michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk
Tue Aug 18 14:41:36 CDT 2009
Who am I to cavil with you ?... But my copy of BG 18.41 says nothing of
initiation or second birth or specialised training. Rather, it speaks in
18.42-3 of the personal and moral qualities expected of the Brahmana and
All that 18.44 offers is a 'job description' for vaishyas and shudras -- as
if no personal qualities are required for these 'jobs'.. not quite a
balanced statement : who would not want a servant who does not possess
something of all those qualities enumerated of brahmana and kshatriya when
the need arises ?
However, of the shudra, the requirement is 'paricharyatman'... now whose
atman does that refer to ? 'Serving the atman' gives a different flavour to
real service.. certainly more than 'shifting goods' with a fork-lift truck !
I mention this only in view of what I read in some places as if shudra were
merely a labourer in the 'service industries' without imagination.. and I
still ask where and when the 'second birth' dvija came into Hinduism -- and
what it implies ? Krishna goes on to say that that all that play these roles
may achieve perfection.
What I do find interesting is the karmic aspect. As we know, noble birth is
not always lived up to; and humble birth can be a great stimulus to
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