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Title: The Simple Faith of a Brahmana

User: Damodara Svarupa dasa      Date: 2005-02-26 16:44:06


A Brahmana's Simple Faith -- By Swami Gaurangapada


In the holy place of Shri Ranga-ksetra, a brahmana Vaishnava used to

visit the temple daily and recite the entire text of the Bhagavad-

gita. The brahmana regularly read the eighteen chapters of the

Bhagavad-gita in great transcendental ecstasy, but because he could

not pronounce the words correctly, people used to joke about him. Due

to his incorrect pronunciation, people sometimes criticized him and

laughed at him, but he did not care. He was full of ecstasy due to

reading the Bhagavad-gita and was personally very happy.


While reading the book, the brahmana experienced transcendental

bodily transformations. The hairs on his body stood on end, tears

welled up in his eyes, and his body trembled and perspired as he

read. Seeing this, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu became very happy. Shri

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked the brahmana, "My dear sir, why are you in

such ecstatic love? Which portion of the Bhagavad-gita gives you such

transcendental pleasure?"


The brahmana replied, "I am illiterate and therefore do not know

the meaning of the words. Sometimes I read the Bhagavad-gita

correctly and sometimes incorrectly, but in any case I am doing this

in compliance with the orders of my spiritual master. Actually I only

see Lord Krishna sitting on a chariot as Arjuna's charioteer. Taking

the reins in His hands, He appears very beautiful and blackish. While

seeing Lord Krishna sitting in a chariot and instructing Arjuna, I am

filled with ecstatic happiness. As long as I read the Bhagavad-gita,

I simply see the Lord's beautiful features. It is for this reason

that I am reading the Bhagavad-gita, and my mind cannot be distracted

from this." Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told the brahmana, "Indeed, you

are an authority in the reading of the Bhagavad-gita. Whatever you

know constitutes the real purport of the Bhagavad-gita.


Although the brahmana could not pronounce the words very well due

to illiteracy, he still experienced ecstatic symptoms while reading

the Bhagavad-gita. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was very pleased to

observe these symptoms, and this indicates that the Supreme

Personality of Godhead is pleased by devotion, not by erudite

scholarship. Even though the words were imperfectly pronounced, Shri

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Lord Krishna Himself, did not think this very

serious. Rather, the Lord was pleased by the bhava (devotion). This

is a good example of a person who had become so successful that he

was able to capture the attention of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu even

while reading the Bhagavad-gita incorrectly. His spiritual activities

did not depend on material things such as correct pronunciation.

Rather, his success depended on strictly following the instructions

of his spiritual master. Actually the meaning of the words of the

Bhagavad-gita or Shrimad-Bhagavatam are revealed to one strictly

following the orders of the spiritual master. They are also revealed

to one who has equal faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


In other words, being faithful to both Krishna and the spiritual master is

the secret of success in spiritual life.(CC Madya-lila 9:93-102)


On the other hand, that literature which is full of descriptions of

the transcendental glories of the name, fame, forms and pastimes of

the unlimited Supreme Lord is a different creation, full of

transcendental words directed toward bringing about a revolution in

the impious lives of this world's misdirected civilization. Such

transcendental literatures, even though imperfectly composed, are

heard, sung and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest.

(Shri Narada Muni SB 1.5.11)