Canto 6: Prescribed Duties for MankindChapter 7: Indra Offends His Spiritual Master, Bṛhaspati.

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 6.7.35

śrī-viśvarūpa uvāca

vigarhitaḿ dharma-śīlair


kathaḿ nu mad-vidho nāthā

lokeśair abhiyācitam

pratyākhyāsyati tac-chiṣyaḥ

sa eva svārtha ucyate


śrī-viśvarūpaḥ uvācaŚrī Viśvarūpa said; vigarhitam — condemned; dharma-śīlaiḥ — by persons respectful to the religious principles; brahma-varcaḥ — of brahminical strength or power; upavyayam — causes loss; katham — how; nu — indeed; mat-vidhaḥa person like me; nāthāḥO lords; loka-īśaiḥ — by the ruling powers of different planets; abhiyācitam — request; pratyākhyāsyati — will refuse; tat-śiṣyaḥ — who is on the level of their disciple; saḥ — that; eva — indeed; sva-arthaḥ — real interest; ucyate — is described as.


Śrī Viśvarūpa said: O demigods, although the acceptance of priesthood is decried as causing the loss of previously acquired brahminical power, how can someone like me refuse to accept your personal request? You are all exalted commanders of the entire universe. I am your disciple and must take many lessons from you. Therefore I cannot refuse you. I must agree for my own benefit.


The professions of a qualified brāhmaṇa are paṭhana, pāṭhana, yajana, yājana, dāna and pratigraha. The words yajana and yājana mean that a brāhmaṇa becomes the priest of the populace for the sake of their elevation. One who accepts the post of spiritual master neutralizes the sinful reactions of the yajamāna, the one on whose behalf he performs yajña. Thus the results of the pious acts previously performed by the priest or spiritual master are diminished. Therefore priesthood is not accepted by learned brāhmaṇas. Nevertheless, the greatly learned brāhmaṇa Viśvarūpa became the priest of the demigods because of his profound respect for them.

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