The Personality of Godhead is the original cause of all causes, and He is the life of the whole creation. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, is the root of the tree of the whole creation. That is the statement of Bhagavad-gītā. It is also said in Bhagavad-gītā that there is no person superior to Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself. He is the supreme enjoyer of all sacrifices and activities. But still, those who are utterly sinful do not surrender unto Him, even though He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and all other living beings are His transcendental, eternal servitors, part and parcel of Him.
Forgetfulness of this transcendental relationship between the living entity and the Personality of Godhead has created a false sense of everyone's being a miniature Kṛṣṇa, who tries to enjoy the world to his best capacity, while overlooking the transcendental service of the Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead, the complete whole and the origin of all. This kind of work is done under the spell of the modes of material nature, called māyā, or the illusory energy. Actually, the living entity has no capacity to lord it over the forces of nature. The living entity becomes subjugated by the modes of nature as soon as he tries to put himself into the position of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the supreme enjoyer—under a false egoistic sense, since he is constitutionally unable to do so, any more than the hands, legs, eyes, and so on can individually function as a complete, whole body. The living entity therefore undergoes many difficulties under the pretense of being an enjoyer. So to get rid of all these troubles and difficulties that we suffer due to our work, we have to adopt the process of karma-yoga.
In contrast with the ordinary living entity, those who are transcendentalists are really learned. Such transcendentalists do not perform any work in the manner of the common mundaner. They know that mundane activities done under the modes of nature are completely different from activities of transcendental service. The transcendentalist, knowing himself to be different from the material body and mind, always tries to cultivate transcendental activities. He knows that although temporarily within mundane existence, he is an eternal spirit, part and parcel of the Supreme Spirit. As such, he remains always separate from the mundaners, even though his material senses such as the hands, legs, eyes, and so on are engaged in temporary material activities. When engaged in the transcendental service of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, however, such activities make the doer free from the bondage of work. The Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, says to Arjuna, "O Arjuna! Therefore give up the spirit of enjoying all your worldly work, and through this consciousness become a transcendentalist. You may adopt your circumstantial occupation of warfare, which is a duty for you. And whoever performs his every activity with transcendental consciousness—according to My direction, without any grudge toward Me—he also becomes free from the bondage of work."
The process of bodily self-consciousness—the misunderstanding that I am this material body and mind and, for that matter, that I am part and parcel of this material world and that everything in this material world is thus an object for my enjoyment—does not allow me to become a transcendentalist or a really learned fellow. Up to this point, we have already discussed this transcendental knowledge somewhat. And on the basis of this preliminary discussion, the Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, advises us to become spiritually inclined, to become transcendentalists. Then only can we understand that we are nothing whatsoever of this material world, that we are eternal, spiritual living entities. By such spiritual realization, disintegration of our material affinity naturally begins, and the more we become spiritually developed, the less we are affected by the happiness or distress that arise out of sense perception in contact with material association. The false ego created by material contact is then gradually vanquished, and this dismantling of false egoism causes liberation from all material designations and renewed awareness of our relationship with the Absolute Truth. This is called liberation in life.
Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, is the Absolute Truth. This is corroborated in all authentic scriptures. Our spiritual life begins to develop as soon as our relationship with Śrī Kṛṣṇa is reawakened. Śrī Kṛṣṇa is compared to the sun. The darkness of nescience disappears as soon as our relationship with Śrī Kṛṣṇa is established. With the appearance of Śrī Kṛṣṇa within our heart, we become cleansed of the impurities of material contact, much as the morning appears new and fresh with the appearance of the sun. This is not a concoction of childish imagination but a factual experience of spiritual realization. One who has sincerely followed the footsteps of Śrī Kṛṣṇa or His bona fide servants has also realized this simple truth.
But one who envies Śrī Kṛṣṇa and poses himself as a competitor of Śrī Kṛṣṇa—one with such a foolhardy and perverted mentality does not accept this statement of fact. Thus, without understanding the primacy of karma-yoga, the foolish mundaners indulge in unrestricted material activities resulting in bondage; their very work keeps them in the material existence of births and deaths perpetually. Such foolish mundaners actually envy Śrī Kṛṣṇa and deride Him as one who is like other mundaners. The truth about Śrī Kṛṣṇa does not easily enter into the perverted brain of such mundaners infected with the empiric approach to philosophy. But a devoted person faithfully understands just what is actually stated in the pages of Bhagavad-gītā and does not resort to imagination, or the empiric philosophical approach, generally called "spiritual interpretation." Only such a devoted person can accept the logic of fully surrendering unto Kṛṣṇa and can thus adopt the process of karma-yoga to escape the dangerous bondage of work.
There is nothing in the codes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa to stipulate that these devoted persons will make their appearance within the boundaries of a particular caste, creed, color, or country. These devoted persons can and do appear everywhere, without any restriction of caste, creed, color, or country. So everyone, whatever and whoever he may be, is eligible to be a devotee of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. To confirm this fact, in Bhagavad-gītā the Personality of Godhead says the following words: "O son of Pṛthā, even those who are faithless and are of lower birth—including fallen women or professional prostitutes, ignorant manual laborers, and the merchant class—all shall attain perfection and reach the Kingdom of God, if they actually take shelter of the devotional service of the Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa." In other words, the unscrupulous caste system now dominant in the society of the asuras or the faithless cannot be any barrier to approaching Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Absolute Personality of Godhead.
Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself has enumerated the basic principles of a caste system that is real and universal. The four social orders (intellectual, administrative, mercantile, and laborer) are set by Him according to the qualities these persons have acquired through their actions under the modes of nature. So although in one sense He is the maker of this caste system all over the world, still, in another sense, He is to be understood as not its maker. That is, He is not the maker of a tyrannical and unnatural caste system in which the faithless dictate one's position according to one's birth. Rather, He is the maker of a caste system that is applicable universally, is voluntary and natural, and is based on one's qualities and abilities.