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4.316. The 4 varnas that Hinduism talks about viz. Brahmana, Kshathriya, Vaisya and Sudhra are the cornerstones of the
Varnashrama Dharma.



4.318. As we have seen before the entire universe is made of this Guna stuff that is three in number – called Sathvam,
Rajas and Thamas.

4.319. VarNa and caste are not the same. VarNa is not birth based but caste is ! VarNa is exogamous whereas caste is

4.320. The varNa that I am talking about is not prevalent now so I insist that there be no comparison with the castes that
is in vogue.


4.322. Sathvam can be compared to transparency, clarity, light, knowledge, subtleness, dispassion, love and so on.

4.323. Thamas is the opposite of Sathvam in character indicating opaqueness, darkness, confusion, ignorance, grossness,
passion, lust etc.

4.324. Rajas can be compared to motion, work, order and disorder, anger, violence, pride, deceit, etc.

4.325. You can say, for simplicity’s sake, that mobility is the character of Rajas.

4.326. These three Gunas pervade the whole universe and the absence of even one will collapse the world.

4.327. The world can be divided into broadly two categories viz. those that are sentient and those that are inert.

4.328. By sentience it is meant that it has (sense) perception and by inertness it is void of or dormant of sense

4.329. For example, a human being is sentient and a rock is insentient.

4.330. However you also notice that there is varying degree of sharpness in their sentience among the sentient beings.

4.331. Such degrees of sharpness are attributed to the intellect. So the animals though sentient are devoid of intellect.

4.332. The animals, therefore are driven by their instinct.

4.333. While animals move around, the plants which are seen to be sentient compared to a rock do not move from its fixed

4.334. Now coming to humans, we see varying degrees of intellectual prowess from those of extremely imaginative ones to
those quite dull-witted.

4.335. The secularists who shout from the housetops about the equality of men and/or women often lose sight of this fact.

4.336. Why don’t they listen to the Fabian Socialist George Bernard Shah who said that not everybody needs a microscope?

4.337. We Hindus treat all living beings by our instinct of Ahimsa and not by secularists’ pretensions and professions.

4.338. A society needs both intellectuals as well as men who won’t be bothered about it.

4.440. Hindus understood that between these two extremes there are others who would also constitute a society.


4.441. They who are between the intellectuals driven by Sathwa Guna and the dull-witted driven by Thamasa Guna are the
Kshathriyas and Vaisyas driven by Rajo Guna.

4.442. Since motion does not exist by itself but only with something else, for example you see motion only when something
moves such as the water flowing or fire burning or wind blowing etc., so the Rajas has to cling on to either Sathwam or

4.443. So you have two categories viz. Sathwik Rajas and Rajasic Thamas.

4.444. Since Rajas moves, Sathwic Rajas moves fromThamas to Sathwam & Rajasic Thamas moves in the opposite direction from Sathwam to Thamas.

4.445. So intellectually you have a person who would go from ignorance to knowledge by sacrificing immediate gains for
Truth and you have a person who would move abandoning reason to convenience.

4.446. You see these two categories of people also and the society needs them (If they were not needed they wouldn’t be

4.447. These are the fourfold varnas that you do see in society. Thus the all pervasive Guna constitute humans in the way
described above.

4.448. A knower thus unmistakably sees the play of the Guna in people and he sees it as naturally residing in each
individual as his driving force.

4.449. The Guna is not inherited from the parents but attained by the ‘Aathma’ or soul (I hate to use the world ‘soul’ for
it connotes a created entity whereas ‘Aathman’ is uncreated and eternal) by his poorva karma or actions in prior births.

4.450. Thus a person is a Brahmana or a Vaisya for example, not by being born to Brahmin or to Vaisya parents and it does not also mean that a Vaisya is not born to a Vaisya and so on.

4.451. However the Hindus do not abandon lineage as everyone has inherent pride in his heritage.

4.452. Try asking M. Karunanidhi who badmouths Hindus by sheer ignorance, to abandon his family and friends.

4.453. Actually many of DMK men themselves have voiced objections to making DMK a family property of Karunanidhi.

4.454. We call this “Abimaanam’ or attachment.

4.455. Some may say it is deceit or cheating! (People have a tendency to tell others but not to themselves & Karunanidhi is
a prime example.)

4.456. It is a fertile ground for a person to manifest his Guna in his own environment, for eg, a person with a Vaisya
Guna (Rajasic Thamas) can easily manifest himself in the company of Vaisya parents & Vaisya community.

4.457. One of the characteristics of vaisyas is that they live in groups. No wonder they are clustered in the malls!

4.458. Hindus see that also as a karma-phala.

4.459. The secularists contend that everyone can do everything and so a Vaisya need not be a Vaisya and Sudhra need not be a Sudhra.

4.460. To confine a person to a sect is a human right violation they say.

4.461. Actually our Dharma does not confine anyone to any sect. We merely want each person to exercise his free-will born of his innate Guna.

4.462. We Hindus say that you can do what you want but the outcome will always be the same.

4.463. Because the outcome per se translates into pleasure and pain only. This outcome will not change whatever you do.

4.464. The truth of this is for a person to find out for himself.

4.465. But however much the secularists might cry aloud, not many people would risk abandoning their traits. It is their

4.466. If a person abandons his nature he would soon find out he is a fish out water when he abandons his nature.

4.467. My problem with the secularists is that they, in the name of advocating human rights, themselves become violators
of human rights by forcing others to abandon their nature.

