bhagavata and adhikara – two independent scales

Nanda-tanuja Dasa - July 11, 2006 5:53 pm

It seems that bhagavata and adhikara are two scales, which are independent of each other.


Bhagavata (grade of devotee from Srimad Bhagavatam):


sarva-bhutesu yah pasyed bhagavad-bhavam atmanah |

bhutani bhagavaty atmany esa bhagavatottamah || SB 11.2.45 ||

"He who sees in all living entities the presence of Bhagavan as the Supreme Soul, and the presence of all living entities in Bhagavan, is known as the uttama-bhagavata."


isvare tad-adhinesu balisesu dvisatsu ca |

prema-maitri-krpopeksa yah karoti sa madhyamah || SB 11.2.46 ||

"He, who has love for the Lord, who is a friend of His devotees, who is merciful to the ignorant and neglects the envious, is a madhyama-bhagavata."


arcayam eva haraye pujam yah sraddhayehate |

na tad-bhaktesu canyesu sa bhaktah prakrtah smrtah || SB 11.2.47 ||

"He who worships Hari alone, engaging in puja with faith, but does not worship His devotees or others, is a prakrita-bhakta."


Adhikara (grade of eligibility for sadhana-bhakti from Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu):


sastre yuktau ca nipunah sarvatha drdha-niscayah |

praudha-sraddho’dhikari yah sa bhaktav uttamo matah || BRS 1.2.17 ||

"He, who is an expert in scriptures and logic, who is always firmly convinced, and whose faith is mature, is known as the greatly eligible (uttama-adhikari)."


yah sastradisv anipunah sraddhavan sa tu madhyamah || BRS 1.2.18 ||

"He who is not expert in scriptures, but is faithful, is of mediocre eligibility (madhyama-adhikari)."


yo bhavet komala-sraddhah sa kanistho nigadyate || BRS 1.2.19 ||

"He whose faith is fragile is known as one with inferior eligibility (kanistha-adhikari)."


Point being that you can have uttama-adhikari person who is prakrita-bhakta. Is this correct?

Vrindaranya Dasi - July 11, 2006 11:39 pm

How can one be expert in the scriptures and have mature faith and not worship the Lord's devotees? Krsna means Krsna and his devotees, so I don't think mature faith can exclude worship of them.

Swami - July 12, 2006 1:48 am

Here is Sri Krsnadasa Kaviraja's commentary on the verse of Sri Rupa describing the highest standard of eligibility that you have cited.



sästra-yuktye sunipuna, drdha-sraddhä yänra

’uttama-adhikäri’ sei täraye samsära


“One who is expert in logic, argument and the revealed scriptures and who has firm faith in Krsna is classified as a topmost devotee. He can deliver the whole world.


The words taraye samsara indicate that Sri Rupa's verse can be understood not only as a description of one's eligibility for engaging in bhakti, but also the measure of one's standing in bhakti. See Madhya 22. All three of Sri Rupa's verses have been explained along with those of the Bhagavatam that you cited in the same section as if to say here are two ways of speaking about the same thing: one's standing in bhakti. Faith is cetrtainly a valid measure of one's realization. However, it is also generally true that scripturally well informed faith affords one greater capacity to engage in bhakti.