kasite lekhaka sudra-sricandrasekhara
tanra ghare rahila prabhu svatantra isvara
kasite—in Varanasi; lekhaka—writer; sudra—born of a sudra family; sri-candrasekhara—of the name Candrasekhara; tanra ghare—in his house; rahila—remained; prabhu—the Lord; svatantra—independent; isvara—the supreme controller.
This time Lord Caitanya stayed at the house of Candrasekhara, although he was regarded as a sudra or kayastha, for the Lord, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is completely independent.
Lord Caitanya stayed at the house of Candrasekhara, a clerk, although a sannyasi is not supposed to reside in a sudra's house. Five hundred years ago, especially in Bengal, it was the system that persons who were born in the families of brahmanas were accepted as brahmanas, and all those who took birth in other families-even the higher castes, namely, the ksatriyas and vaisyas-were considered sudra non-brahmanas. Therefore although Sri Candrasekhara was a clerk from a kayastha family in upper India, he was considered a sudra. Similarly, vaisyas, especially those of the suvarna-vanik community, were accepted as sudras in Bengal, and even the vaidyas, who were generally physicians, were also considered sudras. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, however, did not accept this artificial principle, which was introduced in society by self-interested men, and later the kayasthas, vaidyas and vaniks all began to accept the sacred thread, despite objections from the so-called brahmanas.
Before the time of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the suvarna-vanik class was condemned by Ballal Sen, who was then the King of Bengal, due to a personal grudge. In Bengal the suvarna-vanik class are always very rich, for they are bankers and dealers in gold and silver. Therefore, Ballal Sen used to borrow money from a suvarna-vanik banker. Ballal Sen's bankruptcy later obliged the suvarna-vanik banker to stop advancing money to him, and thus he became angry and condemned the entire suvarna-vanik society as belonging to the sudra community. Ballal Sen tried to induce the brahmanas not to accept the suvarna-vaniks as followers of the instructions of the Vedas under the brahminical directions, but although some brahmanas approved of Ballal Sen's actions, others did not. Thus the brahmanas also became divided amongst themselves, and those who supported the suvarna-vanik class were rejected from the brahmana community. At the present day the same biases are still being followed.
There are many Vaisnava families in Bengal whose members, although not actually born brahmanas, act as acaryas by initiating disciples and offering the sacred thread as enjoined in the Vaisnava tantras. For example, in the families of Thakura Raghunandana Acarya, Thakura Krsnadasa, Navani Hoda and Rasikananda-deva (a disciple of Syamananda Prabhu), the sacred thread ceremony is performed, as it is for the caste Gosvamis, and this system has continued for the past three to four hundred years. Accepting disciples born in brahmana families, they are bona fide spiritual masters who have the facility to worship the salagrama-sila, which is worshiped with the Deity. As of this writing, salagrama-sila worship has not yet been introduced in our Krsna consciousness movement, but soon it will be introduced in all our temples as an essential function of arcana-marga (Deity worship).
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