4.468. If I say ‘be yourself’, I mean it out of the clear knowledge that trying to be someone else is wrought with pain
and suffering in the end.

4.469. By saying ‘be yourself’ I am not condemning anyone to be a Brahmana or a Sudhra.

4.470. But the secularists by abandoning the natural variety in the name of misconceived equality, forces oneself to
abandon his nature and ask him to be different from who he is.

4.471. This is clear human rights violation. In our concept it is adharma.

4.472. A person who cannot learn beyond his parrot like repetition is difficult indeed because he cannot be taught.

4.473. He doesn’t know that he doesn’t know. Hindus call him ‘aparaadhi’. An aparaadhi will have to learn by experience.

4.474. More difficult indeed is a person who knows, yet he does things contrary to the knowledge.

4.475. There is nothing to teach him and none for him to learn. He is a man of wanton disposition called ‘abhachaari’.

4.476. Punishment is the only recourse to contain him. The secularists form the above two varieties.”

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4.267. Varna and Caste are not one and the same. Varna is a social division that has roots in the Veda.

4.268. By this I mean that Varna is unchangeable (which I definitely will explain).

4.269. The Caste on the contrary are the jaathi & kula that evolved into social divisions, lineage that kept changing both
its name & purpose.

4.270. In other words, caste in terms of jaathi and kula are impermanent but important while they last.

4.271. What is more important to know is that the castes were identitified by the British colonialists for their own

4.272. Today’s caste proliferation that has roots in the English colonialism is being taken to a new height of
divisiveness by the Congress…

4.273. They as the successors to the British in following their secular concept that are alien to Hindu Dharma.

4.274. The Nehruvian secularists carried forward this social division & nurtured it to keep the Hindus divided & fighting
among themselves.

4.275. For the British colonialists the idea of Varna based on Guna and Karma made no sense for they were not brought up
in that belief.

4.276. Their own bringing up lies in the struggle for survival and the survival of the fittest.

4.277. All they could see in the whole scheme was that the caste to be an indicator of occupation, social standing, and
intellectual ability in the line of a trade union with the difference that its membership is by birth and it is

4.278. In their eagerness to keep the people of India in their servitude and to exploit them to the maximum by knowing
what is best in the people, they encouraged the caste segregation in the style of the racial segregation they practiced in
their colonies in Africa, America and elsewhere and they even took the caste system to the people such as girijans and
other indigenous poeple who till then had no division among them.

4.279. British conceptions of racial purity were interwoven with these judgements of people based on caste when reactions
to censuses are examined.

4.280. Beverly concluded that a group of Muslims were in fact converted low caste Hindus.

4.281. This raised howls of protest from representatives of the group as late as 1895 since it was felt that this was a
slander and a lie. H. H. Risely, Commissioner of the 1901 census, most shamelessly revealed his British belief in a 1886
publication which stated that race sentiment was the foundation of the grouping of the caste system, and has preserved the
Aryan type in comparative purity throughout Northern India.

4.282. I will take up our discourse on this caste idealogy and politics in greater detail later.

4.283. For the present I am going to present here the concept of Varna as part of theGuna-Karma Vibhaagam.

4.284. Bhagavat Geetha devotes a whole chapter on the subject of Guna.

4.285. Chapter 14 of Bhagavat Geetha is called Gunathraya Vibhaaga Yoga.

4.286. Let me quote some of the important verses to show the significance of the role ofGuna in the scheme called Varna
Ashrama Dharma.

4.287. We talked of Maya before. She is also called Adi Shakthi or Moolaprakrithi or simply Prakrthi.

4.288. You would recall that Maya created in the beginning the three images of Shiva and they were called Brahma, Vishnu
and Rudhra.

4.289. They represent the triad called Trigunas viz. Sathwam, Rajas and Thamas.

4.290. In verse 5 of Bhagavat Geetha the Lord confirms that these three Gunas are born of (or created by) Prakrthi.

4.291. The Lord says in Geetha 14.5 : सत्त्वं रजस्तम इति गुणाः प्रकृतिसम्भवाः |

4.292. And then He begins to explain the nature of these three gunas as follows (followed by my comments):

4.293. तत्र सत्त्वं निर्मलत्वात्प्रकाशकमनामयम् | सुखसङ्गेन बध्नाति ज्ञानसङ्गेन चानघ ||१४- ६||

4.294. Satthwa itself is being pure like a crystal stone is prakasakam, an illuminator; and anamayam, harmless. It binds
the man. How?

4.295. Sathwa as I said before is the illuminator and because of this a man acquires knowledge. What is acquired is an
object, not subject.

4.296. Man, being the subject, feels on acquiring of the knowledge that he is happy.

4.297. So his new identification of himself is with the object so he says “I am happy”.

4.298. In reality he is ‘asangan‘ ie. he is unattached with all objects even if it be happiness.

4.299. because an object by its very nature comes and goes, therefore temporary. He as the subject is eternal.

4.300. Sathwa Guna makes him forget this real nature of himself as asangathwan .

4.301. And Sathwa Guna binds him with the object and make him say “I am knowledgeable”, “I am happy” etc.

4.302. This nescience, this avidya, is caused by Sukhasangam, through attachment to happiness.

4.303. Thus the unattached Self is now made attached and the happiness is attributed to it (असङ्गं सक्तं इव).

4.304. Association with knowledge should also be understood in the same way that sathwam binds also jnanasangena, through
attachment to knowledge.

