Vedic Varna Vyavastha is based on Guna Karma, not By-Birth



The messege of SrimadBhagvatGita is Universal. When it was recited by Bhagwaan Sri Krishna to Arjuna, on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, 5000 years ago, there was no other Religious Doctrine in Vogue other than Vedic. Whatever was orally mentioned by Bhagwaan Sri Krishna to Arjuna was later on composed in a book form, divided into 18 chapters, as an Upanishad, by Maharshi Vedavyas.

Varna Vyavastha in Gita

SrimadBhagvadGita has become the principal Book of Knowledge in Sanatan Dharma, enjoying the status of the Upanishad of Upanishads. It’s aptly termed The Yoga Shastra of BrahmVidya. All other religious beliefs that are in vogue today, have been propagated during the past 2500 years or so. Be it Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikh ism, or Tao.


Thus, SrimadBhagvadGita is not a narrow doctrine but encompasses the whole of Human Civilisation across Ages. One of the most essential aspects of the Gita is the Varna Vyavastha, the 4 divisions of Human Society, based on Guna and Karma, i.e., Virtues and Professions.

The Sloka-Ardha (4/13) is –

“Chaatur-Varnyam Mayaa Srishtam
Guna Karma Vibhaagashah”
#चातुर्वर्ण्यमयासृष्टम् गुणकर्म_विभागश:”


The meaning is quite clear that the 4 Varnas are created by Bhagwaan Sri Krishna himself based on Guna Karma, i.e., Virtues and Professions. There is no mention of Varna-By-Birth anywhere in SrimadBhagvadGita.

Vedic Varna Vyavastha is based on Guna Karma, not By-Birth

Guna in Gita

Also, Prakriti, the Nature, is made of 3 Gunas, Satva, #सत्त्व, Rajas, #रजस्, and Tamas, #तमस्. These three constitute the entire gamut of the Srishti. All professions are based on these three primary Gunas only. Numerous Jaatis that we see in Hindu Society are sub-divisions of the 4 Varnas only, although erroneously considered based on By-Birth.

Brahmins have Satva, as the Principal Guna,
Kshatriyas have Rajas, as the Principal & Satva, as the Secondary Gunas,
Vaishyas have Rajas as the Principal & Tamas, the Secondary Gunas, and
Shudras have Tamas as the Principal Guna.

Four Varnas of Society

Society is organized in the ways that all four Varnas are interdependent for their existence and cannot be viewed in isolation. Thus, the importance of any Varna cannot be undermined merely based on the profession alone.

As, Varna is not based on By-Birth, but By-GunaKarma, it applies to the whole of Human Society, irrespective of the religious beliefs followed by individuals.
Also, Prathaas, the rituals, associated with any Virtues and Professions, keep on changing with Place #स्थान, Time काल, and Person पात्र. Therefore, we cannot equate Varna to any given Prathaas only.
From a practical viewpoint, we look at three great Indian personalities who can be called Mleccha. The non-believers in Vedic Ethos, by birth, however, can be categorized in Varnas due to their Guna-Karma, Virtues, and Deeds.

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, ex-President of India, the Rocket Man……A Brahmin.
Sam Manekshaw, Field Marshal of the Indian Army, the Chief Liberator of Bangladesh….A Kshatriya.
Azim Premji, founder, and chief executive of Wipro group of Industries & Institutions….A Vaishya.

Conclusion about Varna Vyavastha

We can find such personalities in all religions and faiths across the world. Thus, it is appropriate for Indian Society to acknowledge the universal application of the Ethos of Guna-Karma of Vedic Civilization and not to take the narrow view of Varna Vyavastha By Birth, which is too limited to Sanatan Dharma only.
The time has come to honor and follow Vedic Scriptures in letter and Spirit !!

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