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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava Part 2 and 3 > Vol 2 Abhidheya > Sociology

82- Sociology


1. Why should the varnasrama system be appreciated?


In order to maintain social order, the Aryans divided society into four castes and four social orders. If the social system is protected, then good association and discussion will nourish people's spiritual lives. Therefore, the varnasrama system should be accepted in all respects. By this arrangement, it becomes possible to gradually attain love for Krsna. The main purpose of this arrangement is to cultivate spiritual life, love for Krsna. (Sri Krsna Samhitd Chapter 5/9)


2. Is it possible for a conditioned soul to experience auspiciousness if he transgresses varnasram principles?


Those who have sufficiently studied sociology certainly conclude that the varnasram system is the topmost social system. If one is fixed in its principles, his nature cannot be lost. Rather, one receives the huge opportunity and advantage to cultivate Krsna consciousness. Varnasrama-dharma is the social structure of the Vaisnavas in their conditioned stage.

(Sajjana Tosani 2/7)


3. Can there be civilized society without following the principles of varnasrama-dharma?


The European mercantile communities love to do business and so prosper in so doing. Those who have ksatriya-like natures enter military lines or perform activities such as joining the army. Those who have sudra natures engage in ordinary service. Actually, unless some degree of varnasrama-dharma is followed, a society cannot function. Even though the principles of varnasrama-dharma have been established to some degree in European societies, they have not taken full scientific shape. (Caitanya-siksdmrta 2/3)


4. What kind of social system was followed before the excellent improvement of the varndsrama system?


Before ships were invented through scientific progress, voyages were conducted in simple boats made by an unscienfitic process. Similarly, until the varndsrama system was fully implemented, an unscientific state of a previous type ran society. This unscientific and earlier system has become the director of the societies in Europe and everywhere else but India.

(Caitanya-siksdmrta 2/3)


5. What is the difference between Vaisnava society and non-Vaisnava society?


The difference between Vaisnava society and non-Vaisnava society is that the ultimate goal of Vaisnava society is love of God. The goal of non-Vaisnava society is selfish lust. Those who live in ordinary society consider that the nourishment of the body, sense gratification, worldly moralities, the discovery of objects through material knowledge that enhance sense gratification, and the attempt to temporarily stop material miseries are society's ultimate goal. Among such persons, some praise the happiness that comes after death, some praise heavenly enjoyment, and some praise the state of merging into the Lord's existence. The living entities situated in Vaisnava society use physical nourishment, sense gratification, worldly morality, science, and the rejection of material unhappiness as ways to favorably cultivate Krsna consciousness. The shape of both Vaisnava society and non-Vaisnava society is one, but its characteristics are different. (Sajjana Tosani 2/7)


6. What rules should be followed if we wish to revive India's varndsrama system?


In order to revive the principles of varndsrama the following few rules have to be reintroduced:

1. No one's caste should be ascertained simply by birth.

2.A person's caste should be determined according to the nature he develops in association as a child and by the accumulation of knowledge.

3. When ascertaining a person's caste, one should consider both the person's nature and taste, and his parents' caste.

4.After a person has matured to age of about fifteen, the family priest, landlord, parents, and a few selfless but educated persons from the village should sit together and determine his caste.

5. To which caste should a grown person belong? Such a question should never arise. Rather, it should be asked whether he is qualified to retain his father's caste or not.


6. If it is found that a person is qualified to retain his caste, then appropriate samskdras or purificatory rituals should be performed. If it is seen that he is qualified for a higher caste, then his samskdras should be performed accordingly. If it is found that, he is qualified for a caste lower than that of his father, he should be given two additional years to improve himself.

7. After the two additional years, the person should be re-examined and his caste ascertained. 

8. Every village should have a committee consisting of landlords and scholars to protect the rules and regulations of society.

9. The king's support has to be obtained in order to keep these activities going. The king is actually meant to be the protector of the varnasrama principles.

10. One's marriage and other activities should then be carried out according to one's caste.

(Sajjana Tosani 2/7)


7. How many types of society are there? Can the living entities ever remain outside society?


Some people think that social people cannot be called Vaisnavas. This is a misconception. Actually, society is divided into three, namely, the society of materialists, the society of liberationists, and the society of liberated souls. People can never become unsocialized; they are by nature social. Even when people are free from matter, it is inevitable that they will develop a pure society of devotees. Therefore, whether a person lives in the forest, at home, or in Vaikuntha, he will always be a social creature. The difference between Vaisnavas and ordinary people is that Vaisnavas live in Vaisnava society and ordinary people live in ordinary society. In conclusion, there is no difference between Vaisnava religion and Vaisnava society.

(Sajjana Tosani 2/7


8. What kind of social etiquette would benefit India? Is it proper to work for quick social reform?


There is danger on both sides. On one side, the insect of prejudice is eating away at our society. If we remain quiet, we will certainly invite inauspiciousness. Our social strength, heroism, and good fortune are gradually diminishing. Those same Aryan descendants by whose influence the entire world quaked with fear for a long time have now become lower than mlecchas and are gradually becoming even more degraded. Those who have good hearts lament as they discuss this. Those who do not have good hearts live without anxiety and gradually degrade themselves.


If we glance on the other side, we also find danger. If we give up the varnasrama system and establish a new society, then we can no longer be called Aryans, because the Aryan's scientific society will cease to exist. It is worth noting that societies such as the Buddhist, Jains, Christians, and members of the Brahmo Samaja, all of whom are devoid of knowledge of varnasrama-dharma, never before prospered in the land of India. Buddhism and Jainism remained hidden in caves, Christianity remained in the possession of mlecchas,. and the Brahmo Samaja was locked in a cottage. None of them could lead an independent life. What happened to the tantras of the Buddhists? What happened to their newly-formed rules and regulations? They were all useless. They will never be of any use in India, which is the abode of science. If we suddenly begin to reform society and try to reestablish varnasrama principles, we will simply create chaos. Therefore, we can see only darkness in all directions. (Sajjana Tosani 2/7)