Edition 1 of February 2002
BhagavadGeeta Adhyaay 4 Shlok 13
According to the division of Gun and Karm – I have evolved the discipline of four Varn(s). Though I am the architect of this – yet you need to know this very well that – despite being the indestructible Kartaa – neither I do any Karm – nor does occur any change in Me on account of that.
Karta: author, doer, master, maker.
No Karm: Induced by Gun(s) of Prakriti, God does not do any Karm (humans do). He does Karm keeping Himself separate from the three Gun(s) of His Prakriti.
No Change: On account of Karm no change occurs in Him (it does, in humans). His Karm is desire-less (humans’ Karm is desire-filled).
Explanatory notes on "According to the division of Gun and Karm"
We have known that our character is built upon (a) the genes – hereditary factors – that are acquired through our parents and (b) the environment – in which we have been raised. Granted that these are the immediate visible causes and therefore, most easily understood. Now suppose we were asked (a) why is it that the person was born of those parents who gave him those genes – why was he not born of another set of parents who could have given him totally different hereditary factors? And (b) why was he born in that environment which helped shape him in a particular character – why was he not born in another set of environment which could have easily shaped him entirely into another kind of character?
So, there are other deeper invisible causes not easily comprehended by human mind.
The journey of a soul is a very long process. It passes through innumerable births until it qualifies itself for submerging into the Supreme soul. Through this long and arduous journey the soul’s ego acquires many a traits. During each of these births Satvagun, RajoGun and TamoGun arising from the Prakriti induces the man to do many a Karm (chapter 14 GunTrayaVibhaagYog). Those Karm then make him the bearer of the results of such Karm. In this manner, takes shape the soul’s ego. However these traits can manifest themselves in the environment of this world through a body. When the time is ripe, the soul is then directed to such parents who – through their genes and environment in which they live – will be able to give that body its character.
For parents to have acquired appropriate genes and environment – it is necessary that their parents too had appropriate genes and environment. Similarly, their parents – and then their parents – and so on. So, there has to be systematic way of descendence through which these are passed on from one generation to another. And, for that one needs a regulated environment and methodology.
However, it was not adequate to monitor only the two factors – parental genes and environment – to give shape to the total character of the new entrant. If that were adequate, five children born of same parents and reared in same environment would have manifested more or less similar physical and mental traits. Therefore, it was necessary to add few more factors to accommodate the gamut of variety involved in shaping the newborns’ characteristics. But only one of such factors will be of direct relevance at this point, as we proceed to deal with the issue of four Varn(s). All other factors may be dealt with elsewhere, only if appropriate to the context.
God had structured the process of human evolution in four broad categories. Each category was to have some basic traits, which would help them perform some basic functions required for methodical evolution of human race. And each new entrant (new birth) was to be channeled to the appropriate category – so that it can manifest in physical form and at emotional level – those traits that would have been acquired through many a birth of the past. These four broad categories based on gun (human instincts and attributes) and Karm were as follows.
First category of those who would engage themselves in pursuit of knowledge and its distribution – they were called Braahman Varn. They would be naturally inclined towards philosophy, religion and spirituality. Their life span would be divided into four phases. First Brahmacharyaashram for 25 years – during which he would be observing total celibacy and engage himself in education at a Gurukul (Guru’s place). Second Grihasthaashram for next 25 years – during which he would be married, raise children. Third Vaanprasthaashram for next 25 years – during which he would retire to Van (in the woods – away from human localities) to prepare himself for detachment from family and friends and gradually get ready for next journey. Fourth SannyaasAashram for remaining part of the life – during which he would focus his mind only towards God. Thus, final goal of such a divided human life would be to attain Moksh after passing through various phases of Dharm – Arth – Kaam – Moksh.
Second category of those who would engage themselves in protecting the nation, Dharm, human life and wealth – they were named as Kshatriya Varn. They would be naturally inclined to concentrate at organizing, managing, maintaining, politics and ruler-ship. Third category of those who would engage themselves in cultivation of agriculture and manufacture of other produces that would be necessary for sustaining life on the earth – they were called as Vaishya Varn. They would have natural aptitude for trade and business. Fourth category of those who would engage themselves in serving other three Varn(s) Braahman, Kshatriya, and Vaishya – they were named as Shoodr Varn. They would naturally gravitate towards service and labor.
Besides Genes and Environment, let us look at the third of several other factors that would help shape the total character of a human on this earth. Let this be demonstrated by the case of a Kshatriya. Such a soul would breathe its first breath on this earth at a time when Moon is placed in any one of the three specific divisions of the sky that are astronomically identifiable by the position of Fixed Stars. Humans have named these as Sinh, Tula and Dhanu. But there is a complexity. Soul’s ego acquires many a mixed traits during its journey through many births. Therefore, some would be Kshatriya by outer qualities but Shoodr by inner qualities. Such soul would breathe its first breath on this earth at a time when Moon is placed in Sinh (zero to 13 degrees and 20 minutes) Magha. But, some would be Kshatriya by outer qualities but Braahman by inner qualities. Such soul would breathe its first breath on this earth at a time when Moon is placed in Sinh (13d 21m to 26d 40m) PoorvPhaalguni Or, Dhanu (13d 21m to 26d 40m) PoorvAashaarh. Similarly, some would be Kshatriya by outer qualities and also Kshatriya by inner qualities. Such soul would breathe its first breath on this earth at a time when Moon is placed in Sinh (26d 41m to 30d) UttarPhaalguni Or, Dhanu (26d 41m to 30d) UttarAashaarh. Now, some would be Kshatriya by outer qualities but Butcher (naturally gravitating towards various forms of Butchery) by inner qualities. Such soul would breathe its first breath on this earth at a time when Moon is placed in Tula (6d 41m to 20d) Swaati Or, Dhanu (zero to 13d 20m) Mool. And, some would be Kshatriya by outer qualities but Servant (naturally gravitating towards various forms of servitude) by inner qualities. Such soul would breathe its first breath on this earth at a time when Moon is placed in Tula (zero to 6d 40m) Chitra. Lastly, some would be Kshatriya by outer qualities but Mlechchh (misfit in the society) by inner qualities. Such soul would breathe its first breath on this earth at a time when Moon is placed in Tula (20d 1m to 30d) Vishaakha.
We need to remember that the mechanism God has evolved – for monitoring the routing of new entrants into this world – and also for monitoring activities and events in their lives thereafter – involves extraordinary finesse and precision!
If humans were to live the way that was given to them by birth and used their free will for finding the way out of this maze (Shlok 7 – 8 above) that this world is. Thus they would have fulfilled the true purpose of their birth. However, man seldom lives the way he is expected to live. For, it is his ego that leads him to other directions. He uses the free will to change the things around him – to conquer what is not his. In that he feels the reflection of his self-worth – the ego booster!
As he has no idea of the whole game plan of the architect of the universe, the man looks at the limited focus he has and, wants to stamp his domination over it. In the process he disturbs a lot many in the whole scheme of things. Thus, one thing leads to the other – and in that process, today’s society has acquired quite an adulterated form where the lines of distinction with regard to four Varn(s) are seemingly obliterated. And yet, we find the same extraordinary finesse and precision in the system that God has evolved for regulating such heightened level of adulteration. We may get into details at another place, if appropriate.
However, human nature still retains those basic distinctions and, if one wants to see their reflection into human character, all that one needs to do is to look at the information related to individual’s first breath on the earth!