"When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bounds. Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents come alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamt yourself to be."
Maharishi Patanjali Yoga Sutra before 2200 years.
The Abrahamic religions have the firm view that
Man was ‘created’ in the image of God but he turned out to be His anti-thesis.
The Abrahamic religionists have the conviction that Adam sinned and
consequently experienced not only physical death but also spiritual death,
which separated him from God. All human beings are born with a sinful,
corrupted nature, and sin in thought, word, and deed. Man’s state of sin has so
infected his will that he is unable to choose God’s provision of redemption in
Messiah Yeshua without the work of the Holy Spirit in his understanding.
(Genesis 1:26,27, 2:16,17, 3:6, 6:5; 8:21; Exodus 33:19; Psalm 14:1-3; Isaiah
53:6, 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9, 31:33; Mark 7:20-23; John 2:24,25, 3:3-5, 6:44;
Romans 3:23, 5:12-19, 9:1-18; Ephesians 2:1-10)
The earliest study by a westerner on human society
is so very recent by Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) in his celebrated book “Leviathan‘.
In this he sticks to the biblical conviction that man is innately wicked yet
for self-preservation he enters into a social contract with others. This
is the basis of a society that is wrought with endless wars for the survival of
Hindus do not believe that God created man in his
own image. On the contrary God himself appears as man. Such an
understanding forbids the idea that man is wicked by nature. Only that in
the inflorescence of his own play that He manifested in all varieties that the
whole multitudinous universe would remain tasteful to one another(Loko binna
ruchi:). Thus there is no social contract but a social division took
place out of necessity creating mutual dependance among them (guna karma
Let’s see how:
This Virata Purusha projected Agni (the
God of Fire) out of himself while he remained a Brahmana on
earth in the form of Manu. Therefore both were Brahmanas.
He was alone on earth without other castes. Without the protection of Kshathriyas and
other helpers he did not prosper. Therefore he created a noble form, the Kshathriyaconsisting
of those who are kshathriyas among Gods – Indra (the
king of Gods),Varuna (the king of the animals of water), Soma (the
king of Brahmanas), Rudra (the king of beasts), Parjanya (the
king of lightning), Yama (the king of manes), Mruthyu(the
king of diseases), Isana (the king of luminaries) etc. Kshathriya is
considered superior so in Rajasuyayaga the
Brahmins adore the kshathriya from a lower seat. However
the kshathriya quickly restores the higher position to
the Brahmana because the Brahmana is his
source. Therefore anyone who denigrates a Brahmana becomes
more vicious like the one who would insult his superior.
He did not prosper still.
Because there is none to procure wealth.
What is the need for wealth?
Wealth is required for the performance of karma.
Why perform karma?
to be performed to secure this earth.
Why secure this earth?
So he can come back.
How does he come back?
Through a son.
Why through a son?
Because a son will perform the rites that would
relieve the ancestors from thier incarceration as it were from the bhuvarloka and
enable them to be reborn inbhuloka.
How does he get a son?
Through a wife of course.
So desire consists of wife and wealth. And desire
is this much only, nothing more! A man with a wife working hard to get wealthy
is a Grihastha. He is the Samsaaree!
Now back to Virat. He created Vaisyas –
those classes of Gods who remain in groups. They are the eight Vasus,
the eleven Rudras, the twelve Adhithyas, the thirteenVisvadevas and
He did not prosper still for want of servants. He
therefore created Pushan the SudhraGod. The earth
indeed is Pushan for it nourishes all that exist.
He did not prosper still!
Because he feared that Kshathriya being
fierce would become unruly. In order to overcome this he specially projected
this excellent form called Dharma. Kshathrasya kshathram
Dharmam. Dharma is fiercer than the fierce! Dharma is
therefore the controller. There is nothing higher than Dharma in
this prakrthi. With Dharma on his side a
householder can contend with even a king who is most powerful. This Dharma is
actually the Truth. What is known as Truth, when practiced becomes Dharma.
And this Dharma cannot be practiced without one identifying
himself with one or the other of the four varnas with which he
was born to perform his karma.
This way the fourfold varnas – Brahmana,
Kshathriya, Vaisya and Sudhra – were created. Virat became Brahmana among
the Gods only as Agni and among men asBrahmana. He
became Kshathriya among men through the divine Kshathriyas,
He became Vaisya among men through the divine Vaisyas and
he became Sudhra among men through the divine Sudhra.
