The Eternal Varna Asrama Dharma – Part 8

Background

I had talked about the THREE types of professions based on learning and a profession just based on labor that are prevalent in the world at all times.

If only world has less Zudras or no Zudras,  a world in which everyone is a knowledge provider, service provider or material provider will be a world of balance and happiness that is focused on evolution rather than intra-personal fights.

There are only three Varnas as there are only three Gunas.  The fourth Varna is an aberration that happens as the society evolves. A society that keeps this aberration low will survive and evolve. A society that has too much of zudras (Cheap or slave labor) will ultimately perish.

As I trace the evolution of Aryan society here, I am not going to concentrate on the Historical time-lines and evidences for the same in this chapter. I would definitely talk about time-lines and evidences to support this theory of evolution as I go through, in this series

The idea of this chapter is to give an overview of what happened and in subsequent chapters trace the steps with evidences. 

Also I would be talking about Varnas and not Jatis. While Varnas are professional types, Jatis are hereditary clans and communities that took place later as a form of aggregation and then became a subject of segregation. I would talk about Jatis as we go through this series later.

The Producer-Consumer triangle –  A perfect Varna Asrama Dharma society

Look at the producer-consumer triangle and the Varna Asrama Dharma society representation below.

 

In an ecological system primary producers are the Vegetation. Herbivoers and Carnivores are consumers. For perfect ecological balance, we need to have large producers and lesser consumers as in the triangle above.

 

A perfect Varna Asrama dharma society also has a similar structure. It has larger Knowledge providers who guide the knowledge evolution, then Goods providers who provide all the materials and goods for material living, then service providers whose skilled services are valuable to Knowledge Providers and Material providers

Knowledge Providers – Producing Knowledge out of nowhere

The Brahmanas or Knowledge Providers are equivalent to the Plants/Trees/Vegetation in a ecological system. Vegetation in an ecological system prepares the ultimate food from sunlight. Animals and human beings survive ultimately because of this Vegetation. They are the base of ecological system.

Likewise Brahmanas or Knowledge Providers seek knowledge in various domains from the surroundings (by studying them) and devise ways of exploiting that knowledge to enhance our ways of living.  Thus a stable, evolving society will be a knowledge-driven society or Knowledge evolving society.

The earliest Brahmanas are the Rishis. Rishi is one who observes, absorbs and creates useful knowledge out of it for the society.

Even today it is well recognized that only a knowledge driven society flourishes. Hence a society should have large number of Knowledge providers or Brahmanas in it. They form the base of the evolving society. 

Material Providers – Using Knowledge, Producing materials – Entrepreneurship

The Vaizyas or Material providers are equivalent to the Herbivores that feed on plants in an ecological system.  Herbivores in an ecological system develop the proteins and carbohydrates that feed both the carnivores/omnivores (above in the chain) and the Vegetation (below in the chain)

Likewise Vaizyas or Material providers use the knowledge developed by Brahmanas and produce food for the Brahmanas as well as those above them in the chain.

Even today Vaizyas or material providers need to form the middle-tier of the society. 

Service Providers – Services to Maintain Order and Balance

The Kshatriyas or Service providers are equivalent to Carnivores/Omnivores that feed on Herbivores and/or plants. Carnivores provide ‘services’ to an ecological system primarily by feeding on Herbivores and thus creating order and balance in an ecological system. Without them Herbivores would grow unrestrained and cause destruction to ecological system as well as themselves. Hence they are said to be the ‘rulers’ (maintaining order and balance).

Likewise Kshatriyas provide various services to the society including maintaining order and balance. The services that provide order and balance are just not in terms of security and Governance, but also in terms of facilitating ease-of-living, removing hurdles to life etc.

The Modern Brahmanas, Vaizyas and Kshatriyas

The following table illustrates the Brahmanas, Vaizyas and Kshatriyas in the modern world.

 

(D)Evolution of Aryan Society into modern India

Evolution of Initial Aryan Society

When the Aryan society evolved in the very early days, there were only two Varnas. The Brahmanas and Kshatriyas were rolled into one. The Vaizyas were the  other Varna. Later they split into three Varnas as show in the figure below.

The Hall mark of this society was they were following ‘Dvija’ which means twice-born.  Dvija was a system in which a child is sent into formal education, to be educated by Rishis who were the pioneers in Knowledge evolution.

This is perfectly understandable. The reason is the Rishi’s who absorbed/observed and produced knowledge, invented tools and techniques used them. Their tools would have been for protecting the society, getting food etc.  Hence the one’s who discovered the tools used them.

This happens in the modern world also. When new tools and techniques are produced the tool vendors provides the service which then branches into a specialization later.

The Vaizyas were a different Varna as they had to grow food. The cultivation of rice and wheat grains, which effectively sustained large populations of society needed growing of food dedicatedly and hence the Vaizya Varnas concentrated on that.

The commonality of all the three Varnas were that they had all the children through dvija, which means everyone was formally educated by the Rishis who gave them appropriate training, knowledge transfer and skill-set development to develop their professional interests well.

