Srimad Bhagavatam 11.17.13 - Purpose of Varnashrama (download mp3)
by Vasudev Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
vairajat purusaj jata
In Treta-yuga the four social orders were manifested from the universal form of the Personality of Godhead. The brahmanas appeared from the Lord’s face, the ksatriyas from the Lord’s arms, the vaisyas from the Lord’s thighs and the sudras from the legs of that mighty form. Each social division was recognized by its particular duties and behavior.
brahmacaryam hrdo mama
sannyasah sirasi sthitah
The married order of life appeared from the loins of My universal form, and the celibate students came from My heart. The forest-dwelling retired order of life appeared from My chest, and the renounced order of life was situated within the head of My universal form.
There are two classes of brahmacari life. The naisthiki-brahmacari remains celibate throughout life, whereas the upakurvana-brahmacari marries upon finishing his student life. One who remains perpetually celibate is situated within the heart of Lord Krsna, but those brahmacaris who eventually marry are situated within the loins of the universal form of the Lord. The word vane-vasah refers to vanaprastha, or the retired order of life, which is situated on the chest of the Lord.