SB 1.2 - Stages in spiritual development

Viśvanātha Cakravartī lists 14 stages of spiritual development indicated by texts 1.2.16 thru 1.2.21. The first two stages are derived from the same term mahat-sevayā. The first five stages are indicated in verse 16: (1) satām kṛpā – the mercy of devotees. Mercy is the first step that gives us the opportunity to serve the devotees, which is the second stage. (2) mahat-sevā – service to devotees. (3) śraddha – faith. The word śraddadhānasya means for a man in whom faith has developed by serving devotees. (4) gurupadāśrayaḥ – seeking shelter at the feet of a guru (sādhu-saṅga). This is derived from the word tīrtha in the line puṇya-tīrtha-niṣevaṇāt. The word tīrtha also means a guru. A man in whom faith has developed must seek shelter of a guru. (5) bhajaneṣu spṛhā – eagerness to worship (bhajana-kriyā). This is derived from śuśrūṣoḥ, which means that a person who becomes eager to hear by taking shelter at the feet of a guru will eventually develop taste.

The other stages will be listed after the corresponding verses in Bhagavatam are explained.

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