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Because he (sudra) cannot even live without having a master. He must have a master to provide him. But the Vedic culture is that brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, they will not accept any service

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"Because he cannot even live without having a master. He must have a master to provide him. But the Vedic culture is that brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, they will not accept any service"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Because he cannot even live without having a master. He must have a master to provide him. But the Vedic culture is that brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, they will not accept any service. No. They will die of starvation. Especially brāhmaṇa. That is enjoined in the śāstras, that a brāhmaṇa, if he is in bad position some way or other, economically, he may accept the position of a kṣatriya or a vaiśya, but he should not accept the position of a śūdra. That is doggish. This is so injunction.
Lecture on BG 1.20 -- London, July 17, 1973:

Nowadays they are educated, but they must have a good service. That means he's a śūdra. Without finding a master, his education has no value. So therefore in the śāstra it is said, kalau śūdrā sambhavāḥ. Kalau, "In this age, Kali-yuga, everyone is śūdra." Because he cannot even live without having a master. He must have a master to provide him. But the Vedic culture is that brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, they will not accept any service. No. They will die of starvation. Especially brāhmaṇa. That is enjoined in the śāstras, that a brāhmaṇa, if he is in bad position some way or other, economically, he may accept the position of a kṣatriya or a vaiśya, but he should not accept the position of a śūdra. That is doggish. This is so injunction.

Therefore formerly a brāhmaṇa, when he accepts a service from anywhere, he was rejected from the brāhmaṇa society. You know, Sanātana Gosvāmī. Sanātana Gosvāmī, Rūpa Gosvāmī, they belonged to a very high-class brāhmaṇa, Sarasvata Brāhmaṇa, very rich men. But both the brothers accepted service in Mohammedan government as ministers, and they were immediately rejected from the brāhmaṇa society. It is not very long ago, say, about five hundred years ago. The brāhmaṇa society was so strong. As soon as they will accept service. You know, the Tagore family of Calcutta, Rabindranatha Tagore, they are also brāhmaṇas. But we know, in our childhood, they were also excommunicated from the brāhmaṇa family because they also accepted service.

So these are Vedic principles. If we follow... The brāhmaṇa will not accept anyone's service. That is against. Similarly, kṣatriya. Kṣatriya... Why this fight between Arjuna? They made them bereft of the kingdom. So they appealed to Duryodhana, that "My dear Duryodhana, you are my brother, you have taken all our properties. So we are kṣatriya. We are not going to become vaiśya or brāhmaṇa. We must live. Give us at least five villages, five brothers. We shall be satisfied. There is no question of war." "No, sir, not even the land which can hold the point of needle. I cannot spare." There is no way. Therefore there was fight. There was fight.

So these are the some of the glorious points of this fight. But he depended on Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna. Therefore he was successful, victorious. You do, act as kṣatriya. Not that as kṣatriya he should become a brāhmaṇa beggar, no. A kṣatriya cannot be beggar, neither a brāhmaṇa cannot be vaiśya. This is real caste system. But you work as a cobbler, and at the same time you claim to become a brāhmaṇa, this is not allowed. Formerly the king used to see whether a brāhmaṇa is acting like a brāhmaṇa. Otherwise he will be stopped. Then he will be designated as he is working. This was the duty of the king to see that everyone is employed according to his profession. It was the duty of the king to see. Everyone must be employed. A brāhmaṇa must be working like a brāhmaṇa. A kṣatriya must be working like a kṣatriya. A vaiśya must be working as a... Otherwise he cannot say.