Licking The Bottle Of Honey Is Not Real Honey

Licking The Bottle Of Honey Is Not Real Honey

by | Apr 14, 2018 | ACARYA SERIES

Vaidhī-bhakti is apprenticeship. Real bhakti, parā-bhakti, is rāgānugā-bhakti. After surpassing vaidhī-bhakti we have to come to rāgānugā-bhakti. If we do not try to make further and further progress in devotional service, if we are simply sticking to the scriptural regulation process and do not try to go beyond that… The śāstric process is kaniṣṭha-adhikāra, the lowest stage of devotional service.

arcāyām eva haraye pūjāṁ yaḥ śraddhayehate
na tad-bhakteṣu cānyeṣu sa bhaktaḥ prākṛtaḥ smṛtaḥ

“A devotee who faithfully engages in the worship of the deity in the temple but does not behave properly toward other devotees or people in general is called a prākṛta-bhakta, a materialistic devotee, and is considered to be in the lowest position.” [Bhāg. 11.2.47]

People come to the temple; they are very devoted to the deity. They offer their respects, flowers, and other things. They follow the regulative process, and circumambulate. This is a nice beginning, but one has to go above this. One has to know who is actually a bhakta. One has to do good for others. That is madhyama- adhikārī. If I become satisfied with only the regulative principles for worshiping the deity in the temple and following the regulative principles, but I have no other idea, then sa bhaktaḥ prākṛtaḥ smṛtaḥ. Prākṛta means on the material platform. Such a devotee can fall down at any moment because he’s on the prākṛta stage.

Any devotee can fall down if he remains prākṛta-bhakta. So he has to raise himself above this to the platform of madhyama-adhikāra. My Guru Mahārāja used to say that licking the bottle of honey is not real honey. You have to open the bottle and lick the real honey. Then you’ll be able to taste. That is advancement of spiritual knowledge.

satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ

“In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart.” [Bhāg. 3.25.25]

Therefore, if we do not associate with advanced devotees, uttama-adhikārī, if we simply want to remain in the lowest stage of devotional service, then we are not making progress. Then we shall simply enjoy the material field, without entering into the spiritual platform.

— Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada – From a lecture in Vrindavan. 12 November 1972.

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