Friday, 25 July 2014

the varna system


Practical steps  to  spirituality section 6 part 96

The  Gita revisited  

The varna system 

                  The term varna means  to describe  . We  often  describe an  object by its  qualities. . The  varna  system  , otherwise  called  the  caste system  , classifies  man  according  to  the  qualities   or  attitude  (  guna  )  of  the  mind   and  karma  (  work  or  profession). Everything  in creation  is  made  up  of  the  permutation and  combination  of the  three  basic  qualities  - sattva, rajas  and  tamas  which  get reflected  as  knowledge,  activity  and  inertia  respectively. . On  the  basis  of  gunas  ,  an  individual  could  be  a  brahmana,  a  kshatriya  , a  vaishya  or a  sudra. A brahmana  is  predominantly  sattvik, backed  by  little  rajas  and  very little  tamas. and  is  highly  selfless..He is peace loving , knowledge oriented self controlled  and  so  on.    A kshatriya  is  predominantly  rajasic  , with  little  sattva  and  very  little  tamas  and  is  fairly  selfless.  He  is  dynamic  fearless  and  is  a  good  leader.  A  vaishya  on the  other  hand  is  fairly  selfish  with  a  high degree  of  rajas  , little  tamas  and  very little  sattva. and    he  is  resourceful, active, profit seeking  and  good at  making business  deals. And  lastly  and  a  sudra  for  sure  is  highly self centered  with  lots  of  tamas,  little  rajas  and  very little  sattva. and  is  good  at  becoming a  good  follower  and  helper . 

               Karma  is  the  other factor  based  on which  the  four varnas  are  also  classified. . The  brahmanas  are thinkers  , philosophers  , planners , policy  makers , teachers  and  so  on.  The  kshatriyas  are  the leaders  , rulers,  law enforcers  , defenders  of a  country  , social workers and  so on. and  they  are  the  ones that get things  done. . The  vaishyas  are the  ones  who  mobilise  resources, create  wealth  ,produce  goods  , trade  and  transact. ,  while  the  sudras  are  those  who  serve  , do all  the  running  around  , the  labourers  and  artisans  . For  the  success  of  a  company  or  organisation  , a  family  ,  society  or  nation  all  the  four  types  of  people  are  needed.  The  world  over  , we  find  these  four  classifications of  people  , for  are there not thinkers, leaders, business  minds  and  labourers  wherever  we  go  ?

                There  is a  co-relation  between  gunas  and  karma  . Everyone  cannot  do  everything  but  everyone  is  capable  of  doing  something. . So  it  becomes  logical  that  a  person  should  take  up a  work  or  profession  he  is  good  at   and  efficient. . When  people  take  up  a  profession   (  karma  ) according  to  their mental  attitudes or  qualities  (  gunas), they  do  that  work  happily  and  joyfully  and  the  net result  is  better  performance  at  the  workplace. If  the  karmas  do not  match  the  gunas  , that  is,  when  a person  takes up a  profession  not  according  to  his  own  quality  of  mind  , there  happens  a  mass-match,and  the  work  becomes  tiresome,  boring  and   a  drudgery  and  there  would  be  a  lot  of  hypocrisy  , tension  and  frustration  in the  individual's  mind. . In  modern  times  we  do  see  students  taking  up  courses  for  which  they  have  no  inclination  but  they  are  forced  by  parents  or  peer pressure  to  become  engineers  or  doctors  and  when  they  start  practicing  as a  doctor or  work  as  an  engineer  , we  can  see  how  unhappy  they  are  in the  workplace  and   repent   all their  for  their  past   wrong  decisions.  

to  be  continued....

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