Hare Krsna to All
All glories to Srila Prabhupada
What follows is a short summary of the different grades of devotees and what makes each what he is.
In sports, business, and academics, there are certain yardsticks of measurement by which we can
gauge our progress in each field of endeavor. What follows is the simple and clear instructions of the pure devotee of the Lord explaining these necessary things, to those who will listen.
1) SB 4.9.11 P Dhruva Maharaja Returns Home
We have therefore established the
International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Anyone who is trying
to be aloof from this Krishna Consciousness Society and yet engage in
Krsna consciousness is living in a great hallucination, for this is
not possible. From this statement by Dhruva Maharaja it is clear that
unless one is associated with devotees, his devotional service does
not mature; it does not become distinct from material activities.
2) SB 4.18.5 Prthu Maharaja Milks the Earth Planet
A foolish person who manufactures his own ways and means through
mental speculation and does not recognize the authority of the sages
who lay down unimpeachable directions is simply unsuccessful again and
again in his attempts.
At the present moment it has become fashionable to disobey the
unimpeachable directions given by the acaryas and liberated souls of
the past. Presently people are so fallen that they cannot distinguish
between a liberated soul and a conditioned soul. A conditioned soul is
hampered by four defects: he is sure to commit mistakes, he is sure to
become illusioned, he has a tendency to cheat others, and his senses
are imperfect. Consequently we have to take direction from liberated
persons. This Krsna consciousness movement directly receives
instructions from the Supreme personality of Godhead via persons who
are strictly following His instructions. Although a follower may not
be a liberated person, if he follows the supreme, liberated
Personality of Godhead, his actions are naturally liberated from the
contamination of the material nature. ...
. Materialistic men are not interested in taking
directions from a liberated person, but they are very much interested
in their own concocted ideas, which make them repeatedly fail in their
attempts. Because the entire world is now following the imperfect
directions of conditioned souls, humanity is completely bewildered.
3) SB 1.2.12 Purport Divinity and Divine Service
There are four different types of human
beings--the karmis, the jnanis, the yogis and the devotees. The karmis
are materialistic, whereas the other three are transcendental. The
first-class transcendentalists are the devotees who have realized the
Supreme Person. The second-class transcendentalists are those who have
partially realized the plenary portion of the absolute person. And the
third-class transcendentalists are those who have barely realized the
spiritual focus of the absolute person. .....
Devotional service is not, therefore, meant for the less
intelligent class of transcendentalist. There are three classes of
devotees, namely first, second, and third class. The third-class
devotees, or the neophytes, who have no knowledge and are not detached
from material association, but who are simply attracted by the
preliminary process of worshiping the Deity in the temple, are called
material devotees. Material devotees are more attached to material
benefit than transcendental profit. Therefore, one has to make
definite progress from the position of material devotional service to
the second-class devotional position.
...In the second-class position,the devotee can see four principles in the devotional line, namely the
Personality of Godhead, His devotees, the ignorant and the envious.
One has to raise himself at least to the stage of a second-class
devotee and thus become eligible to know the Absolute Truth.
A third-class devotee, therefore, has to receive the instructions
of devotional service from the authoritative sources of Bhagavata. The
number one Bhagavata is the established personality of devotee, and
the other Bhagavatam is the message of Godhead. The third-class
devotee therefore has to go to the personality of devotee in order to
learn the instructions of devotional service. Such a personality of
devotee is not a professional man who earns his livelihood by the
business of Bhagavatam. Such a devotee must be a representative of
Sukadeva Gosvami, like Suta Gosvami, and must preach the cult of
devotional service for the all-around benefit of all people. A
neophyte devotee has very little taste for hearing from the
authorities. Such a neophyte devotee makes a show of hearing from the
professional man to satisfy his senses. This sort of hearing and
chanting has spoiled the whole thing, so one should be very careful
about the faulty process. The holy messages of Godhead, as inculcated
in the Bhagavad-gita or in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, are undoubtedly
transcendental subjects, but even though they are so, such
transcendental matters are not to be received from the professional
man, who spoils them as the serpent spoils milk simply by the touch of
A sincere devotee must, therefore, be prepared to hear the Vedic
literature like the Upanisads, Vedanta and other literatures left by
the previous authorities or Gosvamis, for the benefit of his progress.