4.305. The point to be understood is that the jnaana derived from the scriptures etc. is of the nature of the object
but sathwam by binding the man makes him lose his discrimination when he says “I am knowledgeable, I am Vidhwan etc.”

4.306. रजो रागात्मकं विद्धि तृष्णासङ्गसमुद्भवम् | तन्निबध्नाति कौन्तेय कर्मसङ्गेन देहिनम् ||१४- ७||

4.307. If Sathwa GuNa is of the nature of clarity and illumination RajO GuNa is of the nature of passion like that of a
fast color on a robe (raja: raagaathmakam says Sankara).

4.308. It creates longing for things not acquired and to clinging of mind to things in possession.

4.309. RajO GuNa binds the embodied man to action

4.310. ( कर्मसङ्गेन, through attachment and deep involvement to action for things seen and unseen – this is कर्मसङ्ग:).

4.311. तमस्त्वज्ञानजं विद्धि मोहनं सर्वदेहिनाम् | प्रमादालस्यनिद्राभिस्तन्निबध्नाति भारत ||१४- ८||

4.312. The third quality namely Thaamasa GuNa causes mohanam or delusion.

4.313. This is because of AavaraNa Shakthi dominating Thaamasa GuNa. (We will talk of the different Shakthis later.)

4.314. This is a cause of indiscrimination of all embodied beings, to be ajnanajam i.e. born of ignorance.

4.315. That thamas binds through inadvertence, laziness and sleep.

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4.198. Discussion on Varna is actually a continuation of our discussion on GuNa.

4.199. VarNa is GuNa-Karma Vibhagam meaning division based on one’s Guna and Karma.

4.200. GuNa itself is one’s attainment as a result of his poorva-karma. Your poorva-karma brings with it what you are to enjoy or suffer.

4.201. The portion of poorva-karma that you are to enjoy and suffer in this life is called Praarabdha karma.

4.202. It is the mind that really enjoys and suffers. Easwara as phala dhaata ordains the mind stuff with appropriate Guna.

4.203. The body is the vehicle of the mind as mind has no independent existence apart from the body.

4.204. So the body is ordained by Easwara for your enjoyment and suffering that is mutually conducing with the mind.

4.205. But human body like all bodies in the universe do perform karma perforce!

4.206. “कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते..” is the dictum of Bhagavan meaning you have a right to work only.

4.207. If you keep what I have said so far in this chapter then you will have no difficulty in grasping the idea of VarNa. So let us begin.

4.208. The Abrahamic religions have the firm view that Man was ‘created’ in the image of God but he turned out to be His anti-thesis.

4.209. The Abrahamic religionists have the conviction that Adam sinned and consequently experienced both physical death & spiritual death.

4.210. Christians aver that all human beings are born with a sinful, corrupted nature, and sin in thought, word, and deed.

4.211. Man’s state of sin has so infected his will that he is unable to choose God’s provision of redemption in Messiah Yeshua.

4.212. (Genesis 1:26,27, 2:16,17, 3:6, 6:5; 8:21; Exodus 33:19; Psalm 14:1-3; Isaiah 53:6, 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9, 31:33; Mark 7:20-23; etc.)

4.213. The earliest study by a westerner on human society is so very recent by Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) in his celebrated book “Leviathan”.

4.214. In this he sticks to the biblical conviction that man is innately wicked yet for self-preservation he enters into a social contract with others.

4.215. This is the basis of the society of Judaism, Christianity & Islam that is wrought with endless wars for the survival of the fittest.

4.216. Hindus do not believe that God created man in his own image. On the contrary God himself appears as man.

4.217. Such an understanding forbids the idea that man is wicked by nature.

4.218. Only that in the inflorescence of his own play that He manifested in all varieties that the whole multitudinous universe would remain tasteful to one another (लोको भिन्न रुचि:).

4.219. Thus there is no social contract but a social division took place out of necessity creating mutual dependance among them.

4.220. This is the essential idea of varNa based society – guna karma vibhaagam.

4.221. Let’s see how – again with a story! Story telling is part of making the understanding clear.

4.222. This Virata Purusha projected Agni (the God of Fire) out of himself while he remained a Brahmana on earth in the form of Manu.

4.223. Therefore both were Brahmanas. He was alone on earth without other VarNa.

4.224. Without the protection of Kshathriyas and other helpers he did not prosper.

4.225. Therefore he created a noble form, the Kshathriya consisting of those who are kshathriyas among Gods –

4.226. Indra(the king of Gods), Varuna (the king of the animals of water), Soma (the king of Brahmanas), Rudra (the king of beasts),

4.227. Parjanya (the king of lightning), Yama (the king of manes), Mruthyu (the king of diseases), Isana (the king of luminaries) etc.

4.228. Kshathriya is considered superior so in Rajasuya yaga the Brahmins adore the kshathriya from a lower seat.

4.229. However the kshathriya quickly restores the higher position to the Brahmana because the Brahmana is his source.

4.230. Therefore anyone who denigrates a Brahmana becomes more vicious like the one who would insult his superior.

4.231. He did not prosper still. Why?

4.232. Because there is none to procure wealth. What is the need for wealth?

4.232a. Wealth is required for the performance of karma. Why perform karma?

