Qualification of a brahmana

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Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 1

The real qualification of a brāhmaṇa is to control the mind and the senses, and to cultivate tolerance, simplicity, cleanliness, knowledge, truthfulness, devotion and faith in the Vedic wisdom.
SB 1.16.31, Purport:

When God-made varṇāśrama-dharma, which is strictly meant for developing animal consciousness into human consciousness and human consciousness into godly consciousness, is broken by advancement of foolishness, the whole system of peaceful and progressive life is at once disturbed. In the age of Kali, the first attack of the venomous snake strikes against the God-made varṇāśrama-dharma, and thus a person properly qualified as a brāhmaṇa is called a śūdra, and a śūdra by qualification is passing as a brāhmaṇa, all on a false birthright claim. To become a brāhmaṇa by a birthright claim is not at all bona fide, although it may be a fulfillment of one of the conditions. But the real qualification of a brāhmaṇa is to control the mind and the senses, and to cultivate tolerance, simplicity, cleanliness, knowledge, truthfulness, devotion and faith in the Vedic wisdom. In the present age, consideration of the necessary qualification is being neglected, and the false birthright claim is being supported even by a popular, sophisticated poet, the author of Rāma-carita-mānasa.

SB Canto 3

The main qualification of a brāhmaṇa is to be inclined to the Vedic wisdom. The Vedas are situated on the mouth of the Lord, and therefore anyone who is inclined to the Vedic wisdom is certainly situated on the mouth of the Lord, and he is a brāhmaṇa.
SB 3.6.30, Purport:

Each and every part of the body is important, although the mouth is the most important of the bodily parts. If other parts are cut off from the body, a man can continue his life, but if the mouth is cut off, one cannot live. Therefore, this most important part of the body of the Lord is called the sitting place of the brāhmaṇas, who are inclined to the Vedic wisdom. One who is not inclined to the Vedic wisdom but to mundane affairs cannot be called a brāhmaṇa, even if he is born of a brāhmaṇa family or father. To have a brāhmaṇa father does not qualify one as a brāhmaṇa. The main qualification of a brāhmaṇa is to be inclined to the Vedic wisdom. The Vedas are situated on the mouth of the Lord, and therefore anyone who is inclined to the Vedic wisdom is certainly situated on the mouth of the Lord, and he is a brāhmaṇa. This inclination towards Vedic wisdom is also not restricted to any particular caste or community. Anyone from any family and from any part of the world may become inclined to the Vedic wisdom, and that will qualify him as a real brāhmaṇa.

In Bhagavad-gītā (18.41-44) the qualifications of the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras are specifically mentioned, and it is understood that all such qualifications are needed before one can be designated as belonging to a particular group.
SB 3.6.31, Purport:

The word anuvrataḥ is significant. A person who follows the kṣatriya principles by protecting society from thieves and miscreants is called a kṣatriya, not the one who is simply born a kṣatriya. The conception of the caste system is always based on quality and not on the qualification of birth. Birth is an extraneous consideration; it is not the main feature of the orders and divisions. In Bhagavad-gītā (18.41-44) the qualifications of the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras are specifically mentioned, and it is understood that all such qualifications are needed before one can be designated as belonging to a particular group.

Whether one has acquired the qualification of a brāhmaṇa depends on the judgment of the bona fide spiritual master. He bestows upon the disciple the position of a brāhmaṇa by his own judgment.
SB 3.33.6, Purport:

It is sometimes remarked that by the chanting process one begins to purify himself and can take birth in his next life in a brāhmaṇa family and then be reformed. But at this present moment, even those who are born in the best brāhmaṇa families are not reformed, nor is there any certainty that they are actually born of brāhmaṇa fathers. Formerly the garbhādhāna reformatory system was prevalent, but at the present moment there is no such garbhādhāna, or seed-giving ceremony. Under these circumstances, no one knows if a man is factually born of a brāhmaṇa father. Whether one has acquired the qualification of a brāhmaṇa depends on the judgment of the bona fide spiritual master. He bestows upon the disciple the position of a brāhmaṇa by his own judgment. When one is accepted as a brāhmaṇa in the sacred thread ceremony under the pāñcarātrika system, then he is dvija, twice-born. That is confirmed by Sanātana Gosvāmī: dvijatvaṁ jāyate. By the process of initiation by the spiritual master, a person is accepted as a brāhmaṇa in his purified state of chanting the holy name of the Lord. He then makes further progress to become a qualified Vaiṣṇava, which means that the brahminical qualification is already acquired.

SB Canto 4

The varṇāśrama-dharma is essential in a good government. One class of men (the brāhmaṇas) must be intelligent and brahminically qualified, another class must be trained in administrative work (kṣatriya).
SB 4.29.81, Purport:

To rule the mass of citizens in a state and keep them in a complete progressive order is not possible simply by passing laws every year in a legislative assembly. The varṇāśrama-dharma is essential in a good government. One class of men (the brāhmaṇas) must be intelligent and brahminically qualified, another class must be trained in administrative work (kṣatriya), another in mercantile business (vaiśya) and another simply in labor (śūdra). These four classes of men are already there according to nature, but it is the government's duty to see that all four of these classes follow the principles of their varṇas methodically. This is called abhirakṣaṇa, or protection.

SB Canto 5

These are the eight qualifications of the brāhmaṇas. Therefore among all living entities, no one is superior to the brāhmaṇas.
SB 5.5.24, Purport:

The Vedas are My eternal transcendental sound incarnation. Therefore the Vedas are śabda-brahma. In this world, the brāhmaṇas thoroughly study all the Vedas, and because they assimilate the Vedic conclusions, they are also to be considered the Vedas personified. The brāhmaṇas are situated in the supreme transcendental mode of nature-sattva-guṇa. Because of this, they are fixed in mind control (śama), sense control (dama), and truthfulness (satya). They describe the Vedas in their original sense, and out of mercy (anugraha) they preach the purpose of the Vedas to all conditioned souls. They practice penance (tapasya) and tolerance (titikṣā), and they realize the position of the living entity and the Supreme Lord (anubhava). These are the eight qualifications of the brāhmaṇas. Therefore among all living entities, no one is superior to the brāhmaṇas."

SB Canto 7

A dog must satisfy his master, but a brāhmaṇa does not have to satisfy anyone; he is simply meant to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. That is the real qualification of a brāhmaṇa.
SB 7.5.15, Purport:

The word śukra means "semen." The sons of Śukrācārya were brāhmaṇas by birthright, but an actual brāhmaṇa is one who possesses the brahminical qualities. The brāhmaṇas Ṣaṇḍa and Amarka, being seminal sons of Śukrācārya, did not actually possess real brahminical qualifications, for they engaged as servants of Hiraṇyakaśipu. An actual brāhmaṇa is very much satisfied to see anyone, not to speak of his disciple, become a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Such brāhmaṇas are meant to satisfy the supreme master. A brāhmaṇa is strictly prohibited from becoming a servant of anyone else, for that is the business of dogs and śūdras. A dog must satisfy his master, but a brāhmaṇa does not have to satisfy anyone; he is simply meant to satisfy Kṛṣṇa (ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanam (CC Madhya 19.167)). That is the real qualification of a brāhmaṇa. Because Ṣaṇḍa and Amarka were seminal brāhmaṇas and had become servants of such a master as Hiraṇyakaśipu, they unnecessarily wanted to chastise Prahlāda Mahārāja.

SB Canto 8

Ārjavam—simplicity or freedom from duplicity—is a qualification of a brāhmaṇa and a Vaiṣṇava.
SB 8.20.19, Purport:

Ārjavam—simplicity or freedom from duplicity—is a qualification of a brāhmaṇa and a Vaiṣṇava. A Vaiṣṇava automatically acquires all the qualities of a brāhmaṇa.

yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā
sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ
(SB 5.18.12)

A Vaiṣṇava should possess the brahminical qualities such as satya, śama, dama, titikṣā and ārjava (BG 18.42). There cannot be any duplicity in the character of a Vaiṣṇava. When Bali Mahārāja acted with unflinching faith and devotion unto the lotus feet of Lord Viṣṇu, this was very much appreciated by all the residents of the higher planetary system.

SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13

Nanda Mahārāja was very confident about the qualifications of the brāhmaṇas and their blessings.
SB 10.7.13-15, Purport:

Nanda Mahārāja was very confident about the qualifications of the brāhmaṇas and their blessings. He was fully confident that simply if the good brāhmaṇas showered their blessings, the child Kṛṣṇa would be happy. The blessings of qualified brāhmaṇas can bring happiness not only to Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but to everyone. Because Kṛṣṇa is self-sufficient, He does not require anyone's blessings, yet Nanda Mahārāja thought that Kṛṣṇa required the blessings of the brāhmaṇas. What then is to be said of others? In human society, therefore, there must be an ideal class of men, brāhmaṇas, who can bestow blessings upon others, namely, upon the kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras, so that everyone will be happy. Kṛṣṇa therefore says in Bhagavad-gītā (4.13) that human society must have four social orders (cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ); it is not that everyone should become a śūdra or a vaiśya and human society will prosper. As enunciated in Bhagavad-gītā, there must be a class of brāhmaṇas with qualities like satya (truthfulness), śama (peacefulness), dama (self-control) and titikṣā (tolerance).

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Adi-lila

Although it is a fact that unless one is a brāhmaṇa he cannot become a sannyāsī, it is not a valid principle that an unqualified man who is born in a brāhmaṇa family is a brāhmaṇa whereas a brahminically qualified person born in a non-brāhmaṇa family cannot be accepted.
CC Adi 7.67, Purport:

According to Māyāvādī sannyāsīs, only one who takes sannyāsa in the disciplic succession from Śaṅkarācārya is a Vedic sannyāsī. Sometimes it is challenged that the sannyāsīs who are preaching in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement are not genuine because they do not belong to brāhmaṇa families, for Māyāvādīs do not offer sannyāsa to one who does not belong to a brāhmaṇa family by birth. Unfortunately, however, they do not know that at present everyone is born a śūdra (kalau śūdra-sambhavaḥ). It is to be understood that there are no brāhmaṇas in this age because those who claim to be brāhmaṇas simply on the basis of birthright do not have the brahminical qualifications. However, even if one is born in a non-brāhmaṇa family, if he has the brahminical qualifications he should be accepted as a brāhmaṇa, as confirmed by Śrīla Nārada Muni and the great saint Śrīdhara Svāmī. This is also stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Both Nārada and Śrīdhara Svāmī completely agree that one cannot be a brāhmaṇa by birthright but must possess the qualities of a brāhmaṇa. Thus in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we never offer the sannyāsa order to a person whom we do not find to be qualified in terms of the prescribed brahminical principles. Although it is a fact that unless one is a brāhmaṇa he cannot become a sannyāsī, it is not a valid principle that an unqualified man who is born in a brāhmaṇa family is a brāhmaṇa whereas a brahminically qualified person born in a non-brāhmaṇa family cannot be accepted. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement strictly follows the injunctions of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, avoiding misleading heresy and manufactured conclusions.

The Bhagavad-gītā confirms that to say nothing of the brahminically qualified devotees and rājarṣis (kiṁ punar brāhmaṇāḥ puṇyā bhaktā rājarṣayas tathā), anyone who by the association of a pure devotee comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness becomes eligible to go back home, back to Godhead.
CC Adi 8.20, Purport:

he two brothers Jagāi and Mādhāi epitomize the sinful population of this Age of Kali. They were most disturbing elements in society because they were meat-eaters, drunkards, woman-hunters, rogues and thieves. Yet Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu delivered them, to say nothing of others who were sober, pious, devoted and conscientious. The Bhagavad-gītā confirms that to say nothing of the brahminically qualified devotees and rājarṣis (kiṁ punar brāhmaṇāḥ puṇyā bhaktā rājarṣayas tathā), anyone who by the association of a pure devotee comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness becomes eligible to go back home, back to Godhead. In the Bhagavad-gītā (9.32) the Lord thus declares:

māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye ’pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ
striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdrās te ’pi yānti parāṁ gatim

"O son of Pṛthā, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth—women, vaiśyas (merchants) and śūdras (workers)—can attain the supreme destination."

When freed from greed and lust, one becomes brahminically qualified, and when a brahminically qualified person makes further advancement, he becomes situated on the Vaiṣṇava platform.
CC Adi 8.20, Purport:

Considering the chaotic condition of human society, if one actually wants peace and tranquillity, one must take to the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and engage always in bhāgavata-dharma. Engagement in bhāgavata-dharma dissipates all ignorance and passion, and when ignorance and passion are dissipated one is freed from greed and lust. When freed from greed and lust, one becomes brahminically qualified, and when a brahminically qualified person makes further advancement, he becomes situated on the Vaiṣṇava platform. It is only on this Vaiṣṇava platform that it is possible to awaken one's dormant love of Godhead, and as soon as one does so, his life is successful.

CC Adi 17.78, Translation:

"Since I am but a poor, sinful brahma-bandhu, not brahminically qualified although born in a brāhmaṇa family, and You, Lord Kṛṣṇa, are the shelter of the goddess of fortune, it is simply wonderful, my dear Lord Kṛṣṇa, that You have embraced me with Your arms."

Sudāmā Vipra was born in a family of brāhmaṇas, and he was a learned scholar and a class friend of Kṛṣṇa's, yet he considered himself unfit to be strictly called a brāhmaṇa. He called himself a brahma-bandhu, meaning "one born in a brāhmaṇa family but not brahminically qualified."
CC Adi 17.78, Purport:

Sudāmā Vipra was born in a family of brāhmaṇas, and he was a learned scholar and a class friend of Kṛṣṇa's, yet he considered himself unfit to be strictly called a brāhmaṇa. He called himself a brahma-bandhu, meaning "one born in a brāhmaṇa family but not brahminically qualified." Because of His great respect for brāhmaṇas, however, Kṛṣṇa embraced Sudāmā Vipra, although he was not a regular brāhmaṇa but a brahma-bandhu, or friend of a brāhmaṇa family. Murāri Gupta could not be called even a brahma-bandhu because he was born of a vaidya family and according to the social structure was therefore considered a śūdra. But Kṛṣṇa bestowed special mercy upon Murāri Gupta because he was a beloved devotee of the Lord, as stated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The purport of Śrī Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura's elaborate discussion of this subject is that no qualification in this material world can satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, yet everything becomes successful simply through development of devotional service to the Lord.

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Message of Godhead

In every part of the globe, wherever there is human habitation, there are some persons who have the qualifications of brāhmaṇas, and there are others who have the qualifications of kṣatriyas, vaiśyas, and śūdras.
Message of Godhead 2:

If we examine human affairs in the light of the caste system as created by the Personality of Godhead, surely we can visualize the four social orders functioning in every part of the world. In every part of the globe, wherever there is human habitation, there are some persons who have the qualifications of brāhmaṇas, and there are others who have the qualifications of kṣatriyas, vaiśyas, and śūdras. The various modes of nature are persistent in every corner of the universe, and since brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, and so forth are simply products of the modes of nature, how can one say that the four castes do not exist in a particular part of the world? This is absurd. In every country and at all times there have been, there are, and there will be the four social orders, according to the modes of nature.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Brāhmaṇa must be well-educated, jñāna, and he must apply the knowledge in practical life and believe in the Vedic injunctions. These are the qualifications of brāhmaṇa.
Lecture on BG 2.2-6 -- Ahmedabad, December 11, 1972:

So if actually you want to make classless society, then you have to accept this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. There is no other way. If you make artificially classless society, it will never be effective. The Communists are trying to make classless society. That classless society can be formed on spiritual platform, not on the material platform. This will be artificial. Paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ (BG 5.18). When one is actually advanced in knowledge... Advanced with knowledge means one should understand that "I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, or God." That is advancement of knowledge. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi: "I am not this body, I am spirit soul. And Kṛṣṇa is the supreme soul. I am part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa." Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati (BG 18.54). Simply by understanding that "I am spirit soul, I am Brahman," will not help us. You must act like Brahman. Then it will be... Janma, guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). There must be realization; that is guṇa. At the same time, there must be practical work. That is Vedic civilization. You should not claim falsely. If you are actually brāhmaṇa, you must act as a brāhmaṇa. If you are a kṣatriya, you must act as a kṣatriya. Guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ. Not that "I am a brāhmaṇa; now I have become something else." Just like in Calcutta we have seen there are small slaughterhouses, and they have posted one deity, Goddess Kālī, and have got sacred thread, and the signboard is: "This meat is slaughtered by a brāhmaṇa. Therefore it is pure. Therefore it is pure." And that is going on. Oh, the meat-eaters, they take all this meat, and they think, "It is the prasāda of Goddess Kālī, and it is slaughtered by a brāhmaṇa. There is no sin; it is all right." This is going on. No. Brāhmaṇa is not meant for becoming a slaughterer, a killer. No. Brāhmaṇa should be truthful, brāhmaṇa should be cleansed, no sinful life. Brāhmaṇa should be controlling the senses, controlling the mind. Brāhmaṇa must be well-educated, jñāna, and he must apply the knowledge in practical life and believe in the Vedic injunctions. These are the qualifications of brāhmaṇa. Similarly, there are qualification of kṣatriyas, vaiśyas. We should follow that. And it is the duty of the government to see that "This man is claiming as a brāhmaṇa, whether he is actually executing the duties of brāhmaṇa?" That is government's duty. Not that they should simply fight that "I am brāhmaṇa," "I am kṣatriya," "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim." No. The government's duty is to see that actually whether he is as he claims to be.

In our Society we do not accept a disciple unless he's brahminically qualified: no meat-eating, no illicit sex, no gambling, no intoxication. These are brahminical. Unless one is free from the sinful activities, how he can become a brāhmaṇa?
Lecture on BG 2.32 -- London, September 2, 1973:

There is an instance how a brāhmaṇa is recognized. Satyakam yavala(?). Upaniṣads. This satyakam went to Gautama Muni. "Sir, please make me your disciple." So according to Vedic principle, without becoming a brāhmaṇa he cannot be accepted as disciple. Without becoming brāhmaṇa. In our Society also, we do not accept a disciple unless he's brahminically qualified: no meat-eating, no illicit sex, no gambling, no intoxication. These are brahminical. Unless one is free from the sinful activities, how he can become a brāhmaṇa? Brāhmaṇa means śuci. And the others, they are called kṛpaṇa, or muci. Śuci means always cleansed. Internally... Bāhyābhyantara-śuciḥ. Inside and outside. Outside by taking bath, washing with soda, soap, or if soda, soap is not available, with earth or oil. That is external cleanliness. Similarly, internal cleanliness, one must rise early in the morning, evacuate, then after taking bath must chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, see the maṅgala-ārātrika. In this way one has to purify himself internally and externally. God consciousness is not so cheap thing. Yeṣāṁ tv anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām. One who is completely free from all contamination of material modes, anta-gataṁ pāpam, sinful activities, they can te dvandva-moha-nirmuktā bhajante mām (BG 7.28), they can stick to the principle of devotional service. Otherwise, if he's not free from the contamination of sinful life, he may show, make a show of devotion, but that is not actual devotion. Bhaktyābhāsa. That is called bhaktyābhāsa.

Because his forefather was a brāhmaṇa, or his father was a brāhmaṇa—and although he has no qualification of a brāhmaṇa, he also claims to be a brāhmaṇa. But the scripture, the Vedic scripture, that does not allow.
Lecture on BG 3.17-20 -- New York, May 27, 1966:

Formerly, according to varṇāśrama-dharma, it is not that "Because I am a brāhmaṇa's son, therefore I am a brāhmaṇa," just as the practice is going on now in India, caste system. Oh, that was not the system. The system was different. So this Mahābhārata was written for such persons who are claiming to be a brāhmaṇa because he is born in the brāhmaṇa family. But according to śāstra, scripture, such persons are not called brāhmaṇas. They are called dvija-bandhu, "a friend of a brāhmaṇa." So just like "I am," "I am the son of a high-court judge." That does not mean I am also high-court judge. I must be qualified to become a high-court judge. But if I go on, that "Because my father is high-court judge, therefore I am also high-court judge..." So these things are going on now in India. Because his forefather was a brāhmaṇa, or his father was a brāhmaṇa—and although he has no qualification of a brāhmaṇa, he also claims to be a brāhmaṇa. But the scripture, the Vedic scripture, that does not allow. They will call, "No, you are not a brāhmaṇa. You are brāhmaṇa's son. That's all. We can admit so far. There is no harm admitting you, that you are the son of a brāhmaṇa, but we cannot admit you a brāhmaṇa." That is quite reasonable. So the Mahābhārata was written for such persons who are son of a brāhmaṇa, but actually, by qualification, he is less than śūdra. So Mahābhārata was written for them.

How to become a brāhmaṇa? Simply by purchasing two cent worth this thread and getting on the body? No. There are qualities, karma. You have to act like a brāhmaṇa, and you have to acquire the qualification of a brāhmaṇa. Then you can become a brāhmaṇa. There is no impediment.
Lecture on BG 4.12-13 -- New York, July 29, 1966:

So our duty is to become twice-born. Just by culture, by Kṛṣṇa consciousness, let us take another birth. Let us take another birth. Then you will be recognized brāhmaṇas. Brahmā jānāti. As soon as we know Kṛṣṇa, you are brāhmaṇa. Never mind whether you are born in America or Czechoslovakia or any other place. Doesn't matter. So try to become a brāhmaṇa. Here is a chance.

But how to become a brāhmaṇa? Simply by purchasing two cent worth this thread and getting on the body? No. There are qualities, karma. You have to act like a brāhmaṇa, and you have to acquire the qualification of a brāhmaṇa. Then you can become a brāhmaṇa. There is no impediment. Never mind wherever you were born. That doesn't matter.

The qualification of brāhmaṇa is also stated there: satyaṁ śamaḥ damaḥ śaucaṁ titikṣā ārjavam āstikyam, jñānaṁ vijñānaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam. These are the characteristics of brāhmaṇa.
Lecture on BG 7.3 -- Bombay, March 29, 1971:

According to smārta-vidhi, unless one changes his body, he cannot be purified. That impression is going on in India, that unless one is born in Hindu family or born in brāhmaṇa family, kṣatriya, he cannot be accepted as brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, like that. But according to Vedic literature, that is not sanctioned. It is... To become a son of brāhmaṇa and to have the privilege of becoming a brāhmaṇa, certainly there is. Just like a boy born in a medical man's family, so he has got a chance, better chance, to become a medical man. Similarly, a boy born in a brāhmaṇa family, he has got better chance to become a brāhmaṇa. Or a boy born in kṣatriya family or vaiśya family, he has got better chance. But that does not mean simply by taking birth in a brāhmaṇa family or kṣatriya family, one becomes kṣatriya or brāhmaṇa. No. He has to acquire the qualities. That is stated in Bhagavad-gītā. Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). And the qualification of brāhmaṇa is also stated there: satyaṁ śamaḥ damaḥ śaucaṁ titikṣā ārjavam āstikyam, jñānaṁ vijñānaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam. These are the characteristics of brāhmaṇa. Similarly, there are characteristics of kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra.

If your karma is not adjusted, if you do not work as a human being to be promoted to the qualification of a brāhmaṇa and then surpass the brāhmaṇa qualification and become a Vaiṣṇava, then your life is not perfect.
Lecture on BG 13.5 -- Bombay, September 28, 1973:

Unfortunately, the modern civilization does not care for all these things, and... It is very risky civilization. Because nature's process is that as you create your mentality, you get next life a similar body. Karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa jantor dehopapattaye (SB 3.31.1). You, in this body you have to work because this material world means one has to work. So by your karmaṇā, if your karma is not adjusted, if you do not work as a human being to be promoted to the qualification of a brāhmaṇa and then surpass the brāhmaṇa qualification and become a Vaiṣṇava, then your life is not perfect. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (SB 7.5.31). When our aim of life will be to understand our relationship with Viṣṇu... Na te viduḥ.

Satyaḥ śamo damas titikṣaḥ arjavam, jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyam brahma-karma svabhāva-jam. He's simply giving his identification, "I am brāhmaṇa," without any qualification of a brāhmaṇa. He's called dvija-bandhu, "friend of a brāhmaṇa."
Lecture on BG 13.5 -- Bombay, September 28, 1973:

Mahābhārata is meant for strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayi na śruti-gocaraḥ (SB 1.4.25). Strī, woman, śūdra, and dvija-bandhu. Dvija-bandhu means born in a brāhmaṇa family, but he's not a brāhmaṇa. That is the dvija-bandhu, "friend of a brāhmaṇa." One who is not qualified brāhmaṇa. Satyaḥ śamo damas titikṣaḥ arjavam, jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyam brahma-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.42). He's simply giving his identification, "I am brāhmaṇa," without any qualification of a brāhmaṇa. He's called dvija-bandhu, "friend of a brāhmaṇa."

Just like a son of a high-court judge, he can say—he has got the right—that "I am friend of my father, of my son of high-court judge." That you can say. But you cannot say that you are high-court judge. It is a qualification. Even though you are a son of a high court judge, if you have no qualification, how you can say that "I am court judge."

That is going on, especially in India. I have no qualification of a brāhmaṇa, but still, I say, "I'm brāhmaṇa." But they are called dvija-bandhu, dvija-bandhu.
Lecture on BG 13.5 -- Bombay, September 28, 1973:

But that is going on, especially in India. I have no qualification of a brāhmaṇa, but still, I say, "I'm brāhmaṇa." But they are called dvija-bandhu, dvija-bandhu. You cannot say. Brahma jānāti iti brāhmaṇaḥ. If you have got full knowledge of Brahman, then you are a brāhmaṇa. Jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.42). And Nārada Muni says that these qualifications can be acquired by others also. As a son of a brāhmaṇa can, by bad association, disqualify himself, similarly, a son of a non-brāhmaṇa, he can qualify himself. It is education. It is not that it is monopoly by a certain section, no. That is not the Vedic injunction.

There are four divisions of the society. So if you have the qualification of a brāhmaṇa, guṇa, and if you act as a brāhmaṇa, then you are a brāhmaṇa.
Lecture on BG 13.5 -- Bombay, September 28, 1973:

Vedic injunction is, as it is in the Bhagavad-gītā: catur-varṇyaṁ māyā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). Guṇa-karma. You must have the qualities of a brāhmaṇa or a kṣatriya or a vaiśya or a śūdra. There are four divisions of the society. So if you have the qualification of a brāhmaṇa, guṇa, and if you act as a brāhmaṇa, then you are a brāhmaṇa. You have no qualification, you don't act as a brāhmaṇa—how you claim yourself as brāhmaṇa? No. That is not allowed. This is śāstric injunction.

Śamo damas titikṣa ārjavaṁ jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam. Everything is there in the Bhagavad-gītā. The qualification. These are the qualification of brāhmaṇa.
Lecture on BG 13.8-12 -- Bombay, October 3, 1973:

This is sattva-guṇa. but those who are situated in the rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa, they cannot become humble. That is not possible. Passion and ignorance. So one has to... Knowledge means one has to come to the platform of goodness, sattva-guṇa, the brahminical qualification. Śamo damas titikṣa ārjavaṁ jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.42). Everything is there in the Bhagavad-gītā. The qualification. These are the qualification of brāhmaṇa. These are the qualification of kṣatriya. These are the qualification of vaiśyas, these are the qualification of śūdras. Śūdra has one qualification. What is that? Paricaryātmakaṁ śūdra-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.44). A śūdra means he'll be satisfied if he gets one good master, that's all. No other qualification.

Therefore we are teaching cleanliness. "You rise early in the morning. Take your bath." He must be clean immediately. He rises early in the morning, evacuating. He takes his bath. Immediately becomes cleansed, śaucam. Sattvaṁ śaucaṁ śamo damas titikṣā. These are the qualification of brāhmaṇa or the suras.
Lecture on BG 16.7 -- Tokyo, January 27, 1975:

So therefore we are teaching cleanliness. "You rise early in the morning. Take your bath." He must be clean immediately. He rises early in the morning, evacuating. He takes his bath. Immediately becomes cleansed, śaucam. Sattvaṁ śaucaṁ śamo damas titikṣā. These are the qualification of brāhmaṇa or the suras. But they do not know it. Therefore we are training, "Rise early in the morning. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Have maṅgala-ārati." This is ācāra. This is ācāra. By practicing this, you can see the distinction between ordinary men or our men. Anyone, practically you will see. In America they are surprised. Although they are Americans, they inquire, "Are you Americans?" Because there, in America, there is no such thing. Any inquisitive person inquires. The priest said that "These boys, they are our boys, and they never came to church to inquire about what is God. Now they are mad after God. What is this?" Because they have become suras by training. By training. So asuras can be turned into suras. There is no difficulty. Provided they abide by the rules and regulation, orders of the spiritual master, they can be suras. Because they do not know... Na śaucaṁ nāpi cācāro na satyaṁ teṣu vidyate. They do not know what is satyam. Satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi (SB 1.1.1). Therefore we are teaching them Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi, the ultimate truth. They do not know what is satyam. This is the movement, to give them education to understand what is the Absolute Truth, satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi, to teach them how to behave in life, how to become purified in life. This is very scientific movement. If anyone wants actually to become sura, the perfect man, they must join this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Then his life will be successful.

Rājarṣayaḥ means king, kṣatriya, with qualification of brāhmaṇa. He has got... Although he is king, he is not brāhmaṇa, but he has got the qualification of brāhmaṇa. So that qualification of brāhmaṇa can be fully attained if one becomes Vaiṣṇava.
Lecture on BG 16.7 -- Hawaii, February 3, 1975:

So everything should be learned from the standard Vedic literature, and society and other things, economic development, everything... So that is here in the Bhagavad-gītā. All problems, whatever you want, you consult Bhagavad-gītā—you'll have perfect answer. That is called Vedic literature. Perfect without any flaw you'll get. But to understand Vedic literature one has to become a brāhmaṇa or a kṣatriya. Even in vaiśya stage or śūdra stage no possible, not possible. Vaiśya stage, little, but in brāhmaṇa stage and kṣatriya stage people are intelligent. Therefore Bhagavad-gītā is said, Kṛṣṇa begins in the Fourth Chapter, imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). Rājarṣayaḥ means king, kṣatriya, with qualification of brāhmaṇa. He has got... Although he is king, he is not brāhmaṇa, but he has got the qualification of brāhmaṇa. So that qualification of brāhmaṇa can be fully attained if one becomes Vaiṣṇava.

Why they become addicted to sense gratification? Because they are not clean, śaucam. Śauca is the qualification of brāhmaṇa. We are getting sacred thread but we are neglecting how to become, how to remain śaucam, śuci.
Lecture on BG 16.7 -- Hyderabad, December 14, 1976:

Payaḥ-pānaṁ bhujaṅgānāṁ kevalaṁ viṣa-vardhanam. Na śaucaṁ nāpi cācāraḥ. And why they become addicted to sense gratification? Because they are not clean, śaucam. Śauca is the qualification of brāhmaṇa. We are getting sacred thread but we are neglecting how to become, how to remain śaucam, śuci. Śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭo 'bhijāyate (BG 6.41). Śuci means first-class brāhmaṇa. So we are accepting sacred thread to become first-class brāhmaṇa, śuci, but we do not know, after eating, we have to wash our hand. We are taking the handkerchief and finished. So this kind of brāhmaṇa, what they will do? That is not even a civilized man. So you should be very, very careful how to follow the rules and regulation. That is nivṛtti-mārga. If we still remain in pravṛtti-mārga, then we will not be able to make any advance in spiritual life. And if we do not make advance in spiritual life, then again and again, śarīra. Tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati (BG 2.13). Everyone is suffering on account of this body, and this human body is meant for ending this suffering. That should be the aim of life. But those who are asuras, they do not know how to end this life of suffering and accept the life of ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt, (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12) simply ānanda in Vaikuṇṭha, in Goloka Vṛndāvana. Kṛṣṇa, to live with Him as His associate, you have no information. We are demons, and therefore we take pleasure in so-called material activities. And that means we are doomed. We should stop this nonsense and take to the principles of nivṛtti-mārga.

First of all, one has to come to the platform of sattva-guṇa. Then spiritual knowledge begins. Because spiritual knowledge is above sattva-guṇa. Above sattva-guṇa. So sattva-guṇa is the best quality, when one brain is clear and he can see things as they are, no hazy understanding but clear understanding. So sattva-guṇa is the qualification of brāhmaṇa.
Lecture on BG 17.1-3 -- Honolulu, July 4, 1974:

So what is the result of this? It is very important question. Ye śāstra-vidhim utsṛjya yajante śraddhayānvitāḥ. But they have got faith. Faith is there but misguided. Teṣāṁ niṣṭhā tu kā kṛṣṇa: "Kṛṣṇa, that, then faith, that blind faith, how it is to be defined? Why? What will be the result?" Teṣāṁ niṣṭhā tu kā kṛṣṇa. Now, "Whether it is faith in sattva-guṇa or faith in rajo-guṇa or faith in tamo-guṇa?" Because without coming to the platform of sattva-guṇa, nobody can advance in spiritual life. That is a fact. Just like nobody is allowed to enter the law college unless he is graduate. This restriction is there. What he will understand, law? He must be a graduate. So similarly, first of all, one has to come to the platform of sattva-guṇa. Then spiritual knowledge begins. Because spiritual knowledge is above sattva-guṇa. Above sattva-guṇa. So sattva-guṇa is the best quality, when one brain is clear and he can see things as they are, no hazy understanding but clear understanding. So sattva-guṇa is the qualification of brāhmaṇa.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

If the son of a brāhmaṇa has acquired the qualities of a śūdra, then he should be called a śūdra, not a brāhmaṇa. Unfortunately the..., in India especially, where we have got all the śāstras, against the śāstras, without any qualification of a brāhmaṇa one is claiming to be brāhmaṇa.
Lecture on SB 1.7.7 -- Vrndavana, April 24, 1975:

So Vyāsadeva, vidvān. Vidvāṁś cakre sātvata-saṁhitām (SB 1.7.6). He is learned; we are all fools. Yasyāṁ vai śrūyamāṇāyām (SB 1.7.7). If we... He has made for us. He is compassionate. Strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnām (SB 1.4.25). Those who are actually advanced brāhmaṇa, they take care of. But those who are not brāhmaṇas-strī, śūdra, vaiśya and dvija-bandhu... Dvija-bandhu means born in higher family, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya or vaiśya, but does not take care of the real values of life or does not know what is spiritual life. He is called dvija-bandhu. Dvija-bandhu means "a friend of a dvija." He cannot be called the born of a dvija. This particular name is very significant, dvija-bandhu. Just like a son of a high-court justice. You can call him the son of the justice, but he is not justice. Similarly, a son born in brāhmaṇa family, kṣatriya family, higher circle, if he does not act like that, then he should be called according to his qualification. Tat tenaiva vinirdiśet yady anyatra vinirdiśet (SB 7.11.35). This is the instruction of Nārada Muni. If the son of a brāhmaṇa has acquired the qualities of a śūdra, then he should be called a śūdra, not a brāhmaṇa. Unfortunately the..., in India especially, where we have got all the śāstras, against the śāstras, without any qualification of a brāhmaṇa one is claiming to be brāhmaṇa. In Mahārāja Pṛthu's time, he was especially supervising whether a brāhmaṇa is engaged in his brahminical activities, whether a kṣatriya is engaged in his kṣatriya activities. Not that a brāhmaṇa is engaged in śūdra activities and he should be called a brāhmaṇa. That was restricted formerly.

Simply if I know "This is the qualification of brāhmaṇa," but there is no practical application, that will not do. One must pass the engineering examination and work as engineer; then he's called an engineer.
Lecture on SB 1.7.16 -- Vrndavana, September 14, 1976:

So yad brahma-bandhoḥ. Brahma-bandhu, or kṣatra-bandhu, a person born in the family of a brāhmaṇa but has no brāhmaṇa qualifications, he is called brahma-bandhu, "friend of a brāhmaṇa." Bandhu means friend. A person, a man, his father is high-court judge. So there is no harm that he belongs to the family of such and such high-court judge—but that does not mean he is high-court judge. This should be noted. That is the difference, brāhmaṇa and brahma-bandhu. Brāhmaṇa means guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). He must have the quality, śamo damaḥ śaucaṁ titikṣā ārjavam, jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.42). He must be self-controlled, controlling the mind and the senses. Then very clean, śaucam. Satyaṁ śaucam. Then titikṣā, tolerant; ārjavam, very simple. No duplicity. Simple. Ārjavam. Jñānam, full knowledge; vijñānam, knowledge applied in practical life. This is vijñānam. Just like we call science. Science means to know the thing correctly, and by practical experiment to understand the things correctly, that is vijñānam. Jñānam means theoretical knowledge, and vijñānam means practical application of the knowledge. Simply if I know "This is the qualification of brāhmaṇa," but there is no practical application, that will not do. One must pass the engineering examination and work as engineer; then he's called an engineer. One has passed the law examination and is practicing in the court, then he's lawyer. Two things required. Similarly, all these varṇa-vibhāga, divisions of varṇas... Guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ. Guṇa means he must have the necessary quality, at the same time he must work with that quality. Then he is... Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13).

The brāhmaṇa has no qualification of a brāhmaṇa, and because he is born of a brāhmaṇa father or brāhmaṇa family he is claiming, "I am brāhmaṇa." This is not śāstra's sanction.
Lecture on SB 1.8.50 -- Los Angeles, May 12, 1973:

So at the present moment the society is chaos because there is no proper training for the particular class of man. A brāhmaṇa should be trained up, a kṣatriya should be trained up, a vaiśya should be trained up, a śūdra should be trained up, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13), according to quality. Why Vedic culture has failed in India, it is simply remaining in name? Because everyone claims to become brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, by birth only, no qualification. The brāhmaṇa has no qualification of a brāhmaṇa, and because he is born of a brāhmaṇa father or brāhmaṇa family he is claiming, "I am brāhmaṇa." This is not śāstra's sanction.

Sādhu means that he must be tolerant. Just like Haridāsa Ṭhākura. You know how much tolerant he was. So titikṣavaḥ. So titikṣavaḥ, titikṣavaḥ is the qualification of a brāhmaṇa.
Lecture on SB 1.9.48 -- Mayapura, June 14, 1973:

Sādhu means that he must be tolerant. Just like Haridāsa Ṭhākura. You know how much tolerant he was. So titikṣavaḥ. So titikṣavaḥ, titikṣavaḥ is the qualification of a brāhmaṇa. Śamo damas titikṣā. Tolerant. You cannot expect any peaceful life in this material world. That is not possible. Therefore in all conditions, in order to execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you must be tolerant. Tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata. Kṛṣṇa advised Arjuna that there will be some material pleasures and... Not pleasure, displeasures. So pleasure is also here, displeasure. They do not know. So Kṛṣṇa advised: tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata. Āgamāpāyino 'nityās tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata. "These, such things come and go. Don't bother much. Try to become tolerant and execute your own business." Similarly we live together. There may be some inconvenience. You are brought up in a different standard in Europe and America, and in India it may be difficult because you haven't got all the facilities. But you learn tolerance. Execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That should be our business. Tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata.

Not that because it is impossible to become truthful, therefore truthfulness should be rejected altogether. No. One section must be there. That is the qualification of a brāhmaṇa, satyaṁ śamo damas titikṣā ārjavam.
Lecture on SB 1.16.25 -- Hawaii, January 21, 1974:

So first thing is truth. Therefore... Then truthfulness has to be rejected? No. Another class, the brāhmaṇa class, he must be truthful. The idea must be there. Just like in the university, educational department, there is law department. It is not that the whole population of the state becomes lawyers. No. A section of the people may be lawyers. Another section may be other, engineer, medical man. So all these qualifications must remain there. Just like educational system: "Here is law class. Here is botany class. Here is chemist class." Whatever you are prepared to accept, you can accept. But these qualities must be there. The... Not that because it is impossible to become truthful, therefore truthfulness should be rejected altogether. No. One section must be there. That is the qualification of a brāhmaṇa, satyaṁ śamo damas titikṣā ārjavam. But these qualities must be there in the society, some way or other. And they should cooperate. That is the perfection of society.

We are being conducted in this material world by three guṇas: sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa. Out of these three guṇas, the sattva-guṇa is the best. Knowledge, the qualification of brāhmaṇa.
Lecture on SB 3.25.15 -- Bombay, November 15, 1974:

So mukti and liberation, if you keep your consciousness materially affected... Guṇeṣu saktam. Material world means the three qualities, tri-guṇa, guṇamayī. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, guṇamayī, mama māyā. Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te (BG 7.14). Tribhir guṇamayair bhāvaiḥ. We are being conducted in this material world by three guṇas: sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa. Out of these three guṇas, the sattva-guṇa is the best. Knowledge, the qualification of brāhmaṇa. Satyaṁ śamo damas titikṣā ārjavaṁ jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.42). One who has developed sattva-guṇa, then the following qualifications will be found in him: he'll be truthful and controlled of the mind, of the senses, satyaṁ śamo damas titikṣā, tolerant; ārjava, simplicity; jñānam, jñānam, full knowledge; vijñānam, practical application of knowledge in life; āstikyam, āstikyam, to have full faith in the authority of the Vedas. That is called āstikyam. Āstikyam and nāstikyam.

If you acquire the qualification of a brāhmaṇa and if you work as a brāhmaṇa, then you are accepted as a brāhmaṇa.
Lecture on SB 3.25.21 -- Bombay, November 21, 1974:

So the whole world is going like that, guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ. So guṇa means we are, according to our position or according to our mentality, we are infecting some guṇa, sattva-rajas-tamo-guṇa. So guṇa-karma, guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ. Very scientific this is. You can become... If you acquire the qualities of a brāhmaṇa, then, and if you work as a brāhmaṇa, then guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ, you become a brāhmaṇa. If you have the qualities of a kṣatriya and if you work as a kṣatriya, then you are kṣatriya. If you have the qualification of a mercantile man, businessman, and if you work as a businessman or cultivator, then you become vaiśya. This is very scientific. Not that one is classified according to the birth. No. According to qualification. Just like there is medical association. Medical association does not mean all the medical men in the association, they are born of the same family. No. They are born in different families. But because they have got qualification and working as medical man, they are admitted as the member of medical association or member of bar association. This is practically. Similarly, if you acquire the qualification of a brāhmaṇa and if you work as a brāhmaṇa, then you are accepted as a brāhmaṇa. Similarly kṣatriya, similarly vaiśya.

