BHAGAVAT GEETHA – CHAPTER 4 – ज्ञानकर्मसंन्यसयोग: – YOGA OF RENUNCIATION OF ACTION IN KNOWLEDGE – PART 9

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4.521. As we start discussing the VarNas I ONCE AGAIN WARN YOU NOT TO CONFUSE VARNA WITH CASTE. A caste Brahmin is NOT a varNa Brahmin.

4.522. Brahmana
शमो दमस्तपः शौचं क्षान्तिरार्जवमेव च |
ज्ञानं विज्ञानमास्तिक्यं ब्रह्मकर्म स्वभावजम् ||१८- ४२||

4.523. Calmness, self-restraint, austerity, purity, forgiveness and straightforwardness, (pure) wisdom, applied wisdom, belief: these are the (items of) activity of the brahmin, born of his own nature.

4.524. It is clear that many of the Brahmanas have slipped from this high Sathwa guna to become vaisyas in contemporary times.

4.525. Of course they can redeem themselves🙂

4.526. ‘Sama’ is the control of the external sense-organs. ‘Dama’ is the control of the mind.

4.527. ‘Tapas’ is the chastisement of the body by controlling enjoyments, as enjoined by the Sastras.

4.528. ‘Sauca’ is fitness for performing acts as enjoined by the Sastras. ‘Ksanti’ is preserving the composure of the mind, though injured by others.

4.529. ‘Arjava’ is straightforwardness expressing itself in correct outward manifestation to others in consonance with one’s own mind.

4.530. ‘Jnana’ is knowledge about the real nature of the higher and lower truths.

4.531. ‘Vijnana’ is the knowledge pertaining to exceptional attributes belonging to the Supreme Reality.

4.532. ‘Astikya’ or faith is firm conviction in the truth of all things enjoined in the Vedas.

4.533. The meaning is that it is unshakable by any reason whatever.

4.534. ‘Astikya’ is positive conviction in the truth to the following effect:

4.535. (1) The Lord Vasudeva, the Supreme Person, is signified by the term, Supreme Brahman.

4.536. (2) He is devoid of even the slightest trace or evil.

4.537. (3) He possesses countless hosts of auspicious and excellent attributes such as knowledge, strength etc., boundless and natural.

4.538. (4) To reveal His nature is the sole purpose of the whole of Vedas and the Vedanta and He can be known only through them.

4.539. (5) He is the sole cause of the universe (6) He is the foundation of the entire universe. (7) He is the actuator of all.

4.540. (8) All actions taught in the Vedas form His worship.

4.541. (9) When worshipped through them, He confers fruits known as Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksa.

4.542. That such is the meaning has been declared in the following text:

4.543. वेदैश्च सर्वैरहमेव वेद्यो ‘Indeed I am to be known from all the Vedas’ (15.15);

4.544. अहं सर्वस्य प्रभवो मत्तः सर्वं प्रवर्तते | ‘I am the origin of all; from Me proced everything’ (10.8),

4.545. मयि सर्वमिदं प्रोतं ‘All this is strung on Me’ (7.7),

4.546. अहं हि सर्वयज्ञानां भोक्ता च प्रभुरेव च | ‘Knowing me as the enjoyer of all sacrifices and austerities … he attains peace’ (9.24),

4.547. मत्तः परतरं नान्यत्किञ्चिदस्ति धनञ्जय | There is nothing greater than myself, Arjuna (7.7)

4.548.
यतः प्रवृत्तिर्भूतानां येन सर्वमिदं ततम् |
स्वकर्मणा तमभ्यर्च्य सिद्धिं विन्दति मानवः ||१८- ४६||

4.549. ‘He from whom proceeds the activity of all beings and by whom all this is pervaded — by worshipping Him with his duty, will a man reach perfection’ (18.46);

4.550. यो मामजमनादिं च वेत्ति लोकमहेश्वरम् | and ‘He who knows Me as unborn, without a beginning and the great Lord of the worlds …’ (10.3)

4.551. Such are the duties of the Brahmana arising from his inherent nature.

4.552. Sudhra:
The Thamasa Guna has an opaque character indicating the nature of the Sudhras.

4.553. Those possessed of it see things different from what they are.

4.554. In other words, they are veiled by avidya and they are driven by inertia.

4.555. It does not mean that they cannot know or they cannot do anything right. Quite the contrary.

4.546. They can know and do excellent things but only at the bidding of others.

4.547. The exquisite carvings of our cave temples and sculptures are done by Sudhras.

4.548. Any evidence of greatness of any society be it in the great temples of India or the Pyramids of Egypt or the great wall of China, were all built by Sudras, but they were told to do so.

4.549. They do not have the initiative and they always get carried away. They band together among themselves.

4.550. The modern day union leaders exploit this feature to organize them, collect subscriptions from them use this banding feature to extract money from the employers. (Both the employer and the union leader belong to Vaisya Varna.)

4.551. A saathwik person is calm and serene that he is able to see things clearly in front of him without help from another person.

4.552. In contrast Thaamasa guna causes a person to become emotional that often causes a person to move away from reality.
4.553. An emotional person is so engrossed with his own thoughts that causes him to miss what is real in front of him.

4.554. He is in his own world, as the saying goes. This is described as avidya. (More on Avidya later.)

4.555. An emotional person always look for a shoulder to cry or share his moment of joy. This is the cause of their gregariousness.

4.556. Animals are thaamasic and you see them in flocks. This is the way to understand the thaamasa guna. They all do things en masse.

