Life Story of Her Grace Hladini Mataji

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.05.02 - Life Story of Her Grace Hladini Mataji (download mp3)
by Srila Haridas Thakur Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

 SB 11.5.2
sri-camasa uvaca
 purusasyasramaih saha
catvaro jaj├▒ire varna
 gunair vipradayah prthak

Sri Camasa said: Each of the four social orders, headed by the brahmanas, was born through different combinations of the modes of nature, from the face, arms, thighs and feet of the Supreme Lord in His universal form. Thus the four spiritual orders were also generated.

Those who are not spontaneously attracted to the devotional service of the Lord can be gradually purified by observing the varnasrama system of four social orders and four spiritual orders. According to Sridhara Svami, the brahmanas are born of the mode of goodness, the ksatriyas of a combination of goodness and passion, the vaisyas of a combination of passion and ignorance and the sudras of the mode of ignorance. Just as the four social orders are born from the face, arms, thighs and feet of the Lord’s universal form, similarly the brahmacaris are generated from the heart of the Lord, the householder order from His loins, the vanaprasthas from His chest and the sannyasa order from His head.

A similar verse is found in the Rk-samhita (8.4.19), as well as the Sukla-yajur Veda (34.11) and the Atharva Veda (19.66):

brahmano ’sya mukham asid
 bahu rajanyah krtah
uru tad asya yad vaisyah
 padbhyam sudro ’jayata

“The brahmana appeared as His face, the king as His arms, the vaisya as His thighs, and the sudra was born from His feet.”

It is understood that pure devotional service to the Lord has already been described by two of the Yogendras, Drumila and Avirhotra. Camasa Muni now describes the system of varnasrama-dharma, because this system is meant to gradually purify those who are inimical to the Supreme Lord, bringing them back to their constitutional position of love of Godhead. Similarly, the virat-rupa, or universal form of the Lord, is an imaginary form meant to help the gross materialists gradually understand the position of the Personality of Godhead. Since the foolish materialist cannot understand anything beyond matter, he is encouraged to see the entire universe as a personal form of the Supreme Lord’s body. The impersonal conception of formlessness is a mere negation of temporary material variety without any concept of the Lord’s spiritual potency. The impersonal view is another kind of material speculative conception. The Supreme Lord is full of spiritual potencies under the principal headings hladini, or unlimited bliss, sandhini, or eternal existence, and samvit, or omniscience. It is understood from this verse that the varnasrama-dharma system generated from the universal form of the Lord is a program offered by the Lord to engage the conditioned souls in a complete social and religious system that gradually brings them back home, back to Godhead.

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