Prabhupāda: Vyāsadeva? Vyāsadeva was a gṛhastha. He was a householder man. He was brāhmaṇa.
Himavatī: But he had no luxuries.
Prabhupāda: No. Those who will depend on the charities and alms of the society, they are not allowed to make any luxury at the cost of others. They can simply ask help for the bare necessities of life.
Himavatī: And that's permitted to the gṛhasthas?
Prabhupāda: No. Gṛhastha, when a brāhmaṇa is gṛhastha, he shall be a teacher. Paṭhana-pāṭhana yajana-yājana dāna-pratigraha. Generally, the brāhmaṇas, those who are gṛhasthas... There are four varṇas, or division of castes. The brāhmaṇas, they are generally teachers, priests, and writers, philosophers. So society requires all these things, so they take up this charge. And the kṣatriyas, they are administrators, so they rule over the country. They exact taxes from the citizens. They live on the tax, and the brāhmaṇas, on the contribution of the public. Just like we are teaching, we are living on the contribution of the public. The public knows that there is an important institution. They are giving good lessons. So public contributes. So we can accept contribution. But a king is not allowed to take contribution. Because he is administrator, he can tax, so his source of income is tax. And the brāhmaṇas' source of income is contribution because they are rendering transcendental service. Similarly, the vaiśyas or the mercantile class, their means of living-trade, cow protection, and agriculture. And those who are śūdras, laborer class, they will serve these three higher classes, brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, and the vaiśyas, because they have no independent means. They cannot do anything, neither they are educated, nor they are king, princely order, nor they have money to do business. Therefore they have to serve.
Paricaryātmakaṁ karma śūdra-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.44). Śūdra means they earn their livelihood by serving others. And in the Kali-yuga, in this age, ninety-nine percent or at least ninety percent, they live by serving others. Therefore it is said, kalau śūdra-sambhavaḥ: "In the Kali, in this age, almost everyone is śūdra." There is no brāhmaṇa, no kṣatriya, no vaiśya. Of course, there are vaiśyas. Factually, at the present moment the population are the vaiśyas and the śūdras. And there is fight, that your American nation, they are vaiśyas, and the Russians, they are śūdras. So there is always fight between the vaiśyas and śūdras. Actually, there is no brāhmaṇa or kṣatriyas. They are extinct. And because the brāhmaṇas and kṣatriyas are extinct, therefore social orders are in chaos. There is no brain; there is no good administration. That's all. Without kṣatriya, there cannot be any good administration, and without brāhmaṇa, there is no good brain. Therefore we pray to Kṛṣṇa, namo brahmaṇya-devāya go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca, kṛṣṇāya govindāya...
- namo brahmaṇya-devāya
- go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca
- jagad-dhitāya kṛṣṇāya
- govindāya namo namaḥ
So this is very important. We are worshiping, offering our respect to Kṛṣṇa, as brahmaṇya-deva. Brahmaṇya-deva means "the Lord who is worshiped by the brāhmaṇas." So Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not for the śūdras. Kṛṣṇa conscious... One who is elevated to the standard of becoming brāhmaṇa, they can become Kṛṣṇa conscious. But by the mercy of Lord Caitanya, every one comes to the stage of brahminical standard. Only to observe these four principles and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, you are at once more than brāhmaṇa, Vaiṣṇava. Vaiṣṇava position is more than brāhmaṇa. So in this age the pāñcarātriki-vidhi is introduced because it is very difficult to find out whether a person is actually son of brāhmaṇa or higher caste. It is to be accepted that everyone is śūdra. It doesn't matter whether and what he is. But he should be given chance to become the Vaiṣṇava, whose position is more than a brāhmaṇa. That is the highest gift of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He is claiming everyone to the highest stage of Vaiṣṇava. So your question is answered?