Sri Devi Kamakshi Sri Sri Sri Adi Sankara Sri Sri Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi MahaSwamiji Sri Sri Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamiji Sri Sri Sri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Swamiji
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Hindu Dharma: Varna Dharma For Universal Well-Being

The chapters that exist in "Varna Dharma For Universal Well-Being" are listed in this page. To go to another part in "Hindu Dharma", please either go back or see the bottom of this page.

Jatis - Why so many Differences ? There are four varnas - Brahmin, Ksatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras. We identify 'varnas' with 'jatis'. In point of fact, varna and jati are not the same. The varnas are only the four mentioned above, that is Brahmins, Ksatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras. Within each there are many jatis. Among Brahmins there are Ayyars, Ayyangars, Raos, and so on. In the fourth varna there are ...
 
Character and Vocation by Birth It is jatidharma that goes to make the inner guna (inner quality or nature) of an individual. So Sri Krsna's dictum in the Gita that the caturvana division is in accord with the gunas and the idea that the caste is based on birth are one and the same. There is no conflict between the two. You cannot find fault with Sri Krsna for his practice being at variance with his precept. Parasurama and Dronacarya were ...
 
Vocations according to Guna not in Practice Critics of varna dharma will perhaps argue thus: 'Let the pronouncements of the Vedas and of Krsna be whatever on the subject of jati dharma. We do not accept them because they represent a partisan view. We must devise a system in which vocations are determined according to one's guna or quality and mental proclivity and not according to birth. Caste systems must be done away with. ' What is the ...
 
A Wrong Notion A wrong notion has gained currency that in the varnasrama system the Brahmins enjoys more comfort than the others, that he more income, that he has to exert himself less than the others. In the order created by our sastras the Brahmin has to make as much physical effort as much ...
 
Equal Opportunities As we have already seen, we cannot sustain the claim that vocations are determined today according to the qualities of individuals and their inclinations or aptitudes. Also untenable is the demand for equal opportunities for all. To take an example:there are a certain number of seats in medical and engineering colleges. For highly specialised and new subjects like nuclear science the seats are very few. When the candidates possessing the same ...
 
Strength of Unity When there are so many jatis and each lives separately from the rest, how can the community remain united as a whole? But the fact is unity did exist in the past. Indeed it is now that our society is divided because of ill-will among the various groups. The binding factor in the past was faith in our religion and its scriptures. The temple strengthened this faith and the sense of unity, the temple which belongs to the whole village or town and ...
 
Hinduism and Other Religions We feel apologetic about the differences in Hindu society especially since we think that the followers of other religions are not divided in the same way as we are. The latter are scornful of Hinduism on this score and some Hindus themselves feel that the differences in our society are unjust. But, if you pause to reflect on the subject, you will realise that if our civilization has survived from prehistoric times until today it is only ...
 
The Eternal Religion The moral and ethical ordinances in other religions are applicable to all their followers. In Hinduism too there is a code of conduct meant for all varnas and all jatis. But in addition to this, there are seperate dharmas for jatis with different vocations. There is no intermingling of these vocations and their corresponding dharmas. This fact is central to Hinduism and to its eternal character. This ...
 
Brahmins are not a Privileged Caste It is alleged that Brahmins created the dharmasastras for their own benefit. You will realise that this charge is utterly baseless if you appreciate the fact that these sastras impose on them the most stringent rules of life. There is also proof of the impartiality of the dharmasastras in that the Brahmin who is expected to be proficient in all the arts and all branches of learning can only give instruction in them but cannot take up any for ...
 
Universal Well-being According to the canonical texts, the Brahmin must perform vaisvadeva everyday in front of his house-the offering of bali to the Pancama is a part of this rite. The goal of Vedic works is the happiness of all mankind, indeed the happiness of all the worlds ('Lokah samastah sukino bhavanthu'). The sound of the Vedas creates universal well-being, so too Vedic sacrifices. As a ruler, the Ksatriya ...
 
The Fourth Varna has its own Advantages The dharma of the fourth varna involves much physical exertion and effort in its practice. Outwardly it may seem that its members do not enjoy the same status and comforts as others do. But we must note that they are comparatively free from the discipline and rituals to which the rest are tied down. In the past, they knew more contentment than the other castes, living as they did by the side of the lord. Vyasa himself says: 'Kalih saduh, ...
 
Removal of Ego 'All that is fine. But what about the question of self-respect? ' ask reformers who profess to be socialists. For them, however, to raise such a question is to remain untrue to their own ideals. They talk a great deal, don't they, about dignity of labour? They proclaim that no job, no work, is degrading. Gandhiji cleaned his toilet himself. ...
 
The Ultimate Purpose of Varna Dharma When factories took the place of handicrafts and cottage industries, the small vilage communities became urbanished. The needs of people multiplied, so too the number of occupations. Today when the old way of life is gone, it semms impossible to revive the system of hereditary vocations. Is it any longer practicable how to insist that only Ksatriyas ought to man the defence servises, that only Vaisyas can transact trade and business, ...
 
The Universal Remedy In the past, though people were divided on the basis of caste, they were free from hared and ill-will. It is now that we see ill-will and hatred everywhere in the country. One state is at loggerheads with another; one state has dispute with another over the sharing of river waters; and again one state has a quarrel with another on the question of boundries. In the past, Cettiars[of the South] built dharmasalas[free boarding and lodging houses] ...
 
Sankara and Sanatana Dharma There is a saying in English:'Give a dog a bad name and hang him. ' The dog is a faithful animal and full of gratitude for its master. Few would relish the idea of a dog being hanged. So if any dog is to be hanged, it is perhaps to be given a bad name. Reformers who claim to be modern do the same with our dharmasastras. For ages these sastras have done this nation nothing but good. But the ...
 
Cry 'Grow' - Don't Cry 'Perish' To speak on the other hand of the glory of Tamil culture, constantly recalling the words of Tiruvalluvar and others who extol love and divine grace, and to raise on the other hand the cry of hatred against a certain community -with the display of posters everywhere proclaiming such hatred -does not seem to me right. It goes against the very spirit of Tamil land and causes me great anguish. If you cry 'Grow', instead of crying ...