“Your Bhagavad-gītā Reading is Perfect. You have Taken the Essence.”

Krishna and Arjuna

When Lord Caitanya was traveling in South India…He saw one brāhmaṇa was reading Bhagavad-gītā. And people were joking him, “Oh, Mr. brāhmaṇa, how you are reading Bhagavad-gītā?” Because they were the neighbors, they knew that this brāhmaṇa was illiterate and he was studying Bhagavad-gītā. So they were joking. But the brāhmaṇa did not care. He was taking the book and in his own way he was reading.

Caitanya Mahāprabhu saw this incident, He came to the brāhmaṇa. So He asked the brāhmaṇa, “My dear brāhmaṇa, what you are reading?”

So he could understand “This person is not joking with me; He is serious.”

So he explained, “My dear sir, I am reading Bhagavad-gītā. Unfortunately, I am illiterate. I do not know even the alphabets.”

“Why you are reading Bhagavad-gītā?”

So he said that, “My spiritual master knows that I am illiterate, but still, he has asked me to read Bhagavad-gītā. What can I do? Therefore I have taken this book. I am seeing simply. I do not know how to read.”

“Oh, that’s all right. You cannot read. But I see that you are crying. How you are crying if you are not reading?”

“Yes, I am crying. Of course, there is cause.”

“What is that?”

“As soon as I take this Bhagavad-gītā, I remember Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is sitting as driver and Arjuna is hearing. I have heard the story. I know something of the instruction but cannot read. So as soon as I take this book, this picture comes before me and I simply think, ‘Oh, how Kṛṣṇa is nice that He has become a charioteer of His devotee. He is so great. Still, He has accepted a menial service of His devotee.’ This gives me so much pleasure that I cry.

Caitanya Mahāprabhu embraced him, “Your Bhagavad-gītā reading is perfect. You have taken the essence.” So this is the thing. If you simply remember Kṛṣṇa is teaching Arjuna and Arjuna is hearing, if you simply remember the picture, that is sufficient. Even if you think that you cannot read.

(Bhagavad-gita talks with Srila Prabhupada 11/25/1968)

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