SRI SRI PREMA-VIVARTA: CHAPTER TEN

Caste and Class

 

 

Class and qualification for devotion (kula o bhajana yogyata)

sraddha ha-ile nara-matra namera adhikari
jati-kulera tarka tarkira na chale bhari-bhuri [1]

nara-matra–Every human being— sraddha ha-ile–if they have faith— [is] namera adhikari–qualified [to chant] the Name. tarka–The arguments [and] bhari-bhuri–brashness tarkira–of speculators jati-kulera–about caste and class chale na–do not go [anywhere]. [1]

Every human being—if they have faith—is qualified to chant the Name. The arguments and brashness of speculators about caste and class do not count for anything.

brahmanera sat-kula na haya bhajanera yogya
sraddhavan nicha-jati nahe bhajane ayogya [2]

brahmanera sat-kula–Birth in a family of brahmans haya na–does not make one yogya–fit bhajanera–for devotion, [and] nicha-jati–a lowborn person [who] sraddhavan–has faith nahe–is not ayogya–unfit bhajane–for devotion. [2]

Birth in a family of brahmans does not make one fit for devotion, and a lowborn person who has faith is not unfit for devotion.

 

Non-devotees are proud of their class (kulabhimani abhakta)

samsarera dasa-karme jati-kulera adhipatya
krsna-jane jati-kulera na achhe mahatmya [3]

jati-kulera adhipatya–The importance of caste and class [lies in] samsarera dasa-karme–the ten worldly rites, [but] jati-kulera achhe na–caste and creed have no mahatmya–importance krsna-jane–for devotees of Krishna. [3]

Caste and class are important in worldly religious ceremonies, but are of no importance to devotees of Krishna.

jati-kulera abhimane ahankari jana
bhaktike vidvesa kari' yaya naraka-bhavana [4]

ahankari jana–Egotists [who are] abhimane–proud jati-kulera–of [their] caste and class vidvesa kari'–oppose bhaktike–devotion [and] yaya–go naraka-bhavana–to hell. [4]

Egotists who are proud of their caste and class oppose devotion and go to hell.

na mane vaisnava-bhakta, na mane dharmadharma
ahankare kare sada akarma-vikarma [5]

mane na–They do not respect vaisnava-bhakta–Vaisnava devotees, [and] mane na–do not honour dharmadharma–religion [as opposed to] irreligion. ahankare–Out of pride, sada kare–they always engage in akarma-vikarma–idleness and sin. [5]

They neither respect Vaisnava devotees nor do they have any regard for religion or irreligion. Out of pride, they always remain idle or commit sins.

 

A devotee cobbler is superior to a non-devotee brahman
(abhakta vipra ha-ite bhakti muchi srestha)

muchi hana krsna bhaje krsna-krpa paya
suchi hana bhakti-hina krsna-krpa nahi taya [6]

muchi hana–Remaining a cobbler, bhaje–a soul who serves krsna–Krishna paya–gets krsna-krpa–Krishna's mercy, [and] suchi hana–a soul who is virtuous [but] bhakti-hina–devoid of devotion taya nahi–does not get krsna-krpa–Krishna's mercy. [6]

Remaining a cobbler, a soul who serves Krishna gets Krishna's mercy, and a soul who is virtuous but devoid of devotion does not get Krishna's mercy.

dvadasa gunete vipra alankrta hana
krsna-bhakti vina yaya narake chaliya [7]

vipra–A brahman alankrta hana–ornamented dvadasa gunete–with the twelve qualities (given in Mahabharata as piety, truthfulness, self-control, austerity, non-enviousness, humility, tolerance, non-maliciousness, expertise in sacrifice, charitableness, steadiness, and learning) [but] vina–devoid krsna-bhakti–of devotion to Krishna chaliya yaya–goes narake–to hell. [7]

A brahman ornamented with the twelve qualities but devoid of devotion to Krishna goes to hell.

krsna-bhakti yatha, tatha sarva-guna-gana
apana ichchhaya dehe vaise anuksana [8]

sarva-guna-gana–All qualities [are present] yatha tatha–wherever krsna-bhakti–devotion to Krishna [is present]; apana ichchhaya–by their own desire, anuksana vaise–they always reside dehe–in the body [of a devotee]. [8]

All qualities are present wherever devotion to Krishna is present; by their own desire, they always reside in the body of a devotee.

mrta-dehe alankara haya ghrnaspada
abhaktera japa tapa bahya se sampada [9]

alankara–Ornaments mrta-dehe–on a dead body haya–are ghrnaspada–revolting; abhaktera–a non-devotee's japa–chanting [and] tapa–austerity [are comparable to] se–such bahya sampada–external 'wealth'. [9]

Ornaments on a dead body are revolting; a non-devotee's chanting and austerity are comparable to such external 'wealth'.

