[Advaita-l] Varnashrama dharma begins in treta yuga?

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Sun Apr 24 07:40:11 CDT 2016

Namaste Santosh ji,

On Sun, Apr 24, 2016 at 4:30 PM, Santosh Rao <itswhateva at gmail.com> wrote:

> I don't read sanskrit, though I find your answer interesting. Could you
> explain further what the word used for this social class in Satya Yuga (in
> Bhagavata Purana) means?

 One of the interpretations of the word ham-saH is that those who know "saH
ahaM", that is, "I am He/ Ishvara". So one who knows the oneness of jIva
and brahman is a hamsaH. If that interpretation is taken here, it would
mean that in satyayuga, all knew this or proceeded towards knowing this
truth, which is established by saying that they followed svadharma, their
own dharmas, irrespective of which varNa/ class and Ashrama/ stage of life
they belonged to. This is where I quoted the Gita shloka 18.46 which means
that a person worshipping Ishvara through following one's own dharma,
attains success (moksha).

> A Hare Krishna I am friendly with sent me an article that called this
> social class "hamsa caste," and that not only was there only one social
> class in Satya Yuga, there was only one Veda, and it wasn't until treta
> yuga when the social clases split into 4, and the Vedas split into 3....I
> was under the impression that Vyasa didn't split the Vedas until right
> before the beginning of Kali Yuga. Is that incorrect?

I would think that it is incorrect, since there is no pramANa for such a
conclusion. At least, none that I know of. ISKCONites may even quote all of
this out of Bhagavata Purana and justify it since it is like the highest
pramANa for them, but it is not so for Advaitins, especially when it
contradicts Shruti and Smritis.

Finally I would like to comment that if something is said to have occurred
in different kalpas, that is a very valid explanation which cannot be
proved, but if one says its a "ruse", the onus will be on the person
calling it a ruse to disprove it, and one can't disprove that either, since
it is alaukika. Therefore, traditional stance will still hold good because
shabda pramANa includes AptavAkya, which means statement of a trustworthy
person, which is accorded to the traditional teacher by the shruti herself.


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