The “Golden” Stone Pot
A story by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura
A wealthy landlord called upon a goldsmith in his village and requested him while giving him a lump of pure gold, “You are to make a nice pot for my milk with this gold. You should not make it in any way impure by mixing any kind of alloy in it.”
The goldsmith agreed, “Yes sir”, and went away with the gold-lump.
Thus getting a lump of pure gold in his possession, the goldsmith was tempted to steal it. However, he apprehended that he would be punished by the landlord if he cheated him entirely, so he made up a plan to prepare a stone-pot and gold-plate it so that he would not be accused of stealing the gold.
When the goldsmith took the gold-plated stone pot to the landlord, the landlord asked him in great astonishment, “What is this thing you have brought?”
The goldsmith replied, “O sir! This is a golden pot. I have made it with hard labour.”
The landlord said,” Are you joking? This is a stone pot!”
The goldsmith told him, “O sir, this is a ‘golden’ stone pot.
Those who consider casteism among the Vaisnavas, classifying them as brahmana-Vaisnavas, ksatriya-Vaisnavas, vaisya-Vaisnavas, sudra-Vaisnavas, or as candala-Vaisnavas, simply indulge in a speculative inference as “golden” stone pot. Either one should be considered as `Vaisnava’, or as brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, or sudra. Either one should call it a `golden pot’, or a `stone pot.’ Mango-cake (amsatva) must be prepared from mango itself, and no one can call something `mango cake’ if it is made of `jackfruit’ (knathaler amsatva). Similarly, it would be wrong terminology to ascribe the quality of a sudra to a Vaisnava. Whenever one is accepted to be a `Vaisnava’, then it is confirmed that he does not belong to any mundane social classification such as brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra or low-born candala and the like, nor even Hindu or non-Hindu. Any terminology such as `Hindu-Vaisnava’ or `Yavana-Vaisnava’ is utterly absurd and also offensive.
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