[Advaita-l] Notes on the Musings on the Fundamentals of Hinduism -7 (III)

Anbu sivam2 anbesivam2 at gmail.com
Sun Sep 13 10:13:54 CDT 2009


Quote: "Your interesting generalisations and over-simplifications contain
some valuable half-truths, in my opinion."

Thanks for your eagerness in pronouncing judgements!  It comes from the
ingrainment of abrahamic religions in their understanding of one birth only.

*First and foremost understanding of a jeeva irrespective of his varna is
that he is a bhOktha and a karmi.  That is all he is! *

No matter whether one is an emperor or a chaprasi all he does in life is
sometimes enjoy and most of the time suffer in many differnt ways!

These karmam and bhOgam constitute his karmaphala of the previous births.
In other words you are born here to enjoy and suffer period. Nothing more
and nothing less.  *You are not created by a whimsical God.  You are a
product of your own self.
Remember karma is painful and forms part of his suffering.  What you enjoy
and suffer is of course through this body (*actually the three bodies one
possesses viz. sthoola, sookshma and kaaraNa sarirams) and these bodies are
guna born.*  The nature of the guna in these bodies enable the corresponding
bhogam and karma.  The particular body is thus fashioned as one's body for
him to reside as a 'gift' if you please not at random but as one's
karmaphala by the Dhaatha viz. Easwara.  Residing in the body made of guna
and driven by his samskaara one strives to find his purushartha.

Look through this scheme at the examples you cited (such as a person working
in an assembly line etc.) and perhaps then you would understand the many
ways one enjoys, suffers and perfects his being.

The salient features of the guna conditioning of the four varnas were given
by me but they are not exhaustive.  A 'perfection' is achieved by a potter
or an atomic scientist or an enterpreneur in their own field of endeavour
and also by a Brahmana as a jeevan mukhtha.  Such are our opportunities!

It is true that people try to don the hats of more than one varna.  Surely
we Hindus hold that you can do what you like!  But we point out that there
is no impediment in being one's own self but there are lots of impediments
in being someone else and a person also commits transgressions and the
consequences of them follow in this or the next birth.  This comes under
dharma and adharma concepts.


*What I am saying is that such options to weild the roles of other varnas
are not productive in terms of karma and bhogam that one is destined
with.*(Karthur aagnyayaa praapyathE phalam, karma kim param karma

On Sun, Sep 13, 2009 at 9:00 AM, Michael Shepherd <
michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:

