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The Lord of Vaikuntha Glorifies Brahmanas and Vaisnavas.

These are some beautiful slokas from the 3d Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam as translated and commented upon by Srila Prabhupada. The Lord here praises his devotees. We should take inspiration from these words in our dealings with the devotees and avoid offenses, which will make our path difficult.

ye me tanur dvija-varan duhatir madiya

bhutany alabdha-saranani ca bheda-buddhya

draksyanty agha-ksata-drso hy ahi-manyavas tan

grdhra rusa mama kusanty adhidanda-netuh

The brahmanas, the cows and the defenseless creatures are My own body. Those whose faculty of judgment has been impaired by their own sin look upon these as distinct from Me. They are just like furious serpents, and they are angrily torn apart by the bills of the vulturelike messengers of Yamaraja, the superintendent of sinful persons.


The defenseless creatures, according to Brahma-samhita, are the cows, brahmanas, women, children and old men. Of these five, the brahmanas and cows are especially mentioned in this verse because the Lord is always anxious about the benefit of the brahmanas and the cows and is prayed to in this way. The Lord especially instructs, therefore, that no one should be envious of these five, especially the cows and brahmanas. In some of the Bhagavatam readings, the word duhitrh is used instead of duhatih. But in either case, the meaning is the same. Duhatih means "cow," and duhitrh can also be used to mean "cow" because the cow is supposed to be the daughter of the sun-god. Just as children are taken care of by the parents, women as a class should be taken care of by the father, husband or grown-up son. Those who are helpless must be taken care of by their respective guardians, otherwise the guardians will be subjected to the punishment of Yamaraja, who is appointed by the Lord to supervise the activities of sinful living creatures. The assistants, or messengers, of Yamaraja are likened here to vultures, and those who do not execute their respective duties in protecting their wards are compared to serpents. Vultures deal very seriously with serpents, and similarly the messengers will deal very seriously with neglectful guardians.

SB 3.16.10 purport

ye brahmanan mayi dhiya ksipato 'rcayantas

tusyad-dhrdah smita-sudhoksita-padma-vaktrah

vanyanuraga-kalayatmajavad grnantah

sambodhayanty aham ivaham upahrtas taih


On the other hand, they captivate My heart who are gladdened in heart and who, their lotus faces enlightened by nectarean smiles, respect the brahmanas, even though the brahmanas utter harsh words. They look upon the brahmanas as My own Self and pacify them by praising them in loving words, even as a son would appease an angry father or as I am pacifying you.


It has been observed in many instances in the Vedic scriptures that when the brahmanas or Vaisnavas curse someone in an angry mood, the person who is cursed does not take it upon himself to treat the brahmanas or Vaisnavas in the same way. There are many examples of this. For instance, the sons of Kuvera, when cursed by the great sage Narada, did not seek revenge in the same harsh way, but submitted. Here also, when Jaya and Vijaya were cursed by the four Kumaras, they did not become harsh towards them; rather, they submitted. That should be the way of treating brahmanas and Vaisnavas. One may sometimes be faced with a grievous situation created by a brahmana, but instead of meeting him with a similar mood, one should try to pacify him with a smiling face and mild treatment. Brahmanas and Vaisnavas should be accepted as earthly representatives of Narayana. Nowadays some foolish persons have manufactured the term daridra-narayana, indicating that the poor man should be accepted as the representative of Narayana. But in Vedic literature we do not find that poor men should be treated as representatives of Narayana. Of course, "those who are unprotected" are mentioned here, but the definition of this phrase is clear from the sastras. The poor man should not be unprotected, but the brahmana should especially be treated as the representative of Narayana and should be worshiped like Him. It is specifically said that to pacify the brahmanas, one's face should be lotuslike. A lotuslike face is exhibited when one is adorned with love and affection. In this respect, the example of the father's being angry at the son and the son's trying to pacify the father with smiling and sweet words is very appropriate.

SB 3.16.11

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