Lord Caitanya and the Astrologer
Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, Adi Lila 17.103-111

Posted March 23, 2003

On another day an astrologer came who was said to know everything -- past, present and future. Thus Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu received him with all honor and put this question before him.

"Please tell Me who I was in My previous birth," the Lord said. "Please tell Me by your astrological computations." Hearing the words of the Lord, the astrologer immediately began to calculate.

Through calculation and meditation, the all-knowing astrologer saw the greatly effulgent body of the Lord, which is the resting place of all the unlimited Vaikuntha planets.

Seeing Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu to be the same Absolute Truth, the Supreme Brahman, the Personality of Godhead, the astrologer was confused.

Struck with wonder, the astrologer remained silent, unable to speak. But when the Lord again put the question before him, he replied as follows.

"My dear sir, in Your previous birth You were the shelter of all creation, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, full of all opulences.

"You are now the same Personality of Godhead that You were in Your previous birth. Your identity is inconceivable eternal happiness."

When the astrologer was speaking so highly of Him, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu stopped him and began to smile. "My dear sir," He said, "I think you do not know very clearly what I was, for I know that in My previous birth I was a cowherd boy.

"In My last birth I was born in the family of cowherd men, and I gave protection to the calves and cows. Because of such pious activities, I have now become the son of a brahmana."

PURPORT The words of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the greatest authority, herein clearly indicate that one becomes pious simply by keeping cows and protecting them. Unfortunately, people have become such rascals that they do not even care about the words of an authority. People generally consider cowherd men lowly members of society, but herein Caitanya Mahaprabhu confirms that they are so pious that in their next lives they are going to be brahmanas.

Heeding this instruction by the Lord, people should serve cows and calves and in return get ample quantities of milk. There is no loss in serving the cows and calves, but modern human society has become so degraded that instead of giving protection to the cows and serving them, people are killing them. How can they expect peace and prosperity in human society while committing such sinful activities? It is impossible.