SB 3.25.21

तितिक्षवः कारुणिकाः सुहृदः सर्वदेहिनाम् ।
अजातशत्रवः शान्ताः साधवः साधुभूषणाः ॥२१॥


titikṣavaḥ kāruṇikāḥ
suhṛdaḥ sarva-dehinām
ajāta-śatravaḥ śāntāḥ
sādhavaḥ sādhu-bhūṣaṇāḥ


titikṣavaḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigtitikṣavaḥ

tolerant; very forebearing.
—tolerant; kāruṇikāḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigkarunikah

kind; naturally very affectionate or merciful to the fallen souls; very merciful to all.
—merciful; suhṛdaḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigsuhṛdaḥ

all His friends and relatives; benefactor; friendly; friends; intimate friends; the cowherd boy friends; the friends; those who are friends to everyone; to Your well-wishers; toward relatives and friends; well-wisher; well-wishers; well-wishers of everyone; wellwishers; who are the friend of the devotees; who are well-wishers.
—friendly; sarvaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigsarva

all; all around; all kinds; all kinds of; all over; everyone; everything; for all; for everyone; in all; in all respects; of all; of all demigods; of all kinds; of everyone; of everything.
-dehināmplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigdehinam

of the embodied; the embodied; the living entity.
—to all living entities; ajātaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigajāta

never born; not arisen.
-śatravaḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigśatravaḥ

—inimical to none; śāntāḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigsantah

devotees; sages; the devotees; those saintly persons.
—peaceful; sādhavaḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigsādhavaḥ

sādhus; abiding by scriptures; all great souls; all pious; all saintly persons; all the saintly persons present; both of you are great saintly persons; decorated with all good qualities; devotees; endowed with all good qualities; following the injunctions of the śāstra; honest; persons who are very well behaved (perfect in all respects); qualified devotees, without abominable behavior; saintly persons; saints; the devotees; the pure devotees; the purified men who are honest; the saintly persons; the saints; those who were honest; who are endowed with all good qualities, or who do not look for faults in others; who are inclined to perform welfare activities; whose behavior is very exalted.
—abiding by scriptures; sādhuplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigsādhu

a devotee; all good; as good as it should be; beautiful; befitting; devotee; duly; excellent; good; honest; of devotees; of saintly persons; of the devotees; of the exalted devotees; pious activities; proper; properly; quite all right; really good; saint; saintly; saintly, beautifully; the best; this is relevant; very good; very good, or the best part of life; very much purified; well and good; well behaved; what is auspicious; your goodness.
-bhūṣaṇāḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigbhusanah

—adorned with sublime characteristics. 


The symptoms of a sādhu are that he is tolerant, merciful and friendly to all living entities. He has no enemies, he is peaceful, he abides by the scriptures, and all his characteristics are sublime. 


A sādhu, as described above, is a devotee of the Lord. His concern, therefore, is to enlighten people in devotional service to the Lord. That is his mercy. He knows that without devotional service to the Lord, human life is spoiled. A devotee travels all over the country, from door to door, preaching, “Be Kṛṣṇa conscious. Be a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Don’t spoil your life in simply fulfilling your animal propensities. Human life is meant for self-realization, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” These are the preachings of a sādhu. He is not satisfied with his own liberation. He always thinks about others. He is the most compassionate personality towards all the fallen souls. One of his qualifications, therefore, is kāruṇika, great mercy to the fallen souls. While engaged in preaching work, he has to meet with so many opposing elements, and therefore the sādhu, or devotee of the Lord, has to be very tolerant. Someone may ill-treat him because the conditioned souls are not prepared to receive the transcendental knowledge of devotional service. They do not like it; that is their disease. The sādhu has the thankless task of impressing upon them the importance of devotional service. Sometimes devotees are personally attacked with violence. Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, Haridāsa Ṭhākura was caned in twenty-two marketplaces, and Lord Caitanya’s principal assistant, Nityānanda, was violently attacked by Jagāi and Mādhāi. But still they were tolerant because their mission was to deliver the fallen souls. One of the qualifications of a sādhu is that he is very tolerant and is merciful to all fallen souls. He is merciful because he is the well-wisher of all living entities. He is not only a well-wisher of human society, but a well-wisher of animal society as well. It is said here, sarva-dehinām, which indicates all living entities who have accepted material bodies. Not only does the human being have a material body, but other living entities, such as cats and dogs, also have material bodies. The devotee of the Lord is merciful to everyone-the cats, dogs, trees, etc. He treats all living entities in such a way that they can ultimately get salvation from this material entanglement. Śivānanda Sena, one of the disciples of Lord Caitanya, gave liberation to a dog by treating the dog transcendentally. There are many instances where a dog got salvation by association with a sādhu, because a sādhu engages in the highest philanthropic activities for the benediction of all living entities. Yet although a sādhu is not inimical towards anyone, the world is so ungrateful that even a sādhu has many enemies. 

What is the difference between an enemy and a friend? It is a difference in behavior. A sādhu behaves with all conditioned souls for their ultimate relief from material entanglement. Therefore, no one can be more friendly than a sādhu in relieving a conditioned soul. A sādhu is calm, and he quietly and peacefully follows the principles of scripture. A sādhu means one who follows the principles of scripture and at the same time is a devotee of the Lord. One who actually follows the principles of scripture must be a devotee of God because all the śāstras instruct us to obey the orders of the Personality of Godhead. Sādhu, therefore, means a follower of the scriptural injunctions and a devotee of the Lord. All these characteristics are prominent in a devotee. A devotee develops all the good qualities of the demigods, whereas a nondevotee, even though academically qualified, has no actual good qualifications or good characteristics according to the standard of transcendental realization.