4.557. A Sudhra is the one who will build a great dam across a river for the benefit of humanity

4.558. or will set fire to a bus full of college girls just because a certain politician told them to do so.

4.559. They are a tremendous power by themselves, but because of their lack of discrimination,

4.560. they are exploited or harvested by others – in very large measure by the Vaisyas.

4.561. The opposite is the Sathwa Guna that has a transparent character indicating the nature of Brahmanas.

4.562. Satwa Guna generates knowledge and wisdom. It sets man to be independent and lonely that he seems to enjoy.

4.563. Because of the clarity of Satwa Guna the Brahmins can see things as they are. Seeing things as they are is called Vidya.

4.564. This makes them feel pacific, at worst resigned and at best quite content.

4.565. Though they have initiative, they seldom use it for their own advantage.

4.566. They are adept in using the initiative on behalf of a yajamana who is either a Kshathriya or another Brahmana or sometimes even a Vaisya.

4.567. They lack materialist pursuit even though they are capable of winning a world or amassing wealth but would easily sell their prowess for a fee. Such is the contentment of Brahmanas!

4.568. This is the effect of Sathwa guna that keeps a Brahmana close to his real Self which is described by our Vedas as Sathyam, Gyaanam, Anantham.

4.569. Brahmanas are highly independent and therefore are incohesive among themselves in terms of a material pursuit.

4.570. However they would be seen to band together for spiritual pursuit.

4.571. This is because Agni Devatha is their spiritual counterpart of the Heaven and they are all united by Agni.

4.572. Now I will deal with Kshathriyas and Vaisyas, who are driven by Rajo Guna.

4.573. A Kshathriya is made of Rajo Guna with Sathwa Guna as the underlying factor.

4.574. This makes a kshathriya to hold on to a view as sacrosant, otherwise known as truth or Sathyam

4.575. and a kshathriya would enforce the truth as he sees it by his command and would even die for it.

4.576. Thus he is a good keeper of the word and therefore be a reliable body guard, a Rakshaka and a King.

4.577. “ बा॒हू रा॑ज॒न्यः॑ कृ॒तः ”, says Purusha Sooktham. Kshathriya rose from the arm of Virat signifying valour and strength.

4.578. At the same time, Kshathriya’s passions signified by Rajo Guna make him a great family man and man of society and an increaser and protector of the tribe. He is witty and charming and a man given to partying and fun. He likes limelight. He respects hierarchy and enforces them. Thus his protective abilities reach the world of manes and that of Gods.

4.579. Because of of his Guna a Kshathriya seeks clarity and would be a good judge.

4.580. Because of Sathwa Guna he likes to be associated with Brahmanas and a great protector of them indeed.

4.581. Thus the maxim “असतोम सत् गमय तमसोम ज्योतिर् गमय मृत्योम अमृतं गमय” would greatly apply to the Kshathriyas though the maxim is common to all.

4.582. Now, who is a Vaisya? A Vaisya is made of Rajo Guna with Thamasa Guna as the underlying factor.

4.583. Thus a Vaisya has the opposite character to the Kshathriyas. This means he does not hold anything sacrosant.

4.584. That is why a Vaisya, a businessman would not hold on to anything as value but keep trading them in order to increase wealth.

4.585. A Vaisya, because of lack of passion, never seeks limelight and would not enter into any controversy.

4.586. A Vaisya is always positive and thus prone to mislead others.

4.587. A Vaisya besides being a good businessman, by the play of his Guna, is well suited to be a diplomat or a spy and is capable of doings things that are to be done in discreet or stealth or behind the curtain.

4.588. A Vaisya because of the Rajo Guna seeks the company and audience of Kshathriyas but only for the purpose of increasing his wealth. He is a good ally of the Kshathriya for he provides the Kshathriya with the wherewithals. He generates immense wealth under the protection of a powerful Kshathriya and he is prone to cheat a weak king.

4.589. Because of the underlying Thamo Guna a Vaisya is associated with the Sudhra whom he persuades to labour hard and produce. Because of this Guna he is stingy and exploitative. Lying and misrepresentation are his prowess! They are the modern day politicians. The French call them the bourgeoisie.

4.590. A Vaisya has a spiritual side that appeases the Gods to increase his wealth. Thus he is a donor for temples and for the cultivation of the music and the dance that are associated with Gods and wealth.

4.591. Thus you will know the difference between a man who is less impressive but has a lot of money in his pocket and a man who is well dressed up and talks bravely but has little in his pocket. The former does not enjoy what he has and the latter enjoys despite not having any. The underlying Thamo Guna or Satwa Guna causes this as the case may be of those driven by Rajo Guna. This is the difference between aVaisya and a Kshathriya.

4.592. There is an important aspect of the Guna play. A person born in one Varna can follow the Dharma of what can be termed as a lower Varna but not in the reverse direction. This is by taking Sathwam to be higher than the Thamas, though in terms of wordly needs both serve their purposes and therefore are equal. The higher and lower classification would be only in terms of knowledge of Reality such as transparency and opaqueness of the Anthakarana or mind.

4.593. A Brahmana can therefore follow the Dharmas of other Varnas with ease i.e. he can follow Kshathriya Dharma, Vaisya Dharma or even Sudhra Dharma, a Kshathriya, likewise can followVaisya Dharma or Sudhra Dharma but not Brahmana Dharma, a Vaisya can followSudhra Dharma but not Kshathriya Dharma or Brahmana Dharma and Sudhra can only follow his own Dharma and not of anyone else. This is due to the play of Shakthi the source of the Guna. This is because the manifest Shakthi will always degenerate. That is its nature.

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