Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Where are the brahmins and kshatriyas in India?

One question one could come up in the recent situation in India is, where are the kshatriyas? The people who provide leadership, save lives etc.? A rejoinder to this question is: where are the brahmins in the current Indian society? Are we in a situation that Arjuna feared (or unfortunately foresaw) in chapter 1 of Bhagavad Gita? Here are the verses from chapter 1 of Gita:

1.39: O Janardana, although these people, whose hearts have become perverted by greed, do not see the evil arising from destroying the family and sin in hostility towards, friends, yet how can we who clearly see the evil arising from destroying the family remain unaware of (the need of) abstaining from this sin?

1.40 From the ruin of the family are totally destroyed the traditional rites and duties of the family. When rites and duties are destroyed, vice overpowers the entire family also.

1.41 O Krsna, when vice predominates, the women of the family become corrupt. O descendent of the Vrsnis, when women become corrupted, it results in the intermingling of castes.

1.42 And the intermingling in the family leads the ruiners of the family verily into hell. The forefathers of these fall down (into hell) because of being deprived of the offerings of rice-balls and water.

1.43 Due to these misdeeds of the ruiners of the family, which cause intermingling of castes, the traditional rites and duties of the castes and families become destroyed.

1.44 O Janardana, we have heard that living in hell becomes inevitable for those persons whose family duties get destroyed.

1.45 What a pity that we have resolved to commit a great sin by being eager to kill our own kith and kin, out of greed for the pleasures of a kingdom!

Will we, by the design of sanatana dharma, have Brahmins and Kshatriyas back in the holy land of Bharat? If so, what will be their characteristics? Chapter 18 gives the answer:

18.41: O scorcher of enemies, the duties of the Brahmanas, the Ksatriyas and the Vaisyas, as also of the Sudras have been fully classified according to the gunas born from Nature.

18.42. The natural duties of the Brahmanas are the control of the internal and external organs, austerity, purity, forgiveness, straightforwardness, knowledge as also wisdom [Knowledge refers to the understanding of subjects presented by the scriptures; wisdom means making them matters of one's own experience.] and faith.

18.43. The natural duties of the Ksatriyas are heroism, boldness, fortitude, capability, and also not retreating from battle, generosity and lordliness.

18.44. The natural duties of the Vaisyas are agriculture, cattle-rearing and trade. Of the Sudras, too, the natural duty is in the form of service.

18.45. Being devoted to his own duty, man attains complete success. Hear that as to how one devoted to his own duty achieves success.

Postscript: A respected scholar points out to the following verse, that summarizes the five great Yagnyas of the Kshatriya; दुष्टस्य दण्डः सुजनस्य पूजा न्यायेन कोशेन च सम्प्रवृद्धिः । अपक्षपातोर्थिषु राष्ट्ररक्षा पञ्चैव यज्ञाः कथिता नृपाणाम्

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