Collaborate with us to invoke and fully manifest Srila Prabhupada's Vani-presence.
740402 - Lecture BG 04.13 - Bombay
Pradyumna: (leads chanting of verse, etc.) (Prabhupāda and devotees repeat)
- cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ
- tasya kartāram api māṁ
- viddhy akartāram avyayam
- (BG 4.13)
Translation: "According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me. And although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the non-doer, being unchangeable."
- cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ
- tasya kartāram api māṁ
- viddhy akartāram avyayam
- (BG 4.13)
So beginning of human civilization is this varṇāśrama-dharma. The Vedic system is varṇāśrama-dharma. The people known as Hindus in the world, the "Hindu" is a term given by the Muhammadans, from "Indus." Indus River is there. Now it is in Pakistan. So people beyond the Indus River, the Muhammadans in Arabia and other countries, they pronounce "h"..., "s" as "h". Instead of "Sindhu," they used to pronounce it as "Hindu." So people living..., crossing the river Indus or Hindus, they were called "Hindus." Otherwise, this "Hindu" term is not seen in any Vedic literature. The real meaning is the people who observe the varṇāśrama-dharma, four varṇas and four āśramas. Four varṇa means brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. And below the śūdras, they are called caṇḍālas, pañcama, fifth grade, less than the śūdras. That natural division is there everywhere.
Brāhmaṇa means the most intellectuals, most intelligent person. Intelligent means one who knows, who has got sufficient knowledge. So brāhmaṇa means he has got sufficient knowledge, even up to the understanding of the Absolute Truth. Brahma jānātīti brāhmaṇaḥ. So that is first-class men, brāhmaṇa. So intellectuals or very intelligent class of men, these are everywhere, all over the world. You may call them brāhmaṇa or not, but a class of men very intelligent, that is available in every part of the world. So brāhmaṇa means the intelligent class of men, and kṣatriya means they are less than the brāhmaṇas, and vaiśyas means less than the kṣatriyas, and śūdras, less than all of them. It is a question of intelligence.
So cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭam (BG 4.13). Kṛṣṇa says, "These four varṇas are created by Me." So anything created by God, that is not monopoly for any class of men or for any country. Just like the sun is created by God. The sun is the thing which is enjoyed by all parts of the world. But there are countries, Western countries, where sun is not visible, covered by the cloud. Any country, any part of the world which is covered by cloud and the sun is not visible, according to śāstra, such country is condemned. Because, although the sunshine is there, but certain condition, they cannot enjoy the sunshine. Therefore from the Western countries, when people come to this country, especially in India, when they see from the Arabian Sea bright sunshine, they very much become astonished, "How nice sunshine is here." Sunshine is the property for everyone, but according to intelligence or according to fortune, they enjoy it.
So brahminical culture also, similarly, it is just like sunshine. It is meant for everyone. But the people must be intelligent enough to take it. Unfortunately, this system, although India was observing very rigidly, now it is slackened, or practically nil. We have lost our brahminical culture, the cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭam (BG 4.13). This is the..., due to the influence of Kali-yuga. Kalau śūdra-sambhavaḥ (Skanda Purāṇa). In the Kali-yuga practically everyone is a śūdra or less than śūdra. Less than śūdra is called caṇḍāla. Śūdras, sometimes śūdras also eat meat, but the less than śūdras, they have no discrimination. They eat even dogs. The dog-eaters, they are described in the śāstra, śva-paca. Śva means dog, and paca means pacanti, cook.
But Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so nice. It is said in the śāstra, aho bata śva-paco 'to garīyān yaj-jihvāgre nāma tubhyam (SB 3.33.7). Even a śva-paca, caṇḍāla, dog-eaters, if he learns from the spiritual master how to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, he is garīyān, he is glorified. In another place also, that śva-paca, caṇḍālo 'pi dvija-śreṣṭho hari-bhakti-parāyaṇaḥ: even caṇḍāla, he becomes greater than a brāhmaṇa, provided he becomes a devotee of the Lord, hari-bhakti-parāyaṇaḥ.
