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Can a Sudra by birth, become a Brahmin priest in a Temple?

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"Can a Shudra (people of the labour and artisan community) born person become a Brahmin priest in a temple?"

 

anil bhanot

-----------------------------

Shree Hari Ram Ram

 

Provided is a link where Swamiji talks about -

Essential Duties (swadharma) Determined By Caste At Birth

 

sadhaka/message/1765

 

Cause of Conflict in Society

sadhaka/message/1549

 

There is much written about it in our scriptures and by Swamiji, however, these have not all been translated into English so far.

 

Previous Gita talk discussions may also be helpful -

Q: Is the Caste System by Birth or by Deed? (you may need to read all the posts on that topic)

 

/message/796

 

From Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram

 

 

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"Can a Shudra (people of the labour and artisan community) born person become a Brahmin priest in a temple?"

 

anil bhanot

-----------------------------

 

NEW POSTING

 

Dear Sadhakas,Hare Krishna. This is in response to a question from a Sadhaka. Lord Krishna describes in Bhagavad Gita, the qualities for Brahmanas. . " Samo damas tapah saucam,Kshantir arjavam eva ca,Jnanam vijnanam astikyam,Brahmam karma svabhava jam. "( Gitaji 18,42)Which means,'Peace, self control, austerity, purity,tolerance,honesty,Knowledge, wisdom and faith in the Lord are the qualities for brahmanas. 'Any one who has these qualities is a brahmana, irrespective of which caste he or she in born into. An excellent example is Sant Tukarama, who was not born into brahmana caste, yet he is a great vaishnava. Any body who has the above qualities is fit to function as a brahmana. Thank You. Hare Krishna. Prasad.A.Iragavarapu, M.D

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Yes.

I know it is hard to swallow.

Gita clearly says Varna is purely by Guna and Karma;

ones own in-born desire, ecucational qualification and

the career one chooses with that qualification and training.

 

Everyone is born a Sudhra [untrained] then evolve

during the grwth by study and mental capacity.

 

Jaathi is by birth and Varna is by qualification.

If he studies and practises the discipline and masters the knowledge

he / she should become a Vedic Pandit and a priest.

 

Bala N. Aiyer

-----------------------------

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gita does not provide any verse to say either Yes or No to this question. But

there was a time when Shudras could not become a priest. This ws so because at

that time the society adopted a kind of division of labor to encourage

efficiency. Through family background and trainig, one tends to excel in the job

undertaken by the family. But current civilization has found ways to excellence

irrespective of family bckground. So priest's sons can become businessman,

trader, labourer in a factory, farmer. There is not yet much training school for

the job of hindu priesthood: once this is organised for shudras, they can become

priests. They can also become Brahmins if they are ble to cultivate the

attributes of a Brahmin i themselves. May people who are born in brahmn families

are cultivating the attributes of a brahmin and therefore are not really

brahmins.

The Ramakrishna Mission practices Hindu Religion. Many of the Sanyasis of

Ramakrishna Mission are not from brhmin families but can act as priests.

Basudeb Sen---------Shree Paramatmane NamahIn any of the Gita verses (in Gita 4:13, Bhagwaan talks about the four varnas, not about Bhrahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra), "Shudra" word has not come. This has arrangement has come about by way of society, which is on it's own after struggle is moving towards it end. Per my knowledge, to consider Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra by birth, has not been mentioned any where in the Gita. If it has been addressed, then please make us aware.Your question pertains to that individual who conducts prayers and vedic rituals in temples, which has nothing whatsoever to do with birth. What do Brahmins not fight in wars?Was their caste changed to be called Kshatriya? I too would like to understand this better. So be it, Vineet Sarvottam--------------- Namaste Yes, anyone can become a priest (Hindu priest) - whether Brahmin or otherwise - in a temple. Nowhere in GITA ji does Bhagavan forbids anyone from becoming a priest or taking upany position in any Hindu establishment. These class/caste restrictions are man-madeand artificially imposed. How can our great and treasured Hinduism tolerate bigotry that will prevent anyone - whatever caste, race, gender, nationality - from aspiringand attaining any position in any temple? That's not what Bhagavan teaches us in GITA Ji. Ram Ram, Deosaran Bisnath There were many. A brahmin meant one of intellectual bent of mind, who could learnto read, learn or atleast recite the vedas verbatim.d Durgesh Mankikar,MD-Dear sadhak, Namsthe.Why do you think so. There are priests born as( scheduledcaste)do work as priests in certain temples of A.p.In srisailam temple the priests are not bramhins they are jangams (a bc community).In manyam konda temple of a.p.Nambi cast (BC)people are the priests.The priest ship of a temple is not cast based.

Badri Narayana Miriyala ----------- Dear Ones, Namaste!Of course, such questions do arise in the beginning by us.Question can be turned around and asked: Is anyone Shudra or Brahmin or anything else by birth?How can anyone be other than human being? A person becomes, not born, as shudra or brahmin depending on upbringing!And such a person is just a fleeting conglomeration of thoughts-feelings-beliefs leading them to actions labeled as this caste or that caste! To think of oneself as shudra or brahmin, except for practical context, is ignorance!YES, A human being, regardless of the background of parents, can be brahmin like or shudra like! Having said this:Our first and foremost temple is God given body-mind; by proper sanskaras, one can be a priest of such a temple. This first step is more important than to be a priest in man-made temples which discriminate based on births!We must see that the entire Cosmo is God's Temple and as such everyone has equal opportunity to be Priests!You can be barred from man-made temple, but you cannot be barred, ever from God's temple! You are already in Temple Priest or not! After all, a Priest is one who generally is seen to perform the rituals, while a devotee tries to know God, so, why not to be devotee first?Namaskar.............Pratap Bhatt -----------------Can a Sudra by birth, become a Brahmin priest in a Temple?EVERYONE is a shudra by birth! THERE IS NO EXCEPTION FOR THIS. The Shudra is the one who cannot appreciate one's circumstances completely and needs help, one who lacks clarity on the congeniality and adversity of one's circumstances, one whose interest is just to exist/live/survive rather than dominating or leading, and one who cannot take decisions and hence responsibilities on one's own. Therefore, everyone without exception, has to be a Shudra by birth as I have not seen any baby that defies the above description. BrahmaNo'sya mukhamaaseet baahoo raajanyah kritah | Oroo tadasya yadvaishyah padbhaagm shoodro ajaayata || Purusha Sookta (Song of the Universal Being) says only one fellow is ever born - that is a Shudra! And, the birth of such a fellow can happen only at the feet of The Fellow, The Moolaadhaara Chakra, center of Vaasanaas, desire to exist. Therefore, whoever is born has to be Shudra!! All other VarNas are offshoots of the Shudratva only. The Fellow's very existence depends on His feet, the foundation of survival, the crocodilian brain, the instinct to survive. It is for that instinct one is born in the first place, as a Shudra!!!The rest of the VarNas such as Vaishya, Kshatriya and BrahmaNa are earned positions - NEVER THE BORN POSITIONS! No womb can dictate what one is and what one would be. The fellow born has its own agenda in life! The Shudratva is the backbone of a soceity - be it human, be it ants, be it bees … the working class that takes dierction to do their job is what the soceity is fundamentally made with. The soceity runs only due to this class of population. Tamas - ignorance and inertia in terms of fear of existence - is the predominant characteristic of the class. And this population comprises everyone by birth and continues to keep everyone in its grips till death. No one can claim not to be a Shudra unless one attains a state where one need not claim anything at all!One who grows out of mere existence to bargain with the environment as well as oneself to lead soceity for prosperity is The Vaishya wherein the desire to satisy trans-existential appetites begin, wherein the fellow starts interpolating and extrapolating one's observations to strike better balances in life with the nature and the soceity one dwells in; wherein one's genetic urge for progeny to one's own kind of genetic expansion hits the surface; wherein the possessions and ownership take lead to distinguish the person in a soceity; and wherein one discovers the ways to exploit others and their innocence to promote one's own possessions and ownership further. The Rajas - desires for genetic progeny and habitual prosperity - again ignorance and inertia, but driven by existential desires - raises to camouflage the Tamas which continues to control the person. Material gain remains the focal point for all the activities. One who starts acknowledging the individual hegemony in prosperity starts appreciating the individual power in hegemonizing the environment and the soceity boosting the individual identity, the ego, which starts elating in all the activities - the Rajas raises to its pinacle wherein the desire for progeny in all respects - genetic as well as idealogical - reigns. Amassing possessions becomes an obsession irrespective of the objects of ownership - material, ideas, relations, and even fellow human beings! The Kshatriya raises in one's behavior as the ego raises within. But yet, one remains Shudra at the core as the crocodilian brain controls and drives all the maneuvers of the fellow in all activities since the existential gain is the only agenda at the core though the emotional gain superficially remains the focal point for all the activities. One who acknowledges the miseries to be self-borne raising from the very instinct for survival (Shudratva) that is nurtured to its newer heights in life in terms of Tamas as well as Rajas in Vaishyatva as well as Kshatriyatva would realize how the fellow continues to be miserable with magnified desires and fears than a mere Shudra. A person who acknowledges growing intensity in pains as one climbs the social ladder of heirarchy and hegemony would start recognizing the havoc played by the twins - Rajas and Tamas - and starts empowering the balancing force (Sattva) to attain peace from which he has moved away in the frenzy of living. As the Sattva grows from within, the fellow starts contemplating on the basis the Absolute Peace (Brahman) embracing the BrahmaNattva to seek the same peace more and more. But, the BrahmaNattva cannot ensure an instant erasure of all the history of the Shudrattva, Vaishyattva and Kshatriyattva one has entertained with different intensities at different stages and circumstances of life. But, definitely, the BrahmaNattva will act on the Vaasanas to eventually eradicate all the VarNas including the BrahmaNattva since The Absolute sought in the truthful BrahmaNattva is VarNaateeta as well as VarNanaateeta - no one can characterize it because IT has no characteristics; IT transcends the very act of characterization. YES! EVERYONE IS ELIGIBLE AS WELL AS ENTITLED FOR THE BRAHMANATTVA, TO SEEK THE ABSOLUTE THAT ENCOMPASSES THE WHOLE UNIVERSE INCLUDING ANYONE WHO SEEKS IT. In spite of seeking BrahmaNattva, one is bound to remain a Kshatriya, a Vaishya as well as a Shudra in variant proportions till one attains Moksha, The Absolute that transcends all the VarNas catergorically. In other words, only one who can transcend the BrahmaNattva would ever transcend the rest of the VarNas. Therefore, an existence of a pure BrahmaNa is a myth! That is the nature of BrahmaNattva. Respects.Naga Narayana. --------------------Yes, very Much !!! Swaamiji is wrongly interpreting Geetaa In the lecture [on the link you provided- with all reverence to the Swamiji] "ChaturVarnam mayaa srushtam, Guna Karma Vibhaagash." (Gita 4:13). meaning - Four Varnas are created by me according to Qualities (Guna) and Actions (Karma) !!! -- Where is the mention of "Birth" here ? Why is Swamiji wrongly interpreting it and inserting the non mentioned word of "Birth" there ? If that was the case, then Maharshi Vyaasa would not have become Guru of All Hindus !!! (if you want to put him in the barricade of caste as per today - then he would have fallen in the caste of Shudra -- but his "Guna" and "Karma"s made him Bramhana and given him seat of a Guru !!!)Same is the case of Maharshi VaalmikiSame is the case of Maharshi VishwaaMitraSame is the case of BaajiRao - who was a Prime Minister of Maraathaa (Hindu) empire !!! [he was a Bramhin by birth but adopted to Kshatriya varna for saving our Dharma ]and the list goes on ....

Rajesh Patil

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Generally in all temples Brahmin priests are kept.In north American is an American Priest and I think it is OK But even lower class person studies and becomes Brahman then he can be the priest.Even Sri Rama advocated women any any person of the caste is alloowed to work as a priest We have to take the modern view of Hindu life style.

All human beings are put on the same stage

This is my personal understanding.

 

Shankerprasad S Bhatt

------------------------

 

When can you all get over Brahman & Shudra business & become 100 % human.This is the reason India is suffering while the world is moving ahead.A spiritual country like ours, Greatness Personified, is plagued by this kind of mean thinking.Unless you all give it up , Guru Nanak, Buddha, Mahavir will have to be born to reform the cobwebbby thinking of your presumed superiority of the brahmins.

c. karnani

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In the Vedas, only those who have studied Vedic knowledge/metaphysics till the age of 24 years and qualifies the examination held after 16 years of studies is enttled to become Vedic Priest. In Vedas education should star at the age of 8 years under the qualified Guru (Aditya or Vasu person) and till 8 years of age Mother and Father remain teachers.

 

Incidentally in Vedas, as I understand it, a Brahmin is not by brith.

 

So we need to define what we mean by Shudra. A person like Gandhi ji, Dr Ambedakar, Vyasa, Valmiki etc born in non Brahman familes if become preists, it would strengthen Vedic Sanatan Dharma

Regards,

Prem Sabhlok

--------

Shree Hari Ram Ram

Karnaniji, We believe this is an honest and geniune question, that is not presuming the superiority of the Brahmins, but rather wanting to know what the scriptures state regarding this issue.

Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram

 

 

-------------------------------

Shree Hari Ram Ram

 

Provided is a link where Swamiji talks about -

Essential Duties (swadharma) Determined By Caste At Birth

 

sadhaka/message/1765

 

Cause of Conflict in Society

sadhaka/message/1549

 

There is much written about it in our scriptures and by Swamiji, however, these have not all been translated into English so far.

 

Previous Gita talk discussions may also be helpful -

Q: Is the Caste System by Birth or by Deed? (you may need to read all the posts on that topic)

 

/message/796

 

From Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram

 

 

------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- ---------

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"Can a Shudra (people of the labour and artisan community) born person become a Brahmin priest in a temple?"

 

anil bhanot

-----------------------------

 

NEW POSTING

 

Shree Hari Ram Ram

 

Please read below written in Gita Darpan about "jaati" by Swamiji, titled "Gita mein Jaati ka Varnun" pg 82-84 Article # 18. If any one can help translate the rest of the article from Hindi to English and sharing with the group, it will be very beneficial for all. Gita Darpan is available online, please see link -

http://www.swamiramsukhdasji.org/swamijibooks/pustak/pustak1/html/GeetaDarpan/main.html

 

Thank you, Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram

----

 

 

Translated partial article -

 

GITA MEIN JAATI KAA VARNUN

 

"Janma manyate jaatih, karmanaa manyate krutih;Tasmaat swakiykartavyam paalaniyam prayanttah."In nature, as many different bodies that are received in the millions of different forms of births, they are all received according to one's constitutents of nature i.e. qualities (gunas) and actions (Gita 13:21; Gita 14:16, Gita14:18). It is only according to one's qualities (gunas) and actions (karma) that man receives his next birth. In other words, according to the qualities (gunas - sattva is goodness, rajas is passion and tamas is inertia or ignorance) possessed and the actions performed in his previous birth, man's next birth is determined.God has said in the Gita, that it is only according to man's qualities (gunas) and actions, that I have created the four positions by birth (Caste - Brahmana, shatriya, vaishya and shudra) - "Chaturvarnaya mayaa srushtam gunakarmavibhaagash." (Gita 4:13). That is, Gita believes in position (caste group) at time of birth. In other words, man who is born in a particular class, race, the four castes (varna), who is born ofparents of a particular caste, that itself is believed to be his own caste.The word "caste" comes from "jan praadubhaarve", that is, it is from birth that one's caste is determined, not from one's activities. From actions (karma), type of work is determined, but the full protection of caste is only from following through with the activities prescribed for a particular caste.God has said in Gita 18:41, that it is only according to the birth that actions are compartmentalized. The "varna" caste that a man is born in, and in the scriptures the description of the activities to be performed in that caste,those actions are the essential duties of that caste. And those activities that are not prescribed for that caste, then those activities , are considered outside of one's duties "par-dharma" for that caste. According to thescriptures, just like doing yagna, receiving charity, etc. is the duty (swadharma) of Brahmanas; but the same activities are not being prescribed by the scriptures for kshatriya, vaishya, shudra are therefore outside of one'sduties (par-dharma). If man dies in the process of doing his duties as prescribed by his swadharma, then too he attains salvation; but the duties of others, (par-dharma) and related behavior, is the cause of fear of birth anddeath cycle (Gita 3:35). Arjuna was a kshatriya (warrior class); his duty (swadharma) was to fight the war. Therefore for him, God says in clear words, that for a kshatriya there is no other work that will lead to salvation, like fighting in war (Gita 2:31) and if he did not fight this righteous war, then he would be giving up his essential duties (swadharma) and glories and committing a sin (Gita 2:33). (to be continued) From "Gita Darpan" in Hindi pg 83 by Swami Ramsukhdasji

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Dear Sadaks,One can become priest. But why say Bhramin Priest? 1) Namadev (Sudra) was. 2) Thirupan Alwar (One of 12 Vaisnavite Saints- S.C.) was. 3) Hati Ram Baba (Sudhra) of Thirupathi Venkateswara was. 4) Nandhanar S.C. caste (one of the 63 saints of Bagavan Shiva) was. These people were regarded much better than BHRAMIN priests by Bagavan. What matters is 1) Unshakable Faith and love 2) Clean Habits. 3) Mind to treat everyone alike (Vasudeva Sarvam) 4) No desires on anything except on God. 5) Very important-- Never angry,Egoistic, ability to forgive anything, NO attachment on anything but Bagavan.B.Sathyanarayan

-----

Dear Sir, By birth, one does not mean physical birth. The birth one talks about which decides one's caste in society is the second birth. That is decided by many factors, as such it is not what you think. Remember Vishwamitra who was a warrior king. He by his first birth was born in the warrior caste. But the second birth that he attained the attributes more suitable to the brahmin caste, thus he became a brahmarishi. One's physical birth does not determine ones' true caste. One's primary guna is one such factor which decides which is one's true caste. I am sure if you ask this to brahmins by birth who are comparable to frog's in a well who have never seen the ocean and a frog which has seen the ocean and is a brahmin, I am sure the first type of brahmin will tell you it is physical birth which decides one's caste but talk to a brahmin who has travelled the world and he or she will tell you that there are the four castes in all parts of the world and that this is a result of many things and not the first birth. So who tells you what is fact and what is fiction is important. Coal and diamond are both made of carbon, but the difference is in the pressure that the diamond has gone through to become a diamond and the coal will not endure the same kind of pressure. There are therefore diamond types and coal types and who you listen to as to what is true is truly up to you. Prashanth Thirukkonda

 

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Following the teachings of Gita, we can explain the Gunas of a Brahmin Varna

and the necessary qualifications needed to become a priest and also the lifestyle they need to follow.

With that restriction, we may need to open up the opportunity with equal rights.

However one may need to decide how many will take it and how many will accept that.

A short 6 months quick course for priests is not going to work, but a full term study will wok.

They need: i. "STUDY" the basic principles of Hindu Dharma and study of village customs;

then: ii. "STHUTHI" - learning basic prayers and recitations; Sanskrit lessons

then: iii. "SMRUTHI" the reading of Puranas, prayer manthras, Bhagavath Githa etc

then: iV: " SRUTHI" the stody of Vedas and Agamas and advanced study of Temple procedures.

If anyone is willing to go through all these for 4 to 8 years - then why not a Sudhra by birth.

When all the Brahmin Priests are sending their sons to IT, Engineering and Law college,

we have very few willing to serve the Hindu Cause. When a Brahmin can do business as a Vaisya

why not a Sudra do the Pooja.

Bala N. Aiyer

 

-----------------------------

 

sir ,

kindly note that any one can become a vaishnava, but not a brahmin. it is compulsory to be born in a brahmin family to be a priest in a temple.

sowndarya madabhushi

 

------------------------------

 

 

 

The answer is YES. Sudra or brahmin or vaiSya or kshatria is not by birth it is by guna karma vibhaagasaha. and the division is for the computations of Lord and not for us. 18.42, cited by some brings out the guna whcih are characteristic of a brahmana.if a person does not conform to this behavior, then he is no brahmana.

 

in Maha Bharata of Veda Vyasa (samskrita0, aranya parva 4th Aasvaasa has a question-answr session between Dharmaja and Nahusha, the Anaconda. go through them keenly and you will realize how idiotic the so called caste sstem is. You mabe surprised to note that in Dharma (hinduism) there is no caste. only varna aasrama dharma exists.

 

Per my understanding, the concept of "Caste" is from judaism. Jacob divided his dozen sons into 12 castes. one of his son Levi was given the priest caste, implying that his descendants and they alone have to be priests or archaka.

we do not have such rigidity about archakatva. In west godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, thee is a narasimha swamy temple in which all archakas belong to the so called S heduled ccastes.This has been in vogue ince 11th century CE (since Ramanuja).

 

in Visishta advaita, there are no castes. most venerated Azhvaars come from every community, and have endeared to the Lord by their Bhakti and tatparata. remember m friends, the Vyaasa of Veda was a fisher woman's son

 

krishna samudrala

 

-

 

Generally in all temples Brahmin priests are kept.In north American is an American Priest and I think it is OK But even lower class person studies and can attain the knowledge needed to perform a priest's duties. Even Sri Rama advocated women and any person of the caste is allowed to work as a priest We have to take the modern view of Hindu life style.

 

All human beings are put on the same stage

This is my personal understanding.

 

Shankerprasad S Bhatt

--

When Manu came up with this classification, it was based on services performed at the time. Human beings had already been around and were perfoming these functions and he(Manu) classfied same. This classfication was misterpreted and become entrenched and detrimental to us and as such we should discourage it. Mangal Deolal

 

 

Namaste Anilji and other sadhak bandhus.

Shudra, Vaishya, Kshatriya & Brahmin are four steps to spiritual (not material) progress leading to Moksha, the ultimate human goal. This progress might be quicker if you are born in a spiritually enlightened family and vice versa. This has recently been very well explained in Yatharthageeta website & book, putting a full stop on such arguments of birth rights, castes, high-low etc.

At birth we are all Shudra, then while learning spirituality from others we exchange ideas and become Vaishya, then we have our internal spiritual struggle while we remain Kshatriya, when the doubts resolve and from experience we start sharing spiritual knowledge we are Brahmins. Same person can be in different roles (jobs) physically while making this spiritual progress. Hope this explains and removes any doubts about Varnashram as a spiritual science. Rest is human politics or power struggle.....

In material world we might be doing sewa, business, law-enforcing, educating but we are expected to continue progressing on spiritual path along the four varna according to Geetaji.

Geetaji should be read as a text book of spirituality, and not of material world alone. And it gives a clear indication that the answer to your question is Yes! And I might add that s/he should be worthy of the position of the priest by training and characters of such a person while making spiritual progress and sharing it too.

Kind regards,

Dr BalMukund Bhala.

------

 

Shree Hari. Ram Ram.Yes, anyone can become priest in a temple. My wife is from South America. Based on traditional varna-ashram dharma, she is not even sudra but outcaste lower than sudra. We have Radha Krishna dieties and she does puja to them. In Kali-yug, main dharma is to do hari-naam. Everyone has right to do hari naam.Skanda Purana says kalau sudra sambhavah. Everyone is sudra in Kali-yug. See people as part of Paramatma instead of seeing them as sudra etc and judging them.My dear friends, there is no harm in being sudra. Even though I am born as vaishya, I feel myself as being even lower than sudra. Let us remember Ram, see Him in everyone and offer all our actions to Him. In this way, remember Him all the time and be happy. Ram Ram.Gaurav Mittal

 

 

I believe the Gita is the master scriptures of Hinduism. By this I meaneverything else flows from it.I believe that in the Gita Krishna does not talk about cast. He talks about one's thoughts,actions, and knowledge. Therefore the question about cast does not arise.It is a great pity that India which calls itself secular has polluted itsconstitution itself with talks of casts, religions and so forth. How can youdefeat castism if you make rules around casts? Similarly how can you callyourself secular if you have different laws for different religions? However,that is perhaps a different topic.Regards...Anupam Sharma

 

 

Dear Sadhakas,Hare Krishna. This is in response to a question from a Sadhaka. Lord Krishna describes in Bhagavad Gita, the qualities for Brahmanas. . " Samo damas tapah saucam,Kshantir arjavam eva ca,Jnanam vijnanam astikyam,Brahmam karma svabhava jam. "( Gitaji 18,42)Which means,'Peace, self control, austerity, purity,tolerance,honesty,Knowledge, wisdom and faith in the Lord are the qualities for brahmanas. 'Any one who has these qualities is a brahmana, irrespective of which caste he or she in born into. An excellent example is Sant Tukarama, who was not born into brahmana caste, yet he is a great vaishnava. Any body who has the above qualities is fit to function as a brahmana. Thank You. Hare Krishna. Prasad.A.Iragavarapu, M.D

-

 

 

Yes.

I know it is hard to swallow.

Gita clearly says Varna is purely by Guna and Karma;

ones own in-born desire, ecucational qualification and

the career one chooses with that qualification and training.

 

Everyone is born a Sudhra [untrained] then evolve

during the grwth by study and mental capacity.

 

Jaathi is by birth and Varna is by qualification.

If he studies and practises the discipline and masters the knowledge

he / she should become a Vedic Pandit and a priest.

 

Bala N. Aiyer

-----------------------------

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gita does not provide any verse to say either Yes or No to this question. But

there was a time when Shudras could not become a priest. This ws so because at

that time the society adopted a kind of division of labor to encourage

efficiency. Through family background and trainig, one tends to excel in the job

undertaken by the family. But current civilization has found ways to excellence

irrespective of family bckground. So priest's sons can become businessman,

trader, labourer in a factory, farmer. There is not yet much training school for

the job of hindu priesthood: once this is organised for shudras, they can become

priests. They can also become Brahmins if they are ble to cultivate the

attributes of a Brahmin i themselves. May people who are born in brahmn families

are cultivating the attributes of a brahmin and therefore are not really

brahmins.

The Ramakrishna Mission practices Hindu Religion. Many of the Sanyasis of

Ramakrishna Mission are not from brhmin families but can act as priests.

Basudeb Sen---------Shree Paramatmane NamahIn any of the Gita verses (in Gita 4:13, Bhagwaan talks about the four varnas, not about Bhrahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra), "Shudra" word has not come. This has arrangement has come about by way of society, which is on it's own after struggle is moving towards it end. Per my knowledge, to consider Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra by birth, has not been mentioned any where in the Gita. If it has been addressed, then please make us aware.Your question pertains to that individual who conducts prayers and vedic rituals in temples, which has nothing whatsoever to do with birth. What do Brahmins not fight in wars?Was their caste changed to be called Kshatriya? I too would like to understand this better. So be it, Vineet Sarvottam--------------- Namaste Yes, anyone can become a priest (Hindu priest) - whether Brahmin or otherwise - in a temple. Nowhere in GITA ji does Bhagavan forbids anyone from becoming a priest or taking upany position in any Hindu establishment. These class/caste restrictions are man-madeand artificially imposed. How can our great and treasured Hinduism tolerate bigotry that will prevent anyone - whatever caste, race, gender, nationality - from aspiringand attaining any position in any temple? That's not what Bhagavan teaches us in GITA Ji. Ram Ram, Deosaran Bisnath There were many. A brahmin meant one of intellectual bent of mind, who could learnto read, learn or atleast recite the vedas verbatim.d Durgesh Mankikar,MD-Dear sadhak, Namsthe.Why do you think so. There are priests born as( scheduledcaste)do work as priests in certain temples of A.p.In srisailam temple the priests are not bramhins they are jangams (a bc community).In manyam konda temple of a.p.Nambi cast (BC)people are the priests.The priest ship of a temple is not cast based.