4.233. Karma is to be performed to secure this earth. Why secure this earth?

4.234. So he can come back. How does he come back?

4.235. Through a son. Why through a son?

4.236. Because a son will perform the rites that would relieve the ancestors from thier incarceration as it were from the bhuvarloka and enable them to be reborn in bhuloka.

4.237. How does he get a son? Through a wife of course!

4.238. So desire consists of wife and wealth. And desire is this much only, nothing more!

4.239. A man with a wife working hard to get wealthy is a Grihastha. He is the Samsaaree!

4.240. Now back to Virat. He created Vaisyas – those classes of Gods who remain in groups.

4.241. They are the eight Vasus, the eleven Rudras, the twelve Adhithyas, the thirteen Visvadevas and fortynine Maruts.

4.242. He did not prosper still for want of servants.

4.243. He therefore created Pushan the Sudhra God. The earth indeed is Pushan for it nourishes all that exist.

4.244. He did not prosper still! Why?

4.245. Because he feared that Kshathriya being fierce would become unruly.

4.246. In order to overcome this he specially projected this excellent form called Dharma.

4.247. क्षत्रस्य क्षत्रम् यद् धर्मः Dharma is fiercer than the fierce! Dharma is therefore the controller.

4.248. There is nothing higher than Dharma in this prakrthi.


4.250. This Dharma is actually the Truth. What is known as Truth, when practiced becomes Dharma.

4.251. And this Dharma cannot be practiced without one identifying himself with one or the other of the four varnas!

4.252. It is thru this Varna he was born to perform his karma. VARNA IS UNIVERSAL. It exists in heaven and on earth.

4.253. Just as the law of Karma wont spare anyone who for declaring he is not a Hindu so does VarNa. It exists everywhere and in all.

4.254. This way the fourfold varnas – Brahmana, Kshathriya, Vaisya and Sudhra – were created.

4.255. Virat became Brahmana among the Gods only as Agni and among men as Brahmana.

4.256. He became Kshathriya among men through the divine Kshathriyas.

4.257. He became Vaisya among men through the divine Vaisyas and he became Sudhra among men through the divine Sudhra.

4.258. Therefore people desire to attain their objectives among the Gods through Agni 1/2

4.259. and among men through the birth as a Brahmana since Virat assumed these two forms. 2/2

4.260. Now this self, the Grihastha, is verily the support of all beings.

4.261. It is by performing the Vedic sacrifices in the fire that he becomes the supports of the gods.

4.262. By reciting the Vedas he supports the sages who gave him the Vedas.

4.263. By offering to the manes and desiring children he becomes the support of the Pithrus.

4.264. By giving food and shelter to men he becomes their support. By giving fodder he becomes the support of the animals.

4.265. Even the beasts and birds and ants feed in his home and he is their support.

4.266. Thus supported all of them in turn wish for his welfare.

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4.127. In this section of Guna we will examine more closely on where it is rooted and how it manifests into a physical world.

4.128. If Guna is all that we see then what is its relationship with Brahman?

4.129. We hold that Brahman is Absolute meaning there is exists nothing else besides Brahman that can be related.

4.130. Therefore the conclusion is that Brahman is Real and the physical world of Guna is unreal.

4.131. The seeming existence of unreal world of Guna stuff is due to Maya. Let us try to understand this with a story.

4.132. In story telling we always begin by saying “Once upon a time”, but this happened when there was no time!

4.133. Yes, it was when Shiva was all alone delighting in His own glory of Kaivalyam (loneliness).

4.134. He is the absolute, the one without a second. No space, no time, no cause & effect. There was nothing else but Him!

4.135. Should we say He was bored when he said “द्वितीय आत्मम् भवति” (let me have a second self)?

4.136. We do not know what prompted Him to say for there was no cause and effect then.

4.137. But then could there be another for He is the absolute, the one without a second?

4.138. If there is another then He can no more be absolute as he would be a ‘relative’ to the other.

4.139. That would indeed be a fall from the glory that He never has to share with another.

4.140. But then His wish is his own command! And it has to happen! And it did happen with the birth of the mind!

4.141. We always say ‘my mind’ as if it is an object but no one has ever succeeded in pointing it out to the other.

4.142. This mind is surely then the subject – the opposite of object – and indeed the other self!

4.143. Shiva is, shall we say, no more bored because there is now someone who is always talking to him.

4.144. That is why we are now listening to this talk of the mind called thoughts all the time.

4.145. Shiva LOVES His mind and she (did I say she? yes it was She!) makes him proud. He was never proud before!

4.146. This was the beginning of the sort of rule that everyone listens to his wife and so is a proud ‘grihastha’.

4.147. It does not matter that this listening would be contrary to wisdom because surely you would listen.

4.148. Sita said to Rama that she wanted a golden deer that she had seen.

4.149. Rama told her that there is no such thing as a golden deer in this Prakrthi. That was his wisdom and conviction and so he told her.

4.150. However he who was convinced that there is no such thing as a golden deer, himself set out in search of the golden deer!

4.151. Such is the power of the consort! All of these happen because she makes him proud. Therefore she is called ‘Ahopurushika’.

