It does not befit us to be hesitant even if we just keep our dharm in view, because there is no greater good for a Kshatriya level seeker than a war of piety. It has been repeatedly said in Bhagavad Gita that “the Self is immutable,” that “the Self is eternal,” and that “the Self is the only real dharm.”
Now what is this dharm of the Self (swadharm)?
The Self is the only dharm, although the capacity to engage in this dharm varies from individual to individual.
This ability arising from one’s disposition has been named swadharm or the inherent dharm.
Ancient sages divided the travellers on the eternal path of the Self into four classes, Shudr, Vaishy, Kshatriy, and Brahmin, according to their innate abilities.
In the primary stage of accomplishment every seeker is a Shudr, meaning one who is deficient in knowledge.
He spends hours on worship and adoration of God, and yet fails to render even ten minutes of his time truly beneficial to his spiritual quest. He is unable to cut through the illusory facade of the material world.
Sitting devoutly at the feet of a realized Sage with devoted service and guileless curiosity, an accomplished teacher, at this stage helps in the cultivation of virtues in his nature.
With this he is promoted to the level of a seeker of the Vaishy class. Gradually realizing that accomplishments of
the Self are the only true accomplishments, he becomes adept in seizing and protecting his senses .
Passion and wrath are fatal to the senses, whereas discrimination and renunciation protect them, but they are by themselves incapable of annihilating seeds of the material world.
Gradually, then, as the worshiper progresses further, his heart and mind grow strong enough to carve their way through the three properties of nature. This is the inborn quality of a Kshatriy. At this point the worshiper acquires the ability to destroy the world of nature and its perversions. So this is the point of commencement of the war.
By further refinement after this, the worshipper is slowly elevated to the category of a Brahmin. Some of the virtues that now grow in the seeker are control of the mind and senses, incessant contemplation, simplicity, perception, and knowledge. By slowly perfecting these qualities, then, he ultimately attains to God, and at this stage he ceases to be even a Brahmin.
At a sacrifice performed by Janak, King of Videh, answering questions by Chakrayan, Ushast, Kahol, Aruni, Uddalak, and Gargi, Maharshi Yagnvalkya said that a Brahmin is one who has achieved direct realization of the Self. It is the Self, dwelling in this world and the higher world, and in all beings, that governs all from within.
The Self is the inner ruler.
The sun, the moon, the earth, water, ether, fire, stars, space, the sky, and every moment of time-are under the authority of this Self. This embodied Self, knowing and controlling the mind and the heart from within, is immortal.
He is the imperishable reality (Akshar) and anything that is not Self is destroyed.
In this world, he who offers oblations, performs sacrifices,practices austerities, even though for many thousands of years but without an awareness of this reality, gains little: all his offerings and exercises are perishable. He who departs from this life without knowing the imperishable is like a wretched miser. But he who dies with knowledge of reality is a Brahmin.
Arjun is worshiper of Kshatriy level. According to Sri Krishn there is no more beneficial way for such a seeker than war of piety. The question is: what is meant by the term Kshatriy ?
Usually, in social usage, it is taken as one of the terms such as Brahmin, Vaishy, and Shudr, which are denominations of “castes” determined by birth. These four constitute what are known as the fourfold varn. But that such was not the original intent behind the provision is evident from what the Bhagavad Gita has to say about the inherent disposition of the Kshatriy.
Here Sri Krishn just demonstrates the duty of a Kshatriy. The problem, namely of what varn is and how a man of inferior varn can by his conduct gradually elevate himself to a higher class, is repeatedly taken up and resolved in this sacred composition.
Lord Krishn says that he has created the four varn. Did he in doing so divide men into four classes? He himself says that it was not so: he has only divided action into four categories according to the innate property. So we have to see what that action is which has thus been divided.
Properties are variable. The correct mode of worship can elevate one from the lowest property of ignorance to that of passion and moral blindness, and hence to virtue, or the quality of goodness. So through gradual cultivation of the inherent property, any individual can evolve himself into a Brahmin. He is, then, possessed of all the qualities that are essential to the attainment of and union with the Supreme Spirit.
Lord Krishn lays down that even if the inherent ability, by which a man participates in this dharm, is of the unmeritorious and ignorant Shudr level, it is beneficial in the highest sense, because it is the starting point from where he can set out on the path of Self-cultivation. However, the worshiper is destroyed if he imitates the manner of higher classes. Arjun is a worshiper of the Kshatriy class. That is why Sri Krishn enjoins him to remember his ability to wage war, because through it he will know that irresolution and grief are unworthy of him.
There is no better task than this for a seeker of Kshatriy level.
In Chapter Eighteen, Verse 47 of Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishn concludes:
“Even though unmeritorious, one’s own native calling is superior to the office of others, for a man carrying out his natural obligation does not bring sin upon himself.”
Although inferior, one’s own obligation is better than even the well performed duties of others.
A man absorbed in performing a task that is determined by his own nature does not incur sin in so far as he is not subjected to the endless cycle of “entrances” and “exits”-of birth and death. It is quite often that worshipers begin to feel disenchanted with the service they are rendering. They look at the more accomplished seekers who are absorbed in meditation and grow envious of the honour that is accorded them because of their merits. So novices at once fall to imitating.
According to Lord Krishn, however, imitation or envy can be of no avail. The final accomplishment is only by dedication to one’s own native calling, not by its abandonment.
~ Revered Gurudev Swami Adgadanand Jee Paramhans ~