 

Attachment and aversion to the mundane must be given up
(visaye raga-dvesa varjaniya)

bhaja bhai eka-mane sachira nandana
jati-kulera abhimana habe visarjana [10]

bhai–Brother, eka-mane–single-mindedly bhaja–serve nandana–the son sachira–of Sachi. [Then] visarjana habe–you will give up [your] abhimana–pride jati-kulera–in [your] caste and class. [10]

Brother, single-mindedly serve the son of Sachi. Then you will give up your pride in your caste and class.

abhimana chhadile bhai chhadibe visaya
visaya chhadile suddha habe tomara asaya [11]

bhai–Brother, chhadile–when you give up [your] abhimana–pride, chhadibe–you will give up visaya–the world, [and] chhadile–when you give up visaya–the world, tomara–your asaya–heart suddha habe–will become pure. [11]

Brother, when you give up your pride, you will give up the world, and when you give up the world, your heart will become pure.

visaya ha-ite anuraga lao uthaiya
krsna-padambuje rage deha lagaiya [12]

uthaiya lao–Withdraw [your] anuraga–affection ha-ite–from visaya–the world [and] lagaiya deha–dedicate [your] rage–affection krsna-padambuje–to the lotus feet of Krishna. [12]

Withdraw your affection from the world and dedicate it to the lotus feet of Krishna.

hao tumi sat-kulina tahe kiba ksati
kulera abhimana chhadi' hao dina-mati [13]

tumi–You hao–may be sat-kulina–high-class; kiba–what [is] ksati–the harm tahe–in that? chhadi'–Give up [your] abhimana–pride kulera–in [your] class [and] hao–be dina-mati–humble. [13]

You may be high-class; what is the harm in that? Just give up your pride in your class and be humble.

 

The Lord's mercy upon the prideless, humble souls
(abhimana-hina dinera prati bhagavaner daya)

dinere adhika daya kare bhagavan
abhimana dainya nahi rahe eka-sthana [14]

bhagavan–The Lord adhika daya kare–bestows greater mercy dinere–upon the humble, [and] abhimana–pride [and] dainya–humility rahe nahi–do not exist eka-sthana–in one place. [14]

The Lord bestows greater mercy upon the humble, and pride and humility do not co-exist.

abhimana narakera patha, taha yatne tyaja
dainye radha-govindera pada-padme maja [15]

abhimana–Pride [is] patha–the path narakera–to hell. yatne–Carefully tyaja–avoid taha–it. dainye–Humbly maja–immerse yourself radha-govindera pada-padme–in the lotus feet of Radha and Govinda. [15]

Pride is the path to hell. Carefully avoid it, and humbly immerse yourself in the lotus feet of Radha and Govinda.

 

Giving up pride is dependent on Nityananda's mercy
(abhimana-tyaga nityanandera daya sapeksa)

aha! prabhu nityananda kabe karibe daya
abhimana chhadana more dibe pada-chhaya [16]

aha!–Ah! kabe–When [will] nityananda prabhu–Nityananda Prabhu daya karibe–be merciful [to me]? [When] more chhadana–will He force me to leave [my] abhimana–pride [and] dibe–give [me] pada-chhaya–the shade of His feet? [16]

Ah! When will Nityananda Prabhu be merciful to me? When will He force me to leave my pride and give me the shade of His feet?

 

⇐ CHAPTER NINE:
"Proper Renunciation"

CHAPTER ELEVEN:
"The Light of Nabadwip" ⇒

 

CONTENTS:

Translator's Note
Introduction
In Praise of Sri Sri Prema-vivarta
Sri Sri Prema-vivarta:
1 Invocation of Auspiciousness
2 The Composition of this Book
3 First Obeisances
4 Gaura's Greatness
5 Transformations of Ecstasy in Service
6 The Journey of the Soul
7 The Name is for Everyone
8 Give up Deceit
9 Proper Renunciation
10 Caste and Class
11 The Light of Nabadwip
12 Glories of the Vaisnavas
13 Eagerness to see Sri Gaura
14 Contradictory Transformations
15 Morning Pastimes in Nabadwip
16 What is Love?
17 Different Practices for Different Devotees
18 Sri Ekadasi
19 A Collection of Hidden Truths about the Name
20 The Glories of the Name
+ The Ten Offences to the Holy Name
+ Glossary

"HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS | HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS"