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 brahmana

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"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 becomes a brahmana immediately" |"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 brahmana"

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Adi-lila

"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.
CC Adi 7.47, Translation and Purport:

When Sanātana Gosvāmī came from Bengal, he met Lord Caitanya at the house of Tapana Miśra, where Lord Caitanya remained continuously for two months to teach him devotional service.

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.

CC Madhya-lila

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.
CC Madhya 23.105, Translation and Purport:

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then told Sanātana Gosvāmī about proper renunciation according to a particular situation, and the Lord forbade dry renunciation and speculative knowledge in all respects.

This is the technique for understanding śuṣka-vairāgya and yukta-vairāgya. In the Bhagavad-gītā (6.17) it is said:

yuktāhāra-vihārasya yukta-ceṣṭasya karmasu
yukta-svapnāvabodhasya yogo bhavati duḥkha-hā

"He who is temperate in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system." To broadcast the cult of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one has to learn the possibility of renunciation in terms of country, time and candidate. A candidate for Kṛṣṇa consciousness in the Western countries should be taught about the renunciation of material existence, but one would teach candidates from a country like India in a different way. The teacher (ācārya) has to consider time, candidate and country. He must avoid the principle of niyamāgraha—that is, he should not try to perform the impossible. What is possible in one country may not be possible in another. The ācārya's duty is to accept the essence of devotional service. There may be a little change here and there as far as yukta-vairāgya (proper renunciation) is concerned. Dry renunciation is forbidden by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and we have also learned this from our spiritual master, His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Gosvāmī Mahārāja. The essence of devotional service must be taken into consideration, and not the outward paraphernalia.

Sanātana Gosvāmī wrote his Vaiṣṇava smṛti, Hari-bhakti-vilāsa, which was specifically meant for India. In those days, India was more or less following the principle of smārta-vidhi. Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī had to keep pace with this, and his Hari-bhakti-vilāsa was compiled with this in mind. According to smārta-brāhmaṇas, a person not born in a brāhmaṇa family could not be elevated to the position of a brāhmaṇa. Sanātana Gosvāmī, however, says in the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa (2.12) that anyone can be elevated to the position of a brāhmaṇa by the process of initiation.

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."

There is a difference between the smārta process and the gosvāmī process. According to the smārta process, one cannot be accepted as a brāhmaṇa unless he is born in a brāhmaṇa family. According to the gosvāmī process, the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa and the Nārada Pañcarātra, anyone can be a brāhmaṇa if he is properly initiated by a bona fide spiritual master. This is also the verdict of Śukadeva Gosvāmī in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.4.18):

kirāta-hūṇāndhra-pulinda-pulkaśā
ābhīra-śumbhā yavanāḥ khasādayaḥ
ye ‘nye ca pāpā yad-apāśrayāśrayāḥ
śudhyanti tasmai prabhaviṣṇave namaḥ

"Kirātas, Hūṇas, Āndhras, Pulindas, Pulkaśas, Ābhīras, Śumbhas, Yavanas and members of the Khasa races, and even others who are addicted to sinful acts, can be purified by taking shelter of the devotees of the Lord, due to His being the supreme power. I beg to offer my respectful obeisances unto Him."

A Vaiṣṇava is immediately purified, provided he follows the rules and regulations of his bona fide spiritual master. It is not necessary that the rules and regulations followed in India be exactly the same as those in Europe, America and other Western countries. Simply imitating without effect is called niyamāgraha. Not following the regulative principles but instead living extravagantly is also called niyamāgraha. The word niyama means "regulative principles," and āgraha means "eagerness." The word agraha means "not to accept." We should not follow regulative principles without an effect, nor should we fail to accept the regulative principles. What is required is a special technique according to country, time and candidate. Without the sanction of the spiritual master, we should not try to imitate. This principle is recommended here: śuṣka-vairāgya-jñāna saba niṣedhila. This is Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's liberal demonstration of the bhakti cult. We should not introduce anything whimsically, without the sanction of the bona fide spiritual master. In this connection, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura comments on these points by quoting two verses by Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.255–256).

anāsaktasya viṣayān yathārham upayuñjataḥ
nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yuktaṁ vairāgyam ucyate
prāpañcikatayā buddhyā hari-sambandhi-vastunaḥ
mumukṣubhiḥ parityāgo vairāgyaṁ phalgu kathyate

"When one is not attached to anything but at the same time accepts everything in relation to Kṛṣṇa, one is rightly situated above possessiveness. On the other hand, one who rejects everything without knowledge of its relationship to Kṛṣṇa is not as complete in his renunciation." To preach the bhakti cult, one should seriously consider these verses.