Badri Narayana Miriyala ----------- Dear Ones, Namaste!Of course, such questions do arise in the beginning by us.Question can be turned around and asked: Is anyone Shudra or Brahmin or anything else by birth?How can anyone be other than human being? A person becomes, not born, as shudra or brahmin depending on upbringing!And such a person is just a fleeting conglomeration of thoughts-feelings-beliefs leading them to actions labeled as this caste or that caste! To think of oneself as shudra or brahmin, except for practical context, is ignorance!YES, A human being, regardless of the background of parents, can be brahmin like or shudra like! Having said this:Our first and foremost temple is God given body-mind; by proper sanskaras, one can be a priest of such a temple. This first step is more important than to be a priest in man-made temples which discriminate based on births!We must see that the entire Cosmo is God's Temple and as such everyone has equal opportunity to be Priests!You can be barred from man-made temple, but you cannot be barred, ever from God's temple! You are already in Temple Priest or not! After all, a Priest is one who generally is seen to perform the rituals, while a devotee tries to know God, so, why not to be devotee first?Namaskar.............Pratap Bhatt -----------------Can a Sudra by birth, become a Brahmin priest in a Temple?EVERYONE is a shudra by birth! THERE IS NO EXCEPTION FOR THIS. The Shudra is the one who cannot appreciate one's circumstances completely and needs help, one who lacks clarity on the congeniality and adversity of one's circumstances, one whose interest is just to exist/live/survive rather than dominating or leading, and one who cannot take decisions and hence responsibilities on one's own. Therefore, everyone without exception, has to be a Shudra by birth as I have not seen any baby that defies the above description. BrahmaNo'sya mukhamaaseet baahoo raajanyah kritah | Oroo tadasya yadvaishyah padbhaagm shoodro ajaayata || Purusha Sookta (Song of the Universal Being) says only one fellow is ever born - that is a Shudra! And, the birth of such a fellow can happen only at the feet of The Fellow, The Moolaadhaara Chakra, center of Vaasanaas, desire to exist. Therefore, whoever is born has to be Shudra!! All other VarNas are offshoots of the Shudratva only. The Fellow's very existence depends on His feet, the foundation of survival, the crocodilian brain, the instinct to survive. It is for that instinct one is born in the first place, as a Shudra!!!The rest of the VarNas such as Vaishya, Kshatriya and BrahmaNa are earned positions - NEVER THE BORN POSITIONS! No womb can dictate what one is and what one would be. The fellow born has its own agenda in life! The Shudratva is the backbone of a soceity - be it human, be it ants, be it bees … the working class that takes dierction to do their job is what the soceity is fundamentally made with. The soceity runs only due to this class of population. Tamas - ignorance and inertia in terms of fear of existence - is the predominant characteristic of the class. And this population comprises everyone by birth and continues to keep everyone in its grips till death. No one can claim not to be a Shudra unless one attains a state where one need not claim anything at all!One who grows out of mere existence to bargain with the environment as well as oneself to lead soceity for prosperity is The Vaishya wherein the desire to satisy trans-existential appetites begin, wherein the fellow starts interpolating and extrapolating one's observations to strike better balances in life with the nature and the soceity one dwells in; wherein one's genetic urge for progeny to one's own kind of genetic expansion hits the surface; wherein the possessions and ownership take lead to distinguish the person in a soceity; and wherein one discovers the ways to exploit others and their innocence to promote one's own possessions and ownership further. The Rajas - desires for genetic progeny and habitual prosperity - again ignorance and inertia, but driven by existential desires - raises to camouflage the Tamas which continues to control the person. Material gain remains the focal point for all the activities. One who starts acknowledging the individual hegemony in prosperity starts appreciating the individual power in hegemonizing the environment and the soceity boosting the individual identity, the ego, which starts elating in all the activities - the Rajas raises to its pinacle wherein the desire for progeny in all respects - genetic as well as idealogical - reigns. Amassing possessions becomes an obsession irrespective of the objects of ownership - material, ideas, relations, and even fellow human beings! The Kshatriya raises in one's behavior as the ego raises within. But yet, one remains Shudra at the core as the crocodilian brain controls and drives all the maneuvers of the fellow in all activities since the existential gain is the only agenda at the core though the emotional gain superficially remains the focal point for all the activities. One who acknowledges the miseries to be self-borne raising from the very instinct for survival (Shudratva) that is nurtured to its newer heights in life in terms of Tamas as well as Rajas in Vaishyatva as well as Kshatriyatva would realize how the fellow continues to be miserable with magnified desires and fears than a mere Shudra. A person who acknowledges growing intensity in pains as one climbs the social ladder of heirarchy and hegemony would start recognizing the havoc played by the twins - Rajas and Tamas - and starts empowering the balancing force (Sattva) to attain peace from which he has moved away in the frenzy of living. As the Sattva grows from within, the fellow starts contemplating on the basis the Absolute Peace (Brahman) embracing the BrahmaNattva to seek the same peace more and more. But, the BrahmaNattva cannot ensure an instant erasure of all the history of the Shudrattva, Vaishyattva and Kshatriyattva one has entertained with different intensities at different stages and circumstances of life. But, definitely, the BrahmaNattva will act on the Vaasanas to eventually eradicate all the VarNas including the BrahmaNattva since The Absolute sought in the truthful BrahmaNattva is VarNaateeta as well as VarNanaateeta - no one can characterize it because IT has no characteristics; IT transcends the very act of characterization. YES! EVERYONE IS ELIGIBLE AS WELL AS ENTITLED FOR THE BRAHMANATTVA, TO SEEK THE ABSOLUTE THAT ENCOMPASSES THE WHOLE UNIVERSE INCLUDING ANYONE WHO SEEKS IT. In spite of seeking BrahmaNattva, one is bound to remain a Kshatriya, a Vaishya as well as a Shudra in variant proportions till one attains Moksha, The Absolute that transcends all the VarNas catergorically. In other words, only one who can transcend the BrahmaNattva would ever transcend the rest of the VarNas. Therefore, an existence of a pure BrahmaNa is a myth! That is the nature of BrahmaNattva. Respects.Naga Narayana. --------------------Yes, very Much !!! Swaamiji is wrongly interpreting Geetaa In the lecture [on the link you provided- with all reverence to the Swamiji] "ChaturVarnam mayaa srushtam, Guna Karma Vibhaagash." (Gita 4:13). meaning - Four Varnas are created by me according to Qualities (Guna) and Actions (Karma) !!! -- Where is the mention of "Birth" here ? Why is Swamiji wrongly interpreting it and inserting the non mentioned word of "Birth" there ? If that was the case, then Maharshi Vyaasa would not have become Guru of All Hindus !!! (if you want to put him in the barricade of caste as per today - then he would have fallen in the caste of Shudra -- but his "Guna" and "Karma"s made him Bramhana and given him seat of a Guru !!!)Same is the case of Maharshi VaalmikiSame is the case of Maharshi VishwaaMitraSame is the case of BaajiRao - who was a Prime Minister of Maraathaa (Hindu) empire !!! [he was a Bramhin by birth but adopted to Kshatriya varna for saving our Dharma ]and the list goes on ....

Rajesh Patil

---------- Generally in all temples Brahmin priests are kept.In north American is an American Priest and I think it is OK But even lower class person studies and becomes Brahman then he can be the priest.Even Sri Rama advocated women any any person of the caste is alloowed to work as a priest We have to take the modern view of Hindu life style. All human beings are put on the same stage This is my personal understanding.

Shankerprasad S Bhatt ------------------------

When can you all get over Brahman & Shudra business & become 100 % human.This is the reason India is suffering while the world is moving ahead.A spiritual country like ours, Greatness Personified, is plagued by this kind of mean thinking.Unless you all give it up , Guru Nanak, Buddha, Mahavir will have to be born to reform the cobwebbby thinking of your presumed superiority of the brahmins.

c. karnani

------------------------------

In the Vedas, only those who have studied Vedic knowledge/metaphysics till the age of 24 years and qualifies the examination held after 16 years of studies is enttled to become Vedic Priest. In Vedas education should star at the age of 8 years under the qualified Guru (Aditya or Vasu person) and till 8 years of age Mother and Father remain teachers.

 

Incidentally in Vedas, as I understand it, a Brahmin is not by brith.

 

So we need to define what we mean by Shudra. A person like Gandhi ji, Dr Ambedakar, Vyasa, Valmiki etc born in non Brahman familes if become preists, it would strengthen Vedic Sanatan Dharma

Regards,

Prem Sabhlok

--------

Shree Hari Ram Ram

Karnaniji, We believe this is an honest and geniune question, that is not presuming the superiority of the Brahmins, but rather wanting to know what the scriptures state regarding this issue.

Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram

 

 

-------------------------------

Shree Hari Ram Ram

 

Provided is a link where Swamiji talks about -

Essential Duties (swadharma) Determined By Caste At Birth

 

sadhaka/message/1765

 

Cause of Conflict in Society

sadhaka/message/1549

 

There is much written about it in our scriptures and by Swamiji, however, these have not all been translated into English so far.

 

Previous Gita talk discussions may also be helpful -

Q: Is the Caste System by Birth or by Deed? (you may need to read all the posts on that topic)

 

/message/796

 

From Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram

 

 

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Shree Hari Ram Ram

 

Sadhaks please see today's posting attached below, where Swamiji clarifies the

answer to this question. Also, we once again have formatting problems, please

excuse us. Ram Ram

-----------------------------

" Can a Shudra (people of the labour and artisan community) born person become a

Brahmin priest in a temple? "

 

anil bhanot

-----------------------------

 

NEW POSTING

 

|| Shree Hari ||

Ram Ram

 

Whatever different bodies are attained in higher and lower wombs (forms of

birth), they are all attained only according to one's " karmas " (actions) and

gunas (three constituents of Nature, qualities). It is only according to one's

qualities and actions that the human being is born; therefore man's " jaati "

(having to do with race, community, family etc.) is believed to be as per his

birth only. Thus from a " gross body " perspective, for purposes of marriage,

one's food habits and one's actions, the birth must be given importance. In

other words, according to one's " varna " (one of the four classes in society,

caste), food, marriage and actions must be adopted.

 

Second point is, he who continues to have worldly aim of enjoyment, wealth,

respect, rest, relaxation, happiness etc. for him it becomes essential to do his

duty in accordance to what is specified for his " varna " (caste) and to live

within the boundaries established for that " varna " . If he does not stay within

the boundaries of his " varna " , then he will take a downfall. But he whose aim

is only Paramatma, and is not after worldly pleasures and enjoyments, for him

satsang, spiritual reading, japa, meditation, listening to divine stories of

devotees, self-inquiry etc. and all work related to the Divine are most

important. The point in that in God (Self) Realization, man's divine

sentiments, behavior, etc. are most important, not " jaati " (race, community,

family) and " varna " (class in society).

 

The third point is, he whose aim is God (Self) Realization, he while perform all

activities related to God. with the attitude of worship and reverence,

considering them most important, and at the same time doing his duties as per

his " varna " and stage in life (ashram), is doing only spiritual and divine work

..

 

Therefore Bhagwaan has said -

 

" yatah pravrutirbhootaanaam yena sarvamidam tatam |

swakarmanaa tambhyarcha siddhim vindati maanavha || (Gita 18/46)

 

In this verse Bhagwaan (God) has said something quite extraordinary -

 

When one fixes their object of aim on That Paramatma, That by which this entire

universe is created and by which the entire universe is pervaded, then one must

do all work as His worship according to one's varna. In doing this all men are

entitled. Devataas, demons, animals, birds etc. are not entitled by

themselves. However even for them there is no prohibition according to

Paramatma. Because all beings are a part (ansh) of Paramatma, and all are

entitled to God Realization. All beings have complete rights and entitlement

over Bhagwaan. From this it is proven that in relating with the world

(vyavahaar) i.e in behavior pertaining to earning a living, daughter and body

etc. the birth is most important, whereas in attaining Paramatma the inner

sentiments (bhaav), discrimination (vivek) and actions (karma) are most

important. Taking this purport, those knowing scriptures have said that if those

qualities are found in people of other " varnas " as the qualities and behavior of

men of a particular " varna " , then they too should be considered to be of that

particular " varna " .

 

" Yasya yallakshanam proktam punso varnaabhivyajyakam |

yadanyatraapi drshyet tat tenaiva vinirdeshet || (Srimadbhag 7/11/35)

 

Therefore it means that whatever be the signs, indication, distinguishing

features, characteristics (lakshan) of a Brahmin, such as self-restraint and

self-controlled (sham-dam) etc. if those qualities and characteristics

naturally are in one from a different " varna " , then inspite of being in a

different " varna " at birth, he must not be considered so. This has come in the

Mahabharat in the conversation between Yuddhistir and Nahush, that if a Shudra

is most eminent, then he must not be considered a " shudra " and if a Brahmin is

not conducting himself according to the qualities and characteristics of a

Brahmin class, then such a person must not be consider a Brahmin.

 

" Shudre tu yad bhavelakshma dvije tacch ne vidhyate |

Na vai shudro bhavechyoodro Brahmano ne cha Brahmanah ||

yattretlakshyate sarp vratam sa Brahmanah smrutah |

yattretanna bhavet sarp tam shudra miti nirdishet ||

 

(Mahabharat, vanaparva 180/25-26)

 

In other words, with that respect, it is actions which are important, not the

birth. (to be continued)

 

From " Saadhan, Sudhaa, Sindhu " in hindi page 871-872 by Swami Ramsukhdasji.

=======================================================

 

Ram Ram

 

I remember hearing a small anecdote in Swamiji's pravachans. It goes like this -

 

Someone once asked Bhaiji (Shri HanumanPrasadji Poddar) that by devotion of God

can a sudra become brahmin (priest). To this Bhaiji replied - No, he cannot

become a brahmin but he definitely becomes worthy of a figure to be worshipped

by brahmin.

 

Thanks,

Hare Krishna

Varun Paprunia

------------------------

 

Hari Om

 

No! A Shudra by birth SHOULD NOT become " a Brahmin priest in a Temple " !

 

Pranaams to all Sadhaks

Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah

 

Narottam

 

------------------------------

 

-Shree Hari

 

Namaste!,

 

My first inclination was to give this one a miss. No knowledge of the finer

points of the caste system of India.

I was talking to a friend of mine some time back about this wonderful forum, and

made the passing comment, that I was reluctant to get involved, not

knowledgeable in Gitaji, Vedas and so on, and said to him, " I am lower than the

lowest cast I suppose, through the eyes of some " , and then the clown in me

laughed and said, " What have I to lose " .

I thought Sri Sathyanarayan ji post was very close to my inner thoughts.

I noticed in the 'Essence of Yogavaasishtha' The Comment on Ch. 30 Vers 43--44,

I found some good information on the castes, and noted: '....This has

deteriorated into a rigid caste system, determined by birth in India , though it

is a rational division of advocation based on individual qualities, aptitudes

and skill..........'

So I cannot understand why there would be any restriction upon sacred matters,

based on the above, and other Sadhaks comments.

 

Om... Shanti...

 

Mike (K).

-----------------------

 

Sri sowndarya madabhushi sir,

You wrote that one should be born

bramhin to become apriest in a temple,please enquire with elders as to who is

the pradhana archaka in sriailam temple in a.p.

 

Janma na jayathe sudraha karmana jayathe dwijaha veda patanthu vipranam bramha

jnanena bramhana

Badri Narayana Miriyala

 

(If you know the meaning of the sanskrit shlok, please translate for the group.

Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram)

 

---------------------------

 

BG 18.41 states svabhava-prabhavair gunaih.

The prakriti is made of three gunas. Actions are due to guna gunesu vartante

i.e. interaction of gunas.

Basically, our actions are done due to gunas of prakriti.

It means that the four varnas action's are divided due to their natural svabhav

resulting from (born of) gunas.

Gunas decide our nature. That is true. This does not mean that the birth decides

one's svabhav.

 

Just like self is not doer but gunas or prakriti is doer. Same way gunas or

prakriti decide your svabhav also.

But again, that does not mean that the birth decides one's varna.

 

Gaurav Mittal

------------------------------

 

Can a Sudra by birth, become a Brahmin priest in a Temple?

 

This reminds me of a wonderful Vachana (Kannada poetry known for its simplistic

and direct approach so that it would reach everyone in all walks of life) from a

well-known spiritual and social reformer - BasavaNNa - from the medieval times

from southern India:

 

Ullavaru shivaalayava maaDuvarayya

naanena maaDali baDavanayya |

Nanna kale kambhavu dehave degula

shirave honna kalashavayya ||

 

" One with riches blessed upon him would probably build magnificent temples; but

what shall I do, a poor man who have no such opportunities? Of course, I can,

the seer assures himeself. My limbs are verily the pillars of the temple that my

body is. The head that The Lord has blessed me with is verily the

sanctum-sanctorium to lodge the lotus feet of My Lord. "

 

My dear friend, being a priest, what could you ever do? Throw some colored

powders and fragrant flowers at a granite or marble statue?! Burn some fragrant

sticks and lit the lights in the dark ancient rooms of a stone building??!!

Cleanse the idle that never responds to you and the dark rooms that won't

acknowledge your inner quests???!!! What are you expecting ... from becoming a

priest ...

 

You are asking to be a preist my dear friend when you have the abundant

opportunity to be the temple as such … the temple that responds to every nookes

and corners of your presence … the temple that reverberates in resonance of the

very basis of its existence, The Lord of all lives, The NarayaNa ... in every

breath ... in every pulse ... and in every blink. When the temple itself is with

you, who cares who is the priest and who cares whether anyone agrees or allows

to let you worship?! When you make yourself The Temple, where is the need for

becoming a priest since every act that is transacted through your very existence

is nothing but worship??!! When the very life you dwell with becomes the worship

in all its pulses, in all its breaths, in all its blinks, ... how can The

NarayaNa be anything but the temple as such???!!! When the NarayaNa is The

Temple, who are you and who is He? Who is the priest and who is the deity?? and,

what is worship ... no more dilemmas ... no more wishes ... no more worships ...

EVRYTHING IS THAT THAT IT IS ...

 

Therefore, my dear friend, if at all you desire … desire to be the temple that

you are … being a priest or not is irrelevant then!

 

Respects.

 

Naga Narayana.

 

 

Shree Hari Ram Ram

 

Please read below written in Gita Darpan about " jaati " by Swamiji, titled " Gita

mein Jaati ka Varnun " pg 82-84 Article # 18. If any one can help translate the

rest of the article from Hindi to English and sharing with the group, it will

be very beneficial for all. Gita Darpan is available online, please see link

-

http://www.swamiramsukhdasji.org/swamijibooks/pustak/pustak1/html/GeetaDarpan/ma\

\

in.html

 

Thank you, Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram

----

 

 

Translated partial article -

 

GITA MEIN JAATI KAA VARNUN

 

" Janma manyate jaatih, karmanaa manyate krutih;

Tasmaat swakiykartavyam paalaniyam prayanttah. "

 

In nature, as many different bodies that are received in the millions of

different forms of births, they are all received according to one's

constitutents of nature i.e. qualities (gunas) and actions (Gita 13:21; Gita

14:16, Gita

14:18). It is only according to one's qualities (gunas) and actions (karma) that

man receives his next birth. In other words, according to the qualities (gunas -

sattva is goodness, rajas is passion and tamas is inertia or ignorance)

possessed and the actions performed in his previous birth, man's next birth is

determined.

God has said in the Gita, that it is only according to man's qualities (gunas)

and actions, that I have created the four positions by birth (Caste - Brahmana,

shatriya, vaishya and shudra) - " Chaturvarnaya mayaa srushtam

gunakarmavibhaagash. " (Gita 4:13). That is, Gita believes in position (caste

group) at time of birth. In other words, man who is born in a particular class,

race, the four castes (varna), who is born of

parents of a particular caste, that itself is believed to be his own caste.

 

The word " caste " comes from " jan praadubhaarve " , that is, it is from birth that

one's caste is determined, not from one's activities. From actions (karma), type

of work is determined, but the full protection of caste is only from following

through with the activities prescribed for a particular caste.

 

God has said in Gita 18:41, that it is only according to the birth that actions

are compartmentalized. The " varna " caste that a man is born in, and in the

scriptures the description of the activities to be performed in that caste,

those actions are the essential duties of that caste. And those activities that

are not prescribed for that caste, then those activities , are considered

outside of one's duties " par-dharma " for that caste. According to the

scriptures, just like doing yagna, receiving charity, etc. is the duty

(swadharma) of Brahmanas; but the same activities are not being prescribed by

the scriptures for kshatriya, vaishya, shudra are therefore outside of one's

duties (par-dharma). If man dies in the process of doing his duties as

prescribed by his swadharma, then too he attains salvation; but the duties of

others, (par-dharma) and related behavior, is the cause of fear of birth and

death cycle (Gita 3:35). Arjuna was a kshatriya (warrior class); his duty

(swadharma) was to fight the war. Therefore for him, God says in clear words,

that for a kshatriya there is no other work that will lead to salvation, like

fighting in war (Gita 2:31) and if he did not fight this righteous war, then he

would be giving up his essential duties (swadharma) and glories and committing a

sin (Gita 2:33). (to be continued)

 

From " Gita Darpan " in Hindi pg 83 by Swami Ramsukhdasji

 

--\

\

---

 

 

Dear Sadaks,

One can become priest. But why say Bhramin Priest? 1) Namadev (Sudra) was. 2)

Thirupan Alwar (One of 12 Vaisnavite Saints- S.C.) was. 3) Hati Ram Baba

(Sudhra) of Thirupathi Venkateswara was. 4) Nandhanar S.C. caste (one of the 63

saints of Bagavan Shiva) was. These people were regarded much better than

BHRAMIN priests by Bagavan. What matters is 1) Unshakable Faith and love 2)

Clean Habits. 3) Mind to treat everyone alike (Vasudeva Sarvam) 4) No desires on

anything except on God. 5) Very important-- Never angry,Egoistic, ability to

forgive anything, NO attachment on anything but Bagavan.

B.Sathyanarayan

 

-----

Dear Sir,

By birth, one does not mean physical birth. The birth one talks about which

decides one's caste in society is the second birth. That is decided by many

factors, as such it is not what you think. Remember Vishwamitra who was a

warrior king. He by his first birth was born in the warrior caste. But the

second birth that he attained the attributes more suitable to the brahmin caste,

thus he became a brahmarishi.

One's physical birth does not determine ones' true caste. One's primary guna

is one such factor which decides which is one's true caste. I am sure if you ask

this to brahmins by birth who are comparable to frog's in a well who have never

seen the ocean and a frog which has seen the ocean and is a brahmin, I am sure

the first type of brahmin will tell you it is physical birth which decides one's

caste but talk to a brahmin who has travelled the world and he or she will tell

you that there are the four castes in all parts of the world and that this is a

result of many things and not the first birth. So who tells you what is fact and

what is fiction is important. Coal and diamond are both made of carbon, but the

difference is in the pressure that the diamond has gone through to become a

diamond and the coal will not endure the same kind of pressure. There are

therefore diamond types and coal types and who you listen to as to what is true

is truly up to you.

 

Prashanth Thirukkonda

 

---------

 

Following the teachings of Gita, we can explain the Gunas of a Brahmin Varna

and the necessary qualifications needed to become a priest and also the

lifestyle they need to follow.

With that restriction, we may need to open up the opportunity with equal rights.

However one may need to decide how many will take it and how many will accept

that.

A short 6 months quick course for priests is not going to work, but a full term

study will wok.

They need: i. " STUDY " the basic principles of Hindu Dharma and study of village

customs;

then: ii. " STHUTHI " - learning basic prayers and recitations; Sanskrit lessons

then: iii. " SMRUTHI " the reading of Puranas, prayer manthras, Bhagavath Githa

etc

then: iV: " SRUTHI " the stody of Vedas and Agamas and advanced study of Temple

procedures.

If anyone is willing to go through all these for 4 to 8 years - then why not a

Sudhra by birth.

When all the Brahmin Priests are sending their sons to IT, Engineering and Law

college,

we have very few willing to serve the Hindu Cause. When a Brahmin can do

business as a Vaisya

why not a Sudra do the Pooja.

Bala N. Aiyer

 

-----------------------------

sir ,

kindly note that any one can become a vaishnava, but not a brahmin. it is

compulsory to be born in a brahmin family to be a priest in a temple.

sowndarya madabhushi

 

------------------------------

 

 

The answer is YES. Sudra or brahmin or vaiSya or kshatria is not by birth it is

by guna karma vibhaagasaha. and the division is for the computations of Lord and

not for us. 18.42, cited by some brings out the guna whcih are characteristic of

a brahmana.if a person does not conform to this behavior, then he is no

brahmana.

 

in Maha Bharata of Veda Vyasa (samskrita0, aranya parva 4th Aasvaasa has a

question-answr session between Dharmaja and Nahusha, the Anaconda. go through

them keenly and you will realize how idiotic the so called caste sstem is. You

mabe surprised to note that in Dharma (hinduism) there is no caste. only varna

aasrama dharma exists.

 

Per my understanding, the concept of " Caste " is from judaism. Jacob divided his

dozen sons into 12 castes. one of his son Levi was given the priest caste,

implying that his descendants and they alone have to be priests or archaka.

 

we do not have such rigidity about archakatva. In west godavari district of

Andhra Pradesh, thee is a narasimha swamy temple in which all archakas belong to

the so called S heduled ccastes.This has been in vogue ince 11th century CE

(since Ramanuja).

 

in Visishta advaita, there are no castes. most venerated Azhvaars come from

every community, and have endeared to the Lord by their Bhakti and tatparata.

remember m friends, the Vyaasa of Veda was a fisher woman's son

 

krishna samudrala

 

-

Generally in all temples Brahmin priests are kept.In north American is an

American Priest and I think it is OK But even lower class person studies and can

attain the knowledge needed to perform a priest's duties. Even Sri Rama

advocated women and any person of the caste is allowed to work as a priest We

have to take the modern view of Hindu life style.

 

All human beings are put on the same stage

This is my personal understanding.

 

Shankerprasad S Bhatt

-----------------------------

When Manu came up with this classification, it was based on services performed

at the time. Human beings had already been around and were perfoming these

functions and he(Manu) classfied same. This classfication was misterpreted and

become entrenched and detrimental to us and as such we should discourage it.

 

Mangal Deolal

 

 

Namaste Anilji and other sadhak bandhus.

Shudra, Vaishya, Kshatriya & Brahmin are four steps to spiritual (not material)

progress leading to Moksha, the ultimate human goal. This progress might be

quicker if you are born in a spiritually enlightened family and vice versa.

This has recently been very well explained in Yatharthageeta website & book,

putting a full stop on such arguments of birth rights, castes, high-low etc.

At birth we are all Shudra, then while learning spirituality from others we

exchange ideas and become Vaishya, then we have our internal spiritual struggle

while we remain Kshatriya, when the doubts resolve and from experience we start

sharing spiritual knowledge we are Brahmins. Same person can be in different

roles (jobs) physically while making this spiritual progress. Hope this

explains and removes any doubts about Varnashram as a spiritual science. Rest

is human politics or power struggle.....

In material world we might be doing sewa, business, law-enforcing, educating but

we are expected to continue progressing on spiritual path along the four varna

according to Geetaji.

Geetaji should be read as a text book of spirituality, and not of material world

alone. And it gives a clear indication that the answer to your question is Yes!

And I might add that s/he should be worthy of the position of the priest by

training and characters of such a person while making spiritual progress and

sharing it too.

Kind regards,

Dr BalMukund Bhala.

 

-------------------------

 

Shree Hari. Ram Ram.

 

Yes, anyone can become priest in a temple. My wife is from South America. Based

on traditional varna-ashram dharma, she is not even sudra but outcaste lower

than sudra. We have Radha Krishna dieties and she does puja to them.

 

In Kali-yug, main dharma is to do hari-naam. Everyone has right to do hari naam.

 

Skanda Purana says kalau sudra sambhavah. Everyone is sudra in Kali-yug.

 

See people as part of Paramatma instead of seeing them as sudra etc and judging

them.

 

My dear friends, there is no harm in being sudra. Even though I am born as

vaishya, I feel myself as being even lower than sudra.

Let us remember Ram, see Him in everyone and offer all our actions to Him. In

this way, remember Him all the time and be happy.

 

Ram Ram.

Gaurav Mittal

 

 

 

I believe the Gita is the master scriptures of Hinduism. By this I mean

everything else flows from it.

 

I believe that in the Gita Krishna does not talk about cast. He talks about

one's thoughts,

actions, and knowledge. Therefore the question about cast does not arise.

 

It is a great pity that India which calls itself secular has polluted its

constitution itself with talks of casts, religions and so forth. How can you

defeat castism if you make rules around casts? Similarly how can you call

yourself secular if you have different laws for different religions? However,

that is perhaps a different topic.

 

Regards...

Anupam Sharma

 

 

 

Dear Sadhakas,

Hare Krishna.

This is in response to a question from a Sadhaka.

Lord Krishna describes in Bhagavad Gita, the qualities for Brahmanas. .

 

" Samo damas tapah saucam,

Kshantir arjavam eva ca,

Jnanam vijnanam astikyam,

Brahmam karma svabhava jam. "

( Gitaji 18,42)

 

Which means,

'Peace, self control, austerity, purity,tolerance,honesty,

Knowledge, wisdom and faith in the Lord are the qualities for brahmanas. '

 

Any one who has these qualities is a brahmana, irrespective of which caste he or

she in born into. An excellent example is Sant Tukarama, who was not born into

brahmana caste, yet he is a great vaishnava. Any body who has the above

qualities is fit to function as a brahmana.

 

Thank You.

Hare Krishna.

Prasad.A.Iragavarapu, M.D

-

 

Yes.

I know it is hard to swallow.

Gita clearly says Varna is purely by Guna and Karma;

ones own in-born desire, ecucational qualification and

the career one chooses with that qualification and training.

 

Everyone is born a Sudhra [untrained] then evolve

during the grwth by study and mental capacity.

 

Jaathi is by birth and Varna is by qualification.

If he studies and practises the discipline and masters the knowledge

he / she should become a Vedic Pandit and a priest.

 

Bala N. Aiyer

-----------------------------

 

Gita does not provide any verse to say either Yes or No to this question. But

there was a time when Shudras could not become a priest. This ws so because at

that time the society adopted a kind of division of labor to encourage

efficiency. Through family background and trainig, one tends to excel in the job

undertaken by the family. But current civilization has found ways to excellence

irrespective of family bckground. So priest's sons can become businessman,

trader, labourer in a factory, farmer. There is not yet much training school for

the job of hindu priesthood: once this is organised for shudras, they can become

priests. They can also become Brahmins if they are ble to cultivate the

attributes of a Brahmin i themselves. May people who are born in brahmn families

are cultivating the attributes of a brahmin and therefore are not really

brahmins.

The Ramakrishna Mission practices Hindu Religion. Many of the Sanyasis of

Ramakrishna Mission are not from brhmin families but can act as priests.

Basudeb Sen

 

---------

 

Shree Paramatmane Namah

 

In any of the Gita verses (in Gita 4:13, Bhagwaan talks about the four varnas,

not about Bhrahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra), " Shudra " word has not come.

This has arrangement has come about by way of society, which is on it's own

after struggle is moving towards it end. Per my knowledge, to consider Brahmin,

Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra by birth, has not been mentioned any where in the

Gita. If it has been addressed, then please make us aware.Your question pertains

to that individual who conducts prayers and vedic rituals in temples, which has

nothing whatsoever to do with birth. What do Brahmins not fight in wars?Was

their caste changed to be called Kshatriya? I too would like to understand this

better. So be it, Vineet Sarvottam

 

---------------

 

Namaste Yes, anyone can become a priest (Hindu priest) - whether Brahmin or

otherwise - in a temple. Nowhere in GITA ji does Bhagavan forbids anyone from

becoming a priest or taking upany position in any Hindu establishment. These

class/caste restrictions are man-madeand artificially imposed. How can our great

and treasured Hinduism tolerate bigotry that will prevent anyone - whatever

caste, race, gender, nationality - from aspiringand attaining any position in

any temple? That's not what Bhagavan teaches us in GITA Ji.

 

Ram Ram, Deosaran Bisnath

 

 

 

There were many. A brahmin meant one of intellectual bent of mind, who could

learnto read, learn or atleast recite the vedas verbatim.d Durgesh Mankikar,MD

 

-

 

Dear sadhak,

 

Namsthe.

Why do you think so. There are priests

born as( scheduledcaste)do work as priests in certain temples of A.p.In

srisailam temple the priests are not bramhins they are jangams (a bc

community).In manyam konda temple of a.p.Nambi cast (BC)people are the

priests.The priest ship of a temple is not cast based.

 

 

Badri Narayana Miriyala

 

----------- Dear Ones,

Namaste!Of course, such questions do arise in the beginning by us.Question can

be turned around and asked: Is anyone Shudra or Brahmin or anything else by

birth?How can anyone be other than human being? A person becomes, not born, as

shudra or brahmin depending on upbringing!And such a person is just a fleeting

conglomeration of thoughts-feelings-beliefs leading them to actions labeled as

this caste or that caste! To think of oneself as shudra or brahmin, except for

practical context, is ignorance!YES, A human being, regardless of the background

of parents, can be brahmin like or shudra like! Having said this:Our first and

foremost temple is God given body-mind; by proper sanskaras, one can be a

priest of such a temple. This first step is more important than to be a priest

in man-made temples which discriminate based on births!We must see that the

entire Cosmo is God's Temple and as such everyone has equal opportunity to be

Priests!You can be barred from man-made temple, but you cannot be barred, ever

from God's temple! You are already in Temple Priest or not! After all, a Priest

is one who generally is seen to perform the rituals, while a devotee tries to

know God, so, why not to be devotee first?Namaskar.............Pratap Bhatt

 

-----------------

 

Can a Sudra by birth, become a Brahmin priest in a Temple? EVERYONE is a shudra

by birth! THERE IS NO EXCEPTION FOR THIS. The Shudra is the one who cannot

appreciate one's circumstances completely and needs help, one who lacks clarity

on the congeniality and adversity of one's circumstances, one whose interest is

just to exist/live/survive rather than dominating or leading, and one who cannot

take decisions and hence responsibilities on one's own. Therefore, everyone

without exception, has to be a Shudra by birth as I have not seen any baby that

defies the above description. BrahmaNo'sya mukhamaaseet baahoo raajanyah

kritah | Oroo tadasya yadvaishyah padbhaagm shoodro ajaayata || Purusha Sookta

(Song of the Universal Being) says only one fellow is ever born - that is a

Shudra! And, the birth of such a fellow can happen only at the feet of The

Fellow, The Moolaadhaara Chakra, center of Vaasanaas, desire to exist.

