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A brahmana is called pandita because brahmana means one who knows Brahman. Brahma janatiti brahmanah. Therefore he is called pandita. In India the brahmana is addressed as pandita. Pandita means a brahmana is expected to know Brahman

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"A brāhmin is called paṇḍita because brāhmin means one who knows Brahma. Brahma jānātīti brāhmaṇaḥ. Therefore he is called paṇḍita" |"In India the brāhmin is addressed as paṇḍita. Paṇḍita means a brāhmin is expected to know Brahma"


Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

According to Vedic civilization, a brāhmaṇa is learned. Paṇḍita. A brāhmaṇa is called paṇḍita because brāhmaṇa means one who knows Brahman. Brahma jānātīti brāhmaṇaḥ. Therefore he is called paṇḍita. In India the brāhmaṇa is addressed as paṇḍita. Paṇḍita means a brāhmaṇa is expected to know Brahman; therefore he is brāhmaṇa. Not by birth.

Lecture on BG 7.1 -- Gainesville, July 29, 1971 University of Florida:

When we understand that, "I am not this body," as Kṛṣṇa wanted to impress upon Arjuna in the beginning of His teaching of Bhagavad-gītā: "First of all try to understand what you are. Why you are lamenting in the bodily concept of life? You have to fight. Certainly you have to fight with your brothers and brother-in-laws and nephews, other side. And you are lamenting. But first of all understand whether you are body or not." That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā. He tried to make him understood that "You are not body."

So this instruction was not for Arjuna—for everyone. We have to first of all learn that, "I am not this body, I am spirit soul." Ahaṁ brahmāsmi. That is Vedic instruction. And as soon as you come to this point, if you are firmly convinced that you are not this body, that is called brahma-bhūta (SB 4.30.20) stage, Brahman realization stage. That is knowledge, real knowledge. Knowledge, advancement of knowledge for eating, sleeping, mating, that is animal knowledge. The animals also, the dog also knows how to eat, how to sleep, how to mate and how to defend.

So if our education is only on these points . . . the dog is eating according to his nature, but we are also eating in a nice plate, nicely cooked food in a nice table, but the principle is eating. That is not advancement that, "I am eating in a better plate, in a better place than the dog, therefore I am advanced." But you are eating, that's all.

Similarly sleeping. You may sleep in a very nice apartment, six-story building or 102nd-story building, a dog is lying on the street. But when he sleeps and when you sleep, there is no difference. You cannot know whether you are sleeping in a skyscraper building or on the ground, because you are dreaming something else, which has taken you from your bed. You have forgotten that, "My body is lying there on the bed, and now I am flying in the air, dreaming."

So this sleeping method, if you improve, that is not advancement of civilization. Similarly mating. The dog has no social custom. Whenever there is another she-dog, he mates on the street and you may do very silent in a secret place, but the mating is there. But people are learning how to mate like dog. So in this way defending. A dog has also his defending method, he has got teeth and nails. He can defend himself. And you might have atom bombs. But the measure is defending. That's all.

Therefore śāstra says that human life is not meant only for these four principles of life, bodily demands. There is another thing. That another thing is brahma-jijñāsā. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. A human being should be inquisitive to learn what is Absolute Truth. So that education is lacking. Therefore without this brahma-jijñāsā education, brahma jānātīti brāhmaṇaḥ . . . according to Vedic civilization, a brāhmin is learned. Paṇḍita. A brāhmin is called paṇḍita because brāhmin means one who knows Brahma. Brahma jānātīti brāhmaṇaḥ. Therefore he is called paṇḍita.

In India the brāhmin is addressed as paṇḍita. Paṇḍita means a brāhmin is expected to know Brahma; therefore he is brāhmin. Not by birth. Brahma jānāti. Janmanā jāyate śūdraḥ. By birth everyone is śūdra, fourth-class man. Janmanā jāyate śūdraḥ saṁskārād bhaved dvijaḥ. And when he's reformed by the purificatory process . . .

There are daśa-vidha-saṁskāra, ten kinds of purificatory process. When one undergoes all these processes and at last comes to the spiritual master, who gives him sacred thread as recognition of his second birth, dvija . . . dvija means second birth. One birth by the father and mother, and the other birth is by the spiritual master and Vedic knowledge. That is called second birth. Saṁskārād bhaved dvijaḥ. At that time he is given chance to study and understand what is Veda. Veda-pāṭhād bhaved vipraḥ. By studying very nicely all the Vedas, one becomes vipra. Then, when he actually realizes what is Brahma and his relationship with Him, then he becomes a brāhmin.

And above that situation, when from Brahma understanding, impersonal Brahma understanding, he comes to the platform of understanding Viṣṇu, Lord Viṣṇu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he becomes a Vaiṣṇava. This is the process. That is the perfectional process.

Kṛṣṇa therefore says in the Bhagavad-gītā, janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ: "Anyone who knows Me in truth," what happens to him? Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti (BG 4.9): "Such person, after giving up this body, do not come back again in this material world to accept a material body." Then what happens to him? Mām eti: "He comes to Me, back to home, back to Godhead."

So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is directly giving people how to understand Kṛṣṇa. Janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ. Tattvataḥ, in truth. So we are giving Kṛṣṇa knowledge based on this authorized scripture, Bhagavad-gītā, Vedas. Vedas means knowledge. And what is the . . . vedānta means the ultimate end of knowledge. What is that end of knowledge? That is Kṛṣṇa. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ (BG 15.15). By all the Vedas, the ultimate conclusion should be Kṛṣṇa.

Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante (BG 7.19). This conclusion comes after many, many births. Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān. After culturing knowledge for many, many births, when actually one becomes wise, then bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate, he surrenders unto Kṛṣṇa. How he surrenders? Because he knows, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti (BG 7.19): Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, is everything. Whatever we see, it is simply a manifestation of the energy of Vāsudeva.

One must be convinced on this fact, and then he becomes a devotee, prapadyate. Kṛṣṇa therefore advises that you understand or not understand, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66): "Simply surrender unto Me."

So what Kṛṣṇa taught in the Bhagavad-gītā, we are teaching the same thing without any different, manufactured ideas. That is our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. And it is open to everyone. The process is very simple. We have got our center here. If you want to take advantage of this movement, you are welcome. You'll be happy.