अन्ये त्वेवमजानन्तः श्रुत्वाऽन्येभ्य उपासते।
तेऽपि चातितरन्त्येव मृत्युं श्रुतिपरायणाः।।13.26।।
।।13.26।। परन्तु? अन्य लोग जो स्वयं इस प्रकार न जानते हुए? दूसरों से (आचार्यों से) सुनकर ही उपासना करते हैं? वे श्रुतिपरायण (अर्थात् श्रवण ही जिनके लिए परम साधन है) लोग भी मृत्यु को निसन्देह तर जाते हैं।।
According to variegated differences of qualification, methods of perception for varying humans have been prescribed differently. For a devotee of the Supreme Lord Krishna there is no alternative other than His mercy and His grace. It is only by the Supreme Lords desire that one attains Him and no other cause or reason. Some devotees know some things on their own and some things they have been taught by others and still other things they have learned from the Vedic scriptures. So in this way they know a little about the Supreme Lord. But to realise Him is by His will alone. Only if He sanctions one to attain Him such a one will attain Him. Such ones realise Him within their purified hearts and others like Pariksit saw Him within the womb and others like Narada see Him externally as well. Having by the grace of the Supreme Lord become perfected in meditation upon Him and consolidating knowledge of Him by diligent and uninterrupted efforts, they eventually perceive the Supreme Lord everywhere within and without. Those who have achieved the perception from meditation no longer need to meditate upon Him as He is always within them. These are the followers of Kapiladeva known as sankhyas situated in equanimity among whom the four faced Brahma is the topmost. In special cases even the best of the ksatriya or royal warrior class who engaged Vaisnava Brahmins to perform Vedic yagnas or rituals to propitiate the Supreme Lord have achieved great devotion and have seen the Supreme Lord as in the case of Emperor Yudisthira Maharaj. Other kings from listening to the Vedic scripture have become enlightened as in the case of King Janaka who bequeathed his daughter Sita directly to Rama. Yet others still get the mood of devotion to see the Supreme Lord by hearing excitedly from others enthusiastically eulogising Him. Still others perceive the Supreme Lord by hearing about Him from others and by reflecting and meditating upon His divine pastimes. There is no other way to attain Him other then what has been elaborated on here. Beginning with sages and kings the power of illumination gradually increases up unto Brahma, the first progenitor whose illumination is the greatest in material existence. Manifested from the navel of Visnu he surrendered fully to Him and hearing the Vedas emanating from His pores began chanting them and acquired all knowledge for creating material existence. Since human beings are endowed with minimal illumination they should also be listeners of the Vedic scripture. In this way everyone will realise the Supreme Lord in due course of time depending upon their capability and competence. While for all sravanam or hearing about the Supreme Lord is recommended for all it is especially essential for human beings who are less illuminated and generally incapable of having direct realisation in one lifetime. So because they have to take shelter in the Vedic scriptures they are called sruti-paryanah or incline to follow the Vedic scriptures. Whereas those due to past life activities have acquired self-realisation without having to exclusively listen to the Vedic scriptures are not contrary in any way for such human beings even though born from human wombs should be known to be veritable incarnations of the demigods. Any male who can measure from the neck downwards nine times the length of ones face to the feet and any female who can measure from the neck downwards eight times the length of her face to the feet should be considered as demigods. As well as those male and females whose bodily length measures 96 finger widths along with those whose two palms placed vertically next to each other measure ten in number and those whose foot measurement equals seven in number should also be considered as demigods. The gradation from the Supreme Lord to the various humans gets reduced in decreasing order by a measure of five fingers and similarly the measure of the feet also gets reduced until it reaches one foot. Regarding the demigods the measure gets reduced by four fingers and in regard to the feet gets reduced to six feet as in the case of the gandarvas or celestial musicians and others. The above mentioned measurements are given for the gandarvas, kings and the higher evolved humans in the Vedic pantheon. Measurements of less then 87 finger widths puts one amongst the asuras or demons and the humans destined for hellish destinations. Measurements of 87 finger widths to 92 finger widths are for the higher order humans such as Yudisthira and Haihaya and the demigods. The measurements for incarnations like Parasurama and Prithu are 92 finger widths to 96 finger widths. In accordance to the measure of devotion unto the Supreme Lord Krishna, by His desire every jiva or embodied being assumes qualities and attributes similar to Him. This order of gradation predicated upon the jivas capacity for devotion being eternal is indestructible. It should be clearly understood that this gradation has nothing to do with higher or lower births or caste. This gradation has to do with the samskara or the fundamental impression that the jiva was influenced by when it entered into material existence. One may be born into knowledge and breeding and exhibit the qualities of an asura. A perfect example of this is the demon Ravana whose intelligence and knowledge dharma or eternal righteousness was so great that Rama sent His younger brother Laksman to learn from him on his deathbed. Yet and still he showed he was tamasic or in the mode of ignorance by breaking dharma and kidnapping another mans wife. Another example of being tamasic is Duryodhana an asura born in a family of righteous kings and who knew what is for and against dharma still opted to perform sinful activities that went against dharma. Contrarily we find the great devotee Prahlad who possessed innate sattva or mode of goodness was born in a family of demons and his father was the tamasic king Hiranyakasipu who was so powerful he even defeated the demigods and ruled them. Prahlad was such a great devotee of the Supreme Lord that the Supreme Lord manifested Himself as Narasinghadeva the half man and half lion to save His devotee and promote him to Vaikuntha the eternal spiritual worlds. This is because Prahlad was in sattva the mode of goodness and no amount of tamasic demoniac influence could subvert or distort his innate samskara as a devotee of the Supreme Lord. So in conclusion it can be understood that such gradations are in accordance to innate devotion to the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His authorised incarnations as revealed in the Vedic scriptures from the moment one entered into the plethora of material existence. This understanding should be reflected upon deeply and contemplated intensely so that proper comprehension is derived even if at first it appears incomprehensible.