Therefore, whoever is born has to be Shudra!! All other VarNas are offshoots of

the Shudratva only. The Fellow's very existence depends on His feet, the

foundation of survival, the crocodilian brain, the instinct to survive. It is

for that instinct one is born in the first place, as a Shudra!!! The rest of

the VarNas such as Vaishya, Kshatriya and BrahmaNa are earned positions - NEVER

THE BORN POSITIONS! No womb can dictate what one is and what one would be. The

fellow born has its own agenda in life! The Shudratva is the backbone of a

soceity - be it human, be it ants, be it bees … the working class that takes

dierction to do their job is what the soceity is fundamentally made with. The

soceity runs only due to this class of population. Tamas - ignorance and inertia

in terms of fear of existence - is the predominant characteristic of the class.

And this population comprises everyone by birth and continues to keep everyone

in its grips till death. No one can claim not to be a Shudra unless one attains

a state where one need not claim anything at all! One who grows out of mere

existence to bargain with the environment as well as oneself to lead soceity for

prosperity is The Vaishya wherein the desire to satisy trans-existential

appetites begin, wherein the fellow starts interpolating and extrapolating one's

observations to strike better balances in life with the nature and the soceity

one dwells in; wherein one's genetic urge for progeny to one's own kind of

genetic expansion hits the surface; wherein the possessions and ownership take

lead to distinguish the person in a soceity; and wherein one discovers the ways

to exploit others and their innocence to promote one's own possessions and

ownership further. The Rajas - desires for genetic progeny and habitual

prosperity - again ignorance and inertia, but driven by existential desires -

raises to camouflage the Tamas which continues to control the person. Material

gain remains the focal point for all the activities. One who starts

acknowledging the individual hegemony in prosperity starts appreciating the

individual power in hegemonizing the environment and the soceity boosting the

individual identity, the ego, which starts elating in all the activities - the

Rajas raises to its pinacle wherein the desire for progeny in all respects -

genetic as well as idealogical - reigns. Amassing possessions becomes an

obsession irrespective of the objects of ownership - material, ideas, relations,

and even fellow human beings! The Kshatriya raises in one's behavior as the ego

raises within. But yet, one remains Shudra at the core as the crocodilian brain

controls and drives all the maneuvers of the fellow in all activities since the

existential gain is the only agenda at the core though the emotional gain

superficially remains the focal point for all the activities. One who

acknowledges the miseries to be self-borne raising from the very instinct for

survival (Shudratva) that is nurtured to its newer heights in life in terms of

Tamas as well as Rajas in Vaishyatva as well as Kshatriyatva would realize how

the fellow continues to be miserable with magnified desires and fears than a

mere Shudra. A person who acknowledges growing intensity in pains as one climbs

the social ladder of heirarchy and hegemony would start recognizing the havoc

played by the twins - Rajas and Tamas - and starts empowering the balancing

force (Sattva) to attain peace from which he has moved away in the frenzy of

living. As the Sattva grows from within, the fellow starts contemplating on the

basis the Absolute Peace (Brahman) embracing the BrahmaNattva to seek the same

peace more and more. But, the BrahmaNattva cannot ensure an instant erasure of

all the history of the Shudrattva, Vaishyattva and Kshatriyattva one has

entertained with different intensities at different stages and circumstances of

life. But, definitely, the BrahmaNattva will act on the Vaasanas to eventually

eradicate all the VarNas including the BrahmaNattva since The Absolute sought in

the truthful BrahmaNattva is VarNaateeta as well as VarNanaateeta - no one can

characterize it because IT has no characteristics; IT transcends the very act of

characterization. YES! EVERYONE IS ELIGIBLE AS WELL AS ENTITLED FOR THE

BRAHMANATTVA, TO SEEK THE ABSOLUTE THAT ENCOMPASSES THE WHOLE UNIVERSE INCLUDING

ANYONE WHO SEEKS IT. In spite of seeking BrahmaNattva, one is bound to remain

a Kshatriya, a Vaishya as well as a Shudra in variant proportions till one

attains Moksha, The Absolute that transcends all the VarNas catergorically. In

other words, only one who can transcend the BrahmaNattva would ever transcend

the rest of the VarNas. Therefore, an existence of a pure BrahmaNa is a myth!

That is the nature of BrahmaNattva.

 

Respects. Naga Narayana.

--------------------

 

 

Yes, very Much !!!

Swaamiji is wrongly interpreting Geetaa In the lecture [on the link you

provided- with all reverence to the Swamiji] " ChaturVarnam mayaa srushtam,

Guna Karma Vibhaagash. " (Gita 4:13). meaning - Four Varnas are created by me

according to Qualities (Guna) and Actions (Karma) !!! -- Where is the mention of

" Birth " here ? Why is Swamiji wrongly interpreting it and inserting the non

mentioned word of " Birth " there ? If that was the case, then Maharshi Vyaasa

would not have become Guru of All Hindus !!! (if you want to put him in the

barricade of caste as per today - then he would have fallen in the caste of

Shudra -- but his " Guna " and " Karma " s made him Bramhana and given him seat of a

Guru !!!)Same is the case of Maharshi VaalmikiSame is the case of Maharshi

VishwaaMitraSame is the case of BaajiRao - who was a Prime Minister of Maraathaa

(Hindu) empire !!! [he was a Bramhin by birth but adopted to Kshatriya varna for

saving our Dharma ]and the list goes on ....Rajesh Patil

 

 

 

Generally in all temples Brahmin priests are kept.In north American is an

American Priest and I think it is OK But even lower class person studies and

becomes Brahman then he can be the priest.Even Sri Rama advocated women any any

person of the caste is alloowed to work as a priest We have to take the modern

view of Hindu life style.

 

All human beings are put on the same stage

 

This is my personal understanding.

 

 

Shankerprasad S Bhatt

 

------------------------

 

 

 

When can you all get over Brahman & Shudra business & become 100 % human.This is

the reason India is suffering while the world is moving ahead.A spiritual

country like ours, Greatness Personified, is plagued by this kind of mean

thinking.Unless you all give it up , Guru Nanak, Buddha, Mahavir will have to be

born to reform the cobwebbby thinking of your presumed superiority of the

brahmins. c. karnani

 

------------------------------

 

In the Vedas, only those who have studied Vedic knowledge/metaphysics till the

age of 24 years and qualifies the examination held after 16 years of studies is

enttled to become Vedic Priest. In Vedas education should star at the age of 8

years under the qualified Guru (Aditya or Vasu person) and till 8 years of age

Mother and Father remain teachers.

 

Incidentally in Vedas, as I understand it, a Brahmin is not by brith.

 

So we need to define what we mean by Shudra. A person like Gandhi ji, Dr

Ambedakar, Vyasa, Valmiki etc born in non Brahman familes if become preists, it

would strengthen Vedic Sanatan Dharma

Regards,

Prem Sabhlok

-

Shree Hari Ram Ram

 

Karnaniji, We believe this is an honest and geniune question, that is not

presuming the superiority of the Brahmins, but rather wanting to know what the

scriptures state regarding this issue.

 

Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram

 

 

 

 

-------------------------------

Shree Hari Ram Ram

 

Provided is a link where Swamiji talks about -

Essential Duties (swadharma) Determined By Caste At Birth

 

sadhaka/message/1765

 

Cause of Conflict in Society

sadhaka/message/1549

 

There is much written about it in our scriptures and by Swamiji, however,

these have not all been translated into English so far.

 

Previous Gita talk discussions may also be helpful -

Q: Is the Caste System by Birth or by Deed? (you may need to read all the posts

on that topic)

 

/message/796

 

From Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram

 

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"Can a Shudra (people of the labour and artisan community) born person become aBrahmin priest in a temple?"anil bhanot-----------------------------NEW POSTING

Here Swamiji's explanation from our texts are good.For simplicity and easy comprehension of these facts:We must realize that "VARNA" is different from Jaathi or Caste.In-born qualities should not be confused with birth based rights.In-born qualities of the soul - as Jiva-atma determines the Varnaand added to that is the desire, training and the performance of action.Jaathi can be from birth and family and some families can take up oneprofession or other from father to son or daughter and also our jaathi determine certain family customs and traditions.Customs and traditions should not be confused with Hindu Dharma -as these customs will vary from family to family in different region;Food habits and dress are according to region and Varna - the profession one takes.Kshatriya and Sudhra varna who does physical labor is allowed some Rajasika foods - including meat;but if one born in Kshatriya family does a business, sits in a shop all day - sedentary -then he needs to be a vegetarian like a Vaishya - because he is a Vaishya. It is that simple.In Jaathi, it not wrong to choose within the same for marriage since the customs and traditionswill be easy to adopt, but that does not mean that one Jaathi or Varna should look at another as superior or inferior. All are of the same in status and all are on one Hindu Samaj.It is like: in your house the Library, Study, Living room, Exercise room, Kitchen, Dining room, Garden area and the back yard are all equal in importance [like the four Varnas]but serves different purpose and one and the same principle applies to Jaathi.If you have a Pooja room, it may be considered special but everyone has a right to go there.If properly trained and has the in-born desire, a Sudhra by birth can become a Brahmin Priest in a Temple.Also: There are many Temples in Tamil Nadu where traditionally the priests are not Brahmins.Everyone at birth is a Sudhra - by in-born desires of nature and intensive study becomes Brahmin,so says Srimad Bhagavad Gita and also our Vedas.Let us think of Equal Rights and equal privileges.Bala N. Aiyer.--------

A simple question brings so many responses: it is amazing. The variations inguna composition leads to variations in responses to the same question,though the source of the question and the answers are ultimately the same -the God Almighty Creator who pervades the entire Creation. God said, Gunasand Actions determines the nature of the next birth. God said Gunas comealong with the birth. So, birth to birth this continues and Gunacombinations could change from birth to birth with the effect of actions.Where does this mean that birth has to be in particular caste in order toget the same Gunas? The children of the same parents do not show identicalGuna combinations.God said he created the four varnas as per a broad classification of theGuna combination characteristics . Where does He say that Varna isdetermined by birth in a particular family of parents of the same varna? Ifwe assume that He did indeed say that, then it would follow that people ofthe same class of Guna chracteristics would be born and married in the samevarna. But how does he ensure that? If he had planned that way there wouldnot have been inter-varna narriages and there would not be the possibilityof Sankar progeny after the Mahabharata War. So, to assume that varna isdetermined by birth is inconsistent with God's Creation and actual evidence.What is the problem of accepting the position that God created Varnas asfour categories of people in accordance with broad similarities anddissimilarties in Guna combinations? Some Guna combinations may suit the jobof priesthood. But clearly birth has nothing to with that. There arepriests in Chruches and Mosques, but they are not bornt in brahmin families.God of Gita was not a short-sighted person unable to see that priests in theWorld would come from different families. Gautam Buddha was born inKshytiya family but became a preacher instead of rulling a Kingdom andprotecting the subjects by using his fighting skills. Was Buddha a Khatriyaor a Brahmin? Was Christ a Brahmin. Was Vivekanda a brahmin? Was Bill Gatesa brahmin. Is Saurav Ganguly who has been a career cricketer and now alsodoes various things other than prieshood, a brahmin, though he was born in abrahmin family. Were Nehru or Indira Gandhi who ruled India Kshatriyas. Itis very difficult to believe that theLord of Gita could not anticipate thesewhile talking abou Gunas and varnas. He must have also been aware of thepossibilty of Hitler and Napolean. All these characters whose actual varnaswere not determined by their birth but by their actions and Gunas have comebecause of His wish and clearly He was not going to contradict Himself bysaying varnas are determined by birth. We need not think so poorly about theforesight of Lord Krishna.Basudeb Sen-------------

A shudra can be said to be a brahmin if he has attained the knowledge of self and his consciousness level high........and a brahmin can be said to be shudra if he fails to attain the knowledge of self and his consciousness level is low........irrespective of where he is born...

 

What happens in society indicates the consciousness levels of people at a particular time..... Truth can be obscured at times....

 

Sushil Jain

 

---------

Maanya Priya sadhakas

Saadar Pranaam

Brahmins were always respected for their absolute commitment to speaking the truth and for remaining aloof when considering all matters especially when related to Dharma. They could not be swayed even by the establishment and were fearless adjudicators and advisers of integrity so much so that even Emperor Akbar's (a Muslim) confidante Birbal was an esteemed Brahmin. In this spirit let us detach ourselves from political and social implications and debate this topic under the aegis of Shruti and Smriti.

The crux of the argument that varNa is through action is based on the interpretation of verses from Bhagavad Gita which is highly surprising given that it is part of Mahabharatam which unequivocally endorses varna by birth. After all why was KarNa referred to as 'sootputra' and indeed what is a 'soot'. Smriti expounds that it is the name of offspring born of a Brahmin mother and Kshatriya father.

 

Let us examine this particular verse from Gita in detail:

Chaaturvarnyam mayasrshtam guna karma vibhaagashaha.. (4.13)

This has been interpreted as: `The four fold varna was created by me based on guna and karma.

Referring to the commentary by Adishankaracharya we establish the authentic interpretation of this verse:

Chaaturvaryam=chatvaar eva varnaaH chaaturvarnya

Maya= eeshvarena

sRShTam=utpaaditam (braahmano'sya mukhamaaseet-ityaadi shruteH)

guna-karma vibhaagashaH=sattva-rajas-tamaansi

What Bhagavan Krishna ji says is that the fourfold varNa system as described in Shruti (Brahmana was the mouth of Purush etc.) is designed by me and a person takes birth according to the prevalence of the three guna (sattva-rajas-tamas) coupled with the effect of their karma (according to the actions of previous existences etc.). There is no inference here that a person's caste is determined by their actions and attributes in their current existence. Hindu Dharma upholds that the prAni attains a birth according to the fruits of their previous lives and that action done in that life will determine the outcome of any subsequent birth. This has been verified by pujneeya Swami ji.

This also applies to the verse from Gita (18.41) which actually means that all varnas are allocated duties according to the guNa (sattva-rajas-tama) that has determined their birth. There is no implication that these attributes develop through the current existence and in fact refer to the guNa which a person possesses at birth.

Genetics has proven that we inherit various traits, idiosyncrasies and disorders from our parents, so would we now refute this also?

One's jati or natal kinship community (not varNa) is intrinsically linked to parentage, no longer considered varna being commonly referred to as 'caste', an expression which we use on numerous occasions.

This now moves on to the existence of gotra, pravara and jati. Although some assert that surnames were not used in Ramayan and Mahabharata etc., this does not infer that they did not exist. In certain States of India today, individuals are known by their first names and surnames do not exist, in the conventional nomenclature prevalent in other parts of the subcontinent. As every Purohit who conducts Vedic rituals is aware the invocation or sankalp recited before the ceremony ensues records the exact kalpa, manvantara, yuga, year (samvat), aayan, season, lunar month, day, nakshatra (asterism) place etc.

The name and gotra of the host (yajman) is also recited. The name of the yajman is suffixed with the following words depending on their family origin:

Shudra-'Das'

Vaishya-'Gupta'

Kshatriya'-Varman'

Brahman- 'Sharman'

Manu ji describes and classifies the offspring of all mixed caste permutations in great detail inferring that caste was determined by birth even at the time Manu Smriti was compiled.

These conclusions may be unpalatable to some, however they are based on sound scriptural substantiation and I would encourage others to either agree or refute such assertions through bona fide Vedic injunctions.

For your kind consideration let us first define the term `dvija' ascribed to all Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas.

Dvija means twice born; Dvi means two, and Ja means birth. Hence, it means, with two births - one human, the other religious or spiritual. These are Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas:

Braahmanah kshatriyo vaishyas-tryo varnaa dvijaatayah/ Shankh 1:6

Braahmanah kshatriyo vaishyah tryo varnaah dvijaatayah/Anusha. 47:7

Braahman-kshatriya- vaishyas- tasmaad-ete dvijaah smrutaah/Yag. 1:2:17

How they become Dvijas, has also been specified by Smriti. But they say it is by Maunji Bandhanam (Upanayanam); not by attributes, profession, education etc. as some would assert.

Now, whose word is to be accepted? That of speculators or that of the Scriptures which are unequivocal? Here are its Scriptural evidences:

Teshaam janma dviteeyam tu vigyeya maunji-bandhanam/ / Yag. 1:2:17

Maatur-agre adhijananam dviteeyam Maunji-bandhane/ Manu 2:169

Matur-yadagre jaayante-dviteeyam Maunji-bandhanaat/ Yag. Aach. 39

The onus to prove the point that Dvija-hood is by guna, karma etc. lies on others to prove it through scriptural evidence.

Some scholars quote `From birth everyone is Shudra, it is through the sacraments that one becomes a `dvija'; it is regrettable that no Vedic scholar has been able to source the origin of this verse and even so this verifies that `dvijahood' is through Upanayanam Sanskaar alone.

Yajur Veda says:

Aa Brahman-braahmano brahm-varchasi jaayataam aa raashtre raa-janyah shoora ikhavyo- ativyaadhee maharatho jaayataam. (22:22)

Pada jaayataam in the above, means: May be born. Now, does it not refute the contention that Brahmins, Kshatriyas are by guna-karma and not by birth? Also, that all are Shudras by birth?

Some protagonists of non-birth based varna classify Shudras as those who are unable to gain the education.

This is another self-concocted untruth. Had it been the case, all the uneducated, unlettered in the Hindu Society would have been Shudras; and educated and lettered ones Brahmins, Kshatriyas or Vaishyas. But we do not find it so.

If everyone was Shudra at birth, how would anyone receive yajnopaveetam then, which is a pre-requisite for becoming Dvija and taking education in the Vedas? It is by virtue of this sacred Sanskaara that one attains dvija-hood or second birth, where Gayatri is the mother and Guru the father:

Aachaaryastu pita proktah saavitri janani tathaa/

Brahm kshatra vishaam-chaiva maunjibandhan janmani// Shankh 1:7

Tatra yad brahm-janma- asya maunji-bandhan- chihnitam/

Tatraasya maataa saavitri pita tu-aacharya uchyate// Manu 2:170

In light of the above, we would have to consider: How would you send a Shudra to Acharya-kulam for the study of the Vedas when he has had no Upanayanam? Even the reformist Swami Dayanand of the Arya Samaj asserts in his magnum opus Satyarth Prakash:

Shoodra parhhe parantu uskaa upanayanam na kare. Sam.4.p.46.

That a Shudra can study however should not undergo the Upanayanam.

Smriti confirms the ages for Upanayam according to varna:

Ashtame varshe braahmanam-upnayet (1), ekaadashe varshe-kshatriyam (3), dvaadashe varshe vaishyam (4).

The age of the Upanayanam is not stated for a Shudra child in Shruti or Smriti; for without this crucial Sanskar a Shudra cannot undertake Vedic erudition to become a Dvija (Brahmin, Kshatriya or Vaishya).

If the above ages do not relate to the caste of the child from birth, then how precisely in the tender age of 8th, 11th and 12th years does one determine the varna of the child (according to attributes or propensity) in order to perform the Upanayanam at the correct age as stated in the scriptures? Moreover, at such a tender age how exactly do we ascertain (simply by attributes) which child is to undertake study to become a Brahmin, Kshatriya or Vaishya?

In order to become a temple archaka, the Brahmin would have to be erudite in Veda and study thereof to be from an acharyakulam; this cannot be possible without upanayanam and then vedarambha sanskaar. Would any sadhak please provide references from our scriptures for the age of upanayanam for a shudra as we have not found a single mention in all these years?

Hari Om

Raj Pandit

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Shree Hari Ram Ram

Rajji, your posting is very informative. Kindly be brief in the future to stay aligned with group's guidelines.

Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram

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The Bhagavat Gita says that it is one's actions that are important, not one's birth.

 

Till the Muslim period, caste was quite flexible and people changed castes as they changes professions.

 

If a Shudra studies the scriptures and can recite the Vedas / mantras in Sanskrit, he should be permitted to officiate as a priest in the temple.

 

Dr. Nanditha Krishna------------

 

Hari OmA lot of responses are clubbing 'Universal Right of a human being to attain / realize/ worship God ' with 'Shudra by birth becoming Brahmin Priest in a Temple ' !! 'Worshipping God' is too broad a term. A single possible way and mean of 'Becoming Priest in a Temple' and attaining emancipation thereby in comparison to breadth of ways and means of 'Worshipping God' as per Gita/Sanatan Dharma Scriptures is just as miniscule as is mass of say Planet Mars in comparison with mass of Milky Way. Also, Your right to God / Self Realization and Becoming Priest in a Temple- These two are different things- they should not be mixed at all in deliberations. Reason: Becoming a Priest in a Temple, being a Karma, in itself is no guaranteed or only way of God/Self Realization. It is not "Karma/Action" that gets you God....It is "Akarma/Viveka/ Bhavas (inner sentiments)" that get you God !!! What is so important about becoming or not becoming a priest in a temple - when you talk of God/Self Realisation ?Many sadhaks have quoted Shrimad Bhagvad Gita and have stated that there it is stated that a well conducting Shudra is better than ill conducting Brahmin ! Yes !! All Scriptures say so ! Rightly say so ! Gita says so !! Definitely in that case a Shudra is better than Brahmin because he should be more respected, should be more idolised, should be more followed etc than the Brahmin !!! But So what? How does it impact the conclusion by Swamiji Ramsukhdasji Maharaj that caste division into 4 has been made by Paramatma on the basis of birth ? How is that fact relevant or critical in deliberations ?? Some Brahmin is a drunkard and some Shudra is Pundit of Scriptures- how does that change the conclusion regarding interpretation of a verse of Shrimad Bhagvad Gita !! Sadhaks also should note that not only human beings but in fact all creatures existing in this universe are classified in four parts viz. Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra. There are deep reasons for the same. Human life in particular is ordained to get governed accordingly. Sadhaks also should note that all human beings have been accorded 'appropriate' rights and duties- classification into 4 merely provides them a comfort, a clear road map and confidence in achieving the GOAL OF HUMAN LIFE - God/Self Realisation. It makes things easier for an individual Jeeva. Just As: A child can not be asked to lift 100 kilogram weight. Similarly: There are these 4 distinctions based on their level ( Svabhaav and Gunas) ! Shudras, for example, enjoy certain special privileges which Brahmins can not even dream of and vice versa. In other words, Sadhaks should understand what is 'equality in essence' vis a vis 'Gross equality' ! All humans are equal not 'grossly' but in 'essence' ! Paramatma has His own yardsticks of Equality ! 'Essence' yardstick is "Svabhaav and Gunas" and the Judge is God Himself as to who is at what level !! Any objections so far ? On God exercising the superintendence and deciding which of His child is standing at what level ?? God gave us human birth. What is wrong if He classifies us into say 4 four divisions? Most of the deliberations are subtly talking about 'equality'/ 'inequality' in gross terms ( an not 'essence' terms) WHILE arguing against assumption of classification by BIRTH. Little do they know that this argument is as funny as is : Why a female should conceive and carry child , why not male ? It is inequality ! Now is this 'inequality in essence' ? No ! Is this inequality in gross terms? Yes !! Similarly DIVISION BY BIRTH is not inequality in essence ! It may appear to be 'inequality in gross terms' !!Sadhaks should understand that it is DUTY of God to facilitate a human getting emancipated once human life has been given to him. HUMAN LIFE IS A PRIVILEGE IN ITSELF. Human life form has been especially created by God to emancipate Jeeva. On other hand...it is very difficult to change eons/ages old 'svabhaav' and 'Gunas' of individual Jeevas ! Hence, It is only to facilitate FASTER/EASIER emancipation of a human that - God Himself has classified all the humans into 4 divisions. How can God do that? Naturally, by birth only !! Can there be any other way of God classifying us except by BIRTH ? Hope this also helps Sadhak Rajesh Patil in better understanding the discourse of Swamiji Ramsukhdasji Maharaj on the subject. He should note and ALWAYS BELIEVE that our Scriptures are always right- they are ETERNAL TRUTHS. Humans make errors of judgement/interpretation not God/Scriptures.The Question of Saints like Swamiji Ramsukhdasji Maharaj making an error of interpretation / judgement of Shrimad Bhagvad Gita does not arise. Besides, Swamiji is a Scripture in Himself !! As great a Scripture as is Gita itself or Ramayana or Vedas !!!Pranaams to all SadhaksSarve Bhavantu SukhinahNarottam--

respected sir

 

can a sudra by birth, can become a kshatriya king?

 

mohan iyer

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|| Shree Hari ||Ram RamWhatever different bodies are attained in higher and lower wombs (forms ofbirth), they are all attained only according to one's "karmas" (actions) andgunas (three constituents of Nature, qualities). It is only according to one'squalities and actions that the human being is born; therefore man's "jaati"(having to do with race, community, family etc.) is believed to be as per hisbirth only. Thus from a "gross body" perspective, for purposes of marriage,one's food habits and one's actions, the birth must be given importance. Inother words, according to one's "varna" (one of the four classes in society,caste), food, marriage and actions must be adopted.Second point is, he who continues to have worldly aim of enjoyment, wealth,respect, rest, relaxation, happiness etc. for him it becomes essential to do hisduty in accordance to what is specified for his "varna" (caste) and to livewithin the boundaries established for that "varna". If he does not stay withinthe boundaries of his "varna", then he will take a downfall. But he whose aimis only Paramatma, and is not after worldly pleasures and enjoyments, for himsatsang, spiritual reading, japa, meditation, listening to divine stories ofdevotees, self-inquiry etc. and all work related to the Divine are mostimportant. The point in that in God (Self) Realization, man's divinesentiments, behavior, etc. are most important, not "jaati" (race, community,family) and "varna" (class in society).The third point is, he whose aim is God (Self) Realization, he while perform allactivities related to God. with the attitude of worship and reverence,considering them most important, and at the same time doing his duties as perhis "varna" and stage in life (ashram), is doing only spiritual and divine work.Therefore Bhagwaan has said -"yatah pravrutirbhootaanaam yena sarvamidam tatam |swakarmanaa tambhyarcha siddhim vindati maanavha || (Gita 18/46)In this verse Bhagwaan (God) has said something quite extraordinary -When one fixes their object of aim on That Paramatma, That by which this entireuniverse is created and by which the entire universe is pervaded, then one mustdo all work as His worship according to one's varna. In doing this all men areentitled. Devataas, demons, animals, birds etc. are not entitled bythemselves. However even for them there is no prohibition according toParamatma. Because all beings are a part (ansh) of Paramatma, and all areentitled to God Realization. All beings have complete rights and entitlementover Bhagwaan. From this it is proven that in relating with the world(vyavahaar) i.e in behavior pertaining to earning a living, daughter and bodyetc. the birth is most important, whereas in attaining Paramatma the innersentiments (bhaav), discrimination (vivek) and actions (karma) are mostimportant. Taking this purport, those knowing scriptures have said that if thosequalities are found in people of other "varnas" as the qualities and behavior ofmen of a particular "varna", then they too should be considered to be of thatparticular "varna"."Yasya yallakshanam proktam punso varnaabhivyajyakam |yadanyatraapi drshyet tat tenaiva vinirdeshet || (Srimadbhag 7/11/35)Therefore it means that whatever be the signs, indication, distinguishingfeatures, characteristics (lakshan) of a Brahmin, such as self-restraint andself-controlled (sham-dam) etc. if those qualities and characteristicsnaturally are in one from a different "varna", then inspite of being in adifferent "varna" at birth, he must not be considered so. This has come in theMahabharat in the conversation between Yuddhistir and Nahush, that if a Shudrais most eminent, then he must not be considered a "shudra" and if a Brahmin isnot conducting himself according to the qualities and characteristics of aBrahmin class, then such a person must not be consider a Brahmin."Shudre tu yad bhavelakshma dvije tacch ne vidhyate |Na vai shudro bhavechyoodro Brahmano ne cha Brahmanah ||yattretlakshyate sarp vratam sa Brahmanah smrutah |yattretanna bhavet sarp tam shudra miti nirdishet ||(Mahabharat, vanaparva 180/25-26)In other words, with that respect, it is actions which are important, not thebirth. (to be continued)From "Saadhan, Sudhaa, Sindhu" in hindi page 871-872 by Swami Ramsukhdasji.=======================================================Ram RamI remember hearing a small anecdote in Swamiji's pravachans. It goes like this -Someone once asked Bhaiji (Shri HanumanPrasadji Poddar) that by devotion of Godcan a sudra become brahmin (priest). To this Bhaiji replied - No, he cannotbecome a brahmin but he definitely becomes worthy of a figure to be worshippedby brahmin.Thanks,Hare KrishnaVarun Paprunia------------------------Hari OmNo! A Shudra by birth SHOULD NOT become "a Brahmin priest in a Temple" !Pranaams to all SadhaksSarve Bhavantu SukhinahNarottam-------------------------------Shree HariNamaste!,My first inclination was to give this one a miss. No knowledge of the finerpoints of the caste system of India.I was talking to a friend of mine some time back about this wonderful forum, andmade the passing comment, that I was reluctant to get involved, notknowledgeable in Gitaji, Vedas and so on, and said to him, "I am lower than thelowest cast I suppose, through the eyes of some", and then the clown in melaughed and said, "What have I to lose".I thought Sri Sathyanarayan ji post was very close to my inner thoughts.I noticed in the 'Essence of Yogavaasishtha' The Comment on Ch. 30 Vers 43--44,I found some good information on the castes, and noted: '....This hasdeteriorated into a rigid caste system, determined by birth in India , though itis a rational division of advocation based on individual qualities, aptitudesand skill..........'So I cannot understand why there would be any restriction upon sacred matters,based on the above, and other Sadhaks comments.Om... Shanti...Mike (K).-----------------------Sri sowndarya madabhushi sir,You wrote that one should be bornbramhin to become apriest in a temple,please enquire with elders as to who isthe pradhana archaka in sriailam temple in a.p.Janma na jayathe sudraha karmana jayathe dwijaha veda patanthu vipranam bramhajnanena bramhanaBadri Narayana Miriyala(If you know the meaning of the sanskrit shlok, please translate for the group.Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram)---------------------------BG 18.41 states svabhava-prabhavair gunaih.The prakriti is made of three gunas. Actions are due to guna gunesu vartantei.e. interaction of gunas.Basically, our actions are done due to gunas of prakriti.It means that the four varnas action's are divided due to their natural svabhavresulting from (born of) gunas.Gunas decide our nature. That is true. This does not mean that the birth decidesone's svabhav.Just like self is not doer but gunas or prakriti is doer. Same way gunas orprakriti decide your svabhav also.But again, that does not mean that the birth decides one's varna.Gaurav Mittal------------------------------Can a Sudra by birth, become a Brahmin priest in a Temple?This reminds me of a wonderful Vachana (Kannada poetry known for its simplisticand direct approach so that it would reach everyone in all walks of life) from awell-known spiritual and social reformer - BasavaNNa - from the medieval timesfrom southern India:Ullavaru shivaalayava maaDuvarayyanaanena maaDali baDavanayya |Nanna kale kambhavu dehave degulashirave honna kalashavayya ||"One with riches blessed upon him would probably build magnificent temples; butwhat shall I do, a poor man who have no such opportunities? Of course, I can,the seer assures himeself. My limbs are verily the pillars of the temple that mybody is. The head that The Lord has blessed me with is verily thesanctum-sanctorium to lodge the lotus feet of My Lord."My dear friend, being a priest, what could you ever do? Throw some coloredpowders and fragrant flowers at a granite or marble statue?! Burn some fragrantsticks and lit the lights in the dark ancient rooms of a stone building??!!Cleanse the idle that never responds to you and the dark rooms that won'tacknowledge your inner quests???!!! What are you expecting ... from becoming apriest ...You are asking to be a preist my dear friend when you have the abundantopportunity to be the temple as such … the temple that responds to every nookesand corners of your presence … the temple that reverberates in resonance of thevery basis of its existence, The Lord of all lives, The NarayaNa ... in everybreath ... in every pulse ... and in every blink. When the temple itself is withyou, who cares who is the priest and who cares whether anyone agrees or allowsto let you worship?! When you make yourself The Temple, where is the need forbecoming a priest since every act that is transacted through your very existenceis nothing but worship??!! When the very life you dwell with becomes the worshipin all its pulses, in all its breaths, in all its blinks, ... how can TheNarayaNa be anything but the temple as such???!!! When the NarayaNa is TheTemple, who are you and who is He? Who is the priest and who is the deity?? and,what is worship ... no more dilemmas ... no more wishes ... no more worships ...EVRYTHING IS THAT THAT IT IS ...Therefore, my dear friend, if at all you desire … desire to be the temple thatyou are … being a priest or not is irrelevant then!Respects.Naga Narayana.Shree Hari Ram RamPlease read below written in Gita Darpan about "jaati" by Swamiji, titled "Gitamein Jaati ka Varnun" pg 82-84 Article # 18. If any one can help translate therest of the article from Hindi to English and sharing with the group, it willbe very beneficial for all. Gita Darpan is available online, please see link-http://www.swamiramsukhdasji.org/swamijibooks/pustak/pustak1/html/GeetaDarpan/ma\\in.htmlThank you, Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram----Translated partial article -GITA MEIN JAATI KAA VARNUN"Janma manyate jaatih, karmanaa manyate krutih;Tasmaat swakiykartavyam paalaniyam prayanttah."In nature, as many different bodies that are received in the millions ofdifferent forms of births, they are all received according to one'sconstitutents of nature i.e. qualities (gunas) and actions (Gita 13:21; Gita14:16, Gita14:18). It is only according to one's qualities (gunas) and actions (karma) thatman receives his next birth. In other words, according to the qualities (gunas -sattva is goodness, rajas is passion and tamas is inertia or ignorance)possessed and the actions performed in his previous birth, man's next birth isdetermined.God has said in the Gita, that it is only according to man's qualities (gunas)and actions, that I have created the four positions by birth (Caste - Brahmana,shatriya, vaishya and shudra) - "Chaturvarnaya mayaa srushtamgunakarmavibhaagash." (Gita 4:13). That is, Gita believes in position (castegroup) at time of birth. In other words, man who is born in a particular class,race, the four castes (varna), who is born ofparents of a particular caste, that itself is believed to be his own caste.The word "caste" comes from "jan praadubhaarve", that is, it is from birth thatone's caste is determined, not from one's activities. From actions (karma), typeof work is determined, but the full protection of caste is only from followingthrough with the activities prescribed for a particular caste.God has said in Gita 18:41, that it is only according to the birth that actionsare compartmentalized. The "varna" caste that a man is born in, and in thescriptures the description of the activities to be performed in that caste,those actions are the essential duties of that caste. And those activities thatare not prescribed for that caste, then those activities , are consideredoutside of one's duties "par-dharma" for that caste. According to thescriptures, just like doing yagna, receiving charity, etc. is the duty(swadharma) of Brahmanas; but the same activities are not being prescribed bythe scriptures for kshatriya, vaishya, shudra are therefore outside of one'sduties (par-dharma). If man dies in the process of doing his duties asprescribed by his swadharma, then too he attains salvation; but the duties ofothers, (par-dharma) and related behavior, is the cause of fear of birth anddeath cycle (Gita 3:35). Arjuna was a kshatriya (warrior class); his duty(swadharma) was to fight the war. Therefore for him, God says in clear words,that for a kshatriya there is no other work that will lead to salvation, likefighting in war (Gita 2:31) and if he did not fight this righteous war, then hewould be giving up his essential duties (swadharma) and glories and committing asin (Gita 2:33). (to be continued)From "Gita Darpan" in Hindi pg 83 by Swami Ramsukhdasji--\\---Dear Sadaks,One can become priest. But why say Bhramin Priest? 1) Namadev (Sudra) was. 2)Thirupan Alwar (One of 12 Vaisnavite Saints- S.C.) was. 3) Hati Ram Baba(Sudhra) of Thirupathi Venkateswara was. 4) Nandhanar S.C. caste (one of the 63saints of Bagavan Shiva) was. These people were regarded much better thanBHRAMIN priests by Bagavan. What matters is 1) Unshakable Faith and love 2)Clean Habits. 3) Mind to treat everyone alike (Vasudeva Sarvam) 4) No desires onanything except on God. 5) Very important-- Never angry,Egoistic, ability toforgive anything, NO attachment on anything but Bagavan.B.Sathyanarayan-----Dear Sir,By birth, one does not mean physical birth. The birth one talks about whichdecides one's caste in society is the second birth. That is decided by manyfactors, as such it is not what you think. Remember Vishwamitra who was awarrior king. He by his first birth was born in the warrior caste. But thesecond birth that he attained the attributes more suitable to the brahmin caste,thus he became a brahmarishi.One's physical birth does not determine ones' true caste. One's primary gunais one such factor which decides which is one's true caste. I am sure if you askthis to brahmins by birth who are comparable to frog's in a well who have neverseen the ocean and a frog which has seen the ocean and is a brahmin, I am surethe first type of brahmin will tell you it is physical birth which decides one'scaste but talk to a brahmin who has travelled the world and he or she will tellyou that there are the four castes in all parts of the world and that this is aresult of many things and not the first birth. So who tells you what is fact andwhat is fiction is important. Coal and diamond are both made of carbon, but thedifference is in the pressure that the diamond has gone through to become adiamond and the coal will not endure the same kind of pressure. There aretherefore diamond types and coal types and who you listen to as to what is trueis truly up to you.Prashanth Thirukkonda---------Following the teachings of Gita, we can explain the Gunas of a Brahmin Varnaand the necessary qualifications needed to become a priest and also thelifestyle they need to follow.With that restriction, we may need to open up the opportunity with equal rights.However one may need to decide how many will take it and how many will acceptthat.A short 6 months quick course for priests is not going to work, but a full termstudy will wok.They need: i. "STUDY" the basic principles of Hindu Dharma and study of villagecustoms;then: ii. "STHUTHI" - learning basic prayers and recitations; Sanskrit lessonsthen: iii. "SMRUTHI" the reading of Puranas, prayer manthras, Bhagavath Githaetcthen: iV: " SRUTHI" the stody of Vedas and Agamas and advanced study of Templeprocedures.If anyone is willing to go through all these for 4 to 8 years - then why not aSudhra by birth.When all the Brahmin Priests are sending their sons to IT, Engineering and Lawcollege,we have very few willing to serve the Hindu Cause. When a Brahmin can dobusiness as a Vaisyawhy not a Sudra do the Pooja.Bala N. Aiyer-----------------------------sir ,kindly note that any one can become a vaishnava, but not a brahmin. it iscompulsory to be born in a brahmin family to be a priest in a temple.sowndarya madabhushi------------------------------The answer is YES. Sudra or brahmin or vaiSya or kshatria is not by birth it isby guna karma vibhaagasaha. and the division is for the computations of Lord andnot for us. 18.42, cited by some brings out the guna whcih are characteristic ofa brahmana.if a person does not conform to this behavior, then he is nobrahmana.in Maha Bharata of Veda Vyasa (samskrita0, aranya parva 4th Aasvaasa has aquestion-answr session between Dharmaja and Nahusha, the Anaconda. go throughthem keenly and you will realize how idiotic the so called caste sstem is. Youmabe surprised to note that in Dharma (hinduism) there is no caste. only varnaaasrama dharma exists.Per my understanding, the concept of "Caste" is from judaism. Jacob divided hisdozen sons into 12 castes. one of his son Levi was given the priest caste,implying that his descendants and they alone have to be priests or archaka.we do not have such rigidity about archakatva. In west godavari district ofAndhra Pradesh, thee is a narasimha swamy temple in which all archakas belong tothe so called S heduled ccastes.This has been in vogue ince 11th century CE(since Ramanuja).in Visishta advaita, there are no castes. most venerated Azhvaars come fromevery community, and have endeared to the Lord by their Bhakti and tatparata.remember m friends, the Vyaasa of Veda was a fisher woman's sonkrishna samudrala-Generally in all temples Brahmin priests are kept.In north American is anAmerican Priest and I think it is OK But even lower class person studies and canattain the knowledge needed to perform a priest's duties. Even Sri Ramaadvocated women and any person of the caste is allowed to work as a priest Wehave to take the modern view of Hindu life style.All human beings are put on the same stageThis is my personal understanding.Shankerprasad S Bhatt-----------------------------When Manu came up with this classification, it was based on services performedat the time. Human beings had already been around and were perfoming thesefunctions and he(Manu) classfied same. This classfication was misterpreted andbecome entrenched and detrimental to us and as such we should discourage it.Mangal DeolalNamaste Anilji and other sadhak bandhus.Shudra, Vaishya, Kshatriya & Brahmin are four steps to spiritual (not material)progress leading to Moksha, the ultimate human goal. This progress might bequicker if you are born in a spiritually enlightened family and vice versa.This has recently been very well explained in Yatharthageeta website & book,putting a full stop on such arguments of birth rights, castes, high-low etc.At birth we are all Shudra, then while learning spirituality from others weexchange ideas and become Vaishya, then we have our internal spiritual strugglewhile we remain Kshatriya, when the doubts resolve and from experience we startsharing spiritual knowledge we are Brahmins. Same person can be in differentroles (jobs) physically while making this spiritual progress. Hope thisexplains and removes any doubts about Varnashram as a spiritual science. Restis human politics or power struggle.....In material world we might be doing sewa, business, law-enforcing, educating butwe are expected to continue progressing on spiritual path along the four varnaaccording to Geetaji.Geetaji should be read as a text book of spirituality, and not of material worldalone. And it gives a clear indication that the answer to your question is Yes!And I might add that s/he should be worthy of the position of the priest bytraining and characters of such a person while making spiritual progress andsharing it too.Kind regards,Dr BalMukund Bhala.-------------------------Shree Hari. Ram Ram.Yes, anyone can become priest in a temple. My wife is from South America. Basedon traditional varna-ashram dharma, she is not even sudra but outcaste lowerthan sudra. We have Radha Krishna dieties and she does puja to them.In Kali-yug, main dharma is to do hari-naam. Everyone has right to do hari naam.Skanda Purana says kalau sudra sambhavah. Everyone is sudra in Kali-yug.See people as part of Paramatma instead of seeing them as sudra etc and judgingthem.My dear friends, there is no harm in being sudra. Even though I am born asvaishya, I feel myself as being even lower than sudra.Let us remember Ram, see Him in everyone and offer all our actions to Him. Inthis way, remember Him all the time and be happy.Ram Ram.Gaurav MittalI believe the Gita is the master scriptures of Hinduism. By this I meaneverything else flows from it.I believe that in the Gita Krishna does not talk about cast. He talks aboutone's thoughts,actions, and knowledge. Therefore the question about cast does not arise.It is a great pity that India which calls itself secular has polluted itsconstitution itself with talks of casts, religions and so forth. How can youdefeat castism if you make rules around casts? Similarly how can you callyourself secular if you have different laws for different religions? However,that is perhaps a different topic.Regards...Anupam SharmaDear Sadhakas,Hare Krishna.This is in response to a question from a Sadhaka.Lord Krishna describes in Bhagavad Gita, the qualities for Brahmanas. ." Samo damas tapah saucam,Kshantir arjavam eva ca,Jnanam vijnanam astikyam,Brahmam karma svabhava jam. "( Gitaji 18,42)Which means,'Peace, self control, austerity, purity,tolerance,honesty,Knowledge, wisdom and faith in the Lord are the qualities for brahmanas. 'Any one who has these qualities is a brahmana, irrespective of which caste he orshe in born into. An excellent example is Sant Tukarama, who was not born intobrahmana caste, yet he is a great vaishnava. Any body who has the abovequalities is fit to function as a brahmana.Thank You.Hare Krishna.Prasad.A.Iragavarapu, M.D-Yes.I know it is hard to swallow.Gita clearly says Varna is purely by Guna and Karma;ones own in-born desire, ecucational qualification andthe career one chooses with that qualification and training.Everyone is born a Sudhra [untrained] then evolveduring the grwth by study and mental capacity.Jaathi is by birth and Varna is by qualification.If he studies and practises the discipline and masters the knowledgehe / she should become a Vedic Pandit and a priest.Bala N. Aiyer-----------------------------Gita does not provide any verse to say either Yes or No to this question. Butthere was a time when Shudras could not become a priest. This ws so because atthat time the society adopted a kind of division of labor to encourageefficiency. Through family background and trainig, one tends to excel in the jobundertaken by the family. But current civilization has found ways to excellenceirrespective of family bckground. So priest's sons can become businessman,trader, labourer in a factory, farmer. There is not yet much training school forthe job of hindu priesthood: once this is organised for shudras, they can becomepriests. They can also become Brahmins if they are ble to cultivate theattributes of a Brahmin i themselves. May people who are born in brahmn familiesare cultivating the attributes of a brahmin and therefore are not reallybrahmins.The Ramakrishna Mission practices Hindu Religion. Many of the Sanyasis ofRamakrishna Mission are not from brhmin families but can act as priests.Basudeb Sen---------Shree Paramatmane NamahIn any of the Gita verses (in Gita 4:13, Bhagwaan talks about the four varnas,not about Bhrahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra), "Shudra" word has not come.This has arrangement has come about by way of society, which is on it's ownafter struggle is moving towards it end. Per my knowledge, to consider Brahmin,Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra by birth, has not been mentioned any where in theGita. If it has been addressed, then please make us aware.Your question pertainsto that individual who conducts prayers and vedic rituals in temples, which hasnothing whatsoever to do with birth. What do Brahmins not fight in wars?Wastheir caste changed to be called Kshatriya? I too would like to understand thisbetter. So be it, Vineet Sarvottam---------------Namaste Yes, anyone can become a priest (Hindu priest) - whether Brahmin orotherwise - in a temple. Nowhere in GITA ji does Bhagavan forbids anyone frombecoming a priest or taking upany position in any Hindu establishment. Theseclass/caste restrictions are man-madeand artificially imposed. How can our greatand treasured Hinduism tolerate bigotry that will prevent anyone - whatevercaste, race, gender, nationality - from aspiringand attaining any position inany temple? That's not what Bhagavan teaches us in GITA Ji.Ram Ram, Deosaran BisnathThere were many. A brahmin meant one of intellectual bent of mind, who couldlearnto read, learn or atleast recite the vedas verbatim.d Durgesh Mankikar,MD-Dear sadhak,Namsthe.Why do you think so. There are priestsborn as( scheduledcaste)do work as priests in certain temples of A.p.Insrisailam temple the priests are not bramhins they are jangams (a bccommunity).In manyam konda temple of a.p.Nambi cast (BC)people are thepriests.The priest ship of a temple is not cast based.Badri Narayana Miriyala----------- Dear Ones,Namaste!Of course, such questions do arise in the beginning by us.Question canbe turned around and asked: Is anyone Shudra or Brahmin or anything else bybirth?How can anyone be other than human being? A person becomes, not born, asshudra or brahmin depending on upbringing!And such a person is just a fleetingconglomeration of thoughts-feelings-beliefs leading them to actions labeled asthis caste or that caste! To think of oneself as shudra or brahmin, except forpractical context, is ignorance!YES, A human being, regardless of the backgroundof parents, can be brahmin like or shudra like! Having said this:Our first andforemost temple is God given body-mind; by proper sanskaras, one can be apriest of such a temple. This first step is more important than to be a priestin man-made temples which discriminate based on births!We must see that theentire Cosmo is God's Temple and as such everyone has equal opportunity to bePriests!You can be barred from man-made temple, but you cannot be barred, everfrom God's temple! You are already in Temple Priest or not! After all, a Priestis one who generally is seen to perform the rituals, while a devotee tries toknow God, so, why not to be devotee first?Namaskar.............Pratap Bhatt-----------------Can a Sudra by birth, become a Brahmin priest in a Temple? EVERYONE is a shudraby birth! THERE IS NO EXCEPTION FOR THIS. The Shudra is the one who cannotappreciate one's circumstances completely and needs help, one who lacks clarityon the congeniality and adversity of one's circumstances, one whose interest isjust to exist/live/survive rather than dominating or leading, and one who cannottake decisions and hence responsibilities on one's own. Therefore, everyonewithout exception, has to be a Shudra by birth as I have not seen any baby thatdefies the above description. BrahmaNo'sya mukhamaaseet baahoo raajanyahkritah | Oroo tadasya yadvaishyah padbhaagm shoodro ajaayata || Purusha Sookta(Song of the Universal Being) says only one fellow is ever born - that is aShudra! And, the birth of such a fellow can happen only at the feet of TheFellow, The Moolaadhaara Chakra, center of Vaasanaas, desire to exist.Therefore, whoever is born has to be Shudra!! All other VarNas are offshoots ofthe Shudratva only. The Fellow's very existence depends on His feet, thefoundation of survival, the crocodilian brain, the instinct to survive. It isfor that instinct one is born in the first place, as a Shudra!!! The rest ofthe VarNas such as Vaishya, Kshatriya and BrahmaNa are earned positions - NEVERTHE BORN POSITIONS! No womb can dictate what one is and what one would be. Thefellow born has its own agenda in life! The Shudratva is the backbone of asoceity - be it human, be it ants, be it bees … the working class that takesdierction to do their job is what the soceity is fundamentally made with. Thesoceity runs only due to this class of population. Tamas - ignorance and inertiain terms of fear of existence - is the predominant characteristic of the class.And this population comprises everyone by birth and continues to keep everyonein its grips till death. No one can claim not to be a Shudra unless one attainsa state where one need not claim anything at all! One who grows out of mereexistence to bargain with the environment as well as oneself to lead soceity forprosperity is The Vaishya wherein the desire to satisy trans-existentialappetites begin, wherein the fellow starts interpolating and extrapolating one'sobservations to strike better balances in life with the nature and the soceityone dwells in; wherein one's genetic urge for progeny to one's own kind ofgenetic expansion hits the surface; wherein the possessions and ownership takelead to distinguish the person in a soceity; and wherein one discovers the waysto exploit others and their innocence to promote one's own possessions andownership further. The Rajas - desires for genetic progeny and habitualprosperity - again ignorance and inertia, but driven by existential desires -raises to camouflage the Tamas which continues to control the person. Materialgain remains the focal point for all the activities. One who startsacknowledging the individual hegemony in prosperity starts appreciating theindividual power in hegemonizing the environment and the soceity boosting theindividual identity, the ego, which starts elating in all the activities - theRajas raises to its pinacle wherein the desire for progeny in all respects -genetic as well as idealogical - reigns. Amassing possessions becomes anobsession irrespective of the objects of ownership - material, ideas, relations,and even fellow human beings! The Kshatriya raises in one's behavior as the egoraises within. But yet, one remains Shudra at the core as the crocodilian braincontrols and drives all the maneuvers of the fellow in all activities since theexistential gain is the only agenda at the core though the emotional gainsuperficially remains the focal point for all the activities. One whoacknowledges the miseries to be self-borne raising from the very instinct forsurvival (Shudratva) that is nurtured to its newer heights in life in terms ofTamas as well as Rajas in Vaishyatva as well as Kshatriyatva would realize howthe fellow continues to be miserable with magnified desires and fears than amere Shudra. A person who acknowledges growing intensity in pains as one climbsthe social ladder of heirarchy and hegemony would start recognizing the havocplayed by the twins - Rajas and Tamas - and starts empowering the balancingforce (Sattva) to attain peace from which he has moved away in the frenzy ofliving. As the Sattva grows from within, the fellow starts contemplating on thebasis the Absolute Peace (Brahman) embracing the BrahmaNattva to seek the samepeace more and more. But, the BrahmaNattva cannot ensure an instant erasure ofall the history of the Shudrattva, Vaishyattva and Kshatriyattva one hasentertained with different intensities at different stages and circumstances oflife. But, definitely, the BrahmaNattva will act on the Vaasanas to eventuallyeradicate all the VarNas including the BrahmaNattva since The Absolute sought inthe truthful BrahmaNattva is VarNaateeta as well as VarNanaateeta - no one cancharacterize it because IT has no characteristics; IT transcends the very act ofcharacterization. YES! EVERYONE IS ELIGIBLE AS WELL AS ENTITLED FOR THEBRAHMANATTVA, TO SEEK THE ABSOLUTE THAT ENCOMPASSES THE WHOLE UNIVERSE INCLUDINGANYONE WHO SEEKS IT. In spite of seeking BrahmaNattva, one is bound to remaina Kshatriya, a Vaishya as well as a Shudra in variant proportions till oneattains Moksha, The Absolute that transcends all the VarNas catergorically. Inother words, only one who can transcend the BrahmaNattva would ever transcendthe rest of the VarNas. Therefore, an existence of a pure BrahmaNa is a myth!That is the nature of BrahmaNattva.Respects. Naga Narayana.--------------------Yes, very Much !!!Swaamiji is wrongly interpreting Geetaa In the lecture [on the link youprovided- with all reverence to the Swamiji] "ChaturVarnam mayaa srushtam,Guna Karma Vibhaagash." (Gita 4:13). meaning - Four Varnas are created by meaccording to Qualities (Guna) and Actions (Karma) !!! -- Where is the mention of"Birth" here ? Why is Swamiji wrongly interpreting it and inserting the nonmentioned word of "Birth" there ? If that was the case, then Maharshi Vyaasawould not have become Guru of All Hindus !!! (if you want to put him in thebarricade of caste as per today - then he would have fallen in the caste ofShudra -- but his "Guna" and "Karma"s made him Bramhana and given him seat of aGuru !!!)Same is the case of Maharshi VaalmikiSame is the case of MaharshiVishwaaMitraSame is the case of BaajiRao - who was a Prime Minister of Maraathaa(Hindu) empire !!! [he was a Bramhin by birth but adopted to Kshatriya varna forsaving our Dharma ]and the list goes on ....Rajesh PatilGenerally in all temples Brahmin priests are kept.In north American is anAmerican Priest and I think it is OK But even lower class person studies andbecomes Brahman then he can be the priest.Even Sri Rama advocated women any anyperson of the caste is alloowed to work as a priest We have to take the modernview of Hindu life style.All human beings are put on the same stageThis is my personal understanding.Shankerprasad S Bhatt------------------------When can you all get over Brahman & Shudra business & become 100 % human.This isthe reason India is suffering while the world is moving ahead.A spiritualcountry like ours, Greatness Personified, is plagued by this kind of meanthinking.Unless you all give it up , Guru Nanak, Buddha, Mahavir will have to beborn to reform the cobwebbby thinking of your presumed superiority of thebrahmins. c. karnani------------------------------In the Vedas, only those who have studied Vedic knowledge/metaphysics till theage of 24 years and qualifies the examination held after 16 years of studies isenttled to become Vedic Priest. In Vedas education should star at the age of 8years under the qualified Guru (Aditya or Vasu person) and till 8 years of ageMother and Father remain teachers.Incidentally in Vedas, as I understand it, a Brahmin is not by brith.So we need to define what we mean by Shudra. A person like Gandhi ji, DrAmbedakar, Vyasa, Valmiki etc born in non Brahman familes if become preists, itwould strengthen Vedic Sanatan DharmaRegards,Prem Sabhlok-Shree Hari Ram RamKarnaniji, We believe this is an honest and geniune question, that is notpresuming the superiority of the Brahmins, but rather wanting to know what thescriptures state regarding this issue.Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram-------------------------------Shree Hari Ram RamProvided is a link where Swamiji talks about -Essential Duties (swadharma) Determined By Caste At Birthsadhaka/message/1765Cause of Conflict in Societysadhaka/message/1549There is much written about it in our scriptures and by Swamiji, however,these have not all been translated into English so far.Previous Gita talk discussions may also be helpful -Q: Is the Caste System by Birth or by Deed? (you may need to read all the postson that topic)/message/796From Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- ---------Post message: Subscribe: - Unsubscribe: -

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"Can a Shudra (people of the labour and artisan community) born person become aBrahmin priest in a temple?"anil bhanot-----------------------------NEW POSTING

Shree Hari Ram Ram

This is a partial translation of Swamiji's works related to this topic. We are seeking authentic sources, not just opinions on this subject, therefore please quote scriptures with specific references. Thank you, Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram

 

Whatever different bodies are attained in higher and lower wombs (forms of birth), they are all attained only according to one's "karmas" (actions) and gunas (three constituents of Nature, qualities). It is only according to one's qualities and actions that the human being is born; therefore man's "jaati" (having to do with race, community, family etc.) is believed to be as per his birth only. Thus from a "gross body" perspective, for purposes of marriage, one's food habits and one's actions, the birth must be given importance. In other words, according to one's "varna" (one of the four classes in society, caste), food, marriage and actions must be adopted.

Second point is, he who continues to have worldly aim of enjoyment, wealth, respect, rest, relaxation, happiness etc. for him it becomes essential to do his duty in accordance to what is specified for his "varna" (caste) and to live within the boundaries established for that "varna". If he does not stay within the boundaries of his "varna", then he will take a downfall. But he whose aim is only Paramatma, and is not after worldly pleasures and enjoyments, for him satsang, spiritual reading, japa, meditation, listening to divine stories of devotees, self-inquiry etc. and all work related to the Divine are most important. The point in that in God (Self) Realization, man's divine sentiments, behavior, etc. are most important, not "jaati" (race, community, family) and "varna" (class in society).

The third point is, he whose aim is God (Self) Realization, he while perform all activities related to God. with the attitude of worship and reverence, considering them most important, and at the same time doing his duties as per his "varna" and stage in life (ashram), is doing only spiritual and divine work .

Therefore Bhagwaan has said -

"yatah pravrutirbhootaanaam yena sarvamidam tatam | swakarmanaa tambhyarcha siddhim vindati maanavha || (Gita 18/46)

In this verse Bhagwaan (God) has said something quite extraordinary -

When one fixes their object of aim on That Paramatma, That by which this entire universe is created and by which the entire universe is pervaded, then one must do all work as His worship according to one's varna. In doing this all men are entitled. Devataas, demons, animals, birds etc. are not entitled by themselves. However even for them there is no prohibition according to Paramatma. Because all beings are a part (ansh) of Paramatma, and all are entitled to God Realization. All beings have complete rights and entitlement over Bhagwaan. From this it is proven that in relating with the world (vyavahaar) i.e in behavior pertaining to earning a living, daughter and body etc. the birth is most important, whereas in attaining Paramatma the inner sentiments (bhaav), discrimination (vivek) and actions (karma) are most important. Taking this purport, those knowing scriptures have said that if those qualities are found in people of other "varnas" as the qualities and behavior of men of a particular "varna", then they too should be considered to be of that particular "varna".

"Yasya yallakshanam proktam punso varnaabhivyajyakam | yadanyatraapi drshyet tat tenaiva vinirdeshet || (Srimadbhag 7/11/35)

Therefore it means that whatever be the signs, indication, distinguishing features, characteristics (lakshan) of a Brahmin, such as self-restraint and self-controlled (sham-dam) etc. if those qualities and characteristics naturally are in one from a different "varna", then inspite of being in a different "varna" at birth, he must not be considered so. This has come in the Mahabharat in the conversation between Yuddhistir and Nahush, that if a Shudra is most eminent, then he must not be considered a "shudra" and if a Brahmin is not conducting himself according to the qualities and characteristics of a Brahmin class, then such a person must not be consider a Brahmin.

"Shudre tu yad bhavelakshma dvije tacch ne vidhyate | Na vai shudro bhavechyoodro Brahmano ne cha Brahmanah ||yattretlakshyate sarp vratam sa Brahmanah smrutah | yattretanna bhavet sarp tam shudra miti nirdishet ||

(Mahabharat, vanaparva 180/25-26)

In other words, with that respect, it is actions which are important, not the birth.

In scriptures there are statements saying that man can attain his spiritual progress in whatever "varna" (class) he may be in. There is no doubt about this. Not only that, staying in that class "varna", by following restraint of senses (sham), self-control (dam) etc. and all the "dharmas" diligently he can reveal his excellence and eminence. This birth is due to previous karmas (actions) "Sati Mool Tadvipaako jaatyaayurbhogaa" (Yogadarshan 2-13). What can that helpless soul do in that regard? But while remaining there (in his 'varna"), he can make progress. To encourage new progress itself, appears to be the intent of the scriptures - declarations, that people from various varnas must not loose spirit and courage. Those who are not doing the work of their "varna", for them too there is encouragement in the scriptures to do work related to their "varna"; just like -

"Brahmanasya hi dehoyam shudra kaamaaya neshyate." (Srimad Bhag. 11/17/42)

It is written in the Smruti that those Brahmins whose eating-drinking habits and conduct is altogether fallen, corrupted, polluted (Brashth), such Brahmins should not be respected even by their speech/words (Manu. 4/30, 192). However those who are eminent in their conduct, behavior and standards, those who are devotees of God, glories of such Brahmins has been sung in the Bhagwat, Puranas, Mahabharat, Ramayan and various other Historical books.

A devotee of Bhagwaan (God), whatever class "jaati" he may be, he is better than an educated brahmin who is devoid of devotion for God.

In the Universal form of Bhagavan the Brahmin has been said to be the mouth, the Kshatriya the hands, the Vaisya the middle portion and the Sudra the feet. The point of calling the Brahmins the mouth is because they have an accumulation of knowledge, therefore it is the work of the mouth to educate all the four classes "varnas", to give proper training and lessons, and to share - spiritual instructions - this is the work of the mouth. From this view point the Brahmins are considered upper.

The reason for calling the Ksatriyas (warrior class) the hand is that they protect all the four classes "varnas" from the enemies. To protect is mostly the work of hands - just like if there is some thing that happens to the body, then with the hands one protects themselves (from others as well). When a man falls, first he takes the support of his hands to lift himself. Therefore the Ksatriyas have become the hand. When there widespread lack of governance and no one is ruling, then the protection of the people, wealth etc. becomes the duty of all four varnas.

