Why Is Vaishnav Higher?

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Nabadwip Dham, India
24 July 2013


Question: How is a Vaishnav higher than demigods and brahmans?

Here Indian people mostly worship Ganesh (they are called Ganapatya), worship Siva (they are called Sivaite), worship the Sun (they are called Saura), worship sakti (Mother Kali, Mother Durga). Those who worship Vishnu are called Vaishnavs—they always worship Krishna.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says among the four varnas (ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, brahman), brahman is the highest caste. However, if a brahman does not follow his conception, then that brahman is lower than a sudra. It is written in Padma Purana that in this age of Kali, all orders of life belong to sudra dharma, lowest caste, because they do much wrong and do not follow Krishna consciousness or the Vedas.

Chaitanya-charitamrita also says that among ten million of karmis (fruitive workers) there is one wise person; among ten million of wise men you will get one liberated soul; and among ten million of liberated souls you will get only one Krishna bhakta (devotee of Krishna). It is very rare to get a perfect Krishna bhakta. That is why a Krishna bhakta holds the highest position.

It is also written in the scriptures if a sudra (low-born person) becomes a Vaishnav, then they are more powerful than even a brahman because the caste brahmans do not follow the Vedas, Vedanta, etc., they have no chastity and they do not follow Krishna consciousness. Anybody who serves Krishna under guidance of a Guru is called a Vaishnav.

Vaishnavs are divided into kanistha-adhikari, madhyam-adhikari, uttam-adhikari. Those who chant the Holy Name of Krishna once are called a Vaishnav; those who constantly chant the Holy Name of Krishna are called a Vaishnav; and if you remember Krishna just by seeing somebody, then that is the highest Vaishnav.

যাঁহার দর্শনে মুখে আইসে কৃষ্ণনাম ।
তাঁহারে জানিহ তুমি 'বৈষ্ণব-প্রধান' ॥

yanhara darsane mukhe aise krsna-nama
tanhare janiha tumi 'vaisnava-pradhana'

"When you see somebody and Krishna comes to your mouth, then you should know such a person as an uttam-adhikari."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 16.74)

I saw this in Gurudev. One time, Gurudev was in Russia, he was going somewhere in a car. There was some drinking, smoking and completely naked lady on the street—when she saw Gurudev, she said, "Hey, Hare Krishna!" She said something in her language, we did not understand it, but she chanted Hare Krishna when she saw Gurudev. I saw this. Gurudev is an uttam Vaishnav—even naked drunkards chant Hare Krishna when they see Gurudev! That is an example of what the scriptures say—if you see somebody and start to chant Hare Krishna, they are the most senior, the greatest Vaishnav.

That is why Vaishnavs are the greatest.


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