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Will the fundamental values of Hinduism be in any way affected by the eradication of castism, towards which a concerted effort is now being made at all levels?

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"Will the fundamental values of Hinduism be in any way affected by the eradication of castism, towards which a concerted effort is now being made at all levels"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

But it cannot be done. This is another foolishness. Because Kṛṣṇa says, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). But the difficulty is the caste system is coming on account of false notion that a brāhmaṇa is the son of a brāhmaṇa. That is caste system. But Kṛṣṇa does not say. He says, "By quality and work." He never says, "By birth." So this so-called castism in India that is a false notion of cātur-varṇyaṁ.
Answers to a Questionnaire from Bhavan's Journal -- June 28, 1976, Vrndavana:

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Question number four. Even a well read, widely traveled, and enlightened editor like the late Śrī Frank Moraes... I think that's how you... M-o-r-a-e-s. (laughter)

Prabhupāda: Who is he?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: I don't know. He's late though.

Dhṛṣṭadyumna: He has died, Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: He's dead. He was enlightened. "...equated Hindu ethos with castism." He equated that Hindu culture, or Hindu ethos, and castism is one and the same. "Will the fundamental values of Hinduism be in any way affected by the eradication of castism, towards which a concerted effort is now being made at all levels?"

Prabhupāda: But it cannot be done. This is another foolishness. Because Kṛṣṇa says, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). But the difficulty is the caste system is coming on account of false notion that a brāhmaṇa is the son of a brāhmaṇa. That is caste system. But Kṛṣṇa does not say. He says, "By quality and work." He never says, "By birth." So this so-called castism in India that is a false notion of cātur-varṇyaṁ. Real cātur-varṇyaṁ means guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ. One must be qualified. And how one is qualified? That is also described. Satya śamo damo titikṣva ārjava jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyam. So there must be education. It is not that to abolish the caste system which is contaminated by false conception, or birth right conception. This wrong caste system should be abolished and training centers should be opened how to train a person to become brāhmaṇa or to become kṣatriya. Guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ. So you cannot avoid it, but because you have misconceived the caste system, that should be abolished, and the system recommended by Kṛṣṇa, that should be taken. Otherwise you cannot avoid it. Caste system will remain. Just like truthfulness. So all over the world you'll find somebody who is truthful. Why do you take it: "His father was truthful, therefore he is truthful."? This is nonsense. This is nonsense. Kṛṣṇa never said that. The father may be Hiranyakasipu, but his son is Prahlāda. Or a son... Not that the, one has to become exactly like the father. It may be. There is every possibility, but it is not a fact that the son becomes like the father. It is not fact. So similarly, the first class man is truthful. Now, wherever you find a truthful man, you classify him as brāhmaṇa. That is wanted. Why do you take that "Here is a son of truthful man; therefore he is brāhmaṇa"? That is misconception. You have to pick up the truthful men all over the world and classify them as brāhmaṇa. That we are doing. "If you follow these principles, no illicit sex, no intoxication, no gambling, no meat-eating, you are brāhmaṇa. Come on." His father may be meat-eater or gambler or drunkard, but he is agreeing, "All right, come on, this come. You are welcome." Then it will be all right. You cannot abolish the truthful class of men. There are... You'll find truthful men everywhere. So you have to pick up. So Kṛṣṇa says that, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā, guṇa-karma... You pick up the quality of men and put them in the brahminical class, and then next, kṣatriya class, then vaiśya class, then śūdra class. But you cannot abolish that system. That is a false attempt. Because more or less, there will be a class of men who are truthful. You cannot abolish. More or less, there will be a class of men who are sinful. So as soon as you want to pick up from a family, then it is mistake, miscalculated. That caste system should be abolished. But real classification... Not caste. It is classification. Intelligent class of men, or truthful class of men, the fighter class of men, that will continue all over the world. You cannot abolish it. Even if you abolish caste system in India, you cannot abolish the class of truthful men. That is not possible. In spite of so much degradation, a class of men will remain truthful, a class of men will remain sinful. More or less. You cannot abolish this. So this is false attempt. And this caste system is also false. It is not based on the right description of caste system.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: You're saying, rather, it's a classification according to the quality of a man's...

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is wanted. That must be there.