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Simple but maybe a quiz question?
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Vasant Punjabi

Joined: 12 Oct 2005
Posts: 987
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jai Shri Krishna,

Prashantji, Shri Mahaprabhuji was Antaryami and also knew that Ishvar Duve was a divine pushti soul and wanted to rescue him from the clutches of Maya in Kal Yuga. What he said was only according to the shastras and He gave importance to Shrimad Bhagwad.

Now lets see chapter X1 in Shrimad Bhagwad there were questions put by Uddhavji and answered by Shri Krishna under the duties pertaining to the four Varnas and four Asramas explaining following.

From Brahma (born of the Cosmic Person) appeared the four grades of society The Brahmanas, The Ksatriyas, The Vaisyas and The Sudras.

Control of mind and the senses, meditation, purity, contentment, forgiveness, straightforwardness, devotion to ME, compassion and truthfulness are the traits of a Brahmana.

While impurity, mendacity, thieving, want of faith, quarrelling without cause, concupiscence, anger and cupidity are the inborn characteristics of the casteless Sudra.

To teach the Vedas to officiate as a priest in sacrifices constitute the vocation of a Brahamana, and he should live by (gleaning) the food grains left by the owner of the field after reaping of the crop. This body of a Brahmana is surely not intended for trivial enjoyment but for undergoing hardship and investigation of the truth in this life and with his soul dedicated to ME he attains peace. He must repeat the Gayatri Mantra daily; pure of body and calm of mind he should both morning and evening worship the fire, the Sun God, the Preceptors the Elders and the Gods.

Secondly, if the Brahmana is in distress then he can work as or for a merchant dealing in such goods which are worth selling and not prohibited articles like liquor etc.

As a third alternative he can even live with a SWORD. (i.e. Although the law giver Gautama enjoins a Brahmana in straitened circumstances to take to the military profession in preference to trade, the Lord permits him to do so only as a third alternative and gives preference to trade obviously because it is a peaceful pursuit and does not involve destruction of life.)

But under no circumstances by service to a man of LOWER GRADE A SUDRA as said by Shri Krishna to Uddhavji.
Vasant Punjabi.

"Shri Vallabh Shri Vithal Sukh-kari naa-me nishpap thai nur-nari,
------Nitya Lila nitya nautam shruti na pame par."----
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Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 423
Location: Mumbai India

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jai Jai Shri Gokulesh

Just to add a bit to Vasantji's posting...

The varna system is a functional hierarchy system proposed by the Brahmin texts to describe their society. The oldest mention of the varna system is in the Purusha sukta of Rigveda 10.90 which claims "Brahman is the mouth of the purusha, Kshatriya his arms, Vaishya is his thighs and shudra arose from his feet". Here is the Hymn;

मुखं किमस्य कौ बाहू का ऊरू पादा उच्येते ॥
ब्राह्मणो अस्य मुखमासीद बाहू राजन्यः कर्तः ।
ऊरूतदस्य यद वैश्यः पद्भ्यां शूद्रो अजायत ॥

Its rough translation is : "What became of his (the Cosmic Spirit's) face or mouth? What became of his two arms? What became of His two thighs? What were (the products of) the two feet called? From His face (or the mouth) came the brahmanas. From His two arms came the kshatriyas. From His two thighs came the vaishyas. From His two feet came the shudras."

Note: As some try to convolute this concept by saying shudras arose out of feet and hence they are lower in the society, one should not overlook the fact according to Purusha sukta that everyone arose from God and Gods leg is not inferior to his mouth and vice versa.

The classes of society described in the Hindu scriptures are as follows:

Brahmana - "scholarly community," including teachers, doctors, and other scholars.
Kshatriya - "warriors and rulers or politicians community"
Vaishya - "mercantile and artisan community"
Shudra - "service-providing community"

Previously when the Soul is separated from Brahma at that time his Varna is decided by God himself which never changes but due to its(souls) karma he falls under different varna i.e. A soul is born into a varna as punishment/reward for its karmic influences actions in past lives (Sanatan Dharma believe in re-incarnation). Karma simply stated is that the way one lives his or herlife now determines destiny or fate. In other words, the consequences of oneís actions in this life will determine what they do or become in the next life.

