Vedic Culture Is Life of Responsibility

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.64.13-16 - Vedic Culture Is Life of Responsibility (download mp3)
by Radha Gopinath Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

 SB 10.64.13
payasvinis tarunih sila-rupa-
 gunopapannah kapila hema-srngih
nyayarjita rupya-khurah sa-vatsa
 dukula-malabharana dadav aham

Young, brown, milk-laden cows, who were well-behaved, beautiful and endowed with good qualities, who were all acquired honestly, and who had gilded horns, silver-plated hooves and decorations of fine ornamental cloths and garlands — such were the cows, along with their calves, that I gave in charity.

SB 10.64.14-15
sv-alankrtebhyo guna-silavadbhyah
 sidat-kutumbebhya rta-vratebhyah
 pradam yuvabhyo dvija-pungavebhyah
 kanyah sa-dasis tila-rupya-sayyah
vasamsi ratnani paricchadan rathan
 istam ca yaj├▒ais caritam ca purtam

I first honored the brahmanas who were recipients of my charity by decorating them with fine ornaments. Those most exalted brahmanas, whose families were in need, were young and possessed of excellent character and qualities. They were dedicated to truth, famous for their austerity, vastly learned in the Vedic scriptures and saintly in their behavior. I gave them cows, land, gold and houses, along with horses, elephants and marriageable girls with maidservants, as well as sesame, silver, fine beds, clothing, jewels, furniture and chariots. In addition, I performed Vedic sacrifices and executed various pious welfare activities.

SB 10.64.16
kasyacid dvija-mukhyasya
 bhrasta gaur mama go-dhane
samprktavidusa sa ca
 maya datta dvijataye

Once a cow belonging to a certain first-class brahmana wandered away and entered my herd. Unaware of this, I gave that cow in charity to a different brahmana.

Srila Sridhara Svami explains that the term dvija-mukhya, “first-class brahmana,” here indicates a brahmana who has stopped accepting charity and would thus refuse to accept even one hundred thousand cows in exchange for the cow that had been improperly given away.