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This caste system is not only in India. In everywhere the caste system is there. And enviousness between one community to another, that is also existing everywhere. This is human nature

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"this caste system is not only in India. In everywhere the caste system is there. And enviousness between one community to another, that is also existing everywhere. This is human nature"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

In many places I was asked that "Why in India there is caste system?" So this caste system is not only in India. In everywhere the caste system is there. And enviousness between one community to another, that is also existing everywhere. This is human nature.
Lecture on BG 13.6-7 -- Montreal, October 25, 1968:

So Vedic aphorism says that ahaṁ brahmāsmi. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi. So ahaṁ brahmāsmi sometimes mistakenly is understood that "I am the Supreme God." Ahaṁ brahmāsmi means "I am Brahman." Brahman means spirit. "I am spirit soul." This conception, this identification, is right. This is the right identification. As soon as I think that "I am elephant" or "I am ant," that is not my identification. That is my misidentification. My real identification is that "I am neither ant nor elephant, but I am spirit soul." But sometimes by identifying myself with the spirit soul, sometimes I falsely claim that "I am the supreme soul." Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu says that tṛṇād api sunīcena, "You are soul, you are spirit soul, but you are smaller than the smallest straw in the street." So actually, there is no miscalculation. The conclusion is there. So adambhitvam dharmikatva-khyāti-phalaka-dharmācaraṇa. Khyāti. We should not be very much anxious about being famous. Not, "Oh, there is a great man who knows everything about spirit and who is perfect." No. We should be very sincere to understand things as they are. We should not falsely claim which I am not.

The most, I mean to say, prideful claim is that "I am God." This is strictly forbidden by our sampradāya, that "Don't claim." Caitanya Mahāprabhu especially, when He was talking with one of His devotees, Rāmānanda Rāya... The subject matter was how to get perfection. Rāmānanda Rāya was suggesting... Of course, from Vedic literature, perfection, the path of perfection, is to follow the institution of four varṇas and four āśramas. That is a fact. Four varṇas and four āśramas. What are the four varṇas and four āśramas? There are four division of social life and four divisions of spiritual life. The four divisions of social life is the intelligent class of men, the martial class of men, and the mercantile class of men, and the laborer class of men. You can divide any social system in any country, in any place, there are these four classes of men. One class of men, they are very intelligent. They are scientists, they are philosophers, they are great writers, poets, thinkers. Naturally, by nature, they are inclined to these kinds of work. They are called intelligent class. Similarly, there is a class of men who are interested to take part in politics, in diplomacy, or to stand for election as president or as governor. In every country, in every place. They are called administrator class, or martial-spirited. They are prepared to fight also. So there is a class. And the third class is the mercantile class. They want to do some business, trade, industry, and make some profit. And the laborer class, they are neither intelligent, nor, I mean to say, they want to take part in politics, nor they are able to do independent business. Under the circumstances, they are to give their labor and work under somebody and get some remuneration. So these classes are in every country. You call it by different names. In India, of course, these classes are named as the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas, and the śūdras. But in many places I was asked that "Why in India there is caste system?" So this caste system is not only in India. In everywhere the caste system is there. And enviousness between one community to another, that is also existing everywhere. This is human nature.

So this is the classification of a society. And there is another classification which is called spiritual developmental classification. The brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, and sannyāsī. Brahmacārī means student life, student life to acquire knowledge. And gṛhastha life is householder. After acquiring knowledge, one may get himself married with a suitable girl and live peacefully in the society—for spiritual cultivation. Everything for spiritual cultivation. And then vānaprastha, retired life; then sannyāsa, renounced order of life. So Rāmānanda Rāya explained these four principles, four divisions of social order and spiritual development, but Caitanya Mahāprabhu immediately said, "Oh, this is not for Me." Eho bāhya āge kaha āra. "This is external. If you know something better than this, then you explain."

Why Caitanya Mahāprabhu denied these social orders? Because He was to give immediately benefit to the fallen souls of this age. So He denied this system, not that He decried this system, but He knew that this system cannot be introduced strictly at the present moment in this age. So in this way, gradually, he presented jñāna-miśra-bhakti, devotional service with knowledge, renouncement of this material connection. In every step, Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "Oh, this is not suitable. This is not suitable." Then at last... Not at last, in the middle, Rāmānanda Rāya suggested that jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva: "One should give up the false knowledge, false knowledge that 'I am God. I am God.' " This is false knowledge. So when this was recommended by Rāmānanda Rāya to Caitanya, that "One should give up this false knowledge..." Jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva. "One should be very meek and humble," namanta eva jīvanti, "and in that way if he lives," san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām, "and tries to receive knowledge from really self-realized persons..." The motto of life. He is describing the motto of life, that "One should not be falsely proud, one should be very much meek and humble, and try to receive knowledge from self-realized persons. If one continues, follows these principles, then one day he will find that God, who is ajita, who cannot be conquered by anyone, who cannot be known by anyone, God realization..."

Because God realization is not an ordinary job. It is very difficult. Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu (BG 7.3). In the Bhagavad-gītā you'll find that "Out of many, many thousands of men, one may be interested how to make perfect this human form of life. And out of many, many thousands of perfect persons, one may know actually what is God, what is Kṛṣṇa." So God is unconquerable, cannot be conquered, or He cannot be understood by your puffed-up mentality that "I can know Him." No. God can be known by the meek and humble who is submissive and who takes the shelter of a God-realized person and tries to hear from him. Then Rāmānanda Rāya... Not Rāmānanda Rāya, it is a quotation from Bhāgavata. Then the result is, although God is unapproachable by our limited knowledge, He becomes jita. Jita means He becomes conquered—simply by this position.