So ordinarily, when people are not on the standard of bhagavad-bhakti, devotees of the Lord, there is division of the society. There must be. Otherwise things cannot go on. In the śāstras we find that there is division even in my body: the brain division, the hand division or the arms division, the belly division and the leg division. The brain division is the brāhmaṇa, and the arm division is the kṣatriya, gives you protection. As soon as somebody is going to attack you, immediately, automatically you spread your hand. Kṣatriya. Kṣat means injury. In Hindi it is called kṣatra. So kṣat trāyate. A kṣatriya's business is one who can save you from being injured by others. That is kṣatriya. And brāhmaṇa means the intelligent class.
So as in the body the brain is also required, the hand is also required, the belly is also required, and the leg is also required, although the activities of the leg is not so important than the activity of the brain. Comparatively studying, the brain is most important part of the body—this head. If you cut the head of a man, then, in spite of possessing the arms, belly and legs, he is dead man. But if you cut the hand or the leg, he can live, and the brain can work. This is an example. Similarly, when the society is divided nicely in these four division—the brahminical culture, the kṣatriya culture, the vaiśya culture and the śūdra culture... Brahminical culture means people should learn how to speak truth, satya; śama, how to control the mind, how to control the senses. Satya, śama, damaḥ, titikṣā, how to become tolerant; ārjavam, how to become simple in life; how to become cleansed; how to acquire knowledge; and how to practically apply the knowledge in daily life. Jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyam. And āstikyam means full faith in the Vedic literature. That is called āstikya. Āstikya generally is called theism.
So if one has full faith and full knowledge in Vedas, he becomes theist. If he has no sufficient knowledge in the Vedas, he becomes atheist. So just like Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, veda nā māniyā bauddha haila nāstika. The Buddhists, they did not accept the authority of the Vedas. Therefore they are called nāstika, or atheist. That is the definition, that if you do not accept the authority of the Vedas, then you become atheist. So this is the brahminical... One of the brahminical qualification is how to live under the Vedic civilization. That is brāhmaṇa. Similarly, kṣatriya: tejaḥ, śauryam, very powerful, and kṣatriya will never go away from the battlefield. Kṣatriya's business is, in the battlefield, either to become victorious or lay down life. That is kṣatriya. He is not coming back from the battlefield without being victorious. No. That is kṣatriya's business. Not like... Kṣatriya, therefore, they are in charge of the government. Nowadays the kṣatriyas, they do not go to the government. Practically there is no kṣatriya. That is stated in the śāstras. Asaṁskṛtāḥ kriyā-hīnā mlecchā rājanya-rūpiṇaḥ (SB 12.1.40). Mleccha. They have no that kṣatriya qualification. Mleccha, unclean. Mleccha means unclean, without any Vedic culture. They are called mleccha. Anyone. It does not mean that any particular class of men is called mleccha. Anyone who is unclean and does not abide by the injunction of the Vedas, they are called mleccha, yavana. That is the śāstric term.
So Kṛṣṇa says for the upkeep of the society, there must be this cultural division of the society, namely varṇa and āśrama. But at the present moment people do not know what is the aim of life. They do not know.
- na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ
- durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ
- andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās
- te 'pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni-baddhāḥ
- (SB 7.5.31)
Uru-dāmni-baddhāḥ. Te 'pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni-baddhāḥ, andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ. People are... Because the Vedic culture is lost, the system of brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya is no longer existing, neither there is training. One politician, minister in Calcutta, he came to see me, I was talking. "Why there is chaotic condition?" And the simple reason is there is no... This cātur-varṇya system is lost. Practically without any brahminical culture, kṣatriya culture, people remain śūdras, the fourth-class men. Or fifth-class men. So unless there are first-class men, second-class men, at least third-class men, only fourth-class, fifth-class, sixth-class men, how they can conduct? That is not possible. Therefore it is enjoined that cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭam (BG 4.13). This division of the society must be observed.
