[Advaita-l] Varnasramadharma 2

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Wed Jul 18 20:32:06 CDT 2012 Spiritual Personality

A personality in which one gravitates towards spirituality primarily. One who
loves spiritual pursuits, withdrawal, solitude, silence, contemplation,
pursuits of the ultimate reality. That alone appeals to that mind. While all
the other things in life which the other people consider as very important, for
this personality they appear insignificant or even silly. Such a spiritually
oriented, contemplative, silent solitude enquiry loving personality or trait is
called Guna Brāhmanatvam and such a person is called Guna Brāhmanaha. Sanyāsa
appeals to such a mind. Renunciation appeals to such a mind. While for other
people, solitude appears as terrible loneliness, a dreadful depressing
loneliness, this mind loves solitude. This is called a spiritual personality
and whoever enjoys this trait is called Guna Brāhmanaha. In the Shāstrams, the
technical word used is Sattva Pradhāna personality. Dynamic Personality

This personality heavily loves activity. Outgoing, active, planning, energetic,
dynamic, highly motivated mind are the traits. And this motivation is itself
selfless motivation. Interested in activity but not in self-centred activity,
not selfish dynamism but interested in contribution, serving, uplifting,
helping the society. Such a selflessly motivated mind is called Guna Kshatriya
mind – a personality which heavily contributes to the material progress of the
society. So we will call it Guna Kshatriya – selflessly motivated mind. In the
Shāstrams, the technical word used is Shuddha Rajaha Pradhāna personality. It
is active and the activity with noble motives. Selfishly Motivated Personality

This personality is also equally dynamic as the Kshatriya personality. Both
cannot think of solitude, withdrawal or Sanyasi and may get angry with Sanyasi.
So this type is highly dynamic and motivated, cannot think of silence,
renunciation, contemplation but this personality is different from the previous
one. This personality is highly self centred – selfishly motivated personality.
So every activity has to produce a benefit for oneself and one’s family. This
personality would like to amass wealth, and will not think of contributing to
the society. So this mind is Guna Vaishya mind. Can be translated as selfishly
motivated and dynamic mind. In the Shāstrams, the technical word used is
Ashuddha Rajaha Pradhāna personality. It is Rajaha Pradhāna personality,
dynamic and active, enthusiastic and motivated, but the Ashuddhi is totally
selfishness. Lethargic Personality

This personality is called Guna Shūdra and is passive and lethargic. It has no
motivation at all either for material or spiritual success. No Purushārtha
appeals to this personality. The mere goals of life is to eat and survive and
die. This is a mind which is very close to animalistic mind. A lethargic,
passive, motivation-less personality is the fourth type of personality called
Guna Shūdra Personality. In the Shāstrams, the technical word used is Tamas
Pradhāna personality.

The above are four norms based on which Guna Vibhāgaha or Gunataha Varna
Vibhāgaha is done. And we have to decide whether we are Guna Brāhmana or Guna
Kshatriyaha or Guna Vaishya or Guna Shūdra. We need not declare it outside, but
we can know where we stand.

3.1.2.Karma Vibhāgaha

The next norm of classification is Karma Vibhāgaha of the four Varnas - the
fourfold Varnas based on work or profession or contribution done to the
society. And all the possible professions are broadly classified into four
types of works. These are not watertight and may involve overlap. Each work is
important to the growth of the society. Karma Brāhmanaha

The most important one which is being neglected nowadays is scriptural learning
and teaching. Scriptural teaching primarily is a very important work, which
requires specialisation and dedicated pursuit. We saw earlier, our scriptures
are too big. Our scriptures are both extensive and intensive. By extensive, we
mean it deals with a range of topics – philosophy, ritual, astrology, ethics,
grammar etc. The scriptures are also intensive – they have commentaries and sub
commentaries. And all this takes a lot of effort. So unless somebody is there
to dedicate their lives to learn and teach, you cannot maintain and preserve.
One important job to be done is studying the scriptures in their originals.
Translations are often terrible. Not only we have to study the scriptures, to
maintain the scriptures it has to be taught to the next generation equally
extensively and intensively.

