4.13 cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ (Original)

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Chapter 4

<< Chapter 4 verse 12


cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ
tasya kartāram api māṁ
viddhy akartāram avyayam

‘The fourfold varṇa1 (class or caste) was created by Me according to dispositions (guṇa), and occupations (karma). Though I am its Creator, know Me to be the Imperishable Non-creator.’

The whole Universe, from the (four-faced) Brahmā down to the blade of grass, is divided by Me into the four-fold classification, in conformity with the dispositions, or qualities, viz, satva2 etc., and in conformity with the occupations3 (or communal division of labour), suited to the qualities that the several classes possess; for example: the practice of the śama quality, (or restraint of the desires etc., by the brāhmaṇa). ‘Creation’ (sṛishti) implies the other conditions of the Universe, viz; that of sustentation (for a period) and disappearance, —all which, I do.

Though I am the Author of these several acts, creation etc., know Me yet to be No-author.

How (Author and yet No-author)? It is explained:—

>> Chapter 4 verse 13.5

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  1. The four varṇas are Brāhmaṇa, Kshatriya, Vaiśya and Śūdra. The four aśramas are Brahmacharya (bachelor and student), Gārhastya (married life), Vānaprastha (retired forest life) and Sanyāsa (monastic or ascetic life).
  2. Tamas śūdre, rajaḥ kshatre, brāhmaṇe satvam-uttamam’. i.e., tamas-quality in the Śūdra-class, rajas-quality in the kshatriya-class, and satva-quality in the brāhmaṇa-class. (Tātparya-chandrika).
  3. As described in Gi XXIII-41. ‘Brāhmaṇa kshatriya viśām’ etc.

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