The Horrible Indian Caste System |

Caste System

Published on April 18th, 2023 | by Madhudvisa dasa


The Horrible Indian Caste System

Most of us have heard about the horrible caste system which is now current in India. The current Indian caste system is a perversion of the teachings of Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita:

According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me. And, although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the non-doer, being unchangeable.” (Bhagavad Gita 4.13)

So we can see from this verse that in fact Krishna has created four divisions of human society and they are present everywhere in every society, not just in India. Krishna goes on to describe these four divisions of society in the Gita as being brahmanas (the intellectual, priestly class), ksatriyas (the martial class, the kings, rulers, leaders, military men), the vaisvyas (the productive class, principally the farmers who produce and distribute the food and also the businessmen) and Sudras (the worker class who have no ability to support themselves independently like the other three classes so they need to serve the other three higher classes for their livelihood).

These four divisions of men exist in every society.
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There is no question at all about this. In every society you will find a class of thinkers and philosophers [who are only a small percentage of the total population], you will find a group of men who are martially spirited and who are very anxious to engage in politics and fighting, to become victorious in their battles and become leaders, and you will find a class of men who like to engage in agricultural cultivation and selling the produce or in business activities, and you will find a class of men who have no ability to work independently in the other three classes — so these are the a brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras.

The idea that everyone is equal, on the bodily platform at least, is absolutely not true at all. We are all born with different aptitudes, abilities and capabilities. In the West at least there is the illusion that anyone can be successful at anything but in reality this is not true. One will be successful if he works in an occupation that is suited to his natural aptitude, abilities and capabilities. So the system that Krishna recommends in the Bhagavad Gita is called varnashrama dharma, and this system recommends dividing the society into four divisions and in work according to their natural propensities.

In this age the sudras are very, very common. In fact it is said kalou sudra sambavah: “In the Kali-yuga everyone is born as a sudra.” We can see this very easily. The quality of a sudra is that he has no independent source of livelihood, he has to render service to someone else to earn his livelihood. He has to work for a ‘boss’ to get money to support himself and his family. Brahmanas, ksatriyas and vaisyas will never agree to work as a servant of someone else like this. No. The brahmanas have six occupations only: studying the scriptures, teaching the scriptures to others, performing sacrifices and deity worship and engaging others in these activities and receiving charity and distributing charity. So the brahmanas are teachers and they depend on Krishna for their livelihood. Their ‘boss’ is Krishna. So they teach and accept some charity from their students and live simply themselves and also distribute charity to others. The ksatryas have land and levy taxes on the people who live on the land and in that way they get their income and the vaisyas engage in agricultural work and trade and in this way they get their income. It is only the sudras who accept service. So everyone who has accepted some ‘boss’ and is working for him is a sudra because he has no independent source of income.

So you may ask then what is the problem with the caste system in India? In India they have brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras, so what is wrong with that?

The problem is that in India there is a great deal of propaganda made by the so-called brahmana families that one’s case is determined by his birth. They claim that if one is born in a brahmana family then he is a brahmana, if he is born in a sudra family, he is sudra, etc. This false claim made by the so-called ‘brahmana‘ families is made to give their families a prestigious and superior position over other families and in this way the so-called brahmana families exploit others.

Of course Krishna never says that one becomes a brahmana by being born into the family of a brahmana. This idea is total concoction and is absolutely completely incorrect. It is like saying one becomes a lawyer by being born into a family where his father is a lawyer.
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That is insanity. If your father is a lawyer that is very nice and it may create a favorable atmosphere for you to become a lawyer if you grow up and hear your father talking about law all the time and he will surely have many law books in his library and you may take the opportunity of reading some of them. So in this way having a father as a lawyer may help you to become a lawyer. But if you simply claim “my father is a lawyer so I am a lawyer” then that is insanity. You are not automatically a lawyer simply because your father is a lawyer. To become a lawyer you have to go to law school and pass the examinations and then you have to work under the direction of some recognized lawyer and after a period of training you may ultimately be accepted as a member of the bar association and start your own practice and actually work as a lawyer in your own right. Becoming a brahmana is the same thing. You have to be educated as a brahmana, you have to pass the examinations, you have to develop the qualities of a brahmana and then you have to work as a brahmana. Otherwise you are not a brahmana.

This is what Krishna says here in this verse: catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhavagasah— “I have created four divisions of human society based a person’s qualities [guna] and his work [karma]”. So it is very clearly stated here that a person’s position in the society is based on his actual qualities and on the type of work he performs. This is very logical and we can understand it with our lawyer example very nicely. A lawyer has certain qualities and qualifications. He has to act in a particular way, he has to know the law, he has to act in the way required of him by the courts, and if he is a lawyer then he has to be working as a lawyer — going to the courts and representing clients. If someone is claiming to be a lawyer but he does not know the law and he does not act in the way lawyers act and if his occupation is not working as a lawyer then obviously he is not a lawyer.
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So a brahmana is a person who has the qualities of a brahmana and who is working as a brahmana. We have already described the occupation of a brahmana is six things: patan patan, yajan yajan dana pratigrha — “studying the scriptures, teaching the scriptures to others, perform sacrifices and deity worship and engaging others in these activities and accepting and distributing charity.” So as if one is claiming to be a lawyer we have to see that he is working as a lawyer otherwise his claim is meaningless similarly if one is claiming to be a brahmana then we have to see that he is working as a brahmana otherwise he is not a brahmana. The scriptures do prescribe that a brahmana, in the case of an emergency, can also do the work of a ksatriya or a vaisyas but he will never accept the position of a sudra.

And what are the qualities of a brahmana? Krishna also clearly describes them in the Bhagavad Gita (18.42):

“Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge and religiousness — these are the qualities by which the brahmanas work.”

So one who is working as a brahmana and who posses these qualities is a brahmana. It has nothing to do with birth, although birth in an actual brahmana family may create a favorable situation for the child to become a brahmana.

It is just as insane for someone to claim they are a brahmana because they were born in a brahmana family as it would be for someone to claim that he is a lawyer because his father is a lawyer. It is insanity and will never be accepted by any intelligent person.

So this insanity of people who do not have the qualities of brahmanas and are not working as brahmanas claiming to be brahmanas simply so they can use that position to exploit others for their own benefit has completely destroyed the whole social system in India.

However because the current caste system in India is totally corrupt and totally incorrect does not mean that there are not actually four classes of men. There are still four classes of men and if the society is to ever be in a position where it is running smoothly again then these four classes of men must be engaged in work according to their natural propensities.

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About the Author

My first contact with a Hare Krishna was a most merciful Mataji in Oxford Street, London who sold me a "Higher Taste" cook book in 1984 while I was on holidays there. I started seriously reading Srila Prabhupada's books in Australia 1985 and by 1986 Srila Prabhupada had convinced me "Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead" and "we should surrender to Krishna." I joined the Hare Krishnas in Perth, Western Australia in 1986. Since then I have been chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, reading and distributing Srila Prabhupada's books and preaching as much as I can. That's my life and full-time occupation now really. I like it more than anything I've ever experienced before. Srila Prabhupada's books are so amazing... Even after reading them all many times they're still fresh and new. They are truly transcendental! That's it really. Now I'm just hankering to once again see the world chant Hare Krishna, dance and feast and float away in the ecstasy of Lord Caitanya's Sankirtana movement as it did in Srila Prabhupada's physical presence. Let the whole world drown in the ecstatic flood of love of Krishna!

164 Responses to The Horrible Indian Caste System

  1. Samarth says:

    It’s a very ignorant standpoint to think that society in which everyone is treated equally and provided with favourable environment everyone can’t have equal opportunity to succeed or climb the ladder of society. The idea that every society has inherited caste system in which divide is inevitable and based on their deterministic ability is simply misguided. Don’t use religion as tool to justify division. This post have same implications as propagandas from nazis to justify eugenics and racist Americans to justify their racism against other races. It doesn’t matter how we’re born but what matters is our determination which is key to success and growth. Don’t let these people tell you that you can change.

    • Your ideas are insanity. Everyone is not equal. And elephant is not equal to an ant. A man is not equal to a woman. Every material body is differently constituted and has got different skills and abilities and has to be engaged according to its propensities.

      You can not create a society where everyone has equal outcomes. The society needs to provide everyone with the opportunity to excel in the field that is suited to him or her.

      So for a society to function properly they need to recognize there are four different classifications of men, and they need to be divided into these four divisions and engaged accordingly.

  2. Dhanalaxmi says:

    Thank you for letting us know about this sir. I explained this to my family, even though they understand this but still says that we should follow our caste traditions and shd only marry the same caste person. And they say that if we don’t follow this even our own family disowns us. The caste sanga head won’t talk to us and our own families won’t invite to any other occasions.

    • Raj Panchal says:

      Radhe Shyam

      Worry not there will also be some actual brahamins in the so called brahmin families they will be just rare to find.

      Actually the reson that marrige between casts is not permitted in the shashtras because people of different divisions (amongst four) have different agenda (they want different things) Shri Bhishma Pitamah says at the end of saying Shri Vishnu Sahahstra-Nama (in the anushahan parva of The Mahabharata) that by chanting these names ,
      a sudra will gain pleasure,
      a vaishya will gain immense wealth,
      a kshatriya will gain victory and
      a brahmin will gain the knowledge of vedanta

      so if a person who wants knowledge will marry a person who only wants pleasure there will not only be chaos in their house but the one who wants knowledge will face many issues in his spiritual path which he/she has already covered quite a bit

      also because of this the one who wants pleasure will might earn sin (because of troubling the one who wants knowledge)

      • Problem is kalu sudra sambhava. “In Kali-yuga everyone is born a sudra.” So to become anything other than a sudra one has to develop the qualities of that varna and work as that varna. You can read the qualities for each of these four divisions: brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya and sudra, in the eighteenth chapter of Bhagavad-gita. And after reading you will understand that almost none of the people claiming to be brahmanas and ksatriyas are anything but sudras. All we have now, for the most part, is sudras and a few vaisyas.

  3. Geetha says:

    Namaste Madhudvisa ji,

    Thanks a lot for enlightening me on topics of moral value and most importantly Krishna consciousness.

    I was conversing with my friend the other day about meat eating people and vegetarians and this conversation led to a point that my friend highlighted – “Do you know that Rama was a meat eater? For that matter, even Krishna was a non vegetarian.” I was taken aback. Having grown up in a Brahman family, while I have been a pure vegetarian, I do know many non vegetarians in my own community. Having said that, in the last 30 years of my life I have never come across someone stating that Rama and Krishna were non vegetarians. My friend’s response to the confused look on my face was that Rama and Krishna were Kshatriyas and since people in this varna engaged in battles as an occupation, their diet included meat.

    I just couldn’t get convinced with this. My friend argued its because of the wrong conditioning of our minds that we are not able to accept such things. Yes, I do not deny this. However, one of the four regulative principles propagated by Srila Prabhupada to attain Krishna consciousness is to not eat meat. Then how can Krishna or Rama themselves be meat eaters?

    I am truly curious to know what is that wrong conditioning or the total ignorance I face today. Request you to kindly enlighten me upon this.


    • There is no indication that Rama or Krishna ever engaged in meat eating. Yes. Ksatriyas learn to fight by fighting and killing animals and the animals are offered in sacrifice and sometimes they may eat meat.

      So this has nothing to do with why devotees are vegetarian. Devotees only accept Krishna prasadam, so Krishna clearly tells us what He wants us to offer to Him, that is milk products, grains, fruits and vegetables. So devotees prepare such foodstuffs with love and devotion and offer them to Krishna and Krishna accepts these offerings from His devotees and the devotees accept the Krishna prasadam only.

      So because Krishna only accepts these foods in the mode of goodness, devotees only offer these foods to Krishna and because devotees only accept the remnants of Krishna’s meals, Krishna prasadam, they only accept these vegetarian foods. So that is the point.

      Don’t listen to the meat-eating demons who will twist everything to try to convince you to also become a meat-eating demon…

      • Derek Wildman says:

        The caste system is mentioned in Bhagavad Gita. Is it mentioned anywhere else in Srila Prabhapada’s books. Does he go into detail about how it could be done in this Kali Yuga civilisation. High caste Hindus are very cynical about a formal caste system being made to work in the Kali Yuga. Did Srila Prabhupada give more guidance on setting up the formality of a Hindu caste system.

        • No. It is not practical in the current age. We are for the congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra, that will adjust everything. There is no caste system as it is currently practiced in India in the Vedas. There is varnasrama system, a natural division of four types of work and four orders of life, brahmacary–student life, grhastha–married life, varnaprastha–retired life, sannyasa–renounced life and sudra–worker, vaisya–agriculture, business; ksatriya–management, military, martially spirited men; brahmana–philosophical, religious, advisor to the other castes.

          But this division, although it still exists everywhere, it is not really practical to reestablish now because realistically in kali yuga everyone is a sudra. You can’t find the qualified brahmanas, ksatriyas, etc. So without these qualified leaders the Varnasrama system can not be established. Kali yuga is not for Vanrasrama, Sanirtana is for Kali-yuga. Sankirtana is the only way for spiritual upliftment in Kali-yuga.

      • Derek Wildman says:

        Brahmana high caste Hindus in Vrindavana wanted Bhaktisiddanta Saraswati to be assassinated. They offered bribes to the Vrindavana police to assinate him. What is the story.

      • Derek Wildman says:

        What did Srila Prabhupada say about a nuclear war. Will it actually happen. Is the future fluid about a nuclear war actually happening.

        • Yes. Prabhupada said if they have made the bombs they will use them. So nuclear war will happen. But Prabhupada also says they have very much exaggerated the power of their nuclear weapons. So they can not destroy the world with their nuclear weapons. But they can make a big mess of some cities here and there.

      • Pavantanaya says:

        There is no caste system. It’s profession system. Hinduism clearly says no one is Brahmin by birth. And anyone can become Brahmin. If anyone says otherwise, he is an anti Hindu!!! Period!!!

        • Not exactly that anyone can be a brahmana. A brahmana is determined by his qualities and his work. So if he actually has all the brahminical qualities as described in Bhagavad-gita and if he is actually working as a brahmana, then he is a brahmana.

          But if he does not have the qualities of a brahmana and / or he is not working as a brahmana then he is not a brahmana.

          It is not determined by birth, it is determined by qualities and work [guna and karma], so if he has the qualities of a brahmana and if he is working as a brahmana then he is a brahmana. Not that he is working for Microsoft or a big American bank in a call center and he is a brahmana… No. Brahmana does not accept service, for example. Brahmana has independent livelihood. He gives spiritual instructions and performs yajnas and accepts charity. And lives simply and distributes charity also. Brahmana will never accept service.

          So if a “brahmana” is working for someone, he is not brahmana, he is sudra. Only sudras go out and get jobs and serve someone else. Everyone else, Brahmana, ksatriya and vaishya, they all have their own independent methods for earning a livelihood.

    • Derek Wildman says:

      By reading Srila Prabhupada’s purports, when do you think all out nuclear war will happen. The astrology is looking dangerous for 2020. I am asking Vedic astrologers about this.

      • I have no idea. The future is not firmly fixed. It can be changed. Particularly it can be changed by Krishna consciousness, by the Sankirtan movement of Lord Caitanya. So we can just wait and see how the future unfolds and we can also impact how the future unfolds by chanting Hare Krishna.

        Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

        Madhudvisa dasa

  4. Divyaraj says:

    Dear Madhudvisa,

    I am pleased and humbled by your words, which made us understand the concepts of Hinduism ideology. History is the proof that many great people have misunderstood the Scriptures & have spilled poisonous message that effected lot of peoples sentiments.Even Till date, Brahmins treat others proclaming they are the brahmins as they are born with the spoon of it.
    As per the modes of varna there are many who are not to be called as brahmana.

    My question to you is:

    Who will teach Brahamans that they are not brahmans unless they follow bhagwat geeta properly?

  5. Lavanya says:

    Sir, am Brahmin .. during my childhood I used to see that my grandparents/ parents never allowed to touch servants ( used to washing, cleaning).if accidentally happen to touch, need to take bath .. I never understood why this discrimination.. even now in some places some people are not allowed to enter home, eat together even they are good and clean by nature… y this discrimination. Is above untouchability mentioned in geeta or Vedas .. this is not correct way of treating others right?. please explain

    • Yes, this is false Indian caste system. It is not correct as I have explained in the article above.

    • M P Venkatesh says:

      The ones who served as hygiene workers in the old caste system village were allowed to stay only out of village and a different well. This was to prevent any contagious disease as they were subjected to disease. The whole village should not be affected by it and hence if you touch them you had to have a bath. Doing this in period where you have hand wash and better hygiene you don’t need to follow it.

  6. Yashpal Singh says:

    Caste system prevailed in ancient society, because, it was a need at that time. This system hast no practicality in present time. It is said, that, all will be born shudras in kalyuga but, not written anywhere.

    • Caste system is eternal and is required for any civilized society. Yes. Kalo sudra sambava, in Kali-Yuga everyone is born a sudra. So training is required. A society of sudras will fail. So for any functional society there must be brahminas to advise, ksatriyas to lead, vaisyas to cultivate the land and sudras to work. So these things have to be reestablished. The divisions are still there, in a broken and dysfunctional way, it needs to be corrected by proper education.

      • Arjun Thakkar says:

        What is Varna shankara?
        Is there any relation of Varna shankara born with Intercast mairrages?

        • Varna sankara is ‘unwanted children’. It means if someone has sex for the purpose of pleasure instated of having sex for procreation and becomes pregnant. That is an unwanted pregnancy or an unwanted child. So these unwanted children have a very bad mentality because when they are born they are neglected by the parents, do not get proper upbringing, and when the world becomes full of these unwanted children, as it is now, it becomes a totally hellish place. So it has nothing to do with intercaste marriages.

    • Dabru Anand says:

      Mr. Yashpal Singh, could you please elaborate your words as in ancient society caste system prevailed as it was a need at that time. Why this system, what you said has no practicality in the present time. Brahmins and Kshatriyas are cruelest breeds in our society. THAKUR, slaves of the emperors, ruled on poor villagers and termed themselves respected persons with high EGO. The caste system started according to jobs.

  7. Absolutely correct. Indian brahmins take pride in chanting two lines of Purusha Suktam namely ,- Brahmanasya Mukham Asid……. etc showing that they have come from the mouth of Virat Purusha and thus claiming the highest position in the society. Most of them do not know about our shastras leave aside reading and teaching. Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur in one of his book has written that upto the age of 16 yrs, there shd not be any caste/varna. Till that age the child shd be observed and studied as to which side his attitudinal inclination is after which he will be laced in appropriate varna.

  8. Dave Keen says:

    Who decides the person’s propensities? The one word that gets to the crux of the issue is OPPORTUNITY.

    Will a sudra or a dalit be given entrance into actual training with the others, welcomed, hand shakes share water etc?

    Or will some “holy” authorities decide for that person BEFORE FULL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY is given (a fine primary school education) and then turn around, point to her lack of aptitude, and claim the lack is somehow inherent, conveniently denying the true and obvious cause?

    The individual must have the right to try and not be mistreated on the way

    • These days, in Kali-yuga, everyone is born sudra. So everyone should be considered sudra and all offered the chance for spiritual education and then their positions in the social system will be determined by their qualities and work. You can read the eighteenth chapter of Bhagavad-gita for yourself and you will see that Krishna very clearly lists what are the qualities of the brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaishas and sudras. So it is simple to see what the preson’s qualities are and what he is working at, and in this way determine what category he fits into.

      The system currently used in India of designating a preson’s caste on the basis of the family he is born in is absolutely not supported by Krishna in Bhagavad-gita. Designation is based on a person’s actual qualities and his actual work. So if he really possesses the qualities of a brahmana and is working as a brahmana then and only then he can be accepted as a brahmana.

  9. John Scott says:

    So it seems that this caste system as outlined in the Gita is a little delusional in that a person might be a merchant for the first 30 years of his life, born into a family of merchant, and then through self will and self improvement take on the role of a teacher, whether it be religious or otherwise, a brahman role, everyone recognizes him or her as such. I’ve seen it many times. He jumped castes not in the next life but in this life. That is something that is not allowed for in the Gita, but in real life it is somewhat common. I know a Hindu who is acting as a Hindu priest presently who fits this description exactly, but also, many non-Hindus as well.

    • Hare Krishna John

      You have confused what the Hindus are currently doing in regards to the caste system with what Krishna clearly describes in the Bhagavad-gita. The system Krishna prescribes is that the caste of a person is determined by his qualities and his work [guna karma vibhagasa]. It is not determined by his birth. So as you note a person’s caste can change during his life. Because his caste is determined by his qualities and his work. Everyone is born a sudra [kalu sudra sambavha] and by education and culture he can attain the qualities and work as a member of one of the higher castes.

      So what you have observed is correct, a person can change his caste during his life, depending on his qualities and his work. An actual brahmana, for example, has to have all the qualities of a Brahmana as Krishna lists them in Chapter 18.42 of the Gita:

      “Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge, and religiousness-these are the qualities by which the brāhmaṇas work.”
      and he also has work as a brahmana. The occupations of a brahmana:

      “The principal occupations for a brāhmaṇa are worshiping the Deity, teaching others how to worship the Deity, studying the Vedic literatures, teaching the Vedic literatures, accepting charity from others and again giving charity to others. A brāhmaṇa should make his livelihood from these six occupational duties.”

      So a brahmana is a person who has the qualities of a brahmana and who works as a brahmana, not the son of a brahmana.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  10. Saurabh says:

    So grateful for this article dear Madhudvisa Dasa. May Lord always bless you. Hare Krishna.

  11. john baptist says:

    Doesn’t matter how you try to rewrite the history, the facts would shatter all the delusions you have created in this article. It was a race based class system and the first most racist, bigoted and tyrannical system on earth as well as the first brutal and vicious empire who ruthlessly raped and killed millions of people for not doing slave work or not accepting their slavery.

    • Hare Krishna John

      You are mistaken. Caste system as described and implemented by Krishna in Bhagavad-gita is based on 2 things, quality and work. So the caste of a man is determined by the qualities he has and the work he is doing.

      So a brahmana has to have the qualities of a brahmana and has to be working as a brahmana. Then he is considered a brahmana, it has nothing to do with birth. But there is a good opportunity for someone born in a particular family to receive the training from his father. So it is an advantage to be born in a particular family to get the training for that class.

      But unless a person has the qualities of a particular caste and acts as that particular class he is not accepted as being in that caste. He is designated according to the actual qualities he has and the work he does.

      cautr varnam maya srstam guna karma vibhargasa

      Krishna says “I have created four types of work and every man belongs to one of these four groups and it is determined by his guna [qualities] and his karma [work].”

      So the qualities and the work for all four castes is clearly defined in the Eighteenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita. It is GUNA KARMA vibhagasa. Based on quality and work, not JATI [birth].

      So there is no doubt whatsoever, it is based on quality and work, not birth.

      And there is no doubt also that if you study every man you will find he is doing one of these four types of work and you can see what his personal qualities are and the consideration of his work and his personal qualities determine his varna [caste].

      There are differences, it is not that from the material point of view every man is the same. So these differences have to be acknowledged and people have to be engaged in society according to their quality and work. Otherwise, as it is at the current point in time, the world will become hellish and the social system will not work at all properly.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Derek Wildman says:

        A Brahmanas is 1 out of 1,000,
        A Kshatriya is 10 out of 1,000
        A Vaisya is 100 out of every 1,000. The rest are shudra.
        Can you identify a person’s GUNA and Karma. Can everybody be slotted into these categories.

        • In Kali-yuga everyone is born sudra. 100% sudras only. So yes. We can identify that now everyone is 100% sudra. They can be elevated by training. But currently the training is not available…

      • Derek Wildman says:

        Caste Brahmanas and high caste Hindus can usually trace their ancestors back to the SATVA YUGA. They are better than the Jews at tracing their ancestors.

    • Amit says:

      Where exactly is Hindu castes defined as a race except in white racist theories? I am from North India and there is no ethnic difference between a Brahmin and a shudra. In both castes, you’ll find people looking very fair to very dark and all range of facial features. As far as race is considered, we never suffered racism.
      It’s white RACISM against non whites in modern times which killed and enslaved hundreds of millions including even the Jews.

      • The problem in India with the caste system is they have taken it as being a hereditary system, the idea they accept is it is something the flows in a family. But this is not what Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita. He says: guna karma vibhagasa, “I have created these divisions based on qualities and work.” So actually Varnasrama castes are not determined by the family one takes his birth in, they are determined by the qualities of a person and his occupation, what he works at. It has nothing to do with birth or family. So this is the problem with the bogus Indian caste system. It is completely different to the vanasrama system outlined by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita.

  12. Dianne Johnson says:

    Wonderful discourse. I wish all people understood this, thank you so much for this information.

  13. Pranav Patki says:

    Some points to be considered.

    Genetic potential was one of the reason why a varna system was based on birth (if diseases can be transfered genetically (pitrushaap/pitrudosh) than why not qualities, intelligence, desires etc (pitru ashirvad)). Another reason for it to be based on birth was astrological analysis (which at some point got ignored like genetic potential). (On another note remember planets don’t determine fate they indicate same). Unorganized education system was too one of the reason. And as usual selfishness and corruption too was reason.

    • Varna system was never based on birth. That is bogus. It is based on qualities.

      Parents do not reliably transfer their qualities to their children.

      So many examples are there of devotees born of demon parents [like Prahlada Maharaja for example] and demons born of devotee parents.

      So birth is no qualification.

      It may be an advantage, we accept that. It is true that someone born in the family of a qualified brahmana has a very good opportunity to get the proper training and in due course of time become a qualified brahmana. But it is not having a qualified brahmana as his father that creates a brahmana. No it is the qualities and work [guna and karma] that determine a persons varna. So a brahmana has to have all the qualities of a brahmana and he has to work as a brahmana. Then if he has the qualities and works as a brahmana he is a brahmana. It has nothing to do with birth.

      If someone is born in a brahmana family but does not have the qualities of a brahmana and does not work as a brahmana he is not a brahmana.

      For example if someone becomes a technologist [sudra work] and gets a job with IBM or Microsoft then he is working as a sudra and he is sudra, even though he may have been born in a brahmana family.

      • Derek Wildman says:

        Varna system was never based on birth. That is bogus. It is based on qualities.So birth is no qualification.

        Nature/guna and being born into a brahman family. The two reinforce each other. Being born into a Brahmin family might be justified somewhere in the Vedas. But not for the Kali Yuga.Caste Brahmans talk like this. They justify Jagganath Puri. This is why Pakistanis are so hostile towards Hinduism.

        • Yes. There is some benefit being born in a real brahmana family of course. A boy who is born with a real brahmana as his father is in a very good position to get trained up as a real brahmana. So if he takes that opportunity and gets trained by his qualified father and reads his fathers spiritual books, etc, then he will go on to become a qualified brahmana. But he becomes a qualified brahmana by being trained by his qualified brahmana father and thus developing the qualities [guna] of a real brahmana and then he goes on to work as [karma] a real brahmana.

      • rad says:

        In yugas preceding Kali the generalization was true many times I read!

  14. Vicky Sharma says:

    Hare Krishna,

    If I am a tuition teacher , teaching n taking a fix amount from my students n chanting 16 rounds of Hare Krishna mahamantra on a daily basis and living like a brahmchari by following 4 regulative principles given by Srila prabhupada even after 24 years of age then in what category I fall in out of 4 cast systems.
    Please reply if possible

    Vicky Sharma

    • Hare Krishna

      Woman does not have caste actually but is considered to be the cast of her husband. So wife of a brahmana is considered brahmana’s wife, etc.

      Woman is for serving her husband. So her identity is in relation to her husband.

  15. TJ says:

    There is no mention of the untouchables in this article, if so I missed, if not what say you?

    Please advise,

    San Diego, CA

    • Hare Krishna TJ

      The untouchables are the melechas and yavanas. They are below the four castes, not included in the four castes.

      These days practically everyone is a melecha or a yavana. Even though they may be claiming to be a brahmana, they have the qualities of melechas and yavanas…

  16. Nishikanta says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhuji
    I complete agree with this that the four divisions are according to guna and karma and not according to birth.In kaliyuga it is hard to find brahminical occupations like teaching the sastras.Of course Krishna can arrange anything if our intention is pure but in general it is difficult for most people.Also to serve Krishna we have to maintain our bodies and to do that we have to find some occupation.So my question is that suppose an engineer,doctor is doing a job and also following the regulative principles and studying Srila Prabhupa’s books and listening to his lectures what is his position.I am also an engineer and i didn’t know about Krishna Consciousness before some years.If i had known from the beginning i would not have become an engineer because in this job i have to serve in a steel company and answer to some idiot boss(sorry for the language) to get paid.So i know that this is a stupid job but what else to do,the time when i could have choose my career has already passed.There is also family dependent on me and even if i quit the job then go where really?I was born in a brahmana family but now i am doing a sudra job so i want to know if i am a sudra even if i follow the regulative principles.

    • Hare Krishna Nishikanta

      Devotee is above brahmana. Even brahmana is materially contaminated because he is very attached to be in the mode of goodness. But after all goodness is also a material quality. So Vaisnava transcends the mode of goodness and comes to the suddha-sattva platform. For Vaisnava it does not matter what he appears to be externally. He is performing all activities for the service of Krishna. So he is beyond the platform of a brahmana.

      So do not worry. Just go on chanting Hare Krishna, following the regulative principles and reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and at the same time do what you have to do for maintaining the family and your material responsibilities. This is what Lord Caitanya recommends. He suggests we stay in our present position in life and just add Krishna conscious. Then gradually as we advance in Krishna consciousness we can become the guru for the people around us.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  17. dayal vaya says:

    It is very well said that Krishna says no one is born but persons deeds make brahmanas or ksatriyas or sudras. i think it is a big mistake defining work with a place you are born. keeping segregated society.I feel very angry and dismay by this absolutely useless teaching from gita. I live in uk and no one tells any one what job they should do. here we have a lot of people from diverse background and religion. You do work according to your potential.India should scrap caste system and say they are all hindu. no one is barred from attending temple.

  18. Subraman says:

    (1) Is there any mention about Lord Jesus in Vedas or any other Hindu books?. Jesus says ” I am the way, the life and truth”. What do you say about it?.

    (2) Bible talks about Holy Angels. Do we have any Holy Angels in Hindu religion?

    (3) Gandhi preached ” Ahimsha”(non violent). Is there any mention in Gita about Ahimhsa?


    • Hare Krishna Subraman

      No. Jesus is not mentioned in the Vedas. Although the principle is there in the Bhagavad-gita [yada yada he dharmasya…] ‘Whenever there is a discrepancy in the following of the religious principles I appear [or send my representative] to reestablish the religious principles.’ So Srila Prabhupada accepts Lord Jesus Christ as an empowered incarnation of Krishna in this way, to reestablish the religious principles in that part of the world at a time when they were lost.

      As far as Jesus saying he is the way, the light and the truth, that is correct of course. If you read the Bible it is all good instructions. Unfortunately the ‘Christians’ do not read it or follow it.

      As far as holy angels yes there are so many holy angels. Narada Muni can travel to any place in the spiritual or material worlds while playing music on his transcendental vina. So you could say Narada Muni was an ‘Angel’. Although we say he is a sage. So yes, the idea of holy angels is there.

      As far as Gandhi preaching non violence from the Gita it is rubbish. There is no non violence in the Gita. Rather the opposite is in the Gita. Arjuna wants to be non-violent. He does not want to fight, he does not want to kill his friends and family members. But Krishna criticizes Arjuna’s non-violence, calling him a fool, and convinces him to become violent, to fight. So there is no non-violence in the Gita. Violence is necessary at times. Non-violence in politics is foolish. Gandhi’s non-violence was not successful. It was no his non-violence that forced the British to leave India. No. Gandhi was doing this non-violence for more than thirty years and the British did not leave. It was only when Subush Chandra Bosh started the INA, Indian National Army, and the Indian soldiers started joining him that the British realized without the support of the Indian army they could not keep control of India so they left, not because of Gandhi’s non-violence, because of the violence they feared at the hands of Subush’s Indian National Army if they stayed. So they got out of India very fast. Fearing violence. So in politics violence is necessary.

      Everything can be used for Krishna, violence can also be used for Krishna.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  19. Amer Sharif says:

    Dear Madhudvisa dasa,

    I hope that you would be fine by the grace of Lord Krishna. I am so grateful you for sharing such a nice piece of information. It reduced all my misunderstandings regarding the caste system in Hinduism. May Krishna’s face always shine upon you. Amen

    Best Regards

    Amer Sharif

  20. cello says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa dasa
    please accept my humble obeisance’s, all glories to Srila Prabhupada
    Thank you once again for your newsletter. This clarifies so many points for me. Krishna only mentions 4 classes of men. Where do the Harijans come from.?

    • Hare Krishna Cello

      “Harijans” is a nonsense concept introduced by Mahatma Gandhi. He artificially elevated the lowest class men and gave them the title ‘Harijans’, children of God, but they did not change their activities. They were not in any purified of their sinful activities.

      So this is nonsense.

      Anyone can be converted into a ‘Harijan’ by the process of Krishna consciousness as Srila Prabhupada is teaching it to us in his books. But surrendering to Srila Prabhupada and following the process is required to transform a low class person into a ‘Harijan’.

      So this ‘Harijan’ that Gandhi introduced is just a bogus title. It has no real meaning. Real harijan is a Krishna conscious person.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  21. P. Sarada says:

    In my opinion all people in India has no such cast system. In a small state in India ie. Kerala there is no such strict cast system. It is known that Brahmana has another name called Dwija. Ie. man who has born twice. First his birth is as a common man and next birth is a man who thinks works and lives like a getting education. Hence the name dwija. From this it is clear that a man will not become a brahmin by birth. I belong to a brahmin family and it is still unknown that am I a perfect brahmin? This is only my doubt. My neighbours considers me as a brahmin. But I am sure that I live like a brahmin as far as I can and I hope that I can clear all my doubts from your newsletters.

    Thanking You

  22. Saurabh Sinha says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu ji…..You have said that The scriptures do prescribe that a brahmana, in the case of an emergency, can also do the work of a ksatriya or a vaisyas but he will never accept the position of a sudra…..can You please give example of any such incident…

  23. rohit sharma says:

    Hare krishna!
    Dandavat prabhug. Menmade(concocted) division of human society is a perverted interpretation in God’s laws for achiveing perfection in his lifeful kingdom.
    What a shudra person should do when he/she has become a zombie in this contemporary state of world?….

    • Sudra has no power to do anything himself. He needs to get the mercy of a pure devotee of Krishna. That is the power of the pure devotee of Krishna. By his mercy he can elevate the lowest sudra to the greatest mahajana.

      So if the sudra you speak of is yourself then just read Srila Prabhupada’s books and put the instructions you read in Srila Prabhupada’s books into practice in your day-to-day life and you will be soon elevated to a position far greater than the greatest brahmana…

  24. anjalee tyagi says:

    Wow ! Totally satisfying words.

  25. E Kiran Kumar says:

    Prabhu, Thanks for the indepth analysis and explanation. My doubt is, since most of the kali yuga people are shudras, irrespective of one’s occupation and work, can these shudras, develop into higher modes of nature or gunas, continuing in their same occupation. Since it is very impossible to change one’s job or profession or means of livelihood.

    • Yes. That is the mercy of Lord Caitanya. Anyone, even the lowest person materially can be very easily elevated to a platform higher than that of a brahmana simply by chanting:

      Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
      Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

  26. E Kiran Kumar says:

    Prabhuji, You mentioned that everyone in Kali yuga is born as shudra.What does that mean?I am doing job as a doctor. Does it mean I am a Sudra? Businessmen are not shudras? No one in the world can work without giving service to others.Does it mean everyone is Sudra? I think sudra means predominantly in mode of ignorance. Prime minister is also serving country.Does it mean he is also Sudra? Its very,very confusing Kindly clarify.

    • You need to Read Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is. That will clear your confusion. There are four castes: Brahmana, ksatriya, vaishya and sudra. So the occupations of each caste are clearly described in the 18th chapter of Bhagavad-gita. You need to read it. Basically Brahmana has six occupations: studying the scriptures and teaching them to others, perform sacrifice and deity worship, receiving charity and distributing charity. These are the occupations of a Brahmana. So if someone is engaged in something other than these six occupations then he is not a brahmana. The difference between a sudra and the three higher classes is the sudra is dependent on serving others for his livelihood. He has to surrender to a master and serve him. That is sudra. Brahmana does not do this. he surrenders to Krishna and serves Krishna. He depends on Krishna. Ksatriya has some land and collects rents and taxes, so he does not serve a master. Vaishya has some land and produces some agricultural produce and sells that. It is only the sudra that has to surrender to a master and become completely dependent on the master for his maintenance.

  27. R Vijayalakshmi says:

    I have never understood the concept earlier very clearly as I do now after reading the above.

  28. Aditya says:

    I am a follower of krishna by heart. I see him as a friend who guide every one of us.

    I have one issue I do love a girl and want to marry her. We both are hindus but of different caste. She is from a higher caste.

    We are happy with each other and we know we will be happ in future. Hoever Her family will not accept the marriage.

    How fare is that? Isnt love is the main thing we should concentrate. They says their religious guru (Dont want to Name as it might hurt other religious sentiments) forbids inter caste marriages. But there is a twist. He says boy from higher caste can marry girl of lower caste. Lower caste boy cannot marry higher caste.

    I do believe Krishna.. and from core of my heart I know he have never or will never support or say such things..

    Wat do yoy suggest me. how can we approach her parents and make them belive that our love towards each other is more important.

    Please suggest.

    • Hare Krishna Aditya

      The current Indian caste system is nonsense because it is based on birth. They assume that because one is born in a Brahmana’s family he is a Brahmana. But Krishna clearly states in Bhagavad-gita that it is determined what caste one belongs to by his qualities [guna] and his work [karma] not by his birth [jati]. So to be a brahmana one has to have the qualities of a brahmana and work as a brahmana. And you can find the qualites and work of a brahmana in the Eighteenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita.

      So what is going on today as Hinduism is nonsense and these Hindu gurus and priests are nonsense. They are not able to understand the essence of the teachings of Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita. They do not know, nor do they teach their disciples the actual purpose of life.

      This idea of falling in love is also highly overrated. One falls in love one day and then he falls out of love the next day. So this idea of ‘love’ as the basis of a relationship is not very good. If one wants a marriage that will last it is not very useful to base it on love. It has to be based on service to Krishna. The point of marriage for devotees has to be to marry someone of the opposite sex with the idea that they will together help each other to serve Krishna and together raise a family of Krishna conscious children. We can not have any separate desire than to serve Krishna, to please Krishna. So the most important quality of your future wife is that she has to be a devotee and that she wants to marry you to work together cooperatively with you to serve Krishna. This is the basis for a real spiritual relationship that will withstand the temporary so-called ‘love.’

      There is no real love in the material world. What goes on in the material world as ‘love’ is actually only lust. So there is no point in getting married on the basis of lust. Because it comes and goes. So if you get married on the basis of ‘love’ a few days later the ‘love’ will be gone and you will be wanting a divorce. So for a devotee a relationship has to be much deeper that this love which is only another way of saying lust.

      So your love towards each other is not important. What is important is both of your love for Krishna. And it is important that you understand that you want to come together as husband and wife to work together to serve Krishna in your family life. The wife should be the assistant of the husband and the husband should be engaged in serving Krishna and the wife should be engaged in helping her husband serve Krishna. This is the main thing. This should be the basis of the marriage of a Krishna conscious person. Not this nonsense ‘love’ that is here today and gone tomorrow.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  29. Premavati says:

    Hate Krishna ,
    People seem to think the four Varnas are unique to Indian Hindus. It is very unfair to think this way about a sect of people of a particular country. The four Varnas are only a basic division of people according to their services to the earth. If they are not Brahmins they are called priests in the other parts of the earth. Priests are found all over the world even this day. In the language of sSanskrit they are called Brahmins. These Varnas are only a cover . The wilful perpetration of destruction takes place ‘ over all’. Whether it is Nature or humans , both perpetrate sins to change the face of earth .that is the meaning of Vishwaroopa.Hare Krishna.

    • Hare Krishna Premavati

      You are correct of course. The Varnas are created by Krishna and exist everywhere. But the problem in India is this system has been perverted. Krishna created the four divisions of Brahmana, Ksatriya, Vaishya and Sudra based on guna [qualities] and karma [work]. So according to the system that Krishna created a brahmana is a person who has the qualities of a brahmana [which are listed in the 18th chapter of Bhagavad-gita] and who works as a brahmana. Unfortunatly in India this system has now become completely twisted and perverted, now in India they have made it into a hereditary system. Now the say if one is born of a brahmana father then he is a brahmana. But this is incorrect. The caste is not determined by birth. It is not determined by jati, birth, it is determined by qualities and work [guna and karma].

      So to become a brahmana one has to have the qualities of a brahmana and work as a brahmana, it has nothing to do with the family he was born in.

      So this prevision of the caste system in India has totally destroyed the whole structure of the society. It is a very big disaster.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  30. Premavati says:

    Hare Krishna Shrila Madhudvisa, something is wrong some where while digesting truths from Shrimad Bagavadgita . The caste system was not created . It naturally happened according to the choice of individual passion and ability. Later it turned in to caste system as people of same profession flocked in a same area for the sake of production and business . Most professions had trade secrets to be coveted and to be protected from misuse and pilferage. This needed tight and compact set of families that could hold on to tradition and prcatces. Lord Krishna does not talk of caste system . He says Chaturvidha Varna …Varna does not mean caste . Caste means ‘jathi’ which means a branch of the ‘varna’ which purely creation of humans for convenience of divulging trade secrets to the right people and surely they are good and intelligent enough to carry on the trade. Even today in this country if you move to the villages you would see these particular sects with their own trade secrets and economic activities. For ex. The farmer and the iron smith ..they work for each other. The modern advancement in science and technology have no meaning for them . In a country of 1.38 billion with hardly 5 square meter space a family is happily settled in the cities in these times of travel to other planets. This unbelievable density in each square meter has enhanced the power of Krishna. They live chanting Krishna in utter poverty as the compact nature of Chaturvarnyam is now very lose and corrupt due to the natural reasons created by Krishna. Perhaps the pollution started after the MahaBharata war!Actually the ” Arjuna Vishada verses” perfectly suit the present political , economical and social state in this country. Hare Krishna.

    • Hare Krishna Premavati

      You are mistaken. Krishna says “I created the four divisions based on quality and work’ catur varnam maya srstam guna karma vibhagasa. So Krishna says He created this. We have to believe Krishna.

      What the Indians have done is perverted Krishna’s original system by changing the basis of it from quality [guna] and work [karma] to birth [jati]. And thus they have destroyed the whole social system.

      But Krishna’s division of the men into four different classes:

      • Brahmanas: the intellectual priestly class
      • Ksatriyas: the ruling, managing, warrior class
      • Vaishyas: the farmers and businessman class
      • Sudras: the bulk of the population who can not support themselves independently and thus must serve the higher classes for their maintenance.

      So Krishna created this system, it is everywhere, all over the world you will find these four different types of men. But the problem is today this system is not being systematically followed and all over the world the people who do not have the right qualifications are working in positions they are unable to properly fulfill. People who are not qualified as brahmanas are posing as brahmanas for example. It has created great problems.

      So the proper running of this Vanasrama system needs to be reintroduced in society for the smooth running of the society as a whole.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  31. Kaustubh says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu,
    Could you please elaborate on what yavanas & melechas are ? Thank you.

  32. Avinash says:

    Nice article. Its a good talent you present Prabhupad’s wisdom in a very strong and meaningful way.

  33. Curious says:

    Dear Madhudvisa dasa,

    I have been trying to learn more about how nurses are viewed and treated by traditional Indian business men here in America. I am told by my new co-workers that nurses are viewed as “holy” or “very special” people. Being a nurse cultural consideration is particularly of utmost importance to me. Being a westerner, I have never been exposed to any concept of a caste system until now. I believe what you are saying about any civilization or culture, some degree of caste system is in place. I want to honor my business partners’ beliefs and culture. Can you explain to me where a nurse fits into the more traditional Indian caste system. As well as a director of nursing would also fit.

    Thank you in advanced for any information you provide me. I sincerely need to know how to understand my role in this new company.



    • Hare Krishna

      Indians may see nurses as holy or pious because they are helping sick people get well. This is something of a mundane concept. There have been many bogus preachers in India and today’s ‘Hindusm’ is a result of the preaching of many bogus swamis and gurus and the “Hindusim” that has become the result of this is more a product of the imagination and speculation of these bogus swamis and gurus that actually anything that is contained in the Vedic scriptures.

      Hindus may confuse helping people get well with something that is holy or spiritual as one of these bogus gurus has popularized the conception that one is serving God by serving mankind. So you could say that nurses are serving mankind, therefore, according to this bogus philosophy, they are serving God.

      But actually serving God is different from serving mankind. These are big subjects. And it is not possible to explain everything here in a few paragraphs. I suggest you read the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and you will find all the answers you are looking for there.

      The current Indian caste system is completely bogus. It is based on the caste of the person’s father. But the actual caste of a person is not determined by the caste of his father. It is determined by his own qualities and his own work. If someone’s father is a lawyer that does not meant that automatically he is a lawyer. No. If the son is to be accepted as a lawyer he has to study law himself and pass the examinations and be appointed as a lawyer and be actually defending his clients in the courts. Then he has the qualities of a lawyer and is working as a lawyer. So all the castes have particular qualities and particular occupations by which a member of that caste is identified.

      So it is not at all important to understand the current Indian social system or what the Hindus think about philosophy or the caste system, because it is all wrong. Better to study the books of Srila Prabhupada and you will find all the correct answers there.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  34. Vanshika says:

    Hare Krishna, Radhey Radhey Prabhu
    In this mail you have spoke a truth about Indian caste system. As really here are people who are simply thinking that we are brahmans so we are the most above and are doing everything right, but they do not know the real meaning of being a brahman as you explained in this mail, very nice explanation.
    Hare Krishna, Radhey Radhey Prabhu

  35. Tamil Mani says:

    Hare Krishna.

    Prabhu, if someone born in a brahmana family does not possess the qualities of a brahmana and does not work as a brahmana, then what caste does he belong to or evolve into? If he becomes a businessman in his adult life, does he become a vaisya?

    Please elaborate on one’s birth and subsequent change of caste.

    Thank you.

    • Hare Krishna Tamil

      In Kali-yuga everyone is born as a sudra. So we find practically speaking that there are only sudras and a few vaisyas. Vaisya is really for cow protection and agriculture and then when there is some surplus agricultural production the vaisyas trade that. That is the real idea of Vaisya. The main business of hte vaisya is cow protection. So are these busnessmen protecting cows?

      So really these days everyone is a sudra or less.

      Of course if one does actually have the qualities of a particular varna and does work in that position then he is actually in that varna. That is the definition Krishna gives in the Bhagavad-gita: ‘guna karma vibhagsa’, it means ones varna is determined by guna [means his qualities] and karma [means his work]. So if one’s qualities are the same qualities as Krishna lists for a vaisya in the 18th Chapter of Bhagavad-gita and if he works as a vaisya then he is a vaisya. It is determined by a persons actual qualities and how he works. It is not determined by birth.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  36. Rohit sharma says:

    Hare Krishna prabhu ji, dandvat !
    You are like Compass to Krsnä Consciousness the Path finder to Krsnä in the mundane labyrinth. I beg apoloogies to draw your attention to “Airtel Song- jo teraa hai vo meraa hai…”(means every friend is necessary, even how gross meagre he may be). Can friends of twice born be initiated by just congregational chanting where the only personal form of bonafide spritual master is the holy names of the lord krsnä . Wether people can initiate themselves by just following vaishnav rules and regulations, reading ISKCON books meanwhile randomly going to temple (iskcon). Means to ask – does this contradictory labor class point of view supported by ISKCON?

    • Initiation is not such a cheap thing. There has to be bona fide spiritual master and bona fide disciple. And the disciple has to surrender to the spiritual master, offer obeisances, serve him, inquire from him submissively. People can not ‘initiate themselves’. They have to get initiated by a bona fide spiritual master. Prabhupada is a bona fide spiritual master and he can initiate disciples through his books but this is a very serious thing.

      The holy name of Krishna and the spiritual master are two different things. We get the ability to chant the holy name of Krishna by the mercy of the bona fide spiritual master.

      Krishna consciousness is a process and it has to be followed if we are to advance in Krishna consciousness. You have to learn the science of Krishna consciousness. To do this you have to study Srila Prabhupada’s books.

      Of course if you hear the chanting of a pure devotee of Krishna you can get initiated like that also. But initiation means the beginning of the path. It is the point at which you surrender to the process of saddhana bhakti which starts with strictly following the four regulative principles: no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication and chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily. IF you are not doing at least this very regularly you can know it for sure that you are not yet initiated.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  37. surinder says:

    excellent explanation of caste sysyem and its distortions in India and amongst indians
    I grew up with Sikh tradition which rejects the distortions
    A Brahmana besides qualities listed by the Lord needs to be contented under all all circumstances and accept all good and bad that befalls him
    Gurunanak the founder was a working person and either begged or worked for a living states that doing brahminical duties becomes a profession;a brahmana needs to be contented to receive Lord’s grace;he cannot receive grace by performing his Brahminical duties
    He further goes on to explain that a Vaishnav needs to be
    Fully surrendered and contented
    Chants the holy name and encourages others to Chant
    Has no wordly desires
    Feels the pain of others
    Has compassion
    Constantly sings and listens to the glories of the Holy Name
    Krishna himself has become the Holy Name in Kaliyuga(Harer Naam Kevalam)

  38. Dr.Goswami says:

    Hara Krishna Prabhu Ji,
    I read anxiously all your e-mails. These are very informative. You have very nicely explained the four varanashrama, which were not by one’s birth but on the basis of gunas and karma. Every body was interdependent on each other for their livelihood. Now the whole system of varanashrams have been changed to caste system, which are by birth and not on the basis of gunas and karmas. I will appreciate to know why, when and who changed this varanashram concept to birth basis. It has harmed our nation and society more than any thing else. Our big politicians, religious preachers and even pseudo social reformers were/are also not interested to change the existing caste system, which probably suit them better than any other things.
    With regards and Hare krishna

  39. AMAN says:

    Hara Krishna Prabhu Ji,

    I love to see the email when its comes in my email box, Really u deserve a great job to brings Krishna Consciousness in the people mind through your email..
    Well i say now a days in india Sudras is doing a King’s job like i see some one in politician and some one is bring as brahmanas in so many temple while they do nothing about brahamans responsibility, so its look like all the Kalyug effect is happening in this world..
    So now u see where we survive from this types of people, i just say all we do to just do our daily karma and not involve with this type of people through Shree Krishna Consciousness.
    Hare Krishna

  40. Savitri says:

    hare krishna,
    It was very informative, Thank you so much for this article. Looking forward to read more articles like this. You have been clearing my doubts every day by your sp incredible articles.

    Thanks & regards

  41. kapil saxena says:

    hare Krishna
    dear brother once again thanks to you for such impressive insight -my query is that it is said that Sudra has no right to self realization and vedic literature access -no body accept Sudra as disciple then how would he be able to elevate himself

  42. spencer says:

    Dear Madhudvisa

    I simply want to say, how much I enjoy your insightful teachings, Please continue with you E-mails

    yours sincerely


  43. Nirupam Banerjee says:

    Dear Madhudvisa dasa,

    An extremely interesting Article. And it is seemingly going to wash away many of the prevailing ideas in the present society. Thank you for unleashing such a ‘new’ wave of ideas into the modern times.

    I have meanwhile a few questions:

    [1] What is the profession of the PLAYERS in modern times? – E.g. those in the fighting sports like Wrestling, Boxing, etc? Are they KHATRIYAS like BHIM ? – But unless and until they join the Police or Army or Politics, how can they ever be professional in this direction?) Or rather they are BAISHYAS (as they seem to be in a kind of entertainment Buisness instead)?
    [2]What is the Profession of an ARTIST? – Are they BRAHMANS (as they may deal with subjects like Philosophy etc) or BAISHYAS (as they also entertain & sell their Artworks)?

    • Hare Krishna Nirupam

      Artists are sudras and this wrestling, fighting, etc, for sport is entertainment which is also sudra.

      Actually in Kali-yuga everyone is born a sudra. Only by the proper training and education can one be raised from the sudra platform. But certainly artists are sudras.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

    • Ishan das says:

      Hare Krishna Nirupam!

      What Lord Caitanya is teaching us is that we are “nitya Krishna das”. We are all eternal servants of Krishna. Just as this material body is a temporal manifestation, so also, these conceptions of brahmana, ksatriya, vaishya and sudra – these designations do not apply to the real person who temporarily dwells within any particular body. The real person, the jiva atma, the individual spirit soul, is not any of these things.

