Śrīmad Bhāgavatam |Canto 7 Chapter 11
The Perfect Society: Four Social Classes
śrutvehitaṁ sādhu sabhā-sabhājitaṁ
yudhiṣṭhiro daitya-pater mudānvitaḥ
papraccha bhūyas tanayaṁ svayambhuvaḥ
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; śrutvā — hearing; īhitam — the narration; sādhu sabhā-sabhājitam — which is discussed in assemblies of great devotees like Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva; mahat-tama-agraṇyaḥ — the best of the saintly persons (Yudhiṣṭhira); urukrama-ātmanaḥ — of he (Prahlāda Mahārāja) whose mind is always engaged upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who always acts uncommonly; yudhiṣṭhiraḥ — King Yudhiṣṭhira; daitya-pateḥ — of the master of the demons; mudā-anvitaḥ — in a pleasing mood; papraccha — inquired; bhūyaḥ — again; tanayam — unto the son; svayambhuvaḥ — of Lord Brahmā.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: After hearing about the activities and character of Prahlāda Mahārāja, which are adored and discussed among great personalities like Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja, the most respectful king among exalted personalities, again inquired from the great saint Nārada Muni in a mood of great pleasure.
bhagavan śrotum icchāmi
nṛṇāṁ dharmaṁ sanātanam
yat pumān vindate param
śrī-yudhiṣṭhiraḥ uvāca — Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira inquired; bhagavan — O my lord; śrotum — to hear; icchāmi — I wish; nṛṇām — of human society; dharmam — the occupational duties; sanātanam — common and eternal (for everyone); varṇa-āśrama-ācāra-yutam — based on the principles of the four divisions of society and the four divisions of spiritual advancement; yat — from which; pumān — the people in general; vindate — can enjoy very peacefully; param — the supreme knowledge (by which one can attain devotional service).
Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira said: My dear lord, I wish to hear from you about the principles of religion by which one can attain the ultimate goal of life — devotional service. I wish to hear about the general occupational duties of human society and the system of social and spiritual advancement known as varṇāśrama-dharma.
bhavān prajāpateḥ sākṣād
sutānāṁ sammato brahmaṁs
bhavān — Your Lordship; prajāpateḥ — of Prajāpati (Lord Brahmā); sākṣāt — directly; ātma-jaḥ — the son; parameṣṭhinaḥ — of the supreme person within this universe (Lord Brahmā); sutānām — of all the sons; sammataḥ — agreed upon as the best; brahman — O best of the brāhmaṇas; tapaḥ — by austerity; yoga — by mystic practice; samādhibhiḥ — and by trance or meditation (in all respects, you are the best).
O best of the brāhmaṇas, you are directly the son of Prajāpati [Lord Brahmā]. Because of your austerities, mystic yoga and trance, you are considered the best of all of Lord Brahmā’s sons.
dharmaṁ guhyaṁ paraṁ viduḥ
karuṇāḥ sādhavaḥ śāntās
tvad-vidhā na tathāpare
nārāyaṇa-parāḥ — those who are always devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa; viprāḥ — the best of the brāhmaṇas; dharmam — religious principle; guhyam — the most confidential; param — supreme; viduḥ — know; karuṇāḥ — such persons are very merciful (being devotees); sādhavaḥ — whose behavior is very exalted; śāntāḥ — peaceful; tvat-vidhāḥ — like Your Honor; na — not; tathā — so; apare — others (followers of methods other than devotional service).
No one is superior to you in peaceful life and mercy, and no one knows better than you how to execute devotional service or how to become the best of the brāhmaṇas. Therefore, you know all the principles of confidential religious life, and no one knows them better than you.
natvā bhagavate ’jāya
vakṣye sanātanaṁ dharmaṁ
śrī-nāradaḥ uvāca — Śrī Nārada Muni said; natvā — offering my obeisances; bhagavate — unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ajāya — ever existing, never born; lokānām — throughout the entire universe; dharma-setave — who protects religious principles; vakṣye — I shall explain; sanātanam — eternal; dharmam — occupational duty; nārāyaṇa-mukhāt — from the mouth of Nārāyaṇa; śrutam — which I have heard.
