From Lord’s face (or the mouth) came the brahmanas. From His two arms came the rajanya (the kshatriyas). From His two legs came the vaishyas. From His two feet came the shudras.
Whar are the Four Varnas?
Whether it’s the face, feet or hand of a father or mother would be the exact same to a child as long as the child is cuddling with the parent. Similarly these are metaphoric representation and shouldn’t be misunderstood by taking one paragraph out of context. Many from both parties haven’t read, understood or practiced scriptures and frequently tend to argue and fight among themselves without understanding what they are for or against!
Our body is an illustration of four varnas. The body which holds the mind represents a brahmana, that perceives, thinks, determines and guides other organs. The arms & hands are kshatriyas. They defend, attack and perform the job. The stomach digests and assimilates. The thigh and other parts store fat, managing resources for energy. These are vaisyas. The feet and legs take the weight of the body and transports the person from point A to B. These are shudras.
Each part is equally essential for the successful functioning of the human body. Nobody part is superior to another part. Each one has its own responsibility and they are to perform their duty for the common good, for the benefit of this body.
Misuse of the Varna System
Varna system was made for the sake of the society by Lord based on gunas (attitudes of the brain ) and karmas (actions from the body). Varna isn’t a classification or division of individuals but is the description of individuals based on their psychological personality (gunas) and Karmas (actions). Birth isn’t mentioned anywhere on varnas in Veda.
For the last two centuries, varna system is practiced based on arrival in the society and is a totally misunderstood concept. This misunderstanding has caused great suffering to all. The power hungry and greedy, made birth as the key categorization, suppressed, exploited and humiliated certain group of people depriving them of the right, respect & dignity.
The ideal understanding and application of the universal system is absolutely crucial to generate a positive change in the Indian society to bring about harmony, unity & expansion among the whole population.
Three classes of action from both karma yoga standpoints. All activities are categorized into three namely Karma, Vikarma and akarma.
1. Karmas are those that have to be performed.
2. Vikramas are the ones that should NOT be performed
3. Akarmas describes inaction
Karma yoga describes these three activities and the consequences of such activities as follows:
Doing Duties is Karma ~ Right actions don’t bind and vasanas are tired
Doing illegal action is Vikarma ~ Wrong actions bind, negative vasanas are shaped
Not performing duties is Akarma ~ Non-doing binds, vasanas Become accumulated
Ordinary routine action is Karma ~ giving, binding
Action with the ideal mindset ~ is visesa karma (special action) ex: providing with love, positive vasanas are shaped.
Action with the right mindset and performing for a long time ~ becomes a second nature
Doing actions with doership mindset ~ karta becomes the bhokta (doer/enjoyer)
Doing actions without doership mindset ~ akarta becomes the abhokta (non doer/non enjoyer). This is the maximum type of performing our duties. Though difficult, isn’t impossible. This is possible only with the Self knowledge,’I am the Atman who has taken this body to purge my vasanas, impressions’.
One can reach this state of performance of activities.
Whats the difference between incarnation and reincarnation?
Individuals are born dependent on the karmas in the previous lives. They aren’t independent in selecting the family or location where they’re born in any given lifetime. He’s also unable to recall the past lives or view future births.
Whereas lord incarnates again and again depending on the requirement in the society, in a time when adharma is at its peak and not based on any karma. He’s independent to select the form, time and place of his incarnation. Since he’s omniscient, he can see the future and past birth of everybody.
Incarnation is taking a shape and coming down to the ground. All of us reincarnate based on our previous karma (here, it means the results of activities ) but for Lord there are no karmas. Bhavami is incarnate, sambhavami is to appear. He chooses to look anywhere any time as needed in any form.
Ava means ‘to come down’, avatar means’as a backup’. The supreme Lord chooses the desired form, comes down to destroy the wicked and preserve the dharma, righteousness.
For example. When an odd food enters our system, the body immediately rejects the food by vomiting. This is a force which was dormant in the body until the sustenance of the body was assaulted & the body required to be stabilized. This dormant force appears quickly when the body is assaulted. The burping, coughing, tears in the eyes (when something enters the eye) are powers seem to protect the body when required.
Similarly, the whole world is metaphorically considered as Lord’s body and where there is adharma, unrighteousness, Lord takes a form appropriate to that situation at the time and comes down. The avatar need not be from the human form necessarily although he’s come as Sri Rama and Sri Krishna, Jesus, Allah and Buddha, he could take forms of Tsunami, earthquake and some other form as desired and as the situation warrants.
How can dharma & bring about integration? What is the maximum dharma?
