Friday, March 26, 2021

Castes divisions in Gita

 Castes Divisions in Gita 1

Samkhya and Yoga are the base of Gita. Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga are additions. Samkhya is number (संख्या), the knowledge of 24 elements of nature and the 25th Purusha. There are two eternal entities: the Purusha (अव्यक्त, नित्य, चैतन्य, शुद्ध, निर्गुण), the Prakriti (अव्यक्त, नित्य, जड़, त्रिगुणा). Prakriti is not a physical entity but is made of three Gunas Satva, Rajas and Tamas. With the mixture (अन्योन्य मैथुन) of these three qualities of Prakriti, Srishti (world) of 23 elements is formed as the Vikriti (conversion) of the Prakriti. It includes in order: intellect (मह तत्व, बुद्धि), I (अहंकार), mind, five subtle elements (तन्मात्रा: शब्द, स्पर्श, रूप, रस, गंध), five sense organs (ज्ञानेन्द्रिय: ears, eyes, nose, tongue, skin), five means of action (कर्मेन्द्रियाँ: speech, hands, feet, excretion, reproduction), of which the Subtle body (सूक्ष्म शरीर, लिंग शरीर) of Jiva is made. The physical body comes from the five physical elements (space, wind, fire, water and earth) and the masses around are made from the five tanmatras. As the Prakriti is working for the Purusha, the subtle bodies enter into the cycle of birth and rebirth in association with the Purusha. The Jiva is made of Purusha the bimba (mirror), the subtle body, and the intellect as pratibimba (reflection). The Jivatma becomes doer (कर्ता) and user (भोक्ता), feels happy or sad, suffers three fold sorrows (आध्यात्मिक, आधिभौतिक, आधिदैविक). Attached he suffers and detached he liberates. The cycle of birth and death continues till the Jivatma acquires the Viveka (knowledge) of differentiation between conscious and unconscious; चेतन और जड). Physical body (भौतिक शरीर) acquired and left but the subtle body (सूक्ष्म शरीर) continues its journey till the Purush (चेतन) retires from the reflection (बुद्धि वृत्ति) and rests in its own form (Kaivalya). Prakriti stops acting for him as his expectations end. The journey stops and the subtle body disappears. The cycle ends. बंधो विपर्ययात। ज्ञानात्मुक्ति. The visible world in Samkhya term is Srishti, not the Prakriti. 

The first chapter of Gita is introductory explained the confuse state of mind of Arjuna in Vishad Yoga. The second chapter is Samkhya yoga and the third chapter is Samkhya plus Yoga. After the introduction of the popular Samkhya and Yoga in Ch. II and Ch. III, the composer presents in Chapter IV, the forgotten Yoga of ancient time. It was first told to the Sun, followed by Vaivatsa Manu, Manu, Inshvaku and then to Rajarshis and was forgotten thereafter. Reference of solar dynasty of Ikshvaku linked the teaching with Jains as 22 of 24 Tirthankars belonged to this dynasty. Gautama Buddha descended from this dynasty. Raghukul and Lord Rama belonged to this dynasty. Lord Krishna and Pandavas belonged to lunar dynasty but Krishna propagates the teachings of solar dynasty. 

Ch.IV of jnana-karma-sanyas, starts with the element of immortality of the Purusha, his incarnations, liberation of soul through knowledge. He the non doer claims the ownership of his world: चातुर्वर्ण्य मया सृष्टं गुणकर्मविभागश:। तस्य कर्तारमपि मां विद्धयकर्तारमव्ययम्। The Hindu translators interpreted the word चातुर्वर्ण्य as four classes: Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra. But it seems incorrect interpretation. He talked about four division of the creation as per their quality and karmas and however creator He is non doer and unchangeable. It doesn’t mean four divisions of humans in four unequal categories. He talked about mastering universe then why did he limit himself in humans living on Indian subcontinent? 

Taking the clue from Ikshvaku clan from which 22 of 24 tirthankars belonged and references of tapa, senses control and victory over them, non possessiveness, etc, principles of Jainism, it is more likely that He might be referring the four divisions of the world as classified by the Jains: the Devas, the Humans, the Narakiya and the Tiryanch (birds, animals), divided as per their karmas and qualities. The three of the four are bhoga yonis (users) and only human is ubhaya yoni (doer and user) has bhog with action of his choice. 

Following verse 13 of Chapter IV, Krishna differentiate between the physical activities (yagya, tapa, yoga, rituals, study, pranayam) and the tatva jnana yagya (knowledge) the means of freedom and liberation in 28 verses of the chapter and thereafter. He guides how to keep oneself detached while doing karmas. He permits actions with the knowledge of self to attain peace. 40 of 41 verses of Chapter IV don’t talk about the caste divisions and first three chapters of 161 verses didn’t talk the subject as well, how could then the verse no. 13 of Ch. IV suddenly classified the Indian population into four divisions as none of them have been mentioned in the verse. It was interpolated or misinterpreted. 

Vyas was lived around second or third century BC (after Kapil and Patanjali), and Gita is an extension of the teaching of Sankhya and Yoga with more details, particularly for guiding the people live in Samsara. The philosophers Kapil, Buddha, Mahavira, Patanjali didn’t refer the caste/varna divisions of humans and there was no motivation for Vyas to do so while talking about Samkhya and Yoga, the subjective translators or interpolators have done great disservice to the humanity and to the nation. With bad mens rea, how can they attain liberation! 

I shall review other verses in my next message.


16December 2020


Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.