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“One’s inclinations, or qualities, depend solely upon one’s nature. A person should work in accordance with that individual nature, otherwise his work will not be fruitful. In the English language, the word ‘genius’ is used to refer to a particular part of one’s nature. It is not easy for a person to change his matured nature; therefore, by working in accordance with it, he should endeavour for his livelihood and spiritual perfection. In India, people are divided into four castes in accordance with four types of nature and thus become properly situated in society, having followed the injunctions of the caste system. Their social activities naturally become fruitful and humanity attains complete auspiciousness. The basis of the caste system is solid and scientific. A society with such a foundation is worthy of respect by all of humanity.
“Some people may doubt the varṇāśrama system, saying, ‘No one in Europe and America follows the injunctions based on caste divisions, yet they are more advanced and respected than the Indian people economically, scientifically and so forth,’ and they conclude that it is useless to accept a system like varṇāśrama. Such doubts, however, are baseless, because the European societies are quite new. People of such modern societies are generally stronger and more courageous and so they perform various activities in the world, accepting portions of the knowledge, science and arts that have been preserved by the older societies. But these new societies will gradually become extinct because their social arrangement has no scientific basis. Symptoms of the original caste system, however, which existed in ancient India’s Āryan society, can still be observed in current Indian society, even though it is now so old and weak.
“Previously, the Roman and Greek cultures were more powerful and advanced than modern European culture, but what is their
present plight? They have lost their own ancient caste system. They have embraced the religions and systems of modern societies to such an extent that the people of those castes do not even boast the glories of their noble ancestors. Although the Āryan society of India is much older than the Roman and Greek societies, the present Āryans feel proud of their great heroic forefathers. Why? Because the foundation of Āryan society was firmly rooted in the varṇāśrama system, and so their societal or caste traits still remain. The descendants of Rāma, who were defeated by the mlecchas (outcastes, or meat-eaters), still consider themselves to be the heroic descendants of Śrī Rāmacandra. As long as the caste arrangement exists in India, the people there will certainly remain Āryan. They can never become non-Āryan, no matter how fallen they become, due to the time-worn and antiquated nature of Indian society.
“The European Āryan descendants, such as the Romans, have mingled with the lowest castes such as Hāna and Bhāṇḍāla and have thus become integrated with them. By studying the structure of the present European societies, we find that whatever charm exists in them is due to the fact that they have in some way embraced the principles of the varṇa system, which has manifested in accordance with people’s natural propensities. In Europe, those with a vaiśya nature consider it beneficial to engage in business, and because of that alone, they are making economic progress. Those with the nature of a kṣatriya will voluntarily become soldiers, and those with the nature of a śūdra generally prefer to perform menial services. In fact, no society can exist without accepting varṇa-dharma in some form or other. Even when a marriage is arranged, the bride’s and the groom’s caste and nature are examined and their higher or lower status in relation with each other is considered.
“Although varṇa-dharma is partially accepted in Europe, it has not been established in its full, scientifically-based form. Wherever knowledge and civilization make real progress, varṇa-dharma manifests proportionately. Two methods are employed in any activity: the unscientific and the scientific. An activity is performed unscientifically until a scientific process is accepted. For example, before the invention of power driven ships, people used to travel in sailboats, designed to depend on the winds. But when scientifically manufactured steamships were introduced, they replaced sailing vessels as the primary means of water transport. The same principle can also be applied to society. Until the caste system becomes properly established in a country, that country’s society will be run by some unscientific, rudimentary system. A rudimentary and primitive caste system is currently operating in and controlling societies in all countries of the world, save and except for India [where it is more developed]. India has therefore been called karma-kṣetra, the land where prescribed duty is properly executed.
“At this point in our discussion, one may ask whether or not the varṇa, or caste, system is actually functioning properly in India today. The answer is that it most definitely is not. Although previously this caste system had been fully implemented, in course of time it became diseased and its degraded condition is now visible in India. We may well ask, ‘What is that disease?’ The following explanation provides the answer.
“At the beginning of Tretā-yuga, the Āryan society had reached the pinnacle of its development, and at that time, the varṇāśrama system was established. An arrangement was made to determine the caste of every person according to his nature. Upon ascertaining the requisite qualifications (adhikāra), he would perform his duties prescribed for that caste only. In this way, the activities of the world were very comfortably managed through the scientific process of division of labour and ascertainment of nature. A person whose father had no caste was accommodated in the appropriate caste, after examining his nature. Vedic histories of Jābālī, Gautama, Jānaśruti and Citraratha, etc., are examples of this. For a person whose father’s caste was known, his caste was ascertained on the basis of his disposition as well as his family lineage. In the dynasty of Nariṣyanta, Agniveśa himself became the great sage known as Jātukarṇa. It is from him that the famous brāhmaṇa dynasty known as Agniveśyāyana originated. In the Aila dynasty, Jahnu, the son of Hotra, attained the status of a brāhmaṇa. In the dynasty of Bharadvāja, who was born in the dynasty of Bharata and who was known as King Vitatha, two dynasties came. The progeny coming from Nara became kṣatriyas, and the progeny of Garga became brāhmaṇas. In the dynasty of King Bharyasva, maudgalya gotra brāhmaṇas, such as Śatānanda and Kṛpācārya were born. Scripture contains many examples like this; only a few have been cited here.
“When the caste system was functioning in a proper manner, India’s fame spread all over the world like the powerful glow of the midday sun. People from all countries of the world paid homage to India and accepted its rulers, controllers and spiritual masters as their own. Countries such as Egypt and China would hear and receive instructions from Indian people, with great faith and reverence.
“The above-mentioned varṇāśrama-dharma continued in its pure form in India for a long time. Later, through the influence of time, the kṣatriyas Jamadagni and his son Paraśurāma were unlawfully accepted as brāhmaṇas, although they eventually gave up that caste, as it was opposed to their nature. A dispute then broke out between the brāhmaṇas and kṣatriyas, which caused a disturbance to world peace.
This quarrel bore an unfavourable result: within the caste system, more emphasis was placed on birth. This perverted caste system was introduced covertly; it even infiltrated scriptures such as the Manusmṛti. The kṣatriyas lost all hope of attaining a higher caste and they revolted, supporting the Buddhist religion and focusing all their energy on destroying the brāhmaṇas. A new activity or opinion is opposed to the degree that it is propagated. When the Buddhist faith, which is opposed to the Vedas, arose to confront the brāhmaṇas, the caste system based upon birth became even more deeply rooted. Dissension ensued between the supporters of this ill-conceived system and those supporting a spirit of nationalism. This gradually led to a virtual disintegration of the Āryan civilization in India.
“Driven by selfish motives, the so-called brāhmaṇas, bereft of any real brahminical qualities, composed their own religious scriptures and began to cheat the other castes. The so-called kṣatriyas, who had lost their true kṣatriya spirit and qualities, became averse to engaging in battle and thus began to lose their kingdoms. Finally, they started to preach the comparatively insignificant and inferior Buddhist doctrine. The vaiśyas, who possessed no real business qualities and acumen, began propagating religions such as Jainism. Under these circumstances, the world-wide business ventures of India gradually declined, and the śūdras who had no real śūdra qualities, became almost like dacoits, being unable to find work befitting their nature. As a result, the discussion of bona fide scriptures such as the Vedas gradually came to a halt. Then, at an opportune time, rulers of the mleccha countries attacked India and took control. Due to improper management, India’s shipping industry suffered and finally ceased. In this way, the influence of Kali intensified. Alas! The Āryan race of India, which once was the ruler and guru of all other societies on Earth, deteriorated to the pitiable condition we see today. The reason for this unfortunate development is not the ageing of Indian civilization but the numerous defects that have permeated the caste system.
“Parameśvara is the original controller of all systems and living entities. He has the ability to remove all inauspicious elements and bestow all auspiciousness. If He so desires, He may send His empowered representative to re-establish varṇāśrama-dharma. The writers of the Purāṇas assert that Śrī Kalkideva will make His advent and reinstate the pristine glory of varṇāśrama-dharma. The story of King Maru and Devāpi describes a similar expectancy. We will now discuss the rules within varṇāśrama-dharma.
“The scriptures delineating moral principles (dharma-śāstra) give a detailed explanation about the karma (prescribed duties) that a person in each caste has the right to perform. The full details of that subject cannot possibly be presented in the context of this book.
“The prescribed activities for brāhmaṇas include serving food to guests, bathing thrice a day for purity, worshipping the demigods and goddesses, studying the Vedas, giving spiritual instruction, performing pūjā, and observing vows such as accepting the sacred thread and celibacy (brahmacarya and sannyāsa). Kṣatriyas have the qualification to perform activities like fighting for religious purposes, ruling a kingdom, protecting the subjects and generously distributing charity.
Vaiśyas are eligible for duties such as protecting animals and executing business endeavours. The right of the śūdras is to perform service to the demigods without uttering mantras and to render various services to the other three castes.
“Apart from the activities that are exclusive to their respective caste, all men and women have the common right to perform activities such as marriage, bhakti to the Supreme Lord, welfare activities, general acts of charity, service to the guru, honouring guests, purificatory rites, celebrating festivals, serving the cows, producing progeny and following prescribed codes of conduct. The specific right of a woman is to engage in the service of her husband. The basic principle is that a person has the eligibility to perform duties that are conducive to his own nature. With simple intelligence, everyone can ascertain their particular qualification to perform work. If someone cannot do that, he should approach a bona fide guru to ascertain his nature and qualification. Vaiṣṇavas who are situated beyond the modes of nature and who are interested to know more about this subject, should study Sat-kriyā-sāradīpikā, by Śrīla Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī.”
Dabar paskutinę pastraipą išversiu: "Be tų veiklų, kurios būdingos tik jų atitinkamai kastai, visi vyrai ir moterys turi visiems bendrą teisę atlikti tokias veiklas kaip santuoka, bhakti Aukščiausiam Viešpačiui, socialinio aprūpinimo veiklos, bendro pobūdžio labdaringi veiksmai, tarnystė guru, svečių pagerbimas, apvalomieji ritualai, festivalių šventimas, tarnystė karvėms, palikuonių pradėjimas ir sekimas nustatytais elgesio kodais. Ypatinga moters teisė yra užsiimti tarnyste savo vyrui. Bendras principas yra toks, kad žmogus yra tinkamas atlikti tas pareigas, kurios palankios jo paties prigimčiai. Su paprastu intelektu kiekvienas gali nustatyti savo konkrečią kvalifikaciją atlikti darbą. Jeigu kas nors nesugeba to padaryti, jis turėtų eiti pas bona fide guru, kad šis įvertintų jo prigimtį ir kvalifikaciją".
Aišku, paskutinį patarimą labai sunku įvykdyti, nes tam reiktų rasti bona fide guru ir užduoti būtent tokį klausimą. Bona fide guru yra labai retas. Nors gal čia yra gradacijos, pagal tai, kokį guru žmogus matys kaip bona fide guru. Bet man būtų gaila tų, kurie nueitų pas žmogų, kuris net nėra satva gunoje, ir neturi bhakti suvokimo, nors ir imasi guru vaidmens, ir užduotų jam tokį klausimą, ir gautų klaidingą atsakymą.
Taigi, lieka paprastu intelektu pačiam nusistatyti savo kvalifikaciją. Pvz. pats save vertinu kaip barbarą ir darbininką, visą gyvenimą (man jau beveik 40 metų) tokiais darbais užsiimu, visados samdomas darbas, kartais fizinis, kartais ofisinis būdavo. Dabar jau judu link verslininko, kai pats suksiu savo kapitalą smulkiame versle.
Potencialiai turiu šiek tiek tendencijos link brahmaniškų užsiėmimų ir sukriti. Bet faktiškai tas potencialas nepasireiškė stipriai, kad būtų kaip gyvenimo ir pragyvenimo būdas tiek materialiose, tiek dvasinėse veiklose. Todėl laikausi to, kas faktiškai pasireiškė: tiesiog dirbu, verslauju. Ir toliau noriu dėti pastangas link sukriti.
Dar vienas įdomus dalykas, užsiimdamas transcendentine sukriti buvau Indijoje pusmetį, ir pradžioje abejojau, ar galiu ten likti. Nuėjau pas pažengusį vaišnavą, kurio globoje gyvenome, ir jam pasakiau, kad bijau likti Indijoje, dėl savo vidinių savybių. Jis man davė pamokymą, kad reikia būti kantriam, ir kad maždaug, "nebijok, tu esi Dievo vaikas, o čia yra Dievo namai".
Tai šią naktį galvojau apie tą kastos klausimą, ir tokia mintis atėjo: "betgi mūsų visų tikroji prigimtis yra "aš esu dvasinė siela", o ne "aš esu brahmanas, kšatrijas, vaišja ar šūdra", kad mąstyti vien kastos kategorijom yra klaidingas savęs tapatinimas, praleidžiam esmę".