Chapter 4: Transcendental Knowledge
catur-varnyam maya srstam
tasya kartaram api mam
viddhy akartaram avyayam
catur-varnyam—the four divisions of human society; maya—by Me; srstam—created; guna—quality; karma—work; vibhagasah—in terms of division; tasya—of that; kartaram—the father; api—although; mam—Me; viddhi—you may know; akartaram—as the non-doer; avyayam—being unchangeable.
According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me. And, although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the non-doer, being unchangeable.
The Lord is the creator of everything. Everything is born of Him, everything is sustained by Him, and everything, after annihilation, rests in Him. He is therefore the creator of the four divisions of the social order, beginning with the intelligent class of men, technically called brahmanas due to their being situated in the mode of goodness. Next is the administrative class, technically called the ksatriyas due to their being situated in the mode of passion. The mercantile men, called the vaisyas, are situated in the mixed modes of passion and ignorance, and the sudras, or laborer class, are situated in the ignorant mode of material nature. In spite of His creating the four divisions of human society, Lord Krsna does not belong to any of these divisions, because He is not one of the conditioned souls, a section of whom form human society. Human society is similar to any other animal society, but to elevate men from the animal status, the abovementioned divisions are created by the Lord for the systematic development of Krsna consciousness. The tendency of a particular man toward work is determined by the modes of material nature which he has acquired. Such symptoms of life, according to different modes of material nature, are described in the Eighteenth Chapter of this book. A person in Krsna consciousness, however, is above even the brahmanas, because a brahmana by quality is supposed to know about Brahman, the Supreme Absolute Truth. Most of them approach the impersonal Brahman manifestation of Lord Krsna, but only a man who transcends the limited knowledge of a brahmana and reaches the knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krsna, becomes a person in Krsna consciousness—or, in other words, a Vaisnava. Krsna consciousness includes knowledge of all different plenary expansions of Krsna, namely Rama, Nrsimha, Varaha, etc. However, as Krsna is transcendental to this system of the four divisions of human society, a person in Krsna consciousness is also transcendental to all divisions of human society, whether we consider the divisions of community, nation or species.