Guardiões da Devoção
Brahmanas and Vaisnavas
by Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja
Sumati means a good disposition, but good in its fullest conception must come in devotion to Krsna. Krsna consciousness.
“dvaite” bhadra bhadra – jnana, sab mano dharma
The calculation of good and bad in this misconceived area is necessarily all false, wholesale. On the other hand what is good or bad in the plane of Krsna Consciousness, both are ultimately good. Both the opposition party and the substantive party have a good position there, both are efficacious.
Here, if a country is ruled by a good government then we can say that the opposition has got something bad. And where the country is ruled by an evil government then it is likely that both parties will be bad. So we must try to learn what is the intrinsic value of good and bad. Exploitation and renunciation, both are bad, and only service, dedication to the central principle of Divinity can really be called good. And Service is of two kinds; calculative and surrendered.
Surrendered Service is the highest type of Service, and that is found only in Vrndavan. Divine Slavery to the extreme and again to the extreme. This type of Service means to accept Slavery. He is so good, that if we can have the connection of Slavery to Him then we will receive infinite good. Whatever degree of Slavery we will be able to accept, then we may attain such height of goodness. It is quite reasonable. Otherwise we cannot have any entrance into that Holiest Land.
We can gain admission only when we offer our service to the extreme point of Slavery. And that Slavery must of course, be unconditional. It must be very hard to conceive of, but nothing short of that will give us entrance to that Holy Domain. Slavery in that Domain is far, far better than to be the master of this land of exploitation, where the reaction can only be very, very bad. And the middle plane, the land of renunciation is neither good nor bad; it is nothing – zero – freezing point.
Devotee: You mentioned that when Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupad adopted the sacred thread, that previously Srila Jiva Goswami had written that in order for one to become a Brahmin, one would have to take birth in the family of a Brahmin. But later a mahajan would appear who would change this rule. Is it true?
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Srila Jiva Goswami has written that the ordinary sadhus, the yogis, the Brahmins, the Sankarites, and the other schools, have all concluded that by the dint of one’s knowledge, one’s yoga, or one’s devotion, the results of all actions can be destroyed, save and except prarabdha-karma, those actions which have determined one’s present body and are already attached to that body from before this birth. But the Bhakti school disagrees.
We say that by the power of Krsna-Nam, even the impurity attached to one’s birth, race, creed, caste, or any other thing; can be done away with completely. It is not possible by yoga, jnana, or any other thing, but by Krsna-Nam, any sort of impurity can be obliterated, even prarabdha-karma. So, when all prarabdha-karma is purified, then one comes to the position of the highest birth, that of the Brahmin. Jiva Goswami says that at this point one comes to the status of a Brahmin boy.
But a Brahmin boy is not considered eligible to do the work of a Brahmin, until and unless he is given the sacred thread and mantram. When he is conferred with upanayana-samskara, then only is he eligible to worship Narayan, perform sacrifice, and carry out other duties which only the Brahmins can do. So by taking the Holy Name one is purified and attains the position of a Brahmin boy. But, Srila Jiva Goswami points out, that because we do not find any system to give the sacred thread to those not born in Brahmin families, then they will have to wait until their next birth.
The Goswami admits that whatever caste one may be, if he takes the Name of Krsna then he discards any defects of his birth, and attains the position of a Brahmin lad. Our Guru Maharaj, continuing this line of thought, said there is no harm in giving them the sacred thread, so the custom may be introduced. Our Guru Maharaj, continuing this line of thought, said there is no harm in giving them the sacred thread, so the custom may be introduced. Our Guru Maharaj came to introduce that.
He said, two things are being given indulgence by not introducing that initiation. Firstly, those who receive Vaisnava initiation may thing that they are lower that the Brahmins, so they must be encouraged. They should understand that they are no longer in a lower position and that they are fit to do all the various services. Secondly, the so-called Brahmins, who are proud of their flesh consciousness, come to think that those who have got Vaisnava-diksa are lower.
So they are committing offence to the Vaisnava. In order that the Brahmins and other so-called higher castes should not be given the chance of committing vaisnava-aparadha; and at the same time, those who have received the Vaisnava-mantra should not consider themselves lower and unfit to do the worship that the body Brahmins do; for these two-fold benefits for the society, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami boldly came forward to introduce this system. There is no difficulty in the rules of sastra, according to siddhanta it is not wrong, but only there was no system established. Our Guru Maharaj established that.
brahmananam sahasrebhyah sastrayaji visisyate
sarva-vedanta-vit-kotya visnubhakto visisyate
vaisnavanam sahasrebhyah ekantyeko visisyate
“The real devotee of Visnu is superior to crores of ordinary vaidantik-brahmins. A practical Brahmin is better than a birth Brahmin. Practical means he who performs yajna, etc., and worships Krsna. Those who worship Krsna with the help of their consciousness will be preferred to those who worship with material things.
Then those who are Vedanta-vit, they think that their goal is undifferentiated consciousness, and if one can have the idea of differentiated consciousness then he must hold the higher position to crores of vaidantik-brahmins – those who are suffering from the disease of thinking that spirituality means non-differentiated brahma. The Visnu-bhaktas who can see the Personality in consciousness, will be far superior. Amongst the devotees, those who regulate themselves according to the scriptures and calculation are of the order of Vaikuntha, and those who can exclusively surrender to the Service of the Absolute Entity with innermost Love and Faith, are of the highest order.”
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