What If Someone Doesn’t Want To Be A Brahmana

[Krishna's lotus feet]“Even a man of knowledge acts according to his own nature, for everyone follows his nature. What can repression accomplish?” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 3.33)

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सदृशं चेष्टते स्वस्याः
प्रकृतेर् ज्ञानवान् अपि
प्रकृतिं यान्ति भूतानि
निग्रहः किं करिष्यति

sadṛśaṁ ceṣṭate svasyāḥ
prakṛter jñānavān api
prakṛtiṁ yānti bhūtāni
nigrahaḥ kiṁ kariṣyati

“It seems like the basic rules and regulations for the science of self-realization, as passed down in the Vaishnava parampara, are for making brahmanas. They are the highest of the four orders within a society, if applying a hierarchy.

“The brahmanas are like the brains of the operation. They are the intelligentsia. They provide counsel to the other orders. They are aware of the necessary traits and characteristics for any occupation, not just for the priestly class.

“You have the four regulative principles. No meat-eating. No gambling. No intoxication. No illicit sex. These are collectively known as nivritti. There is also pravritti, which is like the positive side. For instance, the recommendation to always think of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Chant His names, such as in the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

“A brahmana should be controlled in their behavior. They should be clean in their habits. They should be sober-minded, dhira. They should assess situations with a level head. They should not be eager to quarrel with others.

“What if someone doesn’t want to be a brahmana? What if they are eager to make the most out of life, but in a different manner? They tend to be proactive in terms of physical activity. They like to defend others. They are heroic. They never back down from a fight.

“Or, you might have someone who is eager to do business. They want to earn a lot of money. They feel that is their exceptional talent in life. Another person is great with their hands. They love building things. To sit down and meditate for hours does not suit them.

“What hope is there for such people? Are they shut out from the Vaishnava tradition? Will they have no other choice but to pursue material endeavors?”

These questions are a little alarming considering that the main scriptural text in support of the tradition is Bhagavad-gita. This is known to be a philosophical work, but there is a narrative aspect, as well. You have a guru and a disciple. A teacher and a student. A person with knowledge and another person seeking it.

Arjuna is not a brahmana. He is neither trying to ascend to that platform, as has been accomplished on occasion. If the science of self-realization were exclusive to the priestly class, then Arjuna would not have received the wisdom of Bhagavad-gita directly from Shri Krishna.

श्री-भगवान् उवाच
इमं विवस्वते योगं
प्रोक्तवान् अहम् अव्ययम्
विवस्वान् मनवे प्राह
मनुर् इक्ष्वाकवे ’ब्रवीत्

śrī-bhagavān uvāca
imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ
proktavān aham avyayam
vivasvān manave prāha
manur ikṣvākave ’bravīt

“The Blessed Lord said: I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvan, and Vivasvan instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Ikshvaku.” (Bhagavad-gita, 4.1)

In the same work we have the history of the delivery. Arjuna was not the first to hear the wisdom. It was spoken at the beginning of the creation to the sun-god. The Surya-vamsha is a succession of kings. If only brahmanas were eligible for self-realization, then there would be no such thing as parampara involving rajarshis.

[Krishna and Arjuna]The instruction to Arjuna was to fight ahead, but while maintaining connection to the Supreme Consciousness. Stick to what he was good at. Work according to His nature. Every person has to work. Repression cannot accomplish anything meaningful.

A person can work according to their nature, but change the beneficiary. Working for personal interest is binding. Svartha has a short-term impact, and the long-term ramification is continued rebirth.

Paramartha is working for similar benefits, but received in the afterlife. There is a limit to the accumulated benefits, and the balance of meritorious credits slowly depletes once the next life begins.

The secret to life is merging svartha and paramartha. Work for the interests of Shri Krishna. If there is a desire to protect, then maintain the safety of those practicing devotion. Keep the peace, as there are always aggressors looking to eliminate the influence of suras from this world.

The business-minded person can use their accumulated wealth to support the life of devotion for society at large. The laborer can assist in the many tasks that are necessary in a given day, for so many others.

[Krishna's lotus feet]In this way, there is a connected system of support. It is said that the sweeper of the temple is just as respected as the guru placed on an elevated seat. This is the meaning to transcendental. Each person has their role based on the qualities they carry in a given lifetime, but the end-goal is always to please the one from whom everything has come.

In Closing:

Various occupations to come,
But goal always one.

That Shri Krishna serving,
Who our sacrifice deserving.

Whether as brahmana teaching,
Or for sword defense reaching.

That business with money to flow,
Even laborer in bhakti can go.

Categories: questions

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2 replies

  1. Radhe Radhe ❤️ oshriRadhekrishnaBole ❤️🔥 Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
    Jay Jay Shree Siya Ram

  2. The merging of SVARTHA WITH PARAMARTHA.Ihave to pursue that. I stumbled on these messages on KRISHNA Mercy and I still can’t believe how lucky I am.U seek and U find better than U expected!May KRISHNA continue to shower his choicest blessings on U🙏

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