Satyaṁ śaucam, very clean always, tri-sandhyā-snāna, taking bathing thrice. Satyaṁ śaucaṁ śamam, controlling the mind, not that "I am servant of my mind. I shall do whatever my mind dictates." These are the qualification of brāhmaṇa. Śamaṁ damam, controlling the senses. These are the symbolic representation of the Vedas.
Lecture on SB 3.25.35 -- Bombay, December 4, 1974:

So here it is said, paśyanti te me rucirāṇy amba santaḥ? "They can see Me, santaḥ." Not these rascals and fools. They cannot see. Nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yoga-māyā-samāvṛtaḥ (BG 7.25), Bhagavān says in the Bhagavad-gītā that "I am not exposed to these fools and rascals, nondevotees." Why I say "fools and rascals" to the nondevotees? I am not saying; Kṛṣṇa says. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ (BG 7.15). Mūḍha means rascal. Mūḍha means rascal. And duṣkṛtinaḥ, duṣkṛtinaḥ mean always engaged in sinful activities, no restraint. They can eat everything, they can drink everything, they can do everything without any restriction. They think, "What is there in drinking and eating in the matter of religion?" That is the new invention of swamis and yogis, that "You can do everything, and still you become advanced." But that is not possible. One has to become a pure brāhmaṇa. Then why, in the Vedic civilization, a pure brāhmaṇa is so respected? Because they are symbolic representation of the Vedas. Satyaṁ śamo damas titikṣā ārjavaṁ jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyam (BG 18.42). That is brāhmaṇa, who has got this qualification, satyam, who has taken the Absolute Truth as the aim of life. People, ordinary people, how they will know? Satyaṁ śaucam, very clean always, tri-sandhyā-snāna, taking bathing thrice. Satyaṁ śaucaṁ śamam, controlling the mind, not that "I am servant of my mind. I shall do whatever my mind dictates." These are the qualification of brāhmaṇa. Śamaṁ damam, controlling the senses. These are the symbolic representation of the Vedas.

This conception that "I have become now brahminically qualified. I have got knowledge. I can see things," jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyam, that is not sufficient. You have to stop your birth and death. This process you have to stop. Then your life is successful.
Lecture on SB 3.26.26 -- Bombay, January 3, 1975:

So this is the position, mūḍhatvam, at least in this age. Rajas tamas. Mūḍhatvam, some of them are busy in ghora activities, and some of them are mūḍhas. Generally, they are mūḍhas. The so-called active persons, they are also mūḍhas. That is described in the Bhagavad-gītā. Na māṁ prapadyante mūḍhāḥ duṣkṛtino narādhamāḥ (BG 7.15). So unless you come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, unless you become a pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa, then our life is unsuccessful. It has begun since we have come to this material world. Under different influence, we have come to this condition of śānta, ghora, mūḍha. But we have to become above this condition—even above this śānta condition. This conception that "I have become now brahminically qualified. I have got knowledge. I can see things," jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyam, that is not sufficient. You have to stop your birth and death. This process you have to stop. Then your life is successful.

Don't be bothered with the temporary miserable or happy. They will come and go. Tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata. If you cannot bear, then try to tolerate. That is the qualification of brāhmaṇa.
Lecture on SB 3.26.47 -- Bombay, January 22, 1975:

So if you are actually interested to get out of miserable condition, then try to get out of these four miserable condition of life: janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9). That is intelligence. Don't be bothered with the temporary miserable or happy. They will come and go. Tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata. If you cannot bear, then try to tolerate. That is the qualification of brāhmaṇa. Satyaṁ śamo damas titikṣā, tolerance. We should not be disturbed, "Now I am in miserable condition." Tolerate. The miserable condition will come this material world. Don't be very much happy when you are in happy condition of life; neither you become mad in miserable condition of life. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and make your life success. That is required. This is the propaganda of this Hare Kṛṣṇa movement, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

That brāhmaṇa, the India, the brāhmaṇas, their sons later on, later ages, taking advantage of the facility offered to the brāhmaṇas, so without qualification of brāhmaṇa, they wanted the facility for nothing, very cheap.
Lecture on SB 5.5.23 -- Vrndavana, November 10, 1976:

So this is the way, brāhmaṇa. That brāhmaṇa, the India, the brāhmaṇas, their sons later on, later ages, taking advantage of the facility offered to the brāhmaṇas, so without qualification of brāhmaṇa, they wanted the facility for nothing, very cheap. Therefore the brahminical culture is failure now. They are... They should be real brāhmaṇas, śsamo damo. But nobody is prepared to practice śamo damo titikṣa, but he wants the respect of a brāhmaṇa. This is the cause of India's culture being failure at the present moment. They... "First deserve, then desire." So without deserving, they desired. Therefore whole thing is..., it became false. So that is not the purpose. Even somebody says that "Without culture one can remain a brāhmaṇa," but śāstra does not say that. Śāstra says culture is the first consideration.

The brāhmaṇas, why they are accepted as the supreme in the human society? On account of these qualities.
Lecture on SB 5.5.24 -- Vrndavana, November 11, 1976:

Pradyumna: "The Vedas are my eternal, transcendental sound incarnation. Therefore the Vedas are śabda-brahma. In this world, the brāhmaṇas thoroughly study all the Vedas, and because they assimilate the Vedic conclusions, they are also to be considered the Vedas personified. The brāhmaṇas are situated in the supreme transcendental mode of nature, sattva-guṇa. Because of this they are fixed in mind control, or śama; sense control, dama; and truthfulness, or satya. They describe the Vedas in their original sense, and out of mercy, or anugraha, they preach the purpose of the Vedas to all conditioned souls. They practice penance, or tapasya, and tolerance, titikṣa, and they realize the position of the living entity and the Supreme Lord, anubhavaḥ. These are the eight qualifications of the brāhmaṇas. Therefore among all living entities no one is superior to the brāhmaṇas."

Prabhupāda:

dhṛtā tanūr uśatī me purāṇī
yeneha sattvaṁ paramaṁ pavitram
śamo damaḥ satyam anugrahaś ca
tapas titikṣānubhavaś ca yatra
(SB 5.5.24)

So the meaning is clearly described in the translation. So the brāhmaṇas, why they are accepted as the supreme in the human society? On account of these qualities. We have discussed this point, that either brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, especially dvijottama... The brāhmaṇas are called dvijottama. Dvija-śreṣṭhā. Ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā. Dvija means twice-born, one birth by the father and mother and the other birth by Vedic knowledge and spiritual master. Twice-born. So the daśa-vidhā-saṁskāra, purificatory processes... Saṁskarād bhaved dvijaḥ. Unless one undergoes the purificatory process, he cannot be called twice-born. Janmanā jāyate śūdraḥ: "By birth everyone is a śūdra, fourth-class man." Practically we see that children, they are sent to school. Why they are sent to school? Because by birth he is foolish, abodha-jātaḥ. There is no knowledge. Therefore he should be sent to school, as he makes progress, to colleges, to learn higher, higher. This is the material arrangement.

He (Ajāmila) was living with a woman who was not married wife. So a brāhmaṇa of the name Ajāmila who was husband of a kept woman. But he lost all good qualification of a brāhmaṇa. That is the result of illegitimate connection with woman.
Lecture on SB 6.1.19 and Room Conversation -- Bombay, November 15, 1970:

So Śukadeva Gosvāmī is giving an instance from the history which is very instructive. Atra codāharantīmam itihāsaṁ purātanam. Purāṇa means old history, actually Purāṇa. Purāṇa means old. So purātaṇam itihāsam. Now he gives that,

kānyakubje dvijaḥ kaścid
dāsī-patir ajāmilaḥ
nāmnā naṣṭa-sadācāro
dāsyāḥ saṁsarga-dūṣitaḥ

He says, "In the city of Kānyakubja..." Kānyakubja is still existing. That is also historical place. That place is now known as Kanauj. Yes. (some discussion in Hindi) "In the city of Kānyakubja, formerly there was a brāhmaṇa." Kānyakubje dvijaḥ kaścit. "There was a brāhmaṇa." Āsīd dāsī-patir ajāmilaḥ. Dāsī-pati means one who keeps woman; it is not married. He kept one woman, dāsī; therefore he was the husband of a dāsī. He was living with a woman who was not married wife. So a brāhmaṇa of the name Ajāmila who was husband of a kept woman, kānyakubje dvijaḥ kaścid dāsī-patir ajāmilaḥ, nāmnā naṣṭa-sadācāraḥ. But he lost all good qualification of a brāhmaṇa. That is the result of illegitimate connection with woman.

Brāhmaṇa means one who has acquired these qualifications. Satya śama damo titikṣa. The first qualification of brāhmaṇa is to become truthful. He'll never speak lies. That is the first qualification.
Lecture on SB 6.1.21 -- Honolulu, May 21, 1976:

So this dvijaḥ, brāhmaṇa. Brāhmaṇa means one who has acquired these qualifications. Satya śama damo titikṣa. The first qualification of brāhmaṇa is to become truthful. He'll never speak lies. That is the first qualification. Satya śama, then controlling the senses; dama, controlling the mind. Śama means controlling the mind, and dama is controlling the senses. Śama dama titikṣa (BG 18.42). Titikṣa means tolerance. Titikṣa ārjava, simplicity; and full knowledge, jñānam; vijñānam, practical. Simply theoretical knowledge, no practical application—he is not brāhmaṇa. Therefore Kṛṣṇa said, guṇa-karma. Only guṇa is not good. Guṇa and karma. Karma means some act. Suppose you are initiated as a brāhmaṇa. That is not finish, that "Now I am initiated. I have got sacred thread. I can do all nonsense thing." No. You must act as a brāhmaṇa. Then you are brāhmaṇa. You always remember that. They are criticizing in India that I am giving a brāhmaṇa's position to these mlecchas and yavanas. You should be very careful so that we may not be subjected to criticism. If there are so many foreign brāhmaṇas in India and I am making brāhmaṇa in the Western countries, if they are still fallen, then what is this attempt? My attempt is futile. So kindly be responsible, those who are second initiated. If you fall down, then the whole movement becomes false. That is happening. So kindly rectify if that is happening, that guṇa-karma. You must acquire the qualities and must act accordingly. That is practical.

Satyaṁ śamaḥ damaḥ śaucam ārjavam, and simplicity; jñānam, full of knowledge; and vijñānam, practical application in life; āstikyam, firm faith in the scripture and Kṛṣṇa—these are the qualification of brāhmaṇa.
Lecture on SB 6.1.41-42 -- Surat, December 23, 1970:

Just like in Bhagavad-gītā you will find, satyaṁ śamaḥ śaucam ārjavaṁ titikṣā, jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.42). By nature a brāhmaṇa will be truthful. Satyaṁ śamaḥ. He will be controlling of the senses, controlling the mind, very cleansed, śaucam. Satyaṁ śaucaṁ śamaḥ damaḥ titikṣā, tolerant. Even in the severest type of danger, he is never disturbed. Tolerant. Satyaṁ śamaḥ damaḥ śaucam ārjavam, and simplicity; jñānam, full of knowledge; and vijñānam, practical application in life; āstikyam, firm faith in the scripture and Kṛṣṇa—these are the qualification of brāhmaṇa. Similarly, the kṣatriyas' qualification—they want to rule over. A kṣatriya never goes away from fighting. He is never afraid of fighting. He never, I mean to say, he is afraid of the challenge of the other party. Just like Jarāsandha. Jarāsandha was a kṣatriya, and he was... At the same time, a kṣatriya's quality is charitable. Formerly the kings, they would distribute! money like anything. They would collect money by taxing, but at the same time, they would distribute. The example is given in the case of Mahārāja Daśaratha, that he was exacting taxes just like the sunshine exacts water from the sea, and it turns into cloud and it distributes all over the planet.

