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Not only must a brahmana be well qualified according to the requirements stated in scriptures such as Srimad Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, but at the same time he must be a devotee of Lord Krsna

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"Not only must a brāhmaṇa be well qualified according to the requirements stated in scriptures such as Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, but at the same time he must be a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead

Those who are simply learned are paṇḍitas but not yet devotees of the Lord, or Vaiṣṇavas. Lord Kṛṣṇa is not especially pleased with them. Simply the qualification of being a learned brāhmaṇa is not sufficient to attract the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Not only must a brāhmaṇa be well qualified according to the requirements stated in scriptures such as Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, but at the same time he must be a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. The vivid example is Sudāmā Vipra. He was a qualified brāhmaṇa, unattached to all sorts of material sense enjoyment, and at the same time he was a great devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Lord Kṛṣṇa, the enjoyer of all sacrifices and penances, is very fond of a brāhmaṇa like Sudāmā Vipra, and we have seen by the actual behavior of Lord Kṛṣṇa how much He adores such a brāhmaṇa.

The learned brāhmaṇa thus concluded that whatever opulences he had received from the Lord should be used not for his extravagant sense gratification but for the service of the Lord. The brāhmaṇa accepted his newly acquired opulence, but he did so in a spirit of renunciation, remaining unattached to sense gratification, and thus he lived very peacefully with his wife, enjoying all the facilities of opulence as the prasādam of the Lord. He enjoyed varieties of food by offering it to the Lord and then taking it as prasādam. Similarly, if by the grace of the Lord we get such opulences as material wealth, fame, power, education and beauty, it is our duty to consider that they are all gifts of the Lord and must be used for His service, not for our sense enjoyment. The learned brāhmaṇa remained in that position, and thus his love and affection for Lord Kṛṣṇa increased day after day; it did not deteriorate due to great opulence. Material opulence can be the cause of degradation and also the cause of elevation, according to the purposes for which it is used. If opulence is used for sense gratification it is the cause of degradation, and if used for the service of the Lord it is the cause of elevation.

It is evident from Lord Kṛṣṇa’s dealings with Sudāmā Vipra that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very, very much pleased with a person who possesses brahminical qualities. A qualified brāhmaṇa like Sudāmā Vipra is naturally a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Therefore it is said, brāhmaṇo vaiṣṇavaḥ: a brāhmaṇa is a Vaiṣṇava. Or sometimes it is said, brāhmaṇaḥ paṇḍitaḥ. Paṇḍita means a highly learned person. A brāhmaṇa cannot be foolish or uneducated. Therefore there are two divisions of brāhmaṇas, namely Vaiṣṇavas and paṇḍitas. Those who are simply learned are paṇḍitas but not yet devotees of the Lord, or Vaiṣṇavas. Lord Kṛṣṇa is not especially pleased with them. Simply the qualification of being a learned brāhmaṇa is not sufficient to attract the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Not only must a brāhmaṇa be well qualified according to the requirements stated in scriptures such as Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, but at the same time he must be a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. The vivid example is Sudāmā Vipra. He was a qualified brāhmaṇa, unattached to all sorts of material sense enjoyment, and at the same time he was a great devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Lord Kṛṣṇa, the enjoyer of all sacrifices and penances, is very fond of a brāhmaṇa like Sudāmā Vipra, and we have seen by the actual behavior of Lord Kṛṣṇa how much He adores such a brāhmaṇa. Therefore, the ideal stage of human perfection is to become a brāhmaṇa-vaiṣṇava like Sudāmā Vipra.

Sudāmā Vipra realized that although Lord Kṛṣṇa is unconquerable, He nevertheless agrees to be conquered by His devotees. He realized how kind Lord Kṛṣṇa was to him, and he was always in trance, constantly thinking of Kṛṣṇa. By such constant association with Lord Kṛṣṇa, whatever darkness of material contamination remained within his heart was completely cleared away, and very shortly he was transferred to the spiritual kingdom, which is the goal of all saintly persons in the perfectional stage of life.

Śukadeva Gosvāmī has stated that all persons who hear this history of Sudāmā Vipra and Lord Kṛṣṇa will know how affectionate Lord Kṛṣṇa is to brāhmaṇa devotees like Sudāmā. Therefore anyone who hears this history gradually becomes as qualified as Sudāmā Vipra, and he is thus transferred to the spiritual kingdom of Lord Kṛṣṇa.