Three Occupations Where Birthright Is Insufficient

[Lord Brahma]“Please tell me so that I may be taught in the matter by the instruction of the Personality of Godhead and may thus act instrumentally to generate living entities, without being conditioned by such activities.” (Brahma speaking to Narayana, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 2.9.29)

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भगवच्-छिक्षितम् अहं
करवाणि ह्य् अतन्द्रितः
नेहमानः प्रजा-सर्गं
बध्येयं यद्-अनुग्रहात्

bhagavac-chikṣitam ahaṁ
karavāṇi hy atandritaḥ
nehamānaḥ prajā-sargaṁ
badhyeyaṁ yad-anugrahāt

Varnashrama-dharma gets mistakenly applied as the caste system.

“You belong in this group. You are part of that one. I am superior to you. Just look at my last name. It is an honorary. I have different material qualities than you due to this ancestral link.”

While it is certainly a blessing to be born in a family whose previous generations possessed good qualities and uplifted society in general, birthright itself is never qualification for anything significant. The original system involves both guna and karma. The material qualities must be there, and the proper work needs to be carried out.

In that realm of carrying out action with a desired consequence, sufficient training is necessary. Proof is already there that birthright cannot equate to automatic liberation from the cycle of birth and death, which ultimately requires a change in consciousness.

1. Doctor

You want to become a doctor, but how? If your father is one already, does that title pass down to you? Can you use that as justification when treating patients in a hospital? Will the licensing board grant certification on that basis, without further questioning?

[Doctor]The first step is learning the ins and outs. It is a scientific field, as well, which requires both theoretical and practical knowledge. Learn the principles and then successfully apply them in a laboratory setting. Only then will you be considered a doctor in truth.

2. Lawyer

The same principle applies. There is law school for a reason. The bar exam in a particular state is difficult precisely to weed out the pretenders. If you were in legal difficulty, you wouldn’t want to go to someone who has no knowledge of the law. Even if their parents were lawyers, the qualification at the personal level has to be rooted in instruction and knowledge.

3. Creator of the universe

Under the system of birthright, Lord Brahma would have the highest claim. He could say that he is better than everyone else due to emerging from the stem on the lotus-like navel of the Supreme Lord, Vishnu, who is also known as Padmanabha.

Because of the unique circumstances to this birth, Brahma is often described as svayambhu, which means “self-born.” He lacks a mother and father in the typical sense, but he did not emerge from nothing. He is something like God’s first child, and so he could use that as justification for idleness, for sitting around and demanding honor from others.

Brahma is the creator, but even with that potency there had to be some guidance. He directly sought advice and clarification from the Supreme Lord, who responded with the now famous chatuh-shloki verses from the Shrimad Bhagavatam.

If even the creator needs training to do his work, who are we to demand honor based on an ancestral link? The system of societal and lifespan divisions is meant for lifting up every person simultaneously. That is to say not everyone is expected to be a brahmana, or one in the priestly class. Not every person has to renounce the entire world starting at the time of birth.

[Lord Brahma]There is a chance at gradual progression, with everyone working together towards the common goal of pleasing the Supreme Lord, which is ultimately the purpose of Brahma’s work, as well. He creates on the support of the mighty Vishnu, and so everyone else owes their strength to the same source. When applied in the proper direction, there is a direct link known as yoga, which breaks the long-held bond with the illusory material world.

In Closing:

Caste system degraded,

Not by Vishnu stated.

Who varnashrama passing down,

Based on principles sound.

Work of creator Brahma shown,

Started not from birthright alone,

Only after qualification went,

Divisions for wellbeing meant.

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