Madhya-līlāChapter 22: The Process of Devotional Service

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya 22.26

cāri varṇāśramī yadi kṛṣṇa nāhi bhaje

svakarma karite se raurave paḍi' maje


cāri varṇa-āśramī — followers of the four social and spiritual orders of life; yadi — if; kṛṣṇa — Lord Kṛṣṇa; nāhi — not; bhaje — serve; sva-karma karite — performing his duty in life; se — that person; rauravein a hellish condition; paḍi' — falling down; maje — becomes immersed.


"The followers of the varṇāśrama institution accept the regulative principles of the four social orders [brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya and śūdra] and four spiritual orders [brahmacarya, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa]. However, if one carries out the regulative principles of these orders but does not render transcendental service to Kṛṣṇa, he falls into a hellish condition of material life.


One may be a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya or śūdra, or one may perfectly follow the spiritual principles of brahmacarya, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa, but ultimately one falls down into a hellish condition unless one becomes a devotee. Without developing one's dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one cannot be factually elevated. The regulative principles of varṇāśrama-dharma in themselves are insufficient for attainment of the highest perfection. That is confirmed in the following two quotations from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.5.2-3).

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