“According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me. And, although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the non-doer, being unchangeable.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.13)
चातुर्-वर्ण्यं मया सृष्टं
तस्य कर्तारम् अपि मां
विद्ध्य् अकर्तारम् अव्ययम्
cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ
tasya kartāram api māṁ
viddhy akartāram avyayam
One way to translate the Sanskrit word shastra is to say, “Vedic literature.” Shastra is sacred text, and in the original sense there was no written word. The memory power of the rishis was such that they could remember a lengthy Sanskrit poem, which adhered to strict rules of composition, after hearing only a single time.
As the progression through the ages continued, the standard brainpower in mankind diminished. This introduced a new need. Instead of relying solely on shruti, or that which is heard, there had to also be smriti, or that which is remembered. At the bare minimum, write something down to remember it. This way there will always be a way to reference in the future.
When consulting shruti and smriti in the modern day, a notable condition stands out: the absence of democracy. In ancient times the kings were protectors of the people. They were expected to live up to the role of nara-deva. They were addressed by terms such as bhumi-pati, as they were the lords of earth.
To a wise person, democracy is likened to a preposterous scheme that allows practically any person to determine important policy matters, ones which affect both life and death. While stealing might be universally condemned, if you find enough votes in the upcoming election the activity could be made legal. If you can sway public opinion and the public has unfortunately degraded into godlessness, then the subsequent term of leadership will match the qualities that result from the lack of a moral core.
1. Whether qualified or not
One person has lived in the country for a long time. They know all about its history, how it was founded, what are the bedrock principles the founding members tried to instill, and the structure that should be maintained going forward.
Another person is completely clueless. They entered the country illegally. They have no legal paperwork to show when finding a job, boarding an airplane, filing taxes, and so forth. Yet they have just been given the right to vote. They have an equal say with those who become citizens the proper way.
2. Whether highly educated or without any intelligence
One person is a college professor. They teach the youth of the country. They have passed through their own term of rigorous study. They reached the pinnacle of their profession. They are sober-minded enough to deliberate on the various issues of the day. They do not follow any political party blindly. They ask their students to think rationally and to challenge their long-held beliefs. The idea is that if a person is aware of both sides of an argument, they can make a better decision on which one to support.
Another person practically has no intelligence. They follow the worst behavior. They have descended to the point of bordering on madness. They sleep for the majority of the day. The rest of the time they are intoxicated. They never read books and they never contemplate higher subject matters. When it comes time for the election, they have an equal say. Their vote can cancel out the person who is intelligent.
3. With awareness of the issues of the day or no clue about basic policy positions
One person follows the news closely. They dig deep into the issues. They don’t blindly accept whatever the newscasts report. They hear from a variety of sources and then make up their mind on how to vote. They have been following for long enough that there is a sufficient memory bank of statements and positions. This person can immediately notice hypocrisy or deceit from any well-known politician.
Another person is absolutely clueless about the issues. They will vote based on how they feel about a person, having only seen them speak on television for a few minutes. They will not be persuaded by facts or philosophical contradictions. They do not care what the informed person has to say, and they will not hear any criticism of their preferred candidates.
Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, creates the system of varnashrama-dharma for the proper maintenance of society. There should be a ruling class, and the members within it should exhibit certain qualities. They should be fearless, heroic, generous, and willing to take counsel from the wise, who are described as brahamana.
The kshatriyas protect others from injury; that is the root meaning of the word. The position is not determined by a vote. You are born with the necessary qualities, guna, and you must carry out the proper work, karma.
As we live in Kali-yuga, which is the age of increased quarrel and hypocrisy, many parts of the world are stuck with the vox-populi system. The leaders will reflect the characteristics of those who supported them. The discussion in terms of comparison with varnashrama-dharma is to give an understanding of why the people voting are always upset, no matter who wins elections.
There is only one way towards lasting happiness. Transcendence of material conditions, rising above the temporary and purifying the consciousness through connection with the Supreme Lord. Success can be achieved even during times when it seems the entire world has gone mad, that no one is honest, that the leaders are all rogues and thieves, and that the people will never find relief from the illusion of maya.
The connection to Krishna is strong enough to penetrate the barrier of ignorance. True yoga is possible in any time period, in any age, and under any administration. Through the help of sadhu, shastra and guru, we can find a way towards the personal God, who can manifest before us through sound: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Over election outcome upset,
How that person votes to get?
When known to lie and cheat,
Yet now sitting in power seat.
Ideally for kshatriyas made,
Not by corporations bought and paid.
But here in this degraded time living,
Bhakti the only rescue giving.
Categories: the three