The purpose of calling "Vaisya" as the middle portion of the body, is that just like food, water, medicine etc are taken in by the stomach, due to which the entire body receives nourishment and all body parts become healthy, similarly, only such things must be stored / stockpiled, arranged for transportation and distributed to wherever they are needed, so that people do not experience a lack of certain things - this is the responsibility of the "Vaisya". The accumulation of food and water in the stomach happens for all the body parts and at the same time the stomach also gets nourished, because a man does not fill his stomach only for the stomach. Similarly, a "vaisya" accumulates for others, not for his own self. He gives charity to the Brahmin, he gives "taxes" to the Ksatriya, supports his own self and gives wages to the "sudra". In this manner he serves all. If he does not store provisions, stockpiles, does not do agriculture, does not protect cows and does not do trading / commerce, then what will happen?

The purpose of calling Sudra as the feet is just as the feet carry and serve the body by taking it along, similarly with the support services of all four classes (varnas) are functioning. Sudras by their service-actions are fulfilling the essential work of all.

For proper understanding there is a point in the Gita that must be paid attention to regarding the description of the natural and innate duties of all four classes "Varnas" and it is that which happens naturally on it's own. In other words, one does not have to put a lot of effort in doing their duty. There are additional instructions for the four varnas which one should read in the Shruti-granth and accordingly one must conduct their lives.

The natural and innate duties of all four classes "Varnas" is that which is happening naturally on it's own i.e. one does not have to put a lot of effort in doing their duty. There are additional instructions for the four varnas which one should read in the Shruti-Granth and accordingly one must conduct one's life.

The same point is said in the Gita -

"Tasmaacchhastram pramaanam te kaaryaakaaryavyavasthitou | Gyaatvaa shaastravidhaanoktam karma kartumihaarhasi || (Gita 16/24) "Therefore let the scriptures be the authority in determining what ought to be done and what ought not to be. Having known what is prescribed in the scriptures, one should act accordingly in this world." (Gita 16/24)

Knowing that which is specified in the scriptures, all are able and capable in this world to perform their prescribed duties.

At present there is disorder and confusion among all four "varnas", however, if all four "Varnas" come together and each sect is examined carefully then it will be observed that -

In the Brahmana group, there are more with qualities of "sham" (restraint, absence of passion), "dam" (self controlled) etc. than you will find in the Kshatriya, Vaishya, Sudra group.

In the Kshatriya group there are more with qualities of valour, heroism, strength, ardour, energy, etc., than you will find in the Brahmana, Vaishya, Shudra group. In the Vaishya group there are more with qualities of trading, commerce, business, transacting, amassing of wealth, to consume wealth (not to outwardly show the exhausting of wealth) etc. than you will find in the Brahmana, Kshatriya, and Shudra group.

In the Shudra group there are more with qualities of serving (seva), than you will find in the Brahmana, Kshatriya, and Vaishya group.

The point is that now all "varnas" inspite of not living within the limits and boundaries established and inspite of lacking in restraint, are displaying their natural, innate characteristics that are seen distinctively in their groups. In other words, this thing is not seen on an individual basis, but is seen in the group at large.

From "Saadhan, Sudhaa, Sindhu" in Hindi pg 873-874 by Swami Ramsukhdasji.

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"Vyasa, Valmiki etc born in non Brahman familes"

 

-Prem Sabhlok

 

Respected Sadhakas

 

Maharishi Valmiki ji was born into Brahmin jAti; he was not born of a shudra family as some erroneously propagate. The Maharshi has himself recorded in his Ramayana that he is the son of Maharshi Prachetas. etad-aakhyaanam- aayushyam sa-bhavishyam sa-ottaram/ krita-vaan prachetasah putras-tad brahmaa-apyanvamany ata//Utt. 111:11 As regards, who was Maharshi Prachetas, Manu Smriti says: He was the Maanas-Putra of Bhagavan Brahma, the Creator. Giving names of His Maanas Putras, it says: mareechim-atri- angirasau pulastyam pulaham kratum/ prachetasam vasishtham ch bhrigum naaradam-eva ch// 1:35 Maharishi Valmiki was the son of Maharishi Prachetas and grandson of Mareechi Rishi (a descendant of Lord Brahma); prior to self-realization and enlightenment, he was a dacoit (i.e. outcast) but went on to dictate the Ramayan. So he cannot be born of a shudra family. Veda-vyas was the son of Parashar Rishi, an illustrious Brahmin and was a recluse until summoned by his mother Satyavati to become the progenitor the Pandava and Kuru vansh. So neither Maharishi Valmiki nor Veda-vyasa were `shudras', but anti-caste protagonists refer to them as `dalits'. According to them, Dalits (Valmikis and Ravidasias) do not even fall within the four varna classification. We however would consider `Dalits' to be part of Hindu society.

 

Saadar Pranaam

 

Raj Pandit

 

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Shree Paramatmane Namah

Knowledgable sadhak Shri Raj Pandit, it is my sincere request from you to tell me - that first shudra man, first vaishya, first kshatriya, first Brahmana they were born of which father - mother? His previous birth was in which jaati? or did he not have a previous birth at all? Kindly provide in summary with names so all sadhaks can understand.

 

Thank you,

Vineet Sarvottam

 

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What is the position as per Varna or Jathi, of a bhrahmin, who is a priest in the temple, & runs a liquor shop? Should he be allowed to do both?poonam abbi

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Raam ! Raam !! Raam!!!

 

The analysis made by Shri Raj Pandit is ample proof of what Scriptures say. According to me, he is right. Your caste, varna and dharma (swadharma as defined in Gita) are is determined by birth and not by events occuring after birth or qualifications attained by you DURING this human birth. Sadhaks should appreciate here that we are in this cycle of birth and death for ages and kalpas. Our Svabhaav and Gunas are accordingly as old as are our associations with inert Jagat. It is ONLY in human birth one has opportunity of making amends in Svabhaav. Last available Balance Sheet of your Karmas ONLY can determine the limits, privileges which you get. What is other way? Hence God when He is graceful enough and decides to give us one more opportunity of our emancipation and decides that we should get human birth, then God ALSO decides as to what should be our caste and varna and what is the easiest and fastest way for our emancipation. This decision is taken when you GET HUMAN BIRTH. NOTE HERE SPECIFICALLY: You do not get human birth due to any special qualification. You get human birth exclusively by Grace of God. God grants you human birth, gives to you Scriptures so that you may decide your dharma and your same Svabhaav and Gunas then FACILITATE your journey towards Paramatma. Sadhaks should understand here that the span of human life (say 100 years) is a very very little span as compared with the total time that Jeeva has spent in the cycle of birth and death. Your Svabhaav and Gunas are therefore much more deep rooted than you can imagine. Your Karmas are propelled by your Svabhaav and Gunas. God therefore co-relates your svabhaav/gunas with your duties (karma).

 

All have ample opportunities and means of emancipation in human life. If God has divided all human beings into 4 categories it is His compassion and grace. Just find out what are you by birth, do the karmas prescribed for you in scriptures / Gita and free yourself. Engage yourself in doing "svadharma" and emancipate yourself quickly. Time of human life is passing very fast.

 

Raam ! Raam !! Raam !!!

 

Anirudh Joshi

 

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Narain ! Narain !!

 

Right you are, Raj Panditji. The components of GUNAS are also not CONSTANT. Every creature has 3 Gunas. It is not that Brahmins do not have tamasic gunas or Shudras do not have Sattvik Gunas. Each Jeeva has 3 Gunas in it. According to me, these percentages are determined at birth and they keep changing during one's life. I like this Satsanga Forum merely because in the end TRUTH PREVAILS HERE.

 

Narain! Narain !!

 

Naarad Maharishi

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Jai Shree Krishna

 

It is definitely by BIRTH ! Note in this regard use of words "sahaj" by God in Gita in 18:48. Sahaj means by birth. We should also form opinion based on "general" rather than based on"exceptions". A lot of talk is made under this topic regarding qualities listed by God in 18th Chapter for different castes/varnas. Argument: Current Karmas. Reason: Exceptions , prominent exceptions. But if you take "general" view you will find that whatever attributes/gunas etc have been indicated by God in Gita for four varnas are "sahaj" (automatically) visible in them , by birth ! Do one experiment. Take a sample of 100 Brahmins, 100 Kshtriyas, 100 Vaishyas and 100 Shudras. Take their gunas in totally...combinedly for each group of 100 . You will find that the gunas/attributes detailed out by God in 18th Chapter are predominantly / majority present in each group. Hence we should draw conclusions based on combined general presence of Gunas/Svabhaav in a good sample rather than pointing out exceptional cases.

 

Swami Rupesh Kumar

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Radhey ! Radhey!!

 

Gita 13/21 according to me clearly suggests that you take birth based on your Gunas. Hence caste/varna with reference to Gita and SVADHARMA described therein should be determined on the basis of BIRTH. However, the caste/varna system in no way PUTS AN OBSTACLE to overall right of every human being to realise God and uplift her/himself. Reason is that the caste and varna influence Karmas while Paramatma is realized by bhava (inner sentiments). Per my understanding, in doing Karmas the Gunas/Svabhaav are influencing factors while in bhavas Divine or demonaic properties are influencing factors. I may add here that Shudras are by no means an inferior caste when it comes to the goal of human life. They are BETTER PLACED than Brahminas. Higher a person is, more difficult his sadhana becomes. Once Maharishi Ved Vyas was taking bath in a river and said : O Kaliyuga...You are great. O Shudras..You are great. O Females..You are great !! Some Rishis standing nearby asked the reason. He stated that in Kaliyuga the emancipation of Shudras and females will be very fast and very easy. They are specially liked by Paramatma.

Radhey ! Radhey!!

 

Nisha Chatterji---------

Dear SadhaksIn a place calle Hiremagalur near the city Chikkamagalur in Karnataka, there is an ancient temple of Kodanda Rama. The place is associated with Janamejaya's Sarpayaaga. Teams of Dalit and Shudra boys are trained here to become priests by the visionary Sri Kannan from over a decade!!!!!!!!!!!PranaamsVeena Hassan

 

-----------Here Swamiji's explanation from our texts are good.For simplicity and easy comprehension of these facts:We must realize that "VARNA" is different from Jaathi or Caste.In-born qualities should not be confused with birth based rights.In-born qualities of the soul - as Jiva-atma determines the Varnaand added to that is the desire, training and the performance of action.Jaathi can be from birth and family and some families can take up oneprofession or other from father to son or daughter and also our jaathi determine certain family customs and traditions.Customs and traditions should not be confused with Hindu Dharma -as these customs will vary from family to family in different region;Food habits and dress are according to region and Varna - the profession one takes.Kshatriya and Sudhra varna who does physical labor is allowed some Rajasika foods - including meat;but if one born in Kshatriya family does a business, sits in a shop all day - sedentary -then he needs to be a vegetarian like a Vaishya - because he is a Vaishya. It is that simple.In Jaathi, it not wrong to choose within the same for marriage since the customs and traditionswill be easy to adopt, but that does not mean that one Jaathi or Varna should look at another as superior or inferior. All are of the same in status and all are on one Hindu Samaj.It is like: in your house the Library, Study, Living room, Exercise room, Kitchen, Dining room, Garden area and the back yard are all equal in importance [like the four Varnas]but serves different purpose and one and the same principle applies to Jaathi.If you have a Pooja room, it may be considered special but everyone has a right to go there.If properly trained and has the in-born desire, a Sudhra by birth can become a Brahmin Priest in a Temple.Also: There are many Temples in Tamil Nadu where traditionally the priests are not Brahmins.Everyone at birth is a Sudhra - by in-born desires of nature and intensive study becomes Brahmin,so says Srimad Bhagavad Gita and also our Vedas.Let us think of Equal Rights and equal privileges.Bala N. Aiyer.--------

A simple question brings so many responses: it is amazing. The variations inguna composition leads to variations in responses to the same question,though the source of the question and the answers are ultimately the same -the God Almighty Creator who pervades the entire Creation. God said, Gunasand Actions determines the nature of the next birth. God said Gunas comealong with the birth. So, birth to birth this continues and Gunacombinations could change from birth to birth with the effect of actions.Where does this mean that birth has to be in particular caste in order toget the same Gunas? The children of the same parents do not show identicalGuna combinations.God said he created the four varnas as per a broad classification of theGuna combination characteristics . Where does He say that Varna isdetermined by birth in a particular family of parents of the same varna? Ifwe assume that He did indeed say that, then it would follow that people ofthe same class of Guna chracteristics would be born and married in the samevarna. But how does he ensure that? If he had planned that way there wouldnot have been inter-varna narriages and there would not be the possibilityof Sankar progeny after the Mahabharata War. So, to assume that varna isdetermined by birth is inconsistent with God's Creation and actual evidence.What is the problem of accepting the position that God created Varnas asfour categories of people in accordance with broad similarities anddissimilarties in Guna combinations? Some Guna combinations may suit the jobof priesthood. But clearly birth has nothing to with that. There arepriests in Chruches and Mosques, but they are not bornt in brahmin families.God of Gita was not a short-sighted person unable to see that priests in theWorld would come from different families. Gautam Buddha was born inKshytiya family but became a preacher instead of rulling a Kingdom andprotecting the subjects by using his fighting skills. Was Buddha a Khatriyaor a Brahmin? Was Christ a Brahmin. Was Vivekanda a brahmin? Was Bill Gatesa brahmin. Is Saurav Ganguly who has been a career cricketer and now alsodoes various things other than prieshood, a brahmin, though he was born in abrahmin family. Were Nehru or Indira Gandhi who ruled India Kshatriyas. Itis very difficult to believe that theLord of Gita could not anticipate thesewhile talking abou Gunas and varnas. He must have also been aware of thepossibilty of Hitler and Napolean. All these characters whose actual varnaswere not determined by their birth but by their actions and Gunas have comebecause of His wish and clearly He was not going to contradict Himself bysaying varnas are determined by birth. We need not think so poorly about theforesight of Lord Krishna.Basudeb Sen-------------

A shudra can be said to be a brahmin if he has attained the knowledge of self and his consciousness level high........and a brahmin can be said to be shudra if he fails to attain the knowledge of self and his consciousness level is low........irrespective of where he is born...

 

What happens in society indicates the consciousness levels of people at a particular time..... Truth can be obscured at times....

 

Sushil Jain

 

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Maanya Priya sadhakas

Saadar Pranaam

Brahmins were always respected for their absolute commitment to speaking the truth and for remaining aloof when considering all matters especially when related to Dharma. They could not be swayed even by the establishment and were fearless adjudicators and advisers of integrity so much so that even Emperor Akbar's (a Muslim) confidante Birbal was an esteemed Brahmin. In this spirit let us detach ourselves from political and social implications and debate this topic under the aegis of Shruti and Smriti.

The crux of the argument that varNa is through action is based on the interpretation of verses from Bhagavad Gita which is highly surprising given that it is part of Mahabharatam which unequivocally endorses varna by birth. After all why was KarNa referred to as 'sootputra' and indeed what is a 'soot'. Smriti expounds that it is the name of offspring born of a Brahmin mother and Kshatriya father.

 

Let us examine this particular verse from Gita in detail:

Chaaturvarnyam mayasrshtam guna karma vibhaagashaha.. (4.13)

This has been interpreted as: `The four fold varna was created by me based on guna and karma.

Referring to the commentary by Adishankaracharya we establish the authentic interpretation of this verse:

Chaaturvaryam=chatvaar eva varnaaH chaaturvarnya

Maya= eeshvarena

sRShTam=utpaaditam (braahmano'sya mukhamaaseet-ityaadi shruteH)

guna-karma vibhaagashaH=sattva-rajas-tamaansi

What Bhagavan Krishna ji says is that the fourfold varNa system as described in Shruti (Brahmana was the mouth of Purush etc.) is designed by me and a person takes birth according to the prevalence of the three guna (sattva-rajas-tamas) coupled with the effect of their karma (according to the actions of previous existences etc.). There is no inference here that a person's caste is determined by their actions and attributes in their current existence. Hindu Dharma upholds that the prAni attains a birth according to the fruits of their previous lives and that action done in that life will determine the outcome of any subsequent birth. This has been verified by pujneeya Swami ji.

This also applies to the verse from Gita (18.41) which actually means that all varnas are allocated duties according to the guNa (sattva-rajas-tama) that has determined their birth. There is no implication that these attributes develop through the current existence and in fact refer to the guNa which a person possesses at birth.

Genetics has proven that we inherit various traits, idiosyncrasies and disorders from our parents, so would we now refute this also?

One's jati or natal kinship community (not varNa) is intrinsically linked to parentage, no longer considered varna being commonly referred to as 'caste', an expression which we use on numerous occasions.

This now moves on to the existence of gotra, pravara and jati. Although some assert that surnames were not used in Ramayan and Mahabharata etc., this does not infer that they did not exist. In certain States of India today, individuals are known by their first names and surnames do not exist, in the conventional nomenclature prevalent in other parts of the subcontinent. As every Purohit who conducts Vedic rituals is aware the invocation or sankalp recited before the ceremony ensues records the exact kalpa, manvantara, yuga, year (samvat), aayan, season, lunar month, day, nakshatra (asterism) place etc.

The name and gotra of the host (yajman) is also recited. The name of the yajman is suffixed with the following words depending on their family origin:

Shudra-'Das'

Vaishya-'Gupta'

Kshatriya'-Varman'

Brahman- 'Sharman'

Manu ji describes and classifies the offspring of all mixed caste permutations in great detail inferring that caste was determined by birth even at the time Manu Smriti was compiled.

These conclusions may be unpalatable to some, however they are based on sound scriptural substantiation and I would encourage others to either agree or refute such assertions through bona fide Vedic injunctions.

For your kind consideration let us first define the term `dvija' ascribed to all Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas.

Dvija means twice born; Dvi means two, and Ja means birth. Hence, it means, with two births - one human, the other religious or spiritual. These are Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas:

Braahmanah kshatriyo vaishyas-tryo varnaa dvijaatayah/ Shankh 1:6

Braahmanah kshatriyo vaishyah tryo varnaah dvijaatayah/Anusha. 47:7

Braahman-kshatriya- vaishyas- tasmaad-ete dvijaah smrutaah/Yag. 1:2:17

How they become Dvijas, has also been specified by Smriti. But they say it is by Maunji Bandhanam (Upanayanam); not by attributes, profession, education etc. as some would assert.

Now, whose word is to be accepted? That of speculators or that of the Scriptures which are unequivocal? Here are its Scriptural evidences:

Teshaam janma dviteeyam tu vigyeya maunji-bandhanam/ / Yag. 1:2:17

Maatur-agre adhijananam dviteeyam Maunji-bandhane/ Manu 2:169

Matur-yadagre jaayante-dviteeyam Maunji-bandhanaat/ Yag. Aach. 39

The onus to prove the point that Dvija-hood is by guna, karma etc. lies on others to prove it through scriptural evidence.

Some scholars quote `From birth everyone is Shudra, it is through the sacraments that one becomes a `dvija'; it is regrettable that no Vedic scholar has been able to source the origin of this verse and even so this verifies that `dvijahood' is through Upanayanam Sanskaar alone.

Yajur Veda says:

Aa Brahman-braahmano brahm-varchasi jaayataam aa raashtre raa-janyah shoora ikhavyo- ativyaadhee maharatho jaayataam. (22:22)

Pada jaayataam in the above, means: May be born. Now, does it not refute the contention that Brahmins, Kshatriyas are by guna-karma and not by birth? Also, that all are Shudras by birth?

Some protagonists of non-birth based varna classify Shudras as those who are unable to gain the education.

This is another self-concocted untruth. Had it been the case, all the uneducated, unlettered in the Hindu Society would have been Shudras; and educated and lettered ones Brahmins, Kshatriyas or Vaishyas. But we do not find it so.

If everyone was Shudra at birth, how would anyone receive yajnopaveetam then, which is a pre-requisite for becoming Dvija and taking education in the Vedas? It is by virtue of this sacred Sanskaara that one attains dvija-hood or second birth, where Gayatri is the mother and Guru the father:

Aachaaryastu pita proktah saavitri janani tathaa/

Brahm kshatra vishaam-chaiva maunjibandhan janmani// Shankh 1:7

Tatra yad brahm-janma- asya maunji-bandhan- chihnitam/

Tatraasya maataa saavitri pita tu-aacharya uchyate// Manu 2:170

In light of the above, we would have to consider: How would you send a Shudra to Acharya-kulam for the study of the Vedas when he has had no Upanayanam? Even the reformist Swami Dayanand of the Arya Samaj asserts in his magnum opus Satyarth Prakash:

Shoodra parhhe parantu uskaa upanayanam na kare. Sam.4.p.46.

That a Shudra can study however should not undergo the Upanayanam.

Smriti confirms the ages for Upanayam according to varna:

Ashtame varshe braahmanam-upnayet (1), ekaadashe varshe-kshatriyam (3), dvaadashe varshe vaishyam (4).

The age of the Upanayanam is not stated for a Shudra child in Shruti or Smriti; for without this crucial Sanskar a Shudra cannot undertake Vedic erudition to become a Dvija (Brahmin, Kshatriya or Vaishya).

If the above ages do not relate to the caste of the child from birth, then how precisely in the tender age of 8th, 11th and 12th years does one determine the varna of the child (according to attributes or propensity) in order to perform the Upanayanam at the correct age as stated in the scriptures? Moreover, at such a tender age how exactly do we ascertain (simply by attributes) which child is to undertake study to become a Brahmin, Kshatriya or Vaishya?

In order to become a temple archaka, the Brahmin would have to be erudite in Veda and study thereof to be from an acharyakulam; this cannot be possible without upanayanam and then vedarambha sanskaar. Would any sadhak please provide references from our scriptures for the age of upanayanam for a shudra as we have not found a single mention in all these years?

Hari Om

Raj Pandit

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Shree Hari Ram Ram

Rajji, your posting is very informative. Kindly be brief in the future to stay aligned with group's guidelines.

Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram

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The Bhagavat Gita says that it is one's actions that are important, not one's birth.

 

Till the Muslim period, caste was quite flexible and people changed castes as they changes professions.

 

If a Shudra studies the scriptures and can recite the Vedas / mantras in Sanskrit, he should be permitted to officiate as a priest in the temple.

 

Dr. Nanditha Krishna------------

 

Hari OmA lot of responses are clubbing 'Universal Right of a human being to attain / realize/ worship God ' with 'Shudra by birth becoming Brahmin Priest in a Temple ' !! 'Worshipping God' is too broad a term. A single possible way and mean of 'Becoming Priest in a Temple' and attaining emancipation thereby in comparison to breadth of ways and means of 'Worshipping God' as per Gita/Sanatan Dharma Scriptures is just as miniscule as is mass of say Planet Mars in comparison with mass of Milky Way. Also, Your right to God / Self Realization and Becoming Priest in a Temple- These two are different things- they should not be mixed at all in deliberations. Reason: Becoming a Priest in a Temple, being a Karma, in itself is no guaranteed or only way of God/Self Realization. It is not "Karma/Action" that gets you God....It is "Akarma/Viveka/ Bhavas (inner sentiments)" that get you God !!! What is so important about becoming or not becoming a priest in a temple - when you talk of God/Self Realisation ?Many sadhaks have quoted Shrimad Bhagvad Gita and have stated that there it is stated that a well conducting Shudra is better than ill conducting Brahmin ! Yes !! All Scriptures say so ! Rightly say so ! Gita says so !! Definitely in that case a Shudra is better than Brahmin because he should be more respected, should be more idolised, should be more followed etc than the Brahmin !!! But So what? How does it impact the conclusion by Swamiji Ramsukhdasji Maharaj that caste division into 4 has been made by Paramatma on the basis of birth ? How is that fact relevant or critical in deliberations ?? Some Brahmin is a drunkard and some Shudra is Pundit of Scriptures- how does that change the conclusion regarding interpretation of a verse of Shrimad Bhagvad Gita !! Sadhaks also should note that not only human beings but in fact all creatures existing in this universe are classified in four parts viz. Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra. There are deep reasons for the same. Human life in particular is ordained to get governed accordingly. Sadhaks also should note that all human beings have been accorded 'appropriate' rights and duties- classification into 4 merely provides them a comfort, a clear road map and confidence in achieving the GOAL OF HUMAN LIFE - God/Self Realisation. It makes things easier for an individual Jeeva. Just As: A child can not be asked to lift 100 kilogram weight. Similarly: There are these 4 distinctions based on their level ( Svabhaav and Gunas) ! Shudras, for example, enjoy certain special privileges which Brahmins can not even dream of and vice versa. In other words, Sadhaks should understand what is 'equality in essence' vis a vis 'Gross equality' ! All humans are equal not 'grossly' but in 'essence' ! Paramatma has His own yardsticks of Equality ! 'Essence' yardstick is "Svabhaav and Gunas" and the Judge is God Himself as to who is at what level !! Any objections so far ? On God exercising the superintendence and deciding which of His child is standing at what level ?? God gave us human birth. What is wrong if He classifies us into say 4 four divisions? Most of the deliberations are subtly talking about 'equality'/ 'inequality' in gross terms ( an not 'essence' terms) WHILE arguing against assumption of classification by BIRTH. Little do they know that this argument is as funny as is : Why a female should conceive and carry child , why not male ? It is inequality ! Now is this 'inequality in essence' ? No ! Is this inequality in gross terms? Yes !! Similarly DIVISION BY BIRTH is not inequality in essence ! It may appear to be 'inequality in gross terms' !!Sadhaks should understand that it is DUTY of God to facilitate a human getting emancipated once human life has been given to him. HUMAN LIFE IS A PRIVILEGE IN ITSELF. Human life form has been especially created by God to emancipate Jeeva. On other hand...it is very difficult to change eons/ages old 'svabhaav' and 'Gunas' of individual Jeevas ! Hence, It is only to facilitate FASTER/EASIER emancipation of a human that - God Himself has classified all the humans into 4 divisions. How can God do that? Naturally, by birth only !! Can there be any other way of God classifying us except by BIRTH ? Hope this also helps Sadhak Rajesh Patil in better understanding the discourse of Swamiji Ramsukhdasji Maharaj on the subject. He should note and ALWAYS BELIEVE that our Scriptures are always right- they are ETERNAL TRUTHS. Humans make errors of judgement/interpretation not God/Scriptures.The Question of Saints like Swamiji Ramsukhdasji Maharaj making an error of interpretation / judgement of Shrimad Bhagvad Gita does not arise. Besides, Swamiji is a Scripture in Himself !! As great a Scripture as is Gita itself or Ramayana or Vedas !!!Pranaams to all SadhaksSarve Bhavantu SukhinahNarottam--

respected sir

 

can a sudra by birth, can become a kshatriya king?

