Prabhupāda: Yes, they're also pure devotees because they're following my instruction. Just like a technician, he is expert, but somebody is assisting him. So the assistants, because they are following the instruction of the expert, therefore their work is also complete. So it is not necessarily that one has to become pure devotee immediately.
Just like we are also following the instruction of our spiritual master. I don't claim that I am pure devotee or perfect, but my only qualification is that I am trying to follow the instruction of the perfect. Similarly . . . this is called disciplic succession. Just like here it is stated that Kṛṣṇa is the original spiritual master and Arjuna is the original student.
So Arjuna said that sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye yad vadasi keśava (BG 10.14): "My dear Kṛṣṇa, whatever You are saying, I accept in total," in the Tenth Chapter. I don't make . . . just like Dr. Radhakrishnan says: "It is not to Kṛṣṇa, it is something else." He does not accept in that way. He says that, "Whatever You are saying, I accept it. You are saying that You are the Supreme, I accept it. I don't say that You have got a separate thing within. That is Supreme—You are not Supreme, as person." This is impersonalist. They do not know that Kṛṣṇa has no such . . .
A conditioned soul . . . just like we are, I am different from my soul. "I am" means I am my body, or I am soul, different from the body. So Kṛṣṇa has no such differentiation. He does not know that, because he's not following Kṛṣṇa, the perfect spiritual master. He's following some rascal spiritual master. Therefore he has this mistake. But if we follow Arjuna and Kṛṣṇa, then we get the perfect knowledge. May not be cent per cent perfect, but as far as possible, if we follow the instruction as it is, that much perfect. In this way one will get perfection.
So one has to follow. The same example, try to understand, that a perfect, expert technologist or technician or mechanic is working, and somebody is working under his instruction. So this somebody, because he is strictly working under the instruction of the expert, he's also expert. He may not be cent per cent expert, but his work is expert. Is that clear? Because he is working under the expert. Do you follow?
So if you follow pure devotee, then you are also pure devotee. It may not be one is cent per cent pure, because we are trying to raise ourself from the conditional life. But if we strictly follow the pure devotee, then we are also pure devotee. So far we do, that is pure.
So pure devotee does not mean one has to become immediately cent per cent pure. But if he sticks to the principle that, "We'll follow a pure devotee," then his actions are . . . he is as good as a pure devotee. That is a . . . it is not I am explaining in my own way; it is the explanation of Bhāgavata. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186).
We have to follow the footprints of pure devotees. It is said that tarkaḥ apratiṣṭhaḥ. If you want to become pure by your arguments and logic, that is not possible. I may be defeated by another strong man, who is stronger in argument than me. So this is not the way of becoming purified, tarka, simply arguing.