Thanks for replying to my earlier letter. (See May 2007 issue) In my caste we differentiate a lot between brahmanas and non-brahmanas. When Lord Krsna gave His darsana to Kanaka in Udupi , then why do we differentiate between upper and lower castes? Lots of brahmanas in my family eat non-veg and drink alcohol and at the same time there are people of other castes who leave everything and become Krsna consciousness. Still Vaisnava brahmanas discriminate against them. Why is it so? Who is a pure Vaisnava then? 
(Radhika Potdar)
Our Reply: The caste consciousness you have pointed out stems from the misunderstanding that the varna or caste of a person is based on the birth in a particular family. This is completely against the Vedic conclusion. For example in Bhagavad-gita (4.13), Lord Krsna describes: 
catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah "According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by Me … "
The Lord mentions that the basis of varnasrama are the modes or guna and work or karma, not janma or birth. Hence birth-right is wrong. Still, people discriminate either out of ignorance of the real varnasrama system or because of selfish egoistic motives.
Coming to your next question as to who is a Vaisnava, Lord Caitanya replies:
A person who is always chanting the holy name of the Lord is to be considered a first· class Vaisnava, and your duty is to serve his lotus feet." [Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 16.721 
The powerful effect of chanting the holy names overcomes mundane considerations like low caste as described by Mother Devahuti in Srimad-Bhagavatam: 
" . .. Even a person born in a family of dog-eaters immediately becomes eligible to perform Vedic sacrifices if he once utters the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead or chants about Him, hears about His pastimes, offers Him obeisances or even remembers Him." 
Only a brahmana can perform Vedic sacrifices, thus a devotee of Lord Krsna automatically becomes a brahmana just by his devotion to the Lord. Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport to the next verse: "This … affirms that the stage of chanting of the holy name of the Lord is not sudden , but that the chanters have already performed all kinds of Vedic rituals and sacrifices." So a Vaisnava is not to be judged based on his birth as a low or high Vaisnava. Anyone who chants the holy names of the Lord is to be respected. 
Now to your question about who is a pure Vaisnava. Lord Caitanya describes the qualities of a pure devotee or uttama adhikari Vaisnava as follows: 
"A first·class Vaisnava is he whose very presence makes others chant the holy name of Krsna." [C.C. Madhya 16.741 Srila Prabhupada elaborates in his purport: " … Such a Vaisnava is always aware of his Krsna conscious duty, and he is enlightened in self-realization. He is always in love with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna , and this love is without adulteration. Because of this love, he is always awake to transcendental realization . Because he knows that Krsna consciousness is the basis of knowledge and action, he sees everything as being connected with Krsna Such a person is able to chant the holy name of Krsna perfectly. Such a maha-bhagavata vaisnava has the transcendental eyes to see who is sleeping under the spell of maya, and he engages himself in awakening sleeping conditioned beings by spreading the knowledge of Krsna consciousness … A maha-bhagavata can turn a living entity from abominable material life to the Lord 's service. This is the test of a mahabhagavara. 
When teaching Sanatana Goswami, Lord Caitanya further said: "One who is expert in the Vedic literature and has full faith in the Supreme Lord is an uttamaadhikari, a first class Vaisnava, a topmost Vaisnava who can deliver the whole world and turn everyone to Krsna consciousness." (CC. Madhya 22.65) With great love and affection, the maha-bhagavata observes the Supreme Personality of Godhead, devotional service and the devotee. He observes nothing beyond Krsna , Krsna consciousness, and Krsna's devotees.
For more information you may refer to Srimad Bhagavatam canto 7 chapter 11 entitled 'The Perfect Society: Four Social Classes,' and relevant sections of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. 
Reply to the letter was written by Murari Gupta Dasa.
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