catur-varnyam maya srstam
tasya kartaram api mam
viddhy akartaram avyayam
(From 4.13 Bhagavad Gita)
Bhagwan is the author of Varna avastha. The purpose was the efficient working of society and our self development.
Guna Karma vibhagashu means-divided according to the gunas and actions.
Man is essentially his mind.
Mind is the centre for all our actions (karma) and is the seat of three basic qualities (gunas) of “Satva, Rajas and Tamas.” All the three qualities are inherent in every individual but their proportion expressed outwardly as actions differs from individual to individual. The actions expressed according to the gunas is “Guna karma.” The division of such actions is “Guna karma Vibhagashu”.
In any single society, the individuals can be divided into four main groups depending upon the proportion in expressing outwardly the three basic gunas in the form of actions. “Chaturvarna” refers to the four groups of individuals in society. They are -
- Brahmans-intellectuals/ thinkers
- * Kshatriyas-administrative work
- * Vaishyas-Business/ mobilizers
- * Shudras-workers/laborer
The key point is that this vibhajana is based not by birth but by our guna karma ( the quality of our actions) though this has been misinterpreted and exploited over centuries. One cannot be born as a BRAHMAN or a Hindu. It’s a vision, we need to evolve into. All 4 Varnas are equally essential for efficient cooperative working within a society. We may even belong to different varnas in different stages of our life, based on the quality of our actions. As students of Vedanta we should uphold the truth and be the example as we endeavor to spread the true message about Guna Karma Vibhajana.