Therefore people desire to attain their objectives among the Gods through Agni and
among men through the birth as a Brahmana sinceVirat assumed
these two forms.
Now this self, the Grihastha, is
verily the support of all beings. It is by performing the Vedic sacrifices in
the fire that he becomes the supports of the gods. By reciting theVedas he
supports the sages who gave him the Vedas. By offering to the manes
and desiring children he becomes the support of the Pithrus. By
giving food and shelter to men he becomes their support. By giving fodder he
becomes the support of the animals. Even the beasts and birds and ants feed in
his home and he is their support. Thus supported all of them in turn wish for
vii) Varna (2)
Caste are not one and the same. Varna is a social
division that has roots in the Veda. By this I mean
that Varna is unchangeable (which I definitely will
explain). The Caste on the contrary are the jaathi and kula that
evolved into social divisions, lineage that kept changing both its name and
purpose. In other words, caste in terms of jaathi and kula are
impermanent but important while they last. What is more important to know
is that the castes were identitified by the British colonialists for their own
advantage. Today’s caste proliferation thus has roots in the English
colonialism is being taken to a new height of divisiveness by the present
ruling class of India. They as the successors to the British in following
their secular concept that are alien to Hindu Dharma carries
forward this social division and nurtures it to keep the Hindus divided and
fighting among themselves.
For the British colonialists the idea of Varna based
on Guna and Karma made no sense for they were
not brought up in that belief. Their own bringing up lies in the struggle
for survival and the survival of the fittest. All they could see in the
whole scheme was that the caste to be an indicator of occupation, social
standing, and intellectual ability in the line of a trade union with the
difference that its membership is by birth and it is endogamous. In their
eagerness to keep the people of India in their servitude and to exploit them to
the maximum by knowing what is best in the people, they encouraged the caste
segregation in the style of the racial segregation they practiced in their
colonies in Africa, America and elsewhere and they even took the caste system
to the people such as girijans and other indigenous poeple who till then had no
division among them.
British conceptions of racial purity were
interwoven with these judgements of people based on caste when reactions to
censuses are examined. Beverly concluded that a group of Muslims were in fact
converted low caste Hindus. This raised howls of protest from representatives
of the group as late as 1895 since it was felt that this was a slander and a
lie. H. H. Risely, Commissioner of the 1901 census, most shamelessly
revealed his British belief in a 1886 publication which stated that race
sentiment was the foundation of the grouping of the caste system, and has
preserved the Aryan type in comparative purity throughout Northern India.
I will take up our discourse on this caste
idealogy and politics in greater detail later. For the present I am going
to present here the concept of Varna as part of the Guna-Karma
Bhagavat Geetha devotes
a whole chapter on the subject of Guna. Chapter 14 ofBhagavat
Geetha is called Gunathraya Vibhaaga Yoga.
Let me quote some of the important verses to show
the significance of the role of Gunain the scheme called Varna
We talked of Maya before.
She is also called Moolaprakrithi or simply Prakrthi.
You would recall that Maya created in the beginning the three
images of Shiva and they were called Brahma,
Vishnu and Rudhra. They represent the triad
called Trigunasviz. Sathwam, Rajas and Thamas.
In verse 5 of Bhagavat Geetha the Lord confirms that these
three Gunas are born of (or created by) Prakrthi.
The Lord says: “Sathvam rajasthama ithi guNaaha prakrthi sambhavaaha“
And then He begins to explain the nature of these
three gunas as follows (followed by my comments):
is being pure like a crystal stone is prakasakam, an illuminator;
andanamayam, harmless. It binds the man.
I said before is the illuminator and because of this a man acquires
knowledge. What is acquired is an object, not subject. Man, being
the subject, feels on acquiring of the knowledge that he is happy. So his
new identification of himself is with the object so he says “I am happy”.
In reality he is ‘asangan‘ ie. he is unattached with all objects even if
it be happiness because an object by its very nature comes and goes, therefore
temporary. He as the subject is eternal. Sathwa Guna makes
him forget this real nature of himself as asangathwan and
binds him with the object and make him say “I am knowledgeable”, “I am happy”
etc. This nescience, this avidya, is caused by Sukhasangam,
through attachment to happiness. Thus the unattached Self is now made attached
and the happiness is attributed to it (asangam saktam iva).
