India – the cradle to all other civilizations of this planet; four great Vedas, Upanishads, so many Sastras, Puranas, great historical Avataras like Ram and Krishna, astonishing leaders, all these happened here. The country has a rich heritage values, and huge population to follow these.
Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma) – the first and perhaps only religion that teaches to respect other religions and never preaches to convert other religion people into its folder. She never invaded to another country in the past 2000 years.
In a new era of modern world, India sent satellite vehicle first time to Mars and most significantly, it has successfully reached and communicating with earth continuously, is the bottom line. No other satellite technology-rich country has this ‘first time’ credit.
The country that taught the rest of the world about the technological development, language, versatility, war techniques and many of others, is still retaining the same?
NO…. is the sad answer for this unfortunately.
India or Indians are losing their glory in the hands of religious and caste fighting. The legacy of Sanatana Dharma has not been experienced precisely as it is supposed to be in the recent years. India, once taught the other countries, is stranded at crossroads now as if she is in the dependency of other learning systems like Western. The young generation of this great nation has been forcefully diverted to the Western culture of life style including food habits. Indian history is not being taught more precisely to this country’s children. They read more about foreigners of recent past 500-600 years who had made this country people as slaves. This country has a past history of good governance of so many kingdoms more than several thousand years. Great Kings ruled and set examples for several next generations. Those stories were not shown in the elaborated way whereas recent past rulers histories were shown in exclusive lessons in the text books.
‘It is the purpose of historical study to enable each generation to profit from the experience of those who came before, and advance toward higher aims, without being obliged to start anew from the same point as its ancestors after the manner of every race of brutes. He who knows little of those who proceeded is very likely to care little for those coming after.’
– F. Max Muller in his Introduction part of book, ‘India: What can it teach us’)
Muller had rightly said the above statement. It is something like reinventing wheel. Do we need to? Where the progress will come from when we start learning again from the beginning, since our ancestors were already in the advanced stage with the comparison of present modern technologies? India’s vigorous development has been stopped in the past 500-600 years, ever since the invasion of Muslims and Westerners. Indians, to be precise, Hindus were preached the utility of castes in much wrong way by invading rulers. Caste was used as a tool to gain unpleasant gains from society as well as government agencies.
“How did we lose our inner vitality? By giving up what have we become weak? What was it that nurtured our civilization and kept it growing for thousands of years? By parting with what have we descended so low as to be ashamed of calling ourselves heirs to this civilization? The fact is that, so long as we practised Varna dharma that is unique to our country, our civilization stood like a rock arousing the admiration of all the world. But after this dharma began to decline we have been on the descent day by day.
Why should this country alone practise Varna Dharma? Because this dharma is necessary if we want to sustain a civilization that can promote the growth of philosophy, nourish our arts and culture, inspire us more and more in our inward search and help us in the realization of Godhead. If the Varna system is followed at least in this country, it will be an example to the rest of the world.
If there is not Varna Dharma, it means at once the growth of social disharmony, the rise of jealousies and discontent among the people. Men will compete with one another for the jobs they like or are convenient to them. There will be competition for education on the same lines. Since all will not succeed in their efforts or in their desire or ambition being satisfied, the result will be hatred and resentment everywhere. Look at what is happening now in India. When educated unemployment is on the increase, it is suggested that admissions to colleges must be restricted, that there are too many engineers already in the country and that some engineering colleges must be closed down. Here we see that the theory of throwing open everything to everybody does not work; imposing some restriction on people is seen to be inevitable. In the old days a man’s work, whatever it was, became second nature to him and he had a sense of pride in it as an “asset”, legacy that had come to him from his forefathers, indeed a prized family “possession”. He also did his job efficiently and sincerely. Money was a secondary consideration then. Since everything was done on the basis of trust and with a high degree of personal involvement – the worker was always conscious that he was doing his work- there were no problems. The whole society prospered.
No civilization can flourish in the absence of a system that brings fulfilment to all. Varna dharma brought fulfilment and satisfaction to all.”
The Four Castes or ‘Varnasrama’ has made for very good reason and necessity of society.
According to Purusha-Sukta of the Rig-Veda, there is a reference to the division of Hindu society into the classes. It is described there that a follower of ‘knowledge based profession’ is called a “Brahmin”; a follower of ‘justice or administration based’ profession is called a “Kshatriya”; a follower of ‘finance or economics based profession’ is called a “Vaishya” and anyone who is not following any profession is called a “Shudra”. These four classifications of human beings are called the four “Varnas”.