4.152. There is this implied story in this name Ahopurushika described by Adi Shankara in Soundarya Lahari.

4.153. The story was that Ambaal was tossing Shiva into the three worlds of Waking, Dream and Deep Sleep.

4.154. Vexed by this, one day Shiva used his powerful intellect, turning it into a thrisul and pierced the three worlds.

4.155. Ambal asked him “Shiva, who destroyed the three worlds?” Shiva beat his chest said “I”!

4.156. As soon as he said “I”, the ahamkara revived the three worlds and lauched Shiva back into it!

4.157. Yes, the mind was dragging Shiva that he couldn’t concentrate on his own Self.

4.158. That is why we are forgetful of our true Self, driven around by this mind.

4.159. So Shiva decided to tie Ambaal to Himself just as one would tether a cow to a post.

4.160. “मान्गल्यम् तन्तुनानेन मम जीवन हेथुनां।”. By this thread I give you please be the cause (more aptly purpose) of my life!

4.161. Even today we celebrate and re-enact this event whenever there is a marriage between a boy and a girl.

4.162. This mind, Ambaal is the true loving consort of Shiva. She is a real Pathivratha, for she never leaves her husband.

4.163. One day she shook Shiva from within as it would happen when we shake in horripilation.

4.164. Or was it the shaking like the one who does so by the drinking of a pleasant intoxicant?

4.165. Whatever it was, she caused Shiva to see three images of himself. What an illusion she has caused him!

4.166. Therefore she is a great Maayini and she is the cause of all causes! Indeed there is no cause beyond her.

4.167. To these three images that issued forth of Shiva, the great Maayini said, “I name you Brahma, Vishnu and Rudhra.

4.168. I want you to create and I shall remain the Shakthi behind you.”Brahma was the first one to come out and said “I will create first”.

4.169. So saying he said to himself, “Let me create everything so there will be nothing left to create. I will put the other two fellows out of business of creation.”

4.170. He then meditated on what could be that which will be all creation.

4.171. Suddenly he said “Aha!” “Everything needs space to exist. I shall be the all embracing space.”

4.172. So saying he let out a great utterance(Vyahrithi) “Bhuhu” and BECAME SPACE.

4.173. All that are in the space are in the domain of knowledge. So the space indeed is Sathwa Guna.

4.174. It was the turn of Vishnu next. He said to himself “What! This fellow Brahma has created everything.

4.175. What is there left for me to create? He was a little upset but soon he got himself composed.

4.176. “Alright” he said, “if I know who this Brahma is, then probably I’ll have a way out.” He then meditated on Brahma.

4.177. Suddenly he realized that Brahma is static. There is no place else apart from Brahma so Brahma is motionless.

4.178. He also understood that Brahma has only inside and no outside.

4.179. He said “I have to create something that has no inside but outside and not static but dynamic in nature.”

4.180. Then he uttered the vyahrithi “BHUVAHA’ and BECAME TIME. Time occupies no space! Time is motion.

4.181. Anything that goes in time is lost. When some1 is dead we say “His time has come”. If space is existence then time is its antithesis.

4.182. However time as motion causes things to live. You live through the motion of breath, called inhalation and exhalation.

4.183. You live through the opposing heart function called systole & diastole. You live because of assimilation and dissimilation and so on.

4.184. Indeed the entire universe functions by the struggle of the opposites (dwandhwam = the motion of the opposites against each other).

4.185. Thanks to Vishnu the motion or shall we say the motive power this world is protected.

4.186. Those that are in motion are difficult to apprehend. You see a young man and some 30 years later you see him but not recognize him.

4.187. Anything that is subject to Rajas is uncertain. Time is indeed Rajo Guna.

4.188. Then it was the turn of Rudra to create. He was indeed baffled at the task before him. He said “I have to do exactly what Vishnu did.

4.189. I will meditate on them both. Perhaps I will have a way out.” So he meditated on both. He found out that both space & time r objects.

4.190. An object is the one that can be pointed out where as the subject viz. “I” needs no name or form for one to accept himself!

4.191. Having come to this conclusion he let out the great utterance “SWAHA” and BECAME AHANKARA OR “I”.

4.192. “I” is the subject as opposed to Space and Time that are objects.

4.193. Then Rudra went to sleep and the entire world of objects melted into nothing in the darkness of ignorance in his sleep.

4.194. Rudra is indeed the destroyer!

4.195. As he woke up again the world of objects got projected into being. He thus revives the creation and sustentation.

4.196. Thus Ahankara became the cause (and effect) of the world. Ahankara is avidya (ignorance), Ahankara is the causality.

4.197. Ahankara is thus the Thamo Guna.


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चातुर्वर्ण्यं मया सृष्टं गुणकर्मविभागशः ।
तस्य कर्तारमपि मां विद्ध्यकर्तारमव्ययम् ॥ १३ ॥ (4.13)

4.76. The fourfold VarNa system according to Prakrthi’s GuNa and Karma has been ordained by me. Though I am its author know me to be actionless and changeless.

4.77. Gunas are 3 in number. Sathvam, Rajas and Thamas. The Thrigunaas are the bricks and mortar of all creations

सत्त्वं रजस्तम इति गुणाः प्रकृतिसम्भवाः |
निबध्नन्ति महाबाहो देहे देहिनमव्ययम् ||१४- ५|| ||श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता || (14.5)

4.79. The, pure-clear (sattva), the affective-active (rajas), and the inert-dark (tamas); these nature-necessity-born modalities (gunas) bind the imperishable embodied one, 0 Mighty-armed (Arjuna).

