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The Eternal Varna Asrama Dharma – Part 15
In the Vedic approach, everything evolved out of the Atma that existed before everything. Hence we are in a way made of Atma or we have that Atma in us, in every cell, every atom and every particle that make us.
Several forces emerge/diverge out of Atma (33 types) which then interact/converge with each other forming all of the Universe. The divergence from that Atma (of forces that emerged from that Atma) and convergence of these forces in different patterns makes up the universe.
Though it appears that advaita and dvaita are different views, they are same. Both agree that Paramatma gives and Jeevatma receives. Paramatma is the Atma from which we evolved, which has given everything. Jeevatma is the manifestation of that atma in our consciousness, which receives and evolves.
Advaita is right when it says that Jeevatma becomes Paramatma, as when viewed from Paramatma, at the night of annihilation, everything gets back into that Paramatma and evolution starts all over again. In fact by adopting the property of giving away, Jeevatma can become Paramatma, giving rise to further evolution. It is from the perspective of Paramatma.
Dvaita is right when it says Jeevatma needs to cling to Paramatma, either as a Cat holding its kitten or Monkey clinging to its mother, as when viewed from Jeevatma, our consciousness needs to cling to that Supreme consciousness to guide our evolution properly. It is from the perspective of Jeevatma.
Compared to these approaches, religions of the world talk of a Creator (Paramatma) who ‘made’ us. They do not talk of the evolution and manifestation of that consciousness in us. There is a ‘Super power’ there that protects/guides/destines us and that is all. This is the fundamental difference in approach of ‘religions’ compared to Vedic dharma.
Thus the Vedic dharma is more scientific, logical, rational and balanced in nature. It understands that divergence and convergence as a basic law of the Universe. It understands good, bad, pleasure, pain, gain, loss are all same and based on a perspective and temporary in nature. It understands diversity and unity in diversity as a fundamental law of sustainable evolution.
This does not mean other religions are illogical or irrational. They have arisen from the perspective of human beings, their sufferings and success and their desire to live and evolve peacefully.
Varna and Asrama are Dharmas or Laws. To get up, as we bring our body forward or adapt to gravity, we need to recognize and adapt to these laws. The method of adaptation diverges and converges over a period. Recognizing that these operate and wanting to adapt to them is important.
In fact the rationalist movements and atheists are also right from their perspective. Ramanuja or Madhva or Sankara would have appeared as a ‘Periyar’ of their times. When the adaptation of Varna Dharma stagnate a society, it is natural that forces that course correct this adaptation rise up and change the way the adaptation works. It is vital and essential for a society.
Sustainable evolution works beyond all human beings and is the ‘Will’ of the Paramatma to evolve the Universe.
Probable history of the colors of Varna
The seals in Indus Valley Civilization clearly show that the times were influenced by the same Puranas that became the hall-mark of later day Aryan Civilization. Further figures depict a mixture of Mongoloids and Caucasoid facial features.
Thus the Indus civilization that was 5000 years old was an ongoing mixture of Caucasoids, Mongoloids and probably Australoids who were moving around in that region. As caucasoids came in from North, Australoids from South and Mongoloids from East, they were converging around the Himalayan region on all sides of Himalayas.
The Red Color indicates the skin-color of Horse-taming Caucasoids who brought in power and security, from the Northern regions and who took up the Kshatriya work. The Yellow color indicates the skin-color of agricultural Mongoloids, who cultivated rice that gave rise to civilizations and who took up the Vaizya work.
Later on, as the civilization expanded they would have come into contact with Australoids, the black-skinned people who would have augmented the society with labor.
This happens even today as people migrate from state to state or country to country as cheap labor. The ‘state’ (for eg. Bihar) or country (for eg. Mexico, Hispanics) gets identified with cheap labor very soon.
This does not mean the australoids were inferior or had a inferior civilization. It simply means that there were people who were looking for livelihood of their own in other places. For eg., though Mexicans are identified with cheap labor, the world’s richest person is a Mexican. Similarly Bihar is identified with cheap labor though Bihar is India’s richest state endowed with huge resources.
The Rishis who were the whie-skinned race cultured these people to create civilizations that would stably evolve. As the civilization diverged and converged, over a period of time, groups of people irrespective of the color of skin would have adopted different professions, as they learnt from each other.
Some people followed the Rishis to become Brahmanas, some became Kshatriyas, some became Vaizyas and some became Zudras, irrespective of the skin color.
But the color identification probably stuck with the professions over a period.
Indus Valley to Early Vedic Period
The Indus Valley society probably had Brahamanas and Vaizyas alone. People who followed the prajapati Rishis created new tools and technologies (Brahamans) also used them (Kshatriyas). Other set of people were Vaizyas or agriculturists who fed the society. Then there were Rishis who taught the society.
As this society evolved, the society learnt the Vedas and Puranas more from the Rishis. The Rig Veda probably became the property of the people and got handed over from the Rishis of the yore, with the maintenance of it becoming the responsibility of the Brahmanas who followed the Rishis.
Also the society divided further into Brahamanas and Kshatriyas from the Brahamanas alone. This was needed as Brahamans more specialized into Knoweldge providers and Knowledge keepers, while Kshatriyas diverged into Knowledge users for the betterment of society.
The Early Rg Vedic period – Arya and Dasyu
In the early Rg Vedic period, the period in which the Rg Veda was probably just being learnt from the Rishis, there are mentions of Dasa, Arya Varnas. Aryans and Dasyus are really not two Varnas, but two civilizations.
Dasyus are probably those civilizations that did not adopt the Varna Asrama Dharma and hence not Aryan. As usual even now, wars between groups of people irrespective of their civilizational practices should have happened then.
The invocations to Indra at that time calls for peace and amity between Dasyus and Aryans and unity in diversity. It also says that it is not about converting impious into divine people. It is about living well conciliated which gives the strength and vigor to me.
The Rg Veda Book 6 Hymn 22 states
yayA dAsAnyAryANi vRtrA karo vajrin sutukA nAhuSANi sa no niyudbhiH puruhUta vedho vishvavArAbhirA gahi prayajyo na yA adevo varate na deva AbhiryAhi tUyamA madryadrik
dAsani AryAni – the dasa arya
vrtrA – enmity
karo – do, make
Vajrin – steeled one, thunderer,
Sutuka – running swiftly
nAhusAni – kinsman, kinship
O swift running thunderer, make the dasa arya enmity into kinsmanship
sa no – not
niyudbhiH – fighting
puruhUta – Prince (Indra) (Generally a salutation or hailing word)
Vedho – breaking through, opening
Vishva – Universal or worldly
VAra – good
Abhira – Concilated
Gahi – family
Prayajyo – adorable
O prince (Indra), break us through into a not fighting, universally well conciliated adorable family
Na Ya – it is not so that
Adevo – not divine
Vartena – causing to live (or turning into)
deva – divine
AbhirYahi – conciliated people
tUya ma – My strength
Madryadrik – towards me
Not so that the impious (not divine or not good) cause to live (to turned into) as good/divine. The well conciliated people is my strength to me.
From the above it is clear that living amicably between Dasyus and Aryans was the goal.
But Dasyu and Arya have nothing to do with Varna Dharma, except for the fact that the word ‘Varna’ was used to identify Aryan and Dasu differentiation, probably in the general sense of the word (external covering) and not as Varna Dharma.