A learned person is called a Pandit. My venerable Guru ji was born in Brahmin caste, in village Bada Paintawas, tehsil Charkhi Dadri, district Bhiwani (Haryana). He never used to call himself a Pandit.
My grandfather Guru ji (Guru ji of my Guru ji) was a Jaat of village Chhawla (in Delhi near Najafgarh). Inspired by the satsang of Sant Gangeshwaranand ji at a young age, he went along with him to Haridwar. Sant Gangeshwaranand ji sent him to Kashi Vidyapith for studying. He had a sharp mind. He acquired the degree of Acharya in four subjects. Due to which, despite being a Jaat, he used to be addressed as Pandit Chidanand ji. He has an ashram in village Gopalpur (Tehsil-Kharkhoda, District-Sonipat, State-Haryana). There is a board on it, “Pandit Chidanand Ji (Garib Dasi) Ashram, Gopalpur”. His name was Chidanand ji. It was essential to tell the definition of a Pandit, so that no Brahmin brother takes offence. That is why, I have told it.
Sudama ji had taken birth in a Brahmin family. He was extremely poor. Many times, his children used to go to bed hungry. Sudama ji’s wife knew that Dwarika’s King Shri Krishna was a good friend of Sudama ji. His wife persuaded him many times that – “Please ask for some money from your King Friend Krishna.”Sudama ji used to say that – “It does not befit a Pandit to beg. Understanding the law of God, one to has to lead one’s life according to it.” Garibdas ji has also stated that: -
Garib, nat, perna kaanjar saansi, maangat hain bhathiyaare |
Jinki bhakti mein lau laagi, vo moti det udhaare ||
Garib, jo maangae so bhaduva kahiye, dar-dar firae agyaani |
Jogi jog sampurna jaka, maang na peevae paani ||
But on repeated requests of his wife, Brahmin Sudama ji went to his friend Shri Krishna ji. Shri Krishna ji offered special hospitality to him. Sudama had taken a handful of rice along with him that Shri Krishna ji ate with relish. Shri Krishna ji even washed Sudama ji’s feet, and when he asked about his wellbeing, Pandit Sudama said, “O God! I do not need anything. I am sustaining myself well by your grace.” After staying with Shri Krishna ji for a week, Sudama ji departed for his home. He did not even ask once for some money. He knew that: -
Kabir, bin maange moti miley, maangey miley na bheekh |
Maangan se marna bhalaa, yeh Satguru ki seekh ||
Shri Krishna ji was a king. Perceiving the state of his friend, he ordered Vishwakarma and within a week got a palace built for Sudama ji and also gave him a lot of wealth. Pandit Sudama stood by his righteousness and as a result of which, he gained all this. This is called a Pandit. One who begs is called a pimp. This is the definition of a Pandit.