Chapter 9: The Most Confidential Knowledge

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Bhagavad-gita As It Is 9.32

mam hi partha vyapasritya

ye 'pi syuh papa-yonayah

striyo vaisyas tatha sudras

te 'pi yanti param gatim


mam -- of Me; hi -- certainly; partha -- O son of Pritha; vyapasritya -- particularly taking shelter; ye -- those who; api -- also; syuh -- are; papa-yonayah -- born of a lower family; striyah -- women; vaisyah -- mercantile people; tatha -- also; sudrah -- lower-class men; te api -- even they; yanti -- go; param -- to the supreme; gatim -- destination.


O son of Pritha, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth -- women, vaisyas [merchants] and sudras [workers] -- can attain the supreme destination.


It is clearly declared here by the Supreme Lord that in devotional service there is no distinction between the lower and higher classes of people. In the material conception of life there are such divisions, but for a person engaged in transcendental devotional service to the Lord there are not. Everyone is eligible for the supreme destination. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.4.18) it is stated that even the lowest, who are called candalas (dog-eaters), can be purified by association with a pure devotee. Therefore devotional service and the guidance of a pure devotee are so strong that there is no discrimination between the lower and higher classes of men; anyone can take to it. The most simple man taking shelter of the pure devotee can be purified by proper guidance. According to the different modes of material nature, men are classified in the mode of goodness (brahmanas), the mode of passion (kshatriyas, or administrators), the mixed modes of passion and ignorance (vaisyas, or merchants), and the mode of ignorance (sudras, or workers). Those lower than them are called candalas, and they are born in sinful families. Generally, the association of those born in sinful families is not accepted by the higher classes. But the process of devotional service is so strong that the pure devotee of the Supreme Lord can enable people of all the lower classes to attain the highest perfection of life. This is possible only when one takes shelter of Krishna. As indicated here by the word vyapasritya, one has to take shelter completely of Krishna. Then one can become much greater than great jnanis and yogis.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness