A devotee should not ignore any living entity. The devotee must know that in every living entity, however insignificant he may be, even in an ant, God is present, and therefore every living entity should be kindly treated and should not be subjected to any violence. [SB 3.29.22 purport]
In this verse, two phrases, bhutesu baddha-vairasya (“inimical towards others”) and dvisatah para-kaye (“envious of another’s body”), are significant. One who is envious of or inimical towards others never experiences any happiness. A devotee’s vision, therefore, must be perfect. He should ignore bodily distinctions and should see only the presence of the part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, and the Lord Himself in His plenary expansion as Supersoul. That is the vision of a pure devotee. The bodily expression of a particular type of living entity is always ignored by the devotee.
It is expressed herein that the Lord is always eager to deliver the conditioned souls, who have been encaged within material bodies. Devotees are expected to carry the message or desire of the Lord to such conditioned souls and enlighten them with Krsna consciousness. [SB 3.29.23 purport]
We may offer many valuable items to the Deity, but if we have no real sense of devotion and no real sense of the Lord’s presence everywhere, then we are lacking in devotional service; in such a state of ignorance, we cannot offer anything acceptable to the Lord. [SB 3.29.24 purport]
VCT writes in his commentaries on how to deal with devotees and how not to deal:
However, in such bhakti, offence creates restriction. Offence generally stems from disrespect to the great devotees. Though such devotees are difficult to see, many exist. In order to avoid offences to them, one should pay respects to all living entities, thinking that the Lord is present in all of them. Without doing so, even worshiping the deity forms of the Lord will not give any result. Since he is the Supreme Lord, Kapila then speaks in six verses somewhat angrily, out of affection, to benefit his devotee who does not respect all beings. In these verses disrespect, disregard, hatred and criticism are forbidden. This person performs imitation worship of my deity forms (arca-vidambanam). [SB 3.29.21 purport]
Sridhara Svami explains: he does not behave well with the devotees and even with other people. Prakrta means “new or unrefined in nature.” Now, in verse 25, it will be explained that the new, immature devotee gradually becomes the highest devotee.
Bhinna-darsinah means one who does not recognize that his own suffering is also felt the same way in others.
Avamaninah means “of one who criticizes.” One who criticizes others is worse than one who hates others because it is said:
na tatha tapyate viddhah puman banais tu marma-gaih
yatha tudanti marma-stha hy asatam parusesavah
Sharp arrows which pierce one’s chest and reach the heart do not cause as much suffering as the arrows of harsh, insulting words spoken by materialists that become lodged within the heart. SB 11.23.3
Since those practicing pure bhakti by their nature have pure antahkaranas, they generally do not disrespect any living being. However, karma-misra-bhaktas can disrespect other living entities. Until the impurities of the antahkarana no longer remain disrespect is possible. When the antahkarana is pure, disrespect is not possible. At that time he should no longer perform karma with his bhakti. Sva-karma-krt means the person performs karma-misra-bhakti in sattva-guna. With the appearance of the state of seeing the Lord in all beings, the person should no longer perform karma-misra-bhakti, since he is no longer qualified for karma. Performing jnana-misra-bhakti, he should worship my deity form.
They should not abuse those who criticize them and try to beat them because they are hungry. They should respect them with praise, giving them greater respect than themselves. The Lord himself says:
ye brahmanan mayi dhiya ksipato ‘rcayantas
sambodhayanty aham ivaham upahrtas taih
Just as I am controlled by you, I am controlled by those who worship the brahmanas who have offended others, who see those brahmanas as non-different from me, who remain pleased in heart in spite of their harsh words, showing lotus faces moistened with sweet smiles, and who pacify them by praising them with words filled with love, just as a son praises an angry father. SB 3.16.11
They should treat them as friends, equal to themselves, without speaking and with sincerity, for the Lord, treating all beings without duplicity, situated within, does not get angry, even though people become angry at him.
The above article is an answer to the Open Book Exam (Canto 3.15-33), by Radheshyam Dasa, to the question: “Worshiping deities with reverence and disrespecting devotees is discouraged by Kapila deva. Then how do we avoid disrespect in our dealings with co-sadhakas whose activities may not be perfect?”