Srimad Bhagavatam 11.23.11 - Religiousness to Peacefulness (download mp3)
by Yugavatar Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
jñātyo jagṛhuḥ kiñcit
kiñcid dasyava uddhava
daivataḥ kālataḥ kiñcid
Some of the wealth of this so-called brāhmaṇa was taken away by his relatives, My dear Uddhava, some by thieves, some by the whims of providence, some by the effects of time, some by ordinary men and some by government authorities.
It appears that even though the so-called brāhmaṇa was determined not to spend his money, his wife and other relatives managed to squeeze out a portion. According to Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī, providence here refers to fires in the home and other types of occasional misfortune. Effects of time here refers to the destruction of agricultural crops through seasonal irregularities and other such occurrences. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura points out that one should not merely proclaim oneself to be a brāhmaṇa but should actually understand one’s original identity as a servant of the Lord. One declaring himself to be a brāhmaṇa but maintaining a materialistic mentality is not a real brāhmaṇa, but rather a brahma-bandhu, or so-called brāhmaṇa. The humble devotees of Lord Viṣṇu, following the indications of the Vedic scriptures, refer to themselves as unfortunate and unable to understand the kingdom of God; they do not proudly proclaim themselves to be brāhmaṇas. Those who are wise, however, know that such humble devotees are actually brāhmaṇas whose hearts are cleansed by the pure mode of goodness.