4.80. Let us start this with a story from the Veda.

4.81. Once Prajapathi went to his father and asked him. “Father, I want to know how you created the Universe.

4.82. Prajapathi entreated his father: I see all fathers teach their sons their trade, so I want you to teach me this”.

4.83. Brahma said, “I am the whole universe. By knowing me you will know the universe.” Saying so he disappeared.

4.84. Prajapathi surveyed the creation that consisted of this world, the middle region and the heaven.

4.85. He brooded over his father’s words and said “All I have is this creation before me and if I know the essence of this creation, then I would know my father.”

4.86. So saying he looked at Prithvi, this earth. The earth is dark and could not be seen but for the fire in it.

4.87. So he discerned that Agni to be the essence of the earth, as but for the Agni the earth will not be important.

4.88. Prajapathi therefore extracted Agni as the essence of the earth.

4.89. Then he turned his attention a little higher. He saw the space called theAnthariksham or the middle region.

4.90. There was thunder and lightening, there was so much noise and movement of the manes, the dead ancestors.

4.91. The noise and motion is indicative of their unease and fear of having lost their dear ones and their restlessness to get back to them.

4.92. These were possible by the air or Vayu (as one would observe in Vayu’s motion an eerie noise of fear).

4.93. Prajapathi knew Vayu as the essence of space and extracted it.

4.94. Then he turned his attention higher and looked at Dhyau the heaven. It was bright and in its midst the Sun was shining brilliantly.

4.95. He knew the Sun or Aadhithya to be the essence of the Heaven and extracted it.

4.96. Prajapathi brooded over these three gods – Agni, Vayu and Adhithya.

4.97. As he fixed his attention on Agni, he saw Brahmanas were pouring their oblation on Agni saying Rigvedhic Manthra “अग्निमीळे पुरोहितम् ”

4.98. He knew that Rigvedha as the essence of Agni and extracted it.

4.99. And he looked at Vayu and saw the Yajur Veda and its Brahmana held Vayu in place and so Prajapathi extracted Yajur Veda as its essence.

4.100. (The Yajur Veda Brahmanas are essential parts of karma kaanda).

4.101. And Prajapathi turned his attention to Adhithya.

4.102. The Sun was shining brilliantly because it was chanting Utgitha (OM)

4.103. Prajapathi realized that Sama Veda that teaches Utgitha to be the essence of Adhithya and extracted it.

4.104. Now Prajapathi brooded over these three Vedas.

4.105. As he brooded over the Rig Veda, he realized that the great utterance (vyaahrthi), “भू:” brought about the Rig Veda.

4.106. So he extracted Bhu as its essence. (Bhu is also indicative of its future effect the earth, Prithvi).

4.107. Then as be brooded over Yajur Veda and realized that the great utterance “BHUVAHA” brought about the Yajur Veda.

4.108. So Prajapathi extracted Bhuvaha as the essence of Yajur Veda.

4.109. (Bhuvaha is the praana. Bhuvarlokam is a place where the praanasthat have left the bodies get collected).

4.110. As he brooded over the Sama Veda, Prajapathi realized that the great utterance “SWAHA” brought about the Sama Veda.

4.111. So he extracted “Swaha” as the essence of Sama Veda.

4.112. (Swaha is indicative of the Self which is self-luminous. One needs no other light to know one’s own self).

4.113. Now Prajapathi was left with these three Vyahrthis (or great utterances) as the essense of all that he has brooded over.

4.114. Yet he was still nowhere near knowing his father or how he created the universe.

4.115. So he brooded on these three Vyahrthis. He found that the essence of Bhuhu was the Thamasa Guna, and he extracted it.

4.116. (Thamasa Guna is indicative of darkness, ignorance and needed the light of Agni to be known).

4.117. He found out that the essence of Bhuvaha is the Rajo Guna and extracted it.

4.118. (Bhuvaha is indicative of the motion of praana represented by Vayu).

4.119. And he found out that the essence of Swaha is the Sathva Guna which represents luminosity and extracted it.

4.120. As soon as he had extracted all the 3 gunas, he found himself enveloped by them and this thrigunas became his upadhi or conditioning.

4.121. When this happened he instantly found himself to be one with his father Brahma.

4.122. The entire art and scheme of creation was instantly known to Prajapathi as he now found himself to be the entire creation.

4.123. The three gunas thus pervade the whole universe and Brahman is its support.

4.124. There is nothing in the universe that is exempt from the play of the gunas. This is the truth.

4.125. The Hindus employed the method of extracting the essence or rasa: of the object to discern the swaroopa lakshanam.

4.126. Swarupa Lakshanam indicates that everything in the universe has a nature of its own.

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यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत ।

अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम् ॥ ७ ॥ (4.7)

O Scion of the Bharatas! Whenever Dharma declines and adharma prevail then I project Myself.

O Scion of Bharata is to remind “You cannot tolerate the decline of Dharma because you have been born in the dynasty of Bharatas.

Also bhaa means the pursuit of knowledge and rata means one who is engaged in it.

Arjuna’s doubt is: “Is it the decline of Dharma and the increase of adharma delights You so You manifest at that time?”

