Avoid Atheists

When I read the Srimad Bhagavatam verse that says “an intermediate or second-class devotee, called madhyama-adhikari, offers his love to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is a sincere friend to all the devotees of the Lord, shows mercy to ignorant people who are innocent and disregards those who are envious of the Supreme Personality of Godhead” (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.2.46), I thought of Christ’s saying about not “casting thy pearls before swine.” Srila Prabhupada talked about this often and made it clear that discussions with the innocent are different from attempting to persuade those who are resolutely atheistic. One often encounters atheists, who in the garb of Christianity or Islam, try to convert, and will argue endlessly with this single aim in mind. A quote by English poet Alexander Pope helped me focus more deeply on the meaning of this verse: “To endeavour to work upon the vulgar with fine sense, is like attempting to hew blocks with a razor.”