BHAGAVAT GEETHA – CHAPTER 4 – ज्ञानकर्मसंन्यसयोग: – YOGA OF RENUNCIATION OF ACTION IN KNOWLEDGE – PART 10

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4.594. Our discourse on Varna reaches its crescendo in this chapter.

4.595. I will explain now the raison d’etre as also the purpose of Varnasrama Dharma.

4.596. This is unknown to the secular world and hence needs thorough explanation.

4.597. I will be quoting Bhagavat Geetha again and again to show how Bhagavan Krishna had explained this to us.

4.598. First on the raison d’etre:

स्वे स्वे कर्मण्यभिरतः संसिद्धिं लभते नरः |

स्वकर्मनिरतः सिद्धिं यथा विन्दति तच्छृणु ||१८- ४५|| (Geetha 18.45)

4.599. Devoted each to his own occupation, man reaches perfection (in practical yoga); how, devoted to his own occupation, he attains such perfection, that do hear.

4.600. I have to keep repeating the fact that man is born with his unique Guna that enables him to an occupation based on fourfold varna dharma viz. knowledge, weapon, wealth and labour.

4.601. These four categories are not merely the source of one’s strength in the discharge of his duties but they are also source of social power he can wield in society.

4.602. Under capitalism man has been told that he can and should do any work to gain glory in this world or in the least to merely eke out a living.

4.603. The truth of the matter is quite the contrary for the element of liberation has not only been robbed of him by discouraging the pursuit of his karma based on Guna but it leads to the very opposite of liberation.

4.604. In today’s global capitalist secular world man, though a work slave, is called a ‘free’ slave because his master keeps changing! Why?

4.605. Because he is hired and fired as is deemed necessary for the master to make profit by his employ or by his lay off.

4.606. Added to this is that man’s own work keeps changing because the work he did becomes obsolete and so he has to learn new avocation to survive but only at the mercy of a master who is willing to employ him.

4.607. Don’t we see physicists becoming janitors and corporate honchos becoming cleaners?

4.608. Of course, there is always a job in the army for anyone who is fit and the armyman become destitute if he gets wounded or maimed.

4.609. We see the homeless ex-servicemen participate in great numbers in the ‘occupy wall street’ movement camping in govt. parks and getting evicted by force.

4.610. Is there a place to call ‘home’ in this ‘free’ secular world?

4.611. Let the truth be told: the slave masters have no responsibility to the slave who is constantly threatened with being fired, a scary element that governs the economics of capitalism.

4.612. In the present capitalist system attaining perfection through occupation is an impossibility because man is considered not a spirit craving for perfection but a commodity to be made use of to attain profit by another man.

4.613. Only in a society based on Varnaasrama Dharma can the man reclaim his spirit and strive for perfection.

4.614.

यतः प्रवृत्तिर्भूतानां येन सर्वमिदं ततम् |

स्वकर्मणा तमभ्यर्च्य सिद्धिं विन्दति मानवः ||१८- ४६|| (18.46)

4.615. He from whom all existences come forth, and by whom all this is pervaded, by offering worship to Him with his own occupation, man wins perfection.

4.616. In this global capitalist society our worship through karma to the Source to whom we owe our existence is made impossible by the mere fact that the pursuit of one’s occupation is at the mercy of another man.

4.617. There is no right to one’s occupation in this system of global capitalism.

4.618. Man can claim this right, the real right, so he can attain spiritual perfection through occupation only by fighting for a society based on Varnaasrama Dharma.

4.619.

श्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुणः परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात् |

स्वभावनियतं कर्म कुर्वन्नाप्नोति किल्बिषम् ||१८- ४७|| (18.47)

4.620. Better is one’s own duty (though) inferior, than the duty of another well-performed. One doing the duty determined by his own nature incurs no sin.

4.621. This is the most important verse in Bhagavat Geetha.

4.622. First and foremost thing to keep in mind is that Bhagavan has indicated that one’s own perfection is attained only through the work he is equipped to.

4.623. A person can demonstrate that he can do the work of someone belonging to a different varna but it is wrought with two factors.

4.624. First one is that he is seizing the work belong to another which by itself is adharma and he incurs sin on that account.

4.625. The second factor is that this person would not be able to consistently keep working the job of another varna for at one time or another his own equipment will impel him to abandon the work of another varna he had undertaken to do and take up pursuit of his own occupation for which he is equipped.

4.626. So much so the perfection he is supposed to attain by the dint of work had been abandoned and he incurs sin for abandoning his own occupation.

4.627. The capitalist system encourages people to egg out others of their own occupation in the name of efficiency.

4.628. This is done with a view to profit out of such aggression. Our Lord Krishna says:

4.629. सहजं कर्म कौन्तेय सदोषमपि न त्यजेत् |

सर्वारम्भा हि दोषेण धूमेनाग्निरिवावृताः ||१८- ४८|| (Geetha 18.48)

4.630. Duty naturally belonging to one by birth, 0 Son of Kunti (Arjuna), though accompanied by defects, ought not to be abandoned; all undertakings are enveloped with defects, as fire by smoke.