Letís imagine the following situation. There are two people living in the

Vaisyas class of commoners. One of them does only good deeds, has good thoughts, and portrays an all around good sense of well being. The other person commits crimes, has bad thoughts, and portrays an over all sense of evil or no good. The first person will perhaps become a member of the Kshatriya class, moving up on the wheel of samsara. The other person will most likely become a Shudra in the next life. So, perhaps in their most recent previous livesí, the first person was a good person of the Shudra class, and samsara declared that he or she rise in class; and the second person may have been a bad person of the Kshatriya class, therefore he or she declined in class. There are endless possibilities, but the relationship between karma and varna is obvious here. Simply stated, karma determines varna.

For example, sage Vishwamitra was born as a Kshatriya (ruling class) and by deep meditation (tapas) became a venerable Brahmin rishi (saint).

This is up to my limited knowledge. Please feel free to correct.
Shri Vallabha Charan Vina Sharan Koni Jaou.....Shri Vitthala Nam Vina Mantra Kya Thi Paou......Shri Vallabha Charan Vina Sharan Koni Jaou.....
Unnati M. Kadakia
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Joined: 11 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jay Shri Krishna,

Thank you Vasantji and Unnatiji for your heartfelt contribution to this topic.

Vasant Punjabi wrote:

Control of mind and the senses, meditation, purity, contentment, forgiveness, straightforwardness, devotion to ME, compassion and truthfulness are the traits of a Brahmana.

While impurity, mendacity, thieving, want of faith, quarrelling without cause, concupiscence, anger and cupidity are the inborn characteristics of the casteless Sudra.

Vasantji, my apologies, but I would like to think of this or interpret the shastra in a little different way. I would say that one who can control the mind and senses, one who is pure, who can meditate, who is devoted, who is compasionate and straightforward is called a Brahmin. While one who possess opposite qualities is called a Shudra.

This may look the same as what you said but it is not. Because not all the Brahmin or Shudras possess the above respective qualities but rather one who possess those qualities falls into respective category.

Here is my take on this whole topic....
Varnas, I believe, was purely based on karma. One can easily compare Varnas with what we call as blue collar job and white collar job. Brahmin falls into the category of white collar job while Shudras fall into the category of blue collar job. But apart from blue and white we had two more categories of profession. So to me Varnas are nothing but the category of profession.

One who is scholar of scriptures and help others understand the same is called a Brahmin. Their primary duty was to educate the society. One who is ready to fight for the protection of society (warriors) are called as Kshatriya. One who is involved in trading (business people) are called Vaishya and one who does laborious job are called Shudra.

In India we have the tradition of getting into the profession of parents. And due to this when a person is born we immediately say that he is a Brahmin or a Shudra based on the family they are born. Mainly because they are going to get on the same profession.

Quality has lot to do with the kind of work you do. Like if you are a warrior it is important that one possess or develop the quality of being aggressive. If one gets involved into too much of labroious job than it is quite possible that to release the stress level one gets indulge into consumption of liquor or tobacco. And we know "Ann tevo odkar" so no need of further elaboration. And if one has to educate people some good
qualities than it is important that they imbibe that in their life first. So by the varna that a person belongs to by and large we judge that person's quality which is not always true but we see some traits in most of the people.

This, I believe, must have given birth to caste system, where people are differentiated and discriminated based on their Varnas.

But in Shree Mahaprabhuji's case he must be talking about the quality of Brahmin and Shudra and not the Caste which discriminates people based on the family they are born.

Again, these are purely expression of my thoughts, and I take responsibility for any amigious communication and would like to apologize for the same.
Life can be lived in several ways but the quality of your life depends on the things to which you give priority

- Prashant
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