SB 4.9.16 purport…Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura describes that this impersonal feature, or Brahman manifestation, of the Supreme Lord is meant for persons who are essentially very advanced but still not able to understand the personal features or variegatedness of the spiritual world. Such devotees are known as jñāna-miśra-bhaktas, or devotees whose devotional service is mixed with empiric knowledge. Because the impersonal Brahman realization is a partial understanding of the Absolute Truth, Dhruva Mahārāja offers his respectful obeisances.
It is said that this impersonal Brahman is the distant realization of the Absolute Truth. Although apparently Brahman seems to be devoid of energy, factually it has different energies working under the headings of knowledge and ignorance. On account of these different energies, there is continually a manifestation of vidyā and avidyā. Vidyā and avidyā are very nicely described in Īśopaniṣad. It is said there that sometimes, due to avidyā, or a poor fund of knowledge, one accepts the Absolute Truth as ultimately impersonal. But in fact the impersonal and personal realizations develop in proportion to the development of devotional service. The more we develop our devotional service, the more closely we approach the Absolute Truth, which, in the beginning, when we realize the Absolute Truth from a distant place, is manifest as impersonal.
People in general, who are under the influence of avidyā-śakti, or māyā, have neither knowledge nor devotion. But when a person who is a little advanced and is therefore called a jñānī advances even more, he is in the category of a jñāna-miśra-bhakta, or a devotee whose love is mixed with empiric knowledge. When he is still further advanced, he can realize that the Absolute Truth is a person with multi energies.
An advanced devotee can understand the Lord and His creative energy. As soon as one accepts the creative energy of the Absolute Truth, the six opulences of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are also understood. Devotees who are still further advanced, in full knowledge, can understand the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. Only on that platform can one fully enjoy transcendental bliss.
An example is given in this connection by Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura of a person proceeding towards a destination. As he approaches, he sees the destination from a distant place, just as we see a city from a distance. At that time he simply understands that the city is situated at a distance. When, however, he comes still nearer, he sees the domes and flags. But as soon as he enters the city, he sees various paths, gardens, lakes, and marketplaces with shops, and persons buying. He sees varieties of cinema houses, and he sees dancing and jubilation. When a person actually enters the city and personally sees the activities of the city, he becomes satisfied.
Some Conclusions – There are many places where Srila Prabhupada describes this gradual process of realization of the Lord, going from Brahman, to Paratmatma, and finally to Bhagavan Sri Krsna Himself.
Many times we have seen it that ill-informed devotees think they have Full Bhagavan realization simply because they are looking at a Deity of the Lord. Yes they are seeing , but what are they actually seeing? For most of us, we see some stone or metal statue of Krsna. But this is not full realization of the 3 different aspects of God. If we are actually seeing the Supreme Lord, then why cant we talk there with Him? Why cant we see Him moving about? It is because our senses are not yet fully purified with 24/7 engagement in the Transcendental service of the Lord.
For many of us, we chant our 16 rounds, toss the bead bag aside and then think now our business is finished and then as Srila Prabhupada said, "now I can do any damn thing I want".
Bhaktivinode Thakur in his book Nama Cintamani describes that any object is known by 4 things.
Its name, its form, its qualities and finally its activities. These 4 items correspond to our realizations first that Krsna is present in His name, then when we understand this, we can see His form present in the chanting of Hare Krsna mantra.
After that because we see His form in the chanting, we will see His qualities or energies as Srila Prabhupada mentions above.
Then finally we will see all His transcendental activities, simply by chanting Hare Krsna mantra. That is the most advanced stage and where one finally enjoys transcendental bliss as mentioned above.
Therefore the advanced Vaisnavas all concur, that chanting of the Holy Names is the eternal Vaisnava dharma.