By nature's way or by God's arrangement, there are four classes of men. The most intelligent class of men is called the brāhmaṇas. Intelligent means one who knows up to the Supreme Lord. And then next intelligent class: the politicians, administrators. Next intelligent class: the mercantile class, traders. And the fourth-class man means worker. They have no intelligence, but they depend on others for their livelihood. So there are first-class, second-class, third-class, fourth-class men everywhere, any part of the world.
So the brāhmaṇas' duty is to give education, intelligence, up to the understanding of the Supreme Absolute Truth, Brahman. The Absolute Truth is called Brahman. So one who knows Brahman, or the Absolute Truth . . . Knowledge means the end of knowledge should be up to the understanding of the Absolute Truth, the original source of everything. Absolute, not relative. Relative truth, everyone knows, but when one comes to the point of understanding the Absolute Truth, the original source of everything . . . There must be original source of everything. That is Brahman.
Those who have read the Vedānta philosophy . . . The Vedānta philosophy describes Brahman. The first aphorism in the Vedānta philosophy is called athāto brahma jijñāsā. The Vedānta philosophy says that this human form of life is meant for understanding the Absolute Truth. One must be . . . Human being must be interested to know the Absolute Truth. That is perfection of human life. Because in the cats' and dogs' life . . . Unfortunately, at the present moment, people do not know what is the distinction between cats and dogs and a human being. That is another defect of the modern education.
The distinction between cats and dogs . . . They are also living beings. Of course, in some quarter they say that the cats and dogs and lower animals, they have no soul. No. That is not the fact. Everyone has got soul, but the cats and dogs and animals, they are not advanced in consciousness. As soon as there is soul, there must be consciousness. These things are described in the Bhagavad-gītā, and you can perceive also. I am existing in this body; you are existing in your body—how it is known? By the consciousness. If I pinch your body, you feel pain. You pinch my body, I feel pain. Similarly, cats and dogs, they also feel pain or pleasure. So that is the proof of existence of the soul even in cats and dogs and human beings. The only difference is in the human form of life the consciousness is developed.
So developed consciousness means to understand the Absolute Truth. That is the special function of the human being. Therefore the Vedānta-sūtra says, "Now this human form of life is meant for understanding the Absolute Truth, what is the original cause of everything." Because there must be some cause. That is education. Just like your appearance is caused by your father; your father's appearance is caused by his father. Similarly you go on researching, his father, his father, his father . . . Then ultimately you will come to the original father, whom you call God, Kṛṣṇa, or whatever you call. There must be some original father. So the Vedānta-sūtra explains when the question is that what is the original cause of everything . . . What is Brahman? What is the Absolute Truth? Athāto brahma jijñāsā: "Now this human form of life is meant for inquiring about the Absolute Truth." What is that Absolute Truth? The next answer is, janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1), means "The Absolute Truth is that from whom everything emanates," or "The Absolute Truth is the original cause of all causes." This is the . . . So this knowledge, anyone who has knowledge, not only this knowledge, absolute knowledge as well as relative knowledge, such class of men is called the brāhmaṇas, the most intelligent class.
The next class is called the kṣatriya. Just like when somebody comes to attack you, first of all your brain gives you dictation, "Now this man is coming to attack you. You spread your hand." So immediately my hand spreads and I want to protect myself. So these are called kṣatriya class, or the armies, from "arm." So next-intelligent class is the government class, administrator class. Then next-intelligent class is third class. First class, brāhmaṇas, second class, the kṣatriyas, and the third class, the vaiśyas, who maintain the society for economic condition, development of economic condition, because we require things to consume to maintain this body. So these are called mercantile class, and the ordinary man who is neither brāhmaṇa nor kṣatriya nor vaiśya, he is called śūdra.
So this is natural, natural division of the society. Unless human being comes to the natural division . . . There is, but sometimes it happens that a śūdra is taking the place of the brāhmaṇa or the brāhmaṇa is obliged to act as a śūdra. Then there is anomaly. There is some chaos in the society. So at the present moment the education department does not distinguish who is a brāhmaṇa, who is a kṣatriya, who is a vaiśya or a śūdra. And because the things have topsy-turvied, there is chaos all over the world, not only here or there, because the division of labor or the division of working has been overlapped.
Now this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is meant for creating some brāhmaṇas, or the most intelligent class of men. There is no hindrance. Anyone can become brāhmaṇa. Just like in education anyone can become engineer, anyone can become medical practitioner or anyone can become lawyer if he takes such education from the very beginning, similarly, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, there are natural division of the society. But at the present moment there is scarcity of brāhmaṇa. Brāhmaṇa means who has got very nice intellectual brain, who can understand the Absolute Truth. He is called brāhmaṇa. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to create some good brains so that he can understand, one can understand what is the Absolute Truth. This is the movement.