Post Author: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-05-05 05:30:47
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)