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Text 101

brāhmaṇera ghare kare bhikṣā nirvāhaṇa
prabhāve sakala loka karaye pūjana

brāhmaṇera ghare — in the house of a brāhmaṇa; kare — does; bhikṣā nirvāhaṇa — asking alms of food; prabhāve — by spiritual potency; sakala loka — all people; karaye pūjana — worship.

For his bodily maintenance he would go to a brāhmaṇa’s house and beg some food. He was spiritually so influential that all the neighboring people worshiped him.

In the days of Haridāsa Ṭhākura, all the brāhmaṇas worshiped Nārāyaṇa in the form of the śālagrāma-śilā. Therefore begging from a brāhmaṇa’s house meant taking kṛṣṇa-prasādam, which is transcendental (nirguṇa). If we take food from the houses of others, such as karmīs, we shall have to share the qualities of those from whom we take alms. Therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu took prasādam in the houses of Vaiṣṇavas. This is the general process. The members of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement are advised not to take food from anywhere but a Vaiṣṇava’s or brāhmaṇa’s house where Deity worship is performed. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has said, viṣayīra anna khāile duṣṭa haya mana: if a devotee takes alms or food from the house of a karmī who is simply interested in money, his mind will become unclean. We must always remember that a devotee’s life is one of vairāgya-vidyā, or renunciation and knowledge. Therefore all devotees are warned not to live unnecessarily luxurious lives at the cost of others. Gṛhasthas living within the jurisdiction of the temple must be especially careful not to imitate karmīs by acquiring opulent clothing, food and conveyances. As far as possible, these should be avoided. A member of the temple, whether gṛhastha, brahmacārī or sannyāsī, must practice a life of renunciation, following in the footsteps of Haridāsa Ṭhākura and the six Gosvāmīs. Otherwise, because māyā is very strong, at any time one may become a victim of māyā and fall down from spiritual life.

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