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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura > Brahmana & Vaishnava > Appendixes > The seminal brahmaea

The seminal brahmana

The symptoms of a brahmana

described in Vajra-sucikopanishad.

The names of 108 Upanishads are mentioned in the Muktikopanishad. Among them, the thirty-sixth Upanishad is called Vajra-sucikopanishad. It is said that Shri Shankaracarya composed an elaborate commentary on this Upanishad and thus became very famous. It is described in Vajra-sucika-shruti as follows:

tarhi ko va brahmano nama. yah kashcid atmanam advitiyam jati-guna-kriya-hinam shad-urmi-shad-bhavety-adi-sarva-dosha-rahitam satya-jnananandananta-svarupam svayam nirvikalpam ashesha-kalpadharam ashesha-bhutantar-yamitvena vartamanam antar bahish cakasha-vad anusyutam akhandananda-svabhavam apremeyam anubhavaika-vedyam aparokshataya bhasamanam kara-talamalaka-vat sakshad aparokshi-kritya kritarthataya kama-ragadi-dosha-rahitah shama-damadi-sampanno bhava-matsarya-trishnasha-mohadi-rahito dambhahankaradibhir asamsprishta ceta vartate. evam ukta-lakshano yah sa eva brahmana iti shruti-smriti-puranetihasanam abhiprayah. anyatha hi brahmanatva-siddhir nasty eva.

“Then who is the brahmana? Anyone who knows the Self as one; devoid of mundane caste, qualities, and activities; devoid of contamination by the six enemies (lust, anger, greed, illusion, pride, and envy) and the six waves (distress, illusion, hunger, thirst, old age, and death); the personification of transcendental knowledge and bliss; beyond duality, yet the basis of all material dualities; the Supersoul of all living entities; all-pervading inside and outside like the vast sky; endowed with uninterrupted bliss; immeasurable; known only through spiritual realization; and directly self-manifesting-one who directly realizes the Self (as one sees an amlaki fruit in the palm of his hand), who lives always satisfied, devoid of faults like lust and anger, who possesses qualities like peacefulness and self-control, who is devoid of envy, the thirst for material enjoyment, illusion, and other faults, and who is untouched by pride, false ego, and so on-such a person is a brahmana. This is also the opinion of the shrutis, smritis, Itihasas, Puranas, and other scriptures. Otherwise one cannot be a real brahmana.”

Questions put forth by the brahmana community

of East Bengal (Bangladesh), who are opposed to

and violators of the Vedic injunctions.

Violating the above statement of the shruti and with a desire to propagate philosophy averse to the Vedas, the brahmana community of East Bengal put forward a question through their representatives, the caste Gosvamis, in the month of October in the city of Dhaka. They requested an answer from the Shri Madhva Gaudiya Matha of Dhaka, but what to speak of hearing the answer, the way they misbehaved was condemned in the Gaudiya magazine. Since many people requested a serial presentation of this criticism, we are publishing the following article.

The questions of the caste Gosvamis who are averse to the devotional service of Lord Vishnu and are harassed by the smarta community are as follows: “`A brahmana boy should be brought for undergoing the sacred thread ceremony at the age of eight.' What is the meaning of the word brahmana mentioned in this Vedic statement? Does it refer to the caste brahmanas who study the Vedas and perform austerities, or simply to those who are born in the family of brahmanas, the seminal brahmanas?”

The answers of the spiritual brahmanas from Shri Madhva Gaudiya Matha are as follows: “If one accepts persons who have undergone various austerities as brahmanas, then it will certainly be improper, because they are devoid of qualities like knowing past, present, and future, they possess gross vision, they lack transcendental qualities, and they are unable to ascertain the truth because they take support of pratyaksha and anumana as evidence rather than transcendental sound.  Therefore they are unqualified to be addressed as brahmanas, and they are unfit for the sacred thread ceremony, because they do not possess the appropriate qualifications. In answer to the second question, qualities like austerity arise after the study of the scriptures, therefore the position of a brahmana is dependent both on the study of the scriptures and undergoing austerities, which are not possible at the age of eight.  So undergoing the sacred thread ceremony at the age of eight is not improper, rather it is proper. Therefore one should accept our authorized path.”

By their questions, the seminal brahmanas are trying to establish that they are the real brahmanas.

The caste Gosvamis and their descendents

are unable to accept the considerations of

the shrutis, smritis, and Puranas.

In Bhagavad-gita (4.13) the Supreme Lord as said: catur-varnyam maya shrishtam guna-karma-vibhagashah-“According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by Me.” And the Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.5.2) states:

mukha-bahuru-padebhyah        purushasyashramaih saha

catvaro jajnire varna        gunair vipradayah prithak

“Each of the four social orders, headed by the brahmanas, was born through different combinations of the modes of nature, from the face, arms, thighs and feet of the Supreme Lord in His universal form. Thus the four spiritual orders were also generated.” The caste Gosvamis and their caretakers, the smarta community, who are situated in the perverted varnashrama system, are not ready to accept these statements of Bhagavad-gita and Bhagavatam with proper consideration. We will gradually and elaborately discuss the value of their considerations. But first of all we would like to say that they do not accept the smritis and the Puranas, which are in pursuance of the shruti. Therefore, being unable to accept the real meaning of the Vedas, they create confusion which in turn produces further disturbances. The rules for the sacred thread ceremony found in the fourth khanda, fourth prapathaka of the Chandogya Upanishad of Sama Veda mentions that a boy should be awarded the sacred thread between the age of eight and sixteen years. Apart from that, the procedure for the sacred thread ceremony at other times is also found.

