On VarNa (Vedic Social Class)

of the Muslims Who Became Hindus

The Muslims of Bhaarat now are quitting Islam and accepting the Vedic dharma because they know that a few centuries ago their ancestors were Vedics who were forced to accept Islam. Now in democracy they are free to quit Islam and become Hindus (Vedics) again. Some Vedic organizations run a program called Ghar Waapasi to facilitate them to become Vedics. Bhaarat’s “communal” problems will end when all the Muslims of Bhaarat give up Islam, and do not convert to any anti-Vedic religion.

A question is, what Vedic varNa they will be in? Will they be called Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishya’s, or Shudras? There are a few facts stated below that influence an answer to the question.

  1. Bhagavaan Krishna says inBhagavad Gita (which is known as The Book of Vedic dharma) that He created four classes of the Vedic society according toguNa (qualifications) and karma (actions.)
    1. He says: “According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me. .. ..” – Gita 4.13

Krishna also describes dharma/duties of each varNa as follows:

Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Sudras are distinguished by their qualities of work, O chastiser of the enemy, in accordance with the modes of nature.” –Gita 18.41

Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge, and religiousness–these are the qualities by which the Brahmana’s work.” – Gita 18.42

Heroism, power, determination, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity, and leadership are the qualities of work for the Kshatriyas.” – Gita 18.43

Farming, cow protection and business are the qualities of work for the Vaishyas, and for the Sudras there is labor and service to others.” – Gita 18.44

By following his qualities of work, every man can become perfect. Now please hear from Me how this can be done.” – Gita 18.45

This verse says that each person of any varNa can advance spiritually by doing his/her prescribed duties of that varNa.

  1. A mantra in PurUsh SUkta says:

ब्राह्मणोऽस्य मुखम् आसीत् बाहू राजन्यः कृतः।

ऊरु तदस्य यद् वैश्य पद् भ्याम् शूद्रो अजायत॥

It says that Brahmins are the head of Viraat, Kshatriya are arms, Vaishyas are belly, and Shudras are legs of the Viraat. Each of the four parts of the body need to take care of each other. No part is superior or inferior. Therefore, no varNa should hate or look down at any other varNa. No varNa should oppress any other varNa.

  1. There is a verse in Mahabharat:

जन्मना जायते शूद्रः संस्कारत् भवेत् द्विजः ।

वेद-पठत् भवेत् विप्रः ब्रह्म जानत् इति ब्राह्मणः ॥

– MahaBharatha Shanthi Parva 188.

Translation around the shloka is provided below.

Bharadwaja said:

“By what acts does one become a Brahmana? By what, a Kshatriya? O best of regenerate ones, by what acts again does one become a Vaisya or a Sudra? Tell me this, O foremost of speakers.”

Bhrigu said:

“That person is called a Brahmana who has been sanctified by such rites as those called jata and others; who is pure in behavior; who is engaged in studying the Vedas; who is devoted to the six well-known acts (of ablutions every morning and evening, silent recitation of mantras, pouring libations on the sacrificial fire, worshipping the deities, doing the duties of hospitality to guests, and offering food to the Viswedevas); who is properly observant of all pious acts; who never takes food without having offered it duly to gods and guests; who is filled with reverence for his preceptor; and who is always devoted to vows and truth. He is called a Brahmana in whom are truth, gifts, abstention from injury to others, compassion, shame, benevolence, and penance.

He who is engaged in the profession of battle, who studies the Vedas, who makes gifts (to Brahmanas) and takes wealth (from those he protects) is called a Kshatriya.

He who earns fame from keep of cattle, who is employed in agriculture and the means of acquiring wealth, who is pure in behavior and attends to the study of the Vedas, is called a Vaisya.

He who takes pleasure in eating every kind of food, who is engaged in doing every kind of work, who is impure in behavior, who does not study the Vedas, and whose conduct is unclean, is said to be a Sudra.

  1. Below verse is also from Mahabharat:

सत्यम् दानमथाद्रोह आनृशन्स्यम् त्रप घृणा ।

तपश्च दृश्यते यत्र स ब्राह्मण इति स्मृतः ॥

शूद्रे चैतद् भवेल्लक्ष्यम् द्विजे तच्च न विद्यते ।

न वै शूद्रो भवेच्छूद्रो ब्राहमणो न च ब्राहमणः ॥ Mahabharat Shaa. 188.4.8

Translation: In whom the qualities such as truthfulness, charity, non-enviousness, and absence of cruelty, shame in doing bad acts, mercy, compassion, and austerity are seen is called a Brahmin. If this qualities are seen in a Shudra, then he is not a Shudra, and if these qualities are not seen in a Brahmana, then he is not a Brahmana.

  1. We also know that the Hindus identify a child’s varNa by the varNa of its parents, and all Brahmins do not have their guNa and karma of a real Brahmin. Same for all other three varNas. There are marriages between VarNas; so it is not clear what varNa the children of such marriages can be identified. As a conversion, the child is identified with its father’s varNa.

So then what is the varNa of the Muslims who gave up Islam and accepted Vedic dharma? Considering all the above I would say this:

Let a Vedic guru in a bona fide sampradaaya consider a person’s guNa and karma. Based on that the guru can recommend a suitable name for the person. There are hundreds of last names (family names) in each varNa. Alternatively, a person can choose his/her own Vedic last name that does or does not indicate a varNa. The person must get an official ID card from a local gov’t office with the new name.

For social, political, employment or dharmic purpose, the Vedics need to see one’s guNa and karma, not the last name of the person. Any person can, is free to, develop guNa and karma of any other varNa.

The government should not provide any special benefits to any particular varNa because doing so unduly motivates the person to remain in that varNa.

The International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is very successful in converting any person from any race or religion to Krishna Bhakti. Thus, all the Hare Krishna’s are Vedic. They adopt Vedic dress, manners, customs, and names, and a mantra. I suggest that all who come back to Vedic dharma, associate with a local Hare Krishna temple and develop Krishna Bhakti.

Jai Sri Krishna!

Suresh Vyas

8 Jan. 2015

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