> Anbu ji,
> Your interesting generalisations and over-simplifications contain some
> valuable half-truths, in my opinion.
> They are only half-truths, because they ignore the fact that atmabrahma is
> unlimited... every religion, every good educational system, every well-run
> industry, every good family life, tell us this..varna of birth is the
> mysterious grace of own atmabrahma.
> And because of this, all attachments to varna should be surrendered : as
> you
> say, it is attachment to 'I am a downtrodden shudra because of those wicked
> capitalists who exploit my labour' that lead to revolutions based on
> removing the vaisya class completely...
> Take three 'shudra' working alongside each other on an assembly line.. Mr A
> hates his job; does it just well enough not to be sacked, so he can take
> home his money and spend it on drink -- or be, a good family man despite.
> Mr B is the typical 'happy labourer' : he enjoys doing his job well,
> doesn't
> envy his boss who lives in a big house but with a bickering family., But
> karma has surprises in for Mr B : he gives such attention to his work, that
> he is the one most likely to suggest an improvement in manufacturing
> techniques and design; he may get appointed foreman, then teacher of the
> apprentices; perhaps a textbook in time; or perhaps out of frustratuion, he
> sets up as an excellent vaisya who knows how to care for his workers..
> Mr C also does his job carefully; but he has a lively open mind; he learns
> about the economic set-up of his firm and so on; he acquires all the
> knowledge to become a good vaisya; he may be called upon to join regional
> and national committees because of his acquired wisdom. He is the one most
> likely, in his vanaprastha, to become an acharya -- as we see with certain
> mambers of the diaspora in the US..
> Yes, the guna play a large part in character; but there are those who are
> 'veiled by avidya and driven by inertia' as you put it, in all the varna
> these days ?
> And I agree that since the 19th century at least, Western society would
> have
> done better to understand karma, dharma, varna, ashrama, and much else,
> from
> Hinduism... OK, no more jokes about the need for floods of Hindu
> missionaries to educate the West... :)
> Michael
> -----Original Message-----
> From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
> [mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org]On Behalf Of Anbu
> sivam2
> Sent: 13 September 2009 03:30
> To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta
> Subject: [Advaita-l] Notes on the Musings on the Fundamentals of
> Hinduism -7 (III)
> Aum
> Now let’s try to understand some of the characteristics of the four Varnas.
> The Thamasa Guna has an opaque character indicating the nature of the
> Sudhras. Those possessed of it see things different from what they are. In
> other words, *they are veiled by avidya and they are driven by inertia*.
> (More on Avidya in subsequent Musings.) It does not mean that they cannot
> know or they cannot do anything right. Quite the contrary. They can know
> and
> do excellent things but only at the bidding of others.
>    *The exquisite carvings of our cave temples and sculptures are done by
> Sudhras. Any evidence of greatness of any society be it in the great
> temples
> of     India or the Pyramids of Egypt or the great wall of China, were all
> built by Sudras, but they were told to do so. They do not have the
> initiative and *they always get carried away*. *They band together* among
> themselves. The modern day union leaders exploit this feature to organize
> them, collect subscriptions from them use this banding feature to extract
> money from the employers. (Both the employer and the union leader belong to
> Vaisya Varna. See below.)
>    *A Sudhra is the one who will build a great dam across a river for the
> benefit of humanity or will set fire to a bus full of college girls just
> because a certain politician told them to do so. They are a tremendous
> power
> by themselves, but because of their *lack of discrimination*, *they are
> exploited* or harvested by others - in very large measure by the Vaisyas.
> The opposite is the Sathwa Guna that has a transparent character indicating
> the nature of Brahmins.  Satwa Guna generates knowledge and wisdom.
>    *Because of the clarity of Satwa Guna the Brahmins can see things as
> they are. Seeing things as they are is called Vidya (More on it later.)
> This
> makes them feel pacific, at worst resigned and at best quite content.
>    *Though *they have initiative*, they seldom use it for their own
> advantage. They are adept in using the initiative on behalf of a yajamana
> who is either a Kshathriya or another Brahmana or sometimes even a Vaisya.
>    *They lack materialist pursuit even though they are capable of winning a
> world or amassing wealth but would easily sell their prowess for a fee.
> Such
> is their contentment!
>    *They are *highly independent* and therefore are incohesive among
> themselves in terms of a material pursuit. However they would be seen to
> band together for spiritual pursuit. (This is because Agni Devatha is their
> spiritual counterpart of the Heaven and they are all united by Agni).
> Now we will deal with Kshathriyas and Vaisyas, who are driven by Rajo Guna.
>    *A Kshathriya is made of Rajo Guna with Sathwa Guna as the underlying
> factor. This makes them hold on to a view as sacrosant, otherwise known as
> truth or Sathyam and would enforce it by his command and would even die for
> it. Thus he is a *good keeper of the word and therefore be a reliable body
> guard, a Rakshaka and a King*.
>    *“Bahu Rajanya krithaha”, says Purusha Sooktham. Kshathriya rose from
> the arm of Virat signifying valour and strength.
>    *At the same time, his passions signified by Rajo Guna make him a great
> family man and *man of society* and an increaser and protector of the
> tribe.
> He is witty and charming and a man given to partying and fun. He *likes
> limelight*. He *respects hierarchy* and enforces them. Thus his protective
> abilities reach the world of manes and that of Gods.
>    *Because of of his Guna a Kshathriya *seeks clarity* and would be a good
> judge. Because of Sathwa Guna he likes to be *associated with Brahmanas*
> and
> a great protector of them indeed. Thus the maxim “Asathoma Sat Gamaya,
> Thamasoma Jyothirgamaya, Mrithyorma Amriutham Gamaya” would greatly apply
> to
> the Kshathriyas though the maxim is common to all.
> Now, who is a Vaisya?
>    *A Vaisya is made of Rajo Guna with Thamasa Guna as the underlying
> factor. Thus he has an opposite character to the Kshathriyas. This means he
> does *not hold anything sacrosant*. That is why a Vaisya, a businessman
> would not hold on to anything as value but keep trading them in order to
> increase wealth.
>    *A Vaisya, because of lack of passion, *never seeks limelight* and
> *would
> not enter into any controversy*. He is always positive and thus *prone to
> mislead others. *
>    *A Vaisya besides being a good businessman, by the play of his Guna, is
> well suited to be a diplomat or a spy and is capable of doings things that
> are to be done in discreet or stealth or behind the curtain.
>    *A Vaisya because of the Rajo Guna seeks the company and audience of
> Kshathriyas but only for the purpose of increasing his wealth. He is a good
> ally of the Kshathriya for he provides the Kshathriya with the
> wherewithals.
> He *generates immense wealth* under the protection of a powerful Kshathriya
> and he is prone to cheat a weak king.
>    *Because of the underlying Thamo Guna a *Vaisya is associated with the
> Sudhra *whom he persuades to labour hard and produce. Because of this Guna
> *he
> is stingy and exploitative*.  Lying and misrepresentation are his prowess!
> They are the modern day politicians.  The French call them the bourgeoisie.
>    *A Vaisya has a spiritual side that appeases the Gods to increase his
> wealth. Thus he is a *donor for temples* and for the cultivation of the
> *music
> and the dance *that are associated with Gods and wealth.
> Thus you will know the difference between a man who is less impressive but
> has a lot of money in his pocket and a man who is well dressed up and talks
> bravely but has little in his pocket. The former does not enjoy what he has
> and the latter enjoys despite not having any. The underlying Thamo Guna or
> Satwa Guna causes this as the case may be of those driven by Rajo Guna.
> This
> is the difference between a Vaisya and a Kshathriya.
> There is an important aspect of the Guna play. *A person born in one Varna
> can follow the Dharma of what can be termed as a lower Varna but not in the
> reverse direction.* This is by taking Sathwam to be higher than the Thamas,
> though in terms of wordly needs both serve their purposes and therefore are
> equal. The higher and lower classification would be only in terms of
> knowledge of Reality such as transparency and opaqueness of the Anthakarana
> or mind. A Brahmana can therefore follow the Dharmas of other Varnas with
> ease i.e. he can follow Kshathriya Dharma, Vaisya Dharma or even Sudhra
> Dharma, a Kshathriya, likewise can follow Vaisya Dharma or Sudhra Dharma
> but
> not Brahmana Dharma, a Vaisya can follow Sudhra Dharma but not Kshathriya
> Dharma or Brahmana Dharma and Sudhra can only follow his own Dharma and not
> of anyone else.  This is due to the play of Shakthi the source of the Guna.
> This is because the manifest Shakthi will always degenerate.  That is its
> nature.
> (to be continued)
> Sri Gurubyo Namaha
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