Śrī Nārada Muni said: After first offering my obeisances unto Lord Kṛṣṇa, the protector of the religious principles of all living entities, let me explain the principles of the eternal religious system, of which I have heard from the mouth of Nārāyaṇa.
yo ’vatīryātmano ’ṁśena
dākṣāyaṇyāṁ tu dharmataḥ
lokānāṁ svastaye ’dhyāste
yaḥ — He who (Lord Nārāyaṇa); avatīrya — adventing; ātmanaḥ — of Himself; aṁśena — with a part (Nara); dākṣāyaṇyām — in the womb of Dākṣāyaṇī, the daughter of Mahārāja Dakṣa; tu — indeed; dharmataḥ — from Dharma Mahārāja; lokānām — of all people; svastaye — for the benefit of; adhyāste — executes; tapaḥ — austerity; badarikāśrame — in the place known as Badarikāśrama.
Lord Nārāyaṇa, along with His partial manifestation Nara, appeared in this world through the daughter of Dakṣa Mahārāja known as Mūrti. He was begotten by Dharma Mahārāja for the benefit of all living entities. Even now, He is still engaged in executing great austerities near the place known as Badarikāśrama.
dharma-mūlaṁ hi bhagavān
smṛtaṁ ca tad-vidāṁ rājan
yena cātmā prasīdati
dharma-mūlam — the root of religious principles; hi — indeed; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; sarva-veda-mayaḥ — the essence of all Vedic knowledge; hariḥ — the Supreme Being; smṛtam ca — and the scriptures; tat-vidām — of those who know the Supreme Lord; rājan — O King; yena — by which (religious principle); ca — also; ātmā — the soul, mind, body and everything; prasīdati — become fully satisfied.
The Supreme Being, the Personality of Godhead, is the essence of all Vedic knowledge, the root of all religious principles, and the memory of great authorities. O King Yudhiṣṭhira, this principle of religion is to be understood as evidence. On the basis of this religious principle, everything is satisfied, including one’s mind, soul and even one’s body.
satyaṁ dayā tapaḥ śaucaṁ
titikṣekṣā śamo damaḥ
ahiṁsā brahmacaryaṁ ca
tyāgaḥ svādhyāya ārjavam
bhūtebhyaś ca yathārhataḥ
sutarāṁ nṛṣu pāṇḍava
śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ cāsya
smaraṇaṁ mahatāṁ gateḥ
nṛṇām ayaṁ paro dharmaḥ
sarvātmā yena tuṣyati
satyam — speaking the truth without distortion or deviation; dayā — sympathy to everyone suffering; tapaḥ — austerities (such as observing fasts at least twice in a month on the day of Ekādaśī); śaucam — cleanliness (bathing regularly at least twice a day, morning and evening, and remembering to chant the holy name of God); titikṣā — toleration (being unagitated by seasonal changes or inconvenient circumstances); īkṣā — distinguishing between good and bad; śamaḥ — control of the mind (not allowing the mind to act whimsically); damaḥ — control of the senses (not allowing the senses to act without control); ahiṁsā — nonviolence (not subjecting any living entity to the threefold miseries); brahmacaryam — continence or abstaining from misuse of one’s semen (not indulging in sex with women other than one’s own wife and not having sex with one’s own wife when sex is forbidden, like during the period of menstruation); ca — and; tyāgaḥ — giving in charity at least fifty percent of one’s income; svādhyāyaḥ — reading of transcendental literatures like Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Rāmāyaṇa and Mahābhārata (or, for those not in Vedic culture, reading of the Bible or Koran); ārjavam — simplicity (freedom from mental duplicity); santoṣaḥ — being satisfied with that which is available without severe endeavor; samadṛk-sevā — rendering service to saintly persons who make no distinctions between one living being and another and who see every living being as a spirit soul (paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ); grāmya-īhā-uparamaḥ — not taking part in so-called philanthropic activities; śanaiḥ — gradually; nṛṇām — in human society; viparyaya-īhā — the unnecessary activities; īkṣā — discussing; maunam — being grave and silent; ātma — into the self; vimarśanam — research (as to whether one is the body or the soul); anna-ādya-ādeḥ — of food and drink, etc; saṁvibhāgaḥ — equal distribution; bhūtebhyaḥ — to different living entities; ca — also; yathā-arhataḥ — as befitting; teṣu — all living entities; ātma-devatā-buddhiḥ — accepting as the self or the demigods; sutarām — preliminarily; nṛṣu — among all human beings; pāṇḍava — O Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira; śravaṇam — hearing; kīrtanam — chanting; ca — also; asya — of Him (the Lord); smaraṇam — remembering (His words and activities); mahatām — of great saintly persons; gateḥ — who is the shelter; sevā — service; ijyā — worship; avanatiḥ — offering obeisances; dāsyam — accepting the service; sakhyam — to consider as a friend; ātma-samarpaṇam — surrendering one’s whole self; nṛṇām — of all human beings; ayam — this; paraḥ — the supermost; dharmaḥ — religious principle; sarveṣām — of all; samudāhṛtaḥ — described fully; triṁśat-lakṣaṇa-vān — possessing thirty characteristics; rājan — O King; sarva-ātmā — the Supreme Lord, the Supersoul of all; yena — by which; tuṣyati — is satisfied.
These are the general principles to be followed by all human beings: truthfulness, mercy, austerity (observing fasts on certain days of the month), bathing twice a day, tolerance, discrimination between right and wrong, control of the mind, control of the senses, nonviolence, celibacy, charity, reading of scripture, simplicity, satisfaction, rendering service to saintly persons, gradually taking leave of unnecessary engagements, observing the futility of the unnecessary activities of human society, remaining silent and grave and avoiding unnecessary talk, considering whether one is the body or the soul, distributing food equally to all living entities (both men and animals), seeing every soul (especially in the human form) as a part of the Supreme Lord, hearing about the activities and instructions given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead (who is the shelter of the saintly persons), chanting about these activities and instructions, always remembering these activities and instructions, trying to render service, performing worship, offering obeisances, becoming a servant, becoming a friend, and surrendering one’s whole self. O King Yudhiṣṭhira, these thirty qualifications must be acquired in the human form of life. Simply by acquiring these qualifications, one can satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
sa dvijo ’jo jagāda yam
saṁskārāḥ — reformatory processes; yatra — wherein; avicchinnāḥ — without interruption; saḥ — such a person; dvi-jaḥ — twice-born; ajaḥ — Lord Brahmā; jagāda — sanctioned; yam — who; ijyā — worshiping; adhyayana — studies of the Vedas; dānāni — and charity; vihitāni — prescribed; dvi-janmanām — of persons who are called twice-born; janma — by birth; karma — and activities; avadātānām — who are purified; kriyāḥ — activities; ca — also; āśrama-coditāḥ — recommended for the four āśramas.
Those who have been reformed by the garbhādhāna ceremony and other prescribed reformatory methods, performed with Vedic mantras and without interruption, and who have been approved by Lord Brahmā, are dvijas, or twice-born. Such brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and vaiśyas, purified by their family traditions and by their behavior, should worship the Lord, study the Vedas and give charity. In this system, they should follow the principles of the four āśramas [brahmacarya, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa].
rājño vṛttiḥ prajā-goptur
aviprād vā karādibhiḥ
viprasya — of the brāhmaṇa; adhyayana-ādīni — reading the Vedas, etc; ṣaṭ — six (to study the Vedas, to teach the Vedas, to worship the Deity, to teach others how to worship, to accept charity and to give charity); anyasya — of those other than the brāhmaṇas (the kṣatriyas); apratigrahaḥ — without accepting charity from others (the kṣatriyas may execute the five other occupational duties prescribed for the brāhmaṇas); rājñaḥ — of the kṣatriya; vṛttiḥ — the means of livelihood; prajā-goptuḥ — who maintain the subjects; aviprāt — from those who are not brāhmaṇas; vā — or; kara-ādibhiḥ — by levying revenue taxes, customs duties, fines for punishment, etc.
