Glorification of a devotee and devotional service – discussion between Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Vallabh Bhatt (Srila Vallabhacharya)

aho bata śva-paco ‘to garīyān

yaj-jihvāgre vartate nāma tubhyam

tepus tapas te juhuvuḥ sasnur āryā

brahmānūcur nāma gṛṇanti ye te


aho bata — how wonderful it is; śva-pacaḥ — dog-eaters; ataḥ — than the initiated brāhmaṇa; garīyān — more glorious; yat — of whom; jihvā-agre — on the tongue; vartate — remains; nāma — the holy name; tubhyam — of You, my Lord; tepuḥ — have performed; tapaḥ — austerity; te — they; juhuvuḥ — have performed sacrifices; sasnuḥ — have bathed in all holy places; āryāḥ — really belonging to the Āryan race; brahma — all the Vedas; anūcuḥ — have studied; nāma — the holy name; gṛṇanti — chant; ye — who; te — they.


Vallabha Bhaṭṭācārya then recited the following verse: "’My dear Lord, one who always keeps Your holy name on his tongue becomes greater than an initiated brāhmaṇa. Although he may be born in a family of dog-eaters and may therefore, by material calculation, be the lowest among men, he is still glorious. This is the wonderful effect of chanting the holy name of the Lord. It is therefore concluded that one who chants the holy name of the Lord should be understood to have performed all kinds of austerities and great sacrifices mentioned in the Vedas. He has already taken his bath in all the holy places of pilgrimage, he has studied all the Vedas, and he is actually an Aryan.’"


This verse is quoted from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.33.7).

śuni’ mahāprabhu tāńre bahu praśaḿsilā

premāviṣṭa hañā śloka paḍite lāgilā


śuni’ — hearing; mahāprabhu — Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; tāńre — him; bahu — very much; praśaḿsilā — praised; prema-āviṣṭa hañā — becoming ecstatic in love of Godhead; śloka — verses; paḍite lāgilā — began to recite.


Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was very pleased to hear Vallabha Bhaṭṭa quoting from śāstra about the position of a devotee. The Lord praised him personally, and, feeling ecstatic love of Godhead, began to quote many verses from śāstra.

śuciḥ sad-bhakti-dīptāgni-


śva-pāko ‘pi budhaiḥ ślāghyo

na veda-jño ‘pi nāstikaḥ


śuciḥ — a brāhmaṇa purified internally and externally; sat-bhakti — of devotional service without motives; dīpta-agni — by the blazing fire; dagdha — burnt to ashes; durjāti — such as birth in a low family; kalmaṣaḥ — whose sinful reactions; śva-pākaḥ api — even though born in a family of dog-eaters; budhaiḥ — by learned scholars; ślāghyaḥ — recognized; na — not; veda-jñaḥ api — even though completely conversant in Vedic knowledge; nāstikaḥ — an atheist.


Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "’A person who has the pure characteristics of a brāhmaṇa due to devotional service, which is like a blazing fire burning to ashes all the sinful reactions of past lives, is certainly saved from the consequences of sinful acts, such as taking birth in a lower family. Even though he may be born in a family of dog-eaters, he is recognized by learned scholars. But although a person may be a learned scholar in Vedic knowledge, he is not recognized if he is an atheist.


This verse and the next are quoted from the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya (3.11, 12), a transcendental literature extracted from the Purāṇas.


jātiḥ śāstraḿ japas tapaḥ

aprāṇasyeva dehasya

maṇḍanaḿ loka-rañjanam


bhagavat-bhakti-hīnasya — of a person devoid of devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead; jātiḥ — birth in a high caste; śāstram — knowledge in the revealed scriptures; japaḥ — pronunciation of mantras; tapaḥ — austerities and penances; aprāṇasya — which is dead; iva — like; dehasya — of a body; maṇḍanam — decoration; loka — to the whims of people in general; rañjanam — simply pleasing.


"’For a person devoid of devotional service, birth in a great family or nation, knowledge of the revealed scriptures, performance of austerities and penance, and chanting of Vedic mantras are all like ornaments on a dead body. Such ornaments simply serve the concocted pleasures of the general populace.’"


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