Notes on Varna System

Two great Rishis of ancient India once met to plan the structure a stable society. Rishi Brigu recognized that there were four sources of power in a society and suggested that no single person or group of people should control more than one of each. The four sources are 1. Knowledge, 2. Weapons, 3. Wealth, 4. Land.  Therefore those who possess knowledge cannot have wealth, weapons or land. Those who will have weapons will rule the country but they will not make policy. They need to seek the permission and advice of those with knowledge. Those who have wealth, their social status should be decided their philanthropy and not by the magnitude of their wealth. Those who own land should have to produce for the society. In fact none of these four categories or “varna” was based on birth of the individual.

Maharishi Ved Vyasa wrote the Mahabharat. His mother was a fisher women. Maharishi Valmiki wrote the Ramayana and was known to be the child of a Dalit woman. Kalidasa considered the greatest Samskrut poet our country has produced, was a hunter. Rishi Vishwamitra who was considered as Rishi among Rishi’s was born into a  Kshatriya family. This proves that Sanatana Dharma does have have varna or “caste” on the basis of one’s birth. Ravana, the king of Lanka was a Brahmin and is still not worshiped. So it needs to understood that the caste system is not by birth.

– Subramanian Swamy

Aryan refers to Arya, or a clear consciousness toward God. In the Vedic sutras, the word Aryan is used to refer to those who are spiritually oriented and of noble character. The Sanskrit word Aryan is linguistically related to the word harijana (pronounced hariyana), meaning one related to God, Hari. Therefore, the real meaning of the name Aryan refers to those people related to the spiritual Vedic culture. It has little to do with those immigrants that some researchers have speculated to be the so‑called invading Aryans. Aryan refers to those who practice the Vedic teachings and does not mean a particular race of people. Therefore, anyone can be an Aryan by following the clear, light, Vedic philosophy, while those who do not follow it are non‑Aryan. Thus, the name Aryan, as is generally accepted today, has been misapplied to a group of people who are said to have migrated from the north into India.

The present caste system some have localized to a particular part of the world is undoubtedly wrong and a perversion of the natural, universal caste system. Those who persist in the theory that the four social orders called the caste system exist only in India are totally mistaken. In all other countries, also, there are the same orders of life, under some name or other and thus everywhere in the world.The qualifications of the various orders of the caste system are enumerated in the Vedic scriptures, briefly the Brāhmaṇas are the highest social order, and they imbibe the modes of goodness and are engaged in the activities of equality, restraint, and forgiveness. The Kṣatriyas are the second-highest social order, and they imbibe the qualities of creative passion and are engaged in the activities of public leadership as executive heads of different political and social bodies. The Vaiśyas are the third social order. They imbibe mixed qualities, namely creative passion as well as the darkness of ignorance, and generally they are engaged as farmers and merchants. The śūdras are the lowest social order, inasmuch as they imbibe the modes of darkness, or ignorance, and generally take up the service of the other three social orders. As a class, the śūdras are servitors of the whole mundane social body. So in essence the system works just like the legs, arms, stomach, and brain they are all coordinated in helping each other.

– Anonymous