Varna and one more

Vaidya Sundaram vaidya_narayanan at YAHOO.COM
Tue Oct 16 23:09:02 CDT 2001

--- "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM> wrote:
> On Fri, 12 Oct 2001, ken knight wrote:
> > Namaste all,
> > Are there any divisions in varna in the kali yuga?
> >  I thought that I read once that in these times we are
> > all sudras.
> No, if Dharma is Sanatana (eternal) then how can that be?  What
> differs
> during the yugas is the quantity of Dharma not the quality.  It maybe
> that nowadays, many people don't fulfill their Dharmic obligations.
> So
> what?  Let's be part of the group that do.  It is such people who
> will
> usher in the next satyayuga.

 I have heard that for the parAsara smiri is the one which is
considered as "appropriate" for the Kali yuga. So, a lot of other
smriti's may shed light where the parasara smriti does not, but not
otherwise. The reason I bring this up that the smriti clrealy mentions
(I quote from memory here...) - the behavior of even the brahmins or
ksatriyas are all accoridng to the yugas themselves. Hence one who may
be considered a learned and austere brahmana in the kali may not be as
special in the other yugas as in the kali.

> > As a mleccha I want to keep studying sruti even though I believe
> that
> > there is a great deal of discolouring in the light of the purusha
> by
> > this mind.
> Then what's the point?  The Shrutis contain no magic that can bring
> you
> any closer to mukti, your goal.  It is only correct behavior and
> thinking
> which can do that.  If you know you are not supposed to study Shruti
> (and
> I think you do) then how does "want" enter into the picture?  Such
> feelings actually take you farther away mukti.  Such shastras such as
> Bhagavadgita and Yogavasishtha are available to you and will serve
> you
> better.

 I would not agree to this categorization that says no one can "learn"
the sruti. Let me explain ... I would like to draw a distinction
between adhikara versus svadharma ... adhikara gives one the right,
svadharma makes it a duty. While in practice they are both acting on
the same individual, we are at the danger of associating the svadharma
of one to the adhikara of the other and vice versa ... hence I think it
is important we keep this distinction. The "duties" which apparently
set a brahmin "apart" (perhaps just apart, not special!) is that he has
three duties in addition to the three common to all others. The three
duties common to all are
1) Performance of yajnas
2) Giving of alms (dhaanam)
3) Learning and reciting the vedas.
The brahmin alone is qualified for the following three and hence he
MUST do these as well
4) Performing yajnas for the others - that is, "officiating". The other
barnas/jaatis will be the "yajamana", not the hota etc.
5) Receiving of alms - only the brahmin has the potency to burn the
sins of pratigraha dosham away - refer discussion on this on the list
as well.
6) Teaching the vedas - the others only have to learn. Only the brahmin
can teach.

 Why do I say this: its because a lot of people say they won't learn
the vedas because they think they should not. But they receive alms
because they think they can (since they need it)! Everyone should try
to learn the vedas, at least a portion of it - the first one to be
learnt must be ones own shaka, but when ones does not what it is, what
is recommened (according to people I have spoken to in India recently)
are (first) vishnu sahasranamam, then the Yajur veda Rudram, chamakam
and keep at these. Hence, arguments or statements saying that one must
wait for the next janma for adhikara is not right (in my opinion); the
duty already exists - and it presupposes adhikara - the duty has to be
discharged - here and now.
 However, I also asked some scholars just a few ago, whether everyone
can do the gayathri - the answer was no. The adhikara for gayathri japa
is a little more and hence not a duty.
 However, one person quoted to me a portiong of the Srimad Bhagavata
purana, - a section called Sri Sukastavam (if I remember right that is
...) Sri Suka is praising the lord that oen would get even salvation by
being devoted to a devotee of Him - (I think the samskrit is
bhava shankara desikame sharaNam

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