 

mohan iyer

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|| Shree Hari ||Ram RamWhatever different bodies are attained in higher and lower wombs (forms ofbirth), they are all attained only according to one's "karmas" (actions) andgunas (three constituents of Nature, qualities). It is only according to one'squalities and actions that the human being is born; therefore man's "jaati"(having to do with race, community, family etc.) is believed to be as per hisbirth only. Thus from a "gross body" perspective, for purposes of marriage,one's food habits and one's actions, the birth must be given importance. Inother words, according to one's "varna" (one of the four classes in society,caste), food, marriage and actions must be adopted.Second point is, he who continues to have worldly aim of enjoyment, wealth,respect, rest, relaxation, happiness etc. for him it becomes essential to do hisduty in accordance to what is specified for his "varna" (caste) and to livewithin the boundaries established for that "varna". If he does not stay withinthe boundaries of his "varna", then he will take a downfall. But he whose aimis only Paramatma, and is not after worldly pleasures and enjoyments, for himsatsang, spiritual reading, japa, meditation, listening to divine stories ofdevotees, self-inquiry etc. and all work related to the Divine are mostimportant. The point in that in God (Self) Realization, man's divinesentiments, behavior, etc. are most important, not "jaati" (race, community,family) and "varna" (class in society).The third point is, he whose aim is God (Self) Realization, he while perform allactivities related to God. with the attitude of worship and reverence,considering them most important, and at the same time doing his duties as perhis "varna" and stage in life (ashram), is doing only spiritual and divine work.Therefore Bhagwaan has said -"yatah pravrutirbhootaanaam yena sarvamidam tatam |swakarmanaa tambhyarcha siddhim vindati maanavha || (Gita 18/46)In this verse Bhagwaan (God) has said something quite extraordinary -When one fixes their object of aim on That Paramatma, That by which this entireuniverse is created and by which the entire universe is pervaded, then one mustdo all work as His worship according to one's varna. In doing this all men areentitled. Devataas, demons, animals, birds etc. are not entitled bythemselves. However even for them there is no prohibition according toParamatma. Because all beings are a part (ansh) of Paramatma, and all areentitled to God Realization. All beings have complete rights and entitlementover Bhagwaan. From this it is proven that in relating with the world(vyavahaar) i.e in behavior pertaining to earning a living, daughter and bodyetc. the birth is most important, whereas in attaining Paramatma the innersentiments (bhaav), discrimination (vivek) and actions (karma) are mostimportant. Taking this purport, those knowing scriptures have said that if thosequalities are found in people of other "varnas" as the qualities and behavior ofmen of a particular "varna", then they too should be considered to be of thatparticular "varna"."Yasya yallakshanam proktam punso varnaabhivyajyakam |yadanyatraapi drshyet tat tenaiva vinirdeshet || (Srimadbhag 7/11/35)Therefore it means that whatever be the signs, indication, distinguishingfeatures, characteristics (lakshan) of a Brahmin, such as self-restraint andself-controlled (sham-dam) etc. if those qualities and characteristicsnaturally are in one from a different "varna", then inspite of being in adifferent "varna" at birth, he must not be considered so. This has come in theMahabharat in the conversation between Yuddhistir and Nahush, that if a Shudrais most eminent, then he must not be considered a "shudra" and if a Brahmin isnot conducting himself according to the qualities and characteristics of aBrahmin class, then such a person must not be consider a Brahmin."Shudre tu yad bhavelakshma dvije tacch ne vidhyate |Na vai shudro bhavechyoodro Brahmano ne cha Brahmanah ||yattretlakshyate sarp vratam sa Brahmanah smrutah |yattretanna bhavet sarp tam shudra miti nirdishet ||(Mahabharat, vanaparva 180/25-26)In other words, with that respect, it is actions which are important, not thebirth. (to be continued)From "Saadhan, Sudhaa, Sindhu" in hindi page 871-872 by Swami Ramsukhdasji.=======================================================Ram RamI remember hearing a small anecdote in Swamiji's pravachans. It goes like this -Someone once asked Bhaiji (Shri HanumanPrasadji Poddar) that by devotion of Godcan a sudra become brahmin (priest). To this Bhaiji replied - No, he cannotbecome a brahmin but he definitely becomes worthy of a figure to be worshippedby brahmin.Thanks,Hare KrishnaVarun Paprunia------------------------Hari OmNo! A Shudra by birth SHOULD NOT become "a Brahmin priest in a Temple" !Pranaams to all SadhaksSarve Bhavantu SukhinahNarottam-------------------------------Shree HariNamaste!,My first inclination was to give this one a miss. No knowledge of the finerpoints of the caste system of India.I was talking to a friend of mine some time back about this wonderful forum, andmade the passing comment, that I was reluctant to get involved, notknowledgeable in Gitaji, Vedas and so on, and said to him, "I am lower than thelowest cast I suppose, through the eyes of some", and then the clown in melaughed and said, "What have I to lose".I thought Sri Sathyanarayan ji post was very close to my inner thoughts.I noticed in the 'Essence of Yogavaasishtha' The Comment on Ch. 30 Vers 43--44,I found some good information on the castes, and noted: '....This hasdeteriorated into a rigid caste system, determined by birth in India , though itis a rational division of advocation based on individual qualities, aptitudesand skill..........'So I cannot understand why there would be any restriction upon sacred matters,based on the above, and other Sadhaks comments.Om... Shanti...Mike (K).-----------------------Sri sowndarya madabhushi sir,You wrote that one should be bornbramhin to become apriest in a temple,please enquire with elders as to who isthe pradhana archaka in sriailam temple in a.p.Janma na jayathe sudraha karmana jayathe dwijaha veda patanthu vipranam bramhajnanena bramhanaBadri Narayana Miriyala(If you know the meaning of the sanskrit shlok, please translate for the group.Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram)---------------------------BG 18.41 states svabhava-prabhavair gunaih.The prakriti is made of three gunas. Actions are due to guna gunesu vartantei.e. interaction of gunas.Basically, our actions are done due to gunas of prakriti.It means that the four varnas action's are divided due to their natural svabhavresulting from (born of) gunas.Gunas decide our nature. That is true. This does not mean that the birth decidesone's svabhav.Just like self is not doer but gunas or prakriti is doer. Same way gunas orprakriti decide your svabhav also.But again, that does not mean that the birth decides one's varna.Gaurav Mittal------------------------------Can a Sudra by birth, become a Brahmin priest in a Temple?This reminds me of a wonderful Vachana (Kannada poetry known for its simplisticand direct approach so that it would reach everyone in all walks of life) from awell-known spiritual and social reformer - BasavaNNa - from the medieval timesfrom southern India:Ullavaru shivaalayava maaDuvarayyanaanena maaDali baDavanayya |Nanna kale kambhavu dehave degulashirave honna kalashavayya ||"One with riches blessed upon him would probably build magnificent temples; butwhat shall I do, a poor man who have no such opportunities? Of course, I can,the seer assures himeself. My limbs are verily the pillars of the temple that mybody is. The head that The Lord has blessed me with is verily thesanctum-sanctorium to lodge the lotus feet of My Lord."My dear friend, being a priest, what could you ever do? Throw some coloredpowders and fragrant flowers at a granite or marble statue?! Burn some fragrantsticks and lit the lights in the dark ancient rooms of a stone building??!!Cleanse the idle that never responds to you and the dark rooms that won'tacknowledge your inner quests???!!! What are you expecting ... from becoming apriest ...You are asking to be a preist my dear friend when you have the abundantopportunity to be the temple as such … the temple that responds to every nookesand corners of your presence … the temple that reverberates in resonance of thevery basis of its existence, The Lord of all lives, The NarayaNa ... in everybreath ... in every pulse ... and in every blink. When the temple itself is withyou, who cares who is the priest and who cares whether anyone agrees or allowsto let you worship?! When you make yourself The Temple, where is the need forbecoming a priest since every act that is transacted through your very existenceis nothing but worship??!! When the very life you dwell with becomes the worshipin all its pulses, in all its breaths, in all its blinks, ... how can TheNarayaNa be anything but the temple as such???!!! When the NarayaNa is TheTemple, who are you and who is He? Who is the priest and who is the deity?? and,what is worship ... no more dilemmas ... no more wishes ... no more worships ...EVRYTHING IS THAT THAT IT IS ...Therefore, my dear friend, if at all you desire … desire to be the temple thatyou are … being a priest or not is irrelevant then!Respects.Naga Narayana.Shree Hari Ram RamPlease read below written in Gita Darpan about "jaati" by Swamiji, titled "Gitamein Jaati ka Varnun" pg 82-84 Article # 18. If any one can help translate therest of the article from Hindi to English and sharing with the group, it willbe very beneficial for all. Gita Darpan is available online, please see link-http://www.swamiramsukhdasji.org/swamijibooks/pustak/pustak1/html/GeetaDarpan/ma\\in.htmlThank you, Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram----Translated partial article -GITA MEIN JAATI KAA VARNUN"Janma manyate jaatih, karmanaa manyate krutih;Tasmaat swakiykartavyam paalaniyam prayanttah."In nature, as many different bodies that are received in the millions ofdifferent forms of births, they are all received according to one'sconstitutents of nature i.e. qualities (gunas) and actions (Gita 13:21; Gita14:16, Gita14:18). It is only according to one's qualities (gunas) and actions (karma) thatman receives his next birth. In other words, according to the qualities (gunas -sattva is goodness, rajas is passion and tamas is inertia or ignorance)possessed and the actions performed in his previous birth, man's next birth isdetermined.God has said in the Gita, that it is only according to man's qualities (gunas)and actions, that I have created the four positions by birth (Caste - Brahmana,shatriya, vaishya and shudra) - "Chaturvarnaya mayaa srushtamgunakarmavibhaagash." (Gita 4:13). That is, Gita believes in position (castegroup) at time of birth. In other words, man who is born in a particular class,race, the four castes (varna), who is born ofparents of a particular caste, that itself is believed to be his own caste.The word "caste" comes from "jan praadubhaarve", that is, it is from birth thatone's caste is determined, not from one's activities. From actions (karma), typeof work is determined, but the full protection of caste is only from followingthrough with the activities prescribed for a particular caste.God has said in Gita 18:41, that it is only according to the birth that actionsare compartmentalized. The "varna" caste that a man is born in, and in thescriptures the description of the activities to be performed in that caste,those actions are the essential duties of that caste. And those activities thatare not prescribed for that caste, then those activities , are consideredoutside of one's duties "par-dharma" for that caste. According to thescriptures, just like doing yagna, receiving charity, etc. is the duty(swadharma) of Brahmanas; but the same activities are not being prescribed bythe scriptures for kshatriya, vaishya, shudra are therefore outside of one'sduties (par-dharma). If man dies in the process of doing his duties asprescribed by his swadharma, then too he attains salvation; but the duties ofothers, (par-dharma) and related behavior, is the cause of fear of birth anddeath cycle (Gita 3:35). Arjuna was a kshatriya (warrior class); his duty(swadharma) was to fight the war. Therefore for him, God says in clear words,that for a kshatriya there is no other work that will lead to salvation, likefighting in war (Gita 2:31) and if he did not fight this righteous war, then hewould be giving up his essential duties (swadharma) and glories and committing asin (Gita 2:33). (to be continued)From "Gita Darpan" in Hindi pg 83 by Swami Ramsukhdasji--\\---Dear Sadaks,One can become priest. But why say Bhramin Priest? 1) Namadev (Sudra) was. 2)Thirupan Alwar (One of 12 Vaisnavite Saints- S.C.) was. 3) Hati Ram Baba(Sudhra) of Thirupathi Venkateswara was. 4) Nandhanar S.C. caste (one of the 63saints of Bagavan Shiva) was. These people were regarded much better thanBHRAMIN priests by Bagavan. What matters is 1) Unshakable Faith and love 2)Clean Habits. 3) Mind to treat everyone alike (Vasudeva Sarvam) 4) No desires onanything except on God. 5) Very important-- Never angry,Egoistic, ability toforgive anything, NO attachment on anything but Bagavan.B.Sathyanarayan-----Dear Sir,By birth, one does not mean physical birth. The birth one talks about whichdecides one's caste in society is the second birth. That is decided by manyfactors, as such it is not what you think. Remember Vishwamitra who was awarrior king. He by his first birth was born in the warrior caste. But thesecond birth that he attained the attributes more suitable to the brahmin caste,thus he became a brahmarishi.One's physical birth does not determine ones' true caste. One's primary gunais one such factor which decides which is one's true caste. I am sure if you askthis to brahmins by birth who are comparable to frog's in a well who have neverseen the ocean and a frog which has seen the ocean and is a brahmin, I am surethe first type of brahmin will tell you it is physical birth which decides one'scaste but talk to a brahmin who has travelled the world and he or she will tellyou that there are the four castes in all parts of the world and that this is aresult of many things and not the first birth. So who tells you what is fact andwhat is fiction is important. Coal and diamond are both made of carbon, but thedifference is in the pressure that the diamond has gone through to become adiamond and the coal will not endure the same kind of pressure. There aretherefore diamond types and coal types and who you listen to as to what is trueis truly up to you.Prashanth Thirukkonda---------Following the teachings of Gita, we can explain the Gunas of a Brahmin Varnaand the necessary qualifications needed to become a priest and also thelifestyle they need to follow.With that restriction, we may need to open up the opportunity with equal rights.However one may need to decide how many will take it and how many will acceptthat.A short 6 months quick course for priests is not going to work, but a full termstudy will wok.They need: i. "STUDY" the basic principles of Hindu Dharma and study of villagecustoms;then: ii. "STHUTHI" - learning basic prayers and recitations; Sanskrit lessonsthen: iii. "SMRUTHI" the reading of Puranas, prayer manthras, Bhagavath Githaetcthen: iV: " SRUTHI" the stody of Vedas and Agamas and advanced study of Templeprocedures.If anyone is willing to go through all these for 4 to 8 years - then why not aSudhra by birth.When all the Brahmin Priests are sending their sons to IT, Engineering and Lawcollege,we have very few willing to serve the Hindu Cause. When a Brahmin can dobusiness as a Vaisyawhy not a Sudra do the Pooja.Bala N. Aiyer-----------------------------sir ,kindly note that any one can become a vaishnava, but not a brahmin. it iscompulsory to be born in a brahmin family to be a priest in a temple.sowndarya madabhushi------------------------------The answer is YES. Sudra or brahmin or vaiSya or kshatria is not by birth it isby guna karma vibhaagasaha. and the division is for the computations of Lord andnot for us. 18.42, cited by some brings out the guna whcih are characteristic ofa brahmana.if a person does not conform to this behavior, then he is nobrahmana.in Maha Bharata of Veda Vyasa (samskrita0, aranya parva 4th Aasvaasa has aquestion-answr session between Dharmaja and Nahusha, the Anaconda. go throughthem keenly and you will realize how idiotic the so called caste sstem is. Youmabe surprised to note that in Dharma (hinduism) there is no caste. only varnaaasrama dharma exists.Per my understanding, the concept of "Caste" is from judaism. Jacob divided hisdozen sons into 12 castes. one of his son Levi was given the priest caste,implying that his descendants and they alone have to be priests or archaka.we do not have such rigidity about archakatva. In west godavari district ofAndhra Pradesh, thee is a narasimha swamy temple in which all archakas belong tothe so called S heduled ccastes.This has been in vogue ince 11th century CE(since Ramanuja).in Visishta advaita, there are no castes. most venerated Azhvaars come fromevery community, and have endeared to the Lord by their Bhakti and tatparata.remember m friends, the Vyaasa of Veda was a fisher woman's sonkrishna samudrala-Generally in all temples Brahmin priests are kept.In north American is anAmerican Priest and I think it is OK But even lower class person studies and canattain the knowledge needed to perform a priest's duties. Even Sri Ramaadvocated women and any person of the caste is allowed to work as a priest Wehave to take the modern view of Hindu life style.All human beings are put on the same stageThis is my personal understanding.Shankerprasad S Bhatt-----------------------------When Manu came up with this classification, it was based on services performedat the time. Human beings had already been around and were perfoming thesefunctions and he(Manu) classfied same. This classfication was misterpreted andbecome entrenched and detrimental to us and as such we should discourage it.Mangal DeolalNamaste Anilji and other sadhak bandhus.Shudra, Vaishya, Kshatriya & Brahmin are four steps to spiritual (not material)progress leading to Moksha, the ultimate human goal. This progress might bequicker if you are born in a spiritually enlightened family and vice versa.This has recently been very well explained in Yatharthageeta website & book,putting a full stop on such arguments of birth rights, castes, high-low etc.At birth we are all Shudra, then while learning spirituality from others weexchange ideas and become Vaishya, then we have our internal spiritual strugglewhile we remain Kshatriya, when the doubts resolve and from experience we startsharing spiritual knowledge we are Brahmins. Same person can be in differentroles (jobs) physically while making this spiritual progress. Hope thisexplains and removes any doubts about Varnashram as a spiritual science. Restis human politics or power struggle.....In material world we might be doing sewa, business, law-enforcing, educating butwe are expected to continue progressing on spiritual path along the four varnaaccording to Geetaji.Geetaji should be read as a text book of spirituality, and not of material worldalone. And it gives a clear indication that the answer to your question is Yes!And I might add that s/he should be worthy of the position of the priest bytraining and characters of such a person while making spiritual progress andsharing it too.Kind regards,Dr BalMukund Bhala.-------------------------Shree Hari. Ram Ram.Yes, anyone can become priest in a temple. My wife is from South America. Basedon traditional varna-ashram dharma, she is not even sudra but outcaste lowerthan sudra. We have Radha Krishna dieties and she does puja to them.In Kali-yug, main dharma is to do hari-naam. Everyone has right to do hari naam.Skanda Purana says kalau sudra sambhavah. Everyone is sudra in Kali-yug.See people as part of Paramatma instead of seeing them as sudra etc and judgingthem.My dear friends, there is no harm in being sudra. Even though I am born asvaishya, I feel myself as being even lower than sudra.Let us remember Ram, see Him in everyone and offer all our actions to Him. Inthis way, remember Him all the time and be happy.Ram Ram.Gaurav MittalI believe the Gita is the master scriptures of Hinduism. By this I meaneverything else flows from it.I believe that in the Gita Krishna does not talk about cast. He talks aboutone's thoughts,actions, and knowledge. Therefore the question about cast does not arise.It is a great pity that India which calls itself secular has polluted itsconstitution itself with talks of casts, religions and so forth. How can youdefeat castism if you make rules around casts? Similarly how can you callyourself secular if you have different laws for different religions? However,that is perhaps a different topic.Regards...Anupam SharmaDear Sadhakas,Hare Krishna.This is in response to a question from a Sadhaka.Lord Krishna describes in Bhagavad Gita, the qualities for Brahmanas. ." Samo damas tapah saucam,Kshantir arjavam eva ca,Jnanam vijnanam astikyam,Brahmam karma svabhava jam. "( Gitaji 18,42)Which means,'Peace, self control, austerity, purity,tolerance,honesty,Knowledge, wisdom and faith in the Lord are the qualities for brahmanas. 'Any one who has these qualities is a brahmana, irrespective of which caste he orshe in born into. An excellent example is Sant Tukarama, who was not born intobrahmana caste, yet he is a great vaishnava. Any body who has the abovequalities is fit to function as a brahmana.Thank You.Hare Krishna.Prasad.A.Iragavarapu, M.D-Yes.I know it is hard to swallow.Gita clearly says Varna is purely by Guna and Karma;ones own in-born desire, ecucational qualification andthe career one chooses with that qualification and training.Everyone is born a Sudhra [untrained] then evolveduring the grwth by study and mental capacity.Jaathi is by birth and Varna is by qualification.If he studies and practises the discipline and masters the knowledgehe / she should become a Vedic Pandit and a priest.Bala N. Aiyer-----------------------------Gita does not provide any verse to say either Yes or No to this question. Butthere was a time when Shudras could not become a priest. This ws so because atthat time the society adopted a kind of division of labor to encourageefficiency. Through family background and trainig, one tends to excel in the jobundertaken by the family. But current civilization has found ways to excellenceirrespective of family bckground. So priest's sons can become businessman,trader, labourer in a factory, farmer. There is not yet much training school forthe job of hindu priesthood: once this is organised for shudras, they can becomepriests. They can also become Brahmins if they are ble to cultivate theattributes of a Brahmin i themselves. May people who are born in brahmn familiesare cultivating the attributes of a brahmin and therefore are not reallybrahmins.The Ramakrishna Mission practices Hindu Religion. Many of the Sanyasis ofRamakrishna Mission are not from brhmin families but can act as priests.Basudeb Sen---------Shree Paramatmane NamahIn any of the Gita verses (in Gita 4:13, Bhagwaan talks about the four varnas,not about Bhrahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra), "Shudra" word has not come.This has arrangement has come about by way of society, which is on it's ownafter struggle is moving towards it end. Per my knowledge, to consider Brahmin,Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra by birth, has not been mentioned any where in theGita. If it has been addressed, then please make us aware.Your question pertainsto that individual who conducts prayers and vedic rituals in temples, which hasnothing whatsoever to do with birth. What do Brahmins not fight in wars?Wastheir caste changed to be called Kshatriya? I too would like to understand thisbetter. So be it, Vineet Sarvottam---------------Namaste Yes, anyone can become a priest (Hindu priest) - whether Brahmin orotherwise - in a temple. Nowhere in GITA ji does Bhagavan forbids anyone frombecoming a priest or taking upany position in any Hindu establishment. Theseclass/caste restrictions are man-madeand artificially imposed. How can our greatand treasured Hinduism tolerate bigotry that will prevent anyone - whatevercaste, race, gender, nationality - from aspiringand attaining any position inany temple? That's not what Bhagavan teaches us in GITA Ji.Ram Ram, Deosaran BisnathThere were many. A brahmin meant one of intellectual bent of mind, who couldlearnto read, learn or atleast recite the vedas verbatim.d Durgesh Mankikar,MD-Dear sadhak,Namsthe.Why do you think so. There are priestsborn as( scheduledcaste)do work as priests in certain temples of A.p.Insrisailam temple the priests are not bramhins they are jangams (a bccommunity).In manyam konda temple of a.p.Nambi cast (BC)people are thepriests.The priest ship of a temple is not cast based.Badri Narayana Miriyala----------- Dear Ones,Namaste!Of course, such questions do arise in the beginning by us.Question canbe turned around and asked: Is anyone Shudra or Brahmin or anything else bybirth?How can anyone be other than human being? A person becomes, not born, asshudra or brahmin depending on upbringing!And such a person is just a fleetingconglomeration of thoughts-feelings-beliefs leading them to actions labeled asthis caste or that caste! To think of oneself as shudra or brahmin, except forpractical context, is ignorance!YES, A human being, regardless of the backgroundof parents, can be brahmin like or shudra like! Having said this:Our first andforemost temple is God given body-mind; by proper sanskaras, one can be apriest of such a temple. This first step is more important than to be a priestin man-made temples which discriminate based on births!We must see that theentire Cosmo is God's Temple and as such everyone has equal opportunity to bePriests!You can be barred from man-made temple, but you cannot be barred, everfrom God's temple! You are already in Temple Priest or not! After all, a Priestis one who generally is seen to perform the rituals, while a devotee tries toknow God, so, why not to be devotee first?Namaskar.............Pratap Bhatt-----------------Can a Sudra by birth, become a Brahmin priest in a Temple? EVERYONE is a shudraby birth! THERE IS NO EXCEPTION FOR THIS. The Shudra is the one who cannotappreciate one's circumstances completely and needs help, one who lacks clarityon the congeniality and adversity of one's circumstances, one whose interest isjust to exist/live/survive rather than dominating or leading, and one who cannottake decisions and hence responsibilities on one's own. Therefore, everyonewithout exception, has to be a Shudra by birth as I have not seen any baby thatdefies the above description. BrahmaNo'sya mukhamaaseet baahoo raajanyahkritah | Oroo tadasya yadvaishyah padbhaagm shoodro ajaayata || Purusha Sookta(Song of the Universal Being) says only one fellow is ever born - that is aShudra! And, the birth of such a fellow can happen only at the feet of TheFellow, The Moolaadhaara Chakra, center of Vaasanaas, desire to exist.Therefore, whoever is born has to be Shudra!! All other VarNas are offshoots ofthe Shudratva only. The Fellow's very existence depends on His feet, thefoundation of survival, the crocodilian brain, the instinct to survive. It isfor that instinct one is born in the first place, as a Shudra!!! The rest ofthe VarNas such as Vaishya, Kshatriya and BrahmaNa are earned positions - NEVERTHE BORN POSITIONS! No womb can dictate what one is and what one would be. Thefellow born has its own agenda in life! The Shudratva is the backbone of asoceity - be it human, be it ants, be it bees … the working class that takesdierction to do their job is what the soceity is fundamentally made with. Thesoceity runs only due to this class of population. Tamas - ignorance and inertiain terms of fear of existence - is the predominant characteristic of the class.And this population comprises everyone by birth and continues to keep everyonein its grips till death. No one can claim not to be a Shudra unless one attainsa state where one need not claim anything at all! One who grows out of mereexistence to bargain with the environment as well as oneself to lead soceity forprosperity is The Vaishya wherein the desire to satisy trans-existentialappetites begin, wherein the fellow starts interpolating and extrapolating one'sobservations to strike better balances in life with the nature and the soceityone dwells in; wherein one's genetic urge for progeny to one's own kind ofgenetic expansion hits the surface; wherein the possessions and ownership takelead to distinguish the person in a soceity; and wherein one discovers the waysto exploit others and their innocence to promote one's own possessions andownership further. The Rajas - desires for genetic progeny and habitualprosperity - again ignorance and inertia, but driven by existential desires -raises to camouflage the Tamas which continues to control the person. Materialgain remains the focal point for all the activities. One who startsacknowledging the individual hegemony in prosperity starts appreciating theindividual power in hegemonizing the environment and the soceity boosting theindividual identity, the ego, which starts elating in all the activities - theRajas raises to its pinacle wherein the desire for progeny in all respects -genetic as well as idealogical - reigns. Amassing possessions becomes anobsession irrespective of the objects of ownership - material, ideas, relations,and even fellow human beings! The Kshatriya raises in one's behavior as the egoraises within. But yet, one remains Shudra at the core as the crocodilian braincontrols and drives all the maneuvers of the fellow in all activities since theexistential gain is the only agenda at the core though the emotional gainsuperficially remains the focal point for all the activities. One whoacknowledges the miseries to be self-borne raising from the very instinct forsurvival (Shudratva) that is nurtured to its newer heights in life in terms ofTamas as well as Rajas in Vaishyatva as well as Kshatriyatva would realize howthe fellow continues to be miserable with magnified desires and fears than amere Shudra. A person who acknowledges growing intensity in pains as one climbsthe social ladder of heirarchy and hegemony would start recognizing the havocplayed by the twins - Rajas and Tamas - and starts empowering the balancingforce (Sattva) to attain peace from which he has moved away in the frenzy ofliving. As the Sattva grows from within, the fellow starts contemplating on thebasis the Absolute Peace (Brahman) embracing the BrahmaNattva to seek the samepeace more and more. But, the BrahmaNattva cannot ensure an instant erasure ofall the history of the Shudrattva, Vaishyattva and Kshatriyattva one hasentertained with different intensities at different stages and circumstances oflife. But, definitely, the BrahmaNattva will act on the Vaasanas to eventuallyeradicate all the VarNas including the BrahmaNattva since The Absolute sought inthe truthful BrahmaNattva is VarNaateeta as well as VarNanaateeta - no one cancharacterize it because IT has no characteristics; IT transcends the very act ofcharacterization. YES! EVERYONE IS ELIGIBLE AS WELL AS ENTITLED FOR THEBRAHMANATTVA, TO SEEK THE ABSOLUTE THAT ENCOMPASSES THE WHOLE UNIVERSE INCLUDINGANYONE WHO SEEKS IT. In spite of seeking BrahmaNattva, one is bound to remaina Kshatriya, a Vaishya as well as a Shudra in variant proportions till oneattains Moksha, The Absolute that transcends all the VarNas catergorically. Inother words, only one who can transcend the BrahmaNattva would ever transcendthe rest of the VarNas. Therefore, an existence of a pure BrahmaNa is a myth!That is the nature of BrahmaNattva.Respects. Naga Narayana.--------------------Yes, very Much !!!Swaamiji is wrongly interpreting Geetaa In the lecture [on the link youprovided- with all reverence to the Swamiji] "ChaturVarnam mayaa srushtam,Guna Karma Vibhaagash." (Gita 4:13). meaning - Four Varnas are created by meaccording to Qualities (Guna) and Actions (Karma) !!! -- Where is the mention of"Birth" here ? Why is Swamiji wrongly interpreting it and inserting the nonmentioned word of "Birth" there ? If that was the case, then Maharshi Vyaasawould not have become Guru of All Hindus !!! (if you want to put him in thebarricade of caste as per today - then he would have fallen in the caste ofShudra -- but his "Guna" and "Karma"s made him Bramhana and given him seat of aGuru !!!)Same is the case of Maharshi VaalmikiSame is the case of MaharshiVishwaaMitraSame is the case of BaajiRao - who was a Prime Minister of Maraathaa(Hindu) empire !!! [he was a Bramhin by birth but adopted to Kshatriya varna forsaving our Dharma ]and the list goes on ....Rajesh PatilGenerally in all temples Brahmin priests are kept.In north American is anAmerican Priest and I think it is OK But even lower class person studies andbecomes Brahman then he can be the priest.Even Sri Rama advocated women any anyperson of the caste is alloowed to work as a priest We have to take the modernview of Hindu life style.All human beings are put on the same stageThis is my personal understanding.Shankerprasad S Bhatt------------------------When can you all get over Brahman & Shudra business & become 100 % human.This isthe reason India is suffering while the world is moving ahead.A spiritualcountry like ours, Greatness Personified, is plagued by this kind of meanthinking.Unless you all give it up , Guru Nanak, Buddha, Mahavir will have to beborn to reform the cobwebbby thinking of your presumed superiority of thebrahmins. c. karnani------------------------------In the Vedas, only those who have studied Vedic knowledge/metaphysics till theage of 24 years and qualifies the examination held after 16 years of studies isenttled to become Vedic Priest. In Vedas education should star at the age of 8years under the qualified Guru (Aditya or Vasu person) and till 8 years of ageMother and Father remain teachers.Incidentally in Vedas, as I understand it, a Brahmin is not by brith.So we need to define what we mean by Shudra. A person like Gandhi ji, DrAmbedakar, Vyasa, Valmiki etc born in non Brahman familes if become preists, itwould strengthen Vedic Sanatan DharmaRegards,Prem Sabhlok-Shree Hari Ram RamKarnaniji, We believe this is an honest and geniune question, that is notpresuming the superiority of the Brahmins, but rather wanting to know what thescriptures state regarding this issue.Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram-------------------------------Shree Hari Ram RamProvided is a link where Swamiji talks about -Essential Duties (swadharma) Determined By Caste At Birthsadhaka/message/1765Cause of Conflict in Societysadhaka/message/1549There is much written about it in our scriptures and by Swamiji, however,these have not all been translated into English so far.Previous Gita talk discussions may also be helpful -Q: Is the Caste System by Birth or by Deed? (you may need to read all the postson that topic)/message/796From Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- ---------Post message: Subscribe: - Unsubscribe: -

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"Can a Shudra (people of the labour and artisan community) born person become aBrahmin priest in a temple?"anil bhanot-----------------------------NEW POSTING

Shree Hari Ram Ram Highlights from translations (to date) on Swamiji's works related to this topic -

- According to one's "varna" (one of the four classes in society, caste), food, marriage and work/occupation/deeds (karma) must be adopted.

- However, with respect to spiritual life / God (Self) Realization, man's sentiments, conduct, etc. are most important, not "jaati" (race, community, family) and "varna" (class in society).

"Let the scriptures be the authority in determining what ought to be done and what ought not to be. Having known what is prescribed in the scriptures, one should act accordingly in this world." (Gita 16/24)

- Whatever be the signs, indication, distinguishing features, characteristics (lakshan) of a Brahmin, such as self-restraint and self-controlled (sham-dam) etc. if those qualities and characteristics are naturally found in a person from a different "varna", then inspite of being in a different "varna" at birth, he must not be considered so.

From Swami Ramsukhdasji's books

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NEW POSTING

Dear Sadaks,Bagavan has said that a person is evaluated by his character and behavior, and not by birth. If a Bhramin does not follow SandiyaVadan, eats onions, meat, earn money by demand cannot be Bhramin. Bhramin qualities are in Srimath Bagavath Ekadasa Skandh.B.Sathyanarayan ---------------------------

Ram Ram

No Never. It is totally inappropriate.

Ramkrishna

Ram Ram

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Namaste Sadhaks!

 

I read the entire deliberations with interest. I am deeply moved by the depth of Sanatan Dharma Scriptures. All said and done, I find logics given by Sadhak Narottam, Anirudh Joshi, Nisha Chatterji and Naarad Maharishi to be nearer the reality. Raj Pandit's analysis was also very good. My Question is to Raj Pandit. Is it correct that as per Scriptures the logics given by above sadhaks can be substantiated, because their logics are explaining the motive and methodology of Divine operating ? Swami Rupesh referred to 18:41...does according to you, the term "sahaj" means "by birth" in 18:41?

 

Regards

 

Audrey Rodrigues

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This is a partial translation of Swamiji's works related to this topic. We are seeking authentic sources, not just opinions on this subject, therefore please quote scriptures with specific references. Thank you, Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram

Whatever different bodies are attained in higher and lower wombs (forms of birth), they are all attained only according to one's "karmas" (actions) and gunas (three constituents of Nature, qualities). It is only according to one's qualities and actions that the human being is born; therefore man's "jaati" (having to do with race, community, family etc.) is believed to be as per his birth only. Thus from a "gross body" perspective, for purposes of marriage, one's food habits and one's actions, the birth must be given importance. In other words, according to one's "varna" (one of the four classes in society, caste), food, marriage and work/occupation/deeds (karma) must be adopted.

Second point is, he who continues to have worldly aim of enjoyment, wealth, respect, rest, relaxation, happiness etc. for him it becomes essential to do his duty in accordance to what is specified for his "varna" (caste) and to live within the boundaries established for that "varna". If he does not stay within the boundaries of his "varna", then he will take a downfall. But he whose aim is only Paramatma, and is not after worldly pleasures and enjoyments, for him satsang, spiritual reading, japa, meditation, listening to divine stories of devotees, self-inquiry etc. and all work related to the Divine are most important. The point in that in God (Self) Realization, man's divine sentiments, behavior, etc. are most important, not "jaati" (race, community, family) and "varna" (class in society).

The third point is, he whose aim is God (Self) Realization, he while perform all activities related to God. with the attitude of worship and reverence, considering them most important, and at the same time doing his duties as per his "varna" and stage in life (ashram), is doing only spiritual and divine work .

