The Athreya Smruthi (141-142) says :-
जन्मना जायते शूद्रः
ब्रह्म ज्ञानाति ब्राह्मणः
Everyone is humble by birth (born to work out his karma) but only through the realisation of Brahman ( the Supreme Being ) one becomes a Brahmana ( Yogi ).
Therefore, status of birth is not at all a criteria for anyone to attain YOGA (Salvation).
मां हि पार्थ् व्यपाश्रित्य् योऽपि स्थुः पापयोनयः ।
स्त्रियो वैश्यास्तथा शूद्रास्तेऽपि यान्ति परां गतिम् ॥
Arjuna, Know the truth that be they women, traders ( whose nature is greed and exploitation), lowest of the low born or even the greatest sinners, if they meditate constantly and devote fully on ME (total surrender to the Supreme Being), they too will attain ME (salvation) without fail.
न मां कर्माणि लिंपति न मे कर्मफले स्पृहा ॥
इति मां योऽभिजानाति कर्मभिर्न स बध्यते ॥
I do actions not seeking fruits from it. Therefore, Karma ( action & reaction bondage ) does not bind ME . He who understands MY way of ACTION will not be bound by karma.
यदृच्छालाभसंतुष्टो द्वंद्वातीतो विमत्सरः ।
समः सिद्धावसिद्धौ च कृत्वापि न निबध्यते ॥
He who is happy with whatever he gets through his right actions, and not bothered by happiness and sorrows , free from jealous, takes success and failure with EVEN state of mind, such a karma yogi ( Man of action ) is not bound by Karma despite his ACTIONS.
यज्ज्ञात्वा न् पुनर्मोहमेवं यास्यसि पाण्डव् ।
य़ेन् भूतान्यशेषेण् द्रक्ष्यस्यात्मन्यथो मयि ॥
Arjuna , derive THAT knowledge (knowledge of right action by ever being aware of the nature of the Supreme Being) by knowing which you will not be infatuated once again.
अपि चेदसि पापेभ्यः सर्वेभ्यः पापकृत्तमः ।
सर्वं ज्ञानप्लवेनैव वृजिनं संतरिष्यसि ॥
Even if you are a greater sinner than all the other sinners, yet by this boat of Supreme Knowledge you will be able to cross the ocean of sin successfully.
यथैधांसि समिद्धोऽग्निर्भस्मसात्कुरुतेऽर्जुन ।
ज्ञानाग्निः सर्वकर्माणि भस्मसात्कुरुते तथा ॥
Just as blazing fire burns down the wood into ashes, the fire of knowledge will burn down all the karma into ashes ( washes away the sins ).
संन्यासं कर्मणां कृष्ण पुनर्योगं च शंससि ।
यच्छ्रेय एतयोरेकं तन्मे ब्रूहि सुनिश्चितम् ॥
Arjuna said “ Krishna, you talked about (emphasize) the renouncing of Action in favour of Jnana Yoga (seeking attainment of the Supreme Being through intellectual means) and at the same time asking me to do Action which is devoid of desires behind it (without attachment of desire to it ). Tell me which is the best between the two ? ”.
संन्यासः कर्मयोगश्च निःश्रेयसकरावुभौ ।
तयोस्तु कर्मसंन्यासात्कर्मयोगो विशिष्यते ॥
Lord Krishna said “ Both are evolutionary in their nature but Karma yoga ( doing Action without attachment) is better than renouncing Action in favour of knowledge (Jnana yoga).
यत्सांख्यैः प्राप्यते स्थानं तद्योगैरपि गम्यते ।
एकं सांख्यं च योगं च यः पश्यति स पश्यति ॥
Whatever the Jnana yogi attain, the Karma yogi too will attain the same (salvation). So he who is aware that both are same, is the man of real knowledge (because both are complimentary to each other ).
ब्रह्मण्याधाय कर्माणि संगं त्यक्त्वा करोति यः ।
लिप्यते न स पापेन पद्मपत्रमिवाम्भसा ॥
Whoever does actions without desires attached to them, and dedicate all his actions to the Supreme Being ( giving up the attitude of “I am doing” ), such a person, like a lotus leaf which does not become wet despite being in water , will not get into the bondage of karma despite being in Action.
सर्वकर्माणि मनसा संन्यस्यास्ते सुखं वशी ।
नवद्वारे पुरे देही नैव कुर्वन्नकारयन् ॥
On the other hand an intellectual yogi turns his mind inward, towards his own SELF (Consciousness) and disassociates his mind from all actions and will be happy within his own Self.
योऽन्तःसुखोऽन्तरारामस्तथान्तर्ज्योतिरेव यं ।
स योगी ब्रह्मनिर्वाणं ब्रह्मभूतोऽधिगच्छति ॥
Similarly he who has fixed his mind constantly on the Supreme Being and has derived the knowledge of the Supreme Being, such a person too will ALIGN his Consciousness with the Supreme Being and attain Peace ( Jnana yoga ).
न कतृत्वं न कर्माणि लोकस्य सृजति प्रभुः ।
न कर्मफलसंयोगं स्वभावस्तु प्रवर्तते ॥
The Supreme Being is above the law of Karma (action & reaction) and the fruits of it (because His actions are absolutely free from blemishes, and for the wellbeing of His creation). It is the very nature of the living beings (instinct, traits and tendencies carried forward from past existences) that determine the nature of their actions and the fruits of it ( appropriate reactions).
नादत्ते कस्यचित्पापं न चैव सुकृतं विभुः ।
अज्ञानेनावृतं ज्ञानं तेन मुह्यंति जंतवः ॥
Ignorance is the root cause for all the living beings that draws them into infatuation ( doing all sorts of wrong actions and reactions and thereby getting into the bondage of karma ). The Supreme Being is above all these things.
ज्ञानेन तु तदज्ञानं येषां नाशितमात्मनः ।
तेषामादित्यवज्ज्ञानं प्रकाशयति तत्परम् ॥
He whose consciousness (self) is free from the veil of ignorance, such a person’s consciousness reflects the Supreme Consciousness ( Just as a clean mirror reflecting the sun vividly and clearly ).
गच्छन्त्यपुनरावृत्तिं ज्ञाननिर्धूतकल्मषाः ॥
He whose mind, intellect, and consciousness (self) are ever Aligned with the Universal Consciousness (Supreme Being), such a person is freed from the bondage of karma ( for his actions are pure, devoid of desires, and without negative results ) and will attain salvation from the cycle of birth and death (having established in the Supreme Being ).
विद्याविनयसंपन्ने ब्राह्मणे गवि हस्तिनि ।
शुनि चैव श्वपाके च पण्डिताः समदर्शिनः ॥
He who is established in the Supreme Being will have EQUAL perception towards a scholar, cow, elephant, dog or even a dog eater ( for he sees ME, the Supreme Being pervading in all of them equally, and realises that it is only their karma which has given them their respective status ).