Uncorrupted by any kind of discrepancy or mistake, the Vedas out as the most ancient religious texts in the world. Every human being has a right to follow their edicts, along with the instructions contained in other books of Vedic literature. The Vedic literature consists of the śruti (the Vedas and Upaniṣads) and the smṛti (the Vedānta-sūtra, the Puraṇas, Itihāsas like the Mahābhārata and Rāmāyaṇa, the Pañcarātras, and finally the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam). The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the natural commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra and offers solid education on how to conduct life perfectly. In recent ages the smṛti texts have become prominent and influenced human thought and action. All these scriptures fully support the varṇāśrama system of four social and four religious orders. But what is today being labeled varṇāśrama is an atheistic concept totally unsupported by the scriptures. Real varṇāśrama is based not on birth but on people's qualities and activities. One cannot reach the goal of the scriptures by practicing today's demoniac caste system. Only the introduction of daivī-varṇāśrama, the transcendental varṇāśrama system, will serve the purpose of the scriptures. This will move humanity toward liberation.
It is not at all difficult to compromise the real purport of the magnificent scriptural edicts by selfish motivations and a cheating mentality. When this happens, people aspire for show-bottle religiosity, material gain, sense enjoyment, and impersonal liberation. On the other hand, sincere observance of the scriptural injunctions leads to all-round success in life.
It is not enough to take only the first steps toward liberation. We must strive to reach the final goal within this very life-time. To achieve this end, it is imperative that we approach a spiritual master well-versed in the Vedas and take instruction from him on how to follow the scriptural rules. These rules are meant for the conditioned souls, not the liberated souls who are fully surrendered to the Lord's lotus feet; they have transcended the rules and regulations of the scriptures and can be called paramahaṁsas—self-realized pure devotees.