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CC Adi 17.1 (1975)

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


vande svairādbhutehaṁ taṁ
caitanyaṁ yat-prasādataḥ
yavanāḥ sumanāyante


vande—let me offer my obeisances; svaira—completely independent; adbhuta—and uncommon; īham—whose activities; tam—unto Him; caitanyam—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; yat—of whom; prasādataḥ—by the mercy; yavanāḥ—even the unclean; sumanāyante—are transformed into gentlemen; kṛṣṇa-nāma—of the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa; prajalpakāḥ—taking to the chanting.


Let me offer my respectful obeisances to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, by whose mercy even unclean yavanas become perfectly well-bred gentlemen by chanting the holy name of the Lord. Such is the power of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.


There is a persistent misunderstanding between caste brāhmaṇas and advanced Vaiṣṇavas, or gosvāmīs, because caste brāhmaṇas, or smārtas, are of the opinion that one cannot become a brāhmaṇa unless he changes his body. As we have discussed several times, it is to be understood that by the supremely powerful potency of the Lord, as described by Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, everything is possible. Caitanya Mahāprabhu is as fully independent as Kṛṣṇa. Therefore no one can interfere with His activities. If He wants, by His mercy He can convert even a yavana, an unclean follower of non-Vedic principles, into a perfectly well-behaved gentleman. This is actually happening in our propagation of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. The members of the present Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement were not born in India, nor do they belong to the Vedic culture, but within the short time of four or five years they have become such wonderful devotees, simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, that even in India they are well received as perfectly well-behaved Vaiṣṇavas wherever they go.

Although less intelligent men cannot understand it, this is the special power of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Actually, the body of a Kṛṣṇa conscious person changes in many ways. Even in the United States, when our devotees chant on the street, American ladies and gentlemen inquire from them whether they are actually Americans because no one could expect Americans to become such nice devotees all of a sudden. Even Christian priests are greatly surprised that all these boys from Jewish and Christian families have joined this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement; before joining, they never regarded any principles of religion seriously, but now they have become sincere devotees of the Lord. Everywhere people express this astonishment, and we take great pride in the transcendental behavior of our students. Such wonders are possible, however, only by the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. They are not ordinary or mundane.