The Fourfold Division of society

All humans are born equal is a sweet sounding fallacy. It’s near impossible to find two human beings who look alike, (twins , may be) or even think alike ,or have similar ideologies, or similar desires and capabilities! Yes we all have one head four limbs and five sense organs. Yes, we all have one vote to cast, that’s how the state counts us.All animals have one head ,four legs and a tail, but are they equal in everything? All fish are fish, but the variety.?
Chapter IV of the Bhagwat Geeta ,verse 13, carries a declaration by the Lord himself that He created a four fold division in society, based on gunas (mental tendencies ) and karmas( preferences and skills action). Meaning that lawyers, doctors, professors, engineers, army officers, construction labourers, administrators are all different from each other in their thinking as well as their preferences in actions. A highly intelligent scientist cannot be put in the same category as a very brave and daring army commander, nor can a philosopher be in the same category as a trader who is generating wealth or labours for material gains . 1) A Brahmin is not by birth. Any human being who likes to live a clean noble life of higher learning , who is prone to studying, teaching or researches into the deepest secrets of life is a Brahmin. 2) A Kshatriya is he who has a natural tendency for administration, leadership, standing up to protect the weak, fight for justice and righteousness. 3) A Vaishya is a natural ,born businessman,(not by biological birth) trader , farmer, or industrialist . He generates wealth in the society, and considers it his duty to see that all are provided for. 4) Shoodras, This category of human beings are the ones who are the service providers. The entire hospitality sector, hospitals , hotel staff ,airlines, railway and transport service employees, workers of all categories who prefer physical service jobs rather than any of the above categories fall into this class. Think carefully, where in the world do you not have these four types of human beings? The lord says that he created them all, so they are not inferior or superior , but different from each other.Yet the lord says that he was not a doer! The waves , the froth, the high and low tides are all created by the ocean, but is the ocean a doer? There is no ornament created without the help of gold ,but Is gold a creator? Similarly, the great grand life principle, the pure power behind all life supports all creation by its mere presence.
As in all religions, decadence slowly creeps in and misinterpretations abound to suit the priest or powerful class. The early Vedic society records no incidents of these categories classified in tightly bound moulds, not by birth, and ‘inter caste’ (people with different tendencies)marriages were common, but slowly these divisive lines became harder, and then degenerated into ridiculously illogical interpretations of caste, bringing in inferiority, superiority and even untouchability amongst people ! Sad it is, but this is not what the lord said. He only made a classification for easy understanding of society based on ‘guna’ and ‘karma’, not determined by birth.
The word ‘Varna’ in Sanskrit only means colour or texture. In yoga Shastra (science of Yoga)it means the texture of thought patterns of the mind . For easy identification the three main tendencies or thought patterns were given colours: white for Satwik, red for Rajasic and black for Tamasic . The mischievous Hindu blasphemers made white the highest and black the lowest, and there followed a shameless exploitation of the ignorant masses. Accepting that the society fell into these evil ways because of convenient misinterpretations, we must understand it rightly and stand corrected. Each person in the social fabric constitutes a thread which holds the entire fabric together in a gorgeous weave. Each thread is as needed as the other and is equal in importance for the fabric to show off its sheen and beautiful artistry! Each thread is unique in colour and weaves a different pattern. One thread destroyed and the whole fabric slowly rips apart. This is a sad state of misunderstanding of our revered and divine sanatan dharma by its own sons in its own sacred motherland. There are very few great mahatmas who can reveal the divine depths of this great Sanatan dharma. It is our pious duty to research into it before cheaply shouting slogans to banish it. Krishna, born the son of a king, happily spent his whole childhood as a mere cowherd boy in the village of Brindavan, and Shri Ram who was also born to a king happily spent years in the forest ,embracing and befriending and protecting the shoodras like Shabari Mata, Nishaad, Kevat , and many other forest dwellers. Not,human beings alone our gentle Sanatan dharm follower Shri Ram also fondly loved and protected birds, animals, even thanked creatures as little as squirrels !We must all labour to remove the hatred and the prejudices that have been created by self serving priests and others through convenient interpretations . This great religion has been honoured as the deepest philosophy that the world has seen, be proud of your own heritage and lofty ideals, Sanatan dharma is our sacred mother , and a mother is always a mother ,even if in tatters now. Which son, worthy of that name would even talk of banishing her, or bathe her feet and decorate her in divine garments.?
Prarthna Saran is the President of Chinmaya Mission Delhi.

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