4.664a. Certain unique features of Varna Dharma is worth mentioning here as we wind up this subject & to continue on ज्ञानकर्मसंन्यसयोग:
4.665. Despite being branded as Brahminical ‘religion’ by the secularists and despite their importance in the social order the Brahmins neither can nor would be able to usurp power in our Dharma.
4.666. There is perhaps a social hierarchy though not technically as all varnas exist side by side inevitably and therefore to be considered equal.
4.667. What is certainly not there is a political hierarchy as was seen in a theocratic Tibet.
4.668. In our Dharma there is no such a thing as a fight between the ‘church’ and the state as the spiritual side of the people has no organization per se in a Hindu Dhaarmic setup.
4.669. Importance of religion itself as being a ‘state religion’ to put down ‘infidels’ is absent in the Hindu state.
4.670. True men of spirit known as Sanyasis have a total abandonment to anything that involves mamakaram and are bound by the dictum to wander to prevent them from possession of anything of material value.
4.671. Neither is the king a religious head as had happened in Europe. This is the most laudable part of the ethics of Hindu Dharma.
4.672. Even Ashoka’s edicts were recommendatory and he did not found a state religion of Buddhism in a Hindu country.
4.673. The king was always a guardian, servant and executor of Dharma so much so his decrees were merely of an administrative nature that are not contradictory to social, religious, political and economic interest of the community.
4.674. In this process the Brahmins played the role of social conscience.
4.675. If a king could run amok then Manu had allowed a provision for regicide of oppressive and unjust kings.
4.676. Banishment and degradation even imprisonment of kings were easily exercised when they became tyrannical.
4.677. On the other hand the Brahmins themselves cannot change Dharma.
4.678. They are guided by Suthras or values set out by a body of rishis that happens once over a long period of time to be clear of being whimsical.
4.679. Any change to the Suthras would have to be set out by a new body of Rishis who by themselves do not belong to any of the four varnas.
4.680. These Rishis are Sanyasins of the the fourth aashrama who have abandoned varna dharma and who were competently initiated by a Guru of the same fourth aashrama.
4.681. Another important point that we have to squarely deal with is the wanton misrepresentation of the word Varna with caste.
4.682. VARNA IS NOT CASTE. Varna and caste are opposites!
4.683. I want to quote here the sagacious words of Premendra Priyadarshi on this question of Varna and caste.
4.684. “Many people think that varna and caste are related, and castes emerged from varnas. But infact, as scholars of eminence have pointed out, the two systems are completely unrelated.
4.685. “Varna is neither hereditary nor endogamous, while caste essentially is both.
4.686. “Any class system, whether based on wealth, colour, race, profession, language or country of origin cannot constitute caste system if it is not endogamous and hereditary.
4.687. “Scholars have condemned the practice of translating varna as ‘caste’.
4.688. Basham wrote, “The term varna does not mean ‘caste’ and has never meant ‘caste’ by which term it is often loosely translated.
4.689. M.N. Srinivas, while discussing caste, wrote, “The varna model has produced a wrong and distorted image of caste.
4.690. “It is necessary for the sociologist to free himself from the hold of the varna model if he wishes to understand the caste system.
4.691. “It is hardly necessary to add that it is more difficult for Indian sociologist than it is for non-Indian.”
4.692. Max Waber, noted, “Perhaps the most important gap in the ancient Veda is its lack of any reference to caste…. nowhere does it refer to the substantive content of the caste order in the meaning which it later assumed and which is characteristic only of Hinduism.”(Weber: ).
Exogamy not endogamy was the preferred system of the idea of gothra of varna.
Al-Biruni writes, “According to their marriage law it is better to marry a stranger than a relative.
The more distant the relationship of a woman with regard to her husband, the better.” (Sachau: ).
We have castes in India and we know for sure they are not originated in the Veda.
So a proper understanding of the genesis of caste is important to counter the secularist propaganda that castes are the product of Hindu Dharma.
4.693. Castes started to come into vogue only after the Islamic invasion. (Max Weber)
4.694. And its startling proliferation took place during 18th and 19th century. (Max Weber)
4.695. I will deal with this in greater detail later as it is necessary now to stick to the topic of Varna and the social organization based on it. How is the dhaarmic society organized?
4.696. Sri S.Gurumurthy in his famous essay “The inclusive and the exclusive” has dealt with this subject in layman’s term.
4.697. He rightly opines that in western countries the society is subordinated to the state whereas in Dhaarmic set up the state is only a residual institution to the society.
4.698. I will go into greater details later but let us now adhere to the sine qua non of the Dhaarmic Society.
4.699. The driving force of a Dhaarmic society lies in the true and complete freedom of the individual and it lies in his unhindered right to pursue his goal that rightly needs him to conform to his swadharma for such a discipline alone guarantees his own right to pursue his ambitions unmolested by which no transgression by anyone is possible for fear of being dealt with very serverely by the king as the weilder of the weapon. Also that such discipline alone guarantees the possibility of his goal coming to fruition without getting frittered or diluted.
4.700. In pursuit of this objective of true freedom for the individual and his unhindered pursuit of his own goal that he sets for himself through his own swadharma the important criterion is the ensuring of a political power that is not concentrated in any one individual or a group.
4.701. That is why the prohibition that a person belonging to one Varna would not acquire the powers belonging to another Varna.
4.702. So a Brahmin who is the repository of knowledge is not allowed to weild weapon, nor acquire wealth or control labour;
4.703. A Kshathriya is not allowed to aggrandize knowledge, or wealth or labour;
4.704. A Vaisya is not allowed to pursue knowledge, acquire weapon or labour to his exclusive disposal.
4.705. And finally Sudhra would not corner knowledge, or weapon or wealth and remain engaged in his own domain.
4.706. Any such acquiring of the powers and faculties of other varnas would lead to corruption and slavery.
4.707. We see that happening today right before our eyes.
4.708. The objective of a society is not merely to keep peace and order but enable it to prosper and for each individual to have access to total pursuit of his fourfold goals of life viz. Dharma, Artha, Kaama and Moksha. Varnasrama Dharma alone can provide this.