One day Sri Chaitanyadeva sat with Sri Sanatana Goswami and told him about the 26 qualities of a Vaisnava. (Cc. 2.22.78-80) Mahaprabhu mentioned daksha, being expert, as one of them.
In Bhagavad-gita (12.16), Sri Krishna said, “My Priya bhakta is expert, daksha mad bhakta priya.” In the tikas to this verse, Sridhara Swami says daksha means a devotee is not lazy. Sri Baladeva Vidyabhushana says a devotee is expert in discussing and understanding shastra, and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti is mum.
Often when preaching to his disciples, Srila Prabhupada said or wrote, “A devotee is expert in all things.” But what exactly does it mean that a devotee is “expert”?
Due to the limitations of one’s individual karma and culture, it is next to impossible for any one person to be “expert in everything.” Srila Prabhupada’s statements about being expert are meant to insure quality and precision in all sevas offered to Radha Govinda Yugala.
So being expert means trying always to improve the quality and devotional content of every service you render for the pleasure of Sri Hari, Sri Guru and the Vaisnavas. Being expert means being attentive, careful, caring and on time. One becomes expert in anything by prayer, practice, association, study, and most importantly by the mercy and sanction of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.
A simple, sincere, pure-hearted devotee should not, due to his limitations, feel bad or inferior, thinking, “O, I am not a good devotee because I can’t do many things. All I can do is chant Hare Krishna, read about Krishna and worship Krishna. I don’t know cooking, singing, preaching, playing mrdanga and harmonioum. In fact, I can’t even play karatals!”
Don’t worry, you are perfectly fine! In fact, you are an “expert devotee” and what could be better than that. In Gita (18.65), Krishna says, “I promise you that you will attain pure love for Me and perfection in human life if you simply always think of, worship and bow down to Me!”
In the following passage, giving a more liberal explanation of the term “expert”, Srila Prabhupada acknowledges that devotees do have their limitations and personal abilities. No one is perfect but Bhagavan Sri Krishna. And this definiton will suit most all classes and enable everyone to become an “expert” in devotional service.
Srila Prabhupada said, “Expert means whatever he is doing, he must do it very nicely to his best knowledge. To your best talent and capacity, try to finish it very nicely, whatever it may be.
“If you think that you are unable to do that work, then whatever work you can do, you take. But do it nicely. That is expert. Don’t imitate, [thinking] ‘Oh, I have no capacity to work in that way, but I want to imitate. Oh, he is doing that. I shall do that.’ Don’t do that. That is not expert. You take up what you can do very nicely and do it nicely.
“Just like Arjuna, he was not a Vedantist, a brahmana or a sannyasi. He was householder military man. But he knew his business, how to do it nicely. So you do your business nicely. That is expert. Do it nicely and Krishna is satisfied. And that is your success.” (BBT folio 680716rc.mon)
Be in expert for Sri Krishna ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!