Prajanam Raksanam Danamijyaadhyayanameva I
Visayesvaprasaktisca Ksatriyasya Samasatah II I / 52 II
Studying scriptures, persuing Yajna and Dana, defending masses, rejection of indulgence, performing noble deeds constitute Dharma of Ksatriya.
Ksatriya is the one in whom Raja Guna is on the ascendance with Sattva Guna being moderate. While pursuing Brahmacarya, Ksatriya is ordained to study and assimilate Vedic wisdom vigorously, must perform Yajna i.e. offering oblations into holy fire and Dana i.e. donating appropriately to those who rightly deserve in charity. Protecting the weak and defenceless ones is the sacrosanct Dharma of a Ksatriya. Indeed, Ksatriya term itself connotes protector of the weak and oppressed. In spite of Raja Guna being resurgent, Ksatriya is mandated by Maharsi Manu to shun indulgence of gross senses and pursue asceticism even amidst opulence. Entire gamut of resurgent Raja Guna is required to be directed towards performing auspicious, noble deeds in the spirit of sacrifice dedicated unto others.
Like the Varna of Brahmana, Ksatriya too is required to consume his life and existence in pursuit of spirituality while honouring all the responsibilities towards a well-ordered society.
Pasunam Raksanam Danamijjyadhyayanmeva Ca I
Vanikpatham Kusidam Ca Vaisasya Krsimeva Ca II I / 53 II
Tending cattle, performing Dana and Yajna, studying scriptures, conducting trade with optimum gains and pursuit of agriculture constitute Dharma of Vaisya.
Vaisya is the order of Varna that is primarily engaged in generating wealth and economic well-being of entire society through trade etc. Generating wealth through trade and commerce is the forte of Vaisya Varna. Maharsi Manu has mandated for Vaisya not to earn unmitigated gains through trade at the expense of social well-being. It is interesting to note that Maharsi Manu has directed even quantum of interest to be charged in financial transactions. Maximum limit of interest to be charged is 1.25% while minimum is 0.24%. Whenever return on investment doubles over a period of time, Vaisya is not allowed to accept even a single paise more than that. However, rate of return must be as much on the lower side as possible. That ensures well-being and prosperity of the Vaisya and his family otherwise ill-earned wealth shall be frittered away either directly or through wayward progenies. Study of Veda-s and other scriptures, performing Yajna, donating foodgrains etc. in charity, tending milch cattle, selling milk are the other imperatives for Vaisya. Members of this Varna are also called upon to perform and conduct agriculture and all other related activities.
In the Varna of Vaisya, it is Tama Guna that is prominent albeit Raja Guna too, is substantially active. The Varna is primarily dedicated to economic well-being and progress of entire society.
Ekameva Tu Sudrasya Prabhuh Karma Samadisat I
Etesameva Varnanam Susrusamanasuyaya II I / 54 II
Isvara ordained for Sudra, obligatory to serva other Varna-s imbued with sense of devotion and reverence.
Varna of Sudra is represented by those who are incapable of perusing Vedic scriptures, protecting others from oppression and injustice or conducting trade yet always seized of the issue of self-development, are physically competent for carrying out miscellaneous errands that are essential in nature. These errands are necessary to be accomplished properly so as to enable members of other three Varna-s honouring their respective mandates towards society. Role of Sudra Varna is so significant that in their absence, other three Varna-s would not be able to honour their mandates leading to a chaotic disorder in society. Even for those deprived of the mandates of Brahmana, Ksatriya and Vaisya, Maharsi Manu has thus, created another order of Varna for them and consecrated them as essential as the other three instead of rejecting them altogether. Sudra performs his role without any rancour or malice towards anyone. Sudra takes up the role of serving three Varna-s with a sense of dedication unto Param Brahmatma. Varna of Sudra is never attained by birth. It is entirely governed by presence of personal attributes and faculties of those individuals. A Brahmana, Ksatriya or Vaisya who fails or declines to perform respective mandate of obligatory Karma-s, is immediately dislocated and included in the Varna of Sudra. Irrespective of birth or economic status in society, it is Karma that is supreme, sanctity of which is inviolable.
In the legendary wisdom of Manusmriti, Maharsi Manu is as much biased in favour of the Varna of Sudra as he is in favour of the other three. Manusmriti is all inclusive, encompassing and comprehensive giving rise to a magnificent civil code to ensure an honourable slot to all members of society irrespective of the role that they are required to fulfil.
Acarah Paramo Dharmah Srutyuktah Smarta Eva Ca I
Tasmadasminsada Yukto Nityam Syadatmavandvijah II I / 55 II
Dharma enshrined in Smrti-s and Veda-s is sacrosanct, to be pursued assiduously by Dvija-s aspiring to advance spiritually.