Association with knowledge should also be
understood in the same way that sathwambinds also jnanasangena,
through attachment to knowledge. The point to be understood is that
the jnaana derived from the scriptures etc. is of the nature
of the object but sathwam by binding the man makes himlose his
discrimination when he says “I am knowledgeable, I am Vidhwan etc.”
tan nibadhnäti kaunteya karma-sangena dehinam ||7|
If Sathwa GuNa is of the nature
of clarity and illumination RajO GuNa is of the nature of
passion like that of a fast color on a robe (raja: raagaathmakam says
Sankara). It creates longing for things not acquired and to clinging of
mind to things in possession. RajO GuNa binds the embodied man
to action (karma sangena, through attachment and deep involvement to
action for things seen and unseen – this is karmasangah).
tamas tv ajnäna-jaà viddhi mohanam sarva-dehinäm |
pramädälasya-nidräbhis tan nibadhnäti bhärata
The third quality namely Thaamasa GuNa causes mohanam or
delusion. This is because of AavaraNaShakthi dominating ThaamasaGuNa.
(We will talk of the different Shakthis later.) This is
a cause of indiscrimination of all embodied beings, to be ajnanajam i.e.
born of ignorance. That thamas binds through inadvertence,
laziness and sleep.
the basis of Varna
The four varnas that Hinduism
talks about viz. Brahmana, Kshathriya, Vaisya andSudhra are
the cornerstones of the Varnashrama Dharma. It is based on Guna or
the stuff with which everything is made. As we have seen before the
entire universe is made of this Guna stuff that is three in
number – called Sathvam, Rajas and Thamas.
be compared to transparency, clarity, light, knowledge, subtleness, dispassion,
love and so on. Thamas is the opposite of Sathvam in character
indicating opaqueness, darkness, confusion, ignorance, grossness, passion, lust
etc. Rajas can be compared to motion, work, order and
disorder, anger, violence, pride, deceit, etc. You can say, for simplicity’s
sake, that mobility is its character. These three Gunas pervade
the whole universe and the absence of even one will collapse the world.
The world can be divided into broadly two
categories viz. those that are sentient and those that are inert. By sentience
it is meant that it has (sense) perception and by inertness it is void of or
dormant of sense perception. For example, a human being is sentient and a rock
is insentient. However you also notice that there is varying degree of
sharpness in their sentience among the sentient beings. Such degrees of
sharpness are attributed to the intellect. So the animals though sentient are
devoid of intellect. They are driven by their instinct. While animals move
around, the plants which are seen to be sentient compared to a rock do not move
from its fixed spot.
Now coming to humans, we see varying degrees of
intellectual prowess from those of extremely imaginative ones to those quite
dull-witted. The secularists who shout from the housetops about the equality of
men and/or women often lose sight of this fact. Why don’t they listen to the
Fabian Socialist George Bernard Shah who said that not everybody needs a
microscope? We Hindus treat all living beings by our instinct of Ahimsa and not
by secularists’ pretensions and professions.
A society needs both intellectuals as well as men
who won’t be bothered about it. This is because they both contribute to the
well-being of the society in their respective ways. Hindus understood that
between these two extremes there are others who would also constitute a
society. They who are between the intellectuals driven bySathwa Guna and
the dull-witted driven by Thamasa Guna are the Kshathriyas andVaisyas driven
by Rajo Guna. Since motion does not exist by itself but only with
something else, for example you see motion only when something moves such as
the water flowing or fire burning or wind blowing etc., so the Rajas has
to cling on to eitherSathwam or Thamas. So you have two
categories viz. Sathwik Rajas and Rajasic Thamas.
Since Rajas moves, Sathwic Rajas moves
from Thamas to Sathwam andRajasic Thamas moves
in the opposite direction from Sathwam to Thamas.
So intellectually you have a person who would go from ignorance to knowledge by
sacrificing immediate gains for Truth and you have a person who would move
abandoning reason to convenience. You see these two categories of people also
and the society needs them (If they were not needed they wouldn’t be there).
