17 One must have faith in the holy name
A madhyama adhikari has firm faith in chanting the Hare Krsna mantra:
While giving instructions to Sanatana Gosvami, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu divided devotional service into three categories.
sastra−yukti nahi jane drdha, sraddhavan
'madhyama adhikari' sei maha−bhagyavan
"A person whose conclusive knowledge of the sastras is not very strong but who has developed firm faith in chanting the Hare Krsna maha−mantra and who is also undeterred in the execution of his prescribed devotional service should be considered a madhyama adhikari. Such a person is very fortunate."
(Sri Caitanya caritamrta Madhya lila 22.67) A madhyama adhikari is a sraddhavan, a staunchly faithful person, and he is actually a candidate for further advancement in devotional service.
– The Nectar of Instruction Text 5
He who chants the holy name with faith is a Vaisnava:
[Satyaraja to Lord Caitanya]: Upon hearing this, Satyaraja said, "How can I recognize a Vaisnava? Please let me know what a Vaisnava is. What are his common symptoms?" Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu replied, "Whoever chants the holy name of Krsna just once is worshipable and is the topmost human being."
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati thakura says that simply by chanting the holy name of Krsna once, a person becomes perfect. Such a person is understood to be a Vaisnava. With such faith and belief, one may begin a life of Krsna consciousness, but an ordinary person cannot chant the holy name of Krsna with such faith… One should understand that the name Krsna and Krsna are identical. Having such faith, one must continue to chant the holy name. When one is situated on the neophyte platform, one cannot understand the devotional ingredients of a pure, unalloyed devotee. However, when the novice engages in devotional serviceespecially in Deity worship−and follows the order of a bona fide spiritual master, he becomes a pure devotee. Anyone can take advantage of hearing about Krsna consciousness from a pure devotee and thus gradually become purified.
A devotee who believes that the holy name of the Lord is identical with the Lord is a pure devotee, even though he may be in the neophyte stage. By his association, others may also become Vaisnavas. even a neophyte devotee is superior to the karmis and jnanis because he has full faith in chanting the holy name of the Lord.
– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Madhya lila 15.105−6