Dvija is the one who undergoes Upanayana ceremony i.e. initiation into Brahmacarya symbolised by the sacred thread that he is mandated to wear across torso. The ritual is undergone by Varna-s of Brahman, Ksatriya and Vaisya who are supposed to be capable of pursuing Veda-s and other scriptures after being initiated into Brahmacarya in a hermitage of an enlightened Guru i.e. preceptor.
After defining Varna-s based on Karma, it is imperative to define nature of Karma for every Varna. Maharsi Manu has held Karma enunciated in Veda-s and Smrti-s for Varna-s as defined by him, sacrosanct and obligatory in nature. He ordains all Dvija-s i.e. Brahman, Ksatriya and Vaisya to pursue those Karma-s alone corresponding to the respective Varna. It is responsibility of Guru of the hermitage to educate his pupils and disciples about respective Karma-s ordained for every member of Dvija-s to be pursued religiously.
Karma for every Varna has been formulated in Veda-s and Smrti-s based of unredeemed Samskara-s existing in the domain of Citta. There is an appropriate, compatible Karma to match a given bouquet of Samskara-s for everyone. It is predominant Samskara-s that decide the order of Varna to be bestowed upon a pupil by his enlightened Guru. Once the Varna is decided upon, corresponding Karma-s are precepted unto the pupil to be acted upon. Karma ordained in scriptures is mandatory and inescapable. If one declines to pursue Karma-s that constitute his / her Dharma based on Varna and pursues some other Karma-s, according to Sri Krsna in Srimadbhagvadgita, the person is re-born with a much larger baggage of unredeemed Karma-s to work on. One’s Karma is one’s Svadharma i.e. one’s own Dharma, sacrosanct and inviolable.
Acaradvicyuto Vipro Na Vedaphalamasnute I
Acarena Tu Samyuktah Sampurnaphalabhagbhaveta II I / 56 II
Dvija-s not pursuing Dharma as ordained, are unable to attain Vedic proceeds while Karma-s conforming to Vedic injunctions alone beget the same.
Dharma is Varna specific, Varna is Prarabdha specific, Prarabdha is Samskara specific and one’s Samskara-s are rooted in past Karma-s enacted in one’s past lives. Sanctity and inevitability of a given bouquet of Dharma is thus, rooted in one’s unredeemed Karma-s performed in previous lives. Unredeemed Karma-s are inescapable i.e. these must be dissolved through redemption while performing other Karma-s during the span of existing life in the spirit of renunciation to escape from Samskara-s being created afresh. That precisely constitutes one’s Dharma. Vedic scriptures and Smriti-s vividly describe Dharma for every Varna to be performed in the spirit of Yajna.
If a Dvija declines to pursue the Dharma ordained in scriptures for his Varna, that directly implies, he is rejecting entire Karma enacted by him in his previous lives and leaving them behind unattended and unredeemed. In that scenario, whatever Karma he performs in contravention of scriptural injunctions, continue being added to the stock of unredeemed Karma-s and the drag is augmented even if these are performed in the spirit of Yajna. On the contrary, if a Dvija performs only those Karma-s that are ordained as Dharma to his Varna, he shall enjoy proceeds of his Karma without hindrance. If he performs his Dharma in the spirit of renunciation of proceeds, not only no Samskara would be created afresh but also unredeemed Samskara-s that are proceeds of Karma-s enacted in past lives, would be rendered redeemed.
Evamacarato Drstva Dharmasya Munayo Gatim I
Sarvasya tapaso Mulamacaram Jagrhuh Param II I / 57 II
After scrutiny of pursuit of Dharma and it’s proceeds, Muni-s beheld pursuit of Dharma being the greatest ascetic endeavour.
That the sole purpose of human existence is to attain emancipation from the shackles of Prakrti by redeeming outstanding Karma-s enacted earlier owing to sheer ignorance and delusion, is well-established and axiomatic in nature. Emancipation from Prakrti’s fetters leads to complete purification and sanctification of one’s Self. Once attained to the ultimate state of purity and sanctity, Self is poised to merge into the Absolute Self, state of ultimate existence and infinite bliss. Maharsi Manu has established beyond an iota of uncertainty that the only way to attain ultimate state of purity and sanctity of one’s Self is to perform one’s Dharma constituting the order of Varna in the spirit of Yajna. When Dharma as ordained in Vedic scriptures is practised in the spirit of Yajna, one is unleashed from the clutches of Prakrti and emancipated to the ultimate state of existence. Hence, pursuit of Dharma is regarded as the greatest human strive by our Seers and Saints.
To Be Continued…