BRIHAD MANU SIKSHA #18

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  • Respectful treatment of those invited to the sraddha rite is of utmost importance.
  • The problem of smartas is not their following the rules and regulations, but not knowing what the rules and regulations are for.
  • What devotee should do if his family follows smarta rituals.

  • Brahmanas who are fed on behalf of pitris should behave properly, since the manes will follow them till the next morning.
  • Serving devotees of various relationships and positions.
  • Somebody who uses their position as Srila Prahupada’s disciple to get certain advantages is like a brahmana who names his gotra etc to get meal – they are socially in a position of a fallen sannyasi.
  • We are in so many ways superior to a knife, but if we do not respect its sharpness we will get cut.
  • 6 year old uncle of a 16-year old person will respect their age, but they are senior because relationship is superior to age.
  • A single person learned in the Veda and fed properly is worth feeding millions of other people.
  • People who should not be invited to sraddha or demigod worship: thieves, eunuchs, outcastes, atheists, trainers of elephants, oxen, architect, messenger, breeder of dogs, one who delights injuring others, defiler of maidens, carpenters, physicians, temple priests, sellers of meat – in short brahmanas who are not studying and teaching.
  • Demigod worship is not as strict as forefather worship.
  • Temple priest would not be invited, since he would be impure and unsuitable for service. Physician is always dealing with bodies.
  • In sraddha ceremony the host himself should carefully serve the invited, not ask servants to do it.
  • If food is not brought holding with both hands, it is taken by the asuras.
  • When guests are invited one should not try anything new on them. Better to cook a few preparations nicely than many badly.
  • 108 preparations do not mean 10 different kinds of sandesh with different food colors.
  • Standard is 64 preparations; we invented 108 and 1008.
  • There is a certain order how things are served.
  • Tears should not be shed at sraddha rite. Tears send the food to the pretas, anger to one’s enemies, falsehood to dogs, touching food with foot to the rakshasas, shaking to the sinners.
  • Eating should not be rushed, it should be in a relaxed mood. One should point out different good qualities of the food.
  • Only qualified brahmanas should be invited to sraddha rite, but such qualified brahmanas are also advised not to go, since they take on the sins of the deceased. Therefore they are rewarded with a dakshina.

CONDUCT OF A BRAHMANA

  • Brahmana should find such means of subsistence that bring the least harm to others.
  • One should always follow one’s own prescribed duty, except for times of distress.
  • In times of distress a brahmana may subsist by 1) vrtta – gleaning of grains that nobody needs; 2) anrta – by what is given unasked for; 3) mrta – begging; 4) pramrta (‘many deaths’) – agriculture; 5)
  • Vrtta is the most austere of all. Ragunatha Dasa Gosvami’s example was the extreme of vrtta.
  • Brahmanas do not use castrated bulls if they do agriculture.
  • Brahmana should not sell oil or sweet juices because they are produced through a lot of violence.
  • A plowman plowing the earth with an iron-tipped plowshare commits the same sin in a day as a fisherman does in a year by killing fish.
  • Actually agriculture is not at all recommended for brahmanas, as a profession it is only for vaishyas. If brahmanas and kshatriyas have to take up vaishya’s duties, it is recommended they do business.

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