Educational institution there should be, but the education... Just like in a university they have different departments: medical department, engineering department, or biological and so many, psychological, chemical, physical... They have so many departments. But there is no department brahminical, kṣatriyacal or vaiśya. Nothing. Because they do not know what is the aim of life. They are simply interested with the bodily comforts of life. That's all. Never mind what is our next life, what kind of life we are going to. But that is..., there is the..., this is a fact.
Therefore we have to study Bhagavad-gītā very seriously. The beginning of Bhagavad-gītā it is said by Kṛṣṇa, tathā dehāntara-prāptir. There is dehāntara. After leaving this body, I have to accept another body. Tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati (BG 2.13). Dhīraḥ means those who are sober, intelligent, they know that what is death. Death means giving up this body and accepting another, transmigration of the soul. That is death. So dhīras tatra na muhyati. A dhīraḥ who is learned, he knows, but others, adhīraḥ... There are two classes of men: dhīra and adhīra. Adhīraḥ means not controlled; animals. Just like animal cannot control. So human being is gradually coming to the platform of the animals, because they are being conducted on the bodily concept of life.
- yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke
- sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ
- yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij
- ...sa eva go-kharaḥ
- (SB 10.84.13)
Anyone who is thinking that "I am this body," yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape... Kuṇape means this bag, tri-dhātuke, of kapha, pitta, vāyu. Am I this body? A first-class intelligent man is composed of this body. What is the composition? The blood, bone, flesh, muscle, stool, urine. Does it mean a first-class man is composition of these ingredients? But foolish people are taking their bodily conception of life. No. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ. Dehino 'smin yathā dehe (BG 2.13). This is the first understanding of knowledge, but people do not understand that within the body there is soul. They are so fooled. Therefore they have been described in the śāstra, sa eva go-kharaḥ: "This class of men, they are no better than the cows and the asses."
So you cannot become happy in the assembly of some animals. Therefore people are so much disturbed at the present moment. There is no sober life, dhīra. If you want peaceful life in the society, then you must accept this program, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭam (BG 4.13). There must be brahminical class of men, kṣatriya class of men, vaiśya class of men. The vaiśya... Generally we understand vaiśya means the mercantile class of men. No. At the present moment the so-called vaiśyas are śūdras, less than śūdras. Why? Now the vaiśya's business is kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyaṁ vaiśya-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.44). The vaiśyas must be engaged in producing food grains, but they are not interested. They are interested for opening factories for bolts and nuts and tires, Goodwheel tires..., Goodyear tires. Now you eat tire and bolt, nut. No, you cannot eat. You have to eat rice, and rice is ten rupees per kilo. That's all. Because no vaiśya is producing food grain. This is the defect. They don't see the defect. They're simply howling, bawling, "Oh, it has increased price." Why not, increased price? There are millions of people in Bombay city. Who is producing food grain? But they are known as vaiśya. What kind of vaiśya? There is no brahminical culture; there is no brain. There is no kṣatriya who can give you protection. There are so many defects.
So if you want to remodel your life, the society, the human society, nationally or internationally—everything is spoken here international—then you have to take to the advice of Kṛṣṇa. This is the purpose of Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement: wholesale, thorough overhauling of the human society. We have not manufactured anything, concocted things. It is very scientific. If you actually want to fulfill the mission of your life, then you have to take to this advice of Bhagavad-gītā, very scientific and spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, without any defects. If I speak something, there may be so many defects, because I am imperfect. Every one of us, imperfect. We commit mistake. To err is human. There is no human being who can say boldly that "I never committed any mistake." That is not possible. You must commit mistake. And sometimes we are illusioned, pramāda. That we are all, because we are accepting this body as "I am," which I am not. That is called pramāda, bhrama pramāda. Then vipralipsā. I have got bhrama, I commit mistake, I am bewildered, I am illusioned, still I am taking the position of teacher. That is cheating. If you are defective, if you have got so many defects in your life, how you can become teacher? You are a cheater. Nobody's cheater..., teacher, because without being perfect, how you can become teacher? So this is going on.
