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Bhagavad Gita: Varna system misunderstanding

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  #221  
Old 23 May 2010, 08:49 AM
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Re: Bhagavad Gita: Varna system misunderstanding

Pranam Devotee ji

As far as i know Yadavas were Kshatriya and i have yet to read anything different. here is a link that may be of interest.
http://www.xomba.com/the_history_of_...bharat_varse_2

As for Parasar a Sudra that is news to me, do provide any avidence from Shastra where he may have been described as such.
If it is an opinion then i do not have to worry about that. It would be nice, were you to quote relevent Manu's Laws instead of me having to search for it.

As far as i know Gotra is passed on from Father to son. do let us know if you know any different. i also have read sometime ago that a Brahmin male could marry a lower varna but it is forbiden for brahmin girl to marry a lower varna.i will have to brush on this so dont take my word for it.

Jai Shree Krishna
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Bhagvat Gita; Shree Krishna says Chapter 3.11 devan bhavayatanena te deva bhavayantu vah parasparam bhavayantah sreyah param avapsyatha Chapter 17.4 yajante sattvika devan yaksa-raksamsi rajasah pretan bhuta-ganams canye yajante tamasa janah
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Old 23 May 2010, 11:47 AM
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Re: Bhagavad Gita: Varna system misunderstanding

Namaste GaneshPrasad ji,

This is the law of Manu from Manusmriti which decides the castes of offsprings born to a Brahmin father and Vaishya/Sudra mother :

10.8. From a Brahmana, with the daughter of a Vaisya is born (a son) called an Ambashtha, with the daughter of a sudra a Nishada, who is also called Parasava.

In accordance with the above law of Manu, Maharishi Parashar, Maharishi Vedvyas and entire clan of Kauravas and Pandavas were actually sudra by birth.

Coming to your assertion that Yadavas were actually Kashtriyas ... I am not surprised at all ! The link that you have given has been written by the Yadavas & so you also can doubt that it is colored by their vested interests. Such claims have been made by various castes in the past to elevate their status within social structure whenever they came to power.

I am giving you a list of some of the castes (which were originally Vaisyas or Sudras) which claimed Kashtriya status when they came to power :

a) Gurjars (tribe/outside Hindu caste system)
b) Khatris (Vaisyas in trading business)
c) Kurmis (Vaisyas in cultivation)
d) Mauryas (Sudra in peacock taming)
e) Kukhrans (Vaisya)
f) Bhatis (Vaisyas)
g) Nairs (Vaisyas )
h) Dhangars (Sudra)

However these castes are not accepted as Kshatriyas but as pseudo-kshatriyas. You can very well check their cedentials as these castes are there in our society. The same goes for the Yadavas.

It is a simple test to judge which caste can claim to be in which varna : Ask this question : what is the occupation of the caste ? Yadvas keep cows, they trade in milk and milk products .... so how can they be Kshatriyas ? Lord Krishna says in BG that those keeping cows and doing business are Vaisyas.

The Non-Indians as Kshatriyas :

The story of the kshatriyas doesn't end here. Manusmriti and other scriptures tell us that the Shakas, the Kushans, the Indo-greeks, the Hunds, the Parthians, the yavanas, the Kambojas who were invading tribes from outside India were granted Kshatriya status within Hinduism as they were the rulers in their times.

You may believe whatever you want to believe. I have no issues with that. OM
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Old 23 May 2010, 02:09 PM
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Re: Bhagavad Gita: Varna system misunderstanding

I think we should end this here with everyone agreeing to disagree. There are many many instances where foreigners, whether invading and occupying given Kshatrya status, and the early "sailors" visiting were considered sudra and the later traders were considered Vaisya. So in the past foreigners were classified and given varna.

My whole argument has not been against varna, rather for it, it's a part of the religion as put forth by Lord Krishna. As such, I feel in order to be a part of the religion to its fullest, give us whiteys purification and welcome us into the fold of varna, whether by profession, by birth or by family history. I have no qualms with this.

Lastly, I love everyone here, and we really shouldn't be arguing over this. There are a lot more important things to discuss. Let's be proactive and instead of talking about us whiteys as filth because of our avarna, lets figure out how us mlecchas can be brought into the full and loving embrace of the Lord.

