A person who is always absorbed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is called a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī says that all the transcendental qualities discussed above are also found in the devotees of Kṛṣṇa. The devotees of Kṛṣṇa can be classified into two groups: those who are cultivating devotional service in order to enter into the transcendental kingdom, and those who are already in the perfectional stage of devotional service.
A person who has attained the stage of attraction for Kṛṣṇa and who is not freed from the material impasse, but who has qualified himself to enter into the kingdom of God, is called sādhaka. Sādhaka means one who is cultivating devotion in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The description of such a devotee is found in the Eleventh Canto, 2nd Chapter, 45th verse, of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. It is said there that a person who has unflinching faith in and love for the Personality of Godhead, who is in friendship with devotees of Kṛṣṇa, and who is very merciful to the ignorant, raising them to the standard of devotional service, and who is uninterested in nondevotees, is considered to be situated in the position of cultivating devotional service.
When one is found shedding tears by hearing of the pastimes of the Lord, it is to be understood that the blazing fire of material existence will be extinguished by such watering. When there is shivering of the body and the hairs of the body stand up, it is to be understood that the devotee is nearing perfection. An example of a sādhaka cultivating devotional service is Bilvamaṅgala Thākur.