In this regard, Lord Caitanya recited a verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam which was delivered by Nārada Muni to indicate the path of bhāgavata cultivation. Nārada Muni pointed out that the four divisions of human society, as well as the four orders of life, are born out of the gigantic form of the Lord. The brāhmaṇas are born from the mouth of the universal form of the Lord, the kṣatriyas are born out of the arms, the vaiśyas out of the waist, and the śūdras out of the legs. As such, they are qualified in the different modes of material nature within the form of the virāṭ-puruṣa. If a person is not engaged in the devotional service of the Lord, he falls from his position, regardless of whether he executes his prescribed occupational duty or not.
The brahmanas represent the Lord's mouth, the ksatriyas His arms, the vaisyas His abdomen (belly, waist, thighs), and the sudras are born of His legs
- 1 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 2 Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
- 3 Lectures
- 4 Conversations and Morning Walks
SB Canto 2
The brāhmaṇas represent His mouth, the kṣatriyas His arms, the vaiśyas His thighs, and the śūdras are born of His legs.
All living beings are stated to be the parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord, and how they are so is explained in this verse. The four divisions of human society, namely the intelligent class (the brāhmaṇas), the administrative class (the kṣatriyas), the mercantile class (the vaiśyas), and the laborer class (the śūdras), are all in different parts of the body of the Lord. As such, no one is different from the Lord. The mouth of the body and the legs of the body are nondifferent constitutionally, but the mouth or the head of the body is qualitatively more important than the legs. At the same time, the mouth, the legs, the arms and the thighs are all component parts of the body. These limbs of the body of the Lord are meant to serve the complete whole.
Indirectly it is said that the whole Vedic social construction of human society is so made that everyone acts as a part and parcel of the complete body of the Lord. The intelligent class of men, or the brāhmaṇas, are situated on the face of the Lord; the administrative class of men, the kṣatriyas, are situated on the arms of the Lord; the productive class of men, the vaiśyas, are situated on the belt of the Lord; and the laborer class of men, the śūdras, are situated on the legs of the Lord. Therefore the complete social construction is the body of the Lord, and all the parts of the body, namely the brāhmaṇas, the kṣatriyas, the vaiśyas and the śūdras, are meant to serve the Lord's whole body conjointly; otherwise the parts become unfit to be coordinated with the supreme consciousness of oneness. Universal consciousness is factually achieved by coordinated service of all concerned to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and that alone can insure total perfection.
SB Canto 3
As confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (4.13), the four orders of human society developed with the order of the body of the gigantic form. The bodily divisions are the mouth, arms, waist and legs. Those who are situated on the mouth are called brāhmaṇas, those who are situated on the arms are called kṣatriyas, those who are situated on the waist are called vaiśyas, and those who are situated on the legs are called śūdras. Everyone is situated in the body of the Supreme in His gigantic viśva-rūpa form. In terms of the four orders, therefore, no caste is to be considered degraded because of being situated on a particular part of the body. In our own bodies we do not show any actual difference in our treatment towards the hands or legs. Each and every part of the body is important, although the mouth is the most important of the bodily parts. If other parts are cut off from the body, a man can continue his life, but if the mouth is cut off, one cannot live. Therefore, this most important part of the body of the Lord is called the sitting place of the brāhmaṇas, who are inclined to the Vedic wisdom.
SB Canto 4
The tendency in this age of Kali to make a classless society and not observe the principles of varṇa and āśrama is a manifestation of an impossible dream. Destruction of the social and spiritual orders will not bring fulfillment of the idea of a classless society. One should strictly observe the principles of varṇa and āśrama for the satisfaction of the creator, for it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā by Lord Kṛṣṇa that the four orders of the social system—brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras—are His creation. They should act according to the regulative principles of this institution and satisfy the Lord, just as different parts of the body all engage in the service of the whole. The whole is the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His virāṭ-rūpa, or universal form. The brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras are respectively the mouth, arms, abdomen and legs of the universal form of the Lord. As long as they are engaged in the service of the complete whole, their position is secure, otherwise they fall down from their respective positions and become degraded.
Lord Śiva is called paśupati because he protects the living entities in their developed consciousness so that they may follow the Vedic system of varṇa and āśrama. The word paśu refers to the animal as well as to the human entity. It is stated here that Lord Śiva is always interested in protecting the animals and the animalistic living entities, who are not very advanced in the spiritual sense. It is also stated that the brāhmaṇas are produced from the mouth of the Supreme Lord. We should always remember that Lord Śiva is being addressed as the representative of the Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu. In the Vedic literature it is described that the brāhmaṇas are born from the mouth of the universal form of Viṣṇu, the kṣatriyas are born from His arms, the vaiśyas from His abdomen or waist, and the śūdras from His legs. In the formation of a body, the head is the principal factor. The brāhmaṇas are born from the mouth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in order to accept charity for worship of Viṣṇu and to spread Vedic knowledge. Lord Śiva is known as paśupati, the protector of the brāhmaṇas and other living entities. He protects them from the attacks of non-brāhmaṇas, or uncultured persons who are against the self-realization process.