Can every lay person go to the total study of scriptures? To complete the 700
verses of the Gītā, it takes 6-7 years and people find it difficult. Therefore
the whole society cannot dedicate to the study of scriptures. Therefore we
require a separate group which specialises only on that. They should not have
any other job, their only job should be studying all the scriptures and teach
the next generation and society in a simplified manner in a contemporary
language and interpreting in a way suitable for the present society. E.g. One
cannot teach everything in the Brahma Sūtra to the public. One cannot, need not
and whole society does not require that. Whatever is required by the society
that much knowledge somebody must give. This is like the medical or legal
profession. We can have a basic understanding of our health. We need not study
the whole medical science, but we require some medical people who have
dedicated their life for the medical science and who enlighten the society with
regards to the basic laws of health or law. Therefore the entire humanity
cannot study the whole scriptures and therefore we require a whole group people
who have dedicated their life for the study of scriptures and memorising and
chant these. Even chanting of the scriptures is good for the society. The Vedic
vibration, is supposed to give help to the society. Therefore a group dedicated
to Veda Adhyayanam, Veda Adhyāpanam, Veda Pārāyanam, Veda Pāthanam and Vedic
interpretation. Vedic interpretation is important because, what is said hundred
years ago, may not be relevant now. So when new situations come, a scripture
has to be flexibly interpreted to suit the modern society. And if proper
interpretation is to be done, that person should have a holistic vision, a
total vision and therefore it is a separate work that requires life-long
dedication which is called scriptural teaching. They are the scriptural teachers
of the society or consultants and they may have to serve as psychiatrists to
the society. This is because scriptures deal with psychological problems also.
That work is called Brahmana Karma or whoever takes up that job is called Karma
Brahmanaha whose life is confined to scriptures. Karma Kshatriyaha

The second type of profession which is valued now is all forms of public
service, administration of the country, governing the society, maintenance of
law and order, policing the society, defending the country, army – all these
things will come under those activities which are meant for providing the
peaceful and appropriate atmosphere for the citizens to pursue their goals.
Otherwise there will be no harmony all over. If the individual should pursue
his goal, the atmosphere of the society must be maintained. In the olden days,
it was the duty of the king, nowadays it is the role of ministers and
administrators. And whoever has taken to that profession or Karma is called
Karma Kshatriyaha. Karma Vaishya

This refers to all forms of commercial activities, business and trade. This is
important for the equal distribution and sharing of the wealth of the
requirement of the society. This includes all forms of commercial activities.
This karma is called Vaishya Karma and whoever takes to this activity is called
Karma Vaishyaha. Karma Shūdraha

In the fourth and final part comes all forms of labour. Unskilled or
semi-skilled labour where a person cannot think and there is no leadership but
does the activities for some other person. No independent thinking exists but
service to other three groups of people is only there i.e. following the
leadership of Karma Brahmana, Karma Kshatriya or Karma Vaishya. And whoever
takes to such an activity is called Karma Shūdraha.

Therefore, I can be based on my profession, any one of the above. This is the
second division called Karma Vibhāgaha and this also comes under Varna

3.1.3. Jāti Vibhāgaha

The third division is purely based on the norm of birth, Janma or the family
into which one is born. In Sanskrit , birth is called Jātihi. Derived from Jan
– to be born. And based on the birth, one can be a Jāti Brāhmanaha if born into
a Brahmana family, a Jāti Kshatriya if born into a Kshatriya family, a Jāti
Vaishya if born into a Vaishya family or a Jāti Shūdra if born into a Shūdra

From three different norms the society can be classified. E.g. a person can be
a Jāti Brāhmanaha and if he becomes an MP or MLA he becomes a Karma Kshatriya and
suppose if he exploits the position to amass wealth then he becomes a Guna
Vaishyaha. Thus one person himself, can be in these three Varnāhā. It depends
on the norm that you base. This is the first topic of classification of the


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