The Vedic fruitive workers do not agree to award the sacred thread to a fallen boy who has crossed the age of sixteen without undergoing the enjoined ceremony. But the mental speculators and the devotees reject the ideas of the fruitive workers and follow other branches of the Vedas. The fruitive workers, who follow the indirect path, are unable to realize transcendence knowledge and the service of the transcendental Lord. That is why they cannot imagine that the Vedic literatures teach one to become detached from fruitive activities and aspire for the ultimate goal of one's constitutional propensities. Their only asset is their seminal brahmanism.

The Vedas, the branches of the Vedas,

and the Kalpa-shastras approve the system of Vedic tridanda-sannyasa and the wearing of saffron cloth.

It is stated in Bhagavad-gita: na buddhi-bhedam janayed ajnanam karma-sanginam-“Let not the wise disrupt the minds of the ignorant who are attached to fruitive action.” The different branches of the Vedas are nondifferent from the Vedas. Calculation of years and so on and conceptions of time are included in the Kalpa-shastras, which are part of the Vedic branch of astrological knowledge. In different branches of the Vedas there are various subbranches of Kalpa-shastras and Jyotisha-shastras. A particular branch of fruitive activities nourishes various conceptions of the inumerable branches of the Vedas. An arrangement for wearing saffron cloth is found in the Vajasaneya Katyayana Grihya-sutra of the Kalpa-shastras while ascertaining one's dress. In other Kalpa-shastras of the Ekayana branch of the Vedas, however, the wearing of saffron robes has been forbidden. One branch of Vedic knowledge does not reject another branch of knowledge, rather it respects it. The seminal method is not the only method for ascertaining who is a brahmana. These topics are elaborately described in Kashmir-agama. The arguments presented by Apayya Dikshita out of disrespect for Shri Yamunacarya, the king of Vaishnavas, without understanding the teachings of the Ekayana branch, are extremely insignificant. Apayya Dikshita was simply an atheistic scholar attached to false arguments. He was against the Vedic tridanda system and was unsuccessful in establishing that the devotees were non-brahmanas. Shri Purushottama Maharaja, a follower of the Vallabhacarya-sampradaya, has properly punished him for the mischief that he displayed in his Kalpataru-parimala commentary on Shri Shankaracarya's Shariraka-bhashya on the Vedanta-sutras. If one patiently analyzes this, he will never desire to call the initiated Vaishnavas “non-brahmanas.” Due to absence of third birth, or spiritual initiation, the twice-born consider that the platform of savitra-janma is the highest. As a result, they even fall down from that platform of savitra due to disregarding great souls. The Vaishnava brahmanas of the Ekayana branch are not seminal brahmanas as the ignorant people consider, rather they are sons of Lord Vishnu.

The ambitious seminal brahmanas are fruitive workers, yet averse to the seminal process of the Sama Veda.

Generally there are two opinions. Being devoid of devotion to Vishnu, persons who belong to Brahma's material existence identify themselves as ambitious seminal brahmanas and undergo ten types of fruitive samskaras. Though the sons of Vishnu undergo samskaras according to Vajasaneya Katyayana Grihya-sutras, they do not become entangled in fruitive activities.

The Madhva Gaudiya Vaishnavas have no objection against those who try to establish the system of seminal brahmanism, but their only concern is that the seminal process should not be polluted. Those who after duly undergoing the sacred thread ceremony in the seminal line violate and reject the smriti injunctions regarding samskaras simply distort the very seminal process. The Madhva Gaudiya Vaishnavas quote the following verse from Bhargaviya Manu-samhita:

yo 'nadhitya dvijo vedam        anyatra kurute shramam

sa jivan eva shudratvam        ashu gacchati sanvayah

“A brahmana who gives up the study of the Vedas to labor hard for other things becomes a shudra in this very life along with all his family members.” How can one undergo the sacred thread samskara by deviating from this instruction? If the seminal process is the criteria for a brahmana to undergo the sacred thread samskara, then why did the Sama Veda document the tradition of undergoing the sacred thread samskara while rejecting the seminal process?

The seminal brahmanas who follow

the ascending process are averse to the Vedas.

The Madhva Gaudiya Vaishnavas clearly know and do not deny that the twenty Dharma-shastras and a few Kalpa-sutras support the process of the seminal brahmanas' sacred thread ceremony, therefore they know that these seminal brahmanas who follow the ascending process as averse to the Vedas because they transgress the qualities, activities, occupations, symptoms, and natures of candidates for the sacred thread. In our next article we will discuss how insignificant is the endeavor of the seminal communities, who disregard the qualities and occupation of a candidate. (Weekly Gaudiya, Vol.1, Part 29)