CC Antya-lila

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 becomes a brāhmaṇa immediately.
CC Antya 16.29, Purport:

We have seen that a person who is not the son of a doctor and has not attended a medical college is sometimes able to practice medicine. By practical knowledge of how to perform a surgical operation, how to mix medicine and how to give certain medicines for certain diseases, a person can receive a certificate and be registered as a medical practitioner in the practical field. He can do a medical man's work and be known as a doctor. Although qualified medical men may consider him a quack, the government will recognize his work. Especially in India, there are many such doctors who perform their medical services perfectly. They are accepted even by the government. Similarly, if one is engaged in brahminical service or occupational duties, he must be considered a brāhmaṇa despite the family in which he is born. That is the verdict of all the śāstras.

In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (7.11.35), it is said:

yasya yal lakṣaṇaṁ proktaṁ puṁso varṇābhivyañjakam
yad anyatrāpi dṛśyeta tat tenaiva vinirdiśet

This is a statement by Nārada Muni to Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, wherein Nārada says that the symptoms of a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya and vaiśya are all described in the śāstra. Therefore, if one is found exhibiting the symptoms and qualities of a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya or vaiśya and serving in a brahminical, kṣatriya or vaiśya occupation, even if he is not born a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya or vaiśya he should be considered such according to his qualifications and occupation.

Similarly, in the Padma purāṇa it is said:

na śūdrā bhagavad-bhaktās te tu bhāgavatā matāḥ
sarva-varṇeṣu te śūdrā ye na bhaktā janārdane

"A devotee should never be considered a śūdra. All the devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead should be recognized as bhāgavatas. If one is not a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa, however, even if born in a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya or vaiśya family, he should be considered a śūdra."

In the Padma Purāṇa it is also said:

śva-pākam iva nekṣeta loke vipram avaiṣṇavam
vaiṣṇavo varṇo-bāhyo ‘pi punāti bhuvana-trayam

"If a person born in a brāhmaṇa family is an avaiṣṇava, a nondevotee, one should not see his face, exactly as one should not look upon the face of a caṇḍāla, or dog-eater. However, a Vaiṣṇava found in varṇas other than brāhmaṇa can purify all the three worlds."

The Padma Purāṇa further says:

śūdraṁ vā bhagavad-bhaktaṁ niṣādaṁ śva-pacaṁ tathā
vīkṣate jāti-sāmānyāt sa yāti narakaṁ dhruvam

"One who considers a devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead who was born in a family of śūdras, niṣādas or caṇḍālas to belong to that particular caste certainly goes to hell."

A brāhmaṇa must be a Vaiṣṇava and a learned scholar. Therefore in India it is customary to address a brāhmaṇa as paṇḍita. Without knowledge of Brahman, one cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore a Vaiṣṇava is already a brāhmaṇa, whereas a brāhmaṇa may become a Vaiṣṇava. In the Garuḍa Purāṇa it is said:

bhaktir aṣṭa-vidhā hy eṣā yasmin mlecche ‘pi vartate
sa viprendro muni-śreṣṭhaḥ sa jñānī sa ca paṇḍitaḥ

"Even if one is born a mleccha, if he becomes a devotee he is to be considered the best of the brāhmaṇas and a learned paṇḍita."

Similarly, the Tattva-sāgara 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 becomes a brāhmaṇa immediately." All this evidence found in the revealed scriptures proves that according to the Vedic version, a Vaiṣṇava is never to be considered an abrāhmaṇa, or non-brāhmaṇa. A Vaiṣṇava should not be thought to belong to a lower caste even if born in a mleccha or yavana family. Because he has become a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa, he has become purified and has attained the stage of brāhmaṇa (dvijatvaṁ jāyate nṛṇām).