TEXT 189
nīca-jāti, nīca-saṅgī, kari nīca kāja
tomāra agrete prabhu kahite vāsi lāja
nīca-jāti—classified among the fallen; nīca-saṅgī—associated with fallen souls; kari—we perform; nīca—abominable; kāja—work; tomāra—of You; agrete—in front; prabhu—O Lord; kahite—to say; vāsi—we feel; lāja—ashamed.
"Sir, we belong to the lowest class of men, and our associates and employment are also of the lowest type. Therefore we cannot introduce ourselves to You. We feel very much ashamed, standing here before You.
Although the two brothers, Rūpa and Sanātana (at that time Dabira Khāsa and Sākara Mallika), presented themselves as being born in a low family, they nonetheless belonged to a most respectable brāhmaṇa family that was originally from Karṇāta. Thus they actually belonged to the brāhmaṇa caste. Unfortunately, because of being associated with the Muslim governmental service, their customs and behavior resembled those of the Muslims. Therefore they presented themselves as nīca-jāti. The word jāti means birth. According to śāstra, there are three kinds of birth. The first birth is from the womb of the mother, the second birth is the acceptance of the reformatory method, and the third birth is acceptance by the spiritual master (initiation). One becomes abominable by adopting an abominable profession or by associating with people who are naturally abominable. Rūpa and Sanātana, as Dabira Khāsa and Sākara Mallika, associated with Muslims, who were naturally opposed to brahminical culture and cow protection. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Seventh Canto) it is stated that every person belongs to a certain classification. A person is identifiable by the special symptoms mentioned in the śāstras. By one's symptoms, one is known to belong to a certain caste. Both Dabira Khāsa and Sākara Mallika belonged to the brāhmaṇa caste, but because they were employed by Muslims, their original habits degenerated into those of the Muslim community. Since the symptoms of brahminical culture were almost nil, they identified themselves with the lowest caste. In the Bhakti-ratnākara it is clearly stated that because Sākara Mallika and Dabira Khāsa associated with lower-class men, they introduced themselves as belonging to the lower classes. Actually, however, they had been born in respectable brāhmaṇa families.

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