SB Canto 8
The brāhmaṇas and Vedic knowledge come from the mouth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the kṣatriyas and bodily strength come from His arms, the vaiśyas and their expert knowledge in productivity and wealth come from His thighs, and the śūdras, who are outside of Vedic knowledge, come from His feet. May that Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is full in prowess, be pleased with us.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Teachings of Lord Caitanya
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
So the brāhmaṇa's business you can understand—the mouth. You have got the tongue. Brāhmaṇa's business is to eat and to chant Vedic mantras. Therefore to give eatables to the Supreme Lord, according to our Vedic principle, the brāhmaṇas are called and they are given foodstuff, that "You eat. By your eating, Kṛṣṇa will eat." But that has been misused now, but actually that is the meaning. In the Vedic literature they do not say that "For some pious activities you call some poor men." No. Brāhmaṇas. Brāhmaṇa-bhajana. Because the brāhmaṇa is supposed to be the mouth of God. Similarly, kṣatriya is supposed to be the arms of God, the vaiśyas, the waist of God, and the śūdras, the legs of God.
But God is Absolute. Therefore there is no distinction between mouth or the leg. If you offer flowers and tulasī on the lotus feet of God, Kṛṣṇa, and if you decorate the mouth of Kṛṣṇa, it is the same bhakti. Because there is no difference of the mouth and legs, provided the mouth is working as mouth and the leg is working as leg for satisfying the Supreme. Then there is no such distinction. As soon as Kṛṣṇa consciousness is absent, a so-called brāhmaṇa is puffed up. 'Oh, I am born in brāhmaṇa family. I am bigger than the śūdras." That is falldown. The real purpose is that either you be mouth or hand or waist or leg, the real purpose is to maintain the body very perfectly. That is real purpose.
Similarly, either you become brāhmaṇa or you become kṣatriya or you become śūdra or vaiśya, real purpose is how to satisfy Kṛṣṇa.
Those who are situated in this daiva-varṇāśrama, qualified brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra... And we should note also that this division of brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, and śūdra, is not that to make artificial competition and to become puffed-up with pride that "I am brāhmaṇa. You are śūdra." No. It is a cooperation. Just like you have got cooperative society, similarly, these four divisions of social orders are cooperative society. The brāhmaṇa is considered to be the mouth of the social body. The kṣatriya is considered to be the army—arm or army, strength of the social body. The vaiśyas are considered to be the productive element of the body. And the śūdras are considered to be the working class. But the intelligent class, the brāhmaṇas, and the administrative class, the kṣatriyas, and the productive class, the vaiśyas, and the working class, the śūdras, they are equally important. If you take the whole body, you cannot say that the leg is unimportant than the head. Head is as important as the legs. But comparatively, because the head, the brain, gives direction, therefore it is more important as the legs. But comparatively, because the head, the brain, gives direction, therefore it is more important than the legs. But without leg, the brain also cannot work. Without hand, the brain also cannot work, simply by brain. Brain is of course most important. Similarly, in the social order, the brāhmaṇas, the intelligent class of men, are very important undoubtedly, but śūdras are not less important. They are also important. That is the system given by the Lord Himself.
So if everyone says that "Original cause of my existence is Kṛṣṇa," this is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It doesn't matter. Not that a brāhmaṇa... Brāhmaṇa is the mouth of Kṛṣṇa, and kṣatriya is the arm of Kṛṣṇa, and vaiśya is the belly of Kṛṣṇa, and śūdra is the leg of Kṛṣṇa. But do we distinguish that "Here is Kṛṣṇa's mouth, or head; all the flowers should be offered here, not to the leg"? Do we make any such distinction? When we worship Kṛṣṇa, rather, our first duty is to offer to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. And Kṛṣṇa says that śūdra, in Bhāgavata says, śūdra is the leg. So there may be distinction of profession, occupation, caste, creed, color... It doesn't matter. But if everyone tries to become Kṛṣṇa conscious, that "The original cause of my existence is Kṛṣṇa," then there is life... Life is perfect. This is our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
You keep yourself in your original position. So our original position is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. We are part and parcel of the body of Kṛṣṇa. The brāhmaṇa is the mouth of Kṛṣṇa, and the kṣatriyas are the arms of Kṛṣṇa. The vaiśyas are the abdomen of Kṛṣṇa, and the śūdras are the legs of Kṛṣṇa. Mukha-bāhūru-pādebhyaḥ jajñire catvāro varṇā viprādayo guṇair pṛthak. The... Nobody should be hated. Just like in your body your leg is as important as your head, especially of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is advaya-jñāna, absolute. We may make some difference from head to leg. Leg is less important, head is... No. But Kṛṣṇa's any part is as important as other part. So you become the part of... You are already. But if you come to realize that you are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa's body, so either you act as Kṛṣṇa's leg or as Kṛṣṇa's head, there is no difference. There is no difference. Here in the material world we have misunderstood that "Because I am head, therefore I shall hate the legs." Why? We first of all offer tulasī and flower to the legs of Kṛṣṇa, not to the head. The bhakti-yoga begins from the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. So how you can say the legs of Kṛṣṇa are inferior than the heads of Kṛṣṇa? This is called anartha. So if we enter into the process of bhakti-yogam, these anarthas will go out.