Goodness is the qualification of a brāhmaṇa. A brāhmaṇa has a chance. When you are qualified, you are following the regulative principles, qualified, you have got the chance of being promoted to become a Vaiṣṇava.
Lecture on SB 6.1.41-42 -- Surat, December 23, 1970:

Revatīnandana: And then in the Eighteenth Chapter there are different qualities described, and the qualities in the mode of goodness are said to be leading to self-realization. So is there a distinction between that mode of goodness described in the Eighteenth Chapter and the Fourteenth Chapter?

Prabhupāda: No. Goodness is a chance. If you acquire... Just like if you become a graduate, there is chance of becoming a lawyer. But if you do not become a lawyer, you remain only graduate. That's all. But without becoming graduate they cannot enter to be a lawyer. Similarly, goodness is the qualification of a brāhmaṇa. A brāhmaṇa has a chance. When you are qualified, you are following the regulative principles, qualified, you have got the chance of being promoted to become a Vaiṣṇava. That is the advantage. But in this age... Again, the same thing. Even one is not a brāhmaṇa—he is in the category of caṇḍāla—still, if he chants this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, he becomes elevated to the position more than a brāhmaṇa.

Because it was not śuddha-sattvata, therefore he fell down, even on the sattva-guṇa platform. But when one is on the śuddha-sattva... Just like Haridāsa Ṭhākura. This man was brahminically qualified, but as soon as he saw that a śūdrāṇī and śūdra were engaged in lusty affairs, he fell down.
Lecture on SB 6.1.67 -- Vrndavana, September 3, 1975:

So this devotional service means to go above sattva-guṇa. Sa guṇṇ samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate (BG 14.26). You have to transcend all the material qualities, even sattva-guṇa. Therefore a Vaiṣṇava is above sattva-guṇa. So his brahminical qualities is supposed to be included. A Vaiṣṇava is already a brāhmaṇa. We give a Vaiṣṇava the sacred thread, the mark of becoming a brāhmaṇa, because without becoming a brāhmaṇa, nobody can come to the platform of Vaiṣṇava. That is the idea. Nobody should come to the platform of śuddha-sattva without being elevated to the sattva-guṇa platform. So this man... Sattva-guṇa... He was already sattva-guṇa. He was son of a brāhmaṇa. He was being trained up very nicely. But because it was not śuddha-sattvata, therefore he fell down, even on the sattva-guṇa platform. But when one is on the śuddha-sattva... Just like Haridāsa Ṭhākura. This man was brahminically qualified, but as soon as he saw that a śūdrāṇī and śūdra were engaged in lusty affairs, he fell down. But see the behavior of Haridāsa Ṭhākura. Because he was situated on the śuddha-sattva-guṇa and... Although he was young man, one, another young prostitute came to deviate him, and he remained in his position. Rather, he converted the prostitute to become a devotee. This is the difference between sattva-guṇa and śuddha-sattva-guṇa. If you keep yourself on the śuddha-sattva-guṇa, then you will be able to convert others to become devotees. Therefore it is not difficult. It is very easy also.

He (Rūpa Gosvāmī) has given specifically this definition, that one who has got controls over the tongue, over the speech, over the mind, over the belly, and over the genitals, and over the anger. If anyone has control over these six things, then he can become spiritual master. Pṛthiviṁ sa śiṣyāt: "He is allowed to make disciples all over the world." Otherwise not. These are the qualification of brāhmaṇa.
Lecture on SB 7.9.10 -- Montreal, July 9, 1968:

So satya śaucam and śama, equilibrium of the mind, not to become disturbed in any circumstances. That is called śama. Dama. Dama means controlling the senses. Every one of us, we are all controlled by the senses. But one has to become the controller of the senses. That is brāhmaṇa. That is svāmī. Svāmī or gosvāmī means who is controller of the senses. My tongue wants to eat something, and if I say, "No, you cannot eat this," then... My eyes see something. I say, "No, you cannot see this." My hand wants to touch something. I say, "No, you cannot do this." My legs want to go somewhere. I say, "No, you cannot do this." When one is in full control of the senses, he is called svāmī. Svāmī is not a title; it is a qualification. It is a qualification, and it is attained by a brāhmaṇa, one who is already advanced in brahminical qualification by cleansing. Then... And truthfulness. Then this qualification also is there, controller. And when one is completely controller of the senses, or when one is actually svāmī or gosvāmī... There is no difference between these two words. Svāmī means controller, and gosvāmī is still clearer. Go means senses, controller of the senses. So Rūpa Gosvāmī says who can be a spiritual master. So he has given specifically this definition, that one who has got controls over the tongue, over the speech, over the mind, over the belly, and over the genitals, and over the anger. If anyone has control over these six things, then he can become spiritual master. Pṛthiviṁ sa śiṣyāt: "He is allowed to make disciples all over the world." Otherwise not. These are the qualification of brāhmaṇa. Satyam śaucam śama dama titikṣā (BG 18.42). Titikṣā means tolerance. Just like in your Western countries, Lord Jesus Christ, he was being crucified. He tolerated. He never cursed even. He, rather, begged from God, "My God, these people do not know what they are doing. Please excuse them." This is toleration. So satyam śaucam sama dama titikṣā. Toleration. Caitanya Mahāprabhu has instructed, tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā. Tolerance. What kind of tolerance? Tolerance like the straw in the street, like the tree. Amāninā mānadena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ (CC Adi 17.31). There are so many instances. Let us finish it briefly.

āstikyam means to have full faith in the orders of the scripture. This is also one of the qualification of a brāhmaṇa. Jñānam vijñānam āstikyam brahmā-karma svabhāva-jaṁ. These are the natural qualification of a brāhmaṇa.
Lecture on SB 7.9.10 -- Montreal, July 9, 1968:

A practical example, this practical example is given by Lord Caitanya. It is very nice. In India the cow dung is accepted as pure, although the Vedic injunction is that if you touch stool of an animal, you have to take bath to purify yourself, cleanse yourself. Of course, we see in New York City that the stool of dog is thrown all over the street, and we are touching, but we have no opportunity to take bath. But it is according to Vedic injunction, if you touch stool of an animal, then you have to take bath immediately. Therefore this is a system. When you go to the Deity room, you should change your cloth, because I do not know what things I have touched in the street, so better to change the cloth. And better still to cleanse, to take bath. That is the system. Anyway, to touch the stool of an animal makes one unclean; therefore one has to take bath or purify himself. That is the system. But the Veda says the stool of cow is purified. The stool of cow is purified. Now, practically, in India they accept it, and it has been found by chemical examination that the cow dung contains all antiseptic properties. That is a fact. One Dr. Goshal, he analyzed in his laboratory, "Why this Vedic injunction is the stool of cow or cow dung is pure?" So he analyzed, and he found it that the stool of cow, cow dung, is full of antiseptic properties. So this is called faith or theistic, to take the injunction of the scripture as it is, without any information. That is called āstikyam. There is another example. Just like the Buddhism. Buddhism was originated in India. Lord Buddha was a Hindu, and he was a prince, and still, Buddhism was not accepted by the Indians. Why? Because the Buddhism decried the Vedas. Nindasi yajña-vidher ahaha śruti-jātaṁ. Śruti means Veda. So āstikyam means to have full faith in the orders of the scripture. This is also one of the qualification of a brāhmaṇa. Jñānam vijñānam āstikyam brahmā-karma svabhāva-jaṁ (BG 18.42). These are the natural qualification of a brāhmaṇa.

Even if you are born in a high family, brāhmaṇa family, kṣatriya family, and if you do not act or if (you) have not the qualification of brāhmaṇa, dvi-ṣaṭ, twelve qualifications...
Lecture on SB 7.9.10 -- Mayapur, February 17, 1976:

But śāstra does not say that without... Even if you are born in a high family, brāhmaṇa family, kṣatriya family, and if you do not act or if (you) have not the qualification of brāhmaṇa, dvi-ṣaṭ, twelve qualifications... What is that? Dvi-ṣaḍ-guṇa-yutād aravinda... That is explained, what are the twelve qualifications. Dharmaḥ: "He must be strictly religious principles." Dharmaḥ. Dharmaḥ begins strictly when one is fully surrendered to Kṛṣṇa. There begins dharmaḥ, because Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). He says that dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya sambhavāmi yuge yuge. He comes to establish the principles of dharma. And why He is speaking, sarva-dharmān parityajya? Why? If He has come to reestablish the principles of dharma-dharma-saṁsthāpanārtha—then why He says sarva-dharm...? Sarva so-called dharmas, they are not dharma. Dharma means... Dharmāṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). Dharma means the order that is given by God. That is dharma. And anything, so-called dharma, that is not dharma. That you manufacture, so many things. That is another thing. But real dharma, the... Just like I have several times explained, law means given by the government. You cannot manufacture law. That is not law. Similarly, dharma means the order given by God. That is dharma. Just like Kṛṣṇa says. He said, yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata, tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham: (BG 4.7) "When there is discrepancies, misuse of dharma, I appear." So He has appeared. He therefore said that "This is not dharma." You are declaring, "This is Hindu dharma," "This is Muslim dharma," "This is Jain dharma," "This is Christian dharma," "This is family dharma," "This is country dharma," so on, so on, so on. You have created so many dharmas. But Kṛṣṇa said, sarva-dharmān parityajya: (BG 18.66) "You give up all these dharmas." "Then what I..., shall I accept?" Mam ekam śaraṇaṁ vraja. That is dharma. Otherwise there is no dharma.

