Although many Hindus subscribe to the belief that one is born into a certain caste this belief is not supported by their scriptures. The caste system in India has degenerated into a system falsely recognizing men born in Brahmin families as Brahmins or Kshatriya families as Kshatriya or Vaisya families as Vaisya or Sudra families as Sudra, even though they don’t exhibit the qualities of Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas or Sudras respectively. This has caused so many problems.
What is currently known in India as the caste system is totally corrupt and totally against the actual Varnasram system as it is described by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita. Lord Krishna clearly say’s in Bhagavat Gita 4.13 that the four varna & four ashrams has been made by Him according to one’s Guna (qualities) & Karma (work). But unfortunately today caste system has become based on Janma (Birth). But this is against Hindu scriptures. The verse goes:-
catur varnam mayam sristam guna-karma vibhagasah
tasya kartaram api mam viddhy akartaram avyayam (B.G 4.13)
(cätur-varnam—the four divisions of human society; mayäm—by Me; sristam—created; guna—of quality; karma—and work; vibhagasah—in terms of division; tasya—of that; kartäram—the father; api—although; mäm—Me; viddhi—you may know; akartäram—as the nondoer; avyayam—unchangeable.)
(TRANSLATION: According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by Me. And although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the non doer, being unchangeable.)
So Lord Krishna and all the Hindu scriptures are very clear on that the Four varna are based on Guna (quality & nature of a person) and its absolutely not the Janma (birth). So if a person is born in a Brahmin family or Kshatriya family, but has the qualities of a sudra, he is to be considered as a sudra. Merely becoming a son of a Brahmin or Kshatriya or Vaisya or Sudra father will not make you a Brahmin or Kshatriya or Vaisya or Sudra.
So the Vedas recognize different people have different skills and qualifications, but it is no by birth, it is by guna [qualification] and karma [work]. So if someone born of a sudra [worker] father becomes qualified [guna] and works as [karma] a brahmana he should be accepted as a brahmana… In the same way if the son of a brahmana doesn’t have the qualifications of a brahmana or work as a brahmana then he is not a brahmana. There are so many examples of this in the Vedic scriptures.
The current Indian system is something like accepting the sons of Supreme Court judges as supreme court judges… It’s nonsense. They have to be qualified, they have to attend the university and pass the course, then they have to work under a qualified judge and get the practical experience, then they may be able to become Supreme Court judges…
So there is actually nothing stopping anyone from bettering his position in the Indian system in the scriptures… But also there is no need for everyone to strive to be Supreme Court judges. Anyone, from any social position can be liberated by performing his own work…
You have the same system in America. You have intellectuals [brahmanas], you have administrators and military men [ksatriyas], you have businessmen and farmers [vaisyas] and you have workers. The Vedic system just recognizes these groups, that’s all. It’s quite natural.
What you know as the “caste system” is case-by-birth. But what Krishna describes as the caste system is caste by guna and karma. Guna means qualities and karma means work. So a person’s caste has nothing at all to do with the family he is born in. Although it may happen that someone born in a particular family will have the opportunity to develop the qualities of his father and also work in the same way as his father. So in this case the son may have the same caste as the father. But it is not because he is the son of a father of a particular caste, but it is because his father has trained him and the son now has the qualities and is working as a particular caste.
Krishna clearly describes that this Varnasrama system is eternal. Krishna has created four types of men and four types work. And he has clearly described the qualities of the men who fit into these for different categories. So the caste system is eternal. It does not change over time. It is not just in India, it is everywhere.
You will find these four types of men and the four types of work in every society. All over the world. There are Brahmanas, Ksatriyas, Vaishas and Sudras. The brahmanas are the saintly intellectuals who have studied the Vedas and whose position in society is to perform worship in the temple, study the scriptures, perform yajna and give advice — to everyone, but particularly to the ksatriyas. The Ksatriyas are the administrators and leaders and military men. They are the actual leaders, like the Presidents and Prime Ministers of the countries. But they do not work independently, they take advice from the Brahmanas. The Vaisyas are the productive caste. They are the farmers and the businessmen.
The three higher casts are all independent in making their livelihood. Brahmanas do not accept a salary but they do accept some contributions from the people they are giving advice to. They can receive charity and they also distribute charity. For themselves they live a very simple life. Ksatriyas have some land and they are the king or proprietor of that land and they protect the people and in return the people who occupy the land give them some taxes. So that is the income of the ksatriya. The Vaisyas are farmers or businessmen. So they produce things and sell them and that is the source of their income.
Sudras, however, have no independent source of income. They must find a “boss” or a “master” and work for them and take a salary from them.