So if there is no ideal class of men, who will guide? If everyone is engaged as śūdra to work hard for technology, then who will give the guidance? A brainless society.
- puruṣasyāśramaiḥ saha
- catvāro jajñire varṇā
- guṇair viprādayaḥ pṛthak
This is the division. The brāhmaṇa is to be considered the mouth of the Virāḍ-rūpa Bhagavān, the universal form of the Lord; kṣatriya, the bāhu, the arms; and vaiśya, the belly; and śūdra, the leg. So they are meant for cooperation, not that simply falsely becoming proud that "I am brāhmaṇa. You are śūdra." No. The brāhmaṇa is equally important than the śūdra, though both of them are required. But comparatively, because brāhmaṇa is considered to be the brain, he's very important. So the brain must be there. Otherwise, simply possessing hands and legs, what is the meaning if there is no brain?
Nectar of Devotion Lectures
The brāhmaṇa is considered to be the mouth of the total body, and the śūdras are considered to be the legs. So by comparative position, the head is more important than the leg, but they are equally important in terms of the whole body. Because the head cannot walk. For walking, you require the cooperation of the legs. So, as to maintain this body we require the cooperation of the head, arms, waist and legs, similarly, for serving Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme, the whole, it doesn't matter whether one is a brāhmaṇa or kṣatriya or vaiśya or śūdra; everyone can be engaged. Sva-karmaṇā tam abhyarcya (BG 18.46). One has to worship the Supreme by his own work. The leg has to work in his own way, the head has to work in its own way. But the aim should be to survive, to maintain this body. That is the process. If the aim is one—Kṛṣṇa—then it doesn't matter whether one is brāhmaṇa or one is śūdra. Equally they are serving and they are sharing the equal profit out of it.
Sri Isopanisad Lectures
As we have got divisions in this body—this mouth, the arm, the belly, and the leg—similarly, the gigantic body of Kṛṣṇa, virāṭ-puruṣa, His mouth is these brāhmaṇas, His arms are the kṣatriyas, His belly is the vaiśyas, and the legs are the śūdras. Or the brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, sannyāsa. So they have got different position in the different parts of the body of the whole, complete whole. So if you keep to your position and act like that, take the facility, then you are complete. Otherwise, like the screw, you are thrown away. You have no value.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Amogha: The divisions of work are naturally there. You can't avoid them.
Prabhupāda: Even in your body there is class. The head class, the arm class, the belly class, the leg class. They are working differently for benefit of the whole body. That is natural. If you avoid and if you simply keep the leg, then it will be chaotic condition. Or even if you keep the head only, that will not stand. There must be four. That is natural. That is the Vedic mantra it is said—you are reading the other day—the brāhmaṇas, they came out of the mouth. The kṣatriyas, they came out of the arms. The vaiśyas, they came out of the belt. And the śūdras, they came out of the legs. This is mantra. How you can avoid it? Kṛṣṇa says, "It is My creation. How you can avoid it?" You cannot avoid anything which is created by Kṛṣṇa. Just like sunshine. It is created by Kṛṣṇa. You cannot say, "No, no. I don't want sunshine." That is foolishness. If you want to avoid, then you'll suffer. The sunshine is there, and if you go into the dark place, and cover yourself, then the sunshine is outside, that's all. The sun may not suffer—you'll suffer. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa says that "This caste system is created by Me." If you don't accept it, then you'll suffer. Kṛṣṇa will not suffer. (leaves car) ...introducing the caste system, we are introducing a system which, you follow, you'll be happy. Not caste system.
|Compiled by||Labangalatika +|
|Completed sections||ALL +|
|Date of first entry||May 24, 0011 JL +|
|Date of last entry||May 29, 0011 JL +|
|Total quotes||15 +|
|Total quotes by section||BG: 0 +, SB: 6 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 1 +, Lec: 7 +, Conv: 1 + and Let: 0 +|