      Indian spirituality is packaged in different levels of conception. All of them are meant to bring the soul closer to God. For example, there are 20 dharma shastras, dealing with the duties of the four varnas of brahmana, ksatriya, vaishya, sudra, and the four ashramas of brahmacari, grihastha, vanaprastha and sanyasa.

      And yet when we read Bhagavad-gita, we see that Krishna ultimately advises Arjuna:


      Translation: “You just give up all these considerations of dharma and surrender yourself to me 100%, and in return I will remove all of your karma (SARVA PAPEBHYO MOKSHAYISYAMI). Just love Me (Krishna) and I will free you from all karma and you willnot have to return to this terrible world of birth and death”.

      So there is no contradiction in shastra, in the sense that they are all leading us to the same goal, ultimately. But there is the step by step. And there is the elevator. Krishna Consciousness is the elevator. You do not have to be concerned with these issues of brahamna or sudra. As spirit we are identically the same in quality. Those who are attached to these material designations , they cannot go to live in the spiritual world. Therefore Krishna says, “You give up these ideas, and whatever you do, you do it for Me with love.”

      These varnas, and ashramas, they have their proper place in structuring a sane society. But as has already been pointed out, in Kali Yuga there is no more chance of a sane society. The government leaders are all corrupt liers and theives, and the populace knows this and most of mankind simply follows the examples of the leaders. They population is animals dressed like humans. The only chance is to surrender to Krishna from our present position and leave this palce and never return.

      In Gita, Krishna explains, that those who worship ghosts and spirits, they will go to them when they die, and those who worship the devas will go to the devas ( and then have to return to earthly planets after some time when their good karma is used up, like a good bank account), but those who worship Me, will come to Me, Krishna says.

      So real spiritual life is not about becoming a yogi, not about developing mystic powers, not about being a good person, not about taking a trip to the planets of the devas who also only have a temporal existance, not about achieving wealth, material happiness, ……. Yes, all these things are there in the vedas. But it is like father trying to induce the child to take medicine. Because to do all of these different paths, one has to follow some prescription, and those prescriptions come from God. But people have all these desires. So God is very kind. “You can persue these desires in this way, in this way, on and on.” but this will be a very slow path of progress because the goal of life is to develope love of God, and all of these paths are for the persuit of self-centered goals. Therefore Krishna advises that we give up all of this immaturity, and come to the point of pure bhakti, with no self-centered desire. Because in that way we will win Krishna’s heart. And then he will take us to the spiritual realm where the happiness is beyond our ability to imagine. And it never ends. Therefore in Gita Krishna refers to this path as “RAJA VIDYA RAJA GUYAM”, the king of all knowledge and the most confidential secret wisdom. But only the most intelligent can take it. One out of thousands and thousands of persons. That is this Krishna consciousness. Please, you take it.

      • Devang says:

        Hare Krishna,

        How can one develop love for krishna?

        what is the method/process for developing the love for Krishna.

        Also what would be the signs/characteristics of a person who has develop love for krishna.

        • Hare Krishna Devang

          Prabhu, that is what Srila Prabhupada is teaching in his books. PLEASE READ THEM!!!!!!

          It is not a one or two paragraph answer. It is a science and you have to learn it. It is like you have written a question “How can I become a brain surgeon?” And you expect to be able to learn how to become a brain surgeon from a two paragraph reply to your question. It is not so simple. Krishna consciousness is a science and you have to learn and practice the science. So read Prabhupada’s books Prabhu.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

          • Devang says:

            Hare Krishan Madhudvisa dasa

            Prabhuji I have read few books and also the Bhagwat Gita with patience but I will tell you honestly I am not getting it quite when we talk about loving krishna.

            I entirely understand its difficult to explain in two paragraph but if you could hint the science of krishna in the way you understand it that would be great.

            Hare Krishna

          • Loving Krishna comes later Prabhu.

            You have to start at the beginning and the beginning is strictly following the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication], chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and reading Srila Prabhupada’s books at least 1-2 hours a day. We have to get into this sort of lifestyle. And then as we are reading Srila Prabhupada’s books he will guide us and give us instructions and we have to surrender to him and serve him and follow his instructions. We can not know Krishna or love Krishna without getting the blessings of Krishna’s pure devotees. So we have to please Srila Prabhupada otherwise there is no way we will ever be able to know Krishna or love Krishna. We can only get Krishna’s mercy by getting Prabhupada’s mercy so it is much more important to think about how we can serve Srila Prabhupada, how we can please Srila Prabhupada that thinking of loving Krishna.

            If we can please Srila Prabhupada then the Krishna consciousness that is already within our hearts will awaken and our natural love for Krishna will be revived. Love for Krishna is not something we have to learn. It is already there within our hearts, it simply has to be uncovered. And this is possible by the mercy of a pure devotee of Krishna only, so we have to get the mercy of a pure devotee of Krishna like Srila Prabhupada otherwise love for Krishna we will never be able to understand…

            Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

            Madhudvisa dasa

          • ishan das says:

            Loving Krishna is as natural as loving anyone else. But the process is that first we have to come to know all about that person. Then love gradually developes. So we have to keep reading about Krishna in Gita and Bhagavatam. And gradually we will understand how great He is and how much desrving of our love He is.

            Also, Krishna is actually the only appropriate recipient of our love. Krishna and Krishna’s pure devotees. And the more we participate in the process of Krishna Consciousness, the more we will be purified – and our desire to awaken and cultivate our love for Krishna will arise in our hearts.

            Srila Prabhupada has instructed us that when we chant the Hare Krishna maha mantra, our attitude should be, “Oh Radha, Oh Krishna, please engage me in your service.” But our service to Krishna is DEVOTIONAL SERVICE, not officially “devotional”, but actually service with love. Therefore when we chant Hare Krishna our attitude can be, “Please bless me so that I can feel love for You.” And according to our sincerity, everything will follow.

            Again, if you read Sri Caitanya-caritamrita (with commentary by Srila Prabhupada) the subject matter is “the loving character of the living force in the immortal condition.” Lord Caitanya is our leader, Who is demonstrating the character of love for Krishna, so that we can get a perspective and begin to meditate on what love for Krishna actually is.

            Go for it! It is not hidden. Simply we must have the desire.

        • Ishan das says:

          Dear Devang, Hare Krishna!

          What Madhudvisa is saying to you is the plain truth of the matter.

          Still, your questions are very intelligent questions. So I am attracted to the opportunity to consider you questions.

          Question: How can one develope love for Krishna?

          There are two aspects of developing love for Krishna.

          The FIRST ASPECT is very easy to understand. How do you develpe love for anyone? It is by association and by cultivation. The more we associate with someone and cultivate a loving exchange with them, the more we will develope our love for them (if they are good, fine, virtuous etc.)

          Well, Krishna is most beautiful, kind, loving person that one can meet. His qualities are described in the shastras. So the more we learn about Him, by reading, by hearing, the more we develope a sense of being attracted to Him. And then we cultivate our affection for Him by engaging in His service. First there is Hearing about Krishna in a devotional attitude. That is service. Then we can repeat what we have read. And we can chant His Name, in japa, and in kirtan. This is devotional service. Then there is puja, worship Krishna on the alter, the Murti of Krishna. All that we cook can be offered to Krishna. Flowers can be offered to Krishna. So, as Madhudvisa has written, this subject matter can and does fill books. The books of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. As you are interested you will enjoy reading these books. Reading these books about service to Krishna is also service to krishna.

          The SECOND ASPECT is a very great subject matter. The shastras inform us that actually, love for Krishna is something very different than what we will find here in the material world. it is a very, very rare thing. In this world, people speak of love, but it is not really love. Because there are so many conditions that are attached to that so-called love. And when those conditions are not met, then that lack of real love is revealed. Wherever there are problems in human relations it is because people are not getting their self-centered desires fulfilled. So that is not love. Real love is not conditional. Real love has nothing to do with our personal needs. Real love means to take pleasure in the happiness of another being, without considering our own needs. Real love means that it does not matter what kind of difficulty we must endure in order to achieve the happiness of another. That happines of the other being becomes our very life.

          This kind of love is love for Krishna. But where can obtain this kind of love? The shastras instruct us, after all is said and done, that this kind of love comes through grace. It is a benediction. The only person who can bendict us with that kind of love – is one who is in possession of that love. That kind of love is called “pure” love. And one who has pure, unmotivated love for Krishna – he/she is called a pure devotee. We must find out Krishna’s pure devotee. You will find this instruction in shastra, in so many places. (start with Bhagavad-gita 4/34). And we must take such pure devotee as our spiritual master, our guru. And we must engage in Krishna’s service under the guidance of the pure devotee. And we must serve the pure devotee. And when the pure devotee becomes pleased with us, by degree, he will enlighten us with his divine grace. Gradually he will benedict us with love for Krishna. There are many stages of this developement process. Ultimately he will benedict us with such love for Krishna that we will never be able to forget Krishna for even one meoment, not even while sleeping.

          As for the signs, THE SYMPTOMS OF LOVE FOR KRISHNA, again that is a very voluminous subject matter. but we can give some tiny sketch here, as it is described in shastra.

          When one has pure love for Krishna, he or she no longer thinks of this body as the real self. One has direct perception that, “I am not this body.” I am not white or black. Or American or Indian. Or man or woman. Or young or old, rich or poor, healthy or sick, weak or strong. I own nothing. Everything belongs to Krishna. I came into this world with nothing and I will leave with nothing. It all belongs to Krishna. Therefore everything must be used to serve Krishna.

          One who has pure love for Krishna as no more desires in terms of this body or mind. He aspires for no material position or condition. He has no desire for respect from other persons. he sees everyone as more advanced in spirtual life than himself. He gives the highest honor to every living entity. He wants no women, no followers, no wealth. He only wants to serve Krishna, to glorify Krishna, and to associate with others who feel likewise. And he has so much compassion for those who do not have this love for Krishna that he feels compelled to share this knowledge with all who can receive it. He cannot rest knowing that there are people in this world who do not have this love for Krishna.

          Although generally he will want to keep this love for Krishna hidden in his heart, still sometimes he cannot contain himself and sometimes he will act as follows:

          – he will sing and dance like a mad person without caring for social circumstance.

          – he will feel ecstacy in his whole being and he will role on the ground unable to contain himself.

          – his ecstacy will cause his whole body to break out in having all the hairs on his body standing on end, as he is thrilled in Krishna consciousness.

          – Sometimes his whole being will become stunned, inert.

          As we say, there are books that simply describe these symptoms of love of God – and you can read these books.

          Such a person is no longer subject to hankering and lamentation, heat and cold, happiness and distress, hunger and thirst.

          This is all called self-realization. These symptoms are by-products of love for Krishna.


          But the main thing to remember is that the entire proces of developement of love for Krishna, both in the stage of sadhana (practice), and in the stage of sadhya (maturity) – all of this must be generated under the guidance of the pure devotee, the guru, and all progress is in actuallity awarded by Sri Gurudeva.

          Now, there are in this world so many so-called gurus. Today they are a dime a dozen, or a rupee a dozen. Simply because someone or some institution presents someone as a guru does not mean that they have the qualification to benedict us with love of Krishna. What they themselves have not got, that they cannot give to others. Therefore one has to find a pure devotee of Krishna and surrender to him, give one’s life to him, and convice him to please benedict us with love for Krishna.

          We sincerely hope that in some tiny way some of these words will be helpful in answering your most intelligent questions.

          Take up the holy name “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna……….Hare Hare”, and read the books of the pure devotee, A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and as you are sincere everything will be revealed to you.

          • Devang says:

            Hare Krishna Ishan Das!

            Firstly Thank You for answering the questions and yes your words indeed answer the question.

            I am pleased to know such great things from great spirit.

            I feel that I have been benedicted.

            Thank you once again for showering your love and I am touched by your answer and convinced as well.

            Now I got to know the really benefit of being in a company of true devotee of Krishna.

            Hare Krishna!

            Many Thanks


  44. onkar says:

    And its much better 2 accept Indian culture dan western culture….. No doubt The main problem in ruinin spiritual development is dat dirty western culture….

  45. Gunaseelan Ramasamy says:

    Hare Krishna Prabu,

    In terms of the Brahmana’s position, they were divided by 6 nature of jobs. But in reality, are Brahmana’s really doing all the above mentioned 6 jobs correctly and sincerely?

    Could you clarify or elaborate on this prabu..

    Hare Krishna


    • Hare Krishna Prabhu

      If someone is not working in these six brahminical occupations he is not a brahmana. That is the point. Today in Kali-yuga practically you can not find any real brahmanas. Everyone is born a sudra in Kali-yuga and becoming a brahmana is only possible for one who takes the proper training and they are not taking that training so they remain sudras only.

      There are some intelligent people who could be trained up as brahmanas but there is practically no one giving this training and no one interested in accepting this training anyhow. That is Kali-yuga. All sudras…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  46. regan says:

    The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater.

    It was in fact the true master Krishna that broke the chains of the caste system.
    Once one knows krishna what is the point of a caste system it is for blind men lost in maya, once krishnas love is full the chains of so called catse are broken. It is krishna that destroys all illusions of other demi god of casts look deeply into the words in the gita Krishna was the liberator or the old ways , so people could wake up to the oldest and truest way Krsna.

