Jdi na obsah Jdi na menu


27. 2. 2011

The  first section explained about bhakti, which is the  abhidheya or the only means to attain prema.  It was also shown that karma and jnana are not direct means, though they have a role to play.  Karma and jnana may be designated as secondary means, whereas hearing and chanting are primary means.  Though secondary, they may be called the means for those jivas deeply bound by maya.1  

Jnana and karma are secondary means and bhakti is the principal means.  Jnana and karma help in the process of bhakti, and bhakti produces prema. The relationship will be discussed later.  In as much as karma and jnana can make the body, mind and environment favorable for bhakti, they can be accepted as means; otherwise they are condemned in the scriptures as materialistic endeavors.   After describing  the secondary rules, the conclusion will be presented.

The secondary rules are of three types: rules regarding self; rules regarding society; rules regarding afterlife.  Rules regarding the self are of two types: those for body and those for mind.  Those rules to keep a man's body properly nourished so that he can remain healthy are the bodily rules.2  Such things as regulated drinking, eating, sleeping, exercise, and for sickness, prescriptions for cure, are bodily rules.  If a person does not follow these rules he cannot pass through life smoothly.  If a person does not follow the mental rules, his power of realization, concentration, imagination, contemplation and  judgment will  be weak and  will not properly function.  There will be no advancement in arts and sciences, and moreover one will not be able to take the mind from material thoughts and direct it to thoughts of God.  As a result,  the mind will  be dominated by sinful thoughts and atheistic attitude; finally man will become no better than beast. Therefore these bodily and mental rules are very necessary for success in human life.   

Men live together in society.  There are certain social rules prescribed for elevation of  the populace and avoidance of criminal mentality.  An example of a rule for social stability is the prescription of marriage. Without rules for marriage society could not progress to the present state.3 Men used to wander around like animals. In the beginning there were  no rules for marriage, but as this created great social problems, marriage customs were introduced. Giving up his freedom, a man takes a woman with consent from others and the witness of God, and lays the foundation for family life.  The parents  are obligated to protect and teach the children, and provide a means from them to make a living.  
For the benefit of family life, such concepts  as mutual brotherhood, helping others in difficulty, earning a livelihood by honest means, speaking the truth, and avoiding lying are established.  The tendency towards social stability is a dominant characteristic of the human species.  It is visible in all human races.  As a society or civilization advances, one will find  a greater degree of rules for social stability.  There is consensus that amongst all cilvizations, the Aryans were the most progressive.    There  can be no doubt that among the Aryans, the people of Bharata were the most advanced in knowledge, intelligence and social   organization.  One should not lose respect for the Aryan civilization just because with age, it has become weak and dependent on other cultures.   Because some ignorant persons dispute the advanced state of the Aryan civilization, that does not mean it loses its importance. If one reads the dharma sastra, he can understand how much the Aryan  civilization  of Bharata achieved in implementation of social rules. In fact all serious, thoughtful men must accept that this civilization, through the guidance of sages, achieved the highest state of social regulation in the world.  

They divided the social rules into two parts after thorough deliberation: varna and asrama. Men in such a society have two aspects: basic nature and stage of life.  Their nature is fixed by following the rules for individual development (mental and bodily), and their stage of life is fixed according to the social  rules. As man becomes more social,  observance of rules for the self do not decrease, but rather increases in significance. From an individual's nature arises the rules of varnas, and from the progressive  stages of life comes the asramas.

When man's bodily and mental tendencies gradually develop by cultivation,   they  attain a fixed stage, where one quality dominates all others. That quality is a man's nature.  There are four natures: brahamana, ksatriya, vaisya and sudra. These four varnas have arisen on the basis of the positive qualities of men.  With the display of negative qualities, the outcast from the social system arises.    For  a person is such a situation there is no alternative but to give up those negative qualities.4

From birth until the appearance of a predominate nature in the individual,  environment and discipline are the factors which nourish the seed.  The seed then sprouts, grows and finally manifests as ones nature.  The authors of scripture have explained of course that the  actions of previous lives is the ultimate cause of the nature.   The nature of the family into which a child is born determines the child's qualities  through hereditary factors. Later by training and environment that nature will improve or degrade. A man of sudra nature will produce offspring of sudra nature and a man of brahminical nature will produce brahminical offspring.  That  is the general rule, but not the absolute rule.  

The writers of scripture made arrangements for samskaras or purificatory rites with the intention of fixing the varna of a person after determining his nature.  However, with time, these rites have become corrupted.  When the rites which determine the varna became lost, the country became degraded.5  However, there can be no doubt that the rules of varna are the real rules for society.

The stages of life are four: brahmacarya, grhastha, vanaprastha and sannyasa.  The brahmacari is the person who before marriage gets education and is free to wander.  The grhastha is the person he gets married and takes up  family  responsibilities.  The person who upon aging gives up work and lives alone is a vanaprastha.  One who gives up all relations with his family and is free to wander is a sannyasi.   The system set up after working out the relation of the varnas and asramas is called varnasrama dharma.  This dharma is the  social code for the people of Bharata.  If a country lacks this system of dharma, it cannot be called an advanced society.     In the third part of this chapter these things will be discussed in detail.
1 ...Because I desire that  human beings may achieve perfection, I have presented three paths of advancement--the path of knowledge, the path of work and the path of devotion.  Besides these three there is absolutely no other means of elevation.  S.B.11.20.6
2 There is no possibility of one's becoming a yogi O Arjuna, if one eats too much or eats too little, sleeps too much or does not sleep enough. He who is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system. When the yogi, by practice of yoga, disciplines his mental activities and becomes situated in transcendence--devoid of all material desires--he is said to be well established in yoga. B.G.6.16-18
3 na grham grham ity ahur grhinir grham ucyate
taya hi sahitah sarvan purusarthan samasnute
The house is not a household without a wife.  The husband along with the wife can attain all his goals.  smrti??

4 Dirtiness, dishonesty, thievery, faithlessness, useless quarrel, lust, anger and hankering constitute the nature of those in the lowest position outside the varnasrama system. S.B.11.17.20
5 If one shows the symptoms of being a brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya or sudra, as described above, even if he has appeared in a different class, he should be accepted according to those symptoms of classification. S.B.7.11.35