|Canto 7: The Science of God||Chapter 14: Ideal Family Life|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Srimad Bhagavatam 7.14.38
teshv eva bhagavan rajams
tasmat patram hi purusho
yavan atma yatheyate
teshu -- among the different types of bodies (demigod, human, animal, bird, etc.); eva -- indeed; bhagavan -- the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His Paramatma feature; rajan -- O King; taratamyena -- comparatively, more or less; vartate -- is situated; tasmat -- therefore; patram -- the Supreme Person; hi -- indeed; purushah -- Paramatma; yavan -- as far as; atma -- the degree of understanding; yatha -- development of austerity and penance; iyate -- is manifest.
O King Yudhishthira, the Supersoul in every body gives intelligence to the individual soul according to his capacity for understanding. Therefore the Supersoul is the chief within the body. The Supersoul is manifested to the individual soul according to the individual's comparative development of knowledge, austerity, penance and so on.
In Bhagavad-gita (15.15) it is said, mattah smritir jnanam apohanam ca: the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His localized aspect gives intelligence to the individual soul as far as he is able to grasp it. Therefore we find the individual soul in different high and low positions. A living entity with the body of a bird or beast cannot take instructions from the Supreme Soul as adequately as an advanced human being. Thus there are gradations of bodily forms. In human society, the perfect brahmana is supposed to be the most advanced in spiritual consciousness, and further advanced than the brahmana is the Vaishnava. Therefore the best persons are the Vaishnavas and Vishnu. When charity is to be given, one should take instruction from Bhagavad-gita (17.20):
datavyam iti yad danam
dese kale ca patre ca
tad danam sattvikam smritam
"That gift which is given out of duty, at the proper time and place, to a worthy person, and without expectation of return, is considered to be charity in the mode of goodness." One should give charity to the brahmanas and Vaishnavas, for thus the Supreme Personality of Godhead will be worshiped. In this connection, Srila Madhvacarya comments:
na visesho hareh kvacit
taratamyam vadanti ca
Beginning from Brahma down to the ant, everyone is conducted by the Supersoul (isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrid-dese 'rjuna tishthati [Bg. 18.61]). But because of a particular person's advancement in spiritual consciousness, he is considered to be important. Therefore, the brahmana Vaishnava is important, and, above all, the Supersoul, the Personality of Godhead, is the most important personality.
Copyright (c) The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness