So you read every śloka, every mantra. Whenever you get time, you read the purport, you read the meaning. The whole philosophy is there. Now as you are growing, there will be so many questions, so many philosophers. But our philosophy is so sound and solid that we can meet any philosopher of the world. Any philosopher. But you have to learn it. The books are there, your intelligence is there, the guidance is there. Because you are preaching, sometimes we have to meet opposing elements. So if you cannot answer properly, that will be disqualification.
So every one of you should learn this philosophy. As soon as you are able to, I mean to say, guide yourself, or save yourself from the attack of the opposing element, then you'll know that you are making progress. Otherwise . . . of course, there are different stages of devotional life. But so far we are concerned, we have to preach. That is the second platform of devotional life.
In the second platform, not only to love God, but to make friendship with devotees who is loving God. That is society. Our Society is devotees. We should not only practice to love God, but we should make friendship and love the devotees also. And then those who are innocent, those who do not understand what is Kṛṣṇa, we shall preach. And those who are atheist, against God, we shall avoid. So this is second stage. And on the highest stage, of course, there is no . . . he is paramahaṁsa.
So that, don't try to imitate paramahaṁsa. That is very topmost stage of devotional life. Even if you are on this topmost stage, when you are a preacher you have come to the second platform, this stage. So you have to raise yourself from the lower stage to the second stage, and if you are in the highest stage even, then you have come to the second stage for preaching work.
So preaching work, four vision—īśvare tad-adhīneṣu bāliśeṣu dviṣatsu ca (SB 11.2.46): God, Kṛṣṇa; His devotee; innocent; and the atheist. So we are concerned with three: with God, the devotees and the innocent: to love God, to make friendship with devotees and to teach the innocent. And those who are atheist, against God, avoid. Don't talk. Useless waste of time. Whatever he wants, "All right, sir, you are very great." That's all right. (laughter) (chuckles) Don't talk with them. Simply waste of time. But if one is inquisitive . . . just like this child, he wants to learn. As I say: "Oh, offer your obeisances," he does it. Oh, he should be taken care, very much developed.
But that is also one of the offenses, out of the ten offenses. One who is disinclined to understand what is this chanting, you should not bother yourself to convince him. That's all. Just like in hospital, especially in the war field, there are many wounded soldiers are coming. But the doctors see that the soldier which has got the chance of living, take care more for them. And the soldier which is immediately going to die, they do not take care much. Because it is useless; he'll not live.
Similarly the atheist, the atheist will have to suffer. They will have to meet God in the form of death in so many ways. So by suffering, suffering, suffering, suffering, suffering, when a day will come that he'll understand God, at that time, preaching to him is better. So you do not expect that our preaching will be appeal to everyone. It will be useful for the devotees, for the innocent. Not for the atheist.
So try to understand the philosophy very nicely, because you are going to preach. So many opposing elements will come. So you have to defend yourself. The more you can defend yourself from the opposing elements, the more you are advancing. You should know . . . that is the test. That is the test. Because you are preacher, so you have to test yourself, how you are making advance. Don't be self-complacent, "Oh, I am very . . . I have advanced very much." Your advancement will be tested when you can meet opposing elements. Not that when the opposing elements come, "Oh, let him talk with Guru Mahārāja, or spiritual master." Why? What for you are being taught?
So you should be very careful to understand the philosophy. Otherwise, you are not making progress. Progress means you shall defend yourself from the opposing elements. That is progress.