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Date: Tue Oct 01 1996 - 20:14:57 PDT

Sri Srinivasaiyengar said:

>>In the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna says that destruction of Varnaashrama
Dharma would mean destruction of society.<<<

Arjuna addresses Lord Krishna as Varshneya  (Belonging to Vrishni tribe) in
thi scontext. That is one of the  pada-chamatkarams in Chapter I of Gita.

More important in Gita is what Arjuna asks and what Krishna says-not really
what Arjuna says!   Krishna did not even bother to address this issue
directly. His view on the importance of caste-birthrights as is found in
several other parts of Hindu literature is not in Gita, even when such  an
issue was raised by Arjuna. 

In a way the Lord addressed this comment of Arjuna indirectly in the verse. 

Yanti deva vratha devan pitrun yanti pitru vratan
Bhutani yanti buthejyOyanti madhyagunOpimam.

Basically, Krishna is saying, we reach what we believe in the MOST.  Seems
like most Indians are preoccupied with their (misunderstood in my opinion)
varnashramam and that is where most of India is preoccupie with.  That is
probably the reason why we allowed 60% of our population to become
panchamas-a caste (or rather lack of it) which is not to be found in the
Purusha Sukta or the chaturvarnyam of Gita.

When are we going to realize that Purusha suktam and Gita are both universal.
With our misunderstood Jathi concept, we can never proclaim their
universality. Just because our ancestors followed it (just as they also
believed that Sun went round the Earth), just because George Washington had
slaves, slavery is not right. Likewise, the varnsashrama dharma as practised
is nothing but a right concept used wrongly.  Sorry, Mr. Krishna Prasad, I
had to bring back this issue, in spite of your request.   

K. Sreekrishna (Tatachar)