(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 08 April 2009, Durban, South Africa, Lecture)
Whenever we discuss kanistha, madhyama and uttama, it starts to feel like we are beginning to measure vaisnavas with a measuring tape! As soon as you start measuring vaisnavas with a measuring tape, there is a great risk to minimize the vaisnavas because a vaisnava is so difficult to measure. No one fits into a box; everyone has done something extraordinary for Krsna! Therefore who fits into any box – kanistha, madhyama, uttama – difficult! It gets too complicated; too much measurement!
Let us just rather appreciate the service vaisnavas have done and are doing, and let us just overlook the faults even if there is some tendency, we just look at the service and we glorify the vaisnavas.
Still on the other side, we do care because we are not naively accepting just anyone as pure devotee. To accept someone as a pure devotee, on the topmost platform, is a very serious matter and cannot be done on the basis of sentiment. Therefore it is good to understand these categories (of advancement of devotees) but we are not going to hand out T-shirts: kanistha, madhyama and uttama T-shirts! That will be a little too extreme rather we are appreciating all the vaisnavas for their exalted qualities. By counting the glories of the vaisnavas, we will see many exalted vaisnavas…