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What is the significance of the Varna (classification system of the society)?

Varna System in society Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Q: What is the significance of the Varna (classification system of the society)? When all the saints have asked us to go beyond the classifications then from where did it originate?


#SriSri: Varna is a classification system within the society. It is an order of classification for education and application of that education. There are different classes within a society. Now, you want to take a medical branch after passing school, you want to become an engineer, lawyer or doctor – the order of these occupations is Varna. It is not according to the birth, but according to the occupation. This happens irrespective of the fact whether you want it or not. In every country, there are groups according to the respective trades or occupations. And it will always be there. There is a different group for the businessmen, different for the intellectuals, different for the professors, different groups for the writers. Similarly there is a different group for the soldiers; there is a defense ministry, where only matters related to this are discussed. So, in this way there will be the division of society on the basis of the occupation. And it is rightly so; the classification of society on the basis of the occupation. Why? In this manner, there would be skill enhancement, specialization and progress. This is why lord Krishna has said – “catur-varnyam maya srstam, guna-karma-vibhagasah”. That is- the division is on the basis the Guna (Quality) and the Karma(Work). The lord has created this system. And it is present throughout the world; this is not just India;. So, just know that the Varna is not according to the birth, it is according to the occupation. This can change too. A soldier does not have to remain soldier through his life; he can anytime choose to become a professor too. A teacher can anytime choose to become a soldier or even a trader.

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