Dharma means righteousness and/or ethical. When somebody is righteous, it means his idea, actions and words are synchronized in accord with moral values he understands the right from wrong and has chosen the correct path. He acts selflessly on principles for the common good.
Adharma on the contrary, is completely disconnected between the mind & heart, meaning that he doesn’t walk the talk. He is hypocritical, selfish and not able to select the perfect path for himself and others around him for the common good.
On an individual level, when someone lives a dharmic life, it brings about alignment in himself and he’s honest to himself and others, hence quite calm, easy, calm and considerate in this idea, word & behaviour. He’s balanced in his entire life with less stress. A adharmic person is a lot more competitive, stressed, tensed in his thought, words and behaviour, with hatred, jealousy & anger in his emotions causing anxiety on others and himself.
On a communal, national and world level, dharmic life brings about harmony in relationships, balances power, nurtures growth & advancement, peace and prosperity. Adharma creates, differences, conflicts, wars and divides individuals at every level of life.
Just like the sugar is sweet, and salt is salty, each human is to abide in one’s true divine nature’Existence- consciousness – Bliss’,’Sat-chit-Ananda. This ‘is the highest dharma. This only means to be humane with love, care, compassion, truthfulness, honest, brave, respecting, pliable, adapting, empathetic, tolerant and calm. To live a life of principle and values is dharma. This is the highest dharma.
When occurs in a Society when adharma increases?
When adharma increases people shed respect & faith in scriptures and value the substance possession much more than the scriptures. They don’t live by values and principles. Because of this only few men and women follow righteous way of living. Love, care, compassion and respect for other living animals are seldom seen.
People become obnoxiously selfish, indifferent, and dismiss performing their responsibilities. They’re attracted to glamor, temporary possessions, they are normally ego-centric and don’t believe in the divine existence or God.
When such a situation arises, the society dwindles to battle, the disparity between the sin and righteousness widens, more people struggle at the hands of few who has the ego, power and authority and their atrocities.
When does Lord incarnate? What role does he play when he incarnates?
The whole world consists of three gunas, Satva, Rajas and Tamas. Whenever there is imbalance between both of these and satva is on the lower side, Lord incarnates to protect individuals people who are dharmic, meaning, selfless, sacrificing, dutifu,l who concentrate their actions for the common good.
He also gives a chance to those that are adharmic, to choose the path to de-tour. When they e continues from the bad path, not respecting other animals, is selfish, material oriented, fails to perform one’s duty and acts contrary to the best interest of the common good, is evil in his thought, actions & word, Lord destroys him.
When dharma decreases and adharma takes over
“Yada yada hi dharmasya glanirbhavati bharata… sambhabami yuge yuge”.
Whenever there is decay of righteousness, O Bharata, And there’s exaltation of unrighteousness, then I Myself come forth; For the security of the good, for the destruction of evil-doers, For the sake of firmly establishing righteousness, I am born from age to age.
When the adharmic crowd increases, then the opportunity of dharma prevailing becomes very weak. Now Lord incarnates to balance it out.
Is there a difference between Lord and incarnation?
We can eat a number of candies or we could eat sugar. We salute the flag which represents the nation. So too we admire scriptures just like we respect Lord.
Worshipping Lord’s incarnation is not any less or different than worshipping Lord himself. Here God shouldn’t be construed as a man because GOD is attributeless. There’s no definite shape, it’s hard to conceptualise the formless, attributeless than a form with love and beauty for a common man. We choose to worship the kind of Lord, also known as Saguna Brahmam.
Just like we use various sweets and love them (Gulab Jamun, Rasa Gullah, Mysore Pak, Thirattu pal) though they all are made from sugar, 1 ingredient, therefore also Lord has many unique incarnations and we can select the one which favors us, people.
Daily worship, meditation & prayer on these forms gives us solace, inner relaxation and strength. His divine life also inspire and transform our lives.
Why does a human usually find the ephemeral, temporary rather than the everlasting Lord?
An individual always is after immediate gratification. We need immediate results. When we have headache we’d rather go to an allopathic to find a pill for immediate relief as opposed to Ayurvedic which would take a longer time and guarantees that the treatment could prevent future occurrences.
We can not be on the telephone waiting for 30 minutes to the other side, so there’s music to keep us busy, we can not wait at the bus red or stop sign, we are in need of a book to skim through. Man has no patience and we could see that much more. We wants a simple way than put an effort. It’s no wonder with that mindset, he would rather be pleased with the ephemeral attractions compared to the everlasting Lord. That takes effort. We want it Now!!
Inculcating values, eliminating bad habits, controlling the mind by handling the ideas, creating harmony from within and without, setting high standards of life, living by values, practicing austerity, picking spiritual path is hard work and time consuming. But man isn’t prepared to wait and devote the time necessary for anything.
It’s harvest time. Everything has its time and you can’t rush it. You can not have a fill grown infant in 30 days by a foetus, or a farm full of rice in 30 days of sowing the seeds or kid graduate from college in 3 years unless one is a prodigy.
Reaching everlasting Lord, long lasting outcomes of happiness is an elongated process, takes years of constant, persistent slow work and only people who are prepared to invest in their effort and time can reach this status.
The fourfold categorization on the Basics of Gunas
The basis of gunas is qualities of the brain. When we look around the world is filled with multiplicity and variety and we’ve categorized, classified them based on some criteria. The living creatures are categorized into mammals. reptiles, amphibians and others. So also plants are categorized as bushes, plants, trees and shrubs.
People are classified as children, teens, and seniors. We belong to a class because of who we are. We’re either low income, middle income or wealthy. Classification is done with a few foundation. Similarly, the whole humanity is categorized into ‘varnasrama’ by Lord. ‘Varnasrama’ here means description NOT the colour of the skin as in clinic now.
That’s how the whole humanity, may one be from Germany, France, New Zealand, India or Australia, is categorized and described.
Every item is described by its own property. So also people are described by two different properties, the gunas, (the quality of thoughts ) and the karma, (the job we do). As a physician, you take good care of ill, as a teacher, you instruct the student.You can’t argue that there is a discrimination between the two. The people have their route based on their own capacity.
Since everything in this world consists of three gunas, Satva, Rajas and Tamas that’s understanding, activity and inertia, the four fold class of human are: Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Sudra.
One person can be all four with one being dominant at different times of someone’s life, a family of four could have all four and this is applicable universally to the whole humanity.
So if we codify Satva as S, Rajas as R and Tamas as T, (% s are random #s, for explantation to know, not from scriptures)
Brahmana: Anyone in this world with this particular combination, SRT meaning that they are higher in Satva (approx 60%), Rajas is (30 percent ) and Tamas is (10 percent ). These are peace loving, self controlled, ever learning, teaching and far sighted.
Kshatriya: Anyone with the mixture of RST (same 60, 30, 10 percent ) are lively, problem solvers, fearless, go-getters and powerful leaders.
Vaisyas: RTS (R 60%, 30% T, and 10% S) These are exceptionally resourceful, profit seeking, active, strategic and great in business transactions.
Sudras TRS: (T 60 percent, R 30% S 10%). These are terrific followers, takes orders, precise-in their job, physically active and helpers wherever necessary.
These proportions are approximate and not exact although the arrangement is precise. The highly selfless is deemed to be Brahmana, a rather selfless is kshatriya, a rather selfish is Vaisya and exceptionally self-centered is sundra. These aren’t based on birth or some other family.
This shouldn’t be construed as a discrimination, but a differentiation, identification exactly like the blood groups, applicable to all people. These don’t have anything to do with the arrival of an individual as is used now in the society. These descriptions, varnasramas are entirely misunderstood and practised and politicized for private gain. These are applicable to all people around the planet.
The fourfold categorization on the Basics of Karmas
The basis of Karma is work or profession. When we look around the world is filled with multiplicity, variety and we’ve categorized, classified them according to some criteria. So also the people are classified as’Varna’ based on the work they perform. On a wider scale they are categorized as physicians, engineers, financiers, lawyers, businessmen, artist, artist and laborers. A laborer can become a doctor or some other profession that one selects.
These are further split like, the physicians are further sub classified as surgeons and physicians, surgeons farther into trauma surgeons, heart surgeons, kidney surgeons. Laborers are sub divided into masons, carpenters, electricians, plumbers and a lot more. This is the frequent practice and most of us understand this.
Similarly lord has categorized the whole humankind to four varnas according to their job.
Brahmanas: They’re thinkers, visionaries, advisers, consultants, philosophers, planners, policy makers, teachers and so forth. They work for the common good.
Kshatriyas: These are executors, administrators, law enforcers, defenders, social workers in a society. They’re the fire fighters, policemen and hospital employees. They’re the front line personnel. They also work for the common good.
Vaisyas: These folks mobilise resources, produce wealth, manufacture products, trade and trade with the world for the common good.
Sudras: These are the men and women who serve, do the running around, mend things, work in areas, follow instructions and produce.
For the effective functioning of any activity in almost any area, be it a hospital, a farm or a state, these four abilities are absolutely vital to work coherently. Nobody is inferior or superior to others. One mistake of dysfunction of any 1 category can bring calamity to the whole team.
