Is it true that Vaishnavas are equal to Brahmanas? Why?
Brahmana is the Status as per Varnashrama system of classification.
Whereas, ‘Vaishnava’ is the Status of being the servant of Vishnu.
In Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradhaya, anyone of any social status are allowed to attain the brahmana status by practice.
(REGULATIVE PRINCIPLES FOR FOUR VARNAS AND ASHRAMAS! READ HERE!)
Actually, a Vaishnava is also a brahmana and he is more than a brahmana.
Srila Prabhupada says about this in based on the views of Sri Rupa Gosvami:
“It is on the basis of his position that anyone can now become a Gaudiya Vaisnava, from any part of the world or any part of the universe. Anyone who is a pure Vaisnava is situated transcendentally, and therefore the highest qualification in the material world, namely to be in the mode of goodness, has already been achieved by such a person. Our Krsna consciousness movement in the Western world is based on the above-mentioned proposition of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada, our spiritual master. On his authority, we are claiming members from all sections of the Western countries. The so-called brahmanas claim that one who is not born into a brahmana family cannot receive the sacred thread and cannot become a high-grade Vaisnava. But we do not accept such a theory, because it is not supported by Rupa Gosvami nor by the strength of the various scriptures.
(Why many sadhus grow hairs in head, beard, moustache but Brahmanas and Vaishnavas shave? READ HERE!)
Srila Rupa Gosvami specifically mentions herein that every man has the birthright to accept devotional service and to become Krsna conscious.
He has given many evidences from many scriptures, and he has especially quoted one passage from Padma Purana, wherein the sage Vasistha tells King Dilipa, “My dear King, everyone has the right to execute devotional service, just as he has the right to take early bath in the month of Magha [December-January].”
There is more evidence in the Skanda Purana, in the Kasi-khanda portion, where it is said, “In the country known as Mayuradhvaja, the lower-caste people who are considered less than sudras are also initiated in the Vaisnava cult of devotional service. And when they are properly dressed, with tilaka on their bodies and beads in their hands and on their necks, they appear to be coming from Vaikuntha. In fact, they look so very beautiful that immediately they surpass the ordinary brahmanas.”
Thus a Vaisnava automatically becomes a brahmana.
(Who is a Brahmana? Will there be no brahmanas in kaliyuga as said by Bhagavatham? READ HERE!)
This idea is also supported by Sanatana Gosvami in his book Hari-bhakti-vilasa, which is the Vaisnava guide.
Therein he has clearly stated that any person who is properly initiated into the Vaisnava cult certainly becomes a brahmana, as much as the metal known as kamsa (bell metal) is turned into gold by the mixture of mercury.
A bona fide spiritual master, under the guidance of authorities, can turn anyone to the Vaisnava cult so that naturally he may come to the topmost position of a brahmana.”
Hope this explains that Vaishnavas are equal to Brahmanas. THE ACTUAL FACT IS THAT THE VAISHNAVAS ARE MORE THAN THE BRAHMANAS because they are beyond the caste and are closer to Vishnu/ Krishna.
(WHO IS CALLED AS VAISHNAVA? WHAT ARE THE CLASSES OF VAISHNAVAS? READ HERE!)