These are the fourfold varnas that you do see in society. Thus the all
pervasive Guna constitute humans in the way described above.
A knower thus unmistakably sees the play of
the Guna in people and he sees it as naturally residing in
each individual as his driving force. The Guna is not
inherited from the parents but attained by the ‘Aathma’ or soul (I hate
to use the world ‘soul’ for it connotes a created entity whereas ‘Aathman’ is
uncreated and eternal) by hispoorva karma or actions in prior
births. Thus a person is a Brahmana or a Vaisya for
example, not by being born to Brahmin or to Vaisya parents
and it does not also mean that a Vaisya is not born to a Vaisya and
so on. However the Hindus do not abandon lineage as everyone has inherent pride
in his heritage. Try asking M. Karunanidhi who badmouths Hindus by sheer
ignorance, to abandon his family and friends. Actually many of DMK men
themselves have voiced objections to making DMK a family property of
Karunanidhi. We call this “Abimaanam’ or attachment. Some may say it is
deceit or cheating! (People have a tendency to tell others but not to
themselves and Karunanidhi is a prime example.)
It is a fertile ground for a person to manifest
his Guna in his own environment, for example, a person with
a Vaisya Guna (Rajasic Thamas) can easily manifest himself in
the company of Vaisya parents and Vaisya community.
Hindus see that also as akarma-phala. The secularists contend that
everyone can do everything and so aVaisya need not be a Vaisya and Sudhra need
not be a Sudhra. To confine a person to a sect is a human right
violation they say. Very well, try it out.. I have no problem. We Hindus say
that you can do what you want but the outcome will always be the same. It is
also true that there is no gain without pain. The truth of this is for a person
to find out for himself. But however much the secularists might cry aloud, not
many people would risk abandoning their traits. It is their nature. If a person
abandons his nature he would soon find out he is a fish out water when he
abandons his nature.
My problem with the secularists is that they, in
the name of advocating human rights, themselves become violators of human
rights by forcing others to abandon their nature. If I say ‘be yourself’, I
mean it out of the clear knowledge that trying to be someone else is wrought
with pain and suffering in the end. By saying ‘be yourself’ I am not condemning
anyone to be a Brahmana or a Sudhra. But the
secularists by abandoning the natural variety in the name of misconceived
equality, forces oneself to abandon his nature and ask him to be different from
who he is. This is clear human rights violation. In our concept it is adharma.
A person who cannot learn beyond his parrot like
repetition is difficult indeed because he cannot be taught. He doesn’t know
that he doesn’t know. Hindus call him ‘aparaadhi’. An aparaadhi will
have to learn by experience. More difficult indeed is a person who knows, yet
he does things contrary to the knowledge. There is nothing to teach him and
none for him to learn. He is a man of wanton disposition called ‘abhachaari’.
Punishment is to only recourse to contain him. The secularists form the above
viii) Varna (3)
I said “Bhagavat Geetha devotes a
whole chapter on the subject of Guna” referring to Chapter 14 of
the Geetha. In fact this is an understatement. Actually
the entireBhagavat Geetha talks of the Guna stuff
Essentially Bhagavat Geetha teaches
us a simple fact that the Aathman that happens to be the very
crux of you and me is full and complete and therefore no activity would add or
diminish its fullness. The activities that we see around us and
those that we indulge in are caused by ignorance of our true self by each of us
identifying ourselves to a body. That very moment we find ourselves in a
complicated world which essentially is composed of the thrigunas.
Even though I have said that the thrigunas are
the bricks and mortar of the universe, they are really nothing physical to be
identified as entities by sense perception as senses are as much guna stuff as
the objects sensed. The Universe is that totally and completely made up of
these Guna stuff. Bhagavan Sri Krishna says in his Bhagavat
Na tad-asthi prthvyaam vaa divi devaeshu vaa
(There is no entity either on earth or again in
heaven among the divinities that could be free from these three gunas (modalities)
born from prakrthi (nature)).
If guna is all and it eludes
apprehension because there is nothing differnt from it through which you can
know it in this universe, then how do we know of this gunastuff?
Bhagavat Geetha therefore
lets us know the play of the gunas by sheer inference. I
am detailing some of them that would impress on us the existence and role of
thesegunas by which we the humans can be identified.