Therefore Bhagwaan has said -

"yatah pravrutirbhootaanaam yena sarvamidam tatam | swakarmanaa tambhyarcha siddhim vindati maanavha || (Gita 18/46)

In this verse Bhagwaan (God) has said something quite extraordinary -

When one fixes their object of aim on That Paramatma, That by which this entire universe is created and by which the entire universe is pervaded, then one must do all work as His worship according to one's varna. In doing this all men are entitled. Devataas, demons, animals, birds etc. are not entitled by themselves. However even for them there is no prohibition according to Paramatma. Because all beings are a part (ansh) of Paramatma, and all are entitled to God Realization. All beings have complete rights and entitlement over Bhagwaan. From this it is proven that in relating with the world (vyavahaar) i.e in behavior pertaining to earning a living, daughter and body etc. the birth is most important, whereas in attaining Paramatma the inner sentiments (bhaav), discrimination (vivek) and actions (karma) are most important. Taking this purport, those knowing scriptures have said that if those qualities are found in people of other "varnas" as the qualities and behavior of men of a particular "varna", then they too should be considered to be of that particular "varna".

"Yasya yallakshanam proktam punso varnaabhivyajyakam | yadanyatraapi drshyet tat tenaiva vinirdeshet || (Srimadbhag 7/11/35)

Therefore it means that whatever be the signs, indication, distinguishing features, characteristics (lakshan) of a Brahmin, such as self-restraint and self-controlled (sham-dam) etc. if those qualities and characteristics naturally are in one from a different "varna", then inspite of being in a different "varna" at birth, he must not be considered so. This has come in the Mahabharat in the conversation between Yuddhistir and Nahush, that if a Shudra is most eminent, then he must not be considered a "shudra" and if a Brahmin is not conducting himself according to the qualities and characteristics of a Brahmin class, then such a person must not be consider a Brahmin.

"Shudre tu yad bhavelakshma dvije tacch ne vidhyate | Na vai shudro bhavechyoodro Brahmano ne cha Brahmanah ||yattretlakshyate sarp vratam sa Brahmanah smrutah | yattretanna bhavet sarp tam shudra miti nirdishet ||

(Mahabharat, vanaparva 180/25-26)

In other words, with that respect, it is actions which are important, not the birth.

In scriptures there are statements saying that man can attain his spiritual progress in whatever "varna" (class) he may be in. There is no doubt about this. Not only that, staying in that class "varna", by following restraint of senses (sham), self-control (dam) etc. and all the "dharmas" diligently he can reveal his excellence and eminence. This birth is due to previous karmas (actions) "Sati Mool Tadvipaako jaatyaayurbhogaa" (Yogadarshan 2-13). What can that helpless soul do in that regard? But while remaining there (in his 'varna"), he can make progress. To encourage new progress itself, appears to be the intent of the scriptures - declarations, that people from various varnas must not loose spirit and courage. Those who are not doing the work of their "varna", for them too there is encouragement in the scriptures to do work related to their "varna"; just like -

"Brahmanasya hi dehoyam shudra kaamaaya neshyate." (Srimad Bhag. 11/17/42)

It is written in the Smruti that those Brahmins whose eating-drinking habits and conduct is altogether fallen, corrupted, polluted (Brashth), such Brahmins should not be respected even by their speech/words (Manu. 4/30, 192). However those who are eminent in their conduct, behavior and standards, those who are devotees of God, glories of such Brahmins has been sung in the Bhagwat, Puranas, Mahabharat, Ramayan and various other Historical books.

A devotee of Bhagwaan (God), whatever class "jaati" he may be, he is better than an educated brahmin who is devoid of devotion for God.

In the Universal form of Bhagavan the Brahmin has been said to be the mouth, the Kshatriya the hands, the Vaisya the middle portion and the Sudra the feet. The point of calling the Brahmins the mouth is because they have an accumulation of knowledge, therefore it is the work of the mouth to educate all the four classes "varnas", to give proper training and lessons, and to share - spiritual instructions - this is the work of the mouth. From this view point the Brahmins are considered upper.

The reason for calling the Ksatriyas (warrior class) the hand is that they protect all the four classes "varnas" from the enemies. To protect is mostly the work of hands - just like if there is some thing that happens to the body, then with the hands one protects themselves (from others as well). When a man falls, first he takes the support of his hands to lift himself. Therefore the Ksatriyas have become the hand. When there widespread lack of governance and no one is ruling, then the protection of the people, wealth etc. becomes the duty of all four varnas.

The purpose of calling "Vaisya" as the middle portion of the body, is that just like food, water, medicine etc are taken in by the stomach, due to which the entire body receives nourishment and all body parts become healthy, similarly, only such things must be stored / stockpiled, arranged for transportation and distributed to wherever they are needed, so that people do not experience a lack of certain things - this is the responsibility of the "Vaisya". The accumulation of food and water in the stomach happens for all the body parts and at the same time the stomach also gets nourished, because a man does not fill his stomach only for the stomach. Similarly, a "vaisya" accumulates for others, not for his own self. He gives charity to the Brahmin, he gives "taxes" to the Ksatriya, supports his own self and gives wages to the "sudra". In this manner he serves all. If he does not store provisions, stockpiles, does not do agriculture, does not protect cows and does not do trading / commerce, then what will happen?

The purpose of calling Sudra as the feet is just as the feet carry and serve the body by taking it along, similarly with the support services of all four classes (varnas) are functioning. Sudras by their service-actions are fulfilling the essential work of all.

For proper understanding there is a point in the Gita that must be paid attention to regarding the description of the natural and innate duties of all four classes "Varnas" and it is that which happens naturally on it's own. In other words, one does not have to put a lot of effort in doing their duty. There are additional instructions for the four varnas which one should read in the Shruti-granth and accordingly one must conduct their lives.

The natural and innate duties of all four classes "Varnas" is that which is happening naturally on it's own i.e. one does not have to put a lot of effort in doing their duty. There are additional instructions for the four varnas which one should read in the Shruti-Granth and accordingly one must conduct one's life.

The same point is said in the Gita -

"Tasmaacchhastram pramaanam te kaaryaakaaryavyavasthitou | Gyaatvaa shaastravidhaanoktam karma kartumihaarhasi || (Gita 16/24) "Therefore let the scriptures be the authority in determining what ought to be done and what ought not to be. Having known what is prescribed in the scriptures, one should act accordingly in this world." (Gita 16/24)

Knowing that which is specified in the scriptures, all are able and capable in this world to perform their prescribed duties.

At present there is disorder and confusion among all four "varnas", however, if all four "Varnas" come together and each sect is examined carefully then it will be observed that -

In the Brahmana group, there are more with qualities of "sham" (restraint, absence of passion), "dam" (self controlled) etc. than you will find in the Kshatriya, Vaishya, Sudra group.

In the Kshatriya group there are more with qualities of valour, heroism, strength, ardour, energy, etc., than you will find in the Brahmana, Vaishya, Shudra group. In the Vaishya group there are more with qualities of trading, commerce, business, transacting, amassing of wealth, to consume wealth (not to outwardly show the exhausting of wealth) etc. than you will find in the Brahmana, Kshatriya, and Shudra group.

In the Shudra group there are more with qualities of serving (seva), than you will find in the Brahmana, Kshatriya, and Vaishya group.

The point is that now all "varnas" inspite of not living within the limits and boundaries established and inspite of lacking in restraint, are displaying their natural, innate characteristics that are seen distinctively in their groups. In other words, this thing is not seen on an individual basis, but is seen in the group at large.

From "Saadhan, Sudhaa, Sindhu" in Hindi pg 873-874 by Swami Ramsukhdasji.

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"Vyasa, Valmiki etc born in non Brahman familes"

 

-Prem Sabhlok

 

Respected Sadhakas

 

Maharishi Valmiki ji was born into Brahmin jAti; he was not born of a shudra family as some erroneously propagate. The Maharshi has himself recorded in his Ramayana that he is the son of Maharshi Prachetas. etad-aakhyaanam- aayushyam sa-bhavishyam sa-ottaram/ krita-vaan prachetasah putras-tad brahmaa-apyanvamany ata//Utt. 111:11 As regards, who was Maharshi Prachetas, Manu Smriti says: He was the Maanas-Putra of Bhagavan Brahma, the Creator. Giving names of His Maanas Putras, it says: mareechim-atri- angirasau pulastyam pulaham kratum/ prachetasam vasishtham ch bhrigum naaradam-eva ch// 1:35 Maharishi Valmiki was the son of Maharishi Prachetas and grandson of Mareechi Rishi (a descendant of Lord Brahma); prior to self-realization and enlightenment, he was a dacoit (i.e. outcast) but went on to dictate the Ramayan. So he cannot be born of a shudra family. Veda-vyas was the son of Parashar Rishi, an illustrious Brahmin and was a recluse until summoned by his mother Satyavati to become the progenitor the Pandava and Kuru vansh. So neither Maharishi Valmiki nor Veda-vyasa were `shudras', but anti-caste protagonists refer to them as `dalits'. According to them, Dalits (Valmikis and Ravidasias) do not even fall within the four varna classification. We however would consider `Dalits' to be part of Hindu society.

 

Saadar Pranaam

 

Raj Pandit

 

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Shree Paramatmane Namah

Knowledgable sadhak Shri Raj Pandit, it is my sincere request from you to tell me - that first shudra man, first vaishya, first kshatriya, first Brahmana they were born of which father - mother? His previous birth was in which jaati? or did he not have a previous birth at all? Kindly provide in summary with names so all sadhaks can understand.

 

Thank you,

Vineet Sarvottam

 

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What is the position as per Varna or Jathi, of a bhrahmin, who is a priest in the temple, & runs a liquor shop? Should he be allowed to do both?poonam abbi

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Raam ! Raam !! Raam!!!

 

The analysis made by Shri Raj Pandit is ample proof of what Scriptures say. According to me, he is right. Your caste, varna and dharma (swadharma as defined in Gita) are is determined by birth and not by events occuring after birth or qualifications attained by you DURING this human birth. Sadhaks should appreciate here that we are in this cycle of birth and death for ages and kalpas. Our Svabhaav and Gunas are accordingly as old as are our associations with inert Jagat. It is ONLY in human birth one has opportunity of making amends in Svabhaav. Last available Balance Sheet of your Karmas ONLY can determine the limits, privileges which you get. What is other way? Hence God when He is graceful enough and decides to give us one more opportunity of our emancipation and decides that we should get human birth, then God ALSO decides as to what should be our caste and varna and what is the easiest and fastest way for our emancipation. This decision is taken when you GET HUMAN BIRTH. NOTE HERE SPECIFICALLY: You do not get human birth due to any special qualification. You get human birth exclusively by Grace of God. God grants you human birth, gives to you Scriptures so that you may decide your dharma and your same Svabhaav and Gunas then FACILITATE your journey towards Paramatma. Sadhaks should understand here that the span of human life (say 100 years) is a very very little span as compared with the total time that Jeeva has spent in the cycle of birth and death. Your Svabhaav and Gunas are therefore much more deep rooted than you can imagine. Your Karmas are propelled by your Svabhaav and Gunas. God therefore co-relates your svabhaav/gunas with your duties (karma).

 

All have ample opportunities and means of emancipation in human life. If God has divided all human beings into 4 categories it is His compassion and grace. Just find out what are you by birth, do the karmas prescribed for you in scriptures / Gita and free yourself. Engage yourself in doing "svadharma" and emancipate yourself quickly. Time of human life is passing very fast.

 

Raam ! Raam !! Raam !!!

 

Anirudh Joshi

 

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Narain ! Narain !!

 

Right you are, Raj Panditji. The components of GUNAS are also not CONSTANT. Every creature has 3 Gunas. It is not that Brahmins do not have tamasic gunas or Shudras do not have Sattvik Gunas. Each Jeeva has 3 Gunas in it. According to me, these percentages are determined at birth and they keep changing during one's life. I like this Satsanga Forum merely because in the end TRUTH PREVAILS HERE.

 

Narain! Narain !!

 

Naarad Maharishi

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Jai Shree Krishna

 

It is definitely by BIRTH ! Note in this regard use of words "sahaj" by God in Gita in 18:48. Sahaj means by birth. We should also form opinion based on "general" rather than based on"exceptions". A lot of talk is made under this topic regarding qualities listed by God in 18th Chapter for different castes/varnas. Argument: Current Karmas. Reason: Exceptions , prominent exceptions. But if you take "general" view you will find that whatever attributes/gunas etc have been indicated by God in Gita for four varnas are "sahaj" (automatically) visible in them , by birth ! Do one experiment. Take a sample of 100 Brahmins, 100 Kshtriyas, 100 Vaishyas and 100 Shudras. Take their gunas in totally...combinedly for each group of 100 . You will find that the gunas/attributes detailed out by God in 18th Chapter are predominantly / majority present in each group. Hence we should draw conclusions based on combined general presence of Gunas/Svabhaav in a good sample rather than pointing out exceptional cases.

 

Swami Rupesh Kumar

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Radhey ! Radhey!!

 

Gita 13/21 according to me clearly suggests that you take birth based on your Gunas. Hence caste/varna with reference to Gita and SVADHARMA described therein should be determined on the basis of BIRTH. However, the caste/varna system in no way PUTS AN OBSTACLE to overall right of every human being to realise God and uplift her/himself. Reason is that the caste and varna influence Karmas while Paramatma is realized by bhava (inner sentiments). Per my understanding, in doing Karmas the Gunas/Svabhaav are influencing factors while in bhavas Divine or demonaic properties are influencing factors. I may add here that Shudras are by no means an inferior caste when it comes to the goal of human life. They are BETTER PLACED than Brahminas. Higher a person is, more difficult his sadhana becomes. Once Maharishi Ved Vyas was taking bath in a river and said : O Kaliyuga...You are great. O Shudras..You are great. O Females..You are great !! Some Rishis standing nearby asked the reason. He stated that in Kaliyuga the emancipation of Shudras and females will be very fast and very easy. They are specially liked by Paramatma.

Radhey ! Radhey!!

 

Nisha Chatterji---------

Dear SadhaksIn a place calle Hiremagalur near the city Chikkamagalur in Karnataka, there is an ancient temple of Kodanda Rama. The place is associated with Janamejaya's Sarpayaaga. Teams of Dalit and Shudra boys are trained here to become priests by the visionary Sri Kannan from over a decade!!!!!!!!!!!PranaamsVeena Hassan

 

-----------Here Swamiji's explanation from our texts are good.For simplicity and easy comprehension of these facts:We must realize that "VARNA" is different from Jaathi or Caste.In-born qualities should not be confused with birth based rights.In-born qualities of the soul - as Jiva-atma determines the Varnaand added to that is the desire, training and the performance of action.Jaathi can be from birth and family and some families can take up oneprofession or other from father to son or daughter and also our jaathi determine certain family customs and traditions.Customs and traditions should not be confused with Hindu Dharma -as these customs will vary from family to family in different region;Food habits and dress are according to region and Varna - the profession one takes.Kshatriya and Sudhra varna who does physical labor is allowed some Rajasika foods - including meat;but if one born in Kshatriya family does a business, sits in a shop all day - sedentary -then he needs to be a vegetarian like a Vaishya - because he is a Vaishya. It is that simple.In Jaathi, it not wrong to choose within the same for marriage since the customs and traditionswill be easy to adopt, but that does not mean that one Jaathi or Varna should look at another as superior or inferior. All are of the same in status and all are on one Hindu Samaj.It is like: in your house the Library, Study, Living room, Exercise room, Kitchen, Dining room, Garden area and the back yard are all equal in importance [like the four Varnas]but serves different purpose and one and the same principle applies to Jaathi.If you have a Pooja room, it may be considered special but everyone has a right to go there.If properly trained and has the in-born desire, a Sudhra by birth can become a Brahmin Priest in a Temple.Also: There are many Temples in Tamil Nadu where traditionally the priests are not Brahmins.Everyone at birth is a Sudhra - by in-born desires of nature and intensive study becomes Brahmin,so says Srimad Bhagavad Gita and also our Vedas.Let us think of Equal Rights and equal privileges.Bala N. Aiyer.--------

A simple question brings so many responses: it is amazing. The variations inguna composition leads to variations in responses to the same question,though the source of the question and the answers are ultimately the same -the God Almighty Creator who pervades the entire Creation. God said, Gunasand Actions determines the nature of the next birth. God said Gunas comealong with the birth. So, birth to birth this continues and Gunacombinations could change from birth to birth with the effect of actions.Where does this mean that birth has to be in particular caste in order toget the same Gunas? The children of the same parents do not show identicalGuna combinations.God said he created the four varnas as per a broad classification of theGuna combination characteristics . Where does He say that Varna isdetermined by birth in a particular family of parents of the same varna? Ifwe assume that He did indeed say that, then it would follow that people ofthe same class of Guna chracteristics would be born and married in the samevarna. But how does he ensure that? If he had planned that way there wouldnot have been inter-varna narriages and there would not be the possibilityof Sankar progeny after the Mahabharata War. So, to assume that varna isdetermined by birth is inconsistent with God's Creation and actual evidence.What is the problem of accepting the position that God created Varnas asfour categories of people in accordance with broad similarities anddissimilarties in Guna combinations? Some Guna combinations may suit the jobof priesthood. But clearly birth has nothing to with that. There arepriests in Chruches and Mosques, but they are not bornt in brahmin families.God of Gita was not a short-sighted person unable to see that priests in theWorld would come from different families. Gautam Buddha was born inKshytiya family but became a preacher instead of rulling a Kingdom andprotecting the subjects by using his fighting skills. Was Buddha a Khatriyaor a Brahmin? Was Christ a Brahmin. Was Vivekanda a brahmin? Was Bill Gatesa brahmin. Is Saurav Ganguly who has been a career cricketer and now alsodoes various things other than prieshood, a brahmin, though he was born in abrahmin family. Were Nehru or Indira Gandhi who ruled India Kshatriyas. Itis very difficult to believe that theLord of Gita could not anticipate thesewhile talking abou Gunas and varnas. He must have also been aware of thepossibilty of Hitler and Napolean. All these characters whose actual varnaswere not determined by their birth but by their actions and Gunas have comebecause of His wish and clearly He was not going to contradict Himself bysaying varnas are determined by birth. We need not think so poorly about theforesight of Lord Krishna.Basudeb Sen-------------

A shudra can be said to be a brahmin if he has attained the knowledge of self and his consciousness level high........and a brahmin can be said to be shudra if he fails to attain the knowledge of self and his consciousness level is low........irrespective of where he is born...

 

What happens in society indicates the consciousness levels of people at a particular time..... Truth can be obscured at times....

 

Sushil Jain

 

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Maanya Priya sadhakas

Saadar Pranaam

Brahmins were always respected for their absolute commitment to speaking the truth and for remaining aloof when considering all matters especially when related to Dharma. They could not be swayed even by the establishment and were fearless adjudicators and advisers of integrity so much so that even Emperor Akbar's (a Muslim) confidante Birbal was an esteemed Brahmin. In this spirit let us detach ourselves from political and social implications and debate this topic under the aegis of Shruti and Smriti.

The crux of the argument that varNa is through action is based on the interpretation of verses from Bhagavad Gita which is highly surprising given that it is part of Mahabharatam which unequivocally endorses varna by birth. After all why was KarNa referred to as 'sootputra' and indeed what is a 'soot'. Smriti expounds that it is the name of offspring born of a Brahmin mother and Kshatriya father.

 

Let us examine this particular verse from Gita in detail:

Chaaturvarnyam mayasrshtam guna karma vibhaagashaha.. (4.13)

This has been interpreted as: `The four fold varna was created by me based on guna and karma.

Referring to the commentary by Adishankaracharya we establish the authentic interpretation of this verse:

Chaaturvaryam=chatvaar eva varnaaH chaaturvarnya

Maya= eeshvarena

sRShTam=utpaaditam (braahmano'sya mukhamaaseet-ityaadi shruteH)

guna-karma vibhaagashaH=sattva-rajas-tamaansi

What Bhagavan Krishna ji says is that the fourfold varNa system as described in Shruti (Brahmana was the mouth of Purush etc.) is designed by me and a person takes birth according to the prevalence of the three guna (sattva-rajas-tamas) coupled with the effect of their karma (according to the actions of previous existences etc.). There is no inference here that a person's caste is determined by their actions and attributes in their current existence. Hindu Dharma upholds that the prAni attains a birth according to the fruits of their previous lives and that action done in that life will determine the outcome of any subsequent birth. This has been verified by pujneeya Swami ji.

This also applies to the verse from Gita (18.41) which actually means that all varnas are allocated duties according to the guNa (sattva-rajas-tama) that has determined their birth. There is no implication that these attributes develop through the current existence and in fact refer to the guNa which a person possesses at birth.

Genetics has proven that we inherit various traits, idiosyncrasies and disorders from our parents, so would we now refute this also?

One's jati or natal kinship community (not varNa) is intrinsically linked to parentage, no longer considered varna being commonly referred to as 'caste', an expression which we use on numerous occasions.

This now moves on to the existence of gotra, pravara and jati. Although some assert that surnames were not used in Ramayan and Mahabharata etc., this does not infer that they did not exist. In certain States of India today, individuals are known by their first names and surnames do not exist, in the conventional nomenclature prevalent in other parts of the subcontinent. As every Purohit who conducts Vedic rituals is aware the invocation or sankalp recited before the ceremony ensues records the exact kalpa, manvantara, yuga, year (samvat), aayan, season, lunar month, day, nakshatra (asterism) place etc.

The name and gotra of the host (yajman) is also recited. The name of the yajman is suffixed with the following words depending on their family origin:

Shudra-'Das'

Vaishya-'Gupta'

Kshatriya'-Varman'

Brahman- 'Sharman'

Manu ji describes and classifies the offspring of all mixed caste permutations in great detail inferring that caste was determined by birth even at the time Manu Smriti was compiled.

These conclusions may be unpalatable to some, however they are based on sound scriptural substantiation and I would encourage others to either agree or refute such assertions through bona fide Vedic injunctions.

For your kind consideration let us first define the term `dvija' ascribed to all Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas.

Dvija means twice born; Dvi means two, and Ja means birth. Hence, it means, with two births - one human, the other religious or spiritual. These are Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas:

Braahmanah kshatriyo vaishyas-tryo varnaa dvijaatayah/ Shankh 1:6

Braahmanah kshatriyo vaishyah tryo varnaah dvijaatayah/Anusha. 47:7

Braahman-kshatriya- vaishyas- tasmaad-ete dvijaah smrutaah/Yag. 1:2:17

How they become Dvijas, has also been specified by Smriti. But they say it is by Maunji Bandhanam (Upanayanam); not by attributes, profession, education etc. as some would assert.

Now, whose word is to be accepted? That of speculators or that of the Scriptures which are unequivocal? Here are its Scriptural evidences:

Teshaam janma dviteeyam tu vigyeya maunji-bandhanam/ / Yag. 1:2:17

Maatur-agre adhijananam dviteeyam Maunji-bandhane/ Manu 2:169

Matur-yadagre jaayante-dviteeyam Maunji-bandhanaat/ Yag. Aach. 39

The onus to prove the point that Dvija-hood is by guna, karma etc. lies on others to prove it through scriptural evidence.

Some scholars quote `From birth everyone is Shudra, it is through the sacraments that one becomes a `dvija'; it is regrettable that no Vedic scholar has been able to source the origin of this verse and even so this verifies that `dvijahood' is through Upanayanam Sanskaar alone.

Yajur Veda says:

Aa Brahman-braahmano brahm-varchasi jaayataam aa raashtre raa-janyah shoora ikhavyo- ativyaadhee maharatho jaayataam. (22:22)

Pada jaayataam in the above, means: May be born. Now, does it not refute the contention that Brahmins, Kshatriyas are by guna-karma and not by birth? Also, that all are Shudras by birth?

Some protagonists of non-birth based varna classify Shudras as those who are unable to gain the education.

This is another self-concocted untruth. Had it been the case, all the uneducated, unlettered in the Hindu Society would have been Shudras; and educated and lettered ones Brahmins, Kshatriyas or Vaishyas. But we do not find it so.

If everyone was Shudra at birth, how would anyone receive yajnopaveetam then, which is a pre-requisite for becoming Dvija and taking education in the Vedas? It is by virtue of this sacred Sanskaara that one attains dvija-hood or second birth, where Gayatri is the mother and Guru the father:

Aachaaryastu pita proktah saavitri janani tathaa/

Brahm kshatra vishaam-chaiva maunjibandhan janmani// Shankh 1:7

Tatra yad brahm-janma- asya maunji-bandhan- chihnitam/

Tatraasya maataa saavitri pita tu-aacharya uchyate// Manu 2:170

In light of the above, we would have to consider: How would you send a Shudra to Acharya-kulam for the study of the Vedas when he has had no Upanayanam? Even the reformist Swami Dayanand of the Arya Samaj asserts in his magnum opus Satyarth Prakash:

Shoodra parhhe parantu uskaa upanayanam na kare. Sam.4.p.46.

That a Shudra can study however should not undergo the Upanayanam.

Smriti confirms the ages for Upanayam according to varna:

Ashtame varshe braahmanam-upnayet (1), ekaadashe varshe-kshatriyam (3), dvaadashe varshe vaishyam (4).

The age of the Upanayanam is not stated for a Shudra child in Shruti or Smriti; for without this crucial Sanskar a Shudra cannot undertake Vedic erudition to become a Dvija (Brahmin, Kshatriya or Vaishya).

If the above ages do not relate to the caste of the child from birth, then how precisely in the tender age of 8th, 11th and 12th years does one determine the varna of the child (according to attributes or propensity) in order to perform the Upanayanam at the correct age as stated in the scriptures? Moreover, at such a tender age how exactly do we ascertain (simply by attributes) which child is to undertake study to become a Brahmin, Kshatriya or Vaishya?

In order to become a temple archaka, the Brahmin would have to be erudite in Veda and study thereof to be from an acharyakulam; this cannot be possible without upanayanam and then vedarambha sanskaar. Would any sadhak please provide references from our scriptures for the age of upanayanam for a shudra as we have not found a single mention in all these years?

Hari Om

Raj Pandit

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Shree Hari Ram Ram

Rajji, your posting is very informative. Kindly be brief in the future to stay aligned with group's guidelines.

Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram

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The Bhagavat Gita says that it is one's actions that are important, not one's birth.

 

Till the Muslim period, caste was quite flexible and people changed castes as they changes professions.

 

If a Shudra studies the scriptures and can recite the Vedas / mantras in Sanskrit, he should be permitted to officiate as a priest in the temple.

 

Dr. Nanditha Krishna------------

 

Hari OmA lot of responses are clubbing 'Universal Right of a human being to attain / realize/ worship God ' with 'Shudra by birth becoming Brahmin Priest in a Temple ' !! 'Worshipping God' is too broad a term. A single possible way and mean of 'Becoming Priest in a Temple' and attaining emancipation thereby in comparison to breadth of ways and means of 'Worshipping God' as per Gita/Sanatan Dharma Scriptures is just as miniscule as is mass of say Planet Mars in comparison with mass of Milky Way. Also, Your right to God / Self Realization and Becoming Priest in a Temple- These two are different things- they should not be mixed at all in deliberations. Reason: Becoming a Priest in a Temple, being a Karma, in itself is no guaranteed or only way of God/Self Realization. It is not "Karma/Action" that gets you God....It is "Akarma/Viveka/ Bhavas (inner sentiments)" that get you God !!! What is so important about becoming or not becoming a priest in a temple - when you talk of God/Self Realisation ?Many sadhaks have quoted Shrimad Bhagvad Gita and have stated that there it is stated that a well conducting Shudra is better than ill conducting Brahmin ! Yes !! All Scriptures say so ! Rightly say so ! Gita says so !! Definitely in that case a Shudra is better than Brahmin because he should be more respected, should be more idolised, should be more followed etc than the Brahmin !!! But So what? How does it impact the conclusion by Swamiji Ramsukhdasji Maharaj that caste division into 4 has been made by Paramatma on the basis of birth ? How is that fact relevant or critical in deliberations ?? Some Brahmin is a drunkard and some Shudra is Pundit of Scriptures- how does that change the conclusion regarding interpretation of a verse of Shrimad Bhagvad Gita !! Sadhaks also should note that not only human beings but in fact all creatures existing in this universe are classified in four parts viz. Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra. There are deep reasons for the same. Human life in particular is ordained to get governed accordingly. Sadhaks also should note that all human beings have been accorded 'appropriate' rights and duties- classification into 4 merely provides them a comfort, a clear road map and confidence in achieving the GOAL OF HUMAN LIFE - God/Self Realisation. It makes things easier for an individual Jeeva. Just As: A child can not be asked to lift 100 kilogram weight. Similarly: There are these 4 distinctions based on their level ( Svabhaav and Gunas) ! Shudras, for example, enjoy certain special privileges which Brahmins can not even dream of and vice versa. In other words, Sadhaks should understand what is 'equality in essence' vis a vis 'Gross equality' ! All humans are equal not 'grossly' but in 'essence' ! Paramatma has His own yardsticks of Equality ! 'Essence' yardstick is "Svabhaav and Gunas" and the Judge is God Himself as to who is at what level !! Any objections so far ? On God exercising the superintendence and deciding which of His child is standing at what level ?? God gave us human birth. What is wrong if He classifies us into say 4 four divisions? Most of the deliberations are subtly talking about 'equality'/ 'inequality' in gross terms ( an not 'essence' terms) WHILE arguing against assumption of classification by BIRTH. Little do they know that this argument is as funny as is : Why a female should conceive and carry child , why not male ? It is inequality ! Now is this 'inequality in essence' ? No ! Is this inequality in gross terms? Yes !! Similarly DIVISION BY BIRTH is not inequality in essence ! It may appear to be 'inequality in gross terms' !!Sadhaks should understand that it is DUTY of God to facilitate a human getting emancipated once human life has been given to him. HUMAN LIFE IS A PRIVILEGE IN ITSELF. Human life form has been especially created by God to emancipate Jeeva. On other hand...it is very difficult to change eons/ages old 'svabhaav' and 'Gunas' of individual Jeevas ! Hence, It is only to facilitate FASTER/EASIER emancipation of a human that - God Himself has classified all the humans into 4 divisions. How can God do that? Naturally, by birth only !! Can there be any other way of God classifying us except by BIRTH ? Hope this also helps Sadhak Rajesh Patil in better understanding the discourse of Swamiji Ramsukhdasji Maharaj on the subject. He should note and ALWAYS BELIEVE that our Scriptures are always right- they are ETERNAL TRUTHS. Humans make errors of judgement/interpretation not God/Scriptures.The Question of Saints like Swamiji Ramsukhdasji Maharaj making an error of interpretation / judgement of Shrimad Bhagvad Gita does not arise. Besides, Swamiji is a Scripture in Himself !! As great a Scripture as is Gita itself or Ramayana or Vedas !!!Pranaams to all SadhaksSarve Bhavantu SukhinahNarottam--

respected sir

 

can a sudra by birth, can become a kshatriya king?

 

mohan iyer

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|| Shree Hari ||Ram RamWhatever different bodies are attained in higher and lower wombs (forms ofbirth), they are all attained only according to one's "karmas" (actions) andgunas (three constituents of Nature, qualities). It is only according to one'squalities and actions that the human being is born; therefore man's "jaati"(having to do with race, community, family etc.) is believed to be as per hisbirth only. Thus from a "gross body" perspective, for purposes of marriage,one's food habits and one's actions, the birth must be given importance. Inother words, according to one's "varna" (one of the four classes in society,caste), food, marriage and actions must be adopted.Second point is, he who continues to have worldly aim of enjoyment, wealth,respect, rest, relaxation, happiness etc. for him it becomes essential to do hisduty in accordance to what is specified for his "varna" (caste) and to livewithin the boundaries established for that "varna". If he does not stay withinthe boundaries of his "varna", then he will take a downfall. But he whose aimis only Paramatma, and is not after worldly pleasures and enjoyments, for himsatsang, spiritual reading, japa, meditation, listening to divine stories ofdevotees, self-inquiry etc. and all work related to the Divine are mostimportant. The point in that in God (Self) Realization, man's divinesentiments, behavior, etc. are most important, not "jaati" (race, community,family) and "varna" (class in society).The third point is, he whose aim is God (Self) Realization, he while perform allactivities related to God. with the attitude of worship and reverence,considering them most important, and at the same time doing his duties as perhis "varna" and stage in life (ashram), is doing only spiritual and divine work.Therefore Bhagwaan has said -"yatah pravrutirbhootaanaam yena sarvamidam tatam |swakarmanaa tambhyarcha siddhim vindati maanavha || (Gita 18/46)In this verse Bhagwaan (God) has said something quite extraordinary -When one fixes their object of aim on That Paramatma, That by which this entireuniverse is created and by which the entire universe is pervaded, then one mustdo all work as His worship according to one's varna. In doing this all men areentitled. Devataas, demons, animals, birds etc. are not entitled bythemselves. However even for them there is no prohibition according toParamatma. Because all beings are a part (ansh) of Paramatma, and all areentitled to God Realization. All beings have complete rights and entitlementover Bhagwaan. From this it is proven that in relating with the world(vyavahaar) i.e in behavior pertaining to earning a living, daughter and bodyetc. the birth is most important, whereas in attaining Paramatma the innersentiments (bhaav), discrimination (vivek) and actions (karma) are mostimportant. Taking this purport, those knowing scriptures have said that if thosequalities are found in people of other "varnas" as the qualities and behavior ofmen of a particular "varna", then they too should be considered to be of thatparticular "varna"."Yasya yallakshanam proktam punso varnaabhivyajyakam |yadanyatraapi drshyet tat tenaiva vinirdeshet || (Srimadbhag 7/11/35)Therefore it means that whatever be the signs, indication, distinguishingfeatures, characteristics (lakshan) of a Brahmin, such as self-restraint andself-controlled (sham-dam) etc. if those qualities and characteristicsnaturally are in one from a different "varna", then inspite of being in adifferent "varna" at birth, he must not be considered so. This has come in theMahabharat in the conversation between Yuddhistir and Nahush, that if a Shudrais most eminent, then he must not be considered a "shudra" and if a Brahmin isnot conducting himself according to the qualities and characteristics of aBrahmin class, then such a person must not be consider a Brahmin."Shudre tu yad bhavelakshma dvije tacch ne vidhyate |Na vai shudro bhavechyoodro Brahmano ne cha Brahmanah ||yattretlakshyate sarp vratam sa Brahmanah smrutah |yattretanna bhavet sarp tam shudra miti nirdishet ||(Mahabharat, vanaparva 180/25-26)In other words, with that respect, it is actions which are important, not thebirth. (to be continued)From "Saadhan, Sudhaa, Sindhu" in hindi page 871-872 by Swami Ramsukhdasji.=======================================================Ram RamI remember hearing a small anecdote in Swamiji's pravachans. It goes like this -Someone once asked Bhaiji (Shri HanumanPrasadji Poddar) that by devotion of Godcan a sudra become brahmin (priest). To this Bhaiji replied - No, he cannotbecome a brahmin but he definitely becomes worthy of a figure to be worshippedby brahmin.Thanks,Hare KrishnaVarun Paprunia------------------------Hari OmNo! A Shudra by birth SHOULD NOT become "a Brahmin priest in a Temple" !Pranaams to all SadhaksSarve Bhavantu SukhinahNarottam-------------------------------Shree HariNamaste!,My first inclination was to give this one a miss. No knowledge of the finerpoints of the caste system of India.I was talking to a friend of mine some time back about this wonderful forum, andmade the passing comment, that I was reluctant to get involved, notknowledgeable in Gitaji, Vedas and so on, and said to him, "I am lower than thelowest cast I suppose, through the eyes of some", and then the clown in melaughed and said, "What have I to lose".I thought Sri Sathyanarayan ji post was very close to my inner thoughts.I noticed in the 'Essence of Yogavaasishtha' The Comment on Ch. 30 Vers 43--44,I found some good information on the castes, and noted: '....This hasdeteriorated into a rigid caste system, determined by birth in India , though itis a rational division of advocation based on individual qualities, aptitudesand skill..........'So I cannot understand why there would be any restriction upon sacred matters,based on the above, and other Sadhaks comments.Om... Shanti...Mike (K).-----------------------Sri sowndarya madabhushi sir,You wrote that one should be bornbramhin to become apriest in a temple,please enquire with elders as to who isthe pradhana archaka in sriailam temple in a.p.Janma na jayathe sudraha karmana jayathe dwijaha veda patanthu vipranam bramhajnanena bramhanaBadri Narayana Miriyala(If you know the meaning of the sanskrit shlok, please translate for the group.Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram)---------------------------BG 18.41 states svabhava-prabhavair gunaih.The prakriti is made of three gunas. Actions are due to guna gunesu vartantei.e. interaction of gunas.Basically, our actions are done due to gunas of prakriti.It means that the four varnas action's are divided due to their natural svabhavresulting from (born of) gunas.Gunas decide our nature. That is true. This does not mean that the birth decidesone's svabhav.Just like self is not doer but gunas or prakriti is doer. Same way gunas orprakriti decide your svabhav also.But again, that does not mean that the birth decides one's varna.Gaurav Mittal------------------------------Can a Sudra by birth, become a Brahmin priest in a Temple?This reminds me of a wonderful Vachana (Kannada poetry known for its simplisticand direct approach so that it would reach everyone in all walks of life) from awell-known spiritual and social reformer - BasavaNNa - from the medieval timesfrom southern India:Ullavaru shivaalayava maaDuvarayyanaanena maaDali baDavanayya |Nanna kale kambhavu dehave degulashirave honna kalashavayya ||"One with riches blessed upon him would probably build magnificent temples; butwhat shall I do, a poor man who have no such opportunities? Of course, I can,the seer assures himeself. My limbs are verily the pillars of the temple that mybody is. The head that The Lord has blessed me with is verily thesanctum-sanctorium to lodge the lotus feet of My Lord."My dear friend, being a priest, what could you ever do? Throw some coloredpowders and fragrant flowers at a granite or marble statue?! Burn some fragrantsticks and lit the lights in the dark ancient rooms of a stone building??!!Cleanse the idle that never responds to you and the dark rooms that won'tacknowledge your inner quests???!!! What are you expecting ... from becoming apriest ...You are asking to be a preist my dear friend when you have the abundantopportunity to be the temple as such … the temple that responds to every nookesand corners of your presence … the temple that reverberates in resonance of thevery basis of its existence, The Lord of all lives, The NarayaNa ... in everybreath ... in every pulse ... and in every blink. When the temple itself is withyou, who cares who is the priest and who cares whether anyone agrees or allowsto let you worship?! When you make yourself The Temple, where is the need forbecoming a priest since every act that is transacted through your very existenceis nothing but worship??!! When the very life you dwell with becomes the worshipin all its pulses, in all its breaths, in all its blinks, ... how can TheNarayaNa be anything but the temple as such???!!! When the NarayaNa is TheTemple, who are you and who is He? Who is the priest and who is the deity?? and,what is worship ... no more dilemmas ... no more wishes ... no more worships ...EVRYTHING IS THAT THAT IT IS ...Therefore, my dear friend, if at all you desire … desire to be the temple thatyou are … being a priest or not is irrelevant then!Respects.Naga Narayana.Shree Hari Ram RamPlease read below written in Gita Darpan about "jaati" by Swamiji, titled "Gitamein Jaati ka Varnun" pg 82-84 Article # 18. If any one can help translate therest of the article from Hindi to English and sharing with the group, it willbe very beneficial for all. Gita Darpan is available online, please see link-http://www.swamiramsukhdasji.org/swamijibooks/pustak/pustak1/html/GeetaDarpan/ma\\in.htmlThank you, Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram----Translated partial article -GITA MEIN JAATI KAA VARNUN"Janma manyate jaatih, karmanaa manyate krutih;Tasmaat swakiykartavyam paalaniyam prayanttah."In nature, as many different bodies that are received in the millions ofdifferent forms of births, they are all received according to one'sconstitutents of nature i.e. qualities (gunas) and actions (Gita 13:21; Gita14:16, Gita14:18). It is only according to one's qualities (gunas) and actions (karma) thatman receives his next birth. In other words, according to the qualities (gunas -sattva is goodness, rajas is passion and tamas is inertia or ignorance)possessed and the actions performed in his previous birth, man's next birth isdetermined.God has said in the Gita, that it is only according to man's qualities (gunas)and actions, that I have created the four positions by birth (Caste - Brahmana,shatriya, vaishya and shudra) - "Chaturvarnaya mayaa srushtamgunakarmavibhaagash." (Gita 4:13). That is, Gita believes in position (castegroup) at time of birth. In other words, man who is born in a particular class,race, the four castes (varna), who is born ofparents of a particular caste, that itself is believed to be his own caste.The word "caste" comes from "jan praadubhaarve", that is, it is from birth thatone's caste is determined, not from one's activities. From actions (karma), typeof work is determined, but the full protection of caste is only from followingthrough with the activities prescribed for a particular caste.God has said in Gita 18:41, that it is only according to the birth that actionsare compartmentalized. The "varna" caste that a man is born in, and in thescriptures the description of the activities to be performed in that caste,those actions are the essential duties of that caste. And those activities thatare not prescribed for that caste, then those activities , are consideredoutside of one's duties "par-dharma" for that caste. According to thescriptures, just like doing yagna, receiving charity, etc. is the duty(swadharma) of Brahmanas; but the same activities are not being prescribed bythe scriptures for kshatriya, vaishya, shudra are therefore outside of one'sduties (par-dharma). If man dies in the process of doing his duties asprescribed by his swadharma, then too he attains salvation; but the duties ofothers, (par-dharma) and related behavior, is the cause of fear of birth anddeath cycle (Gita 3:35). Arjuna was a kshatriya (warrior class); his duty(swadharma) was to fight the war. Therefore for him, God says in clear words,that for a kshatriya there is no other work that will lead to salvation, likefighting in war (Gita 2:31) and if he did not fight this righteous war, then hewould be giving up his essential duties (swadharma) and glories and committing asin (Gita 2:33). (to be continued)From "Gita Darpan" in Hindi pg 83 by Swami Ramsukhdasji--\\---Dear Sadaks,One can become priest. But why say Bhramin Priest? 1) Namadev (Sudra) was. 2)Thirupan Alwar (One of 12 Vaisnavite Saints- S.C.) was. 3) Hati Ram Baba(Sudhra) of Thirupathi Venkateswara was. 4) Nandhanar S.C. caste (one of the 63saints of Bagavan Shiva) was. These people were regarded much better thanBHRAMIN priests by Bagavan. What matters is 1) Unshakable Faith and love 2)Clean Habits. 3) Mind to treat everyone alike (Vasudeva Sarvam) 4) No desires onanything except on God. 5) Very important-- Never angry,Egoistic, ability toforgive anything, NO attachment on anything but Bagavan.B.Sathyanarayan-----Dear Sir,By birth, one does not mean physical birth. The birth one talks about whichdecides one's caste in society is the second birth. That is decided by manyfactors, as such it is not what you think. Remember Vishwamitra who was awarrior king. He by his first birth was born in the warrior caste. But thesecond birth that he attained the attributes more suitable to the brahmin caste,thus he became a brahmarishi.One's physical birth does not determine ones' true caste. One's primary gunais one such factor which decides which is one's true caste. I am sure if you askthis to brahmins by birth who are comparable to frog's in a well who have neverseen the ocean and a frog which has seen the ocean and is a brahmin, I am surethe first type of brahmin will tell you it is physical birth which decides one'scaste but talk to a brahmin who has travelled the world and he or she will tellyou that there are the four castes in all parts of the world and that this is aresult of many things and not the first birth. So who tells you what is fact andwhat is fiction is important. Coal and diamond are both made of carbon, but thedifference is in the pressure that the diamond has gone through to become adiamond and the coal will not endure the same kind of pressure. There aretherefore diamond types and coal types and who you listen to as to what is trueis truly up to you.Prashanth Thirukkonda---------Following the teachings of Gita, we can explain the Gunas of a Brahmin Varnaand the necessary qualifications needed to become a priest and also thelifestyle they need to follow.With that restriction, we may need to open up the opportunity with equal rights.However one may need to decide how many will take it and how many will acceptthat.A short 6 months quick course for priests is not going to work, but a full termstudy will wok.They need: i. "STUDY" the basic principles of Hindu Dharma and study of villagecustoms;then: ii. "STHUTHI" - learning basic prayers and recitations; Sanskrit lessonsthen: iii. "SMRUTHI" the reading of Puranas, prayer manthras, Bhagavath Githaetcthen: iV: " SRUTHI" the stody of Vedas and Agamas and advanced study of Templeprocedures.If anyone is willing to go through all these for 4 to 8 years - then why not aSudhra by birth.When all the Brahmin Priests are sending their sons to IT, Engineering and Lawcollege,we have very few willing to serve the Hindu Cause. When a Brahmin can dobusiness as a Vaisyawhy not a Sudra do the Pooja.Bala N. Aiyer-----------------------------sir ,kindly note that any one can become a vaishnava, but not a brahmin. it iscompulsory to be born in a brahmin family to be a priest in a temple.sowndarya madabhushi------------------------------The answer is YES. Sudra or brahmin or vaiSya or kshatria is not by birth it isby guna karma vibhaagasaha. and the division is for the computations of Lord andnot for us. 18.42, cited by some brings out the guna whcih are characteristic ofa brahmana.if a person does not conform to this behavior, then he is nobrahmana.in Maha Bharata of Veda Vyasa (samskrita0, aranya parva 4th Aasvaasa has aquestion-answr session between Dharmaja and Nahusha, the Anaconda. go throughthem keenly and you will realize how idiotic the so called caste sstem is. Youmabe surprised to note that in Dharma (hinduism) there is no caste. only varnaaasrama dharma exists.Per my understanding, the concept of "Caste" is from judaism. Jacob divided hisdozen sons into 12 castes. one of his son Levi was given the priest caste,implying that his descendants and they alone have to be priests or archaka.we do not have such rigidity about archakatva. In west godavari district ofAndhra Pradesh, thee is a narasimha swamy temple in which all archakas belong tothe so called S heduled ccastes.This has been in vogue ince 11th century CE(since Ramanuja).in Visishta advaita, there are no castes. most venerated Azhvaars come fromevery community, and have endeared to the Lord by their Bhakti and tatparata.remember m friends, the Vyaasa of Veda was a fisher woman's sonkrishna samudrala-Generally in all temples Brahmin priests are kept.In north American is anAmerican Priest and I think it is OK But even lower class person studies and canattain the knowledge needed to perform a priest's duties. Even Sri Ramaadvocated women and any person of the caste is allowed to work as a priest Wehave to take the modern view of Hindu life style.All human beings are put on the same stageThis is my personal understanding.Shankerprasad S Bhatt-----------------------------When Manu came up with this classification, it was based on services performedat the time. Human beings had already been around and were perfoming thesefunctions and he(Manu) classfied same. This classfication was misterpreted andbecome entrenched and detrimental to us and as such we should discourage it.Mangal DeolalNamaste Anilji and other sadhak bandhus.Shudra, Vaishya, Kshatriya & Brahmin are four steps to spiritual (not material)progress leading to Moksha, the ultimate human goal. This progress might bequicker if you are born in a spiritually enlightened family and vice versa.This has recently been very well explained in Yatharthageeta website & book,putting a full stop on such arguments of birth rights, castes, high-low etc.At birth we are all Shudra, then while learning spirituality from others weexchange ideas and become Vaishya, then we have our internal spiritual strugglewhile we remain Kshatriya, when the doubts resolve and from experience we startsharing spiritual knowledge we are Brahmins. Same person can be in differentroles (jobs) physically while making this spiritual progress. Hope thisexplains and removes any doubts about Varnashram as a spiritual science. Restis human politics or power struggle.....In material world we might be doing sewa, business, law-enforcing, educating butwe are expected to continue progressing on spiritual path along the four varnaaccording to Geetaji.Geetaji should be read as a text book of spirituality, and not of material worldalone. And it gives a clear indication that the answer to your question is Yes!And I might add that s/he should be worthy of the position of the priest bytraining and characters of such a person while making spiritual progress andsharing it too.Kind regards,Dr BalMukund Bhala.-------------------------Shree Hari. Ram Ram.Yes, anyone can become priest in a temple. My wife is from South America. Basedon traditional varna-ashram dharma, she is not even sudra but outcaste lowerthan sudra. We have Radha Krishna dieties and she does puja to them.In Kali-yug, main dharma is to do hari-naam. Everyone has right to do hari naam.Skanda Purana says kalau sudra sambhavah. Everyone is sudra in Kali-yug.See people as part of Paramatma instead of seeing them as sudra etc and judgingthem.My dear friends, there is no harm in being sudra. Even though I am born asvaishya, I feel myself as being even lower than sudra.Let us remember Ram, see Him in everyone and offer all our actions to Him. Inthis way, remember Him all the time and be happy.Ram Ram.Gaurav MittalI believe the Gita is the master scriptures of Hinduism. By this I meaneverything else flows from it.I believe that in the Gita Krishna does not talk about cast. He talks aboutone's thoughts,actions, and knowledge. Therefore the question about cast does not arise.It is a great pity that India which calls itself secular has polluted itsconstitution itself with talks of casts, religions and so forth. How can youdefeat castism if you make rules around casts? Similarly how can you callyourself secular if you have different laws for different religions? However,that is perhaps a different topic.Regards...Anupam SharmaDear Sadhakas,Hare Krishna.This is in response to a question from a Sadhaka.Lord Krishna describes in Bhagavad Gita, the qualities for Brahmanas. ." Samo damas tapah saucam,Kshantir arjavam eva ca,Jnanam vijnanam astikyam,Brahmam karma svabhava jam. "( Gitaji 18,42)Which means,'Peace, self control, austerity, purity,tolerance,honesty,Knowledge, wisdom and faith in the Lord are the qualities for brahmanas. 'Any one who has these qualities is a brahmana, irrespective of which caste he orshe in born into. An excellent example is Sant Tukarama, who was not born intobrahmana caste, yet he is a great vaishnava. Any body who has the abovequalities is fit to function as a brahmana.Thank You.Hare Krishna.Prasad.A.Iragavarapu, M.D-Yes.I know it is hard to swallow.Gita clearly says Varna is purely by Guna and Karma;ones own in-born desire, ecucational qualification andthe career one chooses with that qualification and training.Everyone is born a Sudhra [untrained] then evolveduring the grwth by study and mental capacity.Jaathi is by birth and Varna is by qualification.If he studies and practises the discipline and masters the knowledgehe / she should become a Vedic Pandit and a priest.Bala N. Aiyer-----------------------------Gita does not provide any verse to say either Yes or No to this question. Butthere was a time when Shudras could not become a priest. This ws so because atthat time the society adopted a kind of division of labor to encourageefficiency. Through family background and trainig, one tends to excel in the jobundertaken by the family. But current civilization has found ways to excellenceirrespective of family bckground. So priest's sons can become businessman,trader, labourer in a factory, farmer. There is not yet much training school forthe job of hindu priesthood: once this is organised for shudras, they can becomepriests. They can also become Brahmins if they are ble to cultivate theattributes of a Brahmin i themselves. May people who are born in brahmn familiesare cultivating the attributes of a brahmin and therefore are not reallybrahmins.The Ramakrishna Mission practices Hindu Religion. Many of the Sanyasis ofRamakrishna Mission are not from brhmin families but can act as priests.Basudeb Sen---------Shree Paramatmane NamahIn any of the Gita verses (in Gita 4:13, Bhagwaan talks about the four varnas,not about Bhrahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra), "Shudra" word has not come.This has arrangement has come about by way of society, which is on it's ownafter struggle is moving towards it end. Per my knowledge, to consider Brahmin,Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra by birth, has not been mentioned any where in theGita. If it has been addressed, then please make us aware.Your question pertainsto that individual who conducts prayers and vedic rituals in temples, which hasnothing whatsoever to do with birth. What do Brahmins not fight in wars?Wastheir caste changed to be called Kshatriya? I too would like to understand thisbetter. So be it, Vineet Sarvottam---------------Namaste Yes, anyone can become a priest (Hindu priest) - whether Brahmin orotherwise - in a temple. Nowhere in GITA ji does Bhagavan forbids anyone frombecoming a priest or taking upany position in any Hindu establishment. Theseclass/caste restrictions are man-madeand artificially imposed. How can our greatand treasured Hinduism tolerate bigotry that will prevent anyone - whatevercaste, race, gender, nationality - from aspiringand attaining any position inany temple? That's not what Bhagavan teaches us in GITA Ji.Ram Ram, Deosaran BisnathThere were many. A brahmin meant one of intellectual bent of mind, who couldlearnto read, learn or atleast recite the vedas verbatim.d Durgesh Mankikar,MD-Dear sadhak,Namsthe.Why do you think so. There are priestsborn as( scheduledcaste)do work as priests in certain temples of A.p.Insrisailam temple the priests are not bramhins they are jangams (a bccommunity).In manyam konda temple of a.p.Nambi cast (BC)people are thepriests.The priest ship of a temple is not cast based.Badri Narayana Miriyala----------- Dear Ones,Namaste!Of course, such questions do arise in the beginning by us.Question canbe turned around and asked: Is anyone Shudra or Brahmin or anything else bybirth?How can anyone be other than human being? A person becomes, not born, asshudra or brahmin depending on upbringing!And such a person is just a fleetingconglomeration of thoughts-feelings-beliefs leading them to actions labeled asthis caste or that caste! To think of oneself as shudra or brahmin, except forpractical context, is ignorance!YES, A human being, regardless of the backgroundof parents, can be brahmin like or shudra like! Having said this:Our first andforemost temple is God given body-mind; by proper sanskaras, one can be apriest of such a temple. This first step is more important than to be a priestin man-made temples which discriminate based on births!We must see that theentire Cosmo is God's Temple and as such everyone has equal opportunity to bePriests!You can be barred from man-made temple, but you cannot be barred, everfrom God's temple! You are already in Temple Priest or not! After all, a Priestis one who generally is seen to perform the rituals, while a devotee tries toknow God, so, why not to be devotee first?Namaskar.............Pratap Bhatt-----------------Can a Sudra by birth, become a Brahmin priest in a Temple? EVERYONE is a shudraby birth! THERE IS NO EXCEPTION FOR THIS. The Shudra is the one who cannotappreciate one's circumstances completely and needs help, one who lacks clarityon the congeniality and adversity of one's circumstances, one whose interest isjust to exist/live/survive rather than dominating or leading, and one who cannottake decisions and hence responsibilities on one's own. Therefore, everyonewithout exception, has to be a Shudra by birth as I have not seen any baby thatdefies the above description. BrahmaNo'sya mukhamaaseet baahoo raajanyahkritah | Oroo tadasya yadvaishyah padbhaagm shoodro ajaayata || Purusha Sookta(Song of the Universal Being) says only one fellow is ever born - that is aShudra! And, the birth of such a fellow can happen only at the feet of TheFellow, The Moolaadhaara Chakra, center of Vaasanaas, desire to exist.Therefore, whoever is born has to be Shudra!! All other VarNas are offshoots ofthe Shudratva only. The Fellow's very existence depends on His feet, thefoundation of survival, the crocodilian brain, the instinct to survive. It isfor that instinct one is born in the first place, as a Shudra!!! The rest ofthe VarNas such as Vaishya, Kshatriya and BrahmaNa are earned positions - NEVERTHE BORN POSITIONS! No womb can dictate what one is and what one would be. Thefellow born has its own agenda in life! The Shudratva is the backbone of asoceity - be it human, be it ants, be it bees … the working class that takesdierction to do their job is what the soceity is fundamentally made with. Thesoceity runs only due to this class of population. Tamas - ignorance and inertiain terms of fear of existence - is the predominant characteristic of the class.And this population comprises everyone by birth and continues to keep everyonein its grips till death. No one can claim not to be a Shudra unless one attainsa state where one need not claim anything at all! One who grows out of mereexistence to bargain with the environment as well as oneself to lead soceity forprosperity is The Vaishya wherein the desire to satisy trans-existentialappetites begin, wherein the fellow starts interpolating and extrapolating one'sobservations to strike better balances in life with the nature and the soceityone dwells in; wherein one's genetic urge for progeny to one's own kind ofgenetic expansion hits the surface; wherein the possessions and ownership takelead to distinguish the person in a soceity; and wherein one discovers the waysto exploit others and their innocence to promote one's own possessions andownership further. The Rajas - desires for genetic progeny and habitualprosperity - again ignorance and inertia, but driven by existential desires -raises to camouflage the Tamas which continues to control the person. Materialgain remains the focal point for all the activities. One who startsacknowledging the individual hegemony in prosperity starts appreciating theindividual power in hegemonizing the environment and the soceity boosting theindividual identity, the ego, which starts elating in all the activities - theRajas raises to its pinacle wherein the desire for progeny in all respects -genetic as well as idealogical - reigns. Amassing possessions becomes anobsession irrespective of the objects of ownership - material, ideas, relations,and even fellow human beings! The Kshatriya raises in one's behavior as the egoraises within. But yet, one remains Shudra at the core as the crocodilian braincontrols and drives all the maneuvers of the fellow in all activities since theexistential gain is the only agenda at the core though the emotional gainsuperficially remains the focal point for all the activities. One whoacknowledges the miseries to be self-borne raising from the very instinct forsurvival (Shudratva) that is nurtured to its newer heights in life in terms ofTamas as well as Rajas in Vaishyatva as well as Kshatriyatva would realize howthe fellow continues to be miserable with magnified desires and fears than amere Shudra. A person who acknowledges growing intensity in pains as one climbsthe social ladder of heirarchy and hegemony would start recognizing the havocplayed by the twins - Rajas and Tamas - and starts empowering the balancingforce (Sattva) to attain peace from which he has moved away in the frenzy ofliving. As the Sattva grows from within, the fellow starts contemplating on thebasis the Absolute Peace (Brahman) embracing the BrahmaNattva to seek the samepeace more and more. But, the BrahmaNattva cannot ensure an instant erasure ofall the history of the Shudrattva, Vaishyattva and Kshatriyattva one hasentertained with different intensities at different stages and circumstances oflife. But, definitely, the BrahmaNattva will act on the Vaasanas to eventuallyeradicate all the VarNas including the BrahmaNattva since The Absolute sought inthe truthful BrahmaNattva is VarNaateeta as well as VarNanaateeta - no one cancharacterize it because IT has no characteristics; IT transcends the very act ofcharacterization. YES! EVERYONE IS ELIGIBLE AS WELL AS ENTITLED FOR THEBRAHMANATTVA, TO SEEK THE ABSOLUTE THAT ENCOMPASSES THE WHOLE UNIVERSE INCLUDINGANYONE WHO SEEKS IT. In spite of seeking BrahmaNattva, one is bound to remaina Kshatriya, a Vaishya as well as a Shudra in variant proportions till oneattains Moksha, The Absolute that transcends all the VarNas catergorically. Inother words, only one who can transcend the BrahmaNattva would ever transcendthe rest of the VarNas. Therefore, an existence of a pure BrahmaNa is a myth!That is the nature of BrahmaNattva.Respects. Naga Narayana.--------------------Yes, very Much !!!Swaamiji is wrongly interpreting Geetaa In the lecture [on the link youprovided- with all reverence to the Swamiji] "ChaturVarnam mayaa srushtam,Guna Karma Vibhaagash." (Gita 4:13). meaning - Four Varnas are created by meaccording to Qualities (Guna) and Actions (Karma) !!! -- Where is the mention of"Birth" here ? Why is Swamiji wrongly interpreting it and inserting the nonmentioned word of "Birth" there ? If that was the case, then Maharshi Vyaasawould not have become Guru of All Hindus !!! (if you want to put him in thebarricade of caste as per today - then he would have fallen in the caste ofShudra -- but his "Guna" and "Karma"s made him Bramhana and given him seat of aGuru !!!)Same is the case of Maharshi VaalmikiSame is the case of MaharshiVishwaaMitraSame is the case of BaajiRao - who was a Prime Minister of Maraathaa(Hindu) empire !!! [he was a Bramhin by birth but adopted to Kshatriya varna forsaving our Dharma ]and the list goes on ....Rajesh PatilGenerally in all temples Brahmin priests are kept.In north American is anAmerican Priest and I think it is OK But even lower class person studies andbecomes Brahman then he can be the priest.Even Sri Rama advocated women any anyperson of the caste is alloowed to work as a priest We have to take the modernview of Hindu life style.All human beings are put on the same stageThis is my personal understanding.Shankerprasad S Bhatt------------------------When can you all get over Brahman & Shudra business & become 100 % human.This isthe reason India is suffering while the world is moving ahead.A spiritualcountry like ours, Greatness Personified, is plagued by this kind of meanthinking.Unless you all give it up , Guru Nanak, Buddha, Mahavir will have to beborn to reform the cobwebbby thinking of your presumed superiority of thebrahmins. c. karnani------------------------------In the Vedas, only those who have studied Vedic knowledge/metaphysics till theage of 24 years and qualifies the examination held after 16 years of studies isenttled to become Vedic Priest. In Vedas education should star at the age of 8years under the qualified Guru (Aditya or Vasu person) and till 8 years of ageMother and Father remain teachers.Incidentally in Vedas, as I understand it, a Brahmin is not by brith.So we need to define what we mean by Shudra. A person like Gandhi ji, DrAmbedakar, Vyasa, Valmiki etc born in non Brahman familes if become preists, itwould strengthen Vedic Sanatan DharmaRegards,Prem Sabhlok-Shree Hari Ram RamKarnaniji, We believe this is an honest and geniune question, that is notpresuming the superiority of the Brahmins, but rather wanting to know what thescriptures state regarding this issue.Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram-------------------------------Shree Hari Ram RamProvided is a link where Swamiji talks about -Essential Duties (swadharma) Determined By Caste At Birthsadhaka/message/1765Cause of Conflict in Societysadhaka/message/1549There is much written about it in our scriptures and by Swamiji, however,these have not all been translated into English so far.Previous Gita talk discussions may also be helpful -Q: Is the Caste System by Birth or by Deed? (you may need to read all the postson that topic)/message/796From Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- ---------Post message: Subscribe: - Unsubscribe: -

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