Now in India you see these puffed-up so-called Brahmanas who work for Microsoft or IBM… They are actually sudras. Because a brahmana will never accept service like this. This is why the social system in India has been destroyed and why there is such a strong movement to eradicate the caste system. Because what is going on in India now as the “caste system” is completely corrupt and has absolutely nothing to do with the system described by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita.
The bottom line is the caste system can never be eliminated. It is eternal. These four types of men will continue to exist and the four types of work will also continue to exist.
But the problem in society is that the men are not being correctly identified or correctly employed. That is creating havoc everywhere. We have men who have no qualification at all for the higher two castes particularly, brahmanas and ksatriyas, working in these positions, and that is causing unlimited problems.
We have some sudras [workers] and we have some vaisyas [administrators, military], but nowadays it is very difficult to find any qualified brahmanas or ksatriyas.
varnasramacaravata purusena parah puman
visnur aradhyate pantha nanyat tat-tosa-karanam
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Visnu, is worshipped by the propper execution of prescribed duties in the system of varna and asrama. There is no other way to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One must be situated in the institution of the four varnas and asramas.” (Visnu Purana 3.8.9)
But one also has to consider:
dharmah svanusthitah pumsam visvaksena-kathasu yah
notpadayed yadi ratim srama eva he kevalam
“The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are only so much useless labour if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Personality of Godhead.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.8)
All things considered, Kali-yuga is a very difficult time for spiritual life and there are many faults. If despite all the faults we chant the holy names of the Lord (Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare) then everything will be perfect…
hare nama hara nama hare namiava kevalam
kalau nasty eva nastya eva nastya eva gatir anyatha
“In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, the only means of deliverance is the chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.”
YADAVS IN CASTE SYSTEM
So accodingly its nature & qualities of a particular person which will define if he is either Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaisya or Sudra. Generally Yadavs are a martial class or Kshatriya Clan. But we see many examples in our scriptures that people from one varna become other varna by developing those qualities. The most femous one is of King Viswamitra, who was a Kshatriya king and who took it as a challenge to become a brahmin. Although he failled 2 times misserably (First time by Menoka-lust & second time by anger), eventually he became a bramha rishi.
Also there is a story mentioned in Jabala Upanishad about a young boy who approached Gautama Muni and begged to become his student. It was customary that only respectable brahmanas would be accepted for such spiritual training. Gautama therefore asked, "Who is your father?" "That I do not know," the boy replied. "So, please ask your mother." The boy went to his mother and asked his mother and the mother subsequently admitted, "My dear son, I have known many men. I do not know who is your father." The boy returned to Gautama Muni and relayed the embarrassing message, "Sir, my mother also does not know who my father is. My mother say's that she has sex with many people" Gautama Muni concluded, "Yes, you are a brahmana. I accept you because you are thoroughly honest."
The father of Krishna, Vasudev Maharaj was a Kshatriya king. But the cousin brother of Vasudev Maharaj, Nanda baba was a vaisya (cowheard & a farmer). So although they have same grandfather one was a Royal Kshatriya and other was a Vaisya. So those yadavs who are engaged in cow hearding and farming are considered Vaisya according to Varna ashram system.
The Father of Krishna, Vasudev Maharaj was a Kshatriya by varna (since he was a King) & Grihastha by ashram (since he was married).
whereas Nanda Baba (cousin brother of Vasudev Maharaj) was a Vaisya by varna since he was engaged in farming and he was a cowheard man & a Grihastha by ashram (since he was married).
Also we see many Yada'v were great rishis & yogis. So they were Brahmins. Like Baba Ramadev- since he is engaged in spiritual activity of teaching so he is a Brahmin (Varna) & is since he is renounced order of life- he is a Sannyasi (Ashram).
Baba Ramadev- he is a Yadav & according to vedic varnashram system (which is based on guna-quality, nature, work & activity) he is a brahman by varna & sannyasi by ashram.
Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita Say's:-
“Brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras are distinguished by the qualities born of their own natures in accordance with the material modes, O chastiser of the enemy.
“Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom and religiousness–these are the natural qualities by which the brahmanas work.
“Heroism, power, determination, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity and leadership are the natural qualities of work for the ksatriyas.
“Farming, cow protection and business are the natural work for the vaisyas, and for the sudras there is labor and service to others.
“By following his qualities of work, every man can become perfect. Now please hear from Me how this can be done.
“By worship of the Lord, who is the source of all beings and who is all-pervading, a man can attain perfection through performing his own work.
“It is better to engage in one’s own occupation, even though one may perform it imperfectly, than to accept another’s occupation and perform it perfectly. Duties prescribed according to one’s nature are never affected by sinful reactions.” (From Bhagavad-gita 18th chapter)
The purpose of the Varnasrama social system is to provide a structure which allows people to work according to their natural tendencies and to organize society so that everyone, regardless of their position, makes spiritual advancement.