Madhya-līlāChapter 19: Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu Instructs Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya 19.69

'ińho sparśiha, ińho jāti ati-hīna!

vaidika, yājñika tumi kulīna pravīṇa!'

SYNONYMS

ińho — him; sparśihado not touch; ińhohe; jāticaste; ati-hīna — very low; vaidikaa follower of Vedic principles; yājñikaa performer of many sacrifices; tumi — you; kulīna — aristocratic brāhmaṇa; pravīṇaan experienced person.

TRANSLATION

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "Don't touch him, for he belongs to a very low caste. You are a follower of Vedic principles and are a well experienced performer of many sacrifices. You also belong to the aristocracy."

PURPORT

Generally brāhmaṇas are puffed up with false prestige because they belong to the aristocracy and perform many Vedic sacrifices. In South India especially, this fastidious position is most prominent. At any rate, this was the case five hundred years ago. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu actually started a revolution against this brahminical system by inaugurating the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. By this chanting, one can be delivered regardless of caste, creed, color or social position. Whoever chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra is immediately purified due to the transcendental position of devotional service. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is here hinting to Vallabha Bhaṭṭācārya that an exalted brāhmaṇa who makes sacrifices and follows Vedic principles should not neglect a person who is engaged in devotional service by chanting the holy name of the Lord.

Actually Rūpa Gosvāmī did not belong to a lower caste. He was from a highly aristocratic brāhmaṇa family, but due to his association with the Muslim Nawab, he was considered fallen and was excommunicated from brāhmaṇa society. However, due to his advanced devotional service, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu accepted him as a gosvāmī. Vallabha Bhaṭṭācārya knew all this. One who is a devotee is above caste and creed, yet Vallabha Bhaṭṭācārya felt himself prestigious.

The present head of the Vallabha Bhaṭṭācārya sampradāya of Bombay is named Dīkṣita Mahārāja. He is very friendly to our movement, and whenever we meet him, this learned brāhmaṇa scholar highly praises the activities of the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement. He is a life member of our Society, and although he is a learned scholar in the brahminical caste tradition, he accepts our Society and considers its members bona fide devotees of Lord Viṣṇu.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness