Any devotee who is studying the teachings of Srila Prabhupada, will have repeatedly heard him stress the importance of establishing varnasrama-dharma, for the sanity of suffering humanity.

So this Vedic scheme, varnasrama, is a very important scheme. If possible it should be introduced and taken up very seriously. That is one of the items of Krsna consciousness movement, to reestablish the institution of varna and asrama. Not by birth, but by qualification.

(S.P.C. Washington D.C. 8th July, 1976)


Prabhupada: Yes, Krsna created these four division, brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, but He does not belong to any one of them. He is neither brahmana nor ksatriya nor vaisya nor sudra. He is transcendental. Similarly, our philosophy--just to make the human society very peaceful and making progress we wish to establish this system.

(S.P.C. Los Angeles, 23rd June, 1975)


At the present moment in the world state, there are sudras and less than that. There are no ideal brahmanas or ksatriyas. But these four divisions are imperative. So our business is to keep fit as brahmanas and to train others to be ideal ksatriyas and vaisyas for advancing the whole society.

(S.P.L. to Rupanuga Maharaja, 28th April, 1974)


Therefore there is the institution of varnasrama. Catur-varnyam maya... Krsna says, "I have made this varnasrama for the benefit of the whole human society, although I don't belong to any varna, asrama." Krsna has nothing to do. But to maintain the human society very peaceful, advancing in spiritual knowledge, this varnasrama is required. Therefore sometimes I become very eager to start a varnasrama college. We have nothing to do with varnasrama, we Krsna.., But we want to see that the whole human society is peaceful. That is our mission.

(S.B. Lec. 6.1.12, Los Angeles, 25th June, 1975)


The whole aim is how to worship the Supreme Lord. That is human life. So if we make these divisions, so any class of men, if he comes to this social system of varnasrama-dharma, then automatically... Just like if you admit your son in a school, there is first class, second class, third class or eighth class. In this way he makes progress. One day that son comes out as a graduate. So the human society must accept. This is school of varnasrama-dharma. Then gradually he will be educated and he will come to the understanding. Brahma janatiti brahmanah. One day he will understand what is Brahman, and that is brahmana.

(S.B. Lecture 3.25.1, Bombay, 1st November, 1974)


Yajna means we have to satisfy the Supreme Person. That is called yajna. And this process can be executed when the human society is very regulated. Regulated means there must be division of these varnas and asramas. Varna means four varnas: brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra. And four asramas: brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha, sannyasa. They have got their respective duties. So unless the human society is divided into these eight scientific divisions and everyone acts according to his position, there cannot be any peace in the world. That is called varnasrama.

(S.B. Lecture 3.25.3, Bombay, 3rd November, 1974)


My next program is to reinstate the Vedic divisions in society as recommended in the Bhagavad-Gita:

catur varnyam maya srstam/ guna karma vibhagasah

tasya kartaram api mam/ viddhy akartaram avyayam

Without this division there cannot be any systematic peaceful running of human activities.

(Letter to Syamasundra, 1st April, 1974)


Prabhupada: No, we have to make this propaganda because we are servant of Krsna. And Krsna orders, krsi-go-raksya-vanijyam. So we must take to agricultural work to produce food and give protection to the cows. And if there is excess product, we trade. This simple thing we must do.

(S.P.C. Paris, 11th June, 1974)


But Krsna's grace, Caitanya Mahaprabhu's grace, they are being now trained up. Now you be trained up and revise the whole edition of the western civilisation, especially in America. Then a new chapter will come in. This is the program. Therefore varnasrama school required.

(S.P. M.W.C. Vrindavana, 4th March, 1974)


Prabhupada: First of all varna. And asrama, then, when the varna is perfectly in order, then asrama. Asrama is specially meant for spiritual advancement, and varna is general division. It must be there in the human society, or they're on the animals. If varna is not there, then this is a society of animal. And when the varna is working perfectly, then we give them asrama. Varnasrama. That is later on.

Hrdayananda: First they should be taught a skill.

Prabhupada: Yes. First of all, the whole society must be divided into four varnas. Otherwise, there will be chaotic condition. That is what is the position now. What is he, what he has to do, one does not know. And there are so many unemployment. But if you organise the society into varnas, there will be no question of unemployment.....Yes, yes. Our main aim is how to give them Krsna consciousness. But if they are already disturbed in every respect, then how they'll take it? Therefore we are taking these subjects, to help him to come to the Krsna consciousness. And this is the method--varnasrama.