Everyone’s contribution is just as important for the achievement of the job. Since these are known by many, it’s often perceived as conflicts and discrimination arises. Right knowledge is power.
The concepts of dharma and adharma
The world is characterized by multiplicity and variety. Humankind is called four varnas that are mostly based on three gunas. Every individual is the permutation combination of those four asramas, (stages of life) and three gunas. (Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa & Satva, Rajas, Tamas).
Though mentioned in Sanskrit, they’re universal ~ student life, family person, seniors and retired determined by the society with three gunas as peace loving, focused on material possession for personal gain and the hard working for day to day survival.
People that are in front, getting their hands dirty and get things done are sudras, individuals who use the tools wisely to multiply them are vaisyas (at a reasonable way), people that are fearless and endure for the common good are kshatriyas and individuals that are peace-loving and mostly pursue religious knowledge for the common good are brahmin or brahmana.
The spirit of selfless performance of one’s own responsibilities for the common good is dharma. Dharma incorporates, sustains and harmonizes people in a home, society and nations. Dharmas are laws of nature, government, social norms and morals. They bring harmony among the connections locally & internationally, nurtures growth and advancement of individuals and countries, balances power, peace and prosperity. Adharma is just the opposite.
When we see the larger picture, every society requires all four varnas for its successful functioning.
Since, through time, some believe themselves to be superior to others, exploit another varnas, causing a disharmony in the society and an imbalance between the gunas is generated. These communities are vulnerable and are taken advantage by the so called hierarchy. The self proclaimed superiors have caused this imbalance causing the exploited increase in resistance, stand up for what’s right.
While the sort, compassionate, peace loving, sacrificing, selfless is diminishing and the greedy, selfish, angry, jealous, self- centered individuals are rising exploiting for their private gain than searching for the common good. This is the height of adharma. There are people that are selfish and do anything it takes for material gain with no conscious questioning them. That’s when they’re deluded in’moha’, their wisdom has neglected over their mind. This reflects the decrease of the religious knowledge also, therefore decline in brahmanas that are educated in scriptures and play the part of teachers to the enhancement of community.
For generations there’s a misinterpretation of the description of humankind called varnas. People are advised that varnas are discriminative, divisive or classification rather than mentioning they’re simply description according to psychological personality, which is a misinterpretation into the upcoming generations.
Dharma is simply moral value to be followed by each person, an ability to know the right from wrong for the good of all. While adharma is selfish in totality with no consideration for a different life or character triggering greed hatred and jealousy.
How dysfunction of any 1 varna could disrupt the whole society?
Lets take an example of a supply centre of any item. There are various departments for a variety of functions like the warehouse, inventory, purchasing, marketing, sales, accounting and financing. To create an on time delivery to the clients, the truck required to be loaded with the ideal order, so the warehouse had the ideal item, the sales required the order correctly, the buying dept. bought the ideal product on time, the accounting department made certain the seller got paid for the last order so we could find this order. Even if a single section failed to execute their responsibility for any reason the final result is we all neglect, for our client doesn’t receive their order as specified in time. It isn’t a single individual or department, it’s the whole team’s effective operation, collaboration and cohesiveness that’s needed. Similarly so in a house, city, country, nation the varnas are highly crucial. Each varna has its own role to play and everybody must perform his/her obligation as needed on time,
In a home environment, a subject in the best interest of their family is wanted. Every member of the household has his/her responsibilities that have to be performed well. Everything has a location & time and everything has to be in its place and in the desired time, everybody has to act effectively on their responsibilities. When this area is followed, there is complete peace and harmony.
Similarly, for a society to be compatible, donations of all four varnas are required. We are in need of brahmanas as scholars of scriptural research, planners, policy makers and educators, kshatriyas as executors, administrators and social workers, vaisyas as mobilizers of resources from several points and make goods & commerce while the sudras are essential to support wherever required. Nobody is superior to some other varna. We want the policy makers, physicians, lawyers as far as we also need plumbers, masons and electricians. Each varna is determined by the other. They all are interdependent and there can’t be a solo in a society.
Failure to know the varna system correctly has caused lots of downward tendency in the society’s harmony. All of us have seen a strike by transport department causes havoc to the members of the society but that does not mean they need to take all of the atrocities committed by the direction. Exploitation of people’s abilities in the name of corporate profits couldn’t be justified as leaders, scholars and policymakers right. When the management error by exploiting the other varnas, conflicts would arise. Recognizing the significance of every varna is absolutely crucial especially for the privileged direction. Today it’s the vulnerable who are captured off-guard all of the time.