In the second-class position, the devotee can see four principles in the devotional line, namely
- The Personality of Godhead,
- His devotees,
- The ignorant and
- The envious.
One has to raise himself at least to the stage of a second-class devotee and thus become eligible to know the Absolute Truth.
The madhyama, or the second-class devotee, knows well the Lord, the Lord’s devotees, the neophytes, and the nondevotees also
The second-class devotee accepts disciples from the section of third-class devotees or nondevotees. Sometimes the first-class devotee also comes down to the category of the second-class devotee for preaching work.
The second-class devotee is he who is merciful and compassionate to the fallen soul. The second-class devotee is always cognizant of his position as an eternal servant of the Lord; he therefore makes friendships with devotees of the Lord, acts compassionately toward the general public in teaching them devotional service, and refuses to cooperate or associate with nondevotees. As long as one is not compassionate to people in general in his devotional service to the Lord, he is a third-class devotee.
According to Srila Rupa Gosvami, krsneti yasya giri tam manasadriyeta: “One should mentally honor any devotee who chants the holy name of Lord Krsna.” (Upadesamrta 5) Any living entity who is faithfully chanting the holy name of Krsna is to be considered a Vaisnava and at least within the mind is to be offered respect. But for practical advancement in Krsna consciousness one should associate at least with a second-class devotee. And if one can receive the mercy of a first-class devotee of the Lord, one’s perfection is very easily guaranteed. Thus Nimi Maharaja is humbly inquiring, “What are the character, behavior and speech of devotees?” The King wants to know the particular symptoms of body, mind and speech by which the different categories uttama-adhikari, madhyama-adhikari and kanistha-adhikari are clearly identified. In response to the King’s inquiry, another of the nava-yogendras, namely Havir, will give a further elaboration of the science of Krsna consciousness.