idānīṁ pūrva-pakṣāṇāṁ prathamataḥ krameṇa siddhāntān ākarṇayantu.
Kindly listen to the conclusions concerning the first objection.
vaiṣṇavāḥ sarve samā iti satyam, kintu ye balābalaṁ na jānanti, viṣayiṇaḥ svalpa-buddhayaḥ kevalaṁ bhikṣukād api krūra-veśād api bibhyati, te kathaṁ tejaso balābalaṁ svalpāgni-mahāgni-viśeṣa-bhāvaṁ jñāsyanti? te sama-vyavahāram eva kariṣyanti, viśeṣa-vicāra-bodhājñatvāt kiṁ mariṣyanti? teṣāṁ samataiva pathyam. ye tu vaiṣṇavā vyavahāra-paramārthinaḥ śravaṇād darśanāj jñānād viśeṣa-buddhayaḥ svalpa-bala-bahu-balaṁ vicāraṇa-dhīrāḥ keṣāṁ dehe kṛṣṇasya kiyat tejaḥ svalpaṁ balaṁ bahu-balaṁ vā sarvaṁ jānanti te viśeṣa-buddhyā vyavahāraṁ kariṣyanti. balābalaṁ jñātvā yadi na kurvanti, tarhi doṣa-bhāgino bhavanti. tasmāt svalpa-bale bahu-bale upasanne ādau mahatāṁ pūjāṁ kurvanti, paścāt sādhāraṇa-balānām. evaṁ parokṣe’pi yathā balavatāṁ na tathā svalpa-balānām. nahi yathā vāḍavāgnau jvalati pradīpāgniṁ jñānavanta ādau nirvāpayanti, vāḍavāgnau nirvāpite pradīpāgniṁ sukhena nirvāpayanti. yadi vā mahā-balānāṁ mahā-tejasāṁ pūjā santarpaṇaṁ dṛṣṭvā svalpa-tejasaḥ krudhyanti tarhi nirbuddhyo mahatāṁ tejasaiva bhagna-tejaso bhaviṣyanti, kathaṁ pūjā-kāriṇo nigrahaṁ kariṣyanti? etat sarvaṁ vyavasāyino dīrgha-śrutayo vaiṣṇavā vyavahāra-paramārthinaś ca ye jānanti te jñātvā tv akaraṇe naśyanti balābala-vicāre jīvanti sumeror āśritānāṁ kim anye kariṣyanti, pūjāṁ ca sādhu sammānaṁ sevanaṁ ca kariṣyanty eva. na nindā vaiṣṇave kāryā nāvahelā pramādataḥ na duḥkhaṁ maraṇaṁ vāpi syād yadi vaiṣṇava-kāraṇāt. na doṣā vaiṣṇave dṛśyāḥ karmācāraḥ vilokanāt karmācāra-viśuddhā vā ke santi kalim arditāḥ. yato vaiṣṇavāṅge kṛṣṇāgnir vartate, śrī-kṛṣṇa-dhyāna-balāt pātakāni patituṁ na samarthāni, patitāny api kṛṣṇāgnau dagdhānīti. ajānatāṁ tu sakala-gaṅgāyām ekaivaurmir iti sabalābala-vaiṣṇave samataiva pūjety upasaṁhāraḥ.
It is true that all pure Vaiṣṇavas are equal if they chant kṛṣṇa-nāma without any offence, however a Vaiṣṇava is only as strong as the power of the Name that has arisen within him. The power of the Name is of two types – svalpa-bala (meagre strength) and bahu-bala (great strength). In the case of a kaniṣṭha Vaiṣṇava in particular, there is very little strength in the pure Name. Even though a madhyama Vaiṣṇava has more strength, he has less strength or middling strength, compared to a Vaiṣṇava with bahu-bala. An uttama Vaiṣṇava possesses bahu-bala.
In this world there are two kinds of people, namely the bahirmukha (those who are averse to Kṛṣṇa) and the antarmukha (those who are favourable to Kṛṣṇa). Those who are bahirmukha only engage in the religious principle of honouring guests, but they don’t offer service to Vaiṣṇavas. The antarmukha is of two types, namely the vaiṣṇava-balajña (one who is aware of a Vaiṣṇava’s potency) and the vaiṣṇava-balanābhijña (one who does not recognise a Vaiṣnava’s potency).