And the last defect is that my senses are imperfect. I cannot see properly, I cannot smell properly, I cannot touch properly. So many defects. Just, for example, I am seeing the sun every day, but I am seeing just like a disk. But it is fourteen hundred thousand times bigger than the earth. So śāstra-cakṣusā. You must see through the śāstra, not with these eyes. Just like they say sometimes, "Can you show me God? Have you seen God?" Well, can you see God? You cannot see even the sun properly. How can you see God? Why you are proud of your eyes so much? If you cannot see even material object and you cannot see even the spirit soul... You are seeing daily your father, and when your father dies you cry, "Oh, my father is gone." Well, your father is lying here. How do you say your father is gone? "No, father is gone." Then how it is gone? "Now he is dead." How he is dead? That means you are seeing your father so many years, but you did not see who is your father. Now he cries, "Now my father is gone." Where he is gone? He is there, lying on the floor. So just see our fault, how much defective our eyes. I am seeing the body of the father and I am thinking, "He is my father." Sa eva go-kharaḥ (SB 10.84.13), ass and cow, the seeing of the ass and cow.
So in this way we are defective. How we can guide the people? How we can become teacher? How we can become leader? Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ, yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape (SB 7.5.31). Andha. I am andha, blind, and I try to lead others, andhas. Therefore there must be chaos. This will not help us. We must see through the eyes of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We must study Bhagavad-gītā perfectly well. How to read? Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam (BG 4.2), through the disciplic succession. As Kṛṣṇa said, you have to accept that teaching through the disciplic succession, not concocted meanings: "Oh, I am a very good scholar. I passed my D.H.C. or M.A.C. or M.A. I can comment on Bhagavad-gītā in my own way." That is rascaldom. That is not understanding of Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā means you must understand what Kṛṣṇa says. That is understanding. But generally it is done, "Kill Kṛṣṇa. There was no Kṛṣṇa. There was no battlefield. There was no Mahābhārata. I have my concoction about Kṛṣṇa." This kind of commentary and understanding of Bhagavad-gītā has spoiled the whole world.
Therefore in the Western countries so many svāmīs and yogīs went there and they misrepresented Bhagavad-gītā. Of course, everyone knows in Western country Bhagavad-gītā. Every institution, every gentleman, learned man, knows that there is a nice book, Bhagavad-gītā, but they read these faulty commentaries. They cannot understand. Now we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is, and they are now understanding what is real Bhagavad-gītā. Therefore they are now devotees. For the last two hundred years, so many svāmīs and yogīs went there and talked about Bhagavad-gītā. Not a single person became a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Now you will find thousands. Why? The Bhagavad-gītā is being accepted as it is. This is the secret of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
So our only request is that if you want happiness, if you want to prosper, make your life successful, you must read Bhagavad-gītā thoroughly, as it is, as Kṛṣṇa says. Don't try to misinterpret, "Kṛṣṇa means this," and "Pāṇḍava means this," and "This means this." Don't make this foolish rascaldom. Take as it is, Bhagavad-gītā. Kṛṣṇa says that mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya (BG 7.7), aham ādir hi devānām (BG 10.2). Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭam (BG 4.13), here it is said. Kṛṣṇa says, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭam; you cannot cancel this system of varṇāśrama. Then you will suffer. You cannot cancel. You must accept that there must be a class of men, real brāhmaṇa. Not that "I am born in a brāhmaṇa family and I am doing the work of a cobbler. Still I am a brāhmaṇa." No, not like that. Guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ. Kṛṣṇa never says that brāhmaṇa is born in a brāhmaṇa family. Here it is clearly said, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ. Guṇa means quality. As you purchase something that it is good quality, nice quality, similarly, you should accept a brāhmaṇa, a kṣatriya, a vaiśya, a śūdra by the quality and by the work.
