19th July, 2014. Gurgaon.
Q : How do we define an Uttama, madhyama and Kanishtha Adhikari ?
Ans : Sri Chaitanya Mahāprabhu teaches Sri Sanatana Goswami :
CC Madhya 22.64: “A faithful devotee is a truly eligible candidate for the loving service of the Lord. According to one’s faith, one is classified as a topmost devotee, an intermediate devotee or an inferior devotee.
Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport:
The word śraddhāvān (faithful) means understanding Kṛṣṇa to be the summum bonum — the eternal truth and absolute transcendence. If one has full faith in Kṛṣṇa and confidence in Him, one becomes eligible to discharge devotional service confidentially. According to one’s faith, one is a topmost, intermediate or inferior devotee.
CC Madhya 22.65: “One who is expert in logic, argument and the revealed scriptures and who has firm faith in Kṛṣṇa is classified as a topmost devotee. He can deliver the whole world.
CC Madhya 22.66: “‘One who is expert in logic and in understanding the revealed scriptures, and who always has firm conviction and deep faith that is not blind, is to be considered a topmost devotee in devotional service.’
CC Madhya 22.67: “One who is not very expert in argument and logic based on the revealed scriptures but who has firm faith is considered a second-class devotee. He also must be considered most fortunate.
CC Madhya 22.68: “‘He who does not know scriptural argument very well but who has firm faith is called an intermediate or second-class devotee.’
CC Madhya 22.69: “One whose faith is soft and pliable is called a neophyte, but by gradually following the process he will rise to the platform of a first-class devotee.
CC Madhya 22.70: “‘One whose faith is not very strong, who is just beginning, should be considered a neophyte devotee.’
Q : Describe the qualities of the above three class of devotees.
CC Madhya 22.71: “A devotee is considered superlative or superior according to his attachment and love. In the Eleventh Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the following symptoms have been given.
CC Madhya 22.72: “‘A person advanced in devotional service sees within everything the soul of souls, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Consequently he always sees the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the cause of all causes and understands that all things are situated in Him. (SB 11.2.45)
CC Madhya 22.73: “‘An intermediate, second-class devotee shows love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is friendly to all devotees and is very merciful to neophytes and ignorant people. The intermediate devotee neglects those who are envious of devotional service. (SB 11.2.46)
CC Madhya 22.74: “‘A prākṛta-bhakta, or materialistic devotee, does not purposefully study the śāstra and try to understand the actual standard of pure devotional service. Consequently he does not show proper respect to advanced devotees. He may, however, follow the regulative principles learned from his spiritual master or from his family who worships the Deity. He is to be considered on the material platform, although he is trying to advance in devotional service. Such a person is a bhakta-prāya [neophyte devotee], or bhaktābhāsa, for he is a little enlightened by Vaiṣṇava philosophy.’ (SB 11.2.47)
A: Where does a Vaishnava stands ?
CC Madhya 22.75: “A Vaiṣṇava is one who has developed all good transcendental qualities. All the good qualities of Kṛṣṇa gradually develop in Kṛṣṇa’s devotee.
CC Madhya 22.76: “‘In one who has unflinching devotional faith in Kṛṣṇa, all the good qualities of Kṛṣṇa and the demigods are consistently manifest. However, he who has no devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead has no good qualifications because he is engaged by mental concoction in material existence, which is the external feature of the Lord.’
CC Madhya 22.77: “All these transcendental qualities are the characteristics of pure Vaiṣṇavas, and they cannot be fully explained, but I shall try to point out some of the important qualities.
CC Madhya 22.78-80: “Devotees are always merciful, humble, truthful, equal to all, faultless, magnanimous, mild and clean. They are without material possessions, and they perform welfare work for everyone. They are peaceful, surrendered to Kṛṣṇa and desireless. They are indifferent to material acquisitions and are fixed in devotional service. They completely control the six bad qualities — lust, anger, greed and so forth. They eat only as much as required, and they are not inebriated. They are respectful, grave, compassionate and without false prestige. They are friendly, poetic, expert and silent.
CC Madhya 22.81: “‘Devotees are always tolerant, forbearing and very merciful. They are the well-wishers of every living entity. They follow the scriptural injunctions, and because they have no enemies, they are very peaceful. These are the decorations of devotees.’
All glories to Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita.
All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.