Without becoming a paṇḍita, he's not a brāhmaṇa. But above paṇḍita, one has to become a Vaiṣṇava. Then he's perfect brāhmaṇa, brāhmaṇa Vaiṣṇava. So these are the twelve qualification of the brāhmaṇa enunciated in the dharma-śāstra.
Lecture on SB 7.9.10 -- Mayapur, February 17, 1976:

If you want to be really happy, if you want to be really in your original position, eternity, then you must take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. There is no alternative. It is not possible. It is not optional. The more you delay accepting Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the more you are put into sufferings of this material world. Therefore Prahlāda Mahārāja said that... The brahminical qualification is certainly very good. Within this material world there are three modes of material nature: sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa. Those who are in the tamo-guṇa, they are the lowest, mūḍhā, narādhamā. Rajo-guṇa, they are little better. They have got some activities just like materialistic person. But sattva-guṇa, they are simply interested in spiritual realization. So spiritual realization means God realization. Unless one becomes a devotee... Just like in our Indian society, they say brāhmaṇa paṇḍita and brāhmaṇa Vaiṣṇava. So paṇḍita, that is general qualification. Without becoming a paṇḍita, he's not a brāhmaṇa. But above paṇḍita, one has to become a Vaiṣṇava. Then he's perfect brāhmaṇa, brāhmaṇa Vaiṣṇava. So these are the twelve qualification of the brāhmaṇa enunciated in the dharma-śāstra. There are twenty kinds of dharma-śāstra. The most important of the dharma-śāstras is the Manu-saṁhitā. (break) ...doing all nonsense. Such kind of bhakti, aikāntikī harer bhak..., utpātāyeva kalpate: it is simply disturbance in the society, without full knowledge from the śruti-smṛti, if by sentiments one becomes bhakta. That is not bhakta. Bhakta must be following the regulative principles, the instruction of guru and so on.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures

Brāhmaṇa means he must be very learned scholar and a very advanced devotee. Brāhmaṇa paṇḍita, brāhmaṇa Vaiṣṇava. These are the qualification of brāhmaṇa.
Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.100-108 -- Bombay, November 9, 1975:

So approaching the guru, Sanātana Gosvāmī, his submission was that "People in general, they talk of me as very learned scholar." He was very good scholar in Sanskrit, in Arabic and Persian language because he was minister, very responsible post. So... And he was born in brāhmaṇa family, Sārasvata brāhmaṇa family. So naturally he was supposed to be very learned scholar, paṇḍita, brāhmaṇa paṇḍita. Still we address a brāhmaṇa as paṇḍitajī. Never we address a brāhmaṇa as mūrkhajī. So, that is the etiquette. Brāhmaṇa means he must be very learned scholar and a very advanced devotee. Brāhmaṇa paṇḍita, brāhmaṇa Vaiṣṇava. These are the qualification of brāhmaṇa. So naturally he was addressed as paṇḍitajī, but he denied to accept that he is actually paṇḍita. So he submitted that,

grāmya-vyavahāre kahaye paṇḍita satya kari māni
āpanāra hitāhita kichui nā jāni

That "People, they address me as paṇḍita, but I am such a paṇḍita that I do not now what I am." This is the position of everyone. Everyone is very much proud of his learning, scientific knowledge and so on, so on. But if you ask him, "What you are?" "I am Indian," "I am brāhmaṇa," "I am kṣatriya," "I am American." This is the answer you'll get. But that is, I am not. I am not this body. This is the beginning of paṇḍita. This is the beginning. Bhagavad-gītā teaches in the beginning this primary lesson, that "You are not this body."

Bhāgavatam is meant for persons who are already in the qualification of brāhmaṇa. It is not meant for persons who are in the qualification of śūdra.
Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.358-359 -- New York, December 29, 1966:

Satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi (SB 1.1.1). This dhīmahi is Gāyatrī mantra. Those who are brāhmaṇas, who are elevated, they are given this Gāyatrī mantra, oṁ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ tat savitur vareṇyaṁ bhargo devasya dhīmahi. Dhīmahi. That dhīmahi word is used here in the Bhāgavatam. So Bhāgavatam is meant for persons who are already in the qualification of brāhmaṇa. It is not meant for persons who are in the qualification of śūdra. Because this very word suggests, dhīmahi. Dhīmahi is meant for brāhmaṇas, Gāyatrī mantra. So this is to be understood, that God is always, just like real characteristic, spiritual energy. And another characteristic, material energy, that is temporary.

Initiation Lectures

So a brāhmaṇa is, the qualification of brāhmaṇa is...
Deity Installation and Initiation -- Melbourne, April 6, 1972:

So a brāhmaṇa is, the qualification of brāhmaṇa is,

satya śama dama titikṣa ārjavam
jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyam
brahma-karma svabhāva-jam
(BG 18.42)

So a brāhmaṇa should be truthful in any circumstances. He will never speak lie. Truthful, satya. Śama. Śama means keeping the mind always in equilibrium. And dama, dama means keeping the senses under control. Śama dama titikṣa. Titikṣa means toleration. There may be so many tribulations, but a brāhmaṇa is supposed to be very, very tolerant. Toleration. The first-class example of toleration in the Western country: Lord Jesus Christ. He was being crucified; still, he did not take any steps. If he wanted, he could take steps, but he was tolerating. So this is the sign of brahminical symptom. Titikṣa ārjava. Ārjava means simplicity. A brāhmaṇa is not supposed to be crooked and duplicity. No. Simple. It is said even the enemy wants to know something from him, he will clearly say, "It is this." That is called simplicity. Then jñānam. Jñānam means knowledge, full knowledge. And vijñānam means scientific knowledge, practical application in life. That is called vijñānam. Āstikyam. Āstikyam means to have full faith in Vedic literature. That is called āstikyam. These are the signs of brāhmaṇa. So those who are going to be initiated with the sacred thread, they must always remember to follow all these rules and regulations.

General Lectures

These qualities are for the higher class, brāhmaṇa. The first qualification of a brāhmaṇa is that he's truthful. He'll disclose everything even to his enemy. He'll never, I mean to say, hide anything.
Lecture -- Seattle, October 7, 1968:

This is applicable for everyone, civilized men. I don't speak of the Americans, in Europe, in Asia. Anywhere. Aryans means those who are advanced. Non-Aryans means those who are not ad... This is the Sanskrit meaning, ārya. And śūdras... Aryans are divided into four castes. The most intelligent class is called brāhmaṇa, and the less than the brāhmaṇas means those who are administrators, politicians, they are kṣatriyas. And next to them the mercantile class, traders, merchants, industrialists, less than the administrative class. And less than that, the śūdras. Śūdras means worker, laborer. So this system is not new. It is everywhere. Wherever there is human society, these four classes of men are there. Sometimes I am questioned why there is caste system in India. Well, this caste system is there. It is by nature. Bhagavad-gītā says, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ: (BG 4.13) "The four classes of men are there. That is My law." How they are four classes? Guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ. Guṇa means quality, and karma means work. If you have got very nice quality, intelligence, brahminical qualities... Brahminical qualities means if you speak truth, you are very clean and you are self-controlled, your mind is in equilibrium, you are tolerant, and so many qual... You believe in God, you know scriptures practically. These qualities are for the higher class, brāhmaṇa. The first qualification of a brāhmaṇa is that he's truthful. He'll disclose everything even to his enemy. He'll never, I mean to say, hide anything. Satyam. Śaucam, very clean. A brāhmaṇa is expected to take bath daily thrice and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Bahyābhyantara, clean outside, clean inside. These are qualities. So when these opportunities are there, then the Vedānta-sūtra, Vedānta advises, "Now you begin to inquire about Brahman." Athāto brahma jijñāsā.

A brāhmaṇa, according to Vedic culture, a brāhmaṇa is considered... Brāhmaṇa means vidyā-vinaya-sampanne. He is very gentle and very learned. That is the first qualification of brāhmaṇa.
Lecture to International Student Society -- Boston, December 28, 1969:

A paṇḍita, if one has actually elevated to that stage of perfect wisdom, then he is sama-darśinaḥ, that actually sama... How sama-darśinaḥ? Vidyā-vinaya-sampanne brāhmaṇe. A brāhmaṇa, according to Vedic culture, a brāhmaṇa is considered... Brāhmaṇa means vidyā-vinaya-sampanne. He is very gentle and very learned. That is the first qualification of brāhmaṇa. Not by birth but by qualification. Gentle and learned. Vidyā-vinaya-sampanne brāhmaṇe gavi, brāhmaṇe gavi hastini, paṇḍitaḥ sama-darśinaḥ (BG 5.18). Because his vision is no more on the platform of this body. Sama-darśinaḥ. He sees a learned brāhmaṇa is also a spirit soul, and a dog is also a spirit soul, an elephant is also a spirit soul, or a low-born man, he is also spirit soul. Beginning from the high-born brāhmaṇa up to the caṇḍāla, there are social stages in the human society. But if a man is really learned, he sees everyone, every living entity, on the same level. That is the stage of learning.

Philosophy Discussions

It is not that a cobbler cannot become brāhmaṇa if he also acquires the qualification of a brāhmaṇa.
Philosophy Discussion on George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel:

Prabhupāda: If a brāhmaṇa's son has become a cobbler, he should be called a cobbler, or a cobbler's son has become a brāhmaṇa, he should be called a brāhmaṇa. Not by the birth. But it became a qualification of birth because formerly it was easy, because he is dealing with his father and father is brāhmaṇa, so automatically, fifty percent he becomes brāhmaṇa, and fifty percent by training, then he becomes complete brāhmaṇa—by association, by family. So it is not that a cobbler cannot become brāhmaṇa if he also acquires the qualification of a brāhmaṇa. Nārada said, tat tenaiva vinirdiśet (SB 7.11.35). If he has already acquired the qualification of brāhmaṇa then he should be called a brāhmaṇa. Not that a brāhmaṇa's sons becomes qualified as a cobbler, tannery expert, and he remains brāhmaṇa. That is not. He has no knowledge. That means if you have studied all the Vedic literature, he could not say like that. The injunction is tadīya lakṣaṇaṁ dṛśyeta. The qualification, if you find elsewhere, then he should be designated by the qualification. A doctor's son, instead of taking up the life of medical life, if he becomes engineer, so he should be called engineer, not doctor. Tat tenaiva vinirdiśet (SB 7.11.35), it is clearly said. So the, Kṛṣṇa's plan, that "I have created four divisions according to quality and work," cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma (BG 4.13), that is final.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

So you have got good qualification of the brāhmaṇas. Now act like brāhmaṇa.
Room Conversation with Indian Guests -- July 11, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: But he does not know what is the sva-dharma. Sva-dharma, that is for the lower stage. Sva-dharme nidhanaṁ śreyaḥ. You have got a brahminical body. All right, discharge your duties as brāhmaṇa. But he's not doing that.

Guest (5): So he's not performing his sva-dharma.

Prabhupāda: No!

Guest (5): And that's why it is dangerous for him.

Prabhupāda: It is dangerous. He's already... A brāhmaṇa is doing śūdra's business. Therefore this stress has been given. You have become brāhmaṇa- like, you do like, act like brāhmaṇa. Janma-karma, uh, guṇa-karma. So you have got good qualification of the brāhmaṇas. Now act like brāhmaṇa. Then your life is succ... Varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ, svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam (SB 1.2.13). You act as a brāhmaṇa and satisfy the Lord, Supreme. Varṇāśramācaravatāṁ puruṣeṇa paraḥ pumān, viṣṇur ārādhyate (CC Madhya 8.58). If you strictly act as a brāhmaṇa or as a kṣatriya, as a vaiśya, as a śūdra, it doesn't matter. Sva-karmaṇā tam abhyarcya (BG 18.46). If, by your action, as it is described in the śāstra, the Supreme Lord is satisfied, then your life is successful. But they are not doing even sva-dharma, bodily. Therefore the ultimate solution is sarva-dharmān parityajya (BG 18.66). Even sva-dharma. "Just surrender unto Me. I'll give you protection." Sarva-dharmān means sva-dharma, including, that "You have to give up your sva-dharma. Don't... You cannot act as a brāhmaṇa, you cannot act as a kṣatriya, neither you are brāhmaṇa or kṣatriya. All right, whatever dharma you have got, give it up. Just surrender unto Me. I'll give you protection." Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etām... This is the protection.