D
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Old 23 May 2010, 02:40 PM
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Re: Bhagavad Gita: Varna system misunderstanding

Pranam Devotee ji
Thanks for the quote, it becomes interesting, having read the laws off Manu it increasing reinforce the birth criteria. The quote you have sited reinforces Arjuns fear of Varnashankar. Yes I would agree intercaste marriages would dilute the varnas and that has what happened.

But your assertion that Parasar and Vyasdev were sudra and thus Pandavas and Kaurvas were sudra are false on two counts one Parsarmuni is a rare personality, grandson of Vashista who dint of his yogic power rendered Satvati a vergin, not an ordinary soul, two none off the Pandavas were sudra and no one in the history have declared as such, by the recognition of their royal birth they were Kshatriya and there was no other criteria. even the birth Dhitrastra, Pandu and Vidurji are divine. Their apparent birth in royal family and in the case of Vidur, Dasiputra is their only pahechan (recognition).

You have your right to believe as you do, unfortunately there is no meeting of mind here, thats not a problem, Hindu dharma has come a long way and has survived brutal occupation by two different ideology, the Varnashram Dharma the only authority that sustained it, it is a pity people want to blame it for all the ills of India that is today.

This is it for time being on the subject, I have to prepare for my next pilgrimage.

Jai Shree Krishna

PS. Darji ji I have no problem anyone taking up Sanatan Dharma, as such no need for Varna just be a good sanatani.

Jai Shree Krishna
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Bhagvat Gita; Shree Krishna says Chapter 3.11 devan bhavayatanena te deva bhavayantu vah parasparam bhavayantah sreyah param avapsyatha Chapter 17.4 yajante sattvika devan yaksa-raksamsi rajasah pretan bhuta-ganams canye yajante tamasa janah
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Old 24 May 2010, 07:01 AM
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Re: Bhagavad Gita: Varna system misunderstanding

namaste Darji,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darji View Post
My whole argument has not been against varna, rather for it, it's a part of the religion as put forth by Lord Krishna. As such, I feel in order to be a part of the religion to its fullest, give us whiteys purification and welcome us into the fold of varna, whether by profession, by birth or by family history. I have no qualms with this.

D
Non-Indian hindus have been welcomed in the varna ashram by adopting the gotra of their guru. I know of many western hindus who are now part of hindu varna dharma. Their varna is the varna of their guru.

Just like a son rightfully takes on the varna of his father at birth so does a non-indian hindu, having been born twice, takes on the varna of his guru and thus adopts the gotra of his guru. With the blessing of his guru he is able to use the gotra for all intents and purposes i.e. for yagya, puja, marriage etc.

HDF's own Sarabhanga, a westerner by birth was accepted in juna akhara of nagas. He rightfully took on varna and gotra (giri) of his guru. Baba Ram puri is a similar case (look him up http://rampuri.com/ bom bom bhole!). http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/arc...hp?t-1645.html

There are many such cases...
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Old 24 May 2010, 07:14 AM
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Re: Bhagavad Gita: Varna system misunderstanding

namaste devotee,

What you are saying here is very interesting. I have never heard of such a thing that kurus and pandvas were non-Kashtriyas and sudra by birth!!

Are you the only one hindu with this opinion? Honestly, no where in indian literature I have read such a thing.

S.N. dasgupta in his Indian philosophy volume I mentions clearly that Arjuna was a kashtriya by birth. This seems to have been accepted by all in Indian scholars from ramkrishnan to aurobindo. Even political leaders like gandhi and vivek didn't question the birth of arjuna.

Another interesting thing you say here is that some jatis elevated their status to higher status and they are some sort of pseudo-Kashtriyas yet in the next paragraphs you say that non-indians were accepted as kashtriayas.

By your theory, Alexander the great was a kashtriaya and Arjuna and Krishna himself were sudra!

With all due respect, that must the most ridiculous thing I have ever read!

