Varnashrama in Bhakti

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.10.01 - Varnashrama in Bhakti-Focus On Replicating The Take-Off and Not Recreating The Take-off Point (download mp3)
by Chaitanya Charan Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 11.10.1
sri-bhagavan uvaca
mayoditesv avahitah
 sva-dharmesu mad-asrayah
 akamatma samacaret

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Taking full shelter in Me, with the mind carefully fixed in the devotional service of the Lord as spoken by Me, one should live without personal desire and practice the social and occupational system called varnasrama.

In the previous chapters Lord Krsna described through the story of an avadhuta brahmana the qualities and character of a saintly person. Now the Lord describes the practical means for achieving such a saintly position. In the PaƱcaratra and other scriptures the Personality of Godhead gives instructions for executing devotional service. Similarly, in Bhagavad-gita (4.13) the Lord says, catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah: “I have personally created the varnasrama system.” There are innumerable rules and regulations in the varnasrama system, and the devotee should execute those which do not contradict the process of devotional service. The term varna indicates different classes of human beings, some in the mode of ignorance, some in the mode of passion and some in the mode of goodness. Devotional service to the Lord is executed on the liberated platform, and therefore some injunctions for those persons in passion and ignorance may be contradictory to the regulative principles for those on the liberated platform. Therefore, under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master who is nondifferent from the Lord, one should execute the basic principles of varnasrama in a way favorable for advancement in Krsna consciousness.

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