  47. Rati says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu,

    Thank you for your articles. I find that you have a spot-on, unperverted understanding of Krishna consciousness, which is clear and easy for the reader to understand.

    My question: The Varnas correspond to the modes of nature, i.e. brahmana is mode of goodness, ksatriya passion, etc. So if someone is perfectly performing the duties of a sudra for example, which is the mode of ignorance, how is it that they can be in the mode of pure goodness and become a liberated soul? Please correct my misunderstanding.

    Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,

    Rati Rupa

    • Hare Krishna Rati Rupa

      A sudra’s business is only to serve the higher castes. He has no intelligence how to independently earn his livelihood. But the sudras have many good skills and talents. They are artists, actors, technologists, as well as ordinary workers. So every sudra has his work to offer. So if he has the great fortune of working for a master who can guide him in such a way that his work is used in the glorification of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna, then he is perfectly engaged in the davi varnashrama system and his work is being offered to the Supreme Lord and is being used to glorify the Supreme Lord. He himself may be in the mode of ignorance, but that does not matter, if he is properly guided by a devotee master then he is working for Krishna and the result of his work are being used for the glorification of Krishna so he is properly performing his duties in the devi varnasharam system.

      Of course at this point in the development of Kali-yuga there is no proper master to guide the sudras and the society is not set up so that the results of the work of the whole society will be the glorification of the Supreme Lord and Srila Prabhupada informs us a number of times in his books that it is impossible to reestablish this varnashrama system in its original form now. Really everyone is a sudra now. Kalu sudra sambava. ‘In Kali-yuga everyone is born as a sudra.’ So for this age Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has most mercifully given us the sankirtan movement and by taking advantage of the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra and the association of Srila Prabhupada even we sudras can be easily elevated to the position of Vaisnavas, which is higher than the position of a brahmana.

      So for this time the yuga-dharma, or the religious principle for the age, is the sankritan movement of Lord Caitanya, not the Varnasrama system…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

    • Ishan das says:

      Dear Rati Rupa, As Madhudvisa Prabhu is saying, the sankirtan yagna is the yuga dharma, and everyone can take part.

      But we all have our daily work, also. In Bhagavad-gita, at the outset, Arjuna wants to give up his work as a ksatriya, because he is so disturbed at the thought of killing his relatives on the battlefield.

      But Krishna tells Arjuna that he should remain in his position, accept his duties in that position, but with one small adjustment. He should do his work as an offering to Krishna. He should do his work so nicely, whatever that work may be, and in his heart he should think, “Dear Krishna, please accept this work that I am doing as an offering to you. I am just trying to do this work so nicely so that you will be pleased.” In this way anyone in any walk of life can do his or her work in the spirit of devotion. No one has to know the person’s inner feelings. the only difference will be that the person will do the work more nicely than ever before. And also the person who is sincerely trying to please Krishna, moment by moment in his work, that person will become very happy as his relationship with krishna grows through his work.

      Then when the worker comes home to his family, he can just continue serving Krishna, but now through sankirtan, puja, and offering the family cooking to Krishna on the family altar.

      Krishna Consciousness is so nice. Our lives remain the same for the most part. Simply we must make Krishna the center.

      Hare Krishna, Ishan das

    • vijay kumar says:

      ‘In Kali-yuga everyone is born as a sudra.’ everyone is a sudra now. Kalu sudra sambava. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has given us the sankirtan movement and by taking advantage of the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra and the association of Srila Prabhupada even we sudras can be easily elevated to the position of Vaisnavas,
      which is higher than the position of a brahmana. Hare Krishna be always happy

  48. Animesh Roy says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa dasa!!
    Very well explained..”The Horrible Indian Caste System”
    Once on a long train ride in Poland.. i was asked by fellow eager passenger about our “horrible caste system etc” i tried my best to explain..but i could see distrust and not convinced.. they all kept saying all human are same etc. and we must treat etc everyone equal… blah blah.. i tried to draw parallel.. that some form of caste system is practised every where.. and its quite natural that all human are not born with same talent, IQ, etc. but since ours is much more ancient civilisation.. it is more defined.. they were all Europeans with a preconceived notion about India etc.
    Then something happened.. a man got in and sat in the empty seat in our cabin… the moment he walked in.. the whole place was filed with a stench.. he was what is known as a bum… immediately all the passengers shrank away from him… few felt the cabin to sit somewhere else… the man smelled really bad..of alcohol, had fouled manners and was extremely dirty!!
    I smiled at my eager audience and suddenly they all understood!!

  49. Sanat Attavar says:

    Dear Madhuvisa Dasa,

    Hare Krishna! Is it then possible that in the same life that a person is a Sudra but he works or trains towards being a brahmana or a ksatriya or a vaisvyas?

    Like one is working for a company but reads the scriptures, qualifies himself in it and starts to teach them or one buys some land and starts to farm in them does it make him a brahmana / ksatriya or a vaisvyas. I understand that being anyone of them has no consequence in one’s quest for reaching GOD but want to understand if this is how it is.

    Warm regards

    • Yes Prabhu. In Kali-yuga actually everyone is born a sudra. So without the proper training no one can become anything but a sudra or less.

      The different orders of life (brahmana, ksatriya, vaishya and sudra) are for people who have different qualities and work in different occupations. So a brahmana for example is a person who has the qualities of a brahmana and works as a brahmana. All these qualities and qualifications of the different orders of life are discussed by Lord Krishna in the eighteenth chapter of Bhagavad Gita. You should read it for yourself and find out.

      One’s classification according to the Varnasrama system is determined by guna [his qualities] and karma [his work]. Not at all by birth. So if one changes his qualities by education and changes his work then he can change his designation. Of course according to the body we have the body has a natural tendency to work in a particular way. For example brahmanas are the intellectual caste so if one is not an intellectual, if he does not have a very good brain, then he really can not work as a brahmana, and ksatriyas are warriors, statesmen, administrators. So they have to be physically strong and if one is not physically strong then it is not very practical for him to work as a ksatriya.

      Of course in Kali-yuga everyone is working in the wrong occupations and that has created havoc everywhere so this idea of Varnasrama is a bit irrelevant right now.

      The main thing it to become a pure devotee of Krishna and that transcends the Varnasrama system.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  50. divyat says:

    my dear lord what caste do doctors,engineers,etc belong to.

    • The caste is determined by quality and work. So the work is only part of it. But the work of a brahmin is studying the sastras, teaching the sastras to others, performing yajna to satisfy the Supreme Lord and engaging and teaching others how to do this, and receiving charity and giving charity. So that does not sound like a doctor or an engineer to me. In Kali-yuga everyone is born a sudra so everyone is a sudra by birth and there is no spiritual eduction so they remain sudras. So you will find doctors and engineers are sudras.

      The other part of the determination is the quality, for a brahmin he must be truthful, tolerant, peaceful, learned in the scriptures, have practical realization of the knowledge in the scriptures, etc…. So in Kali-yuga the doctors and engineers are most certainly not trained in these things so they are sudras.

      Of course mostly they are not even sudras because a sudra follows the Vedic system but today’s doctors and engineers are generally eating meat and having illicit sex and gambling and taking intoxication, in other words they are engaged in all sorts of sinful activities and are not following the Vedic system in any way. So they are actually yavanas and melechas…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

    • Ishan das says:

      The understanding is that the brahmana, the real brahmana, he or she is very close to God, or brahman.

      Because a brahmana is very close to God, a brahmana will receive charity, but will give away whatever is not required, at the end of each day. Why? Because the real brahmana knows that God, Vishnu or Krishna will always provide for his needs. Therefore there is no necessity to stockpile. In this life, everyone is inclined to stockpile. That stockpiling is a symptom of being a gross materialist, who has no faith in God.

      So one may be a doctor or engineer or whatever. But we have to see his overall way of living. Does he consider himself to be a servant of the public, or is he simply taking advantage of his profession to become wealthy, to hoard and stockpile, while so many others are doing without?

      A real brahmana is very close to brahman. But one who is a devotee, a bhakta, he is better than a brahmana. Because a bhakta is always engaged the service of the Supreme Brahman. He may be a ditch digger, or street sweeper, but if in his mind he is thinking all of these streets really belong to Krishna, and therefore we must keep them very nicely cleaned, then he is more elevated than the most prestigious brahmana.

      Vedanta sutra says: “Athato brahma jijnasa”, “Now that we have come to the human form of life, we should enquire into the nature of the Absolute Truth.”

      The Absolute Truth is not only God, but God and all of the shaktis or energies of God. The shastra tells us that God has unlimited energies: “Parasya shaktir vividaiva shruyate.” And we also are one of the energies of God. We also are brahman. But we are not “param brahman”. We are spiritual beings, eternal beings, who are the eternal servants of God: “jivera svarupa hoy nitya Krishna das.” Nitya krishna das. Eternally we are the servants of Krishna. But because we have desired to be self-centered, therefore we have taken our birth in the material world, and instead of becoming servants of God we have become servants of dog, cat, family, nation, etc. All of these goals will never satisfy us.

      Therefore this human life is meant for reawakening our loving service connection with Param Brahma, Bhagavan Sri Krishna, from any position in society. The so-called brahmana, who is simply proud of his social position, but is not a sincere bhakta, he will take his next birth as dog or hog. Therefore one who is intelligent, he will put aside these considerations, chant Hare Krishna mantra, and go back home to the spiritual realm, never to return to this miserable world of birth and death, that is the playground of so many dogs, hogs and so-called brahmanas.

      Hare Krishna! Ishan das

  51. Shanti Bose says:

    prabhu I enjoy reading all the literature
    that you send me I sit and read them and think about them you reply are very good

  52. Swakshar Roy says:

    Hare Krishna,
    I think that this caste system is the main problem of our hindu society. and it will lead us to the demolish end. we should throw this at once in the waste bin otherwise it will poisoned us day after day.

    • divyat says:

      you are not completely right. caste system is not the problem but discrimination on the basis of caste is the problem. the caste system actually divides man on their occupation which is good as classification helps to do work but if we start discriminating people on basis of caste then situation gets horrible

      • Hare Krishna Divyat

        The caste system is not based on birth, that is the problem with the current Indian caste system. In India people are thinking if they are born in a brahmin family then they are automatically bhahmins. But this is not correct according to the sastras. A brahmin is one who works as a brahmin and who has the qualities of a brahmin. And the work of a brahmin and the qualities of a brahmin are clearly outlined in the Bhagavad-gita. So it has absolutely nothing to do with the family one is born in. The Indian system, which is based on birth in a particular family, is completely bogus, completely horrible and an absolute perversion of the Varnasrama system as it is described by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita. There are two things that determine ones caste: guna [qualities] and karma [work]. You have only mentioned one, ‘occupation’. You have failed to mention that also one requires the qualities of a particular caste and you have not stressed that it has nothing to do with what family you are born in…

  53. VIJAY kumar says:

    Hare Krishna, madhu ji u R loveable person dantwat Radhakrishna aur bhakto ko apko pranam,
    my senior advocate of tis hazari court Delhi came to me and described an incident of court that when he was appear in court a judge belong to SC sudra cast misinterpreted the law he could not grant a bail. and saying before some advocate that when people of our cast have sex with their women than sudra birth. we are brahmin,god is also respect us on that time he was in inebriated condition and i was doing chanting before him . he belong brij pandit i m belong to sudra but i am always prachar tulsi mala ji, 16 round jap , bhagvat gita distribution , i dont know why i am doing these kind of work but i like most gopal krishna radha ji bhagwan ke bhakt AUR PRAM SHAKTISHALI VISHNU JI, I LOVE HIM . ILOVE YOU MADHU JI YOU ARE GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT.

    • Hare Krishna Vijay

      Kalou sudra sambava: In Kali-yuga everyone is born a sudra. So unless one has actually undergone the reformatory processes and the training to become a brahmin he is a sudra. So all these Indian brahman-by-birth people are sudras and they are actually working as sudras, accepting service, and they also have the qualities of sudras like not following the regulative principles, etc.

      So the current Indian caste system is totally corrupt and it should be immediately abolished and everyone who is using it to get some false high-position above others should immediately be declared as the sudras they are. Practically everyone is a sudra at the moment. And by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya anyone can be elevated to the platform of a Vaishnava [which is higher than a brahmana] simply by chanting:

      Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
      Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy and forget about this bogus Indian caste system!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • vijay kumar says:

        Highest Respectable Guruji SRI Madhudvisa dasa ji,
        it is my humble pray before godhead Krishna Balram and Sri RadhaRani ji, that kindly release to Madhudvisa dasa ji from cycle of birth and death.if his life is long at earth than he preach to all people. Realy you are master , you are director ,you are full of love , thousands of Punya definitely goes in the name of you. “agar aap ke sentence na hotey tau mere jaise paapi sudra bhagwan ki sharan me nahi jaa patey.Jai SRILA PRABHU PADAM “JAI Madhudvisa dasa” HARE KRISHNA . BOLO BANSI WAREY KI JAI

      • Malkeet Singh says:

        All you guys asking questions and answering in favor of Sudras are from the lower rank as you comments are anti Brahmins and kshatriyas.

  54. Tribhanga Gopala Dasa says:

    Hare Krishna Prabuji, Dandavat Pranaam at your feet !

    I am reading every single mails from you which are great and circulating among God Brothers. Even about your mail “Demi God Worship” I translated in Tamil and given to my God Brothers. Every articles are wonderful, informative.

    Due to busyness, unable to reply for all your mails (or) post here my comments. But, every mail I read and share.

