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Question: How do we understand whether we are progressing in devotional service or not?

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Jayapataka Swami:  There are different steps of devotional service. Adau shraddha, satsanga, bhajana kriya, anarta nivritti, nishtha, ruci, aasakti, and bhava and then Prema. So usually one can (audio break) step you are on and then after one year you can see if you have progressed or stay at the same level. For instance, saying that you have made many anartas, unwanted habits, but by the end of the year you are fairly fixed and the unwanted habits are reduced a lot. Then that means you have reached the stage of nista, and hence have overcome the anarta nivritti stage. So you can tell by looking back, how you have progressed.