Ramsden Park, Toronto
An elderly woman came to where I was sitting. It looked like she had something to say, however, I started the conversation.
“How are you today?” I asked out of curiosity.
“Well, I’m a bit upset. The telephone company I’m with has not been giving service for five days.”
Now I don’t dress in a uniform from a phone company. I’ve donned my kurta (my upper garment), my dhoti (lower garment) and my uttariya (the third swami piece), so I don’t qualify for being a service man. I do, however, feel obliged to be a friend. In fact, we just didn’t hit on the spiritual topic at all. I consider it great to have met yet another neighbour.
I returned to the ashram after a good read in the park and received a call from a devotee in the States. We discussed the three levels of bhakti (devotion). Uttama bhakti refers to the highest view of people. The spirit of such a person is that everyone is viewed as devotional. Deep down inside there is a genuine love for God. The second level of bhakti is a reasonable state in which to live. One demonstrates awe for God and elders, shows a good mutual love for peers, shows compassion to the innocence and avoids antagonists. The third level of devotion is the most unfavourable. There is an attitude of pride and, although Krishna is revered, little or no appreciation is shown to others on the devotional path. We should strive for the first two levels.
May the Source be with you!