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SB 11.17.49

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Please note: The synonyms, translation and purport of this verse were composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


śūdra-vṛttiṁ bhajed vaiśyaḥ
śūdraḥ kāru-kaṭa-kriyām
kṛcchrān mukto na garhyeṇa
vṛttiṁ lipseta karmaṇā


śūdra—of the śūdras; vṛttim—occupation; bhajet—may accept; vaiśyaḥ—a vaiśya; śūdraḥ—a śūdra; kāru—of the artisan; kaṭa—straw baskets and mats; kriyām—making; kṛcchrāt—from the difficult situation; muktaḥ—freed; na—not; garhyeṇa—by that which is inferior; vṛttim—livelihood; lipseta—one should desire; karmaṇā—by work.

Translation and purport composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


A vaiśya, or mercantile man, who cannot maintain himself may adopt the occupation of a śūdra, snd a śūdra who cannot find a master can engage in simple activities like making baskets and mats of straw. However, all members of society who have adopted inferior occupations in emergency situations must give up those substitute occupations when the difficulties have passed.

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