Lord Caitanya taught Sanātana Gosvāmī in the line of disciplic succession. Sanātana Gosvāmī was a very learned scholar in Sanskrit and other languages, but until instructed by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu he did not write anything about Vaiṣṇava behavior. His very famous book Hari-bhakti-vilāsa, which gives directions for Vaiṣṇava candidates, was written completely in compliance with the instructions of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. In this Hari-bhakti-vilāsa Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī gives definite instructions that by proper initiation by a bona fide spiritual master one can immediately become a brāhmaṇa. In this connection he says:
- yathā kāñcanatāṁ yāti kāṁsyaṁ rasa-vidhānataḥ
- tathā dīkṣā-vidhānena dvijatvaṁ jāyate nṛṇām
“As bell metal is turned to gold when mixed with mercury in an alchemical process, so one who is properly trained and initiated by a bona fide spiritual master immediately becomes a brāhmaṇa.” Sometimes those born in brāhmaṇa families protest this, but they have no strong arguments against this principle. By the grace of Kṛṣṇa and His devotee, one’s life can change. This is confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by the words jahāti bandham and śudhyanti. Jahāti bandham indicates that a living entity is conditioned by a particular type of body. The body is certainly an impediment, but one who associates with a pure devotee and follows his instructions can avoid this impediment and become a regular brāhmaṇa by initiation under his strict guidance. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī states how a non-brāhmaṇa can be turned into a brāhmaṇa by the association of a pure devotee. Prabhaviṣṇave namaḥ: Lord Viṣṇu is so powerful that He can do anything He likes. Therefore it is not difficult for Viṣṇu to change the body of a devotee who is under the guidance of a pure devotee of the Lord.