There is a lot of confusion about the Varnashrama Dharma.
The Caste System is unfairly based solely on birth.
The ignorant dumbasses who practice the misguided caste system look down on so called “lower” castes just because of the accident of their birth.
It is not based on birth at all.
चातुर्वर्ण्यं मया सृष्टं गुणकर्मविभागश:
(chātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛiṣhṭaṁguṇa-karma-vibhāgaśhaḥ)
Guna means qualities, attributes, virtues or character.
Karma means conduct, deeds, occupation and accomplishments – past, present and future.
Past Karma includes past lives also.
The Varnashrama Dharma was truly democratic, meritocratic and egalitarian.
The sole benchmark for success, recognition and respect was:
What you know, not who you know.
The Varnashrama Dharma was completely fluid and mobile.
There was no restriction of a person moving from one varna or from one ashrama to another.
He was the son of a fisherwoman, but even until today, his birthday is celebrated Guru Purnima is one of the most holy days in the Sanathan Dharma where thanks is given to all great Gurus or enlightened teachers.
Further proof was in Valmiki, who was also a murderer and a robber.
In the Chandogya Upanishad it clearly says that nobody can become a Brahmin by birth:
1. Om. There once lived Svetaketu the grandson of Aruna.
To him his father said: “Svetaketu, lead the life of a brahmacharin; for there is none belonging to our family, my dear, who, not having studied the Vedas, is a brahmin only by birth.
Satyakama did not know who his father was and from what family he came from.
So he asked his mother the above question.
His mother told him she was very busy in her youth so she did not remember who his father was, but her name was Jabala and his name was Satyakama, so he could called himself Satyakama Jabala.
So Rishi Haridrumata Gautama said that fact that he spoke the Truth and was eager for learning was enough to qualify him as a Brahmin and he went on to teach Satyakama who became one of the most favourite students of Rishi Haridrumata Gautama.
The story of Satyakamas realisation of Brahman by learning from the bull, fire, swan and madgu-bird is one of the most important stories of the Chandogya Upanishad, which incidentally is one of the most famous of the Mukya Upanishads.
That was the power of the actual Varnashrama Dharma where Karma (conduct) and Guna(virtues) was the sole criterion of Varna, not birth or ones ancestry or social status.
Under the actual Varnashrama Dharma, even Satyakama, the child of a busy woman, was accepted as a Brahmin and became the most favourite student of one of the great rishis, had his own story of realisation of Brahman documented in our highest Upanishads, and later went on to become a great rishi himself.
There was no discrimination between Varnas.
People took their place in the Varnas based solely on the idea of supreme and true worship of Brahman:
SEVA or Selfless Service.
Everybody is born a Shudra.
There are three types of Gunas:
- Satvik or those who had divine qualities of Arya and those with purity of mind, body and spirit, calmness, clear minds and great knowledge and wisdom, and a willingness to work not only for themselves but for the welfare of greater common good.
People with Satvik Gunas always abided by Dharma.
- Rajasic or those with great passion, desire, excitement and a drive to achieve something both for personal reasons first and in a later moment for greater common good.
People with Tamasic gunas are ignorant or indifferent to matters outside their immediate circle and think only of themselves and their immediate gratification.
People with Tamasic gunas are sometimes are even willing to harm others to achieve their selfish short sighted needs.
The Ashrama System has its origins in the basic foundation of the stages of life to be pursued according to the Sanathan Dharma.
- Artha (desire for wealth and prosperity)
- Kama (pursuit of desires that make one happy, love, sensual desires)
- Moksha (enlightenment)
Following the Ashrama system leads to the classification of the Varna system.
There are four stages of the Ashrama System:
- Brahmacharya or the period of study and education.
- Grihastha or the period of marriage, family, work and livelihood solely for ones family. This is the next thirty years of a persons life from 20-50.
- Vanaprastha or the period of community service and work for the larger community. This is the period from 50-65. In the old days it was meant for contemplation and retirement to the forest.
The basic aim was to return to true worship of Brahman which was by serving nature.
In modern times there are very little forests left.
- Sanyasa or the period of renunciation from the world and contemplation solely on the Atma and Brahman.
This is the highest achievement of a persons life.
It is usually from the period of 65 onwards when one has fulfilled all worldly responsibilities.
There are many monks and other spiritual people who skip the Grishastha and Vanaprastha stages and directly jump from Brahmacharya to Sanyasa.
But it is written in the Sanathan Dharma:
The Grihastha contributes more to the world than the Sanyasa.
There is no more important person for the sustenance of this world than the Grihastha.
Based on different attainments throughout the Ashrama system especially during the period of Brahmacharya, people were divided into Varnas.
For any society to function properly there must be four classes of people:
In the old days, Gunas(virtues, character), Karma (conduct) and wisdom of a man was more valued than only those who had wealth.
In fact those who had wealth only were placed at a much lower order in the administration of the affairs of the State.
So that is why the Brahmins were given the highest respect and were philosophers, scholars, teachers and advisers to the Kings and ruling classes.
They are the guiding force for the welfare of not just the citizens of the state, but also for the welfare of all things living and natural in the state including Nature.
In today’s times, it is not knowledge of the scriptures alone that makes one a Brahmin.
