The point Prabhupada made in the purport to 4.2.31 is that Varṇāśrama is natural. It happens automatically whether you recognize it or not. The system is already in place, we “implement” it by being sensitive to it.

For example, the Bhagavatam describes that the four ashramas are followed in different ways by the four varnas. Each varna takes brahmacarya in a different context and to a different extent, for example. We should “impliment Varnāśrama dharma” by realizing this! Not by expected everyone to do everything the same way.

An intellectual philosopher can be encouraged to certain lifestyles, but it is disastrous to encourage a manual laborer in the same way.

Varṇāśrama is not about imposing rules and structures on society, it’s about understanding what naturally exists in society and learning how to relate to it accordingly. Essentially, its about not treating everyone as if they were the same as everyone else, learning to be sensitive to individuality.

A person with brahminical leaning doesn’t really need to be told “you have brahminical leaning” unless their leaning isn’t all that strong in the first place. A person with brahminical leaning will already involve themselves in education, writing, science, and religion. So “implementing varṇāśrama” is not really about imposing a division of labor. It’s about recognizing the divisions of labor that arise naturally, and treating individuals accordingly.

Varṇāśrama already has potency to purify human consciousness. We don’t have to “pin a tail on a donkey” by tacking on a “Supreme Personality of Godhead” footnote for each varṇa – the Supreme Personality of Godhead is already in there, naturally. Pṛthu explains in Canto 4 chapter 21 that selfless, responsible duty to family and society is ITSELF purifying and spiritual and leads directly to serving Viṣṇu.

Brahmins, for example, serve Viṣṇu by by doing their service to family and society – teaching, studying, performing rituals, etc. It’s NATURALLY service to Viṣṇu to perform your social duties responsibly. Bhakti-yoga is even better, far better than Varṇāśrama, but remember we are talking about a social system for the masses, not just for people who want to be Krishna-bhaktas. So Varṇāśrama doesn’t have to be artificially forced to mimic Karma-miśra bhakti. The whole point of Varṇāśrama is to help the people who are not yet past the threshold for bhakti-yoga.

Vraja Kishor das
www.vrajakishor.com

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