Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya 25.206)

March 26th, 2017 | Posted by ww-seva2 in class | lecture

“Subuddhi Rāya used to spend his savings to supply yogurt to Bengali Vaiṣṇavas who came to Mathurā. He also gave them cooked rice and oil massages. When he saw a poverty-stricken Vaiṣṇava, he would use his money to feed him.Caitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 25.206)

duḥkhī vaiṣṇava dekhi’ tāṅre karāna bhojana
gauḍīyā āile dadhi, bhāta, taila-mardana

duḥkhī vaiṣṇava — a poverty-stricken Vaiṣṇava; dekhi’ — seeing; tāṅre — to him; karāna bhojana — gives food for eating; gauḍīyā āile — when a Bengali Vaiṣṇava came to Mathurā; dadhi — yogurt; bhāta — cooked rice; taila-mardana — massaging mustard oil on the body.

There is a special reference for the maintenance of Bengali Vaiṣṇavas. A Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava is a Bengali Vaiṣṇava. Most of the devotees of Lord Caitanya at that time were Gauḍīyas and Oriyās, inhabitants of Bengal and Orissa. There are still many hundreds of thousands of His followers in Bengal and Orissa. Bengalis are habituated to eating cooked rice as their staple food. When they went to Mathurā in the north, they found that the people generally ate chapatis or roṭis made of wheat. The Bengalis could not digest this food because they were used to cooked rice. Therefore as soon as Subuddhi Rāya saw a Bengali Vaiṣṇava arriving in Mathurā, he would try to supply him with cooked rice. Bengalis are also accustomed to taking a massage with mustard oil. In any case, Subuddhi Rāya wanted to serve the Vaiṣṇavas according to their needs. Therefore he would supply yogurt to ease the digestion of food eaten in Mathurā, particularly the chapatis and roṭis made with wheat.

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