Krishna says “No” to that and says:

परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् ।

धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे ॥ ८ ॥ (4.8)

For the complete protection of the virtuous and for the total destruction of the wicked and to secure Dharma I am born age after age.

जन्म कर्म च मे दिव्यमेवं यो वेत्ति तत्त्वतः ।

त्यक्त्वा देहं पुनर्जन्म नैति मामेति सोऽर्जुन ॥ ९ ॥ (4.9)

He who thus knows truly the divine birth and actions of Mine does not get rebirth after casting off the body. He attains Me, O Arjuna.

‘He who thus knows’ what? He knows that even in the case of birthless One there is, in reality, a simulation of birth through Maayaa; and that even in the case of the actionless One there is a simulation of actions with the purpose of favoring others viz. sadhus.

वीतरागभयक्रोधा मन्मया मामुपाश्रिताः ।

बहवो ज्ञानतपसा पूता मद्भावमागताः ॥ १० ॥

Free from passion, fear, and wrath, filled with my power, dependent on Me, purified by the austerity of knowledge, many have attained my status.

How can this path of knowledge which is a destroyer of everything, be beneficial?

वीतरागभयक्रोध: are removed from the pure minded persons through discrimination.

मन्मया means those who have directly realized Me, the Supreme Self, through the identification of the word Tat and tvam.

Or whose mind is entirely fixed on Me.

पूत: ज्ञानतपसा means purified by the austerity of knowledge because it is the cause of the dissipation of actions.

So, indeed there is nothing purifying comparable to knowledge is the idea.

आगता मद्भावम् means attained my State which is Existence-Knowledge-Bliss.

So Arjuna doubts: Only those who are free from desire attain your State but what about those did not overcome desire?

Are you not being partial and pitiless? And the Lord says: “No”.

ये यथा मां प्रपद्यन्ते तांस्तथैव भजाम्यहम् ।

मम वर्त्मानुवर्तन्ते मनुष्याः पार्थ सर्वशः ॥ ११ ॥ (4.11)

According to the manner in which they approach Me, I favor them in that manner. O Partha! Human beings follow my path in every way.

Krishna says: I give them the fruits as desired by them, not contrariwise.

I favor the afflicted and the seekers of wealth, who do not aspire for Liberation, by removing their afflictions, by bestowing wealth.

By granting knowledge to seekers after Liberation who perform selfless actions.

Arjuna doubts: Even so you favor only those who are devoted to you and not those who are devoted to other gods.

Krishna says: O son of Prtha! Humans who are eligible for rites and duties follow my path even while worshiping Indra and others.

इन्द्रं मित्रं वरुणं अग्निम आहुरतो दिव्यं सा सुपर्णो गरुतमान एकं सत विप्रा बहुधा वदन्ति || (ऋग्वेद 1.164.46)

“They call him Indra, Mitra, Varuṇa, Agni, and he is heavenly nobly-winged Garutmaan. To what is One, sages give many a title.”

So the next doubt of Arjuna is: Why is it all people do not adore you O Vasudeva?

काङ्क्षन्तः कर्मणां सिद्धिं यजन्त इह देवताः ।

क्षिप्रं हि मानुषे लोके सिद्धिर्भवति कर्मजा ॥ १२ ॥ (4.12)

Longing for success in action on earth, they worship the gods; for quickly is success born of action in this world of man.

This is karma bhoomi. There is pleasure as also pain in doing karma.  Quicker the result greater the happiness.

Praying for success in efforts undertaken is the nature of humans in this world.

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4.1. This Yoga is also known as BrahmaarpaNa Yoga (The Yoga of Brahman as the ladle etc.)

4.2. Although the two yogas viz. the Samkhya Yoga and Karma Yoga have been presented before in great detail still, the Lord implies their identity due to identity of results of the end and the means. Krishna through the presentation of the genealogy, praises the Yoga of Action which is the means, and the Yoga of Knowledge as the end, with a view to instructing about the various kinds of their qualities.
4.3. श्रीभगवानुवाच —
इमं विवस्वते योगं प्रोक्तवानहमव्ययम् ।
विवस्वान्मनवे प्राह मनुरिक्ष्वाकवेऽब्रवीत् ॥ १ ॥ (4.1)

4.4. Sri Bhagavan said: This immutable yoga I imparted to the Sun (Vivasvan) who gave it to Manu. Manu proclaimed it to Ikshvaaku.

एवं परम्पराप्राप्तमिमं राजर्षयो विदुः ।
स कालेनेह महता योगो नष्टः परन्तप ॥ २ ॥ (4.2)

4.6. Royal sages have known this in regular succession. This yoga, by long efflux of time decayed in this world O scorcherer of foes.

स एवायं मया तेऽद्य योगः प्रोक्तः पुरातनः ।
भक्तोऽसि मे सखा चेति रहस्यं ह्येतदुत्तमम् ॥ ३ ॥ (4.3)

4.8. That ancient Yoga itself, which is this, has been taught to you by Me today, considering that you are my devotee and friend. 1/2

4.9. Knowledge of this Yoga is a profound secret. 2/2

4.10. अर्जुन उवाच —
अपरं भवतो जन्म परं जन्म विवस्वतः ।
कथमेतद्विजानीयां त्वमादौ प्रोक्तवानिति ॥ ४ ॥ (4.4)

4.11. Your birth is recent whereas the birth of Vivasvaan was way earlier. How am I to understand that you instructed him earlier?

