चातुर्वर्ण्यं मया सृष्टं गुणकर्मविभागशः | तस्य कर्तारमपि मां विद्ध्यकर्तारमव्ययम् ||४-१३||
cāturvarṇyaṃ mayā sṛṣṭaṃ guṇakarmavibhāgaśaḥ . tasya kartāramapi māṃ viddhyakartāramavyayam ||4-13||
4.13. The four-fold caste-structure has been created by Me, according to the division of [their respective] alities and actions. Though I am the creator of this, know Me as a changeless non-creator.
Shri Purohit Swami
4.13 The four divisions of society (the wise, the soldier, the merchant, the labourer) were created by Me, according to the natural distribution of Qualities and instincts. I am the author of them, though I Myself do no action, and am changeless.
Sri Abhinav Gupta
4.13 See Comment under 4.14
4.13 The whole universe beginning with Brahma and ending with a cluster of grass, with the system of four stations divided according to Sattva and other Gunas and by actions like self-control corresponding to the Gunas, was created by Me. The mention of ‘creation’ is for illustration. The universe is protected by Me alone and is withdrawn by Me alone. Know Me to be the creator of his manifold actions of creation etc., but at the same time to be non-agent.
Sri Krsna explains here how this is possible.
4.13 Catur-varnyam-meaning the same as catvarah varnah, the four castes; srstam, have been created; maya, by Me who am God, which accords with such Vedic texts as, ‘The Brahmanas were His face৷৷.’ (Rg. 10.90.12); guna-karma-vibhagasah, through a classification of the gunas and duties. [A.G. writes: guna-vibhagena karma-vibhagah, classification of the duties, determined by the classification of the gunas.-Tr] By the gunas are meant sattva, rajas and tamas (see note under 2.45; also see Chapter 14). As to that, the control of the mind and body, austerity, etc. are the duties of the Brahmanas, who are sattvika, i.e. have a predominance of the ality of sattva (purity, goodness, etc.). Courage, valour, etc. are the duties of the Ksatriyas, in whom sattva becomes secondary and rajas (passion, attachment, etc.) preponderates. Agriculture etc. are the duties of the Vaisya, in whom tamas (indolence, ignorance, etc.) is secondary and rajas is predominant. Service is the only duty of the Sudra, in whom rajas is secondary and tamas predominates (see chapters 14, 16,17 and 18). In this way, the four castes have been created by Me through a classification of the gunas and duties. This is the idea. And these four castes do not prevail in the other worlds. Hence the specification, ‘in the human world’. ‘Well, in that caste, by virtues of Your being he agent of the acts of creation of the four castes,etc. You become subject tothe conseence of those actions? Therefore you are not eternally free and the eternal Lord!’ This is being answered: Api, even though; I am kartaram, the agent; tasya, of that act, from the empirical standpoint of maya; still, from the highest standpoint, viddhi, know; mam, Me; to be akartaram, a non-agent; and therefore, also know Me to be avyayam, changeless, not subject to the cycle of births and deaths. ‘In reality, however, I am not the agent of those actions of which you think I am the agent.’ Because
4.13 The system of four stations was created by Me according to distinction of Gunas and Karma. Though I am their creator, know Me as non-agent and immutable.
4.13 The four castes have been created by Me through a classification of the gunas and duties. Even though I am the agent of that (act of classification), still know Me to be a non-agent and changeless.
4.13 The fourfold caste has been created by Me according to the differentiation of Guna and Karma; though I am the author thereof know Me as non-doer and immutable.
4.13 चातुर्वर्ण्यम् the fourfold caste? मया be Me? सृष्टम् has been created? गुणकर्मविभागशः according to the differentiation of Guna and Karma? तस्य thereof? कर्तारम् the author? अपि also? माम् Me? विद्धि know? अकर्तारम् nondoer? अव्ययम् immutable.Commentary The four castes (Brahmana? Kshatriya? Vaishya and Sudra) are classified according to the differentiation of Guna and Karma. In a Brahmana? Sattva predominates. He possesses selfrestraint? purity? serenity? straightforwardness? devotion? etc. In a Kshatriya? Rajs predominates. He possesses prowess? splendour? firmness? dexterity? generosity and the nature of a ruler. In a Vaishya? Rajas predominates and Tamas is subordinate to Rajas. He does the duty of ploughing? protection of cattle and trade. In a Sudra Tamas predominates and Rajas is subordinate to Tamas. He does service to the other three castes. Human temperaments and tendencies vary according to the Gunas.Though the Lord is the author of the caste system? yet He is not the author as He is the nondoer. He is not subject to Samsara. Really Maya does everything. Maya is the real author. Society can exist in a flourishing state if the four castes do their duties properly. Otherwise there will be chaos? rupture and fighting. (Cf.XVIII.41).