For a brāhmaṇa there are six occupational duties. A kṣatriya should not accept charity, but he may perform the other five of these duties. A king or kṣatriya is not allowed to levy taxes on brāhmaṇas, but he may make his livelihood by levying minimal taxes, customs duties, and penalty fines upon his other subjects.
vaiśyas tu vārtā-vṛttiḥ syān
vṛttiś ca svāmino bhavet
vaiśyaḥ — the mercantile community; tu — indeed; vārtā-vṛttiḥ — engaged in agriculture, cow protection, and trade; syāt — must be; nityam — always; brahma-kula-anugaḥ — following the directions of the brāhmaṇas; śūdrasya — of the fourth-grade persons, the workers; dvija-śuśrūṣā — the service of the three higher sections (the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and vaiśyas); vṛttiḥ — means of livelihood; ca — and; svāminaḥ — of the master; bhavet — he must be.
The mercantile community should always follow the directions of the brāhmaṇas and engage in such occupational duties as agriculture, trade, and protection of cows. For the śūdras the only duty is to accept a master from a higher social order and engage in his service.
vārtā vicitrā śālīna-
vārtā — the occupational means of livelihood for the vaiśya (agriculture, cow protection, and trade); vicitrā — various types; śālīna — livelihood achieved without effort; yāyāvara — going to the field to beg for some paddy; śila — picking up the grains left in the field by the proprietor; uñchanam — picking up the grains that have fallen from bags in shops; vipra-vṛttiḥ — the means of livelihood for the brāhmaṇas; caturdhā — four different kinds; iyam — this; śreyasī — better; ca — also; uttara-uttarā — the latter compared to the former.
As an alternative, a brāhmaṇa may also take to the vaiśya’s occupational duty of agriculture, cow protection, or trade. He may depend on that which he has received without begging, he may beg in the paddy field every day, he may collect paddy left in a field by its proprietor, or he may collect food grains left here and there in the shops of grain dealers. These are four means of livelihood that may also be adopted by brāhmaṇas. Among these four, each of them in succession is better than the one preceding it.
jaghanyo nottamāṁ vṛttim
anāpadi bhajen naraḥ
ṛte rājanyam āpatsu
sarveṣām api sarvaśaḥ
jaghanyaḥ — low (person); na — not; uttamām — high; vṛttim — means of livelihood; anāpadi — when there is no social upheaval; bhajet — may accept; naraḥ — a man; ṛte — except; rājanyam — the profession of the kṣatriyas; āpatsu — at times of emergency; sarveṣām — of everyone in every status of life; api — certainly; sarvaśaḥ — all professions or occupational duties.
Except in a time of emergency, lower persons should not accept the occupational duties of those who are higher. When there is such an emergency, of course, everyone but the kṣatriya may accept the means of livelihood of others.
mṛtena pramṛtena vā
satyānṛtābhyām api vā
na śva-vṛttyā kadācana
ṛtam uñchaśilaṁ proktam
amṛtaṁ yad ayācitam
mṛtaṁ tu nitya-yācñā syāt
pramṛtaṁ karṣaṇaṁ smṛtam
satyānṛtaṁ ca vāṇijyaṁ
varjayet tāṁ sadā vipro
rājanyaś ca jugupsitām
ṛta-amṛtābhyām — of the means of livelihood known as ṛta and amṛta; jīveta — one may live; mṛtena — by the profession of mṛta; pramṛtena vā — or by the profession of pramṛta; satyānṛtābhyām api — even by the profession of satyānṛta; vā — or; na — never; śva-vṛttyā — by the profession of the dogs; kadācana — at any time; ṛtam — ṛta; uñchaśilam — the livelihood of collecting grains left in the field or marketplace; proktam — it is said; amṛtam — the profession of amṛta; yat — which; ayācitam — obtained without begging from anyone else; mṛtam — the profession of mṛta; tu — but; nitya-yācñā — begging grains every day from the farmers; syāt — should be; pramṛtam — the pramṛta means of livelihood; karṣaṇam — tilling the field; smṛtam — it is so remembered; satyānṛtam — the occupation of satyānṛta; ca — and; vāṇijyam — trade; śva-vṛttiḥ — the occupation of the dogs; nīca-sevanam — the service of low persons (the vaiśyas and śūdras); varjayet — should give up; tām — that (the profession of the dogs); sadā — always; vipraḥ — the brāhmaṇa; rājanyaḥ ca — and the kṣatriya; jugupsitām — very abominable; sarva-veda-mayaḥ — learned in all the Vedic understandings; vipraḥ — the brāhmaṇa; sarva-deva-mayaḥ — the embodiment of all the demigods; nṛpaḥ — the kṣatriya or king.