Those persons who are vaiṣṇava-balanābhijña become afraid simply by seeing the fierce forms of materialists and foolish beggars. They do not know what a Vaiṣṇava’s potency is, or the gradations of that potency. They are unaware of a Vaiṣṇava’s potency, whether it is meagre, or great. These vaiṣṇava-balanābhijña are counted amongst the kaniṣṭḥa devotees who are materialistic vaiṣṇava-prāya (those who are almost Vaiṣṇavas). They are initiated and they perform Deity worship, however, because they cannot distinguish a devotee of Kṛṣṇa from a non-devotee, they are unable to actually serve Vaiṣṇavas. They are duty-bound to behave equally towards those who accept the garb of a Vaiṣṇava, or just any ordinary guest. If they begin discriminating, then due to ignorance, they will reject the service of pure Vaiṣṇavas and will merely serve the general class of devotees and in this way become degraded. Therefore, their ignorance is the equivalent of a disease.
However, this is not the case with the conduct of the vaiṣṇava-balajña. The conduct of a transcendental Vaiṣṇava acquires special intellect through hearing philosophy and from pure sambandha-jñāna (knowledge of one’s relationship with Kṛṣṇa). They are wise in considering svalpa-bala and bahu-bala. They are experienced in considering who is very powerful and who is less powerful. They are aware in whose body how much power of Kṛṣṇa is there – slight or great. One should understand this specifically according to the potency of a Vaiṣṇava.
If one acts without understanding ‘strong and weak’ one will be responsible for making a serious error. When svalpa-bala and bahu-bala Vaiṣṇavas are present, it is one’s duty to worship the bahu-bala first, followed by those of a common potency. In the absence of a bahu-bala Vaiṣṇava also, one should follow the same etiquette by offering respects to a more powerful Vaiṣṇava and then to a less powerful Vaiṣṇava. When an inferno is put out, a small lamp is easily extinguished. If a Vaiṣṇava of meagre potency becomes irate at seeing a Vaiṣṇava of greater strength and potency being worshipped, that angry person is at fault, his own potency will be reduced, and he will try to punish the person who is offering worship. Naturally, all practicing Vaiṣṇavas with far-reaching knowledge of the śruti are aware of such spiritual matters. If one knows this, but still behaves in the same manner as a vaiṣṇava-balanābhijña, then one will obviously be ruined.
The madhyama Vaiṣṇava has love for the Supreme, friendship with the Vaiṣṇavas, compassion for the innocent, and disregard for the envious. If one does not engage in discrimination, then how can vaiṣṇavata (the attributes of a Vaiṣṇava) remain? If one serves pure Vaiṣṇavas accordingly, one’s life as a Vaiṣṇava will be perfected and one will never be fearful at any time, just like those persons who have taken shelter of Mount Sumeru. No one else can do anything to you.
To reside in the family of Kṛṣṇa and by deliberating upon the strength and weakness of pure Vaiṣṇavas, one should show respect to those with less potency, worship those with medium potency, and serve those with great potency according to one’s ability. If one does this, one will never be guilty of committing the nāmāparādha of vaiṣṇava-nindā (offending a Vaiṣṇava). One should never engage in vaiṣṇava-nindā. One should never become so bewildered that one neglects a Vaiṣṇava. There should be no regret even if one dies for a Vaiṣṇava.
Upon seeing the behaviour of a Vaiṣṇava, one should never condemn him. Even those jīvas of this age of Kali who are indifferent and equipoised are incapable of completely giving up their particular conduct. Never condemn a Vaiṣṇava for the pāpa he commits due to his fate, because the potency of Kṛṣṇa resides within his body. Pāpa cannot come from that potency. If it does happen by chance, it will be burnt up by that potency.
For the vaiṣṇava-balanābhijña, there is only one wave in the Gaṅgā. They are not aware of the other various waves. Differences of strength and weakness are beyond their comprehension. Those Vaiṣṇavas who are strong or weak in potency can be worshipped accordingly. That is the conclusion of this matter.