hiraṇyaṁ rajataṁ śayyāṁ
yānaṁ rathān ibhān kanyā
dharāṁ vṛtti-karīm api
hiraṇyam—gold; rajatam—gold coins; śayyām—bedding; vāsāṁsi—clothing; ajina—animal skin for seats; kambalān—blankets; yānam—horses; rathān—chariots; ibhān—elephants; kanyāḥ—girls; dharām—land; vṛtti-karīm—to provide livelihood; api—also.
The brāhmaṇas were not only given well-fed cows in charity, but also gold, gold coins, bedding, clothing, animal-skin seats, blankets, horses, elephants, girls and sufficient land for maintenance.
All these charities were meant for the brāhmaṇas, whose lives were devoted entirely to the welfare of society, both spiritually and materially. The brāhmaṇas were not giving their services as paid servants, but the society provided them with all necessities. It was arranged for some of the brāhmaṇas, who were in difficulty for marriage, to be given girls. The brāhmaṇas, therefore, had no economic problems. The kṣatriya kings and rich mercantile men would provide them with all that they needed, and in exchange the brāhmaṇas were completely devoted to the elevation of society. That was the way of social cooperation between the different castes. When the brāhmaṇa class or caste gradually became easygoing, being fed by the society although they had no brahminical qualifications, they degraded themselves into brahma-bandhus, or disqualified brāhmaṇas, and thus other members of society also gradually fell down from the social standard of progressive life. As described in Bhagavad-gītā, the caste system is the creation of the Lord and is arranged according to the quality of work rendered to society and not in terms of birthright, as falsely claimed in the present degraded society.
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