Initiation Ceremony of Visnujana
San Francisco, March 24, 1968
Prabhupada: Visnu (repeats each word) padaya krsna presthaya bhu-tale srimate bhaktivedanta svamin iti namine. You chant beginning from here, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Then begin again, another. In this way, there are 108. Come this side. Don't cross. Then again chant on this side from this way to this way. Your name is Visnujana. Visnujana. V-i-s-n-u-j-a-n-a. Hare Krsna. Chant Hare Krsna. (break—japa—break) You have not brought? All right. [break] The brahminical qualifications is described in the Bhagavad-gita: satyam sauca sama dama titiksa arjavam, jnanam vijnanam astikyam brahma-karma svabhava-jam [Bg. 18.42]. Those who are actually brahmanas, they must be truthful, always clean, inside and outside. Truthful, clean, and controlling the senses, sama dama, controlling the mind, controlling the senses, controlling the mind; sama dama titiksa, tolerance, titiksa, tolerance; arjavam, simplicity; and jnanam, must be profoundly wise; vijnanam, practical application in life; jnanam vijnanam astikyam, full faith in scriptures and in God, or Krsna, astikyam. Brahma-karma svabhava-jam: [Bg. 18.42] "These are natural duties, or work, of a brahmana."
And in the Bhagavad-gita you will find in another place, catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. "These four classes of classification of the society, it is made by Me." That means this classification of society in the human society, that is made by God. What is that classification? The brahmana, the ksatriya, the vaisya, and the sudra. It is not the name, but it is guna-karma. Brahmana means quality and work. Ksatriya means quality and work. And vaisya means quality and work. There is no question of birthright. It is a false proposition that a brahmana's son becomes brahmana. No, not necessarily. If he properly becomes initiated under the guidance of a spiritual master, then he is brahmana. Otherwise, if he has acquired the qualities of a sudra, then he should be considered as a sudra. These are the sastric injunctions. And this classification is all over the world. Don't think that it is Indian or Vedic system. No. In every country, in every place, in every planet, these four divisions are there.
Brahmanas means those who are interested in spiritual life, they are called brahmanas, intelligent class. They are called intelligent class, because unless one is intelligent, he will simply consider that this body is he, identification of the body. That is foolishness. Brahmanas means brahma janatiti brahmanah. One who knows that "I am aham brahmasmi," and he has actually realized that "I am not this body, I am pure spirit self." It is not the question of Hindu, Muslim. Anyone. Anyone who knows this knowledge, that "I am the self," and acts in that way, he is a brahmana. So these initiation formalities are there. You are instructed, you are guided, but you have to act. Unless you act, then the same thing as in India—the so-called brahmanas and ksatriyas are degraded. There will be no meaning. So guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. You have to stick to the brahminical qualities, and at the same time work. Brahma-karma. Brahman is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the last word of Brahman. So you have to engage yourself, brahma-karma, means Krsna consciousness. And exhibit your quality, that you are truthful, you are controlling control over the senses, control over the mind, and you are simple, and you are tolerant. Because as soon as you take up spiritual life, the whole class conducted by maya, they will be against you. That is maya's influence. Somebody will criticize. Somebody will do this, somebody will do that, but we shall... We have to become tolerant. This is the disease of this material world. If anyone becomes spiritually advanced, the agents of maya will criticize. So therefore you have to become tolerant. And simple, simplicity. Arjavam, titiksa arjavam, and jnana, and you must be fully equipped with knowledge. The Bhagavad-gita is there, the Srimad-Bhagavata is there. Now we are publishing other books also, Teachings of Lord Caitanya. So read them. These three or four books, if you read, you become fully qualified with knowledge. And vijnanam, and apply them in your practical life. And astikyam, in full faith of the procedures and in Krsna. That will make you successful. All right. Get up. (japa) [break] Come forward. Now you keep your malika, mala, down. You have to offer it.(?) (knocking noises) Take little, this. Nama.
Prabhupada: Apavitrah. Not like that. Do like this.
Devotee: Each can take a little in their right hand.
Prabhupada: Each time, when I say "svaha" three times, you'll..., Little bit. (devotees chant responsively)
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