Devotee's progress

We have already seen that interest to listen to the stories of Bhagavan comes as a result of good deeds that you have done over several births. The ultimate destination is the attainment of Bhagavan. Being one with Bhagavan. Merging into Bhagavan by losing your separate individual existence. This is called moksha. So today if you have interest in listening to Bhagavan's stories, then you are not a beginner, you are not a fresher. You may not know much about Bhagavan. But Bhagavata says, you are not a beginner. तच्छ्रद्द....

We have already seen that interest to listen to the stories of Bhagavan comes as a result of good deeds that you have done over several births.
The ultimate destination is the attainment of Bhagavan.
Being one with Bhagavan.
Merging into Bhagavan by losing your separate individual existence.
This is called moksha.
So today if you have interest in listening to Bhagavan's stories, then you are not a beginner, you are not a fresher.
You may not know much about Bhagavan.
But Bhagavata says, you are not a beginner.
तच्छ्रद्दधाना मुनयो ज्ञानवैराग्ययुक्तया।
पश्यन्त्यात्मनि चाऽऽत्मानं भक्त्या श्रुतिगृहीतया॥
The first stage is purifying the mind.
What are the impurities in the mind?
Unwanted desires, anger, greed, inability to distinguish between right and wrong, arrogance and tendency to compete.
All dharmik practices are meant to get rid of these impurities.
This is the first stage.
Once the impurities are reduced a desire to know the tattwa or the principles of Veda comes.
This is the second stage.
It doesn't necessarily mean that you join a Veda pathashala and start learning Vedas.
The quest about the supreme truth begins, you become a seeker.
This knowledge can come to you in any form, many forms.
This acquisition of knowledge, some knowledge, is the third stage.
In the next stage, the fourth you contemplate upon this knowledge.
You think about it, apply your mind to it.
This is called manana.
Through manana only you become convinced about the validity of this knowledge.
Our shastras don't say that just because a scholar said something or some scripture says so you accept it as it is.
No shastra says, you contemplate upon it and be convinced that it is correct.
Challenge it.
This is manana.
Once you are sure about the validity of the knowledge, then in the next stage, the fifth stage, which is called nididhyasana, you make that knowledge firm within yourself.
By constantly thinking about it.
Then you see that this knowledge is present everywhere, it is applied everywhere.
After this, in the sixth stage you develop vairagya, dispassion towards worldly objects and activities.
You neither like nor dislike anything.
Interest in listening to Bhagavan's stories comes after this.
In the seventh stage.
So today if you have interest to listen about Bhagavan you have already gone through six stages in your earlier births.
So you are not a beginner.
You are not a stranger.
You are not a newcomer.
You are not a late comer.
It is after this that bhakti takes over.
When you hear about Bhagavan's greatness, bhakti comes and bhakti leads you to the ultimate destination, ultimate goal of being one with Bhagavan.

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