In time of emergency, one may accept any of the various types of professions known as ṛta, amṛta, mṛta, pramṛta and satyānṛta, but one should not at any time accept the profession of a dog. The profession of uñchaśila, collecting grains from the field, is called ṛta. Collecting without begging is called amṛta, begging grains is called mṛta, tilling the ground is called pramṛta, and trade is called satyānṛta. Engaging in the service of low-grade persons, however, is called śva-vṛtti, the profession of the dogs. Specifically, brāhmaṇas and kṣatriyas should not engage in the low and abominable service of śūdras. Brāhmaṇas should be well acquainted with all the Vedic knowledge, and kṣatriyas should be well acquainted with the worship of demigods.
śamo damas tapaḥ śaucaṁ
santoṣaḥ kṣāntir ārjavam
satyaṁ ca brahma-lakṣaṇam
śamaḥ — control of the mind; damaḥ — control of the senses; tapaḥ — austerity and penance; śaucam — cleanliness; santoṣaḥ — satisfaction; kṣāntiḥ — forgiveness (being unagitated by anger); ārjavam — simplicity; jñānam — knowledge; dayā — mercy; acyuta-ātmatvam — accepting oneself as an eternal servant of the Lord; satyam — truthfulness; ca — also; brahma-lakṣaṇam — the symptoms of a brāhmaṇa.
The symptoms of a brāhmaṇa are control of the mind, control of the senses, austerity and penance, cleanliness, satisfaction, forgiveness, simplicity, knowledge, mercy, truthfulness, and complete surrender to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
śauryaṁ vīryaṁ dhṛtis tejas
tyāgaś cātmajayaḥ kṣamā
brahmaṇyatā prasādaś ca
satyaṁ ca kṣatra-lakṣaṇam
śauryam — power in battle; vīryam — being unconquerable; dhṛtiḥ — patience (even in reverses, a kṣatriya is very grave); tejaḥ — ability to defeat others; tyāgaḥ — giving charity; ca — and; ātma-jayaḥ — not being overwhelmed by bodily necessities; kṣamā — forgiveness; brahmaṇyatā — faithfulness to the brahminical principles; prasādaḥ — jolliness in any condition of life; ca — and; satyam ca — and truthfulness; kṣatra-lakṣaṇam — these are the symptoms of a kṣatriya.
To be influential in battle, unconquerable, patient, challenging and charitable, to control the bodily necessities, to be forgiving, to be attached to the brahminical nature and to be always jolly and truthful — these are the symptoms of the kṣatriya.
āstikyam udyamo nityaṁ
deva-guru-acyute — unto the demigods, the spiritual master and Lord Viṣṇu; bhaktiḥ — engagement in devotional service; tri-varga — of the three principles of pious life (religion, economic development and sense gratification); paripoṣaṇam — execution; āstikyam — faith in the scriptures, the spiritual master and the Supreme Lord; udyamaḥ — active; nityam — without cessation, continuously; naipuṇyam — expertise; vaiśya-lakṣaṇam — the symptoms of a vaiśya.
Being always devoted to the demigods, the spiritual master and the Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu; endeavoring for advancement in religious principles, economic development and sense gratification [dharma, artha and kāma]; believing in the words of the spiritual master and scripture; and always endeavoring with expertise in earning money — these are the symptoms of the vaiśya.
