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Shri Vajrasucika Upanisad
Of the Sama Veda
vajrasucim pravaksyami sastram-ajnana-bhedanam |
dusanam jnanahinanam bhusanam jnana-caksusam || 1||
I will now proceed to explain the Vajrasuci - that weapon that destroys ignorance. It is the enemy of those who are opposed to knowledge and it adorns the man of divine vision.
brahma-ksatriya-vaisya-sudra iti catvaro varnas tesam varnanam brahmana eva pradhana iti veda-vacananu-rupam smrtibhir-apy-uktam |
There are four castes - the brahmana, the ksatriya, the vaisya, and the sudra. Of these, the brahmanas alone are foremost. This is declared by the smritis and the Vedas.
tatra codyam asti ko va brahmano nama kim jivah kim dehah kim jatih kim jnanam kim karma kim dharmika iti ||
`In these the question is raised, `Who is called a brahmana?' Among life (jiva), body (deha), birth (jati), knowledge (jnana), work (karma) and duty (dharma), what is it that makes a brahmana?'
tatra prathamo jivo brahmana iti cet tanna | atitanagatan eka dehanam jivasyaika rupatvat ekasyapi karma vasadan eka deha sambhavat sarva-sariranam jivasyaika rupatvacca | tasmat na jivo brahmana iti ||
Firstly, since the jiva is part of Brahman, and alive, does that make him a brahmana? No. The jiva is not a brahmana. There are innumerable jivas that have accpeted countless material bodies according to their karma, therefore the jiva cannot be called a brahmana.
tarhi deho brahmana iti cet tanna | acandaladi paryantanam manusyanam panca-bhautikatvena dehasyaika rupatvaj-jara-marana dharmadharmadi samya-darsanat brahmanah sveta-varnah ksatriyo rakta-varno vaisyah pita-varnah sudrah krishna-varnah iti niyamabhavat | pitradi sarira dahane putradinam brahma-hatyadi-dosa-sambhavacca | tasmat na deho brahmana iti ||
Then is the body a brahmana ? No. The body (comprising of the five material elements) of a candala, as well as that of all other men are subject to old-age and death. A brahmana is called white, a ksatriya red, a vaisya yellow and a sudra black only in respect to their different levels of consciousness. By burning one's body one does not become free from th esin of killing a brahmana, nor is the reaction of such a sin transferred to one's son. Similarly, one's brahminical status is not based on the bodily condition, nor can brahminical status be transferred simply Sy seminal discharge and the procreation of chidren. Therefore the body does not make one a brahmana.
tarhi jati brahmana iti cet tanna | tatra jatyantarajantusuv-aneka-jati-sambhavat maharsayo bahavah santi |rsyasrngo mrgyah kausikah kusat jambuko jambukat valmiko valmikat vyasah kaivarta kanyakayam sasaprsthat gautamah vasisthah urvasyam agastyah kalase jata iti srutatvat etesam jatya vinapyagre jnana-prati-padita rsayo bahavah santi | tasmat na jati brahmana iti ||
Then does birth make one a brahmana? No. Since many great souls have sprung
from other classes - Risyasrnga was born of a deer; Kausika was born from kusa grass; Jambuka was born of a jackal; Valmiki appeared from an anthill; Vyasa was the son of a fiserman's daughter; Gautama was born from the posterior of a rabbit; Vasistha was born from Urvasi (a heavenly society girl in the court of indra); and Agastya was born from a water-pot. Thus have we heard. There are many rsis who stood first amongst teachers of divine knowledge, yet did not know the circumstances of their birth.Therefore birth does not make one a brahmana.
tarhi jnanam brahmana iti cet tanna | ksatriyadayo'pi paramartha-darsino'bhijna bahavah santi tasmat na jnanam brahmana iti ||
Does knowledge make one a brahmana ? No. Since there were many ksatriyas and
others who are well-versed in the understanding divine wisdom. Therefore knowledge doe not make one a brahmana.
tarhi karma brahmana iti cet tanna | sarvesam praninam prarabdha sancitagami karma-sa dharmya-darsanat karmabhipreritah santo janah kriyah kurvantiti | tasmat na karma brahmana iti ||
Then does fate make one a brahmana ? No. Since all living beings have amassed karma from previous births and have their destinies to live out in the future along with their karmas and dharmas. According to one's karmic desires he is further implicated in karmic fate and continues to live in the world of action and reaction. A brahmana is more than this,therefore karma does not make one a brahmana.
tarhi dharmiko brahmana iti cet tanna | ksatriyadayo hiranyadataro bahavah santi | tasmat na dharmiko brahmana iti ||
Then is the doer of dharma (virtuous actions) a brahmana ? No. Since there are many ksatriyas who were highly religious and gave great amounts of gold in charity. Therefore performing virtuous actions does not make one a brahmana.
tarhi ko va brahmano nama | yah kascid-atmanam-advitiyam jati-guna-kriyahinam sadurmisad-bhavetyadi-sarva-dosa-rahitam satya-jnananandananta-svarupam svayam nirvikalpam asesa-kalpadharam asesabhutantaryamitvena vartamanam antarbahis-cakasavadanu-syutama-khandananda-svabhavam-aprameya manu bhavai kavedyam aparoksataya bhasamanam karatalamalakavat saksad-aparoksi-krtya krtarthataya kama-ragadi-dosa-rahitah sama damadi-sampanno bhava matsarya trsna asa mohadirahito dambhahankaradi-bhira samsprsta ceta vartata eva mukta-laksano yah sa eva brahmaneti sruti-smrtitihasa-puranabhyam-abhiprayah
anyatha hi brahmanatva-siddhir nasty-eva |
Who indeed then is brahmana ? A brahmana is he who is absorbed in the Supreme Self. He is free from all mundane attributes of birth, work, and material qualities. His nature is that he takes pleasure in the knowledge of the unlimited Supreme Truth. A real brahmana is he who totally absorbed in the infinite, limitless, Absolute Supreme Person who is present in the hearts of all. That Supreme Lord is indivisible, and His nature is divine ecstasy. Such a brahmana is free from faults such as lust, anger, greed, pride, illusion and envy. He has all twelve qualities of a brahmana beginning with peacefulness and self-control. He is never envious and is free from illusion and from any trace of pride and false-ego. One who has these qualities may be called a brahmana. This is the opinion of sruti, smrti, itihasa and the puranas. No other endowments of perfection can confer brahminical status.
Thus ends the Vajrasucika Upanisad.