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The Tenability of the Varna By Birth Concept

From: Venkat Nagarajan (
Date: Fri Jul 06 2001 - 11:36:15 PDT

Dear Bhagavatas,

I am writing in regards an important issue that was brought up during the Question and Answer segment following Sri. S.M.S. Chari's telephone lecture. 

Some thoughts:

Not only is the notion of Varna abstract, it also completely transcends the realm of sensual objects. Varna is determined by properties of matter, which are not within the realm of the senses; as such, it is not possible to study the varna by birth concept by observing or manipulating these properties.  In other words, it is not possible to adopt an empirical approach to either support or contest the notion.  In matters beyond the realm of senses, perception is useless and logic cannot provide conclusive results, as it is qualified by premises; thus, either S'Astra or conscience takes precedence.  

Therefore, if one is unable to relate to the notion he or she should forget it and move on.  Trying to convince oneself or others that the varna by birth concept is untenable is futile since the concept is not refutable (by empirical or logical methods.)

Please note:

This post only tries to address the issue of tenability of the notion of caste by birth.  Discussion of the implications of cast in a comprehensive manner is beyond my scope. (All I know is, according to the Vedic Paradigm, there is a probabilistic (as opposed to deterministic) relationship between cast and predisposition towards spirituality.) 

ramanuja dasan,

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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