śūdrasya sannatiḥ śaucaṁ
sevā svāminy amāyayā
amantra-yajño hy asteyaṁ
śūdrasya — of the śūdra (the fourth grade of man in society, the worker); sannatiḥ — obedience to the higher classes (the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and vaiśyas); śaucam — cleanliness; sevā — service; svāmini — to the master who maintains him; amāyayā — without duplicity; amantra-yajñaḥ — performance of sacrifices simply by offering obeisances (without mantras); hi — certainly; asteyam — practicing not to steal; satyam — truthfulness; go — cows; vipra — brāhmaṇas; rakṣaṇam — protecting.
Offering obeisances to the higher sections of society [the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and vaiśyas], being always very clean, being free from duplicity, serving one’s master, performing sacrifices without uttering mantras, not stealing, always speaking the truth and giving all protection to the cows and brāhmaṇas — these are the symptoms of the śūdra.
strīṇāṁ ca pati-devānāṁ
tad-bandhuṣv anuvṛttiś ca
strīṇām — of women; ca — also; pati-devānām — who have accepted their husbands as worshipable; tat-śuśrūṣā — readiness to render service to her husband; anukūlatā — being favorably disposed towards her husband; tat-bandhuṣu — unto the friends and relatives of the husband; anuvṛttiḥ — being similarly disposed (to treat them well for the satisfaction of the husband); ca — and; nityam — regularly; tat-vrata-dhāraṇam — accepting the vows of the husband or acting exactly as the husband acts.
To render service to the husband, to be always favorably disposed toward the husband, to be equally well disposed toward the husband’s relatives and friends, and to follow the vows of the husband — these are the four principles to be followed by women described as chaste.
svayaṁ ca maṇḍitā nityaṁ
kāmair uccāvacaiḥ sādhvī
praśrayeṇa damena ca
vākyaiḥ satyaiḥ priyaiḥ premṇā
kāle kāle bhajet patim
sammārjana — by cleaning; upalepābhyām — by smearing with water or other cleansing liquids; gṛha — the household; maṇḍana — decorating; vartanaiḥ — remaining at home and engaged in such duties; svayam — personally; ca — also; maṇḍitā — finely dressed; nityam — always; parimṛṣṭa — cleansed; paricchadā — garments and household utensils; kāmaiḥ — according to the desires of the husband; ucca-avacaiḥ — both great and small; sādhvī — a chaste woman; praśrayeṇa — with modesty; damena — by controlling the senses; ca — also; vākyaiḥ — by speech; satyaiḥ — truthful; priyaiḥ — very pleasing; premṇā — with love; kāle kāle — at appropriate times; bhajet — should worship; patim — her husband.
A chaste woman must dress nicely and decorate herself with golden ornaments for the pleasure of her husband. Always wearing clean and attractive garments, she should sweep and clean the household with water and other liquids so that the entire house is always pure and clean. She should collect the household paraphernalia and keep the house always aromatic with incense and flowers and must be ready to execute the desires of her husband. Being modest and truthful, controlling her senses, and speaking in sweet words, a chaste woman should engage in the service of her husband with love, according to time and circumstances.
apramattā śuciḥ snigdhā
patiṁ tv apatitaṁ bhajet
santuṣṭā — always satisfied; alolupā — without being greedy; dakṣā — very expert in serving; dharma-jñā — fully conversant with religious principles; priya — pleasing; satya — truthful; vāk — in speaking; apramattā — attentive in service to her husband; śuciḥ — always clean and pure; snigdhā — affectionate; patim — the husband; tu — but; apatitam — who is not fallen; bhajet — should worship.
A chaste woman should not be greedy, but satisfied in all circumstances. She must be very expert in handling household affairs and should be fully conversant with religious principles. She should speak pleasingly and truthfully and should be very careful and always clean and pure. Thus a chaste woman should engage with affection in the service of a husband who is not fallen.
yā patiṁ hari-bhāvena
bhajet śrīr iva tat-parā
hary-ātmanā harer loke
patyā śrīr iva modate
yā — any woman who; patim — her husband; hari-bhāvena — mentally accepting him as equal to Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; bhajet — worships or renders service to; śrīḥ iva — exactly like the goddess of fortune; tat-parā — being devoted; hari-ātmanā — completely absorbed in thoughts of Hari; hareḥ loke — in the spiritual world, the Vaikuṇṭha planets; patyā — with her husband; śrīḥ iva — exactly like the goddess of fortune; modate — enjoys spiritual, eternal life.
