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Once there lived a brahmana-pandita in a village who was very proud of his family tradition of scholastic distinction. In course of time, however, successors of that family became a averse to academic pursuits that they used to while away their time in playing cards, dice, chess etc. To earn a living they would go to householders to worship their Deities, but in fact they were simply cheating the householders and the Deities by chanting inaccurate mantras. Yet they boasted everywhere that scholarly persons such as themselves were rare in this world, because their bloodstream carried the heritage of erudition and the acumen of many many ancient panditas.
One of the virtuous local people, who was a determined champion of truth, once decided to invite a truly erudite personality to his village with a view to smash the vain attitude of those so-called panditas.
As the learned personality came and entered the village, all those false panditas felt extremely nervous and rushed immediately to their village chief asking his advice to overcome such an averse situation. The village thief was popularly known as “Dada Thakur” among all the villagers and had also earned wide fame as the greatest of all the panditas. Assuring all the villagers, he said, “Don’t worry. With the heritage of our ancestors running in my blood, I will certainly defeat this newly-arrived pandita. I will have a conversation with him in Sanskrit, this will certainly make him silent. Then he won’t be able to assess anything else or make any firther attempt to criticize us in any way. He’ll have to leave this village in disgrace.”
Upon his arrival in the courtyard for the debate, the learned personality found the pandita sitting on a high pedestal. The learned person then began by asking the pandita by asking the pandita in Sanskrit, “Kastvam?” or “Please introduce yourself. Who are you?”
In reply, the village pandita Dada Thakur blurted out, “Khastvam,, gastvam, ghastvam, castvam, chastvam, jastvam, jhastvam, nastvam, nhastvam, tastvam, thastvam, dastvam, dhastvam,..........ksastvam!”
The learned personality realized immediately that it was of no use to continue any more dialogue with such a blatant pandita, the sooner he could leave that place the better for his own dignity. He offered his obeisances from a distance and when the said learned dignitary was about to go away from the place, the disciples and followers of Dada Thakur began to laugh loudly and shouted, “Just see! Our Dada Thakur is such a great pandita! That learned fellow couldn’t even open his mouth in front of him! There must be hardly anyone in this world who could talk to our Dada Thakur in Sanskrit! How fluently he can speak in Sanskrit!
Boasting about their traditional family heritage of brahminical erudition and successive association with Lord Vishnu, Vaishnavas, saintly persons and scholars of eminence, some people speculate that there must have been an acute dearth of real Vaishnavas of the regular line of heredity, completely surrendered unto the Supreme Lord through performance of perfect devotional service. Mad with such material vanity, these people audaciously have a challenging attitude towards pure Vaisnavite injunctions and maxims with the help of their abecedarian pedantry.
Whenever they are confronted with a question from a true Vaishnava, “Kastvam?” or “Who are you?”, “What is your true constitutional position?” - then such persons with their materialistic vanity and gross intelligence, considering their bodies as their selves, pretend to conquer the Vaishnavas by throwing out a materialistically - oriented pedantic reply based on their mundane knowledge and unfounded speculations. These sorts of pedantic deliberations sound simply delirious.
In response to the question, “Kastvam?” - “Who are you?”, a real scholar should say, “gopibhartuh padakamalayor dasadasanudasa” or “I am the servant of the servant of the servants at the lotus feet of the Lord Shri Krishna, Lord of the Gopis.”