In sanskrit grammar, Pa stands for five and varga stands for divisions or categories so put together Pa-Varga means five divisional categories. These five categories begin with five letters namely pa, pha, ba, bha and ma. These five letters or Pa-varga outlines the sequence of material outcomes a soul has to undergo in order to survive in this world.
- The first varga begins with Pa meaning Parishrama. Parishrama in sanskrit means to work with lot of effort or simply put hard labor. For a living being in this world to survive has to work hard from morning to night. This is especially true for human beings. This hard struggle for existence scientists call survival of the fittest. To the degree we are able to use our human faculties to think and act in a timely and efficient way, we can make progress materially in this world. Therefore an individual in order to succeed must always be vigilant and pro-active to solve life's problems. This requires effort and hard labor. This is the beginning of material life if you will - Pa or Parishrama.
- The second varga begins with Pha meaning Phena. Phena in sanskrit literally means foam. Following hard labor comes exhaustion. Exhaustion exaggerated is called foaming in the mouth. Of course, in animals like say donkeys or horses, we can actually see the foam of exhaustion in their mouths. This symbolic foaming in human beings manifest as stress and other mental and physical anomalies. In other words, with hard labor, human beings begin their material life but to sustain their social and economic stature requires consistent performance which can result in stress and other concomitant problems (foaming in the mouth) - Pha or Phena.
- The third varga begins with the letter Ba meaning Vyarthataa. Vyarthataa in sanskrit means frustration. Human beings have to work hard to the point they are stressed out (foaming) and despite such hard labor, the outcome may not be satisfactory or at best temporary. This unsatisfactory or temporary results can lead to frustration. To get relief from this frustration, people take a break from mundanity in the form media entertainment, vacations, drinking, dining, sex etc. For a self satisfied person, a need for extraneous relief does not exist . This is called Ba or Vyarthataa.
- The fourth varga begins with the letter Bha meaning Bhaya. Bhaya in sanskrit means fearfulness. Although fearfulness is a constant companion for living beings, fear will become bigger and bigger as we approach old age, and disease. This fear especially is more telling to individuals who are completely devoid of anything spiritual. Materialistic people live their whole lives following Pa and Pha just to avoid Ba and Bha. But eventually Bha or Bhaya will catch up.
- The fifth and final varga begins with the word Ma meaning Mrtyu. Mrtyu in sanskrit means death. While fear is a constant companion all our lives, it catches up on us as we approach old age and it is fully blown at the time of death. Death or mrtyu has the last laugh for individuals who completely ignore the existence of the soul and Supersoul. Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita that He is death and will come at the end of life. - Ma or Mrtyu
To summarize, a living being especially human beings are born, grow, work hard in labor to the point of stress (foaming) leading up to frustration with fear (of losing or left behind) as their constant companion only to finally end their miserable life in death. This is the fate of material civilization - Pa-Varga. No one is exempt from it.
The solution is to follow the principle of apa-varga. Krishna is apavarga hence He is God. Krishna is not disturbed by the Pa-vargas of material existence. He is beyond material existence. So as long as we intimately identify and associate our self with material life (Pa-varga), we will have to undergo the above five transformations. If however, we associate with Krishna who is apavarga, then we will also become apavarga (liberated) from the hard knot of material existence.