Mahaprabhu's Teachings (3):
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Mahaprabhu also told about caste and creed.
nicha-jati nahe krsna-bhajane ayogya
"A person born in a low family is not unfit for practising Krishna consciousness, nor is one fit for devotional service simply because he is born in an aristocratic family of brahmanas."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, 3.4.66)
Those who come from a lower caste, who come from a mlechha family, who come from some bad family, are not unfit to worship the Lord—they also have the qualification, the right to chanting the Name of the Lord. Some brahman can say, "Oh, I am a brahman, and he comes from another caste—he belongs to ksatriya, vaisya, or sudra caste, he comes from a mlechha family, so he cannot chant the Holy Name." No, it is very bad to think like this. Mahaprabhu says this is not so—even a brahman may be unfit to worship the Lord if he has no quality, no sincerity, no heart, if he cannot leave bad qualities (ahara, nidra, bhaya, maithunamcha—eating, sleeping, fearing, mating), if he cannot leave the six faults (atyahara, prayasa, prajalpa, niyamagraha, laulya, janasanga—too much eating and hoarding, too much enthusiasm for worldly activities, too much talking, doing what is favourable while not giving up what is unfavourable, greed, associating with non-devotees), if he cannot leave dyuta, pana, striya, suna (gambling, intoxicants, free-mixing, meat-eating).
যেই ভজে, সেই বড়, অভক্ত—হীন, ছার ।
yei bhaje sei bada, abhakta—hina, chhara
"Only a nondevotee can be considered as worthless and abominable: anyone who takes to devotional service is great—there is no consideration of class, caste or any other status for those who have taken up service to Krishna."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, 3.4.67)
In worshipping the Lord, there is no question of caste or creed.
কিবা বিপ্র, কিবা ন্যাসী, শূদ্র কেনে নয় ।
kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene naya
"Whether one is a brahman, a sannyasi, or a sudra, regardless of what one is, one can become a spiritual master if he knows the science of Krishna."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, 2.8.128)
Who can be a guru? It is not necessary to belong to any particular caste, it is not necessary to see where the person comes from—anyone who has quality and qualification, anyone who has got proper guidance from a bona fide guru, can be a guru. Those who are a proper disciple, can be a guru. It is said about Mahaprabhu in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita,
sannyasi pandita-ganera karite garba nasa
"To vanquish the false pride of so-called renunciants and learned scholars, He spreads real religious principles even through a sudra, or lowborn, fourth-class man."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, 2.5.84)
People become very proud thinking, "I am a sannyasi!", "I am a big scholar!", "I am from from a high caste!" but Mahaprabhu arranged for Krishna consciousness to be spread through lower class people like Raya Ramananda. Mahaprabhu Himself heard Krishna-katha from Raya Ramananda who was not from a brahman family but from a sudra family. Mahaprabhu spread Krishna consciousness and heard Hari-katha, Krishna-katha from Raya Ramananda because brahmans, scholarly pandits think they know everything, they are proud, "We are very educated, we come from a brahman family!" etc.
Mahaprabhu also says in Sri Chaitanya-bhagavata, "When you offer something to Me, it is not necessary to give many opulent things. Whatever you can get easily, like some spinach, some vegetables, whatever is easily available, if you offer that to Me, I take it very happily."
saba' haite bhagyavanta—sri-saka-vyanjana
"Yet of all the preparations, the sak (spinach) preparations were most glorious, for the Lord repeatedly ate them."
(Sri Chaitanya-bhagavata, 3.4.293)
Mahaprabhu always took sak (spinach)—He did not take so many opulent things like paneer, panthua (gulab jamuns), or other great fancy things.
na mane chaitanya-patha bolaya 'vaisnava'
The endeavors of one who does not follow the path of Lord Caitanya and disrespects Lord Siva yet claims to be a Vaisnava are all useless.
(Sri Chaitanya-bhagavata, 3.2.243)
Mahaprabhu said that smarta sampradaya (fruitive workers) worships demigods, but Vaishnavs must not disrespect demigods—they will respect all demigods.
sankhya-nama laite ye sthane prabhu baise
When the Lord would sit to chant japa, a Tulasi plant would be placed next to Him.
(Sri Chaitanya-bhagavata, 3.8.159)
When Mahaprabhu chanted the Holy Name, He always kept Tulasi beside Him.
tulasire dekhena, japena sankhya-nama
The Lord would constantly look at Tulasi while chanting. Who can understand this principle of devotional service?
(Sri Chaitanya-bhagavata, 3.8.160)
When He saw Tulasi with His eyes, He would get more and more enthusiasm, more and more energy to chant the Holy Name more and more.
Also, Mahaprabhu told,
'vyaya na kariha kichhu rajara mula-dhana'
"Do not spend any of the King's revenue. First you should pay the revenue due the King, and then you may spend the balance for religious and fruitive activities."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, 3.9.143-144)
Mahaprabhu also says that householder devotees should accept a proper guru, should accept guidance from a proper Vaishnav and householder devotees, and everybody else, must be always very careful not to commit any Vaishnav-aparadh.
ye-vaisnava-sthane aparadha haya yara
"If one offends a Vaisnav, the offence can be excused only by that Vaisnav, no one else."
(Sri Chaitanya-bhagavata, 2.22.33)
If you make an offence to any Vaishnav, you must ask that Vaishnav for forgiveness.
vaisnavera sesa-bhaksanera eteka mahima
"Taking the remnants of the food of Vaisnavas is so valuable that it induced Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to offer Kalidasa His supreme mercy."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, 3.16.57)
Krishna says in Srimad Bhagavatam, Eleventh Canto,
jata-sraddho mat-kathasu nirvinnah sarva-karmasu
"Having awakened faith in the narrations of My glories, being disgusted with all material activities, knowing that all sense gratification leads to misery, but still being unable to renounce all sense enjoyment, My devotee should remain happy and worship Me with great faith and conviction. Even though he is sometimes engaged in sense enjoyment, My devotee knows that all sense gratification leads to a miserable result, and he sincerely repents such activities."
(Srimad Bhagavatam, 11.20.27-28)
Grihasthas cannot leave their previous karma until devotion comes to them—they still keep thinking about material things, they still always want to enjoy, but when proper devotion comes, when their consciousness becomes pure, then they will always think about their Guru, they will think about their worshippable Lord. When householders accumulate faith and receive initiation from Sri Krishna, they become fit for devotion—such devotees are then classified as uttam, adham, or kanistha according to their faith. The quality of one's devotion depends upon one's faith—somebody is a kanistha-adhikari, somebody is a madhyam-adhikari, and somebody is an uttam-adhikari devotee.
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