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The Simple Faith of a Brahmana

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)

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