"We (the cowherd boys) have come to ask for some food from you. You are all brahmanas and knowers of religious principles, and if you think that you should give us charity, then give us some food, and we shall all eat along with Krsna and Balarama"

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Expressions researched:
"We have come to ask for some food from you. You are all brāhmaṇas and knowers of religious principles, and if you think that you should give us charity, then give us some food, and we shall all eat along with Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead

We have come to ask for some food from you. You are all brāhmaṇas and knowers of religious principles, and if you think that you should give us charity, then give us some food, and we shall all eat along with Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. You are the most respectable brāhmaṇas within the human society, and you are expected to know all the principles of religious procedure.” Although the boys were village boys and were not expected to be learned in all the Vedic principles of religious ritual, they hinted that because of their association with Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, they knew all those principles.

Requested in this way by Their friends, Lord Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma arranged to show compassion to certain wives of brāhmaṇas who were performing sacrifices. These wives were great devotees of the Lord, and Kṛṣṇa took this opportunity to bless them. He said, “My dear friends, please go to the house of the brāhmaṇas nearby. They are now engaged in performing Vedic sacrifices known as Āṅgirasa, for they desire elevation to the heavenly planets. All of you please go to them.” Then Lord Kṛṣṇa warned His friends, “These brāhmaṇas are not Vaiṣṇavas. They cannot even chant Our names, ‘Kṛṣṇa’ and ‘Balarāma.’ They are very busy in chanting the Vedic hymns, although the purpose of Vedic knowledge is to find Me. But because they are not attracted by the names of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, you had better not ask them for anything in My name. Better ask for some charity in the name of Balarāma.”

Charity is generally given to high-class brāhmaṇas, but Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma did not appear in a brāhmaṇa family. Balarāma was known as the son of Vasudeva, a kṣatriya, and Kṛṣṇa was known in Vṛndāvana as the son of Nanda Mahārāja, who was a vaiśya. Neither belonged to the brāhmaṇa community. Therefore, Kṛṣṇa considered that the brāhmaṇas engaged in performing sacrifices might not be induced to give charity to a kṣatriya and vaiśya. “But at least if you utter the name of Balarāma, they may prefer to give in charity to a kṣatriya rather than to Me, because I am only a vaiśya.”

Being thus ordered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, all the boys went to the brāhmaṇas and began to ask for some charity. They approached them with folded hands and fell down on the ground to offer respect. “O earthly gods, kindly hear us, who are ordered by Lord Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. We hope you know Them both very well, and we wish you all good fortune. Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma are tending cows nearby, and we have accompanied Them. We have come to ask for some food from you. You are all brāhmaṇas and knowers of religious principles, and if you think that you should give us charity, then give us some food, and we shall all eat along with Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. You are the most respectable brāhmaṇas within the human society, and you are expected to know all the principles of religious procedure.”

Although the boys were village boys and were not expected to be learned in all the Vedic principles of religious ritual, they hinted that because of their association with Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, they knew all those principles. By addressing the brāhmaṇas as “knowers of all religious principles,” the boys expressed the point of view that when the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, were asking for food, the brāhmaṇas should immediately deliver some without hesitation because, as stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, one should perform yajña (sacrifices) only for the satisfaction of Viṣṇu.

The boys continued: “Lord Viṣṇu as Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma is standing waiting, and you should immediately deliver whatever food you have in your stock.” They also explained to the brāhmaṇas when food is to be accepted and when it is not to be accepted. Generally, the Vaiṣṇavas, or pure devotees of the Lord, do not take part in ordinary sacrificial performances. But they know very well the ceremonials called dīkṣā, paśu-saṁsthā and sautrāmaṇi. One is permitted to take food after the procedure of dīkṣā and before the animal sacrificial ceremony and the sautrāmaṇi, or ceremony in which liquors are also offered. The boys said, “We can take your food at the present stage of your ceremony, for now it will not be prohibited. So you can deliver us the food.”