namakarana, annaprasana and caula are common to all jatis. Only
Brahmins, Ksatriyas and Vaisyas have the upanayana ceremony.
There is nothing discriminatory about this nor need there be any
quarrel over the same. People belonging to the fourth varna do
physical work to serve the world and in the process acquire inner
purity. They will gain proficiency in their hereditary vocations
only by learning them from their parents or grandparents. They do
not require gurukulavasa over some twelve years [as in the case
with Brahmins] nor do they have to learn the Vedas. If so their
work will suffer.
is the first step taken towards gurukulavasa. When a boy learns
the Vedas he must have no ego-feeling. At home he has a lot of
freedom. His father will not be able to discipline him because
his affection will come in the way. That is why the child is to
be brought under the care of a guru. Vocations that require
physical effort are different from the pursuit of the Vedas.
There is no room for intellectual arrogance in them or for the
nursing of the ego. So such work may be taught at home by the
father or some other elder in the family.
who serve by doing manual work do not require to go through
upanayana or gurukulavasa. Certain special skills or the finer
aspects of an art or craft that cannot be taught at home may be
learned from a Brahmin teacher. The Brahmin is expected to be
proficient in all arts, all subjects, but none of these is meant
to be a source of his livelihood. His vocation is teaching and
the chanting of the Vedas and the performance of Vedic rites.
is a relationship between the samskaras described for a man and
his vocation and mental outlook. So it would be wrong to
think poorly of certain jatis who do not have to perform certain
samskaras. You may think it strange, but it is my view that it is
those who have to undergo more samskaras than others that must
have been thought of poorly. The idea is that these people need
more rites to be rendered pure. Others are not in need of so many
to be cleansed within. The larger the dose of medicine taken by
patient the greater must be his affliction.
excels the sages in impartiality. They do not talk glibly like us
of equality but they are truly egalitarian in outlook since they
look upon all as one with Isvara. The conduct of the world's
affairs is such that it requires people following different
vocations, doing different jobs and with different mental
qualities in keeping with them. It is in conformity with these
differences and dissimilarities that the sages assigned the
samskaras also differently to different people. There is no
question of high or low among them.
is in observance of the same principle that the sastras lay down
upanayana for the first three varnas (Brahmins, Ksatriyas and
Vaisyas) and also certain samskaras connected with it.
"Hindu Dharma" is a book
which contains English translation of certain invaluable and
engrossing speeches of Sri Sri Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi MahaSwamiji (at
various times during the years 1907 to 1994).
For a general background, please see here