How to Treat More, Less and Equally Qualified Persons
Khonika Gope-Kumar: In several places of Srimad Bhagvatam, instructions are given on how to greet and treat someone who is less qualified, equally qualified and more qualified than us. In this article, I am quoting three important verses regarding this subject matter. The purports given by Srila Prabhupada are also worth reading. In summary,
1. Be compassionate
2. Be like a father
1. Make friendship
2. Be like a sympathetic brother
1. Be very pleased
2. Show the greatest respect
3. Serve him like a menial servant
4. If he is a teacher, spiritual master or older Godbrother, consider him to be as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead
The verses from where these principals are consolidated are as follows –
SB 3.29.17 — The pure devotee should execute devotional service by giving the greatest respect to the spiritual master and the ācāryas. He should be compassionate to the poor and make friendship with persons who are his equals, but all his activities should be executed under regulation and with control of the senses.
SB 4.8.34 — Every man should act like this: when he meets a person more qualified than himself, he should be very pleased; when he meets someone less qualified than himself, he should be compassionate toward him; and when he meets someone equal to himself, he should make friendship with him. In this way one is never affected by the threefold miseries of this material world.
SB 7.4.31-32 — [The qualities of Mahārāja Prahlāda] To respectable persons he acted exactly like a menial servant, to the poor he was like a father, to his equals he was attached like a sympathetic brother, and he considered his teachers, spiritual masters and older Godbrothers to be as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead…