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The Rationale Behind ‘Varna System’ in the Hindu Social Organisation

Our seers have described that when a disciple left the house of his parents and entered the house of his preceptor he was invested with the sacred thread first and then dwelt for three days and rights in the ‘Womb’ Now the question as to how did the disciple dwell in the ‘Womb’ of his preceptor for three days and three rights. The simple meaning of this is that when a disciple approached the ‘guru’ the preceptor for being blessed with knowledge and wisdom, the preceptor would first of all, keep the incumbent under his strict vigilance and would closely watch him for the days and nights for the inherent qualities and natural faculties of the disciple and then decide as to which category of the four ‘Varnas’ he might be initiated if the preceptor formed the opinion that the boy had the aptitude of learning the vedas that the boy possessed the keen mental calibre of a Brahmana. He assigned the ‘Brahmana’ Varna’ to the desirable. It the preceptor was of the opinion that the boy possessed the capacity of develping a strong physique and was fit to be a warrior the preceptor assigned the ‘Kshatriya’ Varna, to him. If the preceptor’s observation said that the boy possessed the capacity of being a successful trader or an agriculturist, he ossigned ‘Vaishya Varna and if he thinks that boy was not suited to any of these three ‘Varnas stated above was assigned Shudra Varna. Thus after studying the inherent qualities of the disciple the preceptor imparted relevent instructions to the incumbent according to his aptitude, qualities, temperament or the Varna’ assigned to him.
Therefore it is quite evident that in ancient India the society was classified on the basis of ability, action, temperament, inherent inclinations, aptitude, IQ, interests of the inhabitants of the community. Rishi perceptor (Guru) had a great role in assigning the Varna to the students. The perceptor himself was a great psychologist, councillor, observer an enlightened person who had keen insight to find out the inner personality of being Thus it is clearly discernible that the Varna of a person was not based on ‘birth of a humanbeing but his inherent qualities, strengths and weaknesses this was the origin of a “Karmana Varn vyavastha” which was established to for an ideal social order and It was established to give each individual a clue as to from where to start and give him the opportunities to know himself his inner and outer movements, strengths and weaknesses and gave him direction how he/she can develop his innate qualities and capacities so that he/she can become a useful member of the society and offer his best to the society in return of what society does for him. All agree with the fact that if our profession is in keping with our inner quest, or inner tendereies, potentials means according to our own dharma’ we can do justice with our profession by giving our best 100 & to the society. Our Rigveda reaffirms this faith of ours – According to Rigveda (10.117.9):- Though both the hands of man look alike, they are different as far as their strength for performance is concerned like the two she calves of a common mother do not yield the same quantities of milk, two twin brothers do not possess equal strength and valour, likewise two persons coming from the same ancestory do not demonstrate equal qualities as liberalism or valour This inherent difference in taste and abilities justifies seperate and different varnas i.e – A man should get what his ability, stamina for work and qualities deserve and demand, therefore The ‘Varna’ system in the Hindu social organisation has grown as the basis of these parametres of quality, action, abilities and tempraments. Our vedic education system took care that each individual is carefully trained educated, trained in his skills, in the capacities, habits, attainments and habituated to the sense of honour & duty necessary for the discharge of his allotted function in life. To attain perfection and excellence was the key objective of training in various fields. Even the most despised pursuits had their education their law & canon, their ambition of success, then sense of honour, a sense of dignity of a fixed standard of perfection, even the lowest & least attractive job could be in a certain degree a means of self-finding and ordered self-satisfaction.
In addition to this special function and training there were general acomplishments in sciences, arts, graces of life, those which satisfy the intellectual, aesthetic and hedonistic powers of human nature”. Here I would like to share a few of Sri Aurobindo’s rare insights on the subject :-
“Indian culture did not like other ancient cultures stop here, it said to the individual “This is only the substructure, it is of a pressing important indeed, but still not the last, and the greatest thing. When you have paid your debt to society, there still remains the greatest thing of all, there is still your own self, the inner you the soul which is a spritual portion of the infinite one in its essence, with the eternal. This self, this soul in you, you have to find, you are here for that, and it is from the place i have provided for you in life that you can begin to find it”.
“For each Varna our seer educationists, socioligists supplied its highest ideal of manhood, the highest ideal way of which your nature is capable, By directing your life and nature in its own ‘Law-of-Being’ Dharma towards that perfection, you can not only grow towards the ideal and enter into harmony with universal nature, but come also into nearness and contact with greater nature of divinity & move towards transcendence that is the real object before your, Sri Aurobindo futher say from this life basis. You can rise to the liberating knowledge which brings a spritual release, Moksha. Then you can grow out of all these limitations in which you are trained; you can grow through the fulfilled Dharma and beyond it into the enternity of your self into the fullness, freedom, greatness and bliss of immortal spirit for that is what each man is behind the veils of his nature”.
“The whole system of society, founded on the Four Varnas was made harmonious means for the elevation and progress of the soul, mind and life from the natural pursuit of interest and desire, first to the perfection of the law of our being on personal Dharma’ and at the end to a highest spritual freedom.For man’s true end in life must be always this realisation of his own Immortal life and his/her entry in its secret of an infinite and efernal existance”.
It is clear from the above description that this division of society into four varnas was a well devised and necessary scheme in its time, It gave the community the firm and nobly built stability, it needed for the security of its cultural development & cultural preservation of its rich culture and rich heritage, Our vedic rishis had no intention to label any body as low or high for them all human beings of the world belong to one race and caste, According to the Bhagvat Mahapurana ‘There was only one Brahma Varna initially i.e.
“Ekoham Varna Awam Ch. Again in the Valmiki Ramayana I quote –

“O Amarendra, I first created the subjects intelligently.
All the subjects were of one Varna’ or one class only” But with passage of time when did “karmana-Varna-System changed into ‘Janmana-Varna-System’ – based on birth nobody knows, but certainly there was gradual degeneration in the society. Social malpractices as the result of dirty only mischievous disinformation campaign engineered by invaders, selfish elements and institutions that intended to degrade, disintegrate Hindu society and weaken us as a nation distorted the very width, depth of the word “Varna ‘misled the gullible. poor people of India Nobody, even after 1947, Independence undenstood their foul & wicked designs. We let the christians and muslims, the invaders to convert Hindus into their religions and let themhave full play of dividing, breaking & injuring our society by labelling them as born Nich, Bhangi, Achhut and useless keeping them deliberately poor, illiterate and away from their roots.
Om constitution too gave them crutches of reservations further confirming their caste enhancing their inferiority complex. Instead of giving them, goud education and eliminating these inhuman labels of dalits, backward, untouchables we rather deepended the grooves of lowness and highness.
Friends, Its high time for each Hindu to awaken himslef to the conspiracies and ill-intention of some of the evil forces to divide and break India on the basis of caste ad perpetuate their agenda of rule India by hook or by crook. We are passing through a very cruial period, a battle is being tought between two forces- one that wants to unite India the other that want break India.
All Hindus should unite and as Vivekanand urged scholarly people to share knowledge with the marginalised section of the society, all Hindus should study Vedas, Epics and learn sanskrit, Geeta, Upnishads, Science, literature. Each Hindu should read Vedas seek direct knowledge to understond the rationale behind the Varna system. I conclude with a quote from Rigveda:-
“Among men none is high or low. All are equal brothers. They should all work together for the highest temporal and enternal glory”


Shobha Chandla
Twitter :- uttrashada
On youtube :- shobhachandla

Reference books consulted are –
1. The Foundations of Indian Culture – By Sri Aurobindo
2. Wisdom of the Ancient Rishis

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