Not only that. Just like you qualify yourself as a lawyer, but you do not practice. So who will call you lawyer? Nobody will call. But if you are qualified and if you are practicing, everyone says, "Okay, sahīb." He will go. People will go to consult with you. But if you do not practice, simply you have passed legal examination, nobody will come to you. So two things are required: the brahminical qualities and work like a brāhmaṇa. These two things... If you are born in a brāhmaṇa family and you are, "Oh, all blessing to you," oh, what power you have got to bless me? You are not in quality, nor in work. But people accept it, "Paṇḍitajī." What kind of paṇḍitajī? Paṇḍita... Paṇḍita means one who knows. Then the Bhagavad-gītā says, paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ.
- brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
- śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
- paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ
- (BG 5.18)
So this is the paṇḍita, definition of paṇḍita, not this rascal paṇḍita, that rascal paṇḍita. Paṇḍita means one who has attained the spiritual platform. That is called paṇḍita. Paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ.
Vidyā-vinaya, brāhmaṇe, a learned brāhmaṇa; gavi, a cow; hastini, an elephant; śuni, śuni means caṇḍāla, er, śuni means dog; and śva-pāke, those who are dog-eaters, caṇḍāla. Paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ. How is that? Paṇḍita has become mad that he is seeing the brāhmaṇa, learned brāhmaṇa, and a caṇḍāla and a cow, everything on the same platform? How? Because he is not seeing this body; he is seeing the soul. That is paṇḍita. Otherwise, how a paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ... He is not madman. Those who are advanced in education, learned, they see that everyone is living entity, part and parcel of God. He is under condition now. So let him be awakened. Uttiṣṭhata jāgrata prāpya varān nibodhata (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.3.14). This is paṇḍita's business, to educate. Just like the human being, one who hasn't got the spiritual knowledge, it is the business of the paṇḍita to educate him. Uttiṣṭhata jāgrata prāpya varān nibodhata: "You have got now this human body. In the animal body you could not understand what is spirit soul, what is God. Now you have got the opportunity." Uttiṣṭhata: "Now get up." Prāpya varān nibodhata. "You have got this opportunity to understand." Athāto brahma jijñāsā: "Now it is your opportunity to inquire about jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā." These are the instruction in the Vedic literature. Tattva-jijñāsā.
The human life is only meant for tattva-jijñāsā, to understand the Absolute Truth. That requires brahminical culture, not the dull brain of śūdras and caṇḍālas. They cannot understand. Therefore there must be an institution to educate a brāhmaṇa, to educate kṣatriya. That is required. Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭam. If you don't do it, if you simply produce śūdras, bolt-nut manufacturers, technicians, then how you can be happy, śūdras? This is the business of the śūdras. This is not business of brāhmaṇa. You keep śūdras, but there must be brāhmaṇas also. Just like leg is also required, the brain is also required. You cut the leg, simply keep the brain, that is also defective; and if you cut off the brain, then everything is finished. This is going on. There is no brāhmaṇa, there is no kṣatriya, there is no vaiśya—only śūdras. So how you can be happy?
Therefore it is very essential to understand this verse. Cātur-varṇyam, train a class of men. Everyone required. There is intelligent class of men, but their brain is being misused, and intelligent man is being taught technology, how to manufacture machine. This is śūdra's business. This is śūdra's business. Misuse. Brain misuse. There must be university where brain is properly utilized. Here is a child or here is a boy, he has good intelligence. Train him as brāhmaṇa. Less than that, train him as kṣatriya, train him as vaiśya. Everything is there in the Bhagavad-gītā. There is no difficulty. So if you actually want happiness, prosperity of the society, not only of this society, that—whole human society—they must accept this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, and then they will be happy.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: Jaya Prabhupāda. (end)