Without hearing such literatures, one cannot make actual progress. And
without hearing and following the instructions, the show of devotional
service becomes worthless and therefore a sort of disturbance in the
path of devotional service. Unless, therefore, devotional service is
established on the principles of sruti, smrti, purana or pancaratra
authorities, the make-show of devotional service should at once be
rejected. An unauthorized devotee should never be recognized as a pure
devotee. By assimilation of such messages from the Vedic literatures,
one can see the all-pervading localized aspect of the Personality of
Godhead within his own self constantly. This is called samadhi.
4) Adi 7.95-96 Lord Caitanya in Five Features
A person who cannot keep his faith in the words of his spiritual
master but acts independently never receives the authority to chant
the holy name of the Lord. It is said in the Vedas (Svetasvatara
yasya deve para bhaktir
yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah
"Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the
Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge
automatically revealed." This Vedic injunction is very important, and
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu supported it by His personal behavior.
Some conclusions from the above statements by Srila Prabhupada
1)unless one regularly associates with devotees fixed in siddhanta his understanding of spiritual life
does not mature and worse-he can't tell the difference between material and spiritual activities within his own self or from others. In other words he may be in total maya, but will think he is KrsnaConscious. His fruitive acts are considered spiritual even though there is no renunciation of the fruits or the fruitive mentality or doing all acts for the pleasure of guru and God. (SB 4.9.11)
2) And because he does not accept the proper method of following Transcendental authority and its representatives, he continues to speculate and deviate from the proper method outlined by authorized persons. ( SB 4.18.5)
As a result of this foolishness he therefore cant even tell the difference between a liberated and a conditioned soul. Prabhupada has explained several times that if you do as an electrician does, following exactly what he tells you to do, then your acts,under his guidance, are as good as the first class electrician-even without his personal qualifications. Similarly if we follow the instructions of a bona fide guru exactly, then our acts are also liberating and without karmic reaction.. Because many devotees dont hear from Srila Prabhupada properly or regularly, they cannot tell who and who not to hear from in their own personal lives and from other devotees. He concludes by saying now the whole world is bewildered because they do not take the perfect instructions of the pure devotee and his representatives.
3) The third class devotees have barely achieved the spiritual focus of God,namely brahman realization
(I am not this body),are not detached from material association but have become attracted to Deity worship, and as a result(of the material attractions) have more of an affinity for material profit than spiritual gain.
The second class devotee can see 4 persons-God,the devotees, the innocent or ignorant,and the envious hearted. This last ability to see those are actually envious will serve that devotee well who can sever all ties with those who pose as devotees but at heart and behavior are envious of devotees. The 2nd class devotee avoids the envious and atheistic and preaches to the ignorant or innocent.
In order to raise oneself from 3rd class to 2nd class one must go to the book Bhagavat and person Bhagavat and regularly and sincerely hear from him. This is the authorized process.The 3rd class devotee has little or no taste for doing this-hearing the nectar of the param para but will make a show of doing so just to satisfy his senses.
"Oh I have attended SB class or the Sunday feast program therefore now I am a devotee- a spiritual person" "I also wear a very nicely pleated and ironed dhoti/kurta or sari and put on my tilak very carefully,therefore again, I am a very spiritual person." This type of devotee makes it his/her business to hear from the "professional devotees" those who have little or no renunciation or actual knowledge yet pose as gurus, acaryas and other such "holy men".
Srila Prabhupada states, .."This sort of hearing and
chanting has spoiled the whole thing, so one should be very careful about the faulty process..".
In other words Prabhupada is telling us here that in order that we dont get cheated, even if we attempt to hear SB from some devotee, then we have to know about that devotee, how they live, what they do and especially what are their motives.
He also warns-" the make-show of devotional service should at once be rejected. An unauthorized devotee should never be recognized as a pure devotee. This little bit of intelligence we must have to protect ourselves from the wolves of Kali yuga.
4) 100% Faith in the pure devotee of the Lord is the actual and tangible asset we should acquire. First we must find out WHO is the actual pure devotee of the Lord, then we follow him which also means automatically all the pretenders are then rejected.
below our Thanksgiving day Feast- organic pumpkin pie slathered in organic cream, organic garden carrots,
organic lentil loaf dunked in organic cashew gravy,organic baked candied yams, organic fried tofu, rice krispie treats,buttermilk orange juice nectar, organic mashed potatoes with cashew gravy, and organic cranberry relish.--THANK YOU KRSNA FOR EVERYTHING!!
We also had a nice grouping of local devotees come to celebrate our continued thanks to the Lord for all
He gives to us on a daily basis.