The Loss of Dvija – The formal education and knowledge

At some point of time the Zudras, the Cheap or  Slave laborers entered the Aryan Society. There could be lot of debates about if Zudras were forced laborers of Invading Aryans or a section of dispossessed people inside the Aryan community.

To me, it looks like they were migrant laborers from other civilizations who came into Aryan societies looking for work and better life and prosperity. But I would offer the evidences for this later in this series

At some point of time, the Zudras, the cheap labor entered the Aryan society.  Zudras were not adopting dvija as they were not part of the Aryan Civilization. They just worked and earned.

As the society settled with ease and was prosperous and with the impact of Zudras and their civilizational practices, the importance of dvija was lost on the society. Slowly one by one, Varnas other than the Brahmana Varnas stopped adopting the dvija.

This happens in modern times also. If we look at the American society, the society was built purely by people with knowledge and skill-sets. In fact people with no knowledge and skill-sets were not allowed into the continent.

But as society prospered, the importance of learning diminished.  Today most Americans do not have a college degree, as they try to settle in as laborers with ease with not much of education. They could lead a happy life just as a laborer for 2-3 decades now. When situation becomes worse,  most of the unemployment is amongst those who do not possess a college degree.

As the importance given to education and learning diminished, Brahmanas and Kshatriyas swapped their place. Kshatriyas, the service providers, the soldiers and kings became the one’s who ran the society with their might. Brahmanas (Knowledge providers) lost their importance and became tools of the Kshatriyas.

Similarly lot of people got dispossessed of their profession and became laborers for others, as it was not difficult to sustain that way. Thus Zudras (Laborers) became more and Vaizyas (Entreprenuers) became less.

Over a period Brahmanas too got dis-interested in real Knowledge evolution and concentrated on symbolism and maintenance rather than evolution.

The Loss of Leadership

Any knowledge driven society is anchored by Brahmanas (knowledge providers) and Kshatriyas (service providers). The Indo-Aryan society had already stagnated due to loss of formal education for long time.

When such a society was subjected to invasions and several ignominious defeats, the military and knowledge leadership got further eroded.  The Vaizyas (Entreprenuers) and Zudras (laborers) formed the bulwark of society, while whatever remained of Knowledge  and services leadership got further eroded.

Large number of Kshatriyas and Brahmana Varnas adopted the Zudra and Vaizya professions for day to day living respectively.

The Indian society thus composed of huge zudra population of landless laborers, Vaizya population of farmers/traders/entrepreneurs and a little or no Brahmana population that sough knowledge evolution at the time of invasion of British and its aftermath.

The Modern India built by us – Is it the right mix..?

Post Independence, the modern India that we are building is no different from the Pre-British India.

We are building a society whose foundation is being laid by Zudras or laborers who can only serve as bio-mass for lager corporations. Then we have a strata of entrepreneurs on top of the Zudras. We have a little of Kshatriyas or service providers who can be turned into Zudras anytime as their skill-set go waste in the technological evolution.

We have nil or negligible number of Brahamanas or Knowledge Providers. 

Knowledge Providers (Brahmanas) in Modern India

Today India has 20 Lakh teachers including 5 lakh teachers for higher education. Compare it to the population of 1.2 billion. India has 130,000 researchers only while China has 800,000 to a million.  

Though total number of people making their living around science and technology sectors is around 4 crores, the actual researchers are just around 2 lakhs.

India spent only 0.8% of its GDP on research of which 80% was contributed by Public Sector.   Today’s ‘The Hindu’ carries a figure of 2.2%. Given the corruption levels in this country one could imagine how much we are actually spending on Research.

India has continuously neglected to spend in cutting edge technology sectors due to lack of money and large-scale corruption.

Laborers (Zudras) in Modern India

Roughly India has 30 crore rural workers and 50 crores urban workers. This means 80% of India are Zudras or laborers who can just serve as bio-mass for others.

Due to continuous neglect of agricultural sector more and more farmers (Vaizyas) have become landless laborers (Zudras).

With policies like FDI in Retail, we would  be bringing more people from traders (Vaizyas) into laborers (Zudras).

Service Providers (Kshatriyas) in Modern India

Though India produces 3.5 to 4 Lakh engineering degrees per year growing at 10% per year, it is estimated that India has no more than 2 lakh technology specialists for the 1.2 billion population.  Most of these engineers can be at best classified Service Providers and are in the danger of becoming Zudras whose skill-set is at the mercy of large corporates.

In other words in the name of Skilled Labor, India is producing dangerously high number of Kshatriyas who are in fact Waiting-to-be Zudras.

There are other Kshatriya professions like armed services, doctors etc. Yet they do not add up or change the complexion of Indian society, which is highly Zudra in nature.

Indians as a society need to think of the society that it wants to evolve. Does it need to evolve into a society of Knowledge Providers, Service Providers and Material Providers or does it need to evolve into a society of Laborers..? 

To be continued..

 -TBT

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