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Pandita does not mean one who has got degree. Pandita means sama-cittah

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"Pandita does not mean one who has got degree. Pandita means sama-cittah"

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Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Paṇḍita does not mean one who has got degree. Paṇḍita means sama-cittāḥ. That is sama-cittāḥ.

Lecture on SB 5.5.3 -- Vrndavana, October 25, 1976:

In the Kali-yuga brāhmaṇa means one two-paisa thread, that's all. But that is not brāhmaṇa. Brāhmaṇa means śamo damo titikṣā. These are the symptoms. Similarly, mahātmā does not mean a dress. But people have taken advantage of this dress, veśopajivibhiḥ(?). In India still, although poverty-stricken, if a person simply by dressing in saffron cloth goes to a village, he has no problem. Everyone will call him, invite him, give him shelter, give him food. Still, (Hindi: "Sir, come here. Take prasādam.") Everyone will ask. Poor people have taken advantage of it. Without any education, without any..., they take it for solving economic problems. Here also in Vṛndāvana you'll find so many people have come here because there are many chatras. You can get free cāpāṭi, ḍāl. You'll find in the morning so many wretched class, they have come to Vṛndāvana just for this bread and ḍāl. And they collect and they exchange. They purchase bīḍī.

So everything, in Kali-yuga, everything is being misused. But śāstra has given us direction who is brāhmaṇa, who is mahātmā. So here one type of mahātmā is given: mahāntas te sama-cittāḥ. They are equal. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā (BG 18.54). Samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu. That is mahātmā. He has realized, Brahman realized, so he has no discrimination, either man to man or man to animal. Even a...

brāhmaṇe gave hastini
śuni caiva śvapāke ca
paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ
(BG 5.18)

Paṇḍita does not mean one who has got degree. Paṇḍita means sama-cittāḥ. That is sama-cittāḥ. Cāṇakya Paṇḍita has also said that,

mātṛ-vat para-dāreṣu
para-dravyeṣu loṣṭra-vat
ātma-vat sarva-bhūteṣu
yaḥ paśyati sa paṇḍitaḥ

He is paṇḍita. Otherwise a rascal. Mātṛ-vat para-dāreṣu. As soon as you see one woman except your married wife, you immediately address her "mother." This is paṇḍita. This is paṇḍita. Not that talking phish-phish with other's woman. He's a rascal. So mātṛ-vat para-dāreṣu para-dravyeṣu loṣṭra-vat: not to touch others' property. Garbage nobody touches. But people are so unfortunate. I have seen in Hong Kong, they are picking out some food from the garbage like dogs. I have seen. Somebody throws away some foodstuff, and that is collected. People are so unfortunate. So garbage nobody touches. But in Kali-yuga one has to pick out some papers, some, I mean to say, pieces of cloth to make some business in the garbage. Garbage is untouchable, but in the Kali-yuga the people are so unfortunate that they pick out from garbage also something valuable.

So anyway, mahāntas, these are the symptoms. Sama-cittāḥ: they have no such thing, "Oh, here is Hindu, here is Musselman, here is rich man, here is poor man." No. He's kind to everyone. That is godly qualification.