Kṛṣṇa says, manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu (BG 7.3). All human beings are not of the same standard. There are different standards. But Kṛṣṇa is so kind, Kṛṣṇa is so powerful, that anyone out of this human society can be claimed to become a Vaiṣṇava. Anyone. That is the statement of Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Kirāta-huṇāndhra-pulinda-pulkaśā ābhīra-śumbhā yavanāḥ khasādayaḥ, ye 'nye ca pāpāḥ (SB 2.4.18).
These names are mentioned, but there are many others whose names are not mentioned. Ye 'nye ca pāpāḥ. They are called pāpāḥ. Pāpa means very sinful life. Yad-apāśrayāśrayāḥ. If such persons, such lower-grade persons even, they take shelter of a pure devotee, then they become purified. Śudhyanti, they become purified. How? Prabhaviṣṇave namaḥ. That is the special prerogative power of Lord Viṣṇu. He can deliver anyone, in any condition of life. Prabhaviṣṇave. That is extra, extraordinary, inconceivable power.
According to smārta-vidhi, unless one changes his body, he cannot be purified. That impression is going on in India, that unless one is born in Hindu family or born in brāhmin family, kṣatriya, he cannot be accepted as brāhmin, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, like that. But according to Vedic literature, that is not sanctioned. It is . . .
To become a son of brāhmin and to have the privilege of becoming a brāhmin, certainly there is. Just like a boy born in a medical man's family, so he has got a chance, better chance, to become a medical man. Similarly, a boy born in a brāhmin family, he has got better chance to become a brāhmin. Or a boy born in kṣatriya family or vaiśya family, he has got better chance. But that does not mean simply by taking birth in a brāhmin family or kṣatriya family, one becomes kṣatriya or brāhmin. No. He has to acquire the qualities.
That is stated in Bhagavad-gītā: cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). And the qualification of brāhmaṇa is also stated there: satyaṁ śamaḥ damaḥ śaucaṁ titikṣā ārjavam āstikyam, jñānaṁ vijñānaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.42). These are the characteristics of brāhmin. Similarly, there are characteristics of kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra.
So in the Bhagavad-gītā it is not stated . . . at least . . . we are discussing Bhagavad-gītā. In the Bhagavad-gītā at least, there is no such statement that a man becomes brāhmin simply being born in a brāhmin family or a man becomes śūdra simply by becoming born in a śūdra family. Guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ. This is also confirmed in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.