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Those who have love for Krsna, friendship with devotees, compassion for the ignorant, and disregard for those who are inimical to pure devotees are intermediate practitioners of devotion. By Krsna’s grace, they very quickly become advanced devotees.
Those who see the presence of Krsna in all beings, see all beings within Krsna, and have no attachment or aversion to enemies, friends, or the world are advanced devotees. These are Gaura’s teachings.
Although they have a body, senses, a life-force, a mind, and intelligence, wise devotees remain unaffected by birth, death, hunger, thirst, fear, and disturbances, as well as the temporary nature of this world. They spend their time remembering Krsna.
Devotees in whose heart Krsna is always present accept engagement in worldly actions only to maintain their bodies.
Material desire — the seed of worldly actions — does not arise in their heart. This is the essence of devotion.
Peaceful souls who reject the conceptions of ‘mine’ and ‘other’s’ regarding property, reject distinctions between themself and others, reject the conceptions of friends and enemies, and are equal towards all beings, are advanced devotees.
There are no sincere devotees comparable to the great souls who engage in service understanding the true nature of Krsna, the true nature of the Name, the true nature of devotees, and the true nature of devotion.
«Those who see the presence of the Supreme Lord within all beings and all beings within the Supreme Lord are advanced devotees.»]
(1) By seeing a connection with Krishna within all objects other than Krishna, advanced devotees have equal vision. Like intermediate devotees, they are devoted to Krishna’s service, and like beginners, they are devoted exclusively to the Name. (2) Intermediate devotees have love for Krishna. They offer service, obeisance, and mental honour to the three classes of devotees. They try to turn conditioned souls towards Krishna, and they ignore those who are inimical to Krishna. Thus, they do not have equal external and internal vision of all things like advanced devotees. If they imaginatively imitate the practices of advanced devotees, then deceitfulness can arise within them, and they can fall down. (3) Beginners, understanding that all good is attained through the Name of Krishna, pursue their own good. They do not, however, fully realise that the seat of an intermediate devotee is higher than theirs and that they need to reach that stage in the future. Intermediate devotees, like beginners, are exclusively devoted to the Name. They constantly chant Krishna’s Name, and gradually attain liberation from the hands of anarthas in the form of their own mundane sentiments simply by chanting the Name instead of performing supramundane service [like advanced devotees]. Beginners with the mentality of being a Guru (Guru-abhiman) often consider themselves advanced devotees and fall down.
See also Non-devotees