pippala leaf

January 5, 2006

Who is qualified to be a priest ?

Filed under: Religion — MBN @ 5:37 am

The current controversy over the appointment of non-Brahmins as priests in temples is a classic example of distorting basic principles of Hinduism (Upanishad principles) for vested interests.

Regarding caste and duties this is what Bhagavad Gita says:

caturvarnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah
tasya kartaram api mam viddhyakartaram avyayam

The four varnas have been set up by Me considering the natural gunas
and works of everyone;
know Me to be the author of those varnas;
know Me also as the changeless one,
who changes or eliminates them according to each one’s desires. (Bh.Gita 4:13)

From Bhagavad Gita (Sivaravindam Mahabhashyam-commentary):..all are subject to nautral gunas and helplessly working according to their gunas…. The Gita declares that the division of the human race into these four varnas also is on the basis of these gunas and works. The Lord here completely refutes the idea that birth alone is the basis of the division of varnas. If birth (janma) had to be given a place in the scheme of varnas, the term “guna–karma–vibhagasah” could have been substituted, without any difficulty, by “janma-karma-vibhagasah”….One would be subject to it (law of varna) or free from it only according to one’s gunas and works and the power of the Lord which bestows appropriate results…It has been made clear earlier that one who performs works as yagna, maintaining the spirit of enquiry into the Truth and dedication to the Divine, can gradually change the composition of his gunas and even totally discard them. Hence in this very life, one can change over from sudra to a brahmana or vice versa or, discarding the guna – structure, become a sthitapranja, beyond the four varnas and asramas”.

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7 Comments »

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    Comment by Richest Homepage — January 7, 2006 @ 5:51 pm

  2. “distorting basic principles of Hinduism “?? I have read somewhere that It is said in Vedas and used to happen frequently in Vedic periods that Hindus can change their caste by changing their karma or the way they live and work.

    Positive changes should be there along with the progress of human society.

    Comment by rocksea — January 8, 2006 @ 9:31 am

  3. a very apt post this is…i am in total agreement to your views…by the way how many hindus have read the Bhagavad Gita , or rather understood it? :)…Its one of the greatest books of wisdom that has ever been , and one who ever made an attempt to comprehend it would never resort to shameful stands such as the NSS chief has done …”the interests of the believers and the temples” Indeed!!

    Comment by soorya — February 3, 2006 @ 5:06 am

  4. Thanks rocksea and soorya.

    Soorya:
    We tend to forget temples are just one of the means and not an end in itself.

    Comment by Old Path — February 13, 2006 @ 12:44 am

  5. Hello

    I am a born shudra and can you tell me what Gunas should i acquire to be treated as a brahmin and become a priest. what qualities make a brahmin an upper caste?

    Comment by Raja Raja cholan III — June 2, 2007 @ 9:27 am

  6. From your statement “I am a born shudra ” it seems that you did not read carefully the post. As per Gita one’s cast/varna ( or division of labour) is NOT determined by one’s birth. It is determine by one’s own inherent guna structure (inherent tendncies, aptitudes, tastes etc.). According to Gita no one is by birth a shudra or brahmin or Khathriya. Every one is free to change the composition of his/her gunas and even totally discard them. How to do that – you have to study Gita yourself and find out. The writings of Sree Narayana Guru (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narayana_Guru)also give much enlightenment on this subject.

    Comment by pippala leaf — June 4, 2007 @ 4:51 am

  7. Is there a positive side to the Hindu caste system?…

    The caste system of today != the system that was prevalent in ancient India. The system of the Vedic period was called Varna-Ashrama Dharma / Varna Vyavastha. It was based on three criteria (not just a single one like today). Guna, Karma & Janma. * Gun…

    Trackback by Quora — April 9, 2012 @ 10:06 am


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