TEXT 17
nāhaṁ viśaṅke sura-rāja-vajrān
na tryakṣa-śūlān na yamasya daṇḍāt
nāgny-arka-somānila-vittapāstrāc
chaṅke bhṛśaṁ brahma-kulāvamānāt
SYNONYMS
na—not; aham—I; viśaṅke—am afraid; sura-rāja-vajrāt—from the thunderbolt of the King of heaven, Indra; na—nor; tryakṣa-śūlāt—from the piercing trident of Lord Śiva; na—nor; yamasya—of the superintendent of death, Yamarāja; daṇḍāt—from the punishment; na—nor; agni—of fire; arka—of the scorching heat of the sun; soma—of the moon; anila—of the wind; vitta-pa—of the owner of riches, Kuvera, the treasurer of the heavenly planets; astrāt—from the weapons; śaṅke—I am afraid; bhṛśam—very much; brahma-kula—the group of the brāhmaṇas; avamānāt—from offending.
TRANSLATION
My dear sir, I am not at all afraid of the thunderbolt of King Indra, nor am I afraid of the serpentine, piercing trident of Lord Śiva. I do not care about the punishment of Yamarāja, the superintendent of death, nor am I afraid of fire, scorching sun, moon, wind, nor the weapons of Kuvera. Yet I am afraid of offending a brāhmaṇa. I am very much afraid of this.
PURPORT
When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was instructing Rūpa Gosvāmī at the Daśāśvamedha-ghāṭa in Prayāga, He pointed out very clearly the seriousness of offending a Vaiṣṇava. He compared the vaiṣṇava-aparādha to hātī mātā, a mad elephant. When a mad elephant enters a garden, it spoils all the fruits and flowers. Similarly, if one offends a Vaiṣṇava, he spoils all his spiritual assets. Offending a brāhmaṇa is very dangerous, and this was known to Mahārāja Rahūgaṇa. He therefore frankly admitted his fault. There are many dangerous things—thunderbolts, fire, Yamarāja’s punishment, the punishment of Lord Śiva’s trident, and so forth—but none is considered as serious as offending a brāhmaṇa like Jaḍa Bharata. Therefore Mahārāja Rahūgaṇa immediately descended from his palanquin and fell flat before the lotus feet of the brāhmaṇa Jaḍa Bharata just to be excused.

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