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ŚB 10.23.8


दीक्षाया: पशुसंस्थाया: सौत्रामण्याश्च सत्तमा: ।
अन्यत्र दीक्षितस्यापि नान्नमश्नन् हि दुष्यति ॥ ८ ॥


dīkṣāyāḥ paśu-saṁsthāyāḥ
sautrāmaṇyāś ca sattamāḥ
anyatra dīkṣitasyāpi
nānnam aśnan hi duṣyati


dīkṣāyāḥ — beginning with the initiation for a sacrifice; paśu-saṁsthāyāḥ — until sacrificing the animal; sautrāmaṇyāḥ — outside of the sacrifice known as Sautrāmaṇi; ca — and; sat-tamāḥ — O purest ones; anyatra — elsewhere; dīkṣitasya — of one who has been initiated for the sacrifice; api — even; na — not; annam — food; aśnan — eating; hi — indeed; duṣyati — creates offense.


Except during the interval between the initiation of the performer of a sacrifice and the actual sacrifice of the animal, O most pure brāhmaṇas, it is not contaminating for even the initiated to partake of food, at least in sacrifices other than the Sautrāmaṇi.


The cowherd boys anticipated the possible objection from the brāhmaṇas that they couldn’t give the boys any food because they themselves had not yet eaten, and that a priest initiated to perform a sacrifice should not eat. Therefore the boys humbly informed the brāhmaṇas about various technicalities of ritualistic sacrifice. The cowherd boys were not unaware of the formalities of Vedic culture, but their real intention was simply to render loving service to Lord Kṛṣṇa.