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Brahmin Bhoj & Dan

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Brahmin Bhoj & Dan

Brahm (Brahmin) bhoj (feast) is a unique ritual of feeding Brahmins, and Brahmin dan is a way of giving donation or charity to them.

Considered highly auspicious, Brahmin bhoj and dan should be practiced regularly to get the Brahmins’ and your forefathers’ blessings and earn good Karma (punya) for a better life and salvation (moksha). 

Brahmin bhoj and dan can also be practiced on various occasions, such as a child’s birth, upanayana (the sacred thread ceremony), Pitru Paksha, marriage, and even death.

Brahmin Bhoj & Dan and Karma

Today’s birth, high or low, is the fruit and fortune (karma phal) of our previous birth associations and good and bad deeds. Bhagavan Shri Krishna explains this point in Shri Gita (13.22):

karanam -guna -sanga -sya
sad- asad -yoni -janmasu

Here, Shri Krishna says that it is according to our association in the last life with different modes of nature (guna-sanga) that we receive a high or low birth (deva, human, or animal) in our present life.

We may receive the rare privilege of a human birth, but even so there are different categories we may fall under, such as rich-poor, beautiful-ugly, learned-ignorant, strong-weak, attached-renounced, and fame-infamy. All is determined by our actions and the arrangement of Shri Krishna.

UNDERSTANDING THE GLORIES OF BRAHMINS

Being born a Brahmin is considered a high birth, attained by heaps of devotions and good deeds in previous lives.

Brahmins are associated with the performance of all Vedic rituals. It is said that Brahmins have taken birth from the mouth of Lord Brahma. They are highly knowledgeable about Vedic texts. 

It is said that unless a Brahmin prays to the Gods through chants, God cannot come and attend the pooja rituals of people. Hence, donating or feeding Brahmins is considered very fruitful.

In the Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.86.52-57), Bhagavan Shri Krishna personally glorifies and teaches us how to respect, honor, and serve Brahmins, whom the Vedas refer to as bhu-devas or “Gods on Earth”.

Bhagavan Shri Krishna says that slowly, over time, we can become pure and religious by seeing, touching, and worshipping various kshetras, tirthas (sacred places and water bodies), and devatas. However, we can immediately attain purity by simply SEEING BRAHMANS OR DEVOTEES!

 devah -kshetrani -tirthani
darshan -sparshan -arcanaih
shanaih -punanti -kalena
tad -apy -arhat- tama -ikshaya

Shri Visvanatha Cakravartipada says that here Shri Krishna is praising Brahmins. He says that Brahmins, whose single darshan immediately purifies you, are even better than the idols in a temple that slowly purify you.

Bhagavan Shri Krishna says that just by birth a Brahmin is the best of all living beings in this world. “And how much more glorious is a Brahmin who is austere, learned, self-satisfied, and lovingly meditates upon me.”

 brahmino -janmana -shreyan
sarvesham -praninam -iha
tapasa -vidyaya -tushtya
kim -u -mat -kalaya -yutah

Bhagavan Shri Krishna also says that a Brahmin is even more dear to him than even his own Vishnu form. “As all the devatas are within me, all the Vedas are within the Brahmin (vipra).”

 na -brahminan -me -dayitam
rupam -etac -catur -bhujam
sarva-veda-mayo -viprah
sarva-deva-mayoh -yaham

Shri Visvanatha Cakravartipada explains: “Shri Krishna’s words, sarva-veda-mayo -viprah, mean that Brahmins, who are the Vedas personified, can reveal Krishna, the personal embodiment of all devatas and Vishnu-tattva expansions.’”

Bhagavan Shri Krishna says that people who have poor, tainted intelligence are ignorant about the real identity and status of Brahmins. Consequently, such foolish people ignore and enviously insult Brahmins who are their gurus and their very selves. “They only see Me, Shri Krishna, in my archa-murtis and not in Brahmins.”

 dush -pragya -aviditvaivam
avajananty -asuyavah
gurum -mam -vipram -atmanam
archa -adau -ijya -drshtayah

Bhagavan Shri Krishna further says that people should worship Brahmins and learned sages with the same faith and dedication with which they worship Him. If Brahmins are appropriately honored and worshiped, then people will be directly worshiping Shri Krishna. Even more than the vast offerings of money and gold.

 tasmad -brahma -rshin -etan
brahmin -mat- shraddhaya-archaya
evam -cet -archito – ‘smyaddha
nanyatha -bhuri -bhutibhih

Shri Jiva Goswamipada explains: “Here Sri Krishna says, ‘Worship the Brahmins who know Me and are thus the dearest to Me.’ This verse also means ‘Worship ALL MY DEVOTEES!’ Krishna continues, ‘If you worship the Brahmins and devotees with great affection (mac-shraddhaya), you will be directly (addha) worshiping Me. However, if you neglect or reject My devotees, then I can never be worshipped. Even with great wealth.’”

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada adds: “Here Krishna is saying that foolish people, ignorant of this truth, find fault (asuyavah) with Brahmins. They think that murtis and Thakuraji are worshipable, but not Brahmins.’”

All shastras and even Shri Krishna state that all castes, whether intellectual, military, business, or labor, excluding Brahmins, should always, in every situation, honor and donate to Brahmins.

Why Give to Brahmins?

One gives to Brahmins as a mark of respect and honor for their high Brahmin birth. For they have attained this with heaps of devotions and good deeds in their previous lives.

 So, giving donation (daan) or charity to a Brahmin is a way of honoring his exalted birth. And that’s enough!

BENEFITS OF PERFORMING BRAHMIN BHOJ & DAN

Performing Brahmin bhoj and dan can help you:

  • Earn good Karma
  • Reduce your sins
  • Get Brahmins’ blessings
  • Appease the souls of forefathers 
  • Improve your current life and attain salvation

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