The Bhagavata Ethics part7

Hatred and conflict are often rooted in differences between people of different races and religions. We all need to respect people of different races as well as people of different faiths and religions. We need to unite by recognizing our common desire and need for a harmonious society — a society in which we and our children and families and friends and communities can all live our lives in peace and harmony. Regardless of our race or religion, we all want and need such social harmony.
Without respect for people of different races or ethnicities or religions, how can we have a peaceful and harmonious society or world? And without a harmonious society, how can there be the necessary economic development and atmosphere conducive to spiritual happiness and self-realization?
Science of Identity Foundation – Chris Butler Speaks
All theologists agree in maintaining that there is only one God without a second, but they disagree in giving a name to that God owing to the different modes of worship, which they adopt according to the constitution of their mind. Some call Him by the name of brahman, same by the name of paramatma and others by the name of bhagavan. Those who worship God as infinitely great in the principle of admiration call him by the name of brahman. This mode is called jnana or knowledge. Those who worship God as the Universal Soul in the principle of spiritual union with him give him the name of paramatma. This is yoga. Those who worship God as all in all with all their heart, body and strength style Him as bhagavan. This last principle is bhakti. The book that prescribes the relation and worship of bhagavan, procures for itself the name of Bhagavata and the worshipper is also called by the same name.

Such is Bhagavata which is decidedly the Book for all classes of theists. If we worship God spiritually as all in all with our heart, mind, body and strength, we are all Bhagavatas and we lead a life of spiritualism, which neither the worshipper of brahman, nor the yogi uniting his soul with (paramatma) the universal soul can obtain. The superiority of the Bhagavata consists in the uniting of all sorts of theistic worship into one excellent principle in human nature, which passes by the name of bhakti. This word has no equivalent in the English language. Piety, devotion, resignation and spiritual love unalloyed with any sort of petition except in the way of repentance, compose the highest principle of bhakti. The Bhagavata tells us to worship God in that great and invaluable principle, which is infinitely superior to human knowledge and the principle of yoga.

Our short compass will not admit of an explanation of the principle of bhakti beautifully rising from its first stage of application in the form of Brahmic worship in the shape of admiration which is styled the santa-rasa, to the fifth or the highest stage of absolute union in love with God, sweetly styled the madhura-rasa of prema-bhakti. A full explanation will take a big volume which is not our object here to compose. Suffice it to say that the principle of bhakti passes five distinct stages in the course of its development into its highest and purest form. Then again when it reaches the last form, it is susceptible of further progress from the stage of prema (love) to that of mahabhava which is in fact a complete transition into the spiritual universe where God alone is the bride-groom of our soul.

The voluminous Bhagavata is nothing more than a full illustration of this principle of continual development and progress of the soul from gross matter to the all-perfect Universal Spirit who is distinguished as personal, eternal, absolutely free, all powerful and all intelligent. There is nothing gross or material in it. The whole affair is spiritual. In order to impress this spiritual picture upon the student who attempts to learn it, comparisons have been made with the material world, which cannot but convince the ignorant and the impractical. Material examples are absolutely necessary for the explanation of spiritual ideas. The Bhagavata believes that the spirit of nature is the truth in nature and is the only practical part of it.