The woman who engages in the service of her husband, following strictly in the footsteps of the goddess of fortune, surely returns home, back to Godhead, with her devotee husband, and lives very happily in the Vaikuṇṭha planets.
vṛttiḥ — occupational duty; saṅkara-jātīnām — of the mixed classes of men (those other than the four divisions); tat-tat — according to their respective; kula-kṛtā — family tradition; bhavet — should be; acaurāṇām — not thieves by profession; apāpānām — not sinful; antyaja — lower classes; antevasāyinām — known as antevasāyī or caṇḍāla.
Among the mixed classes known as saṅkara, those who are not thieves are known as antevasāyī or caṇḍālas [dog-eaters], and they also have their hereditary customs.
nṛṇāṁ dharmo yuge yuge
veda-dṛgbhiḥ smṛto rājan
pretya ceha ca śarma-kṛt
prāyaḥ — generally; sva-bhāva-vihitaḥ — prescribed, according to one’s material modes of nature; nṛṇām — of human society; dharmaḥ — the occupational duty; yuge yuge — in every age; veda-dṛgbhiḥ — by brāhmaṇas well conversant in the Vedic knowledge; smṛtaḥ — recognized; rājan — O King; pretya — after death; ca — and; iha — here (in this body); ca — also; śarma-kṛt — auspicious.
My dear King, brāhmaṇas well conversant in Vedic knowledge have given their verdict that in every age [yuga] the conduct of different sections of people according to their material modes of nature is auspicious both in this life and after death.
hitvā sva-bhāva-jaṁ karma
śanair nirguṇatām iyāt
vṛttyā — with the profession; sva-bhāva-kṛtayā — performed according to one’s modes of material nature; vartamānaḥ — existing; sva-karma-kṛt — executing his own work; hitvā — giving up; sva-bhāva-jam — born from one’s own modes of nature; karma — activities; śanaiḥ — gradually; nirguṇatām — transcendental position; iyāt — may attain.
If one acts in his profession according to his position in the modes of nature and gradually gives up these activities, he attains the niṣkāma stage.
upyamānaṁ muhuḥ kṣetraṁ
svayaṁ nirvīryatām iyāt
na kalpate punaḥ sūtyai
uptaṁ bījaṁ ca naśyati
evaṁ kāmāśayaṁ cittaṁ
virajyeta yathā rājann
upyamānam — being cultivated; muhuḥ — again and again; kṣetram — a field; svayam — itself; nirvīryatām — barrenness; iyāt — may obtain; na kalpate — is not suitable; punaḥ — again; sūtyai — for growing further harvests; uptam — sown; bījam — the seed; ca — and; naśyati — is spoiled; evam — in this way; kāma-āśayam — full of lusty desires; cittam — the core of the heart; kāmānām — of the desirable objects; ati-sevayā — by enjoyment over and over again; virajyeta — may become detached; yathā — just as; rājan — O King; agni-vat — a fire; kāma-bindubhiḥ — by small drops of clarified butter.
My dear King, if an agricultural field is cultivated again and again, the power of its production decreases, and whatever seeds are sown there are lost. Just as drops of ghee on a fire never extinguish the fire but a flood of ghee will, similarly, overindulgence in lusty desires mitigates such desires entirely.
yasya yal lakṣaṇaṁ proktaṁ
yad anyatrāpi dṛśyeta
tat tenaiva vinirdiśet
yasya — of whom; yat — which; lakṣaṇam — symptom; proktam — described (above); puṁsaḥ — of a person; varṇa-abhivyañjakam — indicating the classification (brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, etc); yat — if; anyatra — elsewhere; api — also; dṛśyeta — is seen; tat — that; tena — by that symptom; eva — certainly; vinirdiśet — one should designate.
If one shows the symptoms of being a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya or śūdra, as described above, even if he has appeared in a different class, he should be accepted according to those symptoms of classification.