, and Sutamba is engaged in supplying betel nuts. All of them are great devotees, and they are always busy in the transcendental loving service of the Lord.