HG Keshavanda Das on Varnasrama, October 1, 2020
ENGLISH SUMMARY (paraphrased)
Hare Krishna. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
There is a lot of criticism and sometimes rejection of Varnasrama in our modern society. This is basically due to false propaganda. It was started by the British to divide the Indian Society.
In the concept of Communism everyone is considered equal. Even though they have only 2 divisions, the ruling class and the working class, there are people who don’t fit in these two divisions and are unemployed. Ultimately, this leads to increase in crime. There is so much of disturbance and wars in the world today including India as people are not engaged.
No one has a proper plan to engage people except God. And God’s plan to engage everyone is called Varnasrama.
This God given Varnasrama system is very scientific. According to age, there are 4 natural divisions of society.
A child is first trained as a Bramhchari which usually starts at age of 5 years where he serves his Guru without any motivation and receives traning and learns humility. But because there are no samskaras, thus now-a-days it starts from 7-8 years of age. He is trained under a Guru for 10-12 years till 20 yrs of age. And further training is given if he looks for some specialization.
Brahmanas, Kshtriyas and Vaisyas are given the yagyopavit samskara, the sacred thread. After that they will choose their Asrama.
If one chooses to be a Grihastha, he gets married to a woman in the same varna or lower varna. He has to look for some livelihood.
As a Brahmana, one may engage in 6 activities- Pathan, Paathan, Yajan, Yaajan, Receive and Give Donations. Such a Brahmana will not charge anything for these activities. So one may ask how will he survive? That’s his risk. If he is not willing to take this risk, then he is no longer a Brahmana. Such Brahmanas are virtually non-existent in today’s world.
Srila Prabhupada wanted to create such Brahmanas in ISKCON. We do not charge anything for educating others. If someone is taking lakshmi, then he is no longer a Brahmana.
In extreme circumstances, a Brahmana can act as a Vaishya. Also, he may take up the role of a Kshatriya. But, he should never start imitating a dog and become a ‘Yes Sir’ type of person.
A Kshatriya can also take up the role of Vaisya and also teach in case of emergency. But he shall return to his normal life after the emergency is over. He is supposed to live in opulence. He should live like a king, dress nicely, and is allowed to marry more than one wife, etc.
A Vaisya should keep earning and engage lakshmi in God’s service. He should live a simple life.
A Sudra should serve Brahmanas, Vaisyas and Kshatriyas. In modern days, those who are working are also serving their bosses. But Brahmanas are serving society selflessly and Kshatriyas are offering him protection free of cost unlike in modern society. A Sudra is supposed to be satisfied with whatever he receives in return. He should not steal.
Anyone who steals in called Antyaz. He doesn’t fit in this system. He will steal, quarrel, doesn’t care about God, and is under control of lust, anger, and hankering.
Thus there is a risk in all three Varna.
A Brahmana teaches without receiving any remuneration.
A Kshatriya gives protection, and thus puts his life in danger.
A Vaisya does Agriculture and if production fails, there will be a loss in trade.
For a Sudra who simply works for others, having a good Master, there is no risk. He believes in and takes shelter of God.
If one is caught in hankering, then he becomes antyaja, lower class.
These four varnas are guided by a Guru/Sannyasi.
The Sannyasa asrama is taken by Brahmanas only.
The Kshatriya and Vaisya may go up to the Vanprastha asrama.
The Sudra only take to Grihastha life.
The Solution has been given by Srila Prabhupada: Daiva Varnasrama.
The root of all these is to Live off the Land. Till the time one learns to live off land, Daiva Varnasrama cannot be established.
Source: Global Varnasrama Mission Group at https://t.me/joinchat/QL499RHLHie0zhT7Q_PIjg