Take for example the act of giving. While a
lot of people are stingy there are equal number of people who are giving
because such an act of gifting purifies them. But those who give do
so not necessarily in a uniform way. There are differences in the manner
in which they give. The Lord tells us in Geetha (chapter 18)
indicating the play of Guna in the act of giving. A
person who gifts something without expecting anything in return is Saathwik.
A person giving expecting something in return is Rajasic and a
person who gifts with scant respect to the recepient and who would even
threaten to take it back is thaamasic.
In this example we come to understand that the
karma viz. the act of giving is not taken as an activity but action that
conforms to certain pattern of behaviour. This pattern of behaviour that
a person consciously adopts tend to have repercussions on his thought. THIS
PATTERN OF BEHAVIOUR IS THE GUNA STUFF WITH WHICH EACH ONE IS
MADE. As in the example above the act of charity that was seen in three
different behaviours is actually in an extended sense a counterpart of the
actor i.e. the karmi or the doer.
niyatasya tu sannyasah
mohat tasya parityagas
tamasah parikirtitah (Geetha 18.7)
In the dhaarmic concept each
person has set of duties to be performed. Even as we live in a
non-dhaarmic world there are nithya karmas or the inevitable
duties that we have to carry out. A person happens to avoid these
inevitable duties as if he is unaware of his responsibility. What causes
it? It is due to moham or delusion. We have to
understand that one does so is driven by Thaamasaguna.
duhkham ity eva yat karma
sa kritva rajasam tyagam
nai ‘va tyagaphalam labhet (Geetha 18.8)
A person who knowingly avoids performance of nithya
karma to avoid bodily pain or other reasons of dhukkam or
misery caused by egoism, laziness etc. What causes him to do that? It is
his passion to his body. We have to understand that one does so is driven
by Rajo guna.
karyam ity evayat karma
niyatam kriyate ‘rjuna
sangam tyaktva phalam chai’va
sa tyagah sattviko matah (Geetha 18.9)
na dveshty akusalam karma
kusale na ‘nushajjate
medhavi chhinnasamsayah (Geetha 18.10)
A person who does things without attachment to the
action and who performs without caring for the benefits that accrue from such
actions is a thyaagi or renouncer. We have to understand
that one does this type of actions is driven by Sathwa Guna.
Sathwa Guna enables
a person to be pure and clear and to have strong intelligence that enables him
neither to be attached to the pleasant nor to hate that which is unpleasant.
Now let’s try to understand some of the
characteristics of the four Varnas.
brahmana kshatriya visam ‘
sudranam cha paramtapa
svabhavaprabhavair gunaih (Geetha 18.41)
The nature of Brahmanas, Ksatriyas,
Vaisyas, and Sudras are due to their respective inherent dispositions
(guna). The meaning is that their past Karma has
been the cause of determining births as Brahmanas etc. The Sattva and
other Gunas are the result of such Karma.
The Sattvaguna is born from the inherent nature of theBrahmana becoming
dominant by suppressing the qualities of Rajas and Tamas.
The quality of Rajas originates from the inherent nature of
the Ksatriyas becoming dominant by suppressing qualities
of Satthva and Thamas. Thamoguna arises
from the inherent nature of the Vaisya, becoming dominant in a
little way by suppressingSatthva and Rajas. The
duties and works assigned to them according to the Gunasconstituting
their inherent nature, are expounded and allotted by the Sastras in
the order described. For the Sastras analyse that the Brahmanas etc.,
possess such and such attributes and such and such are their duties and
samo damas tapah shaucam
ksantir arjavam eva ca
jnanam vijnanam astikyam
brahma-karma svabhava-jam (Geetha 18.42)
Calmness, self-restraint, austerity, purity,
forgiveness and straightforwardness, (pure) wisdom, applied wisdom, belief:
these are the (items of) activity of the brahmin, born of his own nature.
Adi Sankara adds the following clarity to the
above verse. (It is clear from his commentary that many of the Brahmanas
have slipped from this high Sathwa guna to become vaisyas in
contemporary times. Of course they can redeem themselves.)
‘Sama’ is the control of the external
sense-organs. ‘Dama’ is the control of the mind. ‘Tapas’ is the
chastisement of the body by controlling enjoyments, as enjoined by the Sastras.
