Srimad Bhagavatam 11.17.10 - Glorification of Vaishanav Acharyas (download mp3)
by Radhanath Swami at ISKCON Chowpatty
adau krta-yuge varno
nrnam hamsa iti smrtah
krta-krtyah praja jatya
tasmat krta-yugam viduh
In the beginning, in Satya-yuga, there is only one social class, called hamsa, to which all human beings belong. In that age all people are unalloyed devotees of the Lord from birth, and thus learned scholars call this first age Krta-yuga, or the age in which all religious duties are perfectly fulfilled.
It is understood from this verse that the supreme religious principle is unalloyed surrender to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Satya-yuga there is no influence of the lower modes of nature, and therefore all human beings belong to the highest social order, called hamsa, in which one comes under the direct supervision of the Personality of Godhead. In the modern age people are crying out for social equality, but unless all human beings are situated in the mode of goodness, which is the position of purity and unalloyed devotion, social equality is not possible. As the lower modes of nature become prominent, secondary religious principles arise, by which people may be gradually elevated to the pure stage of unalloyed surrender to God. In Satya-yuga there are no inferior human beings, and thus there is no need of secondary religious principles. Everyone directly takes to the unalloyed service of the Lord, fulfilling perfectly all religious obligations. In Sanskrit, one who perfectly executes all duties is called krta-krtya, as mentioned in this verse. Therefore Satya-yuga is called Krta-yuga, or the age of perfect religious action. According to Srila Jiva Gosvami, the word adau (“in the beginning”) refers to the moment of universal creation. In other words, the varnasrama system is not a recent concoction but naturally arises at the time of creation and should therefore be accepted by all intelligent human beings.