[Advaita-l] varnasramadharma - 3
kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Wed Jul 18 20:35:40 CDT 2012
3.2 Which is the best ?
Next we will discuss the gradation. Do we have any gradation in the Varnas ? Is
any Varna superior or inferior to the other ? In Sanskrit this is called Tāra
Tamyam. Now we say, that as far as Jāti Vibhāgaha is concerned i.e. birth wise
division is concerned, all the four are equal by birth. Birth cannot give
superiority to anyone or inferiority to anyone. Jātitaha Sarve Api Samāhā Eva.
Therefore nobody should claim superiority from the standpoint of Jāti. Caste
system is the problem caused by the Tāra Tamyam attributed to Jāti Vibhāgaha.
In Jāti Vibhāgaha there is no superiority.
Then what about profession ? Karma Vibhāgaha wise, is anybody superior ? Karma
Vibhāgaha wise also, all are equal. No profession is inferior or superior, all
jobs are equally important. And it is from this angle, the well known Purusha
Sūktam mantra occurs,
Brahmanosya Mukham Āsīt,
Ūrutadasya Yad Vaishyaha
Padbhyagum Shudro Ajāyata
The above is for Karma Vibhāgaha only. Just as four organs have four different
functions, the four Varnas have four different functions. The above mantra
Brāhmanaha : Teaching professional scriptural teaching.
Kshatriya : Maintenance of Law and Order
Vaishya : Taking care of the economic strength of the society, support system
Shūdra : All forms of labour, more of running around and less of head usage
And by saying that all these four are the four parts of the Lord, we say that
all of them are equally sacred. You cannot say that the feet are less sacred
than the Mukham. In fact we worship the feet of the Lord. Shankarāchārya is
called Bhagavadpādaha and not Bhagavadshiraha. We talk about Pāda Pūja and not
Ūru Pūja or Hasta Pūja. Therefore profession wise, there is no Tāra Tamyam. So
Jāti Tāra Tamyam Nāsti, Karma Tāra Tamyam Nāsti.
Whereas in Guna Vibhāgaha, there is a gradation. A Guna Brāhmana is certainly
superior to a Guna Kshatriya is certainly superior to Guna Vaishya is certainly
superior to Guna Shūdra. Because Guna Shūdra is closer to animals and Guna
Brahmana is closer to God. And therefore character wise superiority we have to
accomplish and whoever has got the higher character deserves Namaskāram . Even
though Prahalāda is a born Rākshasa, he can become the most reverential person
in our culture. Prahlāda, Nārada, Parāshara – early morning, we are supposed to
remember Prahlāda even before Nārada. Therefore birth does not matter,
character alone matters.
Therefore there is no gradation in Jāti and Karma Vibhāgaha but gradation is to
be recognised in Guna Vibhāgaha.
3.3. Is there a choice ?
The next topic is Choice. Do we have a choice in determining our group ?
As far as Jāti is concerned, we don’t have choice with regards to this birth,
because we are already born. But the scriptures say, we do have a choice with
regards to the next birth.
Shuchīnām Srīmatām Gehe Yogabhrashto Abhijāyate.
(Bhagavad Gītā 6.41)
This birth we have already chosen, the next we can choose by our lifestyle.
Therefore this only a partial choice.
As far as profession is concerned, Karma Vibhāgaha, we do have a choice. And we
can choose our profession from any angle. I can choose my profession based on
· Svabhāva or character – character or trait based choice of profession. Or I
can base it on
· Heredity – birth based or family profession. Or the choice is
· Money based – where there is income.
Our scriptures based on ideal is character based choice. Because you will love
your profession and it will not be a burden. Even salary will not matter then
because you will love the very work itself. In fact Karma Yoga can be ideally
practiced if you love what you do because the very performance gives you
Character based profession is ideal, but if you are not sure about character,
then the next best is family based or hereditary profession. There will be no
competition or over crowding of certain fields and then some fields will not be
neglected. Thus all professions will be protected and there will be no competition.
The worst and negative approach is money based choice of profession. This is
the most terrible one because, when money becomes important, corruption will be
inevitable in a society where money is God. Hence either go by character or by
family. An in fact to a great extent our society was heredity based. Now alone
it is gradually changed.
With regards to Guna also, we do have a choice. And all the spiritual Sādhanāni
Sādhanā are to improve our Gunāhā to Guna Brāhmanatvam. We all should become
Guna Brāhmana ultimately, whatever be our birth or profession. Therefore there
is choice in this also. Also note, only because there is choice, it is called
Varnaha. Vriyate Iti Varnaha. You can choose your (next) Janma, profession or
character, but the choice of character is ultimately important
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