‘Sauca’ is fitness for performing acts as enjoined by the Sastras. ‘Ksanti’
is preserving the composure of the mind, though injured by others. ‘Arjava’
is straightforwardness expressing itself in correct outward manifestation to
others in consonance with one’s own mind. ‘Jnana’ is knowledge about the
real nature of the higher and lower truths. ‘Vijnana’ is the knowledge
pertaining to exceptional attributes belonging to the Supreme Reality. ‘Astikya’
or faith is firm conviction in the truth of all things enjoined in the Vedas.
The meaning is that it is unshakable by any reason whatever. ‘Astikya’
is positive conviction in the truth to the following effect: (1) The Lord
Vasudeva, the Supreme Person, is signified by the term, Supreme Brahman. (2) He
is devoid of even the slightest trace or evil. (3) He possesses countless hosts
of auspicious and excellent attributes such as knowledge, strength etc.,
boundless and natural. (4) To reveal His nature is the sole purpose of the
whole of Vedas and the Vedanta and He can be known only through them. (5) He is
the sole cause of the universe (6) He is the foundation of the entire universe.
(7) He is the actuator of all. (8) All actions taught in the Vedas form His
worship. (9) When worshipped through them, He confers fruits known as Dharma,
Artha, Kama and Moksa. That such is the meaning has been declared in the
following text: ‘Indeed I am to be known from all theVedas’ (15.15); ‘I
am the origin of all; from Me proced everything’ (10.8), ‘All this is strung on
Me’ (7.7), ‘Knowing me as the enjoyer of all sacrifices and austerities … he
attains peace’ (10.29), There is nothing greater than myself, Arjuna (7.7) ‘He
from whom proceeds the activity of all beings and by whom all this is pervaded
— by worshipping Him with his duty, will a man reach perfection’ (18.46); and
‘He who knows Me as unborn, without a beginning and the great Lord of the
worlds …’ (10.3) Such are the duties of the Brahmana arising from his inherent
The Thamasa Guna has an opaque
character indicating the nature of the Sudhras. Those possessed of
it see things different from what they are. In other words, they are veiled by
avidya and they are driven by inertia. It does not mean that they cannot
know or they cannot do anything right. Quite the contrary. They can know and do
excellent things but only at the bidding of others.
The exquisite carvings of our cave temples and
sculptures are done by Sudhras. Any evidence of greatness of any
society be it in the great temples of India or the Pyramids of Egypt or the
great wall of China, were all built by Sudras, but they were told
to do so. They do not have the initiative and they always get carried away.
They band together among themselves. The modern day union leaders exploit this
feature to organize them, collect subscriptions from them use this banding
feature to extract money from the employers. (Both the employer and the union
leader belong to VaisyaVarna. See below.)
A saathwik person is calm and
serene that he is able to see things clearly in front of him without help from
another person. In contrast Thaamasa guna causes a
person to become emotional that often causes a person to move away from
reality. An emotional person is so engrossed with his own thoughts that
causes him to miss what is real in front of him. He is in his own world,
as the saying goes. This is described asavidya. (More on Avidya later.)
An emotional person always look for a shoulder to cry or share his moment of
joy. This is the cause of their gregariousness. Animals arethaamasic and
you see them in flocks. This is the way to understand the thaamasa guna.
They all do things en masse.
A Sudhra is the one who will
build a great dam across a river for the benefit of humanity or will set fire
to a bus full of college girls just because a certain politician told them to
do so. They are a tremendous power by themselves, but because of their lack of
discrimination, they are exploited or harvested by others – in very large
measure by the Vaisyas.
The opposite is the Sathwa Guna that
has a transparent character indicating the nature of Brahmins. Satwa
Guna generates knowledge and wisdom. It sets man to be independent and
lonely that he seems to enjoy.
Because of the clarity of Satwa Guna the
Brahmins can see things as they are. Seeing things as they are is called Vidya (More
on it later.) This makes them feel pacific, at worst resigned and at best quite
Though they have initiative, they seldom use it
for their own advantage. They are adept in using the initiative on behalf of
a yajamana who is either a Kshathriya or
another Brahmana or sometimes even a Vaisya.