The division is according to the Guna and Karma. Guna (quality) and Karma (kind of work) determine the caste of a man. This is supported by Lord Krishna in the Gita also. Lord Krishna says in the Gita:
“The four castes were emanated by Me, by the different distribution of qualities and actions. Know Me to be the author of them, though the action-less and inexhaustible” (Ch.4-13).
However, the above are not strict rules but the core rules of classification. There can be many exceptions or inter changeover in the Varnas of people.
To understand this, let us put like this. One may at the beginning of his career be working as a manager in a commercial company, he is a Vaishya then. After few years of experience, he may start teaching principles of management in colleges, at this time he may be called a Brahmin.
A Brahmana (Brahmin or priest) is no Brahmana if he is not endowed with purity and good character. A Sudra is a Brahmana if he leads a virtuous and pious life. Vidura is the great example of this. Caste is a question of character. Varna is not the colour of the skin, but the colour of one’s character or quality. Conduct and characters count and not lineage alone. If one is a Brahmana by birth and at the same time, if he possesses the virtues of a Brahmana, it is extremely good, otherwise the very word Brahmana has no meaning.
The system of Varna (or Varna Vyavastha) has nothing to do with Caste System, which is not supported by even Vedic Literature. It also has nothing to do with the system of using the surnames. The invaders of this country had changed the very purpose of Varna Vyavastha into Jati Vyavastha for their personal goal and to command over native Hindus.
This was very much feasible to them by the way of hiding their history from them. Your intellectual can be made dormant if you were not taught your ancestors’ rich skills generation after generation. You do not know the intellectual level of Aryabhatta, Chanakiya, Bhaskara, Adi Sankara and in the recent past – Ramanujam, Vivekananda, Subhas Chandra Bose and so on. How your thinking will awake when you do not know anything about your past? How one will get instigated by their ancestors’ way of life and applied skills without knowing them?
For years Hindus, as a whole, forgot their ancestors root and route and fell in the ill-fated nets of these rulers like sheep fall in the well one after another meaninglessly. Thus, the collapse of Varna Vyavastha of Hinduism began. At least 2-3 past generation people have failed to pass on this rich heritage of ours to the next generation. There could be only two reasons I see, one would be their loyalty towards British and secondly, they themselves do not know what the value of this country’s history is because they were forbidden from this to know.
The immature people and British-loyal political parties have carried out this process even post freedom of this country. The Congress was found to be very keen in implementing division policy among Indians, especially Hindus in the name of caste and when comes to religion, they had used cleverly disguised name ‘Secularism’. For India, secularism has no meaning as we are religiously tolerant people already. If not, neither Mughals had conquered nor would Christians have dominated this country.
The saddest part is that in spite of decent education and advancement of computer technology and internet of this modern era, the Indians still behave in the same way like they did 70-80 years ago. The mighty technological strength of this era has not been fully utilized for the sake of own historical documentation and preservation, finding the ancestral root and their way of life, their technical know-how and so on.
It is true that Indians emerging victorious in so many fields and so many countries. How many of scholars and professionals in foreign and Indian soils are really deliberated to unearth these peerless treasures and proudly announce to the rest of the world that who the Indians were and are!
By 2020, India is set to become the world’s youngest country with 64 per cent of its population in the working age group, say 29 years in average. Is it a going to be vital or trivial to this country? Does not look that much promising, until now.
The present young generation does not put interest in knowing their root. Their interests are different.
The ‘Facebook’, ‘Twitter’, ‘Instagram’, ‘Whatsapp’ are mostly used for simple, meaningless, time-pass chats.
The Pubs and Discotheques are their regular visiting temples. Until late nights, spoiling their sleeps and health by consuming liquor and smoking, not only they bring loss to their parents but to this country also.
Any society or community can be destroyed by its own hands, only and only if their values are destroyed and history is hidden. That’s what exactly done by over 600 years by two major invaders in this country.
There are plenty of our old temples still left unattended. So many our old temples’ hidden rooms have remained unopened. There are so many our ancestors’ stories are hidden in such temples to read about our ancestors.
The day young generation of this country understands the values of our heritage and legacy, no doubt, India will not only become super power but also set an example to rest of the country.
Hope is life. Let’s hope!
Balaji Canchi Sistla
Hyderabad on 24-4-2015 @ 3 pm