    Yours Humble Servant
    Tribhanga Gopala Dasa

  55. abhinav says:

    i am a doctor and i am dedicated to my patients, so what is my caste based on this, am i a brahmana or vaishya

    • Practically speaking no one is qualified brahmana now. It is something that one has to accept the education for. As you had to go to medical school to become a doctor so to become a brahmana you have to be trained and pass the examinations as you did in medical school. No one can become a brahmana without undergoing the training of a brahamana and developing the qualities of a brahmana and working as a brahmana.

      So we should study Srila Prabhuapda’s books and follow his instructions and we will become actual qualified brahmanas… In this age, Kali-yuga practically everyone is a sudra. You will find a few vaishyas but qualified brahmanas and ksatriyas are very difficult to find…

  56. Radhe Krishna Premika says:

    Hari Radhae Krishna,

    Without Radha Rasa,,nectar of lovingness ONLY to divinity , a person cannot reach Krishna. A small correction in your statement. The real Brahmin knows very well that He is not

    Brahmin because of his birth. He is the one who Knows, enjoys, get immersed, soaked in Brahman through His Grace and always in Brahmanand,and bathes in Himself . In that so called state he,

    the person, does not persist, the He only persists. NOTHING IS IN EXISTENCE EXCEPT HIMSELF.

    1. Fine, coming to your the Brahmins (by birth), in one Srirangam temple, in South India, a Muslim Bhibi Nachiyar ,a Krishna Devotee, who merged with Him, has a shrine inside the

    temple, next to Ranganthji, the Brahmin priests do puja and SHE enjoys all the Main Pooja. To satisfy Her, her the Lord is offered Tea, and Roti and He wears Lungi, a dress worn by Muslims

    2. Maximum number of Siva devotees, Sudras, as per your statement, who are fondly known as Nayanmars in South India , they have temples like that of God, and enjoy


    3. Again Non Brahmins, who are the Vishnu Followers, who are fondly known as Alwars in India, have temples in their Birth place, and where they merged.

    4. Coming back to the Main First Guru of all, Ved Vyasji, is not a Brahmin by Birth.

    By this I want to conclude that the Brahmins valued the Krishna Devotees and who are all in High Esteem. We value only the Devotion and not Devotee by person. We have

    hugged everyone either a Hindu,Muslim or non Brahmin by birth. Please kindly go through the websites non Brahmin Alwars and Nayanmars.

    This is the game of politicians, who plays well in divide and rule. Generally my Guru used to say, what is unwanted do not talk about. Flush it out. But I will be happy if you can write this to


    With the Grace of Guru Let divinity and Prema Devotion fill on us.

    With regards,

    Lakshmi Muralidharan.

  57. manmath nayak says:

    The perversion in India has not only been propagated by the so called brahmins. There are great brahmins even now born from brahmin caste but they may be few in number. Many non- brahmins have also succumbed to the perversion of caste system in India either due to ignorance or superstition or as a matter of convenience. The same is applicable to any Hindu claiming as a Hindu only because of birth and having access to temple where as a devotee is not allowed. Worst of all if some one says these perversions are divine will and nothing can be done. Our free will is also granted because of divine will.When we misuse the free will we can’t blame God for that. In Srimad Bhagavat Gita I gueass that was one essential message to Arjuna by the Supreme not to be cowardly,lazy in front of injustice.If we truly love some one even if one is respected teacher or employer or a very close relative or friend we must learn to disagree also when we do believe some thing is not right.Ofcourse, real humility is a prerequisite as one might be wrong oneself while disagreeing with any one.In that case one must unhesitatingly admit one’s own mistake also.This is the ideal situation in any human practice in day to day life or society as such. I dream of the day when the true essence of religion or caste system will take foot in India and also around the world.Then holy places in India then will reverberate with the true devotion and love.Ther is no hypocrisy in true love.True, perversion can’t give result and must be replaced by the true meaning for every one to follow. The sooner it is better for every one in India as well as the whole world as such.Thanks for the article.

  58. Adrian says:

    Dear Madhudvisa dasa,
    Hare Krishna! I enjoyed reading your article on the Caste system but could you tell me which Caste Doctors, Nurses & other Healthcare Professionals would fit into please.
    Many thanks,

    • Hare Krishna Adrian

      Nowadays there are practically no qualified brahmanas or ksatriyas. This is not something that one becomes without training. As to become a doctor or a nurse you have to attend the university and get the degree and then work in the medical profession to become a brahmana or a ksatriya requires training and that training is practically not available today.

      So if someone is born in a brahmana family for example but goes to university and studies technology, which is a sudra profession, and becomes a computer programmer or some technical thing, he has taken a sudra education not a brahminical education.

      So practically these days everyone is a sudra. And we can be elevated to the platform of real brahmanas by accepting the brahminical training from Srila Prabhupada.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • govi says:

        Hare Krishna,I am an mbbs student…I have a doubt whether I have to leave my present life or whether by living normal life like getting more degrees ,getting married,having children able to attain the lotus feet of KRISHNA.And also it said that by reciting VISHNU SAHASRANAMAM I could reach the lotus feet…Is it true?If I have asked anything wrong please forgive me with due concern.Thank you ji

        • madhudvisa says:

          You are not going to get the lotus feet of Krishna by living a normal life. Living a ‘normal life’ means living in such a way that you are trying to satisfy your own senses or some extended concept of sense gratification like working for the family or the country, etc. The only way you can get the lotus feet of Krishna is by getting the lotus feet of a pure devotee of Krishna. Krishna is not available directly. You have to approach Krishna via His pure devotees. So first you have to find a bona fide spiritual master, surrender to him, serve him and follow his instructions. He can instruct you in such a way that if you follow his instructions you can get the lotus feet of Krishna. This is the way. There is no other way. And you can not get the lotus feet of Krishna by living a normal life. You have to live your life for Krishna if you want to get Krishna. And that is not a ‘normal life’ even though externally a devotee may do all the same things that a person leading a ‘normal life’ does.

  59. Surya says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu
    In your last mail dated 9 November 2011. you are explained clearly about that VARNAS.
    The brahmanas were only exploiting in this society through their cast?
    of coarse all brahmans are not like that,
    In this Kaliyuga every one works under some body for their lively hood.
    In the ancient age brahman are not dependents. Kshatriyas them self giving Daanas to brahmans. now a days not like that. that is totally reverse.
    every one is Yaachaka.
    please accept my apology if i am knowledge less in this regard

  60. Ranjith says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu,
    In the article, it is priscribed that “a brahmana, in the case of an emergency, can also do the work of a ksatriya or a vaisyas but he will never accept the position of a sudra.”
    Why cant a brahmin accept the position of sudra?? What happens if he accepts the position of sudra?? Wont he get Moksha being a sudra?? I am being confused about these lines. If it is so, is this a proof that, even from the ancient times there were discrimination, and sudras were considered as a ‘non acceptable caste’ ??

    Jai Sri Krishna

    • Hare Krishna Ranjith

      The caste of a person really has nothing to do with him getting moksha [liberation] or not. Liberation is available to all the members of the Varnashrama system if they properly perform their duties.

      The three higher castes [brahmana, ksatriya and vaishya] are all independent and have their own independent sources of livelihood. So a brahmana, in the case of emergency, can accept the work of a ksatriya or a vaishya because he still remains independent. But he can not accept the occupation of a sudra because then he would have to surrender to someone else and accept them as his master. And he can not do this because Krishna is his master.

      In this service when you surrender to some [usually evil] master then you loose your independence and have to do whatever sinful things he tells you to do. You know we see the Indian [many of them so-called brahmanas] students coming to the western countries and taking any job at all because they need the money. Which is OK. But an actual brahmana is not like this, cooking hamburgers in MacDonalds… A brahmana is something different. We have already discussed the six occupations of a brahmana and the qualities of a brahmana. So if one is actually a brahmana he will never accept the position of a sudra.

      But you know there are practically no real brahmanas in the Kali-yuga. As I have several times discussed here to become a brahmana one has to accept the training. In the Vedic times the students would go to the gurukul from the age of five until fifteen at least and in that time they would be trained in the brahminical principles. So the training is required otherwise without the training no on is a brahmana. You can not claim to be a doctor without attending the medical school and passing the exams and getting the qualification. Similarly no one can claim to be a brahmana if he has not been trained as a brahmana.

      This is not discrimination against sudras. Depending on a persons tendencies he has different aptitudes and different abilities. So sudras work in one way and brahmanas work in a different way and a brahmana will never work as a sudra and a sudra can’t work as a brahmana.

      But this can also be changed by the proper spiritual education. So someone who is a sudra or less can be elevated to the position of a Vaisnava, more than a brahmana. So there is no discrimination. A sudra can be elevated if he wants to be.

      The four types of men have different mentalities and are suited to working in different situations. The sudras can not work independently, they have to find someone else and accept them as the ‘boss’ and work for them for a salary. But the brahmanas do not have any need for this. They depend on Krishna and Krishna supplies them with whatever they need. I have already explained what they do.

      So the different castes do different things and work in different ways. That is not discrimination. That is just the way it is. Krishna created four different types of men and four different types of work for them. So if one has the qualities and works as one of the types of men then that is good for him. Not that the sudras are less important than the brahmana’s also. The society is like the body and the sudras are like the legs of the body and the brahmanas are like the head, the vaishyas are like the belly and the ksatriyas are like the arms. So they are all very important parts of the body and all have their particular tasks to perform for the benefit of the whole body. It is not discrimination to say the legs should walk and the stomach should digest the food and the arms should protect the body and the head should direct. This is the way the different parts of the body have to work. If the legs want to work as the head then there will be a disaster. So if the sudras want to work as brahmanas [which is more-or-less the current situation] there is disaster…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  61. Palraj .m says:

    Sri Madhudvisa Dasaji

    This is an eye opener article for the blind folded cast system people.Like this article should reach not only Hindus all other believer,then only misunderstanding on varnasima concept will fix.

    Jai krishna

  62. Santhosh says:

    Hare Srinivasa Madhudvisa!!!,

    Its really nice to read all the articles that you have written on various aspects, even in the midst of my office work i make it a point to read all your articles and makes me rally happy. I loved the article on Vishnu’s supremacy on Parivaar devatas (Demi Gods), as Acharya Madwa clearly propagates the Superiority of Vishnu and what is the phala by surrendering ourselves to him completely. Thanks sir for educating us and the about Krishna consciousness.

    Hare Krishna!!

  63. Santhosh says:

    Hare Srinivasa Madhudvisa!!!,

    Its really nice to read all the articles that you have written on various aspects, even in the midst of my office work i make it a point to read all your articles and makes me rally happy. I loved the article on Vishnu’s supremacy on Parivaar devatas (Demi Gods), as Acharya Madwa clearly propagates the Superiority of Vishnu and what is the phala by surrendering ourselves to him completely. Thanks sir for educating us and the about Krishna consciousness.

    Hari Sarvottamma, Vayu Jeevottamma !!!

    Hare Krishna!!

  64. sara T says:

    Hare Krishna,
    Madhudvisa dasa
    The four caste system is well described by Lord Krishna and beautifully illuminated by you (Madhudvisa dasa). This article has to be sent to the news media, magazines and news papers in India in order the Indian people to have a good understanding of the four caste system. Our poor knowledge place the Sudra class as inferior and abominable. However, we now know, we are in the Sudra class since we are working under someone regardless of our position or income. Thank you for enlightening us on the four caste system.
    Hare Krishna,

  65. chirag says:

    excellent article…Jai Shri Krishna!!!!

  66. Sujit says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa dasa,

    I feel really great to receive a mail from you elaborating Bhagvad Gita verses.
    I have two questions:

    1) How can we know that what our caste is(according to our guna)? I mean to say without trying out everything one by one we can’t know what we are comfortable with. Do we need someone else to help in this?
    2) Sometimes I like to read Bhagvad Gita, while other time I think of worldly pleasures. How can I always have single minded devotion for Lord Krishna? At the same time I have to perform my social responsibilities. I used to read Bhagvad Gita but then I found that if I can’t do all these then what is the purpose reading it?


    • Hare Krishna Sujit

      The reality in Kali-yuga is practically everyone is a sudra. At least by birth everyone is a sudra. But Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has stressed this process of Sankirtan-yajna for everyone and simply by this process of chanting Hare Krishna and performing devotional service we can be elevated to the Vaisnava platform which is higher than the brahmin platform. It includes the qualities of a brahmana. In other words through the process of Krishna consciousness you will develop the qualities of a brahmana [peacefulness, tolerance, austerity, knowledge, etc.] and your primary business will be the sankirtan yajna and you will be engaged in helping others also to perform the sankirtan yajna so there are two of the occupations of a brahmana already.

      So the point is that if we simply take to the process of Krishna consciousness as it is given to us by Srila Prabhupada it does not matter what caste we belong to before, but this process of Krishna consciousness will elevate us to the platform of Vaisnavas which is above the platform of a brahmana.

      So what I am trying to say is that no matter what caste we may belong to by our guna and karma at the moment the solution to our problems is always the same in this Kali-yuga, chant Hare Krishna and perform devotional service. And as a result of that chanting and devotional service our guna and karma will change so then the caste we belong to will change. It is not fixed up, it is a material thing related to our material body but Krishna consciousness is a completely transcendental thing which has nothing to do with our material body.

      In the west before coming to Krishna consciousness by birth we were meat eating melechas and yavanas for sure. Addicted to all sorts of sinful activities and not even up to the platform of sudras. But by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada and by his mercy the mercy of Krishna we have been engaged in chanting the Hare Krishna mantra and in devotional service and our guna [or qualities] and karma [or activities] have changed and as Krishna says one’s position in the caste system is determined not by birth but by guna and karma we are no longer yavanas and melechas but at least we are making our way towards becoming Vaisnavas.

      So in reality it does not matter what caste we are. Because no matter what the answer is to chant Hare Krishna and when we chant Hare Krishna sincerely our guna and karma and therefore our caste will change.

      As far as the Bhagavad-gita we should keep reading Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is every day and every time we read it new levels of knowledge and realization will be opened up to us. This Bhagavad Gita Krishna calls is ‘confidential knowledge.’ It is all openly written in the book but actually only the devotees can understand what is in the Bhagavad-gita. So the more we become devotees the more we will relish reading the Bhagavad-gita. And we can also do the things that Krishna is recommending that Arjuna do in the gita. Of course when Krishna explained the yoga system to Arjuna in the sixth chapter He stressed that the mind has to be controlled but Arjuna expressed his inability to do that. So you are something like Arjuna in this respect. After hearing Krishna’s instructions on the yoga system Arjuna said: cancalam he manah krsna, “O Krishna my mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong O Krishna and to subdue it is, it seems to me, more difficult than controlling the wind.” So Arjuna felt the same way, that he could not follow all the intricate instructions Krishna gives about the meditational yoga system in the Sixth Chapter. So Krishna replied to Arjuna [to cheer him up]: “O mighty-armed son of Kunti, it is undoubtedly very difficult to curb the restless mind, but it is possible by constant practice and detachment.” So he is encouraging Arjuna by agreeing with him, saying “Yes, controlling the mind is difficult, but it is possible by constant practice and detachment…”

      So it is like that. We may sometimes feel overwhelmed by the instructions of Krishna and Srila Prabhupada and feel that we can not do it, that it is too much. But actually it is possible for us to follow all of these things, we simply need to practice constantly and become detached as Krishna advises Arjuna.

      So we can not give up. Even if the things Krishna is ordering seem difficult for us we have to try for that. The other alternative, serving maya, and continuing to suffer in the material world eternally birth after birth in various species of life is certainly not a very attractive alternative.

      So either we sincerely practice Krishna consciousness with constant practice and determination or we stay in this hellish world eternally… So Krishna consciousness is our main business and we have to adjust everything else in our life so we can be Krishna conscious… It is the most important thing. Other things are not at all important in the long term. If we are very successful in performing our social responsibilities but we do not become Krishna conscious then our life is wasted…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  67. Prashanth says:

    Hi MadhuVisa,

    As per bghavd gita Krishan say the all cast members are there in your family.

    If a person who worship god in your house consider him as Bramhin (May be father)

    If a person who earns money by cultivation or doing business he is vysya (may be younger brother)

    If a person who is strong and protect the people in his house called kshatriya (like Bhima/Arjun)

    As per Sanskrit the meaning of Shudra is who serve other with love, that is mother.

    According to Bhakti yoga, Krishna say serve me with true love and faith and keep chant me in your breath (every second) so i will come and stay with you. So according krishna every one should become shudra to reach him.

    Hare krishna

  68. donna says:

    Hare Krishna!
    My Q: in india, does a person’s sir name (last name) mean he’s of a certain caste? what about merchants & store owners? what caste are they considered? here in my town USA, most of the businesses & stores are owned by “Patel” or am i mistaken?

  69. Welcome says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa,thank you very much about this mail .I like your example about a lawyer ,it makes it clear. Krishna is the origion of everything ,I read that He killed a demon when He was a baby. Who is the creator of the demons?

    • Krishna is the source of everything: sarva karana karanam. Krishna expands and that is how so many living entities have come out. But because we, the living entities are all parts and parcels of Krishna we have the same qualities as Krishna. So as Krishna is independent we also have some independence. Of course Krishna is supremely independent and we have only a little independence, but that independence is there. So we have a choice we can use our independence to serve Krishna with love or we can reject Krishna and try and become the lord and master ourselves. So the demons are the living entities who have rejected Krishna and who are trying to become god themselves. Of course the idea that they can become god is maya, an illusion, still they try for it.

      So I think you understand that we are all expansions of Krishna and as Krishna is an individual with a personality and with independence all the living entities are also individuals with personality and independence. So Krishna does not actually create the demons or want them to be demons but they misuse their independence and become envious of Krishna and want to kill Him. So that is how they become demons…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  70. Jadu Krishna das says:

    All Glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gaurangadev

    Hare Krsna,

    The problem with this exposition is that it does not address the deplorable conditions experienced by the untouchables (Dalits) in the Hindu society. I wish that Srila Prabhupada had spoken to this abomination, because it is usually the first objection to Vainavism in the West. It is all fine and good to criticize the Brahmanas who claim their status by birth, and I have no doubt that society would be greatly improved if enlightened by the caste system protocols. But, do you have any comments regarding this lowest class of people…the outcasts…those who are not even included in the Varnashram system? Perhaps I am wrong, I don’t think Prabhupada mentioned them at all.

    • Hare Krishna

      Prabhupada mentions everything, you just have to read his books and listen to his classes. He mentions that the fate of the so-called ‘untouchables’ is the fault of the brahmanas and this attitude of the so-called brahmanas to the so-called lower castes has over the years caused so many Hindus to give up the Hindu religion and become Muslims. The Muslims in India did not come from outside, they were original Hindu families, many who were rejected by the brahmanas from society, so they saw no point in being Hindus so they became Muslims.

      Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s movement is to uplift everyone to the platform of a Vaisnava which is above the position of a brahmana. So the most fallen, most sinful untouchables can become great Vaisnavas simply by the mercy of a pure devotee of Krishna. So that is our mission, to save everyone and elevate everyone to the platform of Vaisnavas. And Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is know as patita-pavana. He is the deliverer of the most fallen. So in the case of Lord Caitanya’s Sankirtan movement being fallen is not at all a disqualification. Actually the more fallen we are the more mercy Lord Caitanya will shower upon us if we just take a little seriously to serving Srila Prabhupada and chanting Hare Krishna….

      The situation of the so-called untouchables in India is just another horrible face of this current horrible Indian caste system by birth which has absolutely no justification in the sastra…

      You know they consider us from the Western countries untouchables and according to them we are the lowest and melechas and yavanas, and we were that also, before we got the mercy of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna. But now we have been transformed into something else. So the whole idea that someone can be untouchable or a brahmana by birth is completely false and that is the point I am trying to make in this article. That is the mistake of the current horrible Indian caste system. It is based on birth, not on guna [quality] and karma [work]

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  71. Ishan das says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu:

    The main point that you are making , viz., that one’s caste or place in the social system of the four varnas is not a question of birth, but rather of personal qualities and activities – that is certainly correct and has to be heard by all.

    It must be heard by those who reject the Vedic system because they mistakenly think it supports a caste system.

    It must be heard by the East Indians who buy into the concept of caste by birthright.

    It must be heard by those who are consternated by the oppression and exploitation of the masses by kings, oligarchies, capitalistism-gone-wild, and who then propose that all men are born equal, and that social statification is an anomaly.

    It should be heard by those who are trying to understand how a wholesome, balanced society should be structured.

    However, you have mentioned that the king will allow people to utilze land and tax the people. My understanding is that this is the role of the vaishyas, this land management, crop sharing, etc. And further that the only people to be taxed in society is the vaishya class. 25 percent of profit. No one else is to be taxed and that tax goes to the king, for distribution for public welfare in so many ways. I cannot remember the source, but certainly it was either in Srila Prabhupada’s books or lectures.

    Otherwise, Haribol!, and thank you for your wonderful web site and for these so much needed explanations.

    Your servant, Ishan das

    ps my new email address is (no longer ishan3). Please make the adjustment in your system. Thanks, Ishan

  72. rasamanjari says:

    Dear Prabhu,

    Hare Krishna. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Thank you for your newlestter. This is as far as i have gotten in reading it. “(the worker class who have no ability to support themselves independently like the other three classes so they need to serve the other three higher classes for their livelihood).” i have never heard this exact description of what constitutes a shudra before. I hope you elaborate on what you meant by supporting themselves independently and on sudras working in various occupations which appear to be the occupations of the higher classes. Thank you.

    lowly servant in the service of Srila Prabhupada.

    • Hare Krishna

      That is the definition of a sudra. He has to serve someone else for his livelihood, he can not support himself independently like the brahmanas, ksatriyas and sudras. That is why the sudras are the worker class because they have to work for someone else to get money so they can purchase food and support themselves and their families. And as I said in the article this is very prominent in the current Kali-yuga in fact it is stated in the sastras: kalou sudra sambava: in the Kali-yuga everyone is born a sudra,

      But by the mercy of Lord Caitanya and Srila Prabhupada anyone, even those of us who are lower than the sudras like the melechas and the yavanas can be elevated to the platform of Vaisnavas, which is able the brahmanical platform by chanting:

      Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krsihna Hare Hare
      Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

      And your point that sudras are working in positions that should be filled by the higher classes like the brahmanas and ksatriyas is really the cause of so many of the worlds problems. The root of India’s problems is so many people who do not have the qualifications as brahmanas are claiming the position of brahmanas and misleading the people. Also in politics so many government leaders are not qualified ksatriyas so they can not properly lead their counties…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  73. Sudarshan says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhuji,
    Dandavat Prnanam

    I competely agree with you. In fact on last saturday i had a debate with a temple committee member in mulund ( bombay) on discrimination of people. They at the Balaji temple accept service from the so called other classes but do not allow them to eat the prasad offered along and sit together with the so – called Brahmanas. They allow the normal prasad.In fact, i went on to tell the ” so-called” brahmanas committ all the 4 offences. The person was taken aback and he was trying to convince that it is as per Madhva sampradhaya. I told this is not accepted by the lord but still he had no answer.

    Thank you for your mail.

    I am sharing it to all the people who have got puffed up by the ” Brahmana tag”.

    hare krishna

  74. Dear Madhudvisa Das, All the articles you are sending me look excellent and I will read them all when I am more peaceful. I also try to read the Krishna’s Mercy blog which I think is excellent, also. Keep em coming and I’ll catch up sometime soon.

    Bhakta Chris Gunn

    • Hare Krishna Bhakta Chris

      Great to hear from you Prabhu. Please try and read the articles now because it is Krishna katha, talks about Krishna and that will make you more peaceful. This Krishna katha is the medicine for the mad mind…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  75. Sakthi says:

    Hare Krishna Prji,

    Out of the six main occupations of a brahmana, kindly explain two occupations namely,Performing Sacrifices and Distributing charity.

    Trying to serve


    • Hare Krishna Shakti

      Performing sacrifice means doing something for the pleasure of the Supreme Lord, Visnu or Krishna. Also impersonalists can be qualified brahmans so they will have various processes for yajna. For us as followers of Lord Caitanya our business is sankirtan yajna. That is the congregational chanting of:

      Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
      Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

      And Lord Caitanya stresses that this chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra is the only practical yajna for the Kali-yuga. It is the Yuga-dharma, the religious principle for this age. So there are many different types of yajnas but apart from the sankirtan yajna they are all more or less useless in the Kali-yuga. We can include the Deity Worship also in this yajna but the main thing is the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra. That is the only practical yajna for this age. So the brahmana will be chanting the Hare Krishna mantra himself and teaching his followers to chant Hare Krishna also.

      As far as distributing charity the brahmana is a teacher, so he has students, and his students will give him daksine or donations or charity. Because he lives a very simple life himself he does not have much need for money so he uses whatever he needs for his livelihood and the balance he distributes in charity to others. In the Kali-yuga Srila Prabhupada has instructed us that the most practical form that this charity can take is in the distribution of prasadam and the organization of sankirtan festivals. When the brahmanas have money they can purchase some very nice ingredients and cook them and offer them to Krishna and after Krishna accepts the offering they can distribute the prasadam to the general public accompanied by the sankirtan yajna, the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra. This will be the greatest charity for them because it will not only satisfy their hunger but the prasadam and the chanting will awaken their dormant spiritual consciousness, their Krishna consciousness. So in Kali-yuga the charity of the brahmanas is prasadam distribution and sankirtan for the masses…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  76. Devang says:

    Dear Madhudvisa dasa,


    It was really wonderful to know about the caste system and how one is known to be a brahmana.

    I will be grateful to you if you could elaborate on the below quote from the Third paragraph of the verse explanation.

    One will be successful if he works in an occupation that is suited to his natural aptitude, abilities and capabilities.

    Thank You

    • Hare Krishna Devang

      That is really the subject matter for another article and I am sure we will get to it in more detail later. But the principle is that there are these four types of people and I have briefly described what they are in this article and if it is determined what qualities a particular man has and if he is engaged in work according to those qualities he will be able to perform the work very well and will do very good work which will benefit the whole society and he will be very happy doing it. On the other hand if a man is working in an occupation but his qualities are not suited to that occupation he will not be able to do the job properly, he will cause many problems for the society and he will not be happy. So for this article if we can just understand this principle that there are four types of men and each group has very specific qualities and each group is suited to a particular type of work and the men will be happy individually and the society will receive the greatest benefit if men are engaged in work according to their natural propensities.

      More details will come in future articles I am sure.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

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