These are some of the qualifications of a Vaiṣṇava. A Vaiṣṇava is automatically a brāhmaṇa because a Vaiṣṇava has all the good qualities of a brāhmaṇa.
- śamo damas tapaḥ śaucaṁ
- kṣāntir ārjavam eva ca
- jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ
- brahma-karma svabhāva-jam
"Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge, and religiousness-these are the qualities by which the brāhmaṇas work." (BG 18.42) These qualities are manifest in the body of a Vaiṣṇava. Therefore a perfect Vaiṣṇava is also a perfect brāhmaṇa, as indicated here by the words brahmaṇyaḥ śīla-sampannaḥ. A Vaiṣṇava is always determined to understand the Absolute Truth, and to understand the Absolute Truth one needs to have full control over his senses and mind. Prahlāda Mahārāja possessed all these qualities. A Vaiṣṇava is always a well-wisher to everyone. The six Gosvāmīs, for example, are described in this way: dhīrādhīra jana-priyau. They were popular with both the gentle and the ruffians. A Vaiṣṇava must be equal to everyone, regardless of one's position. Ātmavat: a Vaiṣṇava should be like Paramātmā. Īśvaraḥ sama-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati. Paramātmā does not hate anyone; indeed, He is in the heart of a brāhmaṇa, but he is also even in the heart of a pig. As the moon never refuses to distribute its pleasing rays even to the home of a caṇḍāla, a Vaiṣṇava never refuses to act for everyone's welfare. Therefore a Vaiṣṇava is always obedient to the spiritual master (ārya). The word ārya refers to one who is advanced in knowledge. One who is deficient in knowledge cannot be called ārya. At the present, however, the word ārya is used to refer to those who are godless. This is the unfortunate situation of Kali-yuga.
The word guru refers to the spiritual master who initiates his disciple into advancement in the science of Kṛṣṇa, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, as stated by Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura (śrī-bhagavan-mantropadeśake gurāv ity arthaḥ).