Thursday, August 20, 2015

[gita-talk] Daily Bhagavad Gita Message (18/41)


  ||   Shree Hari    ||

Daily Bhagavad Gita Message  

Gita 18-41

brāhmaṇakṣatriyaviśāṁ śūdrāṇāṁ ca parantapa

karmāṇi pravibhaktāni svabhāvaprabhavairguṇaiḥ

O conqueror of foes (Arjuna), the duties of Brāhmaṇas; of Kṣatriyas and Vaiśyas, as also of Śūdras, are divided according to the Gunas born of their respective nature (svābhava).


In the context of Karmayoga, the Lord declared that abandoning of ordained duty is wrong, the ordained should be performed by abandoning expectation of fruit of action and the attachment (Gītā 18/7-9). And in the context of Samkhyayoga, the Lord said that ordained duty should be performed without the sense of doership, without the desire for fruit and without Raag (likes) and Dvesha (dislikes) (Gītā 18/23). Now the Lord explains, what are the ordained duties for each Varna (class) and how these duties should be performed ?

Whatever action a man performs a Sanskara (an impression) is created in his inner senses according to that action and his Svābhava (nature) is formed accordingly. In this manner, due to impressions of actions done in the past lives, whatever his Svābhava happens to be, accordingly the Sattvika, Rajasika and Tamasika-- tendencies of the three Gunas are born. Following the tendencies of different Gunas, the duties of  Brāhmaṇas, Kṣatriyas,Vaiśyas and Śūdras are divided (Gītā 4/13). The reason is that whatever tendencies due to Gunas a man has, he performs the actions accordingly.


In the fourth chapter the Lord declared that four-fold 'Varna' (caste, order) was created by Me, according to the division of Gunas and actions-- 'guṇakarmavibhāgaśah' (4/13); but here He declares that the respective duties of the four Varnas have been divided according to the Gunas born of their Svabhāva (nature) svabhāvaprabhavairguṇaih'. How to resolve this conflict?


In the fourth chapter, there is a mention of the creation of four 'Varnas; while here is a mention of the duties of the four 'Varnas'. It means that in the Fourth chapter the Lord explained that people are born in different 'Varnas' according to the Gunas of previous life, while here He explains that after the birth, what should be the different respective duties of the four Varnas, accordingly they will have their future course.

From Gita Prabodhani in Hindi, by Swami Ramsukhdasji

Ram Ram



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