(S.P. Morning walk conversation, Vrindavana, 14th March, 1974)


Those who are in Krsna consciousness, those who have decided to serve Krsna only, they are no longer in the categories of sva-dharma, the bodily sva-dharma, brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, or brahmacari, vanaprastha. He is transcendental. That is confirmed in every sastra. So far we are concerned, Krsna conscious, so long our bodily concept of life is not completely eradicated, we must follow the sva-dharma of the body. Brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, ity adi. But when actually advanced, that is maha-bhagavata. We should not imitate that, but our process is the more we advance in Krsna consciousness, we become transcendental to this bodily concept of life, brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra.

(B.G. Lecture 2.31, London 1st September, 1973)



Prabhupada: Yes. They want to remain in degradation, and they will protest again. Therefore to save the degradation, this catur-varnyam must be established. That I... The ideal class. People will follow, "Oh, here is the ideal class." So we are trying to make an ideal class of Krsna conscious people. And if you treat yourself as degraded, then who will care for you? You should remain an ideal class. People will follow gradually.

Mahamsa: If a brahmana class is created, then automatically the ksatriyas and vaisyas and sudras will be changed.

Prabhupada: Yes. Yes. The ideal, if you be ideal class, gradually they will take your advice, what to do. Then immediately the whole degradation will be finished.

(S.P. Morning walk conversation, Hyderabad, 23rd April, 1974)



Pusta-krsna: Is it that the sudra class of men should be trained that they are serving either God or a God conscious leader, or should they be educated to feel that their work is for God.

Prabhupada: Yes, provided you are for God. They will see and laugh. If you simply teach them, you do not do anything, then how they will learn? Apani acari prabhu jive sikhaila. When they actually see that "These men are dedicated to God," then they'll do whatever you wish.

(S.P.C. Geneva, 31st May, 1974)

  • Prabhupada: Yes. First of all, there must be a class of men, ideal men, brain; people will follow them. My request is therefore that you should become ideal men. If we fight... Now there is fighting amongst ourselves. That is very disappointment to me. The same politics, intrigues. The nature is so strong that brain becomes, what is called? Fag brain? Brain becomes deranged.

    (S.P.C. Geneva, 31st May, 1974)


    So people will take it, any condition, provided you are ideal. Apani acari prabhu jiveri siksaya. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's movement. He teaches others by behaving Himself. "Example is better than precept." If you cannot rise early in the morning, then how can you ask others to rise early in the morning? What is the effect? There is no effect.

    (S.P. morning walk conversation, Hyderabad, 23rd April, 1974)


    We want to create some men who can give guidance to the human society, because at the present moment the society is without any intelligent head, namely Brahmins, therefore the whole world is confused for want of real guidance in the matter of ultimate goal of life.

    (S.P.L. to Bhutatma 7th August, 1973)



    Therefore, at the present moment it is a great necessity to have some ideal men. Yad yad acarati sreyan. Therefore we are endeavouring to create some ideal men, Krsna conscious men, their character, their behaviour, their ideal aim of life. So those who have taken to Krsna consciousness seriously, they should be ideal men. The society will be benefited at least by seeing their behaviour. And Caitanya Mahaprabhu has taught us, apani acari prabhu jiveri siksaya. If you don't behave yourself as an ideal man, you cannot preach. Your preaching will not be successful. Apani acari prabhu jiveri siksaya. Because the nature's law is that ordinary men, they follow the ideal.....Therefore our Krsna consciousness movement is just to teach people how to become Krsna conscious, surrender unto Him. Then they will be happy. This is the way of Krsna consciousness movement. We want to create some ideal men. People will see them, and at least they will understand that "Here are the ideal men." They will be ashamed. So those who are in Krsna consciousness movement, they should be sreyan--yad yad acarati sreyan--the best men in the society. Otherwise useless.... We should be very, very careful to become first-class men so that others will follow. Sa yat pramanam kurute. If you become a first-class man, sa yat pramanam, whatever you will do, lokas tad anuvartate, people will follow, naturally.