The only person who qualifies to be a Brahmin in today’s times is one who places Dharma and its highest ideal SEVA (selfless service) as their guiding principle.
So because of their passion and desire for ruling and combined with their Satvik interest to work for the larger nation, they were chosen to be the ruling class, warriors and administrators.
Whenever a Kshatriya sincerely, devotedly and humbly follows the advice of a learned Brahmin, the State will only prosper and achieve a state of permanent well being.
- The Vaishyas were those who had very little Satvik gunas, more Rajasic Gunas and even more Tamasic Gunas.
Hence the Vaishyas were chosen to be the merchants, businessmen cattle owners and farmers.
They were only concerned about their immediate circle and self maintaining skills and could only help themselves.
They were incapable or not willing to acquire the higher Satvik or Rajasic Gunas.
Hence the Shudras were chosen to serve the above three Varnas of Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishya.
But the Shudras were not looked down upon by the higher Varnas.
The Shudras were the foundation of society.
They formed the important labour force and contributed to society in the form of manual labour and the promoting of the arts of sculpting, carpentry, pottery, weaving, cobbling, blacksmithing, tanning, sanitation and many such invaluable contributions.
Shudras were also warriors and soldiers and even Kautilya encouraged having Shudras as soldiers.
Some of the closest and most beloved friends of Ram were people of all varnas like:
- Ahalya, a woman who had committed adultery.
- Shabari, a poor destitute old tribal lady.
- Nishada Guha who was a tribal fisherman and hunter.
- Vibhishana, brother of Ravana, a Rakshasha or demon.
- Sugriva and Hanuman who were Vanaras or forest aboriginals.
People mistook Vanara to mean monkey.
It does not mean monkey, it means aboriginals or indigenous people.
But it is a sad fact of life that nurture, and not nature greatly influences ones Gunas.
So the children that were born into the various Varnas mostly learned their occupation and values from their parents and this led to the corruption that the Varnas were based on birth which led to the perverted, misguided and cursed Caste System.
Classification by birth alone was never the original intention of the Varna system in the first place.
A bicycle will only be of use and travel far and wide only if its wheels work properly.
Similarly there are four important parts of the wheel of Dharma:
- The hub – which is the smallest portion but the core of the wheel.
It is what holds the wheel together. It is of the highest quality steel.
This is similar to the position of the Brahmins.
- The spokes – which connects the hub to the rest of the wheel.
It is what supports the rest of the wheel.
It is of a lower quality steel than the hub, but the stronger than the rest of the components.
This is similar to position of the Kshatriyas.
- The rim – which connects the spokes together and forms the base frame for the tyres.
This is similar to the position of the Vaishyas.
- The tyres – which lay down in service and support the journey of the rest of the components of the wheel.
This is similar to the position of the Shudras
The right material has to be selected in the right quantity and installed at the right place.
You cannot have rubber spokes and a steel tyre.
You cannot have an all rubber wheel without a steel hub.
Truth has many meanings.
The highest meaning of Truth is Brahman.
People with flexible and wearable rubber like morals and principles form the main portion of the wheel.
It is because of this imbalance, that the wheel of Dharma has come to a grinding halt.
Thoughts on the “Caste System”
It is an even more flawed system than the Caste System of Bharat since it places wealth as its core principle.
And as Arjuna said in the Shanti Parva:
We never see wealth that has been earned without doing some injury to others.
- The Wall Street Pimps who are the highest caste.
They rule not because of their wisdom, accomplishments or strength of their character, but because of their immense wealth acquired mostly through dubious and shady means.
They rule not because of their wisdom, accomplishments or strength of their character, but because of their immense and shady private funding by Wall Street Pimps, which enables them to do expensive smart marketing, “Brilliant Oratory” and promotion of “magical” capabilities in fooling the gullible idiots who vote for them.
- The Anarya who are mainly of a Shudra nature, and who form the vast majority in all FUKUS democracies.
They are the gullible greedy idiots who are responsible for the election of the Representative DFIs because they were promised freebies that they really do not deserve, and should have earned by their own efforts.
But since they have basically predominant Tamasic gunas, they are too lazy or ignorant to work for and earn what they deserve, so they are easily fooled by the “promises” of freebies by the Representative DFIs.
- The Arya who form a small voiceless minority.
This has resulted in Manu’s prophecy coming true:
21. The kingdom of that monarch, who looks on while a Sudra settles the law, will sink (low), like a cow in a morass.
22. That kingdom where Sudras are very numerous, which is infested by atheists and destitute of twice-born (inhabitants), soon entirely perishes, afflicted by famine and disease.
Text* 38: There will be many such uncivilized kings ruling at the same time, O King Pariksit, and they will all be uncharitable, possessed of fierce tempers, and great devotees of irreligion and falsity.
Text 39-40: These barbarians in the guise of kings will devour the citizenry, murdering innocent women, children, cows and brahmanas and coveting the wives and property of other men. They will be erratic in their moods, have little strength of character and be very short-lived. Indeed, not purified by any Vedic rituals and lacking in the practice of regulative principles, they will be completely covered by the modes of passion and ignorance.
Text 41: The citizens governed by these low-class kings will imitate the character, behavior and speech of their rulers. Harassed by their leaders and by each other, they will all suffer ruination.