Krishna describes in the Gita that He created the caste system according to one’s qualities and the work one does in the world. Nowhere does Krishna categorize caste by birth. Of course if one is born in the family of doctors, the atmosphere is more conducive for one to be a doctor. Butunless he or she goes to college, passes exams and gets diploma, no sane person will consider him or her a doctor simply on basis of birth in the family of doctors.
A brahmana (learned person) is explained in the Gita, as one who is self-controlled, peaceful, learned in the scriptures, devoted to God, and follows the highest standards of cleanliness. This is a brahmana. Such persons should be honored and respected, because by honoring and respecting them we open our hearts to receive the knowledge and benedictions of God. That is the gift they are offering to society.
The great corruption of Indian culture is this idea of caste by birth. The idea of caste is good, but it should be according to Krishna’s direction, according to the natural qualities. When we are working according to our natural inclinations with God-given guidelines, we are working to uplift society and for the glorification of God.
– Radhanath Swami