    (S.B. Lecture 6.2.4, Vrindavana, 8th September, 1975)





    By becoming a brahmana, hearing, hearing, hearing... Or by hearing, hearing, hearing, he becomes a brahmana. The other qualities, sudra quality, ksatriya, vaisya, means finished. So then next stage is, srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanah, hrdy antah... Nasta-prayesv abhadresu. By this process, hearing... Without becoming a brahmana nobody is interested to hear. Then, by hearing, nasta-prayesv abhadresu, then abhadra, means the base qualities, means ignorance and passion... These are the base qualities. So nasta-prayesv abhadresu. When these base qualities are finished almost, not complete, nityam bhagavata-sevaya, by hearing from Bhagavata or by serving the spiritual master and Krsna consciousness movement. 

     (S.P.C. Mayapura, 14th February, 1977)



    You remain in your position. It doesn't require you have to change. It is not that a sudra, without becoming a brahmana... Of course, sudra will become brahmana. By hearing. Brahmana means brahma janatiti brahmana. If he hears, even a sudra, he can understand what is Brahman. Then he becomes brahmana. So this is required. Sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhih. With great attention, body, mind and words, intelligence--with everything, one must hear.

    (S.B. Lecture 3.25.4, Bombay, 4th November, 1974)



    So by Krsna consciousness movement, if people take to it seriously and become advanced... The same process, srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah, simply hearing about Krsna, as we are doing. Then, gradually, we come to the platform of goodness, and the lower modes of material nature, namely ignorance and passion, cannot disturb us.

    (S.B. Lecture 1.2.21, Los Angeles, 24th August, 1972)




    Generally, a man is born as an ordinary being, and by the purificatory processes he is born for the second time. When he sees a new light and seeks direction for spiritual progress, he approaches a spiritual master for instruction in the Vedas. The spiritual master accepts only the sincere inquirer as his disciple and gives him the sacred thread. In this way a man becomes twice-born, or a dvija. After qualifying as a dvija one may study the Vedas, and after becoming well versed in the Vedas one becomes a vipra. A vipra, or a qualified brahmana, thus realizes the Absolute and makes further progress in spiritual life until he reaches the Vaisnava stage. The Vaisnava stage is the postgraduate status of a brahmana. A progressive brahmana must necessarily become a Vaisnava, for a Vaisnava is a self-realized, learned brahmana.

    (S.B. 1-2-2)



    So this Krsna consciousness movement is trying to do that, trying everyone to become a bona fide brahmana. Without becoming a brahmana you cannot become Vaisnava. So this reformatory process is recommended in the sastras......It is accepted that everyone is a sudra because there is no reformation. So according to Pancaratriki-vidhi everyone should be given the chance of becoming a Vaisnava, a dvija. And that is recommendation in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa, that by the proper initiation process everyone can be brought into the platform of dvija, twice-born, and then he becomes... After initiation, his second birth is there. Samskarad bhaved dvijah. Then he's allowed to read the scripture. Veda-pathad bhaved viprah. He becomes vipra. Then when he really comes to the knowledge of Brahman, his relationship with Brahman, and acts accordingly, then he is brahmana. And when he is perfectly situated in the eternal relationship with God, Visnu, then he becomes a Vaisnava. That is perfection of life.

    (S.P.C. New Vrindavana, 28th June, 1976)



    Everyone gets father and mother. Without father and mother, there is no question of birth. That janma is sudra janma. Then, when he gets second birth by the spiritual father, then he becomes a dvija, twice-born. Again birth. Then he is allowed to study the Vedic literatures. Vedo-pathad bhaved viprah. And when, by studying, he understand the Brahman, then he becomes brahmana. This is the process. Brahma janatiti brahmanah. And then, after becoming a brahmana, when he understands Krsna, then he becomes Vaisnava. 

    (S.P.C. Los Angeles 23rd June, 1975)


    In summary, if we are to establish varnasrama then we need to create an ideal class of men who are free from the influence of the lower modes of nature and their qualities, lust and greed. How we achieve this is described very nicely in the Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.17 to 1.2.20. The process is to daily hear the Bhagavata from the devotee Bhagavata. Therefore in order to save suffering humanity from the influence of Kali yuga, we should take advantage of Srila Prabhupada's recorded lecture tapes by playing them during the morning and evening programmes. By this endeavour we shall gradually find the emergence of the ideal class.



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