Hindus don't have to come up with ridiculous theories to accept westerners in varnasharam. Westerners adopt the varna and gotra of their guru. The guru becomes their father for all intents and purposes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by devotee View Post
Namaste GaneshPrasad ji,

This is the law of Manu from Manusmriti which decides the castes of offsprings born to a Brahmin father and Vaishya/Sudra mother :

10.8. From a Brahmana, with the daughter of a Vaisya is born (a son) called an Ambashtha, with the daughter of a sudra a Nishada, who is also called Parasava.

In accordance with the above law of Manu, Maharishi Parashar, Maharishi Vedvyas and entire clan of Kauravas and Pandavas were actually sudra by birth.

Coming to your assertion that Yadavas were actually Kashtriyas ... I am not surprised at all ! The link that you have given has been written by the Yadavas & so you also can doubt that it is colored by their vested interests. Such claims have been made by various castes in the past to elevate their status within social structure whenever they came to power.

I am giving you a list of some of the castes (which were originally Vaisyas or Sudras) which claimed Kashtriya status when they came to power :

a) Gurjars (tribe/outside Hindu caste system)
b) Khatris (Vaisyas in trading business)
c) Kurmis (Vaisyas in cultivation)
d) Mauryas (Sudra in peacock taming)
e) Kukhrans (Vaisya)
f) Bhatis (Vaisyas)
g) Nairs (Vaisyas )
h) Dhangars (Sudra)

However these castes are not accepted as Kshatriyas but as pseudo-kshatriyas. You can very well check their cedentials as these castes are there in our society. The same goes for the Yadavas.

It is a simple test to judge which caste can claim to be in which varna : Ask this question : what is the occupation of the caste ? Yadvas keep cows, they trade in milk and milk products .... so how can they be Kshatriyas ? Lord Krishna says in BG that those keeping cows and doing business are Vaisyas.

The Non-Indians as Kshatriyas :

The story of the kshatriyas doesn't end here. Manusmriti and other scriptures tell us that the Shakas, the Kushans, the Indo-greeks, the Hunds, the Parthians, the yavanas, the Kambojas who were invading tribes from outside India were granted Kshatriya status within Hinduism as they were the rulers in their times.

You may believe whatever you want to believe. I have no issues with that. OM
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Old 24 May 2010, 10:34 AM
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Re: Bhagavad Gita: Varna system misunderstanding

Namaste Satay,

Quote:
Originally Posted by satay View Post
What you are saying here is very interesting. I have never heard of such a thing that kurus and pandvas were non-Kashtriyas and sudra by birth!!

Are you the only one hindu with this opinion? Honestly, no where in indian literature I have read such a thing.
I am not saying anything. Please see the Manusmriti's law 10.8 & decide yourself.

The law says that the child born out of a Brahmin father and Sudra mother is a Sudra (Nishad by caste). Now you apply this theory to the lineage as below and see what we get :

i) Father - Shaktimuni (Brahmin ... son of sage Vashishtha) + Mother (a Chaandala woman (I coouldn't find her name anywhere) ===> Son, Maharishi Parashar

So, Maharishi Parashar as per Manu's 10.8 is a Nishad by caste i.e. a Sudra.

ii) Father - Maharishi Parashar (a Sudra by the above deduction) + Mother (Satyavati, a Sudra) ===> Son, Vedvyas

A Sudra father and a Sudra mother will always give a Sudra child. So, Maharishi Vedyas becomes a Sudra. Even if we consider Maharishi Parashar a Brahmin, Maharishi Vedvyas cannot escape being branded as a Sudra by Manu's Law given above as his mother was a Sudra.

iii) Father - Maharishi Vedvyas ( A Sudra, as deduced above) + mother, Ambika ( a Kshatriya) ===> Son, Dhritrashtra,
Father - Maharishi Vedvyas + mother (Ambalika, a Kshatriya woman) ===> Son, Pandu
Father - Maharishi Vedvyas + mother (maidservant of Ambika, a Sudra) ===> Son, Vidura

Now in the above realtionship, as the father is a sudra ( as deduced in ii) above, all the three sons must be Sudras and then their clan cannot be anything but Sudras. Let's remember that if father or mother of an offspring is a sudra, the offspring is always a sudra as per "varna by birth" rule of Manu.

If you can find anything different by applying the above law of Manu, please let me know.

What we are missing here that Maharishi Vedvyas and Maharishi Parashar are not judged for their varna by the laws of Manu. We readily accept them as Brahmins and then everything falls into place as we are told. Why do we apply such rules selectively ? That only shows that Laws of Manu were either written or manipulated later on (much recently) & it was not originally so as we have it today. In fact, once we go back to vedic era, this varna by birth theory was never applied in deciding the varna of the sage.

Please try to see that I am trying here to show the ridiculousness of the application of "Varna by birth theory" rather then being interested in showing these sages as Sudras. If you accept the Varna by Guna and karma theory as stated by Lord Krishna in BG and in Shruti ... this problem would not arise.

Quote:
Another interesting thing you say here is that some jatis elevated their status to higher status and they are some sort of pseudo-Kashtriyas yet in the next paragraphs you say that non-indians were accepted as kashtriayas.

By your theory, Alexander the great was a kashtriaya and Arjuna and Krishna himself were sudra!
What I am saying is the truth. Please read the history of the Kshatriyas and see for yourself how many castes who have their occupations of Sudras and Vaisyas have proclaimed their status as Kshatriyas. The prominent one is Mauryas. These Mauryas were actually Sudras who were engaged in taming the Peacocks but after Chandragupta Maurya they elevated themselves as Kshatriyas (the brahmins played an important role in this acceptance). This happened with Chhatrapati Shivaji too.

The Yavanas, Kambojas etc. were accepted as Kshatriyas is a fact that we know from Manusmriti itself.

BTW, where did I say that Lord Krishna was a Sudra ? He was a Vaisya, as I have stated above.

Quote:
With all due respect, that must the most ridiculous thing I have ever read!
Hindus don't have to come up with ridiculous theories to accept westerners in varnasharam. Westerners adopt the varna and gotra of their guru. The guru becomes their father for all intents and purposes.
I am not pleading for westerners being adopted into Varnashrams. You have already suggested that they adopt varna and gotra of their Guru. So, I don't think there is any need for any extra effort for that.

What I am saying is written in the history of castes & also in Manusmriti. Please read the following excerpt taken from Manusmriti :

10.43. But in consequence of the omission of the sacred rites, and of their not consulting Brahmanas, the following tribes of Kshatriyas have gradually sunk in this world to the condition of Sudras;
10.44. (Viz.) the Paun-drakas, the Kodas, the Dravidas, the Kambogas, the Ya-vanas, the Sakas, the Paradas, the Pahlavas, the Kinas,the Kiratas, and the Daradas.


From the above, this conclusion should not be drawn that Alexender was a Kshatriya. No ! When the Yavana army left India, many of the yavanas settled in India and never went back to Greece. They also adopted Hindu way of life. That happened to Huns, Kambojas, Kushans etc. too. They got assimilated within Hindu society as Kshatriyas depending on their social status.

See, the caste system was based on inheritance. So, you cannot change the caste. It is decided by birth alone. However, whether a particular caste was a Kshatriya, Vaisya or Sudra was decided by the society. I have mentioned some of the castes which claim to be Kshatriyas. Let's see what their social acceptance is :

a) Yadvas : Nowhere in India they are considered Kshatriyas. They are considered Vaisyas. No Kshatriya would like to have any matrimonial relationship with the yadvas. The Yadavas themselves don't consider their caste as Kshatriya. If they would claim ... how come they ask for reservation under OBC (other backward classes) ? They conveniently choose to be Kshatriyas and backward caste vaisya depending upon what suits them in a particlar situation.

b) Mauryas : They are considered Sudras in today's society as they lost their glory long back after the downfall of Maurya empire.

c) Gurjars : This was a nomadic tribe outside Hindu caste system. However, they were good fighters and won kingdoms and thus claimed their status as Kshatriyas. But in today's society they are considered a tribe (a sudra). They are fighting intensely for getting reservation under ST quota. Why are they doing it if they consider themselves as Kshatriyas ?

d) Kurmis : I have many Kurmi friends. Mr Neetish Kumar, the present chief minister of Bihar is a Kurmi. If they consider themselves Kshatriyas, why they count themselves in OBC and enjoy reservation in that category ? Neither the today's society nor they themselves consider their caste as Kshatriya.


OM

Last edited by devotee : 24 May 2010 at 10:30 PM. Reason: for clarity
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Old 24 May 2010, 04:17 PM
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Re: Bhagavad Gita: Varna system misunderstanding

Namaste saidevo ji, devotee ji, ganesh prasad ji satay ji and all.


Devotee ji mentioned in previous posts people are unfamiliar with realities of life. I am 100% convinced now that many people are completely unaware about realities of life. Ganesh prasaad ji mentioned yadavas as kshatriye , now for a moment let us forget scriptures and see realities of life.

In todays society they are no where accepted as ksahtriye, in fact only after mulayam yadav ,lalu yadav rose to power yadavas began to assert themselves as ksahtriye. In UP & MP they are looked down as 'ahirs' by forward castes as well as by dalits. In bihar they are called gawaar by forward castes as well as dalits. Mind you above is not my view but I am telling you what is view of society of India. As far as Gujjars are concerned they were initially kshatriye but again lost power and were displaced from kshatriye status by neo-kshatriyes like rajputs.

Now in North India Rajputs and jats are rated as kshatriyes, many people dont count jats though. At the same time there are big communities called Muslim rajputs and muslim jats. If birth decides varna system, are you ready to count muslim rajputs and muslim jats as kshatriyes too ? Dont say all of them converted by force, many of them converted because of greed of holding empires or willingly. What I want to tell is its not birth but It's karma which ultimately decides varna. Its just that being born in a particular family enhances the chance a person will follow his parents varna, provided the parents follow too. I asked a question in my previous posts there are many soldiers and policemen protecting our country and it's citizens who were not born in kshatriye family, will you not count them as kshatriye ? Don't say it is rare for people of one varna to show traits of other varna. There are innumerable vaishya,shudra and even brahmins in Indian army. Arrogantly calling many martyrs of India as shudra because they were born in such caste is the reason there is castism In Indian society, get over these things and start recognizing people by their karma as is message of sanatan dharm. After that it wont take more than 10 years before Islam and Christianity gets kicked out of India.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganeshprasad View Post
[As far as i know Gotra is passed on from Father to son. do let us know if you know any different. i also have read sometime ago that a Brahmin male could marry a lower varna but it is forbiden for brahmin girl to marry a lower varna.

Dear ganesh prasaad ji, Your statements can be taken by ambedkarites,periyaarists and made a weapon for anti-brahmin propaganda. Just because of these comments all brahmins or kshatriyes are leveled as racists. As far as I know it is muslims who claim, they can marry non-muslim women but non-muslims cant have muslim women. And believe me in my innumerable fights with ambedkarites, I have always encountered this charge that supposedly according to hindu dharm kshatriyes and and other upper castes have the right to marry women of dalits, but not the other way. Please consider consequences before making such arguments.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganeshprasad View Post
As for Parasar a Sudra that is news to me, do provide any avidence from Shastra where he may have been described as such.
If it is an opinion then i do not have to worry about that. It would be nice, were you to quote relevent Manu's Laws instead of me having to search for it.
I don't know how many innumerable examples have been given to you, smaranam ji and devotee ji gave you examples from upanishad, i also gave you examples of vedic rishis and innumerable examples from vishnu puran where people born in one varna came to be recognized in another varna, do you want me to quote them again ? Also my earnest request mahabharata may be a great book , but we should look to eternal vedas , upanishads more than anything else for coming to conclusion about such thing as varnashrama dharma. Also you had questioned devotee ji over how he can reject Sri Chandrasekhara Saraswati's view, now what sort of argument is that ? I say maharshi dayanand saraswati and swami vivekananda support the view of devotee ji, How can you reject them ?




Quote:
Originally Posted by saidevo View Post
This shows that although the King had the responsibility to regulate varNa dharma, he also had the discretion to recognize and promote deserving cases, based on their skills and social acceptability.
Yes not just king whole society should encourage this, according to your argument if king is not a virtuous one chaos can ensue in society. In kaliyuga it is not rare to show traits of any varna by people born in family of a particular varna.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saidevo View Post
How many people from the kShatriya and vyshya varNa wear the holy thread they are eligible to, and are willing to take up the study of Vedas?

Well in my real life I have seen many rajputs, kayasthas, etc going through jenau sanskaar, but again the caste system has got so abused that many castes are unsure of their varna. Gujjars claim to be kshatriye but rajputs protest this status for gujjars. kayasthas rate themselves to possess dual varna of kshatriye-brahmin but they are taken as vaishya in north india and were taken as sudra in bengal till a 100 year ago. Marathas claim to be kshatriye but brahmins from maharshtra discounted them from the status, innumerable times I have heard nairs claiming to be kshatriye but namboodris not accepting and calling them shudra. Also your claim that kshatriye-vaishya are not doing enough is definitely false. There are many kayasthas, vaishyas,etc who have done much for sanatan dharm, also many mutths are now owned by non-brahmins. Many dharm gurus and dharm propagators are non-brahmins too. Please open your eyes sir.
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Old 24 May 2010, 11:44 PM
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Re: Bhagavad Gita: Varna system misunderstanding

namaste devotee,
 
Quote:
I am not saying anything. Please see the Manusmriti's law 10.8 & decide yourself.

The law says that the child born out of a Brahmin father and Sudra mother is a Sudra (Nishad by caste). Now you apply this theory to the lineage as below and see what we get :

i) Father - Shaktimuni (Brahmin ... son of sage Vashishtha) + Mother (a Chaandala woman (I coouldn't find her name anywhere) ===> Son, Maharishi Parashar

So, Maharishi Parashar as per Manu's 10.8 is a Nishad by caste i.e. a Sudra.

ii) Father - Maharishi Parashar (a Sudra by the above deduction) + Mother (Satyavati, a Sudra) ===> Son, Vedvyas

A Sudra father and a Sudra mother will always give a Sudra child. So, Maharishi Vedyas becomes a Sudra. Even if we consider Maharishi Parashar a Brahmin, Maharishi Vedvyas cannot escape being branded as a Sudra by Manu's Law given above as his mother was a Sudra.

iii) Father - Maharishi Vedvyas ( A Sudra, as deduced above) + mother, Ambika ( a Kshatriya) ===> Son, Dhritrashtra,
Father - Maharishi Vedvyas + mother (Ambalika, a Kshatriya woman) ===> Son, Pandu
Father - Maharishi Vedvyas + mother (maidservant of Ambika, a Sudra) ===> Son, Vidura

Now in the above realtionship, as the father is a sudra ( as deduced in ii) above, all the three sons must be Sudras and then their clan cannot be anything but Sudras.
Let me begin by saying that I personally don't believe in manusmriti in the sense that I don't carry a copy of it with me and it does not lead my personal life or decisions in any way shape or form.

Now, I agree with you that applying this law 10.8 of manu results in pandu clan being sudra by birth.

However, if we include the reality of indian soceity is this what happens? Of all the intercaste marriages that I know about, the father's caste carries forward to the children. This is the case with similar caste marriages and in the cases where the father is of the higher caste.

What happens in your case? Didn't your wife carry your caste? Didn't your children? In my case, my wife is a non-indian. Even she carries my caste. My daughter carries my caste. No one stopped us from doing so citing manu.

So is this because manu is not so important and people ignore it? Could be? But the norm of indian society seems to be children accept the caste of their father.

In the west also, more or less this norm is there though I know of several couples in the west, whose children carry their mother's caste.

Just like Ganesh also mentioned that caste and gotra of the father gets passed to children is also my knowledge though I didn't consult manu for that. I just know that that's what happens. Do you not agree that that's the norm at least in Indian hindu society?

Also, coming to the birth of Arjuna and other pandavas, it was kunti their mother who used a boon given by durvasa to invoke god in order to have a child since pandu couldn't have any children due to a curse.

Kunti prayed to yama, vayu and indra and in turn three sons were born.