4.12. In Sabara Bhaashya of Jaimini Sutra it is said: “What is learnt in other past lives is not recollected.” Hence Arjun’s doubt.

4.13. श्रीभगवानुवाच —
बहूनि मे व्यतीतानि जन्मानि तव चार्जुन ।
तान्यहं वेद सर्वाणि न त्वं वेत्थ परन्तप ॥ ५ ॥ (4.5)

4.14. Sri Bhagavan said: Numerous births of mine have already taken place, as also those of yours, Arjuna! 1/2

4.15. I know them all, but O scourge of foes! you do not.2/2

4.16. So did Vamadeva, even though a jeeva, say in Daasatayi, “I was Manu and the Sun. Now I am a Brahmana sage Kaakshivan (RV 4.26.1)

4.17. Arjuna was not able to accept this as his mind started thinking as follows:

4.18. A jeeva cannot have omniscience in the primary sense, since he is limited by his adjunct because of which he cannot have relationship with everything.

4.19. Even in the case of Viraat who has the whole universe as his upaadhi there is no possibility of knowing about the transformations of the subtle elements and the transformation of Maya, because he has the gross elements as his upaadhi.
Similarly in the case of Hiranyagarbha as well, who has the subtle elements of his upaadhi, it is an established fact that there is an absence of knowledge about such things as the order of evolution of Space etc. which are the transformations of his own source, viz. Maya.

4.20. Therefore Easwara alone, who by virtue of His having the ultimate cause (Maya) as the upaadhi is endowed with the knowledge of all objects, past, future and present, is omniscient in the primary sense.

4.21. Whether Maya has 3 states – past, future and present – or there is only one aspect of Maya comprising everything is a different question. And for this Easwara, who is eternal and omniscient, ‘birth’ itself is absurd because of the absence of paapam and puNyam etc. His having many past lives, however is a far remote idea! Thus then if You are a jeeva, it is impossible to be omniscient and if you are God it is impossible to be embodied! This is the thinking of Arjuna.

4.22.And so the Lord answer him as follows:

अजोऽपि सन्नव्ययात्मा भूतानामीश्वरोऽपि सन् ।
प्रकृतिं स्वामधिष्ठाय सम्भवाम्यात्ममायया ॥ ६ ॥ (4.6)

4.23. Though I am unborn, imperishable and the Lord of beings, yet subjugating My Prakrthi, I come into being by my own Maya.

4.24. Arjuna had asserted in his mind that embodiment of this kind is not possible for God who is omniscient and cause of everything.

4.25. If His body is made of the gross elements, then, on the assumption that it is a limited gross body, it will be the waking state it will be similar to that of ourselves and others; and on the assumption that it is a cosmic body, He will become a jiva called Virat, on account of possessing his Viraat upaadhi viz. the cosmic gross body.

4.26. On the other hand, if his body be made of subtle elements, then, on the assumption that it is a limited body, it will be the state of dream and be like that of ourselves and others; and on the assumption that it is the cosmit subtle body, He will be the jiva called Hiranyagarbha, on account of having Hiranyagarbha’s upaadhi viz. the cosmic subtle body.

4.27. And thus the conclusion is that the Supreme Lord verily cannot come to have a body made of the elements that not already occupied by a jiva.

4.28. Nor can it be said that, as one is possessed by a ghost in the same way God Himself enters into that kind of body which is indeed occupied by a jiva!

4.29. Because, if it is admitted that the experiences of that particular jiva within the limitation of that body belong to that jiva, then, since the entry of God into all the bodies as the inner Controller is already there, therefore it is useless to assume a special body for Him; and if it is held that those experiences do not belong to that jiva then it is illogical to say that this is a body of that jiva.

4.30. Hence in the first half of the verse “Even though I am birthless, undecaying by nature, and the Lord of all beings,” He admits that God cannot have a body made of elements.

4.31. By saying अज: अपि सन् – ‘even though I am birthless’, He dispels the notion of His acceptance of a fresh body; the notion of separation from a previous body by saying अव्ययात्मा अपि सन् – ‘even though undecaying by nature’; and the notion of His being subject to paapam and punyam by saying ईश्वरोऽपि सन् भूतानाम् – ‘even though the Lord of beings’ — of all beginning from Brahma to a clump of grass, which are subject to birth.

4.32. How then is the embodiment? He answers in the second half of the verse: अधिष्ठाय by controlling स्वाम् my प्रकृतिं prakrthi called Maya which is possessed of various strange powers that is capable of rendering the impossible possible सम्भवामि I am born. I become possessed of a body, as it were, and born as it were.

4.33. The beginningless Maya itself, which is My upaadhi, which is eternal in the sense that it exists as long as Time exists which makes Me the source of the universe and which functions merely under my will, is my body by virtue of being predominantly made up fo pure Satva GuNa.

4.34. And as possessed of that, it is but logical for Me to be birthless, undecaying, and the Ruler.

4.35. Hence it is reasonable that I have taught this Yoga to Vivasvan and to you through this body which is verily eternal.

4.36. Here Arjuna doubts: “In that case, since there is no body made of elements, therefore how can there be the apprehension of your being a man etc. which are its characteristics?

4.37. As to that Sri Krishna says: आत्ममायया by means of my own Maayaa. It is through this power of Maya that you get the cognition of seeing me as a man!