puruá¹£eá¹a paraá¸¥ pumÄn
viá¹£á¹ur ÄrÄdhyate panthÄ
vará¹a-ÄÅrama-ÄcÄra-vatÄ - who behaves according to the system of four divisions of social order and four divisions of spiritual life; puruá¹£eá¹a - by a man; paraá¸¥ - the supreme; pumÄn - person; viá¹£á¹uá¸¥ - Lord Viá¹£á¹u; ÄrÄdhyate - is worshiped; panthÄ - way; na - not; anyat - another; tat-toá¹£a-kÄraá¹am - cause of satisfying the Lord.
This is a quotation from the Viá¹£á¹u PurÄá¹a (3.8.9). As stated by ÅrÄ«la Bhaktivinoda á¹¬hÄkura in his Amá¹ta-pravÄha-bhÄá¹£ya, âThe purport is that one can realize lifeâs perfection simply by satisfying the Supreme Personality of Godhead.â This is also confirmed in ÅrÄ«mad-BhÄgavatam (1.2.13):
ataá¸¥ pumbhir dvija-Åreá¹£á¹hÄ vará¹ÄÅrama-vibhÄgaÅaá¸¥
sv-anuá¹£á¹hitasya dharmasya saá¹siddhir hari-toá¹£aá¹am
âO best among the twice-born, it is therefore concluded that the highest perfection one can achieve by discharging the duties prescribed for oneâs own occupation according to caste divisions and orders of life is to please the Personality of Godhead.â
Every man should perform his occupational duty in the light of his particular tendency. According to his abilities, one should accept a position in the vará¹ÄÅrama institution. The divisions of brÄhmaá¹a, ká¹£atriya, vaiÅya and ÅÅ«dra are natural divisions within society. Indeed, everyone has a prescribed duty according to the vará¹ÄÅrama-dharma. Those who properly execute their prescribed duties live peacefully and are not disturbed by material conditions. The spiritual orders â brahmacarya, gá¹hastha, vÄnaprastha and sannyÄsa â are called ÄÅramas. If one executes his prescribed duty in both the social and spiritual orders, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is satisfied. If one neglects his duties, however, he becomes a transgressor and a candidate for a hellish condition. Actually we see that different people are engaged in different ways; therefore there must be divisions according to work. To attain perfection, one must make devotional service the center of life. In this way one can awaken his natural instincts by work, association and education. One should accept the vará¹ÄÅrama divisions by qualification, not by birth. Unless this system is introduced, human activities cannot be systematically executed.
The brÄhmaá¹as are the intellectuals who can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They are always engaged in the cultivation of knowledge. It does not matter whether one is born in India or outside India. Those who are naturally very heroic and who tend to rule over others are called ká¹£atriyas. Those who tend to produce food by agricultural methods, protect cows and other animals and engage in trade are called vaiÅyas, or merchants. Those who are not sufficiently intelligent to be brÄhmaá¹as, ká¹£atriyas or vaiÅyas are required to serve a master and are called ÅÅ«dras. Thus everyone can engage in the service of the Lord and awaken his natural Ká¹á¹£á¹a consciousness. If a society does not function according to such natural divisions, the social orders become degraded. The conclusion is that the scientific method of vará¹ÄÅrama-dharma should be adopted by society.