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.”
Although the companions of Lord Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were simple cowherd boys, they were in a position to dictate even to the high-class brāhmaṇas engaged in the Vedic rituals of sacrifice. But the smārta-brāhmaṇas, who were simply sacrificial-minded, could not understand the dictation of the transcendental devotees of the Lord. They could not even appreciate the begging of the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. Although they heard all the arguments on behalf of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, they did not care for them, and they refused to speak to the boys. Despite being highly elevated in the knowledge of Vedic sacrificial rites, all such nondevotee brāhmaṇas, although they think of themselves as very highly elevated, are ignorant, foolish persons. All their activities are childish because they do not know the purpose of the Vedas, as it is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā: to understand Kṛṣṇa. In spite of their advancement in Vedic knowledge and rituals, they do not understand Kṛṣṇa; therefore their knowledge of the Vedas is useless. Lord Caitanya, therefore, gave His valuable opinion that although a person may not be born in a brāhmaṇa family, if he knows Kṛṣṇa or the science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness he is more than a brāhmaṇa, and he is quite fit to become a spiritual master.
There are various details to be observed in the performance of sacrifices. They are known as deśa, place; kāla, time; pṛthag-dravya, the different detailed paraphernalia; mantra, hymns; tantra, scriptural evidences; agni, fire; ṛtvik, learned performers of sacrifices; devatā, the demigods; yajamāna, the performer of the sacrifices; kratu, the sacrifice itself; and dharma, the procedures. All these are for satisfying Kṛṣṇa. It is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā that He is the actual enjoyer of all sacrifices because He is directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the Supreme Absolute Truth, beyond the conception or speculation of the material senses. He is present just like an ordinary human boy, but for persons who identify themselves with the body, it is very difficult to understand Him. The brāhmaṇas were very much interested in the comforts of the material body and in elevation to the higher planetary residences called svarga-vāsa. They were therefore completely unable to understand the position of Kṛṣṇa.