Q. Both in spiritual life and also in material life people speak of attitude. What should be the approach of a spiritual aspirants towards other spiritual aspirants and with materialists?

A. The answer to this can be found in a number of places, where qualifications of a madhyama adhikari are described. Amongst spiritual aspirants, there are those more advanced, those who are peers and those who are less advanced. In all cases, we should try to render service to the vaisnavas. Those who are more advanced, we should hear from them and serve them favorably. Amongst those who are peers, we should exchange realizations in the matter of spiritual understanding. With regard to those who are less advanced, we should try to extend ourselves in a helpful and compassionate way. As far as the materialists are concerned, their individual attitude should be carefully determined. It should first be determined whether the materialist is simply innocent and requires good association or is adamant and opposed to the supremacy of God. If the non-devotee is simply innocent, then we should carefully try to give some association to help that individual progress in his spiritual life. Those who are overt atheists, we should carefully guard against taking confidential association with them.