|Canto 7: The Science of God||Chapter 11: The Perfect Society: Four Social Classes|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Srimad Bhagavatam 7.11.14
rajno vrittih praja-goptur
aviprad va karadibhih
viprasya -- of the brahmana; adhyayana-adini -- reading the Vedas, etc; shat -- six (to study the Vedas, to teach the Vedas, to worship the Deity, to teach others how to worship, to accept charity and to give charity); anyasya -- of those other than the brahmanas (the kshatriyas); apratigrahah -- without accepting charity from others (the kshatriyas may execute the five other occupational duties prescribed for the brahmanas); rajnah -- of the kshatriya; vrittih -- the means of livelihood; praja-goptuh -- who maintain the subjects; aviprat -- from those who are not brahmanas; va -- or; kara-adibhih -- by levying revenue taxes, customs duties, fines for punishment, etc.
For a brahmana there are six occupational duties. A kshatriya should not accept charity, but he may perform the other five of these duties. A king or kshatriya is not allowed to levy taxes on brahmanas, but he may make his livelihood by levying minimal taxes, customs duties, and penalty fines upon his other subjects.
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains the position of brahmanas and kshatriyas as follows. Brahmanas have six occupational duties, of which three are compulsory -- namely, studying the Vedas, worshiping the Deity and giving charity. By teaching, by inducing others to worship the Deity, and by accepting gifts, the brahmanas receive the necessities of life. This is also confirmed in the Manu-samhita:
shannam tu karmanam asya
trini karmani jivika
visuddhac ca pratigrahah
Of the six occupational duties of the brahmanas, three are compulsory -- namely, worship of the Deity, study of the Vedas and the giving of charity. In exchange, a brahmana should receive charity, and this should be his means of livelihood. A brahmana cannot take up any professional occupational duty for his livelihood. The sastras especially stress that if one claims to be a brahmana, he cannot engage in the service of anyone else; otherwise he at once falls from his position and becomes a sudra. Srila Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami belonged to a very respectful family, but because they engaged in the service of Nawab Hussain Shah -- not even as ordinary clerks, but as ministers -- they were ostracized from brahminical society. Indeed, they became like Mohammedans and even changed their names. Unless a brahmana is very pure, he cannot accept charity from others. Charity should be given to those who are pure. Even if one is born in a family of brahmanas, if one acts as a sudra one cannot accept charity, for this is strictly prohibited. Although the kshatriyas are almost as qualified as the brahmanas, even they cannot accept charity. This is strictly prohibited in this verse by the word apratigraha. What to speak of the lower social orders, even the kshatriyas must not accept charity. The king or government may levy taxes upon the citizens in various ways -- by revenue duties, customs duties, realization of fines, and so on -- provided the king is able to give full protection to his subjects to assure the security of their life and property. Unless he is able to give protection, he cannot levy taxes. However, a king must not levy any tax upon the brahmanas and the Vaishnavas fully engaged in Krishna consciousness.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness