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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura > Upakhyane Upadesha > A Fallacy of Custom

A Fallacy of Custom

Every morning some brahmanas would take their bath in the Ganges and offer their daily prescribed prayers to the Lord. All of them were taking their own copper vessels for offering water to the Lord. But through oversight, all the copper vessels invariably changed hands everyday.

   Finally an elderly brahmana, in order to differentiate his own copper vessel from others, put a lump of sand on his own copper vessel and went to take a bath. Observing this practice, all the other brahmanas assumed that this must be a holy custom and imitated the said elderly brahmana by putting the a lump of sand on their vessels.

   After taking bath, the elderly brahmana came out of the river and found that it was impossible to identify his own copper vessel, because each and every vessel had a lump sand on it. At this, the elderly brahmana said to himself, “How over-attached to rituals these fellows are! Without realising the real purpose of anything, they just imitate others. If they had applied their common sense, they would not have marked their copper vessels in the same way.”



In modern society, practice of religious performances is quite often like this. There are so many customary practices in the field of literature and social conduct in respect of usages and performances that most of the people follow them blindly without making assessment of their validity and authority.

   Lord Nityananda is the supreme controller of all wealth and He has no want whatsoever. Those who suffer from want, are known as “daridra” or paupers. Poverty is one of the three types of sufferings undergone by living entities. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is never influenced by any of the three modes nor by any sort of poverty or want. But common people, without considering this, quite often regard a pauper to be Lord Narayana in a customary fallacy, and the modern usage of the word “daridra-narayana” has been coined.

   Some people may argue that Lord Narayana may not be a pauper, but still He exists in every living being and the said popular word has been coined in order to remember Him. This argument is also based on fallacy. The fact is that Lord Narayana is not at all poverty-stricken persons; and that no living entity is Lord Narayana Himself in any circumstances.