True Bhagavata

A Bhagavata is a devotee of the Lord. Who is a true Bhagavata? There are several levels of Bhagavata. The perfect Bhagavata is the one who is able to see the Atman being present in all living creatures as an expression of the Supreme being. He is one who can also see all living beings as dwelling in the Supreme Spirit. The mediocre Bhagavata is one who entertains an attitude of adoring love towards god. He has the feelings of friendliness to His devotees. He shows kindness and sympathy to the common man and he shows indifference to all the enemies and bad people. You next have the inferior Bhagavata. He is that devotee who performs the worship of God in an image or an icon with complete faith and devotion. Though he is completely engrossed in this, he is totally indifferent to all the devotees of God. He is also indifferentto all the other creatures and beings (this is on account of his incapacity to recognize the Divinity manifesting in and through everything).

(Bhagavatam) (6)

The one undifferentiated Brahman is supposed to have said, “I shall become many.” Vessels, pots, urns, etc., are merely names denoting differences in manifestation, but the material within these is, in truth, merely clay. Similarly humans, horses, stones, water, etc., are merely names that indicate differences in manifestation, but the material within is, in truth, merely God. This theme finds amplification in the pages of the Vishnupurana. If another being is different, specifically from me, then it may be said that this is I, that is the other; but when only one soul is dispersed in all bodies it is idle then to ask questions like who are you, who am I, or say thou art a king, this is a palanquin, these are the bearers, those are the running footmen…”

(Vishnupurana) (8)

O King, regard equally a friend or a foe, consider yourself as one with all that exists in the world. Even as the same sky is apparently diversified as white or blue, so the soul, which is in truth but one appears to erroneous vision distinct in different persons. That one which here is in all things, is Vishnu, superior than whom there is none other. He is I; He is all; this universe is His form. Abandon the error of distinction.