According to Vedic system, there are four classes of men in the society. Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). Human society must be divided into four classes of men. Just like in our body, there are four different departments: the brain department, the hand department, the belly department, and the leg department. You require all these. If the body is to be maintained, then you must maintain properly your head, your arms, your belly, and leg. The cooperation. You have heard many times the caste system of India: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. This is not artificial. It is natural. In any society you go, not only in India, in any other country, these four classes of men are there. Intelligent class of men, administrator class of men, productive class of men, and laborer class of men. You call it by different names, but there must be such division. As I told you, there are divisions in my own body—the brain department, the arms department, the belly department, and the leg department. So all the kings, they belong to the arms department for protection of the people. So formerly, the kṣatriyas..., kṣatriya means one who gives protection to the citizens from being harmed by other enemies. That is called kṣatriya.
So our point is that Kṛṣṇa informs Arjuna that "Why you are deviating from your duty? Do you think that your brother or your uncle or your grandfather on the other side, they will be dead after fighting? No. That is not the fact." The point is that Kṛṣṇa wanted to teach Arjuna that this body is different from the person. Just like every one of us, we are different from the shirt and coat. Similarly, we living entities, soul, is different from the gross body and the subtle body. This is the philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā. People do not understand it. Generally, people understand that he is this body. That is condemned in the śāstras.
- yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke
- sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ
- yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij
- janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ
- (SB 10.84.13)
Go means cow, and khara means ass. Anyone who is living on the bodily concept of life, yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke... The bodily concept of life is meant for the animals. The dog does not know that he's not this body, he's pure soul. But a man, if he's educated, he can understand that he's not this body, he is different from this body. How he can understand that we are different from this body? That is also a very simplified method. Here, you'll find in the Bhagavad-gītā, it is said,
- dehino 'smin yathā dehe
- kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
- tathā dehāntara-prāptir
- dhīras tatra na muhyati
- (BG 2.13)
Dehinaḥ... Asmin dehe, in this body, as there is soul, dehī... Dehī means the possessor of this body. I am not this body. If you ask me, "What..." Just like sometimes we ask the child, "What is this?" He will say, "It is my head." Similarly, if you ask me also, anyone, "What is this?" Anyone will say, "It is my head." Nobody will say, "I head." So if you scrutinizingly analyze all parts of the body, you'll say, "It is my head, my hand, my finger, my leg," but where is "I"? "My" is spoken when there is "I." But we have no information of the "I." We have simply information of "my." That is called ignorance. So the whole world is under this impression of taking the body as the self. Another example we can give you. Just like some of your relatives. Suppose my father has died. Now I am crying, "Oh, my father is gone. My father is gone." But if somebody says, "Why do you say your father is gone? He is lying here. Why you are crying?" "No, no, no, that is his body. That is his body. My father is gone." Therefore in our present calculation I am seeing your body, you are seeing my body, nobody is seeing the actual person. After death, he comes to sense: "Oh, it is not my father; it is my father's body." You see? So we become intelligent after death. And while we are living, we are in ignorance. This is the modern civilization. While living... Just like people have insurance policy to get some money. So that money is received after death, not during life. Sometimes during life also. So my point is that so long we are living, we are in ignorance. We do not know "What is my father, what is my brother, what I am." But everyone is under the impression, "This body is my father, this body is my child, this body is my wife." This is called ignorance. If you study the whole world, during living time everyone will say that "I am Englishman," "I am Indian," "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim." But if you ask him, "Actually are you so?" That... Because this body is Hindu, Muslim, or Christian, because by accident the body is produced in a society of Hindu, Muslim, or the body is born in a particular country, therefore we say, "I am Indian, "I am European," "I am this," "I am that." But when the body is dead, at that time we say, "No, no, the person which was within the body, that is gone. It is a different thing."