|Adi-lila||Chapter 17: The Pastimes of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu in His Youth|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Adi 17.103
ara dine jyotisa sarva-jna eka aila
tahare sammana kari' prabhu prasna kaila
ara dine -- some other day; jyotisa -- an astrologer; sarva-jna -- who knows everything; eka -- one; aila -- came there; tahare -- unto him; sammana kari' -- giving all honor; prabhu -- the Lord; prasna -- question; kaila -- put.
On another day an astrologer came who was said to know everything -- past, present and future. Thus Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu received him with all honor and put this question before him.
Brahmanas generally used to become astrologers, Ayur-vedic physicians, teachers and priests. Although highly learned and respectable, such brahmanas went from door to door to distribute their knowledge. A brahmana would first go to a householder's home to give information about the functions to be performed on a particular tithi, or date, but if there were sickness in the family, the family members would consult the brahmana as a physician, and the brahmana would give instruction and some medicine. Often, since the brahmanas were expert in astrology, people would also be greatly inquisitive about their past, present and future.
Although the brahmana appeared at Lord Caitanya's house as a beggar, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu received him with great respect because he was a qualified brahmana who knew the astrological science perfectly. Although brahmanas would go door to door just like beggars, they were honored as very respectable guests. This was the system in Hindu society five hundred years ago, during the time of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. This system was current even one hundred years ago; even fifty or sixty years ago, when we were children, such brahmanas would visit householders like humble beggars, and people would derive great benefit from the mercy of such brahmanas. The greatest benefit was that a householder could save a great deal of money from being spent on doctor bills because the brahmanas, aside from explaining the past, present and future, could ordinarily cure all kinds of diseases simply by giving instructions and some medicine. Thus no one was bereft of the benefit of a first-class physician, astrologer and priest. The important members of ISKCON should give careful attention to our Dallas school, where children are being taught Sanskrit and English to become perfect brahmanas. If they are actually trained as perfect brahmanas, they can save society from rogues and ruffians; indeed, people can live happily under the protection of qualified brahmanas. Therefore the Bhagavad-gita (4.13) gives special stress to the division of society (catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah). Unfortunately some people are now claiming to be brahmanas simply by birthright, with no qualifications. Therefore the entire society is in chaos.
Copyright (c) The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness