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Hindus/Varnashrama Dharma

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QUESTION: Hi Sir,
    In Gita, Krishna states that the 4 Varnas are based on "quality" of job they do based on mode of nature. Here quality symbolizes job discrimination between 4 Varnas where Brahmin comes first and rest comes next one by one.

In another verse: "O son of Parthä, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth—women, vaisyas [merchants] and Südras [workers]—can attain the supreme destination." it is clearly stated that Vaishyas and Sudras come under lower birth.

So obviously everyone under lower birth must try to shift their Varna from low quality to the higher one instead of just sticking with lower quality varna.

So how can we follow Karma Yoga by just sticking with the Varnas which is considered of lower birth and also those come under mode of ignorance & passion, instead of improving ourselves towards the higher quality varna?

Kindly clear this to me please..Also correct me if I am wrong somewhere..

ANSWER: Dear Vimal,

There is a serious misunderstanding in your take of what Srimad BhagawadGita says. Varnas are based on the mode of nature of a person, which depends on his 'prarabhda karmas' (karmas in previous lives). Krishna does not say that a person born in a brahmin family would necessarily have a brahmin varna. Actually even a person born in Shudra caste could have a brahmin varna, a natural inclination for study and teaching. The person is of a higher category than a person whose caste is brahmin or a kshatriya but he is devoid of the qualities necessary to be termed as a brahmin or a kshatriya. There are thousands of examples of such a misfit. The sons of Sage Vishvamitra who was born a kshatriya and attained Brahmarshi status turned shudras. On the other hand Vedavyasa, Vidura, Valmiki, Ravidas, Kabir were not brahmins by caste but they had the necessary qualities and are respected by hindus for their wisdom.

To take shelter in Krishna, one has to fulfill his/her dharma. The supreme destination is wisdom, enlightenment. Kindly read the story of 'Dharma Vyadha' in Srimad Bhagawat Purana (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vyadha_Gita#Story). This person was a butcher by profession. A learned and proud brahmin, Kapila, was sent to him to learn dharma. You may also read the famous story of Ajamila, a pious brahmin who destroyed himself due to his attachment to wine and sex. Ajamila, in the end, was burnt alive by his concubines after his money was exhaused. Therefore, one who is steadfast in his dharma is dear to Krishna. That is the main message of Srimad BhagawadGita. Yes, Krishna is not talking about castes. Those who have brahmin varna (qualities), irrespective of the caste they are born in, are superior to all others. The varna can be improved by fulfilling one's duties.

When Yudhishthira was asked by the Yaksha as to who is a brahmin, he said that a brahmin is by his behaviour and karmas and not by birth. There are many instances in our scriptures where this had been discussed. With best regards,

Yours sincerely,

Aupmanyav

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the kind explanation Sir.

I understand that 3 modes of nature exists in different proportions in everyone of us. Is it possible to control the nature and increase our Sattwic proportion a way ahead of Rajasic & Tamasic proportions? What could be the methods followed to get dominated Sattwic mindset?
Generally, can a Kshatriya proceed by getting dominated Sattwic mindset?
Finally, How can a Tamas dominated person be improved towards Sattwic nature?

Om...

Answer
Dear Vimal,

Sure, anyone can improve the Sattwa guna in him/her. Study of scriptures, satsang, and following one's dharma steadfastly will certainly get the results. That is how Vishvamitra and Dharmavyadha attained enlightenment. With best regards,

Yours sincerely,

Aupmanyav

Hindus

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Aupmanyav

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Especially religious history of India. I follow 'advaita' philosophy (non-duality) and am an atheist. My answers would be consistent with science and practicality.

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Explaining Hinduism for about 8 years.

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Science graduate. Extensive studies of hindu scriptures.

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