What are the qualifications of brāhmaṇa, what are the qualifications of kṣatriya, they are there already in Bhagavad-gītā.
Room Conversation with Reporter from Researchers Magazine -- July 24, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: I'm speaking the principle. The king must be representative of God. Therefore we offer so much honor to the King. Exactly like God. Why? Because King is supposed to be representative of God. Our Vedic conception is cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). Brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. This catur-varṇa. It is the king's duty, government's duty, to see that a person claiming to be brāhmaṇa, whether he's acting as a brāhmaṇa. Nowadays that... Such supervision is not there. Therefore a man acting as śūdra, but he's claiming to be brāhmaṇa.

Reporter: Yeah, yeah, yeah. (laughs)

Prabhupāda: Isn't it?

Reporter: Yeah.

Prabhupāda: So it is the king's duty. Just like the king, it is the government's duty to see that nobody cheats. If a person without any medical qualification, if he writes "Doctor, Medical practitioner," he should be punished. Similarly, if one is claiming to be brāhmaṇa, he must act as brāhmaṇa. If one is claiming to be kṣatriya, he must act as a kṣatriya. Now, what are the qualifications of brāhmaṇa, what are the qualifications of kṣatriya, they are there already in Bhagavad-gītā.

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

The qualification of brāhmaṇas are stated. Śamo damas titikṣā? Eh? So at the present moment the society has no brain because there is no person, no person who is qualified like that, samo damas titikṣā.
Room Conversation -- June 5, 1974, Geneva:

Prabhupāda: Just like by nature there are four division in the body—the brain, the arm, the belly, and..., all of them required... You cannot reject any one of them. Then it is not fullness. But the brain should be the, I mean to say, prime director, managing director. So the qualification of brāhmaṇas are stated. Śamo damas titikṣā? Eh? So at the present moment the society has no brain because there is no person, no person who is qualified like that, samo damas titikṣā.

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

The qualification of brāhmaṇa, find out. Śamo damaḥ satyaṁ śaucaṁ titikṣā ārjavam, jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma... Read.
Room Conversation with Dr. Copeland, Professor of Modern Indian History -- May 20, 1975, Melbourne:

Prabhupāda: According to our Vedic civilization, first-class men's vote required, who knows things as they are. One who does not know things as they are, what is the use of taking vote from him? Our Vedic civilization, the brāhmaṇas, first-class men... The qualification of brāhmaṇa, find out. Śamo damaḥ satyaṁ śaucaṁ titikṣā ārjavam, jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma... Read.

Amogha:

śamo damas tapaḥ śaucaṁ
kṣāntir ārjavam eva ca
jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ
brahma-karma svabhāva-jam
(BG 18.42)

"Translation: Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge, and religiousness—these are the qualities by which the brāhmaṇas work."

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Brāhmaṇa-vaiṣṇava.
Morning Walks -- January 22-23, 1976, Mayapura:

Prabhupāda: There is no human being. A big... I gave that a big animal, lion, is fearful to the small animal. But because he is lion, very strong, does it mean that he's a human being? That is going on. Śva-viḍ-varāhoṣṭra-kharaiḥ saṁstutaḥ puruṣaḥ paśuḥ (SB 2.3.19). If one is not Kṛṣṇa conscious, he's nothing but animal. So if other small animals praise him, "Oh, you are..." This Gandhi or Indira Gandhi or, and the Hitler and... What is the value? He's a big animal, that's all.

Harikeśa: You were saying in Vṛndāvana they tweak each other's ear.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Harikeśa: Churchill was tweaking the ear of Hitler, and Hitler was tweaking... Like in school the two children?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes.

Jayapatākā: Yesterday you mentioned to the secretary that the members of legislature should all be Vaiṣṇavas. They should all be brahminically qual...

Prabhupāda: Brāhmaṇa-vaiṣṇava.

Jayapatākā: Brāhmaṇa-vaiṣṇava. Then they could give true advice.

Prabhupāda: Yes. What is this nonsense asses and pigs and dogs and cats? What they will do?

Jayapatākā: One goal we could have is that they would pass a law that no one could be a member of a legislature who didn't follow the four regulative principles.

Prabhupāda: Who will do that? That can be possible if you spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement very widely and they become convinced that "We shall not vote anyone to these rascals. We must have a Vaiṣṇava." Then everything will be changed. That is the only opportunity, that if people become Vaiṣṇava and they decide that "We are not going to vote anyone who is not a Vaiṣṇava," then everything will be all right.

You find out the verse, satyaḥ śamo damas titikṣā, the qualification of brāhmaṇa. Here, it is meant, the first class, second class, third class, fourth class.
Conversation with Clergymen -- June 15, 1976, Detroit:

Prabhupāda: I'm talking that those who are handicapped, by nature defective, we shall deal with them. That's all right.

Kern: How? How do you deal with them? That's my question.

Prabhupāda: Well, what? How you are dealing? You cannot. I told you that if your hand is cut, is it possible for me to add another hand in your body?

Kern: No, but...

Prabhupāda: Then you are unable. You have to accept it. But as far as possible we can give them help. That is not the question. Question is, those who are not handicapped, they are rotting without education, without enlightenment by keeping themselves as fourth-class, fifth-class men. Why not train them to become first-class men? That is the point. If one is blind, you cannot give him eyes. If one is lame, you cannot give him leg. That is beyond your ability. That is another thing; we shall deal with them later on. First of all, those who are born as human beings, why should you keep them as third-class, fourth-class men?

Kern: So this is a development. Saint Ignatius did the same, somewhat. When he began, he sought the leadership. And he sought the intelligent, so that they might do what.... Obviously, you do it also, seeking the leadership that can then teach. We call it sometimes elitism, and this is perhaps a good word for it.

Prabhupāda: So you find out the verse, satyaḥ śamo damas titikṣā, the qualification of brāhmaṇa. Here, it is meant, the first class, second class, third class, fourth class. Yes.

According to quality and work. You have made it caste system. You have no qualification of a brāhmaṇa, you are calling, "I am brāhmaṇa." That is caste system.
Press Interview -- October 16, 1976, Chandigarh:

Interviewer: Would that mean that you support the ancient caste system?

Prabhupāda: Huh? It is not caste system. It is division of labor. It is not caste system. A class of men must be intelligent, a class of men must be strong to give protection. And a class of men must be to produce food, and a class of men, general worker. It is not caste system. Bhagavad-gītā never says caste system. Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). According to quality and work. You have made it caste system. You have no qualification of a brāhmaṇa, you are calling, "I am brāhmaṇa." That is caste system. But if you have got the quality of a brāhmaṇa and you work as a brāhmaṇa, that is necessary. That is necessary. Guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ.

1977 Conversations and Morning Walks

Sādhu titikṣavaḥ, very tolerant. For preaching work they have to meet so many obstacles, and still, they go on, titikṣavaḥ. Titikṣā is the qualification of brāhmaṇa.
Evening Darsana -- May 15, 1977, Hrishikesh:

Prabhupāda: Suhṛdaḥ sarva-bhūtānām. And before that, there is... Suhṛdaḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ sādhavaḥ sādhu-bhūṣaṇāḥ. These are the description of sādhu. Sādhu titikṣavaḥ, very tolerant. For preaching work they have to meet so many obstacles, and still, they go on, titikṣavaḥ. Titikṣā is the qualification of brāhmaṇa. Śamo damas titikṣā. So a sādhu... Titikṣavaḥ. He has to meet so many obstacles. Just see this judgment. We have to meet so many obstacles. But we cannot give up. Despite all obstacles, we have to go on. So titikṣavaḥ kāruṇikāḥ, suhṛdaḥ sarva-bhūtānām. A sādhu is not a friend of a particular community, person or religion, no.

Correspondence

1968 Correspondence

A brahmana may be very expert in the matter of performing Vedic rituals, accepting charities, and distributing wealth—all these are exalted qualifications of the brahmanas, but the Vedic injunction is, in spite of possessing all these qualities, if somebody is against Lord Visnu, he cannot be a spiritual master.
Letter to Satsvarupa -- Montreal 3 July, 1968:

Question 3, answer: Why Bali Maharaja is considered a Mahajana: Bali Maharaja is Mahajana because he wanted to serve Visnu by disobeying his non-bona fide spiritual master. As explained above, Sukracarya was hereditary spiritual master by seminic succession. But Bali Maharaja first revolted against this stereotyped seminic succession spiritual master, and therefore he is Mahajana. Srila Jiva Goswami has described in his Karamasandharvha that one should be anxious to accept a spiritual master who is bona fide in spiritual knowledge. And if need be one should relinquish the connection of hereditary spiritual master and accept a real bona fide spiritual master. So when Sukaracharya advised him contrary to his previous instructions, specifically, he checked Bali Maharaja in the matter of worshiping Visnu, and thus Sukaracharya became at once fallen down from the position of becoming a spiritual master. Nobody can become a spiritual master who is not a devotee of Visnu. A brahmana may be very expert in the matter of performing Vedic rituals, accepting charities, and distributing wealth—all these are exalted qualifications of the brahmanas, but the Vedic injunction is, in spite of possessing all these qualities, if somebody is against Lord Visnu, he cannot be a spiritual master. So when Sukaracharya advised Bali Maharaja against Visnu, he at once became unqualified for becoming a spiritual master. Bali Maharaja disobeyed such unqualified spiritual master, and therefore, he is accepted as Mahajana. Mahajana means a personality whose footprints should be followed. So, his exemplary behavior in rejecting a non-Vaisnava spiritual master being ideal to the bona fide students, he is considered a Mahajana.

1975 Correspondence

The qualifications of the Brahmanas are described in the 18th Chapter of Bhagavad gita verse 42 "Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge and religiousness—these are the qualities by which the brahmanas work." So see that these instructions are being followed nicely.
Letter to Sivarama -- Vrindaban 7 December, 1975:

I am accepting the student you have recommended for Brahmin initiation, their names as follows; Dharmaprana das Brahmacari, Natha Das Brahmacari, Misrami Devi Dasi, and Lalita Devi Dasi. Hold a fire ceremony, and let the students hear the mantra from the tape recording through the right rear. Brahminical life means to be very very clean, inside and out. Inside by chanting and hearing, and outside by bathing three times daily, if not possible at least two times, but never less than once. Bathing after passing stool. The qualifications of the Brahmanas are described in the 18th Chapter of Bhagavad gita verse 42 "Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge and religiousness—these are the qualities by which the brahmanas work." So see that these instructions are being followed nicely.

Compiled byVisnu Murti + and Alakananda +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entryOctober 20, 0008 JL +
Date of last entryOctober 4, 0010 JL +
Total quotes66 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 0 +, SB: 9 +, CC: 5 +, OB: 1 +, Lec: 41 +, Conv: 8 + and Let: 2 +