4.631. Karma here has been translated as duty. Sahajam karma means what is born equipped with.

4.632. The word duty is to emphasize the compulsion in each of us to pursue. It is not to be understood as an inheritance from parentage.

4.633. It may look like that but really not so.

4.634. It is Important 2 realize that you are a Brahmana or Kshathriya or Vaisya or Sudhra in pursuing knowledge, weapon, wealth or labour by dint of your poorva karma (karma performed in previous births) and not due to parentage.

4.635. Our smrithis (ancient Rishi made laws) do set out rules of conduct 4 organized varnas into community of Brahmans, Kshathrityas etc but they never claim to deny that one’s inheritance from his own poorva karma by insisting on the inheritance from parentage.

4.636. The key words ‘sahajam karma’ clearly states that man’s ability to pursue a vocation is inborn.

4.637. Training someone who is not born with a pursuit for happiness through a profession will prove disastrous for both the person as well as the society.

4.638. Under the capitalist system not only this dhaarmic pursuit of one’s own occupation for which he is born duly equipped has been thus impeded but also factually prevented from pursuing his karmic perfection through his own occupation for which he has taken the birth.

4.639. This capitalist system is therefore asuric and adharmic to the core and it is the divine right of everyone to overthrow this secular capitalist system.

4.640. Sticking to one’s own dharma and performing karmas pertaining to one’s own varna is actually a form of worship. Why?

4.641. Because it keeps the person in his own nature transgressing of which will bring immense trouble and unhappiness.

4.642. We see how corruption and betrayal takes place when the vaisyas and sudhras have taken over the job of the kshathriyas.

4.643. Even if you perform your own karma in a defective way it is far more better than performing the karma that pertains to another even if you can execute it in an excellent way.

NOW LET US DEAL WITH THE PURPOSE OF VARNASRAMA DHARMA

4.644. The purpose of any society is to keep peace and happiness within and devise system that allows people to pursue their life’s objectives freely and unhindered by outside forces.

4.645. Having understood the characteristics of the four varnas the following can be deduced.

4.646. i) Pursuit of wealth is unique to the Vaisyas. The other three varnas have other interst in life (we call this purushaartha).

4.647. ii) Brahmanas and Sudhras have opposite characteristics.

4.648. Brahmanas are prone to pursue knowledge, are highly independent and do not band together.

4.649. On the contrary the Sudhras have least interest the knowledge of things other than their own pursuit and live bundled up in colonies.

4.650. In modern times, if opportunity is given, a Brahmana will tend to go to a University whereas the Sudhra would enter the community college. This is the way the Guna drives them.

4.651. iii) The Kshathriya is passionate about many things and has the tendency to seize things that do not belong to him using force.

4.652. He also pursues truth and tends to be judgemental. He is passionate about his country and lineage and weilds weapons to defend them.

4.653. The basis of a strong, peaceful and prosperous society is Varnasrama Dharma where each varna is segragated in the following fashion.

4.654. a) A Brahmana will pursue knowledge but is forbidden from acquiring wealth, forbidden from weilding weapons and will not work for a vaisya or a sudhra who have the opposite characteristics to a Brahmana.

4.655. b) A Kshathriya will weild weapons but he will take counsel from the Brahmana and will never take action independently because of his passion and the consequent temerity will have no resistance.

4.656. A kshathriya is forbidden from pursuing the acquision of wealth or owning land or employing sudhras in those objectives of wealth gathering.

4.657. c) A Vaisya will be relentless in acquiring wealth but is forbidden from owning it without sharing.

4.658. He is also forbidden from the pursuit of knowledge and forbidden from wielding weapons.

4.659. d) Because of complete lack of intellect a Sudhra will work for the Vaisya mostly taking orders from him and rarely to the Kshathriya or the Brahmana. It is the duty of the Vaisya to take care of the Sudhra and the Kshathriya will ensure that a Sudhra is not exploited by his master. In the case of Sudhra logically there is the forbiddance from pursuing knowledge or wielding weapons or gathering of wealth by giving up his own occupation.

4.660. Thus each of the four varnas is confined to the pursuit of occupation to which his guna dictates while being forbidden to pursue the occupations of other varnas. Let me quote our Lord Krishna again that I have mentioned above:

4.661.

श्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुणः परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात् |

स्वभावनियतं कर्म कुर्वन्नाप्नोति किल्बिषम् ||१८- ४७|| (Geetha 18.47)

4.662. Better is one’s own duty (though) inferior, than the duty of another well-performed. One doing the duty determined by his own nature incurs no sin.

4.663.

स्वे स्वे कर्मण्यभिरतः संसिद्धिं लभते नरः |

स्वकर्मनिरतः सिद्धिं यथा विन्दति तच्छृणु ||१८- ४५|| (Geetha 18.45)

4.664. Devoted each to his own occupation, man reaches perfection (in practical yoga); how, devoted to his own occupation, he attains such perfection, that do hear. This is how varnasrama dharma works and it worked peacefully and prosperously for eons of time and thus came to be called Sanaathana Dharma or Eternal Dharma.

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