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Religious Mendicants in Benares

Prabhupada: "There were thirteen pseudo Vaisnavas, thirteen sects: Aula, Baula, Karttabhaja, Neda, Daravesa, Sani, Sahajiya, Sakhibheki. Sani community... You have heard that in London there is a Sani community. Sani Hindu center you have heard from Mukunda? The Sani is there still. So there are thirteen pseudo pretenders belonging to the Caitanya-sampradaya. They are called first Aula, Baula, Karttabhaja, Neda, Daravesa, Sani, Sakhibheki, Gauranga-nagari, Cudadhari, Ativadi, and Smarta, Jata-gosani. Like that, thirteen.

So if I describe these thirteen, it will take thirteen hours. So I don't describe all them. But one or two must be described. The most important is the Jata-gosani. Jati-gosani. They created a caste of gosvamins, just like they created a caste of brahmanas, a caste of gosvamins. So this gosvami will come by hereditary birth, just like brahmana. So Bhaktivinoda Thakura was very sorry to see the condition of the society. So these gosvamins... The original history of gosvami is the six Gosvamins. Now, out of the six Gosvamins, none of them were priestly class. So far Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami, they were great politicians, prime minister, a finance minister in the government of Nawab Hussain Shah. So... And similarly, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, he was a big zamindar. His father is... Zamindar means landholder. During British period... No, at that time not British period, Mohammedan period. They distributed land among some, I think, in the Western countries bourgeois (pronounces "burguiss") they call? Bourgeois? Or in England, the landholders, what they are called?

Tamala Krsna: There's a word for it.

Prabhupada: Yes. So zamindar, landholder. So he belonged to a very big landholder... His father, his father and uncle, two brothers. So he was the only son. So naturally, he was to inherit the whole property, and at that time it was twelve hundred thousands dollars' income. Just see how much he was rich man. When he used to see Caitanya Mahaprabhu or Nityananda in his youth-hood, when he was eighteen years', twenty years' age--he was almost of the contemporary of Lord Caitanya--he used to distribute gold to the brahmanas and Vaisnavas, gold, so much gold. What is the price of so much gold? He used to distribute. He was rich man, so he was doing like rich man. So that is the history of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. That is the history of Sanatana Gosvami. None of them were belonging to the Vaisnava sect or nothing. Caitanya Mahaprabhu turned them. This Sanatana Gosvami and Rupa Gosvami were rejected from the brahmana community because at that time the brahmana society was so strict, if somebody takes service of a Musselman or anyone, oh, he is immediately exterminated: "Oh, you cannot be accepted as pure..." Brahmana, ksatriya, according to Vedic system, the brahmana, ksatriya, and vaisya, they'll not accept any service, even it is worth $200,000. No. That he will not acc... Then that is degradation. Only the sudras can accept. That was the Vedic system. To accept another's service was so abominable. In the Bhagavata also it is stated that if the brahmanas, ksatriyas and vaisya, especially the brahmanas, they have no livelihood, then they can adopt the business of ksatriya and vaisya, but never accept the occupation of the dog, sudra. That is stated. You see? So to accept service of others was so abominable, even five hundred years ago. So this Sanatana Gosvami and Rupa Gosvami, they were also belonged to very rich family, but because they accepted ministership in the government of a Muhammadan, they were rejected. They were exterminated from the society. What is the extermination of society? He will never be invited. Nobody will offer his daughter to their family, because according to Vedic system, daughters and sons are not loitering in the street. The father and mother must engage. So if one is exterminated, oh, it is very difficult to get his daughter married. Nobody will accept. That was their condition. Actually, they also became hopelessness. They became almost Muhammadan. They changed their name, Dabira Khasa. This is Muhammadan name. And Sakara Mallika. Caitanya Mahaprabhu made them Gosvami, this Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Haridasa Thakura, he belonged to the Muhammadan community. He was made namacarya, the principal acarya of this chanting Hare Krsna. That is the revolutionary method of Caitanya.

Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu is not liked by the hereditary brahmanas. They dislike. Whenever there is Caitanya movement, they pose another counter. This Rama-Krishna is a counteraction of Caitanya. Because Caitanya, the Vaisnava-sampradaya, accept Caitanya Mahaprabhu as incarnation of God, so they presented this Gadadhara Chatterjee as incarnation of Krsna, and by worshiping Kali. You see? So this competition is since a very long time between the Vaisnava and the other sect. Anyway, when these Gosvamis... My point is that originally the Gosvamis came from ordinary person. There is no caste. But they manufactured a caste of Gosvami, you see, this brahmana class. This brahmana class, the hereditary brahmana class, played so many havocs in the history of India. The Pakistan is also due to this hereditary brahmanism. You see? They hated so much the Muhammadans and the sudras. First of all they hated the sudras, and then, when the sudras, they became Muhammadans, they hated the Muhammadans. And gradually it developed that the so-called sudras and Muhammadans, politically the Britishers took advantage, agitated them. They cut up India into Pakistan and Hindustan.

So there are many histories. So it is Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He accepted everyone to this movement. So my Guru Maharaja's contribution is that he defeated these caste gosvamins. He defeated this brahmanism. He created that the same way as Caitanya Mahaprabhu did, that, as Caitanya Mahaprabhu said,

kiba sudra kiba vipra nyasi kene naya
yei krsna tattva vetta sei guru haya

"There is no consideration whether a man is a sannyasi, a brahmana, or a sudra, or a this or a grhastha, householder, or... No. Anyone who knows the science of Krsna, he is all right. He is gosvami. He is brahmana."

Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 02-07-69, Los Angeles

Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.