They lack materialist pursuit even though they are
capable of winning a world or amassing wealth but would easily sell their
prowess for a fee. Such is their contentment! This is the effect of Sathwa guna
that keeps him close to his real Self which is described by our Vedas as Sathyam,
They are highly independent and therefore are
incohesive among themselves in terms of a material pursuit. However they would
be seen to band together for spiritual pursuit. (This is because Agni Devatha
is their spiritual counterpart of the Heaven and they are all united by Agni).
Now I will deal with Kshathriyas and Vaisyas,
who are driven by Rajo Guna.
A Kshathriya is made of Rajo
Guna with Sathwa Guna as the underlying factor. This
makes them hold on to a view as sacrosant, otherwise known as truth or Sathyam and
would enforce it by his command and would even die for it. Thus he is a good
keeper of the word and therefore be a reliable body guard, a Rakshaka and
“Baahu Rajanya krithaha”, says Purusha
Sooktham. Kshathriya rose from the arm ofVirat signifying
valour and strength.
At the same time, his passions signified by Rajo
Guna make him a great family man and man of society and an increaser
and protector of the tribe. He is witty and charming and a man given to
partying and fun. He likes limelight. He respects hierarchy and enforces them.
Thus his protective abilities reach the world of manes and that of Gods.
Because of of his Guna a Kshathriya seeks
clarity and would be a good judge. Because of Sathwa Guna he
likes to be associated with Brahmanas and a great protector of them
indeed. Thus the maxim “Asathoma Sat Gamaya, Thamasoma Jyothirgamaya,
Mrithyorma Amriutham Gamaya” would greatly apply to the Kshathriyas
though the maxim is common to all.
Now, who is a Vaisya?
A Vaisya is made of Rajo
Guna with Thamasa Guna as the underlying factor. Thus
he has an opposite character to the Kshathriyas. This means he does
not hold anything sacrosant. That is why a Vaisya, a businessman
would not hold on to anything as value but keep trading them in order to
A Vaisya, because of lack of passion,
never seeks limelight and would not enter into any controversy. He is always
positive and thus prone to mislead others.
A Vaisya besides being a good
businessman, by the play of his Guna, is well suited to be a
diplomat or a spy and is capable of doings things that are to be done in
discreet or stealth or behind the curtain.
A Vaisya because of the Rajo
Guna seeks the company and audience of Kshathriyasbut only
for the purpose of increasing his wealth. He is a good ally of the Kshathriya for
he provides the Kshathriya with the wherewithals. He generates
immense wealth under the protection of a powerful Kshathriya and
he is prone to cheat a weak king.
Because of the underlying Thamo Guna a Vaisya is
associated with the Sudhra whom he persuades to labour hard and
produce. Because of this Guna he is stingy and
exploitative. Lying and misrepresentation are his prowess! They are
the modern day politicians. The French call them the bourgeoisie.
A Vaisya has a spiritual side
that appeases the Gods to increase his wealth. Thus he is a donor for temples
and for the cultivation of the music and the dance that are associated with
Gods and wealth.
Thus you will know the difference between a man
who is less impressive but has a lot of money in his pocket and a man who is
well dressed up and talks bravely but has little in his pocket. The former does
not enjoy what he has and the latter enjoys despite not having any. The
underlying Thamo Guna or Satwa Guna causes
this as the case may be of those driven by Rajo Guna. This is the
difference between a Vaisya and a Kshathriya.
There is an important aspect of the Guna play.
A person born in one Varna can follow the Dharma of
what can be termed as a lower Varna but not in the reverse
direction. This is by taking Sathwam to be higher than
the Thamas, though in terms of wordly needs both serve their
purposes and therefore are equal. The higher and lower classification would be
only in terms of knowledge of Reality such as transparency and opaqueness of
the Anthakarana or mind. A Brahmana can
therefore follow theDharmas of other Varnas with ease i.e.
he can follow Kshathriya Dharma, Vaisya Dharma or
even Sudhra Dharma, a Kshathriya, likewise can
follow Vaisya Dharma orSudhra Dharma but not Brahmana
Dharma, a Vaisya can follow Sudhra Dharma but
not Kshathriya Dharma or Brahmana Dharma and Sudhra can
only follow his ownDharma and not of anyone else. This is due
to the play of Shakthi the source of theGuna.
This is because the manifest Shakthi will always