Compiled by Damaghosa das


Lecture by Srila Prabhupada – New Vrindavana May 25 1969 – Brahmana Initiation ceremony

Because, as I told you, formerly only a person who is born by a brahmana… That means garbhadana ceremony. A child should be accepted that he is born of a brahmana. Everyone should know. That is called garbhadana ceremony, that when a man goes to his wife to beget child, there is a ceremony. It is not a secret, hide and seek behavior. Everyone should know that "Now this man is going to beget child." So how that child should be very nice, that is called garbhadana ceremony. So if garbhadana ceremony is not performed according to scriptural direction, immediately he becomes a shudra.

So in this age nobody is observing garbhadana ceremony; therefore it is to be understood that everyone is born a shudra. Therefore pancharatriki-vidhi. Vedic system cannot be applied because nobody is born of a brahmana. Who knows? Who knows how he is born? There is no ceremony. That is witness, that "Oh, he will go." Just like marriage is a ceremony, there are so many witnesses, similarly, garbhadana ceremony, there is ceremony. It is no hide and seek. So because the garbhadana ceremony is not current at the present age, therefore everyone should be accepted as born shudra, either in any place, either here or India or anywhere. But the Pancharatrika system, it gives chance to a person, if he has got symptoms.

Just like this boy has got the symptom to become a brahmana, to be Vaishnava. Just like in the Jabala Upaniṣad. This, by symptoms, he was accepted brahmana, a small boy like this. Satyakam Jabala. Satyakam. He went to Gautama Muni: "My dear sir, will you initiate me?" Just like this boy can ask us. Oh, he was very kind: "Oh, yes. Very nice boy. What is your father's name?" "Oh, I do not know." "Oh, just ask your mother. Go." Mother says, "I do not know whose son you are." He came back. "What your mother says?" "Oh, Mother says she does not know who is my father." "Oh, you are brahmana. Oh, you are brahmana. Come on. I shall initiate you." He was so truthful. That is real symptom of brahmana, satya, shama. He does not disclose that "I do not know."

Everyone will try to hide if he does not know his father's name. But here is a boy, "Oh," he said, "Oh, you are brahmana. Come on. I shall initiate you." This is lakshana, symptom. "Such a truthful boy. Never mind what he is born, how he is born." This system is not new. Therefore we shall have to accept by the symptom. If one is inclined to go to Krishna — he is chanting, he is doing, following the principles — then, according to Narada’s version, yasya hi yal lakshanaṁ syat, here is the lakshana, symptom, varnabhivyanjakam, to understand to what class he belongs. Now, he is truthful — he belongs to the brahmana class. He is truthful; therefore he belongs to the brahmana class.

To be continued….