taṁ śaśāpa kulācāryaḥ
na kṣatra-bandhuḥ śūdras tvaṁ
tam—him (Pṛṣadhra); śaśāpa—cursed; kula-ācāryaḥ—the family priest, Vasiṣṭha; kṛta-āgasam—because of committing the great sin of killing a cow; akāmataḥ—although he did not want to do it; na—not; kṣatra-bandhuḥ—the family member of a kṣatriya; śūdraḥ tvam—you have behaved like a śūdra; karmaṇā—therefore by your fruitive reaction; bhavitā—you shall become a śūdra; amunā—because of killing the cow.
Although Pṛṣadhra had committed the sin unknowingly, his family priest, Vasiṣṭha, cursed him, saying, “In your next life you shall not be able to become a kṣatriya. Instead, you shall take birth as a śūdra because of killing the cow.”
It appears that Vasiṣṭha was not free from tamo-guṇa, the mode of ignorance. As the family priest or spiritual master of Pṛṣadhra, Vasiṣṭha should have taken Pṛṣadhra’s offense very lightly, but instead Vasiṣṭha cursed him to become a śūdra. It is the duty of a family priest not to curse a disciple but to give him relief through the performance of some sort of atonement. Vasiṣṭha, however, did just the opposite. Therefore Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura says that he was durmati; in other words, his intelligence was not very good.
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