Apara bhakti means on the material platform. Generally, the Deity worship. This is the beginning, but as you go on worshiping the Deity you realize your spiritual identity. Then you do not see the Deity as made of stone or wood

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Expressions researched:
"apara bhakti means on the material platform. Generally, the Deity worship. This is the beginning, but as you go on worshiping the Deity you realize your spiritual identity. Then you do not see the Deity as made of stone or wood"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Parā-bhakti, that is real spiritual life. Parā aparā, aparā bhakti means on the material platform. Generally, the Deity worship. This is the beginning, but as you go on worshiping the Deity you realize your spiritual identity. Then you do not see the Deity as made of stone or wood. You see directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead and you can talk, you can receive an inspiration. This is the beginning.
Lecture on BG 4.9 -- Bombay, March 29, 1974:

So spiritual activities means devotional service. Spiritual activities mean devotional service, activities in relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Bhakti-yoga. Bhakti-yoga means, as I have repeatedly explained, that you have to forget your identification with the matter, sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam (CC Madhya 19.170). You have to forget your body as American, Indian, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, śūdra, Hindu, Muslim. That you have to forget. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi, "I am spirit soul." That is real identification. And when the spirit soul is active, sometimes the Māyāvādī philosophers, they think, "Now I've realized that I am not this body, I am not matter, I am spirit soul, so now I have become Nārāyaṇa. I have become the Supreme." But no, that is also mistake. When you realize that "Supreme is the Supreme Brahman, Parabrahman, I am part and parcel of the Supreme, I am also Brahman, but I am not the Supreme Brahman, therefore my business is to serve Parabrahman." That is real spiritual life. That is the beginning of spiritual life.

brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
(BG 18.54)

Parā bhakti. Parā-bhakti, that is real spiritual life. Parā aparā, aparā bhakti means on the material platform. Generally, the Deity worship. This is the beginning, but as you go on worshiping the Deity you realize your spiritual identity. Then you do not see the Deity as made of stone or wood. You see directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead and you can talk, you can receive an inspiration. This is the beginning.

arcāyām eva haraye
pūjāṁ yaḥ śraddhayehate
na tad-bhakteṣu cānyeṣu
sa bhaktaḥ prākṛtaḥ smṛtaḥ

We should learn how to do good to the people in general. They have forgotten their relationship with God. You should be sympathetic for them. That they're suffering on account of their forgetfulness of God, let us do some service to them. (indistinct) Awaken them. Awaken their Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. It is the best welfare activities to the human society. Because he has got, he has forgotten Kṛṣṇa, he's suffering and if you awaken his Kṛṣṇa consciousness then he will be happy.

Just like a rich man's son. He has forgotten that his father is very rich, or his father has left immense property. But forgetting his real position, he's loitering in the street, hungry. You can call him, "All right, you take some food." That is not real benefit, that is temporary. But if you awaken his real consciousness, that he is the son of a very rich man, his father has got immense property, "Why don't you go back to your father and be happy?" That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. That is stated here. Janma karma ca me divyaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ (BG 4.9). One has to understand Kṛṣṇa, tattvataḥ, in truth. Not superficially. What is Kṛṣṇa? Kṛṣṇa is the supreme leader. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). supreme leader, perfect leader, without any mistake, without any illusion, without any cheating, and without any imperfection of the senses. We have to take direction from such a leader, then our life will be successful. And because we are taking direction from imperfect leaders, cheater leaders, therefore we are meeting with so many problems.