The third son Arjuna, is the son of Indra. So technically, pandu is not even his father. It is Indra who I trust passes the manu tests of castes and is not sudra by birth?

If we go by your theory, applying the law 10.8 of manu and declaring Arjuna a sudra by birth, then I have a few questions.

During the Gita, it is clear that both Arjuna and Krishna consider Arjuna to be a kshatriya. Why didn't one of them mention anything of his sudra status?

Couldn't they themselves apply this simple law of manu and deduce that Arjuna was actually a sudra by birth and didn't need to uphold any kshatriya dharma?

Why in Mahabharat Arjuna insults Karan calling him sutputra? Wasn't Arjuna aware of his own lower caste birth of sudra? Was he being delusional in is status or just ignorant of manu's laws?

Again, if you look at how a person's caste is decided upon i.e. by the father's caste, everything falls in place as we are told.

Quote:
If you accept the Varna by Guna and karma theory as stated by Lord Krishna in BG ... this problem would not arise.
I agree with you. In fact, I haven't told anything about my position on this yet.

I do not fully agree with the anti caste scholars and my plea is that varnadharma of gita should not be judged in the light of the evils of present day caste system.

Chapter 4 shloka 13 states that guna and karma form the basis of the varna system. Shlokas 18.41-18.47, speak of the duties of each varna determined in each case by 'svabhava' i.e. nature.

So from these verses it can be seen that one's svabhava, guna and karma are the basis of one's varna but in verse 18.48, Lord uses the word, sahajam.

Literal translation of this word sahajam is 'born with'. Now, there are many inerpertations of this word and some people translate it as 'according to one's nature' but if we go by the literal translation then what?

Then is that Lord saying in 18.48 that 'one should not give up 'sahajam karma' or the duty that one is 'born with', even if it may be defective for all ?

Thus my position on the question is varna based on birth, is inconclusive. That said, if one were to twist my arm I would lean towards the answer no.

However, is caste or jati based on birth? That can clearly be said to be yes. This is based on the norm of hindu society in India. Father's caste or jati gets carried forward to children.

Finally, there are commentators like Gandhi and Vinoba who feel that varna need not represent a weak point for the Gita even if varna or caste or jati was determined by birth.

According to Gandhi, "Among the saints of revered memory, Sena was a barber, Sajana was a butcher, Gora a potter, Raidas a cobbler, Chokhamala an untouchable, Tukaram a kumbi and so on. None disclaimed his hereditary function but worked his salvation through detached prayerful performance of it." [The Gospel of Selfless Action]

Similary, Vinoba argues that when a man gives up his ancestral trade and takes up a new job, so many years are wasted in learning the new job. [Talks on Gita]

I leave this thread with this interesting quote from Vivekanada.

"In modern times we all know that every child brings with him all the past, not only of humanity, but of the plant life... Everyone has his path mapped and sketched and planned out for him...It is the universal chain of cause and effect, you receiving one link, one part, I another...and that part is our own nature. Now Sri Krsna says, 'Better die in your own path than attempt the path of another.' This is my path, and I am down here. And you are way up there, and I am always tempted to give up my path, thinking I will go there and be with you. And if I go up, I am neither there no here. We must not lose sight of this doctrine. It is all a matter of growth. Wait and grow, and you attain everything; otherwise there will be great spiritual danger." [Complete Works]
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Old 24 May 2010, 11:51 PM
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Re: Bhagavad Gita: Varna system misunderstanding

namaste isa,

What's wrong with marrying the lower varna? It happens all the time.

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Originally Posted by isavasya View Post
Dear ganesh prasaad ji, Your statements can be taken by ambedkarites,periyaarists and made a weapon for anti-brahmin propaganda. Just because of these comments all brahmins or kshatriyes are leveled as racists. As far as I know it is muslims who claim, they can marry non-muslim women but non-muslims cant have muslim women. And believe me in my innumerable fights with ambedkarites, I have always encountered this charge that supposedly according to hindu dharm kshatriyes and and other upper castes have the right to marry women of dalits, but not the other way. Please consider consequences before making such arguments.
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